It’s Halloween season and we once again indulge ourselves in a rather guilty pleasure of gathering around the bonfire exchanging ghost stories. In our case, binging on TV specials wherein respected journalists agree to shoot with low lights and eerie music. But despite the fright of it all, as soon as the storytelling stops, we snap back to reality (not to say that ghosts aren’t real…) only to face actual day-to-day horrors. Sometimes it’s work deadlines and oftentimes it involves life-changing events like weddings. Well, gather around kids, we don’t have a bonfire and we won’t be talking about lost spirits either, but we’re sharing some nail-biting, heart-pounding, hair-raising stories to keep you on the edge of your seat, somehow. We’re listing down wedding horror stories of disastrous proportions. Hopefully, you’ll find our tips on how to avoid them as the secret potion.
The case of the missing vendor
Ever so often we see posts going around social media about coordinators and other vendors who suddenly go M.I.A. days before the big day. This happens when agreements have been made, payments have been placed. Couples save up for months and even years to experience their dream wedding, that heartbreaking does not even begin to describe when you think about the money lost on top of the emotional stress.
How to avoid it: Before booking any supplier, make sure you have done your homework. Do your research about how dependable they are. More than just looking at their portfolios, read reviews without solely depending on it, ask previous clients, and listen to your guts. If something feels off throughout your correspondence, then consider it a red flag. Sometimes evaluating how responsive your supplier is could save you from future headaches.
The unwanted presence
Surprise guests range from individuals who did not RSVP to those who did but who so conveniently brought along company. As if we have not been reminded enough, it’s crucial for any wedding to get a final headcount of guests as a lot of other elements are dependent on it.
How to avoid it: Be very stern when it comes to RSVP. Tell the invitees that their confirmation on the requested date is pivotal. It’s easy for outsiders to tell you to get some extra heads “just in case.” But not every bride plans on free seating, some brides want a seamless name card kind of wedding. And more importantly, every person must be counted when it comes to the dinner served. Whether it’s P300 or above P1000 per plate, money certainly is not something you can just throw a little “extra” of.
The resurrected family and friends
This one is somehow related to the previous one, but it mostly happens in the Filipino setting. Imagine this, you’re finalizing your guest list and you suddenly get a call from your aunt saying “Iha, is the neighbor of your Tita Susan’s cousin invited? Because you should invite her and her kids, you used to be playmates with them, remember? And oh, they all have families now which you should definitely not forget!” You suddenly hear of people that you haven’t heard of for years or ones you totally have no idea of.
How to avoid it: For some reason, some people think it’s okay to insist on inviting people to somebody else’s events. So it’s your mission to make them know, nicely, that it shouldn’t be the case. It’s possible though that this person would offer to pay for the people he/she wants to invite. If you don’t mind that and you’re ultimately okay with these people’s presence, then all good. Sometimes bending a little could mean a lot to your parents or beloved relatives. But in some cases, it really isn’t just about the money. It’s about who you truly want to surround you on your special day. At the end of the day, it’s your wedding and as selfish as it sounds, your happiness should be on top of everyone else’s.
The undesired elements captured
Have you ever looked at photographs and found yourselves dumbfounded to see something that’s not supposed to be there, like a mysterious shadow or an enigmatic silhouette? That’s exactly how it would be—but more annoying than frightening—when the photographer or videographer’s job is disrupted by guests blocking the view with their phones.
How to avoid it: You can go as far as implementing an unplugged wedding, wherein guests are not allowed to use any electronic device so they could not take pictures/videos. But you can also simply add a friendly reminder to not get in the way of hired photographers through casual conversations prior to the wedding. Your coordinators can also help tone this down during the actual day. Also, maybe it’d be wise to tell all your vendors not to walk with you down the aisle, no matter what.
The disappearing act
There are different kinds of disappearing acts at a wedding. It could be misplacing your lucky undies, it could be a last-minute pull out of someone in the entourage, heck, it could even be guests who suddenly disappear after having that scrumptious dinner. But the worst thing that could happen is to have a runaway groom or bride.
How to avoid it: Misplaced essentials? Organize everything the day before and have a designated person who’s in charge of it. Entourage members backing out? Let it be. You are not required to have a specific number of bridesmaids or groomsmen, they are not even a must. If it’s a vital role during the ceremony, you got a room filled with family and friends, anyone is willing to fill in just to help you out.
But, in the case of a runaway groom or bride, it’s something we do not wish to happen to anyone and no one can ever grasp how harrowing it must be. However, it’s good to at least know your legal rights should such traumatic tragedy occur.
The looming dark sky
Finally, one of the common horror stories that’s bound to happen to anyone: rain on your wedding day. We’re not going to discuss global warming now, but you gotta admit, nowadays, it’s awfully hard to predict the weather and summer season no longer guarantees a rain-free day. This dreaded dilemma is doubly perplexing for couples who plan on an outdoor wedding. If only everyone’s down for a wet and wild beach or garden wedding, right? Kidding.
How to avoid it: Thankfully, this is something you can actually strategize on: always have a backup plan and venue. When looking for a wedding, don’t forget to ask about the arrangement in the event of bad weather. Some venues offer the backup as an alternative without additional charge, while others require some add-on. Second, make sure that you are backed by a planner or stylist who knows exactly how to deal with this kind of hurdle. It takes skills, grace under pressure, and excellent judgment to pull off a last-minute change of set-up. Lastly, don’t stress over this. Rain, though it might be inconvenient, is just one detail. There will be so many other things that will brighten up your day, including the fact that you are marrying the person you love the most. And oh, the rain actually makes for good photos. Wink!
What other wedding horror stories can you think of? Share them below.