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10 Things That Will Likely Go Wrong at the Wedding

Our list of mistakes that will probably be made during your special day.

After organizing your “I dos” for months – sometimes years – it can be incredibly frustrating, even downright maddening, when things don’t go as planned. Be prepared with the most likely things that will go wrong.

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Photo: Mike Adrian

Weddings are lovely, sweet, and sentimental affairs. However, hosting your nuptials also means you’re inviting guests, and with guests comes a bigger event. Even with an extensive amount of research and planning, mistakes will inevitably be made – mistakes by your guests and mistakes by you and your spouse-to-be. If you hire an excellent wedding planner, you may not even be aware of what goes wrong on your special day, but chances are, with all of your nearest and dearest in one floral-filled room, something will go awry. After organizing your “I dos” for months – sometimes years – it can be incredibly frustrating, even downright maddening, when things don’t go as planned. The key is to stay focused on the good.

Greenery & Anemones in Separate Vases
Photo by Laurie Bailey Photography; Planning & Design by Rikki Ladenheim Events; From Real Wedding: An Intimate At-Home Ceremony + Backyard Reception in California

To help prepare you for what could inevitably occur, below we’ve listed the 10 things that are most likely to go wrong at your wedding.

1. Someone will be ill.

It may not be you or your future spouse, but someone is going to have at least a cough or sore throat. If it's a more serious illness, you'll have to deal with them – and possibly those closest to them – not attend the celebration at the last minute. For more minor illnesses, it's a kind gesture to have some tissues and a few Advil tucked away in someone’s pocket or purse just in case!

2. A few people will be late – and this means the wedding party.

Chances are you won’t notice any late attendees during your ceremony – unless your venue has rather heavy, loud doors – but there is also a possibility that you’ll be tardy! Of all of the brides featured in the pages of Inside Weddings, many were behind on their wedding timeline. Be sure to stay on your itinerary timing and keep track of the time as not to get lost in getting-ready shots and hanging out. Having a wedding planner will help with this!

3. An uninvited guest will show up.

Whether it’s an unplanned-for plus one or a group of out-of-town relatives that your parents invited at the last minute, you may not be familiar with everyone who comes to your reception. We recommend trying to accommodate them into the celebration as best you can, within reason of course, to avoid any drama or additional stress.

4. You will forget something at home.

As long as it isn’t your marriage license – this should be your top priority – it probably won’t be something you absolutely need. Resist the urge to “run back real quick” or request a loved one go retrieve it – unless of course it's something like your bridal gown, which we've definitely heard stories about from real brides.

5. Something or someone will mess up a few photos.

The birds may not love seeing you and your partner on their lawn, the sun’s glare could give some pictures a strange look, or your aunt will insist in being in a bunch of snapshots with you both. Take deep breaths, and hope that most of your guests read our post on wedding-guest etiquette mistakes!

6. Stains and/or rips will happen.

The consequence of having a fun time at your event will be a little wear and tear on your wedding dress. We advise you take these as a symbol of a job well done and a fête well enjoyed! You can always have the stains removed by a professional when you go to preserve your gown.

7. You will receive the wrong décor, food, etc.

This will be something your wedding planner likely knows how to handle with ease. Even if you end up with the wrong shape of wedding cake or bougainvillea instead of peonies, you’re still going to be married to the love of your life in the end.

8. Children will cause a bit of a ruckus.

If young kids will be in attendance at your wedding, you’re going to hear some whining, crying, and loud laughter throughout your event. They may even cause somewhat of a scene if they’re tired or antsy, but there’s really nothing to be done – that’s just what little ones do! Find out if you should have a child-friendly or child-free wedding.

9. Guests will bicker at one another – or perhaps even you.

Some family members and friends may take the opportunity to air their grievances with one another at the wedding – hopefully none of this will make it back to you! Trust that they’ll handle themselves well and remove yourself from the situation: time to greet guests on the other side of the room! If anyone is truly causing a scene, ask your wedding planner or a member of the wedding party to step in and diffuse the situation.

10. A perfectly choreographed dance may not go so swimmingly.

Even if you’ve been taking dance lessons for months, your father may step on your foot, your partner may accidentally trip you, or perhaps the music will simply cut out at the best part. This – and all of the above – are where a sense of humor comes in quite handy.

For more ideas and inspiration, find out how to avoid crying throughout your wedding ceremony, discover how to use Pinterest to plan your wedding, and read up on what's worth splurging on for your wedding.