by Caryn Lim, WPICC of A Timeless Celebration Weddings & Events Inc.
One of our most rewarding experiences took place last summer when we saved an outdoor wedding from being drenched in the rain! The ceremony was planned to be held on the terrace of a hotel. Of course, the most difficult situation for an outdoor wedding is to decide if the wedding should be kept outside or change the location to the backup indoor venue due to bad weather condition.
On the day of the wedding, my partner and I had to set up the ceremony and reception decor. The weather was beautiful and it didn't seem like it was going to rain at all. The banquets manager was suppose to make the final call. He said, "no worries, it's going to be beautiful all day, just look at the sky." We bugged him about it a few times because the weather forecast said otherwise. At first we let him have his say because he was supposed to make the final decision.
As the early afternoon passed by, we kept our eyes on the hour-by-hour weather forecast, it continued to indicated a 90% chance of rain by the late afternoon. As we setup outside, it was getting darker and windier. We stopped setting up and start on the inside in case we would be doing the outside decor for nothing. We also told the DJ to hold off on his setup and tried to convince the hotel staff to stop setting up the chairs, but unfortunately, they couldn't because they had to follow orders. This is something we have never done before, but we called the bride three times, yet she continued to say she REALLY wanted the wedding outside. During our last call, the groom said to us "listen, I know she really wants the ceremony outside, but use your best judgment and you make the call." We said "OK. We're moving everything inside. Bye."
We immediately went to look for the banquet manager, but he was nowhere to be found! We waited a bit, couldn't wait any longer, went to his assistant and told her "the ceremony will be inside, anything you need help with, we're here." Why we said that was because it was only 1.5 hours before the ceremony was to begin and the backup ceremony location was the restaurant of the hotel and all the cutlery, linens, tables and chairs had to be moved out of the way to fit 200 guests! The banquets manager was no where to be seen, the hotel coordinator finally came in to work, but all she said to us was “I am not happy with this last minute decision” and left us with only two hotel staff to help make this ceremony possible! They were already occupied moving the chairs from the terrace into the restaurant, it was only my partner and I left putting away the cutlery, linens and moving the tables and chairs without any hotel staff there to direct us! We had no choice but to grab a few guests who already arrived, explained to them the urgent situation, had them roll up their sleeves and started the workout! As soon as all the chairs and sound equipments were moved from the terrace into the restaurant, it literally started raining cats and dogs! It poured and poured and poured, so hard that we couldn't even see the outside from the large windows of the restaurant. Everyone started cheering. HUGE sigh of relief! CLOSE ONE!
That wasn't the end of the story! None of the chairs, decor and sound equipments were wet, but we still had to deal with a restaurant that was in a HUGE mess! Tables and chairs were everywhere because we didn't know where to put them! My partner and I had to improvise and we had to dismantle the head table backdrop from the lower level, bring it up to the restaurant and set it up so that we can close off a section of the restaurant and hide all the (horribly stacked) tables and chairs behind the backdrop!
Everything was pulled together JUST IN TIME! Everyone stayed beautiful, handsome and dry. The backdrop served as a beautiful background for the ceremony and photos. No one else knew what had gone wrong, not even the families of the bride and groom, not unless they were there during all the chaos or unless they peaked behind our backdrop!
-Caryn Lim, WPICC