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Being a couple is hard. Married people disagree, and sometimes fight. Even on the wedding day. Sometimes even in front of people. Let me tell you... That's AWKWARD. Don't do it.
While stress is probably the underlying factor for most couples who grump at each other within hours of saying "I do," the way the stress manifests itself is what's so disturbing to see. I've seen brides who are normally very poised and professional in their demeanor completely lose their cool in front of all their wedding guests. It's horrible to witness and hard to recover from — watching the bride and groom slug it out verbally is a real party killer.
One particular event I planned comes to mind whenever somebody talks about brides behaving badly at weddings. I actually cringe at the memory, and I'm sure all their family and friends do too. This specific bride was very into appearances. Everything had to be top shelf, imported, and the most expensive option available. We brought in a very pricey band from another island, and paid them extra to learn the bride and groom's first dance song.
In preparation for the big day, she literally dragged her two-left-footed groom to two dozen dance lessons. They practiced at home on a nightly basis. They rehearsed several times the day before their wedding in the actual space where they would be dancing, and it looked like he had it down.
Unfortunately, after a few cocktails and with 80 guests watching him, he blew it shortly after the music started. Nobody would have known there was a problem (because the bride's feet were covered by her dress so you couldn't tell they were out of sync) if she hadn't completely flipped. First time I've seen a bride yell at a groom in the middle of the dance floor during the first dance, then stomp away afterwards, with all the guests watching. And video cameras rolling. I was mortified for the groom, who had clearly tried his best. So much for keeping up appearances, right?
The embarrassed groom spent the rest of the evening drinking heavily with his buddies in the bar. It took me an hour to coax the bride out of her hotel room and back to the wedding reception, assuring her with a straight face that nobody had noticed the groom's missteps. She wasn't concerned about her behavior in the slightest — she was still FURIOUS that he botched the first dance. And she was still spoiling for a fight.
She ruined her own wedding reception.
Oh sure, people danced, but not the way they should have given the exceptional music and fantastic party we'd planned. The bride's and groom's families were clearly avoiding each other simply because it was too awkward. Moving around the perimeter of the party, I could hear every other cluster of guests gossiping about the bride's temper tantrum.
If something goes wrong at your wedding, take a deep breath and get yourself under control before you make your wedding memorable for all of the wrong reasons.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional and destination wedding planning company and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms based in the Washington, DC area. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show "Wedding Island," about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques. Sandy's book "How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional," will be released on March 1st, but is available online for pre-orders now where books are sold.