If you’re getting married in Maine in an outdoor ceremony, no matter what time of year, you’re going to need a Plan B in case of inclement weather. And by inclement weather I mean rain, hail, high winds, spring snow, dense fog, thunderstorms, lightning, floods, and hurricanes. Yes, we get all of that weather here in Maine. With so many possible ways for your outdoor ceremony to get derailed by weather, it’s just so important to have a backup plan for your wedding ceremony. It shouldn’t take too much extra planning and, I promise you, the effort you put into a well-planned Plan B will be so worth it on wedding day.
Where Will the Ceremony Take Place?
If you’re getting married outdoors in Maine, you definitely need a backup plan in case of bad weather. Take a few minutes to discuss with your wedding planner and wedding venue about the best locations for an indoor ceremony. Will it be under a tent? Inside the barn? Inside the venue somewhere? Here are some things to think about when choosing your backup location.
If It’s Inside a Tent
Here are the things to think about if your ceremony needs to take place under a tent:
Lighting If it’s an overcast day it can get very dark inside a tent, especially if the tent has sides. Talk to you photographer and videographer and get their feedback on the right kind of lighting for your ceremony. For example, many photographers and videographers will prefer white lights rather than colorful uplighting, since the white light is more natural. Then talk to your DJ to see if they provide lighting as part of their service or contract with a lighting professional.
Space How will the chairs be set up? Will they be in a semi-circle facing the long side of the tent? In rows facing the short side? Will the tent be big enough for all the chairs or will some people have to stand? Will the aisle have poles down the middle? Do you have enough space for your entire wedding party to stand up there with you?
Setup Decide how the wedding ceremony “stage” will be set up. What will the background look like? Will there be poles behind you? Are the tent sides clear or solid white? And does this make a difference. For example, if they are clear make sure the background is as appealing as possible. Take some time to talk ceremony space and setup with your rental provider to get feedback based on their experience.
Decorations What decorations will you have? Can you move your arbor/arch inside the tent? Do you have movable floral arrangements, so you can easily transport them under the tent? I recommend if your wedding is in May or June – the wettest months in Maine’s wedding season – to have moveable floral arrangements, just for this reason. Talk to your florist about your decorations and if they will move easily.
Flow Talk to you professional wedding officiant and your wedding planner to decide how the ceremony will unfold if it’s going to be inside a tent. Have a general plan for how your Plan A will translate into Plan B in terms of how people will enter, come down the aisle, and stand or sit.
Sound/Electricity Depending on how far away your tent is from your venue, this may or may not be an issue, but take a few minutes to talk to the venue and your DJ/wedding band about electrical needs for the ceremony if it’s under a tent. Once you’re inside a tent sound becomes much less of an issue. Your officiant may not even need a microphone. Check with your DJ or musicians to see if they have any special needs if the event will be under a tent.
Timing Don’t wait until the last minute to book your tent. If you wait too long, you might not get one in the right size and this could be a disaster if there are no other indoor options. Talk to your rental provider about the timing ASAP! Also, it may take a day for the setup of the tent so you may have to decide a few days in advance of the wedding.
If It’s Inside Your Wedding Venue
Here are the things to think about if your ceremony needs to take place inside your venue:
Space Is there enough space for all the guests? From where they will be sitting will they be able to see the ceremony? Will some of them have to stand? Is that ok with you? Is there room for all the chairs you need in your front row?
Setup Decide how the wedding ceremony “stage” will be set up. What will the background look like? Is there a natural focal point in the room? Are there any posts or columns in the way? Talk to your wedding venue about where indoor ceremonies have taken place in the past.
Decorations What decorations will you have? Can you move your arbor/arch inside? Will the venue allow that? Do you have movable floral arrangements, so you can easily transport them inside? Talk to your wedding planner and florist about your decorations and if they will move easily and who will move them.
Flow Talk to you professional wedding officiant and your wedding planner to decide how the ceremony will unfold if it’s going to be indoors. Have a general plan for how your Plan A will translate into Plan B in terms of how people will enter, come down the aisle, and stand or sit.
Timing Luckily if you’re having your ceremony inside you probably don’t have to decide until the day of the wedding if you’re going to be indoors. The venue and your planner will need enough time to decide what to do about seating and the decorations, but at least you don’t have to worry about having an entire tent set up, which sometimes has to happen the day before.
Your Attitude About Plan B Matters
No one plans an outdoor wedding in Maine and gets super excited that they have to have it indoors. But, if you can take some time to envision your wedding in your backup location, then you won’t be caught off-guard if it has to happen. In fact, your attitude about your backup plan will determine whether it’s no big deal or ruins your entire wedding. Obviously, we don’t want it to ruin your wedding, so thinking about it well in advance and making clear plans, that you may not be super excited about but you can live with, will make all the difference.
Also, remember that your attitude sets the tone for the whole wedding. If you’re grumpy about having to make a last-minute switch to your Plan B, that will set the mood for everyone else, while on the other hand, if you have a positive attitude about it and know that your wedding will be amazing no matter what, that will carry through you’re whole wedding party.
Talk to Your Wedding Vendors
It’s a good idea to have a backup plan, but you don’t have to create it all alone. Talk to your professional wedding vendors, who have all dealt with this issue many times before. We have lots of advice on how to create a Plan B. And our greatest advice is HAVE A PLAN B!