Every bride dreams of the picture-perfect big day. But for every dream wedding, there's a nightmare. From wasted guests to philandering grooms, we gathered some of the wildest wedding horror stories from women across the U.S. And you thought your in-laws were bad!
“My wedding is in a week and a half, and the last several months my mother-in-law-to-be can't stop comparing everything to my fiancé’s first wedding with his ex-wife! She insisted I get fake flowers because that is what the ex used, that I get my cake from this bakery because it's what the ex used, that the ex would never send out just one wedding invitation per guest. It's been infuriating!” — Stephanie, 29, Salt Lake City, Utah
“I was asked to be a bridesmaid by my boyfriend’s best friend's fiancé. The bride merely asked me to be a 'filler' — she needed one more woman to even out the parties and she was very particular about the weight of her bridesmaids. I couldn’t go more than two days in the entire year before the wedding without hearing from the bride. If we didn’t respond to her immediately, it was followed by a text and then a call! She got into a fight with the church because of the lighting, yelled at the florist because the flowers didn’t match the dresses and she even fired one of the bridesmaids for putting on too much weight before the wedding! She got her picture-perfect wedding, all right, but I can’t imagine what kind of marriage it will be.” — Gabby, 24, Savannah, Georgia
“My career as a hair and makeup artist has given me a lot of crazy wedding horror stories. Once, a friend of a friend asked me to travel two hours to a location. I arrived and everyone was pretty stressed out. I began working on the bridesmaids, who started acting stranger and stranger. Trying to get those girls ready was like wrangling cats! Apparently, one of them had stolen a bottle of liquor from the bar and they were all getting trashed. One of the bridesmaids stunk up the bathroom so bad. Lucky for me, the wedding was postponed by two hours because the father of the bride put on the wrong suit and someone forgot grandma at home! When all was said and done, I didn't even get a tip." — Chisti, 34, Phoenix, Arizona
“I'm a baker and once had a groom cancel on his bride the week before the wedding. His parents essentially didn't want their son marrying this girl and adamantly refused to pay any of the vendors, even after they were already booked. All the vendors lost out on final payments as both parents just stopped returning big calls and emails. Shameful.” — Karen, Owner, Sweet Lulu's Bakery in Charleston, South Carolina
“I was a guest at a friend’s wedding, whose groom I'd only met once before the wedding. It only took one meeting to know that it would be really hard for him to stay committed to any woman. Towards the end of the reception and dozens of drinks later, the groom was missing. He was later found by a bridesmaid in the bathroom getting it on with another female guest! Apparently, he had cheated on my friend a few times, but we only found out after she decided to file for divorce — a mere month after their wedding day.” — Chesla, 41, Minneapolis, Minnesota
“I'm a wedding planner, and I received a distressed phone call from one of my brides on her big day, moments before she was to leave for her ceremony. One of the bridesmaid's custom gown had completely ripped open at the zipper, exposing all of her delicate bits. Fortunately, a member of the bride's family was a seamstress and was able to sew the bridesmaid into the dress faster than the time it took for the dress shop owner to arrive on-site. The bridesmaid was able to walk down the aisle with the rest of the girls and no one was the wiser.” — Annmarie, 31, Event and Wedding Planner, Toronto, Canada
“I was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding, which took place in Kansas City in May — peak tornado season in the Midwest. The day of the wedding was ripe for storms and forecasters had our area in a tornado watch zone all day. About an hour before the wedding started, tornado sirens started blaring! The bridal party had to take shelter underground in her house for nearly an hour. We lost power and there was no cell service, so we couldn’t call the groom or anyone to figure out what was going on. Luckily, the tornado touched down outside of town and the wedding went on about three hours later.” — Tina, 38, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
“The plans for my wedding day were to meet at the church at 2:30 p.m., get my makeup done and prepare for a 5 p.m. wedding. Instead, at 9 a.m., the doorbell rang and there were 12 members of the groom’s family expecting to be fed and entertained. What? My fiancé and I lived together and he forgot to tell me that the custom in his country is to show up at the groom’s house first thing and spend the day bonding and partying before heading to the church caravan-style! More and more people kept arriving until there were 40 people sitting in the backyard — with only eight chairs. His family rooted through my cupboards and cooked food for themselves and the guests cleared out the pantry, refrigerator and freezer!” — Mindy, 29, Los Angeles, California
“A college friend had her wedding recorded for the TV show A Wedding Story, and the behind-the-scenes filming created an absolute nightmare. The church's altar was crowded with production equipment, leaving little room for the clergy or wedding party. The pastor opened the ceremony by stating that while he was there to marry the bride and groom, he would much rather have been marrying off the television production crew. Following the ceremony, the crew became the center of attention, blocking guests to capture footage of the bride and groom and bridal party. Post-reception antics were the worst part of the evening, as a member of the production crew began pursuing one of the bridesmaids who was in attendance with her boyfriend. A scuffle ensued between the two men outside the reception venue, resulting in a punch thrown and a celebration scarred.” — Beth Ann, 40s, Pennsylvania
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