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
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?