AVOIDING A WEDDING DAY DISASTER

 
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This is the first article in my series of The J/A Advice Journal, and we're starting with a big hot topic.

Planning my own wedding, we were incredibly fortunate to work with seasoned professionals who assisted in planning and organizing the whole day to the letter. We didn't really have any dramatic disasters that we couldn't handle; yes it rained for a while on our wedding day, and yes the champagne reception ran dry - I think this says more about the guests than the planner! - but here's how we got around some of those mishaps which, if mishandled or unprepared for, could have turned into something bigger!

It is something a couple never wants to think about, but it has been a reality for some in the past. No one ever knows how and when disaster could strike, especially on a wedding day with so much going on. Perhaps the weather was unfavorable and you couldn’t get married outside, a groomsman has had one too many, or your meal is running an hour behind schedule and left guests wondering what was going on. As a photographer, I have encountered all of these issues. The reality is, any one of these things could happen and much more, so it is always best to be prepared.

Don’t Hire Friends and Family
Your sister in law might be a makeup artist and your aunt is a florist, but hiring friends or family to save a couple of dollars could be asking for trouble. It is better to leave wedding details to the professionals that can work under pressure and will have secure backup in case something goes wrong. It is alright to politely decline the help of people you know.

Make Some Calls
It is perfectly alright to check up on some vendors as the wedding day arrives. Making sure everyone has their arrival times correct is a big part of everything running smoothly. Your vendors should also have a number to call in case anything goes wrong on their end and they need to contact someone. This number, however, should not be yours. It should be a trusted friend or family member so that all of the stress is not put on you.

Always Have a Backup Plan
If you have planned for an outdoor wedding or reception, always make sure that you have a backup plan in case of inclement weather. Hoping the weather will stay nice is not the best plan to go in with. You may have to pay a little extra to hold over a space in case Mother Nature has her way, but it is better than not having anything and having to reschedule. Speaking with your co-ordinator, ask them what they have done in the past at your venue to move things indoors.

Invest in Wedding Insurance
Purchasing wedding insurance is not that costly; anywhere from about $100 to $500 for the event, but it could end up saving you thousands. If you are getting married in a tropical location and an unexpected hurricane hits, you will not be out any money if you have insurance. It is better to be safe than sorry, and buying wedding insurance should be a necessity in case anything does go wrong.

Make a Checklist
Making a checklist and following it will ensure that you and your vendors are all on track with one another. Having a checklist of things to do or people to contact or pay will benefit you tremendously. Having a vendor not show up because they may not have been paid is a nightmare that can easily be avoided by making sure everyone has been taken care of. If you have a wedding planner, they will make sure they do this for you.

Put Ones You Trust in Charge
It is your wedding day, you should not have to be trying to control your uncle that had one too many at the open bar. Assign some trusted friends or family ‘damage control’ duties so you will not be the one trying to take care of everyone. Let them know everything beforehand, and even give them a timetable of the days events if you can. Putting trusted and capable friends or family in this role will leave you open to having more time to relax and truly enjoy your day instead of stressing out about things.