Everything That Went Wrong On My Wedding Weekend

Photo: Rob + Kristen Photography.
If you're planning a wedding, you'll probably hear from married friends and family that at least one thing will go wrong. You'll smile politely, because what can you say in response to that? But when the big day comes, you'll see what they meant. As hard as you try, not every detail will be perfect — and that's totally fine.

When I got married in July, so many things went wrong that I truly felt it could have been a sitcom episode.

It started before the wedding day even arrived. The night of the rehearsal dinner, the gorgeous beige Louboutins I'd spent almost an entire paycheck on broke during the (very short) walk from the hotel to the church, our rehearsal venue. The shoes were the one splurge I'd decided to make on the parts of the wedding my husband and I were paying for — and they were ruined after five minutes of wear. The bottoms were completely scuffed, and one of the heel tips had broken. And it was twisted in a way that it couldn't be replaced with a new tip — the plastic had come off of the screw, which would not budge.

I greeted my soon-to-be mother-in-law barefoot as one of the groomsmen hacked away at the shoes with pliers that the church somehow had on hand. It wasn't a successful undertaking, but he took them home that night and, miraculously, replaced the heel tip. (To this day, he refuses to tell me exactly what he did to fix them.) I walked down the aisle at the rehearsal in Converse — and multiple extended family members commented, not knowing that I was heartbroken at the thought of not wearing my beloved wedding shoes.

For better or worse, though, the shoe fiasco was back-burnered when we realized we had another problem to take care of: a Christmas tree. That's right — when the bridal party walked into the church for the rehearsal, there was a giant Christmas tree on display. In July. Not exactly the look I was going for on my Pinterest "wedding inspo" board.

In a nod to summer, the tree was decorated with little cocktail umbrellas. I didn't want to move the church's property, but I also didn't want our wedding guests to see a Christmas tree as soon as they walked inside. My bridesmaids made the executive decision to drag the tree into the church library. (If the church's wedding coordinator noticed, she didn't say anything.) On the plus side, the bridal party enjoyed seeing how many of those umbrellas they could sneak into my hair during the rehearsal.

On the day of the wedding, because of a timeline misunderstanding, we ended up having to do our bridal-party photos before the flowers arrived at the venue. Looking back, though, I'm glad we didn't have the flowers, because I didn't love how they wound up looking anyway (we were on a budget and had a lot more white filler than I'd hoped for). Also, I doubt that anyone who wasn't currently planning a wedding themselves would even notice the flowers were missing.
Photo: Rob + Kristen Photography.

Another thing that didn't go according to plan was that the food-sensitivity cupcakes we ordered weren't set out (until we got them as "leftovers" later), so the gluten- and dairy-free guests went without dessert. (Again, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise — we later realized that the cupcakes were just repurposed from Whole Foods by our cake baker, who had forgotten to remove the Whole Foods wrappers, which would have looked pretty weird. At least our cake was pretty nice.)

To be clear, our wedding was lovely, and to us, it was perfect. But I know that mishaps like this aren't uncommon. Surely, other couples have their own versions of the surprise Christmas tree. Accepting that not everything will go according to plan is key for a happy wedding day. Those details seem small now, but in the heat of the moment, it's easy to get upset at the fact that your wedding isn't "Pinterest-perfect." (Not that there's anything wrong with using Pinterest to plan your wedding — but sometimes, it's just too easy to fall into that all-perfect-everything trap.)

You'll create many incredible moments on your wedding day, and many of them will be caught on camera. If there are a few hiccups or embarrassing photos along the way, embrace them! You'll smile when you remember what went wrong just as much as you'll love reminiscing about everything that went right.

And if you're a guest at someone else's wedding? When something unexpected happens, don't say, "Well, if this is the worst thing that happens, that's pretty good!" Just smile and laugh it off — and the couple will, too.

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