You’ve planned for months (or years), crossed every to-do off the list, double-checked every detail and, finally, the long-awaited day is here. Hopefully, the surprises on your wedding day will be joyful, but just in case they are not, here are some ways you can be prepared for the most common wedding day mishaps. Even the best planners in town can’t prevent all glitches, but two have graciously provided some quick fixes for when things do go wrong.
Wardrobe and Electric Malfunctions
True, an industrial-style steamer will smooth out any wrinkles — but only on the dresses. And event planner Lydia Noble from Noble Events always has one with her on the wedding day. “The most common mishaps we see almost always revolve around clothing, ” Noble says. “Buttons pop off, hems fall out, the dress gets dirt on it, all kinds of wardrobe malfunctions. That’s why we carry a sewing kit and are proficient at sewing brides into their dresses or pinning a broken bustle.”
This may seem like a strange question, but how much thought have you put into electricity during your reception planning? Often, that big band will use a whole lot of it and blow a fuse. “To avoid your guests ending up in the dark, always hire a trustworthy lighting and sound company, ” advises another local wedding coordinator, Blair Bullen Gewin. Two companies she recommends are Willow Bridge and Showbiz Theatrical Services.
The guests are also sometimes messier than expected — much messier. “It’s hard to imagine needing 2, 000 napkins for a wedding of 250 guests, but that’s what it takes, ” Gewin says. She usually counts on each guest using eight napkins. “It sounds like a lot, but it’s so important when passing hors d’oeuvres or serving drinks, food and cake.”
As a result, a lot of trash is generated during a wedding reception, and your handy-dandy checklist might not have accounted for where it all goes. “Renting trash cans is a must, and you can rent good-looking covers too so you don’t even notice they are there, ” Gewin recommends. This tip is especially important if you’re having the reception at a private residence.
Natural Calamities and Transportation Snafus
The weather forecast may only show 10 days in advance, which wasn’t helpful when you started planning eight to 12 months ago. And even if your wedding day calls for clear, sunny skies, Mobile Bay is no stranger to an unforeseen shower. So come up with that inclement weather back-up plan that you’ll hopefully never need. Most rental companies allow you to hold a tent ahead of time and to cancel within 72 hours, so take advantage of it!
Despite booking and confirming transportation, the limo sometimes doesn’t show up, or the horse that is supposed to pull the carriage bolts (on a busy street in Mobile, no less), as Noble has seen. “The answer is always the same: We tell the couple to hop in one of our vehicles, ” Noble says. “My planners love to play chauffeur.” The takeaway: If you’ve scheduled a showy exit, check make sure a friend can step in if necessary.
Noble once caught a grandfather cutting and serving cake! If a guest gets a bit too excited to taste that gorgeous confection, don’t have a meltdown. Grab a trusted family member to guide the overly exuberant server away, and, if possible, turn the cake to hide the cut portions. (Most likely, everyone will laugh about it one week later, so don’t let that stress you out!)
On another occasion, Noble made her way down the aisle as maid of honor at her sister’s wedding, and as she looked over at her soon-to-be brother-in-law, he mouthed, “Where is the minister?” She looked to the front; there was no officiant in sight. “Why did the coordinator send any of us down the aisle without the minister waiting at the altar?” Noble wondered incredulously. Fortunately, he did show up in the nick of time, but two weeks later, Noble became a licensed officiant just in case she ever needs to step in. The moral of this story? Before the big day, find out if any of your friends or family can act as an emergency officiant, so that at the end of the day, regardless of what goes wrong, you are actually married.
Emergency Kit Essentials
These wedding planners have learned from experience what can come in handy during preparation, ceremonies and receptions. Inside the bags of Gewin and Noble, you will find these essential items for anticipating any wedding day needs.
- extra men’s tux bow tie
- cuff links
- straight pins (for boutonnieres)
- extra garter
- fashion tape
- double-sided tape
- high heel protector caps (to prevent heels from sinking into grass)
- shoe inserts, blister covers, flip-flops
- lint roller
- stain remover
- duct tape
- safety pins
- sewing kit
- nail file
- nail polish (clear and pink)
- lip gloss, lipstick
- baby wipes
- makeup remover
- clear hair rubber bands
- bobby pins
- dry shampoo, hairspray, styling gel
- Advil, Pepto-Bismol, Tums, Imodium, Alka Seltzer, Benadryl, anti-itch cream
- bug spray
- hand sanitizer
- cotton swabs
- adhesive bandages
- granola bars, crackers
- breath mints (no gum)
- bottled water
- energy drinks
- pen and paper
- cell phone charger