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One's wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of their life. Minor problems are bound to come up, but all in all, nothing is supposed to ruin the big day. Unfortunately, some weddings have more than just minor issues. Some, like the ones in the following stories, have such colossal problems that it's a miracle if anyone makes it to the end of the night without a black eye or a police record.
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
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"The bride had 10 attendants, each of whom got their own song when walking down the aisle. The church was over-packed by 100 people. The air conditioning broke in July in the church (nope, nary a window to be had in 90 degrees Iowa summer). The ceremony was almost three hours long because, so many people wanted to recite poems or sing songs or whatever, and the groom's brother gave the wedding talk and turned it into a remember when we did this blow by blow of their entire childhood.
We finally got to the (blessedly cool) reception hall. Dinner was supposed to start at 6 p.m. At 8:30 p.m., the bride fainted from lack of food; this was after another two hours of cousins and aunts and uncles giving speeches, poems, and songs - one after another. Why they didn't do this after the food was served, I will never know.
Finally, around midnight a fight between the best man and one of the groomsmen broke out. Both of them were blackout wasted and wanted one of the 10 bridesmaids numbers; they decided to fight it out in the middle of the dance floor."
"I'm a videographer. The bride was the product of an affair, so her father's family and mother's family were separated her entire life, until the wedding. It was tense from the minute I arrived and culminated in one family member attacking another with a steak knife."
"I had to help throw one of the groomsmen out of the rehearsal dinner a couple of weeks ago. It turns out he had gone into the bathroom and shot up. The groom's dad found him bare in the stall beating on the wall. It took us an hour to get him out of the stall, through the restaurant kitchen (only way to avoid walking him through the dinner), and outside. I'm guessing he took his pants off to find a vein, but I'm not sure, for an hour he told us he was using the toilet as he shuffled around the stall acting like he was wiping himself it was bizarre. We did all this while hiding what was happening from the groom and bride when we finally got him out of the bathroom the bride was also coming out of the ladies room. She saw him drenched in sweat and immediately broke down in tears. Another hour goes by outside while we wait for his mom to come pick him up, she gets there, and we tell her to take him to rehab and make sure he doesn't show up to the wedding. The groom was crying the whole wedding it was terrible."
Cammie Czuchnicki / Shutterstock
"I worked a wedding as a planner's assistant when I was about 18. I did whatever I was asked, but for the most part, it was final touches on setup, organizing the bridal party, cueing music and stuff.
Anyway, one wedding starts off normal enough, it's enormous and being held in a university chapel, with a reception to follow outdoors next to a historic building on campus. The bride and groom each have 14 people in their bridal parties so already wrangling everyone is an issue. The day before the wedding we show up for rehearsal and set up what we can. It's a gorgeous June day; everything is fine, we manage to get everyone up and down the aisle in order, all good.
The day of the wedding, however - horrifying thunderstorms. Before the wedding even starts the tent that had been set up the day before flooded. The whole place turned into a mudslide. The ceremony is gorgeous; then everyone makes their way in torrential rain to the mud-filled tent, where the water and mud are easily ankle deep everywhere, sinking to calf deep depending upon where you step. The bride's dress is ruined, everyone is damp and covered with mud, the bride's mom looks like the matchmaker from Mulan. SOMEHOW, the band is still there and willing to play, and the only dry place is the dance floor, so everyone is there, and it's 900 degrees to go along with the torrential rain. The bride changes dresses and asserts that her cowboy boots are 'made for this' so the wedding goes on, everyone gets hammered, they all seem to somehow be having a good time.
Meanwhile, the rain is steadily picking up, an epic storm is brewing, and the planner that I worked for was like, 'Okay time to peace out.' We pile into her car. Everything is wet and terrible, and I'm just thinking about getting home and showering and never seeing those lunatics without a rain contingency again. Less than a mile from the wedding site, three separate funnel clouds form, touching the ground to become three (admittedly not massive, but still terrifying) tornados.
That pretty much ended any and all festivities.
Luckily, I'm pretty sure the bride and groom were just happy to be married to each other but man, did the weather have it out for them."
"I used to bartend at a restaurant that hosted a lot of small functions, like engagement parties and receptions.
To set the scene, this was a rather small affair; about 50 guests, some food platters and a lot of 'adult beverages.' It was uneventful for the most part until the night was just about to wrap up.
At about 1 a.m., everyone was wasted and were partying hard. One of my colleagues informed me that a couple was going at it in the handicapped toilets. This has happened a few times at these types of events, and I rolled my eyes when I heard this, as it's not exactly the most private place to smash some inebriated dandy. The disabled toilets are essentially in between the men's and ladies, which means that the air vents broadcast the not exactly quiet couplings of wasted party-goers. Another important note is that the door for this toilet is a sliding door with a latch, which has the possibility of being open enough for those wandering through to catch a glance if the door wasn't slid all the way closed.
I did a glass collection run about five minutes later, and sure enough, the door wasn't closed properly. What I saw through the crack of that infedelitous portal made me back away like Homer Simpson when he caught Apu...
Clear as day, the groom had the maid of honor bent over and was going to town.
I made my way back to the manager's office and looked him dead in the eye and said, 'Things are gonna get real bad in a minute.' Confused, he followed me back out on the floor, and with impeccable timing, one of the party members was whispering in the bride's ear.
'He's doing who?' she screamed. The bride's father overheard the exchange and ran to the toilets, dragging his brand new son-in-law directly onto the dance floor. The bride started crying as it was confirmed what had just happened, and she ran off into the night, trailed by her wedding party. Everyone else kind of milled about for 15 or so minutes, drained their drinks and filtered out themselves.
We found the groom about three hours later as we were packing up the bar, head in the toilet, vomiting his guts out, a bottle in one hand."
Syda Productions / Shutterstock
"I worked for a bespoke suit place that worked for upscale weddings. Sometimes I'd accompany the head tailor for a final fitting/last details on the wedding day.
So we got to the venue for one of these weddings, and we heard a commotion, and we didn't know what's happening. I talked to one of the girls that were just staff, and she told me apparently the groom had gotten together with some high school friends for his bachelor party and something happened and HE was calling off the wedding.
The bride was hysterical. I never actually got to see her but I could hear her wailing and screaming, and throwing/kicking things. All the staff was there and wasn't sure what to do because no one was talking to us. A lot of awkward waiting and we were told to leave 'immediately' because the bride was about to come down the stairs and the wedding was indeed off, and she didn't want to see anyone. So as we're leaving we find out from one of the bridesmaids that the groom called the wedding off because he reconnected with an old friend and they both confessed to each other they were gay and wanted to be together.
I was happy for him. I had never met the bride; always just the groom and his friends and dealt only with the wedding planner, but the way she was screaming and throwing a fit was just too much."
ESB Professional / Shutterstock
"I was a banquet manager at a country club almost 20 years ago. The bride and groom have cut the cake and are on the dance floor for their first dance when the bride's grandfather falls dead out of his chair. CPR and paramedics to follow but no use. THE DJ TO THE RESCUE! He takes the mic, shows us what the difference is between a DJ and an MC. While paramedics are loading granddad on the gurney, the DJ gathers the wedding party and leads them in a group prayer.
Also, my bartender was freaking out because he thought he might have over-served the grandad."
"Once I saw the entire bridal party (bride and groom included) being forcibly removed by police officers just minutes before the reception was about to start. They got inebriated and insisted they were allowed to freely roam the historical, state-funded, highly protected building next door to the reception hall. Employees did all the could to quietly usher them back but they started swinging punches, and the cops had to be called."
marcogarrincha / Shutterstock
"I was banquet server/Maitre'd for eight years. Bride and groom already had a kid together; the wedding was for legal/tax purposes. Families hated each other; nobody wanted to be there. A third of the group didn't even show up. Groom's aunt got into a fistfight with the bride just as they're about to do the big 'walk-in introduction.' Apparently, the aunt just walked up to them and told the groom he, 'Didn't wear the pants anymore,' and that the marriage wouldn't last. Cue fistfight. Police were called, somehow no charges were filed. People started leaving before the main course was served.
The bride's nephew at my tables, younger guy, maybe early 20s, slipped me a hundred and apologized for everything. He was easily the nicest one in the bunch, feel kinda bad he grew up around that."
Voyagerix / Shutterstock
"I work at a restaurant that does wedding receptions. A couple was getting married, and the groom and his friends did a one more guys night out thing. So what they did was hire a pole dancer/lady of the night (forgot which) that would pop out of a giant cake and would be his final random wild night before he's a family man for good.
The bride-to-be wanted to celebrate her last time as a single lady before having to be a married woman for hopefully the rest of her life. So, she decided to give it out for one more night and was hired to be a lucky lady for a nice groom to be at a bachelor party.
Put two and two together, and that is how one wedding was canceled, and I had a free Saturday night for the first time in months. And no, neither party in question knew anything about what the either was doing and was pure coincidence that she got the job to cheat on her ex-to-be."
Cookie Studio / Shutterstock
"A couple of years ago, I was shooting a small wedding of maybe 40 people or so. Let's call the groom Jeff.
So, I had photographed Jeff and his family before. I did a family photo session for them maybe six months earlier and knew he was an out there person who didn't put any effort into planning events and just waited until the last minute to do things.
My interactions were with Jeff exclusively in the past, so it didn't surprise me when he called me to shoot his wedding two months before the date. What did surprise me was how different his fiance, let's call her Mary, looked when we sat down to go over details of the wedding. She didn't look anything like I remembered. With good reason. It was a different woman. The woman I photographed during his family photos? Let's call her Nicole (It's relevant at the end of the story).
No big deal. Stuff happens. Roll with the punches right?
Well, it turns out, this wedding came about as haphazardly as you would expect and I'm not exaggerating when I say it had four of the most cringe-worthy wedding moments I've ever seen.
First, the justice of the peace never showed up. Now, if you've been to a wedding, you know this is a terrible, terrible thing. Or, at least it would've been if the bride's sister didn't get up and decide 'Oh well! I'll be the JP,' pull out an iPhone and WHILE STANDING AT THE FRONT OF THE HALL with the bride and groom, say, 'Hey Siri, how do you officiate a wedding?'
Thankfully, Google was there for her, and she read the step by step instructions on the phone, and there was our ceremony.
Now, typically, this would be the low point of the evening. But not this night.
Nope. We got the beautiful toast by the mother of the bride. The MOB and most of the bride's family spoke Spanish. That's not a big deal as it happens, but from what we were told through the translator, the speech involved advice to the new couple that marriage would lead to fights and disagreements but to keep them out of the bedroom because 'That's where the magic happens.'
There were noticeable groans when she reached this point in both the Spanish version and English translation. The bride, herself, appeared horrified.
It would not be the only awkward moment of the night either as maybe 20 minutes later; we got to the bouquet and garter toss.
If you're familiar with this painfully outdated custom, you know the groom takes his hand and goes up the bride's leg to grab the garter, and usually, there's some awkward innuendo of the guy touching the woman, etc.
Take that image but instead of a hand, make it a head going under her dress. And instead of it being awkward for what's implied, make it awkward because it lasts well over 90 seconds.
Oh, and 20 kids were running around them at the time.
Now I can't say he was going down on her but, I can't say he wasn't.
Lastly, and this one is my favorite moment of the entire experience, after the wedding, I went home and started editing photos a few days later (as photographers do).
I noticed when I was editing the wedding ring photos that the inscription inside the groom's ring seems weird. I zoomed in and read it, and it said something akin to 'Jeff & Nicole, forever.'
The only problem, again, was that Jeff wasn't getting married to Nicole. He was getting married to a new woman.
I called Jeff and ask him about this, and it turns out he had bought a wedding band when he and Nicole were together and got it inscribed because he figured they'd eventually get married.
As he put it, he 'didn't have time to get it fixed' for his new wife.
I had to bite my tongue to resist laughing because, at this point, it was the perfect cap to this experience for me. A guy reused a wedding ring for his new bride and had a ceremony derailed time and time again by awful and awkward moments.
It was, and still is, the most cringe-worthy wedding I've ever photographed.
I haven't seen Jeff since I delivered the photos but I hope he's living a happy life.
I hope he fixed that ring."
Oleg Kozlov / Shutterstock
"I work in a relatively high-end country club in the American South. We had a doozy last season. It was not only the bride who was crazy but the whole wedding party. The 'Happy Couple' were not members of the club but had convinced our coordinator to sign off on it. She quit shortly after booking. The new girl had to deal with the fallout.
First off, they had been extremely rude to our new coordinator and managers through the whole planning process. They had a private coordinator as well, but she was pretty useless. Ours didn't even know she existed until the rehearsal. The bride had demanded all kinds of free stuff during the planning. Now, I have no problem doing a drink tasting to go with the food tasting. However, if you come back three times to try the same HOUSE WINES, after two original food tastings, I'm not playing ball anymore. You're paying for it at that point. You and the five people with you.
Fast forward to the rehearsal. We had regular dinner service going on in our dining room. For our (rather exclusive) members. Renting the ballroom for a day does not entitle you to take over the entire clubhouse. The bridal party was drinking, yelling, cursing, and being ugly all over the grounds. Nothing was right, according to the private coordinator that had never seen the space before this. We had to move everything. 'What do you mean your covered terrace can't accommodate 250 people for the ceremony without an extra tent?' 'I was told the dance floor would be by THOSE windows, not these.' 'We absolutely cannot let anyone into the ballroom until after the ceremony, so I don't care that the terrace is only accessible through it, make them all walk around the building through the wet grass.'
The bridal party was getting louder and louder the more they drank. The little old ladies trying to eat poached salmon in peace were obviously annoyed. The father of the bride set up a provisional account to pay for the wedding (we don't accept cash or cards, only accounts). The bridal party knew the account number, and we were told to put everything on it by our managers, as long as the person ordering knew the name. You can see where this is going. He didn't see it that night, but he argued every single drink when the bill came. Even the bottle that he alone was drinking.
Okay, enough of the day before. On to the main event. Most of the day I was on the periphery since I was working on the other end of the building. The end they weren't supposed to be on, except the bride and bridesmaids, since their dressing room was on that side. I could still hear pretty much everything that was happening and saw way more than I should have.
As guests arrived, they were directed to the outside, as per the request. The mother of the bride freaked out because, OF COURSE, they didn't want HER side of the family to have to go that way. They needed to be allowed to walk through the active dining room and around the other side where the golf course is. At this point, the groom and groomsmen were getting positively sloshed in the men's locker room, which our members were still using as well. The bridesmaids moved out of the ladies' locker room and were rampaging through the members' bar. By that, I mean that we caught them multiple times pouring drinks behind the bar while the bartenders were getting their bar ready in the ballroom. With the same look every time of 'Oh, gosh, how did this bottle get in my hand and why is it suddenly half empty? Silly me!'
The ceremony went well enough, considering everyone standing up front could barely stand. You may be asking how we let it get to that point. They had snuck in a lot of drinks. I mean, a lot. They were only serving limited drinks at the reception, so everybody and their grandmother had flasks and airline bottles and whatever they thought they could hide. Spoiler: they couldn't.
At the reception, the bride was cursing. A lot.
During hors-d'oeuvres, the maid of honor came out of the locker room and informed me that it 'needs attention.' You know, the room where only they had been for the last three hours because they had scared off all the members already. It shouldn't have been my job, but the attendant had gone home early due to an emergency. I figured I would take a look. I came right back out to get every manager I could find. I even cleared the coast so our chef could look after he saw my reaction. It was, quite simply, disgusting. Small wastebasket overflowing because they had put a bunch of stuff on top of the nice big covered one and then forgot about it. Part of the overflow was a used tampon. There are separate baskets in the stalls for those. Dirty panties, about 10 empty bottles, everything a normal person would put aside or throw away just wherever it had fallen. I removed the trash (with gloves on) and didn't touch one thing that was personal. I should have thrown out a lot more.
About two hours in, the bride asked the bartender what black people drink, so she could get something to give to the band. When she was told we didn't serve bands due to liability, she flipped out. More cursing. How dare we not do precisely what she wanted? Did we know how much she was paying for this? She'll get all of the black people fired because they were racist against her for not violating policy and laws about overserving. New hubby managed to calm her down eventually.
By this point, all of the guests were so loud and obnoxious and not staying on their end of things, that we called in extra security just to stand at all access points and wrangle them.
Remember all those 'hidden' bottles? About two hours into the reception, the security guard nearest the men's restroom hears an awful noise from inside. Goes to investigate and finds a broken urinal and an empty bottle.
Time for cake! This can't go wrong, can it? Wifey smeared cake on the lower half of Hubby's face. So cute! Hubby put a tiny dollop of icing on end of Wifey's nose. 'OH MY GOD! HOW DARE YOU DO THAT?! YOU'RE RUINING EVERYTHING!!' She proceeded to go running through the entire clubhouse and most of the surrounding grounds screaming obscenities at the top of her lungs.
As it was a nice night, many of our members were enjoying the patio off the dining room. One member, in particular, had been listening to the hubbub and asked me the names of the couple. I had to laugh when I remembered that he's a prominent divorce lawyer. I, jokingly, asked if he wanted me to pass out his card. He, very seriously, said yes.
The party was shut down two hours early. Cops were informed of potential inebriated drivers leaving the property. The bridal party was staying in rental houses on club grounds, so our security lead them back.
You'd think that would be the end, but, alas, no. I did not witness the next day's meeting, but I gather it involved a lot of apologies from the groom and a lot more angry words for everyone from the bride. Plus debates about the bar bill from dear old dad, because they could not possibly have had that much in that sort of time. He was right, sorry for the mistake; we should have charged for more.
About a week later, we were informed of an investigation claiming one of our staff had stolen the bride's laptop. For maybe two weeks, we were randomly called by the local cops with updates on the case. Then she found it in the trunk of her car, where it had been the entire time because they used a club-owned laptop to play their slideshow. Which she had tried to walk out with.
I think that's the whole story. I probably blocked some stuff out. We think the original coordinator did this to us on purpose. She didn't leave under the best terms, and confirming the booking was one of the last things she did."