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3 Things That Can Go Wrong at a Wedding

new weddingEvent and wedding planners spend a lot of time planning to ensure that everything goes right on the day-of. However, they’re not always prepared for what can go wrong. When you plan and plan for something to go smoothly and perfectly, you often spend all your time focusing on things going right and forget about the possibility of something going wrong. In this post, we talk about the 3 things that can go wrong at a wedding – and how to recover.

1. The Timeline Goes Out the Window
A timeline is crucial to nearly any event, especially a wedding. With so many people involved and so many vendors, start times, end times, and typically at least one location change – keeping on schedule is important. So what happens when the timeline goes out the window? Maybe the bride arrives at the ceremony location 30 minutes late because she was held up in traffic. Maybe the groom’s tux just wasn’t fitting and a last minute replacement needed to be found. No matter what the cause, it’s all too easy for the timeline to be thrown off. A delay as short as 30 minutes can throw off the entire day, particularly when cocktail hour starts at X hour and the dinner reception starts at Y hour. When something does go wrong, however, you’ve got to be prepared.

The moment you realize something is going to take longer than anticipated, you need to alert anyone who may be affected. This means contacting the caterer, the day-of coordinator, the entertainment, and anyone else. Unfortunately, this might mean your client has to spend some extra money keeping the staff there longer (if they’ve agreed to a certain hourly limit or hourly fee). Giving others notice that a delay is in progress, however, will allow for the emcee to announce the short delay and the time to be filled with something else – like a game, contest, dance, or otherwise.

2. A Vendor is MIA
There’s plenty you can do to ensure everyone arrives on time and prepared, but it’s always possible that someone may go off the grid and become unreachable. You’ll need to get in touch a week before, a night before, and the day-of with nearly every vendor – from the caterer and cake shop to the entertainment and decorator. However, sometimes they simply don’t answer their phones. That’s why it’s always best to have someone on-call. When you’re researching and locking down vendors, make sure to have a short list of potential back-ups. Send a friendly email letting them know you’re looking for a back-up, to get an idea for availability. If they’re not available, keep on moving. Often, companies will charge a surcharge for having to show up with very little notice. Be prepared for this, just in case. Your client will be impressed by your organizational skills and management abilities. As always, be sure to get everything down in writing and with both parties’ signatures prior to paying any sort of fee.

3. The Bride or Groom Gets Cold Feet
This problem is in nearly every wedding movie, and is almost always the subject of at least one joke or comment leading up to the big day. It’s a tough situation for anyone involved, and incredibly stressful for the wedding planner. Be sure to have someone nearby that is emotionally supportive, encouraging, and not overly biased to either side of the party – meaning you shouldn’t send the groom’s best friend to convince the bride or the bride’s older sister to convince the groom. Someone who can encourage without assigning blame or making the person feel guilty is who you want to involve in this sort of situation. That is, if you can’t handle it yourself. Sometimes, all the person needs is the planner to give them a gently nudge and to let them know “this is normal” and you “see it all the time”.

Sometimes, it’s a little more complicated and there’s history and back-story to the nervous feelings, and someone aside from you will be better handling it. Whichever the case, be sure to let the person know that how they are feeling isn’t necessarily about who they are about to marry, but the fact they’re about to get married. It’s a nerve-wracking process and often the first time they’ve had to be in front of a hundred or so people with all the focus on them, and they shouldn’t confuse their nerves or the pressure of the day with how they feel about their significant other.

Are there any other things you think could go wrong at a wedding? Leave them in a comment so we can do our best to provide you with some easy, quick solutions. To learn more about wedding planning, be sure to visit QC Event School and check out its Wedding Planning course today.