Illinois Wedding Officiant
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When planning an outdoor wedding

If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, you will also need to have a Plan B. I have performed weddings in sweltering heat, in rain and in freezing cold late spring and early fall weather and although I am ready for any kind of weather, your guests and bridesmaids (if any) will not. Guests plan their outfit so that they will look their best and will assume that you won’t put them out in inclement weather. Bridesmaids typically wear strapless or sleeveless gowns without a wrap and won’t have a way to keep warm if the temperature dips below sixty-five. And there’s nothing you can do about rain. It will cloud everyone’s memory of the ceremony (pun intended). Last Saturday I performed a wedding in East Troy, Wisconsin. The ceremony site was beautiful. The bride’s parents’ huge yard had been transformed. White chairs were set up to overlook an outcropping of rocks. Three large arches made of thin branches and decorated with flowers stood in front of the rocks. There were elaborate floral arrangements at the back of the aisle. A table with a glass pitcher of ice water and a bottle of expensive bourbon were also at the back. And just as I pulled into the driveway it started to rain. The wedding coordinator was beside herself. The bride’s family looked at their phones every couple of minutes and declared that the rain would pass in time for the ceremony to start on time. I sat on a swing the front porch with someone’s aunt from Texas, waiting for word on what we would do if the rain didn’t pass. Finally, it let up and the coordinator and her assistant hurried to dry off all 150 chairs. I herded the guests out from under the reception tent over to the ceremony area. We were able to begin about ten minutes late, which is a typical wedding delay anyway. Tricia and Danny, the bride and groom, were lucky. I have officiated at other weddings where I had to ask the ushers to watch the elderly to make sure they didn’t faint from the excessive heat on summer days that were over ninety degrees. I have watched bridesmaids teeth chatter because the couple decided they weren’t going to give up on their dream of a wedding overlooking Lake Michigan when there was an icy wind and mist coming off the lake. And I had to start one ceremony over because a thunderstorm came roaring in when we were halfway through. Keep your guests and your attendants in mind when planning an outdoor wedding, so that their memories will be of how lovely you looked and how wonderful everything turned out despite the weather, should it turn nasty, rather than of how you made them suffer through it.

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