You've dotted your i's and crossed your t's when it comes to Plan A. But if you've been so consumed with how your big day is supposed to go that you haven't developed a plan b for every unexpected scenario, you could be headed for trouble.
Says Victoria Canada, owner of Victoria Canada Weddings + Events in Phoenix, "your back up plan should be organized and thought out before the wedding day. My motto is 'be a girl scout,' and know your options. This will take out the stress out of making a fast decision if you had to imagine and process it prior to the wedding." And to get you started, here are five plan b's every bride should have.
1. A rain plan.
Some brides feel like if they plan for rain, they're tempting a true storm. But Canada says that, "if you plan for rain, that does not mean that you are asking the weather gods to rain on your parade - err, wedding." And you won't regret being prepared, after all, if there is a deluge on your wedding day.
Canada says as you work your way through the planning process, it's important to consider your options. For example, "if you are at a resort, is there another room that can accommodate your wedding? And if so, what does it look like? Do you need to fluff it up - and what is that fluff going to cost?" she asks. "If it does not rain, then just pat yourself on the back for thinking ahead."
2. A wind plan.
You may never guess it, "but wind can be worse than rain," Canada says, warning, "yet it often gets overlooked in the grand scheme of things." Think about it: If you have to rework your wedding plan for a little bit of rain, what will you have to do if 20-mile-per-hour winds come into the picture? "When you have gusts that strong, say goodbye to your veil, unity candles, linen on tables, programs, and more," says Canada.
Luckily, your wind plan should look a lot like your rain plan. "The sun may be shining but wind can blow your big day," Canada says, so keep an eye on the entire forecast in the days leading up to your wedding. And if you see strong winds on the horizon, it will be time to consider your backup (and indoor) space.
3. An attire-emergency plan.
Warns Canada, "You never know what is going to happen with buttons and zippers."
That means everything from your wedding gown to your groom's tuxedo and even your flower girl's tutu are at risk for an accident.
Canada suggests putting together an emergency sewing kit for all clothing-related catastrophes. And inside, she says, in addition to a needle, fabric glue, stain remover, safety pins, extra buttons, and the like, be sure to stick dental floss, not thread. "Dental floss is better than thread at repairing a wedding dress," she explains. "And, if you have had some major alterations on the dress, it is important to treat that dress like the delicate flower it now is. Do not tug. Do not think it is indestructible."
4. An unexpected guest plan.
So, your single friend brought a plus-one - a plus-one you didn't invite. "You never know when you might have an extra guest," says Canada. "It is rare, but we recently had a bridesmaid forget her date was coming." Eek. But if you planned for an invited guest (or five), you won't need to panic, and you can welcome your new pal to your wedding with grace.
In the weeks leading up to your wedding, "ask your catering manager and planner if there are a few tables that have some extra space," Canada recommends. And, double check your count the week before your wedding. "Always make sure your caterer has the correct number of guests," she says, and ask him or her to add a few extra meals to the total. "It is better to have more food than less."
5. A running late plan.
If you've got every minute of your day down scheduled down to the very last second, what happens if, say, your best friends hit a traffic jam? Says Canada, "You want to take some time to have a cushion in your itinerary, because this is not the day to assume that your family and bridal party will be right on time for photos."
So, she advises, tell yourself that if you must wait on your bridal party, "you'll have some cold drinks, cards, and a jam box to help pass the time," she says. Plus, it's smart to know your audience, and advise them of your timetable accordingly. "If your groom is not the most timely, you need to give him some wiggle room for his arrival," Canada says. "This will alleviate stress for you and the other vendors."