weddings

How do you prepare for your wedding, when a freak storm is coming to destroy it all?

How in the world are you meant to prepare for a wedding that could, according to respectable weather forecasts, be under threat from severe storms and potential flash flooding?

According to Jess Tarrant, who last week married North Melbourne footballer Robbie Tarrant, you try not to listen too closely to what the weather gods are promising, instead putting your blinkers on to encourage a blissfully ignorant lead up to the day.

“We knew the weather forecast was pretty dire but weren’t aware of the ‘10/10 storm rating’, which in hindsight was probably a good thing,” the PR specialist told Mamamia about her wedding last Friday in Melbourne.

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The days leading up to that weekend in Victoria were punctuated by news reports of wild weather and flooding, instructions for employees to leave work early and for everyone else to stay indoors.

“I’d been keeping an eye on the BOM website since about 10 days out from our big day, and watched with horror as the forecast got worse each day. Being December we thought our biggest issue would be heat so we were pretty shocked when severe rain and thunderstorms were forecast,” Jess tells Mamamia.

“Having known about the forecast for some time, we were completely resigned to the fact that it was going to rain on our wedding day.”

Image: Supplied.

Thunderstorms were unfortunately an understatement at the time, with a mini natural disaster expected to swamp the state.

The impending storm was so severe, experts said, that it could threaten life.

"On the day of our wedding my bridesmaids and I were getting ready at a hotel in South Yarra and had 180 degree views of Melbourne, so we could see the weather rolling in. I tried to remain calm but did feel pretty anxious, especially in the morning when it poured with rain. My bridesmaids did a stellar job of keeping me calm and preoccupied throughout the day, and I received so many lovely messages from concerned family and friends sharing happy stories of their own rainy weddings," she says.

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The couple - who have been together for six years - had to quickly move the location of the nuptials, but to them, made little difference to the outcome of the day.

"The only change was that our ceremony was meant to take place on one of the garden’s lawns overlooking the lake but was moved to our marquee, which was also the location of our reception. Our family and friends helped to communicate this last-minute change to our guests on the day."

Other than that? It was "absolutely perfect", she says.

Image: Supplied.

"Both Robbie and I tried to be really positive about the forecast and refused to let the weather ruin our big day. Despite the forecast, inner-city Melbourne received little to no rain in the late afternoon and evening, and our guests were able to enjoy the party both inside the marquee and out on the lawn. If you’d told us a month ago that our wedding day would be wet, overcast and humid we would have been devastated but we truly feel like the luckiest people alive as the weather in Melbourne wasn’t nearly as bad as what was forecast. We now have a great story to tell and some amazing photos as a result!

"We had planned to have our photos taken outside, but had to quickly organise an indoors location two days before our wedding as the heaviest rain was expected to fall during our photo time. Thankfully, the rain held off and were able to have our photos taken outside in the gardens."

Crucially, they spent much of the morning thinking about their guests. How could they make sure their guests had a happy day, despite the extreme forecasting?

"We had staff greet our guests with umbrellas at the gate in case they’d forgotten their own; we arranged an astro-turf runner from the car to the marquee so that my bridesmaids and I didn’t have to walk on wet, muddy grass; and we lined the entrance of the marquee with large marquee umbrellas so that guests didn’t get wet walking in and out of the marquee."

10/10 storm on your wedding day?

No problem.