If you’re the type of bride who stays up at night worrying about every possible thing that could go wrong on your wedding day, we sympathize. Yes, this is an important day, and yes, there are mishaps that can occur, big and small. But the good news is that with the right advanced planning, you can avoid some of these issues all together or if a problem does occur, handle it so your guests don’t even notice.
Here are the things a bride stress over most (and how to manage them like a total pro).
Over 80 percent of brides wear a white dress to their wedding, and as anyone who’s ever worn a white sundress or t-shirt can attest, it can be a little nerve-wracking. Spills, mud stains, even makeup residue can look even more prominent on white attire. And that doesn’t even include other dress issues like rips and tears, a broken bustle, popped strap, or a gown that doesn’t fit properly.
How to prepare for the worst: There’s a reason why you’re supposed to have several wedding dress fittings—to make sure your dress fits properly and there are no issues from the get-go. Have a bridesmaid or other loved one attend a fitting to learn how to bustle your dress properly. If you’re concerned about stains or rips, make sure to pack a wedding-day emergency kit with items like stain remover, chalk, safety pins, fashion tape, and a sewing kit. Oh, and try to stick to only drinking clear or pale-colored liquids while wearing your dress.
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, your dreams could be dashed by rain (or excessive wind, or blazing heat, etc.). Bad weather can also cause travel or traffic issues for your guests and in extreme (and very rare) circumstances, threaten your wedding all together.
How to prepare for the worst: It’s not enough to make sure that your outdoor wedding venue has a “Plan B” indoor option. Make sure that you are comfortable and happy with that option, and understand exactly how your wedding will look indoors (for example, where your cocktail hour will be held, etc.). Also, purchasing wedding insurance is a good idea, particularly if you’re getting married during the winter or hurricane season.
Tripping and falling
It’s one of those pre-wedding nightmares. You’re walking down the aisle, when all of a sudden your heel breaks and you’re flat on your face with 200 pairs of eyes staring at you.
How to prepare for the worst: It’s all about the shoes. Yes, you may have always dreamed of wearing a pair of sky-high Louboutins of your big day, but if you don’t regularly wear heels, it’s not a great idea. Choose shoes that are both comfortable and stylish—and be sure to “break them in” and practice walking in them before your moment in the spotlight. Also, have an extra pair of shoes on hand in case of a broken heel or other shoe-mergency.
The wrong song
You’ve practiced your choreographed first dance for months and are totally ready to show off your moves to a favorite song. However, when you step out onto the dance floor with your new spouse, the music is…not that song.
How to prepare for the worst: Do your research when it comes to booking your wedding band or DJ—read online vendor reviews to learn about other couples’ experiences. You’ll want to develop a good rapport with the bandleader or DJ and make sure you provide your song list well in advance of your big day. If you’re still concerned about a song hiccup, have your wedding planner or a wedding party member confirm the playlist with your DJ shortly before the reception. And if a mistake still occurs, just laugh, own it, and start dancing!
Flower and décor mix-ups
You’ve spent months dreaming about your wedding décor and planned your color palette and flower arrangements to a tee. However, on the day of your wedding you arrive to find your décor looks completely different than you imagined—you wanted pale pink and ivory flowers, but your bouquets are fuchsia and champagne!
How to prepare for the worst: Again, make sure that you read online reviews of your wedding florist and other décor vendors before hiring them—and confirm your wedding proposal in writing. Provide your florist with inspiration photos and pin boards to ensure your vision is clearly spelled out. Many florists will also provide samples or mock ups to confirm that you’re on the same page. And if there are any mistakes on the day of your wedding remember that your guests will not remember your wedding’s décor—they’ll remember the good time they had.
You hate your hair and makeup
You’re sitting in the hair and makeup chair chatting away with your ‘maids, when all of a sudden you turn around, catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, and…whoa! Totally not how you wanted to look on your wedding day!
How to prepare for the worst: Most brides schedule a hair and makeup trial before their wedding day. Make sure that you’re happy with how your hair and makeup look, and take a few selfies immediately afterwards. That way, you can show your hair stylist and makeup artist exactly how you’d like to look and ensure that they copy it. And if you’re not happy with how things turn out—speak up. Your hair and makeup can (and should) be adjusted until you feel comfortable and confident.
Everyone is late
You haven’t even left your hotel for the ceremony venue and you’re already 30 minutes late! Your guests are already annoyed, your officiant is mad, and you’re completely stressed.
How to prepare for the worst: It’s all about creating a wedding timeline—and making sure that every single person related to your wedding, including your hair stylist, makeup artist, photographer, wedding party, and family members, have a copy. Wedding planners and day-of coordinators are absolute pros at keeping things on schedule, but also enlist a wedding party member to help wrangle up the troops. And if you do start to run late, move things along as quickly as possible, and be apologetic.
It happens All. The. Time. Emergencies happen and guests can’t make it to your wedding at the last minute. Alternatively, some of your guests might bring plus-ones or kids who weren’t invited. All of a sudden, your seating chart is a mess.
How to prepare for the worst: Make sure that you’re crystal clear about who is invited to your wedding. Some couples opt to write the names of the invited guests directly on the RSVP card so that there’s no confusion—a bit of a bold move, but effective. And if guests ask if they can add additional people to their RSVP, but polite but direct—no. In terms of last-minute no-shows, there’s no use letting it ruin your wedding day—focus on the guests who are there.
Obviously, being sick on your wedding day would be unfortunate. But at the same time, worrying about getting sick can make you sick!
How to prepare for the worst: Take care of yourself in the weeks leading up to your wedding. Drink water, eat well, stay away from sick people when possible, and get enough sleep. If you’re getting married during flu season, the flu shot is a good idea as well. And if you or your partner do happen to get sick on your wedding day, it’s a personal choice on how to handle. If you’re feeling relatively okay and can power through, great. If you’re terribly ill and can’t make it down the aisle, you may opt to postpone—which can be a much easier proposition if you’ve purchased wedding insurance.