6 Movie Wedding Clichés That Never Happen in Real Life

Not all in-laws are pure evil, okay?

Updated 04/02/19

Suzanne Hanover/Universal Pictures/Everett Collection

We love a good wedding movie as much as the next bride. But as much fun as they are to watch, we have to admit they're often (OK, almost always) unrealistic—and thank goodness for that! For every gorgeous ceremony and tear-jerking maid of honor toast in films like Father of the Bride and Bridesmaids, there are even more disastrous bachelorette parties, insufferable in-laws, and complicated love triangles. Hollywood would have you believe that every wedding is the most stressful and drama-filled day of a bride's life, but here's the truth: Sometimes, the big day really is just a beautiful celebration of love between two people who like each other's families, didn't lose any teeth during their pre-ceremony partying, and are definitely not in love with each other's best friends.

That won't, of course, stop us from watching any of our favorite wedding movies. If anything, knowing just how inaccurate these portrayals are only makes them more entertaining to watch. From awful future in-laws to bachelor and bachelorette parties gone horribly wrong, here are six wedding lies and clichés perpetuated by Hollywood, and the movies in which you'll see them hilariously, ridiculously play out.

Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

Lie #1: At least one of your in-laws will absolutely hate you and do everything in his or her power to try and sabotage your relationship. But don't worry, they always come around in the end, because weddings fix everything, right? That is according to Meet the Parents, in which Robert De Niro's character spends the entire movie flat-out terrorizing his soon-to-be son-in-law (Ben Stiller) until finally, at the last possible moment, bestowing his blessing upon the marriage.

Movies: Meet The Parents, Monster-in-Law, Father of the Bride, Crazy Rich Asians, My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

Lie #2: The bachelor and bachelorette parties are bound to be an absolute mess and everything that can possibly go wrong will. For instance, the out-of-control bridesmaids might completely destroy the bride's dress, à la Bachelorette, or the groom could end up stranded on the top of a hotel roof and almost miss his own wedding, as Justin Bartha's character does in The Hangover. You know, just your typical pre-ceremony hijinks.

Movies: The Hangover, Bridesmaids, A Guy Thing, Bachelorette, Last Vegas, Rough Night

TriStar Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Lie #3: A best guy friend is never just a friend. They're always either secretly in love with the bride-to-be, or she's secretly in love with them. Alternatively, the bride's closest confidante might be pining over the groom from afar, or he might already be cheating on his fiancée with her childhood bestie. Ugh, love triangles. The one thing not guaranteed in Hollywood's depictions of these sticky situations is which combination of people will end up together: Sometimes the pining best friend gets the guy, like in Something Borrowed, and sometimes, despite commandeering a delivery truck and chasing the groom across the city, she doesn't—looking at you, My Best Friend's Wedding.

Movies: My Best Friend's Wedding, Something Borrowed, Made of Honor, When Harry Met Sally, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection

Lie #4: Many movies tell us it's highly likely one of you will fall in love with someone else while you're engaged, whether it be the wedding planner or a random wedding crasher or— a strangely popular choice for the genre—the bride's ex-husband. That last situation happens in both The Philadelphia Story and Sweet Home Alabama, in which, despite being engaged to kind, delightful men, both protagonists end up rekindling a romance with their moody, destructive exes.

Movies: Wedding Crashers, The Wedding Planner, The Wedding Singer, While You Were Sleeping, Leap Year, The Philadelphia Story, Sweet Home Alabama

Courtesy Everett Collection

Lie #5: Speaking now instead of forever holding your peace is encouraged and also quite common. As is bailing on your own wedding, apparently. After all, who really cares if you and your family just shelled out more than $40,000 for your big day? Ruined weddings are like catnip for Hollywood: Ceremonies are called off by brides, grooms, in-laws, best friends, and total strangers in practically every wedding movie, with nary a consequence considered. Bonus points if, like in The Graduate, the bride or groom immediately runs off with the person who decided to "speak now."

Movies: Sweet Home Alabama, Wedding Crashers, The Graduate, The Sweetest Thing, The Wedding Singer, Made of Honor, Four Weddings and a Funeral, While You Were Sleeping, Bride Wars, The Princess Diaries 2

Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

Lie #6: Someone's going to give the most epic wedding toast of all time—for better or worse. And usually, it's for worse. You'll never be able to unsee that horrific, cringeworthy speech given by a drunk-out-of-his-mind Steve Buscemi in The Wedding Singer, which spirals into a combination therapy session and admission to crimes like beating up his landlord and hiring prostitutes. Pro tip: Open bars and microphones do not mix.

Movies: The Hangover 2, Bridesmaids, Old School, The Wedding Singer, Step Brothers, The Five Year Engagement, Love Actually

Related Stories