Wedding Day Disasters That Happen All Too Often

The best-laid wedding plans can come crashing down on your heads if you don’t pay attention to the little details. Here’s how to disaster-proof your big day.

You’re not a planner. Unless you earn your living planning weddings, you probably don’t know one-tenth of the secrets successful planners employ to ensure a smooth wedding. Besides helping you get lots of free upgrades from your vendors, a good planner has a clear game plan, and works closely with your venue and each vendor, to ensure that your team is working as a well-oiled machine. A day-of planner is your next best option, for overseeing things like décor, transport of flowers and fashions, and managing your timeline. But even designating a family member to help with the little details is better than trying to manage the whole evening yourselves. 

Bad hair day? Please, not today! Schedule a visit with your hairdresser a few weeks before your wedding, and try out the styles, colors and accessories you like best. Once you’ve decided, take pictures of your perfect hairdo, and take them to your final styling session. And for God’s sake, don’t experiment with a new haircut the week before your wedding.

How did my gown get so small? If you don’t follow a proper timeline for fitting your gown, you may face some unpleasant surprises. Six weeks before your wedding is the optimum time for your first fitting. Take your wedding underwear and accessories with you, to ensure that everything fits well together. One last fitting about two weeks before the wedding will ensure a proper fit, provided you don’t go on a sudden eating binge. A smart tailor can also advise you on what to do if you spill something on your gown. 

I thought YOU brought the rings! There are few things more humiliating than seeing a groom’s face turn white as a sheet when the minister asks, “The rings, please?” The care and successful delivery of your rings must be entrusted to someone you know you can count on. 

Where’s that florist? Nothing raises a couple’s anxiety level like a wedding vendor who doesn’t show up on time, whether it’s your baker, florist, DJ or photo booth operator. You MUST get a cellphone number for each vendor — one that will be working on the day of your wedding. Your planner or helper needs a list of all vendor numbers, and needs to be able to get in touch instantly with any vendor who’s running late. You don’t want to get that awful recording, “Our office hours are Monday thru Friday, 9 to 5.” Fire any vendor who won’t give you a day-of phone number. 

Protect your wedding cake. Have a professional deliver it and set it up, especially if it’s a 2-, 3- or 4-level cake. Set it up in a corner, far from any traffic lane. And if you have a lot of small children coming to your wedding, assign an adult to guard the cake from tiny, inquisitive hands.

Stop climate change! You want your guests to be comfortable, whether indoors or outdoors. An outdoor wedding in the summer will require fans — both hand fans for the ceremony and those giant room fans for your tent. A spring or autumn wedding may call for portable heaters. If you’re going to be inside, know which person at your venue has the key to the thermostat, in case people complain that it’s too warm or too cool.

Yes, there are hundreds of things that can go wrong at a wedding, but these are the most common ones. Once you’ve protected yourselves from these unpleasant surprises, everything else should fall into place nicely, and any glitches will be minor ones. 

© Fourth Estate Audio, 2017 – Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company.

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