Friday, June 18, 2010

June Rainout # 3

The Stillwater Public Library is an outdoor wedding venue. Unfortunately, the weather is not always cooperative, and not every wedding is graced with a 75 degree, sun-filled day. Some of the vendors that I have worked with over the last 3 wedding seasons have suggested that the Library add a clause to our contract forcing people to set-up for an indoor ceremony or reception in certain weather conditions. Others have suggested that we make securing a tent mandatory.

As many of you know, the library's rental contract does not stipulate that weddings have to take place indoors, or that tents be secured. I know why you booked this venue; the fantastic view of the St. Croix River and the view up historic 3rd Street. Those things simply aren't the same when covered by a tent canopy or seen through a window pane. I want each wedding to have the opportunity to take place outside. Usually, I ask that the decision to set up inside or outside be made at the time we begin furniture set-up (usually 2 hours before the ceremony is scheduled to begin). This allows the rental client to make an informed decision about weather. Hopefully, a decision that nobody will or second-guess later. I don't want you to go on your honeymoon wondering why you decided on Friday afternoon to move the ceremony inside, when Saturday turned out to be beautiful day.

Ali and Greg's wedding took place on June 12, 2010. The weather pattern in the metro area was unsettled, and rain showers were constantly developing. An hour before Ali and Greg's ceremony, the skies were grey, but dry. Greg directed library staff to set-up for an outdoor ceremony. Almost as soon as the chairs were in place, the grey skies turned to drizzle and then to a steady rain. It was 10 minutes before Greg and Ali were supposed to walk down the aisle, and all of their best made plans were spoiled by The major reprocussion being that dinner would be delayed almost an hour while the room was re-arranged. Rather than re-write the wedding schedule, Greg decided to bravely forge ahead with the outdoor ceremony. Members of the wedding party circulated through the crowd of guests in the Library's gallery letting them know that the ceremony would be outside. Guests who did not bring an umbrella, or who did not want to venture out in the drizzle, were welcomed to move to one end of the gallery, so that those who wanted to be outside could be seated by ushers. Dry towels were handed out to all those who wanted to be seated. Other guests stood with umbrellas. The rain slowed to a drizzle, and the ceremony was cut to last only 10 minutes.

I am eagerly awaiting the beautiful photos of all the colored umbrellas at the ceremony. The effect was so charming! It also allowed dinner to procede as scheduled. Ali and Greg's guest list was 185, so it was a squeeze to fit all the guests into the Margaret Rivers Room. With 2 tables set in the hallway just outside the double doors of the Rivers Room, we managed to find every guests a comfortable seat. After the cozy meal, it was still drizzling, but once again, Greg chose to move ahead with the dance outside. Everybody agreed that it felt refreshing to get back outside for music, and the DJ's from Bellagala were more than accomadating, and agreed to move back inside if rain once again threatened the evening's festivities.

I want to give a special thanks to all the vendors who made this event happen. It would have been very easy for any of them to ask Ali and Greg to decide on moving their entire event inside midweek, or even on the morning of the wedding. Kowalski's, Green Mill, K. Noel Photography, Bellagala, and Camrose Hill were all more than accomodating and did everything possible to help Ali and Greg realize their dream of getting married on our terrace alfresco.

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