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Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst: Tips for Surviving Wedding Disaster


You’ve planned every detail down to the last rose petal and nail polish. You’ve dreamed of the perfect day. But sometimes weddings don’t go as planned, even at the last minute. Here’s are some tips to make sure you’re ready for anything.


1. Have a Plan B. 

If you’re planning to have an outdoor wedding, you’ve probably thought through a rain plan. Even if you plan to be indoors, however, unforeseen problems come up. Think about the biggest elements of the wedding - like location, food, the bride’s dress, the officiant, perhaps. What’s the worst case scenario? What would you do in that case? Having thought through these things ahead of time (without becoming paranoid!) will mean you’re more adaptable if you should need to implement them.


2. Build your bench.

Identify 3-5 people you can turn to to problem solve on short notice, and ask them if they will be “on call” in case anything should come up. These should be people you trust, possibly but not necessarily part of your wedding party. They should be good decision-makers, creative, and calm under pressure. Keeping this group small means that they can act quickly, and you don’t have to manage 15 people who want to help. If these people are called into action, consider sending them a personalized meaningful gift after the wedding as a thank you for saving the day.


3. Build in a contingency budget.

Last minute changes often cost a premium, and having some money available can solve certain problems. Save 5-10% of your wedding budget to cover unanticipated errands, mishaps, and missing pieces. That way spending money on these surprises doesn’t add to stress. If you don’t end up using that contingency, put it toward your honeymoon, setting up your home, or a nest egg! Similarly, build in a “time contingency,” pretending that your wedding is two weeks earlier than it is. Have details like gifts for bridal party taken care of early, some customized gifts will take longer time than your expect, so leaving time to address unforeseen challenges and changes.


4. Keeping your guests informed. 

If you don’t seem stressed, your guests won’t be stressed, either. Let your guests know ASAP about any change of venue, date, or time; but you don’t need to explain what’s happened in great detail. In fact, to maintain a positive, future-oriented vibe at your wedding, ask anyone aware of your wedding drama not bring it up during the wedding. As far as most people are concerned, the wedding is perfect just as it is. They are there because they love you no matter what.


5. Let it go. 

Remember what your wedding day is about - and what it’s not about. Sometimes the things that aren’t planned (aka mistakes) turn out to be even more special than you could have imagined, and adapting to challenges bonds your friends and family in a special way. No detail is more important than you and your partner being present for each other on your special day.



Think about your wedding day is a microcosm of the rest of your married life. You’ll have great plans that go well, and some that don’t. Having a strong partnership means that you have each other’s back, are resilient after challenges, and keep a healthy perspective.

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