It happens. Especially in this great city of Toronto during the summer months, we have all experienced the derailment and discomfort of a dreaded power outage.
The purpose of this week's blog isn't to freak you out, but rather to prepare you should a sudden blackout cause your wedding to go unplugged.
Dana and Andrew are the champions of this week's story, having a flash summer storm wreak havoc on a local power-line and cause their entire daytime wedding to go on without electricity. With creativity, flexibility and resourcefulness the wedding went on largely unaffected.
Here we will share a number of examples of little things that turned this potential calamity into a happy memorable story. All of these will help ensure that even if your wedding goes off the grid, it should never go off track!
1) GO UNPLUGGED
With the lights out the vibe will already be intimate, so roll with it!
If you have hired live musicians, rest assured that where there is a will there is a way. Many musical instruments can be played acoustically and where that fails there is always acapella.
Lucky us that our venue had a grand piano sitting in the corner just begging to be played, so a powerless performance was no problem. Light percussion and vocals were complimentary self-powered sounds making for a largely unaffected feel for cocktail and dinner music.
We included a photo of Nirvana's Unplugged in New York performance to remind you that how epic and amazing an acoustic performance an be!
An unplugged set is also a wonderful idea for venues who demand the loud music stop early like many in Niagara-On-The Lake. Just because the dancing ends doesn't mean the party has to. It is always wise to inquire about the possibility of an acoustic set at the end of the evening to give the party a beautiful mellow vibe to end on.
2) MOVE THE SPEECHES
There is a good chance the power will come back on later in the evening, so moving your speeches until after dinner is a great gamble.
Even if the power doesn't come back on later, pushing the speeches together at the end is still better as getting your party's attention and keeping them quiet is always a challenge without a microphone.
Once you have successfully quieted your noisy crew from University, it is best to roll along with the speeches all at once while you have everyone's attention. Your original plan to space the speeches out between courses was great while the PA system could punctuate the breaks, but without it your chatty uncle who wants to talk politics at the dinner table can only be quieted for so long.
3) ASK YOUR VENUE
One of the things that kept this wedding on track was that King Valley Golf Club had a wonderful back-up plan in place. They had a back-up generator that kicked in, chafing dishes warmed by wick fuel and gas powered stoves.
Rest assured that most venues should have a back-up plan in place, but this might be helpful advice for the 1/10 who was planning on serving you cold smoked salmon as an entree.
Lesson: Don't ever let cold smoked salmon be your entree! Make sure to chat with your venue coordinator and find out what their back-up plan is. Even if they don't have something in place, you have started an important discussion that will only give them more success, less heartache and more confidence should an annoying power outage ever strike.
4) ACOUSTIC FIRST DANCES
Getting back to the music, acoustic first dances can be a challenge. Similarly with speeches, the reduced volume of an acoustic performance will require your party's participation in and staying quiet.
The best way to do this is by introducing first dances right after speeches while everyone is already paying attention and a band who does a quick introduction and cuts right to the first dances.
If you are relying on a DJ then now is a good time to switch the generator from powering dinner to powering the dance. Often there will be a limited amount of power, so running both at the same time may be foolhardy, blowing the back-up generator and shutting down both dinner and dance in the process.
Do beware that drawing too much power from a back-up generator can cause power disturbances, so raise the heat or volume at your own risk!
5) SET THE TONE
The Big reason why Dana and Andrew were the heroes of the day is that they didn't let the power outage phase them one bit (pun intended). The catch about being the stars on your wedding day is that it also comes with the microscope of being the star. Every little action, reaction, grimace, frown and tiny temper tantrum will be magnified into stories for generations to come (and somehow you asked for this experience!!)
Keeping your cool and enjoying the day despite the bumps is the most important thing you can do. The purpose of your wedding day is to bring all of the important people you know together to share this happy occasion, so remember to give that all of your attention to drown out even the largest of annoyances that may come.
Be the star of your party and embrace the adventure of not knowing what is coming next!