How To Deal With Unexpected Moments During Your Wedding Day

I have a little saying that I like to pull out every now and then during the wedding planning process - “We plan for the best; we prepare for the worst”. It’s not ground-breaking or revolutionary, but it makes a whole heap of sense. You should never plan for the worst because what happens if the things you think are going to go wrong don’t go wrong? Then you’ve always opted for the second-best choice rather than the first. Instead, you should always plan for the best outcome - wedding-wise this means plan your day around the best possible weather, for example - and then prepare for the worst-case scenario, which means that you have a total game plan for when it’s pouring it down with rain.

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So that’s what this blog post is all about. You can never plan for unexpected things to happen, because the whole point of them being unexpected is that you don’t know what they are. What we can do is prepare ourselves in advance as to how will we handle anything that does take place that we weren’t expecting. You with me?

One of the most common things that typically tends to happen at a wedding, and it’s such a brazen act that, even though it’s one of the most common things to occur, still no-one thinks that it will. I’m talking about someone proposing during the wedding reception. Even after just typing those words I want to put my hands over my eyes and ply the image from my brain. I am a Monica Gellar type, so it’s absolutely no surprise that I’ve grown up to be a wedding planner, and we’ve all seen the episode where Rachel hooks up with Ross during Monica’s engagement party and she kicks off about Rachel “stealing her thunder”. Oh yeah, it’s a thing, and I get it. I don’t think anyone who does propose during someone else’s wedding means to be ‘thunder-stealing’ or insensitive. They just get caught up in the romance and think it’s such a picture-perfect time to  get down on one knee. But it does take the attention away from the people who have put so much time and money into pulling together a day that is perfect for them. Talk about bad-timing.

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But once this in in the motion of happening, there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Or else you look like a massive b-word who is throwing a strop. And the only thing worse than having someone propose to their partner on your wedding day is looking like a massive b-word who is throwing a strop. This is what I’m talking about when I say you need to prepare for the worst. You can’t predict if this will happen, when it will happen, how it will happen, who it will happen to, and you can’t plan for every single one of those eventualities. And even if you could, what exactly would you plan to happen? A couple of groomsmen tackling the identified perpetrator to the ground and wrestling the ring-box from his grasp before his almost-fiancé has time to comprehend what is happening?! Nuh-uh.

So we need to prepare instead. Chances are this unexpected surprise would come from one of your friends, given that a person who barely knows you would probably feel socially awkward piggybacking off the romance of your wedding day, and they clearly know you well enough to be at your wedding. If you handle this unexpected news badly then it will reflect just as badly on you, and everyone will think that you’re a tad selfish and ungracious. So you need to prepare by whacking a smile full of joy and elation straight on your face and removing any daggers you’re shooting from your eyes. Secondly, you should be the first one on your feet applauding and wishing them well, and lastly you should try and throw them a line of congratulations into one of the toasts at the end of the speeches.

Picture courtesy of

Picture courtesy of

Sound like overkill? I promise you it will be worth it. Not one of your guests, apart from maybe your immediate family and bridesmaids, will stop to think how you will feel about anything unexpected happening from your position. They will just judge you on your immediate and visible reaction because that’s what people do. Empathy isn’t an immediate response for the majority of people. So if you look unhappy then that’s all people are going to comment upon. And if you look unhappy at someone else’s proposal then you’re also going to look jealous and selfish. You can bet that your photographer is still snapping away during all of this excitement which means that your reaction will be captured and tagged on Facebook forever.

I’ll admit that this is probably the extreme, and I’ll utter the famous last words in the hope that no-one is scorned by them, but it probably won’t happen to you. That being said, it’s not the only unexpected thing that can happen on your wedding day. From dropped cakes to newly acquired husbands who have way too much to drink and end up unconscious in the toilet before the cake has even been cut (I was at that wedding, as a guest), there’s plenty that can go wrong that you’d just never even consider.

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And on your wedding day, the first thing that people will look to once said unexpected thing has happened is you. Guaranteed. It’s what we’re primed to do in a dramatic situation; we look at the person who’s most likely to kick off and then we watch closely for the signs of that precise kick-off.

But, in preparing for the worst, know that when the cake is dropped, no matter how you feel, you should roar with laughter and you get right down next to it for a hilarious photo of you not giving two hoots. When your husband has been found in the gents after a short-term relationship with a bottle of tequila you should jokingly roll your eyes and head onto the dancefloor with all of your girlfriends and delegate the best man to tend to his needs. If it rains when you wished for sunshine you should smile knowing that rainy photos are by far the most romantic, and if someone spills red wine on your wedding day you should relish the fact that you get to wear the second drop-dead gorgeous white dress you brought with you to wear for the evening reception.

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When I was little my dad once said to me “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing”. He’s clearly never been caught in a flood in The Lake District like I have, but ultimately it’s true. And the same thing applies here - nothing can truly spoil or derail your day if you’ve had the sense to know how you’ll respond to the unexpected. That’s not to say that anything out of the ordinary will happen but you’ll look like a far more easy-going, beautiful bride if you’re prepared for it than if you’re not.

All of my brides and grooms receive months of this sage advice that only a wedding planner who’s been there and seen it all could give, and they’re guaranteed to have an amazing day because of it. It may not be flawless - because nobody can ever guarantee sheer perfection  - but no matter the eventuality they have the best day of their lives. Book here for an initial consultation, and you won’t be caught out by any nasty surprises on your wedding day either.

Charlotte xoxox