Coping when things go wrong on your wedding day

Morning everyone. First of all my sincere apologies. For personal reasons there haven’t been many posts on Under the Vintage Veil this week. It’s actually sort of what inspired this post – that, and talking to the fabulous Liezl of Liezl Croft Photography on Sunday. I hope she doesn’t mind me stealing her thoughts but I felt like this was something I needed to write today.

In an ideal world, your wedding would go off like a dream – without a hitch. The reality is, however, that no matter how amazing your suppliers, no matter how specific your plans, you can’t control everything around you. While it’s important to have a day you’re happy with, is it time to let go of the idea of a dream day and go with the flow?

Every supplier and former bride I’ve ever spoken to about this subject has said the same thing: they’ve never seen a wedding where everything’s gone perfectly to plan. From cars that failed to arrive to the wrong flowers arriving on the day, from torrential rain to an unexpected blackout, sometimes when you think things are going perfectly, life has other plans.

So what do you do when things don’t work out the way you’d hoped? I thought I’d give you a few pointers to remember.

What do you do if your wedding isn’t this picture perfect? Images © 2012 Cotton Candy Wedding Photography

Under the Vintage Veil’s guide to getting it right when things go wrong

Prepare yourself. Take the time before the wedding to think of every scenario that could go wrong and that you could do nothing about. Then take a very deep breath and… accept it. If you cling on to the prospect of everything being exactly as you’d hoped, you’re setting yourself up for a fall.

Remember why you’re getting married. A wedding is a celebration of love first and an awesome party second. In real life, love isn’t orchestrated, with a soundtrack, make-up artist and film crew. Love is messy, complicated, quirky and beautiful. If the celebration of your love ends up manifesting itself that way, that’s nothing to be sad about. You’re getting married because you’re committing to somebody you love – as my dear friend and fellow blogger from B.Loved, Louise, says (or to roughly paraphrase): as long as you’re married to the person you love at the end of the day, nothing else matters.

Only you know what was the right thing to happen. As Liezl pointed out to me during our conversation, your guests don’t know what your original plans were. If something is wrong, you’ll be the only person who realises it. Unless it’s something really big and obvious, but then that leads us on to…

Make a positive into a negative. Most suppliers and former brides will tell you that the things that went wrong were the magic moments that made a wedding really special. For example, I know of one couple who faced a temporary black out during their first dance. Luckily the venue had candles which were speedily lit and the guests all sang out the rest of the song while the couple dance. It made for one of the most beautiful memories of their lives. Rain can prove an amazing opportunity for kissing in the rain, even dancing in it – it’s just water after all. Put your joy into anything that happens and make it work for you.

Don’t be a crying bride. Unless it’s tears of happiness, of course. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than hearing stories about brides who totally lost it on their wedding day. Be a perfectionist up until the 11th hour, but at a certain point you have to just let go and let whatever happens happen. Be prepared to compromise. For example, if your cars didn’t show up, would you rather miss half of your wedding day crying about it and insisting the right cars come, or would you rather cut your losses, call a cab and make it down the aisle on time? It can be difficult to keep perspective in the heat of the moment but it will be worth it in the end, even if it’s not exactly what you imagined.

Are you worried about how you’ll react to hitches (excuse the pun) on your wedding day? If you’re happy to go with the flow but still want to minimise the risks of major interruptions, here’s a post I wrote last time life went a bit wrong about confronting your plan B! I’d love to hear your stories about turning positives into negatives too so please do comment below!

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