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. Here, the veteran planner talks worst case wedding scenarios — and how to fix them.
Not every wedding goes smoothly, but we try to keep the hiccups behind the scenes so that our clients believe everything is perfect. We've had some really unexpected and strange things happen at destination weddings over the years, and it's our job to fix them before the bride and groom know about it. Sometimes, we can't hide it from them — but we can always fix it!
1. During one wedding, we realized that the bride's family's attire was accidentally locked in a bedroom at the rental house about 30 minutes before they were due to depart for the the wedding ceremony. No one had the key and we couldn't reach the owner, so the only option was to take down the door. One of the guys on my crew was a paramedic and he busted in there quickly. Everybody was dressed and ready when it was time for the bride to descend the aisle.
2. Forgotten wedding rings are not uncommon. In fact, several couples have used mine and my husband Bill's rings at the ceremony and switched to the real ones (which were forgotten by the best man) at the reception. Nobody ever knew we switched the rings, unless they told their friends and family later. Lost rings packed in luggage are another story. Fortunately, we have an excellent relationship with the local police and we tracked down the missing/forgotten suitcase on a dock on another island with their help. Near miss that time. (Note to brides: Never pack your rings in checked baggage!)
3. We plan most weddings on islands located off the coast of Puerto Rico, and yes, sometimes the power goes out! As a company, we're prepared with a generator that is big enough to power the DJ, catering ovens, lighting and any other basics we need to host a successful event. We've only had a complete electric disaster happen once: It went completely black for four hours of a reception just as cocktails started — and torrential rain forced everybody inside into the dark. Candlelight prevailed for a few minutes until we got everything hooked up. It's actually a fun adventure story instead of a disastrous memory for the bride and groom because of the smooth way our staff handled things. The bar never closed.
Remember things happen and disasters occur. The important thing is how you handle the problem and fix it with minimal impact on the wedding. Keep your game face and focus on solutions and you might just solve everything before the worst case scenario actually happens.