Everyone dreams of having a perfect wedding, and understandably so. A wedding is supposed to be the best day of a couple’s lives! These brides and grooms spill their wedding must-haves, and why they absolutely refused to take ‘no,’ for an answer. Content has been edited for clarity.
“He Could Not Be Invited To My Wedding”
“Being an Indian person, it is impossible to not invite anyone to my wedding. In my culture, not asking somebody is extremely disrespectful no matter what the reason is.
I have plenty of crummy family members whom I wish I never invited, but I didn’t have a choice at the end of the day.
But, there was one person I absolutely could not invite.
My aunt was in a very unhappy marriage with a man for about thirty-five years. Since she lived in our society, she was pressured to be with this man forever. When I used to live at my aunt’s house as a child, he used to verbally abuse me. He could not be invited to my wedding.
A few weeks before my wedding, my family and I went to stay with my aunt. During this stay, my so-called ‘uncle,’ was very disrespectful towards us. He shouted and yelled, and didn’t accept any of the gifts my family had brought for him. In my culture, it was a custom to gift wedding attire to close family members. The fact he wouldn’t accept the gift was appalling.
I became livid and decided to uninvite him. I was so stubborn in front of my parents that they had no other option but to take my side.
My parents cried, ‘What will society and the other families at the wedding think? How could you let your aunt come to the wedding alone?’
I really didn’t care. The wedding went great without my uncle! Nobody asked about him, and nobody missed him. If he wasn’t a terrible person, he wouldn’t have missed his niece’s wedding.
My aunt attended the wedding. Making the decision to spend the day with her abusive husband or niece wasn’t a hard choice. She was a bit worried about what other wedding attendees thought, but nobody at the wedding cared about him
My family had a great time at the wedding, and I don’t regret not inviting certain family members. Never back down on what you feel is right to do at your wedding.”
The No Children Celebration
“I didn’t want any children to attend my wedding.
In the months leading up to my wedding, I went to several of my friend’s weddings. At one of the weddings, the vows were interrupted by a twelve-year-old boy.
As the bride was talking, the boy screamed, ‘This is boring!’
Everyone froze and the boy was quickly removed by his parents. However, the moments remain in the wedding video and in our memories forever.
At the next wedding, the sibling of the bride brought their two-year-old twins. The children behaved fine during the ceremony. By the time the reception rolled around, the twins were tired and agitated. They were stuck in a playpen with loud noises surrounding them, so they cried the entire reception. Various members tried to settle them down, but the children needed to go home. Those poor babies cried and screamed for hours.
At another wedding, I was the maid of honor for my best friend. At the time, she was five months pregnant.
Again, right when the vows were being said, a child screamed, ‘Melissa is very pregnant!’
Yeah, there was no way was I chancing it with my own wedding. My brother threatened he would be bringing his three kids anyway. One guest was unable to attend because she had a newborn.
When it came time for me to be a mom, I was invited to a destination wedding. My friend claimed she wouldn’t mind if I had brought my baby.
When my baby was a few weeks old I called my friend and said, ‘I’m so sorry but I can’t come. My baby cries a lot, and I don’t want your day ruined by her screaming.’
She had a wonderful wedding and when she met my baby afterward, she understood why I pulled out.”
“I Was Terribly Worried About My Wedding”
“I didn’t want to have any guests at my wedding.
I was terribly worried about what my wedding would be like. My mother and father had thirty years of built-up hatred against each other. I had no idea where I would get married, when, or how. Mind you, my wedding was in six days at this point. I had no idea what to tell my family.
I suddenly had a genius idea, ‘Why would I even want people at my wedding?’
I have never dreamed of a large wedding in my entire life. I did myself a huge favor by not trying to force people to come to this event. I invited my child, a neighbor who was good at taking photographs, and their child. There were only three people in attendance. It was absolutely everything I could have wanted.
There was nothing to distract me from the joy of the moment, and there wasn’t any awkward nervousness about being on display. My child was thrilled to be a seven-year-old in a beautiful dress on stage with her mother. Her father glowed at the sight of us walking up to join him on the courthouse steps.
Having no wedding guests was the best gift I could ever give myself. And luckily, my husband didn’t mind either. His family lived halfway around the world, and there was no possibility they could even attend. Instead of breaking the bank and emotionally torturing myself over family drama, we just got married. It was the best day of my life.”
The Mother-In-Law Misfortune
“My ex-husband’s parents owned a restaurant downtown in an old building. I had previously served at the restaurant, and I was familiar with the poor interior conditions of the building. At the time, I was working triple shifts just to have extra cash to support my perfect wedding day. A new community center had just been built in my town and it was beautiful. I decided I wanted to have my wedding at the community center, instead of the old restaurant as my mother-in-law had anticipated.
Since I had previously worked at the restaurant, I knew the roof was leaky and the toilets backed up easily. It was an easy decision to not hold my wedding at the restaurant. I made arrangements with my mom and we planned my wedding at the new facility.
The only thing my MIL had to buy for my wedding was her dress, and she had no say in the budget of my wedding. At the very last minute, my MIL questioned my wedding colors and venue plans. I had already bought my bridesmaids’ dresses and shoes, my dress, and the flowers. My parents already paid for the caterer and community center. Plus, I paid for the wedding photographer and honeymoon! When she heard about the reception not being held at the restaurant, she completely freaked out!
In true form, she hastily asked, ‘What are you trying to prove by having the wedding at the community center?’
I replied, ‘I don’t want to have the roof leaking on the food or toilets that need to be plunged.’
In every photo from my wedding, my MIL made sure to make the nastiest, unhappiest, face possible. It was also obvious she had distanced herself from the wedding party and family in all of our photos.
She was so petty throughout my entire wedding ceremony. But, I am glad I stood my ground.”
“It Was A Stand I Am So Glad I Didn’t Back Down On”
“I got married when I was nineteen years old. My fiance and I were very in love.
Every day before I would leave for work, he would look at me and say, ‘You look beautiful today,’ even if I really didn’t.
I had never met such a kind and loving person before. Besides that, he was so much fun. He was a musician, and his family welcomed me with open arms. I finally felt truly loved. My fiance was different than a lot of other people. He was into seventies rock, had pink hair, and tons of tattoos. Needless to say, my mother didn’t like him. In fact, she looked down on his entire family.
One night, my mother-in-law invited my mother over to eat dinner and spend the night. My fiance and I were ecstatic and hoped our mothers would finally bond.
After dinner, my mother and MIL were watching a movie. My mother rudely interrupted the movie, gathered her belongings, and left the home. She gave absolutely no explanation as to why she left. I was mortified! Her actions were inappropriate, rude, embarrassing, and childish. When my fiance and I planned our wedding, we were certain we wouldn’t be inviting my mother.
Not inviting her wound up to be the best decision we had ever made. We didn’t have to worry about her strange behavior during the ceremony. Our wedding was small, but it was exactly what we had wanted.
While planning your wedding, don’t walk on eggshells or let anyone you don’t like ruin your day! Removing the negative people from my wedding guest list was a stand I was so glad I didn’t back down on.”
“I Was Completely Unapologetic”
“The wedding planning stand was taken by my father.
He told my now-husband and me that he was giving us a generous gift for our wedding. It was a large sum of cash we could spend on the wedding, or whatever else we wanted.
We held our wedding in the backyard of an old farmhouse we had just purchased. There were eight people in attendance. My husband, who was a great cook, made our lunch. The table was decorated with wildflowers my mom picked from a field, and the tablecloth was made from a leftover piece of purple gingham fabric.
Our biggest expense was the five wedding cakes we purchased from Bloomingdale’s. The cost of the wedding overall was minimal.
With my dad’s gift, my husband and I replaced three sills on the house, shored up the foundation, fixed a section of the roof, and started interior renovations.
I was completely unapologetic as to how we planned and spent my father’s wedding gift. When we sold the house fifteen years later for ten times what we’d paid for it, I really wasn’t sorry.”
“The Wedding Guests Were Absolutely Livid”
“I told my wedding guests they weren’t allowed to bring their children.
My partner and I needed to get married on a certain weekend and the venue could only accommodate one hundred people. Each guest cost one hundred bucks each! Kids were not discounted, and the space in the venue was limited.
My daughter was twelve years old, and she was allowed to invite a friend. The ring bearer was my nephew and the flower girl was family as well, but literally, no other kids were invited.
Many of the wedding guests were absolutely livid.
My aunt had eight grandchildren. She told me that my rule was destroying her family, and none of her grown children attended the wedding since they had kids.
One of my cousins had a nanny who could have watched the kids, but they chose not to hire her to do so. We looked into other childcare options, but there weren’t any good ones available.
Many of the guests at my wedding didn’t understand why their precious angels weren’t worth one hundred bucks a plate. I didn’t think I was the bad guy in the situation.”
Duty Invite Debacle
“My husband and I planned and paid for our own wedding. It was my first wedding and his second. We told my mother-in-law there would be no ‘duty’ invitations for his distant relatives. We wanted our wedding to be very small and personal. After my MIL looked at our guest list without her relatives invited, she threw a fit! It wasn’t a big deal, as the relatives were invited to the reception later in the evening.
My father-in-law gently explained to her, ‘They are planning their own wedding. They don’t want to have a giant crowd, and they just want to invite very close family members and friends.’
I have four sisters and five nieces and nephews. My husband had an older, married brother, who had two daughters and a son. There were already going to be plenty of people at the wedding.
My MIL kept on whining and suggesting random cousins I should invite to the wedding so my family wouldn’t outnumber hers. The penny finally dropped when my fiance suggested uninviting her, his father, and their three grandchildren from a previous marriage.
My mother-in-law finally kept her mouth shut and let us have the small wedding we dreamed of.”
“She Hasn’t Spoken To Her Mother Ever Since”
“My wife’s mother and father went through an acrimonious divorce while she was in her teens. We dated for a long time before we actually got married. My wife was worried sick that her parent’s behavior at our wedding would be upsetting.
In the end, we invited them both but told them that their attitudes were theirs to sort out, not ours.
True to form, my mother-in-law walked out halfway through the reception. She was upset at some imagined slight and took my wife’s sister, aunt, uncle, and two cousins out with her.
My wife and I celebrate our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary this year. My wife has not spoken to her mother or sister since our wedding reception.
We will not apologize for the stand we took before or after our wedding, and circumstances would seem to have proved that we made the right decision.”
“It’s A Stand I’m Glad My Wife Won”
“My wife and I got married at a beautiful venue in Napa Valley. My wife wanted to hire a very expensive photographer.
I insisted, ‘I don’t think spending this much money on a photographer is worth it.’
She overruled me and we hired him. We arrived before the ceremony to get the pictures taken care of in the daylight. Just before sunset, the photographer took some photos of us in front of the winery. Everything went well and my bride was beautiful. The party was great too! We got the pictures back, and one of the photos taken at sunset turned out to be one in a million.
In the photo, the photographer’s wife was out of sight behind us with a small reflector to backlight us. The sun caught it as the picture was being taken, and it created a surreal effect of beams of light coming out of our hearts.
Flash forward fifteen years later, and I run into the photographer at the Apple Store.
I asked, ‘Hey, do you remember me?’
He replied, ‘How could I ever forget you? The picture I took of you at the wedding made me a million bucks. Every time I showed clients the picture, they booked me for a gig!’
Hiring the photographer was a stand my wife deservedly won, and I was glad I listened to her.”
“My Dress Literally Disappeared”
“I didn’t even get an opportunity to take a stand during my wedding planning. I didn’t even have a say in my wedding planning, either! My mother-in-law took over.
Since my husband and I held the wedding at my MIL’s house, my in-laws thought they had the right to control everything. They thought I didn’t have a right to be upset they were planning every little detail of my wedding.
My MIL even went as far as picking out a wedding dress for me after I had already purchased one. She hid my dress and told me I had to wear the slip-style dress she picked out. My dress literally disappeared.
Unfortunately, we had the reception at my in-law’s house too. Our honeymoon location was picked out by my MIL as well. It was at an older-style home, and she claimed she had to pick us up at a certain time in the morning.
Nothing about my wedding was what I wanted. It didn’t matter if I put my foot down, everyone else had a say except for me. Even down to the music played at my wedding. My MIL compiled a list of fifty or sixty songs to play during the reception, and only ten were songs I had picked. The rest of the music my MIL picked out for herself.
If you learned anything from me, don’t let your in-laws walk all over you during your wedding planning.”
“I Finally Realized I Had Won The Battle”
“My MIL was appalled and demanded that we get married at the same venue she did
She cried, ‘What will people think?’
She thought my husband and I’s marriage was all about her. I stood my ground and told her that we will not be getting married at her venue.
The wedding arrangements were made and I advised my MIL of what time the ceremony would begin. She and my wonderful future father-in-law arrived with their son right on time. As I was being walked down the aisle of this marvelously small venue on this wonderful day, I could hear her bawling her eyes out like she was attending a funeral for her son.
At first, I was embarrassed by her actions. Why was she being so dramatic at my wedding? Then I realized I had finally won the battle. This woman did not want her son to marry me, but he did anyway. He truly loved me and was not allowing her to come between us.
I still never forgave her for acting in this manner on our special day, but victory felt so sweet.”
It’s A Shore Thing
“When I got married, one of the requests I made to my bride-to-be was to marry down by the sea. I loved the ocean, the crashing waves, and the salty air. I believed the beach would be the perfect backdrop for our wedding.
At first, my bride-to-be argued, ‘I want to be married at a traditional venue with all of my friends and family.’
A wedding at the beach presented some logistical issues, as some of our guests didn’t want to travel so far. However, I had a carpool system worked out that eliminated any transportation issues. My bride still resisted, and we went back and forth on the perfect wedding venue for weeks. I held my ground and worked out every possible issue, and I finally created a perfect plan that my bride agreed upon.
We had our beach wedding and it turned out beautifully. The weather was perfect, the seagulls stayed away, and everyone had a great time.
Take my story as proof that grooms should have a say on the wedding venue, too!”
Wedding Cake Complication
“My niece and I took a joint stand at my wedding.
Some weddings have two cakes. Typically, the ‘brides cake’ is the traditional tiered cake. The ‘groom’s cake’ is tailored more towards the groom’s interests.
The groom was a major fan of the Seattle Seahawks football team. My niece and I went to my local bakery supplier, and we bought a cake pan in the shape of a Seahawks football helmet. I also bought gel icing in the proper colors to make a correct football helmet cake. Strangely enough, the owner knew exactly what the ratios of the various colors should be to mimic a Seahawks helmet off the top of her head.
My mother absolutely hated the idea of a football helmet cake at the wedding. She also hated the idea of dancing at the reception and the bride wearing makeup, so it wasn’t a surprising stance for her.
I uttered a sentence to my mother I never thought I’d say, ‘No, mom, there will be a Seahawks helmet cake at the wedding.’”
“I Still Don’t Regret My Decision”
“My parents planned my wedding for me. At the time, I lived over two thousand miles away. The conflict occurred when my mother and my aunt saw the wedding dress I had already picked out and purchased.
I grew up in a very conservative area, and my mother and aunt thought the front of the dress was too low cut. They suggested I sew a border of ruffles or lace around the top, and I absolutely refused. All throughout my life, I followed my family’s conservative dress code. I wasn’t going to change my dress for my special day, and I wasn’t going to budge.
There wasn’t anything wrong with my dress, and I didn’t let anyone change it. Years later, I still don’t regret my decision.”
Guest List Guilt-Trip
“There was one specific family I refused to invite to my wedding. They were family friends, and I had known them for a long time.
The family told me they wanted an invite and I simply replied, ‘Sorry, but you’re not getting an invite.’
My parents weren’t too happy with my decision until I explained to them my reasoning.
I did not want them at my wedding because of what they had done to my siblings and me as a teenager. One of my siblings would come home late every single day to avoid seeing this family at our home. The parents in the family always found something negative to say about this sibling. Mainly, the parents just wanted to get my sibling in trouble.
I wanted my siblings to feel comfortable at my wedding and not have to worry about the real troublemakers.”
The Best Guest
“When my partner and I got married, we decided to have an at-home wedding reception. The best guest in attendance? My elderly dog. You see, my dog was fourteen years old and had cancer. He was well behaved and simply walked around the yard amongst all of the wedding guests. My dog was my best buddy for the longest time, and he was in my life longer than a majority of the wedding guests.
My dog’s illness left him feely poorly most of the time. I made it very clear to all of my wedding guests not to touch him, as it could make him crotchety. Of course, one of the guests broke the rule. My dog snapped at them, but I wasn’t sorry.
My dog deserved to be there more than any other guest. Rest in peace, Lucky.”
The Superior Small Wedding
“My outlook on my wedding was rather relaxed. I simply viewed it as one day in the rest of my husband and I’s lives. In total, we only spent about four hundred and fifty dollars. This included the dress, service, honeymoon, and hotel. Granted, our wedding took place in the nineties, so everything was much cheaper.
My parents, brothers, and my two children from my first marriage were our only guests. My son gave me away, and my daughter was the maid of honor. The venue was intimate and lovely, with a gazebo overlooking a river. My husband and I have never regretted not blowing thousands of bucks when we got married.”
The Dreamy Blue Dress
“Something I was glad I didn’t budge on for my wedding was my dress choice. I wore a blue dress instead of white! At the time, I was eighteen years old, and I had my wedding at the courthouse. My parents were not pleased with the pale blue Regency-style dress I had chosen. I also insisted my wedding cake be blue and white. This doesn’t seem crazy now, but this happened back in the seventies! Nobody back then dared to do non-traditional weddings. It was quite the stand to make forty years ago!”