It’s an outdoor wedding. The forecast has been good all week. Then the bride wakes up on her big day, pulls back the curtain… and sees a torrential downpour has taken hold. Another bride is in the midst of getting ready, when her phone beeps with a message. Her maid of honour’s flight has been delayed and it’s looking unlikely she’ll be able to attend. Or sometimes, it doesn’t even happen on the day itself. Three days before the ceremony, the sheepish venue calls to inform the betrothed couple that they have had a disaster and the entire ceremony space is flooded. Reading through the above scenarios is enough to make any prospective bride break out in a sweat. We all want our wedding to be the perfect day we have always imagined. That’s why we plan, and think, and consider, and trial everything. We don’t leave anything to chance – at least, not the things we can control anyway.
Let’s be clear: it’s probably not going to happen. While those issues do occasionally occur, they are far from the norm. For most brides, their wedding is everything that they wanted it to be, the perfect day that they will look back on in years to come with nothing but happy memories. So there’s no need to rush into a panic about all the different ways in which things can go wrong. They probably won’t – but it’s always worth examining what you would do if problems did occur.
So don’t terrify yourself! Hope for the best and know that’s the most likely outcome, but there’s no harm in spending a few hours thinking of how you can prepare for the worst. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Talk about the cancellation policy
However, there will always be things outside of our control. There is no way that a wedding can be 100% as it should be, without a single problem having a chance of derailing the day. There is always going to be a margin of error – and that means you need to be ready for it.
There are options such as Wedinsure which can insure you for the cost of your whole wedding, but you’re still going to need to know the exact cancellation policies of any suppliers you work with. So when you’re in discussions with the caterer, the band, and the venue, ask them what happens if you have to cancel or postpone your day.
To some brides, this can feel like tempting fate – but there’s nothing wrong with ensuring you’re fully furnished with the information you need to cover all possibilities. It doesn’t need to be a defining part of the conversation, but you do need to have an idea of where you stand. There are a number of reasons you might find yourself having to cancel or postpone that don’t involve someone getting cold feet, so it makes sense to run through the “what if” scenarios!
Spread out the days tasks
The idea of a maid of honour or best man is that they are your second in command. This tends to mean that you’re going to rely on them for a number of tasks on the day. Or if you prefer, you might be delegating duties to your parents or your close family. You might even have a professional wedding planner on whom you are able to rely.
That’s fine, to an extent. Trying to manage the entire day and enjoy it isn’t going to be particularly efficient, so you need to allow others to help you keep things on track. However, it’s worth thinking about how the day will unfold if a person is suddenly unable to attend.
Keep track of all the things you have asked specific people to do. Then imagine they are suddenly taken ill or stuck in traffic; how else could you organise tasks to ensure the day can go off without a hitch? Who else would you pass the tasks onto? Is there anything you can do to bring tasks forward so you don’t have to worry so much on the day?
There’s a surprising amount of machinery involved in the average wedding. There’s the car to take you to the venue, the ovens and cooking equipment to prepare the main meal, even the lights of the disco you might have organised for the reception. With so many moving parts, there is always a chance there is going to be a mechanical snafu on the big day.
Make a list of all the times on your day you’re going to be relying on machines to make something possible. How will you get to the venue if the car breaks down? How is everyone goes to eat if there’s a problem with the food preparation? What about the heating system in the venue?
You might not be able to answer all of these questions, but jot down a few possible remedies so you have something to explore on the day if the unfortunate does become a reality. Having to come up with solutions in the moment, when stress is running high, rarely elicits good results. Your list made beforehand should at least give you a jumping off point from which you can find solutions.
Outdoor weddings are beautiful, but they also carry with them a significant amount of risk. If you’re relying on the weather to go well for your day, then that’s fine, but you’re also going to need a backup plan. It doesn’t matter how good the weather is usually or what the long-range forecast says: you need to have at least visited the idea of a backup plan. Most outdoor venues will have solutions to this already, so don’t be afraid to ask them what happens if Mother Nature doesn’t play ball!
Arranging a wedding is a confusing mix of stress and excitement. By working through the “what if” scenarios in advance of the big day, you can be sure you’re ready to handle anything that the day throws at you – so you can just focus on getting married.