Weddings are supposed to be the happiest day of people's lives. It's the day when two people celebrate their love for each other, and come together to spend the rest of their lives as husband and wife. Although, just because two people are in love does not mean they've even every side of their spouse. When they do, sometimes it can completely change the course of events.
People on Quora share the feeling they had on their wedding day. Content has been edited for clarity.
That Was Rude, Not A Surprise
“My husband arrived late because he was unable to get dressed. For all the planning we had done, starting a year in advance, for all my effort as a bride to be there on time, he had made no provision to enlist help. I had asked if he needed any help and he had said no. My father helped put on his clothes at the wedding place. His parents had told us they would not attend. Then, they showed up from out of town at the reception. I was furious, as we had only the day before settled on the number of people for the $50 a head affair (which was not cheap in the early ’80s), and the family seating was reserved. So there was no room for them and there was all this shifting and accommodating to do. They thought it was a great surprise.
They missed the wedding ceremony because they were unfamiliar with the city, so they had just driven around until the reception. Had we known they were coming, we could have given them instructions. As we were leaving for Paris the next morning, we couldn’t host them. Fortunately, his sister and her husband, as well as my parents, managed the idiots for me. On our honeymoon, we were only booked in the hotel for half of our stay… I had to quick-fast find another hotel for the rest of our time there. It was quite disconcerting, but I was too in the moment to blame him.
So though we were both hardworking, multi-degreed, professionals with shared interests, our home training and home cultures were at odds. His small deceptions about his capabilities or lack thereof would come up again and again. Over time, this resulted in the destruction of my car, the death of my cat, hurt, unhappiness, the loss of career opportunities and finally, our divorce.”
It’s Not Her Wedding, But Her Daughter’s
“My new mother-in-law delivered an expensive gift to me from my wife. She then proceeded to tell me I should have known you give a gift on the wedding day to the bride. This was a ‘tradition’ which she had also informed the bride of, and no doubt made sure she thought I would certainly know as it’s so commonplace – but had never mentioned this important part of the day to me.
No one I asked knew about this tradition. I wrongly assumed a lavish wedding, expensive honeymoon, engagement ring, dress, and more importantly, the gift of my love and marriage should have been enough.
This certainly felt like a set-up.
The bizarre thing was my mother-in-law had been lovely right up to the wedding process. Once its planning started, she seemed to be possessed with an urge to interfere in everything and particularly to try to drive a wedge between us.
She commented at one point to my fiancée her friend had told her daughter this; ‘You will get the wedding you want when your own daughter gets married!’
It seems that she had taken the same view as this person when interfering, I mean helping, to organize ours.
The father of the bride was unhappy with the celebrations, and actually told one of my friends on the day ‘weddings are meant to be somber affairs.’
I still chuckle at how he could be such a miserable git. No doubt that’s why my mother-in-law had to fight to get the wedding she had missed out on. There were some interesting dynamics at play in that relationship.
My best man did the best he could to keep me calm, and reassure me he could see what she was trying to achieve and brushed it off with humour.
The actual day was wonderful, and I was optimistic and in love.”
That’s Exactly What’s Supposed To Happen
“Well, my ex spent more time hanging out with his friends at our reception than he did with me, so there was that.
Weeks before that, I had shooed him out of the house so I could show his mother the wedding dress I’d ordered – I wanted an opinion on it, and my own mother was unavailable. He asked why he had to leave, and I told him I didn’t want him to see the dress until our wedding day.
At which he laughed and said ‘What do you think… that I’ll see you in it and just go all weak at the knees?’
He then made fun of me for answering, ‘Yeah, I kind of hoped so.’
It should have been clear to me that we saw things very differently, and that my wants and needs weren’t important to him, but I was unable to see that at the time.”
“Her Words Were A Kiss Of Death”
“When my husband and I were signing the registry, my mother-in-law very emotionally told me to take care of her son. While at face value, this would not normally be a red flag as weddings are occasions where emotions will be stirred up, I felt a strong prescience that I was being sentenced to a lifetime of misery. Like her words were a kiss of death.
My mother-in-law’s words were actually an expression of her guilt over her utter failure as a parent, and now she was passing on her adult son, who was very damaged psychologically by her, to become someone else’s problem.”
It Was Better For Both Of Them
“I was in my first year of college and dated a man that was very kind. By the end of the school year, many of our friends were getting engaged and we did too. When I look back, it seemed like we were doing it because it was expected, and seemed like the next logical step.
I went home for the summer and since my hometown was only 30 minutes away, he spent lots of time with my family over the summer. We planned to marry in September.
I began to see more and more that his family vision and mine were not the same. His parents had been divorced and he had one brother. I came from a family of nine children, strong in our church, and loving parents. My hopes for a family were similar to what I grew up with, and I wasn’t certain his goals were the same – or that he even understood our family.
With much sadness, I called off the wedding because I just wasn’t sure we would be happy together. I didn’t want to expect things that he didn’t understand. I couldn’t even explain fully to him why I was calling it off. I just said that I didn’t feel it was right for us at that time.
I met and married my husband the next year. We’ve been married 46+ years now, and it has been all I ever wanted. We have six children and 20 grandchildren.
The interesting thing is that my ex-fiance contacted me this past year on the internet and thanked me for helping to make his life wonderful. After we broke up, he decided to serve a mission for our church. Afterward, he married a wonderful woman and had a family. He said that he learned so much from the summer we spent together and had many fond memories. He said I was “the best”! The things he has done with his life are very similar to the life I’ve had.
I sincerely believe that I made the right decision for both of us, even though it was difficult at the time. He needed to do certain things to be ready for a good marriage. He learned from the example of my family. We both lived happily ever after – and I don’t think it would have been that wonderful if we had married at that time.”
The Hair Dresser Should Have Listened To Her
“I went to get my hair done, and the lady didn’t listen to me and cut my hair. I had been growing it out for months prior and ended up looking like a boy.
When we arrived at the church to get dressed, I ran into my now ex-husband as I was going to the dressing room.
It’s bad luck to see the bride before the wedding. The entire day felt off in general; I found out his groomsmen were getting trashed and trying to get him hammered in the church parking lot. I should have listened to my gut instinct and not gone through with it. Close to 20 years later the nightmare of being with him is over.”
His Mom Warned Her
“His mother told his colleagues to watch out.
‘If you cross him, he will be done with you and the company,’ she warned.
I should have taken that as a warning.
There is no way to never cross someone in the course of a long-lasting relationship. In the last few years, I discovered just how unforgiving and vindictive he is. You either like everything and anything he does and bend yourself in impossible ways to accommodate, or you get his wrath.
I should have taken his mother’s words as a warning for me. I should have gotten out way sooner.”
He Couldn’t Be Bothered To Help
“We had a do-it-yourself wedding. His family was supposed to be early and help decorate along with my family. His didn’t help, and with the extra work after I changed into my gown it made it 30 minutes late.
After all the guests left, his family (including him) left me and my family to do all the cleanup. He came back in jeans and a t-shirt, asking if I was done yet. I still had my gown on sweeping up. He wanted to make sure we got the cleaning deposit back but wouldn’t help. Looking back, I wish I annulled it that night.”
“They Stay Out Of Each Other’s Way”
“It was an arranged marriage; she said to me that she was only marrying him because her parents told her to. She didn’t really care for the guy.
A few days into the marriage, she said she felt she doesn’t even have her own identity anymore and debated leaving. The guy wasn’t terrible, but his family expected her to be what they wanted her to be. She was about to end it, but then she got pregnant and stayed. Her child is a distraction of how she doesn’t like her marriage now.
She hesitantly says she is happy. But, she and her husband tried and they don’t hate each other but they do not love each other. They kind of just stay out of each other’s way.
“Sick, Disgusted, And Violated”
“It was a typically arranged marriage alliance. They were from the same community, so my mother was happy. They had good financial and social standing, so my father was happy. Their lifestyle seemed to match mine, so my sibling and cousins were happy. They liked us too, so the engagement was finalized.
A month later, we hosted the engagement in a decent five-star hotel, as per their liking, and everyone was very happy. They had certain demands, like relatives’ gifts which my parents were fulfilling. He was more conservative than me, so he wasn’t very fond of tight clothes or going out after six pm, so I switched to what he liked. These are all very normal things that happen in every arranged marriage.
A week later, I went to the nearby chemist shop. The worker there has known us for a long time, so he is very friendly with us. He looked at my henna-tattooed hands, ring, and seeing me wearing a hijab for the first time, and asked me if I’m engaged. I said yes, and he blessed and wished me. He asked to see our picture, and I showed it to him. He seemed concerned. He asked me to come inside and made me sit down with a glass of water. I was getting goosebumps. He then told me about two months back, two guys had come to his shop. They showed the salesman in the shop my picture and started asking weird questions. They asked if I had ever bought things like protection, pregnancy test kits, or birth control pills. Then asked if I buy sanitary pads regularly or not. They even asked if I buy women’s razor or Veet. This all happened in two minutes, and the worker was seeing all this from his counter. He finally scolded them away, and then the salesmen told him they were asking questions about me. He saw the two men go to the other chemist shop and ask the same questions again. One of the men was my fiancé.
I felt sick, disgusted, and violated. I went home & told everything to my parents. They were disturbed, but still got shocked when I said I want to call off the wedding.
Things Got Awkward
“It was actually three days before the wedding. On our way home from meeting with the judge who was performing our ceremony, my fiancé looks over to me and says in effect she wants an open marriage. I immediately felt like a kid in a candy store. I had been in an open marriage previously, and it was fun for a while until she ended up cutting me off in the bedroom. Then she got pregnant with another man’s baby and the fun and games were over.
I did go through with the wedding, and at the reception had a long conversation with one of my wife’s bridesmaids. She was in a terrible marriage, and it turns out she spent that night alone in the hotel room while her husband was sleeping someone else. Had I known that, I would have spent my wedding night with her and saved a ton of money in the divorce. I did end up sleeping with the bridesmaid gout months later after both of us asked my wife for permission. I and moved in with her five months after that. We are still together and it will be 20 years next year.”
He Gave An Honest Answer
“Right before the big moment, I asked my father-in-law to be, ‘Well sir you have any advice before I do this?’
He looked to me, smiled with his hand on my shoulder, and said, ‘she’s her mother’s daughter.’
He laughed and walked away. A few years later I figured it out. But not before we had two wonderful kids, and now her and I are still friends. But we know now marriage wasn’t good for us.”
A Wedding To Remember
“My husband and I had a whirlwind courtship (first date in May, proposal in July, wedding in September). But I was an organizer and had this down, or so I thought.
My wedding dress was ordered in extra length and we paid extra to rush it. Everything was fine until it got lost. Like literally lost. The shop was in a panic and so was I. Three hours before my rehearsal dinner, I got a call that it was at the shop. I rushed in for a fitting and it was too short. The lady at the shop shrugged and stated it was too late to do anything about it. At least I had custom-made flats to match the dress waiting at home.
We had booked our venue (a golf club), and we knew we would be the last reception there as they were totally rebuilding the building. Well, someone got the date wrong and they demolished the building a week before the wedding. We scrambled to find another venue, but ended up having to have the ‘reception’ in our front yard! We lived on the golf course, but it was…tacky.
The day before the rehearsal dinner, I had met my husband’s mother for the first time.
She looked me up and down and stated, ‘You will NEVER be Janie (his first wife*).’
I was shocked! That started our rocky relationship for years. It was only when she became ill that she and I became very close.
The day before the wedding, a lady who made custom cakes (and whom I had hired) called me up and said something came up and she couldn’t do the cake! I ran to our local grocery store and ordered their generic cake that was, well, inedible.
So, the rehearsal dinner was nice and we all had a great time. When I arrived home, my husband called me. He had bad news. His dog had eaten my wedding shoes! My custom-made flats. I was sobbing as I called my mother and she said not to worry, she would take care of it.
That morning, I woke up feeling very sick. I started to vomit and my gut was so swollen, I looked pregnant. My maid of honor drove me to the church (it was a late morning wedding as we were leaving on our honeymoon that afternoon). We arrived at the church to find my mother had stopped at Payless, and bought me white shoes (my dress was off-white) with three-inch heels. They were all she could find. I was too sick to care. My mother gave me some anti-nausea meds. But not before sending my dad off running because he had forgotten to pick up the drinking glasses.
Finally, the wedding was ready to start. And those pills made me high as a kite. I literally don’t remember the wedding other than watching the video. You could see my dad holding me up and my face as green as could be. The pastor later said it was the fastest wedding he had ever done as he thought I was going down.
After the wedding, we headed to the house (tacky) where we discovered the band was a no-show. Took off with our money and never heard from them again. No first dance. No music. My mom (who is a gourmet cook) had made everything for the wedding and that part was delicious.
My sister, who was quite hammered, got in a fight with my brother-in-law and threw him off the property. My mother-in-law bad-mouthed me and the guests thought it was a fast wedding because my belly was so swollen and stuck out like a sore thumb.
We left on our honeymoon (Pebble Beach) where we had planned days of golf, sun, and relaxation. We got to the hotel (which was gorgeous), and I spent the night in the bathroom lying on the floor and vomiting. It was clear that I was only getting worse. We canceled everything and flew home the next day, going straight from the airport to the hospital. I had a ruptured appendix and went right into surgery. Our ‘honeymoon’ was me in the hospital fighting off sepsis.
I have always said I want a do-over, but 28 years later we are still going strong and can now laugh about the day. It’s not about the wedding, but it’s about the marriage. At least we have a great story to tell!”
“People Were Literally Cringing”
“My husband and I had two weddings. We were so eager to marry that we found a JP and rigged up a small do in a library at the back of a Victorian bar where we used to meet. It was in January and horribly cold and windy, but the ceremony itself was very sweet—my sister was my maid of honor and her husband, the best man (my husband is from out of state and didn’t know anyone well). Unknown to me, word had gone round and two of my aunts showed up, as well as my mother, siblings, nephews and nieces. There were cake, paper plates, and plastic drinking glasses, but that was fine. We had a great time!
But I HAD to have a big wedding. I wanted a vintage-looking dress, and it took forever to design and find a dressmaker who could handle boning in the dress, as well as the many layers.
Trouble raised its head when my closest sister and maid of honor had a huge falling out, and she was no longer the bridesmaid. I tried to reconcile with her but she loves grudges! So my best friend stepped in, but the dress did not fit right, so a whole new dress had to be made.
The day began as a beautiful, utterly clear, July day. But after the ceremony which was very beautiful (we had it in a well-known church at Smith College, with a six-person chorus and famous organist), the clouds gathered and when we emerged, and rain began. Almost all the photos outside the church show people looking up at the sky with dismay!
As we traveled to the reception at an Inn/restaurant up in the Berkshires, the rain poured down and became sleet! I couldn’t believe it. Only on my wedding day would this happen…snow in July.
Things were nice during the photoshoot and our photographer was excellent, using a special camera to make the portraits look old. Then he took fantastic candids during the meal. But he became obsessed with my old college roommate and took almost a roll of film of her and only a few of me and my husband!
We had hired a pianist, but he switched his repertoire and played cheesy lounge music instead of the classical and soft rock we had discussed. People were literally cringing.
When we switched to recorded music we had picked, nobody danced except my husband and me, my sister (who came to the ceremony after all) and her little son. The rest of them sat there like lumps. Also, my friends and relatives basically separated into two camps and refused to interact.
When it was over, we stayed at the inn with my husband’s two friends who had come from Ohio (one was the best man). The innkeeper (whose food was quite good) nicely offered to put our flowers in his refrigerator to keep them.
When we left the next day, we forgot them and when we called from home, he gruffly told us that he had thrown them all out ‘for health reasons.’ I was furious.
We also got the worst gifts, including a huge, ceramic plate, with undressed women on it who had hair made of spaghetti—what the heck?! However, my parents’ best friends gave us a large toaster oven that was great for our tiny apartment. Another couple gave us a basket full of kitchen stuff, which was helpful. Otherwise, it was a dud…and nowhere near as sweet and sentimental as our first wedding.”