It all went down a year ago. A woman, we’ll call Betty, was invited to her future sister-in-law Bea’s wedding in a small town in the mountains of Colorado, a nine-hour drive from her home in Kansas City. It would turn out to be the worst wedding Betty has ever attended and frankly, after reading the story, it’s up there as one of the worst weddings of all time.
The trouble started well before the wedding, months in fact, when Betty called Bea to ask about hotel information for the destination wedding. Bea, whose brother Alex was Betty’s fiancé, told her future sister-in-law that the three hotels listed on the wedding website were all “in the general area of the town.” No other info was forthcoming. Betty wondered where the wedding was going to be and which hotel was closest. Bea simply told her the wedding was in a state park nearby but nothing else, leaving Betty to guess.
Betty shrugged it off and booked a “charming little place.” If only she knew then that this would be the first, of many, major red flags.
Later, Betty got invitations to the bridal shower and the bachelorette party and was expected to get gifts for both. Instead, she and Alex decided on one nice gift for the wedding and no more. This actually worked out ok as Bea never made a stink. This might have been another red flag.
At this point, it was beginning to look like Bea was hardly stressed and barely even paying any attention at all to her upcoming nuptials. For her part, Betty was getting stressed. She was the fiancée of the bride’s brother after all, and she felt like she and Alex were a pretty important part of this wedding and she was hoping to get more details. You know, like rehearsal dinners plans or time for pictures or THE EXACT location of the wedding besides being in a state park – nothing too big. Yet Bea was unconcerned and that was as stressful as anything else.
Betty tried to push it aside and went about life for the next few months, but as the big day approached, she again went to Bea to ask about the plans for the day of the wedding. Alex was a groomsman and Betty was hoping to pin down the schedule, but alas, no luck with Bea. Bea couldn’t even be bothered to tell Betty or anyone else if there was a rehearsal dinner or if they should plan on an event happening the night before her “I do’s.”
“Oh, no, we don’t have any of that worked out,” was Bea’s response to questions.
Betty thought, “no big deal, we all work at different paces,” but asked one of the bridesmaids, Ellie, if she knew what the plan was. Of course, Bea had not bothered to tell her bridesmaids either and Ellie was quite frustrated.
Ellie was also taking on more of the planning than she should have been responsible for, said Betty. “She tells me she is desperately trying to get Bea to plan things so people know what to do or what is expected of them but can’t hammer down any answers. I tell her not to worry about it, and to let me know if I can help with anything. Ellie is not the maid of honor, although in the end she did most of the planning and communicating and taking care of the bride.”
At this point, Betty was annoyed, but she was trying not to stress it too much, it was out of her hands after all.
It was the day before the wedding, a Friday, and Betty and Alex left early for the long drive to the small mountain town about 9 hours away. They still didn’t have a clue as to what was going to happen. Betty tried to take the laid-back approach, as she wrote: “we drive out with no clear idea of what to expect that evening or the day of, but what the heck, it’ll be beautiful at least.”
When they arrive in town, they discovered that cell service was spotty at best.
“Turns out the only way to get a hold of everyone is via instant message or similar internet functions using hotel/motel wi-fi or network if we were lucky. Maybe a phone call if you’re in the perfect spot.”
Getting in touch with the bride seemed like a nonstarter, so Betty tried for Ellie, the bridesmaid she was friends with. When she made a communication breakthrough and reached Ellie, her response was predictable.
“Ellie says she can’t get Bea to commit to anything but that there seems to be a party arranged at the condo they have rented. It’s about a 10-minute drive from us, no big deal. We are told to BYOB and anything we want to eat. Ah-ha. Sure. So we stop at the store for dinner and some beverages and head over.”
Ok great. No rehearsal dinner and this party sounded pretty half-baked, but at least it sounded like something had been planned!
Up to this point, despite many attempts to pin down details about the wedding, Bea had basically blown off Betty and Alex. Now, the day before the wedding, when Betty and Alex met up with the bride and groom and the rest of the of the family and friends, Bea laid into Betty for doing everything wrong. Betty explained:
“We arrive at the condo and are immediately chastised by Bea for not booking a neighboring condo as the rest of the wedding party is staying there. I diplomatically apologize and say I didn’t know. The groom, Tom, some of his friends, and his mom (the only family member of his to make the trip) are there, of course, as well as her friends and the wedding party.”
Well, thanks for nothing Bea! Betty was getting pretty upset by now, but mostly she was just amazed and astonished by the situation.
The wedding was the next day, and things did NOT get better.
The big day is upon them and as you can guess, it doesn’t go well. At all.
It starts early too. Betty described the morning:
“Alex and I go out for breakfast and are meandering around the crowded town (there’s a festival going on and the place is packed). We make some plans to go shopping and grab lunch when Alex miraculously gets a phone call. It’s Bea, and she’s furious. ‘Where are you? We’re leaving for pictures in half an hour!'”
Oh boy. Remember all those times Betty asked Bea for a game plan? It seems that Bea’s plan was to turn into a bridezilla on the day of the wedding and reprimand Betty for not reading her mind.
Betty and Alex run back to the hotel and Alex changed into his suit. Betty was not required to be in the pictures, so she hung back, telling Alex she would see him at the ceremony. Of course, things won’t work out like that.
Just minutes after Alex left, Betty received a call from him, “We might need you to drive us around for the pictures, is that okay?”
Of course, Betty was happy to help out. Sadly, it meant she wouldn’t get any lunch, as now she needed to get dressed. Alex told her he’ll call her back with the details, which, if they were coming from Bea, was definitely not a good sign.
Betty grabbed a bag of popcorn to tide her over and got dressed for the wedding. And then, as she should have known, everything changed. She heard nothing from Alex or Bea. No details, no schedule and now, no communication at all. Finally, she decided she better just head to the ceremony, as it’s getting close to showtime and she was still not 100% sure where the darn thing is.
“At 3 PM, I am ready and I realize I have wasted my day waiting for the call to drive them around and decide it’s time to head to the ceremony site since I don’t have specific directions.”
So, Betty headed out towards the state park hoping she’ll find it when she got there. When she arrived though, the craziness got amped up quite a few notches.
After a bit of a detour and some time sitting in traffic in the park due to a festival going on (of course), Betty finally made it to the wedding venue.
“It was 3:50 p.m. and I’ve made it! I find Alex and he looks super stressed out. ‘Mom and Dad aren’t here yet.’ Great…
Showtime (4 p.m.) arrived and still, the bride’s parents are nowhere to be found. Betty questioned where they have been all day, assuming they would be there for pictures, but, “Alex has no answers, only stress, as Bea is freaking out. It’s 4 PM and everyone is there except Mom and Dad. The officiant unobtrusively mentions that we need to make our way to the ceremony site soon as there are others booked after us. So people start streaming to the site.”
So the guests made their way into the venue.
With just seconds to spare, Alex and Bea’s parents finally arrived and the ceremony actually goes off without a hitch, shocking as that may seem.
The reception, however, does not.
Remember, no one is sure where the reception really was due to Bea’s lack of communication. So we’ll let Betty take it from here:
“Bea addresses the crowd. ‘We’re going to have a reception at XYZ Bar. They have a room for us. General murmuring. Someone pipes up and asks where it is. ‘Just follow the main road of the town,’ says Bea, ‘You can’t miss it. We’re going to get some more pictures and then we’ll be there.’ Very helpful. People stream to their cars. It’s about 5:15 PM. We do some pics and it’s time to roll to the reception. Everyone in the wedding party is ferociously hungry. I suggest that Alex or I ride with his folks to ensure they find the bar. For reasons I cannot comprehend he says no, they’ll be fine, they can follow us. Best not to argue, I decide, and I get in the car. Alex is hangry, and his GPS doesn’t work. Fortunately, I had scouted the town a bit before the call to get ready, so I knew where it was. Halfway there and we lose Mom and Dad in the traffic. Whatever, I’m beyond caring at this point and just want a drink and some food.”
What could possibly go wrong with those detailed instructions?
Luckily, Betty knew where the bar was, as she had seen it earlier while out on the town. When they arrived, the private room had a bar, but no adult beverages and no bartender. There was simply one pitcher of water and a sad looking wedding cake in the corner.
Betty described the scene: “I spot a staff member in what must be the catering kitchen behind the bar and ask about getting a drink. ‘There’s no service up here,’ he says. ‘You’ll have to go downstairs.’ I see. Not only is there not an open bar, there’s not even a cash bar IN THE SAME ROOM AS THE RECEPTION. Super. Guests trickle in, including the parents, thank God. There is no music. Everyone hungrily eyes the cake.”
But wait, it got worse! Betty explained, “The bride and groom roll in around 6:30 PM. Bea shouts ‘Who want’s to buy us a drink?!’ I have never been so close to slapping a bride. Some schmuck goes downstairs and gets them drinks. Someone somehow diplomatically asks about food. ‘We have cake,’ she says, ‘but you’ll have to order food if you want anything else.’ Turns out this bar doesn’t serve food, by the way, but they allow you to order delivery from other places and receive it there for a small fee.”
Slapping a bride in this situation might not even be bad manners.
For those keeping score, there are no drinks and no food beyond the sad cake in the corner. This is what happens when a flake plans a wedding.
Oh and something else was missing as well…
Finally, with no food at the party except the cake and no drinks at the bar, Alex begs Bea to cut the cake just so the guests can have something to eat. She agreed. The guests scarf down the cake as if it was their last meal and then the funniest, and saddest, thing happened…one of the guests turned on some music…from his phone. That’s right, the music was provided through the two tiny speakers in a cell phone.
Finally, Betty has had enough. Having not eaten since breakfast, she was starving and angry and annoyed at how the day had gone.
“At 8 PM I decide that I’m going to do someone serious harm if I don’t eat.”
She and Alex and some of the other starving guests ditched the party to find a place that served food.
Yet not long after they left, she received a text from Ellie, the bridesmaid, telling her that Bea was FRUSTRATED and didn’t understand why everyone had left. Like, what? There was no food, no beverages, no music, no dancing, what did this insane bride think was going to happen?
Still, Betty agreed to meet up at another bar with the whole wedding party. The newlyweds arrived there and yes, you guessed it, the first words out of Bea’s mouth when they arrived were: “Who wants to buy us a drink!?”
Finally, the horrible, ill-planned wedding came to a close. Betty and Alex packed up and make the 9-hour trek back home the next day.
And this may come as a shock, but Betty reported that the happy couple with the crazy bride were divorced two months later.
Apparently, not putting any effort into your wedding translated into not putting any effort into the marriage. Who would have thought?!