Bring a brolly.
Gather all the umbrellas you can. You can ask trusted guests to bring all the umbrellas they have from home, perhaps borrow some from your neighbours, or take the opportunity to bring plenty of branded ones from work if it’s a corporate event. Supply some of the staff at the venue with them too, so they can greet guests from their cars with a form of shelter and a warm, friendly welcome until they get into the building.
Ask around for gazebos.
Send a group email out or get on social media, and ask around for a loan of some simple garden gazebos. They may take some decorating and/or maintenance before you dot them around your outdoor space, but once you do, they’ll provide instantly accessible cover for sudden showers. This is also a good opportunity to introduce more decorations to your event, as you can get creative with the ready-made structure by draping lights (battery and solar powered are best), and adding other simple touches such as paper chains or hanging ornaments. You could even place small tables underneath them, perhaps featuring some simple tea light candles or flowers, to give the gazebos more of a sense of occasion and purpose.
Enquire about a last-minute indoor room.
If the forecast is predicting unkind weather on the day of your event, don’t be afraid to ask for special arrangements to be made. Obviously this isn’t always possible, but you’d be surprised at how flexible British venues can be when it comes to adapting to our ever-unpredictable climate. They may well have a function room available, or perhaps a veranda that can be constructed, or even a pop-up marquee that they’d be willing to let you use. While management will surely do what they can to accommodate your guests upon the event of rain, it’s well worth asking them exactly what facilities they have to hand in advance, so you know your options, and can create something that really works for you and your function prior to the date of it taking place.
This is invaluable stuff. You can cover smoking areas with it, line muddy paths with it, shelter food with it, or put it on soggy ground to protect anything from a PA system to a picnic rug…the list goes on and on. It’s wipe clean, cheap and very easy to find – everyone’s got some tarpaulin stashed away somewhere, and it’s simply a case of gathering as much of it as possible to use and improvise with during your event. The best place to start looking is among friends and family who have a trade, such as electricians or decorators. You can simply hose it down afterwards and deliver it back to its owner clean and folded, and your guests footwear will have remained perfectly in tact.
Let your entertainers know about any changes made.
This applies to all situations, but is particularly important if you’ve decided to move your function indoors. Musicians will have sound checked and brought equipment for an outdoor gig, and the difference in sound between gear that’s meant for amplifying open air or indoors can be huge. It also means that they won’t have to pack (and carry around) all their waterproof leads, bases for speakers/stands and maybe even staging units – which will save them a lot of effort when preparing and packing away. Equally, though, if you know rain is likely, it’s worth calling your act up to confirm that they have the appropriate solutions to wet weather. It could affect anything from suitable footwear to the use of electrical equipment – and remember, you’re likely to know the venue better than they do, so simple details such as how far they’ll need to carry their kit from van to venue are definitely worth clarifying. Again, a tarpaulin is incredibly useful when it comes to carrying equipment in the rain!
Call Function Fixers for flexible venues up and down the UK that have clever in-built solutions for our Island climate, or to discuss venues that can bring the outdoors in for your wedding, corporate event or private party.