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How Did You Deal with Unexpected Wedding “Disasters”?

"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry"...or whatever.

I am  seven and half months pregnant. I have been married for about the same amount of time. When friends do the math, there are sneaky smiles and questions about if I was pregnant before the ceremony or if it’s a wedding night baby. It doesn’t really matter, but this baby wasn’t conceived until a week later, and I know that because I majorly had my period at our wedding. That’s when people frown and grimace and apologize for that experience, “That sucks,” andOh NO,” and “What a disaster.”

Okay, first of all, my period is not a disaster, and I was prepared for it. Luckily, I’m not someone who suffers from cramps or other debilitating menstrual symptoms. Had I not expected it, and bled through my dress in the middle of the ceremony—different kind of story. Unexpected hiccups at our wedding that did affect the day? Sheets of pouring rain. Here in Los Angeles… we don’t really do rain. See also: BIGGEST DROUGHT IN HISTORY. As a result, our photography plans were thwarted, and our reception space was steamy and crowded because patio use was out of the question. One of our ceremony readers, and one of my dearest friends of all time, had the flu—another dear friend kindly stepped in at the last minute. I cried during my vows, which was not unexpected, but my makeup ran in dark sheets down my face. Everyone insists they didn’t notice, except my husband who said, “Oh yeah, it was like black waterfalls.”

I know that we got off easy, considering all the things that can and do happen at weddings that change the course of couples’ “dream day” vision. Going with the flow can be hard to do when you’ve invested so much time and money. Even our small forced changes were a reminder that, in the end, real nature and the real world is unpredictable and a part of micro-planning is preparing to be flexible. Obviously, the level of catastrophe makes a difference, but nothing was worse than what we could have imagined anyway. I’m wondering if this is like most things: if we talk about it more, and discuss how these accidents and slip-ups are handled, man made and otherwise, then the idea of them won’t be so scary. Using the wisdom of Murphy’s Law, why not sit and write everything that could go wrong? (But have fun with it; drink wine, ask your friends, and don’t do this if it increases your anxiety.) Get a tent or a backup location for the rain. Have tampons ready, and pain meds. Give a friend the run-down in case your DOC sends an intern. Prepare as much as possible, then let it go! No matter what happens, it’ll be a great story one day because it’s yours.

So let’s get real: Did anything happen during your wedding that you hadn’t planned for? How did you handle things, and what advice would you give to the engaged folks? Has enough time passed that these things now seem funny or special?

And engaged folks: What are your biggest day-of anxieties? Have you started having wedding nightmares? (Don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal.)

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