Emergency Plan B: Preparing for Rain at Your Outdoor Event

You know the saying “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst”? Well we think rain on the day of your event is the perfect embodiment of that statement.

rainwedding

While planning your big company picnic grill-out or your dream wedding under flowering trees in a garden, it’s easy to forget that your entire day can be drastically transformed by a change in weather, especially in Michigan. We all joke about snow in June, but a part of you knows that there is still a small chance it could happen…

Don’t be left out in the rain. Here are a few tips from our years of experience on how to create a Plan B for Cloudy with a Chance of Percipitation. Best case scenario? You won’t need to use it, but now you’ll have the knowledge.

event_tent

Tents – It is always good practice to have a tent at any outdoor event, even if you’re hoping to have an all-outdoor event. A tent keeps the food shielded from the wind and sun, it offers guests a place to sit in the shade, and it creates a warm and intimate conversing space.

  • Create 2 different floor plans for the tent: one for rain, one for clear skies. In case of rain it’ll be a snap to move tables and elements of your event under the tent without crowding the space. Was your wedding reception going to take place under a tree? The dance floor under your tent is a great place to exchange nuptials. Also scout out just-in-case spaces if you are utilizing an outdoor grill (garages are always a great alternative to the great outdoors).
  • Always order sides for your tent. This is a great way to block the wind in rain or shine, but it especially helps out with the rain. At an extra price of $200-$400, it’s not a huge expense to ensure your guests stay dry and non wind-whipped. If you’re 100% sure it won’t be raining, you are sometimes able to cancel your tent sides with a few days notice. Extra tip: opt for tent sides with windows, it will give the feel more more space, and you’ll still be able to enjoy your outdoor surroundings.
  • Enjoy your dry ground. Tents are normally set up at least a day in advance, so the ground won’t be soggy from the morning showers, and your guests will be able to enjoy your event with dry feet.

umbrella

Umbrellas – As a rain shield or a sun accessory, umbrellas are always a thoughtful element to offer your guests to ensure they are comfortable in whatever type of weather you encounter during your event. It’s easy to find them of any size, price, and pattern nowadays.

  • Utilize your Ushers. If the rain is going strong at the beginning of your event, arm your ushers, servers, or good friends with a few umbrellas to meet your guests at their cars and walk them to a covered area. Trust us, your guests won’t forget this extra hospitality.

mosquito

Bugs – If you have the fortune of seeing the sun come out and the rain recede on your event day, don’t forget that this is when mosquitos and other bugs like to come out. As we like to say “rain stops, mosquitos begin”

  • Fog the day before. There are many easy and inexpensive bug bombs you can utilize, and even if there’s no rain, it’s always good practice to try and rid your event area of as many bugs as possible.
  • Cut your grass before your tent goes in. A well manicured lawn will cut down the amount of bugs hiding in your grass, therefore limiting their access to the all-you-can-eat buffet that is your guests.
  • Offer spray. Before the event assemble a discreetly placed (and attractively put together) basket of multiple bottles of bug spray for your guests to use. We try not to use Citronella candles when possible because the smell can sometimes be overwhelming and negatively interact with the food served.

So fear not when you see that forecast of 80% chance of precipitation on your event day, you  know how to circumvent that obstacle. Now all you have to worry about is making sure the bathrooms are clearly marked…

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