Big Event Fail, Event Planning, Party Planners

Big Event Fail: A Wedding Ceremony Downpour

Lauren MacDougal

While working as an event manager, specifically when working with weddings, there are many details to plan before a couple’s big day. A couple planning their outdoor wedding may hope for the opportunity for picture-perfect shots in front of natural light and a beautiful floral display, but that is not always the realistic outcome. Lauren MacDougal, Onboarding Specialist at Tripleseat, explains how she handled the unfortunate weather elements that Mother Nature brought during a wedding ceremony back when she was working as a wedding planner assistant.

“On the day of this event fail, the wedding was in a tent in the backyard of the bride’s parents’ home. The weather forecast for the day was awful and a big rainstorm was anticipated to come right before the ceremony was scheduled to begin. The entire ceremony was set up to be next to the tent, but all outside with no protection from the rain. My team attempted to move the event under the tent, but the bride would not budge as she was set on having her ceremony fully outdoors. Fast forward to 30 minutes before the ceremony, and golf-sized hail started falling from the sky, followed by a torrential downpour. The tent and wedding decor were at the bottom of a hill in the back yard and the yard started to flood about two minutes into the ceremony.

“As the weather continued to get worse, my team and I reacted quickly to save the ceremony. Every staff member put their entire body weight on top of each corner of the tent to prevent it from tearing from the ground and flying away. Once the wind and hail stopped, we ran to move all of the uncovered chairs back under the tent. We grabbed as many mops as we could find to push the flooding off of the rented dance floor before it was ruined.

“The guest was frustrated with the weather, but she was very apologetic that she did not ask us to have the ceremony under the tent from the start. Some things, like the weather, are out of our control, but we still have the power to make an educated decision based on the facts that we do have. From this event fail, I learned the importance of listening to weather forecasts and to make sure that the client fully understands how things may turn out if a new plan is not followed.”

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Get more advice from the event planning community
Read past Big Event Fail posts on the Tripleseat blog. And our EventCamp videos feature some of the top experts in events, restaurants, venues, hospitality and marketing. Check out the sessions on our EventCamp website – click Sessions on the top of the page to access the videos.

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