When Things Go Absolutely Wrong…and Absolutely Right

We here at Manolo for the Brides are fond – sometimes perhaps a tidge too fond – of reminding the dewy-eyed that weddings have a way of not going precisely as planned. It stands to reason, actually. When all is said and done, a wedding combines two things fraught with the potential for utter disaster: a traditional ceremony and a large party. Each of these things is a freaking minefield just waiting to go off. Combine this with the mythology of ‘one perfect day’ and ‘the happiest day of your life,’ not to mention the warring expectations of dozens of friends and relatives, and you can see why we like to remind you that there will be a lot of other very happy (indeed, some much happier) days and that perfection is not for mere mortals.

Today, though, I’d like to look at another phenomenon that all too many of us don’t even imagine is possible: the thing that goes wrong, but makes the event better.

‘What’s that, Twistie?’ you say. ‘Have you finally and completely lost your lonely remaining brain cell?’ you demand. No, I haven’t. It doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does it’s magical. It’s unforgettable, though in a much sweeter way than the time the cake tent collapsed or the time the ring bearer announced to the congregation that he needed to go potty right now in the middle of the vows.

I’m talking about the wedding I attended where the boom box decided to give up the ghost just as the wedding party turned to recess from the chapel. After a moment of silent confusion, the bride burst into laughter. We all joined her, and the party recessed to the most perfect music of all: pure joy.

I’m talking about the wedding reception where the wrong cake was delivered. It wasn’t precisely what either the bride or the groom had expected, but it served about the same number of people as the cake they’d ordered, the gold and white decor fit into their color scheme, and we all decided to take it as a good omen that this cake was originally intended for a golden anniversary party. Coolest of all? It was the same flavor the couple had ordered.

Sometimes it’s good to just leave yourself open to the glorious absurdities of life.

So what about all of you? Have you ever been to a wedding where something magical went wrong?

3 Responses to “When Things Go Absolutely Wrong…and Absolutely Right”

  1. I couldn’t read one word of my written vows. I couldn’t even remember what kind of word it was supposed to be. When I stopped and squinted at my paper, you could kind of feel a quiet gasp from the guests. But then I said “Some word I can’t read” and cracked up. Then everyone else cracked up! It could have been a bummer if I was the kind of bride that wanted everything to be exactly perfect. Luckily I’m not, and it’s a great memory!

  2. Kayla says:

    I was at a wedding where the brides petticoat/hoopskirt (whatever!) fell off in the middle of the ceremony… the Maid of honor had to grab the petticoat and bring to one of the pews. It was hilarious since the MOH was this tiny girl carrying this gigantic fluffy mess of white tulle. So while that was a funny moment….

    I was also at a wedding where, due to electrical storms, the electricity went out. So – no music and minimal lighting from candles – well, one of the guests grabbed his guitar from his hotel room and started playing for everyone. It was wonderfully sweet and memorable!

  3. libbyblue says:

    We had planned a shortish outdoor reception to be over by dark, but everything imaginable got delayed, including a two-hour wait for pitas (essential for the main course) that had been somehow left in another city. The sun went down, the bugs came out, and everyone had to band together to haul all the stuff not already nailed to a tree inside the hall on the grounds, then scamper around madly throwing up everything with a light bulb or a wick in it so we could see. This happily turned into half an hour of spontaneous candlelit toasts and a surprise fireworks send-off from a couple of pyromaniac relatives.

    My husband and I also forgot to bring our post-wedding clothes with us and had to retrieve them after the reception — except no one had a key to the house. My brother calmly removed his jacket and cummerbund, scaled the second-floor balcony, kicked in a door panel, and let us through — a true James Bond moment!