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22 September 2009

The comfort of your wedding guests, whatever the weather

Hello, and welcome.
This is all I can show you of the v private wedding held at the Heart Garden on 09-09-09 – just the celebration bubbly and the crystal glasses, ready to go.

Typical of a September ‘change of seasons’ day, we had sun, we had rain, and the weather was a little chilly. We actually had the ceremony and celebration in my meeting room, the green room, overlooking the garden, then we went outside for some fabulous photos. Several photos featured soft showers of pink blossoms, falling on the bride and groom (with a little help from me, the tree-shaker, well out of shot).

Keep in mind that if you plan to marry in Canberra in September, you can get sun and rain in one day, and sometimes the wind comes off the snow! If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, it’s good to have a backup plan that can move the ceremony indoors, even at the last minute.

Your comfort at your wedding is, of course, most important. Thing is though, you may not notice if it’s cold or too hot. You may well be off in a world of your own.

I’ve seen radiant brides in strapless dresses on cold days, just beaming with delight. Meanwhile, their bridesmaids in strappy dresses were shivering and turning blue. I'm not exaggerating when I say I could sometimes hear their teeth chattering!

Sometimes a bride has her heart set on standing in one particular spot, and on the wedding day, that spot happens to be right out in the hot sun. Here’s what often happens:
Guests go for comfort - understandably. On really hot days, while the guests are waiting for the bride, they will naturally move to the shade. At such times, I find it difficult as celebrant, to coax people out into the sun when the bride arrives. Unfortunately, many of the guests hope the ceremony will end as soon as possible so they can get back to the shade.

Your wedding is such a special event, not only for you but also for all the people who’ve joined you on your big day because they care about you so much. Everyone wants to have a good time. You will put a lot of thought into your ceremony and you’ll want your guests to look and listen in comfort, and take it all in. You will certainly not want them to wish it would finish ASAP.

Most months, the weather is fairly predictable in our fair city. If you plan an outside wedding, it’s very unlikely it will rain. In almost 900 weddings where I’ve officiated, I think it’s rained maybe a dozen times. I think your chances of being rained out in Canberra (except in September) are about one in a hundred. This means your chance of sunshine is about 99%. ( Sunshine or cloud, and cloud makes for great photos.) Pretty good odds, I think, of getting a great day.

To make sure everyone is comfortable at your wedding, just be willing to be a bit flexible.  Perhaps be willing to move to a shadier location if the day turns out hotter than you had in mind. Many couples set up a backup plan for bad weather by making arrangements with their reception place to move the ceremony there if the weather is too wet, cold or windy.

So, keep in mind that while the bride and groom may not notice what’s happening with the weather once their ceremony is underway, the guests will be wanting to watch and listen with pleasure. No-one wants to be wishing the wedding would end because they’re finding that the unpleasant weather is distracting them from the main event.

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Till next Tuesday

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