Real Brides Share Epic Wedding Day Disasters

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I woke up with flu the morning of the wedding. But the show must go on—there were 100 guests, flowers, food, our hopes and dreams...! The moment I was asked whether I took my fiancé’s hand in marriage I opened my mouth to say yes—and threw up all over my gorgeous gown!” —Ann

“At the reception, my father-in-law suddenly clutched his chest in agony and fell to the floor. Thankfully one of the guests was a nurse and worked on him while we waited in shock for the ambulance. The only lucky piece of the day was that it was a mild heart attack, but my husband and I spent what would have been our honeymoon in the hospital!” —Sue

“We had a casual wedding—the reception was in a sports bar/restaurant. As we were leaving the private room where our party was held, a broken glass started flying toward someone’s head. Literally the entire wedding party got involved in the fight. By the time the cops came one of my bridesmaids had her dress torn off! It was a nightmare. When the cops came they started arresting people—my new husband barely escaped being carted away! We demanded—successfully!—that the restaurant return our deposit!” —Lisa

“If this hadn’t happened to me, I wouldn’t have believed it was possible. Our officiant forgot he was supposed to marry us and went away for the weekend! So my beloved and all our guests proceeded to the reception even though the ceremony hadn’t taken place. After dinner one of the guests announced he had one of those licenses you get over the Internet to perform a wedding, so we headed back to the reception site and took our vows. Better late than never!” —Amy

"Our wedding was on a Sunday afternoon at a beautiful Georgian-style house in October 2015 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There were a number of setbacks that morning, from the cake arriving late to the bridal bouquet flowers being the wrong colors...but I tried to brush them off as ‘typical.’ Unfortunately, our bad luck didn't end there. After the reception a wedding guest pulled our car around as we were saying our final goodbyes. Our friends and family were waving ribbon wands as we got in the car. My husband couldn’t find the keys. They weren’t in the car. The guest who’d driven our BMW swore he had given the keys to someone else, who denied ever taking the keys. We then had a party of no less than 30 people searching high and low for our car keys through decoration boxes, bride and groom suites, the entire venue, to no avail. After hours of searching the venue, we still came up empty. Almost all of our guests, except mostly family and a handful of our bridal party remained. We ended up having to lock the car and spend six hours waiting in Tulsa while my mother-in-law drove back to Oklahoma City (a two-hour drive one way) to get the spare key and bring it back to us. The key never turned up!" —Tracie

“I was seven months pregnant when we married. I’d so been nervous all day about every detail going right that I fainted. Luckily, my fiancé caught me before I hit the ground. So instead of saying ‘I do’ I was rushed to the hospital. It turned out I was dehydrated. I was given fluids. We rescheduled the ceremony until way after our daughter’s birth—she came on time!—so there wouldn’t be a repeat experience.” —Linda

“Our wedding was in May, outdoors, in 2008. What an Okie rookie! Yikes! Fortunately, no one was injured. The power did go out. I still get asked how I handled everything. A member of the wedding party synced up some tunes during the reception. All of our family and friends were together on this insanely gorgeous bluff. I was in my wedding-day FOG—where all brides should be if the power goes out. We got to fall asleep as Mr. & Mrs.—unplugged, but blissful.” —Melissa

Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW, is a New York City–based marriage therapist and author.

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