Things That Can Go Wrong On Your Wedding Day
If you've ever heard the saying "If things can go wrong on your wedding day, they will", then you'll know what I'm talking about. I was told that all the time when planning my wedding, just like thousands of Brides out there today. The thing is, I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and being a wedding and portrait photographer, in actually comes in really handy. Yes there are lots of things that can go wrong on your wedding day. But they actually don't have to. There are ways to avoid them and that is what this post is all about.
Just like life, weddings aren't perfect!
People don't show up who RSVP'd to say they are coming, extra guests turn up who you weren't expecting, it rains, the Groom hasn't got his tie, the dress doesn't quite fit and the list goes on...
Over the past 7 years of photographing weddings, we've gained a lot of experience and expertise in all things wedding and I wanted to share some of that with you today. Based on that experience, I've come up with a list of 10 things that can go wrong on your wedding day - and more importantly, how you can help avoid them.
Things that can go wrong on your wedding day
- and how to fix them
Things that can go wrong on your wedding day - before the Ceremony
1. The hair and makeup takes longer than expected.
By far, this is the most common issue we have come across in the past. When the hair and makeup gets delayed starting, or takes longer than expected, it puts everything else behind schedule. Oh and it's pretty stressful too! Not good.
Solution: We have a plan for this. We now ask our Brides to tell their hair and makeup artists that they need to finish at least 30 minutes (an hour is better!) before they actually need to. This is what we refer to as a 'hard stop time'. This gives you (and them) a grace period before things start to run late. If you're ready earlier, perfect! You have some extra time to sip champagne, have photographs with your Mum and Bridesmaids before the Ceremony starts.
The other important thing to mention here is that you can't always pass the blame on to the hair and makeup artists! Ensure you have spoken to them in advance and detailed how many people will be getting hair and makeup done and the timescale you have. They may need to bring an extra person with them. Don't surprise them on the wedding day! Also, and most importantly - the Bride goes FIRST!! The Bride should not be the one who is rushed at the end, or sitting there worrying about being late to her own wedding as she still has to get her dress on, fix her veil in place, put on her shoes and jewelery. The ceremony cannot start without the Bride!
From a Wedding Photographer's point of view, we know that the Bride wants to look gorgeous in all her wedding photos, right from the start, so having her hair and makeup done first ensures she will look and feel comfortable and confident right from the beginning.
2. Items of clothing are missing.
This happens way more than you realise. We've had a Groom without a tie, a Groom with two left shoes and one without any trousers to wear!
Solution: When the suits are ready to be picked up, get everyone to try everything on. It may seem like a simple solution, and to be honest it is! Have a checklist to hand and check off every item of clothing (including underwear, socks, shoes and ties) as you go.
3. Anxious or overbearing parents.
We often get asked if we have any Bridezillas (I hate that term!) but I'm going to be completely honest with you here. The answer is no. Most often, it's the Mother of the Bride or Groom who is the most anxious and sometimes, a little too controlling. (Sorry Mums!)
Solution: We spend a lot of time before the wedding day getting to know our Brides and Grooms and helping to set their expectations of the day ahead. By scheduling the day together, relieving any fears or worries beforehand the day will run as smoothly as possible and you will be able to relax and enjoy your wedding day.
As for parents, I had a wedding once where the mother was so anxious she was trying to control what the Bride was doing during Bridal Prep. Of course, this made the Bride anxious and stressed. I could see that my Bride was getting upset so I suggested we move out of the busy, tiny room where we were and took her into the bathroom to check her makeup and put on her jewellery.
A professional photographer will always know where the best light is and in this hotel suite, it was in the bathroom! It was decorated in light airy colours and had a huge mirror. It made the perfect backdrop for the Bride to have a few moments to herself. We shut the door behind us and she thanked me straight away. Some of my favourite photographs from that wedding are in that bathroom! We chatted, I made some silly joke and she relaxed straight away.
4. Traffic on the wedding day and unexpected diversions.
You never know what could pop up on the wedding day and you can't control the local council doing emergency roadworks or an accident, but you can do something so it doesn't affect your wedding day too much.
Solution: If the journey from your getting ready location to the Church takes 15 minutes, allow for 30 minutes. This goes for the Groom and Best Man too. Use Google maps or another app to check your route before you leave or ask your Driver to do it for you.
5. Guests arrive late.
Or on time. On time is actually worse! That is when the Bride should be about to walk down the aisle!
Solution: On your wedding website or invitations, detail what time the ceremony starts and then include 'please arrive 30 minutes early'. If there is a distance between parking and the venue, make a note of this too. Give people the opportunity to plan ahead.
As human beings we are notoriously late for events, especially big events where we are trying to get ready, perfect our makeup, organise the children and not forget anything. Asking people to arrive 30 minutes early is perfect as then they still have 15 minutes grace even if they do run late! Be sure to tell your wedding planner and venue what time you have asked your guests to arrive too so they can ensure the Ceremony Room / Church is set up and ready for you.
Things that can go wrong on your wedding day - during the day
6. It's raining!
But it's meant to be good luck right? Ugh! Lets be honest, it sucks if its raining!
One of my best friends got married last year in beautiful Italy. A picturesque location by the lake, arriving by boat. It was pouring down with rain all day. It was an outdoor ceremony. We were standing there with umbrellas waiting for the beautiful Bride to arrive with her Groom after their First Look. The boat moored up and we got our first glimpse of the Bride.
A miracle happened. The sky suddenly cleared and the sun broke out in between the clouds. It shone down on the happy couple as they got off the boat and walked up the aisle. Umbrellas were hastily put down and there was the most beautiful fresh scent in the air and a gorgeous light. It stayed dry throughout the ceremony and for the rest of the day.
The moral of the story? You never know what's going to happen so try not to worry too much about it. Sometimes miracles do happen.
Sometimes though it just rains all darn day and that is where this solution will help you out.
Solution: Plan for all weathers! We live in England and it rains here pretty often. As a wedding photographer in Shropshire, I know how quickly the weather can change. Buy some beautiful wedding umbrellas or have a marquee or room indoors where you can get married in if you'd planned an outdoor wedding. When it comes to your wedding photographs this is definitely a huge thing that people worry about.
There is just one solution to this problem. Make sure you've hired a professional wedding photographer. We've never had a rainy wedding day ruin the photographs for our couples. I've stood there in the rain while my second photographer holds an umbrella over me and the newlyweds are sheltered in a doorway, covered pergola or under a big full tree staying nice and dry.
Sidenote - rain actually looks beautiful in photographs when done the photographer know what they are doing! The rain lights u and sparkles all around! Beautiful!
7. Your timeline doesn't go as planned.
This can happen for so many reasons but again there is one simple fix for this.
Solution: Hire a professional wedding photographer and a wedding coordinator. By working together with your wedding suppliers I'll help you create a wedding day schedule that actually works. For everyone. This all starts way before the wedding day arrives and it has been a lifesaver on many occasions. If something goes wrong on the wedding day, the wedding planner and photographer can work together to shift things around so you don't miss out on your photographs or any other moments that you wanted to include in your big day.
I hope this list of things that can go wrong on your wedding day will help you! My aim here is not to scare you, just to show you that there solutions to these problems and they are pretty easy ones too! I've never seen or heard of one wedding that went without a single hiccup somewhere along the lines, but at the end of the day, of all the things that can go wrong on your wedding day, the most important part to remember is why you are both there.
To marry the love of your life.
As long as that part happens, your wedding is perfect!