Smashed Wedding CakeEver had a deer crash your wedding photos? That’s what happened to a Michigan couple in early September, as the Detroit News reveals. When the bride lost her bouquet to the hungry four-legged interloper, she took it in stride. Yet what if you encounter unpleasant surprises on your big day? You’d probably rather have a deer chowing down on your flowers than deal with a missing officiant or crude alcohol-fueled toasts. However, some sage advice can help you cope with some common wedding disasters.

Last-Minute Vendor Cancellations

There’s nothing more stressful than discovering a vendor has backed out right before go time. Even worse, a no-show leaves you hanging. Whether it’s a missing DJ, cake, or something else, it can make your panic meter turn up to 11.

Thankfully, you’re not without solutions. Brides writer Stefania Sainato suggests enlisting help from your other vendors to find a last-minute replacement. The New York Times’ Hilary Sheinbaum has similar advice: Get on the phone and call anyone you know who could possibly help out. If no one’s available, devise a quick solution on your own. Ask a friend to set up some audio equipment with a laptop and a music player if you have a missing DJ, or make a food run to a local restaurant if your caterer doesn’t show.

Of course, this type of wedding disaster can be prevented. Choosing a reputable vendor and having a clear contract in place protects you in case problems arise. A reliable professional will also have backup plans to ensure you receive the services you need.

Your Officiant Doesn’t Show Up

It’s one thing if a wedding vendor doesn’t show. At least you can still hold the ceremony. Yet what if your officiant is AWOL? In this case, you should quickly recruit someone who has legal credentials to solemnize your wedding: perhaps a clergy member or a friend who’s ordained through the Universal Life Church and licensed by your jurisdiction. If there’s no qualified stand-in, then have someone perform the ceremony so you can finish the wedding. You can officially tie the knot later with a civil authority, such as a justice of the peace.

Unruly Kids and Inappropriate Toasts

Children can be delightful and adorable, especially at weddings. Yet when a kid’s tired, feeling out of sorts, or crashing from a sugar high, you should have a backup plan to handle the problem. For child attendants who aren’t up to walking down the aisle, Sheinbaum recommends that a parent carry them. In the case of meltdowns, the only solution may be to take them out of the ceremony space to help calm them down. Sugar-fueled hijinks during the reception call for a different approach. The Knot’s Kate Wood advises setting up a kids’ table with child-friendly food and fun activities to keep them occupied.

Alcohol lowers inhibitions, which can spell disaster if you have an intoxicated wedding party member. Raunchy jokes abound, lengthy speeches drag on, and friendly roasts turn into nasty burns. Fortunately, your DJ can help contain the problem. Sainato’s solution is placing the wedding party’s table near the DJ booth so that your pro can grab the mike from the toaster if things get out of hand. Sheinbaum suggests giving your DJ the heads up to mute the mike at your request.

Stay Calm and Solve the Problem

Weddings are all about details. You spend months making arrangements and have every detail perfectly in place on the big day…or so you thought, until an unforeseen wedding disaster hits. It’s important to remember that absolute perfection is impossible to achieve, especially when you’re dealing with human beings. When problems occur, don’t panic. Instead, understand the problem and devise useful solutions that keep you and your guests as satisfied as possible.

Category: Wedding Planning

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