Planning an event in New England adds an additional element to the planning process. While we are fortunate enough to have every season, New England occasionally gifts us with experiencing every season in one day. While picking a day in August may seem like a safer bet, consider this weekend when Hurricane Irene is sweeping in with storms all over the coast.
So how do you prepare for the unexpected? We’re sharing some of our more last minute ideas on how to keep Mother Nature from raining too much on our parades. All of these are things that can be done within the last days before an event when weather.com is offering depressing news, except for the first. Our first rule is the golden rule of trying to plan any outdoor event.
- A SOLID rain plan
We’re not talking about planning on everyone going inside if it sprinkles. We mean having a solution that will comfortably fit all guests and additional tables. This is why we ALWAYS recommend a tent at outdoor venues (which can also help with too much heat). If your rain plan is moving inside, be sure there is plenty of space for everyone and you can still do most of the activities you had planned. The rain plan should also take into account the following points.
- Sides for the tent
If you are renting a tent, it is likely they offered the sides. If you initially refused, but the weather prediction has since soured, we recommend calling the company to see if they are still available. While they end up blocking views, they can be essential in keeping your guests dry and warm. The sides can also be pulled aside, taken off, or put up only on some sides. The versatility of the sides is a very helpful feature, provided you have someone there who knows how to properly put them up and take them down. This is a rather crucial piece that can become more complicated when trying to figure it out later. At the very least make sure someone from the tent company shows a few people how to handle the sides. Caterers and wedding planners will also often know as well.
Even if the temperature doesn’t drop significantly, rain makes people want warmth. If it is a predicted rainy day, be prepared for cold guests. Whether this means renting a heater from the tent company or having blankets on hand for later in the night, try to anticipate guests wanting warmth.
- Slip-proof surfaces
Even if the rain stops, the damage might not. If there is a dance floor or floors inside that may become slippery when wet, consider putting in a rug, an outdoor weather mat, or other slip proof surface for people to wipe their shoes on. It will save you clean up and twisted ankles all night.
If it’s a day filled with sunshine, guests won’t grumble over a little bit of walking (well, most won’t). But if it’s raining or muddy, that short walk will become a major issue. If the space allows, consider seeing if a there is a trolley or shuttle available in the area. If they aren't, there's a good chance a school bus would be available.
- Sand/Kitty Litter
This is another strategy for after the rain. If there is an area that guests will be walking through on the yard, placing sand can soak up the water and keep shoes from sinking in. Kitty litter also works, and can even be sprinkled on driveways or walkways and then swept up to minimize puddles.
- Umbrellas and Ponchos
Everyone has umbrellas, but maybe they could become your favors! Umbrellas never go to waste, so some in your colors could be a fun touch and be super cute in photos. And if it's looking torrential, cheap plastic ponchos. They again can be really fun in photos, and come in every color (including clear). It's a nice, considerate touch that your guests will truly appreciate.
We hope this helped! Do you have any other ideas on how to stay dry and warm? Leave them below!