Wedding health and safety nightmares

Gordon setting off a load of sparklers

On our wedding day I discovered that getting married is actually quite a dangerous business. Here are a selection of the health and safety nightmares we encountered that day.

Smoke bombs

Group photo with smoke in the background

We discovered you need to be really careful when buying smoke bombs. We wanted the group photos to have people holding colourful smoke bombs to create a striking photo.

It was lucky that one of the groomsmen read the instructions first. He made a point of reading them out to us, and making sure we understood them.

We had accidentally bought a type where the smoke comes out of both ends. And the instructions tell you to definitely not hold it.

A test smoke bomb was set off on the grass. Sure enough, smoke billowed out of both ends of the device, and the grass was well and truly scorched.

We were able to use the smoke bombs, but not quite in the same way we intended. But at least no-one got a burnt hand, or dye all over their clothes.

Navigating the beach

Me helping Alex up onto a rock on the beach

It turns out climbing rocks in fancy clothes isn’t always a great idea. With a helping hand from each other here and there we made it work.

Broken glasses

Bartender making a cocktail

Photos and gif by Cat Morley

One guest dropped a glass full of alcohol right in front of me, at the bar. It was left to me to guard the area and bark at someone — anyone — to come and clear it up and remove the glass. A common issue, but another thing to deal with when I was running around trying to do three things at once.

Accidentally sitting on candles

Candles as part of a display at our wedding

We had lots of candles at our wedding, many of which we made ourselves out of concrete and cans. One of our guests accidentally sat next to a candle, and it started burning a hole in his shirt.

Shattering sparklers

Me and Alex, groomsmen and bridesmaids, celebrating with sparklers

We wanted to end our evening with a sparkler send off.

A colleague of mine had very kindly donated a load of sparklers that were left over from her wedding. To make them look nice, Alex decided to open them all and display them in glass jars.

Open sparklers next to candles

Step one: establish that having them next to the candles wasn’t a health and safety risk. No problem — the sparklers were difficult to light.

After the fun and frolics with the sparklers was finished, it transpired that there were still a load left over. But we’d already opened them all.

What to do? Well, the groomsmen, in their slightly inebriated state, decided it would be a great idea to light them all while still in the jar.

Gordon lighting the sparklers and standing well back

Photos and gif by Cat Morley

It was a hugely nerve-wracking moment as I watched the sparklers blazing away in a glass jar that would imminently explode while surrounded by several dozen people.

I covered my face as crunch time came. The explosion was spectacular, and while the jar didn’t survive, thankfully there were no injuries.

Jamie with sparklers

Photos and gif by Cat Morley

Ceilidh catastrophe

Cat and Eurig ceilidh dancing

Every good Scottish wedding needs to have ceilidh-induced injuries. Ours duly delivered.

Notably, many of Alex’s bridesmaids were wearing lethal sparkly sequin dresses. This turned out to be brutal for many of their dance partners who had to suffer scraped arms.

Birthday candle

Alex with her birthday cake, with an ice fountain going off

One of the few aspects of our wedding day that I had full control of was Alex’s surprise birthday cake.

Choosing the cake itself was easy. Alex’s favourite cake is the lemon and rosemary cake from Lovecrumbs. But would that be enough?

Eventually I thought it would be a good idea to spell out ‘30’ with 30 candles. While I was buying the candles, I saw the ice fountain as well. That would make the cake more spectacular. After deliberating with myself for a short while, I opted to go for it. The ice fountain would go in the middle of the 30.

Unfortunately, I didn’t know quite how long the ice fountain would last! Alex blew out the candles, but of course the ice fountain just kept on going. She blew and blew, with the only result being that the sparks curled down towards the whisky barrel, as the rest of us looked on nervously. I had to stop her for health and safety reasons.

Cutting the cake

Me and Alex cutting the cheese cake

We didn’t have a traditional wedding cake. Instead, we had a cake of cheese. This was also subject to a lot of last-minute changes, but finally we decided to cut the cake in the workshop area, to help clear everyone away while the dining tables were being removed to make way for dancing.

I was very impressed at how the cake remained standing amid all the to-ing and fro-ing.

Gif of me and Alex cutting our cheese cake

Our guest Nic Brew sent us this set of photos capturing the moment. He said:

I love how you’re smiling away and Alex is simultaneously having a great time and worrying about the whole thing toppling.

We were actually having a discussion about how many layers down we should go. Alex really didn’t trust me, but it was all good in the end!

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