Preparing for the unexpected on your wedding day

In case problems occur at the wedding, don’t panic. Courtney Smith, planner and co-owner of Prim and Proper Events, gave a few tips on how to manage problems such as a runaway fiancé, car trouble and more.

Delegate your point-of-contact
Smith said designating a point of contact is very important for your wedding day. The point-of-contact’s job is to help think of solutions to unexpected problems. If a car breaks down carrying someone in the bridal party or the driver goes missing, the point-of-contact(s) should be on standby and ready to take action.

Smith said it can be the wedding coordinator, Mom, an aunt or someone else reliable. It just needs to be the first person to call for any problems.
“A point of contact is always the best way to go,” she said.

Missing items
If something goes missing, like earrings or shoes, send someone to check the last few places the bride has been. Always check the bridal bag, she said, usually the earrings and other jewelry are stored in the same place as the wedding dress.
If the jewelry can’t be found, send someone to a nearby store to buy a new pair. The same goes for missing shoes.
Stained, torn or ruined
If the wedding dress gets a stain, contact the nearest dry cleaner. Don’t waste time visiting multiple cleaners. The wedding party should call first to see if they are open and can handle a quick clean.
Also, Grandma and others who know about removing stains may be able to help, so check with them first.
If the dress gets ruined to the point it can’t be worn, go to the nearest shop for a new one. Or grab an antique dress, such as a family one.
Moreover, anyone around the bride and her wedding dress should have an emergency kit. Smith said it should be stocked with needles, thread, a Tide to Go stain pen, baby powder and bandages — blood can ruin a dress, so any cuts should be covered quickly. Smith also advised to keep deodorant, water, painkillers and other items in a backup bag.

WiFi woes
If WiFi fails at the wedding, have someone with a mobile hotspot on their smartphone livestream the wedding, or purchase one to do that. Smith recommends hiring a videographer to record the entire wedding, and it can be played for someone who wasn’t there later on.
Also, find out if WiFi is available before you book the venue.

Delays & cancellations
If all goes wrong and the wedding must be delayed or canceled, it’s OK to make an announcement to the guests, Smith said. However, something should be offered in return, such as serving the appetizers.
If an emergency delays the wedding any more than an hour or two, then the bride and groom should make an announcement to wedding guests with an honest explanation.
If a major person in the wedding goes missing, such as the bride or the groom, tell both families and have them search. If they ran off, someone must notify the significant other. If possible, allow them time to work it out and respectfully, cancel the event.
If a bridesmaid or family member is a no-show or disappears, the point-of-contact should reach out. Be sure the point-of-contact has a list of bridal party numbers before the big day.
If that person is running late and needed in order for the wedding to begin, there should be no more than a 15-minute delay to the
ceremony on their behalf.
“It’s the bride and groom’s day, not theirs,” Smith said, “so the show must go on.”

To drink or not to drink?
Some couples want it to be a party before the wedding, while others want it to meaningful. The couple’s expectations and the tone of the wedding should be set at the rehearsal dinner.
Smith said if someone does get too drunk, there are ways to respond. If the person is important to the wedding, have someone talk to them and help straightened them up or to decide if they should sit out the service.

License mistakes
If there is something wrong with the marriage license, such as misspelled names, contact the county clerk as soon as possible. Smith has had a couple’s marriage license redone twice because the clerk kept misspelling names.
If the license is missing, ask the priest, pastor or judge who is marrying them if there is another way, such as a written consent form.
In the end, Smith said there will always be problems that arise that will cause the wedding to not necessarily go as planned, but only about 25 percent of those problems are big enough to make a big deal out of it.
“Go with the flow,” Smith said.

Courtney Smith co-owns Prim and Proper Events with her husband Corey Smith.

By Meredith Willse

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