With Old Man Winter bearing down on us and bringing unpredictable weather events, it is important to remember advance planning for your special event. Ed Knight, our owner, shares an interesting story from several years back.
Ed recalls meeting with our clients and their planner, decorator and caterer at the clients’ home to discuss the initial planning stages for their son’s Bar Mitzvah. Our clients were excited to get their home and grounds ready far in advance of this special day and celebration. They had their event team meet at their home, three years in advance, to begin the initial plans and site evaluation. Their son’s 13th birthday was in early December, and as such, so would the Bar Mitzvah be. The meeting was also set for early December, so everyone would have a sense as to what to expect for the weather. However, this particular December day was unusually mild, with nearly 70 degree temperatures and everyone in short-sleeve shirts.
Our clients knew that they wanted to hold the main celebration under a tent that we would set up in their backyard. Ed did what we call a “site evaluation” where we come to the clients home, talk to them about their expectations and survey the location. We inspect the actual property size, location of the home, trees, walkways, shrubs and access points for the guests, as well as for our crews and equipment.
This is the actual photo that Ed took on the day of the site evaluation, where he laid down tape on the ground to outline where the main tent would be located in the yard. The original plan was for one tent, with retractable sidewall and a catering tent. The cocktail hour would be held in the yard.
However, Ed knew that it was unlikely that the December day three years later would be equally as warm. He had to draw up a proposal for bad weather. Now, that is something that we do on a regular basis. Anyone considering an outdoor event needs to fully understand that they might just get a rainy, windy, snowy or swealtering hot day. Sometimes, you might get a freakish out-of-the-blue “Snowicane” that happened to this bride in October 2011.
Ed worked up a “bad weather” plan just in case it snowed or rained on the big day. Our clients were completely aware and prepared for any additional options that they would need. Its a good thing that everything was planned in advance, since this photo was taken the day of the party!
Everyone was kept warm and dry, thanks to advanced planning by all of those involved. Here are some important things to consider whether dealing with a little bit of rain, or a full-on snowstorm:
1. Will there be a need for flooring under your tent? If the ground is wet, muddy, or snowy, you might need to consider some type of flooring and turf/carpeting to protect your guests shoes and clothing.
2. Will you need additional heating or cooling options? If the weather gets freezing cold, or sweltering hot, we have various options for heating and cooling down the inside of the tents. We have kept over 1,000 guests warm in the middle of winter and have sheltered guests from rains and winds with our various sidewall options.
3. Your caterer might need additional space under cover. Many parties have space for a catering or “prep” tent. However, when the weather goes to extremes, those people may need additional heated or cooled space because they won’t have any access to the outdoors, which they frequently use for their “spillover” needs. A catering tent may need to be bigger than originally planned.
4. Covered walkways may need to be added. This will allow your guests to be warm and dry while moving from the driveways or the event site to the main tent, in addition to the restrooms.
5. Consider adding restroom trailers fully enclosed by tents. We have a wide variety of restroom trailer considerations from basic to luxury options. This will allow guests ease of use, without having to enter into the main home.
6. Will you need an additional tent for cocktail hour if the weather is bad? Many clients originally plan for outdoor cocktails without cover, but this may be a consideration if the weather does not cooperate.
Our experienced project managers have the knowledge and the skill to design not only your fair weather event infrastructure, but can provide you with optional plans based on the possibility of severe weather. While everyone keeps their fingers crossed for the best weather scenario, the truth is we just never know what kind of weather that Mother Nature will bring. Our advice is to be prepared!