Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wedding OMG Moments

We all had such a good time the other week discussing different regional wedding traditions and etiquette, I decided to go where I really want to go, which is to ask you, have you ever been at a wedding and something happened that fell somewhere on the continuum from, "Well that was an interesting choice" (bridesmaids carried brandy snifters with votive candles inside), to "OMG" (cake cutting turns into violent food fight)? You know, where your eyes search out your spouse's eyes, or your friend's, or your mom's, anyone with whom you can exchange a wide-eyed, stricken glance? I love those moments.

Disclaimer: one person's OMG moment may be another person's dream wedding; if you did any of the following at your wedding, you are adorable and I am sure it totally worked for you.

Here are a few from my experience to start the ball rolling. I'm including brief commentary.

1) I was asked to (and did) walk the bride and groom's dog down the aisle at a wedding. I was young, and how do you refuse such a request? Now, this may not be an OMG moment any more, because I think having pets in weddings has become more common? Or at least I could swear that I've seen wedding-themed dog collars on the market. But this was ten years ago--nobody had ever heard of this--and the dog-walking could not have been more incongruous with the setting. The wedding was in a beautiful old New England church, think white clapboard, dark wooden pews, and ghosts of dead Puritans. The bride's mother had woven Nantucket baskets for each bridesmaid to carry, filled with flowers. (Ha! Take that, brandy snifters.) It was like the absolute height of taste, and everything was lovely. And then there was me leading the dog down the aisle, in lieu of a flower girl. The photographer loved me (I had to have my picture taken WITH THE DOG, KNEELING DOWN like it was my damn dog), but the Episcopal priest, the bride's father, and the wedding planner all looked sincerely uncomfortable. Maybe if this had been a casual beach wedding, it would have been unremarkable, but as it was. . . just a no.

2) Matt and I went to a wedding where the officiant read the entire text of "The Velveteen Rabbit" to the assembled guests, and to the bride and groom, before the vows. The entire thing.

3) I and several members of my family were present at a wedding where, when the minister said, "You may now kiss the bride," the groom leaned over and slapped the bride on the ass, hard and LOUD. I can offer no brief commentary, because I am still dead from the shock and embarrassment. Also, the groom was wearing white jeans with his white dinner jacket. 'Cause it was a fancy occasion.

Okay, you go. Spill!


Jenni said...

at my cousin's weddingm (groom), one of his wife's friends sang a song she'd written for them and it was butt-awful. I heard his sister mumble, "what the eff is this crap?" and I almost died laughing.

Jenni said...

Oh, but I did not actually laugh out loud. Just for the record, I kept it in, because everyone's wedding should be special and not ruined by inappropriately laughing guests.

Jane said...

Mark claims to this day that I tripped a bridesmaid at his sister's wedding in order to get to the bouquet first. But I swear this did not happen! I have no idea how she got on the floor.

Elizabeth said...

While this actually happened before the wedding, I got an email once telling me the specific kind of underwear I needed to wear as a bridesmaid. And it's not like the dress NEEDED special underwear, if you're getting what I'm saying.

melondonkey said...

well, to kick off alcohol-related wedding moments, i once went to an outdoor wedding where a cooler of Bush was open to guests even before the ceremony. people were even taking sips of beer as the bride walked down the aisle.

Mental Momma said...

I went to a family wedding in Florida where, on a sweltering day, the bridesmaids wore pantyhose with sandals. Then we all toasted the bride and groom with itty bitty champagne glasses usually reserved for favors. They didn't spring for floral arrangements on the tables at the reception, but there WERE ashtrays. And, of course, the bride was preggers.

I am not kidding. My husband's family of course.

Memphis said...

I was a bridesmaid in a lovely wedding. The bride wasn't smart enough to realize that 1 invitation did not = 1 person. So the 50 person wedding she planned had 125 attending guests. There wasn't even enough food for us attendants!

We left the reception at 7:00 (it started at 6) so that we could go grab a beer b/c there wasn't enough for everyone to have one...

Kate said...

Oh yes, please let me share!

1) I was asked to be a bridesmaid in a wedding of an acquaintance. Again, an acquaintance. I didn't know anyone else in the wedding, and after the ceremony, the bridal party got into a Hummer limousine. On the way to the reception we went through a drive through liquor store. The groom and all the groomsmen (and some of the bridesmaids) bought two bottles of rum preceded to take shots all the way to the reception while the whole time the bride was asking them to stop.

2) Another wedding I was in, the mother of the bride showed up to the ceremony wearing a fabulous white, flowing gown.

3) Third wedding: the bride and groom walked directly into their reception, sat down, began to eat and did get up or speak to anyone the ENTIRE time.

4) As a bridesmaid, I was unexpectedly asked to cut and serve the wedding cake by the bride's mother. I cut and served a several tiered cake to about one hundred guests. It was not pretty.

And I've got more where that came from!

The Stiletto Mom said...

I can't remember exactly what happened but I was bridesmaid in one of my best friends weddings when we were like 19. So she marries this total jerk who pretty much yelled at everyone in her family and then called her an idiot when she got so nervous she forgot her veil at home the day of the wedding.

While she was out of the room, the five bridesmaids starting taking bets on how long it would last before the ceremony even started. I won. 18 months.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

I haven't seen anything as wild and crazy as #2. And #3? Dear God. What I do see a lot more of are insane, ridiculous invitations.

Some are of the goofy "come share our love" variety, but some are just WTF? I saw one for a shower at a bar that said "Come celebrate our impending nuptials. John has been sober for 14 months, so please, no drinking."

I kid you not.

Beth said...

#2 is Did they want to be sure people cried? I can't imagine what the VR has to do with a wedding.

A friend of mine who had been one of my bridesmaids informed me that I would not be doing the same for her because they needed attendants who could sing. Instead the groom picked (auditioned?) acquaintances for the parts. After the processional the entire wedding party turned around to face the congregation and performed a medley of love songs. It was like Disney/Broadway wedding.

At another wedding a man in the pew behind me began speaking in tongues during the prayer. He stopped abruptly when his wife punched him in the ribs, apparently overruling the Holy Spirit.

For our wedding my husband and I got the hare-brained idea to alter the processional and had the girls walk half-way up alone with the guys strolling up in a pack and meeting up with them. Miss Manners says this is why there are traditional ways of doing things, and if I had listened to her I would not now be still blushing about that fiasco as we near our 22nd anniversary. :)

Maggie said...

In regards to should have been a combo wedding and funeral.I do believe I would have cheerfully killed that charmer on the spot if I had been the bride.

I was once asked to host a bridal shower for a co-worker who told me that she wanted me to do the shower but that I wasn't invited to the wedding.

Sara said...

This has been a feast of wedding horrors!
I just keep laughing every time I picture a brandy snifter with a votive candle.
All I've got to contribute is a black, one-(puffy) sleeved bridesmaids dress. And the crappiness of being a hugely pregnant bridesmaid. yuck.

Casey said...

Wow, why the hell would the read The Velveteen Rabbit?

My friend went to a wedding where the bride had to wash the groom's feet as a symbol that she was entering a live servitude. Not cool.

Jamie and I gut stuck at the reject table at an ex boyfriend's wedding and one of the groom's wheelchair bound guests gagged and spewed his entire prime rib on the table while we pretended not to make a scene.

Becky said...

Ohmigod OHMIGOD! You guys keep topping each other! But there are several categories emerging. One I really hadn't thought of is Abuses Heaped Upon Wedding Attendants. I'm going to categorize the "singers only" wedding in that group. I mean, seriously. That is bad behavior. Also the special underwear and the surprise cake cutting. Sounds like somebody didn't want to pay the caterer's extra fee.

And I hadn't really thought of the OMG Guest category either. I put the guy speaking in tongues (save it for your own church) here, and the prime rib guy, though that obviously wasn't his fault. Where do we put the friend who sang the butt-awful song?

Actually, singing is its own fraught situation. I've been to a couple of weddings where the bride or groom has sung to her/his beloved. It always makes me anxious because I'm afraid it will be terrible.

So far the only wedding here that sounds kind of fun is the Busch-sipping one. The fact that it was outdoors gives it a kind of, um, earthy charm.

Casey, this foot washing thing. Are you serious?!? Were they some weird branch of fundamentalists? I need to hear a LOT more about that. I would have been the guest saying "WTF" inappropriately loud.

Becky said...

Oh, and the Velveteen Rabbit. I have no freakin' clue. Except that afterwards the officiant said something about how she hoped the bride and groom would love each other's fur off. Or something. I don't know because I passed out and had to be revived. We haven't seen that couple in several years, so I don't know if they still have all their, like, fur.

delaine said...

Okay, the gauntlet has been thrown down. I would add that in the wedding where the groom slapped the bride on the rump, she was honestly shocked, embarrassed, and hurt.It was cringe-inducing for us, Later at their reception at a perfectly nice yacht club on Mobile Bay, the groom and the best man( his brother) got into an argument.They had a knock down, punching brawl on the floor in front of the guests.Would you be shocked to know that this marriage lasted about a year ? Sad but true.

Amy said...

Yeah, the #3 wedding definitely stands out in my memory! Lord, the butt-slapping sure was a moment. It was surreal--I kept waiting for Candid Camera or Ashton Kutcher to step out from behind the flower arrangements.

Beth I am dying about the speaking in tongues thing! The poor guy was just overcome by the Spirit--and then his wife's elbow. LOL

And Maggie--that bridal shower thing...HOLY COW. The nerve of some people!! There are a few shower moments I've had. One, which to me was an etiquette breach but done commonly, is where you fill out an envelope with your address so the bride doesn't have to do it in the thank you notes. Maybe that's not a big deal, but I just thought it was slightly rude.

Recently at a reception, the bride's sister stood up for a toast and basically said, "This isn't the guy we would've picked for you at all, but I hope you'll be happy. I guess." Except she said it in about 3 different ways. I seriously wanted to hide under the table and kept giving the OMG look to Jason. Most weddings I've been to have been fairly straightforward, though. I think I need to hang out with some of the people y'all know!

Becky said...

Double OMG for the rehearsal dinner speeches gone awry! I have been to a couple of weddings where people, maybe with the best intentions, said slighting things about the bride or groom. One memorable one was where the groom's people just kept jumping up and talking about how AWESOME the groom was, and how DIFFERENT the bride was from any of the amazing amazon women he'd ever been with, and how, well, they guessed that was cool. Finally the bride's FATHER had to get up and say nice things about her. They are not still married.

Bren said...

In spite of having a family just RIPE for bad wedding situations (I'm speaking of MY side of the family) I don't have much. Groom's cakes are sometimes a little embarrassing. One was a troll-doll themed groom's cake. Airbrushed, with a little green-haired troll doll on top. I'm sure it had some significance. That same wedding had the groom's mom and sisters arrive in prom dresses and feathered hair from the previous decade.

I've been to one of those where the groom sings to the bride, like in place of vows. An entire song. While she has to spend the whole song coming up with appropriate facial expressions. That is a little uncomfortable for everyone, no matter how fantastic his voice is.

melondonkey said...

i added it up, and i've been to a total of only 7 weddings.

the still together:separated ratio of those is 5:2, which i think isn't all that bad. it doesn't mean much

i'm going to keep track of this all my life, i've decided.

Michele Renee said...

I also love hearing the juice about how long couples last. Once a friend got married and we had never met the groom until the wedding day. My hubs said under his breath, “I don’t trust him; it will not last”. His comment annoyed me, but gosh, he ended up being right.

However, I did work as a wedding consultant and have many stories of RUDE officiants of every religious persuasion. I have stories of wedding vendors, such as the brother of Nat King Cole, whose band was chosen to perform by a couple for their reception. He told the bride he did not like me because I had previously discussed with him some deets such as what time the bride/groom will arrive and depart at the reception—some normal timeframes all other providers appreciate. He told the bride he wanted to be paid in advance so that he could pay the members of the band after her check cleared. She had the sense to say no, I will give you cash on the night of the event. So yours truly carried $2,000 in cash in my dress pocket the whole night. He told people he was tired and started to break down their equipment and finish a full 40 mins prior to the agreed upon time. The bride was on the dance floor. The bride seriously wanted to take him to small claims court.

Elizabeth said...

Ooh, ooh, I have another one (same bride) for the attendant category.

Same friend decided she didn't want to let ANYONE see her dress before the wedding day (read, her mother decided). One extremely hot Texas June day I got a call from Mother of Bride. "Lizzie, we would really love to bestow the honor upon you (note: I'm really, really not kidding) to come to X's wedding portrait in the Memory Garden tomrrow afternoon at 2 pm (WTF??? WE LIVE IN TEXAS!). You would be the ONLY person to see her dress before the wedding, which you know, we think is a very big deal. And you could be such a help, you know, with pictures and carrying things and such."

Wow! Thank you SO MUCH! What a FREAKING HONOR! I get to haul your big ole train, and carry your shoes and veil and sweat like a pig in the "memory garden" at the church which is actually where you can buy a little box in a granite wall to store your loved one's ashes. Wedding pictures in what really is a cemetery. Awesome.


I just had to make sure I was wearing the right underwear.

Becky's future sil said...

I am afraid that my wedding will be quite boring after reading this. I had a few funny thoughts to write and Chris said, "You can't write that. My Mom reads the blog." Hi Mom! Love you! Chris promises no butt slapping at our wedding! I was going to ask you to cut the cake for us Becky before I read the blog but now I won't :-( Only kidding. We are having cupcakes.

Michele said...

The only really disastrous wedding situation I have encountered is the one where the groom wanted me to have sex with him in the limo at the reception. And no I was not the bride. And yes, I left ASAP.

Meghan said...

I work at a church where people literally camp out in order to get married here. In fact, we've had a tent on the lawn since May 20 in order to sign up for a June wedding (we don't schedule more than a year out). For the record, this is completely unnecessary. Anyway, I'm sure our wedding coordinator has countless horror stories, but just recently we had a bride who had the most awful bright red veil. It looked terrible! And it didn't match anything else (actually, matching probably would have been worse)...but it was just a random massive (and somewhat whorish) red-orange veil. And it was not like it was a cultural nod or anything. It was just tacky.

As an officiant, I have a rule that people can't write their own vows. I've just seen it done poorly way too often. ("I will love you as long as love lasts."--which frankly, might not even be through next week.) If they want to say something lovely and poetic (or something they think is lovely and poetic) to their spouse during the ceremony, that is fine...but we're not calling it "vows." Yes, I'm mean.

Keely said...

I went to a Greek Orthodox wedding once - the ceremony is like, an hour long and the bride and groom have to clasp hands the whole time. It was in the dead of summer and the church wasn't air conditioned. The best man had to keep dabbing their foreheads with a hanky. Is there a category for poor planning?

Also one where the cousin of the groom was asked to do a reading from Winnie the Pooh. A totally irrelevant reading. At the reception, the toast to the groom was by a longtime friend, who apparently had a few issues to work out - she ROASTED him, and not in a funny way. In a really uncomfortable "please make this horribly accurate woman stop now" kind of way.

I'm sure I'll think of more ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh man! I'm sitting here feeling pissed that I haven't experienced any drama of this caliber at a wedding first hand! I love all the comments. The best I've heard of (wasn't allowed to go) was my neighbor who had a white trash reception with everyone drinking beer throughout the whole thing. Then the bride's ex showed up and the groom and him got into a fist fight. The cops broke it up. It caused quite a stir on our quiet street. :)

A Day That is Dessert said...

wow!!! is all I can say - your life is far, far more interesting than mine! I don't have a single wedding story that is in any way interesting... I'll keep thinking.

Becky said...

Whoa, Michele! That is one for the books! I'm thinking that marriage was doomed?

Meghan, I think your policy sounds great. The whole "write your own vows" thing has gotten WAY out of hand. I'm with Miss Manners on this one--stick to the script.

Liz, I want to punch that bride's mom. They knew exactly what they were asking for--somebody to be their slave-for-a-day!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I've only been to boring weddings evidently. And that last example? That must have taken place at a Waffle House.

Maureen said...

This is hilarious! Must share, I am from the NE, and my dear younger sister was recently married in the South, in August, with a full nuptial mass at noon, followed by a reception at 6pm. Sound good so far? The Groom was late, we love him but he's an absent-minded professor and my sister thought his family knew that--she only knew him 8 months, me for only 4 and even I knew he needed a chaperone. They were, of course, late to the the reception, so folks noshed and noshed on the appetizers, they arrived, did a receiving line, followed by cutting the cake which was immediately served--meanwhile the pulled pork continued to cook downstairs... appetizers, cake, BBQ, not what I was used to. Oh and it was an R2D2 Groom's cake--my only previous aquaintance with such an animal was "Steel Magnolias".

Christian said...

Just yesterday we were at a wedding that made me think of this very Suburban Matron post! The wedding itself was lovely, but during the reception, the groom's father (who's something of a lose canon) got "lost" during his toast (nothing written down! winging it!), and ended up revealing, apropos of nothing, that there's no such thing as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. Did I mention that this was a daytime wedding? Absolutely chock-full of young children? Polite children, who were behaving, listening to the toasts? Children who had believed in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny? It was tragic to watch the children's faces.