I was chatting recently with Michelle Miskell of Glamorous Weddings about a wedding day disaster at one of my weddings last year, and we started comparing stories. She was telling me of her concerns about a client hiring a small, little known restaurant to “cater” their wedding. So, I decided that we needed to let engaged couples know what could happen without proper planning. Don’t let your big day turn into a horror story!

Don’t Run Out Of Food (or Have Items Missing)!

I once attended a small wedding where the couple hired a deli to provide meat and cheese trays for their Sunday afternoon wedding.  The owner was fairly new to the business and a friend of the groom, and the price was within their limited budget.

Sounds like a great idea, right?

WRONG! It quickly turned into a wedding day disaster!

Apparently the caterer did not provide any condiments for the sandwiches, even though the couple had requested this of her.  What made matters worse was, even though the caterer was also an invited guest, as soon as she set the food out, she left the event and the couple only learned of the mistake moments before the ceremony was to start.

There was nothing they could do at that moment.  Luckily, there was a large bowl of ranch dip for the chips, and the guests used that on the sandwiches.

How Could This Wedding Day Disaster Be Avoided?

The answer is simple!  Hire a wedding planner to help with all of the details. We are trained extensively on how to order proper food and beverage amounts, and we are experienced with many vendors and know how to ensure that everything will run smoothly on your wedding day!

Don’t Let A Friend Or Family Member Take Your Wedding Day Photos Or Video!

Unless your friend is a professional photographer or videographer – don’t “hire” them! I am reminded of a wedding that I attended several years ago. The couple had a very limited budget and opted to have a family member take their photographs. The end result: NO photos! Not one! Talk about a wedding day disaster!

And then there was another wedding where the couple asked a friend to videotape the day. No problem, right? After all, how hard could it be? WRONG AGAIN!

This Horror Story Is Twofold!

First, the friend doing the videotaping had very shaky hands AND he kept walking around while recording! So … the wedding video is like watching an event taking place during an earthquake!

Second, he videotaped guests going through the buffet line. What’s wrong with that, you ask? The entire segment showed nothing but the rear ends of the guests and you could hear him greeting everyone! And yes, the couple laughs about it now – but seriously? He was obviously not paying attention to where he was aiming the camera.

Probably the worst of this horror story is that he decided he needed something and actually left the venue to find a convenience store. The result: He completely missed the couple’s first dance!

How Could The Couple Have Avoided This Wedding Day Disaster?

By hiring a professional videographer! Had these couples done this, they would have a professionally shot and beautiful video to share with their family for generations to come.

Don’t Run The Rehearsal By Yourself!

Jean Neuhart (Weddings From the Heart) told me about a time when one of her brides insisted on running the rehearsal herself. In Jean’s words …

“It was a difficult rehearsal, to say the least. The couple had an elaborate processional — two praise dancers, and a large wedding party – 31 people, including the bride and groom, the bride’s father (who escorted her down the aisle), and the bride’s mother (who was also the officiant).

The bride refused to let me do anything other than sit down and watch. She would not listen to any of my suggestions, and insisted on running the rehearsal herself. I tried to offer suggestions and assistance several times during the rehearsal, but she made it clear that she did not want my input at all.

But it wasn’t as simple as having the people in the wedding party pair off and walk down the aisle. Instead, the bride had half of the bridesmaids and groomsmen enter from the left side behind the last rows of the guests’ seats, and the remainder of the wedding party from the right.”

And they didn’t just walk in together. A groomsman would enter, stop at the back of the center aisle, and bow down as the respective bridesmaid entered and joined him. He then took her hand, kissed it, then they proceeded up the aisle and took their places.

Unfortunately, on the wedding day, after the last bridesmaid/groomsman pair had taken their place, and I was prompting the ring bearer for his turn, the mother of the bride says, ‘I’m supposed to go now.’ I politely reminded her that no, the children, then the maid of honor were next, and she is to go in after the maid of honor, just like we practiced several times the day before. But she wouldn’t listen; instead she responded with, ‘No, I’m supposed to go now.’

And she did! Short of body-blocking her in front of all the wedding guests, there was nothing stopping her.

After all of the bridesmaids/groomsmen had entered (10 couples in all), the ring bearer, flower girls, junior bride, junior groom, and the maid of honor took their turns entering, to be followed by the mother of the bride, who was the officiant, then the bride and her father.  This is how it was practiced (several times at the request of the bride) at the rehearsal.”

Of course, she didn’t just walk in and stand.  Once at the front, she gave a nearly 10-minute talk on the meaning of marriage, all the while the rest of the wedding party, bride, and father of the bride waited their turn to enter. And, of course, this threw off the processional music, as the DJ had to suddenly stop the music, then restart it once we could resume the processional.

Oh, and all of this took place outside, under a hot June sun!

This Wedding Day Disaster Could Have Been Avoided!

Morals of the Story:

  1. A wedding ceremony is not a production. You are not producing a show for your guests’ entertainment.
  2. When you’ve hired a wedding coordinator, let him/her do the job that s/he was hired to do. Understand that when we make a suggestion, it is with your best interests in mind. If we feel that something won’t work or should be simplified, it’s not for the sake of making things easier on ourselves, but to benefit your event and the enjoyment of everyone involved.

And when you openly dismiss your wedding coordinator, you are showing your wedding party and others involved that they don’t have to listen to us and can dismiss us too.

Then, don’t be surprised when you end up with a big mess on your special day which could have easily been avoided.”

Don’t Ask Friends Or Family To Set Up Your Wedding!

It hurts my heart when I talk to couples who say that “mom and grandma” or “our friends” or “wedding party” are going to take care of setting up their wedding – and cleaning it up! Your family and friends are supposed to be members of your wedding party or guests – not workers – at your wedding!

Before you consider doing this, ask yourself if you can truly rely on them to arrive several hours early, be on their feet for 8 to 12 hours – or more – and to stay long after everyone else has left the reception. Are they willing to carry out heavy bags of trash and spend your entire wedding day working rather than enjoying the meal, listening to the speeches, watching your first dance as a couple, and having fun just like all the other guests?

And what happens if one of your vendors doesn’t show up? Perhaps the photographer has gotten lost and can’t possibly make it in time for your ceremony, or worse, has been in an accident and won’t make it at all. Do your friends and family have numerous other photographers on speed dial so they can call someone in at the last minute?

And your poor bridesmaids and groomsmen …. They are worn out long before you walk down the aisle to exchange your vows. Picture a scenario where it takes them longer than you anticipated to set up your centerpieces and décor. Now the bridesmaids are rushing to get their hair and makeup done, and get into their dresses for the ceremony. No time to relax, no opportunity to spend time with the bride, no time to breathe. Same goes for any groomsmen you have recruited to help.

How Can You Avoid This Wedding Day Disaster?

It may seem like I am being repetitive – and, frankly, I am! Because my advice here is, again – hire a wedding planner! We have the skills, knowledge, and team members to handle everything for you. We have worked hard to develop great relationships with other wedding vendors so that we can call upon them to help out in a crisis.

Don’t let this wedding day disaster happen to you!

Don’t Count On A Venue Coordinator To Resolve Every Wedding Day Disaster!

Pat Keefe and Maureen Johnson of Orchard Lane Events once told me of a wedding day disaster that happened at their venue.

On the wedding day, the DJ arrived very early to set up. They were chatting and Pat realized the cake had not yet been delivered. She only knew the delivery time — she had no other information from the couple. Then she realized the caterer was also late.

Guests began arriving one hour before the ceremony start time — still no caterer and no cake had arrived! There were no drinks available for the guests while they waited. The caterer did finally arrive over an hour later — but the cake never arrived! The couple hadn’t taken the time to make final confirmations with their vendors!

How Can This Wedding Day Disaster Be Avoided?

Pat stated, “This is just one of the reasons we talk to our clients and recommend that they hire a wedding planner who can handle every detail of their wedding planning and the wedding day!”

Stop The Horror Story Before It Begins!

In fact, don’t let ANY of these wedding day disasters happen to you! Don’t look back on your wedding day with regrets and “should haves.”

All of these incidents could have been avoided by simply hiring professional and experienced wedding professionals. And a great place to start is by hiring a wedding planner who can guide you every step of the way and connect you with top-notch, professional vendors who will work as a team to give you the wedding of your dreams!

For more information on how TLC Events & Weddings can help you plan your wedding and avoid these wedding day disasters, simply hop over to the Services page. Let’s get started today planning your wedding ….

With Tender Loving Care,

Lori