Knot Happily Ever After: Tales of Tangled Wedding Disasters

1. That's a new level of crazy.

I worked as a wedding decorator for 5 years, and while this is not my own wedding, it's still pretty bad. Two years ago we did the decor for a really pretty ceremony, and halfway through the day we found out it was a "surprise wedding". Basically, they were not engaged, but the bride planned the whole thing and the groom showed up at the golf course thinking he was just playing a regular round of golf. Nope. He walked into his own wedding, saw her standing at the altar, and peaced out. 

As he should have. I've also seen weddings where fist fights break out and we've had to call the cops. There was another where one of the guests was smoking inside and caused a fire, causing the entire wedding to evacuate into the rainy parking lot. Those, and countless glasses of wine spilled on wedding dresses. 


2. Cold Feet

When my mom and dad were set to marry (before i was born), my dad got there early to make sure everything was set up and to help with final prep of everything and my mom was sent to pick up the cake. She says that when she got to the church and saw all the cars and people, she couldn't handle the pressure and just drove home without saying anything.

 Dad comes home, after the wedding had been called off due to her no show, to see mom in the kitchen eating the wedding cake. They didn't last long after that.


3. Black and White

I once DJ'd a half black, half white racist wedding. The groom was a skinny white nerdy looking guy and the bride was a larger African American woman, both in their early 20's. From the start, I could feel a weird tension and hostility in the room, but thought "Ok, maybe something just happened at the ceremony that I missed", and shook it off. The night went on with a rather silent crowd, until it got to the speeches. First to go was the best man, who gave a warm hearted, nice guy roast about the groom. 

Then the maid of honour with an average "I don't do speeches, "love, laughter, happily ever after" cheers and escapes. Then came the parents of the bride, they both marched up to the podium and the father took the mic, "I love my daughter, and I know her to be a smart woman. I do not approve of this mixed marriage." 

He walks back to his seat. My mouth is wide open at this point, while I hear major chatter from the crowd. The bride and groom must have been used to it, because they just smiled at each other and looked on for the next onslaught.

Father of the groom gets up to the podium, "so as most of you all know, my boy went off to university like a big shot for 4 years. 2 years in, he calls me and says "Dad, I've met a girl that I might marry." I say that's great son! When can I meet her? He brings her home for a weekend back in November, and all I can remember is sitting in the kitchen. He walks in, and she gets in behind him, and I'm like BAM! What the heck is that?! Didn't see this coming. Screw it, cheers". Drinks his wine and sits back down. As soon as the dinner and speeches were done, everybody but the bridal party left, so I said "you've got a hall, all the booze you can drink, all your best friends, your new husband/wife, and a DJ, might as well celebrate!" So I set up karaoke and we all sang and got smashed for the rest of the night. Best wedding ever, despite the ignorant people.


4. Worst man

Best man's girlfriend got drunk and angry that she wasn't sitting at the bridal party table. Best man got angry and they both walked out at the start of the reception after the girlfriend tried to fight my maid of honour and the staff at the venue. After they left the reception they went and trashed an onsite cabin we were all staying in and the crazy girlfriend was taken away by police. Nothing like getting pulled out of your own wedding to go talk to the police.

Tried not to let it ruin the night, but my Husband was pretty devastated as it was his best mate of 14 years. Still haven't talked to them and it has been 2.5 months.


5. I Got 99 Problems But A Man Ain't One

My husband and I got married a month before our actual wedding, just for background info.

The night before the wedding, at the rehearsal dinner, he 'broke up' with me in a text message. Told me to pack my stuff and get out by Monday. We were already technically married. I was running on three hours of sleep and nerves. This was after he was so drunk he could barely recite the vows during the rehearsal. He'd been ignoring me for about a week up until that point. I went to speak to his step father about the text I received, only to have him blame everything on my mother, whom he called crazy. To my face. And I have no idea how she was relevant or what she is to be blamed for, to this day. This started a huge fight between families. I mean, adults screaming obscenities at each other in public while I stood in a corner and cried on my best friend's shoulder because I was so embarrassed and disappointed and disgusted. 

My husband was screaming at anyone who would listen about how terrible I was. My father, who did 20+ years in the army and is retired, later told me that he was so angry that he felt he was experiencing PTSD. He is 61 years old. I have never seen his eyes look so dead, and I'll never forget how violently he shook. I felt like I had aged 10 years that night. I was so worried my dad was going to have a heart attack or a stroke. I'm tearing up just typing that.

My parents paid for everything. The wedding venue, decorations, a dj, the food, bridesmaid stuff, groomsman stuff, my dress, hair, makeup. Everything. They shelled out $12k for me to have my dream wedding, only to be ruined because I married a jerk with a personality disorder. And I don't mean that in a haha, what a jerk way. This dude has some serious issues that I should have not handled by looking the other way because he was pleasant 50% of the time. If even that. And no, I'm not blaming myself.

Did I mention his 7 year old daughter witnessed all of this? Because she did. I will also never forget her asking me when we were gonna have the wedding again. I can't imagine what she told her mother. People, if someone constantly says their exes were "bad", and no one treats them right, and everyone is a jerk -- they are the problem, not you. Run while you can.

Anyway, I'm still kind of bitter. Mainly because it was humiliating and so much money was wasted. I had to send all the gifts back. People were embarrassed for me. People travelled to come and share what was supposed to be a special day with me. After a while, all the pity started making me angry. My therapist had a field day with that. I still had the party, it just went from being a wedding to my mom's incredibly expensive graduation party. I'm glad it was an open bar too. I drank a lot of bottles of champagne that weekend. Beautiful, beautiful venue. It looked like a mansion. I never want to see it again.


6. It’s Mine, Mine, Mine!

My mom ruined my wedding. She ruined my brother's wedding, too, but that's another story. She loved my fiancé until we got engaged, and then suddenly he wasn't 'successful' enough. I wanted to get married at the yacht club because an uncle on my dad’s side could offer a huge discount. She shot that idea down because she didn't want it to look like my dad’s side paid for it (they're divorced). 

She tried to book the wedding at the same country club where her brother's recently failed marriage took place. She shot down every single one of my choices from dress, to food, to colors and flowers. It got to the point where I hated thinking about my own wedding, and my husband finally suggested we just elope. So we booked a date with a judge, got married in secret, and asked our families to meet us for dinner, where we told everyone what we'd just done. My mom couldn't be angry about it in front of everyone without looking like a nutcase. 12 years later, no regrets. It's not about the wedding, it's about the marriage.


7. He’s Mine Not Yours

A coworker of my husband's (whom he had known for a week) accused him of sexually assaulting her a MONTH TO THE DAY before my wedding. After my wedding was cancelled by my family, thousands down the drain in wedding prep and lawyer bills, and trust issues arising between my now-husband and I (who had to settle for a courthouse wedding), 

she confessed to being in love with my husband and had to stop him from making a mistake. I've never wished so much pain on a person before.


8. Happy Prenuptials

Not mine, but a story from my father. He's a justice of the peace and got asked to officiate a ceremony from another JOTP because he was overbooked. So my dad meets the couple 2 days before the wedding and goes over what they want, their vows, etc. My dad's skepticism radar goes crazy as the husband-to-be is in his mid-50s and the bride is 28 but he pushes it aside.

2 days later the wedding happened. My dad gets there about 2 hours before the ceremony and he's greeted by the groom’s lawyer. All hell has broken loose in the hall. The bride (and her mother) is holed up in the bridal suite refusing to sign the pre-nup. 

Apparently this guy is a millionaire who made a lot of money in the tech world. My dad makes his way to the bar and has a beer, just waiting it out. Then the door SLAMS and the groom comes flying down the room screaming "THE FLIPPING WOMAN STILL WON'T SIGN THE PRENUP?! WELL HER AND HER MOTHER CAN GET LOST."

My dad got up from the bar, offered his condolences and came home with the most spectacular story.


9. Misnamed

My wife and I eloped and got married overseas, but there was a party for family and friends when we got back. My family insisted on traditional speeches, which was our downfall. My father repeatedly called my wife by my ex's name and had to have it repeatedly pointed out to him before he corrected himself.

The first time it happened I was standing in the sun with my arms around my wife, feeling pretty great about life. Then he dropped the faux pas bomb and I immediately went cold inside. No one responded at first and I thought "crap, maybe that didn't just happen." My older sister was standing next to me and a second later she let out a pained cry and then sunk her head into her hands. A very palpable shudder then moved through the crowd as everyone cringed in unison. The night kinda fizzled after that. So awkward.


10. No Show

50% of the people who RSVPed didn't come.

My brother-in-law who volunteered to DJ didn't actually bring any DJ equipment, so our reception was powered by Pandora. He also said he would video the ceremony and highlights of the reception but didn't bring his video camera. The florist forgot to deliver about 50% of the flowers.

The reception venue took everything we discussed and then decided to do the opposite (Not enough tables, big weird glass centerpieces, no dance floor) and when we tried to get it fixed, the man who was sent to change out the tables stood outside the window of the reception hall angrily smoking cigarettes. I later spoke with a friend who has worked with that man who explained that that sort of behavior happens pretty much any time he is asked to do anything.

We made a CD of music for my brother-in-law to play before the ceremony began. He insisted that he had something better. It was two songs played on repeat for about an hour.

My immediate family was late to the wedding, including my sister who was a bridesmaid, and my mother and father. They had originally offered to help set up everything that morning, but I guess they just got a late start. My veil got lost the night before the wedding. It still has not resurfaced.

After everyone was done eating and the cake had been cut, I dimmed the lights in the reception hall to change the atmosphere to a more fun, party vibe and get people dancing. Everyone got up and left. It didn't go great, but my husband and I ended up married and we're still very happy together, and that's the most important thing. Still, I wish I'd saved the money from the whole thing and gotten married at the county clerk instead.


11. A Never Ending List

Everything that could possibly go wrong with my wedding did. First, my father invited his mistress, the one that led to the divorce of him and my stepmother (I still love her and invited her to the wedding). He is no longer with the mistress, and I always disliked her, but she's in a lot of the wedding photos now. And it made my stepmother (who is one of the sweetest people you would ever know) uncomfortable.

She- the mistress- brought my half brother (who was like 2 at the time) when I said no kids, and he babbled and interrupted the ceremony and tried to come down the aisle.

I had developed POTS so we had to change it a bit from Lake Tahoe to my in-laws house. Also, I had to sit during my wedding ceremony.

My cousin, who is a professional photographer , told me she couldn't come in that morning  (it was a 1 pm wedding). Thank goodness the hairdresser said she had been to enough weddings to know how it worked, and took photos (which were very very nice actually).

My brother in law didn't smile in any of the pics and looked angry at the camera while everyone had their heads down praying. He was a groomsman. Actually he looked angry the whole ceremony because he's an atheist and didn't approve of his brother being Christian (he told us this, before you think I'm jumping to conclusions)

Lastly, my mother didn't come. She just bailed out. She was depressed and it hurt me though she couldn't even come for the ceremony (which wasn't long at all). She committed suicide a few months after.


12. Hurricane Beth

My mother went full on momzilla and tore a warpath through my wedding party and guests that we now refer to as 'Hurricane Beth.'

My husband’s mother had a panic attack and didn't make it to the wedding. We tried to wait for her but after 45 minutes of waiting (and some horrible words from my mother) we decided to go on without her. She arrived almost 3 hours after the wedding. There was also drama between his mom and dad, who were recently divorced and couldn't just stop being ridiculous for one day.


13. Come One, Come All.

We attended a wedding for a family member who didn't have a lot of money. It was hosted at an inexpensive venue but was nice. My heart broke when only a third of the people invited showed up. You could see the hurt in the couple's face. They came up to our table and asked, "Do you have any friends living around? 

They had all this food for 100 people but only 30 guests showed up. They were willing to have complete strangers come down just so their money and food wouldn't go to waste. We had not handed over our card with cash inside yet so my husband hit the ATM and added another $100. 


14. Stairway Disaster

I'm a wedding photographer. I was at one really fancy one a couple of years ago, a typical outdoor deal at a swanky location in the middle of nowhere. The place was really nice, had a large concrete stairway flanked by water fountains that led down to the altar area, so the bride could be seen by all like she was ascending from heaven.

The ceremony begins and the bridal party comes down and take their places. Then the bride appears with her father. 

She takes 3 or 4 steps down the concrete steps and her shoe twists on her, she tumbled down a good 12 feet or more and busted out the majority of her front teeth in the fall. So much blood all over her

With the place being so isolated, it took a good 40 minutes for the ambulance to arrive and she was in intense pain. Ultimately she was ok and I got an email from them weeks later with the reschedule date. This time there were no stairs anywhere in sight.


15. Crashed

The wedding was at a state park that's famous for its giant gorge/waterfall. I don't know whose idea this was, but someone suggested a photo overlooking this gorge and everybody was game. 

The wedding party went around a stone security barrier and the maid of honor literally fell off the cliff to her death. It was like 500+ feet.


16. Disaster Supreme

The bride's father was 45 minutes late to walk his daughter down the aisle. While we were waiting the air conditioning broke in the venue. It was over 100 degrees outside and very humid. The place was overcrowded. You could barely move without bumping into someone else and in the heat that was extra miserable.

I guess the air conditioning problem had also affected the refrigeration or something because most of the food was spoiled. The only food on the buffet was salad, spaghetti and rolls. Not enough to feed even half the guests. Most people left after the first dance. Two of the bride's aunts fainted. The bride and the wedding planner were crying.


17. Swan Attack

A friend of my girlfriend was getting married. The wedding was quite normal. They got married in the local church and then there was the party in a nice restaurant. The photographer asked the bride and her bridesmaids (my girlfriend was one of them) to go outside for some photos. 

Some minutes later one of the bridesmaids came back asking for help. There were some swans that attacked the photographer and the majority of the people around him were not doing anything much more than laughing at this guy who was running around and screaming.


18. Ice Cold

It was a big wedding, over 300 people. Turns out the bride had been having an affair with her cousin’s husband. The cousin had known for a little bit, but waited until the wedding to go table to table letting everyone know the bride was sleeping with her husband.

 Poor groom was blindsided. Worst part was his father-in-law was well off and opened up a restaurant for him. Well, he lost his wife and his restaurant. 


19. Get A Room

At the reception after the wedding, the best man who had been drinking heavily, decided in his drunken state that he wanted to get some sleep and crawled under the bride's car to do so. I have made much worse and more dangerous decisions while intoxicated, so I’m not judging. The bride, not knowing he was under there and not being a drinker, was going to give someone a ride down the street to where they were staying. And yeah, obvious where this is going. 

The best man lived but the reception came to an abrupt end as most of the wedding party spent the rest of the night and next day at the hospital.


20. Not Today Satan

My husband and I got pregnant while planning our wedding. My parents found out and moved the ceremony date closer. Two weeks before the wedding we lost our child. Not only was that hard enough, my mother took it upon herself to cancel our wedding. Catering, music, venue, guests. Even SOLD MY DRESS. We still kept our date. 

My parents refused to come to our impromptu wedding because, in their minds, we were only getting married because we were pregnant. 

Also, my aunt (father’s sister) decided to tell my father that my husband threatened my mother. My aunt was mad because we moved our wedding date before my cousin's wedding. Her marriage ended 9 months later.

So my wedding was canceled, and my parents didn't come to my wedding. We had the nice intimate wedding we wanted with my husband's family and our close friends. We had an amazing picnic reception and a great after party. Stress aside, we had our perfect day in the long run.


21. Wedding In Absence

My FIL's wife of the time attempted to ruin our wedding. The week before our wedding, she sent my mother an email that I (the bride) was/am too good for her stepson, then messaged me that she had decided not to wear the dress she and I had picked out. She refused to come to the wedding rehearsal, then showed up on the day of in a garish, skimpy outfit. She wouldn't speak to anyone or smile and just sat there with her arms crossed the whole day. 

We just ignored her, even when she threw away all the leftovers from the post-ceremony brunch that my husband and his best guys catered (they're all cooks/chefs). My FIL divorced her the following year.


22. Bride Of All Brides

My sister is the bride of all brides. Nothing fazed her. The day before her wedding she went to pick up her dress where it was being hemmed and the tailor ruined it. It was unwearable and she had to grab an off the rack dress that mostly fit her.

Then during the pictures my 3 month old son had diarrhea all down my bridesmaids dress, down my stockings and into my shoes. It was 10 minutes before the ceremony.

 We had to wash out and iron dry the dress, I had planned to nurse the baby before the ceremony but he was whisked off to be changed so I basically milked myself into the sink while the other bridesmaids were cleaning my shoes and the priest was making an announcement about the delay and my poor sister was just waiting to see what else would happen.

Then during the wedding my milk came in and stained the front of my dress so I held my flowers across my chest for the whole ceremony. It was a total disaster and yet my sister was so serene and smiling and laughing about it. Now we have great stories and I totally admire her for being the complete opposite of a bridezilla.


23. Lost At Sea

This was around 2009. On the second day of the wedding, the bride went swimming in the ocean. It took place in Tenerife. She swam out too far and was basically ‘lost at sea’ for 9 hours or so. She eventually found her way back but was in bad shape. Everyone panicked the whole day and thought she drowned. By the time she got back, she wished she had. Her husband found her phone and read a bunch of messages supposedly from her aunt (but it was quickly clear from the sexy content it wasn’t her aunt at all, she had been having an affair with the best man for apparently years). 

They got an annulment shortly after. 60,000 down the drain. One of the most opulent weddings I’ve ever been to.


24. I’m Sorry What?

Best friend's mom got remarried and had an expensive, beautiful wedding, but for some reason didn't hire a DJ. Last minute her mom asked me to manage the CD and gave me a list along with verbal instructions of when to play each. I tried to warn her that I simply did not follow, but she told me she had confidence in me.

Apparently all her life she wanted to walk down the aisle to some specific song, but I just couldn't figure it out. They had to get walking to match the sunset, so she went ahead down the aisle while I flipped through a series of incorrect songs to the horror/amusement of the crowd. For years after when I called my friend's house and her stepdad answered, he'd say, "Is this the guy who messed up my wedding? How are ya?"


25. Lost In Translation

This didn't ruin the whole wedding, but it surely didn't brighten my day. After the ceremony we were standing in front of the altar and people took turns to congratulate us. 

As it was my mothers turn she took my hand and told me she's sorry she raised such a bad person like me. Thank God my husband doesn't speak her language well.


26. Sorry, Wedding’s Canceled

I was invited to the reception of one of my good friends. They had been courthouse married for months and living happily. When I arrived at the location and saw the big crowd I knew something was wrong. Friend's wife is prone to panic attacks and is extremely agoraphobic to the point of breaking down and crying if she is overwhelmed.

I immediately called my friend to ask what's going on and if this was okay. Turns out my friend's parents invited everyone possible to be there without my friend knowing. After I sent him a picture of the crowd, he and his wife thought it would be better to go on a second honeymoon than have a reception.

He sent a message apologizing to all those his wife and him invited and telling them to leave without telling his parents. Parents had a meltdown as we left.


27. Not As Bad

It rained and was cold on my wedding day. No one bothered to turn the lights on, so the few pictures I have are dark and grainy. My parents divorced earlier that year so my dad hated seeing mom for the 1st time and didn’t stick around to get a picture with me. 

My husband’s mom didn’t even take off work to attend, apparently the money was more important. Good news is that we just celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary.


28. With Or Without A Groom

A couple of years back I was waitressing at this function lounge that was hosting the reception, the music starts but nobody comes in for a solid 30 seconds so the dj cuts the music. Everyone hears loud arguing in the foyer for about a minute when two men come stumbling into the hall absolutely fighting each other bloody. It was the groom and the bride's brother. It turns out the groom's side of the family didn’t want him marrying the girl and the groom decided at the reception that he agreed with his family. 

Long story short, more people got involved with the fighting, police got called, the bride was understandably a crying mess but she decided that if she spent so much money on the event then they were going to have a party with or without the groom. Honestly she was so much stronger than I could have ever been so good for her but the whole thing was an absolute mess.


29. Sugar Heaven

When I was 6 or 7, I went to a cousin's wedding. Everything was fabulous for little me. So much sugar everywhere, basically heaven. The reception was in a big community center that was reserved for the occasion. I went to the girls' bathroom, passing by the men's room to see my uncle on the floor. I went back to the main room to tell my dad my uncle was looking weird. 

Well, my uncle had a stroke and died. The bride spent the rest of the afternoon crying, and everyone except close family left. Bright side is that the marriage is still going strong 20 years later, despite what happened that day.


30. Not My Type

Groom got so drunk the night before he couldn't make it to the altar at the ceremony. They still had the ceremony with only the bride and her party, plus one of the groomsmen, who apparently didn't get wasted. Everyone there was shaking their heads the entire time. The groom did make one singular appearance for a few seconds at the reception. He looked like a zombie and was wearing street clothes.

And this was no trashy wedding. The bride was a professional dancer for a major label pop star, so that gives you an idea of the type of people that were in attendance. 200 plus people at the ceremony alone, probably double that at the reception. They divorced within 6 months.