Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

January 2012

Real Life Wedding Mishaps – And How To Avoid Them

As if there’s not enough stress involved in planning a wedding, a bride-to-be also has to watch out for potential wedding mishaps too (like drunken guests, or a big tear in the bridal gown). And as Murphy’s Law goes, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Here’s a practical guide by SingaporeBrides to problem-proof your big day.

Monster make-up

What newlywed Ginny* remembers most about her wedding banquet last December was her mother bursting into tears. Unfortunately, those weren’t tears of pride and joy.

Ginny explains: “I had a separate makeup artist attending to my mother. But she ended up resembling the evil stepmother from Cinderella. The makeup was overly dramatic – her eyebrows were two painfully arched lines, while grey-blue eyeshadow was smeared all over her eyes. My mother took one look in the mirror and burst into angry tears.”

At that time, there was just one hour to go before the start of the banquet. Ginny – who was also getting her makeup done – quickly pacified her mother and rallied her jie meis to help her mother remove the nasty makeup first. She then told her own makeup artist to salvage the situation. But she had to top up an extra $150 as payment.

Problem-proof this: On hindsight, Ginny felt that she shouldn’t solely rely on word-of-mouth recommendations. “I got that makeup artist’s contact from an aunt and hired her straightaway. Perhaps I should have asked for a meet-up, or at least quickly discussed the kind of look my mother would want with her before letting her proceed.”

Drunk guests

Real Life Wedding Mishaps

In life, drunk guests at a Chinese wedding banquet are not so out-of-the-ordinary. We can all tolerate (or even enjoy) one or two red-faced uncles who can’t stop shouting “Yam Seng!” But they become a real problem when they start harassing other guests or creating trouble with drunken behavior. As the night went on during Joanne’s* wedding, she noticed that one of her granduncles was getting increasingly drunk.

“He was talking very loudly, annoying the guests at the same table. When the time came for close family and friends to step onto the stage for a toast, my parents did not invite him up. He was really offended and started shouting at us. Everyone was horrified. As if that wasn’t enough, some of my family members got upset and scolded him back.” In the end, that granduncle was asked to leave. But the hostility left a bitter note for all the guests.

Problem-proof this: Let’s get this straight – wine still has to be served. If so, there’s always a risk that someone will get tipsy (and bring up old grievances or family secrets). Joanne suggests: “If there is a certain guest who’s notorious for drunken behaviour, you can enlist the help of the hotel staff to keep an eye out for any trouble.” If you are trying not to offend any elders, get a couple of your groom’s “brothers” to entertain the potential troublemaker, and watch his alcohol intake.

Not enough food

In early December, Penny* attended a friend’s beach wedding. It was a low-key, casual affair, where the guests would be treated to a sumptuous buffet spread. But when Penny arrived, nearly every dish – from the bite-sized sandwiches to the roast chicken to the chocolate fondue – was wiped out. “We weren’t late, so we were puzzled as to why there was nothing left. Then, the groom apologetically assured us that more food would be served soon.”

So Penny and her friends waited. And waited. But the food never materialised – even after more than an hour. “We were famished,” she says. “I had to ask for a bite of lukewarm pasta from a friend who arrived much earlier, and we spied other guests sharing one or two slices of barbequed meat. In the end, we had to leave early to grab a proper meal elsewhere.”

Problem-proof this: Arranging a wedding reception is no mean feat. So we can forgive the odd cold entrée. But it’s downright rude to let your guests go hungry. There are some ways you can avoid this situation. First, hire a professional caterer. This means one who is capable of handling a proper wedding reception (even if there are 500 guests). Also ask for food-tasting sessions, so you can judge the quality of the food. The final guest list is also an important factor – finalise your guest list as early as you can and always cater for extra.

Real Life Wedding Mishaps

A damaged dress

The wedding dress is the singular most important element on your Big Day. And yes, there are a million ways that the gorgeous gown can go under. The alteration may go awry – just days before you walk down the aisle. A clumsy friend may step on your lace train. Or worse, spill coffee down your scoop neckline.

On the morning of her wedding, Melanie* panicked as she discovered small tears in her French lace gown. “I wanted my gown to fit me perfectly, but it was actually a size smaller than my usual. As I squeezed into it, I accidentally tore open some seams.” Fortunately, her mother jumped into action. “There was still some time before the groom and his ‘brothers’ would arrive, so she quickly sewed the seams closed. I was more careful when I was getting into the dress after that.”

Problem-proof this: “Devote time to a dress rehearsal before the actual day,” suggests Melanie. “That’s when you will notice if there are any problems with the gown.” Also, on the wedding day, have a bridesmaid carry a small sewing kit in her bag. Fill it up with nifty items like safety pins, a small pair of scissors, nail polish (in the bride’s nail shade), extra stockings, makeup, extra strength hairspray and tissue paper. That way, you can easily fix any dress and beauty emergencies.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

It’s normal to succumb to a wave of panic if something goes wrong on such an important day. Once you’ve caught your breath, realise that there is no need to get flustered because most times, things will work out fine. But if you’re screaming your head off just because the roses are pink, not the required red, then you’ve got to take stock. After all, you are walking down the aisle to marry the man the love – not hold the biggest bash of your lifetime. Besides, sometimes, it’s the little glitches that will end up as bittersweet memories of your Big Day.


*Not their real names.