Because accidents happen, even on the happiest day of your life.

By Helen Sondag
January 13, 2020

If you're like most couples, your top wedding-planning priority is probably ensuring that everyone has a great time. Accidents and injuries are probably the last thing most brides and grooms think of, and that's because it's the last thing they'd want to happen on their big day. That's the thing about mishaps, though: They tend to happen when you least expect them. Fortunately, there are a few easy steps you can take to protect the people you love most.

"When working at an unconventional venue, or any venue for that matter, safety is paramount," says Merryl Brown, president and creative director of Merryl Brown Events. "We always begin with the end in mind by thinking through every element of guest safety and security at our events." Preparing for the worst doesn't make you a downer. It makes you a host who has thought of everything. Here's how to make sure everyone leaves with memories, not medical bills.

Related: What Does It Really Cost to Be a Wedding Guest?

Identify hazards.

If you're getting married at a traditional venue, you can breathe a little easier. Most incidents are usually addressed by the event space coordinator, as these locations are designed with visitors in mind. However, "At unconventional venues, there can be potential landmines," Brown explains, "so you must think about what could go wrong and troubleshoot in advance. Walk the space long before your event, in the day, and at night to identify trip hazards, structural hazards, and driving and parking complexities."

Light the way.

We're all for a wedding in a remote spot, but that typically means you're bringing in all kinds of amenities—and proper lighting is a big part of that. "You need to be certain that the venue has, or be certain to add, ample path lighting for both guests and staff," Brown explains. "If you need to build a catering kitchen, you will need both interior lighting and path lighting to and from the tent, as well as pathway lighting to any portable restrooms. At the end of the evening, you will need valet or parking lot lighting."

Give them a ride.

Speaking of parking, let's talk transportation. If you're getting married in a hard-to-reach place or if you have lots of out-of-town attendees, it's a good idea to provide valet parking or even shuttle revelers to and from the reception—especially if they'll be imbibing. "Valet parking attendants play an important role in event safety," Brown says. "They are often the ones who will stop over-served guests from driving by withholding keys and calling a cab to ensure that they will arrive at home safely after your event." To make things even safer, Brown says to think about providing shuttles and asking guests to leave their cars at home or in the hotel parking lot. "Offering transportation services to and from the area hotels where you have room blocks is the best way to ensure that your guests will arrive at their destination safely," she adds.

Provide the essentials.

Slips, trips, and personal issues happen, even when there are important things like ceremonies scheduled. It's just good sense to stock up on the essentials that will soothe any cuts and aches. You don't want anyone struggling to find a pharmacy or leaving early to deal with an extreme sunburn. "We always create elegant stocked trays that are like mini pharmacies for the restrooms at our events with things like Tylenol, Advil, Tums, Lactaid, Band-Aids, Neosporin, safety pins, bobby pins, feminine products, sunscreen, breath mints, and more," Brown explains. "This helps to ensure that guests will be more comfortable and have their needs quickly met without leaving the venue."

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