We have all heard wedding day horror stor-ies, and we all have nightmares and fears before the big day, but how realistic is it to expect that something will go wrong on your special day? And how realistic is it to expect that everything will go right?
Here is one real bride’s summary of all that went well on the wedding day, and eeeeverything that didn’t. In this week’s three-part series – yesterday, today and tomorrow – I outline the highs (things that went better than expected), lows (things that just plain went wrong and nothing could be done about it), and learning points (tips on how to avoid the problems we faced!) from our big day. If an element of the wedding day isn’t mentioned, it means it went as well as planned!
Part 2 (Thursday): Lows
These are just the plain old low points of the day, where either nothing could have been done about it, or we did everything we could to make it work, and it still turned out badly… (I warn you, most of these are trivial – but I’m covering all bases in the interests of giving you an accurate picture of troubles on the day!)
• Wrong name: Our officiant at one point during the ceremony called my fiancé by the wrong name. Seriously. Let’s pretend the Reflective Groom’s name is something not so common, like Terrence… she called him something like Thomas. However, the officiant corrected herself quickly, and very few guests noticed. A few days before the wedding we confirmed that she knew how to say it, and she had assured us just a few days before that she’d never got a name wrong yet… so I guess we broke her lucky streak.
• Early music: For some reason, I still don’t know why, our musician trio sit- ting at the front of our ceremony site started playing our processional song long before we were ready to enter. I didn’t find this out until I watched the ceremony video afterwards… our guests all rose and stood waiting for about two minutes before the first bridesmaid entered. (And I also learned from the video that the first bridesmaid walked in about a minute before the other two did. Weird!)
• Off-key music: The flautist in the trio was suuuuuper-sharp. Or flat. I don’t know, but it was very off-key for our mid-ceremony musical interlude!
• Bathroom escort: I was absolutely determined to go to the bathroom on my own (and had watched YouTube videos on how to successfully do so in a gin- ormous wedding dress). In the end, however, I had to “powder my nose” before we left for the ceremony and I didn’t want to risk anything happening to the dress before anyone had seen it. So I swallowed a spoonful of concrete and asked a bridesmaid to assist, much to my embarrassment.
• Reception entrance: We planned a grand entrance to introduce the bridal party at the reception, timed to a particular song. Despite a word-for-word script for the DJ with exact timings written down, and confirming twice that he had gone over the script and had the right version of the song, he still managed to get it wrong. The DJ started speaking the introductions before he started the music (instead of at the same time as we wanted), so the music was 10 seconds behind. As such, my groom and I had a little panic, because – after we were introduced, the guests rose and the applause began – we still had to wait outside for 10 sec- onds so that we could, as planned, enter at the exact moment that the song hit its crescendo. It was a bit awkward, and our guests probably wondered if we were actually going to come in!
• Train trouble: My wedding gown has a 1.5 meter train, and I added a bustle so no one could step on it, and especially not my groom during our first dance. There was so much fabric that the seamstress made a three-point bustle – and there were still a few inches of train left on the floor after that. I pleaded with the seamstress to bustle the rest, but they assured me my groom wouldn’t step on it. And what happened on the day? Yes, 30 seconds into our dance, my groom trod on those excess inches so hard he actually tore off the bustle. The entire train unraveled, and suddenly I was trying to swing dance dragging 1.5 meters of train around with me. We only did the dance half as well as we could have, as I could not spin properly and we got a bit panicky. My groom and I felt like it was three months of rehearsal down the drain, and this is what we consider to be the biggest thing that went wrong on the wedding day. However, on the up-side, our guests didn’t know how the dance was supposed to look or realize anything had gone amiss, and they gave us rave reviews for it afterwards. So that’s one saving grace!
• Empty dancefloor: I had dreamed of dancing the night away at my wedding, but despite an awesome music playlist at the reception (disclaimer: I chose the songs so may be biased!), our dancefloor was empty most of the night. What I realized afterwards is that five out of our seven tables of guests were groups of friends or family members who literally hadn’t seen each other for years, and they simply wanted to take the opportunity to chat and catch up rather than burn up the dancefloor. I was disappointed, but took the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach and got busy mingling.
• Tight dress: To prevent my groom stepping on my wedding gown, my brides- maid tied on my corset bodice extra tight to keep it higher up on my body and off the floor. Not only did this not work (since my new husband stomped it anyway), but it also meant I had less room for my meal (I thought my lack of appetite was just from speech and first dance nervousness!) and that I couldn’t move around very easily (once I sat I was going to stay sitting, since it was so much effort to sit in the first place). Also, as it turns out, the wedding dress bodice was so tight that it actually broke the skin. I. Kid. You. Not. I had three-inch scars on my sides for a little over a week after the big day!
For the lows where something could have been done about it, tune in tomorrow for my next post: wedding day learning points!
What are your concerns for the wedding day? If you’ve already held your wedding, what kinds of things just plain went wrong? Did you plan around any concerns, only to have it go south anyway?