Nobody knows for certain what Mother Nature has in store for us. With all of the crazy, unpredictable weather we’ve had this year, planning for outdoor events has become a stressful endeavor. There are ways, however, to prepare for outdoor events that provide the same consistent experience for all of the guests, no matter how the weather outside is behaving. But how do you know what kind of decor to use or how to arrange your space for such an experience? Let’s take a look at how you can prepare for an outdoor event without catering to the weather’s schedule.

Notify your guests. “Guests that are forced to withstand unpleasant weather in inadequate clothing are guaranteed not to have a good time,” said Tony Carnahan of EventGuard Event Cancellation Insurance. “If you are hosting an event (like a wedding) in a grass field or hosting a reception in a bowling alley, tell your guests to dress properly ahead of time. Tell them not to wear high heals and bring comfortable shoes and casual clothing.”

Use weather-resistant decorations. Choose decorations that can adapt to any weather situation. For example, chairs or furniture with cushions are liable to soak up water if it rains, whereas plastic folding chairs are very easy to clean and keep dry. You can use plastic plates that won’t blow away in the wind as easily as paper, and use weights to keep down table cloths and centerpieces.

Remember the little comforts. The simplest pleasures still go the farthest. Make an extra effort to make your event special for your guests, regardless of the weather. If it is really hot outside, hand out fans and sunscreen. You can have umbrellas handy for people if it starts to rain, or provide disposable sunglasses for extra sunny locations.

Have a backup plan. No event is complete without a backup plan to put in motion if the weather turns gloomy. A backup plan gives you peace of mind, and ensures the event can go on even if something happens. A good plan is to have a nearby, indoor location that people can go to in the event of bad weather. Investing in a tent is another way to go, but tents are not always convenient for showcasing the event location. They are great, however, for keeping out rain and sunlight, so this really comes down to your own preference and budget.

No matter how much we try, no one can ever guarantee how the weather is going to act on the day of an event. For that reason, it is always a good idea to take precautions. Notify your guests of the venue and tell them to come prepared. Include some shade-providing structures, make a backup plan, and be ready to roll with the punches, and you should be just fine.