Weddings are supposed to be the greatest day for the bride and groom, and an even more fun celebration for the attending guests. However, some weddings can quickly become disastrous due to a number of facts. In this piece, women share their stories on the worst wedding they've ever been to. Remember, all stories were edited for clarity.
Bad Wedding Day Means Better Marriage
“It was my cousin’s wedding. First, the candles caught the decorations on the stage on fire. Five of the seven bridesmaids tripped walking up the stairs because of the slick runner covered them, which they hadn’t practiced on. The music for the bridal march wouldn’t play.
In the middle of the ceremony, the maid of honor fainted because she locked her knees. As a joke, the groom tried to spray breath freshener in the bride’s mouth when the pastor said they could kiss. He missed and got it in her eyes. Then the pastor messes up and introduced them as Mr. and Mrs. bride’s last name”
Hot And Humid Mess
“Dry outdoor wedding on a mid-August day in Richmond, Virginia. It was every bit of 100 degrees and about 95% humidity and raining on and off. A giant enclosed tent was erected to keep the guests out of the rain. That worked but the rain got up under the walls and puddled. A few sheets of plywood were laid to try to keep people’s feet dry. The ceremony was the longest ceremony I have ever sat through. At least an hour and a half. By the end of the ceremony so much condensation had collected on the roof of the tent from the natural humidity and peoples’ breaths and sweat that it was dripping off of the ceiling. it was raining indoors.
When the ceremony ended most of the attendees had to help clear the chairs and such out so the caterer could setup food serving stations. The chairs had to be taken across the property in the rain. There were two carving stations with nice big heat lamps. Between all the tightly packed bodies and those heat lamps, it had to be 130 degrees in that tent. The ground under the tent had turned into a giant mud pit shortly after the ceremony with people walking around. We were shins deep in some places. The sheets of plywood were covered in mud and were incredibly slippery. About 15 minutes into dinner service half of the employees of the catering service disappeared. I assume they quit. I ended up being volunteered by the parents of the bride to help the caterers since I was in the restaurant business.
Before the dinner service was over, many of the guests had started tapering out. Shortly after dinner, the bride was crying and her father and the groom had to be separated because they were in a heated argument. The groom’s parents left way early as well and as they were leaving they tried to get the groom to leave with them as they blamed this mess on the bride. It was her idea to have an outdoor wedding in August in Richmond. If you know Richmond the heat is brutal and the humidity is even worse, and it rains a lot in August. I know for a fact that the groom objected to her wedding planning. Not going to lie, I almost didn’t go and wish I hadn’t.”
Where’s The Bride?
“This almost sounds too cliché to be true but it happened. Big wedding in a country hotel with many of the guests staying overnight. I was a plus one so hadn’t met any of the bridal party before. Ceremony went well, had a decent dinner and then the bar opened.
Near the end of the night, we realized the bride was missing… and so was one of the groomsmen. Someone went on a hunt for them and sure enough found them together. Turns out they’d been having an affair for months, so who knows why she bothered to go through with the wedding. There was obviously a huge argument, the distraught groom left and got himself a taxi home. Both sets of parents were asleep by this time so the bridesmaids tried to do some incident management and told all the overnight guests to just leave quietly the next day and not to go for the hotel breakfast so the bride would have a chance to explain the situation to her parents in private. Like I was missing a hotel breakfast that I’d paid for, but I was keen to nope out of there, so I went down pretty early the next day and ate my sausages to the sound of muffled crying and hushed arguing.
Last I heard the bride is now engaged to the groomsman.”
Beach Wedding Disaster
“Oh man this one is easy. It was on a beach on a day when the wind decided it wanted to make a point that it was boss. Wind coming off the ocean tends to cut through clothing really easily and this was an outside wedding at night.
Ceremony starts, the microphone they are using is strait static and no one can hear a thing the groom say and its just loud ear-piercing static. Once the finish, and they are about to walk down the aisle to take pictures, the groom’s brother run up there and grabs the mic and says wait everyone I have something to say. Gives a 30-minute sermon about God’s will (neither of these people getting married are religious). They go and take pictures, it takes two and a half hours. It starts to become nighttime and everyone is in dress clothes waiting for the pictures to finish up. Still, no food and everyone is starving and freezing to death.
Then finally it was food time. Apparently the catering company drove all the food pre-made from hours away. It consisted of white rice, salad, mashed potatoes and the driest unsalted chicken you would get from El Pollo Loco. At least we would get cake. I was wrong. They brought out little cheese cake bites that were cut into little squares. I ate one and knew the gig was up. It was the tell-tale sign of Sara Lee cheese cake. These caterers seriously charged these people to cater their wedding and went and got 8 dollar cheese cakes from the store and tried to pass it off. It was kind of crazy and I left I was too cold to be out there during that.”
“The bride’s mom had generously offered to pay for a wedding and then went bananas and demanded a very extremely traditional catholic wedding from a priest she didn’t know in a town no one had ever been to before.
It was 110 degrees outside and the ceremony was inside a trailer (the kind they set up on construction sites to be offices and hold gear) that was set up like a church. There was no air conditioning, so we’re all just crammed into this junky carpet low asbestos tile roof monstrosity sweating and panting. And because it’s catholic, we had to get up and kneel on the bare floor about 20 times. Eventually, I just sat back down in the folding chair. I couldn’t go on.
Then after the physical challenge, the priest starts in on the most horrible and awful sermon ever. At one point he flat out says that the reason we should be happy that our friends are getting married is because one is a man and the other is a woman, unlike a same-gender relationship, which a delusional arrangement laced in sin.
That’s pretty much a quote. And he didn’t stop there. He spent most of the next hour and a half alternating between telling the assembled wedding guests about how gays are going to suffer, that there’s no such thing as gay marriage and then switching to waxing poetic about how great it will be when our friend gets pregnant and saying a bunch of maximally creepy stuff about pregnant catholic women, ripe with catholic babies… who definitely will not grow up to be gay.
My husband was physically restraining me, as were the partners of multiple friends of ours, who all happen to be some degree of not straight. It was horrible on a level that few things in my life ever have been. Not to say I’ve not experienced worse, but the fact that I knew I would only hurt my friends who were getting married if I tried to attack their priest and that I actually had to make myself sit through it was real depressing and awful. Now that I look back on it, I should have gotten up and left the room with how upset I was, but that trailer was the only shade for 50 miles.
In the receiving line after the ceremony the bride and groom apologized to everyone one by one as we came up to congratulate them. Like ‘Congratulations.’ ‘Yeah, really sorry about that.’ [next] ‘Congratulations.’ ‘We’re so sorry.'”
Sit Down And Stay Down
“There was no dancing (which wasn’t why it was bad, I’ve been to other weddings with no dancing, and they’ve been fun).
To make up for the no dancing thing, they made us watch the bride and groom play a bunch of games (think the shoe game, blindfolded trying to find your new wife’s hands, etc). Then we had to sit while the entire wedding party gave speeches. Four bridesmaids, four groomsmen, two sets of parents and the bride and groom. I think it was over an hour? Then we sat through a slideshow of pictures that went on for three songs. I think in total we were sitting for two hours.
My butt hurt by the end of it. And leaving early was super awkward because you had to get up from your seat as everyone watched. I actually used this wedding as a what-not-to-do example when I got married.”
Too Much Wedding
“The bride decided that her wedding day was all about her, and my cousin was just completely in her shadow. This happened in the middle of the winter. For some reason, they picked three different venues for the day, and it was an hour drive between each venue.
The first was for the non-religious ceremony, and the venue was way too small for the number of people there. We stood outside in the freezing cold while about 10 people could be inside. She came out wearing a giant white fur coat.
The second venue was the church for the religious ceremony, where the preacher made some weird inappropriate comments in his speech. The third was the reception, out in the middle of nowhere with fields all around. That’s where I found out the bride had decided on a ‘Frozen’ themed wedding. Her dress was a wedding dress version of Elsa, the whole reception hall was decorated on theme, the centerpieces were taxidermy white owls, and once everyone was seated the lights were dimmed. She came out, a bright spotlight shining right on her, twirling in her party city-esque dress, to the that godawful ‘Let It Go’ song. Her new husband awkwardly waddling in the dark behind her. She completely ignored her new husband the entire night because it was ‘her time to shine’.
Throughout the night the guests were forced to play various questionable games, and at the end of the night they had everyone go outside to light up some paper lanterns that float away thanks to the flame. One of them landed in a field and the whole field went up in flames.”
“My step-sister’s wedding was a disaster. She got married to her children’s father. They already had three kids together. I was part of the wedding ceremony.
They would yell at the pastor (because in the practice he said the wrong name for the groom). Not to mention, the added tension between blended families at weddings since most ex-spouses do not like each other. The wedding was beautiful as far as her dress, makeup, and the church. It was all nice, but when we got to the wedding reception, that’s when it was ruined (at least for me).
There wasn’t enough food for 100+ people. They had gotten four deli sandwiches from Walmart, a small cake (from a woman that my parents later had to pay for), some peanuts, and generic soda. To top that off, there was a DJ who was one of their friends who only played rap music (not that there is anything wrong with that), but the first dance was my step-sister grinding on her new husband.
Then, she wanted me to dance with her. She tried to get me to twerk in a short pink bridal wedding dress. I wasn’t dealing with it. Not to mention, there was very, very racist comments made towards some African Americans that attended the wedding. The groom had to have a microphone and tell the racists to leave the party.
Then, the party moved to the parking lot where everyone was smoking and drinking and hanging out on trucks. By this time, I had informed my parents that I was leaving because there was no party. It was more of a hangout in the parking lot (which turned out to be the husband’s side of the family and my step-sister’s friends) while my side of the family was in the room helping to look after their kids. It was just a bad experience all together.”
It’s Time To Get Reading
“I was at a dry wedding where the main theme was ‘books.’ You were assigned to read a book prior to the wedding and were sat with people who read that same book to create conversation. Interesting idea, but a majority of people aren’t going to do it. People were also purposely not put with people they knew, in attempt to make people socialize with others. Basically all we did is make a few sentences about how we didn’t read the book, and left after a being served an inedible dinner and headed to a bar.”
“My cousin married an Indian woman, so the ceremony was mostly a traditional Indian celebration with a tiny bit of Christianity thrown in to make my grandma happy. Unfortunately, my cousin’s family (the white people) were all kind of sequestered all together in the back so a) no one could see anything during the ceremony, and b) there was no one for us to talk to besides each other. Us younger ones had been looking forward to a multicultural affair where we’d get to meet and chat with new people in a different kind of wedding than we were used to, but it was not to be.
The ceremony itself lasted over two hours, and that was apparently the Reader’s Digest Condensed Edition — it was supposed to go on for five. It was apparent that they had not rehearsed at all because things kept going wrong. We weren’t told how long it was going to go on, so kids started to get ornery and old people started to grumble.
Before the reception, I and some of my cousins went to happy hour across the street because it was apparently speech hour, and we weren’t supposed to talk — but after being silent for two hours, we needed to cut loose a little. We came back in time for the reception to start, and then commenced no less than 5 hours of speeches from both sides of the family, none of which I could hear because I was seated at the back of the reception hall where everything said into a microphone sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher. They put the elders in the family right next to the giant speaker. Someone knocked the bride figurine off the cake and the figurine shattered. I was sat at a table with exclusively my own family, and we were constantly hushed by everyone around us. At 10 pm, after most of my family had left out of sheer boredom, dancing finally started. I had sobered up by then and quietly made my exit.
I had looked in to what traditional Indian weddings were like, and I was really excited to go experience something new. This one was just a massive disappointment. It was terribly disorganized, had no real structure, was absolutely massive guest-wise, and segregated the guests by race for reasons I’ve still yet to figure out.”
Backyard Wedding Extravaganza
“We were invited to a neighbor’s granddaughter’s backyard wedding about 20 years ago. Everyone had to bring a chair, so the audience comprised of people on old lawn chairs. The yard was very small. There was a small processional of two bridesmaids and the bride’s kids as ring bearer and flower girl. Then there was a 15-minute pause. Finally, the bride yells from inside, ‘Start the music!’ Some music starts on this little old 80s boom box. It’s scratchy and the CD starts skipping. The bride stomps out and starts yelling that it is the wrong song. She grabs the boom box and fixes it. She’s in a bubblegum pink frilly dress. She gets the right song and then goes back in the house and walks down the aisle. The wedding lasts only about three minutes (thank the lord). Afterward, they served chicken and mashed potatoes from Popeye’s (honestly, that was the best part of the wedding), but they only had enough for half the guests, which we didn’t know about until we had our plates.
I felt bad because it was obviously a very low budget wedding, but you know sometimes there are situations in which you should consider just going to the courthouse.”
What Else Could Go Wrong
“This wedding was in semi-rural Wisconsin. A distant suburb of Milwaukee.
About 30 guests showed up to the church for the wedding ceremony, over 200 to the reception. Then there were twice as many groomsmen as bridesmaids. So walking down the aisle and standing at the altar was awkward. After the wedding, there was a three-hour gap between ceremony and reception. Guests were on their own to figure out how to fill the time. Bride and groom only thought about their local friends and just thought they would go home for a few hours. Even though family flew or drove in from across the country. We were staying at a hotel with other out-of-town family. We ended up at the hotel bar, drinking and having appetizers with our extended family. It turned out to be the best part of the day and eating ahead of time was a smart move on our part.
The reception was at their favorite local bar that had a hall in back. Most of the night the bride, groom, and bridal party were nowhere to be found as they were up front drinking at the bar. Leaving their family and guests back in the banquet hall. Every time the poor DJ wanted to do something that involved the bride and groom. He would stop the music and everyone would wait while someone fetched the bride and groom from the front bar.
They served a buffet style dinner. So everyone had to line up with plated in hand at those steam carts, complete with sneeze guards. Then after dinner, five tables had to be cleared off the dance floor. So fifty people no longer had a place to sit. Then the bride and groom decided to hold back half the food for a second serving at midnight. They thought their friends would be drinking heavy and should have some food later. Didn’t give any thought that there wouldn’t be enough food at the first serving and elderly family wouldn’t last past ten o’clock and would go home hungry.
As a gift, some family member sponsored a chocolate fountain for dessert. It started pretty fancy with all kinds of fruit and snacks that you could dip into the chocolate. Except there were a lot of kids at this wedding. So you had unsupervised kids with unwashed hands grabbing food and dipping it into the chocolate up to their knuckles and running through the crowd without a plate and dripping chocolate everywhere.”
Influenza Take Over
“My ex-stepsister’s wedding was a destination wedding, and everyone – I mean EVERYONE – caught Norwalk flu. I was a bridesmaid (although once we got there the bride hammered ‘JUNIOR’ home pretty hard, still don’t know why she wanted me in the wedding) and ended up in the hospital with dehydration.
In addition to everyone constantly puking their guts out, the groom spend the majority of the trip getting trashed with his friends instead of hanging out with his wife, the bride last minute decided to dictate what hairstyle each bridesmaid should have (which included asking them to try to ‘dye over’ my black hair with brown because it looked ‘goth,’ which obviously didn’t work) and was overall miserable to everyone, and one couple full on broke up partway through the trip and still had to travel back together. The bride and groom also constantly fought in full view of everyone at the resort, which made a lot of strangers do double-takes on their actual wedding day.
We all got a free trip to another tropical location because the company knew Norwalk was going around the resort when we booked, so most of the people who went the first time went again for the couple’s anniversary and ‘vow renewal’… and, minus the flu, it was just as bad.
The bride’s been estranged from the family for years now, but surprisingly she and the groom are still married!”
Classless Wedding In The South
“A wedding in the Deep South. It was a quick to action wedding where the groom had a slurring-speech impediment (totally incest-genetic) and he was marrying his bride because he got her pregnant. We drove out to the backwoods country to an old, country farm house. The wedding was at 5pm. The chairs were set out in a mowed area overlooking a field. Sounds nice in theory, but the reality is it was bumpkin. Gnats, heat, the smell of cow manure… During the wedding, two guys in a pickup truck drive by and holler ‘GIT ‘ER DONE!’. At last the reception was over! Maybe we could eat (since it was held at dinner time) and catch some AC without bugs! Instead, the house had no A/C, the dinner ‘spread’ was laid out by her white trash family and basically consisted of a few boxes of crackers, pre-cut cheese and 2 packages of bologna from Walmart. For about 50. Mind you, the location was 1-hour+ drive from any civilization. Even that meager spread didn’t last 10 minutes. The reception consisted largely of people tailgating in the back of their cars and pickup trucks with brewskis or other drinks they had brought and no food. Many rural folks were doing speed to stave off hunger and keep drinking, since there was food. A few of the ‘city folks’ did coke in a porta-potty. The groom’s father (also has that genetic speech impediment) got so belligerent he started ranting and had to be physically dragged into a pickup and taken away.
A few years later the bride took up stripping and left him. No one saw that coming.”