With hurricane season in Louisiana coming to an end, the devastation of wildfires that have overcome Northern California and Montana the last several months, and the impending blizzards of winter coming to the North, more and more couples are asking themselves about Plan B (and C, and D) in the event of the carefully laid plans they’ve been working on being put into jeopardy. As a planner, we always have a Plan B (and C, and D) at the ready, preparing for the worst but hoping for the best. Today, I wanted to share with you some advice and tips regarding back up plans, including not only how to create one, but how to avoid as much as possible having to resort to one (or two, or three).
Backup plans are designed for emergencies, particularly, the weather. With rain on any given day in Louisiana a 50% chance of happening, these are a necessity for weddings and events. In the event however that a little bit of rain turns into flooding, such as what happened in August of 2016 here in Baton Rouge, and not only is your venue at stake, but all of the vendors who are contracted for your wedding day. In such an instance, I cannot help but advise that you cancel. Vendors who are undergoing the same catastrophic events will most certainly understand, and will more than likely keep payments as are in order to be applied to your new date.
Now, before canceling should even cross your mind, there are a couple of steps you can take in order to make sure that your event goes smoothly and without a problem. In regards to the possibility of inclement weather, make sure that you at least have a tent or two on standby is a great idea, and in the event of, you can always cancel and get your deposit on them returned. Many companies in the Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Shreveport areas offer this service. Furthermore, even if you have a tented ceremony and reception, providing umbrellas in welcome bags or have ushers meet guests by their cars to give them umbrellas so that they stay dry is a great way to make sure your guests are comfortable and able to enjoy the day.
In the event that you’ve got sunshine on your wedding day, but that sunshine happens to come along with a heat index of over 100 degrees, the best back up plan is to implement fans, including handheld ones, as well as make sure that your caterer or bartenders have extra water and beverages available. Guests will gladly appreciate a bottle or two to sip on during the ceremony, and make sure that water is being consumed while they are enjoying the other beverages available. With fans, you can order natural texture fans like these, or combine your program and fan into one piece like this one (I love how it’s different from the traditional stick and paper style!).
So, what if weather isn’t what is causing the need for a backup plan?
Illness is a tricky thing to navigate. A simple cold or virus can be avoided by making sure you are getting enough rest and eating well throughout the planning process, but if you or an important guest or family member fall more seriously ill, I would recommend to push up the wedding. Explaining health issues to vendors may be awkward, but they are generally more than understanding and will strive to further ensure that your day is perfect and those moments celebrated. You may also have to consider postponing your wedding, in which case, I would recommend letting your vendors know as soon as you’ve reached the decision, and work from there in regards to reworking deposits and setting a new date.
Sometimes, despite everything done on your side to prevent a disaster, things happen. An example of this is when venues decide to undergo construction, or they suffer damage from natural disasters. Though most venues will notify clients of such instances, sometimes they cannot be avoided, and will leave brides and grooms in a lurch. In which case, you can argue to receive all payments back, and then start making calls and explain to vendors what occurred.
What’s the biggest tip I can give though in regards to a backup plan? Purchase wedding day insurance. Reputable companies such as Progressive, USAA, and Travelers now offer coverage for roughly $150, and covers ruined photographs/video, alcohol liability, cancellation and breach of promise, amongst other situations. Deductibles are often around $1000. Having event insurance, especially when situations you know could occur that would put your wedding into jeopardy, is one of the best investments you can make.
That being said, despite the insurances and doing everything within your power, sometimes, a wedding can’t help but be cancelled. With coming to terms with canceling your wedding: it’s ok. As one bride who was evacuating with her fiancé from the ongoing fires in Napa said “I didn’t care about the boxes of decorations sitting in my living room. I cared about my fiancé, our important documents, and got the hell out of there”. The physical things can be replaced, repurchased, or fixed…the people who are the backbone and soul behind your wedding cannot.
Did you have a Plan B or backup plan for your wedding day? What was one thing you wished you knew? Any additional tips or tricks you want to share with brides to be? I want to know! Helping each other out and sharing experiences brings people together, especially in relation to weddings!
You’re inundated on Pinterest, at bridal shows, and through Instagram of lush flowers and luxurious tablecloths, and of visions containing farmhouse tables with string and candlelight. Some of these weddings are 100% real, while others are styled to show how you can pull different design elements together to create a cohesive look. And while some of these ideas and inspiration can be out of budget or scope for your event (say, cascading peonies from candelabras in the fall, when they’re at their most expensive, or eloping with your closest friends and family to a hilltop church in the Ozarks), you can without a doubt be just as skilled yourself in creating a cohesive and flawless design, and having your budgetary cake too.
Start with your venue, and then the time of year. Your venue is going to act as the canvas for the rest of your wedding, and whether your using print outs of images and putting into a binder or using Pinterest, always start with a few images of your venue to start giving you a feel of what the setting of your wedding will be like. In Louisiana for example, the weather can play a huge factor into the formality and style of an event, so making sure you keep a track on what the averages for the time of year you’ll be married at (and if you can, the temperature for the time of day) will help in the long run. This will help with formality of guests and the bridal party’s attire too!
If you can get your hands on a fabric swatch, get it! How a dress or linens look online can be completely different in person, especially if you’re looking to combine colors and tones with different textures. Obtaining swatches and samples of what you may want is critical, and well worth the couple of dollars to get in order to achieve the look you want (and it’s always great to have some on hand for vendor appointments).
Make sure that when you're looking at vendors that you see and save samples of their work. Having a few samples of your vendor’s work is important, not only in having to assess who you would love to have, but knowing that they have done the style you’re looking to achieve in the past. Examples of a photographer’s editing style, the different paper styles of a stationer, a planner’s published works, or having examples of menus (or what the food will look like) from a prospective caterer can all reflect on the overall look of your wedding.
When creating a look and feel, include all the parts relating to your wedding day. Often on design boards you’ll see dresses, hair styles, flowers, and how to break down budgets; rarely will you find readings or prayers, or timelines you can follow or build off of. When creating your curated look, include these in your arsenal, as the timing of when certain events take place will affect set up and breakdown, the hours of photography and videography, and can be further tailored around how long you have your venue.
Want to see a board showcasing all these elements, and give you a starting point to curating? Check out our sample Louisiana Saturday Night | A Curated Look on Pinterest. We created this board specifically in how to show clients what it means to have a cohesive, final look, and make use of such boards when working to create customized events. By making sure all aspects relating to your event are addressed, you'll guarantee that the look is cohesive and reflects on the style you and your new spouse have.
This super sweet family contacted Kelly, Lifetime of Clicks Photography, after seeing her art hanging in a wellness center. They are originally from Norway but are living here in the states and wanted to send pictures home to their family.
A Note From Samantha, Corner House Photography:
"Nothing but pure beauty, Janelle Blackwelder, was as elegant and beautiful as a bride could ever be in the gown of her dreams. Meeting me out at Sydonie Mansion where her wedding reception would take place, I wandered with Janelle and mommy, Teri around the grounds for the perfect spots to feature Janelle in her OLEG Cassini dress.
I truly do adore bridal sessions! It is a moment to feel the absolute excitement that will be taking place in the near future of marrying your one and only, the chance to wear your dress not once but twice, and the emotion of realizing that it is the more important dress you will every wear."
A little lagniappe goes a long way, and you can have a little something extra with signage personalized to your aesthetic and formality of your wedding. That being said, the framed phrases of “Don’t worry, you can dance – Vodka” and “Pick a seat and not a side, we’re all family once the knot is tied!” can seem repetitive and lack the uniqueness you’re seeking for your big day. With the desire to bring a flair and a little fun to otherwise bleh signs, we’ve compiled a couple of suggestions to switch things up and inspire you on your wedding day!
CHOOSE A LIGHT COLORED STAIN OR PAINT FOR WOOD SIGNS
While the darker toned Jacobean and Walnut are popular stains for wooden signs, test out how lighter stains like Pickled Oak or Natural look against the colors of your wedding. Alternatively, you can do a signage in one of the accent colors of your wedding, such as this stunning white chalk painted sign!
MOVE AWAY FROM SCRIPT
Don’t get me wrong – a scripted sign is beautiful, but they’re quite common. We love the modern twist of these ones below with their Sans Serif fonts (like Arial and Helvetica), but also how elegant the typeface is of Serifs are (such as Times New Roman and Georgia).
USING TEXTURES AND GETTING PRINTS FRAMED
With marble becoming a popular texture for this upcoming wedding season, check out the option of having signs printed and framed, ensuring that the marble look gets utilized without acquiring a vast quantity (and, let’s be honest, investment) of the material. You can also try more complicated fonts or play around with the layouts on a chalkboard-esque black, or keep it classic with a script and serif on ivory paper. Most signs can be printed at your local print shop or University, and frames can be modern and sleek or ornate.
USING MATERIALS BESIDES WOOD AND PAPER
Can we talk about banners? The flutter of fabric and the texture of a banner can add a whimsical element to your event. Conversely, acrylic is a popular medium gracing styled shoots and beginning to make its way into real weddings, mixing modern materials with classic scripts and typefaces.
I hope this signage has inspired you! I love playing around with formats and wording for my clients, or exploring new mediums with local calligraphers and graphic artists. What’s your favorite phrase or sign to see at events? I’d love to know!