Things Will Go Wrong On Your Wedding Day

I was reading on a wedding blog that the best advice a bride got from her father-in-law before the wedding day was “something will go wrong on your wedding day.” At first I thought, “ouch, what a thing to say to a nervous bride right before the big day.” But when I thought about it, it was a really brilliant thing to say.

I read on An Apple a Day that floral designer Amy Merrick had to pull double duty as a photographer when the groom called the photographer 40 minutes before the wedding to see where he was only to learn that the photographer forgot about the wedding due to a sudden death in the family. Lucky for the bride and groom, Amy Merrick also takes phenomenal photos. But can you imagine how the bride must have felt at that very moment? And I felt nothing but complete empathy for a shaken bride-to-be months ago who showed the news crew all the components of her wedding in the backseat of her car not knowing if her wedding was going to take place because of Hurricane Irene.

We didn’t have Hurricane Irene, but the weather forecast for New York wasn’t looking good all of September. When we got to New York, there were overcast skies but no rain. We felt relieved until Wednesday when after carefully watching the weather predictions for Thursday, September 29th – our original wedding date – we knew Thursday was going to be bad. The forecast showed not just rain but thundershowers. This wouldn’t work for our wedding which was going to be entirely outdoors. That’s when some serious anxiety kicked in. But it was what it was, we couldn’t do anything about it, so we had to make some fast decisions.

And this is going to sound a bit bizarre, but after we had settled on the wedding date of September 29th, I had some slight inclination that Thursday wasn’t going to be a good day. It wasn’t any distinct feeling, it’s just something about Thursday and our wedding day that didn’t feel good. Of course I wasn’t going to keep switching dates and driving everyone nuts based on my hunch, but that feeling was there, and I’ve always learned that my intuition is almost always spot on.

This could explain why even two and a half months before my wedding, one of the criteria (after price, style, and personality) in signing on with a vendor was that they were willing to be flexible with their schedules, that with little notice they’d be willing to switch to a Wednesday or Friday so long as they weren’t booked up yet. And by the grace of all that is good in this world, they were all available when we sent them our urgent emails on Wednesday night to see if they were all available on Friday instead of Thursday. Our photographer Fiona Conrad had borrowed rental equipment and had to change the reservation immediately to prevent getting charged, and our cinematographer Madison Waters had a Mon-Fri day job and had requested Thursday off but then had to get a last minute switch approval from her boss for Friday. My hair and makeup person had a famous client that day but the timing worked out just right, and our sweet officiant was really easy about the whole thing. We pulled it off.

I joked to Grant on Wednesday night after we had officially changed our wedding date to Friday that wouldn’t it be funny if after all the troubles we put everyone through, we’d wake up on Thursday morning and there would be sun? And when we awoke on Thursday morning, that’s exactly what we saw from our bed. But as we strolled around that day, we saw the skies changing and at around 3:00 PM the thundershowers came down as predicted – the exact moment when we’d be at Central Park exchanging vows. The photos below were taken from ABC Home and Carpet where we sought shelter from the downpour. We sat on the stools watching the relentless rain visualizing my drenched evening gown, soggy shoes, and damaged camera equipment. It rained for the rest of the day and we breathed a huge sigh of relief that we had made the right decision on Wednesday night to change the date, and so very fortunate that we had chosen the most flexible, easy-going, positive, and all around awesome group of people to work with.

And the night before our wedding we didn’t sleep at all. Grant got maybe an hour, I pulled in maybe 30 minutes.  Actually, we hadn’t gotten much of any sleep for a solid one week. I looked in the mirror on my wedding day and was horrified to see that both of us had dark bags under our eyes like we’d been in 10 rounds of a boxing match. On any other day it would have been “eh, whatever,” but on our wedding day when we had spent money to get professionally photographed and video’d in stark, unforgiving outdoor natural lighting, we had a bit of an uh oh moment. And I mean bit because we had our bit of spasm then moved on because hey, we didn’t wake up with cold sores on our lips, zits on our nose, or a pink eye. Grant would have to make do with his Raging Bull face but I was hoping my hair and makeup person would do magic on me. It didn’t quite turn out the way I’d hoped. She was sweet and I enjoyed chatting with her, but let’s just say I was left with only 10 minutes to get ready after she left I used most of that time doing a horrible job of trying to wipe the makeup off my face.

So I guess after this exhaustive post, what I’m trying to say is:

  1. It’s normal to feel crazy stressed out leading up to your wedding day.
  2. It’s really important to work with people who not only have a great portfolio but have an easy-going attitude and are just simply nice. On Wednesday night, both my photographer and videographer kept emailing words of encouragement like “don’t worry about a thing” and “it’s no problem for us.” You have no idea how much that meant to me because I would have spent all night feeling bad that I had to trouble them, but those emails they sent me put me at ease. Just the greatest ladies. And all brides should try to hire sweet professionals like them.
  3. Something will go wrong on your wedding day. And it’s good to be mentally prepared for that ahead of time.

But the most important thing to remember is that even if everything doesn’t go according to plan or how you envisioned everything lining up in your head, it’s okay because when you exchange vows with your best friend, all the negative stuff just melts away and you will find a bright, perfectly imperfect perfect day.

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