What To Do If Unexpected Disaster Affects Your Wedding Plans

Outdoor weddings move inside if it rains, but what about fire, or sudden venue closure? Here’s what to do if unexpected disaster affects your wedding plans.

Savvy brides planning outdoor weddings know to have a back-up in place in case of inclement weather. But some circumstances require a different type of emergency response. Here’s what to do if unexpected disaster affects your wedding plans.

Get Wedding Insurance Before Disaster Strikes

If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s the unpredictability of public health emergencies. Lockdowns and the risks of gathering in large groups caused thousands of wedding postponements or cancellations.

Storms, fires, floods, and even earthquakes also could impact your plans. Find wedding insurance that will cover the costs of rebooking and rescheduling.

Natural Disaster

If a storm or flood destroys your venue or devastates the town where you planned to get married, contact all your vendors to see if they’re okay, and ask how you can reschedule. Check your contracts for cancellation or change policies.

Keep your guests informed. Locals will be dealing with the aftermath of the disaster themselves. Guests flying in from far-flung locations need an update as early as possible so they can change or cancel plans. If you have a wedding website, update it, and send a message to all invitees about what has happened.


Not everyone will be as lucky as the couple married on Mackinaw Island in June, 2021: when a fire next door required evacuation of their reception venue, guests took command and moved the whole thing to another location. If a fire destroys your venue, review your contracts for clauses about fire and disaster. Inform your vendors and start looking for an alternative location. Broaden your idea of where you could host your wedding and reception, and consider holding them both at the same location.

Sudden Venue Closure

Pipes burst, bankruptcy happens, and sometimes, scammers just take the money and run. If your venue informs you they’re closing, or worse, you go to check things out, and the doors are locked for good, you’ll need to move to Plan B. As with a storm or fire destroying your venue, keep vendors and guests informed, and begin the hunt for an alternate space while you pursue claims to get your money back.


Marriage doesn’t change the rules of deployment; it can happen at any moment. When a service member is ordered to go, they go, even if it’s on their wedding day.

When your intended can’t be present for the wedding, a proxy marriage may be a solution. Check your state’s laws to determine if you can have a stand-in for your fiancé who can sign the wedding certificate on their behalf, while your partner may be able to participate via video call.

If disaster impacts your wedding plans, don’t panic. Remember that getting married is about you and your fiancé, and the love you have for one another. That’s still there even if you must marry in the county clerks’ office, and have a small family dinner at home to celebrate.

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