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'My husband and I were drugged at our wedding. One of our friends was responsible.'

The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons.

In March 2020 (just before COVID hit) my partner and I got married. We have known each other since we were 25, had been friends for years before getting married at 40, already with three young children.

I was so excited to finally be getting married and really splurged on our wedding; I went ALL OUT! We hired the best restaurant in our chosen wine region to cater, spent thousands on a wedding event stylist, months choosing the wines to pair with the food, had a local designer do all our invites, and name cards. We spent over $50,000, even selling an investment property to cover the costs. 

The wedding ceremony was lovely, our children were in our wedding party and looked totally adorable. Their excitement just made the experience more fun, and we were buzzing with nervous energy. My nerves were eased when I saw my "soon to be" husband, waiting for me with the most beautiful look of love on his face and tears in his eyes. (I occasionally need to remind myself of that look when he annoys me).

I clearly remember taking my time to look out across the smiling faces of our guests, knowing that every one of them held a story for us, every one of them was an important part of our lives, either as a couple, or as individuals. All of them dearly loved by my husband, myself or both of us.

It was such a surreal experience knowing that they were all gathered for us. It filled me with so much love and such an overwhelming sense of gratitude, how lucky we are to have all these people who love us.

The wedding reception was a long table dinner in a fairy-lit garden. I was told the lights danced off the wine glasses and it felt like a magic garden oasis, exactly what I had hoped it to be.

I have some snippets of memory of the night; I remember trying to do a speech and just repeating myself over and over; I remember friends and family asking why we were so drunk and trying to sober up my husband because he couldn't talk or stand up straight. I remember our best man trying to feed my husband because he couldn't hold a knife and fork.

I recall such a sense of confusion, everything seemed to be happening quickly and I couldn't keep up with the flow of the evening. I didn't know what food had come out; had we eaten? Why was my husband so messy, I knew he hadn't had much to drink, neither of us had.

Watch: What most bartenders do to prevent drink spiking. Post continues after video.

Video via ABC News.

I was frustrated, I had lost control of the night, how was this happening?

I had planned everything with such care and consideration. One of the few strong memories I have is sitting next to my husband at the long table, filled with beautiful and expensive candles and flowers, looking into his eyes and seeing his vacant eyes staring back at me.

Before I knew what was happening the evening was over and we were in a taxi and back at the sweet little cottage I had rented for us to spend our wedding night.

We woke early the next day and quickly got busy organising the recovery get-together, a garden party in the grounds of a beautiful local winery.

The wedding reception had been an adult only event, and this was our opportunity to include all the children. Once again, we had spared no expense; I arrived as the event stylist left, dressed in the overly expensive designer dress I had bought for the occasion. 

However, I struggled to relax and enjoy the day; I had a horrible feeling of anxiety that I couldn't shake; it didn't feel like a hangover. I felt sick to my stomach and found myself having to run to the bathroom more than once.

For the few days after the wedding, we were busy getting the kids and ourselves back into the routine of work and school, COVID hit and we went into lockdown.

Having more time together to talk, we reflected on our wedding. My husband and I admitted to each other that the reception party was a bit "foggy" we had both been reluctant to tell each other, we both felt embarrassed, and that we had let the other one down by not staying tidy.

My husband then told me his experience of the wedding reception, the deep shame he was carrying that he had been a disappointment and ruined the most important night of our lives as a couple. He said he knew how hard I had worked on making it perfect and was heartbroken to tell me he had no memory of the night; it was like it never happened, erased from time... gone.

We didn't get a first dance, didn't do speeches, can't remember the food and wine we so carefully chose, we have no idea who we spoke to or what we said; it was a living nightmare.

We forgave each other and put it down to the excitement, anticipation and nervous energy of the day, both quietly knowing this didn't sit right.

After some long talks we realised it wasn't the nervous energy, it was something much more sinister. When a friend who had been at the wedding told me he had overheard someone saying they put something in our drink everything made sense.

What we know, is that on arrival at our reception we were both handed a glass of champagne by a mutual friend and cannot remember the rest of the night.

We are almost certain we were drugged, by a close friend and a loved guest at our wedding. 

We started calling around to our family and friends who had been our wedding guests and a very ugly picture started to form about how messy we both were... it was hard to hear. People were kind and said we were cute, but we both knew we were the worst possible versions of ourselves. I had told friends to f**k off, my husband had fallen asleep under a tree in the dirt. The garden we held the reception in had CCTV covering parts of it, and I painstakingly watched the footage of the wedding night back in real time, crying uncontrollably. 

We asked everyone we spoke to what they remembered from the night and if they saw our drinks being tampered with. No one had seen anything, however a few of our other guests had had similar experiences to us. One guest had to leave before the dinner started because he couldn't stand up, and an elderly family friend had to be taken home very early in the night because she couldn't stand up. It was heartbreaking. 

Probably the most heartbreaking of all was a large group of our friends didn't believe us, they insisted we were drunk and making false accusations. They refused to assist or support us, which made us furious at first, but now just breaks our hearts. Neither myself nor my husband has moved past the way they treated us during such a vulnerable and difficult time and we now have nothing to do with most of them.

We have since found out who it was that drugged us at our wedding. 

The person who drugged us is a part of the friendship group who questioned us, she is someone both my husband and I had been very close to over a long period of time.

We now know that at our wedding she was openly mocking us, even to our family.

My husband called the drug hotline and explained what we had experienced. They told him it sounded like we had been drugged with GHB, an odourless and tasteless drug that is sometimes used as a date rape drug because it pretty much wipes any memory you may have of what took place.

The thought of this made us both feel ill, all the 'what if's' came flooding in. My husband has a heart condition, what if he had died? What if I had been pregnant? What if our kids had been there, and we could not care for them?

We went to the police to file a complaint, but they gently explained that too much time had passed for us to take a drug test and that unfortunately cases of drink spiking are extremely hard to prove. We were surprised to learn that even with CCTV footage of drink spiking in a licenced venue; it is still hard to prosecute, there are just too many variables, and it rarely makes it to court.

I have never directly accused our old friend of actually drugging us, but in the early days of us coming to the realisation of what had happened I did tell her we thought we had been drugged, to which she responded, "well, it wasn't me!"

Those are the last words she has ever spoken to me. Neither my husband nor I have heard from her since that day, no annual Happy Birthday call, no Happy New Year text... nothing. She is also the only person we invited to our wedding who didn't give us a gift, not even a card.

The large group of friends who refused to acknowledge what was done to us are still friends with this person and socialise with her often, which is difficult to understand, and hard to accept.

I feel like I have had to grief the loss of our wedding, the beautiful and carefully curated experience we worked so hard to create, just dissolved into nothing... I also feel like I am grieving the loss of a large number of our friends, people we have been close to for over 20 years, have attended their weddings, been in their bridal party, godparents to their children.

Most of all I have lost my ability to completely trust. I feel betrayed; I am embarrassed, and feel like a fool for ever giving my friendship to people who clearly don't care about me. I am bitter about the things I have done for them in the past, the kindness I've shown them. 

I hate that every time I see a wedding picture, a post about someone's wedding anniversary, news of an engagement, my first emotion is anger and sadness. I hate that the actions of one person have fundamentally changed me, and how I see others.

A dear friend of mine says that jealousy is a powerful and destructive emotion, it can ruin the lives of those who feel it and those they project it onto. She encourages me to forgive my old friend because her actions were fuelled by jealousy. 

I often wonder why this happened to us; I wonder if it's happened to other couples.

I have asked myself the question, as women should we always be living under a veil of quiet suspicion of each other, constantly aware and analysing the friends we love, just in case their desire is to hurt us?

For a long time, the answer to that question was yes, however I am relived to say that I'm slowly starting to change my mind.


Sarah Williams, the founder of NSW based sexual violence advocacy group, What Were You Wearing?, said to Mamamia: "Drink spiking is a crime that is often forgotten about or not deemed as important as other crimes.

"Because of the stigmas and how it can be seen as just someone too drunk, it’s often pushed to the side and not worried about."

If you think your drink may have been spiked, she recommends "don’t finish the drink, tell a friend so they can look after you if you become very unwell. If you are at a venue, let the manager or owner know. If there is a first aid station, like St John Ambulance, go get checked. If you are feeling very woozy or unwell take yourself to the nearest emergency department or call an ambulance."

She also recommends calling the police if you can identify the person who spiked you.

If something similar happened to you, you may call Full Stop Australia's National Violence and Abuse Trauma Counselling and Recovery Service on 1800FULLSTOP (1800 385 578).

Feature Image: Getty.

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