You will no longer have access to your Project Wedding account on or after March 30, 2017. Save any photos or information you'd like to keep and join WeddingWire for your all of your wedding planning needs today. Learn more »

Top 5 Wedding Reception Horror Stories



It’s your wedding reception and you only have one chance to make it perfect. You’ve worked your tail off planning to ensure that everything is flawless, but all it takes is one thing to leave you seething about your reception for the next 20 years!


From drunken relatives to cranky bridesmaids, the following five stories top the list of “wedding receptions gone wrong”!



1) Hungry for Love


All brides are different. Some choose to have catered reception food, while others prefer a more casual buffet or potluck dinner. The first wedding reception horror story is something that has probably happened many times to hungry brides and grooms.


Nancy wanted a casual buffet dinner for her summer reception, but she also wanted to make sure everything was perfect. She and her husband-to-be tried samples that were absolutely delicious, and made sure to purchase enough for everyone at the reception. Nancy went against her perfectionist, interfering mother-in-law, who wanted waiters to serve individual entrées for each guest.


“When my husband, our families and I arrived at our reception, every single bit of food was gone. No one had thought to wait for the wedding party, and I’ll never forget that smug look on my mother-in-law’s face. It was even more terrible when my cousin tried to hop in and rescue us by ordering 10 pizzas.”


Never underestimate the appetite of a hungry crowd that smells gourmet quiche.



2) That Dizzy, Drunk Feeling


Champagne to celebrate the occasion is one thing, but when your wedding reception becomes a BYOB, things can start to get a little sticky.


Jeremy invited his uncle Joe only at the pleading of his mother. It was a family affair, so she didn’t want Uncle Joe to be left out. He showed up with a date who turned out to be a woman 10 years younger than him with a giant spider tattoo on her forearm. Not only did they show up, but they showed up with two bottles of wine. They started by being polite and actually pouring their wine into glasses, but after a few refills, they simply started drinking it out of the bottle.


To make matters worse, Uncle Joe and his date started arguing halfway into the reception, and the girl ended up sobbing – mascara streaking down her face. “Luckily, my dad went to the rescue and got those two out of there,” Joe chuckles. “I kept wondering how badly my new wife was going to regret marrying into our family!”


3) Props for the Cake


Denise and James had everything planned down to the last detail of their wedding reception. A family friend begged them to let her do the cake, and because she had done some really beautiful ones for birthdays and other occasions, they agreed and were excited to see it. It would be three tiers, with edible rose bunches gracefully draping over each level and piping in Denise’s wedding colors.


The friend was late when she brought the cake, leaving Denise stressed and worried. When she finally did come, the icing (which was supposed to be white) was chocolate and the cake was leaning horrifyingly to one side. The roses were beautiful, which actually made the cake look even more grotesque. Being the graceful woman she was, Denise smiled and thanked her friend, allowing the cake to take the place of pride in the decorated area. Before the cutting of the cake, and during the best man’s speech, the top two tiers of the cake toppled over with a crash onto the floor.


“There was a romantic ending,” Denise says with a smile. “Upon seeing the cake at the beginning of the reception, my new husband sent a few friends to pick up a premade cake that actually did match. Not wanting to hurt our cake-making friend’s feelings, my husband and I saved it for the honeymoon.”


4) All Dressed Up


Alice made sure that the bridesmaid dresses she chose were elegant and beautiful. Her guests wore casual but dressy clothing and her own gown was handed down from her grandmother. Satisfied that everything would be perfect, Alice was shocked when her cousin showed up dressed for a rodeo.


“It was so embarrassing. I was mortified. She actually wore boots and a cowboy hat, complete with a plaid shirt and jean shorts that barely covered her…well, her everything. I kept trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I finally settled on the realization that she was just crazy! In the end, when she caught my bouquet, I couldn’t help but giggle when I wondered what to wear to her wedding.”


5) Surprise Guests


Derrick and Miranda planned an intimate wedding, including only their closest family and friends. Upon the request of Miranda’s mother, they included a close family friend whom Miranda had called “aunt” for her entire life. The invitation allowed for a guest as well as the friend’s teenage daughter. Entrées and seating were planned down to the last person, so when the family friend and her entourage showed up, Miranda and her husband were horrified.


The family friend had not only brought her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend, but also her own boyfriend and his son as well as a child whom they happened to be babysitting on the day of the wedding. There were no extra seats available, so the family friend happily told the children to sit on the floor, where she provided them with extras from her own plate.


“I was more angry than upset at the lack of respect and thought that was given to me and my husband. I would never show up at someone’s wedding with a flock of people who were uninvited. Had we known in advance that these people would be coming, we would have made arrangements, but it was a total surprise. I’m still angry at her to this day, and my reception was more than six years ago!”


While every couple wants their wedding reception to be perfect and gorgeous, sometimes things happen that aren’t expected. The most important thing to have at times like this is your sense of humor. Don’t sweat the small things – focus instead on the wonderful things, like your new life with your new spouse. Take it from a wise wife who had an interesting wedding day blunder when her husband nearly fainted from the heat during the reading of his vows.


“I cried then because I was so upset – but now it’s become a private and funny joke between me and my husband. Every time we have a touching moment where I tell him that I love him or vice versa, I put my hand on his head to check for fever or provide him with a chair – just in case!”



Last Updated: October 1, 2008 at 9:38 am
Log in or Sign up to post a comment
Missing profile

Find Your Wedding Vendors

Featured Vendors Near You

Chat About It