You’ve covered every base and thought of everything for your wedding. Or have you? Sometimes not thinking ahead or trying to save money in the wrong places can create some hidden hazards that you might think are nothing, but can cause you our your guests some major problems. Here are a few things you don’t want to happen at your wedding:
1. Sparkler Burns - Sparkler Sendoffs are a fun and popular way to end weddings, especially in the summer. They create a fun, magical atmosphere, and make for some amazing pictures.
Hazard - You may be tempted to clear out the 99-cent sparklers at the grocery store the day after 4th of July, but this is one case where cheaper is not best. There are sparklers specially made for weddings; they have a longer burn time, are made with a longer, safer handle, and are made of a heavier gauge wire than the backyard sparklers. Trying to keep too many cheap sparklers lit at the same time, and for a long time, has the potential to cause burns on hands, arms, and faces of you, your guests, or even your photographer.
How to prevent it: Look for sparklers that are a minimum of 10” long. Sometimes they can be found up to 36” in length! Some will be labeled as “Made for” or “Safe for weddings”. The longer they are, the longer they’ll burn, and the less chance your guests will “burn out” before the appointed time. Sparklers made with a Steel Wire will not smoke as much so there is less chance of a big, heavy, cloud of yuck surrounding your sendoff.
2. Twisted / sprained / broken ankles from a stuck heel - Rustic weddings held in barns and other older buildings are a beautiful trend.
Hazard - Often the floors in such venues are not always the best. Sometimes the historic floorboards have gaps which can make the high heels of ladies’ shoes get stuck, therefore opening up the possibility of a twisted ankle or a fall.
How to prevent it: Simply add the line “Our venue is historic/rustic/etc, and the floors may not be appropriate for ladies’ heels. Women are encouraged to plan their footwear accordingly” to your invitations to warn your guests ahead of time and prevent any issues.
3. Having an unlicensed or uninsured bartender / having no bartender at all - Here is another case where trying to save money in the wrong place might get you into trouble. Many couples think ‘I’m only having beer and wine - no mixed drinks, so I don’t need a bartender’ so you might be tempted to save a little by either having a family friend hand out the beer and wine, or even just putting it all in a big tub and letting guests serve themselves.
Hazard - In the case of any event where alcohol is available - if there (God forbid!) is an accident of any kind during or after leaving the event, the person serving the alcohol is held liable for the accident and any damages. That means if your uncle is ‘tending bar’, he is liable and responsible, and in the case of guests pulling beers out of a big bin - you, as the ‘hosts’ of the event, will be held liable.
How to prevent it: In the state of Pennsylvania, bartenders are required to have licenses that dictates what they are allowed to serve. They are trained to know to keep an underage person from drinking, when someone needs to be cut off, and subsequently what to do with that person. Professional bartenders also carry their own insurance because since they are serving, they take the liability for anything that happens. Many venues and caterers that provide bartenders make sure they are licensed and insured, but if you are hiring an independent bartender, make sure they carry their own insurance in addition to the proper license. (Side note: All of your hired Wedding Professionals should also carry their own insurance. Don’t be afraid to ask and check.)
4. Considerations for guests that are elderly or with physical disabilities - Outdoor weddings are awesome. The fresh air, your ceremony set up beside a gurgling stream, or up a quaint mountain path.
Hazard - Consider how easy the terrain or distance from the parking lot is for your older guests. Holly Wagner of H&K Events cautions: “Sometimes the location may be gorgeous but the terrain to get there could be uneven, downhill, and pose risks to those who have hard time getting around. An example may be a venue that has that hill to go down to get the a steam area popular for ceremonies.”
How to prevent it: Holly recommends taking stock of the surroundings and hiring / renting a golf cart of some other form of simple transportation to help those particular guests get where they need to go safely.
5. Dehydration during summer weddings - Summer brings beautiful weather so why not use it to your advantage to have your wedding outside?
Hazard - Summer heat brings dehydration, heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke, especially if alcohol is being served.
How to prevent it: H&K Events recommends “for outdoor ceremonies or receptions during the summer months to have plenty of water on hand. Alcohol is great but dehydrates you more and you don't want any guests passing out from the heat.” Have either big water dispensers for guests to serve themselves, or consider cute water bottle favors personalized with labels just for your wedding.
Thanks to H&K Weddings and Events for their contribution to this article.
It's all about your wedding experience. Your wedding planning experience should be a fun and joyous time, but it is also one of the most stressful times. From selecting vendors, to budget management, and fine tuning the details, one can easily get overwhelmed. That is where H&K Weddings and Events can help. From the moment the question is popped until you are husband and wife, we are there to assist in making your day one to remember. We offer a variety of wedding planning packages from day of coordination to full service. Just as no two couples are alike; our packages are custom tailored to suit your individual needs.
Contact: Holly Wagner