Plan B—6 Tips For When Things Don’t Go As Planned

You’re a planner. You’ve dedicated a lot of effort to your wedding preparations, so how could anything go wrong, right?

Despite your best efforts, chances are there’ll be something that doesn’t go as planned. First and foremost, keep perspective! Remember that you’re marrying the love of your life. Nothing about the day is more important than that.

That said, here are 6 practical tips to consider when matrimony mishaps occur.

Lady-in-Waiting: Your beloved is eagerly waiting for your signal to turn for the First Look. You realize your photographer is nowhere in sight.

European royalty had it right when they assigned a personal assistant to the queen. Select someone to help you remember the details and troubleshoot issues when needed. You may consider your maid of honor your assistant, but it may be more prudent to choose a ‘runner’ who is not in the wedding party. Do you have a friend or family member who is comfortable taking the lead and is a good problem solver? If no one comes to mind, consider hiring a wedding planner. Many have ‘Day-of Coordination’ services that are affordable.

Eyes on the Skies: As your party gathers at the ceremony site, you see dark clouds in the sky above you.

Inclement weather is always a concern for outdoor ceremonies. Do follow 10 day forecasts, but weather can shift. Pay attention to the day before (day 9) and after (day 11) the ceremony too! Two or three days before the wedding date, start watching weather patterns with radar apps. If your venue does not have an indoor alternative, contact a tent rental company. If the weather is too close to call, you may have to rent a tent for the day, even if you’re not sure you’ll need it. If it’s still unclear the day before or day of the ceremony, for example ‘scattered showers in various places around the state,’ set up the chairs under the tent. Better to be dry than sorry!

Sew Easy: You’re about to walk down the aisle and you hear a ripping sound.

Seems unlikely, but seam splits happen. To repair those unexpected wardrobe malfunctions, arm yourself with needle, thread, and scissors. You made need several thread colors to match the bridesmaids’ dresses and groom and groomsmen’s tuxes, as well as your wedding dress.

Never a Loss for Words: As your officiant says, “and now they’ll share their vows…” it seems you have misplaced them!

Worried about forgetting your vows in the flurry of activity before the ceremony? Don’t fear. Before the ceremony, ask your officiant to carry a copy of them. However, if you realize you don’t have them, remember that your vows came from your heart so they are still there. Take a moment to clear your head, look inward, and speak the words you can recall. What do you aspire to be for your spouse? It’s okay if you don’t remember your vows word-for-word. It’s the intention that matters most.

Equally important, ask your officiant to have a copy of any readings you’ve asked friends and family to share in the ceremony.

Music to My Ears: You’ve planned music for the processional, but as your first bridesmaid is waiting for her cue, there seems to be a glitch in the sound system.

A smart phone is the Swiss army knife of personal, hand-held, technology. It won’t take the place of live music or a seasoned sound specialist, but it sure beats walking down the aisle in silence. Make sure to have a back-up playlist on your phone and have a portable speaker and docking system available. Since most sound professionals do not attend the rehearsal, your playlist can also come in handy to help with pacing during the processional during the practice session the day before.

Also consider the smart phone video capabilities in the event your glitch is with the videographer!

911: Your JP has a medical emergency and will not be able to officiate your wedding.

No worries! FindaJP has your back! JPus is a professional organization with a large, local network of wedding officiants eager to step in when needed. The wedding officiants on have a back-up network of JPs who are always available to help out their colleagues during times of need. They’ll likely make the referral, or you can ask your lady-in-waiting to go to for a quick and seamless solution.

Remember to involve your Justice of the Peace or Notary when planning your ceremony. Ask him/her what mishaps they may have observed and how they were resolved.

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findajp blog author and Justice of the PeaceCindy Dumont is a Justice of the Peace in North Hampton, New Hampshire.

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