The other day, one of my friends was telling me about some old episodes of what she described as a hilarious TV show called, “The Real Wedding Crashers,” she’d come across on You Tube.
The show, which aired about 10 years ago, basically was a hidden-camera program that helped brides and grooms set up pranks to disrupt their weddings and shock their guests.
Episodes featured actors who portrayed such characters as a really bad wedding singer, a bridesmaid with a fake bright-orange tan, a best man giving an embarrassing toast, and two attractive blondes having a catfight over a nerdy guy at the reception. And then there were the mishaps, such as a tower of champagne glasses crashing to the floor, and red paint splashing all over the bride’s dress.
The show made me think of all of the mishaps I’ve seen at weddings over the years - some of which, I’m ashamed to admit, were my own fault. No actors were needed to mess up things, believe me.
I remember one wedding I attended where the bride was only 19. When the caterer came around with the champagne for the toast, he asked, “Is anyone at the head table under 21?”
“Just the bride,” I blurted out.
All heads turned toward me. The evil look the bride shot at me could have burned holes through solid steel. And later, as she sat there toasting her new husband with a glass of apple cider instead of champagne, I got the distinct impression she wanted to dunk my head in it.
At another wedding, I wanted to take a photo of the bride and groom as they exchanged their vows. Tiptoeing, I inched my way to the back of the altar, so I could be facing the happy couple. I quickly snapped the photo without using a flash, so as not to draw any attention to myself, and then slowly backed away to make my exit.
To my embarrassment, I backed right into a video camera that had been set up on a tripod to capture the vows.
With a loud crash that made even the minister stop reciting vows in mid-sentence so he could turn to stare at me, the video camera landed on the altar. I noticed what looked like part of a lens go rolling past me.
Funny, but even while the videographer was giving me his best “I’ll see you in court!” look, the only thing on my mind at that moment was how huge my butt must have looked as I was backing toward the camera. I was certain that the closer I got, the wider it grew, until it probably looked as if it were about to swallow the entire camera. And even worse, I realized the whole thing had been captured on film forever. Thinking only of myself and not the poor bride and groom, I prayed the video footage had been destroyed beyond repair in the fall.
But not all of the wedding mishaps were my fault. At my own wedding, for example, the photographer we’d hired vanished without a trace during the reception.
After my husband and I had danced our first dance, eaten our meals and cut the wedding cake, the photographer finally was found in a bar upstairs…watching the World Series on TV.
As a result, our wedding album contained only one photo of the cake cutting, taken by one of my husband’s friends who apparently had been trying to break a world record for consuming the largest number of drinks in a single hour. The photo was so out of focus, I looked as if I had three noses, and the cake, which actually was straight, looked as if it were about to topple over. But I suppose having a bad photo was better than having no cake-cutting photo at all. Still, it sure would have been nice if cell-phone cameras had been around back then.
I remember another incident where the band’s van was involved in a minor accident on the way to the wedding, so there was no music for the reception. One of the guests rushed home and brought back his old record player and a stack of records, and played those all night.
Unfortunately, his record collection left a lot to be desired. But maybe the bride and groom were so blissfully in love, they didn’t even notice they were dancing to William Shatner’s version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” or Myron Floren’s “Greatest Polka Hits.”
And then there was the wedding where one of the bridesmaids gained so much weight between the time of her last dress-fitting and the wedding, she looked as if she’d had to grease herself with butter just to squeeze into her gown.
Oh, wait…I was that bridesmaid.
To be honest, I’ve always enjoyed weddings because they’re such joyful, festive occasions. I mean, where else could you see a usually stuffy CEO flapping his arms and dancing the chicken dance?
But unfortunately, it’s been nearly 20 years since I’ve actually been to a wedding.
In retrospect, maybe that’s a good thing.
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