Gather round the campfire, ladies. We’re here to recount the most devilishly scary stories of all [turns on spooky flashlight below chin] wedding horror stories. From hotel snafus and wardrobe malfunctions to a sticky story of unwashed dishes, these tales will have you hiding under the covers.
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We asked our staff for their spookiest wedding horror stories. Without further ado, here are their all-too-true, super-scary tales of wedding-day hijinks.
RIPS AND ZIPS
Kat shared a tale of hubris and suspense. “It’s the perfect lesson of making sure to try on your bridesmaid dress BEFORE the wedding,” she explained. I’ll let her set the scene…
“I was in a wedding last summer. It was a small group of us, around four total, and, thankfully, we were all pretty good friends,” she said, “One of the bridesmaids had had a terrible experience with dresses at her own wedding, so she was late to buy her dress and very resistant to getting any alterations done.”
The group decided to wait to dress until almost showtime, as it was a hot summer day, and their bridesmaid robes were much more comfortable. Just before their first-look photos were about to begin, one of the bridesmaids heard a terrifying sound: rrrriiiip. It was her zipper, separating from the rest of her dress, leaving no way to fasten her gown (not a Birdy Grey dress, FYI).
The photographer was almost ready. It was time for photos, and then, the ceremony. They’d need to think fast if they were going to avoid raising any red flags. “We all start to panic,” Kat said, “but we don't want to freak out the bride, so we hide out in the bathroom, and I end up on the floor of this un-air-conditioned bathroom, sewing her INTO the dress.”
First-look photos were over by the time they were done sewing the dress closed, but they decided not to let the bride know the true horror of that fateful bathroom trip until well into the reception.
In closing, Kat added, “Pro tip: Always bring a sewing kit to a wedding.”
THE TALE OF THE ROOM DOWNSTAIRS
Here’s a story of disappearing wedding gifts. Megan G. recalled this gripping tale from her own wedding. Picture it: Santa Barbara, 2019. It was the day of the annual Summer Solstice parade, and the weather was a breezy 70 degrees, as it usually is in Santa Barbara. But a chill struck the hotel room later that night when she realized that her wedding gifts were lost in the wind.
“My wedding coordinator was charged with getting my gifts and cards to my hotel room after the wedding,” she explained. The clock struck midnight. Still no gifts.
Another hour passes. The happy couple is now struck with worry. “It was like 1 am and we’re calling the coordinator, her boss, the front desk, anyone we can think of.” No one had reported any mysterious gifts appearing in their room, so for a moment, they feared the gifts had been lost forever. That’s when a quick-thinking bellhop started looking in empty rooms.
“They found them one floor below us. The room number had the same latter two numbers, different first number,” Megan said.
TOWER OF TERROR
This tale takes us back to a time long, long ago, back to the 1990s. Linsey was a wee flower girl at the time, and she remembers the day well. “So I am hanging out with the bridal party in this adorable but itchy flower girl dress, and my shoes are definitely too small, but I look pretty, so I'll be okay,” she recounted.
That’s when she heard the whispers, whispers that sent a chill up her tiny flower-girl spine. The groom, her father (uncle-of-the-bride), and a few other members of the wedding party were trapped in an elevator at the venue.
After a while, the bride told her they were going to go ahead with the wedding ceremony. Little Linsey wondered how she would perform her flower girl duties in the midst of such a crisis. Would they simply proceed with the big event without her dad? Without the groom?! “Lil’ ole me did not put two and two together,” she laughed.
She put on a brave face and followed the bride and bridesmaids to the doors just outside the ceremony room and took a deep breath. “So, as I'm walking down the aisle to take my spot at the front, I get a glimpse of my dad who is safe and sound, standing with all the groomsmen,” Linsey said, “Elated with joy that my dad was no longer in distress, I shout at the top of my lungs, in the middle of the ceremony, ‘DADDDDDY,’ and run to him, interrupting everything for a good ol’ hug from dad.”
We love a happy ending.
Grace told perhaps our most terrifying story, from her wedding in 2021. “My father-in-law fell ill before the wedding,” she began, a chilling start to any story. “He lives in Asia, and it was during COVID, so International travel was tough and he wasn’t able to attend. My husband was devastated.”
Now, family being stuck abroad would pretty much top the list of wedding problems no bride wants to deal with.
But, always resourceful, Grace and her I-Do Crew came up with the best-possible silver lining. “He was able to record a speech, and we projected it during the reception. It was SO heartfelt and touching and ended up being one of the highlights of the wedding!”
Hi, I’m Jess, and the next ghoulish story is from my own wedding. My husband and I got married in 2018, at a Peerspace rental in Los Angeles. Yes, I know, short-term rentals are risky, but we wanted a venue where we could have a live funk band and where we could bring our own caterer, photographer, and straight-from-the-craft-brewery kegs. Did I mention we did everything ourselves? When I say everything, I mean we sourced each plate, cup, napkin, and centerpiece individually from thrift stores around our neighborhood.
We were going for an eclectic feel, and, to be fair, it worked.
The wedding day was going perfectly. The ceremony was a hit. All 131 guests laughed and cried during the thoughtfully handwritten vows. The band was fire. The food was delicious — North Carolina-style BBQ with a SoCal twist. You can imagine those thrifted speckleware dishes piled up after a while.
But, as the sun went down, I received some jarring news from my friend who was catering. The owners of the house we were using for our venue had changed their minds at the last minute: We were no longer going to be able to wash the dishes on the premises.
Practiced in the art of compartmentalization, I filed that problem to the back of my just-married brain and delegated the development of a temporary solution to my dad. “I’ll deal with it later,” I said.
So the next day, my husband and I find the storage bins full of deftly scraped, but still-dirty dishes. And while I do not recommend kicking off a marriage with day-old BBQ sauce residue and fossilized corn, this story has a happy ending.
That night, we went to my in-laws’ house to throw what can only be described as a dishwasher party. Hundreds of dishes went into that old Whirlpool, and they came out as fresh as the peonies in the bridesmaid bouquets.
The moral of the story is: If you need ANYTHING from your wedding venue, make sure to get that stuff in writing.
THE GHOST OF GRANDMA’S DINNER
Megan D. told the shortest of all of our scary stories. We’ve all seen family members get a little too… shall we say…. besotted by love at weddings through the years. As Megan tells it, “My grandma got so turnt at my wedding that she threw up, and I had to pay a $300 fee.”
Grandma knows how to party.