What’s the worst thing that’s happened?



People always want to hear wedding disaster stories. It’s a sick obsession that I’m happy to indulge! Really, if we can’t laugh when things go horribly wrong, we should be in another business.

The first story was one that I alluded to last week in my “Drinking at Weddings” post. At a recent wedding, we had a groomsman who had a lot to drink throughout the day. Somehow he made it through the serious part of the ceremony without any problems. But, about halfway into cocktail hour…and more than all the way gone…he started stripping off his clothes in the middle of the very upscale venue, surrounded by guests. He was trying to fight with anyone who so much as looked at him the wrong way. Luckily, another quick-thinking groomsman came to his rescue. He whisked the half-naked fighter off to the men’s room to regroup. It wasn’t pretty.

At this same wedding, a dinner table collapsed as the guests were being seated. Thankfully, no one was injured or too upset. One of the coordinators at the venue produces a hair dryer and the lady who got the bulk of the water from the pre-set glasses dried herself off. My favorite moment was when she answered her phone and started telling a friend what happened. She was laughing with disbelief! Just so you know, the catering company sprang to action and the whole thing was fixed within minutes. The photographer, Jeremy Lawson, got a great shot of the action, though!

I’ve had two weddings on Marathon Sunday. Both were in downtown Chicago. Both had little…shall we say…glitches.

The first was in 2006. The bride’s uncle was a minister and she wanted him to participate in the ceremony. Unfortunately, he got stuck on the other side of the marathon traffic and was 45 minutes late (even though I warned him about that!). We started the ceremony at about the time when it should have ended and I was worried that the couple wouldn’t get any photos together. However, the two ministers sped through the vows and we only ended up being about 15 minutes behind schedule in the end. Whew! My favorite thing was that there were guests who still showed up 10 minutes late to the ceremony that started 45 minutes late. What? Why bother!

The other Marathon wedding was in 2007. This was the year that the temperature was so high that the marathon was shut down. So, the bride asked me to pick up Garrett’s popcorn for her candy buffet prior to heading to her ceremony. No problem. I mapped out the path of the marathon and timed my trip to Garrett’s (which are only in the downtown/marathon area of course) to be at a point where the race should have been over and the path reopened. BUT…as I was pulling up to the intersection about two blocks from Garrett’s a police car sped around me. It turned on its lights and blocked the road in front of me. The next thing I know…a huge group of runners is barreling down the road! They were re-routing the race right in front of my eyes. I was concerned at this point because I still needed to get the popcorn and get out of the downtown area to do setup at the reception. Bless his heart, my husband came to my rescue! He came and sat in my car so I could get the popcorn. Then, he helped me find a route to get the heck out of there!

After dealing with this popcorn debacle, the minister in the un-airconditioned church refused to perform the wedding ceremony until he was ready. He made us wait an HOUR in the uncomfortably hot church until he was ready to come out and marry the couple. I kept going to the back of the church where he was hiding and asking how long it would be. He kept sending me away! What the heck? I was tempted to perform that ceremony myself!

I guess the moral of the story is that we can’t control every situation. We can plan and prepare, but crazy things happen. We can only control our response to each situation…