Before tying the knot, there's one thing every bride and groom must realize and accept without question ... And it's not just that they love one another unconditionally and want to spend their lives together. It's that no matter how long you've been planning, how many emergency kits you have on hand, and how many books you read or online checklists you use, wedding day "disasters" are inevitable!
Not that you can't still take certain steps to extinguish unexpected fires (hopefully not literal ones!) before they even begin. Here, seven unusual and/or just plain smart tricks to make your big day as smooth as can be ...
- Fib to certain vendors. This is a tip both my planner and my photographer gave me that I wish I had paid more attention to: Makeup and hairstylists, being the talented artistes that they are, tend to be on the later side, and the process itself may end up taking longer than you thought. Not to mention that it's not something you want to be rushed through. So it's always smart to set their arrival time for roughly an hour prior to the time you really want to be getting "in the chair" to get started.
- Fib to guests. Tell guests that the ceremony time begins a half hour earlier than planned, and you can better ensure people are there on time at the real time you're finally ready to walk down the aisle.
- Consider an unconventional schedule tweak. Most weddings, no matter what day or time, tend to adhere to the traditional ceremony/cocktail hour/reception format. But if your ceremony starts around or past most guests' usual dinner time (like Saturday night Jewish weddings that can only begin once Shabbat ends at sundown), you might want to consider doing the cocktail hour before the ceremony. While you may not initially be thrilled about guests getting their drink on before you walk down the aisle or not being able to join them, it can be the best way to prevent the masses from getting hangry.
- Be prepared to bedazzle. Brides are often told they have to have an emergency kit -- safety pins, needle and thread, double-sided tape, aspirin, that kinda thing -- at the ready through the day, in case of a wardrobe malfunction or headache. But professional wedding planner Jessica Masi of JCG Events in Miami recommends brides also bring in the "big gun" ... literally. Have a glue glun around! Just one example of when it saved the day: "Right before a ceremony, [one] mother of the bride's heel completely broke off, and I had to glue gun it back together," Masi shares.
- Consider self-serve options at cocktail hour or reception. Giving people free reign to serve themselves food and/or drinks can preempt their frustration of having to stand in a line or wait to be served. As recent bride C. explained, "Although we only had one bar, we also put out glass drink dispensers with our signature drinks, so our guests could imbibe freely!" Another similar option: Having servers pass several trays of drinks around, which can prevent traffic jams at the bar(s).
- Have a plan B for flowers/decor. Everyone talks about a plan B if you're doing an outdoor ceremony, but what about decor being affected by weather? For example, you may have your heart set on peonies, but those peonies are finnicky, and with weather being as unpredictable as it is these days, your bouquets or centerpieces could easily get destroyed en route to the wedding. Most florists are happy to replace your first choice with something in the same price range, so discussing what your back-up plan is beforehand can preempt a panicky phone call the day before or of your wedding ... or worse yet, disappointment when the blossoms show up looking less than lovely!
- Mentally prepare for bumps in the road. As recent bride B. put it, "We went with daily pep talks leading up to the day that went something like this: 'Stuff is gonna go wrong, it's okay. We'll be there and so will a roomful of people who love us. HUGS!' A sorta mindfulness practice that actually helped quite a bit. Like when our cake came with purple piping, even though we asked for all white. All that practice made it easy to go, 'Well, we're here and so are all these great people! Who cares about that cake!'" Way to be!
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What are some unconventional, quirky, or just plain smart ways you were able to head off disasters on your wedding day?
Image by Jeanne Sager