No matter how carefully you plan out your timeline, things might happen that are out of your control. Whether it’s a weather delay or your officiant is stuck in traffic, here’s what to do if your wedding is running behind schedule.
Don’t panic. Getting overly stressed and upset isn’t going to help—in fact, it will likely delay the wedding even more! Keep in mind that you’re the bride, so nothing can go on without you there. Take a deep breath and try to go with the flow.
Ask for help. This is an instance when having a wedding planner can really come in handy. He or she can get everyone coordinated, contact vendors and make sure the guests are happy so you can relax. Don’t have a planner? Ask your bridal party to help out in any way you might need.
Check in with your photographer. You should have given your photographer a list of shots he/she needs to get throughout the day. If you’re running really late (an hour or more behind), you might need to go over the list to see if any pictures can be cut or modified in some way, such as combining both families in one shot and nixing shots with each member of the bridal party.
Talk to other vendors. Once it’s clear the wedding is going to run significantly behind, get in touch with your other vendors stat. The new timeline will affect when food is prepared, candles are lit and more. You might also want to see if your band or DJ can stay a bit later to make up for that lost time–and don’t be surprised if you need to pay more for it.
Make sure guests are comfortable. If guests are going to be kept waiting for a significant amount of time, they should be offered non-alcoholic drinks (especially if they’re sitting outside) and maybe even something to eat. You want to make sure they feel taken care of at all times.
Keep everyone in the loop. You don’t want to leave vendors—or your guests—in the dark during a delay. So regardless of what the reason is for the change in schedule, have your planner, maid of honor or best man give everyone a head’s up that your day is running a bit behind.
For more wedding tips, check out what you shouldn’t do right before taking wedding pictures and the right way to clean your engagement ring.