You’ve decided to have your Central Florida wedding in September, thinking the weather will be a little more bearable than the heat of the summer. But unfortunately, there is a storm brewing in the Atlantic and now there is a chance there will be a hurricane on your wedding day. So what to do? We asked several Orlando wedding vendors what advice they would give couples when there is the potential for a hurricane to impede on their wedding celebration.
Reschedule for the Next Day or Two
“If the storm is a fast-moving storm, ask your venue if you can reschedule to the next day or two. Ideally, have all of your guests and vendors staying at the hotel where your wedding is (if at a hotel) or at a hotel close to the venue because travel may be difficult the day after a hurricane. Discuss a full hurricane plan with all vendors involved to see how/what can be done in case of worst-case scenarios.”
Belinda, Captured by Belinda
Understand that Flowers are Perishable
“As a florist, flowers have been ordered and they are coming, with or without a wedding. Flowers are perishable and if the wedding is cancelled, flowers are yours to keep it or we can donate to a nursing home. Sometimes couples have wedding insurance and that would cover all the mess, but unfortunately, most of the people don’t have it.”
Andie, Events by the Flower Studio
“If it is cancelled in advance due to an act of God (fire, flood, hurricane, etc) and I do not design the flowers, then I will provide a small reimbursement. They can still pick up the flowers or donate them as flower cost will be covered. In addition following Hurricane Matthew from last year, I definitely recommend wedding insurance to couples. Also, keep in contact with your vendors (specifically a wedding planner) so that all vendors are on the same page and prepared for any and all changes that may occur. Communication is key in a situation like this. It is important to understand that some of your guests may not understand the severity of this type of storm. You must be prepared to provide crucial information to them as well. After all, as a couple, you or your parents are the hosts of many guests from many areas.”
Sarah, Bluegrass Chic
Take a Deep Breath
“Weddings are really emotionally charged so my advice in this scenario would be to try to think practically and not make emotional decisions. The safety and well being of you and your guests are the utmost priority when it comes down to needing to make important decisions. If you’re not thinking objectively (or your outright freaking out) enlist the help of your wedding planner or a level headed family member or friend to help you decide the best course of action.”
Elle, Captured by Elle
Communication is Key
“We try our very best to create a backup plan with the couple and venue. I also come up with a backup travel plan between me and my second shooter. Communication is key. This happened last year with Hurricane Matthew. I packed my gear and headed further inland so I had a better chance of not being trapped and to stay safe. My bride and I were in communication the whole time. Her venue was good and had power, so I left our area that was hit hard and was able to make it. However, she knew if I wasn’t there something bad happen out of my control.”
Bumby, Bumby Photography
Don’t Skimp on Travel Insurance
“For all my clients including honeymooning couples, I always recommend travel insurance. It is really important to purchase a policy around the time the deposit is placed as there are additional benefits to purchasing early. Travel insurance typically covers cancellations, disruptions, and delays caused by hurricanes ONLY IF the policy has been purchased prior to the storm being named. If a couple traveling within the next few days decided to purchase travel insurance last minute, the policy would not cover any cancellations or disruptions due to Hurricane Irma.”
Theresa, Get Out! Custom Travels
What About the Food?
“During Hurricane Matthew, we had two weddings scheduled. Two Chicks is always ready to go as we have mobile equipment, but the venue or travel may not be OK. Also, we do have a decision cut off as to whether we are going to bring in the food or not. If the bride and groom want the show to go on, they will be getting the food, there will be no makeup day! If they choose to postpone, we won’t bring in the food and we will do our best to make ourselves available for the future date.”
Beth, Two Chicks and a Pot
“Unfortunately, the food is lost. We have to be prepared for all cases. If cancelled, they can reschedule the date and use the funds towards another event within one calendar year however their originally save the date retainer will be lost.”
Alycia, Cocktails Catering
To Sum Up….
Of all the advice given, the most common theme was communication with your Orlando wedding vendors. If you have a wedding planner, they will be contacting all the vendors involved with your wedding and addressing any adjustments that need to be made. However, make sure that you are also involved in this and with the information provided to your wedding guests.
Above all, safety is key, not only for you and your wedding guests but for the wedding vendors as well. They will do whatever possible to make your wedding happen but unfortunately, mother nature may have other plans.
In the end, preparation is key in dealing with the situation should you have a hurricane on your wedding day!