These 16 Wedding Industry Horror Stories Might Make You Want To Elope

“As I am scarfing food down, I look at my fork and see a dead cockroach with my cold salmon.”

There’s no drama quite like wedding drama, so I recently asked the people on the frontlines — wedding industry employees — for their wildest gossip.

Here’s what they had to say:


“I worked for the worst wedding planner in the world. She refused to get the bride (who had kidney issues) a bottle of water because she hadn’t ordered any ahead of time. I got the poor woman her water and took a reprimand.”



“I’m a wedding musician. I showed up to a large wedding in which I was to play the harp with an organist, singer, and pianist. The pianist strolled in and asked, ‘So what songs are we playing?’ WHAT?! Everyone else has been practicing for weeks.”



“Wedding photographer here! A few years ago, we shot this beautiful Catholic wedding, with a large reception at an expensive golf course. While we were out taking photos of the newlyweds on the course, the bride’s uncle hit up the open bar at cocktail hour. The problem? He was a recovering alcoholic.

“Not even a delicious dinner could soak up the booze, and right after dancing started, we saw a ton of waitstaff bolting for the door to the parking lot. The newlyweds ran outside to see her uncle, without many clothes on, chasing another family member with a machete in the parking structure! We stood there in horror as he jumped in his truck and sped off into the night, as the police were called. We went back inside, packed our things, quietly thanked the couple for a lovely day, and left.” 

Ashley Durham


“I used to work as an assistant wedding planner in college. I once worked a wedding where the two families hadn’t met prior to that day. Turns out the moms got off on the wrong foot and HATED each other. The groom’s mom was supposed to cut the cake but noped out long before that.

“The groom also got so drunk that the bride had to hold him up during their first dance. Needless to say, there was no wedding night fun for them.”



“When I was filming a wedding, the minister called the groom by the bride’s ex’s name. Not a horror story but pretty cringey.”



“I have been in the wedding industry for 10 years, and the worst experience was during a rehearsal the night before. A woman arrived stating she was the groom’s mother. I led her to the meeting spot and waited for the happy couple to arrive. Once they did, I said, ‘Your mom is here and waiting for you.’ They both have me funky looks, and he said, ‘That’s not possible. I just checked her into the hotel, and she will be late.’

“Turns out the first woman to arrive was his biological mother who had left him, (his dad and his baby brother) when he was only 3 for ANOTHER MAN! They hadn’t seen or heard from her since. 

To make it even better, she brought the new man and the family she created with her. She even tried insisting that she walk him down the aisle.” —alexandrasherf


“At a wedding we were photographing at an upscale Malibu venue, we had the worst wedding planner and caterer ever. The planner was essentially useless all day and showed up dressed like a call girl, which whatever — stuff got done, that’s all I cared about. Dinner rolled around, and we sat patiently waiting for our plates which never showed up. We let the planner know that we still hadn’t gotten dinner even after the last table had been served, and she didn’t do anything about it.

“Since getting dinner is in our contract, I spoke with the caterer who said they’d fix us a plate. Since dancing had already started, we took turns eating so no coverage was lost, and as I am scarfing food down, I look at my fork and see a dead cockroach with my cold salmon. Turned out the caterers had forgotten about us because the planner never reminded them, and they had gotten our food from the trash bin. To add insult to injury, after the wedding, the planner offered to refer us to future couples — for 25% of our fee. WTF?!” 

Ashley Durham


“My cousin works at a resort that hosts a lot of weddings in Port Douglas, Australia. She told me about THE most garbage bridezilla who set out rules for her bridesmaids — no getting engaged, no hair changing, no getting pregnant, etc. When one poor bridesmaid accidentally got pregnant and then miscarried about a week before the wedding, she told the bride she needed a procedure first to remove the miscarriage, and that she would still be in the wedding. Said bridezilla went absolutely OFF HER TREE as her rules about getting pregnant were ‘violated,’ and she forcefully coerced this girl (who obviously was terrified, and was also bleeding, spotting, and feeling very uncomfortable) to put off the procedure until after the wedding and still be in the wedding party.

“All because she wanted a ‘perfect’ day. The other bridesmaids didn’t find out about this until in between the ceremony and reception, when bridezilla was berating the poor bridesmaid for ‘looking miserable’ for the photos. All the bridesmaids then subtly up and left during the reception (before the speeches lol), all checked out of the resort, and left together.” 



“Worst thing ever was when the mother of the groom and the groom danced the mother-son dance. They danced to ‘Pony.’ Enough said.”



“I’ve been a wedding planner for 10 years, so I’ve got a TON of stories — I think this one is my all-time favorite, though. At a wedding last year, the best man, who was also the groom’s brother, went on a beer run 30 minutes prior to the ceremony, crashed his truck on the side of the road, and was arrested for a DUI. Hence, we did the ceremony without him.”

“A few hours later, he reappeared toward the end of dinner, and when I got him a bottle of water and some food and told him that his brother would still like for him to give the best man toast, he held his head low and said, ‘I’ll do whatever you need me to do.’ He gave the toast, rambled for a bit, cried, and then his brother cut him off, gave him a hug, and we went on with the party.” —aeholder


“Whoa, Nelly, do I have some stories from my five years as a bridal consultant at a popular, mid-budget chain. I recently had a bride who was perfectly nice, excited for her wedding, if a little picky (which is fine, if there’s ever a time to be picky, it’s shopping for a wedding dress). She was between two dresses, both fitted, but one with satin. Silk-satin fitted dresses show everything, making them (obviously) hard to wear. As she’s walking out of the appointment, she cheerfully and casually says, ‘I don’t think I’ll wind up going with the satin dress. I don’t want my stomach to stick out the whole time…like yours is right now’ and waves goodbye. Reader, WTF!”



“I’m a wedding pianist. I once played a wedding where the elderly minister had previously undiagnosed Alzheimer’s. He got his papers mixed up several times during the ceremony and had the groom say his vows three times and the bride never got to say hers. He had me repeat a solo twice (it was a long, complicated classical piece) and then started yelling at me when I wouldn’t play it a third time. The groom never got his ring, but the bride had hers on. For the icing on the cake, he had the vocalist sing a hymn as an unplanned solo that had been planned as a congregational hymn. She was so flustered, she grabbed my music so she could read the words of the song, so I was left to play the song by ear with no music. It ended up being the longest wedding, and I’m not sure they were legally married at the end!

“Thankfully, the couple seemed to think it was hilarious.” 



“In college, I worked as a concierge at a country club where lots of wedding receptions took place. During one reception, the wedding planner came running out yelling, ‘Call security, call security!’ Apparently, some family drama went down, and the groom’s father punched him in the face at the cocktail hour in front of all the guests. He and the rest of the family were escorted out, and the bride spent the rest of the evening crying.”



“I work for a resort in a high-end desert town. We had a wedding over a long holiday weekend. The Friday of the weekend, the bride and groom had a pool party at the resort pool. They rented a cabana, and the groom got drunk and started peeing in the bushes in broad daylight instead of using the restroom. When a towel girl asked him what he was doing, he exposed himself to her (she was also 17) and made lewd comments.

“She told her manager, and we called the police. The hotel refused to press charges and agreed to not cancel the wedding unless he paid to have security outside his room 24/7 and only could attend the rehearsal dinner and wedding and could not go anywhere else. Obviously, everyone in the wedding knew what was going on. The wedding planner overheard the bride tell her mother it was cheaper to divorce him after the wedding was over than to lose out on everything she pre-paid for.” 



“My worst appointment ever as a bridal stylist/consultant was three or four years ago. My beautiful bride brought her mother and her aunt, and they’d clearly been to a few salons unsuccessfully, partly because the bride had her eye on a dress at our store and couldn’t decide until she tried it on. I quickly found out that the other reason they’d had such an awful time shopping was because the MOB and AOB were incredibly cruel people.

“Apparently, the bride had recently gained some weight, and her bust size had increased considerably, but she was still by no means a plus-size bride. MOB and AOB said just the meanest things to this poor, beautiful girl, including ‘that dress might look good when you get back to your normal weight,’ ‘your fat boobs are spilling out of that dress,’ ‘ew,’ etc. it was terrible, and the bride was in tears with me in the dressing room. I had enough, and started to stick up for her, which just made the two women turn on ME.

“‘Don’t tell me you’re one of those girls who thinks everyone is beautiful’ and ‘don’t lie and say she doesn’t look fat in those dresses to make yourself feel better about how you look,’ on and on. Truly incredibly cruel, creatively cruel. To be clear, the bride had gone from a size 4 to, like, a size 8. The bride and I both cry in the dressing room and have a long chat about how the right wedding dress will make her feel beautiful no matter her weight. She didn’t buy a gown from my store, and I assume continued to shop with her awful mother and aunt. I think about her often; I hope she found something she liked and someone gagged her MOB and AOB on her wedding day.” 



“I’m a wedding planner. One wedding, the best man (who had to drive from out of town) was three hours late, so we literally did the ceremony without him after pushing it back 90 minutes. When he showed up, he fought with his uncle, the uncle called his friends to come help him fight, the friends brought guns, and we had to take shelter. All before dinner. ? “

Cydney Washington

Got any other wedding industry horror stories? Sound off in the comments!

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