Nothing brings home the problems of having an outdoor destination wedding than when bad weather brings all the best laid wedding plans to a crashing halt. We are not talking of light showers or mild gusts of wind that can be solved by the anticipated erection of a tent, but the kind of downpour and gale force winds that only a typhoon signal can guarantee.
Forget bringing eggs to Santa Clara. Those poor nuns must already have cholesterol problems at the rate so many people are setting eggs on their doorsteps. Besides, it doesn’t work. Nothing does. When Mother Nature is mad, she shows it in the most destructive way.
Force majeure is its more stylish name but bad weather by any other name is an event planner’s major nightmare. It not only can undo all plans but it will reduce the most optimistic bride and groom to tears. What took one year to plan will be cancelled in a matter of minutes. Not to mention what it will do to the wedding budget.
As helpless as it sounds, here are some pointers which may help not only couples planning a destination wedding but also those who will have it in their area.
1. Choose you wedding date wisely.
Don’t go sentimental on your wedding date choice if it means risking bad weather. There are specific months in all countries when weather changes and patterns are a surety. He may have proposed in July or it’s your anniversary in August but you don’t need a weather bureau to tell you that it’s the start of typhoon season during these months. Summer is not only for sand, sea and surf but it can also mean a bad heat wave.
2.Never, never, never go for an outdoor wedding if your venue cannot guarantee a back-up indoor area.
Don’t play tag on your wedding day by not having a secondary venue, just in case your outdoor venue gets rained out. Even if it means an additional cost to your budget just consider it as an insurance policy and a guarantee to your peace of mind.
3. Check your suppliers’ contracts for any mention of AOG (Acts of God), Force Majeure, etc.
Can and will your wedding supplier refund, transfer or honor any cancellation due to bad weather? Do they have any policy that deals with such eventualities? It would be good practice to have something in writing so that both parties have a game plan on hand rather than having to negotiate something at the last minute.
Food will spoil, flowers wither and venues have other bookings, so early on, inquire about “just in case” situations.
4. Monitor the weather at least 5 days before the wedding date.
Check the weather stations and get a 5-day weather update from the Internet and prepare for the worst even if no storm clouds are on the horizon. Remember that climate change has made weather patterns more unpredictable.
5. If you have to cancel, CANCEL!
Just like removing bandage from a wound, if you have to cancel, do it fast to make it painless. Make your decision definite so that everyone is clear on what has to be done now. If the time for “ifs” and “buts” is over, then get everyone moving on how to make this negative situation into a positive one. Start assigning roles – a family member to inform the guests, another to check on the suppliers, someone to talk to the venue, etc.
Last but not the least, there should be no arguments, no finger pointing, especially between the bride and the groom. Never forget the crucial fact that the situation was not of your making much less something desired. Move on, move up and start anew. Remember for better or for worse... it’s just unfortunate that the worse came first.
As an event planner/wedding coordinator that specializes in Destination Weddings, I am often asked to check out or ocular visit many a destination wedding venues in all parts of the globe. I do this enjoyable work partly as a tourist but mainly as the key person who can guide the couple as to the advisability of their chosen location and wedding venue.Most venues do not disappoint in delivering what their brochures and websites claim they offer.But now and then, one stumbles and finds a gem of a venue that is just plain perfect in holding that dream destination wedding.In a recent trip, I was lucky enough to find not one but two locations on the eco-paradise of Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.
Located just north of the equator (sunny tropical climate!), Sabah sits at the tip of Boeo, the world’s third largest island.Its state capital Kota Kinabalu, or KK, as it is popularly known, is a resort city set between the majestic Mt.Kinabalu and the South China Sea.You can tour KK in half a day and still leave plenty of time for the many activities it offers.For the more laid back traveler, KK’s cultural and traditional arts and crafts can be easily appreciated from leaing the art of Batik painting, haggling at the local market or just enjoying a short cruise through thick mangrove forests.But if it’s adventure one craves, then KK outdoes itself in offering wild river rafting down the Kiulu River, traveling to the Khas wetlands for a river cruise in search of exotic birds, monkeys and crocodiles, trekking through Kinabalu Park where you can walk along the 100 –foot-high canopy walkway.For the vertically adventurous, the jagged peaks of Mt.Kinabalu (4095m) beckons to be climbed and enjoyed.
KK does quite well on the romance angle too.And this is where my two “finds” come into the picture.For wedding destination hunters and eventual honeymooners, Shangri-la Hotel Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa (located a mere 10-minute-drive from the airport) and Shangri-la Hotel Rasa Ria Resort (a 45-minute-drive away from the city) is unparalleled in providing that dream of a tropical haven where nature still abound, but mode amenities can still be enjoyed.Lt’s face it, the bride and groom of today wants to get away from the standard “wedding package” of church and hotel and opt instead for the new, the different and the exotic….and if it comes with inteet access, WiFi connections, shopping, spas and warm and smiling hotel staff, then it’s a done deal.
Shangri-la Tanjung Aru is quite popular with the locals, especially those who wish to celebrate milestones in their life.It has several wedding set-ups from a candle-lit ceremony on the beach during sunset, a garden wedding complete with a gazebo or the traditional and classic wedding in its ballroom.What I found unique is its Solemnization Package where the hotel’s in-house wedding planner or account coordinator can arrange a solemnization services by the local registrar.After submitting the necessary papers and personally submitting it to the Registrar of Marriage (example: single status certificate, proof of identification, etc), the bride and groom, together with the required witnesses can be married civilly.Their wedding packages are complete with options to get the cake, flowers and entertainment from the hotel or you can personalize your choices by choosing to bring in your own.Menu choices are also available as part of the packages.
From playing golf in its 18-hole-championship golf course Dalit Bay Golf Club, its varied water activities (banana boat, water and jet ski, etc), jungle trekking, river-boat ride complete with native villages, batik-making lessons to yoga and Pilates classes, hotel guests and their kids will never run out of activities.Of course, it has a glorious pool (don’t forget the sandy beach!) one can just soak and cool-off in.
For those tying the knot, Rasa Ria’s Romance Wedding Package promises to take care of everything.From the locally available flowers, photography, cake and Civil Marriage officiant and civil marriage license to the cocktails and dinner for the reception.
The resort’s Wedding Pavilion, a meandering walkway with a quaint gazebo that faces the beach and sea, couples may choose to walk or ride in a decorated golf cart or buggy.One can even rent a horse for pictorial purposes.
The cost of holding a wedding in KK is not as expensive as expected.It is nearly comparable to holding a wedding in Cebu or any of the major provincial cities in the .One nice bonus is that the bride and groom can claim that they held their wedding in another country, thus giving the wedding a surprising inteational flavor.With KK, it’s like paying as if you’re traveling domestic – but you’re actually traveling overseas.
Any wedding destination must be easily accessible to travelers everywhere and have an airport that is not only fully operational, safe and clean, but also complete with mode conveniences.For those interested to know more – Cebu Pacific flies to Kota Kinabalu twice a week (Monday and Friday) from the newly opened NAIA 3.For inquiries, e-mail Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rasa Ria Resort at email@example.com.