It’s hard to imagine anything going askew with all the meticulous planning you’ve done. But — hate to break it to you — something might still go awry on your wedding day. But, before you start freaking out, we’re here to help! These are 10 of the most common wedding mishaps along with a few tips for avoiding them, dealing with them, and keeping your cool just in case they happen to you.
1. An unexpected guest shows up.
Maybe it’s someone who checked “no” on the RSVP. Maybe it’s someone’s child or uninvited plus-one. Either way, you can’t exactly turn them away on the wedding day — but you can plan ahead for this mishap.
First, when planning your seating arrangement, leave space for a few extra chairs at a table or two. If anyone unexpected shows up, know that you’ve got room to shuffle around a couple of guests. Second, give your caterer and venue a heads up if you have a feeling there may be a couple of surprise guests. Ask in advance what can be done to accommodate them and how you’ll be charged. The more you know ahead of time, the better.
2. A guest gets really drunk
The last thing you want to do is babysit an intoxicated guest at your own wedding… If you spot a guest stumbling around or getting a little too out of hand, or a friend or family member mentions their concern to you, kindly ask someone in your bridal party to alert the bartender to cut them off. Your wedding planner or a venue coordinator can also help escort a guest out or arrange to get them back to their hotel room if need be. Problem solved!
3. You left something at home.
Whether it’s something important (like your veil) or a smaller detail (like the card box), forgetting any wedding day item can feel like a huge disaster. If this happens, you’ve got a few options.
First, you can just brush it off. Will it make a huge difference if your getaway car doesn’t have a “just married” sign on the back? Consider how much it really matters to you before you panic. Second, you can ask a family member or friend to go get the item or buy a new one, if the wedding is near your home or a store. Or, third, you can ask your vendors for help. Wedding planners, caterers, and florists often have common wedding items on hand. See if they have what you need or know where to get it in a pinch!
4. A wedding vendor brings the wrong thing.
You’ve been dreaming of peonies, but your centerpieces are filled with garden roses. Or your linens aren’t quite the right color. Try not to cry! Remember that the vast majority of your wedding guests won’t know a mistake was made, and once you’ve processed the mishap it might not matter quite as much to you either.
That said, if the mix-up feels very important to you, politely ask the vendor if it’s fixable. If it is, then you’re good to go. If it isn’t, take a deep breath and try not to let it break your spirit. After the wedding, talk to the vendor about adjusting your total bill since they didn’t do the job according to your contract.
5. The schedule is totally off.
You spent hours perfecting your day-of schedule… but your hair and makeup took longer than you thought, the limo got lost, and your ceremony musicians are late. Don’t freak! Truthfully, perfectly timed weddings rarely happen.
The good news? You can prevent this long before the wedding day by building in plenty of cushion time. After all, it’s better to be sitting around waiting than scrambling at the last minute. Be sure to schedule transportation time (with traffic!) into your timeline, and give every appointment or activity an extra 10 to 15 minutes. Ask your vendors to arrive 15 to 20 minutes earlier than you really need them, just in case.
6. You need to weather the elements.
Nature doesn’t stop for your wedding — from rain or extreme heat to swarms of bugs, an outdoor wedding will likely run into some of Mother Nature’s fury. Like with other major mishaps, the best thing you can do is prepare ahead of time.
Put clear backup plans in place for rain, heat, muddy grounds, and other potential weather conditions, and consider seeing if your venue can be sprayed for bugs beforehand. If you do confront the elements, work with the weather instead of against it. Rain, sleet, and snow can make for very pretty photos!
7. Technology doesn’t cooperate.
Whether you’re planning on an awesome lighting display or a simple slideshow, prepare for your tech needs ahead of time. Touch base with your contact at the wedding venue to learn about setup and how to manage other technology-related elements, and test run everything the day of the wedding (or ask your planner or someone in your bridal party to take care of it). You can’t prevent all hiccups, but the more comfortable you are with the technology, the better the chance of things running smoothly!
8. You run out of booze.
Didn’t expect your guests to drink so much? No worries. While it’s always good to buy more alcohol than you think you need (you can always return it… or drink it later!), this problem still happens. Kindly ask your caterer to run out for more booze. If you don’t have a caterer on-site, see if your planner or someone in the bridal party can head to the nearest liquor store, or even gas station. Your options may be a bit limited, but this late in the night, no one will mind!
9. Your feet or back are killing you.
Even the best of brides can’t dance the whole night away in stilettos and a super-heavy dress. While you may be planning to wear your shoes and dress all night, a back-up isn’t a bad idea. Stash a second (lightweight) white dress and a simple pair of flats in your venue in case you need a quick change for the reception or afterparty.
10. You’re super nervous.
Totally understandable! Avoid caffeine or any other energy-boosting foods to keep your nerves low. Stick to one mimosa or cocktail if you’re drinking, or opt for a relaxing option, like a cup of tea. Once the wedding is underway, those nerves are more than likely to totally vanish.
-By Kristin Doherty
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