Top Five Wedding Issues Countdown
As wedding planners it is our job to know all of your contracts, keep track of all of your vendors and make sure everyone is on the same page, create your schedules and make sure that everyone shows up on time, and most of all, make sure your wedding day goes off without a hitch.
As easy as this may sound, no wedding is without its problems. I’ve had wedding cakes fall over, florists not show up, groomsmen forget their ties at home, parents not show up, as well as a variety of other interesting situations.
However, regardless of what happens, it is my job to handle it on the spot, make a professional decision to fix it, and if at all possible, not let the bride or any of her guests find out that anything was wrong.
The catch is . . . even if I do my absolute best and am as prepared and organized as possible, things will still happen and they will end up making me look bad. This is our official top five wedding issues countdown! lol This will surprise you!
5) Wedding Vendors
Being that wedding vendors do this all the time as a full-time career, very little issues arise from anything they may have done. When it does happen though, it’s usually pretty bad.
Every now and then one of the linens will be dirty, a glass may be broken, or a microphone may be missing. These are easy to fix and not a big deal at all.
The scary problems come when the wedding cake topples, the music system glitches in the middle of the wedding and plays the same Paul McCartney song over and over again, one of the vendors simply doesn’t show up, or my super famous story of the videographer that showed up four hours late and tried to play the couple’s slideshow on a trial program that stopped and asked for payment in order to use the full program in the middle of the wedding on the big screen. lol
Thank goodness this doesn’t happen very often!
4) The Wedding Guests
Most of the time your wedding guests love you, are honored to have been invited to your wedding, and are gracious to everyone in attendance. However, sometimes even they have a tendency to get out of control.
Some of the smaller problems are tables dismissing themselves to the buffet and then complaining about having to stand in line and wait, guests getting in the way of your professional photographers, trying to be photographers themselves, and ignoring instructions to pick up their cake from the cake table and coming back into the kitchen to get it while it’s being cut. lol Yes, it does happen.
The problems really begin however when guests force their way into the reception as it’s being set up and get in the way of vendors trying to do their jobs, make a nuisance of themselves demanding dinner an hour early as the ceremony has just ended and the cocktail hour just begun, cuss out the caterer and every other vendor that passes because they want hard alcohol during dinner even though they’ve been told that the bar will open right after dinner, and storm out of the reception cussing the family out because they don’t like where they are sitting and think they deserve a more honored place at the wedding.
I promise, I’ve seen some crazy weddings.
Are you hiring a wedding planner?
3) The Bridal Party
It’s hard to think that weddings can have even bigger problems, but it’s possible. Being part of the wedding party, we sometimes see bridesmaidzillas that come out of the strangest situations.
Now some of the more minor issues have simply been bridesmaids that request to leave before the wedding is over or demand a level of service from vendors that is manageable but unreasonable.
However, I have seen some doozies that have cussed out the bride, gotten smashed at the wedding and made a scene taking off clothes or simply being a nuisance, gotten into fist fights with other bridesmaids/wedding guests/family members on the dance floor during the wedding, etc.
You may laugh and say that’s impossible. If only I could videotape some of the things I’ve seen so you would believe me!
And it gets worse. . .
2) The Family
The family is usually one of the biggest problems at a wedding and this is an issue we see every single time.
Not that most families are problems, but only that emotions run high during weddings and everyone has their own ideas about what would make the wedding perfect for the bride and groom.
To keep to the same trend in previous stories, the least of the problems I’ve seen include mothers crying because they had wanted their daughters to get married at their homes or to have traditional weddings, fathers not understanding why the bride and groom would make some of the decisions they made regarding having an outdoor wedding or not inviting specific people to the wedding, and siblings upset because their mothers and fathers are not happy. These things are normal and are usually very easily handled at any occasion.
The real problems begin when one member of the family decides that the wedding will run their way regardless of the bride and groom’s desires, causes problems at the event or during the planning and doesn’t care about the consequences, or when someone in the family brings physical or verbal abuse into the mix.
I have been cornered at a wedding with a bridesmaid cursing me out and trying to punch me all because alcohol wasn’t being served during dinner.
I have seen a bride being cussed out by her mother in the middle of the dance floor because certain guests were not seated where she thought they should, and I have seen a number of drunken violent family members rip a wedding to shreds out of their own selfishness.
These problems are slightly more difficult to conceal and handle without the overall event being affected.
1) The Bride
Unfortunately, the bride has the biggest affect on whether her wedding goes successfully or not. Being the center of attention and the one whose words and desires all vendors and family members are hanging on, her actions have the biggest impact on the outcome of the day.
Thankfully, the majority of the brides and grooms I work for are fantastic and so excited to get married that they are the most wonderful, most laid back and easiest people to work with throughout the entire event. However, this is not always the case.
The well-known documented bridezilla we have all seen on TV that yells, screams, throws punches, demands attention, time and her way is truly a rarity.
This is not the normal behavior of brides by any means, nor something we see very often. In all of my time planning, I have seen one bridezilla, and a few borderlines.
I think the biggest difficulty I have seen when it comes to brides is the sheer desire for everything to be perfect down to the last detail.
I wish that I could impart to brides that no wedding is perfect and that on the day of their weddings, the only thing they will truly be focused on (and should be!) is the gorgeous man standing at the head of the aisle waiting to spend the rest of their lives with them.
Are you kidding, my husband had to tell me how the ceremony was setup and who was actually in attendance that day because everything went so fast and all I could think of was that we were getting married!!
At that point the details of the day no longer mattered, and even if they could, it was too late to change anything. Focus on enjoying the day and soaking up every last second because this only happens once.
An even bigger problem though, is the bride that is still making changes all the way up to the last day, leaving everyone unsure of what is actually happening.
Without allowing your vendors sufficient time to prepare for your big day, you are only hurting yourself and you will see the disorganization you’ve forced on everyone.
I have had brides that still haven’t given me their song lists by the day of the wedding and then get upset that we weren’t prepared.
I have had tables change shape, height, size and number on the day of the wedding and not have the right linens for them because I wasn’t aware she had changed them.
I think the biggest problem I have found so far was the bride that still had not completed her guest list the day before the wedding, and therefore prepared for 150 people with food, linens and dishes, but then set places in her seating chart for over 200.
We ran out of everything that day. We were scrambling to find linens, dishes and food for guests, barely had the manpower to keep up with an additional 50 guests and had to enlist help from other vendors, family and even wedding guests, and vendors almost didn’t get anything to eat that night.
Had we been able to finalize everything a month before and adequately prepare for the event, none of that would have happened. Imagine the brides we’ve had that do all of the above.
Problems always arise in a variety of shapes and forms. As the wedding planners, we do our best with the knowledge and experience we’ve gained along the way to prepare for any and every problem that may come up so that we have a solution for just about anything.
It is important to remember though, that we are not magicians or fairy god-mothers by any definition. We are only human and can only work with what we have been given.
In the case of any and all of the problems above, we have all been trained to handle them with the utmost of professionalism, but some problems simply cannot be solved and also cannot be concealed from the wedding couple, family and guests as well as we would like.
Please know that your wedding planner is doing her best. If you are seeing any issues, consider what she is working with instead of automatically assuming that she must have done something wrong.
If you are seeing issues, you can only imagine the ones you are not seeing. We love our jobs and what we do, which is why we work so hard to grow and to learn and become even better planners for you in the future!
Wedding planners get a bad rap. Consider the warrior behind the clipboard! Hopefully some of this great information will change your views on some of what is happening behind the scenes with yours.
What problems are you most concerned about?
© 2013 Victoria Van Ness