Wedding Insurance is one of those weird items on your to-do list that often causes some confusion. Who does it cover? Do you really need it? How often do people actually need to use it? These are all questions I've asked friends, Google, and most reliably, my wedding planner at Winsor Event Studio, Christi Winsor. Christi has over 12 years of experience in the bridal industry and a wealth of knowledge. Christi and her team plan and execute dozens of weddings each year taking brides from their engagement to the send off at the reception. Christi thoughtfully plans even the smallest details allowing her brides to enjoy the planning process, as well as, the wedding day itself. She answered a few of our questions to clear up some confusion:
Alyssa: How many weddings have you seen that need to use their insurance?
Christi: None! The good thing is that with something such as rain, we have pretty sufficient notice to make alternate arrangements for the wedding, such as moving the festivities indoors, ordering a tent, or in the case of a hurricane, changing the date. Luckily, I haven't encountered having to move a date just yet (knock on wood!)
Alyssa: What is wedding insurance exactly?
Christi: Basic policies typically cover loss of small items (under around $500 in value) such as gifts, photos, deposits, attire, etc. and can also provide coverage in the case of an accident or injury. Often we will have clients add host liquor liability to their insurance policy, which will allow them to stock their own bar and serve alcohol at the event, under the circumstance that the venue does not have a liquor license. Often a homeowners insurance policy is sufficient for a home wedding, but it's worth having a discussion with your insurance company to understand their coverage. It's also worth noting that most wedding vendor contracts include a force majeur clause (or "Acts of God" clause), which usually provides exemption from carrying out the terms of the contract in the event of extreme circumstances that could not be anticipated or are beyond one's control.
Alyssa: Does every bride need to purchase wedding insurance?
Christi: Not necessarily. If most vendor contracts include the force majeur clause, and the bride feels comfortable relying on that coverage in the rare circumstance that an act of God causes an issue, then she may not feel the need for additional insurance. However, it doesn't hurt to have additional coverage, especially if the contracts do not appear to include such terms, or if the venue limits liability coverage options, or if they require a single-day insurance policy for the event or for the bar service. Check with your venue and your vendors to see what kind of coverage is already included, and ask if most brides typically acquire additional wedding insurance.
Alyssa: Who does wedding insurance protect?
Christi: The insurance policy protects both the bride/client as well as the venue (often coverage is extended to the venue and they are listed on the policy as additionally insured).
Alyssa: In Florida, many summer dates experience the threat of rain, from a summer shower to the dreaded hurricane season. What should brides do to prepare for rain on their wedding day?
Christi: If you're planning on having any portion of your wedding outdoors (be it ceremony, cocktail hour, and/or reception) you MUST have a rain plan as a back up. This may mean an on-site indoor space, or potentially renting tents. Bare in mind that guests will need to get to and from your celebration spaces in the rain as well, which means covered pathways leading to the tent(s), and little details such as providing extra umbrellas for guests and wedding party members, and having towels on hand for drying off (be it chairs that were set up in a brief drizzle, or puddles inside where guests entered with wet shoes and umbrellas). Have a place for guests to store umbrellas or raincoats - a great job for an usher! The more prepared you are, the less stressed you'll feel if you have to go with your rain plan.
Alyssa: What happens when it rains on a wedding day?
Christi: The bride must decide on the morning of the wedding if her location has to be moved indoors so that setup may commence; in the event of renting tents, she must decide at least 1 week+ before the wedding in order to ensure that tents are available (after all, there will be several brides scrambling for last minute tents, and waiting too long may mean limited availability and higher prices!) Once the rain plan has been set into motion, and the aforementioned umbrellas/towels/coat check have been planned in advance as suggested, RELAX and know that the wedding day will still be amazing and there is nothing a bride can do to change the weather. On the day of the wedding, go ahead and allow a little extra time for your commute, just in case. And of course, remember to lift the hem of your dress off the ground when walking to prevent a soiled hemline. Otherwise, remember what the day is really all about (you know, your closest friends and family coming together to support and celebrate your love as you are joined in the everlasting bond of marriage?) and focus on being in the moment and truly experiencing this joyous occasion, and maybe even a beautiful rainbow.
Photography: Rob and Wynter Photography
Written by: Alyssa Sassor