Just 10 days before she was to wed John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline “Jackie” Bouvier learned that her wedding dress (and nine of her bridesmaid’s dresses) were ruined when a water pipe burst in her designer’s studio.
Ann Lowe, the designer, had to work quickly to make her client’s deadline but worked diligently to ensure Jackie’s dress was ready for one of the biggest events in Rhode Island’s history.
If you’re here, it’s most likely because you’re figuring out how to recover from a pre-wedding disaster, so we’re here to help. If Jackie Kennedy (and Ann Lowe) can pull off an iconic wedding after losing her wedding dress, you can make it through, too. Here’s how.
How to recover from a pre-wedding catastrophe
Take a deep breath
You officially have our permission to panic for five full minutes. You’re undoubtedly under immense pressure to pull off a perfect day, and whatever has happened feels like you were given an anchor to hold while already drowning. We get it.
Once that five minutes is over, it’s time to get to work. Take a deep breath and look at the situation objectively. What is it you need to do to get things back on track? It’s time to plan your strategy.
Take a look at your finances
Now that you know what needs to happen, it’s time to look at your financial situation. Do you have enough cash on hand to pay for the fix? If not, there are options. Some of the best credit cards for wedding expenses will give you ample breathing room to fund whatever you need to get things done. There are also personal loans, P2P lending networks, and crowdfunding sites that can help. You also might have the option to take a temporary loan out from your 401(k), but you might want to consider alternatives first. Still, there are ways you can afford the fix if you know where to look.
Outsource what you can
Ann Lowe opted to not let Jackie know what happened to her dress until well after the wedding day, instead working diligently to fix it herself. As one of the engaged, everyone understands you’ve got a never ending list of things to do already, so reach out and ask for help. Lean on your wedding planner to find an appropriate fix, or use a parent to help source new options. Don’t try to do everything alone; this is the time when you’re allowed to ask anyone you want for help.
Let those involved know
If you’ve lost your wedding venue, you’ll need to make a list of vendors, guests, and anyone involved to let them know about the change ASAP. If you’ve had your wedding dress ruined as Jackie did, you’ll need to let your seamstress or tailor know that they’re going to be working on something new and on short notice. You don’t need to make a social media post letting everyone, involved or not, know (unless it’s relevant), but you should set aside time to ensure those who are affected by the change know about it. Keep it short, unemotional, and factual.
The bottom line
Mitigating a pre-wedding disaster is the stuff of nightmares, but you can make it through! Be pragmatic, keep an eye on your finances, and ask for help. The less you let it affect you, the less it’ll become a disaster that ruins your whole day. If anything, be grateful you’ve now got a good story to tell everyone later on!
Name: Carolina d’Arbelles-Valle
Job Title: Senior Digital PR Specialist