6 Real Stories of Weddings Gone Wrong

These couples' big-day disasters prove that sometimes it's OK if everything doesn't go according to plan.

Contributing Writer
Photography by: New Line/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

During wedding planning, there can be very serious elements to consider: Who will marry the two of you? Who will be on the guest list? How do you ensure the evening flows without a snag? All of these topics can turn up the stress, leaving you tossing and turning at night, hoping that nothing will go wrong. Sometimes, though, not-so-ideal situations are unavoidable, but they can also bring about a laugh, and an even better story to tell your grandkids. Real couples share their super-funny moments that'll make you take a deep breath and accept that it's OK if not everything goes as planned.


Wedding-Day Mishaps—and the Backup Plans to Fix Them

Chased out

Gitte of New York City eloped with her husband at the conservatory in Central Park 14 years ago. She was three months pregnant, she says, and didn't have the time to secure a permit for the location. "It was the most beautiful wedding," Gitte adds, nothing that her mother-in-law and husband Jack's best friend, as well as hers, were all in attendance. Everything went well until a worker approached the group and asked them to leave. "The camera kept rolling, and this guy was holding a chainsaw," she says. "We got it all on camera, so the story goes that we were chased out of Central Park by a man with a chainsaw." To this day, it's become a part of the couple's wedding story—even finding a special place into their wedding movie reel.


A bit heated

Kathryn of Broomfield, Colorado was married 25 years ago in Northern Virginia's Hunt Country, at a historic bed and breakfast. The ceremony was held in front of a large, stone fireplace. "It was a drizzly, cold day, so my cashmere sweater seemed appropriate," she says. "Because of the weather outside, the innkeeper had decided to turn up the heat—in addition to the blaze in the fireplace." During the ceremony, Kathryn's almost-husband noticed she had gone glassy-eyed, and started to tip over. He caught her in his arms before she pummeled into the minister, who would have toppled backwards into the fire. After a few minutes in the B&B's foyer with some cool air, Kathryn had recovered and was ready to finish the ceremony—but to this day she jokes that because of her condition, "I don't recall the 'obey' vow."


You're kidding me, right?

Katie and her husband, Nathan, were wed in Columbia, S.C. 13 years ago. Because the couple's families were mostly from out of town, they decided to have an intimate ceremony with only 20 or so guests near a creek at a local park. Although she had gotten clearance to use the space for the wedding, turns out, the space was accidentally double-booked with a city-wide "kids day." Fire engines, bouncy houses and dressed-up characters were everywhere! The group had to be escorted by police to the spot up the hill where they'd have their nuptials, but after the ceremony was over, the bridesmaids snapped photos with the Chick-fil-A cow—and Katie even tried to convince Nathan to jump in the bouncy house. "Thank goodness we both have a sense of humor and we enjoyed our special day despite the surprises and unplanned challenges!" she says.


Heads up

Nick of Washington, D.C. and his wife married three years ago in Grenville, S.C. During the speeches, Nick's dad incorporated a Nerf gun into his talking points, then he handed it off to Nick and his wife. "Just as my mother-in-law began her speech, the Nerf gun went off and hit her directly in the head. My face could not have been redder!" he says. "There is a picture of me with my hands over my face because of what I had done."


Excuse me?

When Seattle-based Kristen and her husband were saying their vows four years ago, they were pretty nervous, she admits. "My husband, instead of saying, 'In sickness and in health,' he actually blurted out, 'In thickness and in health!'" she says. But she wasn't offended. "He had absolutely no idea that he had misspoken until he was done saying the line."


Wardrobe malfunction

"I wore a vintage lace dress with a slip underneath," says Dorie of New York City of her wedding day. "Just before the wedding, I was standing in front of a glass door—backlit—and a friend noticed you could see my thong through the dress, but didn't know what to do or say since the wedding was about to start." The ceremony itself was under a tent with no walls, and she was backlit the entire time during the ceremony. "After the ceremony, a group of my friends were together heading to the reception, and one said, 'OK, raise your hand if you saw her thong!'" Dorie finds it particularly hilarious, especially because she's a professional photographer.


Fast Fixes for 4 Wedding-Day Wardrobe Malfunctions
About the Author

Cassie Neiden

As a guest who will never leave with a dry eye, Cassie finds sentiment in the little details that make a wedding day special. When she's not hobnobbing with floral growers for an industry publication, she's scouring Cleveland for the best food, fitness, and fashion the city has to offer. Her work has appeared in Greenhouse Management, Cleveland Magazine, Garden Center, and...


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