Romantic notions of dream weddings often begin before a first kiss. The wedding is envisioned as a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of romance where the bride is the center of attention and admiration. She gets to wear the ultimate party dress, choose dresses for her best friends to wear, receive a special ring, and everyone brings a present. What’s not to love?

All brides imagine their wedding day will be picture-perfect with little allowance for the unexpected or potential problems to occur. With so much attention on the bride and the accompanying self-imposed pressure for the day mounting, unfulfilled high expectations are bound to pack a punch when reality sets in and the first snafu occurs. And it will!

As one who likes control, I am in awe of anyone with the nerve to plan an outdoor ceremony. The possibility of snow or rain or heat or gloom of night cannot dissuade these brides from the wedding of their dreams. Not me. I prefer my air to be conditioned and set to the ideal temperature, and so does my hair.

As one who likes control, I am in awe of anyone with the nerve to plan an outdoor ceremony.

Even though my own wedding plans lacked an outdoor component, the weather still tried to steal the show. A few days before our planned wedding day, snow began to fall . . . and fall . . . and fall. If you have lived in the South for even one winter, you understand that neither our municipalities nor Southern citizens are equipped to deal with anything more than scattered flurries. As a result, all of the meticulous details started to give way, guests began to withdraw their acceptances, and I began to doubt that the wedding would be able to happen at all.

My dear fiancé, now husband, calmed my anxiousness by promising that, even if he had to carry a minister into our living room with our neighbors in boots as witnesses, we would indeed be married on the appointed day. His unruffled assurance and restatement of our shared priority was exactly what I needed to hear to reorient my thinking—and it didn’t hurt that a priest lived across the street. Lots of small miracles began to happen, and though the day was very different from what was originally planned, we had a marvelous, memorable, and fun wedding celebration.

The reality is, despite countless hours devoted to planning every little detail, there is no such thing as a perfect wedding. Whether the bumps in the road are many or few, they will occur. Although rare, I have witnessed a bridal meltdown or two over things minor and major. And I have seen some mothers of brides succumb to the pressures and lose their composure, as well.

Brides, grooms, and all members of the wedding party would be wise to consider that, with emotions running high, wedding-related drama can escalate quickly, resulting in a spectacular day becoming a spectacle of hurt feelings and disappointment. Keep calm and remember that while one new relationship is the focal point of the wedding day, relationships with friends and family, which will last beyond the day, merit thoughtfulness.

I’m here if you need me. Until then, y’all behave.