When NOT to Get Married (& Other Mishaps to Avoid)

Murphy’s Law, applied to weddings

Your post-nuptials party is supposed to be an elegant show-stopper. But one misstep can turn it into a spectacle. It’s all good; yesterday’s crisis tends to be the hilarious story that is told for years to come, as the following stories illustrate.

At a reception two summers ago at Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery, the bride’s stepsister stumbled on the dance floor and dislocated her elbow. “She slipped in her wedges … arms and legs right out from underneath her,” recalls Casey Moglia, owner of Save the Date Events. “As we rushed her off the dance floor to take her to an emergency room, I asked if she needed anything. She responded, ‘A shot of tequila!’”

Tasha Motto, of Vital Image, recalls a reception where “the maid of honor and best man borrowed a golf cart and crashed it into the building.” Her team recently rehashed hilarious mishaps they’ve witnessed – because the stories are that good. “The first story that jumped out was [a wedding] last July 4th weekend,” recalls Motto. “Right after dinner, the sewer backed up and the entire venue got flooded with poop water.” Most people took that as a cue to call it a night, but a few die-hard partiers just moved the festivities outside on the lake.

When a bride’s veil blew off her head during a cocktail-hour photo session with the wedding party on Cuvee’s rooftop – and got stuck in a far-off gutter – Meredith Sipe of Blue Fancy went into action. “She found an open window and retrieved the veil successfully,” says Alyssa, the bride.

It was all in a day’s work, says Sipe. “With my assistant’s outstretched arm and the removal of my heels, I was able to drop onto the neighboring rooftop, retrieve the veil, wash it in the sink, dry it with the hand dryer and return it to the very shocked bride,” she says.

Timing is Everything

Here’s when to…

Launch your wedding website: “As soon as you have a date and venue,” says Weddings With A Twist’s Krista Dentice.

Send “Save the Date” announcements: Six to nine months in advance, and include the wedding-website address.

Send invitations: Six to eight weeks prior (RSVPs due three weeks prior).

Get your marriage license: Seven to 30 days prior.

Send thank-you notes: Three months after the wedding, maximum. Cool Idea: “Snap a photo of the two of you holding a ‘thank you’ sign [at the wedding], and turn that into a photo card,” says Tasha Motto of Vital Image.

Dates to Avoid

Commitment is great, but when committing to a date, proceed with caution. Here are some things to consider before signing contracts.


Although friends and family members might be thrilled to spend their birthday at your wedding, it’s best to check first. Even more important: If there are step-parents involved, make sure that there are no conflicts with extended family (e.g., the day in question is your stepdad’s mother’s 90th birthday bash).

Packers Games

Check the schedule when it’s released in April. Also be mindful of the Brewers and Bucks, depending on the season.

Religious Holidays

Keep an eye on holidays not on set dates, such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Hanukkah, Passover, Good Friday and Easter.

Popular Milwaukee Events

Hotel rates can skyrocket during Summerfest, and in the Third Ward, traffic can get gnarly. If you’re considering an outdoor reception at Milwaukee Art Museum in festival season, you’re likely to get noise bleed and possibly fireworks (a plus or minus, depending on taste!).

School Schedules

Graduation ceremonies at UW-Milwaukee and Marquette (late May) can cause a crunch, as can move-in weekend in the fall.

‘Murphy’s Law, Applied to Weddings’ appears in Milwaukee Weddings 2018.

Find it on newsstands beginning January 1, or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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A seasoned writer, and a former editor at Milwaukee Home & Fine Living, Kristine Hansen launched her wine-writing career in 2003, covering wine tourism, wine and food pairings, wine trends and quirky winemakers. Her wine-related articles have published in Wine Enthusiast, Sommelier Journal, Uncorked (an iPad-only magazine), FoodRepublic.com, CNN.com and Whole Living (a Martha Stewart publication). She's trekked through vineyards and chatted up winemakers in many regions, including Chile, Portugal, California (Napa, Sonoma and Central Coast), Canada, Oregon and France (Bordeaux and Burgundy). While picking out her favorite wine is kind of like asking which child you like best, she will admit to being a fan of Oregon Pinot Noir and even on a sub-zero winter day won't turn down a glass of zippy Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.