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  • Louise Barkle

Wedding Surprises You Should Prepare For


If you’re like most brides, you probably think you’ve planned everything to the very last minute…nothing can go wrong. Sorry, to share this with you, I have to give you a reality check. Things are going to go wrong on your dream day. Plenty of little surprises will pop up, and maybe even a few unexpected doozies. In the grand scheme of things, these wedding surprises won’t matter! But if you’re Type A like me and take great pride in being prepared for anything, then here’s a list of common issues and how to deal with them.


How can someone be prepared for a surprise you ask? There are certain events that can truly be labelled as a “surprise” (Elton John showing up to sing, Russell Crowe crashing the party, or your partner running away with Beyoncé are just a few examples I had fun imagining), but a lot of the so-called “unexpected” events are actually quite common when you tie the knot. Not all of the following circumstances will occur, but it’s always comforting to have your bases covered.


THE DAY WILL BE OVER BEFORE YOU KNOW IT.

Embrace every moment.


YOU WON’T SPEND A LOT OF TIME WITH YOUR NEW PARTNER.

This sounds , but it’s something you should prepare for. Getting ready will take up a huge portion of your day, and if you are not doing this together there goes hours. The surprise is definitely worth it. You may mingle together during your reception, but it’s common to get pulled apart. With so many people to see, it may be easier to tackle them separately. If this time apart makes you nervous, there are a few ways to get alone-time that are easy to fit into any wedding schedule. Consider having a 1 to 2-hour photo session for just the two of you. After your ceremony has ended, have 10 minutes to yourselves. You just got married. Take it in! Give one person you can rely on the task to come and get you when the 10 minutes is up—that way there are no unwanted interruptions.


“COLD FEET”.

You’re committing to someone for the rest of your life—there’s no shame in a little anxiety. When I think of cold feet, I think of Runaway Bride and Sex and the City: The Movie. The characters in those films experienced cold feet because they needed one thing: To see their partner before the ceremony. A first look could be the ultimate solution!


YOU’LL FEEL UNDER THE WEATHER.

The week before your big day is unavoidably stressful. You’ll get less sleep than you need, your brain will hurt, and then the weekend will arrive and you’ll be busier than ever. Odds are, your body will want a break—and it’ll show you by catching a cold. Do your best to prevent this by getting rest, drinking water, and taking immune system boosters. Make sure your partner is taking care of themselves too. You don’t want to be sick on your honeymoon!


RAIN, HAIL OR SUNSHINE!

My favourite brides just roll with the less-than-perfect weather. Kiss under clear umbrellas, wear colourful rain boots, and don’t freak out if your hair gets wet. Rain on your wedding day is actually lucky! In some cultures, it symbolises fertility and cleansing and the “Knot is harder to undo.”

Hottest day of the year, shade of a tree, umbrellas, bottles of icy cold water, colourful hats and plenty of deodorant.


KING AND QUEEN FOR THE DAY.

You are both on show. This means you call the shots all day. If a vendor does something you don’t want, you can tell them to fix it. If a guest gets out of control, you can kick them out. This is the sort of power you dream about—enjoy it! Just don’t become a Bridezilla. With great power, comes great responsibility.

You’ll be overwhelmed by all the love.

I remember standing in front of the people who matter most to me, promising my heart to the love of my life, and I get goosebumps. There will be so much love, support, and happiness in one room—and it’s all for you. Embrace it, enjoy it, and savour it. It is amazing take it all in.


EATING.

But you have to. You’ll have nerves all morning and afternoon, which will make food and water sound unappealing. But those nerves will also make that third glass of champagne sound ideal—be careful. You have to eat. Not only do I want you to remain conscious throughout your ceremony, but you need energy to keep you going all day. A task for a member of your bridal party to monitor your food intake. Don’t snap at them when they force a muesli bar down you.


HERE, THERE, EVERYWHERE, JUST 5 MINUTES…

There’s a lot to accomplish on the dream day, so make sure you allow for some extra  room in your schedule. Provide plenty of time for hair and makeup; overestimating by an hour is totally allowed. You should also allot extra time for photos. Delegation is essential. You are not the one who should be stressing out on the big day—that’s for your personal attendants and bridal party to do. Focus on enjoying every moment.


YOU’LL CRY WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT.

Many brides/grooms/partners think they’ll only shed a few tears as they walk down the aisle, or just get misty during their vows. What about when you see your father for the first time? When your groom gets teary at the end of the aisle? When your bridal party shares fond memories or when they make your husband/partner laugh/cry? There are so many  moments that hit you in the heart to think about. Bring tissues, wear waterproof makeup, and embrace those emotions! They’re fantastic.


YOU’LL BOND WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER.

And you should! If you bond with your photographer and really help them get to know the two of you, they’ll be able to capture the best moments; the ones where you’re truly being yourselves.


BATHROOM WILL BE THE PLACE YOU ESCAPE TOO..

If you’re staying hydrated (which is essential), then you’re going to have to use the restroom a lot. These bathroom visits won’t be as quick as usual.

You’ll even need help. Assign a personal attendant (or someone you’re really comfortable with) to help you in and out of your dress.

Expert Tip: If you don’t want to take your dress off, sit backwards on the toilet. That way your train is out of the way. I can hear you laughing, try it, so much easier.


YOU WON’T DANCE ALL THAT MUCH.

This one can be a disappointment if you love the floor. Unfortunately, you’re required to speak to as many guests as you possibly can—even if this leads into the dance hour. Social hours make mingling easy to accomplish, so consider inserting one between the ceremony and dinner.

Note: If you have a social hour, all photos need to be taken before the ceremony. But more time with your friends and family will make this schedule change worthwhile.


YOUR FEET, OUCH!

Photos, mingling, dancing…it’s no wonder! Choose your shoes  based on style and comfort. Wear them around the house as much as possible before the wedding day to break them in.

I also recommend finding a great pair of flats for your reception.


ALLOW FOR EXTRA COSTS.

Lunch for your bridal party, forgotten items such as black socks, belt’s, hair slides —all of these items mean even more money. 


UNEXPECTED GUESTS WILL ARRIVE.

Guests will bring dates when they weren’t asked to. Family will show up even though they RSVP’d ‘no.’ You may even get a crasher! Unexpected attendees are a common occurrence, so do your best to keep your cool and adjust as needed.


YOUR DRESS/SUIT WILL GET DIRTY.

Tones of baby wipes are very handy, but it will all wash out.


SOMEONE WILL HAVE TOO MUCH FUN AT THE BAR.

An open bar, someone will figure out a way to drink as much as they can after all it is free.  You can ask them to leave, it is your night, especially If they’re disrupting the entire night—everyone will be on your side. Hey someone may have beet you to it, and had them leave and you won’t know anything about it till the next day.  


WHAT…SPEECHES….

The easiest way to prevent this from happening is by setting a few rules. Give them a length limit. Anything over 5 minutes is TOO LONG. Make sure they know what topics or stories are off-limits. Only allow the essential few to speak: Best Man, Maid of Honour, and the Father of the Bride. If you do all of these things and if no one has listened, just drink more champagne and smile through it.


PHOTO’S WITH EVERYONE. (NOT GOING TO HAPPEN)

It’s important to allow enough time for photography. Your photographer will have a suggested schedule, but feel free to add even more time (just not less). Then create a prioritised shot list so your vendor knows what you need to have. To snag the pics your photographer can’t get, create a #hashtag and share it with your guests. You’ll be able to download everyone’s selfies and group snaps right away.


PERSPIRE/SWEATY WANT A SHOWER.

Stay comfortable by rubbing deodorant and/or baby powder in between your legs before putting on your dress. You will probably need to reapply later (another task for a trusted friend). Oil blotters are another must-have! But in the end, just embrace it. Everyone else will be sweaty too.


YOUR FACE WILL HURT.

So. Much. Smiling.


YOU MAY EXPERIENCE STAGE FRIGHT.

If you’re not used to speaking in front of people—not to mention professing your love in front of them—then the ceremony may give you some nerves. This is normal. I heard the best advice the other day at my friend’s wedding. One of the personal attendants was calming her down before the ceremony, and she said, “Everyone out there is on your side.” If you stumble over words, forget something, or even trip, no one in that crowd is judging you—just loving you. They’ll probably find any slip-ups endearing! And so will your partner.


YOU’LL BE DEHYDRATED.

If you drink water, you won’t be. Please, please drink water. Please.


YOU’LL BE EXHAUSTED.

This one is sort of inevitable…but do your best to stay full of energy. Water, food, and any form of rest is essential.


A VENDOR WILL MESS UP. SOMEHOW. SOMEWAY.

Do your best to problem-solve and remain calm if this happens. Don’t let your inner Bridezilla make an appearance! If the vendor doesn’t figure out a solution or apologise for the mishap, well, that’s what reviews are for.


YOU PROBABLY WILL FALL ASLEEP INSTANTLY ONCE YOUR HEAD HITS THE PILLOW.

Everyone talks up the wedding night, but you will be exhausted. Generally you would have started around 7AM and don’t end until midnight or even later. Thank goodness for the Honeymoon.


ALL THE LITTLE DETAILS WON’T MATTER.

This article may be about preparing for wedding surprises, but in the end the little details and problems will fall away. Trust that your guests won’t remember the centrepieces, what songs played during the social hour, what flavor of cake you had, or any of those other minor details.

What they will remember is how happy and in love you looked, and how grateful they were to be a part of the day.


 ENJOY EVERY MOMENT. THAT’S THE BEST ADVICE I CAN GIVE YOU.

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