Fingers were crossed, blessings said and bad superstitions avoided, but at some weddings, things just simply go wrong – very wrong. As a wedding photographer, I often saw myself caught between a rock and a hard place as unforeseen happenings presented me with photo opportunities that the bride possibly never wanted to see ever again. To shoot or not to shoot – I always shot the pictures.
Let us go on a bizarre count down to my worst moments ever at weddings:
In 5th place: The couple stood at the altar in a very silent church when a loud noise came from the back door. Five police officers came rushing up the isle and cuffed the groom. His rights were read and he was escorted out of the church with his hysterical bride in tow. Turns out, he phoned his ex wife that morning to ask her to please leave him alone from now on. She had a restraining order against him, which she used to get him arrested.
Place number 4 belongs to the bride that came by boat to her very stylish pier wedding. As she stepped on the side of the boat with her other foot on the pier, the boat moved and she dropped silently between the two into the water. Guests laughed so hard they did not see her being hauled over the side of the boat again – a wet crying mess. There goes the bride, all wet and wide.
The third incident nearly killed half the groom’s family and should maybe not be seen as comical, but then again, you were not there. The wedding group was lined up on a gorgeous wooden bridge over a murky pond. With the last of the groom’s family in place on the left side of the bridge, focus went to filling the rest of the small bridge with the bride’s family. A very loud crashing sound followed by hysterical calls for help broke the afternoon silence. It was but the Grace of God that saw all the guests come out alive from under that fallen bridge.
The second worse moment came when the congregation stood up on arrival of the bride. She floated down the isle and met her new husband to be. The preacher asked the people to sit down and as this happened; a long pew filled with people broke right off at the legs and send the guests falling onto their backs. Their legs were crushed onto the pew in front of them and quite a few got long splinters in the butt. Blood flowed, disks shifted in old backs, children cried and the bride fainted. It took about twenty minutes to carefully help people back to their sore legs.
The number one on this list saw two guests spending days in hospital, three in jail and a bride wanting out of her wedding immediately. The wedding was large and very stylish. Guests arrived to a champagne fountain in the lobby. Glasses were refilled and every one enjoyed that buzz of meeting each other again after a long time. One hour into the reception, the guests started acting really strange and a few of them battled to breathe. Soon there was people falling off their chairs, vomit splashed over tables and cries for help rang out over the soft atmospheric music. One guy had a serious heart attack. Within minutes the sirens came rolling in and the wedding hall filled up with stretchers and paramedics as guests were carted off to hospital. The main diagnosis was food poisoning, but the symptoms were wrong.
The guests that did not fall ill were having a ball of a time. They danced and laughed like lunatics, ran round the hall and kept on eating. This saw the influx of policemen into the wedding.
Turns out, the groom and two of his mates decided to add quite a few drops of liquid acid – a very potent drug – to the champagne fountain to ensure a nice vibe at the wedding. This silly practical joke destroyed a wedding completely, made international headlines and produced wedding pictures never to be shot again.