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Working with the Weather: A South Dakota Guide to Weddings + Weather

Ahhh October. When you think of October, you may think of crisp, bright leaves of red and orange, or maybe the cool air carrying the smell of harvest. I think, what a perfect time to get married! The colors, smells, and coziness of fall makes for a wonderful ambiance. Deep burgundy and gold are beautiful, bold colors that adds romance into a fall wedding.  Hints of eucalyptus, accents of wood, and candles are touches that add so much character to any fall wedding. And if you’re like Rachel + Seth, you add some dusty blue into your fall wedding color palette!

Rachel + Seth tied the knot on October 12, 2019. If you’re a South Dakotan, you know the weather is never reliable… Like, ever. When planning your wedding months, even years, in advance there is no way to tell what the weather will be like that day. Snow? Sun? Wind? Rain? It’s all possible during a South Dakota fall!

October 12, 2019 also happened to be the first snow of the season. The weather put a few obstacles in the planning process, but it couldn’t stop a beautiful wedding from taking place.  That’s why they hired Hitch Studio as a wedding planner — do take on any day-of details that may change because of weather. Your peace of mind and your guests’ comfort is a huge part of your big day. You may be able to tough out the rain, wind, and snow but Great Grandma Darleen may not have the same grit as you. You want your day to go according to plan, but you also want people to enjoy the day (without catching a cold). Breathe. Adapt. Plan. Enjoy.

And then hire a wedding planner. 🙂

What should I do when the weather spoils my dreams of an outdoor wedding?

  • Do not panic, your day will be beautiful, special, and unique regardless of the weather.
  • Take a deep breath and adapt.
  • Call the venue (preferably 2-7 days before) and let them know your plans of an outdoor venue are changing. (For example, Rachel + Seth’s wedding was supposed to happen in McCrory Gardens in Brookings, but we switched it to the reception space! We moved some tables and chairs and made them an aisle to walk down right inside their reception area. People were warm and comfortable…and the flowers weren’t blowing off the altar.)
  • Cancel rentals that were meant solely for the outdoor venue. (Like outdoor chairs for your ceremony, tables for an outdoor guestbook/unity ceremony/musician tent)
  • Inform your guests as soon as possible via social media, calls, texts, and your wedding website.
    • Word of mouth spreads fast, use it to your advantage! Call your mom and have her call your aunts. Have those aunts tell their cousins. Your friends will call their friends. Keep that train going and your guests will be informed in no time!
  • Find a new (indoor) space for your wedding.
    • Does the venue have an indoor option?
      • Yes? Use that! You can save on your deposit and will not have to inform guests on a total venue change.
    • Is your reception inside?
      • Yes? Perfect! You can create an aisle, arch/backdrop, and set up tables and chairs so your guests can view your wedding comfortably. For Rachel + Seth’s wedding, we kept the aisle clear and then while social hour was going on, we set up their Kings table head table where the aisle used to be — backdrop and all. It was so discreet, guests barely noticed what we were doing until the reception started…and THERE YOU GO! A head table made dinner perfect.
    • The venue doesn’t have an indoor option and your reception is also outside?
      • Hire a wedding planner 😉 But, if you do not have a wedding planner, adapt. Call local event centers, churches, and other indoor venues and see what they have open. Events are cancelled all the time, so it doesn’t hurt to look around.

Although plan B’s are not fun to think about, they are very important when planning you wedding day. You want the least amount of stress as possible on your big day. How do you achieve that? Besides having a wedding planner, the key to a stress-free wedding is creating a backup plan. You may not need it, but you do need to think about how to handle hard situations before it happens. This way, you are cool, calm, collected, and prepared for anything that is thrown your way!

Rachel + Seth are the sweetest, go-with-the-flow couple. At the end of the day, the weather did not have any effect on their day. They had the BEST wedding day despite the changed venue, snow, and cold temperatures. Nothing could outshine the fact that these two just wanted to celebrate their love for each other with family and friends. That is love. The purest and truest form of love.

Florist: Prairie Blue Floral Design

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