The Backup Plan

I was talking with my assistant Lauren about what I should write for this week’s blog.  The fall season is about to begin and there are so many creative styles and beautiful colors being used in 2017, I couldn’t think of what I wanted to cover first.  Lauren, however, had another idea. She suggested that I write about what to do if something goes wrong on the day of your wedding.  I’ve never written a blog about quick fixes for fallen wedding cakes, dresses that don’t fit the way they are supposed to, bustles that refuse to bustle or any of the little things that can go wrong on a wedding day.  A good wedding planner knows the most common glitches on the day of a wedding and should be prepared for anything that comes up.  In the event that you aren't using a professional wedding planner, here are some things you should do to be prepared for unexpected surprises.

  1. Pack a “Bride’s Kit” to keep in the room where you and your bridesmaids will get dressed.  It should contain bobby pins (both black and blond), clear nail polish, polish remover , a clean white cotton handkerchief (for removing spots), a tide pen, extra false eyelashes, safety pins, a small sewing kit, scissors, bandaids in multiple sizes, shout wipes, artificial tears, and double sided tape (either Fashion Forms double sided tape or toupee tape). I always have a bottle of Tum's, Extra Strength Tylenol, smelling salts, alcohol wipes and hem tape (I also carry a small portable steamer in my Bride case). Having these things at your disposal prepares you for hair emergencies, shape-ware runs, spills, slipping bodices, loose lashes, itchy eyes from artificially applied lashes, undone hems and a variety of other potential wardrobe malfunctions. 
  2. In the twenty plus years that I have been planning weddings, I have only seen three cakes fall apart.  Cake problems are a big deal!  There is only one way to be certain that in the unlikely event your cake doesn't make it to the reception in one piece you still have a backup. Talk to your baker in advance about their damaged cake policy.  Ask if they keep “dummy” cakes (which are actually used for shop displays). Get it in writing that should your cake be delivered damaged or be damaged during set up, the bakery will loan you a “dummy” cake to use for photos.  If the wedding cake is damaged and unable to be served, insist that they agree to send out a sheet cake that can be cut from the venue’s kitchen and served to your guests. Cake accidents are rare, but knowing how you and the baker would handle the situation should it arise is the best way to be prepared for any mishap.
  3. Rain - I always buy a case or two of umbrellas before a wedding.  I offer them to people as they leave the hotel to go to the ceremony and I also keep them in the back of the church if it looks like it may rain.  Any prediction of 50% or over for rain and I make sure there are umbrellas available. Remember, YOU CAN RETURN ANY UNUSED UMBRELLAS and get your money back.  Make sure to keep your receipt.  I like using Walgreens Pharmacy to purchase inexpensive umbrellas in bulk. They usually have at least two cases in stock, which is anywhere from 24 to 36 umbrellas. 
  4. Drunks -  there is only one way to handle unruly behavior at a wedding; have the offender removed by security.  Not only is a drunk wedding guest dangerous to his/herself, they are also a danger to your other guests and they take the attention away from the Bride and Groom.  Make sure that your venue knows that you havezero tolerance for unruly or drunk guests and that you expect security to handle any situation that would occur.


There are some other things that could go wrong on the day of the wedding, which is why I always tell Brides to be safe and HIRE A PLANNER.  Even if you can only afford to have a wedding planner work the day of the wedding, it is worth the investment to have someone on hand who knows what to do in an emergency situation and will keep their cool while getting the job done.  If a wedding planner isn’t for you, I suggest you appoint a trusted, strong personality friend or family member to insure that things run smoothly for your wedding.  The best way to handle any problem on your wedding day is to plan in advance for it.  Having the right tools with you and knowing what to ask for when you sign contracts is as essential in having a workable Plan ‘B” as having someone besides yourself run the events of your day. 


In reality, 99% of all weddings run smoothly!  Most vendors do their job with professionalism and efficiency.  Be sure to ask all of your vendors about “rain plans” and “Act of God” clauses in any contract that you sign and be sure to have someone other than yourself handling any mishap that may occur.