“The Police Arrived, Saw The Scale Of The Brawl And Called For Backup”: 30 Of The Most Shocking And Inappropriate Things People Witnessed At Weddings
If there’s ever a time to be on your best behavior, it would be at a wedding. If you’re a bride or groom, all eyes are on you, and you want to remember the occasion as one of the happiest days of your life. And if you’re not tying the knot, it’s best to draw as little attention as possible. Be respectful, dress appropriately, don't drink too many cocktails, and turn your attention to the happy couple.
However, weddings can be emotional. And despite showing up looking their best with a gift in hand, some people seem to forget their manners at home. Below, we’ve gathered some of the most appalling examples of inappropriate behavior that’s taken place at weddings, that people have shared on this Quora thread. From a groom who wrote offensive vows to a mother of the bride who decided to wear white to the ceremony, these breaches of wedding etiquette might make you count your blessings if your loved ones managed to attend your special day without causing a scene.
Be sure to upvote the tales you find most shocking, and then let us know in the comments if you’ve ever observed a major faux pas at a wedding. Keep reading to also find an interview with Los Angeles based wedding planner Alexa Farese. Then, if you’re interested in checking out another Bored Panda article detailing wedding horror stories, we’ve got the perfect one for you right here.
Some years ago at my little brother’s wedding, he sent out invitations stating very specifically that young children weren’t welcome at the reception and that all parties must RSVP the guest each was bringing (if not named in the invitation). We were clear: you cannot show up with anybody not RSVP’ed and it better not be more than the +1.
A relative showed up with her five kids and the oldest’s boyfriend to the reception. No gift. Never went to the actual wedding. Never RSVP’ed and they certainly didn’t RSVP the +6 she brought, wearing really ratty street clothing. It wasn’t very pleasant. My step mom was furious. My dad is anti-confrontational when it comes to family but this was particularly egregious.
My dad and step-mom had to ask the individual to talk. As my step-mom explained it, she said, “I was under the impression that family is the exception to such rules and that this was for friends.” (They wanted free food and alcohol.) Pam (step-mom) apparently said, “No. You were sent an invitation with the rules which applied to you. You didn’t RSVP and you certainly didn’t have the right to bring six people including one total stranger, eat for free, fail to bring a gift and then act inconvenienced.”
We haven’t seen that POS since then.
At my wedding, my new father-in-law started his speech by saying they assumed I was pregnant when their son told them we were getting married. I wasn’t, and he wasn’t joking. My husband called his parents on speakerphone to tell them the news when we got engaged, and their first comment was that he didn’t have to marry me, we could work something out, so clearly, they thought I was pregnant. Ironically, we have now been married and happily child-free for 18 years
I’ve been to several bridal showers where the bride for sure wasn’t inviting us to her wedding, but we were good enough to give her presents. Oh well. I tried to swallow it and show up anyway and be nice.
I guess my wedding was one that wasn’t done. My husband and I were broke and so we stapled invitations printed at Kinko’s to telephone poles in Athens, GA and had a potluck after the ceremony, which was held in the empty field next to our house. The minister was a guy in our food co-op who had a $5 license from the Mother Earth Church. Nobody really complained (though some older relatives got a bit sniffy), because everyone who came to the party was broke too, so it was more of a neighborhood event. We’ve been married 38 years.
Clearly, weddings can be a wild time. So to learn more about all of the chaos that can go down at these joyous events, we reached out to Los Angeles based wedding planner Alexa Farese. She's certainly an expert on the topic, as Alexa told us she has attended between 400-500 weddings in her lifetime. We asked her if she had witnessed anything particularly inappropriate at these events, and she told Bored Panda, "Ohhh, yes! I've seen it all, from guests wearing white (not cool!) to guests being so belligerently intoxicated they lock themselves in the bathroom and can't figure out how to open the door!"
"At one wedding, the groom became so intoxicated that he face-planted into the cake, breaking the dessert table on his way down!" Alexa shared. "Early on in my career I was at a wedding where the bride's ex showed up with a group of his friends. They snuck in through the kitchen and started a fight with the bridal party! It was NUTS! Luckily security put an end to the chaos quickly, but it was wildly inappropriate and took the spotlight off of the couple for the moment. Some of the less extreme and common faux-pas are showing up late, whispering (or outright talking) throughout the ceremony and/or speeches, and over indulging in the bar."
My parents joined in with my first dance. It was the first time my husband (who is somewhat shy) had ever agreed to dance with me and it was special, until my parents decided to crash it and join in as well. This was not unusual, my mum tried to make the whole wedding about her and her needs, even down to wearing a white dress and having flowers in her hair like I did.
It didn’t ruin the wedding but it did make me see for the second to last time, just how self-centred and thoughtless she was. Fortunately, apart from once after our UK wedding reception (we got married overseas), I have not seen her since and my life has been infinitely better for it.
We then asked Alexa what some of the most important things to keep in mind are when it comes to wedding etiquette. "Weddings are meant to be a celebration of love and union - all guests and vendors should remember this!" she told Bored Panda. "Arrive on time, smile big, be quiet through the ceremony and toasts, pay attention to special dances and moments, dance the night away, and always, always drink responsibly! As long as you show up ready to celebrate your loved ones' special day and stay committed to that mindset throughout the wedding, then you are doing it right."
I was working as a silver service waitress for a wedding at a local hotel. After the meal was served and cleared, I and the other waiting staff started making the rounds with ‘champagne’ for the toast as speeches were about to start.
As I approached the top table the bride launched herself out of her seat and started laying into the maid of honour, fists flying, hair pulling, cursing, stuff getting hauled off the table to use as weapons, furniture knocked over, the whole nine yards.
Members of the wedding party tried to pull the two ladies apart, but it escalated into a pitched battle with family members from all sides being involved.
The manager of the hotel evacuated the staff to the car park and the police were called. The police arrived, saw the scale of the brawl and called for back up. The car park filled with police cars and they went in and broke up the fight.
We saw the bride handcuffed and taken away in a police car. The maid of honour and one other bridesmaid left in an ambulance. Various other members of the wedding party were hauled off in police vans.
Turns out the Bride’s mother stumbled upon the Groom banging the Maid of Honour in the disabled toilet earlier in the reception and decided to share that information with the Bride whilst the party was waiting for champagne to be served!
We were also curious why people feel that they can act inappropriately at weddings. "This is a tough question," Alexa said. "Weddings are really emotional days, and those emotions can manifest differently for people. Some people take overwhelming emotion and turn it into drama or stress. Maybe it is easier for some people to process or handle more familiar emotions (like stress)."
"When we see this behavior from parents or close relatives of our couples we usually try to occupy them with a purpose (i.e. put them in charge of keeping the bouquet safe all night, have them help usher guests, etc.). People with a purpose are able to focus their emotions a little easier and tend to calm down," Alexa explained.
If you're in need of a wedding planner or just want to gain some inspiration for the future, be sure to visit Alexa's website right here.
I heard the marriage celebrant say to the bride as she signed the register, 'This will be the last time you use that name.' The bride replied pleasantly, 'Oh no, that’s my name, and I’m not changing it.' Then, the marriage celebrant introduced the bride and groom as Mr. and Mrs. (husband’s name). I was appalled at this rudeness, and the look of anger on the bride's face was obvious. If the bride could have shot laser beams out of her eyes, she would have. But the bride said nothing, not adding to the rudeness of the marriage celebrant. I wasn’t the only one who heard this rudeness, and basically, the marriage celebrant ‘aggressively’ stamping her views on marriage on someone else’s day. Another shocked guest came up to the bride and commented on it, and congratulated the bride for keeping her cool
I sincerely hope that if any of you pandas are planning on tying the knot soon that your friends and family members will know how to behave themselves, but if something goes wrong, just know that you're in good company. Apparently, drama can ensue anytime at any place, even a wedding. Keep upvoting the stories you find particularly wild, and then let us know in the comments if there was any chaos on your wedding day.
I went to a wedding with my roommate as her 'plus one'...or so I thought. Turns out, she was NOT invited. She had previously dated and given an STD to the groom
Let me start by saying I have a family that has a very old school mentality when it comes to things like respect, loyalty, and how we show someone they've made a misstep with their personal conduct. So in the mid to late 90s 1 of my female cousins got married. She was in her mid 20s and had been living with her husband for a couple of years before the wedding. After the wedding there were probably 400–450 people at the reception. After all of the traditional festivities of food, toasts, and dancing the party atmosphere cranked up. As people danced, drank, and generally enjoyed themselves 7 or 8 of us guys were behind the head table talking about the new couple's life going forward. As a group of guys often do, especially after a few adult beverages have been deployed, we were breaking balls and laughing when the now husband says something to the effect of if she doesn't do something to get control of expanding fat sloppy ass I'll have to take action. Unfortunately for him his wife's father was right next to him and obviously took offense. He immediately told the husband, that she is his daughter, he'd better show her the respect she deserves, further disrespect would not be tolerated. The husband replied that she was now his property and he'd any say any goddamn thing he wanted. It was at this point my uncle decided to show the husband how serious he was when he spoke. He did this by tackling him over the head table and throwing him a beating for the ages. Still the only wedding I've ever heard of ending with the groom leaving the reception in an ambulance due to injuries inflicted by his new father-in-law. Good times! Just FYI they are no longer married, it only lasted a short time after the wedding day.
I attended a wedding where there were 30 “surprise” guests (who were not invited by the bride and groom but by other people on the groom’s side who had invited them without asking or telling anyone) for a sit down dinner at a very fancy hotel. As if that wasn’t bad enough, some of these “extra uninvited guests” demanded “kosher meals” at the dinner (I was helping with the wedding arrangements and I ordered them tuna salad sandwiches because I knew for certain that the tuna salad was kosher. Some of them had the nerve to complain to me that they wanted baked salmon. I told them that if they wanted baked salmon for dinner, they were free to leave because they were getting the tuna salad sandwiches that I was kind enough to order for them at the last minute). To really “add the finishing touches”, one of these “extra uninvited guests” brought her 8 year old grand daughter (this was a “no children” wedding) who started to perform her tap dance recital on the dance floor as the music started. I dragged this brat (kindest way to describe her) off the dance floor and told her grandmother that since they were not invited to this event by the bride and groom (who had no idea who they were), they had to leave NOW or I would have security remove them
I didn't see it for myself, but my parents told me that at my brother's wedding reception, my great-aunt approached my dad, told him it was her birthday, and asked if the venue staff could bring her a cupcake with a lit candle that she could blow out while everyone sang 'Happy birthday' to her. My dad, as father of the groom, was distracted and flustered, and he apparently agreed to this request (maybe to get the great-aunt to go away so he could deal with other people and issues that needed his attention) but never actually arranged for it, although he didn't fail to do so intentionally. After the wedding, my great-aunt called my mom's sister and left a tremendously pissed-off message in her voicemail. My mom's sister later shared it with my parents. This resulted in our family dubbing the great-aunt 'Aunt Cupcake.'
I was the deacon, assisting the priest who’d do the wedding. I’d caught the groomsmen half an hour before sharing drinks from a big bottle of good Scotch. I admonished them and confiscated the half-empty bottle. I thought that was the big breach of the day. I was wrong.
Thirty minutes later the church was full. The organist was playing Bach to fill in until the ceremony began. They’d already pulled out the white cloth to cover the main aisle for the bride’s grand entrance. The altar candles were blazing. The mostly sober groom and five groomsmen in their rented regalia were marching into place at the front, to wait for the bride. The maid of honor and five matching bridesmaids were already there.
The mother of the bride found me. I could see her tears, common at a wedding. She whispered. “Julie changed her mind.” I asked “About what? Vows? the wedding candle? What next?”
“About getting married!” Mother said, out loud. “Can you talk to her? She likes you.”
I followed Mom back to the little bride’s room downstairs. Julie was there in a chair with her worried dad, wedding dress and veil on, tears streaming, mouth quivering. “I’m not doing it, I’m not doing it? I don’t love him he doesn’t care about this baby!” (Baby? What baby?) She turned to her mother and almost shouted “you can’t make me.” I did a perfunctory “Are you sure, Julie?” I got a definite “yes,” and said “OK, I’ll go tell Father Wozniak. Do you want us to tell the people?” She did.
Thank God Father W. decided he’d tell the people. He went out, explained that the bride was having a bit of a thing, nothing dangerous, but that the wedding wasn’t going ahead. I don’t remember specifics, but he was a great speaker and made it sound almost . . .normal.
It was definitely the biggest breach of wedding etiquette I ever experienced, and later, when I was helping couples get ready for their marriage ceremony, I was always careful to be sure they were sure.
A female friend married another friend... When they announced their engagement, his mom suddenly got 'the vapors' like a delicate Southern belle, fanning her face with a hanky and calling for water. They went on with the wedding plans. Everything went fine, but when they did the cake-smashing thing, his mom literally sprinted to her son, shoved the bride out of the way, licked a tissue and tried to clean the cake off his face. He was appalled, and his mom got upset when he went to his now wife to apologize for his mom shoving her out of the way
The groom's brother-in-law thought it would be hilarious to roast him about his former drug use. The drug use had been long-ago in the past, when the groom was young. By his wedding day, he was a responsible adult, working in a high-power job for a conservative Wall Street firm. BIL did his routine in front of all the assembled people, including the groom's own parents, his new in-laws, and some bosses and colleagues from his job. That was at least 15 years ago; the groom still won't talk with BIL.
My husband and I just got married in June. My Mother In-laws behavior was appalling. She started eating appetizers before the wedding, which in itself isn't that bad. She stood during the entire ceremony, blocking the view of many of the guests, including my parents who paid for everything. They had to move in order to see. She also blocked the view of the wedding photographer we hired.
After the ceremony, she didn't even give my husband and myself a second to ourselves to celebrate together. She threw her phone at me, demanding I take a picture of her and her son. My sister said something to her, and she nearly threw punches at her for speaking up.
When I didn't take a picture of them because the photographer walked up and asked to take family pictures, she pestered her to take a picture with her phone for about 15 minutes. The photographer offered to text her photos, but she refused.
At the reception, she complained about the food, saying it was too spicy (we had a taco bar). Despite complaining she tried to get seconds before everyone had even been served their first plate. My husband told me she complained when I didn't spend the whole reception at the head table. All I can say now, is that I'm so glad my husband is the polar opposite of her.
I’m not certain it’s a breach, but while attending my sister-in-law's wedding in the Caribbean, the girlfriend of someone in the wedding party (they had been together for 5-6 years) started 'woe is me' nonsense about not getting engaged, and she’s not getting any younger, and actually crying and making a scene at the reception. Her boyfriend called for a cab and went to a jewelry store and bought her a wedding ring DURING the reception. Here’s where the train completely derails. He presents her the ring at the reception, and she cries. She doesn’t like the ring he bought for her. Now, every woman at the reception is over trying to comfort her while her boyfriend stands there with a ring box and a $3,500 ring. He calls another cab and goes back to the jewelry store and buys a more expensive ring on his credit card. He brings it back to the now thinning reception and gives it to his weepy girlfriend. She perks right up and says, 'Much better!
The groom had been engaged before, and he'd canceled his first wedding just days in advance. His choice was the right one, but it was nonetheless a painful, difficult, embarrassing decision, something best left in the past.
When he did marry another person, some years later, his brother was best man. Brother began his toast by crassly teasing about the broken engagement and last-minute cancellation. He started with a series of supposed jokes about:
-- Can we really believe the groom had shown up this time?
-- Who thought he'd actually go through with it?
-- Did the guests think they'd be together that day instead of getting cancellation phone calls?, etc.
None of this was funny; it was all cruel. People were glancing at each other awkwardly. The newly-married couple stared at the floor and tried to laugh uncomfortably.
At our wedding reception, my sister-in-law made a point of going around to several people commenting I had a lot of nerve wearing white when I had lived with my husband before marrying, a fact which was not a secret exactly, but we hadn't advertised it either. She wore white at her wedding even though she had been married before
In 2004, I was getting married to a wonderful lady. I was a two time loser, but felt I was a different person now, and that I had found a woman crazy enough to put up with the parts that hadn’t yet changed. We went a less traditional route, at least it was less traditional in 2004, and had an outdoor wedding at a spiritual retreat with a really nice female minister. We sat down and planned out what we were going to say, and she told us she would say some things about marriage, etc. On the big day, it was unseasonably warm, maybe mid-80’s, and we were both nervous/excited. We had a small gathering, maybe 50 people, and were mostly in the shade, so we were making do. When the minister started talking, I swear she spoke for 20 minutes, at least. She rambled so much that she started talking about her former husbands (yes, plural). She was talking about her 2nd husband leaving socks in the sink, or something nutty like that, when I gave her a look that must have conveyed my displeasure, because she quickly ended her ‘speech?’ and we wrapped everything up. We’ve been married for almost 18 years and we still will talk about the crazy lady that married us
We were invited to my cousin's wedding… Held at a very ritzy place! Her parents are pretty wealthy… Nothing left undone! The groom's family also pretty well off. His family traveled several hours by car for the wedding. It was a "weekend get-away" type wedding. His family only stayed overnight the night before the wedding… This enabled them to literally strip the wedding reception room of ANY leftover food (they actually brought containers for the food!),took every flower (even the flower pieces that were placed in the private bathrooms for wedding guests only). My uncle ended up paying an additional $40,000 for all the things taken from the groom's parents & siblings rooms… including the tv's that were mounted to the walls!!! My cousin was wild with anger… and when her new husband defended his family… she had the marriage annulled within a month! Total "wedding cost" was over $100,000… Including lawyer fees for the divorce!
A bride was Soo upset that the DJ had a brief electrical issue during the first dance. That she went into the bridal suite and would not come out for about 2 hours. To me that's just beyond acceptable because, sure your first dance got ruined, but to ruin the rest of the party was sad to see.
I went to a large wedding where the bride and groom wrote their own vows. The bride was my friend, and she read her very heartfelt, romantic vows first. When it was the groom’s turn, he paused and blushed deeply (which seemed sweet and romantic) until he opened his mouth. When he began reading his vows, you could have cut the tension in the room with a knife. It became immediately obvious that his blush wasn’t due to his tender feelings for his bride, it was embarrassment about what he was about to say. I cannot imagine what he was thinking when he wrote his vows, and I can only hope his intention was to be humorous and not cruel. His vows made light of marriage in general and the bride herself. It came across as a passive aggressive dig toward her and were in no way funny or loving
the groom was a “bit of a lad” and at his own wedding went outside of the reception hall with his new Mother In Law and f****d her. That’s got to be a breach of all sort of etiquette. Though I am unsure on who is most at fault
A couple of years ago, we were invited to family member's wedding. It was out of town (about an eight-hour drive for us). Actually, the vast majority of the guests were from out of town like us. So, we get the invitation and notice there is an 'A' reception and a 'B' reception. The 'A' reception was right after the ceremony and just for immediate family and close friends. It included a catered dinner, a wedding cake, all the normal reception stuff. The 'B' reception was for everyone else and occurred about five hours after the ceremony and just included dessert. All guests invited to the 'B' reception had to provide their own meals and entertainment during the five hours that the 'A' reception was happening. We, like most other guests, were invited to the 'B' reception
My dad was an Episcopal Priest and one of his Parishes was in South Philly.
He did a decent amount of funerals, baptisms, and weddings and I would usually be asked to serve as an acolyte since that meant one less person had to be asked to serve for a special service.
On this particular wedding in the early ‘80s a girl from our church was getting married to a soldier in one of the local mob families. He was gregarious and handed out a twenty dollar bill to each of us who served during the service. This was the first time I had ever received a tip so he seemed cool to me at age 14.
The night rolled on and the drinks were plenty and pretty much everyone had a few too many. I decided to walk home with one of my friends and as we got out to the front sidewalk, the groom followed us out and was telling us how much he appreciated us helping out.
He took a bit to tell us what he wanted to say and during that time a car pulled up and asked if everything was OK?
The groom reached inside his coat and pulled a gun part way out and asked the people in the car if they wanted to get involved. Of course they sped away.
He instantly started laughing, finished what he had to say to us and we quickly went on our way home. Even though he was joking, it scared us to the core.
So in the end I think bringing a gun to your own wedding is a breach of wedding etiquette!
Last November I was in a wedding where the father of the groom’s speech was not about the couple, marriage or the nature of love itself—it was about the Philadelphia Eagles.
This was not an elaborate metaphor. He started with a joke about how he “pulled some strings” to make sure this particular weekend was a bye week for the team. He talked about how much he enjoyed watching football with his only son and how proud he was that the bride was now an Eagles fan too. After several anecdotes about his “good friend” Don Smolenski (President of the franchise) he mercifully concluded by showing off his Superbowl ring.
The speech was eight minutes long. At one point my mother in her everlasting candor turned to me and stage-whispered:
I will NEVER do this to you.
The kicker is that this wedding was in Pittsburgh. Nobody in that room gave 2 shits about the Philadelphia Eagles.
The bride, not wanting to alienate or upset any of her friends by picking a maid of honor and bridesmaids, opted to have no attendants, and they had no groomsmen either. (They did have planned witnesses to sign documents.) All of the married friends decided to wear their own wedding dresses to the wedding in 'revenge.'
The bride and groom stayed within a budget and had a small wedding, did their own floral decorations the morning of, and the bride’s mother baked and decorated a delicious cake for a home based reception. The groom’s sister “Betty” officiated the wedding. The groom’s other sister “Lois” is a lifelong drug addict and a pretty disrespectful person.
“Lois” repeatedly announced “Today is my birthday!” That was true, but an unnecessary distraction at the synagogue (thankfully not during the ceremony.)
The wedding held near the home of the mother of the groom, was about a 3 hour drive from home, and most of the family drove to the city and got hotel rooms. “Betty” and “Lois” shared one hotel room. The evening before the wedding and the morning of the wedding were nonstop drama designed to distract “Betty” before she performed her first wedding, including hiding her car keys.
When everyone processed into the chapel and stood on the bimah, it was shocking to see the infected scabs on “Lois’s” arms and legs. Yet she had chosen a short skirt when they shopped for their outfits at the bridal store. I believe she wanted to get any kind of attention, even negative.
At some point, a member of the bride’s family walked into the ladies room and saw “Lois” shooting up. She asked someone whether the bridesmaid was a diabetic. I think that was the low point of the day.
I’ve been at TWO wedding receptions where people took a chair to the buffet table to eat
We were part of the wedding party of a friend. She was the 'cool mom,' so she told the 'bartender' to serve her 17-year-old son’s friends. Go figure, booze and a bunch of teenagers weren’t a good combination. It started as one fight, which started several other fights, which led to adults trying to stop the fights, which led to adults fighting with ‘kids,’ which spread to include a large part of the guests. Police were called, people were arrested, and an Elk’s Lodge was trashed all for a marriage that only lasted a few weeks
Well, it might have been ME! My husband's cousin was marrying his beloved, and we (me, hubby, and six kids) were invited. I had not worn a dress in years, and my teen daughter and I spent hours finding something flattering and comfortable: a sleeveless midi with a cute jacket. The periwinkle color flattered my eyes. We were not involved in planning at all. Imagine my embarrassment when I realized the bridal party and whole color scheme of the wedding was periwinkle!
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