The average UK couple spends 12 months planning their wedding with a total cost of £27,161, according to research from Hitched. With that much time and money invested in the big day, you want to make sure that everything runs smoothly. But life has a habit of throwing unexpected curveballs our way when we least expect it. Anything can happen at your wedding, like the power failing or a sudden bout of bad weather, but there are some things you can do to avoid any serious issues from cropping up.

If you have an experienced wedding planner, they will be prepared to swiftly and easily deal with any emergencies, ensuring they don’t ruin your big day. In other cases, venue staff will be able to assist, especially if you’re hosting the wedding at a specialist venue. For example, staff at luxury wedding venue Sandon Hall were on hand after one couple’s guests were unable to attend due to a volcanic eruption. The couple reviewed: “This led to last minute alterations to both the room layout and the catering arrangements, which were easily dealt with by all members of staff.”

But there are some things a wedding planner or venue staff cannot help with. Here we’ve put together some advice on how to deal with the most common wedding day disasters.

Scenario 1 – You damage to your wedding dress or suit

Every bride and groom’s worst nightmare is having something happen to the wedding gown or suit. Not only will you have spent a huge sum of money on the outfit, but you’ll be photographed more than any other day, so you’ll want to look perfect at all times. But mistakes happen. You may catch your dress on something, accidentally spill a drink, or even rip the hemline while getting out of the car.

To prevent these accidents from ruining your big day, it’s important to be well prepared. For food or drink spills, you should remember that the faster you remove the stains from the dress, the better the results will be. Keep some plain white towels on hand to mop up any spills, as well as some baby wipes or moist towelettes to lift any stains. Have someone keep a roll of fabric tape, or an emergency sewing kit on hand to conceal any rips or tears to outfits. This will help to conceal any minor damage for photographs, and popped buttons can be easily stitched back on with a small sewing kit.

Scenario 2 – Bad weather threatens to ruin your wedding day

You can’t control it, but you can take precautions in case of bad weather. If there is a high chance of a downpour on the big day, ensure that there are mats available for guests to wipe their shoes as they enter the venue, and try and have some spare large umbrellas on hand. If you’re planning on tying the knot outside, ensure that you have a Plan B, such as a marquee or a sheltered indoor part of the venue. Speak to the vendors and see if they can make any adjustments on the day, and be prepared to be flexible should you need to drastically change your plans.

If your guests are travelling from long distances for your wedding, try and offer alternative routes in case of road closures caused by flooding. You should also account for any travel delays when planning your wedding, and ensure guests have plenty of time to arrive before the ceremony begins. If you’re feeling particularly brave, you can embrace the bad weather, and work with your photographer to take some beautiful photos together in the rain.

Scenario 3 – Your skin breaks out or your hair is unruly on the big day

Not following a strict beauty regime can lead to untimely breakouts on the morning of your wedding. Facials should be started months in advance in order for your skin to acclimatise to cleansing chemicals and facial peels. This will give your skin time to heal, and will ensure there are no red patches which will need more makeup, and time, to conceal.

Similarly, you should avoid dying your hair a new colour at least a month before your big day. If you do want to change your hair colour, it’s best to start early and take your time getting to the desired shade, to avoid damaging your hair and causing fallout. Shop around for a stylist that will be able to work with you throughout the process, and discuss what colour and style is achievable in the time frame you have. Reaching your chosen shade slowly will also mean that you can get your final touch up a few days before the big day, rather than a drastic change in one day, which could end up leaving your hair looking dull and unhealthy.

Scenario 4 – A wedding supplies vendor cancels at the last minute

Despite having contracts in place, unforeseen circumstances could cause a vendor to cancel. Having the news that something won’t turn up for your big day can leave you scrambling to find a replacement.

A good idea is to start by asking friends and family if they can recommend anyone to fill in the gap, at the last minute. You can even call your other vendors, such as photographers or makeup artists to see if they can call in favours in a pinch. Those who work in the wedding industry will undoubtedly know each other, and will be able to make recommendations based on previous weddings.

If you do have to deal with a cancelled vendor, it’s a good idea to know whether you can claim for a refund if you’ve already paid for their service. Ensure you have contracts written up and signed for every service you pay for, which will allow you to negotiate a refund if you’re not happy with the end result.

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