Wedding Disasters and How to Avoid Them

Let's face it, you do not want your wedding day to be remembered as a disaster or by stressing about the possibility of what could wrong. Example, we live in Florida, that means for a few months out the year it's Hurricane season. Last year alone, was one of the worst with the impact that Irma left on our city. It's for this reason I actually do not take on Florida weddings from August to late October now, unless certain requirements are met. If you do decided to get married during Hurricane season, please invest in wedding insurance. Wedsafe and Traveler's offer some great policies to help protect you from possible wedding disasters. 

Of course, we can only do so much about Mother Nature, but here are some of the other things that can happen and ways we have helped fix or avoid these potential problems.

 Photographer: Mark Krancer

Photographer: Mark Krancer

Attire Malfunctions: One of the biggest things that can go wrong is something with attire, it could be your gown, bridal party members or even a family member. We keep a multipack emergency kit full of items to fix last-minute problems, such a safety pinning pieces that will not stay or a needle and thread to sew a bridesmaid into her dress because she did not get it altered. It is imperative to make sure you and your bridesmaids get your dresses altered before your event. It is also worth the extra cost to have the groomsmen' tuxedos or suites arrive a day earlier in the week, so if there is a problem, it can get fixed without the last minute rush. We also keep stain remover just in case of spills.

Not Considering the Time of Year: This is big one. I get we have those dates that are important to us or you want that really cute same/same/year date. However, please take into account where you live or want to get married and what the weather is like around that time of year. In Florida our wedding season is different from other states as June, July, August and September are all Extremely Hot! Plus, again those later summer months are Hurricane season. So, our busy wedding season is Late October-May. If you have ever had to sit through an outdoor ceremony in 103 heat index, you can understand how very miserable it can be. If you plan on getting married where it snows, think about how your guest and your vendors will get to your wedding if a blizzard hits and the roads are all blocked.

Having to Fix Last-Minute Problems with Florals, Decor or Linens: This one falls into the category of making sure the right numbers are submitted and confirmed. It is also about making sure your wants or vision is very clear. We have made extra boutonnieres on site because a person was added and no one let the florist know. Communicate with your wedding vendors, as a planner there is never such a thing as too much information or over communication.

Not, one of our weddings, but one we helped fix; We got a call about linens arriving at a venue, and the linen sizes were wrong, this happened because the people providing the linens did not confirm with venue or couple about what size the tables were. We understand not everyone speaks wedding and most people do not need to know what size linens fit certain tables to function in a normal life. However, you still need to make sure you are very clear with vendors and make sure when they say they will provide items that they know specific sizes, colors, and amounts. Never be afraid to ask a question about rentals or florals, we understand this is new to most people.

Wrong Food, Bad Food or Running Out of Food: This is where working with an excellent cater, makes this most significant difference. A great cater will make sure everything you try at your tasting, makes it to your wedding or will let you know in advance if there is a change and have you come in and try the replacement (this can sometimes happen with seasonal items). Our favorite caters stay on top of making sure they have to correct numbers, so we do not run out food. They also work well with the vendor team to make sure everything need for food services is accounted for and ready to go. Their staff is excellent as well, making sure food gets out on time, so it is fresh and hot. It is worth the extra cost to have better service so your guest will have a great experience.

Vendor No-Show: You know the saying yo get what you paid for, right? It can be very accurate for unprofessional vendors. Please, make sure you are checking out your vendors. Professional wedding vendors have licenses, business insurances, city business tax receipts, websites (not just Facebook, Instagram or only a profile on one of those wedding sites), multiple social media accounts, professional images of real events and great testimonials. Word of mouth is also great because you know someone has worked with this person and enjoyed their experience.

Many, many years ago I did a wedding as the "day of " coordinator. I called the baker dozens of times the week before and the week of the wedding and left messages, asking to be called back, but also left all the delivery details: date, time, location and couples names(she did not use email). The baker was a friend of the family who did own a small business but was more of a hobbyist. I let the couple know (before their wedding, they were not worried about it, as she was old school and was a friend of the family) I had left her messages, but she was the only one I had not spoken too. The wedding day came, and it was time for the cake to be delivered, well no cake showed up, and we start calling the lady, still nothing. I went and spoke with Groom and let him know we had given it as much time as possible for the cake to be delivered and we need to make a call. Now, before I even let the groom know that cake was a no-show, I had already called another bakery and got a cake in their colors and for the amount of guest they had on standby. In 2 hours we had a beautiful cake and a pretty happy couple. They were not pleased to have to pay for another wedding cake, but they were delighted to have one. It came out a week later, the lady had the wrong date down and since she rarely made wedding cakes, was not checking her office voicemails. They were able to get their money back but still, was not fun to have to deal with this on and after their wedding.

 Photo: Appleseed Photography Cake: For the Love of Cake

Photo: Appleseed Photography Cake: For the Love of Cake

Guest That Show Up That Did NOT RSVP (we all know those people): This is one that upsets people the most. You send out invites with a reply card for a reason, but we all have those family members or friends who forget to send it back. This can cause some problems, as it can affect the food, seating and cause undue stress on the couple. We usually can add a chair here or there, our cater makes just in cases plates to cover these unexpected guest, and we can keep the party moving. One of the best ways to handle prior is to number the back of all your reply cards to match your guest list. That way when you get one back, that is not filled out you can go to your list and find the couple and give them a confirmation call. You do the same thing as it gets closer to your headcount due date if you are missing replies you need to have your family and bridal party help, get on the phone and call these people.

Drunk or Obnoxious Guest: Everyone loves a great party, some more than others. Drunk guest can cause a lot of problems and so can the obnoxious. They can end up injuring themselves or others, offend your other guest, assault vendors or can cause damages to property. Hiring professional bartenders will help keep some in check, by pouring responsible and making sure not to over serve. Just a little FYI, most venues, caters and bartending company do not allow shots, this helps cut down on people consuming straight liquor quickly. For that obnoxious guest, have someone from the family speak to them privately and tell them if they cannot enjoy the day then they can leave. You do not want that negativity at your event.

Technical Malfunctions: Many things can wrong and what we never think about is technical malfunctions, as its very very rare. It could be as simple as a microphone that does not work to losing power at the venue. Most vendors have a backup or power backup for their equipment if it does not work. As for losing power at the site that is really out of our control, but thanks to my daughter's brilliant idea when discussing this scenario I now carry two mini speakers that can connect with Bluetooth and a pack of glow sticks, so we can keep the party going. Just make it work people, just make it work (who does not love Tim Gun?)

No One is Enjoying the Party or On the Dance Floor: Most dream about a full dance floor and their guest dancing the night away. In reality, your guest may not be the dancing fever type. A great DJ can read a room and adjust the style of music to fit what the guest will dance too. Live bands also tend to have more guest on the dancefloor as its more of an immersive experience. Here is the biggest tip of all thought, wherever you are your guests will be. That means if you are at the bar, then large crowds will be by the bar, if you are on the dancefloor then your guest will be out there.

 Photo: Appleseed Photography

Photo: Appleseed Photography

Everything Running Behind: The building of the timeline to keep things in order and keeping people on that timeline is all about the experience. Hire a Planner or an Event Manager so your friends and family can enjoy the day. We will make sure everything is getting done and running smoothly. We have the years of experience building a cushion in case of running behind and know how to work with all your vendors to make the best of the hours you have booked them for.

Makeup or Hair Malfunction: It's Florida and humidity is the worst on hair and makeup. We have seen hair lose its curl and eyelashes not stay glued. Hire a professional as they have the products to help keep you looking fresh. Do a trial run to make sure you like the way it looks and sees how well it will hold up. If you have the extra room in your budget, have the hair and makeup team stay longer for after first look photos and after the ceremony for touch ups. If they cannot stay, ask for a touch-up kit from your artist.

 Photo: Appleseed Photography

Photo: Appleseed Photography

Now that I have given a list things to keep you up at night about (just kidding!), I am going to let you in on the best way to try an avoid all of this. Hire PROFESSIONAL wedding vendors and COMMUNICATE clearly with them, your friends and family. At the end of the day, if something should go wrong just try and remember you are married now and that is the most important part of the day. If you still sweating and in need of wedding planning help, email me at terri@ggevents.net.