Are you ready for one of the most crazy wedding stories of 2012? Or perhaps, of every single wedding I have ever planned in my whole life? It was one wild day, and in the end, everything was perfect. But, let’s just say that nothing went as planned.
First, remember that one time we posted that blog about rain on your wedding day?
And we even included an incredible video about rain on your wedding day:
Well… I guess that was preparing us for what was coming!
May 20th at Harn Homestead. It was a Sunday. We started watching the forecast 10 days out. The percentage stayed around 20% the whole time. We decided to forgo the last minute tent idea. We didn’t care if it rained during the day. We just needed it to not rain around 4:00 when the wedding started.
I hate 20% chances. I am an all-or-nothing kind of girl. If it was 100% chance of rain, we go with Plan B. No questions asked. We go that route. If it was 0% chance of rain, great, we go with Plan A: get married at the gazebo outside. But 20%? Really? What are you supposed to do with 20%? Decide in advance to go with Plan B and take the chance that it might NOT rain and you missed the chance to have your perfect, dream wedding? Or do you go with Plan A, praying and hoping it just doesn’t rain at 4:00?
We wake up at 6:00am and watch the weather for an hour before we decide which route to take. If brides choose an outdoor venue, than most likely, they REALLY WANT an outdoor wedding and reception. I want to do everything I can to make their dream still happen, even with a 20% chance of rain.
8:00am we begin set-up. It is NOT raining. Not even close. We make the call to do everything as planned. We set up the gazebo just the way she wants it and get everything ready:
We wait to set up the outdoor table and chairs because we knew it was going to rain on and off the whole day possibly. We work on a lof of other details in the meantime.
Finally, we set up all of the tables and chairs and put the centerpieces on all the tables outside. We cover each individual table with a very large plastic tarp that we bought at Home Depot days before (we had to be prepared). That way, in case it were to rain, the linens and centerpieces would not be wet or ruined:
I do not want to bore you with all of the details of the day, but let’s just say it rained on and off all day long. We stayed in touch with Lauran, the bride, seeing if at any point, she wanted to make the call to move the wedding in the barn. We NEVER make that call. We offer advice and wisdom. But at the end of the day, the bride and her family (or other people involved with the wedding) will make that call.
3:30. 30 minutes before the wedding starts. Guests begin to arrive. It is NOT raining. We let them know the wedding is still taking place at the gazebo.
3:45. 15 minutes before wedding starts. Still NOT raining. About 225 guests have arrived. Still waiting on a few more.
3:55. It is almost go-time. Wedding starts in 5 minutes. It begins sprinkling. I get nervous, but act calm and peaceful and pray it doesn’t get worse.
4:00. Getting a little more nervous but still acting fine. It is sprinkling a little heavier but decide to start the ceremony. All the grandparents are ushered down the aisle.
4:05 Parents are ushered down the aisle. By this point, IT IS POURING down rain! The guests look miserable. I am freaking out on the inside but no one could tell from the outside. Here is a picture of the mother of the bride coming down the aisle. Please notice the pouring down rain:
At this point, the wedding has started. The grandparents are down the aisle. The parents are down the aisle. I go back and get the groomsmen and bridesmaids and open the door to see the bride and her father sitting there, and the father of the bride looks at me and says, “we cannot do this wedding in the pouring rain. Move everyone in the barn immediately.”
Father’s orders. I go and tell the ushers to please ask everyone to move in the barn as quickly as they can. I am not going to lie. It was a little chaotic. 225 guests. Umbrellas everywhere. Moving in the barn.
Here is where the wedding started:
And here is where the wedding ended:
Inside the barn. People on the 2nd floor looking down. People everywhere. They got married with their cake table as the backdrop! Was it what was planned? No. Was it perfect the way it happened? Yes!
I must say: This is the first and only wedding that I have ever done that we started at one location and ended at a different location. Very special memories. And a wedding guests will always remember!
Now, after the fact, I can’t help but think, as a planner, if I would have done anything different to avoid them moving locations. And honestly, we all did the best we could with a 20% chance of rain. I didn’t want to move it inside (the safe way) unless it was an absolute emergency. Lauran really wanted it outside. I wanted to do whatever I could to make that happen.
I think for future outdoor venue brides, we are going to talk about the 20% plan. We have the original plan we work on for months/year at a time. Then we have Plan B. Do we do plan B with 100% chance of rain? Or plan B with 20% chance of rain. I would love to hear what other planners do with a 20% chance of rain. Leave a comment and let me know!
With all of that being said, it is unbelievable how perfect the night was. I am not lying when I tell you that the minister pronounced them husband and wife, they kissed, and ran out of the barn, and the sun begins to shine. The reception starts and the evening is perfect for an outdoor reception and all of the guests are outside the remainder of the night.
That made us really thankful that we covered each individual table with a plastic tarp. When the wedding ceremony was over, we removed all of the plastic tarps and all of the guests sat around a perfectly dry table and enjoyed the reception:
Now to the fun part! There are so many incredible details that I have to show off.
I LOVED Lauran’s flowers! Birdie was her florist! I HIGHLY recommend Katie at Birdie!
I also loved Lauran’s centerpieces. Lauran bought a lot of the items used in her centerpieces. And she made all of the different frames for them. They were so cute!
And of course, the cakes were delicious. Amy Cakes did an incredible job. Lauran, the bride, made her super cute cake topper.
Want to know who one of my favorite vendors is at a wedding? Cake Evoke! Specialty coffee bars are my favorite. It might be because once I hit the 13-14 hour mark of work for the day, a little caffeine goes a long way, or it is because all of the guests always love their coffee bar that Cafe Evoke provides. I highly recommend Cafe Evoke to all of my brides.
We designed a really cute pergola for the bride and groom to sit under at their sweet heart table. I love how it turned out:
And last but not least, a few more details from Lauran and Mitch’s big day:
I have to brag on Lauran. She pretty much made EVERYTHING for her big day. One of the cutest DIY weddings we have done. She is a VERY talented designer and made her own invitations, RSVP cards, stamp, envelopes, burlap “Mr” and “Mrs” pillows, front gate sign, coffee sleeves for Cafe Evoke, cake topper, napkins, and more! Everything was VERY personal and that made their wedding so unique and so “them.” Those are our favorite weddings. When the guests walk in and we hear them say, “This is so Lauran and Mitch.” Or, “This is so Ashley and Mike.” (enter you and your fiance’s name). We want your wedding to reflect you two perfectly!
Lauran and Mitch, thank you for trusting us to make your day perfect. I know it did not go as planned, but after talking with you after the wedding and after the honeymoon, it sounded like it was still better than you could have imagined. We loved getting to help you behind the scenes! We loved working with you and your mom, Cai. It was a joy to serve you all. We wish you the best of luck in all you do!
(All pictures provided by Holli B. Photography).
Here is an incredible video created by Scissortail Media: