The wedding dreams have officially started! The majority of them are pleasant images of our day, with everything going as planned, but occassionally there are the Wedding Day Nightmares where I rip my veil, or watch helplessly as a thunderstorm threatens our lake shore wedding ceremony.
It seems that Wedding Day Nightmares are typical for every bride, and what better way to calm our nerves than to read about Real Brides who have had to overcome some major obstacles on their wedding day? Luckily the following ladies navigate the situations with absolute grace and offer up advice for brides-to-be.
The Obstacle: On the morning of our wedding we were greeted with 9.5" of snow, 36 mph wind gusts, blowing and drifting snow, and near-whiteout conditions. We had guests who were not able to attend, guests who were going into the ditch on the way to the wedding, and guests who were stranded. To summarize, we got married during a massive blizzard.
Stress Level 1-10: Between the day before and the day of, I moved all over that 1-to-10 scale. The fact that the storm was predicted a few days prior helped to dissipate the sudden onset of stress. My stress was the highest when I was worrying about my wedding party and guests being inconvenienced or put in danger. However, those important people were also the only reason I was able to relax. They were all so understanding and went out of their way to avert the stress from me. I keep thinking about how lucky we are to be surrounded by those type of people.
The Fix: There was no overcoming, fixing, or remedying the weather! Obviously we just had to let the blizzard happen and attempt to function within it.
In Hindsight: Now I look back and think, "Of course there was a blizzard on my wedding day!" It just fits. We were going for a winter wonderland theme, and that's what we got! In a very cliche way, the blizzard was an ironic and accurate representation of the stress and chaos I felt leading up to the wedding. It proved that all the things I was worried about that could make the day "imperfect" didn't matter. The day is always perfect no matter what. Now I feel that the blizzard added a sense of romance to our wedding day; it felt like the whole town had shut down and was just ours.
Advice: Start making plan B. (Yeah, there should be a plan B!) If you think weather could be an issue find alternative reception/ceremony/picture locations, transportation plans, etc. If the worse case scenario becomes reality, get outside and make the "obstacle" part of your day!
Photos courtesy of Auny Pole Photography.
The Obstacle: My first wedding day obstacle was my make-up experience. For some reason, I decided to get my make-up done last minute, and I scheduled an appointment a few weeks before the wedding (probably with the only make-up artist that nobody else wanted). Essentially, my make-up artist made me look like a clown, I cried and caused a scene, and then I washed off the make-up. Everything else for our wedding was fine until we arrived at our reception and realized that the wrong cake had been delivered to our venue!
Stress Level 1-10: I was a big mess about my make-up being done SO horribly, so I would rate that at a stress level of about an 8. I was so excited and had barely slept the night before, and I overreacted terribly. Thank God for my compassionate, caring bridesmaids who talked me down a little bit. With the wrong cake being delivered, I would say my anger level was at about a 7. I turned into a Bridezilla for about five minutes until my mom talked me back into reality!
The Fix: Well, with the make-up, I scrubbed my face (being careful to avoid ruining my hair!), stopped at Walgreen’s to supplement the small make-up supply I had brought with me for touch-ups, and just re-did my make-up at home. We really couldn’t do anything about the wrong cake being delivered, but we were happy that the right flavor was inside!
In Hindsight: I just laugh about all of it now. Our wedding day was absolutely perfect—how could it NOT be when all of your favorite family, friends, and co-workers are gathered together to celebrate your marriage? All of the pictures from our wedding show the pure happiness on everyone’s faces, which completely overshadows a bad make-up job or the wrong wedding cake.
Advice: Everyone always loves to share their horror stories, and I just always imagined that nothing bad could happen to us at our wedding—I’m a planner, and I thought that my planning would mean that everything would go off without a hitch. Silly me! Brides (and their grooms) should do everything they can to enjoy the day—good or bad, at the end of your wedding day, you will still be married to the person you love!
Photos courtesy of Ken Quick.
The Obstacle: Our wedding party transportation cancelled the night before our wedding. They called Mike and said that though they had been working on the bus all day, something was wrong and they wouldn't be able to provide transportation for our wedding the following day.
Stress level 1-10: Ironically I was the most calm out of everyone present, and I’d say I was at a 6.
The Fix: Fortunately, we had arranged for a shuttle service to bring our guests to and from the reception so I gave them a call and they had an opening for one of their buses. The situation was resolved in less than 15 minutes.
In Hindsight: I look back at the situation with a sly smile. We actually saved some money despite our last-minute request and had more cash to bring on our honeymoon. The obstacle was handled so quickly that I have very little recollection of the few moments I spent envisioning our dads shuttling around the wedding party.
Advice: I gave one of our trusted ushers the contact information for all of the vendors the day of the wedding in case of an emergency. The shuttle service we hired only had one bus and I failed to ask what its back-up plan was. Brides should keep all contracts, receipts, etc. in an organized file and make sure you understand the contracts you sign and know what the policy is if the vendor cancels or fails to show.
Photos courtesy of Robert and Louann at A Dream Photo.
The Obstacle: Well, we got stuck in an elevator! And not in a romantic “just the two of us” kind of way, we were stuck with our entire wedding party! On the way down to our grand entrance, we attempted to fit everyone on the elevator, completely oblivious to the weight limit warning. Slowly the numbers counted down. 5 4 3 2 1 And there was a sudden drop once we got to the main floor. I tried to remain hopelessly optimistic, but it wasn’t easy!
Stress Level 1-10: My stress scale slowly rose as the temperature within the elevator began to climb. By the time a groomsman yelled, "Prepare to be in here for up to 36 hours,” I would rate my panic at a very solid 10. Furthermore, I was conveniently standing next to the most out of control claustrophobic, who was not at all ashamed at showing his own terror. There I was in my wedding dress, stuck in an elevator with 15 other people, and the worse part of all of it? I somehow failed to have a cocktail in hand.
The Fix: We were stuck for about 10 minutes before we received word that help was on the way. By then I had this vision of me making a very elegant exit from the elevator and carry on with the wedding festivities, but that also wouldn’t go as planned. The doors were slowly pried open and to my complete dismay we were stuck between floors! There was no “stepping” out of the elevator; it took my groom and two groomsmen to hoist this bride out of that mess! Thankfully, the wedding planner was waiting with plenty of champagne!
In hindsight: Looking back now, I find it hilarious. We had a good laugh about it after everyone was able to calm down. It is still brought up among our friends, and the only thing we can do is laugh and look fondly upon the memories.
Advice: Read the weight occupancy signs, but most of all, laugh things off. Things are going to happen that are unexpected. Adapting and keeping things in perspective are the only ways to survive any situation.
Photos courtesy of Michelle Fuller at Memories by Michelle (website not available).
Isn't it a sigh of relief to see how these ladies handled the situations with such ease? Clearly I need to relax and remind myself that no matter what happens, the day will end with Josh and I married to each other and celebrating with friends and family no matter what kind of weather or dilemmas we have to overcome. Huge thanks to Megan, Sarah, Emily, and Molly for taking the time to chat with me! Visit Aisle File Dani & Josh for our latest wedding updates.