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  • Writer's pictureMel Close

The Importance of Having a Contingency Plan For Your Wedding

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Newlyweds under a clear umbrella with ran

The number thing I will always tell my clients is that they need to make a plan B, especially when it comes to the weather. Mother Nature has a mind of her own, and we need to be prepared to pivot to a contingency on short notice. Having a backup plan is a huge must for any wedding, and will help keep stress at bay when the unexpected happens.

Before you set your date, make sure you take the weather into account. In Calgary, we can see hail and snow in the middle of July in the blink of an eye – so it’s always smart to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Wedding ceremony chairs on melted snow pavements

If you're planning an outdoor wedding, see if the venue has an indoor space that can quickly be utilized should the weather turn bad. No one wants to unexpectedly sit out in freezing temperatures or torrential rain. If you’re having an outdoor ceremony in the shoulder season, when snow is still very possible, make sure you at least have blankets for your guests to stay comfortable.

It’s always a good idea to leave some room in your budget for a contingency plan. Plan for things such as tents, and umbrellas – if you don’t end up needing them, that’s money saved! Calgary has some great rental companies that tents can be obtained from, such as Modern Rentals and Good Time Party Rentals.

Large white wedding reception tent

Have a strategy in place on how your plan B will be executed, should it be needed. Your wedding planner can help with this, but you will need to plan for things such as who is responsible for moving chairs, arches, tables etc. Also, make sure to also take into account any power requirements for music or lighting in your backup location. All vendors should be made aware of your backup plan so that any changes can be made seamlessly – again, your wedding planner can take care of this for you!

Ensure that you are aware of how much notice your venue needs for any changes to the location of your ceremony and reception. Some venues will require a decision at least 24 hours prior, if you feel that a switch from outdoors to indoors needs to be made in case of bad weather.

Additionally, work with your photographer to decide on a backup plan for wedding day photos. For my own wedding, we had an unexpected blizzard the night before - the original plan to take outdoor photos in the park had to be changed quickly, but having our backup locations in place meant this was an easy switch for everyone involved.

Finally, make sure you are happy with your plan B. Don’t create a backup plan that you aren’t fully satisfied with, or will be upset by if you do have to utilize it. Put as much thought into your plan B as your plan A, so that either way you will enjoy your wedding regardless of what happens. Don’t let the weather ruin your day – after all, we cannot control it, but we can control how we react to it. Roll with the punches, and your day will be one to remember, rain, hail or shine!

Newlywed couple kissing under two clear umbrellas

All images sourced from Pinterest



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