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6 Things That Might Go Wrong at Your Wedding—and Why It's Okay If They Do

Perfection's overrated.

Contributing Writer
wedding chairs checkered flooring
Photography by: M. K. Sadler

If you're having nightmares about ripped wedding dresses, forgotten veils, and hurricanes in the nights leading up to your big day, we're here to tell you that it's totally normal. Here's the thing: Something will probably go "wrong" on your wedding day, but it's going to be totally fine. We'll explain why with some of the most common what-ifs. Keep this pep talk in mind when the notorious worst-case-scenarios begin invading your headspace. And, if all else fails, remember this zen advice from wedding planner Haley Horsfall of WED: "Make peace with the possibility of mishaps ahead of time. The brides who decide ahead of time that they will remain present, calm, and focused on what the day is really all about are the happiest brides!" 

 

The Key to Keeping Calm During a Wedding Disaster

 

What if the weather is bad?

"Create a weather back-up plan that you genuinely like—not just one that you could live with in the event you had to use it," advises Horsfall. "The extra budgeting and planning are worth it." Horsfall and her team have even pulled off a wedding during a flood in Charleston. "The streets were flooded and no one could travel, so we decided we would have to bring the wedding to them. We filled a moving van, our own cars, and multiple SUVs, parked on the highest ground we could, and began making multiple trips." In the end, all but three wedding guests were able to attend as planned, even though they did have to head to the new venue on foot. Moral of the story? If one couple can get married in a flood, you can tie the knot with a few drizzles.

 

What if I'm late?

This is an easy one: If you're running a few minutes late, it doesn't really matter. Nothing happens without the bride! And if you need to hold things up for a few minutes to wait for VIPs to get through traffic, it's nothing wedding planners and venues haven't seen before. Your best bet, though, is to build a little buffer time into your schedule. Ask guests to arrive at 5 p.m. for a 5:30 ceremony, then serve pre-ceremony cocktails to keep everyone happy.

 

What if the décor is wrong?

Your bouquet ends up looking a little different than what you approved, or you catch a glimpse of the dining room and the linens are the wrong color. Don't panic. First, tell someone ASAP, and odds are they'll do their best to accommodate you. If there's really nothing that can be done, remember that you're the only person who will know what's "wrong" with the décor. Your guests will take in all in as the big picture and simply see a beautiful celebration. 

 

What if someone doesn't show up?

Real talk: The guests who don't show even though they RSVPed yes will be offset by the guests who were not invited with a plus-one but bring one anyway. Sorry, but you just need to hear it now. There's always one. In any case, whether it's an extra chair or an empty one, you'll be so wrapped up in marital bliss it won't even cross your mind.

 

What if my updo becomes a down-do?

Everyone has an aunt with a purse full of bobby pins. This is their moment to shine. If you're nervous, have your MOH bring a curling iron to the reception just in case. Your hair may not look exactly the same, but it'll still look beautiful—anything on the bride is!

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