If You Don't Like the Weather, Wait Five Minutes

  • By Chelsea Mills
  • 24 Jan, 2014

A Guide to Outdoor Wedding Survival in Michigan

By: Chelsea Mills, Owner - Behind Your Design

As a little girl, you always dreamed of an outdoor wedding. You dreamed you would be walking down the tree-lined steps at your family home on Lake Fenton, or through a fall orchard with the red and gold leaves or even a spring wedding in a park with scented with roses and cherry blossoms.  You envision the sun shining down on you during your wedding ceremony. The birds are chirping. A light breeze flows through the air. The guests are smiling at you. It is the PERFECT day.

Many brides and grooms get that perfect day. I wish every single one could. The reality is though, we live in Michigan. They don’t say, “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes” for nothing. You could have a quick change of weather at any time. I’ve seen the most beautiful day turn into the perfect storm in a matter of minutes.

I have a few rules for outdoor brides and grooms. If you’re going to get married outside in the spring, summer or fall in Michigan, you have to:

1.     Deal with whatever happens and be happy with it

2.     Be prepared, have a plan B

3.     Make sure your guests are comfortable

4.     Roll with the punches (also see #1 deal with it!)

I’m not trying to scare anyone, but being prepared is the best way to have an ideal day not only for you, but also for your guests on your wedding day.

Rain, Rain Go Away

Plan A might involve all of your guests in the back yard or in a park under the trees, but a Plan B is a safe idea. Check with local rental companies to see how late you can add a tent. The 10-day forecast is a safe bet as it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Sometimes it’s best to have a back up location. Does the church you’re getting married in have hall? Does the hotel your guests are staying in have an extra room? You typically can’t hold these without plans of using them, but if they are going unused, as your event gets closer, they may be an option.

So, worst case scenario… It’s raining or it’s going to rain and it’s not just a sprinkle- it’s raining cats and dogs. Do your guests have to walk on wet grass? A trip to the store for a bunch of umbrellas for your guests to use to walk to their cars or the bathrooms can be helpful. Will it start getting muddy? As pretty as grass is- it can get really nasty fast. Think about getting some hay or mulch to put down in high traffic areas. Can you order sidewalls for your tent? Sometimes it does rain so hard that a tent can only do so much and if it is blowing, sidewalls can help a little.  Have large heaters on hand to turn on in the tent just in case the temperature drops. Not only is it only planning ahead, but also it shows your guests that you care about their comfort.

Trust your gut. If you have a feeling the weather might turn bad, secure a plan B. Because if you do, the saying is, you won’t need it. But if you don’t, you probably will.


You can never depend on the weather. A corporate event I did one October was predicting warm weather ten days prior and then a few days before changed to cold weather.  I ended up adding sidewalls to the tent, gas heaters inside and outside, valet parking and purchased many fleece blankets, which I had embroidered with the client’s logo to match the color scheme of the event. I placed the blankets on the lounge furniture and passed them out as gifts so the guests could stay warm.  The little extra cost is worth peace of mind and the guests thought the blankets were an amazing take a way from the event.

Oh, You Didn’t Plan for Your Wedding Party to Have 80’s Metal Band Hair?

As you know, it can get windy outdoors in Michigan very quickly. On a lake or in a backyard, wind can wreak havoc on an event. For your hair, use a little extra hairspray. For groomsmen, even if they’re not the product type, have them use a little. It’s better than having your hair sticking up in pictures. Buy some travel bottles of hairspray and hair gel to put in the bathrooms so your guests can use them as well.

Are your place cards secured? Get a plan B for your place cards if they were little cards on a table. Affix them to something! I’ve used figs with pins to secure the place cards as a paperweight. I have also used acrylic frames from the photo booth company to display the names in. This also makes a great keepsake for the guests to frame their photo booth memories in. Make sure your tablecloths are weighted so they’re not blowing up onto to lit candles or centerpieces. Are your napkins going to blow away? Make sure they’re secure as well by using heaving napkin rings or placing the bread and butter plate on top of them. Wind can also make it really hard to hear. Have a microphone for nuptials and speeches even if you think it might be overkill.

Create a Memory

Creating at atmosphere in which guests can enjoy themselves is not always an easy task. If your event is in a park, string lights around the trees so there is soft light when the sun sets. If your event is at a farm, have hand painted directional signs showing them the way to the ceremony, reception, restrooms and photo booth. When the guests arrive have a beverage handed to them by an attendant who is available to direct them or answer questions they may have. Don’t have a lot of idle time; you don’t want your guests to remember being bored.

Waiter, There is a Fly in My Soup

Insects can be uninvited guests. Make sure you have citronella candles and a bug zapper. Spray for mosquitoes in advance and also have bug spray on hand.

Hot, Hot, Hot!

August can make for days of unbearable heat! Make sure your guests have shade and plenty of bottled water. Make a pitcher of lemonade and ice tea and have that around too.  Plan on your programs being doubled as fans during the ceremony.  Add a tent and large commercial fans if you don’t already have one.  Butter cream frosting can melt! Make sure to tell your baker that you’re going to be outside so they can use fondant on the cake instead. Make sure your guests are facing away from the sun for your ceremony. Or purchase sunglasses for everyone to wear during the ceremony, this can also make a great photograph afterwards! You don’t want them all squinting at you!  

You’ll Laugh About This Someday

So, what if the weather isn’t the best? What if it’s not as you dreamed? At the end of the night, you’re still going home with the love of your life. That is what should be most important. Make this your mantra. Say it over and over again when you feel like things aren’t going quite as you planned.

Make the most out of it. Take fun pictures in the snow. Act like you’re blowing away in the wind. If you’re really adventurous - dance in the rain or jump in the lake. Why not, your going to get wet anyway?

Make sure your guests are comfortable. Then, have a glass of wine! You can’t control the weather, but you can be prepared.

Around The Town with Chelsea

By chelseajaie 20 Oct, 2017
Did you know………Every year, 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence. ( http://www.nsc.org/Measure/Pages/Workplace-Violence.aspx )
From 2000 through the first half of 2016, more than 600 people were killed in 213 active shooter events identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Unfortunately, this hits even closer to home. In 2016 two young women were fatally shot while at work in Genesee County. This seminar has been in the making since that terrible tragedy last year, unfortunately in the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy, this topic is all too relevant today.  
On Thursday, October 26, 2017, Behind Your Design will be hosting a seminar on Workplace Violence Safety. Please see the attached link and flyer to sign up. RSVP is necessary as seating is limited.
By chelseajaie 03 Oct, 2017

A t Bella Vita, exceeding the expectations of the residents is simply the beginning. Having a quality life in our later years is the least we all should expect. Bella Vita is committed to providing an environment that allows one to feel independent, with the assistance of its highly trained care group.  

By chelseajaie 02 Oct, 2017

Today family businesses have a competitive edge that could hardly be anticipated. As millennials continue to take up over one third of the workforce, many of these individuals are looking for more out of a career than a paycheck. In this new arena, family businesses have an edge in building a sustainable footprint because of the personal connection between the family and the community they serve. 

A textbook example of this is Peabody Insurance Agency, a company with a history of serving the community since 1919. In the last year Peabody Insurance has grown the team to include two new family hires, Grace and Brandon, and has completely remodeled its office.

“In order to thrive in today’s competitive environment, I believe it’s important for businesses to give the next generation a voice in how we should work and serve our customers,” explains Jim Peabody, partner of Peabody Insurance in Fenton. “Our team has developed a culture of collaboration, where insurance knowledge is fused with new ideas, processes and tools.”

Peabody Insurance is now one of the most capable independent agencies in the state, with the development of an interactive safety app, DocuSign, virtual meetings and a client portal. “Many of our features have the goal of saving our clients time and money. Customers have the ability to choose how they want to do business with us,” Jo Schofield, account executive, explains, “and our customers enjoy supporting local businesses because they know those dollars are going right back into their hometown.” 

By chelseajaie 29 Sep, 2017
Written by: Andrea Kehoe
By chelseajaie 23 Aug, 2017
Behind Your Design recently had the pleasure of designing a new responsive website for Image Flow Media. Image Flow is a full service commercial production company serving the metro Detroit Area. They are constantly pushing themselves, their equipment and their approach to the edge. Image Flow is a solutions-oriented team with a proven ability to get things done while managing multiple projects. They're experienced, passionate, motion graphics artists and video editors, looking to continue expanding their knowledge in all areas of production. 

 To see example of their work please click here  . Contact us at   Behind Your Design   to help you design your next website.

By chelseajaie 09 Aug, 2017

Starting a new business? Looking to give your current logo a 'refresh'? It can be easy to just think  'I need a logo!'  - what you are saying is that you want a graphic representation of your business to use on your marketing materials. What you  need however is a memorable overall ' brand' that will attract customers to your business. Luckily, at Behind Your Design, we can help you with all your needs, even the ones you don't know yet.

How do I create a brand? 

It's important to know your brand values and aspirations. Basically, your WHY? What made you start your business in the first place? What problem are you solving and what are your passions? Long term, where do you want to be in 2, 5, 10 years? The answers to those questions are the core of your brand. We want to give you the tools you need to reach your greatest potential.

Next, we'll work on the personality of your brand. What will your brand look like? Sound, feel, act like? Knowing your business' personality allows it to shine through everything we do. It also helps narrow down your target customer and decide how your business will interact with them. Appealing to a certain audience makes marketing efforts meaningful and effective.

Consistency is key. We work together to create an entire brand concept and easy guidelines to follow. Colors, fonts, patterns... Anything to make your look consistent will be part of your brand. Then, we use those elements across all platforms (website, social media, business cards, etc) to ensure your voice, mission and design flow fluidly and works together.

Once you've created this brand, it's time to go beyond that and uphold the reputation. Your customers have to truly believe in your brand, just like you do, and will, in turn, become loyal advocates of your business. Not only will they stay local to you but they'll also recommend you to others.

Your business is so much more than just a logo. We believe building a solid brand can become a company's greatest asset, so we cover every step:

  • Web Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Email Marketing
  • Facebook Marketing
  • Mobile App Design
  • Trade Show Booth Design
  • Custom Photo Gifts
  • Speaking Engagements
To view our design portfolio, click here.

By chelseajaie 25 Jul, 2017
Behind Your Design is excited to announce the launch of JDLab's new responsive website and logo design. JDLab is a family owned business dedicated to delivering high quality work in every department. Founder J.D. Hicks’ goals in 1950 remain their goals today:  "Provide every professional photographer with the highest standard of quality and service, and to work as partners to help studios grow as successful businesses."   To learn more about what JDLab can do for you please click   here . Contact us at   Behind Your Design   to help you design your next website.
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Behind Your Design is excited to announce that we have created a new logo for Wayne Contracting Services, LLC. Wayne Contracting Services, LLC is a licensed and insured construction company providing a variety of construction and remodeling services to SE Michigan. Give them a call for all your contracting and remodeling needs! If you are in need of a new logo contact us at  Behind Your Design   today to get started!

By Chelsea Mills 18 Jul, 2017
Join the growing team at Behind Your Design at 100 S. Adelaide St. in Fenton, Michigan!

- 40 Hours A Week (Mon-Fri - 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM with working lunch)
- Paid Holidays
- Opportunity for 401k Retirement Matching
- Must be able to multi-task, delegate and prioritize jobs that come in
- Must be able to track time spent on projects
- Responsible for ordering from vendors
- Responsible for managing multiple tasks and keeping jobs moving forward by following up with clients and our designers
- Friendly pleasant personality
- Responsible to answer phones, greet customers, take messages and packages
- Team environment
- Time Management and Organizational Skills
- Matching expenses/orders with client billing
- Approximately 25% of the job will be coordinating photo booth jobs including contracts, graphics, staff, programming booths, posting photos, burning DVD’s and communicating with clients.

Technical skills needed, but not required to apply, we would train qualified applicants:
- HTML Email Blasts (Constant Contact, MailChimp)
- Website Building
- Basic Photoshop Skills
- Professional Email Skills
- Word, Excel
- Asana Task Management System
- Social Media Posting
- QuickBooks

Click Here to Apply

By Chelsea Mills 11 Jul, 2017
Behind Your Design recently had the pleasure of designing a new website for Bennett Communication Solutions. Bennett Communication Solutions is a local family company that opened its doors in 1945. They provide telephone answering services, remote receptionist services, voice mail, and other services to meet the needs of their business customers. While they maybe local they have clients nationwide. Their clientele includes health care services, property management and real estate, contractors and of course business professions. To learn more about their services please click here . Contact us at  Behind Your Design  to help you design your next website.
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