I've certainly seen things happen that weren't exactly expected...or desired, but I've never officiated a wedding that was an absolute disaster. Though to be fair, I've witnessed some weddings where the bride may have felt like it was disastrous at the time. I don't really like to share those stories though because they unnecessarily create anxiety. Just because something happened to someone else doesn't mean it's likely to happen to you. Do you honestly want to stress about getting food poisoning at your rehearsal dinner and having to sit hunched over in a chair throughout your wedding praying you don't throw up? Yes, that really happened. No, it's not a common problem.
The important thing to remember is that real weddings are not scripted, rehearsed and acted out by professionals like the ones you see on television and in the movies. Even the hiccups and calamities in romantic comedies and our favorite programs are scrupulously planned, professionally directed and carefully edited. Although you may be hiring experienced wedding professionals to assist with things like decorations, flowers, catering, photography, music, etc., chances are this may be the only wedding you will ever have. Which means, since you're the star of the show, it's amateur time. And that's not even counting your friends and relatives adding to the unpredictability factor. So relax and have fun!
Your wedding will not be perfect. Something is going to happen that doesn't turn out the way you planned or imagined. It may be minor and something only you will even notice. So the roses in your bouquet are not the exact shade of pink you thought they were going to be. Your guests won't know that unless you tell them. Okay, there really is no hiding the fact that your DJ played Mendelssohn's triumphant Wedding March typically used for recessionals instead of the Bridal March as you walked down the aisle with your dad at the beginning of the ceremony, but think about it. In six months that's going to be a funny story.
Those are examples of professional screw ups. Now imagine what your flighty maid of honor, goofy groomsman, nervous father of the bride and you yourself are capable of doing to mess something up on your wedding day.
My husband and I won a prize on our honeymoon cruise for having the most things go wrong at our wedding. Given this was the last Saturday in June, we were competing with quite literally a boat load of newlyweds. From my husband forgetting my name during the vows to a centerpiece at the reception site catching on fire. From my brother-in-law breaking our toasting flutes before we arrived at the museum to the air conditioning breaking down on the hottest day of the year. And my wedding was totally awesome!!!
Sure, there are things you can do to minimize the potential for catastrophe, but stressing about what can go wrong is not one of those things. Have a vision, communicate it clearly to your vendors and wedding party, and then let things unfold. As one wise couple told me many years ago. Anything that goes "wrong" at the wedding will become a "cherished wedding memory." Keep people around you known for remaining calm under pressure and being creative problem solvers. That's actually one of my roles, but it's nice to have family and friends close by who can manage this as well. This is not the day to have your friend, the Drama Queen, at your elbow.
If something doesn't go quite as planned, quickly decide if it can be fixed or adapted. If it can, make the change. If it can't, ignore it and press on. At the end of the day, you'll be married to your best friend. And isn't that really the whole point in the first place?