“What If?” Worries

18 Sep

Wedding day concerns and how to beat them

bride6There are many details to take care of when planning a wedding; in the lead-up to tying the knot you and your spouse-to-be might have worries about the day and what might go wrong. Sound familiar? Take one bride’s advice: don’t simply worry about what might to wrong; figure out not only how to prevent it, but also what to do if things do indeed go awry.

For example, for my own special day, one of our biggest concerns for the wedding was that my groom would tread on my wedding gown during our first dance. This fear arose when my dress came back from alterations and I saw that even a three-point bustle wasn’t enough to keep the entire train up off the floor. I pleaded with the seamstress to find a way to keep the final trailing inches of fabric above the floor, but she said the “architecture” of the gown couldn’t support more of a bustle. The Reflective Groom and I rehearsed the first dance with me wearing the hoop petticoat so he could have a basic indication of how wide the dress would be (he even asked if we could practice with me wearing the wedding gown, but I stopped that idea in its tracks). Then, on the big day itself, I spent the entire cocktail hour in the bathroom with a bridesmaid trying to fasten my hem up higher after my groom stepped on the front of the gown during a fake first dance for the photographer.So we did everything we could to prevent my train being trod own during our first traipse across the dancefloor, and discussed over and over again that this might happen. And then guess what transpired about one minute into the song? Thaaaat’s right. My groom stepped on the back so heavily that the bustle broke (ripping off the button and tearing a hole in my gown) and the entire train unravelled. Internally, I panicked. Do we keep going? Do we stop? How do I keep dancing with two yards of fabric trailing behind me? To my surprise, my dance partner hadn’t realized what had happened, and I doubted the audience has either, so I pushed ahead. We made it through to the end of the dance, to cheers and big applause (even after the train-explosion).
Yep. I made a face like that.

Yep. I made a face like that.

What shocked me after the incident is that we spent sooo long discussing that this could go wrong and doing all we could to stop it happening, but we never talked about what to do if it did happen – like whether to keep going and how a trailing train might affect might our dance moves. (Hint: all those double-turns became singles!) Isn’t it odd that we never figured out what to in case things didn’t run according to plan?
I then realized the same thing had happened with my veil. I had decided ahead of time that if we ended up having a windy day for our outdoor wedding I would remove the veil for the ceremony, and that the bridesmaid who attended my hair trial would remove it… but we hadn’t discussed what to do with the veil after that. The end result was that my bridesmaid passed it to my parents in the first row, and right after the ceremony they for some reason walked some distance to their car to put it away right… and then I didn’t have the veil for the rest of the day. Not a big deal, but I really would have looked it for the post-ceremony photo shoot, and to feel a little more bridal!

There are many other things that we feared would go badly on the wedding day (guests not being able to found our beachside ceremony location, the wedding cake collapsing, my gown catching on fire during the sparkler send-off), all which turned out perfectly fine – luckily. But what concerned me is that I spent so much time worrying about these things without coming up with solutions. What if lots of people had got lost finding the way to the ceremony? Would we have gone ahead as scheduled or waited for them? Who would have gone looking for them and where would they have gone to search? And what if a spark had caught my or someone else’s clothing alight during our big exit? (Which can happen and apparently has happened at other weddings!) Did we even know where to find a fire extinguisher?!

Bridal portrait.No doubt you have a different list of wedding day fears and worries keeping you up at night, but the advice remains the same: don’t just let these things dig away at you. As they say in the “Sunscreen” song, “worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum”. Settle your mind by coming up with a plan for preventing or at least reducing the problem, but – just as importantly, and the part that the Reflective Groom and I forgot – also decide what you’ll do if that problem does arise. Spending a little extra time coming up with a battle plan will save you wasting a lot of time biting your nails over it. And remember: most of your day will indeed go smoothly! Like I said, the “worst” things that happened on our day is that my train unravelled and I had to go without my veil. We lived to tell the tale. 😀

Happy wedding planning!

What are your biggest worries and fears for the wedding day, and what may not run smoothly? What are you doing to avoid it, or your battle plan if it does arise?

(First image from Dr Christine Fernandez, second image from Arthur Murray, third image from Dr Meredith Hanson.)

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