When Ivonne and Gabriel came to us at the beginning of the year, they told us about their Italian and Mexican backgrounds and that they wanted to incorporate their cultures into their wedding. Gloria and I were excited to see it all come to life.
Plans were made and the wedding was coming nearer. The vendor list was the longest I’ve ever worked with. There were over 20 vendors on the list to schedule, coordinate, and make sure that everything would flow properly. This long list of vendors and details was the result of combining several cultural and personalized elements and I could go on and on about all the elaborate details and scrupulous planning that went into them, but I want talk about one detail in particular. The outdoor ceremony and the rain plan. As planners we’ve all had that nail biting rainy wedding story – this is mine. If you are having an outdoor wedding you will ALWAYS need a good rain plan. Sometimes you don’t need it at all, sometimes you do, and sometimes…you get lucky.
The wedding was to be outside on the canal with a gondola entrance and exit for a beautiful scene out of Italy. The bride was so excited for this grand entrance, as she should be! Knowing how thrilled she was, I was saddened for her when the wedding day arrived and we had rain all day. It was off and on with a chance of clearing up, so we had hope. I had set the rain plan call time for 3:45 allowing time to set the flowers up inside the hotel. 3:45 came and I checked my weather app. I use Arcus on my Android and I believe the iPhone version would be Dark Sky…Anyways, Arcus told me the rain would stop at 5:00. This app is very precise so I was putting a lot of faith into its forecast being right, especially since at the time it was the hardest downpour we’d had all summer with no sign of letting up.
If there was ANY chance of getting this bride her outdoor ceremony with all their guests gazing at her as she sailed in on her gondola I was going to take it. So I told everyone we were sticking with the outdoor plan. I’m sure they all thought I was crazy and going to drown this wedding or have guests with nowhere to go. I admittedly debated if I was crazy myself. They had a very small hotel and the rain plan room would have been standing room only so we wouldn’t need to have time to move chairs. If it really came down to the wire I’d just tell the string quartet to go there and have the guests directed there as well. We’d move the floral pieces if we could.
At 5:00, Tiffany (my assistant), Rich (the photographer), and I were in the bridal suite with Ivonne watching the downpour and losing hope. Tiffany, Rich, and I were desperately trying to find the radar on TV when no one was running the weather at the time, and on our phones which couldn’t get service. I turned to Ivonne and began to tell her we were going to have to do the ceremony inside. Then, a few minutes after 5:00, the downpour completely stopped and the sun peaked through.
I went to the string quartet, who had very expensive instruments, and explained that it stopped raining but was very muggy outside and I had no access to see how long of a window we had. They said the humidity would be fine on their instruments, just a little out of tune, and that if it started to rain they’d just put them in their cases. I finally got service and at 5:15 Arcus said we had 45 minutes until the next rain. I called the gondolier and asked if we still had time to make this happen and he said yes. So the quartet headed outside and I went to tell Ivonne the good news her face lit up.
The mad rush began. There were less than15 minutes to do what we had planned on doing in at least an hour. Her aunt and I drove her and her dad to the gondola loading site. While I got her ready to go, Tiffany and everyone back at the hotel and ceremony site got the chairs dried off and everyone outside. Miraculously, everything and everyone were in place and Ivonne & her dad elegantly arrived in the gondola as planned with the guests watching their approach and they walked across the bridge and made their way down the aisle at exactly 5:30. As they reached the front of the aisle and began the ceremony, I looked at my watch and Tiffany and I looked at each other and took the biggest deep breath and sigh of relief. How in the world did we just pull that off?
Sometimes crazy works. Sometimes despite all the meticulous planning and preparing you have to take a risk, be spontaneous, think outside the box, ride out the storm, have faith, and make it happen.
…and to do so you need a great team! I have a lot of people to thank for pulling this off. The biggest thanks goes to my assistant, Tiffany. She was on point and always thinking ahead. Another big thanks goes to Rich, the photographer, for being flexible, making it work, and getting great shots in all the frenzy. Huge thanks to Jeff, the gondolier, for giving our bride the entrance she so longed for in a fraction of the time (& letting her come back another day to get the rest of her sailing experience). Our Events By Design team, Gloria, Tom, Gene, and Ed, were also wonderful and helpful as always – thank you! Thanks to Vaso at LGI Linens for the emergency linens that he delivered in person. There were so many others involved who were all amazing and such a great help, as I said, the list of vendors was very long (see the list below) – thank you to all of you.
And for goodness sakes, have a trusty weather app like Arcus/Dark Sky at the ready!
|Pre-Planner||Events By Design||Gloria Boyden|
|Planner||Events By Design||Meg Massey|
|Assistant||Events By Design||Tiffany Massey|
|Ceremony Venue||Vermont St Basin||Ace Party Rental|
|Reception Venue||Arch at Chatham||Travis|
|Rain Plan Venue||Residence Inn on the Canal||Doug Messinger|
|Catering||MBP Catering||Mary Beth|
|Cake||Heavenly Sweets||Tanya Marshall|
|Florist||Events By Design||Gene Fulmer|
|Officiant||Rev. Carolina Carnicelli-Eppards||Rev. Carolina|
|Photographer||Rich Photography||Rich Miller|
|Videographer||Loves Reel||Jeremy & Graham|
|String Quartet||Innocenti Quartet||Ben Kulp|
|Mariachi Band||El Sol Jaliciense||Luis|
|Trolley||Broad Ripple Party Bus||Sarah|
|Hair Dressers||Ana & Zoraida Lezama||Ana & Zoraida|
|Balloons||Ivonne’s Sister||Bety Ruiz|
|Wine for Gondola||Fresco Café||Doug Gook|
|Ceremony Linens||LGI Linens||Vaso Mikic|