Extreme weather is the nemesis of brides everywhere. You can plan for everything, except this. In short - it's a bitch.
We're not talking about a spot of rain here. Oh no. To you poor brides-to-be staring out at the snow in desperation, you have become part of an elite group of women who take on torrential rain, flooding, gale force winds and knee deep mud to get married.
But from one adverse weather bride to another, I have good and bad news.
Let's start with the bad. Here goes. Stop praying for a miracle. It is not coming.
I don't mean to sound harsh, but it's time to get realistic. You can stare out the window all you like begging the weather to change. You can promise to devote all your free time to charity if the sun comes out, or just go with the blind optimism that it just can't, it wouldn't dare be this bad on your day – but it is a dangerous game. You are setting yourself up for disappointment.
I got married in July last year. Remember July? Flooding, non stop rain for two weeks, mud slides, ah yes, July. Lovely. Perfect for an outdoors countryside wedding. Everyone kept saying 'oh the sun will come out on the day, it'll be alright' – but then it twigged. It won't. My wedding was not going to be ok. This realisation leaves you with a choice: sit in the corner of a darkened room, sobbing, or put your dukes up and come out fighting.
When faced with a quagmire of mud or a snow drift, it's time to accept this is no longer the softly focused sunlit wedding of American blogs. And somehow, because you take ownership of the situation - it doesn't seem so bad. Remember the 'he's just not that into you' revelation? This is the wedding equivalent.
Call an action stations meeting immediately, it's time for a mega list. If you plan for the worst, things can only get better...
Whatever weather you're facing, transport and accommodation are likely to be big hitters. Do you need to start making alternative plans? Is there extra accommodation available if needed? If people are travelling a long way, alert them to the situation as things may be different where they are.
Add bridal transport to this. That open top vintage car may no longer be appropriate. Has a family member got a practical car that would be better suited? It may not be as glamorous, but tie a ribbon to the front and know that getting there in a snow drift is more important than arriving in style.
If your wedding is outside in a marquee or barn, ensure you have enough heaters on standby to keep you guests toasty. If you are getting married in a church - do they have heating and what will it cost you to get it switched on?
What about you and the bridesmaids? Have you got cover-ups, a pretty wedding umbrella? Incorporate the practical elements into your wedding outfits now and style it out. They will thank you for it.
Don't just ignore it – phone everyone that is involved and check how they stand with the weather. Has the florist been able to get your flowers in? Are the band likely to be able to travel or do you need to find a local alternative?
Outdoors is off
By now, you will already be aware that any part of your wedding that was outdoors, will now not be. This is where you have to slightly let go off your dream plans.
Where are you going to have your wedding photos taken now? It may be lovely to have a few pictures against the snowy backdrop, but you can't expect your Nan to stand outside for endless line-ups in minus temperatures. Look at the options at your venue and speak to your photographer.
If you were planning welcome drinks outside in the courtyard what are your alternatives? Talk the updated plan through with your venue.
Spare a thought for your guests. Guaranteed they will still be in their flimsy wedding outfit dresses. If you are facing rain, hit Poundland and buy a load of brollies and leave them at the ceremony venue to get people from there to the car or to your reception.
If it's unusually cold, buy some cheap blankets or scarves, roll them up with twine or ribbon and leave them in a basket for people to keep themselves warm if your venue is exposed to the elements.
And now for some good news…
So after depressing you (sorry), what is the good news? Hand on heart, I promise the weather will not ruin your wedding day. The happiness and emotion of it will overrule anything the British elements have to throw at you, and you simply won't care.
It is difficult when you are faced with the stress of it all to believe that - but it will be the best day ever, promise.
In my case, we had to beg & borrow emergency tents to protect our guests, hire generators, bribe a nearby farmer with beer to try and clear the mud off the roads with his tractor, I had to dry all the cushions in our marquee at 6am on the wedding day because the rain had come in the sides overnight, and my dress did in fact end up with several inches of mud up it...but it was still perfect.
The great thing is that no one else minds either. Your guests are resilient and if there's anything that unites us Brits, it's carrying on regardless, especially when there' a party involved.
You don't need miracles. What you need is a good to do list, to remember that no one knows what it was supposed to look like in the first place, and a big dollop of stiff-upper lip attitude.
Everything really will be fine on the day (even if the weather's not).
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