Top Ten Wedding Fails

Lots of things can go wrong at weddings. It’s a big day, the pressure is on, there are lots of eyes and ears scrutinising detail and quality. Most of the time, the little mistakes or mishaps make the wedding. They are memorable moments you look back on with fondness or a good sense of humour. But let’s face it, some weddings contain moments of sheer embarrassment, mortification, or worse. Those things you really wish hadn’t happened, and really want to forget, well that’s what this list is for. For brides and grooms to be if you are worried about everything running perfectly smoothly on your big day, this might help put things into perspective. Don’t let this list get you down, chances are none of this will happen. But if you want to be safe and not sorry consider my tips for avoiding disaster. And keep in mind that the wedding is for all its bells and whistles, ultimately a means to an end. Marrying the one you love and living happily ever after.

  1. Bad Musicians – This is a problem with all live music, but especially risky with church organs. Top tips: listen to the musician you are hiring beforehand. Try to go to a live performance instead of trusting their demo cd or website audio clip. Don’t use a church organ or bagpipes unless the musician is highly skilled and can pull it off. If money is tight, and you are using amateur musicians, choose simple songs or songs they can already perform well.
  2. Moody Blues – You won’t be able to enjoy your day if you are in a bad mood. There are so many reasons you might be: if disaster does strike, if you have a fight with your betrothed/mother/sister etc., if you’ve had very little sleep, if you feel unwell, if you are hormonal. Top tips: adopt a zen aura and let things that would normally bother you, slide off you. Take a herbal calming remedy. Try to relax the week before the wedding. Treat yourself, have a massage, a lovely bath and early night the night before. Plan and organise so you’re not running around like a headless chicken. Put some time aside for you and your partner to remind yourselves why you’re getting married and how much you love each other.
  3. Punch Ups – They say it’s not a real party until something gets broken, until there’s a fight, or unless someone is sick. Well weddings are all about love and apart from striking totally the wrong negative chord, fights be they verbal or physical detract from the important people, the Bride and Groom. Top tips: if you think someone might cause a fight, don’t invite them. Carefully arrange the seating plan to keep rivals apart. Don’t serve endless free alcohol.
  4. The weather – I’m not just talking about grey skies or a bit of rain. What if your day coincides with a hurricane, a storm, or a blizzard? These are things we simply can’t control, but you can do two things. Top tips: look into wedding insurance in case you have to postpone entirely to another date. Have a contingency plan which includes guest transportation and communication system for relaying the change of plan to everyone.
  5. Bridal Party Injuries – what better way to spend your first night as a married couple than in hospital? Top tips: keep an eye on clumsy relatives, badly secured platforms, uneven floors, avoid flimsy chairs and tables, steps and ledges! Beware long veils and dresses being caught in doors or go for a shorter dress, shorter veil, or no veil.
  6. Damages – This would include ruined wedding cakes and wedding dresses, those icons of the wedding day that above all must be pristine (at least for the photos). Top tips: falling over will often have the knock on effect of ruining cake and/or dress so see top tips for Bridal party injuries. Transport the cake and the dress carefully being mindful of sources of dirt, dust, bleach, oil, ink, blood. Dresses can snag on any sharp point including jewellery, heels, doors and flooring.
  7. Jokes Gone Wrong – Really wrong. The Best Man’s ‘funny’ speech that simply puts the Bride down whilst listing the Groom’s ex girlfriends. The wedding that can’t take place because of the missing Groom following a badly thought out stag do prank. The video reel your parents put together of your worst childhood memories. The honeymoon suite pranks that just kill the passion. Top tips: trust the people you give the privilege of speaking at your wedding to. Surprises are great, but if you suspect your well meaning relative or friend might not be on the same page as you and your bethrothed, double check what they have in mind! The day is about both Bride and Groom. No one wants to be sulky on their wedding day.
  8. Exes – Some exes become friends, some harbour resentment and grow bitter and choose your wedding day to strike! Top tips: think carefully about inviting exes who are friends but who haven’t become friends of your spouse. If you have a potentially devastating ex, mention them to the doormen, have someone look out for them, keep your wedding quiet!
  9. Food Poisoning – Don’t want your guests’ lasting memory of your wedding to be their toilets? Top tips: use a reputable caterer- check their hygiene certificates. Watch out for food kept warm or left out for long periods of time. Beware of rice. Sample the food before signing the caterer, or use a venue or supplier you are familiar with.
  10. Changing Your Mind – Lots of couples get cold feet, but what if you really don’t want to go through with it? Top tips: don’t leave it until the wedding day to make a run for it. Be brave enough to break things off after the engagement if you decide you’re really not marrying the right person. Everyone will understand, and if they don’t you shouldn’t care, it’s your life, you have to put yourself first. Give yourself an engagement period long enough to learn more about each other and to discuss all the big stuff that really can make or break a relationship when things get serious.
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If I could plan my wedding all over again

My wedding day felt truly magical. It was powerfully romantic and emotional, and reflected our tastes and styles to a tee. But there are still things I would’ve done a little differently if I could do it all over again. I hope Brides and Husbands to Be will find these reflections useful but my final word on wedding planning is that whatever your choices for the day, perfection is to be found in your lovely new spouse, the occaision itself, and the love and happiness you will feel coming off everybody that special day. So don’t be hung up on perfection in the details, quite often the things that go wrong are what we remember most fondly.I’ll pretend I’m granted three wishes like Wedding SOS in reverse.

Change number 1: I know I have a tendency to run late. I should have planned better so that we had less to do the morning of the wedding. I ended up not paying any attention to my fingernails whatsoever! No nail varnish, certainly no manicure :S although it was lovely that my sister painted them for me before the evening meal, mmmm pampered! I had no breakfast to speak of even though I took pastries to the hairdressers with me. I tend not to eat when I’m in business mode. We (mom, bridesmaids, etc.) had to rush exchanging our little gifts to each other at the hotel, so I wish we’d done that the night before too. The rush of the night before was really enjoyable though. Highlights included the best pizza ever (because we were knackered and starving), touching gifts from my mom, and hilarity in the bath involving fake tan and hair bleach. As I prepared to go to bed, in our lovely hotel room, set out my jewellery, perfume, and card from H2B to opened as soon as I woke up, I felt like a princess already.

Change number 2: You can’t control the weather 🙂 but there were things I could’ve controlled that day which I didn’t. I didn’t think I’d have to maker certain things clear but it turns out you can’t be too clear setting out your expectations. We hired a wonderful vintage car, imagining a slow drive down country lanes from the hotel to the village hall. I was running late, but the driver had already decided he’d take the dual carriageway (it felt like it took forever) instead of the country lanes. He was concerened about traffic. As we raced up the A38 with the rain sheeting down, my heart sank. This was not what I wanted 😦 So, make sure you tell your driver the route you want to take! We did have a laugh about the vintage window that wouldn’t close. My sister bless her held the wind up handle all the way to prevent too much rain coming in onto my dress.

Change number 3: Think twice before using a friend or family member as one of your suppliers. Not least because you might really miss them being part of the day as a guest, and feel bad that they are working so hard instead of having a lovely time. I will treasure the few photos other guests took that have our photographer in them! With the photographer you might think you’ve been crystal clear with what you want and don’t want, but again, you can’t be too explicit. Think about which things might appear in the background of your pics unless they’re taken at a certain angle. Our wedding was at a village hall, it was great, but still a village hall. It’s hard to cover up things like strip lights, bins, and exit signs so it’s in your photographer’s hands to make them ‘vanish’ from your photo album 😉

I was relieved that my ideas for an eclectic vintage/country garden/English rose wedding came together so well. A final tip for all you wedding dreamers out there would be choose something quite specific for your theme. My idea of the theme kept evolving. I understood what I wanted but I was about the only one. It was really difficult to describe to the guests what they should wear to fit in with the theme. I stressed about the dress, make up and hair coming together properly and about the colours, oh the colours. I wanted dusky pink, we couldn’t get dusky pink roses so we ended up with slightly peachy roses. I wanted sage green, but what’s the difference between sage and olive green? And then the patterns. Would the lace on my dress match OK with the damask on my mom’s dress and the groom’s Liberty print hankerchief? Breathe. If you’re unsure, keep things simple. If you’re game, go for it. The details make up the overall image of your wedding in your guests eyes. They won’t be judging things item by item. Just have fun. Happy planning!