Wedding planners, photographers, DJ's, the list goes on. They're all people with a front row seat to the pure chaos of these weddings. Trust me, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. These weddings only ended in calls to the police and a lifetime of bitter rivalries. Content has been edited for clarity.
"I have photographed precisely one wedding. One. A neighbor of mine had seen some of my photography work and suggested me for the job. Cool. I was eighteen, the payment was pretty good, so I said yes immediately. I had helped out several wedding photographers in the past, so I knew what I was getting into. But this was the first wedding. I would be capturing entirely on my own. This was the wedding that helped me figure out I would never cut it in the business. If I had the choice between being a wedding photographer or going to prison, I would choose prison. Prison is way less chaotic. That wedding was unlike anything I had ever witnessed. It was held at this state property owned by the groom's mother. This building was practically a palace. Once I got there, I was immediately presented with a comprehensive list of over one hundred shot demands. According to the groom's mother, if there was even one single shot missing from her list, she would see to it that I wouldn't get paid. I was considered nothing more than part of the help, which meant I basically didn't exist to this family. People would run their mouths in my presence like I wasn't there. I heard so much gossip throughout the day.
One of the groom's brothers alluded to the fact that he had always wanted to bed the bride and might have a 'fair shot' since she was 'in the family now'. The bride's father was openly hostile to the groom and called him all sorts of names. The bride's sister was trying to hook up with pretty much everybody except the caterers and me. The families seemed like a lot to handle, but the couple were the only ones who really mattered here. If their love was strong enough, they could make it through all of this gossip. That's all sort of okay though. The families are not the couple. They don't matter and they don't have to like one another or hold one another in high regard. The couple is the core. I still saw that maybe they could make it work. If love is strong, they can endure.
Everything started unraveling with the pre-ceremony shots. They wanted a 'men of the wedding shot' and they were already about half a case of drinks into the festivities. A couple guys needed to pee, and a couple more had to hide all the drinks they had been openly guzzling. One gentleman didn't know where he had left his fake teeth. In the 'ladies of the wedding shot', it was like herding kittens. They all would rather gossip and badmouth each other instead of helping me get the shots. The groom's mom and grandma were frustrated at me for my lack of 'ability to control a group'. The kiss was semi-interesting. She was all-in, and he was taken aback and off-balance. I'm no pro, but that had to be probably one of the few kisses he had ever gotten, and I don't know how you convince a woman to marry you with that little experience. Whatever. I stepped more to his side to try and hide his awkwardness in the photo. I viewed my role as simple. My job was to make this train wreck look less like a train wreck, to hide the bad and emphasize the good.
Then here comes the groom's mommy with her handkerchief, wiping off the lipstick that had transferred during the kiss. I kid you not, it was like he was seven years old. Mommy licked the handkerchief and proceeded to clean her boy up. The reception was a nightmare. Every single person got wasted out of their minds. The more hammered the groom's mom became, the more domineering she grew. The bride and groom were at the display table cutting the cake, but the mom shoehorned herself in between to help the groom cut his slice of the cake. The photo for the bride and groom feeding each other the first bite of cake was sidelined by the mom. She insisted the bride put less cake on the fork. If there was a way for her to commandeer the space, then she did. While I was editing the shots, I realized that the groom's mother was in nearly all of them! This was the first wedding I had ever seen where the mom coached the groom on how to remove the garter. She screamed at him, 'Don't be silly! Don't use your hands, you're supposed to use your teeth!'
So, things are winding down and I notice there's no limo arriving, like there's no car all decked out with 'just married' and all that. I asked the groom's mom. She said,'Oh, there's no transport for that. Just go over by that shrub and wait, we're about to do the rice throwing.' The bride and groom come out from around the trellis, surprisingly without the mom, and they got lit up with the rice. Rather than go to a car, they walked straight to the house behind the mother's house, and he carried his bride over the threshold. About five minutes later, mommy dearest made her way across the lawn and into that house as well. I got my gear and made my way to my truck, and en route I discovered the bride's uncle puking in the shrubbery alongside the stately driveway, whilst a few other fellows and friends looked on in amusement. If there's a more allegorical description of the entire spectacle, I can't really think of it. The marriage lasted almost three weeks, and considering the living conditions and the neighbors, I think that speaks highly to how much the bride wanted that marriage to work. I knew the groom's mother for less than five hours, and I was done with her attitude, I can't imagine three weeks living next to the mother-in-law who viewed you as the woman who 'stole' her baby boy away.
Unfortunately, a couple of the shots on the mom's list did not turn out. I messed up the exposures thanks to some clouds blocking my light. Because I failed to get all the shots, she didn't pay me. Wedding photographers? You truly demonstrate patience that I cannot comprehend. I would hate for this sort of thing to be my regular day job."
"I've been a wedding photographer for quite some time, and I have seen some truly bizarre sights, let me tell you. One example happened during a holiday-themed wedding. The groom's family apparently hated the bride's family, and they let that become quite clear during the reception. There was a lot of barefoot dancing happening at the time. Naturally, the groom's family took the glass Christmas ornaments at each table and threw them on the dance floor. They quickly shattered, and everyone's feet got cut up horrifically. The newlyweds had been together for five years before officially getting engaged. The bride was served divorce papers less than six months after the wedding. The bride never saw it coming. Maybe the groom's family really got to him? The entire thing was so tragic. The police were called, and the wedding reception was cut quite short. Several years later, I actually shot the bride's second wedding. She definitely traded up, but her family was very cautious throughout the entire event.
At another wedding, the bride punched her sister-in-law during the wedding reception. the two of them spent the rest of the evening throwing random insults at each other despite the occasion. Since it was a remote wedding, the sister-in-law couldn't easily leave. It had been such a classy wedding up until that point, so I was completely shocked. I didn't know what happened to cause this throw-down. I didn't really feel like it was my place to ask my client so many persona questions after the wedding. I just gave her the wedding photos and steered clear of any family drama."
"I'm a wedding singer, and I have truly seen it all. There was one wedding that took place on an unseasonably hot day, at a venue with no air conditioning. The time came to dance, and none of the one hundred guests wanted to be in that building on the dance floor together. The bride got up to dance after the dinner, and she was literally the only one on the dance floor. One of her bridesmaids joined her after a painfully awkward two minutes, because everyone was pitying this poor bride. According to the wedding planner, the bride didn't even want a big reception in the first place. She just went along with what her husband wanted. This poor bride was out there dancing her butt off, with maybe three people who finally joined her. The husband somehow could not be bothered to join her. I kept seeing the husband walk by to chat with various people. At one point he even had a drill in his hand to fix something?! It seemed like he was doing everything in his power to not dance with this poor woman. At one point, this guy was talking to a guest near the dance floor, and the bride went out of her way to get her husband's attention. I saw her ask him to dance, and he totally blew her off. He literally shoved her hand away and continued on with his conversation. It was so tragic. The bride was so crestfallen that she stopped dancing and went outside. My band and I performed to an empty room for another hour and a half. It was awful, but at least I got paid?"
"I was a wedding coordinator at a country club. I also sold and detailed these weddings, so I knew the couples from the very beginning and shepherded them through the whole process. This took place in rural North Carolina, so there were plenty of youngsters, at least to my twenty-seven-year-old eyes, who got married before they could legally drink. That was plenty weird, and it usually did not bode well for the longevity of their marriage. The one couple that gave me so much concern was the sweetest girl who was partnered with this absolute tool. He was a redneck in every sense of the word. He spoke like one, looked like one, and acted like one. He was a walking, talking stereotype. He would come to the wedding meetings, but he would act completely disinterested the entire time. He would consistently dismiss all of my questions with, 'I don't care,' or merely rolling his eyes. Now not every groom is totally involved in the process, but it always bothered me when they specifically told me that they didn't care. Like dude, this is your wedding, and you're spending a ton of money on this, so maybe pretend like you're interested at least? If you can't do that, then why attend the meetings in the first place if you're going to be such a Debbie Downer?!
So this particular groom was the absolute worst. The worst offense happened while we were all planning the ceremony itself. The groom requested that, after the officiant told the crowd, 'Speak now or forever hold your peace,' he would look around menacingly while exposing the weapon in his holster, underneath his suit jacket. I certainly shot down the idea of using a weapon, but the groom still did that whole menacing look during the ceremony. I got major abusive vibes from him. I remember being so sad for this bride. She was genuinely one of the nicest brides that I have ever worked with. I also found out that she got pregnant before the wedding, but there were some complications and she had a miscarriage. She was understandably devastated. I felt like I could see into her future where she would never leave her small town and stay with this abusive man forever. I sincerely hope that couple separated."
"I was a DJ for this wedding about ten years ago. It all seemed fairly routine at the time. The families involved seemed a little kooky, but what family isn't? I go this particular gig through the bride's younger sister, and we've kept in touch throughout the years. A little while after the wedding, I ran into her and asked how the newlyweds were doing. According to the sister, the newlyweds were completely miserable. It turns out that the day after the wedding, the groom gathered all the checks and cash that they had been gifted. He went on this massive shopping spree. We're talking Best Buy, Guitar Center, REI, and so many other stores. This man spent five thousand dollars in merely five hours. He blew literally all of their money. I don't remember exactly what all he got from these stores, but I do recall the most ludicrous item. I bought two iPod touches: one for music and one for audiobooks. All the stuff that he bought was for him. I think he maybe got his new wife a backpack from REI. She wasn't an outdoorsy person. Weirdly enough, they were both in their mid-thirties with established careers. I would expect this sort of behavior from someone much younger and immature. The husband's reasoning was that this was extra money to spend, and they could spend more now that their incomes would be put together. According to the bride's sister, the couple went through an immense amount of therapy, which was no doubt pretty expensive. If only they had received a bunch of financial gifts to afford that!"
"I went to deliver the wedding cake when I ran into the wedding planner. She looked completely and utterly destroyed with stress. I have actually worked with this wedding planner a lot, and we were pretty good friends at this point. This woman always had everything together, so something must have been going exceptionally wrong. The wedding planner told me how the groom's secret boyfriend showed up to confess to the bride that he had been with the groom longer than her, and the two of them were in love. When the groom showed up, he and the boyfriend sobbed together, confessing their love for one another. The groom told the bride he could never love her like he did his secret boyfriend. The wedding planner was trying to keep the families away from the these three people, so they could figure things out for themselves. Apparently, no one knew that the room was gay. He was deeply closeted, and his family was this ultra religious type. The bride was way too deep in denial. Believe it or not, the wedding actually went on as scheduled. I saw some of the photos that the bride posted online. The groom looked absolutely miserable while she looked overjoyed. About a year ago, the wedding planner sent me an update on this volatile couple. The groom's secret boyfriend got married to another dude who was much more open and healthy. The bride and groom didn't even make it a year, based on some additional social media stalking I did on them. It was beyond wild."
"I've been a marriage officiant for longer than I care to say. A few years ago, I was marrying an eighteen and nineteen-year-old. My guess is that they tied the know so quickly because they got pregnant. Both of them and their respective families were hot messes. Both families and the groom's party got supremely wasted and started breaking things. The owners were having a collective heart attack because they were a licensed venue, and people weren't allowed to bring their own bubbly onto the site. I ran over to the groom's mom to see if she could get some of these people to stop drinking so heavily. I tried to tell her that I couldn't get two wasted people married, and the witnesses to the marriage also had to be sober. The mom simply told me to relax, and that there wasn't going to be a problem here. She was clearly in the most denial I've ever seen a person display. The bride witnessed this wasted mess of a wedding and loses her mind. She worried that the groom thought he needed to be completely wasted in order to actually marry her. I had to convince her that the heavy drinking wasn't her fault. In the end, the ceremony still went ahead. I had to postpone the entire thing for two very long hours while the groom and his men somewhat sobered up. By the end of the day, I was covered in snot and mascara from the bride sobbing into my shoulder so much. This couple didn't even last three months. No surprise there."
"I'm an audio guy here. The groom actually passed out not once, but twice during the entire ceremony. He seemed completely fine just standing there. I notice how this guy looked a little pale, and then BAM! We had a groom collapse on the ground. We found some smelling salts in the first-aid kit at the venue to revive him. We got him to sit up and drink some water and orange juice. Thankfully, he was stable enough to finally stand up and get through the marriage vows. Literally a few minutes after that, there he goes again. He fell over once more! I was shocked. I ran over and suggested that maybe the bride and groom could sit down on the steps and finish the ring ceremony that way? The entire time this was going on, the best man (the groom's brother) had a very worried look on his face. I suspect that he just wanted to take the groom to a hospital and ditch the wedding entirely! The poor bride was horrified. She had no idea what to do in this sort of scenario! It didn't seem to matter in the long run though. The marriage only lasted for six months, the not so happy couple definitely got married for all the wrong reasons. Maybe the collapsing was a sign that it shouldn't have happened in the first place?"
I’m wedding video editor. As I was going through the footage for this one job years ago, things got weirder and weirder. The cameraman asked the groomsmen to say something about the couple while they were getting ready. They each seemed really uncomfortable with awkward smiles. They took turns wishing him luck and providing some cliché advice. Then he asked the groom how he felt. The groom’s response was also strange. The cameraman asked, 'Are you excited!? How do you feel?' He smiled awkwardly and merely said, 'Good.' His body language said he didn’t want to be there at all. The groomsmen patted him on the shoulder in support, but it had more of an 'I’m so sorry, buddy' vibe. During the ceremony, their kiss was a brief peck. It was a long time ago, but it may have even been on the cheek. The couple had their reception in a very fancy and well known expensive hall. The room was two stories and huge with marble columns. It could have easily fit over three hundred people, but there was less than one hundred guests, which made the place look strangely empty. There was no fun party vibe for the majority of the reception. The mood was more like an eighth grade dance.
The dancing was the most awkward part. During the first dance, they kept as far apart as possible while holding each other’s shoulders. They both looked like they were being forced to be near each other. Later on, the groom was dancing with his friends and the bride was dancing with hers. At one part, the bride and her friends made what I can only describe as a grinding line. Clearly she had no problems being close to and grinding up on her friends. Then someone physically grabbed the groom and pulled him over to the bride. This guest pushed the two of them together, and they repelled each other like magnets. They were so uncomfortable near each other. They didn’t know how to interact. It was so bizarre! My ultimate guess was that they were both gay and agreed to get married to each other to appease their families or whomever. Or maybe it was an arranged marriage of sorts, though from the interviews, it didn’t seem that was the case. Either way, I felt kinda bad. I wonder what ended up happening to them?"
"I was the videographer at this wedding for a college-aged couple. Everything seemed to be fairly standard until we reached the reception. The bride tossed her bouquet out to the crowd, and the sister of the groom caught it. Next, the groom threw the garter, and this completely wasted moron caught it somehow. The wedding DJ, who was definitely overstepping his boundaries, told the sister that she had to sit in a particular chair, while the wasted moron slipped the garter on her leg. Now here is some important context to mention: the sister of the bride was about thirteen. Everyone realizes at the same time what this DJ is about to orchestrate, including this mortified little girl. Everyone was too stunned to speak up. The DJ announces to the horrified crowd that for every inch above the knee the garter is placed, there will be another five years of good luck to the newly married couple. The wasted guy shouts at the DJ in a terribly humorous manner, 'More like another five years in jail!'
Now I'm just the videographer, so it really isn't my place to say anything. I watched in horror as this moron got down on one knee, took the girl's leg, and threw the garter over it. This poor girl looked like she was about ready to cry. Afterwards, the dances took on this air of a funeral, and everyone had this queasy look on their face. As far as I know, the grossed out married couple are still together, but I cannot imagine the emotional damage that girl has gone through."