“Wedding planning is a breeze!” said no one, ever. From destroyed dresses to family fiascos, these newlyweds have faced it all. These brides share the disastrous moments that made them re-think their wedding day. Content has been edited for clarity.
“The Storm Of The Century Arrived On My Wedding Day”
“Hurricane Katrina attempted to ruin my wedding. Yup, the storm of the century arrived on my wedding day.
My husband and I were very young when we decided to get married, but we had been together for several years beforehand. From the start of our relationship, we knew we would end up walking through life hand-in-hand. We might have waited longer to get married, but we were sick of being in a long-distance international relationship. Our original plan was to do a quiet ceremony with our closest friends and family, but my mother-in-law wanted something different. We both loved her, so we agreed to let her plan our wedding. One complicated factor of our wedding was my application for permanent United States residency. I had to get the paperwork sent off within a couple of months, so planning a wedding so soon was pushing it.
My MIL had a friend design my dress and had my husband’s tuxedo tailored. She contracted catering with a fine dining restaurant, and she booked the venue for the ceremony at an old farmhouse. A beautiful three-tier wedding cake was ordered, and my MIL sent out over one hundred invitations. Meanwhile, my father-in-law, a contractor, was working night and day to build a new home for my husband and me. The house was completed in mid-August, and everything else was ready with just enough time for us to get married. We had three weeks to spare.
Where we lived, hurricanes were just a part of life. The majority of the storms either dissipated, changed course, or landed as minor storms. Initially, my husband and I weren’t alarmed at the forecast on our wedding day. We were an hour north of New Orleans, and there was no real sense of worry until a day before the wedding. Everyone still believed the wedding would be fine. At my bachelorette party the night before the ceremony, the rain and wind kicked up extremely hard, and we had to leave. Yet, we still believed everything would be over when we woke up!
No surprise here, the storm wasn’t even close to being over. My husband and I lived with my in-laws in their home until we got married. When we woke up at their house in the morning, we realized trees and powerlines had fallen and trapped us in their neighborhood. The storm began kicking up again, and around the time I was set to have my hair done, the power went out.
At the time of the scheduled ceremony, we heard a strange noise getting louder and louder. We tried to brush it off, but then we noticed trees were snapping like twigs in the distance. We were in a tornado! My husband and I booked it inside the house and hid. When we finally ventured back outside, we saw a path of destruction leading right toward where our new house was built.
By the early evening, the storm was over. We went to sleep on mattresses in my FIL’s garage since the one working generator we had only worked in a small window unit. Funnily enough, I spent my wedding night sleeping in between my husband’s parents and sister.
Three days before our power was restored, the roadways were cleared. But, we still didn’t have our proper wedding ceremony yet. A relative of my husband’s owned a gym and she allowed us to use it for our wedding reception. My MIL convinced a local pastor to perform our wedding ceremony even though the power was still out at the venue. At this time, cellphone service was still down, so we had to drive around to the wedding guests to spread the word.
The cake wasn’t coming for the reception, and neither was the food. In fact, the vendors we booked had boarded up and evacuated. Even the dry cleaner who had my dress and my husband’s tuxedo had left! My MIL insisted on still having a real wedding, so she drove through four parishes until she found a Walmart still open and selling fabric. She and her sister-in-law sewed me a beautiful and simple dress in one day. They even made basic dresses for my bridesmaids. One of my friends made several cakes for the wedding, and some relatives made jambalaya for everyone.
The wedding was confusing and overwhelming. I was still trying to process the loss of my first home and the wedding was the last thing on my mind. My MIL was a total saint who simply directed me where to be, and she handled the rest. She even had one of her friends come to do my hair and makeup.
As odd as the whole experience was, it melted my heart to see my husband’s family take time from repairing storm damage to help me get married. Everyone worked hard, and they were relentless enough to accomplish the impossible. As soon as the major roads were cleared near the venue, we got married.
Our luck changed when the power came back on at the venue right before the ceremony began. Though many guests had evacuated the area, most managed to attend. I think half of the guests were wearing borrowed clothes, including my husband.
The reception took place in the gym with jambalaya on paper plates and sheet cake. Our drinks weren’t in fancy glassware, but red Solo cups instead. I couldn’t complain, and I was grateful. My husband and I were successfully married before the deadline, and I could never doubt my in-laws wanted me to join the family.”
“I Wish We Would Have Just Eloped”
“My best friend and I had been engaged for a year or so, and we had set wedding dates and broken them several times. I was getting tired of the delay, and I finally told my husband enough was enough. We’re either going to get married, or we are going to forget about it. We decided to elope immediately and announced our intentions.
Both of our mothers threw a fit!
They argued, ‘Absolutely not! You must have a wedding at a proper venue! You will regret it the rest of your life if you don’t!’
‘Fine,’ I protested, ‘You plan our wedding then.’
So, our mothers planned the wedding. Well, they tried at least. I ended up planning most of it by insisting we use what we already had. I was a college student, my husband was a farmhand, and my parents were raising two kids on one income. Nobody had any money.
Luckily, we did have a wedding officiant planned. My father-in-law worked at a wedding venue, and he could officiate our ceremony. If we had our wedding on a Sunday evening, we wouldn’t have to pay to rent the venue. The venue was already decorated in holiday colors, so we adopted a red and green theme for our wedding.
We each had one attendant. My husband’s best man was a piece of work, and he still lived in his mother’s basement. My maid of honor had just given birth, and her boyfriend also just left her. I felt bad making her pay for anything, so I bought her dress and did her hair and makeup myself.
However, I spent too much time on my bridesmaid’s hair, I forgot to do my own! My mother-in-law yelled at me for being late to my own wedding, so I walked down the aisle with wet hair and my makeup half done.
My husband had an old Sony stereo we planned to use for the wedding. Before the ceremony, he set it up and tasked his teenage sister with pressing ‘play’ at the correct moment. She didn’t do it right, so there wasn’t music the entire ceremony.
The ceremony went on, and at the end, the newly-married couple was supposed to turn to the audience as the officiant introduced them with their married names. The officiant, my father-in-law, called us by the wrong first and last names! He accidentally said his name and his wife’s instead. My husband and I cracked up and ran down the aisle laughing.
The mothers insisted we had a reception, so we set one up on a major budget. The reception took place in the venue basement instead of somewhere fancy. We bought two cakes from Walmart, and my aunt agreed to ‘cater’ a small spread of food for us. The flowers were red roses from Aldi’s I arranged myself.
My cousin, an amateur photographer, volunteered to photograph the wedding. He didn’t live in the same state as us, so he had to ship us the photos when he was finished editing them. He packed a box with the negatives, along with digital copies of the photos. Lo and behold, the package was lost in the mail. To this day, the only photos I have are random pictures from guests.
I wish we would have just eloped.”
“My Sister Tried To Blame The Fiasco On My Daughter”
“If something could go wrong at my wedding, it did. My wedding gown, which a friend was storing for me, was burned in a bonfire. She was upset with my daughter and decided to burn my wedding dress! I had to rush to Lane Bryant and search for a white dress at the last minute. I put runs in four different pairs of stockings, and my manicure was only finished on my left hand. The photographer was two hours late on my wedding day, and he had to stop taking photos midway through the ceremony.
My daughter arrived at the wedding very pregnant in her maid of honor dress, yet she denied her pregnancy. My granddaughter attempted to flee the wedding and go swimming in the river at the ceremony site. At the end of the ceremony, we drove past the house and forgot to pick up the food for the wedding reception.
Thirty minutes later, we arrived back at the venue at the park. I completely forgot it was Labor Day weekend, and the entire park was packed with screaming kids. My husband’s parents and sisters didn’t bother coming to the reception, and his brother was three hours late. My husband and brother and law left to pick up the food we forgot, and they ended up staying at a pub for two hours because drinks weren’t allowed in the park.
Don’t worry, it gets worse.
About two hours into the reception, my sister started freaking out.
She screamed at my daughter, ‘Why aren’t you watching my kid? She’s missing!’
The cops were called, the park was locked down, and cars were being searched. My mother and sister were screaming at my thirteen-year-old daughter for not keeping an eye on the child, along with my sister’s other five children. At this point, I had to stand up and say something. After all, it was my wedding!
I screamed, ‘This is my day! My kids are here to watch me get married, not watch your kids!’
Suddenly, my son entered the reception with the toddler over his shoulder. My sister had left her in the car! Each parent thought the other had gone back for her since she had been asleep when they arrived. Even after we found this out, my sister was still trying to blame the fiasco on my daughter!
I gave up. I didn’t have a first dance, music, or beverage toast. I had nothing decent to remember about my wedding. I packed up and took my kid’s camping for the weekend and tried to forget the whole thing.
Surprisingly, I’m still married thirty years later.”
“It has rained on every single important day of my husband and I’s life. The night of our first date, the rain came down in sheets.
It rained for eight days straight leading up to my husband and I’s wedding. We were married on a lake my family frequented when I was growing up. The building we held the reception in wasn’t new, and eight days of rain had weakened the roof. The roof leak must have started before I even arrived, as my two elderly aunts pulled out rain hats from their purses and put them on. They stayed put in their seats as the roof leak dripped on them the entire ceremony.
As if the roof leak wasn’t bad enough, the best man was sweating so bad we were sure he was going to faint. Miraculously, he made it through the ceremony without crashing to the floor.
The best man was sweating so bad and looked so faint we thought he was going down for sure. Miraculously he made it through the whole thing without crashing to the floor.
During the ceremony, the leaky roof caused the power to go out in the middle of our vows. When I tried to put my husband’s ring on his finger, it didn’t fit. He had to do it himself.
One of the most important days of my life nearly ended in disaster because we accidentally left the unity candle burning. When my husband and I lit the candle, we were faced with a moment of indecision.
He hurriedly whispered to me, ‘Do we blow out our candle?’
I quietly replied, ‘I don’t know! Let’s leave them burning to signify we are still individuals joined as one.’
It sounded good, right? The only problem was nobody ever extinguished the candles. I walked by them at the end of the night and noticed how low they were. They almost lit the table on fire! Luckily, I walked by at just the right time to avoid disaster.
At the end of the day, everything was wonderful. When we got to the hotel, we laughed about all the little hiccups throughout the day. As we departed for our honeymoon the next morning, bright blue skies greeted us at the airport. We landed at our destination with overcast skies threatening more rain. A few days later, we were chased off the island by locals due to the impending hurricane evacuation.
We have been married for almost twenty years now. We have become quite adept at learning how to dance in the rain.”
“It Was Terribly Awkward”
“The bride was my cousin. At the time, I was eight years younger than her and lived in a different state. I didn’t know her very well, but of course, I attended the wedding with my parents. I’d seen photos of the groom and had heard about him from family members. He seemed like a nice guy.
All was going as expected. The bridesmaids and groomsmen walked down the aisle. The groom waited in a nice tux at the end of the aisle, and my cousin made my way down in a beautiful dress.
As soon as she reached the altar to stand beside him, the groom started to laugh. Everyone laughed along with him, including the bride. It started as obviously excited, nervous laughter. The venue coordinator even started laughing, too. When they said their vows, everyone stopped and listened. Except for the groom. He had his face over his hands, and he couldn’t stop laughing. He was practically gasping for air, and one of the groomsmen slapped him on the shoulder. He never stopped laughing the entire ceremony.
Afterward, the bride and groom walked back down the aisle. I admit, there were more than a few of us laughing uncontrollably, too. Not because anything was funny, but because the whole ceremony was awkward. It was almost unbearable. The most uncomfortable thing I have ever experienced, perhaps.
The following reception was grim. The bride had obviously just gotten done crying in the bathroom, and most of her family wouldn’t make eye contact with the groom. By this time, he had finally quit laughing.
I’ve since thought he may have been having a panic attack, but it didn’t make the situation any better to watch. It was, however, the most memorable wedding I have ever been to.
Oh yeah, they also got divorced three years later, too.”
“Nobody Asked Me To Be A Bridesmaid Again”
“This didn’t occur at my wedding. It happened at my cousin’s, and I was a bridesmaid.
My cousin lived in a rural area. Initially, the wedding planning was organized and everything was going according to plan. That is until the local train engineers went on strike. This meant many of the rather important items, like the flowers and wedding rings, weren’t going to arrive on time.
On the morning of the wedding, my mom and aunt walked around town and gathered flowers from people’s gardens. It was a country town and my aunt knew everyone, so neighbors didn’t have an issue with giving away their foliage. My family members pulled through, and they were able to create the most beautiful bouquets and arrangements for the wedding venue.
I went around with the bride while she tried on her friends’ wedding rings. She needed to wear one for the ceremony, and her friends were happy to loan her one if it fit her finger.
Other relatives hustled to organize all of the other minor items like food and smaller decorations.
At the end of the day, everything came together and the wedding was okay. It wasn’t great, but at least everyone had a good time.
A few years later, I was a bridesmaid for another cousin. This time, there weren’t any train strikes.
It was an electricity worker strike instead.
All of the power went out shortly before the wedding began. The wedding had to take place in a dark venue with piano music playing in the background. It was so creepy!
The power came back on halfway through the ceremony, so we had lights for the remainder of the night.
Nobody asked me to be a bridesmaid again after this situation. I can’t imagine why.”
Destination Wedding Disaster
“A series of things went haywire on my wedding day.
My hair was left unfinished. My stylist, a younger friend of mine, didn’t show up on the day of my wedding. I believe she was going through something difficult on this day, so I didn’t resent her for it.
My monthly came on the morning of my wedding. Of course, I had earlier planned my wedding so it wouldn’t clash, but the stress of everything brought it on.
When the DJ announced it was time to cut the cake at my reception, my husband and I looked at the door waiting for the four-tier cake to arrive. Instead, a panicky usher ran to me and explained the cake was crushed en route to the venue. I was so tired, so I just smiled and waited for the next order of events.
I was married in Kazan, Russia. My parents couldn’t make it to my wedding. Also, they completely forgot the data. I had to tell them the next day I had gotten married the previous day.
Do you want more?
While waiting in the car before entering the venue, I invited the driver of our ride to witness the joining. He was a typical young Russian man, and he probably wasn’t a spiritual fanatic.
He explained, ‘This is the first time I have ever been to a wedding venue, the ceremony was one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed.’
Although things didn’t go down the way we had planned them, it didn’t matter to me. I was just happy to be married to the love of my life.”
“Everyone Was Laughing Hysterically”
“My wedding took place on a mild summer day in Duluth, Minnesota. There I stood, in the most beautiful dress I had ever owned, with my father beside me. Everything was absolutely perfect.
I took a deep breath as I heard the first chords of, ‘Here Comes The Bride.’ I had just taken my first step onto the runner going down the center aisle when I suddenly heard a chainsaw outside the open venue windows.
A nearby neighbor to the venue was stocking up on firewood for the long, cold, winters. The sound continued the entire time I walked down the aisle. By the time I reached my waiting groom, everyone in the venue was laughing hysterically, including me.
Fortunately, a good-hearted soul ran next door and asked the man to stop sawing firewood for the next thirty minutes.
Some brides might have been angry had it happened at their wedding, but my husband and I thought it was a great memory.”
The Staircase Sabotage
“My father was on his fourth marriage. My new step-sister and I were set to be the bridesmaids.
At the wedding, I walked down the aisle with my matched groomsman as instructed. He took one of my arms and held it as we climbed the stairs to the platform in front. In my other arm, I was holding flowers. Unfortunately, I lacked a third arm to hold up the long skirt on my dress. I stepped on my dress and instantly fell flat on my face, butt in the air for the entire crowd to see.
Every single guest laughed. I was mortified, and I quickly got up and made my way to my assigned spot.
‘Figures,’ I thought, ‘My dad is probably so embarrassed.’
My step-sister who walked in behind me hadn’t seen this take place. She walked in, reached the top of the stairs, and did exactly what I did. She faceplanted on the stairs! The guests didn’t laugh this time, apparently having developed manners in the previous three minutes.
I would never tell her, but I was glad she fell, too. It made me feel better about my fumble.”
The Dress Dilemma
“Ten minutes before I was set to walk down the aisle, I heard a very distinct, ‘Pop!’ and felt the back of my dress release.
Because whatever ripped on my dress was in the back, I had no idea how bad it looked or if the damage was fixable. Thankfully, my perfect maid of honor was there. She quite literally had my back in this situation. She quickly pulled me into a tiny bathroom to assess the damage.
Fortunately, the sound and the tearing sensation were only caused by the tearing of the tiny clasp at the very top of the zipper on my dress. The entire dress didn’t rip as I had feared. After a bit of quick hiding and maneuvering, my maid of honor fixed the dress. Nobody knew it happened except for the two of us.
I couldn’t have chosen anyone better to stand by me on that day.”