There's a common perception that weddings often bring out the worst in a bride, but sometimes that extends to the groom, in-laws, and all sorts of people involved in the event. Sometimes the crazy doesn't show up until the actual wedding, but more often than not, the clues are in the invitation. We've collected stories about some of the more outrageous requests that were made of guests and the bridal party.
"The most unreasonable I have personally seen is the Japanese wedding culture that you are expected to pay 300, 500, or more to attend; and 100 for just being invited. (Oh, per person) It is quite expensive! However, their weddings are NOT like American weddings. I felt like I was on a movie set. Everything, like everything, was positioned just right. They did end up having a little movie made of the event, that was played at the dinner.
The dinner was high class and very similar to $50-100/plate venues, and was very planned. No tipsy speeches, though there was an open bar-that came to you. You remained seated the whole time.
The afterparty is an additional $100. It mostly seems like a regular American wedding. Except there is a raffle/bingo with some expensive prizes. Like, I think first prize was a cruise. That is considered a normal, typical Japanese wedding. My husband's sister's wedding was small (cheaper). For 20 people it cost $10,000.
My husband and I, went with a more American style, with a cost of $5,000 for 100 guests. We returned half of the gift money, and only charged $100 for the after party, a BBQ without a raffle. It cost us out of pocket, $1,000. My husband's parents were quite upset that we went with an American style. Feelings are still so tender, that after 2 years, we have decided not to invite them to the baby shower."
"There were so many awful ones - selfish, entitled, greedy and so on. A few examples:
The bride who enclosed a 'dress code' with her invitations. Not just something simple, like 'black tie,' but a laundry list of what is and is not acceptable, including a suggested amount to spend on your outfit for her big day.
Then there were the couples (yes, multiple) who asked their guests to pay for their wedding costs, their wedding food and beverages, their honeymoon, a house down payment and even, wait for it, to help pay off their student loans. Sorry, folks, it is ALWAYS tacky to ask for money. Some guests will probably give some but for heaven's sake, don't ask!
There was the couple who used their invitations to announce the bride's pregnancy AND let the guests know they would be combining the wedding with a baby shower; thereby letting guests know to bring a gift for each. You can't make this stuff up!
Or the couples who thought it would be neat to have their wedding on Thanksgiving and Christmas; thereby robbing their guests, vendors and staff of being with their families on the holiday.
A couple who selected a venue nearly 5 hours from ANYTHING, including hotels; thereby requiring all the guests to spend nearly 10 hours driving back and forth. Needless to say, and much to their surprise, they had a very low turnout. Even some close family members declined that drive."
"My cousin and his wife are both high-school teachers and they were invited to the wedding of a fellow teacher. The wedding ceremony and reception all took place at the same venue - outdoor ceremony and covered pavilion for the reception. The wedding invitation had declared that the reception would be adult beverage-free and vegan, being 'animal cruelty free,' but without providing serious details. Not a problem - but a bit of a surprise as their fellow teacher was not known for outspoken or strong beliefs. Well, upon entry, ushers were turning away guests who were not in compliance with this protocol.
What does that mean? Well, basically, people wearing leather shoes or belts, or carrying leather purses or wearing animal products (silk maybe, feathers?) were turned away by these ushers. A few women were able to ditch their purses in their cars, but not everyone was so lucky. My cousin had to show that he wasn’t wearing a leather belt, and his wife declared her shoes to be 'imitation leather,' even though they may have been real.
Several of their co-workers went home after being turned away because, well, not everyone brings a second pair of shoes with them for an outdoor, summer wedding. Most of the women wore sandals or wedges rather than stilettos because they don’t work well for walking outdoors on grass.
So my cousin explained that this confusing moment was sprung on all the guests. The bride decided, last minute, that she had to do something to make her wedding responsible. She was a vegetarian (but not a vegan), and got this idea off the internet. But it’s shocking that ushers were literally 'frisking' people. I don’t know if they checked pockets or purse contents for leather wallets or keychains, but this was beyond the pale.
I have heard of weddings being dry, and that certain untrustworthy individuals were checked for bringing in hip flasks. But that’s usually reserved for the deadbeat brother-in-law specifically, and not the general public. For a wedding which invited people on the periphery of friendship, this was a bad idea and certainly didn’t endear the happy couple to any but their most hardcore, militant vegan friends."
"Shortly after I began dating a girl in college, my girlfriend was asked to be a bridesmaid in the wedding of her brother-in-law’s sister. A few days later, my girlfriend informed me that they asked if I could be a groomsman.
I was puzzled. I had only met the bride once (at her brother’s wedding to my girlfriend’s sister — and I didn’t even remember her name). I had never met the groom. I was confused as to why neither the bride nor groom called to ask too. The wedding wasn’t local either. Moreover, my girlfriend and I were asked to be 'padrinos' (financial sponsors) to pay for some of the wedding items.
After talking it over with my girlfriend, we agreed. The bride-to-be was young (19-years-old) and I just filed it to 'youthful inexperience' that I was lucky to have avoided.
My girlfriend purchased the bridesmaid gown, and I was fitted for a pricey tuxedo rental (about $230 including the $130 refundable deposit). We sponsored (paid for) something in the wedding, but I cannot remember what. I just remember that it was a financial pinch for a college student working a student job.
The crazy thing was that this would be a July outdoor wedding (at a botanical gardens) in southern Texas. I knew immediately that the tuxedo was going to makes things feel quite hot.
A few months later, I received a call from my girlfriend. She said that the bride and groom didn’t have a DJ or anyone to run the sound system at the reception hall (located 55 miles from the wedding). I was told that they were desperate and were 'begging' for my help (again, puzzling since they didn’t call me themselves).
I had a little experience running a sound system, so I agreed out of pity for their desperation. After all, it was just a couple of days before the wedding. When I asked what music they wanted, they had told my girlfriend that they would leave it entirely up to me. Yikes!
That night, I began researching 'best wedding songs' on Google and buying many of them from iTunes. Since I wasn’t aware of what types of sound system the reception hall would have (since I had never been there), I burned MP3 files to disk as well as regular audio CDs. I also downloaded them to my phone.
At the wedding in south Texas, I endured unbelievable triple-digit heat. The wedding ceremony went long and it took a long time to finish the photos. I couldn’t wait to get to the car and drive the 55 miles to the reception — entirely because I couldn’t wait to feel the air conditioner!
When I arrived to the hall, none of the sound equipment was set up. I had to hurry and set it up. I set up microphones, a CD player and the speakers. I spent the entire reception in the back selecting different tracks and playing them.
The reception lasted a couple of hours; so, I was happy to have downloaded so many songs. The bride and groom seemed to like them. In fact, they asked if they could keep them as a memento of their special day. I was happy to oblige. I felt like I played a small role in helping a young couple start out in life.
The next day, I borrowed a car to drop off my rental tux. When I requested the deposit, the store manager informed me that the groom had chosen to use our deposits to pay for his tuxedo purchase. Ouch. So, I (like each of the other six groomsmen) was out the $130.
On the way back, I felt something wrong with the car. It turns out that I had a flat tire right in front of the botanical gardens (in the remote outskirts of the city) where the wedding had happened less than 24 hours earlier. There was no jack or spare tire either.
After waiting in the heat, I ended up getting a ride by a police officer (in the back of his car, no less) who dropped me off at a nearby store. I was able to call someone. The tire was old and damaged in two places (the nail pierced the tread and through the sidewall), so the shop said that I would need a replacement tire. I was able to get that done for about $100.
I realized that the wedding was personally costly to me. I remember shaking my head because I didn’t even know the bride or the groom. I didn’t complain because I didn’t blame the couple for what might have been my own ignorance.
The worst thing? The marriage only lasted just a few months. The bride cheated with some guy that she met on a college group camping trip. The entire marriage lasted less than the time it took for them to plan for the wedding.
I know that my story isn’t as bad as some of the others. Still, it might serve as a warning against taking part in someone else’s wedding that you’re woefully unprepared for."
"1990. I'm married. A male friend of ours is getting married and had asked my husband to be in the wedding party. He said yes. We had met his fiancée, Rachel, a handful of times but never got to know her on a personal level. Because of that, Rachel had suggested a get-together at her house prior to the wedding so that all the people who would be in the wedding could get to know one another. Makes sense.
A week later I got an invitation in the mail for the party, as well as a note stating: 'You are responsible for bringing 10 bottles of soda (must be name brand), home-made brownies for 25 people, 5 bags of chips (must be name brand). Each person can bring food to put on the grill but limited to a hamburger for each, or two hotdogs each, with a small piece of chicken. The roles for these items have been assigned to Luanne, as well as all condiments (must be name brand).'
My eyes! I had to read it ten times to believe it was real! Bring our own food to fit on the grill? As well as other food?
My phone rang off the hook. Everyone was comparing their 'YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS' list. She assigned one person to bring garbage bags and they were the clean-up crew. Another person was assigned decorations and linens.
I, along with several others, called Rachel to decline. Her response: 'Okay. But you are still responsible for your list, so please drop those items off to my house ASAP.'
I told her that she is off her rocker.
Long story short, the party didn't happen. The wedding was postponed for over a year. It did finally happen. They divorced two years later."
"I’m not a huge fan of weddings. Yet. I have received numerous invitations over the years, several of which I declined. Here are two of the more memorable ones.
I once received an invitation that came with a card that took you to a custom made website that detailed the list of approved dresses and suits for the wedding.
The men only had a choice of three different cuts, all of which looked similar to each other, and which cost over $250 to rent.
Women were only allowed to wear one style in one color, and banned from wearing anything white. It was extremely expensive to rent. I also remember hearing a story involving the bride asking a woman to cover up her white tattoo because it distracted her.
This couple got divorced 2 years after the wedding. I specifically remember turning to my girlfriend at the time and telling her that I was grateful for having the foresight to skip it.
Destination (and more)
One of my college friends got married on a beach in Mexico. The only problem was that after airfare and hotel costs, it would have cost me more than $2000, not to mention the cost of a tux rental. I couldn’t go due to financial reasons.
Not only was it a destination wedding, but the invitation asked for some baby items in lieu of gifts. The bride wasn’t even pregnant at the time.
It turned out that the primary reason she had married him was to gain citizenship into the United States, which she confessed during the honeymoon.
She told people that she wanted to immediately get to making babies, which was a lie.
Thankfully, my friend reported this, and she was later deported back to Mexico. Their marriage was annulled after a month."
"Think planes, trains, and automobiles. And boats.
The couple lived in a major American city but decided to have their wedding on a hard-to-get-to Caribbean island. The guests had to fly 4+ hours to one Caribbean island, then take a bus, then a boat to the destination island because that island was too small to have an airstrip. We left our house around 6am and didn’t arrive at the final destination until about 12 hours later.
We had to pay for our own cabs to the hotel — I mean, every single person was coming from the US and onto the same boat dock on the island, so why didn’t they at least have a shuttle to take us to the hotel? (Same when we went home a couple of days later — we had to pay for all transportation.)
Of course, we had to pay for our hotel rooms. And most meals. This was peak travel season, by the way, so prices were very jacked up.
It was sad that so many family members couldn’t make the wedding. It was right before Christmas, so (1) kids were in school, and parents didn’t want to pull them out for a destination wedding, (2) families couldn’t afford to spend so much right before a holiday, (3) the older people who did attend were highly uncomfortable with all the traveling — seasickness was just one issue, (4) it was like a mandatory vacation for the guests. I would never have chosen to vacation at that spot because it was highly inconvenient and extremely expensive.
I’ve had the misfortune to be invited to other destination weddings, but this one took the cake. It was as though they chose the most expensive and least accessible option they could think of. Very unreasonable to ask your guests to travel so far and spend so much, just so the couple could be 'different.' Thus far, the difference between this and every other wedding I’ve attended is that I still get mad when I think about this one."
"Some years ago, a childhood friend asked me to be in her wedding and I accepted. It was going to be a stretch for me since both of my brothers were getting married that same year, and I was in both of their weddings as well as being a poor college student. A few months later, the bride-to-be ANNOUNCES that her cousin dropped out the wedding and I am now her new Maid of Honor - not asking, just telling me (and we really weren't all that close). Her mother calls me later that day to tell me that I needed to start planning her bridal shower, where I should have it, who she is going to invite, etc. No mention of who was going to paying for all of this, so I assume they figured me. I had already put deposits on a hideous lavender dress, hair accessory and dyed shoes. I informed my 'friend' that I could no longer be in her wedding due to the expense and the fact that my brothers were getting married as well. I was blacklisted and not even invited to be guest (since I was too poor according to the mom) - which was fine by me."
"My best friend asked me to be her bridesmaid roughly one year before her wedding, which I agreed to do. I must point out that I am Italian, and so is my friend. In Italy you don’t have bridesmaids but a 'witness' for the bride and one for the groom.
In the year leading to her wedding, my husband left me and my 6 year old son (plus two dogs!) to go back to the UK (he is English) to find a job, which he did immediately. Previously we struggled for a good year relying on family for helps. Once he settled, I decided to join him with my son and dogs. The moving date was April 21 and her wedding was on May 1st. I must point out that I was completely broke at that time, as a move to another country costs a lot of money, I was working part time and my husband spent almost a year trying to saving up for a home in England.
A few weeks before the big day I ask her what gift she wanted and she said: 'Well, it is tradition here that the witness of the bride and the witness of the groom buy the wedding rings,' I later found out that this is not tradition at all!
So I asked what she wanted me to do next and she said: 'You will need to come to the jewellery shop so we can choose our rings. You pay for mine, while the other witness will pay for the other.'
Remember I was broke but I was willing to fly back a few days after the move to attend the wedding and make her happy.
When I asked her how much the budget for a ring was, she said she wasn’t sure, but around 350 Euros, maybe more.
I said I could not afford it and she said 'Okay no problem, but you can’t be my witness anymore as it’s tradition! Another friend of mine agreed to buy me the ring and she will be my witness. But you can still come to the wedding.'
Needless to say I didn’t attend the wedding and haven’t spoken to her over the past 5 years. We grew up together and, I thought, we were best friends. But the way she treated me made me feel so small and insignificant.
They divorced less than two years later."
"Years after I got married, husband’s little brother, my brother-in-law is getting married at the Citadel. Good for him. Sounds like a fun, full-military-type wedding, uniforms and swords, and a fairy-tale horse and carriage. We are now both broke college students, I’m working on a masters part-time and working full-time, he’s finishing up his bachelor’s on the GI Bill. One day as the happy date is fast approaching, my MIL mentions, casually, like it was no big deal, that she needed the $130 bucks for my bridesmaid’s dress by the weekend.
I said, What?
Turns out, we were both in the wedding. Unbeknownst to either one of us. I was supposed to not only stand up with my brother-in-law’s fiancée at their wedding, a woman I had never met, but also I was supposed to cough up $130 bucks for the one-of bridesmaid’s dresses I had never seen or heard about until that moment. For a wedding that had been a YEAR in the planning. That I would have to travel across two states and stay in an expensive hotel as well. None of which had been mentioned to me, much less discussed with me until that moment in time.
I did what I always had to do with my MIL, I took a deep breath, I drew a firm line and I stood behind it, evil witch that I am. What dastardly thing did I do to ruin her picture-postcard dream wedding of her beloved baby boy?
I said no.
My brother-in-law and his future bride came over to our apartment. My MIL sicked them on me, the shrew. I explained I loved my BIL very much, I was honored, but not only did I not feel comfortable standing up for someone I’d never even met before that moment, but we really couldn’t afford it. Any of it. We were eating an awful lot of simple spaghetti and sauce in those days because it was cheap and filling. The dress alone would have set us back to starvation. I deeply resented my MIL for 1) committing me to something without even asking me, and 2) putting me on the spot for having to explain that I was fiscally responsible enough to know we couldn’t afford it. Thankfully my husband backed me 100%.
My FIL got involved. He said he’d pay for everything, the dress, the trip, the hotel, everything. Not my MIL, my FIL. I said thank-you, it’s appreciated and the only way we could possibly attend, but I won’t be in the wedding party. I’ll attend, I’ll wish them the best. But she should pick someone she has actually KNOWN for more than the 10 minutes in my living room while I explained I wouldn’t be in her wedding party, to stand up with her on her most special day.
It was a big frickin’ deal for the next several years. MIL mentioned it A LOT. I ignored it and carried on.
The SECOND most outrageous invitation arrived via snail mail a few years ago at a low point for me during a medical scare (but I’m healthy now). It was from a (at best) casual Internet friend who asked me to drop everything, fly out to Denver and be her maid-of-honor. On the Saturday coming up. I had to email her because we weren’t close enough to have each other’s phone numbers.
And say, Sweetie, you know I’d love to see Denver, and you, of course, and I’m honored you’d think of me to stand up for you at your wedding, but since I have surgery scheduled for the Thursday before your wedding to find out if I have cancer — or not — and might possibly be dying of said cancer — or not — and will be bed-ridden for a couple of possibly weeks after AND we have been talking about this for a couple of weeks now, I don’t think I’ll be able to make your lovely, spur-of-the-moment wedding.
Her answer, 'But what will I do?'
'Can you reschedule your surgery?'"