Let’s face it, not every disaster that occurs at weddings is avoidable. There are things that even the most well prepared Wedding Planner just can’t avoid. A google search of wedding disaster pulls up a pile of things that I just can’t think “what would I do to avoid”. They range from a twisted ankle, to the reception hall burning, to being robbed ( from People magazine article)
So, what happens when disaster strikes and your best laid plans are foiled? Here are a few pointers on how to deal that apply to just about any scenario:
Take a deep breath! Okay, so you’ve just had this disaster happen and your day isn’t going as you had envisioned it. Before you have the complete melt down that’s building, find yourself a quiet corner and take a few cleansing breaths. No. Seriously, the oxygen will calm you . Inhale, hold for a few seconds, then release. Do this a couple of times until you feel your heart rate slow down. You may even have a revelation about how to handle it. Decisions are better made with a calm demeanor than panic.
It can either be a disaster or a memorable moment that makes your wedding unique! Yes, I just said that. But think about it. How many weddings have you gone to in your lifetime, and how many of them do you remember? Yours will be unforgettable for sure. And, as long as it isn’t a tragic disaster, you’ll have a funny story to tell the grandkids someday. Family members and guests will sit around at family parties and reminisce about their experience at your nuptials. Sometimes, unplanned disasters could be a gift in disguise. Whether it is a happy memory or a bad memory depends on what you decide to do with the moment and the perception or spin you put on it.
Your wedding day is only one day out of the rest of your life! You’re not doomed, nor is your marriage or relationship. Actually, how you react with each other and to each other in the moment is more the tell tale for the fate of your relationship. Life is full of unexpected moments, and so is a marriage. Try, really hard, to find the humor in it. Laugh with each other or even take a moment to cry with each other! It’s not the end of the world, it’s just one day.
The day will end with you as Mr & Mrs and that was the point anyway right! This following quote says it best from one couple in an article that I found on People magazine. They found themselves robbed on their honeymoon with irreplaceable sentimental items stolen from them.
“Their sad adventure “felt very cool and newlywed,” says Nat, 29. “It was like, ‘You and I are in this together, and we’ll deal with this ourselves.’
It may be difficult when wrapped up in the moment, but remember this; you have people that love you and the rest of your life ahead of you. And, through any scenario that may occur, smile and they will smile with you!
We’ve all heard about Bridezillas. They even have their own TV show. But Momzillas are just as bad, if not worse, than a Bridezilla. This could be your very own mom, who wants to have HER dream wedding she never had or your future mother-in-law that you don’t quite get along with or that has her own vision for your wedding day. Dealing with these moms is not easy. There are expectations and potential to hurt feelings or to alienate. No one wants to start out their marriage or have that hanging over them on their wedding day. So, how do you avoid that drama?
Often times Momzilla’s just don’t randomly appear. You know your mom and your fiancé knows his mom, so you know the potential for any drama that may circulate around them. While you know the potential for a zilla, the actual behavior can sneak up on you. Here is some advice in how to nip it in the bud before it starts and what to do after it starts;
Before you start planning the wedding, talk to each other about what you want – Some women have dreamt of their wedding their entire lives, others have not. Most men haven’t. It is very important that you sit down with each other and decide what you want and what you don’t want for your day. Make a list and rate how important each of the items are to you and your fiancé. If you’re clear, then it leaves little room for “suggestions” that could potentially be the exact opposite of what you want. This can help avoid the turn down of ideas that may offend.
Share your decisions with your family. So, you’ve agreed to things and shaped your day together by agreeing to what you want or don’t want to happen. Now, you need to make it clear to your parents what you want and that you talked it over and worked it out together . Stress the importance of all of this to them. It is important that you take a united front and not waiver. If, under a moment of pressure when you have been cornered by a Momzilla, you feel the urge to cave, discuss it with your significant other before you show the crack in the seam to the momzilla.
Don’t immediately say no to input from Momzilla . Your knee-jerk reaction to what you deem to be interference is to say a quick no. That no might put the Momzilla on the defensive. My suggestion; tell the buttinsky Mom that it sounds lovely, that you will think about it, talk it over with your fiancé, and get back to her. Then, do just that. Give her input some careful consideration, talk it over with your fiancé and , if it doesn’t fit into your day as you envisioned it, tell her , as gently as you can, that you appreciate the suggestion but that it just doesn’t fit in with how you have shaped your day or into your vision.
Be willing to compromise a little. This is a big day for your parents too. Some have probably dreamt about this day since you were born or even before. If the request from the Mom is not too outrageous, then make the compromise. It will make the mom happy. And, if it’s your mother-in-law that is interjecting ideas, it will win you points and lay the foundation for a solid relationship with her. Compromising might be a little more necessary in circumstances in which the parent is footing the bill.
If she’s getting too crazy, let her know gently. Sometimes it builds up and you just want to explode. But, if your mom or mother- in- law to be is causing you stress, take her out to lunch or sit her down and tell her calmly. Don’t do it in a fit of anger because you don’t want to say anything you’ll regret later. Tell her what you are willing to compromise on, but also lay your foot down where it is really important to you. Tell her you love her ideas and that you’ll incorporate some (if you really intend to), but that you and your fiancé have your own vision of your day.
If she is super insistent, and it’s all too much for you to fight, just suck it up and let bygones be bygones. I know you shouldn’t have to, but think about your future. If it’s your mom, this is par for the course and you know best how to deal with her (rebel or give in for peace sake). If it’s your future mother in law, think about the rest of your life as a couple. There are things you’ll absolutely have to put your foot down about in the future (like when it comes to your kids, etc.) But, is this one of them? It might be better to appease the dragon, than slay it on this one.
The most important thing out of all of this is that you and your fiancé be on the same page at all times. After all, two is better than one, right? Remember that your momzillas love you and just want you to have the best day possible. It may not seem that way, but it does come from that place of love.
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o, I went in search of another disaster that perhaps I could help avoid. This week’s disaster comes from the Huffington Post article on Wedding Disasters: Guests Share Their Stories. There were a few good ones, but I choose this one for this weeks topic:
Ah… yes.. fainting guests, brides, grooms, officiates; we’ve all seen those videos on America’s Funniest Home Videos or on blooper shows. Sometimes it’s even put to a musical montage. But what is causing all those brides, grooms and or guests to fall over and how can you avoid the same fate on your wedding day? Since I’m not doctor, I googled fainting and it is described as:
A sudden loss of consciousness, usually temporary and typically caused by a lack of oxygen in the brain.
It’s also called Syncope described in Medilexicon’s Medical dictionary as
“Loss of consciousness and postural tone caused by diminished cerebral blood flow.”
How do you know you’re about to faint? Here is a list of symptoms:
A feeling of heaviness in the legs
Feeling warm or hot
Lightheadedness, dizziness, a floating feeling
Of course, there are many causes of fainting and if someone has a history of medical problems, like heart issues, and they faint, you should have them checked out. In some cases, if the person is a diabetic they could have low blood sugar . In reading further through the article I referenced, the type of fainting that most likely is occurring during those bloopers is called Neurocardiogenic Syncope; when something causes a short term malfunction of the autonomous nervous system. The person will feel a sudden drop in their brain’s blood/oxygen levels, and , well they faint. And, looking through the causes, weddings could be right up there as they include:
An extremely embarrassing situation or event (NERVES!)
Standing still for too long
Being in a hot and stuffy place for too long
So, here are my tips for avoiding the possibilities of those fainting spells.
Eat Breakfast. This is often the last piece of wisdom I bestow on my couples the night before their wedding. We all know that when we are stressed out or are busy, we forget to eat. Don’t go all day long without filling your belly. You’ll end up with low blood sugar that could lead to weakness and cause you to faint. You don’t have to eat an elaborate meal, but keep yourself hydrated and eat some carbs, even if it’s plain bread & butter. Just have something in your belly.
Prepare for heat. If you are getting married in the summer time, you might want to make sure that you are wearing a light free flowing wedding gown that isn’t too restrictive. Tight corseted or heavy gowns will make you sweat and cut off circulation. Same goes for the groom and his groomsmen. Perhaps opting for a lightweight linen suit would be best. For your guests, provide them with a fan if you are having an outdoor ceremony or in a church that doesn’t have air conditioning so that they don’t get overheated as well. And, if it’s wintertime, you might want to turn the heat down just a bit. Not too much, you don’t want your guests to be cold, but you also don’t want to create a hot situation.
Don’t lock your knees. I think this one is the one that gets most people. When standing for a long time, and particularly when we are nervous, we tend to lock our knees cutting off our circulation. Try to keep your legs loose, bent slightly at the knees. Maybe shift your weight during the ceremony. If your ceremony will be long with lots of readings, perhaps you’ll want chairs for each of you to sit on during the ceremony and seat your bridal party in the first two rows on either side.
Take Deep Breathes and Relax. Yes, this is a big day and everyone is watching you. But, they all love you and are not judging so there really is no need to be so nervous. The best thing you can do if overcome with nerves or if you feel any of the symptoms listed above is to take a few deep cleansing breaths and relax your shoulders and legs and get that blood flowing. And, if possible, have a seat so you don’t fall down.
When I started out this series last week I was wondering what topic I will conquer next. Then, as fate would have it, a friend of mine posted the above on Facebook.
So, I texted my friend to find out what that post was all about (I smelled a good blog topic). And, indeed, I was correct. As it turns out two of the Bridesmaids were engaged in a bitter battle in which one posted on the others Facebook wall an image of her butt prompting the other Bridesmaid to:
And, therein, I found my next topic; Bridesmaid Wars and How to Avoid the Drama.
The details of what the Bridesmaids were fighting about are not important. I don’t’ even know if it was between the Bride and Bridesmaid or two warring women within the bridal party. It’s hard to admit it, but yes ladies, we are prone to over react and get emotional. Women are oft wrapped in, well drama. So, here are a few tips and trips that I think can help avoid a Bridesmaid meltdown that could lead to a wedding disaster.
Choose your Bridesmaids wisely – The bridesmaids are supposed to be those women for which you have and can look to for support throughout your life (past, present and future). They are YOUR friends (some that happen to be family members). They are supposed to make your life easier. If you have a friend that often creates more drama than not, perhaps you don’t want to include them in your wedding party. If there are two women for which you are considering being in your wedding party that don’t get along, you may have to leave one or both of them out to avoid conflict. You can find other ways to include them in your day that that will lessen the likelihood of drama. (Like assigning them to do a reading perhaps).
Carefully, and I mean CAREFULLY select your Maid of Honor – yes, this person should be your best friend, your rock. They should be the one that you can rely on to “keep the peace” and keep you sane during the entire process. She is the one that should rally the other Bridesmaids to the calls for help. So, if the person you are thinking about making the maid or matron of honor is a drama queen herself or tends to incite the drama, then you better think twice. If she is the one to often shirk her fair share of friendly duties (a.k.a a little lazy) you may reconsider her as a choice. You want a level head at the helm. Afraid to offend by not asking her; use the old standby; choose a family member (like a sister or cousin) that you know is reliable and blame it on the family for making you “obligated” to choose your cousin or sister. Then assign that best friend some tasks that she can do to help you and will make her feel needed. This leads me to my #3 suggestion.
Can’t choose who your “bestest” is make them ALL important – who says you can only have one maid of honor? If you are one of those girls that have a lot of close gal pals, then make them ALL your maid of honor by taking the responsibilities and assigning them to each of your bridesmaids so that they all feel important. This may actually be a relief and take the pressure off one person. And, assign those tasks based on what each of your friends are best at. Give the most reliable person the tasks that are more critical, and the less reliable with the less critical tasks. It will make it easier and more enjoyable for them as well as more comfortable for you!
When you ask, tell them what you expect or don’t expect from them – Being a bridesmaid can sometimes be nerve wracking. Some don’t like talking in public and may not want to make the “speech”. If you know the person you selected is shy, then make sure they know that they are not obligated to speak in front of all the guests. Here is a great list of Bridesmaids duties from The Knot for which you can draw your “ I need help list” when you ask someone to be your Bridesmaid. This list also comes in handy with suggestion #3.
Give them the option of NOT accepting with NO hurt feelings! – Sometimes, being a Bridesmaid and/or a maid of honor is just expensive and the person may not be in a position to take on that kind of responsibility (buying a certain dress, paying for the certain things, etc.). This happened to a Bride of mine two years ago who had asked a friend, who clearly couldn’t afford it, to be the Maid of Honor. Rather than telling the Bride, she shirked on a lot of the responsibility, stalled on getting the dress and other items adding to the Bride’s stress level. In the end, the Maid of Honor bowed out of doing the wedding and as a result there were hurt feelings and the friendship went south. It might have been better for their friendship to have that conversation up front. The movie Bridesmaid perfectly illustrated how money can sometimes thwart a Bridesmaid that wants to be a part of it all but simply can’t really afford to be.
Keep your Bridal Party Small – a sure way to avoid the potential for too much drama is to limit the size of your Bridal party by choosing one maid of honor and one best man. Just keep it small. Twelve is usually the max, but having such a large party raises the chances of having clashing personalities.
Keep an open line of communication with your Bridesmaids – while the wedding is all about you, sometimes there are things going on in your Bridesmaids life that may be affecting their mood etc. If one of your bridesmaids is not enjoying themselves, ask them why. You may have to dig a little. Maybe they are having second thoughts about standing in front of everyone, or they are having a problem meeting the obligation they originally committed to. If they need to bow out after they have already accepted, give them the opportunity without hurt feelings. Not wanting to be in the wedding party may have nothing to do with personal feelings toward you but their circumstances.
So, I hope you have found my tips & suggestions on choosing Bridesmaids helpful. Remember, the wedding lasts only one day ,a year if you include the lead up, but you want your friendships to last a lifetime.
Do you have a wedding day disaster that you would like to share and see me blog about? Please Contact us or leave a comment below and your story could be the topic of the next Avoiding Wedding Day Disaster series!
I went in search of some wedding day disasters to see what wisdom and insight as a planner I could share. In other words, how would I help my clients to avoid the same mistakes that led to these wedding mishaps? When googled, the first thing that came up was a bride that was arrested at her own wedding. Now, I’m sure many a bride and groom have gotten wasted at their reception, but just because it didn’t end in an arrest doesn’t mean that it still wasn’t a disaster that could have been avoided. So, for the first in what I will make a regular series , Avoiding Wedding Day Disasters, I present:
The details aren’t important accept for one, the Bride drank way too much and, as a result, she went a little bonkers. She got upset when the bartender cut off liquor as the end of the reception approached (last call is a real law in most states including Pennsylvania) and threw stuff at her new husband (the kind that could leave a scar), to name a few infractions that landed her in the pokey on her wedding night.
We all know how crazy it can get when we drink a little too much (some certainly more than others). I have personally witnessed Brides and Grooms get into a little alcohol induced tiff by the end of the night simply because over indulgence tends to make some of us irrational and angry at , well nothing. I know you wanted to cut loose and have a great time at your reception but, think of this way; you’ve spent so much time, effort and, of course, money to create the perfect day and atmosphere most likely filled with sophistication and elegance. Getting yourself completely intoxicated could quickly negate all that hard work. So, how do you have fun, let loose but without it getting too out of control? Here’s my advice:
Don’t over indulge Have fun and relax (maybe take any edge off with a drink or two) but do not over indulge. Do drink (you deserve it) but pace yourself. You don’t want to start off your first morning of marriage with a hangover from hell!
Eat Carbs! Heck, eat in general. Many couples are so busy being the Bride and Groom, they forget to enjoy the food at their own wedding . One or two or three glasses of wine can quickly inebriate you when you drink on an empty stomach. While it won’t prevent intoxication, it does slow the rate of absorption into your blood stream. As long as you have food in your stomach and pace yourself you’ll be able to maintain a nice buzz without going overboard.
Let your wedding planner run some interference. If you know of a guest that does not handle their liquor well or gets a little too rowdy, you might want to make your wedding planner aware so that she can alert the bartender and staff to those particular guests (discretely, of course) The staff could somewhat manage the liquor intake of the guests without them even knowing it (like making their drinks just a little weaker) And,should a guest get out of hand, the wedding planner could defuse anything that might become an unfortunate incident.
Make it safe to Drink! If you know that your guests will be the type that may over indulge, then make arrangements for discounts (or have your planner do so) for guests at a nearby hotel. Many offer weddings and their parties bulk rates. Pass this information on to guests in your invitations and encourage them to stay overnight. Some hotels even offer shuttle services (at additional costs) that will pick overnight guests up and bring them back safely to the hotel. Some areas of the country even offer services that will take people home in their own cars if they are drunk. No, seriously! Here is a link to the National Directory of Designated Driver Services. (and there is one available in Carbon County, PA!) Call or have your planner call to find out if such a service is available or how you can make one available for your guests.
Stick to Red & White Wine and Champagne Guests are less likely to drink those in quantities that would leave them inebriated and it will also help your wedding budget by cutting out hard liquor costs.
And so, I leave you with a funny skit below called Drunk Bride and stars British actress Catherine Tate compliments of YouTube.