File photo

In the run-up to their big day, most brides will become nervous about everything getting done on time, from the cake delivery to the bridesmaid dress fittings.

However, few will have experienced the sort of panic felt by Gemma Nuttall, from Lancashire, after her maid of honour, Harriet, missed her flight from Manchester to Portugal following a midwife slip-up.

The wedding took place back in June 2018, with Gemma, 37, and her husband-to-be Lewis jetting off to sunny Portugal on the same day as the rest of the wedding party.

It should have been the most exciting time of their lives. Unfortunately, the journey to the altar didn’t exactly run smoothly.

Given that she was 33 weeks pregnant at the time, Harriet had to make sure to get a fit-to-fly letter from her midwife before boarding the plane. She managed to do so in good time, however, unbeknown to her, the midwife had made a disastrous error.

Gemma said: “Instead of it being dated with the day of the flight like it was meant to, it was dated the day of the visit – meaning it was one week old”.

Unfortunately, Harriet didn’t even twig that anything was amiss until she turned up at the check-in desk only to be refused entry onto the plane. As it was a Sunday, she had to wait until the following day to get in touch with her midwife, before flying from Liverpool two days later.

Recalling the chaos that ensued, Gemma said: “She arrived in Albufeira with one hour to get to the house we got ready at, have her hair and make-up done, and get to the venue. We’ve been best friends for more than 20 years so I’d have been sad to get married without her by my side, but I was more concerned about her health, and the baby’s health, than whether or not she made it. Thankfully she arrived just within the nick of time, safe and sound!”

This is just one story included in a recent round-up of wedding disasters by The Wedding Travel Company. The list makes for hilarious reading, but will probably feel more like a collection of scary stories for those currently planning their weddings.

During another nightmarish mishap, bride Chloe Bailey witnessed one of the most dreaded sights any newlywed could imagine: the destruction of her gorgeous three-tiered wedding cake.

Chloe, 30, designed the nude and green cake herself, and it looked just as perfect as its £450 price tag would suggest. However, as she and her husband Aaron cut into it, the iced masterpiece toppled it onto the floor.

Guests at the Northbrook Park venue in Farnham looked on in horror as “one of the table legs folded, launching it onto the floor – in what felt like slow motion”.

Chloe, from Hampshire, said: “All of our guests froze and waited to see our reactions, mostly mine, and luckily we found it funny. My bridesmaids rushed to the dance floor to pick up the macaroons and one of the groomsmen picked up the cake.

“We managed to reassemble the three tiers and everyone still enjoyed the cake – it was delicious”.

As recalled by Chloe, the wedding photographer was “torn between capturing the moment by taking pictures, and helping us”, and “ended up taking pictures which are so funny because you can see everything happening in slow motion”.

Showing some amusement in retrospect, Chloe remembered “we actually paid an extra £100 to have the cake safely transported to the venue, how ironic!”.

A third unlucky bride turned up to her wedding with mere minutes to spare after accidentally ruining her sari, a hurdle that saw her dashing about looking for another outfit a week before the big day.

When saying ‘I do’ to fiancé Neil Rotheram, Tasnime Jennings, from Peterborough, knew she wanted to wear the sari her mother wore on her own wedding day. However, things didn’t exactly go according to plan.

Tasnime, 37, said: “I wanted to wear my mum’s sari, but it was more than 25 years old, so it had a couple of marks on it. I thought I could soak it to remove them, but the colour ran everywhere and completely ruined it. I was so upset because I always dreamt of wearing it. In the end, I wore a sari my mum handmade when she was 21 and in Africa – it was very lucky she kept it”.

On top of this, the frantic bride had to “rush around” sorting out a new hairstylist and brown technician after her original bookings were affected by the coronavirus pandemic. She also had to grapple with transport that didn’t show up and a broken projector.

Tasnime recalled: “On the day, we were five miles away from the venue at Peterborough Register Office, we pre-booked a taxi and had confirmation, but it never turned up. We ordered a new one from the same company and arrived eight minutes before we had to be there. My mum was fuming, but ended up tipping the driver because he said how beautiful she looked! It’s something we laugh about now”.

The projector was intended for the newlyweds’ speech. Tasnime, who enjoys “making funny PowerPoint presentations” had made one ahead of the wedding to show guests photos of she and Neil “in our younger days and when we first met”. Frustratingly, while trying out a test run the night before, the machine stopped working altogether.

The happy couple, who made their vows in August after postponing for more than a year due to the pandemic, still managed to have “the most amazing day” despite navigating a few speedbumps along the way, with Tasnime declaring that she “wouldn’t change a thing”.