Wedding ceremony mishaps can happen, but well thought-out plans and hiring a professional wedding planner—plus a few key pointers we’ve outlined below—will help you get through anything that the Big Day decides to throw your way. Read on to ensure you’re as prepared to prevent mishaps as you can be.
1. Slippery Slopes
Avoid any mishaps that may arise from those gorgeous designer shoes you or your bridesmaids plan on wearing by practicing in those exact shoes beforehand. Bring them to your ceremony rehearsal and make your walk down the aisle wearing them so you know exactly what to expect. Even for brides who are high-heel connoisseurs and could walk in the highest stilettos in their sleep, this step is an absolute must, as it’s not just about the shoes you’re wearing—it’s about the ground you’re walking on as well.
Making your way down an Italian marble aisle in brand-new heels? You’ll probably realize you need to roughen up the leather soles first so you don’t slip. Is your ceremony taking place on a grassy lawn? Enter Sole Mates (heel protectors that keep you from sinking into the soft soil). Whatever your venue, a quick spin down the aisle the day before in your wedding-day shoes will help you and your planner sort out any issues that may arise. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that, because you’ve walked in your bridal heels beautifully at home, you’ll be able to do the same down the aisle.
2. Veil Trouble
Ah, the bridal veil. Your wedding day is the one time in your life you get to rock one, so it’s no wonder so many brides love the idea of wearing one. The problem, though, arises when weather doesn’t exactly cooperate. Cool breezes and long veils, after all, don't exactly equate to a match made in heaven. If your donning a veil, be sure to let your wedding-planner know, as she or he will have all kinds of tricks and tips up their sleeve for handling a breezy wedding day. (The same goes for your hair stylist—let her or him know you're wearing a veil beforehand so they come prepared with plenty of bobby pins on-hand.)
Tucking the edge of your veil under your arm will easily solve a runaway veil, as will the addition of some of those ingenious veil weights. If you’re donning a longer veil, be sure to enlist the help of your Maid of Honor to gather and tuck in the fabric of your veil once you arrive at the altar. Above all, be open to last-minute changes if necessary—if it’s simply too windy to wear a veil, you might want to forego it rather than risk a lifetime of photos where you’re fussing with your veil rather than looking at the soulmate who waits for you at the end of that aisle.
3. A Nervous (or distracted) Ring Bearer and Flower Girl
Nothing is more adorable than a tiny, teetering flower girl and ring bearer, but we all know how easy it can be for the little ones to get distracted (or have a complete meltdown) on their way down the aisle. A little bribery here goes a long way—plan for a special little gift, favorite toy, or sweet treat to await the tiny tots at the end of the journey, to help guide their way.
4. Sounds System Troubles
This one comes down to being proactive. Sound checks before guests arrive are always a good thing, and a quick microphone 101 is absolutely in order for anyone using a microphone during the ceremony. Those wireless lapel mics are amazing, but on windy days may pick up more wind than well wishes, so it never hurts to chat about wind guards or options with your sound tech beforehand in order to save a windy wedding day.
5. A Dropped Ring
Nobody move! A dropped wedding band is likely to be most visible right where it has fallen by the person who dropped it—especially in outdoor settings on a grassy lawn or sandy beach. So, while everyone will want to drop to their knees and shuffle around to search, it’s your planner’s job to keep everyone from scrambling to avoid a well meaning guest’s heels pushing the ring further into the sand or grass. It is the Best Man (or anyone you designate in advance) who should be the one to retrieve a dropped ring. Be sure you review this with everyone at the rehearsal!
6. Forgotten Vows
Save yourself from any embarrassing moments by writing down/typing up your personal vows on small note cards or index cards. Have your planner give them to the officiant in advance with clear direction on when (and if) he or she should pass along the cards to you and your partner. Remember, even the most seasoned public speakers can often be swept away by the emotion of the moment, leaving you speechless and searching for those vows you swore you had memorized. Even if you and your fiancé are the most cool, calm, and collected couple ever—don’t skip this step. After all, it’s best to have the cards and not need them, than to not have them and need them.
Overall, a little forethought goes a long way—plan for in advance and be proactive about the things you can prevent, but don’t lose your cool over the things you can’t. You can plan and schedule and put in place preventative measures to the moon and back, but you still need to be able to think on your toes and keep a positive attitude when the most unlikely of mishaps make their way into your perfectly planned day. Our number one tip for ensuring your day goes off without a hitch? Hire a professional planner, of course!
Photo courtesy California film photographer Kristina Adams