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Top 5 Tips to Handle Wedding Day Emergencies

Wedding couple in the rain


Imagine this...the big day has finally arrived, and you've been checking and rechecking the weather forecast for your outdoor wedding on repeat. It’s been a beautiful blue-sky day, but the radar shows a 60% chance of rain exactly when your ceremony is meant to take place. Your family and friends are already seated and anxiously waiting your arrival at the outdoor venue. As you pull up, you happen to look up and see the daunting rain cloud forming overhead. Do you know what you would do next?

As magical as your big day is destined to be, let’s face it: sometimes, the unexpected steps in and things don’t go as planned. As an event planner with years of experience we've seen our fair share of bumps along the way. From sudden weather changes to last-minute vendor cancellations, the potential for little dramas is why having a wedding planner in your corner is so important.

If you haven't yet made the decision to hire a wedding planner or you're doing it on your own, we've compiled our top 5 tips to help you handle wedding day emergencies like a pro.

Tip #1: Always Have a Plan B (and C, and D…)

So, the dreaded weather forecast for your outdoor ceremony suddenly predicts rain. It might seem daunting, but here's a pro tip: always have a backup plan—or two, or three. This doesn't mean just grabbing any indoor space available. It means thoughtfully planning alternative options that still fit with the vision of your big day. If you don’t have an indoor backup, consider renting a tent that can comfortably fit all of your ceremony chairs and florals, you might find it also adds an extra element of intimacy between you and your guests. You can also rent clear umbrellas ahead of time and focus on capturing incredible photo opportunities. Rain can act as a gorgeous background element, and you might even be lucky enough to capture that once in a lifetime rainbow moment. Don't fret over the rain, embrace the opportunities it can provide!

Tip #2 Vendor No-Shows: Build Your Emergency Vendor List

Hours before your wedding, you receive a call - your florist has mixed up the dates and won't be showing up, or half of your band have come down sick and have cancelled. Without a wedding planner, these situations might seem like something out of your worst nightmare. These moments are when your detail-oriented wedding planner will shine, as they should always have vendors in their back pocket that they can call in these types of scenarios. If you have a friend or family member acting as your wedding planner instead, these are elements that aren't usually on their radar, but here's a tip to help you prepare.

As you are planning, keep a handy list of backup vendors you spoke with during your research so that if the worst comes to pass, you have some vendors you can call quickly and check in with. You never know who might still be available, and they could be the perfect fit in a pinch. Alternatively, if you can't find a vendor who can help, talk to your venue right away, as they might be able to help you with some additional vendor resources or a last-minute creative fix. While you really wanted your band to be there, if the option is between no music at all and a set of speakers hooked up to a playlist, you and your guests will appreciate the tunes. Taking the time to think through these preparatory steps can serve as a safety net, providing peace of mind that, should an unexpected vendor issue arise, you have alternatives just a phone call away. Don't be afraid to get creative and be open to alternatives.

Tip #3 Emergency Kits: A Must Have

A missing button, a sudden headache, or a tiny stain—these are small emergencies that can cause big problems. Here's where a little planning goes a long way. Put together a day-of emergency kit filled with essentials such as: safety pins, stain removers, pain relievers, bug spray, clear nail polish and even snack bars (a hangry bride is an unhappy bride). If you’ve hired an event planner, they should already come fully prepared with a kit that can tackle any problem so you can relax and enjoy your day. Having supplies to tackle any emergency is a small but crucial detail, and one of elements we find so important to provide as planners.

Tip #4 Build a Strong Relationship with Vendors

This is an easy yet often overlooked aspect when planning an event. When you're choosing your vendors, think beyond just price and portfolio; consider how they handle unexpected situations. Take the time to meet with your vendors at least once in person before your big day to get to know them and establish open lines of communication. You can meet for a quick chat over coffee or schedule time during the day you're having your tasting or another potential wedding to do. Establishing this connection can make a big difference, and help you understand how your vendors have dealt with any hiccups in the past. You can even establish in advance what your B backup plan is if anything were to go wrong. Vendors who feel connected to you and your wedding are more likely to go the extra mile when it counts.

Tip #5 Keep an Eye on the Big Picture

Most importantly, remember what this day is truly about - celebrating your love and commitment. It's natural to want every detail to be perfect, but sometimes, it's the unplanned moments that become the most memorable. Embrace any imperfections as part of your unique story. Your guests are there to share in your happiness, and more often than not won't even notice the details you think have gone awry. I encourage you to take a step back and bask in the glow of your big day, and not spend time overthinking that fact that a small part of the cake looks crooked. Don't let little details ruin what is one of the most important days in your life.

If unexpected twists and turns concern you, or if you simply want the assurance that your day will go off without a hitch, we’d love to work with you. From preempting potential issues to handling any day-of surprises with grace and efficiency, let’s ensure your wedding day is remembered for all the right reasons. Get in touch, and together, let’s create a day with memories that will last a lifetime.


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