The Backup Plan

The Backup Plan

Venue and Catering: Salty’s on Alki Beach
Space: Grand Skyline Ballroom
Floral: LaVassar Florist
Photography: Rebecca Anne Photography

Have you ever been in a situation that was not going to plan and you suddenly in that moment realized, “I should’ve had a backup plan!”? If you’re like me, your backup plan is the original plan, just with more wine…

As engagement season comes to an end (after Valentine’s Day), we’ve found ourselves amid the annual push to “secure the venue”. We’ve been touring couples daily and scheduling planning sessions for weeks to come. Details are starting to be tended to and all the general questions are once again making their way back into our collective conscience. This is my favorite time of year!

We often get asked “Do you have a backup plan?”.  We are on the waterfront and this is the Pacific Northwest, so that’s a rather valid question. Being an outdoor event destination for summer ceremonies, couples often want reassurance that we can hustle on the fly if needed to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. While I can certainly say there have been a handful of weddings where rain was a factor, I thankfully have never had a wedding completely ruined by inclement weather. My fingers are totally crossed that we can keep this trend going in 2020! It never hurts to have a backup plan and when the couple has a good idea of what the alternate plan is, I would say that’s when we all can begin to relax into the next stages of planning. Most couples just want to know that there’s an additional arrangement available, just in case.

This past summer though, we got to work with one of the most amazingly joyful and delightfully blissful couples that I’ve ever met. They made it clear in our initial phone calls that they were focused on their day and celebrating their union in love, while determined to remain calm and easy going. The bride was adamant that there should be no fuss over any potential issue and that they were okay with things not going according to plan. In her words, “as long as we get married, everything will be okay.” I was so impressed with their approach as we navigated the planning process, because there were definitely a few moments where the universe tested us!

About a month before the wedding, the groom tasked me with sourcing his favorite small batch local brewery to provide keg service for the reception. Typically, this is easy for us to do, however this brewery was in such high demand that we had to go through several back up vendors only to be able to provide the groom his fourth choice. This was the backup plan, to the backup plan, to the backup plan. Or Plan D.  I drove out to the U-District to pick up the keg and felt a huge sense of relief that they could accommodate our special request. And of course, our groom was beyond gracious and so patient with the process.

I wish I could say that was the only time during the planning timeline that we had to rely on a backup plan! The bride really embraced a lighthearted mindset when we found out shortly before the ceremony that our officiant for the day was sick and not able to make it to the wedding! For most couples, this would pose a huge inconvenience and cause a great deal of panic. Afterall, we’re all here to get these two married, and there’s only one person (generally speaking) in the building that can accomplish that! However, both the bride and the groom were cool as the Alki breeze. They effortlessly were able to move one of their ordained guests into position.  It was incredibly fortunate and quite convenient as anyone could imagine, having a guest who happened to be legally able to perform the ceremony. Not one time did anyone panic! It was truly a beautiful wedding and I’m happy to say that everything else went according to plan that day.

There’s no way to determine that every detail will happen exactly the way we intend on a wedding day. While we do everything to ensure we experience as few surprises as possible, we encourage every couple to be as lighthearted as these two were. Even if something does go slightly awry, we think it makes a for great story later. Even when the backup plan to the backup plan doesn’t quite go our way.

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