When you’re planning a wedding, nothing is supposed to go wrong. But when you’re writing a mystery series about a professional wedding planner, you want everything to go wrong.
In addition to scouring Pinterest for wedding inspiration, I’ve spent my fair share of time Googling “wedding horror stories” just for fun—errrr, I mean, research. And I’ve noticed that there are some common threads:
Minor details. Every bride has those little things that go wrong that they can laugh about later. Things like the margarita machine not showing up. (This happened to me.) Or a typo in the wedding program advising the couple to “love on another.” (This may or may not have really happened to a friend of mine, and I may or may not have been the person who made the typo. Thank God they’re still married and did not, in fact, love on another.)
Weather and natural disasters. They always say it’s good luck if it rains on your wedding day — which I think is something they made up a long time ago to make brides feel better when it rains on their wedding day. So it must be really good luck if the entire wedding party ends up crammed into a root cellar and covered in mud because the torrential downpour turned into a tornado. (One day I might give one of my fictional couples the good fortune that can only occur when a swarm of bees descends on their wedding.)
Wardrobe malfunctions. These happen a lot. The bride steps into her $3,200 wedding dress only to find that it has mysteriously “shrunk.” A flower girl spills her Capri Sun island fruit pouch down the front of her dress with minutes left to spare. An out-of-town bridesmaid shows up with the wrong dress and doesn’t match the rest of the wedding party. (“That’s not maroon, Sarabeth, it’s clearly crimson, and that kind of idiocy is exactly why Josh left you! Thanks for ruining my special day!”)
People problems. Pinterest never shows the couple who tries to upstage the bride and groom by announcing their own engagement, the groomsman who punched the best man for sleeping with his girlfriend, or the loud-mouthed uncle who finally has the opportunity to get a long-standing grievance off his chest. And what wedding would be complete without someone getting drunk and taking over the mic to make a slurry speech before locking themselves in the bathroom for the rest of the night?
Production values. The tablecloths don’t show up and you have to send a bridesmaid to Target to buy last-minute replacements. The air conditioning goes out and the melted frosting slides off the cake. And of course, anyone who’s ever seen America’s Funniest Home Videos has seen proof that this really happens: the bride’s dress catches on fire.
In real life, of course, I’d be horrified for the bride if any of these things actually happened. But you’d better believe I’d be scribbling down the details as quickly as possible. And I’m sure I’d jump in to help—as soon as I snapped a few photos for my Pinterest board.
So, readers, what about you? Was your wedding day perfect? Or do you have a story to make my day? Let’s all bond over mishap in the comments below!