My vision, should it rain, depends on the level of rain--that is, whether it's drizzling, sprinkling, raining, or pouring. These are four very distinct types of rain, you see, and each one demands a different plan of action.
So, here's my thinking. In the event of...
Drizzling: We'll still have the ceremony outdoors and use PARASOLS--both for me, Chris, wedding party, and guests. The cocktail hour will be half-in, half-out of the gardens, mansion, and carriage house.
Sprinkling: We'll still have the ceremony outside and, you guessed it, we'll have PARASOLS! The cocktail hour will mostly likely moved into the Carriage House, but the mansion will still remain open for intrepid guests.
Raining: We'll still plan to have ceremony outdoors + parasols. Cocktails in the Carriage House. Mansion tours for the fish among us.
Pouring: As the worst case scenario, we'll move the ceremony inside to the Carriage House. Chris and I will exchange vows under the back stable window. Guests will stand around us. Those who need to sit down, will find chairs and tables lining the perimeter of the dance hall. Cocktail hour will open up in the same room until dinner is served at 7 p.m.
So, part of the trick in having an outdoor wedding is preparing for every type of situation--which is why most brides (and I now understand this fully) avoid the risk altogether. But I suppose the RISK is worth it (!), since if the weather is beautiful, my vision will be 100% lovely. If the weather is uncooperative, it will still be around 80%. Not shabby. I'm being a realist.
On our rehearsal day, I will strongly urge Nicholas to hold not only a ceremony rehearsal in the garden, but also in the Carriage House--JUST IN CASE. Otherwise, should it pour like the dickens, and we're unprepared, we'll be a bunch of stumbling peeps in formal wear. Especially me.
Things to consider in the event of rain
- How will guests know what "plan" we're undertaking? Fortunately, since our ceremony and reception sites are the SAME site, this becomes a matter of excellent direction from our wedding coordination team, ATrendy.
- We'll need to provide parasols and umbrellas, in the event of drizzling, sprinkling, or raining, in the ceremony garden, and have our ushers offer umbreallas to guests along with programs.
- In the event of POURING, we'll need to determine (a) how we'll handle photographs--Chris and I are still game and I know Jen Chase will be! (b) where guests stand in the dance hall, (c) where the natural aisle might be, (d) how programs are distributed (ushers will need guidance), (e) what we'll do with all our little seed bags (since we can't throw them in the Carriage House), and (f) where Chris and I will go post-ceremony, since there's nowhere to go, and (g) how Conor will handle our announcement post-vows (probably after all the guests are seated in the dining room).
We're getting there.