You can plan, prepare, get ready, and be as organized as you can possibly be. Yet, there is always something that can and typically will go wrong during a wedding. Murphy's well known law that states "Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong." should be applied to every wedding you coordinate as an event planner. We've compiled a list of eight of the most common disasters that you should prepare for and have a plan B in place.
1. Getting Rained Out
Rain, rain, go away, could you not have come any other day? The downside to setting a date months in advance is there is no telling what the weather will be like on the big day. The bride may insist on an outside wedding because of the added scenic view a traditional indoor ceremony can't provide. As the coordinator, you need to keep up-to-date on the weather days before and on the day of the wedding. As the ground wets chairs begin to sink into the ground, guests are uncomfortable, and some very expensive audio equipment probably isn't water-proof. As the hired wedding coordinator it is your job to keep the guests comfortable and happy. If the wedding needs to be indoors at the last minute, be prepared to make the scene of the ceremony equally as beautiful inside as it would be if it were held outside.
2. What Happened To the Cake?
"Opps", he said as the person carrying the cake trips and smashes the cake on the floor. Maybe the cake decorator is running late and there is no wedding cake on display like there should be. There are a few plans of action you can take to either prevent or recover from these issues. If the cake is late and not on display, this should not hopefully ruin the wedding. As long as it is there by cutting time everything should still run smoothly. Make sure the photographer is able to capture a few pictures before people begin to dig in. If it arrives too late, ask the caterer for boxes so that you can place slices in individual boxes for guests as they leave. Some people share stories of suddenly not being able to get in touch with their baker and the cake never shows up. Be prepared by knowing if there are local bakeries close by that can do last minute cupcakes so guests can still have dessert. If the cake is being transported at the event, keep a very thin cloth over the cake. If someone trips and the icing is ruined, the cake is at least covered by the fabric. If the cake decorator is there quickly take the cake to the back and have them fix the icing. This has saved more cakes than you would know.
3. Missing Photographer
Remaining in contact with vendors, caterers, and photographers consistently up until the day of the wedding is very important. It's your job as the wedding coordinator to make sure there is a clear line of communication between everyone and what they are supposed to do. Sometimes photographers end up double booking on the days that you need them and you're left with no one to take photos. By keeping in contact with the photographer more than just calling to set the appointment and calling the day of the wedding, you can be more certain they will be there on time and ready to shoot. If a photographer is dodging your calls, don't hesitate to go with someone else.
4. Ruined Bridal Dress
Keep a few items set aside in case of an accident that results in the brides dress getting stains on it. Most stains that occur are usually during the reception after formal photos have been taken, so it may not be an issue. If the dress stains prior to the ceremony the bride may not see it that way. Keep a few supplies such as baby powder, cotton swabs, club soda, and a white cloth available. It's important to never rub the stained area but to dab. Dab, dab, dab! Rubbing the stain will only cause it to embed in the fabric more, spread the stained area, and make it worse. Red wine can be covered up by using a white cloth to dab the area. Follow with either white wine or club soda. Any remaining stain can be hidden using baby powder. Baby powder can also be used on food stains, ink spots, or blood spots. If a blood stain occurs (hopefully not) use saliva on a cotton swab to dab the area before covering it up. The acidity in the saliva helps break down the blood. Don't ever use bleach pens. This will do more harm than good and can leave a yellow stain on the white fabric.
5. Uninvited Guests
There are times 'Wedding Crashers' can randomly appear at your wedding and blend in like they are meant to be there. They drink from the bar, eat your food, socialize with guests, and leave without anyone knowing. These crashers are more common at open, public venues like hotels and restaurants. There's not much that can be done with these types of people. You don't want to have someone stationed by the front with a list like they're walking into a night club. It's a celebration and should be treated as such. The best thing to do is designate a relative or co-worker to watch for people that linger near the bar, look like they are dressed inappropriately, or simply don't belong. If you notice anyone like this don't immediately freak out and start asking the guest questions. Go to the bride and grooms parents who may very well know who the guest in question is. If they don't know them, discreetly approach the guest and then see them to the door. The vendors you hire for the wedding can sometimes pose an issue during the event. Bands, photographers, and DJs may feel like they are entitled to all the food and drink they want. This may be the case, but if not add to your contact that they are not allowed to consume alcohol at any point, and they will be provided a meal during the night.
6. Not Receiving RSVPs
Getting people to RSVP to a wedding can be a pain. It's all about planning ahead, yet when it comes time for the big event, people you didn't know were going to show start pulling up. Don't wait until days before catering numbers are due to start calling everyone. Use a calendar to remind yourself when to send the first reminder and then to start picking up the phone and dialing. If you are prepared for this it will be much less stressful. Collecting RSVPs requires a patient and methodical approach. Provide different options than the standard postal mail RSVP. Request Emails and phone numbers and use those as ways to get people to RSVP. Creating an event on social media platforms can be a useful tool as well. Stay organized with all these different methods and you will end up with a much more accurate count and less of a headache come time for the event.
7. "I Dropped the Ring."
The ceremony is in full effect. It's like filming a scene from a movie and you only get one take, one shot, and EVERYTHING has to go right. But then the ring bearer pauses before telling you that they've lost the ring. Panic sets in. The show must go on. Time to get on your hands and knees and start searching. Everyone. Not that you should insist everyone begin looking, but once guests realize what's going on, before you know it you have an entire search squad of individuals digging through flower displays, lifting chairs and carpets, and even looking through their own pockets as if they would have the ring. If the ring is missing, kindly speak with the bride's mother (assuming she is married) and ask to use her ring so the ceremony can continue. Borrow one from a parent or attendant. In a pinch, have the bride turn the engagement ring so the stone faces the inside of her hand. Later, the clergy member or officiant can bless the real wedding ring.
8. The Bridesmaids Dislike Each Other
Having tension between the bridesmaids can put a lot of stress on you and the bride. It's important to communicate with the bride and have her do the same with her bridesmaids. Remember, you are coordinating an important event, and don't need to be playing referee at the same time. If there is no resolution to the inner conflict and differences can not be put aside, then make sure your focus is on the bride and groom. You don't want these types of conflicts to have an impact on their day. Jealousy can erupt between bridesmaids. When coordinating and planning at the beginning, recommend that the bride give tasks and special jobs to each of the bridesmaids that reflect a bond they share with them as a friend. If one of the bridesmaids is big in to photography, have her take some additional photos aside from the professional phtographer that will already be there.