Apr 22, 2018
Surviving the Storm

096_leighwebber_matthewchs_dsc_5509

photo by Leigh Webber

We posted this last year after Hurricane Matthew, but felt it was pertinent again after Irma swept through.  Millions are without power, massive flooding, building and tree damage, and devastation have been seen in popular honeymoon destinations throughout the Carribean. We were beyond fortunate here and are so thankful we weren’t among many of our friends and colleagues that had events scheduled for this weekend. Thank you as well to all of the clients and friends that reached out to check on us during this time. So, what would you have done if you were to have your wedding in any of the coastal areas affected by the storm? Today we’re sharing a few ideas and tips.

192_leighwebber_matthewchs_dsc_5953

photo by Leigh Webber

First of all, when you are planning your big day, think about your location and seasons. Do you want a winter wedding, but not an actual snowstorm that prevent guests from flying in? Do you want a beachside affair without hurricane force winds?  Do you have your heart set on getting married under a tent, but in the rainiest month of the year? We ALWAYS suggest checking the Farmer’s Almanac or Weather.com’s event planner tool if you aren’t aware of this information.

184_leighwebber_matthewchs_dsc_5905

photo by Leigh Webber

Be sure and know the “Act of God” clause in all of your vendor’s contracts. Most of our wedding community in Charleston particularly I’ve found bends over backwards to accommodate in situations like this past weekend, but deposits will be lost, printed materials will have to be reprinted, and tears will be shed. If the event can be rescheduled obviously most vendors that have the new date available transfer the deposit and any other paid amounts towards that. Does the same venue have another date for you- sometimes a  booking a date that is still open and very near to your original date can be done for a smaller fee.  Any vendors that require travel will obviously need to be rebooked (so it’s a GREAT idea when there is a slight risk to purchase the travel insurance offered by most airlines).  Having a wedding planner for these situations obviously reaps benefits.

220_leighwebber_matthewchs_dsc_6146

photo by Leigh Webber

People often ask about Wedding insurance… From what we have found there are many provisions to think about whether it will be right for you or not. In most cases, if a storm becomes a named storm that usually makes the coverage null and void (which would affect not only locations like Charleston and Florida with Irma this past weekend, but also places like New York and New Jersey a few years ago with Sandy!). Also, the total budget of the wedding can also make you ineligible for coverage- most of the time weddings over $150,000 aren’t covered.

028_leighwebber_matthewchs_dsc_5211

photo by Leigh Webber

This weekend so many stories have come out- some were rescheduled for a different date, some were moved to different locations (one from Charleston to Connecticut!), and we heard of a couple even marrying on their honeymoon. Here is how we handled some of our past disasters!

hipp-ceremony

photo by Adrienne Page

This couple married in the height of summer- July 7th at Brookgreen Gardens… their ceremony was schedule for late afternoon- often the same time as thunderstorms come onto shore. Right as the guests’ transportation was pulling up for the ceremony, a very dangerous lightning storm joined us. We staged the guests in a gift shop and covered area, and the rest were happy to stay comfortably on the buses until the storm passed. We had two crews- one wiping down all of the ceremony seating as soon as the rain stopped, and the other passing out umbrellas to guests at the buses…

hull-lounge

photo by Liz Banfield

Flooring and tenting when budget allows will always help. This wedding occurred at the tail end of a front that caused flooding of inland areas of Georgia. The yard and garden where most of the event was to take place was full of standing water, and a tent could not be put up on such soft ground and in such bad conditions. Luckily the day before the wedding the rain stopped, and tent company worked through the night to put it up for us to decorate. We had to purchase pine straw and other ground covering to put in some of the badly affected areas, and added flooring to the lounge for dancing. The expense ended up paying for itself as much of the event couldn’t have been salvageable!

This entry was posted in Charleston, Event Planning, Photographers, Travel, Uncategorized, Weddings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.