The most common things that can go wrong at a wedding (and how to avoid them!)?

How are all you lovely people?!
Now we plan and we plan and we plan and occasionally something can go wrong on the wedding day, things that could’ve been managed or even avoided to make the wedding day that extra bit special. We wanted to share some of the things we have learnt over the years about what could go wrong at a wedding and how to avoid them! 

Speeches overrunning 

This could be considered one of the lovelier issues that you might encounter on your wedding day and, as the couple, you might not find speeches overrunning an issue at all, but trust me your suppliers will! We have a rule of never allowing speeches between starters and the main course, as often main courses are very reliant on timings and an overrunning speech could ruin all the incredible work by your caterer, which you certainly don’t want! We generally suggest asking your loved ones to time their speeches prior to the wedding and keeping them within 5 minutes, but of course, you can’t contain some peoples enthusiasm, so it is always best to pad the allocated time for your speeches at least by double, perhaps more, so it doesn’t mess up yours or your supplier's schedules! A great idea is if you are having a welcome or rehearsal event, have a couple of your loved ones (perhaps those of a shyer disposition) do their speeches on this separate night, to spread the love out over a couple of days, rather than all in one go. Ensure the speeches at your wedding are remembered for the right lovely reasons, not simply that they were ‘long’.

Soho House Wedding

Photography by Kreativ

Guest transport - timings and getting guests to leave

We specialise in destination weddings, which are generally a number of events over a few days, so transporting guests, although not the most thrilling over tasks, is oh so important! The last thing you want to hear is that your guests weren’t able to make it to an event or worse, were not able to get back to their hotel. Now I’m not saying you have to provide transport for every little thing, generally what we do is transport from 2-3 recommended hotels/central locations to the venue, for both the welcome event and the wedding day. For the return journey we recommend 2-3 staggered times (12 PM / 1 AM / 2 AM), to suit those who miss their beds and also the late-night dancers! Now, where can this go wrong? Unfortunately in oh so many ways! It is all down to communication! First off, find out how many guests need the transport, from where and for which events, so you know the right size of transport to each location. Secondly keep reminding your guests of all timings, on the website, in the invite, welcome note, so they know when to be ready for. Thirdly make sure to tell the transport company what you expect from them, how many people are getting on, how long they should wait for, how long prior to the event starting you want the guests to arrive etc… Fourthly create signage for the wedding day itself, to further reinforce the shuttle times back to their hotel, getting potentially inebriated guests off of the dance floor and onto a coach is not always the easiest thing, but this extra signage will help (and perhaps appoint someone in the wedding party or venue to help? Not you the couple!). Finally, do not over plan for your guests, do what you can to make it easier for them, but the more you do for them the far more stressful it will become for you! They’re adults, let them be responsible for themselves, if they miss the transport, they’re gonna have to figure it out for themselves, you’ve given them all the information. Make sure to communicate this to guests prior to the wedding, with love of course! If you’re finding it all a bit stressful have a read of our blog ‘How to stay calm during wedding preparations’.

Gay Wedding Planner
Photography by Hayley Savage

Weather back up plans

Weather probably falls on the more obvious side of what might go wrong and everyone should have a back-up in place, should any element of your wedding be outside, if you don’t that is something that needs to be rectified immediately! So not having a plan isn’t the thing that can go wrong here, should the weather not be the best. The thing that most goes wrong is not creating a design that works for outside (plan A) and the wet weather contingency (plan B). So often couples put soo much love and time into the dream, that is Plan A, they only put a cursory amount of effort into the backup, assuming Plan B will never be needed. On the odd occasion the weather doesn’t play ball, couples can often become quite upset that their dream wedding isn’t coming true and they just don’t want Plan B. The key here is to make Plan B as epic or almost as epic as Plan A, so should the weather change, you’re just as excited, the suppliers know what adjustments they need to make and there is no drama, just an epic wedding! 
Soho House Wedding

Photography by Kreativ

Guests drinking too much and not drinking enough!

A little thing, but something that is important on the day, water and alcohol! Not enough water and too much alcohol! This is something you need to plan with you caterer/venue in advance of the wedding. So often we have seen bridal parties and groomsmen drinking champagne or beer whilst getting ready, with not enough food and little water, leading to them getting inebriated early on with the real threat of a headache. Now, this is especially important in very hot weather, once we had a groomsmen misjudge this to such an extent that he fainted during the ‘I do’s’!  Not fun(!) but we do have some great advice on ‘What to do the morning of your wedding’.
You need to manage this for your guests also, making sure there is plenty of water available and actually offered throughout the day, if it is exceptionally hot, also offered even before the ceremony and prior to them heading home. During the cocktail reception, ensure there are enough canapes or food stations to balance out the number of drinks. It sounds trivial, but it really is something that will contribute to the vibe of the wedding day and something your caterer will be able to advise on 🙂
These could seem obvious, but it’s surprising how little things can slide through the planning cracks and become noticed on the wedding day by either you or your guests when they can be avoided! We love planning weddings and always plan for the above and a thousand other little details to make your day perfect, perhaps you’re considering a planner? If so have a read of our ‘Why you should work with a wedding planner’ blog or just get in touch with us and say ‘hey!’
Love Bertie Xx

Written by Bertie

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