My father needed to be at the county clerk’s office in beautiful South Bend, Indiana by 4 p.m. to pick up his marriage license. The only problem — he had forgotten the pearl necklace he was giving my mom as a wedding present. After doubling back to Chicago for the necklace, he tried to make up for the lost time by “pushing” the 55-mph speed limit. Sure enough, 30 miles from South Bend, a state trooper pulled him over. Explaining his “dire” situation, the officer returned with a written warning saying, “Here’s a wedding present from the State of Indiana. Drive safely.” At 3:55 p.m., my dad made it to the clerk’s office. My parents tied the knot the next day and have been married for 26 years.
From the best man forgetting the rings to rain washing out the ceremony, weddings are rarely pulled off without a hitch. These moments may be less than humorous in the moment, but surely make a wedding more memorable. Relax, take a break from wedding planning and revel in these wedding “horror” stories.
Fools Rush In
Both of my husband’s parents as well as my own parents were divorced and remarried at the time of our wedding. I had selected Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love” as the song our parents would walk out to. In the haste of planning, I accidentally sent the DJ the song “Fools Rush In” to be played during this moment. I could hear it playing while I was waiting to come out! All the parents found it hilarious afterwards. They said, “We are just a bunch of fools who rushed in!”
-Alex and Brittney J., Clinton, Arkansas
A Very Special Guest
I attended this Gatsby-like wedding downtown [Chicago] for work. After the father of the bride gave a super long speech, the mother of the bride followed with an even longer one. We thought the over-the-top speeches were done … Then an Abraham Lincoln impersonator walks in. Apparently, the bride had some connection to the late president because sure enough the man dressed in mid-19th century fashion complete with top hat and beard started toasting her. I’m guessing they planned the Lincoln impersonator, but not him joining the head table and dining. The wedding planner then awkwardly approached ole Abe and asked him to leave.
-Anthony K., Chicago
Party Like It’s Sixth Grade
My sister Connie was supposed to have her reception at our family home in June in St. Louis. We were expecting 250 guests. It rained the entire week before the wedding and our very hilly backyard was a mudslide. Luckily the parish gym was available and we spent a few days trying to make the smelly gym look like a beautiful wedding reception venue. We even decorated the urinals. It was the most memorable wedding ever. People are still talking about it. Great food, great band, lots of laughs and very relaxed. [Due to the gym’s close proximity] we were able to walk home to the family house at the end of the night. (Very helpful for my husband). I believe my dad put him to bed.
-Beth R., Palatine, Illinois
Don’t Shoot the Messenger
My super meticulous sorority sister Barb was getting married and of course her even more meticulous mother was helping. Every detail required hours of work. When the invitations arrived from the printer, Barb and her mother set up the dining room table to hand calligraph all the envelopes. Barb’s dad walked in, picked up an invitation and said, “These are really nice, but why didn’t you put the time for the wedding service on them?”
And the crying began … It took Barb years to see any humor in the situation.
-Julia C., Palatine, Illinois
My Big Fat Greek Telephone Problem
On my parent’s wedding night, the phone kept ringing in their hotel room. My great aunt kept calling the room because she thought it was my Yiayia’s [grandmother’s] room! Even after they had answered and told my aunt she was ringing the wrong room, she kept calling by accident. Really killed the mood on their wedding night, I can imagine.
-Cat C., Cleveland, Ohio
Keeping Her on Her Toes … Or Not
Don’t let the maid of honor go rogue on “adjusting” the brides train … I should have practiced. In the middle of the ceremony I fixated on the sloppy train and went to adjust it. Pulling too hard, I whipped my sister’s head back and almost tipped her over. Remember, you are not shaking a dog blanket!
Mary G., Plymouth, Minnesota
Traveling in Style
For my sister’s wedding this year, someone forgot to set up the transport back and forth between the hotel and reception. We had announced on the wedding invitations that we would be providing such a service the entire night. Of course, everything was booked by the time we realized the mistake. We ended up renting those giant white Yoder Toters for the night and had family friends drive them.
-Shelby K., Denver
A recent wedding we attended was a formal, black-tie affair — high-end and done to perfection. During the ceremony, the bride and groom knelt down, facing the altar. Immediately, the congregation could see written in bold silver ink on the black soles of the groom’s tuxedo shoes the words, “HELP ME.” We later learned the bride’s brother had taken the groom’s shoes that morning and had written the words in silver Sharpie.
-Kelly N., Chicago
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