From rain on the wedding day to key people no-showing to the wedding, we've seen it all. One of the best features of an experienced Day-of Coordinator is their ability to problem solve, even in the worst-case scenario. If you don't know us, we're Happily Ever Houston Events, Houston wedding planners and day-of coordinators, based in The Heights. Even with meticulous planning, sometimes things go wrong on the wedding day. Your best protection from the unexpected on your wedding day is a great Day-of Coordinator. Keep reading to find out 3 unexpected wedding scenarios we've seen and how we fixed them.
Rain on the Wedding Day with an Outdoor Ceremony
A tale as old as time; rain on the wedding day. We're lucky to live in Houston, with an average annual number of rainy days at 99. But despite our sunny and sometimes scorching heat, the weather changes faster than anywhere I've seen before. As we all know, it might be a beautiful sunny day and storming the next hour - there's just no telling. We had a lovely couple who we worked with as their Month-of Coordinators in Houston and as always, we met with them and went through many questions to ensure we're dotting our i's and crossing our t's. At one of our meetings, we briefly touched on the topic of rain. Their ceremony was fully outside, and the inside was reserved for their reception.
The wedding day finally arrived, and the weather forecast was clear! The event setup was underway, the bride spent the morning with her family and friends getting hair and makeup done, the groom was kicking back and relaxing at the venue, and all was well and typical. About 30 minutes before the ceremony, the skies opened up and it started pouring raining. Instantly, as a planner you're searching for a solution or plan b. After looking at the forecast, we could see the bad weather looked like it would pass, but all of the seats would be soaked and unusable without being dried. At this point, guests were showing up and we had to make a decision.
The solution: The groom, the groomsmen, and some family members all joined me in starting to line up chairs to form a ceremony area inside the venue without moving the set tables and centerpieces already perfectly assembled. Everyone was so nice and helpful, really just wanting to make sure everything went perfect for the bride and groom. We were convinced we were going to have to do the wedding inside and were putting everything together to make it happen. About halfway through this process, the weather started to pass, and we thought we could do the ceremony outside as originally planned. We left the reception chairs now lined up ready for an indoor ceremony and immediately grabbed all of the paper towels in the venue to hurry and dry 200 outdoor chairs. The bride and groom got their beautiful outdoor ceremony, the wedding was only behind by about 15 minutes, and while the ceremony was concluding, I was able to get the venue staff to rearrange the chairs before the guests entered the reception space blissfully unaware. The biggest lesson to learn from this is to always consider the possibility of rain and work with your wedding planner to come up with a contingency plan.
Seating Chart Flew Out of a Truck and Got Smashed on the Highway
Imagine you're driving down 59 in Houston and all of the sudden you see a huge mirror flying out the back of a truck in front of you. True story. The bride and groom had organized for a beautiful, very large, ornate gold mirror seating chart with calligraphy with each of their guests' names and table number. It had to be picked up from the vendor and they tasked a family member with picking it up and transporting it in his pickup truck to the venue. When guests would walk through the doors of their wedding reception, the first thing they would see would be the beautiful seating chart and locate their name and corresponding table. We spent about an hour earlier in the day organizing all of the name cards and placing them out on the tables with the table numbers so guests could easily find their tables. Just a few hours later when the family member in charge of the seating chart mirror showed up, we got some bad news. Unfortunately, the mirror was not secured properly in the truck and on the way to the venue, the seating chart went flying out and shattered on the highway. You can imagine the bride and groom were pretty upset and with only a few hours before the wedding started, there was no time to get something new created.
The Solution: We surveyed the table numbers and name cards that we'd already setup on the reception tables earlier that day. After making a list, each guest was greeted by us at the door and received a personal welcome and their assigned table number. The entry and seating process was definitely a little slower than what it would have been with the beautiful seating chart mirror, but it was still effective and most importantly was a good solution that eased the minds of the bride and groom. Having a day-of coordinator is peace of mind for you that we are there to handle the small stuff to the major mishaps too.
A Rowdy Guest Got Hauled Off by Police at the Reception
Easily the most thrilling story we could tell from our years of planning would be the time a rowdy, heavily intoxicated guest got in some trouble at the reception. At this wedding, the drinks were flowing, and everyone was having a gooooood time. A lot of people may not realize this, but many venues and bartenders do not allow shots at weddings. For this couple, it was important that their guests be able to really let their hair down and they had coordinated for an open bar and additional bottles of liquor for each table to take shots. You can see where this is going. I've actually seen this done several times in instances where for example the groom is a big tequila aficionado, and the couple wants to have a few nice bottles for sipping or for the occasional shot. In all the times I've seen this, it's been fine, but obviously the problem with this scenario is that there's a pretty high likelihood that someone is going to overserve themselves and get a little too um, shall we say 'celebratory'. About halfway through the reception two female guests started to get in a verbal turned physical altercation and one of them got hauled out of the venue by the police officers who had been hired as security for the wedding.
The Solution: The wedding was enormous, like 500+ guests in size. You might not believe this, but the lucky placement of the whole altercation being in the back of the room and the fact that there was a live band really limited the amount of people who actually saw. We were able to conceal this entire situation from the bride and groom until the end of the reception. No embarrassment, no stress for them whatsoever. The guest was whisked away out a back door and most people were none the wiser.
As your go-to Houston wedding planners and month-of coordinators, we're with you every step of the way to make sure your wedding planning process is fun and stress-free. We're there for the moments big and small, planned and unexpected, totally traditional and excitingly out of the box - we're here for it all! We have wedding planners in Houston and surrounding cities who are ready to help you plan your dream wedding. Click the link below to send us a message or check out our gallery and other blog posts.