Jeweled purple and gold colors dominated the decorations, completing the rustic theme. But, a steady rain began to fall three to four hours before the afternoon event, requiring everyone from the photographer to the caterer to improvise.
“We went from Plan A to Plan B in minutes,” said Los Altos Hills resident Karen Farris, mother of the bride. An hour before the 4 p.m. ceremony, the rain continued to drench the lush grounds, so Brooke Greene, Nestldown wedding coordinator, made the call to take everything inside the barn.
It didn’t take long for the experienced staff to transfer the plated reception. Farris praised Greene and her staff for their organization and quick action. Still, it was hard to absorb. “They (had) never had rain on the day my daughter had planned her wedding, not for 15 years,” said Farris, a realtor for Intero Real Estate.
Bride Jennifer Hiatt, who remained calm, said, “It was beautiful two months before and two months after, but it rained on the day.” The groom, Jasper, employed as a multimedia producer for Duarte Designs, also tried not to worry. “He’s from Montana so he’s used to it (poor weather),” said Jennifer, who works in human resources for Kabam, a social gaming company.
Inspired by the ‘Titanic’ movie Luckily, about five minutes before the wedding, the clouds broke and San Jose photographer Michael Soo jumped in to take advantage of the momentary lapse. “I was thinking about the scene in “Titanic” where Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are making out in her cabin and the windows fog up,” said Soo, who also does fashion and product photography.
He arranged the couple in the back of the old English taxi, and with the rain fogging up the windows naturally, he shot several misty, magical photos. “It was actually the perfect lighting for the photos,” Hiatt said. According to Soo, it’s important for a wedding photographer to adapt to the situation. In this case, he took advantage of the fog rolling in between the trees.
“You have to use the rain as a prop, use whatever pluses you have. Sometimes backlighting can be very pretty,” Soo said. “Although it’s better if there’s no rain, you can still get really good shots.”
Hiatt felt badly that her guests couldn’t really see the property, but she said, “that day was so exciting for me, personally, but I could have been at city hall and I would have been fine.” She attributed her composure to her supportive family, “who took on a lot of the stress of the details and yet respected my wishes.” She advises brides to “look beyond the party, because the party’s not the reason you’re getting married.”
Greene received kudos from the bride and her mom, who called her “phenomenal.” Hiatt noted that the transitions went well even if her dress and shoes got muddy. Mountain View wedding planner Rekha Sachania warns clients that weather can get rainy during certain months.
If an outdoor wedding is scheduled, the planner said she’s always prepared to bring it indoors, but that could involve extra expense – like a tent at the last minute.
“It’s the first thing we bring up; if it rains, you can either bring the wedding indoors or cover it with a tent. In any event, the budget will change,” by as much as $2,000, Sachania said.
If the client’s budget is tight, she urges them to look for another venue. “It’s crucial to have two plans,” says Sachania, a former event planner for Rengstorff House.
As a wedding planner, having a backup “is my job,” said Karen Garcia of Precious Planning.