Fall weather all across the country can be unpredictable. Where I grew up in the mid-Atlantic region, Indian summers were common. But that didn't mean we didn't have snow in November a few times. It snowed on Halloween when I was in college at Ohio State. Some states out west and in northern New England could have sunshine or heavy snow as early as September. So does that mean you should reconsider getting married in the fall? Absolutely not. Who cares if there's a snow flurry backdrop to the colorful canvas of leaves on the trees? Revel in it, work with it, and enjoy it—just be as prepared as possible for any weather eventuality.
Every wedding needs a "Plan B" in case of inclement weather, but the autumn tends to be more unpredictable than any other season. Think ahead, and consider my tips below, for a smooth and comfortable wedding day.
1. Learn as Much as Possible, Ahead of Time, About the Weather Where You're Getting Married
If it's your hometown, you know how predictable, or crazy, the weather can be in the month that you're planning to get married. Pay attention to the forecasts in the month ahead. Don't set up weather alerts on your phone and make yourself crazy, but be aware if there's a lot of hot, cold, or wet weather headed your way. If you're getting married away from home, ask your venue or wedding planner for advice on how to be prepared. Hurricane season (June through November) can be tricky in the Caribbean, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida.
2. Prepare to Give Your Guests a Comfortable Environment, Wherever You're Celebrating Your Festivities
If there's the slightest possibility it will be a little too brisk for the cocktail hour you've planned on an outside terrace or patio, invest in attractive outside space heaters. If you don't need them, you won't use them. But if you don't have them and the weather turns, you won't be able to get them at the last minute because everybody who thought ahead will have already reserved them. It's tailgate season, after all. The same goes for fans to cool a space that could become stuffy if the wedding day weather is exceptionally nice.
3. Tents Can Be Used Year-Round Most Places for Outdoor Events, but You May Have to Goose Things up a Bit
If you're planning all or part of your wedding outside in the fall, make sure when you rent a tent to ask about the availability of sides for it, in case the temperatures drop, or it's windy and raining sideways. They also have interior/exterior space heaters that can be used inside a closed-up tent, if you reserve them in advance. Also, if it has been really rainy the week before your wedding, you may want to put down carpeting or a floor inside the tent. Your options for creating a comfortable, inviting outside space are limited only by your budget.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events and author of How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show Wedding Island, about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques.