You found your venue, ordered the flowers, chose your music and settled on the menu. The average time a couple spends planning a wedding is between eight-to ten months. Most weddings go off without any major hitches. There may be some moments of drama or even legitimate panic – but on the whole wedding day disasters are a rarity. However, it never hurts to have some worst-case scenario fall back plans – especially if you’re planning an outdoor wedding.
It may not be possible to plan for any disaster, but here are the top four wedding day disasters you can avoid.
1. Bad Weather
Historic blizzard, rain or just an unseasonably warm day can throw off all manner of wedding day plans. Rain can spoil that perfect blue-sky photo opportunity you had mapped out with your wedding photographer. Snow is never fun for anyone and a blizzard may spell certain doom for your attendance.
Some things you can do to minimize risk and be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws your way:
- Stick to the temperate seasons – spring is a good bet for avoiding winter snows, and summer heat and the occasional forest fire.
- Chose a tented wedding venue to provide some shelter for guests from a hot sun or even some rain sprinkles.
- Be strategic in finding wedding accommodations that are not too far from the wedding venue to limit risk of wedding day driving delays due to weather.
- Watch the weather – plan for worst-case scenarios by having things like umbrellas for guests in the event of rain, shawls and blankets for guests in the event it is chillier than expected and sunglasses and fans in the event of an extra hot day.
2. Wardrobe Malfunctions
The heel of your shoe breaks just before you begin your walk down the aisle. The wind has turned your “up-do” into a “side-do.” Too much sun, excitement and maybe even some allergies you never knew you had are causing your flawless wedding makeup to smudge. These are just some of the many challenges you may face on the day of your wedding – thanks to Murphy’s Law. Take it in stride with these never-fail last minute wardrobe hacks:
- Carry a kit: Stock this bad boy with the tools of the trade, such as cotton balls and makeup remover + some touch-up concealer and powder to fix last minute mascara smudges along with aspirin, tissues, needle and thread, scissors, hairspray and some safety pins.
- Have a pair of slip on heel covers and a spare pair of special, “Plan B” slip-on shoes handy.
- Use a scarf to protect hair at key moments (getting from the salon to the wedding venue, for example).
- Have double sided tape handy and use liberally to keep undergarments in place.
- Chose undergarments that will add support and smooth but are comfortable enough to sit, stand dance and generally be in for several hours.
- Do a test run! Put your entire ensemble together – including shoes! – and put yourself through the paces. This is where you find out if something is going to pinch, cause a blister or maybe even tear. This is the golden rule in avoiding day-of surprises.
3. Cake Fails
The wedding cake is often the crown jewel of the wedding feast. Couples agonize over fondant and whether to go with lemon almond or chocolate ganache flavor. Under the best of circumstances things can go wrong with your wedding cake. For those having an outdoor wedding, the stakes are a little higher. Be aware that heat can cause a cake to melt, wind can blow a cake right off a table and bugs will find their way into your perfect multi-tired, fondant masterpiece. Protect your cake with these sweet-serving best practices:
- Talk to your baker about your outdoor wedding venue and expected day-of event conditions. If your cake will be sitting in the heat for four hours – let your baker know and see what they suggest.
- Fashion a cake table canopy with mosquito netting to keep bugs away.
- Get a ringer. Consider having your baker provide a fake, display version of your cake and then serve a paired down version of the actual cake. This is not only a very economic way to go – but you avoid a world of risk. Truly, have your perfect looking cake…and eat it too.
4. Somebody Gets Sick
It might just be a cold – or maybe it turns out that you are allergic to the pollen of a specific tree that just so happens to be growing in the field you chose to get married. It happens. You wake up with a sore throat or runny nose and think “No. Not today!” Depending on the wedding venue and wedding accommodations getting to a drug store may not be in the cards. Be prepared. Have an on-the-go medicine kit with the essentials:
- Allergy medicine (read labels, some can cause drowsiness)
- Tea, honey and lemon.
In planning an outdoor event, really get to know your wedding venue. and plan a route that considers things like where you might have a “Plan B” wedding photo site for bad weather or where you strategically place your desert table to ensure your cake is not sitting in harm’s way.
If you’re not sure if you have everything covered, both figuratively and literally, don’t worry, the best outdoor wedding venues will help you plan with all of these elements in mind.