Friday, November 25, 2011


(Pt. II)

With years of hands-on
experience, the bridal biz
is near the top of the short
list of subjects in which
possess true expertise.
And in this second part
of my series, I will further
address various aspects
of this fabled industry. 

Contrary to what some TV talking heads, related magazines and industry know-it-alls might tell you, your "perfect day" probably will be less than perfect. Ladies, the truth is, that bird will crap on your head just as quickly and rain will pour just as likely on your day as on any other. The sooner you can accept this fact, the sooner you can move forward with realistic expectations. If you "pull the lever" and all of your "fruits" do line up — congratulations, you beat the odds. However, if you do experience a "bump" or two, don't freak out. It's perfectly normal. But, by making logical decisions and working with qualified, experienced, trustworthy individuals, you can help minimize your potential anxieties. And FYI, in hindsight, those same "bumps" can end up creating a unique and memorable wedding day.

Ahh, a breathtaking Tennessee mountain view, a beautiful Florida beach sunset and a bountiful floral garden. Wow, these sound like perfect settings for an outdoor wedding, right? Yes, of course — that is, if your "fruits" line up. And I've been involved with countless successful outdoor affairs over the years. However, I've also witnessed more than a few heartbreakers. If the weather cooperates, you win, and win big. If not, the biggest day of your life could end in disaster. The question is, do you feel lucky? Based on my personal experiences, the three most important words of advice that I can offer a bride are: INDOORS, INDOORS, INDOORS!

Be sure that rain is not the only factor to consider when planning an outdoor wedding and or reception. In Florida we endure summer-like temperatures nine to ten months out of the year. So even if there's not a cloud in the sky, brides also should consider how they'll deal with the hot sun melting their makeup and their expensive, fancy hairdos. And what time will your event be taking place? Where will the sun be in the sky at that time of day, during that time of year? Think about your photos and whether or not your bridal party will be squinting awkwardly from the blinding sun shooting into their eyes.

But Chris, my party is being held under a tent. It will be fine!

Really? Well, not even a tent completely will protect your celebration from a healthy downpour. (Trust me on this one.) Plus, you still have to consider sweat and humidity factors. Frequently, flying bugs such as mosquitoes can become a huge problem as well. Oh yeah, don't forget about the wind. I remember a bride being hit in the face by a huge piece of flying, sauce-covered aluminum foil that blew off the buffet line and through the air as she walked down the aisle of her makeshift outdoor chapel/reception hall. Imagine just how awesome those photos will look with everyone's hair blowing in all directions and women fighting to control their flowing dresses. It's also important to consider your guests. Yes gals, your guests do matter! And simply put, unless all conditions are absolutely perfect, outdoor affairs can be just plain uncomfortable for everyone.

Lisa and Larry had the best of both worlds.
Their 2005 reception was held at a beautiful
riverside venue. They enjoyed the benefit of
a fantastic outdoor setting for photos, but
the actual reception was held indoors.
The smart play, as many of my clients have opted to make over the years, is to plan an outdoor ceremony, but have a viable indoor back-up plan.

Hang on, Chris. What's a "viable back-up plan?"

I'm glad that you asked. Many of the ceremonies in which I'm involved are held at swanky beachside Florida hotels. The archway and chairs all typically are set up on a lovely pool deck area. But if the weather becomes less than cooperative, guests quickly can be ushered to an alternative area inside the hotel at the last minute.

Despite the expectations of first-time brides, most ceremonies are over quicker than expected, so if you're absolutely set on outdoor nuptials, you won't have to "dodge the bullet" for long. But I strongly suggest that the typical three to four-hour, post-ceremony reception should commence at a proper indoor venue. I'll likely address this issue further in future posts.

To be continued...

-Christopher Long
(November 2011)

I'm very accessible and I'm happy to assist folks at any time regarding wedding-related questions, concerns and comments. I can be contacted through either the "Comment" forum of this blog or directly via my personal email address:


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C'MON! -

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