ou've obsessively thought about it and planned for it for months, years — maybe even decades. So what could possibly go wrong on your BIG day? Well, quite a lot. You may have arranged every last detail of your wedding down to the pins in the boutonnieres and the baby's breath in your bouquet, but some things — be they airplane mechanics, Chelsea Clinton, or a police raid — are just out of your control. Here, eight real-life wedding-day nightmares:
1. Trapped at the airport
Getting stuck at the airport for a few hours is harrowing enough, but getting trapped for more than a day when you have your own wedding to get to, well, that is a nightmare. And it's exactly what happened to a California couple earlier this year when they and 12 of their guests were trying to fly to Hawaii from Stockton, Calif. While the wedding party waited for updates that never came, the bride spent 27 hours "bawling her eyes out" for fear that she'd have to cancel the whole event. Luckily, they eventually made it to Hawaii in time. The airline even reimbursed the wedding party for a lost night of lodging. Aw.
2. One wedding and a funeral
A Hugh Grant film, this is not. In fact, it's quite tragic. Earlier this month, after a ceremony in front of 200 of her friends and family and a beachfront reception in Brazil's capital, newlywed Geise Guimaraes suffered the unthinkable — the sudden death of her new husband from a freak accident. While partying late into the night, Fabio Jefferson Maciel fell on a beer glass, which severed his femoral vein, a major artery at the top of the leg. He died en route to the hospital.
3. Wedding photographer steals the show
They say your wedding day is all about the bride. Unfortunately for one couple getting married in South Africa earlier this year, the wedding photographer became the focal point... after her hair caught on fire just as the bride's father was giving his daughter away. Oops. Check out the video below.
4. The uninvited police raid
On their wedding day in 2011, Neil McElwee and Yanan Sun gathered 60 friends and family members at an intimate venue in Northern Ireland for their ceremony. Unfortunately, eight police officers also showed up. Instead of walking down the aisle, the young couple was arrested, whisked away to a police station, and questioned for five hours on suspicion of planning a credit-card scam. After their stories checked out, the now-traumatized couple was allowed to return home. They went through with their ceremony a day later, but, as the groom says, "There was no spark — it was more relief than anything."
5. Suing your betrothed
Instead of basking in wedded bliss after her would-be nuptials in 2010, Chicagoan Dominique Buttitta was drowning in legal woes. The bride-to-be sued her fiancé — who backed out just four days before — for the cost of the wedding, which she claimed totaled $95,942 and included charges for the banquet hall ($30,000), lighting and flowers ($11,000), and orchestra ($10,000).
6. The wedding flasher
During a wedding that reportedly (and quite vaguely!) occurred somewhere in the U.S., the bride and groom's ceremony was interrupted by a naked flasher. While the couple, standing at the altar, enjoys the sounds of a live choir, the shutters in the back of the room open suddenly to reveal a naked man, arms aloft. As the couple and their guests look on in shock and awe, the man stands proudly, closes the shutters, and then opens them once more, before a wedding guest finally gets up to deal with the intruder.
7. Competing with Chelsea Clinton
Remember when Chelsea Clinton got married? It was kind of a big deal. Well, one woman will certainly never forget the beautiful, Rhinebeck, N.Y., nuptials in 2010, because she happened to be the other bride getting married in the small upstate New York town that day. Emn Haddad-Friedman had booked the venue two years in advance, had her dress purchased, and all her deposits into her vendors by the time word of Clinton's extravagant wedding spread. For days, the town was overrun by media, tourists, and T-shirt vendors trying to get in on the Clinton-mania. All Haddad-Friedman wanted to do was get to the church on time. "I know she's not doing it on purpose," the Brooklyn school teacher said, "but Chelsea Clinton has taken what was supposed to be a special day for me and turned it into hell."
8. The "unluckiest wedding in history"
There is great potential for mishaps at weddings. But one couple suffered so many disappointments and near-calamitous events on their wedding day that theirs has been called the "the unluckiest wedding in history." First, their 16-month-old pageboys had a fit, turned blue, and had to be rushed to the hospital. Then the paramedics were forced to return after the vows because the groom's mother collapsed. Moments later, one of the guests had to leave suddenly because she got a text that said her father had died. Despite all of this, the wedding continued, and during the reception, two young children banged their heads together and had to get stitches. "The day was half nightmare, half brilliant," the bride said.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is American internet so slow?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- 4 life hacks from ancient philosophers that will make you happier
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Russia's Ukraine invasion is a moral crisis
- The Daily Show explains Hamid Karzai's 'Afghan Hustle'
- Mitt Romney, 2016 frontrunner*
Subscribe to the Week