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So, any event planner fears the rain. But you know what’s worse?


Having been a retired(ish) wedding planner for years now, I do not miss the outdoor weddings I’d plan. Oh, how I grew to long for hotel weddings! But with so many amazing outdoor venues – especially here in L.A. – you can’t pass up a stunning venue due to fears of weather. But you can plan ahead. Here’s how:

Beware placecards

If you’d like to set placecards at every setting, be sure to have an alternative to just setting them on the table, such as tucking them into a folded napkin.

Protect your wedding from wind with a tent
An open air tent like this one can be pretty on a breezy day, but on a windy day, you’ll want tops and sides closed. Photo by Nicole Caldwell Studio.

Work with your vendors to protect your wedding from wind by strengthening structures.

At this wedding (below), the wind acted up the day before, but the rental company was all over it, using rope to rig the chuppah tight to the ground. And we needed it – the chuppah almost cracked before the rental company could get to it! That’s how surprising high winds can be – they sneak up on you, even with advance notice from weather forecasts. It’s hard to tell just how bad they will be.

Hummingbird Nest Ranch Villa wedding ceremony with dark wood chuppah and white draping
Photo by Zoom Theory

To protect your wedding from wind, ALL VENDORS need to bring sandbags!

I’ve seen Santa Ana winds topple the heaviest of speakers, the strongest of back bars! Sandbags equalize their weight, making them less top heavy. Ask lighting, rentals, DJS, EVERYONE to bring sandbags.

Tighten those Tent Walls!

I coordinated an outdoor party in March with 40 mph winds! We already had a rental team on standby for the day -of; they tightened the tent walls with rope which was a huge help.

Open air tent with chandelier for wedding at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Redondo Beach
Photo by Nicole Caldwell Studio


  1. To give you an idea of wind strength, 15-20 MPH will blow over escort cards on a table; 30-40MPH will blow over glassware, centerpieces, etc.
  2. Some wind dies down at night; certain weather patterns such a Santa Ana winds get WORSE after nightfall.
  3. Tornadoes should be taken very seriously. Here’s how to manage an emergency situation.