What’s my first piece of advice to any bride planning a wedding between June 1 and November 30 in a hurricane prone area? Don’t!
As a bride who teetered dangerously on the edge of a panic attack while four hurricanes — all Category 3 or higher — danced precariously close to my venue in the month leading up to my wedding, I can’t emphasize that enough. In fact, my new husband and I watched from Paris one week after our wedding on the date that we had initially tried to snag, as Hurricane Nate moved in on our hometown. We very narrowly avoided disaster, but many brides are far less lucky.
However, if you’ve already signed the contracts and sent out the invitations for your September 1st wedding, take a deep breath and don’t freak out! Nature can be brutal and unpredictable, but there are five precautions you can take to make your hurricane-season wedding less stressful.
Get wedding insurance
Before you do anything else, get wedding insurance! For a minimal amount of money, you can protect your massive wedding ceremony investment in case a hurricane strikes. If a storm is barreling toward your venue on the day of the ceremony, the costs will be covered, and if a storm damages your venue prior to the ceremony, you will be reimbursed. While insurance can’t cover the emotional strain of a canceling or postponing a ceremony, at least this way, you won’t have to stress about the financial burden.
Choose inland venues
While a beach wedding may seem romantic and a reception on a yacht looks like fun, if you are worried about the impact of weather on your wedding day, they might not be the best options for you. During hurricane season, a beautiful inland venue might be a better choice. But if you want to treat your guests to a beachfront view, rather than planning a shoreside reception, choose a venue by the water for a lower-stakes event like your rehearsal dinner.
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Make a hurricane plan
When things in the Gulf of Mexico started heating up before my wedding, my mom and I (with eye twitching and pulses pounding) sat down to discuss a plan in case a hurricane were to head our way. We decided that my fiancé and I would have a quick, small ceremony, head off on our honeymoon and plan a big reception for all our guests at a later date. Unconventional, sure — but just having a backup plan helped me to relax.
Shut off the weather app
I know it’s tempting to glue your eyes to Hurricane Central in the month leading up to your wedding, particularly if there are tropical storms running around nearby, but don’t let this or any other weather app dominate your last month as a single lady! Three weeks before my wedding, one of my best friends got married, and I spent most of the ceremony stressing about Hurricane Maria as it approached Category 5 status. I regret spending so much of my time worrying about something I couldn’t control. So, check the weather app once (or twice) a day, and then leave it alone.
Go with the flow
If a hurricane decides to crash your wedding, no amount of stress or preparation is going to stop it. While it can be next to impossible when it comes to something as hugely important as your wedding day, the best thing you can do is relax. If you’ve insured your event, chosen a sensible venue and made a plan B, you’ve done everything you can possibly do to prepare. Now you get to enjoy those cake tastings and your bachelorette party! Remember, no matter what happens on your wedding day, you have found the love of your life — and that’s all that matters.