Let’s face it: Despite the long-winded efforts we put forth to ensure that our wedding day is 100 percent perfect, every tiny detail doesn’t always turn out as planned. While our wedding day is incredibly special, it is like any other day—victim to the trials and tribulations of life at any given moment. No matter how long and hard you plan and plot, things happen.
The truth is, your wedding day doesn’t have to be perfect, and most likely won’t be. The key is to roll with the punches and not let obstacles, big or small, ruin what is sure to be the most memorable day of your life for better or for worse. Here, real brides share the unforeseen instances that happened on their big day and how they pushed on and continued to have the most spectacular and romantic day of their life.
“Obnoxious and selfish family members made my day about themselves.”
“Family on both ends were demanding so much attention that it felt as if they were complaining about stuff that wasn't even important. Does the bride really need to know if a person's steak wasn't cooked to their request? The waiter would have taken care of it, no problem. I had to concentrate on how good the steak was at the location to get zen. I seriously wanted to leave my own wedding thanks to people's behaviors. I got through it drinking wine, but looking back I probably shouldn't have drank so much.
I didn't do anything crazy, I just ended up falling asleep. Thinking back I would have eloped and enjoyed my time with my then husband instead.”
—Karla C., 37, from Tampa, Florida
“An annual jazz festival was now happening next door to my venue.”
“Everything was going smoothly in preparation for my October 2015 wedding up until one night when I had this gut feeling to check the local community calendar just one more time. My venue was located next door to the Maritime Museum, which sometimes hosts outdoor festivals and concerts that bring in large crowds. There was a last-minute change of location for an annual jazz festival that would now take place on the day of my wedding. I contacted my venue to come up with plans for parking, crowd control and noise during the ceremony and had lawn signs made up to place at the entrance of our venue to indicate that parking was for a private event, not the Jazz festival to decrease possible through traffic (which surprisingly worked)!
We also asked the venue to place valet attendants in the front to monitor parking spaces just in case festival attendees happened to come in. Then, we had our Maitre d' go over to the Jazz Festival to pause the live music for 30-minutes during our ceremony, in an effort to control the noise. Even though we could still hear light music during our vows, it could have been a lot worse given that jazz music is soft and soothing. Takeaway: Always plan ahead, be your own bride advocate and trust your gut.”
—Kailey C., 29, from Bucks County, Pennsylvania
“The week of our wedding there were devastating fires in Northern California's wine country.”
“Initially, we thought that we would be able to move ahead with our plans, but as the week went on the fires only got worse. We spent many tearful hours on the phone with our wedding planner, and, three days before the wedding, ultimately made the difficult decision to cancel. This was definitely a surreal moment for us, but, in light of the tragic events, it was totally the right thing to do. Our planner was literally superwoman for us that week—she had our entire wedding rescheduled in two days.
All of our vendors—many of whom were affected by the fires themselves—were incredibly flexible and kind during this whole process, and we're super lucky for that. While it was not ideal that our day was not going to pan out the way we’d planned, we felt so badly for those affected by the fires that it was really hard to be disappointed. My fiancé and I came together as a team over those months, and I truly think it made our relationship a lot stronger.”
—Mandy S., 28, from San Francisco, California
“The Wednesday before my Saturday wedding my husband was unable to walk.”
“My husband was in a car accident the month before our wedding. He felt mostly okay, but he picked up something heavy a few days before our wedding and he could barely move he was in so much pain. His back had locked up so we went to the emergency room. It even hurt for him to sit stand walk and lie down. I didn’t know if we were going to go through at the wedding on that Saturday, which was in New Jersey, about 100 miles away from where we lived, or if he would need a cane or something like that in order to walk or do anything that day.
It certainly put all the small details and concerns in perspective! He got some medications and got through it even though he didn’t dance as much. He was able to walk down the aisle and stand up for our first dance as well. He’s tough so he got through everything with a smile and a few grimaces.”
—Diana L., 36, from Queens, New York
“On our wedding day my husband’s pant zipper broke.”
“It completely fell apart the first time he tried to zip and he had no time to get it fixed. He showed up to the altar with it safety pinned shut. During photos, which were after the ceremony, he told me that he couldn’t sit down. I thought it was totally hilarious. Before we went into the reception, however, he was able to change. The new pants looked identical, and it was nice to be able to actually sit next to him at the dinner table!”
—Julia K., from New York City
“My wedding cake fell!”
“It was a beautiful, three-tiered cake and I included the surprise element of an Iron Man hand coming out of the back of the cake as a surprise for my Marvel-loving husband. Unsure of what went wrong, I immediately took him to see the cake as soon as we arrived at the reception. I wanted him to see it before all the guests arrived in the room. When we got to the cake it was leaning forward slightly and my photographer said he was getting as many pictures of it as he could, ensuring it looked straight in the photos.
However, moments after we left the reception room to prepare for our entrance, the wedding coordinator came over informing us the caked fell! At this point there was nothing I could do so I had to just say accept the fact. It was mainly the third tier that was unfixable and the event staff managed to salvage the top two tiers for us to cut into. A majority of our guests didn't even know the cake had fallen! It was still the best cake I’ve ever eaten and our guests still rave about it!”
—Aleksandra, 29, from Cleveland, OH
"We planned a beautiful, elaborate outdoor wedding with each discrete event in unique locations throughout the property in historically one of the sunniest months of the year in Florida. Still, it poured. I won't pretend it wasn't disappointing. My bridesmaids turned on the song “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette and I sang it the top of my lungs while my hair was getting done. Ultimately, the sun decided to make make a guest appearance as it set, dipping below the bay and lighting up the sky with the most breathtaking sunset I've ever seen.
Those sunset pictures are some of the most special and spectacular from the whole day.”
—Courtney C., 27, from Los Angeles, California