19 Wedding Industry Insiders Share Their Most Horrifying Stories

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You’d think that working in the wedding industry would be kind of magical, right?

There’s all that love in the air, cake, confetti, and happiness!

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Well, it’s not always quite like that, apparently.

Even the most in-love couples can be difficult to work with at times. A recent AskReddit thread asked people who work in the wedding industry to share their own tales of weddings gone wrong. Their stories are pretty unbelievable.

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A not-so-precious moment.

  via Shutterstock  

My mom made wedding cakes for almost 20 years in the 1990s-2000s. For some ungodly reason, Precious Moments cake toppers were all the rage for a while. Unfortunately, they are made of ceramic and can be a bit heavy to place on top of stacked pastry. One time, Mom was mid-cake-setup when the mother of the bride (MOB) handed her a 5 lb. Precious Moments wedding car and told her it was their cake topper. Besides being heavy, it was also larger than the top tier of the cake. My mom flat-out told her, “No way. That thing is way too heavy; it will crush of top the cake.” She placed the car next to the cake and got a pretty spray of flowers from the florist to put on top instead. An hour later, she got a frantic call from the reception hall, because the cake fell, “all by itself.” Turns out, MOB waited until Mom left, placed the car topper on top of the cake, and left for the ceremony. The reception manager found the cake all over the floor shortly after.SmthgWicked

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Good guy groom.

I had a couple, and her mother come to see me by appointment to plan wedding music for their forthcoming church ceremony. Each time I’d demonstrate a potential processional on the organ, the bride and groom liked it, but the bride’s mother objected and asked to hear something different (when asked what her idea of “something different” might be, she had no ideas). The situation got more and more tense as the groom and bride’s mother argued. Finally, the mother said, “Listen – I’m paying for this wedding, and you’ll do it MY way, and that’s the end of it!” In an effort to bring harmony, I said to the mother, “It’s the couple’s wedding, not yours or mine. Let them make the choices they like, and I’ll provide music at no charge, so the question of who’s paying for it is no longer a factor.” That solved the problem instantly. But the groom left glaring at his future mother-in-law, probably wondering what he was getting into for the long term. (To my surprise, the best man came to see me at the organ on the day of the ceremony and gave me an envelope containing double the normal amount.)Back2Bach

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Sounds like the most awkward party ever.

I think my friend’s wedding was probably her wedding planner’s horror story. Over an hour into the meeting, the groom-to-be still hasn’t shown up. The bride called him up all pissed and yelled, “If this is your attitude to our wedding planning, maybe we shouldn’t get married!” The groom yelled, “You’re right! Cancel the wedding!” It wasn’t a joke. They actually broke up. Only a bunch of deposits had been paid, and it was split almost 50/50 by both families. Apparently, they couldn’t agree on who needed to pay who back, and neither wanted to back down, so both families decided they’d both have a party instead of a wedding instead. The wedding planner ended up planning 2 separate “Christmas parties” for 2 feuding families, in the same ballroom. People showed up out of morbid curiosity, and apparently, it was awkward as f–k.eraser_dust

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This wedding planner deserves all the side-eye.

For my cousin’s wedding, everyone had a role. I was a scripture reader, my little sister and cousin were in charge of handing out the programs. Cool right? Until, the wedding planner ran up to the girls minutes before guests arrived and ripped the programs out of their hands, chastising them for not standing outside to greet the guests. It was 98 degrees outside, a mild spring day for Texas. The bride had to come away from photos to tell her own wedding planner to fuck off and leave the church for making the girls cry.  We later found out that the planner was only there at the mother of the bride’s insistence, and the bride just planned everything herself while her mom and the planner would get drunk at brunch “planning” the wedding. The girls were fine, and the wedding went off without a hitch.socksandpoptarts This next wedding was a very casual affair.

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Didn’t see that one coming.

Officiant here. Sat with a couple to talk about their ceremony. They asked for the barest of bare bones, 5 min or less package. Welp, OK I guess. Show up, knowing the ceremony was casual and poolside in their backyard. Didn’t realize it was in swimsuits. Ok, cool, sure. Hottest day in Phoenix, so we all appreciated the shortest ceremony ever. Get a call Monday from a family member that bride and groom broke up, he had been cheating. Right as I dropped the license in the mail. So, if you’re ever cheating on someone and don’t plan on staying married after the air comes out of the floaties, just ask your officiant to be a bro and not mail the thing, that way you’re only out $75 and not the cost of an actual divorce.goodsnusnu

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This could have ended so much worse.

I’m a “day of event” coordinator, so I’m not part of the arrangements; I only handle the details to make sure everything goes smoothly. This was one of the rare times it didn’t. Once the ceremony started, I headed over to the reception hall to oversee the setup, only to find out that the couple paid the deposit, but never paid the balance — about half of the total cost (about $30k). The catering hall was refusing to hold the reception until they got their money in cash (no personal checks allowed). When the couple arrived, the groom, the brother, and my lead coordinator met with the manager, and they basically offered their money box, along with whatever payment they were able to round up to hold as ransom until they made the payment. The reception went on as planned, and once everything was set, I broke my work rule and had a strong drink.ec1722

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Sounds like a party!

Mother of the bride was noticeably drunk (like leaning over to one side drunk) and noisy during the ceremony. The stepmother of the bride was in a snit. The father of the bride was being his typical spineless self. The bride, groom, and wedding party were all chain-smoking and drinking natural light beer before, during, and after the ceremony, and most of them were a lovely shade of orange from the fake tans. The officiant showed up in a t-shirt and sweatpants. There wasn’t enough food for the guests, not even enough for everyone to get a bite of something. Arguments broke out all over, between all members of the bride’s family. If there had actually been dinner, it would have been a great “dinner and a show” thing.kc-fan

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As long as you got paid!

I was running the soundboard for a wedding at my church. The bride and her party were an hour and a half late with no explanation, the music they provided was low quality, the ring bearer lost the rings, the main musician insisted they control the mic power from the headset receiver but forgot to turn it on a lot, etc. I got paid very well though, so I’m not complaining.OfficialSandwichMan

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The officiant left them hanging!

I’m a member of a string quartet booked to play the wedding & reception afterward. The person who was going to officiate was a rabbi who was also a professor of the bride and groom. He never showed up for the wedding. So our quartet was asked to keep playing while the couple desperately tried to find a last-minute justice of the peace to perform the ceremony. We played for hours and were invited to eat the food offered to the guests. In the end, the couple found someone to perform the ceremony. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for them to see their professor the next day.gardano Mother Nature apparently had a problem with this next wedding.

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This sounds kind of terrifying.

I’m a professional violinist, and I’ve seen some things. My first college gig was a wedding that was supposed to be in a beautiful sunny garden, but being in the Deep South, guess what? There were actually tornadoes that day instead. The families decided to go on with the wedding, so they had the wedding under the reception tent instead and moved the actual reception indoors.  Things were going OK until near the end of the ceremony when weather sirens went off. We didn’t get hit by a tornado, but the rain and wind that eventually came in made it so that it was even hitting us under the tent. We obviously couldn’t couldn’t play for the recessional and had to run a short distance inside to pack the instruments up rather than risk staying outside and getting the instruments soaked. The wedding was completed outside ASAP, and everyone made a beeline for indoors as fast as possible once it was over! The bride was laughing thankfully, but everyone was wet and worried about tornadoes, and it was just such a crazy day.dead_until_coffee

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Thank goodness you were there!

I just started working for a catering company that does a lot of weddings. I’ve been here almost a month, and I already have like, four stories about weddings. Most recently was a wedding planner who charged some 5k for a wedding and then almost ruined it. She had told the couple the venue would provide glassware for the bar. The venue did not.  We had to scramble to find glassware for them. The couple had asked her to place handmade, customized napkins the wedding party had finished the night before the wedding. They gave her explicit instructions as to where these napkins were. The coordinator forgot them, and when she realized she didn’t have them, she told the bride she couldn’t find them. This caused the bride to cry. She later told our coordinator that she had seen them but that couple “hadn’t paid her enough” to set out napkins. She went on to refuse to carry and fix a number of decorations, leaving our crew to scramble to do it. The wedding did go off without a hitch but only because our coordinator went above and beyond to make sure it did.royallyred

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She did WHAT?!

I was catering for a wedding. The bride’s mother brought in shrimp and ate it.  She was allergic to it and had to have an ambulance take her to the hospital. Turns out, the mother didn’t want a white Australian for a son-in-law and tried to kill herself in protest.illogicalfuturity

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This sounds like a nightmare.

The bridal room flooded with the bathroom’s septic water while the party was out getting hair and makeup done. The dress was ruined.theresamoonoutthere

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Sounds like a bridesmaidzilla.

Our wedding coordinator told me the most horrific story involving a jealous bridesmaid who tried to sabotage the wedding multiple times. She pretended to faint when the vows were being exchanged after bragging earlier to someone that she was going to do just that and cause a scene. She also did another fake faint as the bride was leaving the church and caused a domino effect of falling bridesmaids — luckily the bride and groom got away OK. Things got super f–ked at the reception when she was seen by the coordinator taking a dead rat out of a plastic bag and attempting to place it by the food. Luckily, she caught her and was told to leave or the police would be called.thenetraven If you’re not cringing yet, you definitely will be after this next story.

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Yiiiiikes.

I catered weddings for a long time. At one wedding, the couple apparently decided to have a fun routine as their first dance. Neither of them was very coordinated. The two of them go up to the front of the room and tried to do a dance that — even if performed well — would have been the cringiest thing I have ever seen. The bride kind of knew what moves and what song was next, but the groom had absolutely no idea. He would just start doing whatever she was doing .5 seconds after she did it. It was the most uncomfortable I have ever been in my life. Afterward, no one clapped. They all just looked around as if they were unsure if they all saw the same thing.MajMadDog

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What a waste.

My mother’s friend is a florist and makes the flower arrangements for a lot of weddings. Anyway, for this wedding, the bride wanted flowers on the chairs (not very smart because they would eventually get crushed, and/or ruin someone’s clothes), and each chair with flowers cost about 75€, and there were about 300-400 guests. Plus, there were all the other flowers arrangements for the tables, and around the venue, so the bride’s mother spent about 20k€ on flowers alone. I can’t even imagine how much the whole thing cost. Anyway, the wedding day went by uneventful, until the bride and groom were on their honeymoon. The bride received a call from her ex-boyfriend, they made up, and she left her husband and went to live with her ex. Apparently, the mother had a nervous breakdown.lehmoney

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This wedding was like a runaway train.

Bride and groom decided to get married in an old boutique hotel/theater. The coordinator failed so hard on the wedding from the very beginning.  The wedding was set for 3:00 pm and the coordinator had the audacity to hold the wedding party back until 3:45 to account for stragglers and to be “fashionably late.” Being in an old 1800s building, let’s just say the lighting isn’t the greatest. I think a candle would have put out more shadows than the lights in the room. This was compounded by the fact that the only windows in this theater were on the south-facing side of the building, which was where the audience was facing. You literally could not see the wedding party. Because the coordinator delayed the ceremony for so long, the daily 4 pm train came whistling through as the bride and groom were saying their vows.Blitziel

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Maybe it was nerves?

This happened at a wedding reception that took place where I used to work: Bride and groom were fighting when they arrived for the reception, the groom starts chugging back wine and passed out before he could make a speech and had to be carried out by his groomsmen.ihatepeasoup

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That song doesn’t mean what you think it means.

I was asked to DJ a friends wedding. I asked what songs had to be played and 3 of their top 10 were not about what they thought they were. While they were romantic and popular songs, they were about heartache and breakup. So the bride, being the cool girl she is, said: “wouldn’t it be awesome to just do songs that people love but are all about breakups and see if anyone catches on?” So that is how their wedding playlist is going to go. The wedding is in three weeks.thegauntlet Share this with someone who’s getting married soon!

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