Wedding Etiquette Forum

Winter wedding: what should I do if it snows?

Hey everyone.  Our wedding is next December, ceremony and reception are both indoors.  However, since we're in the South Jersey/Philly area, the possibility of it snowing (and badly) is fairly high.  We haven't booked anything but the church yet, but I guess I'm just wondering what we could do in the event that it does snow, and is there anything we should write into our contracts before we book vendors?  I think if it's a blizzard they would let us reschedule, but what happens if its 5 inches of snow?  or icy roads?  or if it snows badly a few days before but not on our actual wedding day? I don't want to lose a bunch of money if no one is able to come to the reception, but obviously I don't want anyone to get hurt trying to drive if the roads are bad. Any advice would certainly help me a lot, thanks!

Re: Winter wedding: what should I do if it snows?

  • Maybe look into wedding insurance?  DH and I got married at the end of December in very upstate (practically Canda) New York.  We knew we would get married if we could get the officiant, our parents and our siblings in one room so we didn't stress too much about the weather but if this is a concern of yours, the best thing to do might be to have your vendors be explicit about weather and weather related travel as reasons to cancel, how late into the process they can cancel, and what the policy for rescheduling will be.

    This is a risk of having a winter wedding in the northeast.  If you do not want to play the what if game, you probably need to think about a new, less likely to snow, date.
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  • Embrace the possibility. But also talk to vendors about what they would do in those situations. Most places if they can open & operate, they will require you hold your event even if 50% of your guests can't make it due to the weather.

    Some ideas to embrace it are offer up hot chocolate and/or hot appler cider (people can add rum to the cider for some extra punch) to warm themselves up at the reception.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Well, if the wedding can't be rescheduled for a time when it's not likely to snow, then before booking any vendors, I'd ask them whether they can discount their prices for you or otherwise have a Plan B in case of snow.
  • I didn't think of wedding insurance, I'll have to look into that.   The thought of having the wedding with only half the people there definitely scares me, but unfortunately because of school, December is the only time we can have the wedding unless we want to wait another 2 years or so.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Look into wedding insurance. 

    Some  (maybe even most) venues are not going to agree you can cancel a day in advance unless there is a state of emergence or something like that.    Just because 50% can't make would not be a good enough reason IMO.  It just a risk you take when you have a winter wedding.


    FWIW - My  wedding was in the middle of a tropical storm with 100% of the guests being OOT.   It was suppose to be outdoors also.   We had a backup plan, but still.  Unless there was a state of emergency we would not have gotten our money back.   It's just the risk you take.


    GL and pray for good weather.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_winter-wedding-what-should-i-do-if-it-snows?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:116bb9af-98f8-458e-aa48-199266826d54Post:f84e56b5-b0c9-4ee3-b2f1-2db4cf19d82d">Re: Winter wedding: what should I do if it snows?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Look into wedding insurance.  Some  (maybe even most) venues are not going to agree you can cancel a day in advance unless there is a state of emergence or something like that.    Just because 50% can't make would not be a good enough reason IMO.  It just a risk you take when you have a winter wedding. FWIW - My  wedding was in the middle of a tropical storm with 100% of the guests being OOT.   It was suppose to be outdoors also.   We had a backup plan, but still.  Unless there was a state of emergency we would not have gotten our money back.   It's just the risk you take. GL and pray for good weather.
    Posted by lyndausvi[/QUOTE]

    <div>Ditto all of this.  These are risks/chances you take by having a Winter wedding.  One of my girls had a Winter wedding and things went fine.  We had normal seasonal snow in Michigan.</div><div>
    </div><div>Unless there is a state of emergency declaired I can't imagine any venue giving you as much leeway as you are wanting.  If the weather is bad and a lot of people can't attend, the important thing is that you and FI and those that can attend have a good time and enjoy the wedding.</div><div>
    </div><div>One of my other DD's attended her BFF's wedding a few years ago and it was in December.  The weather was <strong>horrible.</strong>  It was bad enough that I would have not attended and just sent the couple an even bigger check to cover the dinners they would have paid for plus their gift.  It was bad and I would not have driven in it.  They had the VIPs there and a very small number of good friends and they had a heck of a good time and didn't let the weather stop them.</div><div>
    </div><div>If this is really a major concern to you then I encourage you to shift your wedding by a couple of months either way.  You have to decide how much risk you are willing to take.</div><div>
    </div><div>I would be interested to know what criteria is used in wedding insurance for this.</div>
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_winter-wedding-what-should-i-do-if-it-snows?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:116bb9af-98f8-458e-aa48-199266826d54Post:ee35d2d4-be25-4061-b21b-54bb509bdb1d">Re: Winter wedding: what should I do if it snows?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Winter wedding: what should I do if it snows? : I would be interested to know what criteria is used in wedding insurance for this.
    Posted by kmmssg[/QUOTE]

    Does wedding insurance cover snow issues in snowy areas?
  • Our venue has a winter package and they actually have a snow clause (Pittsburgh). We get the next available date if ours has to be closed for weather.  I believe they count "bad" weather as snow over 6 in. or weather emergency declared. We've booked March 1st so we'll see how our weather goes. 
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  • Having lived in South Jersey and Philadelphia all of my life, I think the chances of 5+ inches of snow are rather remote.  Yes, it happens and I definitely think you should take the advice of those in this thread to plan for it, but there are winters here when we don't get any snow.  I can only remember two Christmases in recent memory that had snow on the ground.  Definitely plan for the worst, but don't let it keep you up at night. 
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Also, being from the area, I think you will be ok in December.  When it does snow here, its not always in December.  It seems our big snowy days are in January and February.

    And in late January, we had our tasting with our reception hall. We had a freezing rain the night before.  The road stayed icy all day, but got better as the day went and the towns salted the streets.  When we arrived to pick up the food, there was a wedding going on.  So even though it was a bit icy, the wedding still took place at the venue.  I can't say if they had their full attendance or not, but the parking lot was packed.

    I ditto to look into wedding insurance if you are that afraid and get the rider for the weather.  You could look for independant insurers or try your home owners or renters insurance policy if you have one.  Or even the company that give you car insurance.  Its possible you will get a discount as an existing member of the insurance.
  • I would recommend a wedding later in the afternoon because if it does snow or ice, by the afternoon the streets will be plowed and salted. We're getting married January 26 in Pittsburgh and we set on a 4pm ceremony and 5:30pm reception just for that reason. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_winter-wedding-what-should-i-do-if-it-snows?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:116bb9af-98f8-458e-aa48-199266826d54Post:3fc45783-ff85-4aab-8483-d39981dd9a0a">Re: Winter wedding: what should I do if it snows?</a>:
    [QUOTE]<strong>I would recommend a wedding later in the afternoon because if it does snow or ice, by the afternoon the streets will be plowed and salted. We're getting married January 26 in Pittsburgh and we set on a 4pm ceremony and 5:30pm reception just for that reason. </strong>
    Posted by manjermj[/QUOTE]

    <div>How does this logic help? What if it starts snowing at 3pm?</div><div>
    </div><div>I'm with Joy. I lived in Phila for four years in college and only once did it ever snow bad enough to make any real drama. If you're that worried, I would change your date. </div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_winter-wedding-what-should-i-do-if-it-snows?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:116bb9af-98f8-458e-aa48-199266826d54Post:8a22d0ad-9470-43f5-8d3e-5eaf1e96f1c0">Re: Winter wedding: what should I do if it snows?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Winter wedding: what should I do if it snows? : How does this logic help? What if it starts snowing at 3pm? I'm with Joy. I lived in Phila for four years in college and only once did it ever snow bad enough to make any real drama. If you're that worried, I would change your date. 
    Posted by misssunshine17[/QUOTE]

    <div>1. because it's warmer in the afternoons than earlier in the day. And the sun helps to melt the snow and ice. </div><div>2. Around here, on the weekends, plows aren't out until later in the afternoons. </div>
  • I specifically got wedding insurance from WedSafe because I'm having a winter wedding. Although it rarely snows where I live (maybe two inches per decade), there is still the slight chance it could happen. My insurance covers everything in case it snows and I have to reschedule. It was cheap too. 
  • Everyone gave wonderful advice! I feel like having a winter wedding this is just a risk you choose to take on. I had to reread when you wrote 5 inches of snow though. I grew up in Syracuse, 5 inches of snow doesn't slow Syracuse down one bit! I have a very jaded perception of what "a lot" of snow looks like. 
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  • i married in winter (new england) and there isnt much  you can do.

    i did purchase (but didnt have to use, we had a sunny dry day!) a vinyl aisle runner for the church in the event it had been snowing - i did not want my train dragged through snow and salt that had been tracked in.
  • I'm also having a winter wedding in January, and I'm in Canada so I expect a good possibility of snow.  I think it is a risk, but if you just talk to all your vendors and make sure that you have a Plan B, all should turn out well.  Make sure you have a Plan B for your guests to - the OOT guests all have a place to crash if need be etc . . . the vinyl aisle runner is an interesting idea - I might have to use that!  I was also thinking of getting a dress with no train to avoid snow mmisfortunes with it. 

  • I have llived in the South Jersey area for almost thirty years and frankly I can't remember a single December in those thirty years when we have had any serious snow in December which is why I had no concerns having my wedding in December.  We had flurries a couple of days later but a perfectly nice day on my wedding day. 
  • edited November 2012
    <div align="left">In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_winter-wedding-what-should-i-do-if-it-snows?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:116bb9af-98f8-458e-aa48-199266826d54Post:d32fb3ec-ea82-46c2-86d9-d6c0736a1971">Re:
    Winter wedding: what should I do if it snows?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm also having a winter wedding in January, and I'm in Canada so I expect a good possibility of snow.  I think it is a risk, but if you just talk to all your vendors and
    make sure that you have a Plan B, all should turn out well.  Make sure you
    have a Plan B for your guests to - the OOT guests all have a place to crash if
    need be etc . . . the vinyl aisle runner is an interesting idea - I might have
    to use that!  I was also thinking of getting a dress with no train to avoid
    snow mmisfortunes with it. 
    Posted by kerbohl[/QUOTE]

    I'm also in Canada and getting married in January. Snow is just something you have to deal with. I'm actually looking for a lot of snow... I definitely don't want pictures
    with frozen brown dirt as far as the eye can see.

    I like the vinyl runner idea as well... think it would be slippery if guests with wet shoes
    walked on it?</div>
  • I think you take a risk with the weather no matter what time of year you get married. There can be tornadoes and hurricanes in the summer, it can snow or ice in the winter, there can be freakish storms that happen at any time of year! I wouldn't even worry about it. For the record, I'm getting married in New England this January. My whole family keeps saying, "What if it snows?! I hope it doesn't snow! I hope there isn't a big storm!" My answer is always the same: "It won't. And if it does, it won't stop us from getting married." Smile
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