When you’re planning your wedding, you want everything to be perfect. But if there were ever a situation when Murphy’s Law will rear it’s head, it’s when you’re planning the biggest event of your life.
We rounded up ten situations — from actual brides — that could easily turn you into a crazy person, but in the long run aren’t big deals. Even better, we found ways to avoid them in the first place.You’re welcome.
1. Bridesmaid dropping out: You asked your best girls to stand with you while you make a lifetime commitment to someone and then randomly one of them tells you that she just can’t do it.
No matter their reason — whether it was financial or personal — this change of heart hurts. There is no way not take this personally. The best you can do put it out of your mind and focus on the other aspects of your wedding, and there are many to focus on. Also, consider ways to keep the rest of your bridal party happy, on the off chance that you might have inadvertently offended someone.
Deal with any lingering feelings of hurt after it’s all over. Realistically, you’ll be so happy from saying “I Do” and excited about your new life with your husband that you won’t even be that upset anymore.
2. A very drunk guest: Weddings and booze go hand in hand, which means that there is always a chance that someone may go overboard. Or maybe they mixed that champagne toast with a new medication, and now they are trying to start a conga line with their tie wrapped around their head.
When you see this guest, it’s important to realize that they aren’t acting maliciously. Few people come to a wedding with the intention of being disrespectful. (Although there are people you should never invite to your wedding.)
You can go two ways: Either laugh off the offending guests and tell the photographer to capture as much of it as possible for future blackmailing, or ask one of the groomsmen to escort them out. As the bride, it’s not your job to get rid of them or to get upset with them. Delegate.
3. Ripped or stained dress: Give a room full of people an open bar and there’s bound to be some spillage. When it falls on the bride, it can feel on par with blasphemy.
The good news is that if someone accidentally spills wine on you, the womenfolk will swoop down with club soda and napkins so fast it’ll seem as if the stain was never there to begin with, or at least it won’t show up in photos. There are many ways to deal with different kinds of stains and it’s helpful to be familiar with them.
Same goes with a rip; if someone steps on your dress (which happens all the time), an emergency needle and thread will appear. It’s amazing what women carry in their purses. If your dress gets tarnished in any way, it can always be professionally cleaned and brought back to its original splendor.
4. Late Bus or Lost Driver: Renting a bus or van to get your guests from one venue to another is a convenience everyone will appreciate — as long as the driver knows where he’s going. I’ve heard countless stories about ceremonies and receptions starting late because the driver was unclear about directions or the location.
We live in an age of smartphones and navigation systems, which are handy if the driver is legitimately lost. A better idea is to assign someone to actually speak to the driver before he takes off. It can be a totally diplomatic conversation such as, “We’re going to Temple Beth-El, not Temple Emmanuel. At another wedding I went to the driver got the two mixed up, since they sound similar, and I wanted to make sure before we left.” They can even confirm the address and the preferred route. The driver will actually appreciate this, because no one wants to be yelled at by a bus full of people when they’ve gone in the wrong direction.
5. Cell phone going off: It’s a beautiful moment when you’re at the altar with your beloved, about to recite your vows of never ending love and devotion. In the background you hear birds singing, bees buzzing and…
Don’t assume guests are going to abide by basic etiquette rules; people will forget to turn off their devices unless ushers remind them to do so. You could event print a friendly reminder on your programs, if silence during the ceremony is important to you.
6. Misspelled name or wrong title on an invite: Your uncle didn’t spend four years in medical school to be called “Mr.” but for whatever reason, that’s what it says on the invite. Misspelling someone’s name, especially a close friend or family member, can be interpreted that you don’t care. Worse, they may even say something to you about it.
Triple check names and addresses before you send them to the calligrapher, or whoever is doing your invites. When they arrive, check again. It’s a chore that will take about 15 minutes but can spare you an awkward conversation with someone.
7. Inclement weather (Hurricane Irene, anyone?): The end of August would seem like a perfect time for a wedding: throw a big bash and then hop off on your honeymoon over the long Labor Day weekend. Unless, of course, there’s a hurricane named Irene and the entire Eastern seaboard goes into lock down. For a lot of brides in August 2011, they suddenly had to add “hurricane prep” to their to-do list.
When signing contracts with vendors, make sure you have a plan in writing about how to deal with things such as inclement weather. Work out a refund policy if your 200 person party shrinks down to 50. This goes double if you are having a winter wedding.
8. You don’t have favors: You may be in to simplicity, but your traditional mother-in-law insists that everyone go home with a bag of candied almonds or a candle, because that’s what people do.
If your in-laws are leaning on you to order useless favors (a strange detail to get emotional about, but okay) simply tell them that if they want them they can pay for them and put them out during the reception. You could even suggest a compromise, such as donating money for favors to a charity and noting this on the table settings.
9. The flowers are wrong: Flowers generally arrive the day of the wedding, and sometimes just a few hours before since, well, they are flowers and they aren’t going to last that long without water. The box gets put aside until you all pile into the limo or van. And then someone notices that the pale pink roses you ordered are actually dark purple.
The first thing you need to do is get on the phone with the florist. If there is time they can probably bring you replacements, or they will refund you. The point is not the get angry with him, because at that moment the florist is the only guy who can make it right. If you have no choice but to use the wrong flowers, turn that frown upside down. It’s trendy to have a pops of color in your wedding party. After the ceremony, what do you need the bouquets for anyway? No one dances with a fistful of peonies.
10. Someone knocking over the cake: Maybe it was the drunk guest with the tie around his head, but there it is, your wedding cake, on the floor. In pieces. Any way you slice it, this sucks. A classic photo op has gone kaplooey, not to mention that there is nothing for dessert. (Larger issue.)
Whoever did the knocking is likely so mortified that they will be groveling at your feet. Much like weather, it’s a good idea to have a talk with your vendor about how they deal with a fallen cake. Do they have a back up layer for a ceremonial cake cutting? It never hurts to ask. Also, check out some tips for displaying your cake properly to make sure you’re putting it on the right kind of table and in the right part of the room.