Weddings: a celebration of love in front of your nearest and dearest, all of whom are there to be happy for you (and to eat the food, all of the lovely food).
Except some wedding guests seem to also enjoy walking that fine line between appropriate and inappropriate. Getting kind of drunk at the pre-reception drinks because man cannot live on canapes alone? Tolerated. Getting so hammered you’ve been sick by 1pm and fallen into the cake? Not so much.
Ditto complaints about the catering, busting in on the first dance without invitation and turning up in Daz-worthy white telling anyone who’ll listen it’s definitely cream.
Above and beyond all these minor wedding niggles though must surely be the limelight-stealing, attention-hogging drama that is the wedding proposal: those who get so carried away on someone else’s big day that they can’t wait a moment longer to start planning their own and have to pop the question to their beloved there and then (with the benefit of a crowd of onlookers and possibly a professional photographer).
This guy though – this guy went the whole hog. And the internet had something to say about that.
Slate.com’s ‘Dear Prudence’ advice column sees Mallory Ortberg doling out advice to confused readers, and one letter, received during a live chat, has caught the attention of the online community, detailing as it does a mid-wedding proposal so colossal it should have had its own invite.
An unnamed woman describes how not only did her husband’s best man propose to his girlfriend mid-wedding, but he landed the double whammy of a pregnancy announcement. Not just mid-wedding, but mid-ceremony. In the actual middle of a wedding ceremony he himself was officiating.
Which, we’re sure you’ll agree, is a staggering tale.
In the letter, the writer describes how she and her husband had waited years to marry, having prioritised starting a family and making a home for themselves.
Having decided they wanted and could afford a “blowout wedding to celebrate our lives with everyone we know and love”, she says they asked best friend John to be the best man and the officiant.
She explains: “The setting was beautiful, everyone seemed happy, our families were overjoyed. My mom may have used the phrase ‘hallelujah’ a few dozen times. The entire atmosphere felt moving.
“So moving in fact that John stopped mid-ceremony to propose to his long-time girlfriend, ‘Jane,’ and reveal her pregnancy.”
And as you’d expect, she says the mid-vows bombshell did not exactly help the rest of the ceremony – or indeed the day – go as the bride had imagined, with the newly engaged couple becoming the “primary focus” of the guests.
“I couldn’t even hear the vows my husband wrote or the rest of the ceremony over the noise of Jane’s happy sobs, her very surprised family who were also guests, and people seated nearby congratulating her,” she says. “Even the videographer cut to her frequently during the ceremony, and you can’t hear anything over the chatter.
“When John gave his toast, he apologized for being caught up in the moment, and then proceeded to talk about he and Jane’s future with nary a mention of us.”
Of course, as this is an agony aunt column, there’s no way of verifying whether this is a genuine letter – it is extremely hard to believe that not only did someone believe this was appropriate, but that fellow guests allowed the focus to shift – but it has prompted a conversation about wedding etiquette, as well as a slew of inventive and often brutal suggestions for revenge.
The writer, revealing that her husband’s friends think he’s overreacted for not speaking to John since the wedding, asked if they were indeed “angry over nothing”.
The internet responded thus:
Nah, weddings cost a lot. For me to spend thousands on a wedding that I'm no longer the centre of attention of, you're mad. The disrespect. https://t.co/z4ijPOC2Kh— 🇧🇧E.T.'s Twin🇬🇩 (@Tiiaahhx) June 2, 2017
Someone who does that is not your best friend. If you can't let your friend have a day, you ain't their friend— Pusha C# Ph.D (@grisuy) June 2, 2017
And ideas for revenge were doled out. Many were baby-related:
I would actually give birth at their wedding. If I have to induce the labour, no problem. https://t.co/PiWAWmwDOQ— Ebose Oriarewo (@ebose__) June 2, 2017
When john and jane do their marriage ceremony, give birth.— mia 🍑 (@citystone_) June 4, 2017
oh hell naw, they need to have a revenge baby and announce it at their wedding. Be petty af. And then end the friendship. https://t.co/cruj5zUU41— Màymųna 🌹 (@CinamonSugarz) June 3, 2017
Others involved general mayhem:
They should go to John&Jane's wedding in their wedding dress&tux and bring some extra, uninvited guests. If they request "no kids" bring 5. pic.twitter.com/E2dKVqqY4g— ShePersisted!💪 (@coco_cana) June 4, 2017
Dude did this while OFFICIATING their wedding. I'd cancel their honeymoon reservations while they were mid-flight.— Amanda WallerPMP (@Floedezzy) June 3, 2017
I'd go to their wedding and be $40000 worth of petty. Giving caffeinated candy to the kids, pushing the wedding cake off the table...— Amanda WallerPMP (@Floedezzy) June 2, 2017
I'd act like everything is all good until their wedding. Arrive in a wedding dress, vomit on their cake, and knock over the wedding gifts.— Yvette 💕 (@onepear) June 4, 2017
Fake or no, we’re anxious for the follow-up letter.
Main image: iStock