Wedding Mishaps

Feb 6, 2018
Civil celebrant dressed up for Savoy Hotel civil wedding

Of course, wedding mishaps never happen … And just who am I trying to kid?!

Whether a professional wedding planner is employed, or whether you’re doing it ‘in-house’, there is plenty of scope for disaster. You simply cannot legislate for everything. Especially children, animals or the weather.

You can prepare all you like, but the one thing you haven’t prepared for will probably occur.

Of course, the key is how to deal with the circumstance. And ignoring it, throwing a tantrum or blaming other people really won’t cut it. It’s calm, decisive action that saves the day.

One example where a wedding mishap did NOT take place!

Should you work with children or animals?

A few mishaps

In my five years officiating weddings and the like, I have, fortunately, not had to deal with situations that were too desperate.

Brain melt-down

At my first wedding, the groom totally forgot the rings!  (Inexperienced as I was, I assumed that he would never forget the only thing he needed to bring with him!) When I jokingly asked him about it half an hour before the ceremony started, he went very pale! It was back to the hotel for him (nearby, luckily), and he returned before the bride even came in. (Just!)


There was a fire in the kitchen of a venue that delayed the start of the ceremony for three quarters of an hour. No point in panicking – there was a nearby (scenic) lake, so I started discussing with the venue planner whether we could move a few chairs across and hold the ceremony there (especially as the weather was beautiful).

As it happened, the fire was extinguished in time for us to return to the interior peacefully.

Last minute change

I did not expect any hitches when I rocked up to conduct a wedding at the Savoy Hotel (photo above) in front of 200 guests. We had had a successful rehearsal a few days previously, and there was a highly competent wedding planner in charge.

What could possibly go wrong?

Apart from a delayed start due to a number of late arrivals, all seemed to be going very smoothly. Except for one thing. Nobody thought to tell me that they had made a change that morning. Instead of Omar, who, according to my script, I was to call up to bring the rings, it was to be Cyrus.

Cyrus was an eight years old, and he came up just before the ceremony started to ask when he should bring up the rings. As he didn’t actually have the rings, and it was too late to ask anybody, I assumed that he had got the wrong end of the stick and I should continue with Plan A.

Of course, when I summoned Omar, nobody showed up. So I saw Cyrus and asked if he were the ring-bearer. Someone had indeed passed him the rings, and he was able to come up and strut his stuff. All was well.

There wasn’t much I could have done or could do about this, but, in the scheme of things, that was quite a minor mishap.

The pits

I suppose the worst mishap in my experience was something that didn’t happen.

I e-mailed the bride a few days before the wedding to check everything was OK. She replied saying that she assumed the groom had let me know, but the wedding was cancelled! (He had been unfaithful – what a thing to do …!)

The worst mishap that did  befall me was at a funeral. But I’ll save that for another day, though! Sorry!


If you’re looking for a perfect faultless ceremony, do give me a call! I can’t guarantee that everything will go without a hitch, but I’ll do my level best to make sure there are no mishaps or they are sorted smoothly!