Marla Cooper

Wedding Horror Stories

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.)

IMG_1482Weather 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!”)

Unknown.jpegPeople 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!


23 thoughts on “Wedding Horror Stories

  1. We got married on April 9th. I was what they call in the business a “hiatus bride,” meaning my wedding took place during the hiatus between TV show seasons. The location’s wedding plan assured me that it had NEVER rained in April. Guess what I woke up to? And guess who was having an outdoor wedding? I adore rain – it’s my favorite thing in the world… except for that day. I literally stood in the street shaking my fist at the clouds screaming, STOP RAINING!! Someone must’ve heard me because it did stop in time for our event. The grass was soaking, though, ruining the heels on a lot of guests’ shoes.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Nothing happened on my wedding day, but my best friend (for whom I was maid of honor) got married in a tent on top of a hill. Yep, torrential downpour an hour before the ceremony. Guests had to be trucked to the top of the hill in a 4×4. And I saved many a dress with a packet of baby wipes that day!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I forgot John’s wedding ring! I realized it just moments before the wedding and used my brother-in-law’s band during the ceremony. John raised his eyebrows when I slipped it on his hand and it didn’t fit. (He knew it wasn’t his.) My cousin’s husband missed the ceremony and drove 20 miles to my mom’s house to retrieve John’s actual ring. So we had the right one for the photos — and most people were none the wiser!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hmm. Marla has my groomzilla stories. But…
    Did I tell you about the bakery breaking the wedding topper and not telling us? Instead of a waltz, they were doing the twist.
    Did I mention the laughing bride walking around the reception with the dirty cake knife? He placed his flute of champagne next to the cake when it was time to cut it. I told him to move it else he’d knock it over. He didn’t listen; after all, I was just the bride. Guess what was knocked over and broke when the cake was cut?
    Or what about the bride laughing during the vows? It wasn’t the MOB crying, or The Godfather (knickname for daddy, but that’s another story) giving the groom the evil eye. The groom was crying during the vows. I couldn’t help myself!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I friend of mine planned on outdoor wedding, and it rained. We all went outside to the venue anyway, and then they brought us back in to the back up location, which was very nice as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my goodness, where do I start. With the future husband that come home rolling drunk, as white as a sheet, and had to be placed in the bathtub the night before? With the sherry that my nana gave me to calm my nerves that I spilled on my dress?. With the fact that the wrong name was on the wedding certificate, making me glad that I got married in the courthouse so the paper work could be changed or else it wouldn’t have been legal?. Or the fact that my sister wasn’t organised, so I ended up blowaving her hair, even though I was in my wedding gown and makeup already. All true! Should have eloped like I wanted to in the first place. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. At a friend’s wedding: So all the bridesmaids climbed into the limo and sat on the seats…which had, unbeknownst to us, champagne recently spilled onto them. Which stained our fancy, dry-clean-only dresses. On our seat area. Right before we walked down the aisle.


    Liked by 1 person

  8. My daughter is getting married next month so this was a very scary post to read, Marla! When my oldest daughter got married in a formal-ish ceremony on Nantucket, one of the teen bridesmaids left her dress (and shoes) back in Boston. That was fun. (She wore my daughter’s dress from the rehearsal dinner the night before…with flip-flops! Thought her great-grandma was going to faint.


    • I wonder how they get people to sign on to be a Bridezilla. “We’re filming a reality show and it’s going to make you look really bad. You game?” Clearly I need to do more research (by binge watching it).


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