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No, you can't change your wedding plans on the wedding day, or even on the weekend of the wedding if you have a big event planned. Yes, you are the bride, but unless you want to be known as the ultimate "Bridezilla," you have to be logical and fair to your vendors.
Your wedding planner has already confirmed your schedule of events with everybody and they know (and have confirmed) where they have to be and when. Changing a time — even by only 30 minutes — throws everything into a tailspin. And sometimes it has unintended consequences:
1. If you're getting married on a beach or another public venue, permits have been obtained for a specific location and a specific time. The entity that got the permits holds the responsibility of making sure things start and end on time. Your last minute wishes to switch it up could result in fines.
2. Vendors often have more than one wedding per day. The baker, florist and even the minister may have more than one commitment. Weeks ahead, they've worked out a schedule that allows them to service all of their clients most efficiently. You can't decide at the last minute that you demand their presence elsewhere at a different time — you hired them. You don't own them.
3. Some of your plans have been made based on your planner or vendors' recommendations because they know what they are doing. Changing the ceremony time can dramatically impact having enough light for your wedding ceremony, for example.
4. Last minute surprises are usually a bad thing. A friend who wishes to serenade your group (aka bad wedding karaoke) will want specific music the DJ may or may not have. A giant presentation given between the salad and the entrée guarantees a lot of cold dinners. Impromptu is only a good thing when it's planned to appear to be spontaneous.
5. Even eloping couples need to think through their wedding plans ahead and stick with the schedule once they've arrived at their destination. Changing dinner reservations, cake flavors and ceremony locations multiple times forces many phone calls, emails, and emergency texts to confirm it can all be done to make you happy. Most elopements are done on a budget that doesn't include asking your wedding planner to re-plan it three times once you've arrived because you're finally getting to see the place where you're getting married. Those are questions to ask and decisions to make before the wedding weekend, not after you've begun it.
Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007.