Thursday, April 23, 2009

Last Minute Mishap? How to React to any Situation With Grace and Style

You’ve chosen your attendants. You’ve selected a venue. You’ve interviewed dozens of vendors, paid your deposits and signed your X on the line. Your wedding is only a month away … what could possibly go wrong now?

I know. Thinking about what could go wrong on your wedding day isn’t what we’d like to think of, but dear bride-to-be … you should be.

Effective troubleshooting is at the heart of every perfect wedding and you need to be armed with the necessary tools to make sure your wedding is bullet-proof. What you need in your arsenal really depends on what problems could arise so let’s go over a few worst-case scenarios now and hopefully you'll be better equipped if any real problems arise.

Bye Bye Bridesmaid
You asked your best friends and closest relatives to stand by you as you pledge your love to your soon-to-be spouse and you were met with an enthusiastic YES. Then, somewhere along the line she quits. She gets tired, gets busy, gets preoccupied. What do you do?

IF SHE OFFICIALLY QUITS, you should graciously express your disappointment and let her off the hook. Don’t try to “replace” her. The fill-in bridesmaid will always feel like she is playing second fiddle and you’ll look like you are more interested in your wedding party matching than in your friends’ feelings.
IF SHE DOESN’T QUIT, take her to lunch and talk about it. Tell her you understand she has other things going on and assure her you won’t be offended if she can’t be in your wedding.

Shrinking Site
As sad as it is, many vendors will tell you anything to get you to pay your deposit and sign a contract. They’ll assure you their 80-capacity room can hold 130 people-with a live band-and they’ll worry about the logistics later.

If this happens to you, you’ll have to get creative. Talk to the banquet manager who will be running your event and see what options you have for expanding your space. You might be able to add an adjoining room, include hall space, reorganize your tables or offer the buffet or bar in a different area.

IF THIS IS THEIR FAULT, they will likely bend over backwards to accommodate you, possibly offering you free upgrades or additional space.
IF IT IS YOUR FAULT, they probably won’t throw in freebies, but they are still invested in your wedding and will work with you to make it a success. IF YOU DISCOVER this before you've sent your invites, consider reducing your guest list so you can still have the wedding you wanted.

Vanished Vendors
This is the worst problem of all because you won’t know until the last minute that there is a problem. The key to knocking this potential problem out of the water is to be prepared.

Call each vendor two weeks before your wedding and confirm they will be there. Call each vendor again one week before the wedding to confirm. Call each vendor again the day before your wedding and confirm.

I know this sounds like overkill, but trust me. Do this. If you never take another piece of advice I am offering you-CALL AND CONFIRM each vendor and appointment.

You should also have a list of their numbers (both office numbers and cell phones) and distribute that list to your wedding party and family. Assign different people to monitor various vendors. For example, ask bridesmaid #1 to be on the lookout for the florist. Tell her to let you know if the florist hasn’t arrived by X o’clock or ask her to call the florist directly to check on the issue.

IF YOU HAVE MAINTAINED STRONG COMMUNICATION with the vendors-such as calling and confirming for two weeks straight!-you shouldn’t have a major issue.
IF YOU DO HAVE A PROBLEM, pull out all stops and put your entire wedding “team” to the task. Your friends will come through for you in your greatest time of need … trust me.

What steps have you taken to better equip yourself to deal with last-minute mishaps? What tips do you have for other brides?

Photos courtesy of Conner395

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