- Weddings take a lot of planning, and there is a chance something might not go according to plan on the big day.
- There are some easy solutions to these problems.
- We talked to experts about quick fixes for wedding emergencies.
Your wedding is going to be one of the most important days in your life, so it’s not unreasonable that you want it to go off without a hitch.
Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned, especially big events like a wedding. No matter how hard you try to prevent it, you can expect at least one thing to go wrong on your wedding day. Once that happens, you have to go into problem-solving mode and learn how to get through it and still have a great time instead of freaking out. That’s easier said than done.
Dealing with a ceremony that doesn’t go according to plan can be overwhelming. INSIDER spoke to two experts in the field for advice on how to handle some of the most common wedding disasters out there:
An important vendor cancels at the last minute
Vendors are a big part of your wedding, but if your vendor can’t show up Jennifer Spector, Zola’s director of brand, shared a suggestion on how to get through it: “I would contact my wedding venue for a recommendation because the venue will have a strong local network.”
She also suggests using social media to find a last-minute replacement: “I would also post on Instagram stories and enlist the help of my wedding party to do the same. Somebody will have a recommendation!”
The weather is beyond horrible – think a snowstorm or hurricane, and not just rain
No bride or groom wants to deal with bad weather on their wedding day, but it happens, and there’s not much you can do but roll with it.
Spector said, “One of my biggest pieces of advice is don’t stress about things you can’t control.” She also said you should plan ahead as much as possible: “If you’re getting married in hurricane or blizzard season, speak to your vendors about an emergency plan and have backup options. If it’s looking like the blizzard of the century is incoming, do your best to warn guests so they can try to alter their travel plans. The show must go on.”
A bunch of guests went MIA the day of, and you have a lot of empty seats
No-shows are a common issue with weddings – for whatever reason, a few people will tell you they can’t make it after you’ve already given your final count to the venue. So will that appear obvious? Shannon Connolly, private event sales and catering manager at Castle Hotel and Spa in New York, said “Don’t fret! Your venue and coordinator will seamlessly remove the place settings and chairs before the reception starts. If the guests don’t show up, tell your bridesmaids to spread out their jackets and purses to make it look like the table is full.”
You hate the way something came out – whether it’s the flowers, the fit of your dress, or the way the room is set up
It can be disappointing if your vision doesn’t match up with reality. Spector encourages you to speak up: “Not everything is going to be exactly as you planned, but if something is glaringly wrong like the flowers are all the wrong color or your dress zipper is broken, speak up. You shouldn’t sweat the small stuff, but you should also get what you want.”
And remember: you can still have a great time. Connolly added, “Grab your maid of honor, vent, then toast some bubbly and dance the night away!”
The wedding dress – or a bridesmaid dress – rips or gets an obvious stain
Spector suggested going to a local bridal shop for help: “Even if you bought your dress elsewhere, every dress store will have the tools you need to sew, stain remove, steam, etc. If this is something you’re really worried about, pack your own emergency kit just to have in your hotel room.”
Your ceremony or reception is outside and it is extremely hot
Planning an outdoor wedding can be nerve-wracking. If the weather is off a bit, it can really cause a problem. Rain is one thing, but heat can be so tricky to deal with. Connolly said, “Umbrellas and water should do the trick! Ask your venue to set up some umbrellas to create shade and have them put water bottles at each seat.”
An important part of your wedding party gets sick
You may have made it to the big day unscathed, but what if a maid of honor or best man gets too sick to make it? Remember: there’s nothing you can do but move on. Spector said, “This is one of those things that you just can’t control. It would be very disappointing for this to happen to your close friend, but health is more important.”
Just keep everything going as normal instead of trying to replace them.
Some guests brought a plus one without asking – and now you don’t have enough seats
It is very possible that at least one person will assume they can just bring someone without checking with you first. Luckily, this is a problem easily solved with the venue. Connolly said, “The venue will be more than willing to add seats and place settings to accommodate all of your guests … even if it is last second!”
Your car/limo/shuttle service gets completely screwed up
Spector said this is one of those problems you should hand off to someone else instead of trying to solve it yourself – after all, this is your wedding day. She said, “If your budget allows, I recommend hiring a day-of wedding coordinator to be in charge of all day-of logistics like transportation. You can also designate this responsibility to a trusted friend or family member.”
Everything is running behind schedule
Focus on getting through it and keeping your guests happy. According to Connolly, it’s simple: “Open the bar early for your guests while you finish getting ready. Cocktails make everything better!”
They won’t even notice you’re late.
There’s a power outage at the venue
Whether it’s because of the weather or a tech glitch, stuff like this can happen, and it can be really frustrating. The most you can do here is rely on your venue to fix the situation. Connolly said, “Make sure when you are booking your venue that they have backup generators in case this happens.”
If it’s too late for that, she has a good backup plan: “Lots of candles everywhere creates a romantic ambiance and can help in a situation like this if needed.”
You get in a huge fight with a family member at some point during the day
If someone tries to start drama on your wedding day: “This day is about love. Don’t let anyone get you down. Remove yourself from the situation and let it roll off your back. Revisit at a later point in time,” Spector said. This isn’t the right day to focus on it. Just ignore that person and have a good time.
Someone at the wedding gets way too drunk and causes a scene
An open bar can easily lead to some sticky situations. If someone is really drunk and being embarrassing, try not to panic.
“Quietly ask the bartender to stop serving them, and if you feel uncomfortable with the situation, ask the venue for their security team to help. Hopefully, this scenario just turns into a ‘good story’ about your wedding,” Connolly said.
Try not to focus on it too much – you can’t control the behavior of others, and they’ll be embarrassing themselves more than you.
The DJ/band/music is less than great, and people aren’t dancing
Sometimes the music just isn’t good. If you feel like the party needs to get going, Connolly said to have others help: “Ask your party friends to suggest some songs and grab some of your closest friends to head to the dance floor!” Your bridesmaids should also encourage guests to dance as well.
Someone gives a very inappropriate toast
- The WB
For some brides and grooms, the toasts can be kind of a stressful situation. If you find yourself the recipient of something awful, there isn’t a ton you can do. “If this is a concern of yours, ask to preview the speeches in advance,” Spector said. “If the toast gets so out of hand you need to cut them off, do it. But at the end of the day, embrace that the craziest moments make for the best memories,” Spector added.