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Tent company stays calm despite uncertain forecast

Project Briefs | June 1, 2008 | By:

A wet spring in Minnesota makes clients extra eager to hash out a rain plan for their June wedding.

On a cold, wet Friday in April, Jim Bach, Apr‘s Party & Tent Rental, donned galoshes and rain gear to go mark up the site for Sarah Oehler’s upcoming tented wedding. Bach and Oehler were ready to hammer out the logistics of the tent setups to ensure there would be no surprises on the day of the wedding. No surprises, that is, unless it decides to rain.

Bach marked off where the large 80-by-70-foot tent would go on the grass next to the Oehlers’ tennis court. With the marker flags in place, Oehler was beginning to see the big picture. “This is going to be a really huge tent!” she exclaimed, laughing. Bach explained how tall the tent would be and where the entrance would end up.

With small lakes forming that day around the Oehlers’ property, the possibility of rain during the wedding was at the top of the clients’ minds. Inside, the team discussed the potential need for flooring and extra walkway canopies. “At what point do we make the call?” the groom asked via speakerphone. Bach explained how long it would take to set up flooring and extra tents, including a possible ceremony tent, and pointed out that the florist or others may need time for décor as well. “We’ll go as late in the week as we can, because I know you don’t want tents,” Bach said.

Bach reassured the clients that everyone will be well plugged in to the extended forecast before the wedding. “We’ll have this conversation again much closer to the date,” Bach said. He let the clients know that they could keep talking about the possibility of rain, but it would be no use worrying about it until they have a better idea of what the weather will actually be like.

Rain plan or no rain plan, fleshing out a timeline ahead of the event has been an absolute necessity. Putting together a master schedule of tasks that need to be completed—and when—will be the client’s responsibility, though they will have help from Nicolle Sellers, the event consultant from Mother of the Bride, who will be managing everything on the day of. And Bach will contribute by handing over his complete production timeline for the tents and flooring.

Luckily, though the clients seem appropriately concerned about all aspects of their big day, they are not (yet) coming apart at the seams. Bach stood inside the markings for the tent and explained how things would go, including the option that things such as gifts might have to be moved to a different part of the tent. “I’m flexible,” Oehler said. “Whatever. We’ll figure it out.”

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