Navigating wedding etiquette is difficult enough as it is, but when you throw technology and social media...
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By Maria Yeonhee Ji
When it comes to planning a wedding, you’re never going to be able to foresee every curveball that may come your way. A large part of getting through the process with your nerves intact is to accept and embrace the things you can’t change. However, most ‘unforeseeable’ wedding disasters can actually be avoided if you do a bit of planning, communicating, negotiating, and have a comprehensive backup plan. To help you get started, here are some tips and tricks on how to go about mitigating the potential misfortunes that could put a damper on your big day.
Image by Hollow & Co.
With the season in mind, and having kept an eye on the weather forecast in the days leading up to your wedding day, you might have some inclination as to what you’ll be up against. But sometimes the weather changes last minute and the next thing you know, your ceremony is happening during a torrential downpour. The key to averting weather-related disasters is preparation. Talk to the venues you’re scoping out about what wet weather ceremony options they have, and if these space(s) will be available on the date of your event. If you’re set on having an outdoor ceremony, think about what kind of rain cover you can provide for your guests (move the ceremony under the shelter of some trees? Hire an emergency marquee just in case?) and purchase a set of matching umbrellas for your bridal party in a colour that fits into your theme. If the temperatures are reaching the other extreme, think about: if your venue can supply fans or if you need to hire these; making a large quantity of refreshing beverages available on the day; and assigning someone to be in charge of giving the floral arrangements and bouquets a spritz of water every hour or so, in order to prevent wilting that will spoil the photos.
Image sourced from Rose Tinted Flowers
After all the months of planning your wedding, the last thing you need is to trip up on the fine print of your contracts with your vendors. Vendors are humans too, and some won’t be as professional as others. To avoid disasters like vendors not showing up, calling in sick last minute, running late, delivering services that aren’t quite what you had discussed, or overcharging you, make sure you pick vendors who are widely recommended by previous customers and industry colleagues. More importantly, make sure that you obtain an airtight vendor contract that puts in writing everything you’ve agreed on (double check the fine print!), including details about refunds and penalties should things go awry.
Image sourced from Vinka Design
Considering all the effort you’ve put into the process of picking out your dress and rings, and writing your vows, it would be a little heartbreaking if something were to happen to these on the day. However, spillages and rips do happen, people do forget to pack the rings, and vows can easily get left behind in the hurry to get to the venue on time. To ensure you get to the ceremony poised and prepared with the essentials, make sure to: have an emergency dress repair kit on hand (full of needles, thread, safety-pins, tape, glue, stain remover); assign someone you trust to be in charge of bringing the rings (this doesn’t necessarily have to be the best man); and have a digital copy of your vows saved on your phone so that you can hand-write them out in a hurry if needed. If the rings have been left in a location that’s too far away, send somebody to purchase some cheaper bands from a nearby jeweller just for the purposes of the ceremony.
Image by Adam Popovic Photography
Whether or not you want to have kids at your wedding is a personal decision. However, you need to be aware that as adorable and angelic as they may look when dressed up in little tuxedos and dresses, this doesn’t necessarily translate into perfect behaviour for the duration of the whole day. To prevent disasters from children gone wild, or accidents due to poor supervision, consider: having a children’s area with activities to keep your smaller guests occupied; a separate, minimally decorated table at the reception with food options catered for kids; and if you want all your adult guests to be able to fully relax and enjoy the festivities, hire a professional to provide onsite childcare on the day.
5/ THE INCOMPLETE BRIDAL PARTY
Image by Diana V Photography
Having known the members of your bridal party for years, you’ll know who is and isn’t a morning person - who you can rely on to show up punctually, and who might need a bit more support. To try and avoid the scenario where it’s ceremony time and a member(s) of your bridal party are missing, make sure you have the conversations beforehand about on-the-day logistics. Do they think they’ll need someone to come wake them up? You could try pair your bridesmaids or groomsmen together so that a more responsible one is in charge of making sure the other gets to the venue on time. However, the reality will be that the show must go on, so if anybody is missing, just adapt so that the groomsmen and bridesmaids don’t walk in pairs, and take photographs with the missing person later if they do eventually show up.
6/ INAPPROPRIATE SPEECHMAKER(S)
Image by Grace & Jaden Photography
Many underestimate the difficulty of making even a passable wedding speech. The responsibility of wishing your closest friends and/or family the best in their lives to come in front of a sizeable crowd of the newly married couple’s nearest and dearest can make even the most confident of people incredibly nervous. If you combine that with alcohol, lack of preparation, and too much knowledge of the bride or groom’s embarrassing secrets, you could be in for a terrible surprise. To avert this potential mishap, make sure someone sensible (and willing to take subtle action if necessary) is keeping an eye on your speechmaker(s) alcohol intake prior to the reception. And providing some light guidance to your friend(s) by linking them some advice on how to write a decent speech in the months leading up to the night isn’t a bad way to remind them to get started on the planning, either.