Here in the good ol’ South, you just never know what the weather will do. Sometimes it’s freezing…other times it’s sweltering…and still other times, it’s raining. That leaves only a small portion of the time for perfect outdoor weather for your wedding or event! With that in mind, I decided to cover all the bases you need when planning your “alternate plan” – or plan B – for your outdoor wedding.
Kellie Bryson of premier Nashville wedding venue Legacy Farms was kind enough to chat with me this month about the ins and outs of planning an alternate outline for your outdoor wedding or reception. Having operated Legacy Farms for two years (and having been in the wedding catering business for many years before that), Kellie knows a thing or two about making sure brides are more than prepared, regardless of what the weather decides to do on the big day. “A little prep up front avoids tears down the road!” she exclaims. Read on for five quick steps to planning your perfect “plan B” for your outdoor wedding!
1. Before you set a date for an outdoor celebration, be very aware of weather trends.
Kellie describes that, here in Tennessee, September and October are normally the driest months, while popular summer months for outdoor weddings are usually plagued with thunderstorms. Understand your venue before you book it, too. Is there enough room for a tent? What about utility lines that may interfere with tent placement? Can you move the festivities indoors in case of bad weather? If you’re planning an outdoor ceremony or reception, keep tabs on the weather forecast at least one week before, and go ahead and make your call then. At Legacy Farms, you can change your plans the day-of, but if you’ll need additional rentals – especially a tent – you’ll need to reserve it well in advance so that it’s available when, and if, you need it.
2. Have your “plan B” thoroughly laid out with your facility manager at least one month before the wedding.
At Legacy, they go over alternative plans at least 30 days in advance. This prevents a ton of stress on the bride the week leading up to the wedding, and it ensures that everyone is on the same page for what to do in cases of inclement weather. If you can get your plan laid out earlier than that, definitely do it! “The earlier, the better,” Kellie explains. After all, even the most meticulously planned events can be demolished by a faulty alternate plan.
3. Designate who will help carry out the alternate plan as well as when – and what each person will do.
A detailed plan of attack when switching between your ideal plan and your alternate plan can mean all the difference to how smooth your day runs. If your venue doesn’t provide help with this, make sure you call up the groomsmen or other attendants before the wedding to ask for assistance, and designate when you’ll make the final call, as well as who will take care of what. At Legacy Farms, they have a designated team ready and willing to help you carry out your plans.
4. Think of your guests’ comfort.
Really, having an alternate wedding plan is about so much more than making sure you or your wedding gown doesn’t get wet or look wilted – it’s about the comfort of the people who’ve come to watch you enter a new chapter of your life. Think of them above all. Will it be too hot for an outdoor ceremony? Will it be too cold? Will the rain or damp weather cause someone to catch a chill? Although it can be hard to accept the inevitable and go with a plan that’s not your first choice for your wedding day, it’s ultimately better to make your decision on these factors – not on any stubborn notion. Many brides even opt for functional favors that are an adorable way to keep your guests comfortable throughout the day, like monogrammed umbrellas, personalized bottles of water, and wedding program fans. Keep in mind that a good umbrella can also provide shade and cooler temperatures for fair-skinned guests on sweltering days.
5. Finally, once you have the who, what, where, and how laid out for your “plan B,” make sure you let all of your wedding professionals know.
Alert them both whenever you finalize the plans and when you decide to initiate the alternative. Give each professional detailed instructions of changes in location or timing to ensure that your day goes just as smoothly as originally planned. This especially includes your wedding planner or coordinator, as the logistics of your processional and recessional will likely change dramatically between plans.
Legacy Farms is an absolutely breathtaking Nashville wedding venue with three sections to the facility. The indoor center can hold up to 300 guests. The attached courtyard would be perfect for a ceremony or cocktail hour, as it has a beautiful pond and covered pier for guests to enjoy. Outdoor courtyard weddings are also a phenomenal, picturesque choice! The historic manor is the second section of the facility and can accommodate up to 40 guests inside. It also has a lovely front and side lawn for your festivities. The third section of Legacy Farms is the rustic pavilion, which includes an outdoor courtyard area with a gated entrance. The pavilion can accommodate 400 guests and will reopen for public use next year after refurbishment!
The staff at Legacy Farms can handle everything about your wedding day – including catering, invitations, flowers, the DJ, officiant, and anything else you would need outside of professional photography. They are a full-service wedding venue! Kellie describes that she is happy to help design the day with brides, often bringing together vintage, shabby chic, or country couture details together. They even provide directing the day of the wedding and full-service planning resources, although you can bring in your own planner if requested.
Custom packages are regularly created at Legacy Farms, so give Kellie a call today at (615) 321-2394, and be sure to visit the Legacy Farms website and Facebook page to connect with them online. Tell Kellie that The Pink Bride sent you!