Working on a wedding is never simple, even under the best of circumstances. These wedding bartenders, caterers, servers, and more witnessed some truly scandalous happenings, horrible planning, and downright brawls erupt at what was supposed to be a happy day.
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"A friend of mine was part of a quartet hired for a reception. She said sometimes the Greek weddings got a little out of hand. In one of them, she said there was a family who had obviously started drinking before they'd even gotten there. The groom's side was Irish/Greek and the bride's side was all Greek. There had been some kind of fight before the wedding and more scuffles during the ceremony. By the time the reception started, those who arrived early had started fighting with other people who arrived early on both sides of the family. It seemed like there was a 'who are the true Greeks' kind of war going on, and the groom's side accused the bride's side of being 'gypsy thieves.' At some point, the police got involved, but no arrests were made, and everyone calmed down.
Then the father of the bride gave a speech about racial purity and this started another brawl that was a free-for-all: chairs were thrown, tables flipped, wedding cakes destroyed, both bars robbed clean, and the entire quartet and catering crew were hiding in the kitchen. She said that the owner wouldn't call the police again because he feared losing his license for the bar, but both parties were just tearing the place apart to find things to throw at one another. Plaster details and wall mirrors were smashed, and the carpet was being torn up. It was chaos. At one point, the mother of the bride and the owner of the reception hall came back to the kitchen and said, 'We don't think you'll be needed tonight,' paid in full, and the quartet left. Weeks later, they were asked to perform for another wedding, and she said, 'As bad as that riot was, you couldn't even tell when we returned. The entire place had been repainted, carpeting was redone, plaster was recast, and the mirrors on the wall were replaced.'"
"Throughout college, I worked for high-class catering companies. I worked a party for a far-too-young woman who was getting married, and she swore up and down that she needed 125 place settings, even though she only had 80 total guests coming. She told us there was a good chance some more friends were coming from out of town, and the people coming might bring dates. She wouldn't listen to our planners when they gave a realistic number of how many people would probably show. A half-hour after the guests were supposed to arrive, there were only around 35 people in a hall set for 125. Hors-d'oeuvres came out, but we topped out at 40 people.
The bride came into the kitchen and demanded that we push food service an hour later because the rest of her guests were on their way. The whole time, she was wiping tears from her eyes. We did what she asked. An hour went by. All I did was set out drinks and hors-d'oeuvres to people making awkward conversation. About 15 guests suddenly had to take care of something and left in a group. The bride came in back and tried to tell us, again, to push food service another hour because people were on their way. We explained that a lot of the food was already prepared and couldn't sit around. Tears welled in her eyes. I had to stand there and listen to the head chef tell her that we needed to start sending food out and that nobody else was probably coming to her wedding. She sat down in a chair in the kitchen and started crying. I went to get her family, but she refused to come back out and spent the next hour sobbing in the kitchen while we sidestepped around her, bringing food out to an empty party house."
"Everything seemed standard as guests arrived, drank, and conversed. The wedding party arrived and everything seemed to be normal. Everyone was happy and having fun. When it came time for the formalities, the bar closed and everyone took their seats. The speeches began with the maid of honor, then the best man. Everything was going as per usual for a wedding until the best man finished his speech and the food began to be served.
The groom grabbed the mic after the best man's toast and wished everyone a great night and a nice meal. That's when the crap hit the fan.
After his well wishes, he asked for the attention of his best man and bride. He told them that he knew they were banging behind his back for the entirety of the engagement and that he would be filing for an annulment on Monday. He thanked everyone for coming, and apologized to the father of the bride, saying, 'I would have called it off weeks ago, but I figured you would be way more angry at your little princess when you couldn't get out of the bill for the reception.'
He turned to his new wife and said, 'Eff you,' then turned to his best friend and said, 'From what I overheard, my Johnson is still bigger than yours.'
Mic drop, the groom sailed out the door while inside was absolute chaos. My fellow bartender and I looked on in amazement. We had to go into the kitchen to laugh and high-five.
The bride ran straight to the bathroom, both furious and inconsolable, with bridesmaids running after her. Her mother, aunts, and about 20 other women tried breaking into the bathroom, which she'd locked herself in. She refused to come out until everyone left the facility.
The best man was surrounded by the groomsman in what seemed to be a circular questioning of 'WHAT?!' He made a run for the door, only to be followed by his parents who had the most saddening look of disgust on their faces. The groomsman and the majority of the crowd wanted him gone, for obvious reasons. He got in a cab with his family. Apparently, his mother was crying from the moment he was outed until they left the facility. A lot of people were focused on the bride, and the majority of people were still in disbelief. Outside of the embarrassment and the obvious anger from his immediate family, he got off easy, though I have no idea what the residual effects were the days following. I imagine he lost quite a few friends as well as the respect of his family.
The bride's father went from disbelief to anger to rage to tears, all in a matter of minutes. Nobody would say a word to him. Friends tried to approach, but he pushed everyone away. He kept his composure better than most would, from what I saw and heard. He just faded to the back and tried to apologize as people gathered their things and left. Weeks later, I found out that my boss gave him a big break on the bill. My boss said he felt terrible, and as much as he hated to lose money, he felt it was the right thing to do.
The crowd was like a group of zombies walking out the door. Quiet whispers and shuffling feet with looks of horror on their faces. I remember one guy started laughing, and his girlfriend hit him with a purse. That place was cleared out in about 15 minutes. The bride waited another hour before she thought she could leave and spare further embarrassment, and she left through a backdoor with her mother and a few bridesmaids."
"A couple of years ago, I catered a wedding that happened during the biggest hurricane of the summer and one of the worst we had in years. The entire week, we were all waiting for it to get canceled, but they never shut it down.
Fast forward to the wedding day. The ceremony was held in a church down the street. Things were starting to get bad outside. We needed to pack up and leave before it got too late. We thought to ourselves, 'They won't carry through with the reception today, will they?'
Well, come 4 p.m., 150 people poured into the reception area, right as the power went out. Within half an hour, the whole building was about 90 degrees, dark, and water was spilling in from the front door. Somehow, someone called up a friend who drove a generator to the party. Then we had electricity, just in time for us to legally be required to throw out all of the crab dip and lobster that couldn't be refrigerated. Well, these crazy suckers decided to carry on and dance to the music from someone's boombox, in the light of halogen work lamps, while we attempted to serve dinner in the dark.
By the end of the night, I had managed to slip on the river streaming onto the linoleum entrance hallway with a giant tray of glasses. The storm knocked over a tree that blocked off the only road to get out, resulting in 150 people in formalwear trapped in what might as well have been a furnace. I got yelled at by several guests and the mother of the bride for not serving the crab dip. Then she made my boss cry, which led to the rest of the crew crying and begging the gods for mercy as well. Needless to say, it was a great night for all of us, especially the part where we had to drive through someone's front yard to get out of the place."
"I was a banquet manager at a kind of run down country club while I was in college. We didn't have the classiest clientele. One wedding I worked had a pregnant bride that didn't even look 18. Her mom kept saying that the rooms had to be cool because the bride was pregnant and would faint if she got too hot. The entire staff was aware that this bride was pregnant. The bride then continued to drink for two hours before the ceremony. Our bartender was going to try to not serve her by carding her, but the mom kept getting her drinks, and it was awkward. When it came time for the toasts I gave her cider and refused to serve her any bubbly. Then only 12 of the expected 25 guests showed up. Some didn't even stay for the meal. None of the groom's family was there. They played music on an iPod, and it would have long stints of silence. The bride's stepfather kept going outside and smoking. It was just sad how no one cared about this wedding, and the bride was careless with her unborn child. The groom was in college, and the bride did not have higher education in her future. These sort of weddings are just awkward."
"I bartended a post-reception party at a hotel where I worked. Coincidentally, my friend (who was one of our best regulars) also got married that night. We gave the friend a suite for the night, so they showed up after the reception. They were hanging out at the bar when the other wedding party showed up. The bride walked in, saw another girl in a wedding dress, slammed her flowers on the ground, and stormed out. My friend, being the nice girl she was, made a hasty exit and, after some coaxing, the other bride came back. The entire group proceeded to be complete jerks for the rest of the night. Just as the bar closed, the bride caught the groom making out with her maid of honor in the lobby, who I later found out was her sister. The bride proceeded to punch him in the face, launch her wedding ring into the river behind our place, and get the groomsmen (mostly her friends/brothers) to kick the crap out of the groom. It was sad how trashy this entire group of people acted."
"One of the first weddings I ever catered, the groom was feeling a bit nervous, so he took a bit of his buddy's medication to calm his nerves. Immediately after the ceremony, he took shots with the groomsmen, then another round, and another. Fast forward half an hour into the reception, the best man stumbled into the restroom to find the groom passed out on the floor, soaked in his own vomit. He was taken away in an ambulance, along with his parents and the bride, but the bride's parents refused to end the party that they paid for, so for the remaining two and a half hours, the party went on without the bride and groom."
"My friend was a server at a wedding, and he called me to tell me about his crappy day after he got off work. He said that it was a great wedding and reception, but there was always tension among the head table. After the dinner was served and music/dancing was going on, the bride got up to use the washroom. That's when she took an opportunity to sneak off and mess around with one of the groomsmen. My friend said that the bride and groomsmen would have gotten away with it but they'd decided to use an employee washroom in the back. The kitchen manager caught them, thinking it was two employees going at it. Things got pretty chaotic after that. There was yelling going on (from the groomsmen) with things like, 'How dare you barge in on us.' People from the hall could hear this going on so a few of them stumbled back to see why the bride and groomsmen were yelling. They were still not fully clothed at this point. Eventually, the groom made the bride and that groomsmen leave the reception, saying he wanted to spend his wedding day with people he cared about."
"I was setting up for a wedding in the sticks of Kentucky. I asked a lady where they wanted the tables. She said, 'The person in charge is away on an errand but you can ask that lady. She is in charge of keeping the cats away from the cake.'
I was in shock from what she said. I slowly turned and sure enough, there was a lady standing by a wedding cake on the lawn. There were three cats, all slowly creeping up on this cake table and she was walking back and forth, trying to shoo them away, saying, 'Git!'
Later, my partner called me over to a tree in the front lawn. There was a cow skull hanging in the tree, which isn't that weird by itself. But underneath the skull was a statue of Mary. She was holding a bowl of some sort and there were a bunch of little bird bones in the bowl. Creepy. When I started serving the food, some lady came up to me with a Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich still in the foil. She wanted me to keep it in the chafing dish with the pork to keep it warm, but I refused for health code concerns. She made a big deal about how it was for the bride, and they were paying me to keep them happy. She started getting hostile enough about it until I tucked it under the dish next to the Sternos.
The only other thing I thought was weird was that the wedding was officiated by an African priest/religious figure. He was wearing an ornate colorful robe and a wild hat. There's nothing wrong with that, but it just seemed sort of out of place with the crowd of rednecks. I can't remember anything thing else but my buddy and I were weirded out by the atmosphere. I wasn't sure if we going to be able to walk out of there."
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"I was a server at a Baptist banquet center with no adult beverage license, so every party was at least a little bit sad. The hardcore Baptists didn't even have dancing, which didn't make for a festive wedding.
The worst was probably a wedding where the groom was ex-Amish and over half of the attendants were Mennonites. Since the groom had been excommunicated, he had almost no family at the wedding and had to do the mother-son dance with his new wife's aunt. Later, the groom did a striptease before the garter toss, and immediately after that, all the Mennonites left. There were about three hours before the reception ended, leaving 30 people to awkwardly stand around and attempt the Cupid Shuffle."
"I catered a gay wedding once that was supposed to be Halloween themed since it was on October 31. The grooms had invited well over a hundred people for this event. Only about ten or so showed up. It broke my heart. I don't even think family showed up. They even had the best looking cake I had ever seen! I was just blown away by the cake. Like something you'd see from Cake Boss.
I also catered a trashy wedding where the bride wore a tie-dyed (homemade) dress that was way too small for her rather large frame. Think spaghetti strap cami, but longer. That was that dress. That dress was sad."
"I was working a wedding and got the lucky job of clearing the tables of plates and empty glasses. We would put these empty plates and glasses on one of those big trays that you see waiters bring your food on when you're in a restaurant. After the plates and glasses would pile up, I'd take them to the back to be cleaned.
Well, I had to walk a tray stacked with plates and glasses to the back, but the only way to get to the back was to walk through the dance floor of the wedding. I made it about halfway through the dance floor, dodging these hammered suckers like a champ, before some wasted girl, who was dancing, kicked her leg out for some dance move. Her leg tripped me, I went diving like Cristiano Ronaldo, and spilled this tray full of crap on the fricking bride. Luckily it was mostly ice that got on her dress. But then I had to go back and sweep up all the broken glass and stuff in front of everybody like an idiot. It was embarrassing, and I couldn't believe that it just happened. The bimbo who tripped me was long gone by then, too."
"The bride was convinced she was friends with all the 'society' people she'd ever met. She spent an obscene amount of money on the food for her 'simple' reception. Instead of the usual pre-made 'heat and eat' finger foods, she had each one specially made by an executive chef. She could have easily had a sit-down dinner for half of what she spent. She rented a large reception hall. The bride invited 300 people, there were less than 40 there and most of them were family or the few people she worked with. The reception was horrible... a giant space with tons of food, and we had more tables than people. The bride was noticeably embarrassed. The wedding planner made everyone crowd around four tables in one corner and coached people into posing so they could take pictures that didn't look like the place was empty. It was the same thing with the dance floor; everyone was on the floor whether they were dancing or not just so it would look good in the pictures. The planned two-hour reception was over in 30 minutes.
The couple left for their honeymoon, we threw rice, and most people left for their cars. Those of us who had to go back in for whatever reason got handed empty to-go boxes by the caterers and were told to fill them and take them; whatever we left was going in the trash. I ended up with 10 pounds of bacon wrapped ribeye bites and more boiled shrimp than I could eat in a week. There was still enough food to feed an army, so they were taking it to one of the local charity kitchens to see if they wanted it."
"The bride and groom showed up to the wedding in a limo. He was Hispanic and she was Filipino. The bride's Filipino mom did not want her daughter to marry this guy, and even stopped her daughter from getting out of the limo by begging and pleading for it not to go on. The whole ordeal lasted an hour and delayed the ceremony for a while. The guy was strange looking, too, like he was a burn victim.
Anyway, the ceremony eventually started and went well. During the reception, I DJ'd the best I possibly could. There was hardly anyone there, but I was just killing it, so the party was actually going well. They had so many drinks there, it was insane. The groom was just bragging about how many bottles they had before the reception, and I was thinking this guy was a hardcore drinker.
Everyone got really messed up. Like really, really wasted. One bridesmaid got sick and headed to the restroom to puke. She passed out. People found her locked in a stall and it was a huge deal getting her out. A groomsman crawled under the stall and hoisted her on his shoulder, where she proceeded to poop herself all over the groomsmen's tux. They had to call the ambulance for her, and people were mopping the crap off the bathroom floor and the dance floor where it had dribbled."