4 Potential Wedding Disasters and How to Prep for Them

A bride and groom running along a road in the rain.

When you think about your upcoming wedding, you’re probably envisioning a perfect day. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Even if you plan everything in detail, there is always something that could go wrong. But don’t worry! A lot of potential disasters can be easily dealt with, and if you’re prepared for them they might not be a problem at all.

It can help to have a go-to person who knows all the details of your big day. That way, they can deal with any issue that comes up and you can continue to enjoy your wedding. Regardless of what catastrophe you might encounter, always remind yourself to keep your cool. In most cases, things can be fixed and if the party keeps going, guests are unlikely to notice that something went wrong. And even if they do, you’ll only get bonus points for being so chill in such a stressful situation. Here are four potential problems that could happen on your wedding day and how to resolve them.

1. Bad Weather

Since you’re likely planning your wedding months (if not a year) in advance, you have to assume there’s always a chance the sun won’t be shining. Therefore, even if you’re dreaming of an outdoor setting, always have an indoor backup plan.

Should it start raining unexpectedly, don’t fret. If it happens before your ceremony, simply tuck and pin your dress so it doesn’t drag on the wet ground, and cover your head with a light fabric, even if you’re wearing a veil and even if you have an umbrella. It might also be smart to change into a different pair of shoes until your final destination to prevent your main ones from getting dirty. And to adjust for all the extra fuss, try to leave at least 10-15 minutes before schedule so you’ll arrive on time.

If bad weather is expected during the reception (check the day before), have plenty of umbrellas for guests to borrow. And don’t let a little rain spoil your photos. If you embrace the moment, you might get a few really cool shots.

2. A Damaged Dress

A bride being buttoned into her wedding dress.

This is an issue that’s far too common. It’s very easy before you even walk down the aisle to spill something on your wedding dress, rip it, or damage it in some other way.

For this reason, it’s extra important to have a sewing kit on hand along with someone other than you who can use it. If the tear is big enough, you might have to get sown into your dress. If your budget allows, you can ask your bridal tailor to be on site until the ceremony.

Spills can be avoided by not drinking or eating anything colorful within close proximity to your outfit. Also keep a Tide to Go stick or wipes handy to quickly blot out any stains. (These can also come in handy for anyone in your bridal party.)

Another suggestion is having a piece of fabric or fabric tape similar to your dress on hand to pin it on top of the stain (or tear). And keep in mind that if the stain is very small or not too distinguishable from a distance, no one will likely notice. You can also be prepared to wear your second outfit for the night (should you choose to have one).

3. Out-of-Control Guests

A group of wedding guests with cocktails on a rooftop.

This is yet another common problem at weddings. Either someone gets too drunk, acts out from a bad mood, or is simply inappropriate. When booze is free-flowing, this is a problem everyone should prepare for.

The most important thing in such a situation is to keep your cool and avoid any interaction with the conflict altogether. It is neither the bride nor the groom’s job. Make sure you have a person who will act as “security” should anything get out of hand.

This doesn’t mean the out-of-control guest should immediately be kicked out. Rather, have them escorted outside the venue for a respectful chat about their behavior. If the problem is that they have had too much to drink, make sure someone keeps an eye on them for the rest of the night and ask the bartenders not to serve them any more alcohol. Of course, if they refuse to act respectfully, you have the right to ask someone to take them home or call a ride for them.

4. A Vendor Is MIA

A reputable vendor will always have a backup plan in case something happens. Usually, this is mentioned in the contract. (If it’s not, ask about it!) In addition, always confirm with the vendors a day or two (or whatever time period you feel is appropriate) before your wedding to assure everyone is on the same page and they didn’t forget about you.

Should the vendors not have a Plan B, make one yourself. For example, make a list of local flower shops, bakeries, and beauty salons. In a pinch, they should be able to help you out to some degree. And if none of these work, ask your other vendors if they have an emergency contact they can reach out to—most of them have extensive networks.

You’ve likely heard this before, but this is one of those situations where wedding insurance can help. If one of your vendors doesn’t deliver on your contract or goes missing, your insurance policy will cover any extra costs you will incur and money lost.

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