Photo: Brian Marcus of Fred Marcus Studio
You are all set to get married after months of careful planning when the unfathomable happens — weather reports show that a hurricane is headed your way. Tropical storms are a known danger in Florida, and as a Miami bride, you have to come to terms with it as a possibility when planning a wedding. Still, having one threaten to rain on your parade can be pretty scary and stressful. With the help of some Miami wedding vendors and experts, we're sharing five things you must do in the event that there is a hurricane arriving on your big day.
1. Read vendor contracts
It's important to not freak out and try to avoid thinking about the worst case scenario. Many vendors have varying policies, so it's important to read your contacts carefully — especially regarding hurricanes or natural disaster-related emergencies. That way, you'll know exactly what to say and what expect from vendors if you have to sit down and speak with them about canceling or rescheduling the wedding.
Miami wedding photographer Merari Teruel shares that "if a couple cancels the wedding, then the retainer is non-refundable but in case of a fire, casualty, strike, act of God, or other cause beyond anyone's control and the wedding is postponed and the photographer is unable to provide the services required, the retainer shall be returned with no further liability." Local DJ Rey "Hurricane" Hernandez says his policy is "simply that [he] gets paid rain or shine." However, he does give an opportunity to reschedule the date at no charge and based on availability. It truly varies from vendor to vendor, so make sure to read through these contracts fully so that there are no surprises!
2. Delegate bridesmaid duties
If you do decide to change your wedding date, delegating some duties for keeping in touch with guests and vendors to your bridesmaids and maid of honor is essential. Once guests get word of the forecast for your big day, they're going to start calling and questioning if the event is still going to happen. That should be the least of your worries once you've made the decision to keep the wedding date (or post-pone), and delegating is an easy way to alleviate the stress.
3. Use an app or your website to keep in communication
For the bride that doesn't want to bog down her 'maids with phone and email duties, updating your wedding website is an easy way to stay connected and inform guests of any weather-related changes. Or, for the more tech-savvy, download (and invite your guests to download) an app like Wedding Party, which helps share important details and stay connected. This is an easy place to start with wedding details if your wedding website is not able to be edited from your location.
4. Don't forget the post-wedding details
If the storm seems to be imminent, and you are post-poning your big day to a later date, don't forget about post-wedding details and logistics. Consider changing your honeymoon flight if you're traveling right after the wedding, discuss the post-wedding brunch details with your families and reschedule with the restaurant venue, and make sure that accommodations can be rescheduled for hotel room blocks.
5. Know that safety comes first
It's important to assure the safety of your friends, family, and vendors, and while your wedding is most likely the most important day of your life, safety comes first. Yes, it's your big day, but sacrificing the safety of your family and friends is not something that any bride wants to do. If the rain, winds, and flooding are going to be intense and there is a state-wide emergency, it's probably best to cancel. If it's just going to be a heavy downpour in your area, work with your venue to create a beautiful indoor venue — because the show must go on!
Says Aviva Samuels, owner of Kiss the Planner in Palm Beach, Florida, "Wedding day disasters may not seem funny in the moment, but one day you'll love telling your children — or, heck, anyone who will listen — the epic story of how you battled a big storm on your wedding day to your grandchildren, Samuels says. "Everyone loves a good story, and if hurricane winds ripped your wedding arch down or a torrential downpour caused your updo to go south or makeup to melt, you can be the hero of the story that persevered and loved every moment of it, the good, the bad and the ugly."
In the end, no matter when your wedding day will be, it will be special and one-of-a-kind, as long as you are marrying your love. After all, rain on your big day is good luck (and makes for some stunning photos).