How to avoid re­cep­tion dis­as­ters

There are some hard-to-an­tic­i­pate prob­lems out there, but here’s the heads-up if things go a lit­tle topsy-turvy on your big day

Cosmopolitan Bride (Australia) - - NEWS -

WARDROBE MAL­FUNC­TION

The best way to avoid any heart-stop­ping mo­ments is to take pre­cau­tions be­fore your wed­ding. Things to re­mem­ber? Rib­bons hold up bet­ter than but­tons when it comes to bus­tles. If yours breaks, en­sure you have safety pins nearby. Also, check your dress af­ter any last-minute al­ter­ations or dry clean­ing, in­clud­ing the zip. If the zip does bust on the day, have some­one sew you in with some nee­dle and thread. In your emer­gency kit, keep a stain re­mover pen for makeup stains and baby wipes for dirt. And, if red wine gets splashed on to your frock, a dash of white wine on top can help pull it out. Cri­sis averted!

DRUNK GUESTS

If you think a few peo­ple at your wed­ding will get un­ruly, you may want to con­sider set­ting a bar tab or hav­ing a cash bar. Al­ter­na­tively, give your brides­maids or some­one re­spon­si­ble the heads-up and ask them to keep an eye on things, plus make sure there’s enough food and wa­ter avail­able through the night.

LOST GUESTS

Un­less your cer­e­mony and re­cep­tion are at the same venue, there’s a chance some guests may get lost. Even if you’ve sent a cute map with your in­vites, many will for­get to bring them along. To help, you could print out brief di­rec­tions to your re­cep­tion and hand them out or slip them into your wed­ding pro­gram.

BOTCHED SPEECHES

Giv­ing a speech can be nerve-wreck­ing, so never force any­one to speak if they’re un­com­fort­able with it. It could make for an awk­ward sit­u­a­tion, es­pe­cially if they have too much liq­uid courage be­fore­hand! To avoid in­ap­pro­pri­ate out­bursts, let the peo­ple giv­ing toasts know what is off lim­its (you don’t want exes brought up, do you?). You can al­ways have a mem­ber of the bri­dal party vet them first if you’re re­ally wor­ried. If the speeches are hi­jacked or the best man’s a lit­tle too boozed up on the day, ask the MC to give them a nudge, take the mic off them and toast, “To the happy cou­ple!”

YOUR MU­SIC CUTS OUT

Whether you’re half­way down the aisle or pulling your best moves on the dance floor, the mu­sic cut­ting out can be a huge mood-killer. It’s a good idea to al­ways have a back-up, bat­tery-op­er­ated speaker (with new bat­ter­ies, of course) and an iPod with all the songs you love at the ready – prefer­ably left with a re­li­able mem­ber of the bri­dal party!

MISS­ING VEN­DOR CON­TRACTS

The last thing you need on your big day is to ar­gue with a ven­dor about pay­ment or your or­der. If any last-minute changes (no mat­ter how small) are dis­cussed over the phone, make sure you send a fol­low-up email each time to con­firm what was said. Save the trail of mes­sages so that there’ll be no mis­un­der­stand­ing later on. It’s a good idea to put ev­ery­thing in one email for fi­nal con­fir­ma­tion be­fore the wed­ding.

BAR GOES DRY

We highly rec­om­mend mak­ing sure the bar is fully stocked, but if guests drink more than you bar­gained for, a mem­ber of the bri­dal party (or per­haps even a staff mem­ber at the venue) could run to a nearby bot­tle-o for back-up. If that’s not an op­tion, make sure there are plenty of fun non-al­co­holic al­ter­na­tives. Who says mock­tails are bor­ing?

UN­IN­VITED GUESTS

It’s usu­ally just a harm­less mis­take – an ex­tended fam­ily mem­ber who as­sumes their in­vite got lost (it hap­pens!) or a mate think­ing they can bring a date – but you can take steps to avoid any awk­ward­ness. The best way is to in­clude each guest’s full name on the RSVP card – don’t al­low them to write it in. If some­one asks for a plus one who you’d rather not have at­tend, po­litely in­form them you’ve paid for the fi­nal num­ber of guests or that you and your groom opted for a small gath­er­ing with your near­est and dear­est.

WET WEATHER

It’s the Big Worry. But with some care­ful plan­ning it can be a non-is­sue. “Al­ways have a wet-weather back-up plan,” says Michelle Rhodes from Do­mayn Events in Mudgee. “Mar­quees are a good op­tion as they can be eas­ily al­tered: open walls for an alfresco feel­ing or clear walls that pro­vide views even in rain, plus for cold days your mar­quee can be closed so it can be heated eas­ily.” Make sure there are mats at en­try­ways for guests to wipe muddy shoes and a place for um­brel­las. “You could even hire fake grass or wood walk­ways for busy traf­fic ar­eas,” ad­vises Michelle. And, when it comes to pho­tos, don’t fret – some of the best pic­tures are taken in the rain. “You can get some breath­tak­ingly beau­ti­ful shots,” adds Michelle. And if the rain stops? Hello, rain­bow back­drop! In some cul­tures, rain on your wed­ding day is con­sid­ered good luck – and who couldn’t use some of that on their big day?

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