Please, vicar. Go back to your corner.
July 15, 2003 7:56 PM   Subscribe

So What Went Wrong With Your Wedding? Any brawls? A drunken minister? The cake collapsed? The bride had the groom arrested? Was it a happy day?
posted by LeLiLo (36 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't know yet.
posted by y2karl at 8:07 PM on July 15, 2003

Neither do I. But everyone else - please dish it out! I LOVE wedding disaster stories. By way of doing my bit, there are some great ones to be found here.
posted by orange swan at 8:12 PM on July 15, 2003

when my new Father-in-law got to the podium to propose a toast, he raised his glass to his daughter and me, except he called me by the name of her first husband...
posted by georgeTirebiter at 8:19 PM on July 15, 2003

Thirteen years ago, i watched as my neighbors next door had a reception in their back yard for their daughter. My kitchen window was no more than two yards from their property, and I was able to see everything that was going on. This was obviously not a dry reception, and the kegs and bottles were flowing as soon as the thing got underway. Late in the evening, I heard a commotion coming from this gathering, and I stepped into the kitchen to see what was happening.

What appeared to be the best man (or possibly one of the groomsmen) was locked in a battle-to-the-death with another male guest, which, because of the amount of alcohol involved was more noisy than actually violent. Many of the females there were screaming at one or both of these guys, trying to break them apart. They would succeed, only to have them go back at it again. After two or three cycles of this, the bride's father got into a confrontation with yet another male guest, and this brought the bride's mother into hysterics. Different permutations of this kept breaking out for the next half hour or so until the cops finally showed up and broke up the party.

The best part, though, happened pretty much right outside the window I was standing in. The bridegroom, pretty inebriated himself, was sitting on a stone on the edge of their property, his back to me, literally sobbing, and in a slurred voice saying over and over, "I wanted them to get along, and they couldn't do it. Just one night. I wanted them to get along. Just one night. They couldn't do it." And on and on.
posted by deadcowdan at 8:48 PM on July 15, 2003

Well lelilo, nubile thing that I am, I've never been married...but I was a guest at a wedding where the groom fainted. OK, quite embarrassing but rather amusing, right?

Wrong! The bride & her family got worried that this portended a heart condition or some undisclosed illness. A big argument ensued between the two families - could this condition affect child bearing??? Would this require some prenuptial conditions??? Unbelievably, the wedding never resumed! The couple never reconciled either! I am sure that the astounded groom-to-be later felt that his swoon may have turned out to be one of the luckiest things that ever happened to him.

Oh, and here's a recent follow-up to your second link - Dowry-busting girl a sham?
posted by madamjujujive at 8:56 PM on July 15, 2003

The day itself wasn't too bad, but the day before? Worst day of my life. Perhaps an exaggeration? I don't know. All I know was that it started in a deep valley, and ended up just south of the River Styx.

Let me encapsulate: bladder infection, cruel medical assistants, a surprise public meeting with beau's ex-girlfriend followed by public arguing, fiance's best friend lambasting us for hours, ending with these gems, "Well, you could get it annulled," and "When are you going to buy real rings?" Wrapped up with "late-night puffy cry face" I would say that I would rather have my entire body covered in paper-cuts and rolled in lime juice than relive that horror-show.
posted by readymade at 9:10 PM on July 15, 2003

All in all, our wedding went fine, but the night before...we had several out-of-town friends in attendance, and out of the goodness of our hearts, invited five of them to stay at our house instead of paying for a hotel. I had made reservations at a nearby motel for the that night, so that I could have a bathroom all to myself and get ready in peace and quiet.

Well, as the evening turned into early morning, fiance and I were still working on a zillion little last details, and trying to do it while stepping over assorted house guests. I remember searching all over for the earrings my mom had gotten for me, especially for my wedding day. I tore the house apart, waking everyone up, drove over to my mom's at 4:30AM and woke all of them up, only to discover the earrings had been in my purse the entire time.

I finally got all my stuff together and headed for the motel at 6AM the next day, and found that they had sold my (supposedly guaranteed) room to someone else and were now full. Headed back home and waiting in line for the bathroom so I could get dressed. I was late for my own wedding, but then again, no one was really suprised.

Oh, and because our guests didn't leave until the next day, I spent my wedding night scrunched up on the love seat, while my new hubby slept in the La-Z-Boy.
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:19 PM on July 15, 2003

I wasn't even thinking about this when I posted the link, but madame j's story reminded me of a wedding my sister, my wife, and I went to in Glasgow, Scotland, back in September 1991. Two really good friends of my sister were getting married, a woman from New Jersey and a guy from Glasgow who was (and, for all I know, still is) a seabird ecologist.

The week before the wedding, he'd been in Wales teaching students, and had come down with psittacosis, and barely made it to the official wedding, on Friday the 13th. The woman performing the ceremony in her office had him sit down through the whole thing, then about an hour later he was rushed to Ruchill Hospital in an ambulance.

The bride's father was a minister in the states, but they weren't sure he was legal to marry them in Scotland, so the next night they had planned a massive, unofficial second wedding in the remarkable Winter Garden of the People's Palace. Two or three hundred friends and family showed up, but the groom did not. Someone remarked to the mother of the groom, whose other son had just come back seriously sunburned from the Balearic Islands, that she now had "one green and one red son."

Ruchill, by the way, is an amazing old hospital. We visited the groom there one evening the following week. It's made up of many little rooms in individual buildings, and wandering through the corridors I felt like I was back in the 1800s.
posted by LeLiLo at 10:05 PM on July 15, 2003

Had a litany of minor comedy moments:

- Still at the reception venue, setting tables and writing placecards at midnight the night before
- Best man's trousers arrived about 4 sizes too small: didn't realise until he tried to put them on on the morning of the wedding
- Page boy wet his pants during the ceremony
- Vicar's dog gatecrashed during the wedding vows, running rampage all over my wife's veil while she was kneeling (cute dog though) - had to be forcibly evicted (dog, not wife)
- Rings tied so tight to the ring pillow thingy, that a call to the congregation had to go out for concealed weapons to cut them free (luckily my dad - the last boy scout - came up trumps)

It all kind of added to the occasion, I thought
posted by bifter at 1:30 AM on July 16, 2003

The band I was playing in at the time were supposed to be playing at the reception (I was only going to be doing a few numbers with them, and I played the organ for some of the ceremony, too), but the guitarist had a roller-blading accident about a week before, and broke his arm on numerous places. We had to run around finding another band, which meant I had to 'dance'...
The friend who made the cake had her kids snatched and taked abroad by her ex a week before, so we suddenly had to work out how to get a cake halfway across the country when neither of us drove.

On a darker note, we found out yesterday that the best man for a couple of my wife's friends has been killed in a motorbike accident. The wedding's next week.
posted by monkey closet at 2:08 AM on July 16, 2003

Her dad stiffed her mom on his half of the wedding expenses -- as if MIL wasn't bitter enough already.
posted by alumshubby at 3:37 AM on July 16, 2003

My mother-in-law-to-be was supposed to bring several thousand pounds in cash, to pay the caterers, entertainment, photographer and miscellaneous others. She decided it wouldn't be safe, and didn't. And didn't tell us until it came time to pay everyone. At 7pm on a Saturday evening. And despite the fact that my bride's side of the family had agreed to pay for the reception, suddenly this was my problem.

She was also overheard making a bet with my sister-in-law-to-be about how long the marriage would last. I don't know which of them won, but we were divorced eighteen months later.
posted by Hogshead at 5:30 AM on July 16, 2003

The main article's great!

"Vicar, I've done many bad things!"

"Well, so have I..."

posted by Mayor Curley at 5:36 AM on July 16, 2003

Thank you all for reconfirming my wise decision to elope three years ago.

The only bizarre event in all the weddings I've been to happened to my sister. The ceremony was delayed an hour because the photographer forgot his camera.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:41 AM on July 16, 2003

My wife dropped the bouquet of flowers that she was holding while the minister was speaking.. *THUMP* and she looks down and goes "fuck!"

Even the straight-laced preacher cracked a grin, and the family gathered around (this was a very small affair, maybe 10 people) laughed. Someone managed to get a picture of that exact moment, too.
posted by mrbill at 7:54 AM on July 16, 2003

A good friend of mine had his wedding in a rather remote location with only two roads in, one of which was closed by bad weather. Unfortunately, that was the road that led to the city his family lived in, and they were delayed for hours. The handful of us who'd come by the other road sat in the narrow, unadorned little church with the bride, groom, and minister, waiting. Half an hour after the ceremony was supposed to start, the minister announced that he wasn't willing to wait any longer. Me, I would have said "Screw you, I'll find another minister when my family gets here," but my friend allowed himself to be bullied into having the wedding without most of his folks (with the result that I'm one of I think two people, besides him, who were at both his weddings).

I strongly advise anyone who wants to avoid these problems to just drop by City Hall with a few good friends. It worked for me.
posted by languagehat at 8:13 AM on July 16, 2003

I just officiated at my 300th wedding on Sunday. In that wedding, the bride's father started to guide her past the groom and toward me, as if he was going to marry his own daughter. I had to stop him. Another time, the bride's ex-husband called up and said he was on his way over, and he was going to break up this wedding, no way he was going to let it happen. Dumb guy shouldn't have warned us, no wonder she dumped him.

My own wedding, 20 minutes before, Yoshiko's mom asks me, "Where is my kimono?" I was not even aware that she had brought a kimono. In that 20 minutes I traced it from the airport to the house to the trunk of my oldest brother's car, and sweet merciful fate, it was still there when he arrived for the wedding. I don't know how she got wrapped up so fast.
posted by planetkyoto at 8:16 AM on July 16, 2003

My friend is a wedding photographer and he has a "special" file filled with photos of women's breasts popping out, guys' pants splitting and other indignities. It's hilarious. Happy to say that my wedding is represented there, as a bridesmaid had the poor and/or excellent judgment to not wear panties on our very special day.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:44 AM on July 16, 2003

We had no real problems and everything went swimmingly. All of our friends thought that it was one of the best weddings they've been to. There was the issue of the extra guest at the ceremony though. Our wedding took place at the Cathedral in downtown Syracuse. A lot of people use the facilities throughout the day. In the middle of the ceremony, a little old man in a red hat came in the side door up near the altar and then proceeded to walk right between us and the priest. One of the groomsmen tried to stop the guy, but he was greeted with a mean look as though he was out of line. So the guy just tromped right through and we were all stifling our giggles. He ended up being the hit of the day and we figured that if we had actually stopped him, we might have ended up with the proverbial "fart in church" situation or possibly worse...
posted by stefnet at 8:46 AM on July 16, 2003

Let's see, we had the reception at my volunteer fire hall. My sister-in-law had decorated, which unfortunately involved removing the curtains from the windows to enhance the lighting. Even though we had our wedding in September, it ended up in the upper 90's that day, with no clouds in the sky. The old and tired air conditioners couldn't keep up, of course, and everyone sweated like pigs.

Half the male (and a few of the female) guests were members and had to leave the reception twice to handle various emergencies, including a bad car accident that required the use of the "Jaws of Life". The tux place was shocked to see the condition of some of the tuxes when we returned them.

And last, but not least, my parents brought almost a dozen uninvited guests with them from home. Luckily we had enough food, but with the barely adequate AC, it wasn't the surprise my parents thought it was.

Nevertheless, almost 20 years have passed and we're still together (and people still talk about the reception).
posted by tommasz at 8:55 AM on July 16, 2003

Friends of ours got married in San Jose and had a reception in San Francisco. There were about 700 people at the restaurant, a huge Chinese place with apparently 69 tables.

The best man's job was to bring the seating chart. He didn't. So people just started claiming tables. The groom's family was well located near the wedding party, but the bride's parents were in a back room, and no one offered to switch.

We were helping the bride and groom with last-minute stuff after the wedding, so we were the last to arrive at the restaurant. We had a group of 10 -- perfect for one table -- but there were no tables left. The groom's mother didn't want to spring for another table, so she expected us to split up and fill in scattered empty seats in occupied tables. These were primarily business associates of the groom's family.

Fortunately the bride convinced her to get us a table on the balcony.
posted by kurumi at 9:55 AM on July 16, 2003

After a year of swing dance lessons my fiancé and I had planned everything out with our bandleader, also the bass player in his seven-piece band. We'd specified songs we wanted to hear including a particular arrangement for our first dance; we'd provided homemade mix CDs for play during the band's breaks; we'd discussed the evening's schedule in detail.

After the ceremony, after cocktails and portrait photography, I approached the band to let them know that my bride and I would soon be ready for our first dance. There was just one problem: no bandleader. He'd been there earlier, we knew, to set up his sound system, but evidently he'd fallen victim to violent intestinal distress and headed for home, hoping to return later.

"But don't worry," said the keyboardist, "we've got all of the arrangements. He's hoping to make it, he's tried to get a sub, but I'll play the bass line with my left hand for now and we'll see if one of them shows up." I told myself to remain calm. I was married, everything else was going perfectly, no big deal. I explained the CDs, went over some details, and tried to forget about it.

And, wonderfully enough, everything worked out. We danced to the requested arrangement, and the band sounded just great. Our bandleader never showed, but a substitute bass player arrived and fell in with the other musicians. I was the only one who noticed that our CDs were played out of order, and everyone else was blissfully unaware of the near calamity.

It's been a year and a half, and we're very happy.
posted by Songdog at 10:11 AM on July 16, 2003

6 weeks until the wedding and I'm officially scared. Everyone told us to elope and we didn't listen....
posted by kelrae3 at 10:29 AM on July 16, 2003

My aunt vomited on my dress.
posted by oflinkey at 10:45 AM on July 16, 2003

Getting dressed at the church we realized after I had my huge gown on that we had forgotten to bring a mirror, and I was not going to drag my skirt into the possibly soiled bathroom to touch up my makeup. I trusted my sister's judgement and it looked fine.

The CD we burned for the reception music got left in the college dorms (600 miles from the ceremony), but I luckily had the playlist in MP3 form on my laptop, which my brother and fiancé hooked into the sound system. But they forget to select the reception playlist; my 400+ mp3 collection was on random play. Halfway through the reception blasts out Mambo No. 5.

But that was nothing compared to our final farewell. It was the end of December and instead of birdseed, we had sparklers for everyone to wave around (not toss). But in the southern part of Alaska in late December it is known to rain instead of snow; and it was raining hard. Everyone crammed onto the small covered porch with their sticks of fire and we ran through them out into the rain. Some kid stuck a live sparkler up his shirt which burnt his back. Someone snapped a photo of sparks springing from the neckline of his shirt.

Everything else went great. It has been two and a half years now.
posted by rhapsodie at 10:59 AM on July 16, 2003

It occurred.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:11 AM on July 16, 2003

6 weeks until the wedding and I'm officially scared. Everyone told us to elope and we didn't listen....

Not to worry.

Think about the weddings you've been to. Did you really give a damn if the cd's were played out of order, or if the band was mediocre, or if the food was only *meh*, or if the bridesmaids' dresses exactly matched the sash the flower girl was wearing, or whether the typeface on the invitations was kerned right, or any of that stuff that people worry about in their own weddings?


Relax. Nobody's going to give a damn about that stuff in your wedding either. And that's a *good* thing -- go ahead and make a good-faith effort to have a nice wedding and reception, and it'll be good enough to give people good memories.

About the only vaguely-predictable thing that can really go *wrong* is if the groom had a bad night out the night before and is still drunk, or vomiting-hung-over.

So just make sure that any bachelor party is not the night before the ceremony, and otherwise relax.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:11 PM on July 16, 2003

True - I've been to a lot of weddings in the last four or five years, and they were all happy, and all fun, no matter what went weird. That said, I've been to a lot of weddings in the last four or five years, and have seen some strange and wonderful things.

Case in point: one wedding was held in a stifling hot church, to which the groom was freshly converted. The ceremony lasted several hours, during which one time one bridesmaid collapsed from the heat and the celebrant managed to forget the name of the groom. But not to worry, I'm sure the groom became unforgettable after he used his teeth to remove the garter in front of the very same celebrant.
posted by Songdog at 12:32 PM on July 16, 2003

About the only vaguely-predictable thing that can really go *wrong* is if the groom had a bad night out the night before and is still drunk, or vomiting-hung-over

This almost happened at a friend's wedding a couple of years ago. We were having a blast on Pittsburgh's South Side the night before the wedding, until someone (the groom's brother, I think) brought out a few Cuban cigars he got in Canada. After a few puffs, the groom turned yellow and started swaying dangerously. Suddenly all the alcohol he had consumed (and the greasy Primanti Bros fries he had just eaten, not to mention pre-wedding jitters) all caught up with him, and he appeared to be getting sick in about 13 different ways at the same time. He recovered, more or less, but at the wedding the next day he still looked extremely dazed.
posted by arco at 1:11 PM on July 16, 2003

Let's see..I was suffering from 2nd degree sunburn (due to excessive drinking and NOT paying attention at the town's harvest festival 3 days earlier) and all bandaged up under my "kimono" (what is the male version called anyway PlanetKyoto?), my wife's mother changed my wife's dresses for the reception without telling her, she also changed the music selection so we entered the reception to the strains of the Carpenters, I didn't understand a word of the wedding ceremony since my Japanese wasn't good enough and my wife had to read my part for me, and our wedding date was September 11. I could go on...

Getting married in a foreign country is an experience that should not be missed.
posted by Dantien at 1:21 PM on July 16, 2003

I think that every bride has their own worries about different things. I don't worry about cd's being played out of order. I'm mostly worried about my maid-of-honor getting so pissed that she pukes on my mother-in-law, or my husband-to-be's family having an all out brawl at the reception. Or better yet, the relatives that we've invited, bringing their 6 kids, whose names are not on the invitations. Y'now, stuff like that.
posted by kelrae3 at 3:11 PM on July 16, 2003

we were married last summer in switzerland. after months of preparation which involved a trip to the swiss embassy in houston to fill out the papers, we arrived in lausanne to find that they were not expecting us. they looked and our papers had arrived from houston that day.

"the boss" told his assistant to tell us that we couldn't get married because we were missing a document from the u.s. saying that they recognized swiss marriages. we called the u.s. embassy in bern and they said that they absolutely recognized swiss marriages, to the point where that document doesn't exist and isn't necessary.

the assistant obviously hated "the boss" and went over his head and got permission for us to be married without the document. "the boss" was angry and she was delighted.

"the boss" then said that they were fully booked for marriages the next day. (we only had that one day in switzerland.) his assistant said no problem and came in an hour early to marry us herself.

posted by centrs at 6:30 PM on July 16, 2003

Still waiting for my own private wedding disaster, but it is fun to be able to point at other people and laugh ;-)
posted by dg at 7:35 PM on July 16, 2003

My first wedding had two major problems:

1) The temple was air conditioned to freezer level temp so when the 200 guests showed up we'd be comfortable (this was Oct.), but for the wedding party it was just frigid. Of course the cold got into my shoulder blades, leaving me in agony all night and having Ben Gay applied to my back at the motl later that night.

2) The Rabbi didn't clearly communicate his schedule to us so instead of starting with the ceremony and following with the hor d'oerves, we had to switch the order but thankfully the caterer handled it on the fly like the pro he is.

Fortunately the next two went much better.
posted by billsaysthis at 9:06 PM on July 16, 2003

all bandaged up under my "kimono" (what is the male version called anyway PlanetKyoto?)

I think the one for wedding is a "hakama".
posted by planetkyoto at 4:48 AM on July 17, 2003

kelrae3, I didn't really mind the CDs being played out of order, I was just pointing out that nothing worse than that happened despite the scare. As for people bringing uninvited children, I recommend asking them explicitly not to instead of relying on their interpretation of the invitation. People may not realize that if the kids' names aren't on there, they're not invited, or may choose to resolve the "ambiguity" this way. If you can't ask them outright, tell the prospective guest that you've asked family members not to bring the kids, and they'd be hurt if other guests brought theirs. We invited all the kids to a brunch the next day; we just didn't have entertainment for them at the reception.

One more story from a friends' wedding:

During the rehearsal, the groom mistakenly spoke his future mother-in-law's name rather than the bride's. Maybe that's why during the ceremony her father forgot to take his seat after escorting her to the altar. He stood there holding her hand in the middle of the aisle while the groom waited off to the side. Not only did it look like she was marrying the wrong man, but she had to support her heavy bouquet with one trembling arm until dad remembered his part. Later, at the reception, one man rudely insisted on cutting to the front of the "dollar dance" line, demanding priority with the bride. It turned out that nobody had ever seen this "guest" before, and he was swiftly ejected by the other men in line, who happened to comprise the police and fire departments of several nearby towns. Everybody else had a great time, and my friends are happily married.
posted by Songdog at 7:43 AM on July 17, 2003

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