At a traditional straight wedding, there are two important people: The bride and the mother of the bride. You could call the groom a distant third, but the truth is that he’s not even in the same league, importance-wise.

Everyone in the wedding industry knows this. It doesn’t look like the news has filtered out into the public, though. Guests are still wearing their own wedding dresses to other peoples’ weddings; they’re still starting fights at the reception; they’re making the whole event about them.

Don’t believe us? Listen to the folks of Reddit, who’ve shared some utterly mortifying stories from their wedding days. We’ve edited the best of their “guestzilla” posts for length, content, and readability—take them as cautionary tales.

Getting married? Keep a close eye on your in-laws.

You can’t always blame the crasher or the weirdo plus-one. More often than not, it’s an in-law, an aunt, or even dear old Granny who ruins the special day. Take this unfortunate Reddit user, whose wedding day was trashed by the mother-of-the-groom.   

“Finally a thread I can comment on,” wrote a Reddit user whose account has since been deleted. “I recently had my wedding, and we woke up together happy to be getting married. Then my soon-to-be husband received a text from his mother.”

“[For background, at the time] his mother had waist-length black hair. [She sent her son] a photo of her—she cut and colored her hair exactly like mine. Shoulder-length, brown with blonde streaks. I was livid! Of all days to color your hair! And to do it on my wedding day.”

“Fine. I let it go and decided to just forget it. Finally, it’s the moment we all have been waiting for, I’m walking to the aisle, and we reach the front. The parents were called up so we all could recite a vow together. Our wedding was held in front of a river bank, mind you.”

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“His mother then proceeded to walk around me near the pastor instead of being with the other parents near the groom. She proceeded to loudly scream and fall. As she fell she grabbed my hair, and I fell with her inches away from the riverbank.”

“My moment…ruined. She got up and laughed and walked away while I was on the ground trying not to cry. To be honest, I don’t remember anything else from the ceremony. I was seeing red.”

That’s pretty rough. But was it really the mother-of-the-groom’s fault? After all, anyone can stumble, right? The Reddit user addresses that question.

“After watching our wedding video, her husband and the pastor were holding her arms,” the Reddit user continued. “She deliberately stepped back and fell…I will forever refuse to speak to that woman. My husband stands by me on that decision. [To] this day, when I think about my wedding, I tear up. She ruined it and didn’t even feel sorry for it.”

Phew. That starts us out on a doozy. Still excited about your special day? Then keep reading.   

Watch your own relatives, too. They can be just as bad, if not worse.

“My mom stole my marriage license,” wrote MissWriter1. “I got married on Sunday. My aunt was taking flash photography the entire time, even though my officiant made the announcement about no photos or videos, and my photographer couldn’t get some of the shots I wanted.”

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“My mom and my aunt were also being … bitter and snobby. Then we did the signing of the license. I set it in my purse and walked away. I came back and my mom was going through my purse. She said she was getting some gum because ‘the brisket was too dry.’ It was only after she left that I realized I couldn’t find [the wedding license]. She took it. Now I have to get another one.”

That’s odd, but after reading these stories, nothing shocks us anymore. For instance, here’s the story of a one-time relative popping up at the absolute worst moment for the poor couple.

“I worked weddings,” wrote one Reddit user whose username has since been deleted. “The best was [that] the estranged, divorced father, who hadn’t been in the picture for 20 years and who was not invited, showed up. [He] recognized his ex-wife’s friend and started grabbing everything available to throw at her. Police escorted him off the premises.”

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All’s well that ends well, we guess? The ruining of a wedding can start ahead of time, though, if your siblings are motivated enough. Just listen to this report of a brother who put dogma before family in the worst way possible:

“[This didn’t really ruin] the wedding, but it certainly killed the vibe leading up to the wedding,” wrote islandsimian. “I asked my brother to be my best man at my wedding…He said ‘yes.’”

“[Months later,] he comes to us and tells us that he can’t be the best man or even be at the ceremony because his priest tells him it will be a mortal sin for him to be a witness to the ceremony because I am not asking for dispensation and getting married in an Episcopal church.”

The Reddit user’s family is Catholic, and his fiancee’s Episcopalian—technically, the groom would need to obtain permission, or dispensation, from an official in the Catholic church for them to consider it valid. No big deal, they figured. He’d just ask a friend to be best man. That’s what he did, and all seemed well in the months leading up to the wedding. Until…

“A couple months before the wedding, my brother starts a campaign calling my entire family and telling them they will be committing a mortal sin if they attend my wedding,” islandsimian continued. “I find all this out through cousins and friends and am in complete shock. Luckily I have a cool family and they all show up for the wedding.”

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“Here’s the kicker of it all: my mom is Catholic [and my] pop is Episcopal. No divorces or any unhappiness; just your normal suburban family.”

Excuse us while we send a thank-you card to our brothers. In the meantime, rest assured, guests who are unrelated to the couple of the hour can cause plenty of damage, too. That’s especially true when they don’t know how to avoid bringing down the mood.

There’s a time and a place for bad news. Hint: It’s not weddings.

“I’ve seen a few terrible guests before, one at my own wedding included, but the worst was a woman at my cousin’s wedding just this year,” wrote 4Words-IToldYouSo.

“The woman was a plus-one that came with one of the groom’s family. [She wasn’t] in a relationship with them, just a friend, and as far as I know didn’t know the happy couple very well.”

So far so good. It didn’t take long for the problems to begin, though.

“It started off in the church,” the Reddit user continued. “[The guest] cried quite loudly, to the point people were actually turning to look at her. After the actual ceremony, we were informed that she was widowed early last year.”

“Fair enough, though I did wonder why she’d put herself in such a highly emotional situation for people she barely knew, but each to their own. Then came the dinner. She stood up to make her own speech. The wedding itself was a fairly relaxed affair, so although [that was] a little odd, no one stopped her. She tearfully wished the bride and groom all the best because ‘you never know when you can be ripped apart from the one you love.’”

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“Generally it just brought the whole mood crashing down, and it felt like we were all treading on eggshells. She stole attention from the couple’s big day and got a ton of sympathy from all the guests. I felt for her; losing her husband had to have been awful, but she essentially ruined someone’s wedding, and no one was going to be the [jerk] to call her out on it.”

We feel like we’ve already gone through our lifetime’s allotment of cringes, but there’s more to come. Awkward guests bearing bad news are, apparently, a thing.

“Literally five minutes before our wedding ceremony started, my aunt came up to me (the bride) and told me that my grandfather had cancer and mostly a few months to live,” wrote babasko. “I had not known, but seeing him that morning I saw that he was not well. My parents and sister had (unnecessarily) kept it from me before the wedding.”

“Auntie dearest just waltzed up to me and said, ‘If I were you, I would not be so happy. Did you not know that your grandfather is dying?’”

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“I cannot remember, but apparently I replied, ‘Well, let me get married first, and then we’ll take care of this.’”

That sounds like the right response. Even when there’s no terrible news to drop on a couple’s wedding day, plenty of perils remain, chief among them, the dreaded speech.

Let’s just do away with the custom of wedding speeches, shall we?

“[I] wasn’t there,” wrote reallynobodyyouknow. “But friends of mine tell the story of how the best man’s speech involved telling everyone that he and the groom had been lovers since college and that if there was any real justice in the world, the two of them would be getting married. At the reception. In front of everyone.”

You’d think enough situations like this have occurred that speeches at weddings would be a thing of the past. Here’s another story that argues for the abolishment of the tradition.

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“A similar situation happened at my cousin’s wedding,” wrote riderfan89. “Her sister’s boyfriend gave a speech and started to propose at the end of his speech. My Grandma, who has no filter, went off on him in a profanity-filled tirade before he could go down on one knee.”

Again, a fair response. Word to the wise: Don’t use someone else’s wedding to highlight your own proposal. Your moment will come. Wait for it.  

Public service announcement: Save the white dresses for the brides, ladies.

Have you heard? Wearing a white dress to someone else’s wedding is considered rude. Pass it on, and check out these stories for proof.  

“I once attended a wedding where the mother of the bride wore a long white dress,” wrote Omariamariaaa. “It was sparkly and fancier than the dress the bride wore. It was awkward. She stood out more than the bride did when the family stood together pictures.”

The more we talk about it, the fewer folks will show up at a wedding in their own bridal dresses. That’s what happened in this story, which actually ends well, for a change:

“I went to a wedding where the mother of the bride wore a floor-length, lace, off-white dress,” wrote peskyhumans. “I thought it was so tacky. It definitely appeared she thought it was her wedding too.”

“[The] day of my wedding, I find out my mother-in-law had planned on wearing a white lace dress. I think her hearing me talk about the other wedding is what led her to change to a black dress. [I’m] glad she came to her senses. I would not have taken it well.”

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Some people think if they ask ahead of time, wearing white will be alright. It’s doubtful.

“My aunt texted me two days before my wedding asking if her daughter could wear white to my wedding,” wrote 84th_legislature. [She tried to temper the request by saying], ‘She has already bought the dress, it’s expensive, she doesn’t have anything else to wear, [and] it’s so late I don’t know what to do.’”

If this aunt thought that argument would work, she was in for a surprise.

“Since I also happened to have bought an expensive white dress in which to attend my wedding, my response to that question was a simple, ‘No, obviously not!’ wrote the Reddit user. “And what do you know—[it] turns out my cousin did have more than just one single expensive white dress in her cavernous closet of clothes and found something [else] to wear…”

The white dress can be a prelude to other bad behavior, as in this story from another Reddit user who attended what sounds like the most awkward wedding of all time.

“It was well known that the mother-in-law wasn’t a fan of the bride,” wrote Tickzilla. “On the wedding day, she turned up late in a pale peach gown that may as well have been white and looked exactly like a wedding gown.”

“She was up and about at the church until the wedding march started to play, at which time she hopped up out of the back and walked quickly up the aisle, basically in front of the bride, to take her seat at the front. She started making this horrendous crying sound as soon as the wedding vows started and didn’t stop until the pastor presented the couple as husband and wife.”

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That’s bad enough, but wait. There’s more.

“[The mother-in-law] promptly ran to the front and used her elbow to move the bride before throwing herself into the arms of the groom. At the photoshoot afterwards, she kept trying to exclude the bride from the pics and posed with no less than 10 photos of just her and her son. So every pose he did with his bride, his mom tried to recreate.”

“I wasn’t invited to the reception but heard she gave a doozy of wedding speech about how she couldn’t believe the bride was stealing her only baby and implied quite strongly that the son only married her ’cause she was pregnant. Bear in mind they were together for five years.”

Of course, it’s not just spiteful in-laws and crazy relatives who can turn a wedding day into a nightmare. You might do the same thing yourself. Stranger things have happened.

Here’s how you, too, can ruin a friend’s wedding.

“Luckily, my story pales in comparison to the tragic ones here, but here it goes anyway, wrote a Reddit user whose username has since been deleted.

“I was a groomsman for my best friend’s wedding, and we all had jobs to do. My job was to make sure the chocolate fountain stayed full. He told me all I had to do was dump chocolate chips in the fountain when it started running low.”

“Boy was he wrong.”

“When I saw the fountain get low, I added the chips into the bowl, then all of the sudden Armageddon happened! Chocolate started spraying all over the wall, all over me, and all over the freaking bride! To top it off, the fountain broke and started spinning around like crazy, throwing more chocolate all over the place. I was so stunned it took me a few seconds to unplug the thing out of the wall.”

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“Lesson learned, don’t add chips to a chocolate fountain…”

That’s helpful. Add to the list of wedding lessons something about hiring professional DJs rather than relying on your untrained friends.

“I wouldn’t say I ruined the wedding, but I definitely ruined one of my best friend’s first dance,” wrote Brancher.

“So my friend asked me to be the DJ at their wedding, which basically meant being the guy with the mic for introductions and hitting play on the playlist when the dance started. I should probably mention that I f****** hate public speaking, but hey, anything for a friend, right?”

“So it comes time to do introductions for the bridal party and start the first dance,” the Reddit user continued. “So I said the names of all the bridesmaids and groomsmen during the introductions, they all did their stupid dance that all people seem to do now, then I got to the bride and groom.”

“My first [mistake] was I introduced the bride by her maiden name right off the bat, then said ‘f***’ right into the microphone and corrected myself. My second [mistake] was I started to play their song for the first dance before I introduced them, so by the time they had walked into the venue and everyone stopped clapping, the song was 3/4 of the way over when they started to dance.”

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This is getting awkward, and trust us, relief is a long way off.

“So they danced for about 10 or 15 seconds [and] the song ended,” Brancher wrote. “This was an outdoor wedding, and as soon as the song ended it was dead silent except for the crickets in the field—literally awkward crickets while everybody turned to look at me…So I was like, ‘You want me to play it again?’”

“The bride and groom said, ‘No, forget about it.’ And that’s how I f***** up my friend’s first dance.”

Now you can do the same!

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