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How to Weatherproof Your Destination Wedding

An outdoor setting can be a big feature of a destination wedding, especially if you’ve chosen a beautiful spot. Here are some ways to make sure your dream celebration isn’t sabotaged by unexpected weather:

Choose peak season. If you plan to marry on a certain date, look for destinations which have their best weather at that time of year. Conversely, if your dream destination takes priority over your date, pick a date that falls in the peak weather months. Just be sure to book well in advance to beat the crowds at your chosen destination’s peak season. For dates at popular destinations during holidays and school vacations, that can mean a year in advance.

Weigh the risks of the off season. While an off-season wedding can save you as much as 50% off peak season rates, it also puts you at greater risk of weather problems. The last thing you want for your Caribbean destination wedding is to have it derailed by a hurricane. Check for general weather patterns at your destination, and consider shoulder season dates, which will still have lower rates, but generally better weather than off season.

Have a backup plan. Even in the middle of peak weather season, your wedding day could be the one rainy day all month. If you're planning an outdoor event, always ask your venue about alternative locations in case of bad weather. Be sure to get the details on how much advance notice is needed to change the location, and whether extra costs are involved for factors such as moving the furnishings.

Prepare for all kinds of weather. Depending on the season and the locale, different kinds of weather can impact your celebration. For a snow or ice storm at a winter wedding, you may want to arrange shuttles to help your guests get from the hotel to the venue. For an outdoor summer wedding, especially at the beach, you will need to plan for breezes that can blow clothing, decorations and table settings. Or you may need to plan for a very hot day by having fans, shade and extra water to keep your guests cool.

Choose a weather-friendly look. Remember the weather when you're planning the look for yourselves and your attendants. For hot weather you’ll probably want to avoid big dresses with a lot of layers. Instead, go for lighter styles in breathable fabrics. For colder weather or a venue with cool nights, consider adding a cute jacket, a wrap or even gloves into your look. And don’t forget the weather’s impact on your hair and makeup. Wind can destroy an elaborate updo, and hot weather can melt your makeup. Look for a stylist who is experienced at preparing you for any weather.

Help your guests prepare for the local climate. In your information packet, be sure to provide your guests with tips on what kind of weather they can expect, and what they might want to pack. A few days before the departure date, send everyone an email with an updated forecast in case of last-minute weather changes.

Build in extra travel time. Don’t just watch the weather at your wedding destination. Weather at home, such as a major storm system that shuts down airports, could derail your travel schedule. Have your wedding party and your guests plan to depart for your destination two or three days in advance of the main events of your celebration. Many couples plan some fun events for a few days leading up to the wedding and hold the celebration on the final day so that delayed guests don't miss the main event.

Use a travel agent for yourself and your guests. When you plan your wedding with a travel agent like Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, you’ll have the full benefit of our knowledge of weather conditions and backup resources at all the destinations we book. We’ll help you avoid some weather problems and plan for those that can’t be avoided. Even better, if last minute bad weather puts a crimp in your travel to the wedding, we can use our clout and our expertise to help you work it out. We can help you change hotels, get discounts with airlines and reroute you past problem travel areas. As your travel agents, we’re always available to help you deal with the unexpected, so you’ll have a perfect, weatherproof wedding.

Don Fuchs March 10, 2015