| Wedding Ceremony | Wedding Planning |
One thing I always stress to the couples
I marry is that there will always be something that
doesn’t go to plan on the day. Some of these things
will make unique wedding memories. Some will be a
minor annoyance. And some have the potential to derail
the whole wedding.
Behind every successful ceremony (and post-ceremony
celebration) is a good back-up plan, and some
The Essential Backup Plan
We can’t control the weather, but the weather can
control (and wreck) your plans. So one of the things
you need to fully plan, as early as possible, is your
- Where will you move the ceremony and/or
reception to if rain, flood, bushfire, or other
adverse conditions make your venue(s) unsafe,
unuseable, or inaccessible?
- How will the alternative spaces be set up?
- If for the ceremony, where will you walk in
from, stand, and sign?
- Who will make the call to activate Plan B?
- How will everyone, vendors and guests, be
Most other issues that arise on the day can be dealt
with on the run. Not everything can be predicted, but
it helps to reduce your stress if you play the “what
if” game while planning, and either have a plan ahead
“insurance” or have the means with which to apply a
Plan ahead insurance
…one or more vendors doesn’t show or
deliver on the day?
Plan-ahead insurance …about a week
before your wedding contact and confirm exactly what
they will deliver, and when
… your dress, suit, shirt, etc doesn’t
Plan-ahead insurance … try on at
least a week before the ceremony, giving you time to
have alterations done, or organise a substitute.
… You decide to have an unplugged
ceremony and something goes wrong with the
professional photographs? Unfortunately, other than
the photographer just not turning up, which is highly
unlikely if you have chosen an established
professional, the things that can go wrong happen
either during or after the event (camera failing,
processing fail, etc) when it is too late to do a
Plan-ahead insurance … Have one
friend or family member who has some skill and a
decent camera designated to take photos as well as
the professional photographer. Make sure you let the
photographer know, and that your family member knows
not to get in the way of the professional. Or to
shadow the professional and take a duplicate of
formal shots the photographer has set up. That’s not
only rude, but will diminish the perceived value of
the professional photographer’s skills because your
guests may well see the amateur versions first.
… You plan to live stream your ceremony
to family and friends who can’t attend and it doesn’t
work on the day?
Plan-ahead insurance … set up a
video camera on a stand and video the ceremony as a
… Your musician(s) or DJ for the
ceremony just doesn’t arrive?
Plan-ahead insurance … have your
chosen music on your phone, and designate someone to
play it. Your celebrant should be able to facilitate
playing music from your phone through his/her PA.
Quick fix hacks
… a zipper, strap, etc breaks as you or
someone in your wedding party is getting dressed
Quick-fix hack … have needle and
thread (and a small pair of scissors) at the ready
and sew the person into their clothing.
… a child member of the bridal party
(flower girl, page boy, ring bearer), has a melt-down
or just refuses
Quick-fix hack … If they are not
having a full-on tanti, have an adult pick them up
and carry them down the aisle. And do it quickly.
There is nothing worse than having everyone wait
around while someone tries to persuade or force the
child to cooperate. Bribery also works.
… one of your small children, who is
supposed to sit with grandparents, cries and loudly
wails and wants to be held by mum or dad (one of the
marrying couple or a member of the bridal party.
Quick-fix hack … the chuppa-chup in
the bouquet solution works for the wailing every
time. Choose flavours whose wrap matches the
flowers, and tuck into the bouquet. But there is
nothing wrong with holding a child while getting
married. Can make for very sweet photos.
… your wedding transportation doesn’t
arrive or breaks down on the way.
Quick-fix hack … Call for an
Uber ride (or rides) and/or Taxis. They will
generally come pretty quickly if you explain the
issue. If you wait for a replacement limo or
bus you will end up pushing everything back, which
can ruin your ceremony, your photos, and the rest of
the evening celebrations.
… someone in the wedding party, or a
guest at the wedding becomes ill, or sustains and
Quick-fix hack … Seek medical
attention quickly. If that means calling an
ambulance or delaying the ceremony or reception, so
be it. If one of the marrying couple falls ill, or
sustains an injury, but there is a likelihood that
the ceremony will be able to go ahead, albeit
delayed, and pain relief is needed, make sure that
only local anaesthetic is given in order not to
compromise that person’s capacity to give real
consent to the marriage.
… you forgot the rings
Quick-fix hack … Breathe.
Rings are not a legal requirement. Have your
celebrant explain that the rings will be exchanged
at the reception. Then send someone to get them. And
just before you cut your cake, with all eyes on you,
say your ring vows and exchange rings. The guests
will love it!