Each wedding season, thousands of engaged couples pour significant amounts of time and energy (and of course, money) into planning their Pinterest-perfect nuptials. From burlap-wrapped mason jars to hand-painted favors, there is no shortage of ways to make the big day flawless. Despite all of the beautiful ways a wedding can go right, here are ten reasons saying “I do” could go terribly wrong.
Image credit: Country Outfitter
1. The Weatherman is a Liar
If you plan on having all or part of your wedding outside, there is a legitimate chance that the weather will be less than cooperative (if you live in the North West, it’s a guarantee). From unbearable heat to a torrential downpour, nothing will put a damper on festivities faster than an uncomfortable climate. In order to help combat less than ideal weather conditions, make sure to provide guests with some sort of shelter. Rental units like party tents have become a wedding staple due to their versatility, while more venue specific options (like barns or clubhouses) can be leveraged when appropriate.
2. Running Out Of Food
Wedding guests usually sacrifice an admirable amount of time and money in order to help celebrate your big day, so giving them a little bit of food is a much appreciated gesture (who doesn’t like gratuitous food?!). There are delectable options for any budget, from a multi-course sit-down meal to a desserts-only buffet. The trick here is to make sure to have enough of whatever you’re providing – running out of food before everybody has had a chance to eat is an uncomfortable predicament. If you will be providing alcohol at your nuptials, do yourselves a favor and give your guests something to soak the booze up with.
3. When The Drinks Are Gone
Speaking of alcohol, make sure to put some extra thought into this portion of the celebration. The budget will rear its ugly head here once again, as will venue restrictions and licensing requirements. Running out of drinks too early is the physical equivalent of an awkward silence, so try to avoid it at all costs. If you’re having an open bar (send me an invite) you won’t have to worry about your wells running dry. If, however, you are buying kegs and/or wine, consider touching base with a caterer. They are experts in their field, and can offer ordering recommendations based upon your guest count. Since drinking and driving is nobody’s friend, it’s a smart (and courteous) move to make sure that there are alternative transportation options available for those who imbibe one too many.
4. Loosing Control Over The Guest List
The wedding guest list will haunt you long after the invitations have been sent. Deciding who to leave out and who to obligatorily add can be enough to push some couples to the edge of sanity. Choose a relaxed, neutral time and location to hash this out well ahead of the wedding day (and make sure to allow extra time for address-acquisition). Waiting for RSVP’s can be just as harrowing; by the time people decide to respond, your budget is likely running on fumes, despite still having food and drinks to pay for. To combat this, put an RSVP-by-date on your invitations to encourage invitees to get back to you in a timely manner, and make sure to keep finances in mind when you’re compiling the guest list.
5. Not Getting Bridesmaids And Groomsmen Organized
Bridesmaids and groomsmen play a variety of notable roles on the big day, from assisting with decorating to giving a marginally embarrassing toast that briefly mentions “that one time in Cabo…” It becomes unfortunately easy to harbor resentment (on both sides) due to disputes over things like lack of participation and/or money. Be sure to let your maids and men know (well in advance) when and how they can help. Remember – they’ve all got lives that don’t revolve around your wedding, so giving them options in advance allows them to plan ahead. Being in the wedding party also comes with its fair share of expenses, so be mindful of their budgets. Talking about money is an awkward discussion to have with anybody (especially friends), but it can prevent a strained relationship. Encourage your wedding party to be honest with you if they are encountering financial issues, and then work together to find a solution.
6. Family Wars
Let’s be honest – nobody’s family is picture perfect. Whether you could give the Lohans a run for their money or make the Ozbournes blush, longstanding household issues will still exist on your wedding day. Prior to the big day, have a frank discussion with your families and emphasize that you’d like them to temporarily put their disputes aside for a few hours. This doesn’t mean everybody has to act like they love each other, but it does mean that all weave-pulling and throat punching will be put on hold. If despite your best efforts, the drama-mama-monster could still rear it’s ugly head on the day-of and if efforts to diffuse the situation (separating the feuding parties, etc.) prove futile, consider asking them to leave. The temporary scene of escorting people out is worth spending the remaining time drama free.
7. Wedding Crashers
First, let’s acknowledge that it takes a brave soul to stroll (uninvited) into a wedding and proceed to free-load off of the food and alcohol (not that you would know, or anything…). However, you didn’t tirelessly labor over your budget to make sure that there would be JUST enough food and drinks for your dearly beloved to have uninvited guests leech off of your supplies. In most cases, simply confronting the crasher is more than enough to encourage them to leave. If they put up any resistance, recruit some of your most intimidating guests to help drive the point home. If it turns out that Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson actually decide to show up at your nuptials,feel free to pretend that they are really a part of the family.
8. If Time Is Not On Your Side
For guests, there seems to be an abundance of time at a wedding; for the wedding party, there never seems to be quite enough! One of the biggest favors you can do for yourselves (and your guests) is to set a day-of events schedule. This will make sure that the wedding party is all on the same page, and it will also aid in the timeliness of your caterers/band/photographers etc. Having a schedule will also prevent a significant lull in time for guests while providing that nothing is left undone (first dances, cake cutting, garter toss, etc.). Your wedding can still have a laid-back feel (even with an agenda); the day doesn’t need to be planned down to the minute. You will likely find that the events ebb-and-flow within a half an hour (give or take) of the actual schedule; so some flexibility is key.
9. No Pictures Or Photos Of Bad Quality
Pictures are one of the most important takeaways from your big day, so make sure to plan accordingly. Hire a well reputed, notable photographer. This could be a family member, friend, or professional – just make sure that you and your fiance appreciate their style and are on-board with their work ethic. It would be a huge disappointment to have not enough pictures, poor-quality pictures, or stylistically unfavorable shots. Additionally, you can be sure that guests will be snapping pictures with their smartphones – and some of them will be great! Encourage guests to download an app like WedPics, which allows mobile users to upload and share their photos with the happy couple. When you are crafting the schedule for the day-of, make sure to allow for ample picture time. You’ll likely be around friends and family that you don’t often get to see, so make sure to snap a shot together.
10. Ruining The Reception
Ah, the reception. This token point of your wedding day will likely be most attendees’ favorite part. It’s also where guests will spend the majority of their time, so it’s essential to make sure that there are appropriate accommodations. If your reception is outside, ensure that there are restrooms available for guests (this could mean porta-potties) and that there is some form of shelter (as mentioned in the first point). There will be no such thing as too many trash cans- – aving to pick up after your guests sucks, so encourage them to do it themselves. Not everybody was born a dancing queen, so include plenty of auxiliary seating for those who wish to take a load off. As a newly-married couple, the reception is a perfect chance to make the rounds and greet all of the folks that made it a point to share your big day. Most importantly, the reception is your chance to soak up (and celebrate!) being married, with the people you care about the most – so make sure to live it up.
Should you find yourself poised on the edge of a potential wedding disaster, allow these humble tips to talk you back from the edge. The most important part of your nuptials (after all) is marrying the person you love – after that, everything is gravy.
Featured photo credit: greyerbaby via morguefile.com