Trust us: every single one of these wedding guest horror stories makes EastEnders look like a Disney fairy-tale.
Wedding season is upon us, and with it comes a whole lot of drama. Yes, we know: in theory, weddings are supposed to be celebrations of love and sublimely happy occasions for all involved. In reality, though, these highly-pressured occasions are a whirling mix of family politics, dodgy food and too much alcohol – all of which, when combined, usually end in disaster.
From the bride who banned her friend from acknowledging her own pregnancy on the big day, to the bridesmaid who got FIRED for refusing to gain weight, there are plenty of ways that weddings can spiral out of control. Throw in the extortionate cost of being a wedding guest, and it quickly becomes apparent that wedding season can be a draining time of year, physically, emotionally and financially.
Thankfully, though, no woebegone wedding guest stands alone. And so, to remind you of this fact, we’ve rounded up some of the most disastrous (and hilarious) wedding guest stories around, in a bid to help you smile through the pain. After all, there’s nothing that’s quite so cheering as knowing that someone else has it worse than you, eh?
The one with the escaped falcon
“The phrase ‘never work with children or animals’ is thrown around a lot, and often unfairly – I’ve met some very wonderful dogs in my lifetime (and a handful of acceptable toddlers, too). However, I went to one wedding which should absolutely have taken this advice on board.
Set in a castle in the middle of nowhere, the bride and groom decided to keep their entertainment as thematic as possible with a falconry display. The torrential rains outside, though, meant that it became an indoor falconry display – surely always a recipe for disaster, in my deeply non-expert opinion. Together, me and my fellow wedding guests gathered in the medieval kitchen, eyes fixed on the tiny eldritch woman standing before us. Or, more precisely, the enormous bird of prey perched on her arm.
’This is Erotica,’ she told us, nuzzling her nose into the feathery face of her unwilling companion and peppering his beak with wet, slobbery kisses. ‘He’s my baby.’
The tension was palpable as she lifted her arm upwards and informed us that Erotica was her ‘best-behaved baby’ – before Erotica, a bird with big dreams of escape, attempted to do just that. He flapped his wings furiously as he did his best to soar out of an open window, only to be tugged back down by the tiny chain clipped to his foot.
’He doesn’t usually…’ began the falconer, reeling the big bird of prey in like a fish on a line. At that point, though, Erotica decided he gave zero fucks about wedding etiquette and made for a second escape attempt. Again, it proved futile. In silence, we watched as the bird struggled to break free (’he loves me really,’ his mistress reassured us). As one, we gasped as Erotica realised how helpless his situation was and stopped flying – only to drop to the floor like a stone. And many of us turned away as the falconer coaxed him off the floor and back onto her leather armguard.
Eventually, Erotica was bundled out of the room and replaced with a well-mannered owl… but not before he did a shit on a very expensive cream dress. Turns out, he’s more of an outdoorsy bird than an indoorsy one – and, thankfully, he’s far happier now his overbearing mother has realised that.”
The one with all the vomit
“Halfway through a friend’s wedding reception, just after the dinner, I started to feel really queasy. I was staying a few miles away, and we were in the middle of nowhere, relatively speaking, so the only thing I could do was ask one of my friends for the key to her room in the B&B next door.
As soon as I got in there, I felt so unwell I couldn’t bear to have any clothes on so I peeled off my dress and stood in the bathroom, totally naked except for a pair of Spanx, and proceeded to throw up for about half an hour. The worst bit? I had no signal on my phone and no way of getting back to the sanctuary of my hotel, so I had to put my dress and heels back on, go back to the reception, and pretend I was fine for about three hours. Good times.”
The one about the legend that is Doris
“At my cousin’s wedding, I was sat on a table with my immediate family and one particularly elderly relative – let’s call her Doris – who we had been entrusted to look after. Halfway through the meal, my mum rather exaggeratedly leant across the table, knocking an entire bottle of red wine all over the old lady in the process – drenching her face, blouse and entire lavender suit.
All my mum could do was stare and laugh manically and say “oh my god, it’s all over her, it’s literally all over her”. Doris was pretty chill about it until the catering staff, who had plunged the suit jacket into a bucket of white wine, gave it back to her in a sopping plastic bag at the end of the night. She thought someone had taken it away to be dry cleaned.”
The one that sounds like workings of a horrific, archaic gentleman’s club
“I got slut shamed at a wedding by the groom, who, incidentally, I’d never met prior to that day (he was my boyfriend’s boss). I ‘won’ the competition for wearing the shortest dress (it wasn’t even that short) and was made to walk to the front of the room during the speeches.
“The groom tried to make out afterwards that it was just ‘banter’ but I was humiliated. Suffice to say I never saw him again.”
The one that will make your inner awkward teenager cringe
“I was a bridesmaid for my cousin around age 16 and, months before the wedding, I had this awful bright pink, strapless dress fitted whilst I was wearing a normal thin t-shirt bra. On the day of the wedding, though, I only had a strapless bra that was a bit more supported than the one I was fitted with… and it was noticeably bright blue and covered in love hearts.
I got to the church but literally couldn’t breath as the dress was SO tight around my chest. I managed to get my mum’s attention on the way to the reception, and she ran over to the top table and undid the bra and slipped it off into her handbag, somewhat unnoticed, and went and sat down at her table. The groom during his speech was talking about all the people that couldn’t be with us that day and everyone started to get quite emotional, during this time a small bored child walking around noticed the bra slightly hanging out of mum’s handbag, grabbed it and ran, waving it in the air above his head.
As you can imagine, my mum hadn’t noticed as she was fully tuned in and listening to the groom, and like most guests, shedding a tear. People then started to notice the child and at that point my desperate waving and pointing to get my mum’s attention went completely unnoticed UNITL the child started shouting ‘ooooooh I’ve got a booby bra!!!’ and running away from all the wedding guests trying to chase him and laughing hysterically.
Of course, all the wedding guests all thought it was hilarious… apart from the grannies, that is. They did not find it funny, especially as the only explanation my mum could give (so she didn’t look like a weirdo with a bright blue bra in her bag) was to tell everyone it was mine, the bridesmaid.
16 year old me has genuinely never got over the embarrassment…”
The one with the misogynist speech
“I was at a wedding where the father of the groom gave a drunken speech and made a joke about sex before marriage and how there was no way the bride was ‘pure.’ EW.”
The one where we toasted with wheatgrass laced green smoothies
“I went to a dry wedding once which is a mistake that I’ll never repeat again. It’s not that I am reliant on alcohol in all social circumstances but, you know, it doesn’t hurt, does it?
Anyway, the wedding was dry, something that wasn’t communicated to the guests beforehand. And it wasn’t dry for a valid religious reason, it was dry because the bride doesn’t like to drink so she felt that since it was her big day no one else should either. I think this is coming off as a bit bitter, but did I mention the wedding was dry?
Water, water everywhere, but not a drop of booze to drink. Some clever, enterprising friends of the bride and groom from school had smuggled in alcohol in hip flasks wedged inside their tiny clutch bags, but alas I was not sat on their table. I was over with the bride’s work friends feeling stupid for not thinking of sneaking in my own tipple.
Then came the toast. Rejoice! Finally, we’d get a glass of bubbles to celebrate the happy couple.
’Please make your way over the smoothie bar,’ the bride said benevolently. ‘We have an assortment of green vegetables and wheatgrass for you to make a smoothie for our special toast.’
What can I say? The year was 2011 and wheatgrass was having a moment. Do you know what wheatgrass tastes like? Especially in a green smoothie used to toast a bride and groom? Despair. That’s what it tastes like.”
The one with the risqué demonstration
“I was at an extremely posh wedding. As in, the bride’s father was a Lord and the wedding was in a marquee in the grounds of their house/mansion. It was the most Four Weddings-wedding I have ever been too, and I got very drunk. Later in the evening I was enthusiastically demonstrating a handjob technique using the neck of a wine bottle, only to see said aristo father and an uncle watching me with bemused horror from a few feet away…
Yup. Screaming class anxiety is alive and well in modern Britain.”
The one that will go down in history as the biggest defacing of a wedding venue
“A family member got so drunk at the reception, which too place in the same hotel where we were all spending the night, that he couldn’t find the toilet in his room. So he did what any enterprising young man would do, and… yeah, he took a shit in a drawer. A very expensive, vintage-style chest of drawers.
The staff at the hotel weren’t so understanding when they found the drawer in the bath the next day…”
The one with the creepy-as-hell best man
“The speeches are always an interesting part of any wedding, but the worst speech I ever heard was from a best man who thought it was appropriate to make lewd, uncomfortably sexual comments about the maid of honour. This would be bad taste in any instance, but what makes this example so much worse is that the best man didn’t know the maid of honour – at all. In fact, he’d never even met her before the wedding day, and hadn’t even spoken to her. Yet, in a room full of parents he thought it was entirely normal to talk about ‘what he was going to do to her later.’ Not only was I, and pretty much every other woman in the room horrified, but the maid of honour’s face of thunder showed how unimpressed she was.”
The one that was a little bit tight
“As a kid I was asked to be a bridesmaid at a family friend’s wedding, which I can only describe as… hmm, thrifty? I was told to keep the tag in my bridesmaid dress under all circumstances and take it off before eating, and the ‘official’ wedding pictures were taken by the flowerbeds in a local park – which a man on a lawnmower promptly chased us all out of. I’m all for saving a bit of cash, but come on lads.”
The one where the bride forgot to book the cars
“One of my friends got married in the middle of summer at a beautiful, beachside location. It was a gorgeous day, sunlight simply everywhere, and we all arrived ready for a good time. But soon, an hour passed and people began to get worried. The groom, standing up at the floral wreath at the end of the makeshift aisle was sweating profusely. Where was the bride? Had she done a runner?
In fact, it turned out that amidst all the copious organising involved in getting married the bride had completely forgotten to book the wedding cars. Her and her father and bridesmaids waited out the front of their hotel for a good half an hour before she realised her mistake.
And so it was that, more than an hour after the ceremony was due to commence, a Toyota Prius came zooming down the road to deposit bride and her bridal party at her wedding, blasting Mendelssohn’s Wedding March as he came round the corner. Five stars!”
The one where absolutely everything was just so weird
“I went to a wedding where the groom and best man’s speeches lasted for well over two hours and neither mentioned the bride once. There were no other speeches. There was a dry bar throughout. The ceremony itself had lasted over three hours prior to this. The groom did an a cappella song when they exchanged rings.
The photos were taken at a memorial to a disaster that had killed over a hundred children. The reception was in a gym, with a basketball net hanging right above the top table. I met quite a few guests that had flown over from America just for the wedding, but had never met the bride or groom until that day. There was constant heckling from some heroin-dependent guests, whom the groom had met at a shelter where he volunteered.
And, potentially the weirdest part, was that a colleague of mine was sat with a couple he did not know at the reception dinner and the fellow guest introduced himself as my colleague: with his name, profession, and where he worked. He was pretending to be him. My colleague pointed out that he was in fact, the very same person, at which point the guy turned to his date/guest, said ‘we’re leaving’, before calmly walking out.”