Earlier this week, we talked about appropriate attire for a wedding, and that got me thinking about all the crazy, unexpected, jaw-dropping things that happen at weddings. Thing I’ve seen. Things I’ve heard about. The kind of stories that keep brides up at night. Because let’s face it, outside of the Jerry Springer show and a Wal-Mart Black Friday sale, weddings can really bring the crazy.
Here are just a few stories collected from my own experiences, stories that I’ve heard in the past and some from friends who were kind enough to respond to my G-Chat requests.
The Bride who routinely called her Maid of Honor at 3:40 in the morning to ask inane questions like whether the silver ribbon or the platinum twine would be better for the menu cards. The MOH eventually turned off her phone, and the Bride switched to email.
The Bridesmaid who decided to leave the reception before the cake was even served to attend a party in a nearby city because a guy she wanted to hook up with would be there. I’m sure the man who she brought as her date was about as amused as the Bride.
The Mother-of-the-Groom who showed up for pre-wedding photographs in a blush-colored dress that had the same neckline and pleating as the Bride’s gown. She was convinced to change prior to the ceremony.
The Bride whose wedding day behavior was so out of control that her Father, a Baptist minister, actually slapped her, like in a cartoon, to snap her out of it.
The Groom who lost the rings between the hotel and the church, so the Happy Couple said their “I dos” with bands made from York Peppermint Patty wrappers and Scotch tape.
The In-Laws who announced at the post-wedding Bon Voyage brunch that they were getting a divorce. They assumed that their brother, the Groom, would be grateful that they waited until after the ceremony, his feelings did not match their expectations.
A newly-minted Husband and Wife post their wedding photos to a shared Picasa account so that their friends and family can see them. A few weeks later, several photos turn up on a popular humor website. Why? The background of the photos contained images of two people having very acrobatic sex on a hotel balcony visible from the couple’s wedding venue.
But my favorite crazy wedding story has to be this one, thanks TF:
Instead of speaking from the heart about love and commitment, the Maid of Honor regales the assembled guests with insights from the bridal party message board. The Groom found out that the Bride put nearly $7,000 on her credit cards to pay for all the wedding extras that her parents wouldn’t allow. And the Happy Couple discovered that more than half of the people in attendance had taken bets on how long the marriage would last with the median guess being 17 months. Five years later, they are still married.
So what crazy wedding stories do you have to share? I want to hear the good, the bad and the truly, unfathomably ugly.
(This post is not meant to cheapen the majority of weddings that go off without a hitch and lead to happy, successful marriages. I just thought it might be fun to hear from the former brides, grooms, bridal party members and guests who have a funny story to tell. Just a tip, if you wouldn’t want the Bride/Groom to read the story here, don’t share or be vague. This is the Internet, after all.)
I/we did try to mingle with the groom's side-they were not friendly. I wasnt the only one who felt snubbed, and it was difficult to have a “good time” under those circs-I had no idea the wedding would be like this-and I went in good faith, with a gift in hand and my best bib and tucker. I did not sulk-and if my friend was upset at my attitude, which I never expressed to her actually, maybe she should have stood up for her side of the guest list instead of supinely accepting second class status for her and hers. It was shameful, and to dismiss upset at treatment like that as simply snobbery is unfair. As for wealth and sophistication, it was embarrassing that so many people had to spend so much money to fly here to eat spam. The bride's family asked have an Indian ceremony, but hubby's extremely religious folks didnt allow it. Frankly, the groom's side were the intolerant ones-they did not take any steps to meet anybody halfway and insisted all was to be done as they wanted. I never said it was bad because it was different. It was bad for other reasons. I have participated in and enjoyed all sorts of non traditional marriages, hindu, christian, and muslim, and have never been made to feel as I did at that particular one.
I have a wedding horror story from my younger years, although not involving the bride/groom, or wedding party. My aunt was marrying a lovely man from Ireland (my family is Irish-German Catholic, so we were all thrilled, naturally). His family agreed to come to the States for the wedding, which was great fun. My cousin and I were in the ladies room and there was a friend of the groom's there as well. While we were all at the sinks, a boy of about 11 or 12 ran into the ladies room. This boy was obviously the woman's son, as she made some comment about hoping my cousin and I didn't mind the “intrusion.” Well, let me tell you, we did. The boy didn't close or lock the bathroom stall door. as the mirrors above the sinks were wall to wall, we saw everything. We rushed to leave the restroom, but unfortunately, not in time to miss the little boy running out of the bathroom without washing his hands. This all wouldn't have been so traumatizing, if we had not seen the same boy use his finger to lick frosting off the wedding cake!! EW! Needless to say, my cousin and I did not choose to have cake once it was cut…
My wedding had plenty of hitches, but none of them mattered. The whole thing was a balancing act between our budget (small), the desire for a relaxed and cheerful event (mine) and the wish for a fancy, formal celebration (my husband's.) So we had a relatively small wedding (budget), I wore a full-on big white ballgown and he wore a tuxedo (fancy, formal) and the flowers were purchased at the farmer's market by my sister and I the morning of the wedding (relaxed, cheerful).
Given all of that, there wasn't much that could go “wrong” – I suppose if someone had misbehaved in a hurtful way. But here are a few of the funny stories that came out of it:
1) We ordered bridesmaid dresses from an Etsy seller several months before the wedding. Long story short: The dresses didn't arrive until 4 days before the wedding (they were supposed to arrive several weeks earlier, so they could be sent back for tailoring if necessary) and they were horribly, laughably terrible. They were the wrong color, the wrong size (just for kicks, we played around with how many pieces of fruit we could add to my bridesmaid's bust – we got several grapefruit in there, in addition to her double-Ds!), the straps were wildly different sizes (like, one one dress one strap was an inch wide and one was three inches), the scoop back was uneven. I'm not doing this justice: They truly looked like something a six-year-old had sewn. My sister ended up borrowing a dress from a friend, and my best friend bought a new dress at a department store the day before the wedding. The seller refused a refund. Totally happy to share pictures or whatever if anyone is considering using this etsy seller. Seriously, avoid Dainty Rascal/Suzy Berry on Etsy at all costs.
2) The tuxedos (from Mens Wearhouse) were sent to the wrong state. They did end up with tuxedos. My husband's was basically fine (but a little small), but his brother's was hilariously large.
3) My mother-in-law-to-be gave me an heirloom handkerchief to carry, moments before I headed down the aisle. I didn't have anywhere to put it, so I stuffed it down my dress. That night, after the ceremony, after the party, after the bonfire on the beach with my friends, I woke up suddenly in bed and realized that I had no idea where it was. My husband and I tore the hotel room apart, then tore the car apart, then gave up and went back to sleep. We got up a couple of hours later to drive back to the ceremony location before the morning-after brunch. Miracle of miracles, it was sitting on the front lawn of the library where we were married. I JUST confessed this to my mother-in-law last month; it took me a long time to get over the terror of realizing that literally my first act upon joining the family was to lose a family heirloom.
4) The next morning, after going back to the ceremony location to find the handkerchief and after coming back for the brunch, we realized that not only had we forgotten to have the marriage license signed, we also couldn't find that. So we went BACK to the ceremony location (45 minutes away, btw) and there it was, sitting on a bench in the kitchen. We chased down my husband's brother (one of our witnesses), on his way to the airport, and FedExed the shit out of that thing to get it signed by our officiant (already back in his hometown several states away) and my sister and back to the county clerk's office by the deadline.
Heh. I loved my wedding. 🙂
A guest at my wedding stole wedding gifts from the table while the reception was happening. A relative gave us a big coffee urn that was custom made for my grandmother in the 20s, and that was one of the things taken. We figured it out about four years later when a “friend” asked us to help with her garage sale and there was the urn priced for $50.
I was in my former best friend's wedding until she kicked me (and two other bridesmaids) out because none of us had the money to buy a bridesmaid's dress that was $450 dollars (everyone was in med school and BROKE). The dresses were going to be about $200 (which we were all willing/barely able to do) until she insisted on having two, not one, two rows of rosettes along the bottom, thus making the dresses $450. Not to mention they were the “wear a million ways” dresses in a green-ish flesh tone.
On top of that, she asked me, the then MOH, to plan not only a bachelorette (which was to include a spa day at a very expensive hotel, a night at a wine bar, AND a private casino cruise…seriously) but to also plan the bachelor party because the best man was “really busy with family.”
She blew up at another bridesmaid who got engaged during the process of planning her wedding (the girl was very quiet about her own plans, which was correct to do, she kept full focus on crazy bride), but the final straw was when the crazy bride told the recently engaged girl that she was “cheap” because she had wanted an engagement ring, but true love (i.e. hers) didn't need a ring (goes without saying that her fiance had not proposed with a ring…or really proposed, for that matter. she had just decided it was time for them to get married and he went along with it.)
She kicked three of her old friends out of the bridal party after I told her I'd be ordering my bridesmaid's dress 3 months away from the ceremony instead 4 because I needed to save up more. Two other girls followed suit…
I was shocked that my best friend could go from totally normal to batsh*t insane.
My brother's ex-wife watched their wedding video every day for five months. When anyone was with her, she narrated it like it was a director's cut.
When our sister got married a year later, she used some of the same decorations at her wedding (our parents had paid for the reception, so they kept the custom ordered candlesticks/linens/vases). The horrid ex walked into the reception hall and saw “her” mirrored trays and “her” decor on the tables and lost her s**t. The colors were different, the venue was different, everything else was different, but she sat in the car and cried for hours until she was persuaded to come in for cake.
The best part came weeks later when the ex's mom posted on Facebook that our sister's wedding was the most beautiful one she'd ever seen.
Perfect Friday entertainment. I don't have any stories, but I hope that more commenters do!
It's not anyone's fault, but one wedding I was at was held outdoors on Labor Day Weekend and for some reason it was FREEZING to the point where we had all planned to camp out where the wedding was that night and so had things like sweatshirts and pajama pants in our cars and we all ended up wearing them and any other layers we could find during the reception. The groom at the wedding also got unfortunately sick between the ceremony and reception but suffered through it because it was his wedding. We all felt really bad for him….
I was a bridesmaid at my friend's wedding last year. During the ceremony, the groom slumped over and nearly passed out. It turns out that he was a diabetic (we didn't know) and didn't eat anything all day because he was nervous. My poor friend started freaking out and we had to console her as a nurse checked on him and gave him something to drink. A few minutes later, he was okay and the ceremony continued.
Also, my friend was forced by her controlling mother to have a Filipino priest to officiate the wedding. He did a horrible job–he just arrived to the US and barely spoke proper English. At the end of the mass, instead of introducing the newlywed couple, he raised his hands and said, “Thank you, thank you very much.” I started cracking up at that.
At my brother's wedding enough people showed up that hadn't RSVP'd that they had to wheel in two additional round tables into the hall so people had a place to sit. Extra classy, I tell ya.
I was a bridesmaid in a wedding last year with a maid of honor who hated the fact that the bride was getting married because she thought she would be losing her. At the rehearsal dinner, she bawled through a speech that mentioned only discussed her friendship with the bride. She got so drunk at the wedding reception that she spent much of it throwing up in the bathroom. She was seated next to me at dinner, and started announcing loudly that she didn't like groom and had decided he was a d**chebag.
My ex in college was in a wedding that I went to with him that could only be described as ridiculously crazy. The night before, the guys all got drunk and the best man urinated on the groom. The next day of the ceremony, the guys were out back drinking before the wedding, tossing a football and lost the bride's ring in the grass. So we had to form a line and crawl on our hands and knees to find it before she found out (which she later did and flipped out). During the ceremoney, the guys were so drunk they could barely stand and the groom was so hungover he nearly puked.
The reception was even better. You couldnt understand what anyone said in their speeches because of the alcohol. One groomsman came up to the stepmother of the groom and said I will show you mine if you show me yours. Another asked her “how much did they cost”. The best man and an usher broke out into a fist fight on the dance floor over the best man's gf. As I was talking to the bride, trying to keep her calm, one groomsman came up to us said one word and passed out backwards onto a table, breaking it. And then the MOH and her husband and another couple threw all the pool furniture into the pool.
All in all, several thousand in damages and I no longer hang out with those people, but still, best wedding story I can tell. Hah.
My college roommate had her ceremony in a barn in SD. It was a really cute idea until the freakishly strong rain started. We all got soaked, all the catering was ruined and the cars got stuck in the mud so we all had to help push out the cars. We all ended up having dinner at the only restaurant open at 11:00PM, Pizza Hut.
My father-in-law was also my husband's best man. His sister, whose husband had passed away about a year earlier, was seated at another table about three feet from me. During his toast, my father-in-law started talking about all the lessons he'd learned from his brother-in-law's death and repeated a quote that someone had said during the eulogy. His sister has a front row seat for all this and starts sobbing as quietly as she can and got so upset she had to leave the reception during dinner. I could not believe it. All I could do was watch as this poor woman I barely knew dissolved right next to me and if I reacted, I'd have drawn attention to her and embarrassed her.
Let's see….my former SIL asked me to be a bridesmaid, I was honored and accepted without reservation. I should have run. She selected bridesmaid's gowns that were, among their many sterling qualities, heavy black taffeta, itchy, unflattering…and $350. Not including alterations. The wedding was in Alabama, in September, at noon, and there we all were in layers of heavy fabric and crinoline, sweating and ready to keel over. So we solved the problem by hydrating with booze, and I was tucked into bed by 6 pm.
For my own wedding, we had a few minor trainwrecks – the buttons on my dress got stuck, and I had to be pummeled in the stomach by my maid of honor to get into the darn thing. A guest fell off a barstool, BIL fell off a bed, and my mother forgot to stay for photos and wandered off to the reception.
But the best trainwreck was the Bawling Bridesmaid. She had a crush on one of the groomsmen, and trash talked to him because he was flirting with another guest. Her boyfriend (yes, she had one) didn't take too kindly to that, and they got in an enormous, sobbing row in the hallway, by the bar, and on the dance floor…until he was eventually booted out and she was mollified a bit. (Though her first words were, “Why isn't <groomsman> paying more attention to me?”) They'd also bickered and left early from the rehearsal dinner, so I can't say I was surprised by any of it.
Though I seemed to have left out the most awesome part of all. The boyfriend? Also her boss.
What is it about weddings that turn people into loons?
Weirdest thing about my brotherâ€™s wedding was that they only did ONE family picture that included both sides of the families. They were against staged shots, yet they went out and did their own photo shoot for over an hour. They said we would have “candid shots” of the family together but there were none. I found that incredibly disappointing.
Also, I flew in for an engagement shower (from TX to GA), bought gifts and was in the wedding party and the only thing that was done for us was a handmade orange bracelet. No organized lunch, no hair, no mani pedis, just Jimmy Johns and champagne out of plastic cups an hour before the wedding. I would have gladly paid for my own hair and nails but the bride didn't include any of us. WEIRD.
My wedding went pretty smoothly, but my husband's crazy aunt just had to have her daughter in the wedding somehow (she really wanted her to be a bridesmaid even though she's about 10 years younger than me). So about five minutes before the ceremony, my MIL came to me and let me know that my husband's niece was going to be the flower girl (she was about 5 years too old to be a flower girl). She didn't have a dress that matched the bridesmaids' dresses, and it was too late to tell the live string quartet that a flower girl would now be part of the ceremony. So, she walked awkwardly down the aisle to no music. The best part, though, was when my husband's aunt came running into the room where my bridesmaids and I were waiting before the ceremony and told us that we had to do her daughter's hair. We all just sat there, staring at her, until she left.
Oh, I forgot one from my own wedding: My husband (or, I guess, his brother, who was technically the best man) forgot my ring. We had a ring warming ceremony, where the rings were supposed to be passed around for everyone to say a prayer or well-wishes. It wasn't until my sister (maid of honor) ended up with just my husband's ring in her hand that we all realized mine was in the trunk of the car. Whoops!
One of my husband's friends from college brought a Russian prostitute as his guest. She (and her backless – WAY DOWN backless) dress were very popular with our male guests.
I was a bridesmaid in my best friend's wedding recently and her sister was the MOH. Her sister and I spent a long time preparing a speech, which we gave together. The best man had forgotten to write a speech and was nervous so he didn't even realize he was insulting us when, directly after our obviously prepared speech, he stepped up to the microphone and started with a long rant about how he thought speeches shouldn't be written down and rehearsed because they should “be said from the heart.”
I also recently attended a wedding where the groom's uncle gave a speech where he lamented the divorce rate in the US and threatened the couple that they better still be together in 50 years.
No major glitches at our wedding… It was a garden ceremony on a beautiful October day. Just before the wedding party began to walk down the aisle, a hawk caught another bird, settled on the branch of a tree over the guests, and began to devour it's prey. I didn't learn about it until after the ceremony, but a few people thought we had planned for feathers to fall as part of the ambiance.
Story 1: the Mother-in-Law
My mother-in-law and father-in-law graciously offered to pay for the rehearsal dinner, and to plan it so I wouldn't have to worry about it. I agreed. My husband and I arrived a the rehearsal dinner, which was in a nice restaurant, and saw a long table with name cards out designating where everyone should sit. I saw my husband's name card in the center of the table- and he was flanked by his parents. I couldn't find mine, and then I realized that my name card, along with my mother's was at a separate table- a table for two, just her and I. We weren't at the table with any of the guests and we were so far away we wouldn't be able to carry on a conversation with the guests.
I calmly (think calm before the storm), informed my husband I was going to the bathroom. When I came back, if my mother-in-law hadn't rearranged the seating to put me at the table, I would be eating at a different restaurant. My husband came through and had resolved the issue so I was sitting next to him in the center of the table.
Story 2: Mother of the Bride
We got married close to where we live, but for convenience, we booked a block of rooms at a hotel right next to the reception site. The book of rooms were quickly claimed and paid for by various family members. I booked a suite for myself the night before the wedding. It had two separate bedrooms, a living room and a little dinning area. My older sister, who was my maid of honor, decided she didn't want to spend the money to stay in the hotel the night before the wedding, so she didn't book a room. We live in a popular tourist destination, so the rest of the hotel was sold out weeks before the wedding.
At the rehearsal dinner my sister got SMASHED. She literally could barely walk, let alone drive. Towards the end of the night I noticed she and her 5 year old daughter were no longer there. I asked my mom about it, and my mother informed me that she had sent my sister and her daughter to my hotel suite and instructed them to sleep in one bedroom. My mother then informed me she would take the other bedroom because she had to take care of my sister. When I asked where I was to sleep, she informed me that I could sleep on the couch in the living room, on the night before my wedding. She couldn't sleep on the couch because of her bad back, and my sister was too drunk to sleep on the couch, so I would have to.
Needless to say, I didn't want to cause a scene, so I simply drove myself home and slept at my house. I still paid for the hotel room- neither my sister nor my mother ever offered to pay for it.
CO Girl says:
My dad's family doesn't get along. The siblings all have issues with the fact that he left the small town they were born in and made something of himself. They barely speak and we weren't invited to any of their weddings or their children's weddings.
My husband and I opted to have a small wedding, 21 people at a resort in Colorado. It was a four day event for our closest friends and some family. Dad's fam, with the exception of my Great Gram who was always good to us, was not invited. On day two of the trip, the front desk called to let me know that they did not have rooms for my additional guests.
What guests? All four of my dad's sibs, their kids, their kids spouses and their kids kids and my grandparents. 24 people in all. I burst into tears.
My parents tried to talk to them, but they insisted on attending. After an hour of ranting and raving, the hotel security guard (yes, it actually came to that) escorted them from the property. The rest of the wedding went off without issue. About a week after the wedding, my dad got a manila envelope in the mail containing all of the receipts for the uninvited guests' gas, hotel and food. Almost $1,600. They expected him to cover it.
My husband was in a very awkward wedding we still talk about to this day. At the end of the ceremony after the bride and groom walked down the aisle together, the pastor got up and informed people that just because you were invited to the wedding, didn't mean you were invited to the reception. He told them if they didn't get a separate invite for the reception then to go home and enjoy the Cowboys game. Sadly, as this announcement was being made, the absent-minded photographer realized she “forgot” to take pictures of the bride and groom walking down the aisle, and sent them back in to walk down the aisle again. She sent them THREE times while several offended and confused people left the church over the reception announcement.
I feel like my scene-stealing, shrieking, sobbing bridesmaid got eclipsed pretty quickly. Well played, y'all. Well played.
grlnextdoor: Who does the invites separately? If you're close enough to someone that you want them to watch you vow for eternity to love one person, then why aren't they good enough to dance and eat cake with? And what chickens to make the pastor do it.
Belle – as a member of a wedding planning website (WeddingWire), I would see this pretty often. Brides will post the question: “Is it okay to not invite everyone from the ceremony to the reception?” because they want to save money. After all, actually feeding and slaking the thirst of your loved ones is a financial imposition and just too much of a hassle. I guess it's more important to buy that designer dress. *Related questions: “Can I have a cash bar so I can spend more on flowers?” “Does everyone at the reception have to have the same meal if that's going to be expensive?” and “Can I give out drink tickets so nobody has more than two drinks?”
The response, of course, is to only invite the guests you can afford to accommodate, in a gracious (but not necessarily lavish) manner. But some brides are so into the fantasy that they just don't care.
I've been really lucky that at the ripe age of 43, I haven't run into too many bizarre stories…
However, the one that does stand out was the bride who gave her bridesmaids spa gift certificates as gifts. She then set up a joint manicure session for all of the bridesmaids just prior to the wedding and expected the girls to use their gift certificates to get manicures with matching nail polish colors…to go with her wedding scheme.
And then, when one bridesmaid opted out due to an allergy to a polish ingredient, the bride went ballistic, crying, “not even for my WEDDING???” Days later, she flipped out at another bridesmaid who missed the wedding due to landing in the hospital with pregnancy toxemia.
It should surprise no one that the bride cut off contact with the two bridesmaids after the wedding, to no one's sadness.
As for my own wedding, Hurricane Isabel demolished the Bay area where we were getting married the week before and the power was off for half the state until we returned from our honeymoon. Trees were down, most of the power grid was in shambles, water sources were contaminated, OMG. I remember making calls and putting last minute touches together by candlelight.
We planned an entirely new reception in 48 hours: different venue (the only one available at that point, but a great place), new menu, etc. Our church was an old historic church that had never had electricity installed, so no change there. And the hotel where our guests were staying got power back three days prior to the event. We all pulled together and it worked out just fine.
It was insane, but we had so much fun after all. And I married one of the best men I've ever known:)
Wow. These are all great. Thanks,Belle.
A friend's wedding was in a church in the groom's hometown. He was Jewish, so not affiliated with the church. Instead, his rabbi and her priest were going to conduct a joint ceremony. Not only was it absolutely pouring rain, but the priest was late. Then the priest was REALLY late. Finally, after much waiting and concern, someone gave him a call. He'd gotten the date wrong. The wedding wasn't even on his radar for that day. The local priest pinch hit for the guy and my friend finally got married.
Not only was this the priest they'd been with for decades, but he was also a family friend who'd come round to dinner every week. I can't imagine how embarrassed he must have been.
In the late 80s, a good friend of mine, a Sikh, decided to marry a Mormon. At the wedding, she had 2 sets of bridesmaids, Indian and Mormon. Only the Mormons were actually allowed to attend the wedding ceremony. The Indian set, the bride's entire family, and the guests, including me, were only allowed to attend the reception. What pariahs we were! Nonetheless in traditional style, the bride's side paid for the wedding that they were not allowed to attend. We at least hoped that as a compensation the reception would feature decent Indian food. A couple of hundred of the Bride's family had flown in from India and Europe, wealthy highly sophisticated people. Imagine our shock when we got to the reception which was DRY and featured the most appallingly dull midwestern food-macaroni salad is one dish I recall, spam and such in large plastic bowls. God forbid the groom's side would have to expand their awareness by touching any spices. Tasteless,dull, and boring. The bride's father toasted the couple “in this delicious sparkling Apple Cider”. We were speechless. And after this the bride said-Oh I wont have to convert, its all just form. Well here the form was the unbelievably offensive substance. At the time I didnt feel I could take offence as I dont think any was meant, but I wonder.
For a brief period after college, I sold bridal gowns and had the opportunity to witness many a crazy bridezilla situation. My favorite one involved a bridal party with three bridesmaids. The bride insisted on a bubble gum pick bridesmaids dress, which the other three found hideous (full disclosure- it was a bad color choice for anyone over the age of 13). After much back and forth, the bridesmaids consented and agreed to order the dress. About two weeks later, the three came back to the shop to place the order only they were ordering a darker shade of pink instead of the original bubble gum color claiming that they had convinced the bride that the more rosy color was better suited for everyone involved. My job was not to ask questions so I went ahead and started to process the order. As luck would have it, the bride passed the store and saw her bridesmaids. It took her all of about 30 seconds to realize that they were ordering a different shade of the dress and flipped out. Needless to say it took a good 10-15 minutes to calm everyone down, the bride finally got her way, the bridesmaids made no secret as to how they felt about the situation and I swore that when I got married I would forgo bridesmaids all together. To this day, I wonder how they would have explained the color to the bride on the day of the wedding…
Elizabeth: They would have blamed it on you. Said the dresses were ordered wrong, but since it was probably too late to reorder, they should make the best of it. Then they would have hoped that the bride would just go along.
Maharani, What a fascinating (albeit sad) wedding. Do you know if the couple is still married?
Maharani – My best friend from growing up was Mormon, and I used to go to church events and such with her – but I'm far from an expert.
That sounds pretty typical for a Mormon wedding. The ceremony, or “sealing” is open to members of the church only. The sealing room is a sacred space in the church (where the couple is “sealed,” as in, linked for all eternity/will meet again in heaven). So you have to be a member in good standing to enter. So if you are not Mormon you will be invited to the reception only. Receptions themselves tend to be modest and not expensive/flashy.
Mormons also do not consume alcohol, and most Mormons I've known do not keep alcohol in their homes or serve it at events. (Caffeine is also generally verboten.) Wholesomeness/clean living is a big thing.
Overall, it sounds mostly like culture clash to me, vs bad manners. But I do think the groom's side could have been more accommodating of the bride's side – a few Indian dishes, maybe a small amount of alcohol if they weren't in a dry county. The unwillingness to embrace the bride's culture and beliefs is a big red flag. And I would have been grossed out by a bowl of Spam, too.
On a side note, the Jehovah's Witnesses put on a pretty good wedding – dry, yes, but the church bands together to provide music, good food, etc, and it's all very low key. My in-laws went to a Jehovah's Witness wedding a few years back and said it was one of the friendliest weddings ever, and the food was awesome. I'd love to check one out.
I find weddings fascinating – I'm going to my first Iranian wedding next month and can't wait.
@Shannon and KM,
I dont know if they are still married as about a year later we started drifting apart for a variety of reasons and never really got back in touch after that. Id be surprised if they were still married but you never know….Weirder things happen daily.
We were all offended as no guest would be treated that way at an Indian wedding-I do not care what Mormons believe or practice-frankly I think it is a load of rubbish-it was mean and insulting. Fine dont have alcohol-most HIndus dont drink either, but to me it was the whole lot together that was upsetting. We all felt we had gotten a slap in the face. It was shameful. A decent curry would have done those folks good…..I mean macaroni salad for God's sake. We did have dancing, but as you can guess I wasnt asked to dance by any Mormons either-I danced with the bride's uncle, a good looking wealthy Sikh obgyn from London. Witty too. I think a few of us snuck out and got a drink at the bar, but that was it-it was at a hotel. It takes the cake for the worst wedding ever. Sikh weddings, on the other hand, are among the most fun-they know how to have a good time tho I admit occasionally fisticuffs erupt-see Bend it like Beckham….. And theres a lot of eye candy- all those tall fine upstanding handsome Sikh gentlemen….. I like the Indian Air Force types. Jokes apart….
@Maharani – wow… terrible culture clash. Totally agree with you that the reception could have included some decent Indian food to accommodate the bride's guests. It is a slap to the face for the bride's guests to be treated so poorly, especially if no notice was given that they wouldn't be allowed to attend the actual ceremony and be served boring American food. I'd be upset too if one of my friends married someone who didn't accept our culture. Also, this makes me wonder if it they couldn't have done an Indian/Sikh version of the ceremony? For the Eastern-Asian/Caucasian weddings I've attended there's usually elements of both cultures and depending on religion of the couple, sometimes 2 officiants.
Honestly, Maharani, your posts makes you sound like a xenophobic snob.
You might think Mormon beliefs are a “load of rubbish” but I'm sure there are people who think Sikhs and Hindus are silly, too. And you seem to go back to the bride's family's wealth and sophistication over and over. Have some respect for faiths and cultures different from your own. And before you slap someone for not accepting your culture, please recognize that you did nothing to accept theirs. It reads to me that you spent the wedding glowering and waiting for someone to ask you to dance, or sneaking out for a drink, instead of trying to fit in or make the best of it. I'd also guess that might be why the bride drifted away…who wants to hang with the friend who stuck her nose in the air and sulked her way through such a big life event?
I agree that the bride's side could have been better accommodated, but wow. Just because something is different, that doesn't make it bad. I don't think I would have been thrilled to attend a dry wedding with macaroni salad and spam, but I'd at least try and talk to people who are different from myself and maybe learn a thing or two. Yikes.
I grew up in the poorer parts of flyover country, so I've been to the reception with homemade deli sandwiches and macaroni salad and punch,, as well as the fancy east coast $100k weddings and a few amaaaazing Indian weddings. So I get how different cultures celebrate.
But I still think the Mormon restriction of only Mormons at the actual ceremony potentially strikes a ugly note and it's up to the Mormon family and couple to mitigate. Either 1) exclude non-Mormons entirely – if they can't attend the ceremony, seriously, maybe you shouldn't bother, just send an announcement or 2) make sure the reception is welcoming and inclusive and celebratory – go out of your way for guests you EXCLUDED from the actual wedding or 3) throw a separate reception for the non-Mormon friends and family a few weeks later, with champagne and curry or whatever they'd normally expect after they'd flown in from overseas.
Forget the food, the fact that they didn't actively seek out and welcome and mix with the bride's family and friends is naaaasty.
Maharani, google for us. I'll bet they aren't married!
I'll tell my wedding horror story in another post.
I googled. They are still married!!!
Seriously? I'm surprised! I hope something changed…
So my story goes back to the 90s, before things got extravagant. In your twenties, it was lot to ask your friends to spend a thousand bucks on dresses, accessories, parties, gifts, to walk down the aisle in front of you and you were mindful of expenses and demands. At least my first three friends to get married were.
I'd become close to the fourth bride through the groom. Since it was local, I thought the cost would be nbd (no flights or hotels) and it would be fun helping her plan, right?
So the bridemaids were mostly new mothers or still in school, and pretty broke. The bride was just out of grad school and came from a very modest family, so you'd think sheâ€™d get the budget thing. In fact, the first time we all went to try on dresses, I drove the bride and her mom because their car had broken down.
The drive: Thirty minutes of trashing the bridesmaids over size 12. “X and Y REALLY need to lose at least 20 pounds before the wedding, or it will be completely disgusting” said the bridezilla. “Y needs to lose 30,” said the momzilla. “I don't know how we'll choose a dress that looks good on either of them at that weight.” So the tone was set.
Sometime between that day and getting everyone measured a few months later, it turned out one of the “fat” girls was pregnant.
Bridezilla: you KNOW we don't want pregnant bridesmaids!
Should the pregnant girl be uninvited? Big drama. She was due two months before the wedding, so they didnâ€™t. Still, they were offended that a baby was more important than being thin for zilla's wedding and took revenge at the fitting. The woman measuring us announced all numbers and momzilla repeated them, in case anyone hadnâ€™t heard, exclaiming at the pregnant girl's inches, and telling her she was gaining a lot of weight very early. Clerk announced she would have to pay more for a super plus sized dress and demanded to know if pregnant girl would be breastfeeding, because then sheâ€™d need a super plus PLUS sized dress. Pregnant girl stood her ground and ordered a size up from normal. Big noisy fuss.
I was next in the cross-hairs. Momzilla didn't like that I measured as a smaller size than another girl. How can that be? she asked the entire bridal store. Art is MUCH bigger than Cheryl! You should order a size up for Art! Long discussion. By that time, Momzilla's car was fixed so no doubt there was an “Art is a disgusting pig who is SO way bigger than Cheryl” discussion on the way home.
From then on, no one heard from the bride unless it was wedding-related, usually to ask for a check. Bridesmaids moved, graduated, gave birth. The bride didn't notice any of these things – not a phone call or a card or a 'how's the XX' when she called us wanting a check â€“ ASAP please! – for crinolines, hats, shoes, gloves.
When we planned the shower with Momzilla, new mom brought pix of her gorgeous baby. Momzilla countered with pictures of the BRIDE as a baby. At that point, I could only laugh.
Momzilla gave big shower so it would be fancy enough. The bride barely greeted most of us, but was visibly disappointed at the wedding party gift (we pooled our money and bought something off the registry.) She and Momzilla made a big deal out of the parental gifts, including a big check for the honeymoon, announcing the amount to everyone. Who does that? I noticed something else – other than bridesmaids, there was only one woman at the shower who was a friend of the bride. Everyone else was her parentsâ€™ age. Seven years of college and law school and the girl had one friend. Imagine my shock.
The wedding was a blast. Most of the bridesmaids had bonded over the horror of it all so we joked and toasted and danced all night. And we had a great secret: I got a double line the week before the wedding – so there was a pregnant bridesmaid after all.
Postscript – the marriage lasted a few years. I don't believe she ever remarried, but her ex-husband's second wife is the sweetest thing ever and treats her friends like gold, so I guess it ended well.
Well-the listings I saw are quite recent-they are both in the same business, so I think so, and like you, hope something changed-actually it was nice to see a photo of her after all this time.
Your story is interesting. I've been thinking a lot about the escalation in extravagance at weddings-I think it started well before the 90s. The weddings of contemporaries that I attended took place between about 1984 and 1990. I was myself a bridesmaid in 1986, a situation that almost bankrupted me, as at the time I was a postdoc making ~$20K/year. I had to buy a custom dress, a gift, and attend 2 bridal showers, providing a gift at each (thats THREE gifts) and the bride, though not a zilla, had a small moving van arrive to collect the gifts, which filled the van. Then wedding photos etc. It was a fun wedding, but if I had it to do again I would have said no and done something else with the money. I would say mid 80s was when it started, but the overproduction and fuss is fairly new. I wore an LBD at the Mormon-Sikh wedding reception and nobody seemed to mind-it was a very elegant dress. There was no dress stipulation on the invitations-that seems fairly recent. I understand most brides are not zillas, but this kind of thing has put me off weddings for good.
Man, these are some intense stories!
My horror story is much more recent; in fact, it happened yesterday. Zipper broke 20 minutes before the ceremony and had to be legitimately sewn into my dress. Wouldn't have been so bad if the dress hadn't been tight already, but with the sewing involved I looked like Coco from Coco and Ice-T (natural DDD's, quite unfortunate). Luckily the bride was a rockstar about it and got me a Xanax and a glass of wine while I was being sewn in – true friendship right there!
As we were waiting for the rehearsal dinner to start, the best man called and had flipped his car on the way to the area. He was about 2 hours away and the groom wanted to go down to help him. (Car totaled, best man not a scratch). The groom had to be convinced by several people that he could not leave but should send someone else. At the reception, the best man's speech was all about him and the groom. He didn't mention the bride once, not even at the end – he said “Congratulations, Groom.” The best man also brought a stripper as his guest. Classy.
The florist was terrible and the bride (totally not a bridezilla) came close to losing it as the thorns in her bouquet kept stabbing her. The bouquet looked like a three year old had made it by cutting roses from the back door garden. (She did joke she as her own flower girl because petals fell off walking down the aisle).
The couple isn't married anymore – I wonder if the groom and best man are!
I got my make-up done at a MAC store with one of my bridesmaids (who was going to do my makeup) a week before the wedding. I normally didn't wear makeup and didn't have much beyond mascara so I bought everything. I didn't open any of it, but packed it away to travel to the wedding site (where I grew up). Morning of the wedding – hair done, everyone getting ready and we open the packaging. They gave me the wrong color foundation. I am casper-white pale and the color of the foundation was better suited for someone much, much darker (think Nicole Kidman getting Halle Berry's make-up). God bless my bridesmaid, I don't know what she did, but she mixed and blended and no one could tell. But there were quite a few panic moments.
(After the honeymoon, MAC exchanged it and gave me a freebie as an apology.)
A friend of mine planned her wedding to be outdoors on a golf course in July, and I was one of her bridesmaids. When my mother asked her mother what their backup plan would be in case it rained, her mother's response was “We're just going to pray to God to give us beautiful weather that day.” Well, God blessed them with a torrential downpour that lasted for 6 hours. We had to call the local funeral parlor to ask them if they could loan us some tents and umbrellas. The entire bridal party and half of the guests squeezed into one funeral tent, and the other half of the guests squeezed into a pavilion about 20 yards away from where the ceremony was taking place. Everyone was standing in about 4 inches of water, and nobody could hear a thing due to the noise of the rain pounding on the tops of the tents. Best part? The groom's family was very religious so there was no alcohol at the wedding, and most of the guests were like, “To heck with this!” People cleared out as soon as they made it through the receiving line, and the only souls remaining an hour after the ceremony were the bridal party and the newly married couple's immediate family members. We all huddled inside of the pavilion, shivering and eating cake in our soaked gowns.
Always have a backup plan in case it rains.
I attended a wedding overseas where the Father of Bride said, in his speech to the new couple, that he knew they would last and hoped they would be “good c**ts to one another”. Shock. And. Awe. The bride handled it like the total trooper she has always been.