Preparing A Plan 'B'
This is a short one. Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. The best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry. That's how the sayings go, right? It holds true for weddings. Lucky for us, we can anticipate and prevent mishaps, and prepare a 'plan b' before it's needed. Remember Captain Sully (Tom Hanks plays him, good movie)? It's said that today, planes practically fly themselves. Pilots rigorously train for the moments that are not planned. Had Captain Sully not prepared for adverse situations, he may not have saved the lives on board. Apply the same methodology to weddings. That way, you'll be more prepared and able to avoid stress when, or if, a mishap occurs. Many mishaps at a wedding are predictable, especially to those of us with experience. Sully knew what to do because he and others predicted that sometime, somewhere, an engine (or two) on a plane will fail. They trained to respond to the predictable mishap, and avoided a huge tragedy. The same goes for weddings. To those of us with experience, there is little that we have not seen.
That means that the chances are pretty good that we can predict 9 of 10 possible mishaps you could face at your reception, and ways to deal with them.
The first thing that comes to mind is rain and inclement weather. If you have an outdoor reception and have not planned for it (which would be nuts), then you are in trouble if/when the rain starts to fall. Rain is not the only outdoor occurrence that can have an effect on your reception. Wind, extreme heat or cold, snow, wind, bugs, all can have an effect, so be mindful.
Many people refer to delays as the nature of the beast at weddings. This does have a small amount of truth to it, but if you have a well planned agenda and thought out timeline, then you should be fine. Your entertainment director and/or coordinator should be plenty prepared to assist you in creating an itinerary that will prevent delays, and be armed with a Plan B if a delay does occur. Most delays are foreseeable and can be prevented (and will by a good director), but even if you have the best plan, you should have some sort of backup plan B for your agenda. I have seen photographers run into delays taking post ceremony photos, I've seen the venue have trouble 'turning' the room in time for the guests to enter. I've seen wedding party members run late. I've seen a lot of when 'life happens' at weddings. A plan B gives peace of mind.
Health issues can, and have, had an effect on weddings. I have done weddings where the bride does not feel well. I have done a few weddings where someone had a medical emergency and needed an ambulance called for them. Though rare, things do happen. Be ready.
During your planning process, discuss with your director and/or coordinator any concerns you have about mishaps that may have an effect on your wedding reception. Most things that go wrong are predictable, so there is no reason to be caught off guard on the day of your wedding. Thanks!