Planning for a wedding, planning for a disaster, it’s all the same to the nation’s top public health agency.
In its new Wedding Day Survival Guide, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers some tips for couples hoping to make it down the aisle alive.
“We’re sure it’s just a fluke that wedding season happens to coincide with hurricane season … As you gather your nearest and dearest to celebrate what should be a joyful time, Mother Nature, clashing personalities, and unexpected situations could easily thwart even the best laid plans,” the CDC writes on its Public Health Matters blog.
The agency suggests brides put together an emergency kit with extra safety pins, makeup for touchups and, in a likely attempt at humor, “maybe a few sedatives.”
The CDC has veered into lighthearted territory before. It grabbed headlines last year with its Zombie Apocalypse campaign designed to teach emergency preparedness through an imagined attack by the undead.
Emergency responders in Bangor based a preparedness exercise on the zombie scenario last month.
The CDC also encourages brides to pack bandages to tend to clumsy flower girls and prepare to revive passed-out reception guests. In the “make a plan” section of the guide, more familiar-sounding advice from the public health agency includes mapping out how to contact guests in case of a disaster and keeping a list of emergency telephone numbers.
“If a tornado warning rips through the area, would you know what to do? 200 guests are not going to be able to crowd into the one windowless bathroom. Ask the reception venue for their emergency plans and evacuation routes,” the CDC writes.
Stay informed by checking the weather report, the agency urges couples. Members of the bridal party are advised to grab a bottle of water and chocolate from the emergency kit to soothe an emotional bride.
Some readers who commented on the blog post took offense to the suggestion that brides are prone to hysterics on their wedding day. A few suggested that the CDC, more often associated with earthquake and bioterrorism preparedness, focus on serious public health issues. Other commenters voiced appreciation for the tips and for the CDC’s tongue-in-cheek approach to communicating emergency preparedness advice.
Amber Small, a wedding planner with Sweetest Thing Weddings in Bangor, said she thought the CDC’s guide was well done, adding that her studio carries a to-go kit to every wedding. But unless the bride has a prescription for those suggested sedatives, “I think deep breaths and lots of water and a cool room can calm most nerves,” she said.
One blog commenter thought that the Wedding Day Survival Guide missed the point: “Surviving the wedding is the easy part, how about a guide to surviving the in-laws? Or better yet, a guide to surviving the divorce.”