With expectations so high, the potential for disappointment is great. No matter how carefully the plans have been laid, I advise couples to be prepared to deal with the unexpected mishaps that occur on wedding days, just like they do every other day of the year. Then realize that no matter what happens, you will love your wedding, because the love that you feel for each other, and the love that your guests have for you, will fill you with joy in spite of anything that might go wrong with the details.
Everyone has experienced or heard stories about weddings where something didn't go according to plan. A few mishaps I have witnessed include: the bride whose shoes came off before she stepped off the grass onto the aisle runner; the bride who tripped over her train and nearly fell after her father kissed her; the groomsman who fainted during the vows one very hot day; the ceremony where nobody had set up the glass for a wine-sharing ritual, and another one where the groom had to go to the kitchen to fetch the roses for his and the bride's parents. None of these were major mishaps, although I'm sure the groomsman wished he could disappear when the ceremony had to be stopped while someone got a fan to set in front of him.
I recall another wedding when the string quartet played through the entire processional piece before the bridesmaids started to process, so . . . they played it again! Then there was the bride whose bouquet wasn't ready in time for the ceremony. Fortunately, she had planned to walk down the aisle with both of her parents, so she had one on each arm, making it look like she couldn't have held a bouquet anyway. When she had kissed them, I suggested that she step forward and hold both of the groom's hands which I don't usually do until it's time for the vows. I think she would rather hold his hands than flowers anyway, and she did have her bouquet later for the photography session!
The more I think about it, the more mishaps I recall! I'm afraid I could go on and on, reminiscing about things that went wrong at weddings. But the points to remember are:
1. Do everything you can to prevent such mishaps from occurring.
2. Relax and recognize that nothing in life is perfect. These mishaps often add a bit of humor to the ceremony. (Did you see the video of the minister and bride who fell into the pool behind them?) Your marriage will be full of mishaps, too. Your love for each other will be the rock that sustains you then, just as it does on your wedding day.
In my work as a celebrant, I have had some pretty harrowing experiences. One of the worst ones took place at the Turning Stone Resort, where I laid down my black ceremony binder in the rest room and a staff person picked it up,thinking it was her work binder. The panic I felt when I realized I did not have the ceremony script is beyond description. The time between that moment and the start of the ceremony was not one I like to think about . . . . But to make a horror story short, I was able to get into my e-mail account and print off the ceremony script that I had sent to the bride and groom for approval. It must have been 90 degrees that day, and I was pouring sweat., but the wedding went off beautifully, and nobody but the bride's mother, who had helped me print the ceremony, knew about the near catastrophe.
An hour after the ceremony, as I was about to start my car, a staff person ran up to the window with my binder that someone had finally turned in. The very next day I went to Office Max and bought a binder with a patterned cover, so nobody will mistake it for theirs!
I might have thought a missing script was the worst thing that could happen . . . until the wedding day last October when I was staying at a bed and breakfast with a faulty door lock. The owner left for the day, telling me that I would have to prop the door open when I went outside. I remembered to do this the first time I went out to my car, but the second time, I forgot. I had just started to take things out to my car, but locked inside were my ceremony binder AND the clothes I had planned to wear for the wedding. The wedding was set to start in an hour and a half . . . .
Needless-to-say, this was NOT a good situation. However, there were three blessings that kept it from being a total disaster:
1. They had forgotten to give me the license at the rehearsal, so it was NOT in my binder!
2. Although I didn't have the suit I'd planned to wear, or my shoes and stockings, I did have a suit from the previous night's wedding in my car.
3. I had my cell phone in my pocket!
I did not have the B&B owner's cell number, but I did have the bride's mother's number, so I called and asked if she could get to a computer and printer at her hotel. I gathered this was not an easy task , and she had other things she had to do before the ceremony, but she was able to get the ceremony script while her husband went out and bought me some pantyhose. I know, I could have gone bare-legged, but it was bad enough that I had to wear my Mary Jane Sketchers with my suit, and my legs ARE 58 years old. This was another one of those wedding days that was full of stress and panic for me, as well as the bride's parents, and yet it turned out so beautifully, I hear that the guests from this wedding are still talking about how it was the best ceremony they've ever been to, and the bride wrote a lovely review for me. It's the first one on my Wedding Wire Storefront: Emily's Wedding