Last weekend, we heard about thousands of weddings being cancelled due to Hurricane Irene. My heart goes out to these couples — when planning my own wedding, a weather-related cancellation was one of my top wedding worries. Why? I took a huge risk and planned a winter wedding in New Jersey.
See the snow in the background?
As soon as Adam and I began talking about dates, we knew we weren't going to plan a summer wedding. Neither of us were crazy about the idea of sweating on our wedding day. Plus, everyone gets married in the summer — we wanted to do something different. I've always loved winter, so I started daydreaming about a winter wonderland theme. The added bonus: We saved thousands of dollars by hosting our wedding in the off-season.
But we feared a blizzard hitting and derailing our plans. This worry was exacerbated by the fact that almost exactly a year before my wedding, the northeast was in fact hit by a huge blizzard. I, of course, panicked and started shopping around for wedding insurance.
What I found: Insurance can set you back a few hundred dollars, depending on your total wedding cost. The most popular wedding insurance sites are wedsafe.com, protectmywedding.com, and wedsure.com. Shop around for the best rate — I was quoted around $400-500 on each site.
However, we realized it wasn't necessary to get insurance because of some precautions we took when booking our vendors. Since we were planning a winter wedding — and were aware of the weather risk we were taking — we made sure to ask all of our vendors before booking what would happen if we had to cancel because of snow. We were told that we'd be able to reschedule, assuming they had availability on our rescheduled date. It was a gamble — what if we couldn't get all of these in-demand vendors again on the same day? — but we decided to save the cash and risk it.
In the end, we lucked out with beautiful 60 degree weather on our February wedding day! We even took pictures outside.
I'd recommend asking your vendors to add a clause into your contract stating that in the event of a weather-related cancellation (i.e. if your state declares a state of emergency), you will be able to reschedule for a later date or receive a refund of all money paid. Not all vendors will agree to a refund — you may need to risk losing your initial deposit to hold the date — but you can still save big in case of emergency.
—Kristen O'Gorman Klein
Photo Credit: Jessica Lauren Photography