You Can Lead a Horse to Water…

…but you can’t make it sign your guestbook. Alternate title: “Shit That Went Wrong on My Special Day.”

Everyone says that stuff will go wrong at your wedding, and you need to be prepared and just take it in stride because, at the end of the day, you’ll be married and that’s all that matters, blah blah blah. (Yeah, if that was all that mattered, why am I spending tens of thousands of dollars on this event? Why do I have a Google doc for it? Why does this blog exist?) But I digress as usual.

I was all “nothing will go wrong at my wedding!” I mean, how could it? I’d planned out every last detail, distributed The Packet to our wedding party and vendors, packed all of our reception stuff into neatly organized and labeled boxes, and even provided the venue with a friggin’ PowerPoint with photos and bullet points of how to set everything up. And like I said, I had a Google doc.

Personal pic

A sneak peek at the PowerPoint

But of course, lots of things didn’t go according to plan, and I’m here to tell you that, as someone who really did give too many shits about wedding stuff, none of it mattered the day of the wedding. I know, it sounds cliche. And granted, none of the things that went wrong with my wedding were actually Major Probs anyway. Here’s what went wrong:

1. Problem: The second shooter didn’t show up on time to the groomsmen’s photo location. This was entirely, 100% my fault. We had to change the time and location of the men’s gathering at the last minute, and while I managed to inform the groomsmen and parents about the change, I neglected to tell the photographer.

Solution: the men hung out in the lobby of a swanky hotel for a while doing manly things and then got slightly fewer pictures than they otherwise would have.

Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

2. Problem: My makeup artist couldn’t find the false eyelash glue she brought. I wasn’t about to spend my wedding day with real eyelashes (joking! [OK, I'm not joking. At all.]), so I was a little worried. My mom had actually had nightmares about this very thing happening, and had embarrassed me by calling the salon repeatedly to remind them that we wanted false eyelashes. (She really wasn’t about to spend my wedding day with real eyelashes.)

Solution: The bridesmaids had all left to get their hair done, and they stopped to pick up some glue from Walgreens on their way back to the hotel.

Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

And just look at those bad boyz. I couldn’t have made it down the aisle without them.

3. Problem: The limo never showed up at the hotel to transport the bridesmaids, my parents, and me to the church. My FIL called me to inform me that the limo driver also hadn’t gotten the memo about the change in groomsmen-pickup location (though this one was not my fault!) and was currently about 45 minutes away.

Solution: I hopped into my dad’s pickup truck and rode to the church in style. My MOH was amused to observe my dad’s and my twin road rage, and my mom drove the remaining ladies.

4. Problem: Only about an eighth of our guests actually used the guestbook I labored over. I had the DJ make an announcement about several things, including the guestbook, candy buffet, and photo booth, but because the guestbook was tucked away in a back corner of the room, most people never got around to it.

Solution: Go through these 13 steps and get over yourself.

5. Problem: Similarly, I don’t think anyone noticed the love quotes labels on the candy buffet that I was so proud of. The table was smaller than I had imagined, and the candy jars were a lot more numerous than I had imagined, which meant the buffet was cramped and the labels were hiding in the back.

Solution: See #4.

Guest photo

I have photographic proof that at least one guest found them.

6. Problem: My necklace broke while I was jumping around during “Jump Around.” (Note: I don’t think they actually played this song, but for blogging purposes, let’s say they did.)

Solution: I put the necklace in my pocket (YES, my dress had pockets!) and continued jumping. Unfortunately, everyone and their brother wanted to take selfies with me after the necklace broke. But I did manage to fix it the next day, should I ever need to get married in it again.

Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

You know what could have made this photo better? Nothing. If I’d been wearing my necklace!

7. Problem: Our sparkler sendoff was a shitshow. I purposely bought the three-foot-long variety so they’d burn for four whole minutes, because the logistics of the sparkler sendoff kept me up at night. I’ll go into more detail in recaps, but basically the only picture we have of us being sparkler-sent-off is this:

Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

When we got outside for the sendoff, it was basically just a cluster of drunk people waving nearly burned-out sparklers around, many having already abandoned theirs in the water bucket.

Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

Solution: Smile anyway and escape to the limo where you and your new husband can begin your new life together. (And be thankful that the limo actually showed up this time.)

Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography

What went wrong on your wedding day? Or what do you anticipate might go wrong? Do you believe me that none of it will matter at the time?


Mrs. Unicycle

Chicago, IL
Wedding Date:
June 2012

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  1. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:03 am

    OMG so true about “you can’t make them sign the guestbook.” I honestly feel like this is a huge problem with wedding-goers. There needs to be an enforcer by the door making sure that everyone who tries to come in or go out does everything they’re “supposed” to do. LOL It makes me not want to bother with a guest book, but of course I’ll spend countless hours obsessing over it and then lamenting the wasted time later. Oh well.

  2. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 10:21 am

    I think you look absolutely, without a doubt, so incredibly stunning in these pictures. I know that’s not the point, but I really needed to share.

  3. Member
    NDfan2009 163 posts, Blushing bee @ 1:08 pm

    I love your sense of humor. Great post ….you definitely have me rethinking the guestbook. I never sign them….

  4. Member
    unicycle 476 posts, Helper bee @ 3:04 pm

    @lisaelanna: ooh so cool! Thanks for letting me know!

  5. Member
    likelimeade 753 posts, Busy bee @ 8:51 pm

    Your hair and makeup are amazing! Who was your hair stylist and make up artist? (I’m in Chicago too, and searching for a good one!)

  6. Member
    priyathescientist 1514 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:58 pm

    I do believe that none of this will matter with time! You’re married, Mrs. Unicycle! I know you labored over all these details, but at the end of the day, it is what it is. Kudos to you for enjoying the rest of the evening with your hubby!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    FredtheBride, Guest @ 2:00 pm

    What went wrong on my wedding day? How about the groom abandoning me and my matron of honor having to hunt him down at the reception. His answer “they were taking family pictures” Really, I just became his family and no, I would not have been the only “in – law/non blood family” person in the picture, all his siblings spouses except one that none of his family likes (but who did come)was included.

  8. Member
    srm8322 58 posts, Worker bee @ 2:20 pm

    I like your style. I found that with me being the planner for a year of my life that it was hard to just let it all go the day of and take the advice of “you’ll be married and that’s all that matters” type of people.

    Because I worked so hard to make everything happen, I did find myself worrying about things from time to time during the reception because I wanted it to be right.

    -It rained and had to switch to our plan B. Was still beautiful inside with the floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lake and spiral staircase entrance, but had always wanted to get married outside.
    -Could not get my bustle right.
    -Our food was terrible!
    -Some embarrassing stories included in the toasts!
    -Forgot to give our thank you speech to everyone for coming at the end of the toasts.
    -Wrong song was played during cake cutting.
    -Some missed photo moments that I wanted to capture.

    Feels good to get these out on a list. And actually makes me think of how many more things went right and perfect!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    KatyDoesDallas, Guest @ 5:20 pm

    I get married in exactly 100 days, and I’m worried about a lot of things…I’ve been planning this for a year, and have so many people involved in making the event artistic and sleek. Can I just take a second to voice my fears? I’m worried that:

    1. My sparkler send off will be exactly like you described
    2. My bridal cake won’t be planned in time. I’m working with an exclusive French chef in the area, who is doing this as a very select, special project. He is not to be bothered, or contacted about details that I deem important! Such as, what size will the top tier be, so I can get a cake topper?
    3. All the candles won’t get lit properly
    4. The photographer won’t get shots of everything that I need shots of…(this is a HUGE concern for me)
    5. The venue won’t be prepared when we show up (i.e. tables set up, tablecloths positioned, service staff ready, etc.)

    I grew up around weddings, because my dad was an event coordinator for 10 years. I feel like I’ll definitely notice if something isn’t on point, but I also know that I’m laid back enough to possibly just shake it off….whew, thanks for letting me rant :)

  10. Member
    unicycle 476 posts, Helper bee @ 7:04 pm

    @likelimeade: Thanks! I went with a stylist from Asha Salon at Streets of Woodfield. Her name was Reagan and she was really good!

  11. Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:49 am

    Lurve this post! (I’m a little late to the game on reading it, but that does not dissipate the lurve one bit.) And I’d never see the “13 Things…” before so THANK YOU for that. :D

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