Weddings don’t always go as planned. In fact, they almost never go as planned…
But there’s nothing worse than a disrespectful wedding guest.
Except, of course, two disrespectful wedding guests.
Recently, a Slate reader wrote into the publication’s “Dear Prudence” advice section with an almost unbelievable wedding day faux pas. The best man proposed during the ceremony—and revealed that his bride-to-be was pregnant.
In a letter aptly titled, “My husband’s best friend proposed to his girlfriend during our wedding ceremony,” the annoyed bride detailed the horrific situation. Read on for the appalling details…
“My husband’s best friend, ‘John,’ was the best man/officiant. The setting was beautiful, everyone seemed happy, our families were overjoyed. My mom may have used the phrase hallelujah a few dozen times. The entire atmosphere felt moving. So moving in
Sure, that’s awkward—but somehow, it gets worse.
“I couldn’t even hear the vows my husband wrote or the rest of the ceremony over the noise of Jane’s happy sobs, her very surprised family who were also guests, and people seated nearby congratulating her. Even the videographer cut to her frequently during the ceremony, and you can’t hear anything over the chatter. When John gave his toast, he apologized for being caught up in the moment, and then proceeded to talk about he and Jane’s future with nary a mention of us.”
The bride thought that she might be able to salvage some of the reception, but John and Jane continued to grab the spotlight.
The bride added that her husband hasn’t spoken to John since the wedding. However, she says that she’s not getting much support from mutual friends. That led her to question her relationship with John and Jane; should she even talk to them again?
The Slate writer’s response is measured, mature, and reasonable.
Naturally, we disagree with it.
“I think it merits a fight! In between ‘getting over it’ and ‘never speaking to John again’ is the happy medium of ‘having a difficult conversation with a longtime friend who did something selfish and self-absorbed on your wedding day,'” Mallory Ortberg wrote for the column.
“He’s your husband’s best friend, so your husband should tell John just how upset his behavior during your wedding made him. Maybe John will apologize and the two of them can have a meaningful reconciliation and build a better friendship as a result.”
“Maybe John will double down and dismiss your husband’s feelings, and things will naturally fall apart between them. Whatever the outcome, there is definitely at least one step in between ‘seething silently’ and ‘cutting John loose forever,’ especially since the two of them have been best friends for a long time.”
Ortberg’s completely correct, but we’d argue that the time for talk is past—and if John and Jane aren’t willing to apologize, the bride and groom are fully justified in ignoring them for good.
But while this is one of the most unthinkably brutal wedding stories we’ve read recently, things could always have been worse. Take the case of one Reddit user, who shared a cringe-inducing tale from a friend’s big day.
“After the vows and the kiss, as the couple was walking together down the aisle, the mother of the bride stopped the recessional and announced that she and her husband were renewing their vows right then and there,” wrote Reddit user Topdogkingchamp. “The husband was
“After all, they paid for the wedding, and the band, and the flowers, and they didn’t want all of that to ‘go to waste.'”
Take a second here to pause and think about this level of selfishness. Ready for it to get much, much worse?
“Once they had renewed their vows, the bride’s mother invited everyone to the ‘joint reception,'” wrote the Reddit user. “Throughout the reception, the mother loudly and repeatedly commented on how many gifts the bride and groom had received and how no one had bothered to bring a gift for the mother and husband.
“Never mind the fact that none of the guests (nor the wedding party, the planners, nor anyone else) knew the brides’ parents would be exchanging vows.”
Thankfully, this story has something close to a happy ending.
“The bride and groom had another ceremony a few weeks later,” the user wrote. “No parents were invited.”
So, is it ever okay to propose at a wedding?
Etiquette experts say “no,” with just one exception: If the bride or groom comes up with the idea for staging the proposal during the reception or ceremony, it’s acceptable. (Though you should be aware that other people may not know the newlyweds suggested the idea and you will most likely be appropriately judged anyway.)
Otherwise, friends shouldn’t even ask; the couple might feel pressured to go along with the proposal, and the awkwardness can easily cause a rift in friendships.
With that being said, we’ve seen one adorable proposal at a wedding, courtesy of a viral video that made the rounds a few years back. Enjoy it below.