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If you live in Uganda, you already know that our climate type is tropical, and once in a while, it will rain right in the middle of a dry season. That means you can’t predict precisely if heavens won’t let out on your wedding or introduction.
Global warming has even made it worse because currently, it rains where it would be scorching hot. Making it hard for Artificial intelligence algorithms to make the right weather predictions.
That said, rain doesn’t have to ruin your wedding day. If you opt to have an outdoor reception, you should anticipate rain and plan accordingly but most importantly, you need to have a positive attitude. Talking of attitude: Rain on your wedding day is good luck because, rain represents many things in different cultures – most of which include fertility, cleansing, unity, renewal, and tears.
This October, I planned and managed a client’s wedding from concept to on-day coordination. It was an open outdoor concept at Munyonyo’s residence poolside. By “open” I mean we had no tents at all. It is not that clients could not afford the tent, they just wanted to enjoy the bear starry sky on their wedding day. And they did.
But it did rain that day. And we knew it would but we had prepared thoroughly. Besides, my wedding planning passion, I’m a software engineer but I specialize in Machine learning where things like weather prediction are learned in detail. I have therefore learned to trust data and some AI algorithms. So prior to my clients’ wedding day, I’d started weather predictions for about two weeks. I warned my clients that it would rain for about an hour or two during noon hours. Lucky for us, their ceremony was scheduled to start at about 3 pm since both the wedding ceremony and reception were to be at the same venue, it would make coordination easier. To cut the story short, we prepared as we normally would and left other details that would be messed up by the rain. By 2 pm, it started raining and the skies were clear a few minutes to 3 pm. As the church ceremony preceded, we were swiftly adding a few pieces to the reception area and by the time the ceremony got done, the reception was sparkling. The purpose of this short story is to illustrate the essence of proper preparation.
Obviously, one of the hardest messages to get across to a couple is, it might rain, and you need to be okay with that. I have seen so many disappointed, sad faces, and even tears on a rainy day. While others just roll with the punches, make the best of it and have a great time anyway. This is where a positive attitude makes a lot of meaning.
For most couples, their wedding will be the first time they will be managing such situations and their frustration is justified. However, to be on the safe side, it is essential you hire a wedding planner or event manager who interfaces with such challenges – and others out of this post’s scope – on a daily basis. Going into an event, I always take a 360-degree forecast of any event that might interrupt the day and plan accordingly.
Talking of a wedding planner, many decorators have entitled themselves wedding planners but there is a big difference. The planner’s to oversee the coordination of every detail and ensure that all pieces are perfectly fitted in the right place. Besides, a decorator is always pre-occupied with decorating that they won’t be able to ensure other service providers are doing the right thing.
If you can afford to hire a wedding planner, they’ll definitely disaster-proof you but if you decide to take the opposite route, use these tips to better manage your day should rain decide to stop by.
- Ensure your venue of choice is well-drained. Whether you’ll have a tent or just an open venue, a well-drained place will quickly dry up when the rain is gone but a poorly drained place will stay logged hours and days after the rain. This year, Catahena decor shared their illustration of doing decor at a poorly drained venue.
- Rent a tent. Did you know you can still have an open style reception in a tent? A skyline tent gives you the ability to “hit two birds with one stone.” It is totally transparent and gives you a 360 view yet shielding you from rain.
- Seek an affordable option from the venue. Rain is not your making. If your venue manager cares about their clients, they’ll offer you a place to seek shelter should it start raining. Alternatively, you could shift the party there should the rain persist. Be aware that some venues charge for such an arrangement. Whatever the case, you and your planner or decorator and other service providers need to be kept in the loop when such arrangements are being taken on.
- Floor the venue. Flooring an entire venue is costly and can quickly inflate your budget but it is very necessary. Imagine having your guests deep their expensive shoes and get their clothes soaked in the mud. The bride’s gown would be most affected. Terrible picture, right?
- Study the forecast. In my short story above, I illustrated how studying the forecast two weeks prior helped me stick to my clients’ wish of an open outdoor wedding. If you carefully study the forecast, it will clearly show you how long it will rain during a certain day. If you learn it will do so for a few hours, you can easily adjust your day’s schedule and still achieve your dream wedding look. Weather forecasts go further to illustrate the rate of precipitation (or amount of rain) that will be there in a day. If it’s a little drizzle, you can use incorporate umbrellas into your decor and create a unique theme. The same theme can work for an outdoor wedding in a sunny and hot season.
- Keep everyone in the loop- including the guests. Guests are most of the time innocent and they may panic when it starts raining. Some could even leave if the sky threatens to release thunderstorms. To avoid such inconveniences, ask the mc to communicate a rain plan in the event that it happens. You can also put a notice about a “rain plan” in their invitation cards.
- Make the most of it. Rain is truly a blessing in disguise. In fact, I’ve seen some people’s WhatsApp status saying “when life gives you lemons, make a lemonade.” What if you could apply the same attitude? Rain creates a softer lighting effect and if you are working with a professional photographer, they’ll make your pictures magical. Talk to them in advance to know if they have creative ideas for such weather.
- Be practical about your hair and Makeup. If you opt for an outdoor wedding, chances are high it’ going to rain or get too hot and that will eventually mess up your mascara or hair. The best tip is to hire your makeup artist for an entire day. If that gets pricey, then let your girl squad know they’ll have to take over eventually. The same goes for your hair.
The best tip is to have a positive attitude and refuse to let things you can’t control mess up your day. You can’t control the rain but obviously you can control how you feel. Embracing it, and looking on the positive side will surely give you a memorable wedding day.
After all, you have already invested too much time, money and energy in this wedding and come rain or shine, you are getting married to the love of your life.