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With so many different people involved something is almost bound to go wrong on your wedding day.

Being armed ahead of time with knowledge of the most likely culprits can help you avoid disaster. Here’s our round-up of the top fifteen wedding mishaps and how to handle them.

  1. DIY

Hand-made items undoubtedly add a unique personal touch to your celebrations. However don’t be overambitious! Limit the craft projects you take on. Practise by making samples way ahead of time so that you have opportunity to revise your plans if it’s way too fiddly or doesn’t resemble the outcome on your Pinterest board.

  1. Lateness

The most likely person not to show up on time is the bride. While arriving ten minutes late is standard, stretching this to half an hour or more seriously impacts proceedings. Guests and service providers get restless and annoyed. Your carefully planned timeline gets pushed back and everything becomes rushed and stressful. Build plenty of time into your pre-ceremony schedule to allow for one or two unexpected eventualities and appoint one of your bridesmaids to keep an eye on the clock.

  1. Collapsing cake

This is a classic wedding disaster and one we’ve seen more times than we can count. Do not be tempted to allow anyone other than a professional wedding cake baker to get their hands on your cake. It takes immense skill to produce a beautiful, stable, delicious cake. Ask for references. Be sure that your cake maker takes responsibility for personally delivering to your venue. Our recommended baker is Susan Verwey.

  1. Traffic

Even on weekends road works and other major events can cause havoc with your timing. Plan to get ready at your venue or close by in order to avoid delays. Ideally have your photo shoot on site too. If some travelling is unavoidable use Google maps ahead of time to measure your journey duration at the same time of day.

  1. No shows

It is inevitable that one or two guests will disappoint you last minute. You can minimise this by making contact with anyone who is likely to do so just prior to confirming your final headcount with your venue. If anyone pulls out after this invite someone in their place such as new friend or colleague. Chances are they’ll be delighted and you won’t have wasted your cash.

  1. Poor sound quality

Tinny music, inaudible speeches, thumping bass or screeching microphones can quickly ruin the vibe at your wedding reception. Hire a professional DJ or sound technician with decent quality equipment and a knowledge of what size and quantity of kit will be required to produce good sound at your venue. We recommend DJ Dean.

  1. Illness

Waking up feeling unwell on your big day is every bride’s nightmare. Avoid this by eating healthily, exercising and getting plenty of sleep in the run-up to your wedding. Stock up on vitamins, keep your distance from anyone with a cold or tummy bug and don’t get overstressed.

  1. Drunken behaviour

The behaviour of drunk guests can range from mildly embarrassing to rude and aggressive. Don’t invite friends or family members who are likely to fall into the latter category. If you decide to have an open bar discuss ways to control this with your venue so that it doesn’t get out of hand.

  1. Weather

This is the one that none of us can control! Make sure you have a back-up plan for rain and comfort items for extremes of hot and cold. For summer consider providing bamboo umbrellas, straw hats, sunscreen and bottled water and for winter snuggly blankets and fires. For more suggestions on coping with a wet wedding day have a read of what if it rains on my wedding day?

  1. Dictator photographer

Some photographers want to direct your wedding, your guests and your providers for you. We prefer those with a more journalistic style who calmly capture the day as it naturally unfolds. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with this person and they will affect your mood. Different ‘togs suit different couples so consider their personalities as well as their abilities. We’ve yet to meet a couple that failed to get on like a house on fire with either Expressions by Andre & Selma or Nelis Engelbrecht Photography.

  1. Children

While little ones at weddings are always adorable to a point it can be super stressful if they start wailing or rushing about colliding with the waiters. Plan for this by providing appropriate food and entertainment or even by controversially not having them at your wedding at all. For more on the kids vs. no kids debate read should you invite children to your wedding?

  1. Your mother

Forget bridezilla – any provider will tell you that momzilla is the one to watch out for! Some moms have a tendency to completely take over. While this is usually in a well-intentioned effort to lay on what is the perfect day in their eyes, stay firm! Listen to her ideas with an open mind but if they’re clashing with your vision remind mom who’s wedding this is (yes, even if she’s picking up the bill).

  1. Crazy marriage officer

Whoever officiates your ceremony is going to have the floor for at least half an hour while being responsible for the most meaningful part of your whole day. You don’t want someone going all “fire and brimstone” or making unfunny or wildly inappropriate jokes. If possible view footage of previous ceremonies conducted by your marriage officer. You can’t go wrong with Troy Goldie.

  1. Terrible MC

Your MC will be getting even more time on the microphone than your marriage officer. Make sure you don’t select someone who will use the opportunity to live out their radio presenter dreams or on the other hand, be so unprepared that they totally fail to win your guests’ attention. Before you decide on the person for this role, read how to choose your wedding MC.

  1. Forgetting stuff

Leaving something critical behind, like the rings or the hoop for your dress, can cause untold stress and hold-ups. Make a packing list beforehand and check it carefully. Include a basic sewing kit to deal with any wardrobe malfunctions.


With all of this said, should something still go wrong our best advice is to take it in your stride and refuse to be ruffled. To get started planning your wedding with a venue that has seen it all before and knows how to handle any scenario download our information pack.

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