"I shudder to think of it": 7 women share why they hated their own wedding.



There’s a lot of expectation around weddings. How much to spend, what to wear, who to invite, who says what and when. Yet somehow the biggest expectation of all is that it also ought to be the happiest day of your life.

But what if that’s not the case?

Here, seven women* share their stories of family drama, shoddy wedding planners, shyness, infidelity, homophobic ministers, mental illness and, well, life impacting their ‘special’ day.

Video by Mamamia


“My father-in-law was the minister for our wedding. He is deeply religious, with strong opinions, and has a set script he would normally follow. In the lead up, we asked him not to talk about certain things like his opinion on homosexuality, divorce and adultery. He yelled at us for two hours, saying we wanted my parents to burn in hell.

“Our actual wedding was a spring garden wedding. It was warmer than anticipated; probably early 30s. My husband worked in aged care, so we had a bus load of elderly people attend. And I’m from New Zealand, so had 25 New Zealanders fly over.


“Still, my father-in-law preached for roughly 1.5 hours, covering adultery, homosexuality, divorce and other various opinions. We were dripping with sweat. It got so bad that my husband’s auntie stood up half way through the service and yelled, ‘John, would you hurry it up!’ Then one of my groomsmen passed out from the heat, right before we were about to say our vows. In my wedding pictures you can see five groomsmen at the start of the ceremony and two at the end (the rest had to carry the collapsed one down the aisle).

“Also, we were really young and didn’t have a lot of money, so couldn’t afford to invite everyone to the reception. We thought we’d been polite-but-clear on who was invited to which part, but unfortunately some people got confused and we had to make an announcement through the mic to politely let people know they weren’t invited. I had some great words, but only my father-in-law had the mic. He quite bluntly and rudely told people to get out. Some of them never spoke to us again.

“Seventeen years later, I still can’t watch our wedding videos and shudder to think of it.”


“I found my wedding day so difficult. I never considered that everyone would be looking at me the whole time. Everywhere I went, people were watching.

“I distinctly remember just after we cut the cake, thinking, ‘this is the last time I am doing anything where people look at me so much.’ I was so emotionally drained after being the centre of attention, and I couldn’t believe I didn’t realise this would be the case.


“To say I didn’t love the day would be an understatement. It had nothing to do with not loving my husband or anything else. I guess am just so much more introverted than I realised.”


“My wedding day was definitely NOT the best day of my life.

“I had done as much as I could to plan everything with as much detail as possible and I had a wedding planner, but so many things went wrong because of her.

“I know everyone says to ‘just ignore the details on the day, and take it all in’, but I was so distracted — she had missed so many things. For example, she literally FORGOT to make the wedding cake, so we had to cut a fake one.

“I think everyone else had a good time — the day was beautiful and our venue was incredible — and that made me happy for the effort I put in. But I hardly even saw my husband.

“I don’t think there should be the expectation that it will be the best day of your life. I mean it’s great that everyone is so happy for you and fawning over you, but that doesn’t make it the best day ever.”

Need some advice dealing with the stress of wedding planning? Mamamia’s Hitched podcast is here to help.


“I accidentally got pregnant a few weeks before my wedding, and I felt that it really affected my enjoyment of it. I had morning sickness my entire pregnancy, which didn’t help, and I was really disappointed that I couldn’t celebrate with a few champagnes.


“I would have done my wedding very differently if I’d known.”


“Looking back at my wedding day I am disappointed. I think because it’s meant to be the happiest day of your life, but mine wasn’t for so many reasons:

  1. I hate being the centre of attention, to the point I had a Valium.
  2.  I broke my arm two weeks prior.
  3. My dad has a heart attack six weeks before the wedding. He made it to walk me down the aisle, but wasn’t well.
  4.  My hair was not what I wanted, due to a double booking with hair and makeup.
  5. A drunk friend decided to make a speech at the reception telling a story about me and my husband. Unfortunately, due to their drunk state, they told
    story about my husband and his ex partner.
  6. I don’t have many photos of me smiling in my photos.”


“It was a very stressful lead up to my wedding. My mum, who had suffered mental health issues but had offered to make my wedding dress, attempted suicide two weeks before the wedding. Looking back my reaction was extremely self centred, and I’m quite ashamed of that now.

“On top of that, my husband had obviously been to a brothel for his bucks night, and the MC and best man in their speeches and many cards referred to ‘the girls at the coffee shop’ — so humiliating!

“We’re divorced now.”


“I totally did not enjoy my wedding day! It was stressful as hell. I was not happy with the way the makeup looked on me — I thought it was a bit much. I had no time to eat, because for most of the day I was either involved in the actual ceremonies or getting photographs taken with people I did not even know. (We had more than 400 guests, which is actually below average for an Indian wedding).

“Oh, also I am an introvert, so all the interaction nearly killed me. I was very, very glad when it was over!”

* Some names have been changed at their request. But all are known to Mamamia.