Ask the Experts: Wedding Day Disasters

by Marta
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Ask the Experts is your chance to get wedding advice and information from a panel of wedding professionals. If you have a question for our panel send it to asktheexperts@onewed.com

Dear Experts
This may sound weird, but I feel like if I know what can go wrong, I'll be prepared for it. So, what's the worst wedding day disaster you've seen?

Thanks
Not a Worry Wart

Rebecca of the Studio B Photography
I had a bride have a complete meltdown about the way her hair turned out. She hated how her hair looked and it had taken so long she had missed her makeup appointment. She was crying so hard she could hardly speak. Her bridesmaids and I had to convince her (over the phone) to get her makeup done at the local mall’s makeup counter.

Her meltdown caused the entire schedule to derail and we were still sitting at the mall getting her makeup done at the time she was supposed to be walking down the aisle. The ceremony started an HOUR late and as a result of that she had to extend the reception hall rental for an hour and pay extra.

Dawn of Traditionally Modern
I think by far the worst disaster that I have experienced is when I arrived to the reception site (after putting my bride down the aisle) the caterer informed me that there was an issue and they could not cook any of the food! Cocktail hour started in 30 minutes ! I threw off my shoes and RAN to the nearest restaurant and begged for use of their ovens to prepare the cocktail hour foods. I then phoned a friend who lived nearby and told her to turn on her ovens and I sent the caterer there to prepare the food. CRISIS averted. The bride and groom never found out about this.

Brandi of All Events Planned
Many years ago I was coordinating an outdoor wedding and had, quite possibly, one of the worst situations occur. It had rained the entire weekend, before the week of the wedding so I contacted the tent rental company to setup the tent early, in order for the ground underneath to dry out, while it continued to rain. They setup that Monday and I believed (wrongly) that it would be enough time for proper drying. Wedding day arrived and the rain stopped, the sun came out and it was a beautiful day. As we prepared the site and started setting up tables underneath the tent, we noticed that some of them were starting to slant a little. Well, upon further inspection, they weren’t slanting, they were sinking, ALL OF THEM. From the head table to the buffet tables, they all were sinking right into the ground. Well, there wasn’t much we could do but as the first table we set up sank about 2 feet into the ground, I realized we had to do, anything we could. I went to a local space that had wood scraps, put them in our setup truck, and took them to the site. I placed scraps of plywood under the feet of every table under the tent. This stopped the sinking and thanks to floor length linens, no one even knew. The bride, she knows now, but I certainly wouldn’t have ruined her day by telling her then.

Larissa of Weddings Costa Rica
The worst disaster I've encountered was a 5.9 earthquake 12 hours before the wedding - and the epicentre was 10 kms away. When I arrived at the hotel in the morning to see if it was still standing (it was), most of the guests were in lounge chairs in the parking lot, as the had been evacuated from their rooms. I didn't know if the road into town was passable, as we'd heard the quake had damaged the road and all my vendors were coming in from San Jose (4 hours away). A structural engineer was inspecting the building to see if it was still inhabitable while I was trying to figure out how to camouflage the chunks of wall that were missing (big flower arrangements did the trick). In the end, the wedding went off without a hitch (other than a number of aftershocks that freaked guests out). The wedding was in the beach town of Manuel Antonio by the way, here in Costa Rica, and in over 300 weddings I've done, that's the only quake I've had (touch wood)!

About the Experts

Dawn Cowart is the lead event planner for Traditionally Modern Wedding and Event Planners in Atlanta, Georgia. With a sophisticated flare for the dramatic, Dawn can create a wedding tailored to the couple.

Rebecca Enslein is the owner of The Studio B Photography in the Atlanta, Georgia area. As a recent bride herself, Rebecca is able to better understand what her clients need and enjoys providing them with images that capture the joy of their wedding day.

Larissa Banting of Weddings Costa Rica has planned over 300 weddings in this beautiful tropical Paradise. She is also the force behind Lazy Bride, the blog for the energetically-challenged bride.

Brandi Hamerstone is the owner & senior wedding planner for All Events Planned. In her nine years of experience in the wedding industry, she has planned over 300 weddings.