It's any couple's worst nightmare—the toasts are just beginning at the reception or the band is in full swing and the power goes out. The ensuing confusion and chaos could ruin the day; on the other hand, if you and your venue have prepared for this possibility, there would be no reason to panic. That's why a backup plan is absolutely necessary, whether or not you're concerned about the weather.
Is Your Venue Prepared?
Lisa Milko of the Atlanta wedding venue the Trolley Barn says that their team has a plan in place before a couple even asks about backup power. "We are well-prepared with both an on-site generator and strong contacts with rental vendors to be able to access additional power and rentals, as needed," she explains, adding that you'll find most other venues are, too. Always ask your vendors what plans they have in place should the power go out, whether because of power or overrun systems. Do they have generators and a quick plan should lightning strike during the ceremony or reception? Do they know exactly how many speakers or lights can be placed on each outlet? Preparation is always key.
Do You Have a Backup Plan?
If a storm hits and the power goes out moments before your guests begin to arrive, you should know exactly what you want to do next. Whether it's switching the ceremony and cocktail hour to try and get the power back or moving the entire ceremony indoors where it's easier for guests to hear, knowing what your preference is makes everything much less stressful. Remember that the DJ requires power as well—if the power goes out, make sure he has access to a generator or even ask him to bring his own so the music and speeches can still take place. Have a copy of your playlists ready to go on your Spotify or iPod, keeping downtime minimal.
While it's not fun to think that the power might go out at your long-awaited wedding, it's something that should be planned for, and being flexible with any changes is key. Milko says, "Being able to adapt and pivot on the day-of is important." If there's a chance of a blizzard or strong storm, realize that it may lead to moving your outdoor ceremony inside and may result in the venue having to scramble a little to make up for lights flickering or going out completely. A couple should also consider hiring a day-of coordinator to assist in the event that problems arise. Your pro can worry about spreading out the electricity on different outlets or getting a generator going should it be necessary.
If you're worried about power outages, whether inside or out, creativity is key. Candles will lend a soft, romantic look to your space while also illuminating the room. If your venue will allow it, light a fire in a fireplace or a firepit outdoors. In addition to keeping guests warm, it'll also help brighten up the space. You have other options, too. There are numerous lighting options available that don't require electricity. From solar lights to battery operated string lights, a reception can be beautifully lit without power so long as you're prepared.