Checking the forecast for your wedding day can be a moment that's fraught with anxiety: Will the sunny skies hold up? Will the temperatures suddenly drop? What's the wind looking like? While there are plenty of guides out there for creating a rain plan, it's important to remember that wind can also be highly disruptive. Rather than fret at the last minute as you search for ways to batten down the hatches, here are some things you can do in advance of your big day to keep the wind from ruining the décor.
Keep wind gusts in mind when selecting your paper materials.
Welcome signage, ceremony programs, escort cards, menu cards, and cocktail napkins can all be vulnerable when outdoors on a windy day. Rather than setting printed programs on chairs, have your ushers hand them out. Better yet, have a large sign made on slate, blackboard, or a large piece of acrylic that can be securely attached to a wind-proof stand at the ceremony entrance. Menu cards should always be secured in some way, either placed under a prop (like an ornamental pomegranate or miniature baguette) or tucked securely into a napkin. If wind is a major risk, you might also consider foregoing paper menu cards and instead having a large sign made instead. Signage for your guest book table, dessert display, and cocktail menu can be framed or mounted on something that won't blow over in the wind. Things like escort cards and place cards will need to be properly secured—either pinned, affixed with adhesive, or attached to a heavier object. If you're using disposable cocktail napkins, these are typically handed out by catering staff and are unlikely to blow away, but you may need a pretty geode or something hefty to pop on top of a stack of them on the bar or dessert station.
Consider your linens.
Dinner napkins can be tucked under plates, heavy menu cards (non-paper menus), or props on a windy day. If there's a slight breeze, billowing drapery and table linens will be fine. If the winds are significant, though, the flapping fabric can be a bit annoying. Maybe you can use exposed farm tables without linens instead, or bring in tall greenery hedging rather than outdoor drapery if you're sectioning off an area.
Use low, structured floral arrangements.
For your flower arrangements, you don't want anything so loose in structure that it can fall apart in heavy winds. As well, any vase that's top-heavy, tall and narrow, or could potentially topple over in windy conditions is best avoided when a gusty forecast is called for. Instead, stick with more secure options that are lower to the table and unlikely to easily blow over.
Keep the candlelight going.
Your catering team can help re-light candles if a slight breeze flickers them out, but you'll want to plan to have candle vessels that are at least a few inches taller to provide extra protection from the wind. For highly windy areas, LED candles may be your best option for a golden glow.
Use your tent's sidewalls
Most tent rentals include optional sidewalls that can be attached or rolled out in the event of inclement weather. While this is a common solution to a rainy day, the added protection from the wind is nice for guests who are bothered by it.
Don't wait until it's too late to call in your backup plan.
While a slight breeze is lovely, an extremely windy day can make dining outdoors really uncomfortable for you and your guests. Not only will the table linens be flapping and candles flickering out, but high winds can cause the meal to get cold quickly and it could be too noisy to hear speeches. Before your wedding weekend, consider at what point it'll be too uncomfortable to be outdoors and adjust your plans accordingly. You may be able to host your ceremony and cocktail hour outside, moving guests indoors for dinner as the wind picks up. Either way, you'll want to make this call prior to your wedding day, taking all the risk factors into account.