A Bride & Groom’s Worse Nightmare

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When The Weather Nearly Ruins Your Wedding Day

We’re getting married!

That was the astounding audible that a client uttered to me, while on a call together. With excitement in my heart, I immediately respond, congratulations! Tell me your story and plans for the big day. He(client) went on to provide a little back story of how he and his fiance got to this point. After about ten minutes of blissful chatting, we started to discuss the formalities of his wedding day plans.

He told me that they were planning their wedding for the coming month of July(2023). The wedding was set to take place at one of the newest, upscale venues on the east side of Chicago(The Penthouse in Hyde Park). The venue boasted a gorgeous Terrace with a stunning view over the city, as well as the lakefront. You guys need to see these. The venue is very nice.

The Penthouse
The Walkthrough

Now, generally speaking, when you plan a wedding in the summer months, you’re usually not that concerned when it comes to the weather. You expect it to be hot. It’s mid-summer. That’s a given. There wasn’t a lot of concern with this wedding because the venue had indoor and outdoor areas. The obvious contingency would be… if the weather, for whatever reason didn’t play nice, you just move everything indoors, right? Well… theoretically, that’s correct.

What happens in the case where you have more guests than, well, how can I say this… what the accommodations allow. Yeah!!! So, it becomes somewhat of a rolling-of-the-dice situation… wouldn’t you say? Now, if the weather is nice, this will be a dream day, for sure. You get to celebrate AMAZING accomplishments with all of your family and friends. I mean, what more could you ask for? On the other hand, if by chance, the unforeseen happens… then the obvious is, well… obvious.

This brings me to this post, title. When The Weather Nearly Ruins Your Wedding Day.

Fast forward to the wedding day. Wait!—No! Let’s rewind a bit. The day before the wedding, to be exact. Some call it the walk-through. Let’s contextualize things leading up to the big day. If you’re unfamiliar, traditionally, the wedding party would meet for about an hour or so the day before the wedding to get everyone acclimated to the ceremony’s in/out procession. Now, that’s not the only reason wedding partys meet the day before. The bride and groom may have planned a dinner for the party. Or, they want to make sure that everyone can do the two steps during the procession. Lol. In essence, the sole purpose is to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

Forgive my digression. In any case, I want to make sure that the jist is properly translated. The reason I mentioned the walkthrough is because the question came up again about the contingency if the weather turned on us. Just earlier that day, news outlets reported a high possibility of rain. 70% chance. On top of that, the venue suggested that an executive decision be made as to whether the full setup should converge indoors. That way, if the unthinkable happens, the event goes on without a hitch. This is where things get interesting. You’ve paid all of this money for a venue that hosts amazing features. The Terrace is one of the top reasons if not the top reason you even chose the location to begin with. Now, because of the forecast, there’s a real chance that you won’t get your money’s worth. What a dilemma!

Do you swallow your feelings and consider all possibilities if the weather goes south? e.g. decor, guests, and media personnel getting drenched. Or, do you take the chance, hoping and praying that it works out? In this situation, the decision was made to hope and pray that the rain holds off. Fast forward to the wedding day. We’re at the venue. The sky is clear, and sunny, with no clouds in sight. This is shaping up to be all that was anticipated. Everyone was ecstatic about what was unfolding. We were there to do what we were there to do. Lol.

The Storm

The wedding had a 3:30 pm start time. 3:30 came, but not everyone was quite ready. No worries, though. A few minutes behind, but the sky is still clear. 30 minutes passed and still no start. At that point, the groom became visibly agitated. That wasn’t the worse of being 30 minutes behind. The sky and all of the vibrant sun rays began to fade. OMG!! 😯 It was almost as if a light switch had been flicked. This created somewhat of a frenzy. The groom shouted to the wedding planner, “We need to start, now!” The guests were all seated out on the Terrace. By 4:10, the procession was starting. First, the parents were escorted down the aisle to their seats. Then, as the groom and best man begin to proceed down the aisle, drips… began to fall. Mind you, there were nearly 300 guests seated on the terrace. The groom managed to make it to the front with just droplets on his clean suit. What proceeded the groom was indeed  A Bride & Groom’s worst nightmare. In a matter of seconds, the clouds opened up and rain began to pour. As you would imagine, chaos broke loose. It was like a scene from the movie. As guests raced for cover in the reception hall, the rain continued to pour. My media team raced to get all of our equipment indoors. It took about 5-7 minutes for everyone to clear the terrace. Just think about that for a second. The last person was out there in the rain for 7 minutes. I remember seeing a soaked floor in the reception hall, wet hair, wet clothes, a disoriented crowd, and a groom who appeared to be angrier than a pack of starving wolves.

The Resolution

All seemed ruined. However, as devastating of a moment in time as this was, the staff, wedding party, and media team collectively refused to lose the day. Collective hands worked to gather all of the drenched chairs from the terrace and dried them off. The staff and media rearranged the room to somewhat accommodate the wedding ceremony as well as the reception. It was about a 20-25 minute delay before we were able to proceed.  We were ready to start again. The room was very crowded. There weren’t enough tables and chairs to contain all of the guests. Nonetheless, the ceremony went on. The bride and groom said their vows and we were ready for the reception. All and all, God gave us the strength to make it through the storm. No pun intended. Everyone partied like it was 1999(Prince/1999). Due to the rained out Terrace, I wasn’t able to take the party outdoors for formal photos. So, we found a really small area inside and made it work. Here are a few pictures.