If excessive wedding planning ensured that nothing would go wrong on the big day, then many weddings would go off without a hitch. The truth is that doesn’t happen too often. It’s best to get comfortable with the idea that not everything will go as planned. And more important, make peace with that possibility. Read on for a list of potential wedding day setbacks and how to gracefully avoid or manage mishaps in a way that no one suspects what, if anything, went wrong.
Inhale. Exhale. Relax. Everything will be fine.
Outdoor weddings are lovely, especially when all of Mother Nature cooperates. What’s on your Wedding Weather Wish List (try saying that three times)? A made-to-order day of blue skies, sunshine, gentle breezes, and comfortable temperatures? While many details of your wedding are under your control, the weather is not one of them.
Enter Plan B. Put clear backup plans in place for rain, heat, muddy grounds, and other potential weather conditions. Can the festivities be moved to an indoor facility? How about renting a tent? Or outdoor fans? You’ll need to reserve all well in advance so that they are available the day-of.
Embrace your Plan B. It is crucial that you talk through Plan B with your wedding planner, and that you are completely happy with how your wedding will flow in the event of inclement weather. Determine how you’ll carry out the alternate plan. Involve your planner and other wedding party members to assist in the logistics of relocating and of notifying all wedding professionals and guests. It may also require making changes to the processional and recessional.
Strongly consider purchasing event cancellation insurance. This will ensure that should a family emergency or weather event cause your plans to go awry, you won’t add to that stress by losing your money.
By the Monday of your wedding week, you should have an accurate weather forecast for your day. If it turns out that the weather is not ideal, don’t let that dampen your enthusiasm. Remember, rainstorms are often followed by lovely rainbows.
Under the Weather
The stress of wedding planning and pre-wedding festivities can take a toll. While certainly loads of fun, it can be physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting, leaving you vulnerable to illness. Be sure to take care of yourself by getting plenty of rest and eating a nutritious diet. You want to feel your best! Stash some Ibuprofen in your purse to have on hand if you, the groom, or a member of the wedding party needs it. Stay hydrated with water!
What happened? The dress fit fine at your last fitting. But now? It’s too tight. Too loose. The zipper refuses to work. The zipper broke. Someone stepped on it. It tore! If it makes you feel any better, this is the most common wedding day mishap.
The good news is, it’s all manageable. Any wedding planner worth their salt would never report for duty without a supply of safety pins. A quick fix for all manner of wardrobe malfunctions: missing buttons, broken dress straps, stubborn zippers, frayed hems, etc. Toss a roll of fabric tape in that sewing kit too for good measure.
Where’d It Go?
So many things to go missing. So little time to find them.
There are eight groomsmen and seven boutonnières. The florist has skedaddled and is on her way to another event. What to do? Check the bridesmaids’ bouquets. Are there any similar flowers there that could be used? Or perhaps you could divvy up the other boutonnières to create one more.
Things can get a little crazy during that “getting ready” stage. There’s a good chance something will be misplaced, even if only for a moment. It is best to keep rings, marriage license, and other jewelry in a secure place to avoid this mishap. You may wish to entrust these items to your planner for safekeeping.
Someone forgot their shoes. Someone forgot their tie. Forgetting an accessory or article of clothing is not unusual. A checklist for each member of the wedding party would be most helpful. If the discovery is made too late, maybe a guest will be inclined to surrender their shoes for a good cause.
Poor left-behind bridal veil. It is among the most forgotten accessories at weddings. To ensure you don’t forget your veil, place it in the garment bag with your dress. The night before, do a mental run-down of your head-to-toe attire and gather it all in one place.
Keep in mind that if your ceremony is to take place on a public beach, there will likely be members of the public in attendance. If you really want to avoid a multitude of sunbathers, consider an off-season wedding.
Late afternoon is the ideal time of day for a beach wedding as the number of people lingering on the beach will have dwindled, most having packed up to shower and head out in search of a delicious seafood dinner. Also, the light of late afternoon allows for better photos. Bear in mind that you may have to contend with photobombs. It goes with the territory. And don’t forget to check the tide chart. You want to avoid crashing waves as well as wedding crashers.
Try setting up in an area where you will not interfere with clusters of sunbathers and any fearsomely competitive bocce ball tournaments. In general, beachgoers will be understanding of your ceremony and will be accommodating in the event they are asked politely to migrate northward just a bit. After all, who doesn’t love a seaside wedding? Well, possibly not everyone. Keep your cool. Your wedding planner will know what to do should any problems arise. You may just have to work around it.
Cross your fingers and hope all that love emanating from your gathering will permeate the atmosphere, filling the minds of all onlookers with thoughts of hope for your wedded bliss.
Park and Ride
“Event Home weddings are so popular on the Outer Banks, but they tend to lack parking,” says one local planner. “Be sure to hire a transportation service, such as a shuttle or trolley, and include the schedule for pick-ups and drop off in a welcome bag, or welcome letter for your guests. Also, be sure to let your guests know a few cab company numbers as well as the fact that we now have Über & Lyft on the Outer Banks.”
While it’s important to provide ample transportation for your guests, ensuring you have a separate car for the bridal party is essential. That is particularly true in the summer, when traffic can derail a wedding day time-line. This is especially important if you are planning to have your hair and make-up done at a salon, get ready at a hotel or rental home, get married on the beach, and then proceed to the reception at a different venue. You will need to factor in travel time. It is always better to have extra time than not enough!
A planner shared the story of how one couple had planned to depart the wedding festivities by boat but with the strong wind forecast for the afternoon it was not feasible. Just two hours before the ceremony was to begin, she arranged to have a classic car delivered for their getaway!
When Tempers Flare
Be prepared. Even on this most romantic day, an occasion brimming with love and happiness, an episode of anger can rear its ugly head. A wedding can bring up unresolved tensions, putting a strain on relationships, resulting in disagreements, arguments, hurt feelings, and resentment.
Take note of relatives or friends who do not get along and give them a heads up regarding who will be in attendance so there are no surprises. Request they put their differences aside for your benefit. Beg or bribe if necessary. If they cannot agree to behave, toss a coin to determine who gets an invite. Family and friends need to keep any personal issues in check that could possibly trigger a fight at the wedding. Talking about potential issues is the best approach to prevent anything happening on the wedding day.
Seating feuding family members far apart from one another can help keep the peace. For the bride or groom with divorced parents who have an acrimonious relationship, explain to both before the event how important it is that they get along. They are adults so all you can do is hope they’ll behave as such.
If, despite all precautions, things get heated, it is not your place to intervene. Request your planner or a family member to step in as mediator. If the situation begins to escalate, involve the venue’s manager and let him decide how to proceed. If worse comes to worse, it might be necessary to call the police. The safety of the guests is most important.
By keeping the focus where it belongs, on the wedding couple, even the deepest divides can be bridged, at least temporarily.
It happens. And let’s just say it – it’s inconsiderate. Guests bring along a friend, thinking it won’t be a problem for just one more person to show up at your reception. They don’t comprehend the logistical problems this creates. And what happens if several guests have that same attitude? Plan to leave a few ‘open,’ flexible spots at a table or two. You can ask in advance about accommodations if this should happen. Seasoned caterers are no doubt familiar with this situation and are prepared.
The Big Day
Decide ahead of time that no matter what, you will remain present, calm, and focused on what the day is all about. Even if something doesn’t go according to plan, take comfort in knowing that you’re surrounded by all the people you love most in the world. They are there to help you, support you, and celebrate with you. Listen to the music and laughter. Smile and be happy. You just married the love of your life! Perfectly perfect.♥