In the wake of Hurricane Irma (especially as it occurred over a weekend), this is a very valid question for any bride and groom getting married in Florida (or any southern state) during hurricane season.
Hurricane season in Florida runs from June 1 – November 30, with most hurricanes happening in August, September, and October. Even though chances could be low on the wedding date you have picked, you can never be sure and should ALWAYS be prepared.
As Florida wedding planners for over 15 years, here are our top 3 pieces of advice for when a hurricane threatens your wedding:
1.Contact a Wedding Planner – PRONTO!
Whether it is our team here at Michele Butler Events or another planner in the city, we can’t recommend more highly to find a wedding planner that can help you. Why?
– Our contacts are incredibly extensive. If your venue shuts down or is damaged, where are you going to go? If your photographer can’t make it to the wedding, who is going to find another one – with your desired style AND in your price range? Planners pull on everyone they know for favors and help during times like this.
– If you decide to change dates, they can be a stress saver. Imagine contacting all of your vendors, dealing with their contacts, and trying to find a new date that works for every one of them. This can take weeks to work through and unless you have all day to work on this, plan on it being a rigorous process. A wedding planner can do all of the work for you and present you a variety of options without you having to pick up the phone once.
– He or she can be your calm in the storm. Whether a hurricane hits during your wedding date or is threatening to, let’s be honest – you’re going to be a bit stressed. A wedding planner can ease your worries and take on much of your stress for you. Granted, we can’t work miracles with the weather, but with our creativity and contacts, we can ease your tension and still make your wedding the most memorable day of your lives.
2. Read the Fine Print!
No matter what, you should always read the fine print in the contracts that you sign for your venue and vendors. But when it comes to hurricanes, look for a clause entitled, “Force Majeure”.
This clause protects everyone in the case of an “Act of God” – such as a natural disaster for fulfilling some or all of the contacted agreement. You may notice wording such as, “In the case of Force Majuere,…” in which venues or vendors may state that the contact is null and void, or that all deposits will be applied to a future date.
However, make sure to ask what happens if the venue is damaged and may take longer than 6-12 months to repair? Would you get your money back? Or are you okay with rebooking for such a later date? Do the special room rates stay the same or go down if you switch to another date?
It’s crucial that you understand and revisit this clause with each venue and vendor before signing and especially if a hurricane approaches.
3. BE FLEXIBLE and MINDFUL!
We won’t sugar coat it – having a hurricane rip through on your wedding day is not fun. But the one thing you can do to change that is…BE FLEXIBLE and MINDFUL!
First, be flexible:
– Yep, you probably will need to change the date. But if you heart is set on the date you’ve picked, take a few days off to travel somewhere and get married at a courthouse in a secret ceremony for just the two of you. No one even has to know and it can be super romantic!
– You may need to change some of your vision. Maybe your peonies aren’t able to fly in or your Maine lobster isn’t going to make it to your caterer in time. Take the advice of your vendors – you hired them because you trust them, right? They’ll steer you in the right direction.
Second, be mindful:
– Don’t pressure your guests or make them feel guilty if they choose not to travel to your wedding. That just makes everyone more stressed! Send an email or call explaining your understanding if they choose to stay home and that you’d love to celebrate with them the next time you see them.
– Yes, this is one of the most important days of your lives. You’ll remember it forever. BUT, do you want to remember the crying, the stress, the worry? Or, do you want to remember all of the creative things that your wedding planner and vendors pulled off for you to make the union of your love that much more special?
Sometimes, those are the best stories years from now anyways :).
Are you having an Orlando wedding this fall or were supposed to get married in Central Florida last weekend and are in need of help? Don’t fret! We understand and we can help!