It’s rare that a wedding goes 100% according to plan. Usually, if anything goes wrong, it’s relatively minor. A decoration may get forgotten or the speeches may drag on a little too long. Such hitches generally aren’t worth worrying about and the day is still just as magical overall.
In other cases, more serious issues can arise. The groom may fall ill, you may not be able to fit into your dress or the rings may get lost. These are the types of disasters that can derail a wedding day and are the types of disasters that you want to avoid at all costs.
Fortunately, by taking a few preventative measures, you can disaster-proof your wedding day. Here are just some of the ways in which you can guard yourself against the worst eventualities.
Know your budget
Without a budget, you’re likely to run out of money before the wedding day. This means having to take out loans or borrow from relatives. Instead of being able to enjoy newly-wed life, you’ll be paying off debts, which could cause you to resent your wedding rather than looking back at it with fond memories.
Your budget should be the first thing you decide on. It’s worth then making a breakdown of all the things you need to buy and deciding exactly how much you’re willing to spend on each. Try to keep to this budget at strictly as you can. If you need more time to save up, don’t be afraid to put off the wedding so that your day is as special as it can be.
Choose the right date
You need to make sure that the date of your wedding doesn’t clash with any other important events – guests could get annoyed if they’re forced to choose between your wedding and another event. You should also check for local events that could affect traffic or lead to high hotel prices.
The time of the year is also important if you’re planning an outdoor wedding. It’s often cheaper to throw a wedding out of summer, however there could be a greater risk of bad weather. While it may still rain in the peak of summer, the chances of a washout are greatly reduced.
Send out invites early
If you send out invites too late, you could find that many guests already have plans. Get your invites out as soon as you’ve booked a venue and settled on a date.
There are creative ways in which you can get your guests to save the dates such as giving out fridge magnets with your invites. Meanwhile, it’s worth adding an RSVP note to your invitations and following-up on those that still don’t reply. This way you can be sure that key guests don’t forget or make other plans.
Prepare for all weathers
We all want sunshine on our wedding day, but it can’t always be guaranteed. As already mentioned, choosing a date in summer can increase your chance of good weather – which could be important if you’re planning an outdoor wedding. Just in case you still get unlucky, it could be worth taking other measures to ensure that the wedding isn’t a washout.
This could include having a backup indoor venue or hiring a marquee that you can take shelter under. Meanwhile, if you’re opting for an open-top wedding vehicle, make sure that it has the option of a roof if you need it. Supplying some umbrellas meanwhile could be useful for photographs. You may also want to consider what you wear – a dress with a trail and heels may not be appropriate if you’re getting married on a beach.
Extreme heat can sometimes be just as much of an issue as rain. In such cases, being able to cover up food could be important as well as providing shade for guests (a marquee can provide shelter from the rain and shade).
Don’t try to slim into your dress!
Some brides-to-be buy a dress in a size too small with the intention of losing weight by the time their wedding day comes around. This is incredibly risky – most of us aren’t able to lose weight by a deadline, which could mean getting to your wedding date with a dress that you can’t fit into. Some brides have attempted this only to have to buy last minute replacements (if you leave it too late, you may not even have the time to make alterations).
It’s generally wise to buy your dress a few months in advance. If you’re going to try slimming down, do it before you order your dress. Then, make sure that you spend the next few months keeping the weight off. Arrange a fitting a month before the wedding just to check that everything is still okay – this will give you enough time to make adjustments if necessary.
Check that no guests have allergies
Certain guests may have dietary requirements that need to be met. The most serious of these requirements is allergies – you don’t want to put someone in hospital because there were hidden nuts in a dish. Most people with serious allergies will tell you about them in advance, however it’s worth still mentioning allergies in your invitation to remind those that may otherwise forget. Make sure that your caterer is then able to accommodate to these allergies.
Do a hair and make-up trial
A hair and make-up trial are essential for ensuring that your stylist chooses the right look. You don’t want to get to your wedding day morning only to realize that you hate the updo they’ve given you or that you don’t like the make-up they’ve applied – by which point it will be too late to try something new. A trial allows you to test out a look and possibly try something else if it isn’t you. It’s worth doing a trial a couple months ahead so that you have enough time to schedule other trials if necessary.
Leave enough time to reach the wedding
Getting stuck in traffic on the way to the wedding can be another nightmare scenario. Leaving early ensures that you can get there on time and that you don’t miss your wedding slot (which could be the case with a church or registry office). If you do get to the venue early, the driver can always circle around a couple more times. It’s worth using a professional transport team to handle both the bride’s and groom’s transport – the two can then keep in communication, ensuring that both parties arrive at the right time.
Pace yourself when drinking
You don’t want to drink too much alcohol too early on your wedding day and be unconscious before it’s even time for the first dance (or worse simply not remember any of it). Go easy on the Dutch courage – stick to one glass of bubbly max before the ceremony if you’re not a big drinker. Similarly, take it easy during the toasts. Eating breakfast on the wedding morning is essential and could stop you getting tipsy as quickly.
Take out wedding insurance
Wedding insurance can help to cover you against some of the biggest and most unavoidable disasters. It won’t prevent these disasters from happening, but it could provide compensation, allowing you to cancel your wedding and reschedule.
Wedding insurance commonly covers eventualities such as loss or damage to the dress, last minute vendor cancellations or important guests being too ill to attend. It’s worth shopping around to find the most comprehensive scheme.
Hire pros, not friends
Delegating tasks such as DJing, photography and catering to friends can save a lot of money in most cases. However, you need to be certain that these friends aren’t complete amateurs who could risk ruining your day. When you hire professionals, you can guarantee that they will do a good job. You friends can meanwhile enjoy your day without having to effectively spend the day working.
Consider hiring a wedding planner
Hiring a wedding planner can take a lot of the stress out of organizing your special day. The wedding planner can help to find vendors within your budget and co-ordinate the whole day while you enjoy it. It can reduce the risk of major elements being forgotten. On top of this, if a vendor does pull out last minute, a wedding planner may be able to find a last minute replacement. For instance, if your photographer is sick, they may be able to find a new one to fill in short notice so that your day can still go ahead.