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Wedding Day Disasters (and How to Avoid Them) 

Wedding Day Disasters (and How to Avoid Them)

Who doesn’t love a good wedding? Love and celebration, speeches, cake, it’s all good – until it’s not. With so many details to consider and plan for, there’s no escaping that weddings can be stressful, and it’s not uncommon for things to go wrong on the big day. From wardrobe malfunctions to catering catastrophes, there are plenty of wedding day disasters to skillfully dodge. While we can’t guarantee control over every last detail, here are some tips to help you avoid as many mishaps as you can!

Weather Woes

Of course, the weather is one of the most unpredictable elements of any wedding, and it can be a whopper of a worry if you’re planning outdoor weddings. Even if you check the forecast religiously, there’s still a chance that a sunshine emoji could turn into a downpour as the weather forecasters shrug their shoulders. So here are some tips for weathering wedding weather woes:

  • Have a backup plan. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, have an indoor option in your back pocket in case of bad weather. Renting a tent is also great for added peace of mind.
  • Umbrellas all around! Not only will dishing out umbrellas to all your guests help to keep them dry, but it can also make for some sweet photo opportunities.
  • Keep your guests nice and toasty. If you’re planning a winter wedding, consider providing blankets or heaters to keep your guests cozy.
  • Timing is everything. If you’re determined to tie the knot during the hottest part of the day, provide fans and parasols to keep your guests cool.

The Perfect Storm of Love: Hurricane Herman became the wedding crasher to teen heartthrob couple Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar in 2002, followed by an earthquake the day after! No one was reportedly injured, and the couple is still going strong over twenty years later – so try not to worry about the weather!

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Catering Catastrophes

For many, the food is one of the highlights of a wedding reception, so ensuring the catering goes off without a hitch is essential. Here’s how to avoid catering catastrophes:

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  • Confirm the menu with the caterer multiple times; it may feel excessive, but it’s far better to be safe than sorry.
  • It’s backup plan time again. Consider ordering some easy-to-serve foods, like scrummy wedding popcorn or finger foods that can be prepared and served instantly in case of any issues with the main course.
  • Clearly label every dish. Make sure the catering staff are aware of any guests with allergies or other dietary restrictions, and label which dishes are vegetarian, gluten-free, or otherwise include any other common allergens.
  • Have a designated point of contact for the caterer to aid in the troubleshooting of any issues that may arise on the day.

Love Me Tender, Feed Me Well: Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu married in Las Vegas at 9 am on 1st May 1967, after which the wedding party and guests feasted on a $10,000 breakfast buffet of roast suckling pig, lobster, oysters Rockefeller, Southern fried chicken, and copious amounts of champagne. 

backyard wedding catering

Wardrobe Wildcard

A wedding day wardrobe malfunction has got to be up there when it comes to bridal worries – let’s face it, it’s not uncommon for things like broken zippers or torn hems to happen at the worst possible time. Tips to minimize the risks include:

  • Pack a wedding day emergency kit, including safety pins, fashion tape, and a spare pair of shoes just in case your heel gets caught in a cattle grid – what? Farm weddings are a thing, you know.
  • Designate a trusty bridesmaid and groomsman to swing into action with needle and thread ready.
  • Consider wearing foot-friendly shoes! Yes, high heels look stunning, but do you not want to walk down the aisle like an ostrich on a tightrope; opt for a more comfy shoe that still looks fab.

The Show Must Go On: If you do end up suffering a wedding wardrobe malfunction, you’re in good company; Mariah Carey, Sofia Vergara, Kim Kardashian, Tara Reid, Anne Hathaway (and many more divas for sure) have had wedding gown woes, from broken straps and zippers to accidentally exposing far more than the guests bargained for – sometimes we have to laugh at our own expense!

Bride in her dress with clear skin on her wedding day

Music Mishaps

What’s a wedding without music? Classical, folksy, jazz, blues, rock – no matter your taste, it’s designed to set the mood and get people dancing and feeling good. However, even music can have its matrimony mishaps – here’s how to avoid them:

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  • Hire a professional DJ or band. While it’s tempting to save money and put your long-lost second cousin twice removed in charge of the music, a professional will have the equipment and experience to keep the right mix of music going all night long.
  • Make a playlist. If you have a specific vision for your wedding soundtrack, consider making a playlist for the DJ or band to follow – at least let them know of any songs, in particular, you’ve got your heart set on.
  • Another backup plan! Even with a professional onboard, there’s still a chance that something could go wrong, so have a backup playlist on standby.
  • Get the volume just right. Striking a balance between loud music to get people dancing but not blasting people’s eardrums is critical to everyone having a good time, so check the volume levels with the DJ or band before the party gets underway.
wedding music

Troublesome Transport 

No one wants to hop on the train in their finest threads, but getting everyone to and from the wedding venue/s can be tricky. So here’s how to avoid transportation trouble:

  • Lay transportation on for all your guests. This isn’t the cheapest option, but hiring a shuttle bus or arranging a taxi service can ensure everyone gets to the venue safely, on time and unflustered.
  • Know the traffic. If you’re getting married in a bustling city or during rush hour, consider investing extra time to handle traffic delays.
  • B-B-B-Back plan! If your transportation arrangements fall through, have a backup plan ready. This could be as simple as having extra cars on standby or arranging rideshare services.
  • Don’t forget about parking. Make sure there’s plenty of parking available for your guests, and consider laying on some spiffy valet parking – you can decide if your cousin’s husband’s revhead son is the best choice, or maybe hire in.

Hilton Wedding Hitch: At Nicky Hilton’s nuptials with James Rothschild, the train of her thrift shop dress got caught under the wheel of a garbage truck, except it was a $65,000 wedding gown and a Bentley. 

Vendor Vamoosh

The wedding day is no time for vendor magic tricks – especially vanishing into thin air. Here’s how to avoid the nightmare of a vendor no-show:

  • Confirm all vendor details in writing, including the date, time, location, and services.
  • Follow up with all vendors a few days before the wedding to confirm everything is still on track.
  • You guessed it – have a backup plan! If a vendor leaves you in the lurch, you need another on standby to minimize disruptions.
  • Consider hiring a wedding planner. Wedding planners can help ensure that everything runs smoothly; they should have backup plans coming out of their ears.

The Great Wedding Contract Caper: Actress Ginnifer Goodwin’s wedding day began with trouble when her wedding planner’s car was broken, and the couple’s traditional Jewish wedding contract was stolen. Miraculously, two people who read Hebrew found it in the street and returned it to them just in time. 

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Family Feuds

Family drama kicking off at a wedding makes for great TV, but it can be unpleasant in real life. Here’s how to keep the harmony flowing:

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  • Set clear boundaries. Please communicate with your family members (especially the aggressive ones) about what you expect from them on your wedding day.
  • Have a mediator on standby. If there is any genuine risk of a family ruckus, designate your most diplomatic guest to be ready for some de-escalation action.
  • Focus on the positive. This is your special day, and anyone willing to ruin it can take a hike until they calm their farm – get on and enjoy yourself.

It’s Your Day – Plan It, Plan It Some More, Then OWN IT!

Your wedding day should be memorable for all the right reasons. While there’s always a chance that something could go awry, following these tips can help you avoid some of the most ubiquitous wedding day disasters. Ultimately, marriages are not always about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain – so, whatever the ‘rain’ may be on the day, try to let go and dance in it!

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