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5 Last-Minute Wedding Crises—and How to Deal with ‘Em

From a ripped gown to rain, there are things that can go wrong on your wedding day. But instead of worrying about them, prepare yourself! Here are the most common wedding day problems and what you can do to deal with them.

couple walking in rain

If you’re spending the final nights before your nuptials worrying about those wedding day problems, you’re not alone. It’s totally normal to fret about something going wrong on your big day. Our recommendation? Instead of wasting your time stressing, find ways prepare for these last-minute crises so if they do happen to arise, you’ll be ready and able to handle them quickly and get on with enjoying your amazing day.

Here are the most common wedding day problems couples experience, and how to deal with ‘em without losing your mind.

Fashion Emergencies

Whether you’re wearing a gown or a suit, there are various wedding day problems that can arise pertaining to your attire. In particular, stains and rips happen more often than you think, as do broken heels and zippers and missing buttons. These fashion emergencies might have you panicked, but they’re actually easily fixed or concealed.
How to Deal: Depending on what’s caused a stain and the fabric you’re working with, there are easy-to-make stain removal concoctions that can help minimize (or eliminate) damage. Not only is it important to have a sewing kit on hand in case of rips or tears (most hotels have them in case you forgot), but also someone with sewing experience—ask your loved ones or wedding planner before your big day if you’re not sure! Most people who are comfortable sewing can reattach a button to a shirt, fix a ripped hem, or even sew you into your dress if your zipper breaks. And for shoe problems (a broken heel for example), it’s always a good idea to have an extra pair of shoes on hand, but if you don’t, a little super glue usually solves a footwear faux pas.    

Vendor Issues

Vendors are people too, and can experience emergencies just like the rest of us. Whether it’s an illness, family emergency, or other issue, there are times when vendors are unable to complete their services at your wedding—rare, but it does happen. There’s also the other side of the coin, when the work a vendor provides isn’t up to par—your flowers, your cake, your linens, as examples, aren’t what you ordered.
How to Deal: This is why it’s so important to research your vendors and read their contracts thoroughly before booking. Reputable vendors should have a force majeure clause in their contract, which provides a contingency plan in case of emergency. If that isn’t the case for some reason and you’re stuck without a particular vendor, lean on your other wedding pros who likely have connections and can help you come up with a backup plan. And if your vendor’s work isn’t as promised, speak up—politely, but as soon as possible. There may be time for adjustments to be made. If it’s too late or impossible, remember that the details really don’t matter. You’re getting married surrounded by your closest loved ones—that’s what important (and you can always write about your experience with a vendor in an online review later).

Mother Nature Rebels  

One of the most dealt-with wedding day problems is an issue that’s completely beyond your control: the weather. While most venues have indoor back-ups plans, you may need to make a decision about whether you’re hosting an indoor or outdoor wedding a few days in advance. But what happens if the forecast calls for a sunny day but It starts to rain minutes before your ceremony is about to begin?  
How to Deal: Your guests’ safety and comfort should be paramount here. If you’re facing a major thunderstorm, it may be necessary to move things indoors—even if it will take extra time. However, if it’s just rain, you may be able to get away with buying a ton of umbrellas and giving them to your guests to hold during the proceedings. Work with your wedding planner and venue coordinator to come up with a contingency plan.

Family Drama

Couples who have divorced parents or relatives who don’t get along may worry about arguments or other blowups occurring on their big day. Fortunately, people tend to be on their best behavior during weddings so you probably don’t have anything to worry about. But if a screaming match between your mom and your great-aunt occurs during cocktail hour, there are ways to quickly diffuse the situation.
How to Deal: If family drama comes to blows during your wedding, you, as the bride or groom must not, we repeat, must not get involved. This is your day to celebrate, so it’s important to stay as far away from drama as possible. Instead, assign a wedding party member or close relative to quickly and quietly remove the offenders from your event until they are able to calm down. Usually, once your loved ones realize that they are making a scene and potentially spoiling your special day, they’ll start acting like adults.  

Timing Snafus

Your guests apparently thought the time on your wedding invitation as a suggestion and now everything’s running behind schedule. This is a common wedding day problem and weddings run late for a variety of reasons, from traffic jams to late vendors and more. However, there are ways to make up time and get things back on track.
How to Deal: Of course, creating and distributing a detailed timeline in advance and providing shuttle transportation for your guests minimizing the likelihood of things running late. However, unforeseen wedding day problems can occur. If things are running a few minutes behind schedule, don’t sweat it, but if you’re running super-behind, talk to your vendors to see if adjustments can be made to the timeline. Instead of doing your portraits before the ceremony, perhaps see if they can be squeezed in during cocktail hour. Or move the first dance until after dinner has been served so your guests can eat sooner. Your planner and venue coordinator can be helpful in moving things around so things don’t run too late.