Everybody knows the expression "game face" as it applies to everyday life. It means keeping your expression neutral — or positive — when things aren't going exactly as planned. For some careers, the ability to keep a "game face" can determine how long you keep that job.
Keeping a "game face" at a wedding is just as important as it is in business. Perhaps more important, since there's no second chance, or redo, for your big day. Wedding planners have to do it all the time, and we know it's not easy.
True fact: When the bride is happy at her wedding, everybody else is happy, too. The minute the groom, the mother of the bride, or her bridesmaids see that the bride is unhappy or upset about something, all bets are off. While the bride might be able to pull herself together and paste on a smile, even though her wedding bouquet is not what she ordered and it's too late to fix it, if everybody else around her gets worked up about a problem, the jig is up, and all hell breaks loose.
Those who are "in the know" will not keep the bride's displeasure to themselves. They will tell other guests, who in turn, will become upset that the bride isn't happy. With liquid encouragement, some of them will take it upon themselves to admonish whatever wedding vendor they feel is appropriate, even though it's not their place to do so. And most of the time, they'll do it with an audience, so the drama grows. Now the breaking gossip is that the bride is upset and guests were yelling at the vendors about it during the wedding. Disaster!
Yes, I'm putting the responsibility for keeping everybody else happy on the bride, to some degree. I'm not suggesting that if your minister doesn't show up, the cake falls over, or something else you can't avoid having the guests know about happens that you are responsible for making sure nobody else gets upset about the problem. Brides are human and sometimes they, justifiably, lose their cool.
But when the issue is something that only the bride (and maybe a reasonable mom or bestie) knows about, the best approach is to keep a smile on your face, put it out of your mind, and deal with it after the wedding reception is over, and you get back from your honeymoon. Don't let somebody else's error ruin your wedding.
Forget about the problem (maybe you'll laugh about it someday), keep smiling, and enjoy the rest of the things about your wedding day that are perfect. Don't let on to the guests that you're angry or upset unless you want to create drama at your wedding. You wouldn't believe how fast a mob mentality can grow when a bride isn't smiling.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events and author of How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show Wedding Island, about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques.