Wedding disasters and how to avoid them

Published date: 5th March 2019

They’re headlines local ‘papers dream of: ‘Wedding Brawl’; ‘Groom Burns Venue Down;’ and ‘Best Man Mugs DJ.’ Fun to read about, not to experience. So we thought some cautionary tales could be valuable, and help to put your own glitches in perspective. And we like to laugh at other people’s expense at times too.

We’re talking serious problems here, not shade-changes in a centrepiece. The number one cause of such traumas is drink. The US bride who ended up in jail after attacking the police who’d arrived to calm her down; the lesbian bride in Wales who thought hitting the bouncer was ok, followed by flashing her own bouncers at him; the American groom so smashed he thumped the father-of-the-bride during the ceremony. Funny and tragic, spoiling a special day because of several too many – especially if as we may suspect the problem on occasion goes deeper.

The next biggest source of wedding day misery is being too clever. Take for example the Italian bride who threw her bouquet high in the air to be caught by the pilot of a micro-lite. The flowers hit his prop and brought the machine crashing to earth. Even before the ceremony things can be too cute by far – a recent story of the romantic proposal including a ring in the girl’s milk-shake ended up with X-rays and… she did retrieve the ring naturally. But are there enough cleaning-wipes in the world? And in similar territory we wonder what percentage of pet dogs involved in the big day end up disgracing themselves.

All those pale against the Russian groom who decided his wedding day was the ideal time to try – what else? – Russian roulette – he won, a guest lost. And maybe the Austrian bride who thought it would be funny to say ‘I don’t’ before correcting herself. Legally the officiant had to stop things there. My how they laughed.

Being too clever can involve the dress – buying the wrong size; hoping that strapless numbers defy gravity in vigorous dancing; getting something so wide you can’t get through doors… Remember that planning means thinking about what might happen as well as what will happen.

And while we are on planning, there are some pretty fundamental things that need to be checked out in advance. Like is the bride or groom already married? One Japanese guy was, so he burned the venue down to avoid bigamy, an obvious solution. A more restrained British groom realised the day before his wedding that he’d forgotten to confirm the venue booking, so he sent a bomb threat and ended up in prison. If only they’d used a simple check list.

The modern world is sadly full of scammers and the immoral. Getting word-of-mouth recommends, using a great site like this, and checking reviews online can avoid so many problems, and so can realising if a price looks too good to be true it probably is: bakers who disappear with your money; photographers who don’t know what they are doing; fabulous name-designer dresses for a few bob; planners who seem never to have attended a wedding…

Some disasters are just fate, and have to be dealt with using pluck. In the USA where guns make things so much safer a carjacked limo didn’t ruin one big day; nor (apparently) did the best man who mugged the DJ. Sadly a regular problem is illness – food poisoning (don’t eat that warm seafood platter the night before) has led to several brides barfing on their dress; and with so many elderly relations present and stressed it’s not surprising that some succumb – my own grandfather rushed to hospital on our wedding day.

The solutions are deceptively simple. Arrange things well. Check out suppliers and beware of bonkers bargains. Don’t get too clever. And above all drinking buckets of booze, rarely a good idea any day, is never a good plan on your wedding day. Keep calm and marry on.

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