In our time running a Melbourne wedding venue, we’ve seen hundreds of beautiful couples celebrate their big day and along the way we’ve heard a lot of industry horror-stories. With our experience in the wedding industry, we’ve come to understand that wedding day mishaps can happen. Yes, even with the best intentions, things can go a little pear-shaped.
With that being said, we’ve noticed that there’s a set of common issues that tend to reoccur over and over. With this insight, we’re able to plan ahead and give our doting couples some advice on how best to avoid and deal with such scenarios. By being prepared, these issues are less likely to cause too much stress if they do happen. We find couples will rely on their wedding day co-ordinate as well as having a team of family members/friends lined up to take on certain roles in the event of anything arising.
Without further adieu, here are 8 lessons we’ve learned and how you can apply them to deal with common wedding day problems, should they arise.
1. Vendor no shows or not turning up on time
We’ve all heard plenty of stories about vendors like photographers, stylists, caterers and bands not turning up on time, or even at all.
Our advice to any couple getting married, whether your wedding is in Melbourne, Victoria, or anywhere else, is to source reputable vendors who have a good online presence, including great reviews. Another tip is to book a reputable wedding venue and choose from their list of trusted suppliers.
The best wedding venues in Melbourne will usually have strong relationships with the vendors that they recommend – for this reason, it could be wise to choose from the vendors they suggest.
Why? Because if the venue is experienced, competent and the real deal, then they’ll only deal with vendors who share the same values. Wedding vendors know that with one wrong step, they won’t be recommended by the venue ever again, making it all the more likely that they’ll turn up on time on your wedding day and do a phenomenal job.
When booking a vendor, speak to them about having a back-up plan. You can request to have a clause drawn up into the contract that states that if they are sick on the day, then they will be able to supply you with someone else to provide the service.
In the event that your vendor has no backup plan and has not shown up at all, get your wedding day coordinator or maid of honour to call other local suppliers. You’d be surprised at how many will be available at short notice. At the end of the day, as annoying as it is, don’t let it spoil your special day – it is all about you and your partner and getting married!
2. It’s pouring down with rain and you’ve booked an outdoor wedding venue
This is something that happens a lot at weddings and it’s really not something you can avoid. Yep, no matter how much you pray to the sun gods! But, it doesn’t have to ruin your day. Of course every couple hopes for beautiful sunshine on their wedding day, especially if they’re booking an outdoor or garden wedding venue.
The best way to avoid this is to speak to your chosen venue about whether they have a backup plan. The best wedding venues should be able to offer a solution. This way if you see that the weather forecast doesn’t look promising in the days before your wedding, then at least you know you’ll literally be covered.
Remember that it’s not all doom and gloom – some of the best images are taken when it is overcast and cloudy as you aren’t squinting or hot and flustered! If you are game, you can also get some stunning shots in the rain, so take it in your stride – or even have a joke with it and bring some gumboots and cute umbrellas for photos!
3. Children throwing tantrums
Kids will be kids, and if a child throws a tantrum at a wedding, don’t fret. We understand this can be an issue, especially if it’s during the ceremony, important speeches or a photography session. The last thing you’ll want to hear is a child screaming over the top of your wedding celebrant.
If the child is part of the wedding party and is having a tantrum through the ceremony, then have a trusted family member try to calm them down, or remove them from the situation to give them some air and time-out if they won’t settle.
When it comes to photographs, the earlier you get snaps involving children, the better. As we all know, children get tired as the day goes on, and with tiredness can come a great deal of irritability. So, it’s best to get this kind of stuff out of the way as soon as possible.
The other thing is that it’s a good idea to accommodate for the children at your wedding, particularly at the reception venue. Have a part of the wedding reception set up as a child-friendly zone, if you can. Have colouring-in books or sheets in supply, as well as crayons and pencils. A few helium filled balloons can also help to keep a small child happy and occupied.
4. Sore feet
A lot of brides will encounter this problem on their wedding day – but if you ask us, we err on the side of ‘yes, the dainty designer shoes are worth it!’
Be sure to break in your shoes before the day, look into the gel inserts and see if they help too! Most brides are also prepared with a pair of transition shoes for as the day progresses – whether a cute pair of flats or even thongs! Better yet, if you want to avoid this all together you can pick up some gorgeous flats from the get-go, or why not go for a custom pair of converse sneakers?!
5. Drunk guests
We’ve all seen this at weddings, there’s always one. A guest has a little too much to drink and starts getting a little out of hand. It’s easily done with things like open bars, toasting to the bride and groom every 15 minutes and an atmosphere of pure love and celebration. But, sometimes it needs to be curtailed.
If this happens at your wedding, then have a trusted friend or family member take them outside to quieten them down, give them a glass of water while taking in some fresh air.
Unfortunately every venue is going to have a responsible service of alcohol obligation and will need to slow down drinks or cut off the person if they go too far, so an intervention from a family member or friend can save everyone in the long run!
6. The bride or groom gets sick on the day of the wedding
We feel a little unwell even mentioning it. Some people say that rain is their worst nightmare, but in reality, we’d say this is probably worse. Believe us, it can happen.
The advice that we give to our brides and grooms is to really take care of themselves in the months, or even year, leading up to their wedding day. That includes exercise if possible, eating well and having regular medical check-ups. By doing these things, you’re giving yourself the best possible chance of being a picture of health on your big day.
In particular, a lot of brides tend to try out new products or fad diets in the lead up to the wedding but just be careful in doing this too close to the wedding day – you don’t want to have a bad reaction to a new product and break out in a rash etc. either. Try to have a steady routine leading into the wedding month.
Be sure not to forget to eat and get lots of sleep in the final week and the night before/day of as this can lead to you feeling less than great throughout the day.
To relieve any ailments on the day, have a supply of things like anti-nausea, cold and flu, and headache tablets on hand. In Melbourne especially, people can be prone to asthma attacks, be prepared. If you have a medical condition that needs to be kept in check, make sure you are consistent with taking daily medications. If you have a condition that can spring up in response to stress or other factors (for example migraines), then make sure you have a supply of the necessary medications you might need should you have an episode. Again have that trusted friend or family member – maybe even a bridal party member, to have an emergency kit stocked with everything you can think of so that you are prepped just in case!
7. Running behind schedule
From traffic slowing down the bride’s arrival to the ceremony to guests being nowhere in sight when they’re due to make a speech. It’s common for weddings not to run like clockwork, but don’t let this scare you.
First things first, it’s important to accept this happens and relax. It is at the end of the day your wedding day, it’s a celebration. You don’t want to be wearing a watch or constantly walking around with a time schedule and stopping mid-conversation or photo with someone as it is time for the next formality. A minute here or there won’t matter and there is always space to jiggle things and make it all work.
When you’re planning, make sure you allow reasonable time between things like speeches, food service, photography, cake cutting and more. Having everything back to back is not only stressful, but can be a recipe for severely blown out timelines. The best wedding venues in Melbourne will take you through this entire planing process and work out the best possible schedule so that you have a better chance of keeping things on track – at the end of the day, this is their job and they are speaking from experience, so trust the advice and ideas they have.
To lessen the stress this can cause, you can hire a day-of coordinator to handle the day’s timelines – double check if your wedding venue has one as this can save you on time, stress and money too if it is all in the once place already! You can entrust them with rallying the right people together for speeches and photos, and making sure that the right people are across everything when it comes to the bride and grooms whereabouts, venue styling, supplier services and more. This way you just get to relax and enjoy the big day – rather than trying to run it!
If you don’t have a day-of coordinator, then choose a reliable friend or family member who can help to make the event run a little more smoothly. At the end of the day, remember that a wedding is a big event, so you will lose a bit of time here and there.
8. Last minute beauty disasters
If you find that your hair starts to fall flat or your makeup feels like it’s melting off your face, don’t panic. Make sure that you always do a makeup and hair test before the day of your wedding. This will ensure that you’ll be able to test the longevity of the products and styles chosen for you by the hairdresser and makeup artist you’re looking to hire.
Again, have that trusted emergency kit which will contain a supply of some of the essential products you might need so that you can perform touch ups during the day if required!
Remember… Don’t be so hard on yourself
Whether you’re getting married in Melbourne, or anywhere else, no one is immune to wedding mishaps. It’s the preparation and awareness of common issues that will help you to deal with any issues as they surface.
At the end of the day, the simple fact that you’re getting married is a cause for celebration, so don’t let any setbacks ruin the experience. You need to remember that your guests are there to see you happy – so embody this, let go and have fun.