23 Of The Messiest And Most Toxic Things In-Laws Tried To Pull At Weddings — Like, Some Of Them Ruined The Entire Thing

    "My sister-in-law agreed to be my maid of honor, and it was terrible. She tried to talk me out of marrying her brother by making up stories that he was cheating. Turns out, she was besties with his ex and wanted them to get back together."

    We recently wrote a post where people from the BuzzFeed Community shared the rudest things that in-laws did at their weddings. In the comments, more readers opened up about their own stories. Here are some of the wildest ones:

    1. "My mother-in-law got blackout drunk (it was a dry wedding) and stuck her entire face into our wedding cake. Our entire cake was ruined. My mom had literally made the cake from scratch, and it took her 12 hours. She had made it red velvet with cream cheese frosting (my and my husband’s favorite), and decorated it with beautiful flowers so it would be perfect for our day."

    "My brother literally saved the day by running out and getting Dairy Queen Dilly Bars for our 70 guests. My mom and I spent an hour crying in the bathroom. It was so awful, and after we told her about it (she was too drunk to remember), she just said, 'Sounds like something I would do. Honestly, I don’t regret it one bit.' My husband and I cut ties with her, and my mom, my husband, and I spent a day together remaking the cake, so it turned out okay."


    small cake with chunks taken out of the sides

    2. "At my first wedding, my soon-to-be mother-in-law tried to call out sick (she had several health issues and was always sick, but she was no worse off on the day of our wedding than normal; she just didn't want to come). After my fiancé caught me crying, he yelled at her until she came, but then, she, his brother, and his aunt, left right after the ceremony. They didn't even stay for pictures. Also, out of the 50 people on his side that we had invited (who had all RSVP'd 'yes'), only five people showed up, and three of those people left right after the ceremony."

    "And only one person called to tell us that they weren't coming, 30 minutes before the wedding, because they had missed their exit and were 'lost,' so they decided to just find their way home instead of find our venue. With family like this, it's really no wonder that the marriage only lasted two years."


    wedding topper bride and groom horizontally on the cake

    3. "My mother-in-law bought her daughter (my sister-in-law) the exact same bridal gown as me (the bride) to wear to the wedding, and the SIL’s husband was going to wear the same outfit as the groom. My MIL said that my SIL has dreamt her whole life since she was a little girl of dressing as a traditional bride to her brother’s wedding. For some reason, she couldn’t get this itch out at her own prior two weddings where she wore inappropriate gowns, but rather wanted to dress identically to the bride and groom."

    "When I informed my MIL that this is a bad omen in my culture, she replied that I was a selfish princess for wanting to be the only person wearing a bridal gown on my wedding day. When I expressed concerns that people wouldn’t know who the actual bride and groom are, she said that’s my problem to address by buying more jewelry to stand out. She went on to make comments about how I was Meghan Markle, stealing her prince away from her, and that if my SIL suffers mental health issues again, it will all be my fault for disallowing her dream to come true. My husband ran away on our wedding night to sleep with his mom and dad, and moved out of the house two weeks later. He says his sister is the reason for the divorce. The whole family is oddly enmeshed."

    —34, California

    woman trying on a wedding dress

    4. "My wedding, I started getting some 'yes' RSVPs from people I didn't have on any list as invited. I had given half of the invites to my father-in-law to address. He decided he had forgotten to invite some people and just went ahead and sent them. In all, there were 18 extra people coming, which equaled two extra tables, not to mention my parents were paying for the wedding. On our wedding day, an extra four people came who didn't RSVP or had an invite or an assigned seat at the tables, but had talked to my FIL, who said it was fine."

    "My husband talked to his dad and worked out that my in-laws were paying for the extra 22 people. I was pissed, though, and he still does this stuff; Christmas Eve years ago, he invited six extra adults for the Christmas Day dinner that I was making. He also asked for all the leftovers, of which there was barely enough for dinner as I was expecting to cook for eight adults and four little kids — not 14 adults."


    people raising their champagne glasses at a table

    5. "My sister-in-law agreed to be my maid of honor because my best friend lives three hours away and was only able to come in for the day of the wedding. It was terrible. She tried to talk me out of marrying her brother by making up stories that he was cheating. I found this out because she was besties with his ex and wanted them to get back together."

    "My bachelorette party was SIL, her creepy 40-something husband (we are in our mid-20s), and my best friend sitting in her living room because she didn't bother to plan anything or invite any of my friends. The morning of the wedding, she refused to get up in the morning. I had to leave her place by 8 a.m. to start getting ready and make all my appointments. When she finally showed up to the wedding (barely an hour before the ceremony started), she spent the whole time telling people how selfish I was and how I ruined the whole day for her."


    bridesmaid holding the veil of the bride

    6. "This wasn't on our wedding day, but it was about our wedding in general. My parents-in-law insisted on paying for most of the wedding, especially considering my parents could not afford to pay more than 2K euros (which is already a lot). A year after our wedding, we cut ties with my father-in-law for many reasons, one of them being his way of controlling and manipulating anyone he 'helps' or gives money to. Since they had given us money for the wedding, he wanted us to basically obey him, like a patriarch, for the rest of our lives."

    "When we cut ties, we emptied our savings, read him a very long, detailed letter of why we were cutting ties, and handed him the money for the wedding. My angel mother-in-law repaid us the money in small increments of cash over two years... 😂"


    hands pulling out 100 euros from a wallet

    7. "Not my in-laws, but I was so embarrassed for a male relative's new wife at their wedding. Her mom stood up to give a toast and basically gave a 20-minute litany of all her daughter's health issues from birth to present — some of which were kind of personal — laughing through the entire thing about a lot of things that weren't funny, and just basically embarrassing her daughter on her big day."

    "She even forgot to toast at the end. The proxy mortification in that room was STRONG."


    wedding guests holding up their champagne for a toast

    8. "About two weeks before my wedding, I received a call from David’s Bridal, where the rep was profusely apologizing for the mix-up with the bridesmaids' dresses and stressing that they had done everything they could possibly do, but the new dresses would not arrive in time for the wedding. I told the rep I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about, and if he could explain what was going on, I would greatly appreciate it. Turns out my future sister-in-law, who was one of the three bridesmaids who selected the dresses (I only chose color and material) decided she didn’t like how the dress looked on her and complained to David’s Bridal corporate that she needed a new one in a different style immediately because it was too revealing (in reality, she purposely ordered the wrong size thinking she would lose weight but gained weight instead). I told the rep to refuse to answer any further phone calls from her and to direct all questions about the dresses to me."

    "Also, we did not give that SIL a plus-one, even though she’s my husband's sister because we were married during early COVID, had a limited guest list, and had never met the boyfriend she had been dating for two weeks. Seems reasonable, right? Well, apparently not. My mother-in-law called up her niece, who happened to be one of my bridesmaids, and told her she couldn't have a plus-one because her daughter didn't have a plus-one. I found this out a week before the wedding when I called my bridesmaid to confirm the name of her plus-one. MIL didn’t pay for any of this and had no right to uninvite someone or change my guest list — especially when her niece had been one of the most helpful and supportive people leading up to the wedding! And we knew who she was inviting as her plus-one (a person my husband and I both hang out with on a regular basis)! So, I ended up sending out a separate invitation to the plus-one, and when my MIL questioned why they were there, I said, 'They’re here as their own entity, not a plus-one.'"


    bridesmaids dresses hanging outside

    9. "Not family, but my best friend's family ruined my wedding. I’m super close with my best friend's family: mom, dad, brother, sister, aunts, and uncles. Since I have a very international group of friends and was having a destination wedding in Mexico, I gave my guests a one-year advance notice. The above mentioned family had reservations, my bestie was going to be my maid of honor, and everything. Two weeks before the wedding, the brother — whom I used to date and was very close to — suddenly announces that he is getting married (out of the blue), and his wedding date? He chose MY WEDDING DATE."

    "So, my maid of honor cancels as does her entire family so they can attend his wedding. I understand everyone choosing his wedding over mine, but he is a mega douche for pulling that."


    sad bride sitting in an empty reception

    10. "My future in-laws live several hours from us, so they decided to travel the day before the wedding, bringing with them my future sister-in-law and my future step-children. They all decided to stay at our place (which I didn't know about until the day they arrived) — a VERY small two-bedroom apartment that we shared with my child. My son gave his room up to my future MIL and FIL and slept with the others, completely covering every bit of furniture and floor available. The next morning was a disaster with nine people trying to shower and get ready."

    "I left for the church early for final touches and 'preparation pictures,' and my fiancé went to pick up the best man and his wife, since they would be taking his car and keeping my son once we left for our honeymoon. The plan was for MIL and FIL to bring all the kids in the van. It was nearly time for the wedding, and I still hadn't seen or heard from my son and sent a bridesmaid to find him; they looked everywhere and he was nowhere to be found. I was in a panic and finally, my maid of honor called the apartment, and my crying son answered the phone — my in-laws had gotten the other kids and my SIL and had 'forgotten' my son. The 'biased' behavior never stopped towards my son (or me), and they would talk about 'their wonderful grandkids' and call them by name, yet my son was never included in the call-out. I truly believe that they hoped that by not accepting us, my husband would go back to his ex-wife and be a family with her and their children. We fooled them all, they are gone now and we've been married over 35 years and have 12 wonderful grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Too bad they missed out."

    —63, Oregon

    closeup of a crying kid

    11. "My now husband and partner of over 11 years proposed on my birthday almost seven years ago. He was the youngest of six, which is definitely where the drama stemmed from. To start, one of his older sisters got engaged a month before, but made it clear they weren't getting married that year (they didn't for about four more years), but she still had their mother insist to me repetitively and with much stress that although I had announced my date for the month she might want to have an impromptu ceremony, and I must change it."

    "I caved to the request despite it being ridiculous — and me having already finalized the save-the-dates — and I had too much to do alone to also worry about upsetting one of his sisters. Cut to just months before our wedding, his eldest sister announces her engagement and destination wedding. Her date? Less than a month before our own wedding. After we spent over a year budgeting and planning so we could afford a small ceremony for our families as well as a great honeymoon, we had to spend thousands more out of nowhere to attend her wedding in Florida. As if we hadn't been through enough by the time our day rolled around, I arrive at our lovely little backyard ceremony to see my husband's middle-aged aunt in a bright white lace cocktail dress that honest-to-goodness looked like something a teenager would have worn to a formal. My husband and I are partners for life. Sometimes I just can't help but wonder how his sanity survived."


    chairs lined up and tied with flowers for a ceremony

    12. "My mother-in-law stole part of our wedding cake during the reception. We had ordered a tiered cake and a sheet cake, and she walked into the kitchen and stole the sheet cake! We found out what happened three weeks after our wedding, when we were visiting her, and she casually told us it was in her living room and we could 'take a look' to see if it was still edible. It was very moldy."

    "She said she had just 'found' the cake during the reception and put it in her car. We have low contact with her now."


    cakes on cake stands surrounded by flowers

    13. "Not my wedding, but my son’s wedding. His bride and her extended family were something else. For the rehearsal dinner (which we ended up paying over $,4000 for), the place we chose wasn’t good enough, so the bride chose another expensive place for us. Then, she announced because her aunts and uncles were 'coming from out of state' that they would be invited to attend the rehearsal dinner as well. This added nine extra people — yet none of our relatives, ALL of whom live out of state, were allowed to come. Then, comes wedding day: I was instructed that after I got my makeup and hair done by the bride’s stylist (which I didn’t want, but had to pay for anyway), I was to get dressed somewhere else because this was 'a special moment between her and her mom.' OK, I can understand that, so I got ready in a bathroom, all by myself. However, later when we got the pictures back, all her aunts were in that special area while she was getting ready."

    "Then, when my husband and I were walking down the aisle at the start of the ceremonial procession, I noticed that her extended family was sitting in the first row that we were supposed to sit in (but they had saved a seat on the end for her mom). As we approached, her one aunt said, 'Oh, should we move down?' I didn’t want to create a scene having nine people having to shift chairs, so we turned around and sat down in the seats, two rows back, that were reserved for them. Now, had they never been to a wedding before, I could understand that they may not realize that the first row is for the parents — BUT they were also at the dress rehearsal the night before, where we practiced THREE times, walking down the aisle, sitting in the front row, and saving a seat for the bride’s mom. Thankfully, the reception was lovely and no major drama, so the evening was relaxing. But I must admit, when they divorced a little over a year later, it was no surprise to anyone, and what a much happier life my son has now. He found a beautiful new wife, who is respectful, supportive, and loving…the way it should be."

    —61, Michigan

    bride getting ready with family

    14. "It started when my now ex-husband told his mother that we were engaged; she caused a scene and called me a 'gold digging whore.' Fast-forward five years to a couple of weeks before our wedding, and MIL calls and complains about our choice to have our wedding in our backyard, complains about our tiny guest list, and throws a fit when my (now ex-) husband told her no to inviting all of her 'friends.' The night before our wedding, I had made an amazing meal for his parents, and they both proceeded to get drunk at dinner. His father went on a racist rant against me (I’m Native, they are white), and his mother said it would she 'guessed' for a first marriage. I spent the night crying."

    "The following day, we had a small intimate ceremony in our backyard. My ex-in-laws show up, my FIL is dressed nicely and looking rather sheepish, but still refused to apologize to me for what he had said about me the night before. My MIL showed up in a black strapless jumpsuit, which was completely see-through, and she wasn’t wearing any undergarments! She looked trashy and acted just as trashy. They refused to take pictures with my ex-husband and myself — it was just him, them, and his brother. No congratulations from them, and they didn’t stick around for the reception, choosing instead to immediately leave and drive 10 hours home for a dog 'festival' my MIL was attending the next day. (She’s a dog trainer/groomer and has several employees who could’ve gone on her behalf). To make matters worse, my BIL stayed the entire week after our wedding during what was supposed to be our honeymoon, and I never got to spend any time with my ex-husband. Needless to say, the marriage didn’t last long."

    —Anonymous, Canada

    woman with arms crossed while a couple stand affectionately behind

    15. "We got married during COVID and had a courthouse wedding. After our date had been changed a few times due to the regulations being set, we finally had a date. With 24-hours notice, we informed parents, siblings, and friends (no more than 10 with us included). When letting my husband's parents know over the phone, they sounded uninterested and disappointed. They've never been a fan of me for the past six years, all because I won't let them walk all over me, my husband, or our relationship. A month before our big day, we had a falling out with his family. My MIL likes the play victim and is super manipulative. The day of our wedding, not only do they show up late, but his dad is drunk, drinking a swig as he gets out of the DRIVER'S seat. Then, with my sister and my parents right there, his dad lights a cigarette on the steps of the courthouse as we say our vows."

    "My family aren't smokers; we've lost other family members to cancer from smoking. It was disrespectful. Once the ceremony was done, I went to hug his mother, to which she shook her head 'no.' Still hugged her anyway, trying to keep this day as positive as I can. His parents didn't want to be in pictures with me or my family. It wasn't until we were on our way home we realized his brother never showed, because he was 'upset' with us. We haven't spoken to them for three years. His entire family is toxic AF."

    —32, Texas

    family talking

    16. "My in-laws had to stay two nights in a hotel for our wedding, and they never travel, so it was a big deal for them. The morning of, my brother-in-law shows up at his parent's hotel room to find my father-in-law trying to stuff himself into a suit two sizes too small. Turns out, my mother-in-law packed an old suit of his from when he was 50 pounds lighter, and now, he had two hours to find a suit that fit. An hour before my wedding, my BIL and FIL are in a Men's Warehouse fitting room, trying on a navy blue suit because they didn't have a black one in his size. We had to delay the wedding ceremony an hour and a half, and every time I pass a Men's Warehouse, I cringe."

    "Also, we bought our own wine for the party, and my SIL took home four cases of leftover wine saying, she 'would only drink it when we came over.' Next time we came over, there were two bottles left and zero explanation was given (not that it needed one)."

    —40, New York

    closeup of a man holding up a suit jacket on a hanger

    17. "My now-ex’s grandmother insisted on baking cookies for our wedding, but the venue didn’t allow outside food unless you paid an exorbitant fee. We got the venue to make an exception. She could make the cookies and put them in boxes for everyone to take home. The stipulation was that they had to be on a table by the door; they couldn’t be on the dining tables, which we explained to her, and she seemed pleased. We even had cute cards made to put in the boxes that said she made them. All good, right? Well, the day of the wedding, my ex’s grandma and his aunt come in and start putting the boxes on the dining tables. A friend of the family was helping with the setup. She knew what was up and kindly said put them by the door. They freaked out and refused, saying the table by the door wasn’t nice enough. Our friend didn’t know what to do, so she waited until they left to get ready and put the cookies on the correct table so we wouldn’t be charged the $1,000 fee. Yes, $1,000."

    "So, we have the ceremony and get to the reception. Grandma sees where the cookies are and starts sobbing like someone died in front of everyone. Then, she locked herself in the restroom for two hours. She wasn’t even out by the time the DJ started. The next day, my ex’s aunt told me I was selfish for not 'letting grandma shine.' I apologized because I didn’t want drama. I wasn’t welcome at family functions for awhile after that. In the end, every member on that side of the family stopped payment on the checks they gave us as wedding gifts, and we had to pay a bunch of bank fees. I should have ran then!"

    —31, Pennsylvania

    woman with her arms crossed looking out the window

    18. "I didn’t know it at the time, but my now mother-in-law offered to PAY my now husband to move back to their home state 20 minutes before the ceremony started. She told him to leave me after nine years of dating, and he could move in with them. This was after we spent three months decorating my parent's farm, barn, and making areas for parking."

    —Anonymous, Texas

    welcome mat that says home sweet home

    19. "My in-laws promised to help us pay for our wedding, so we placed a deposit at the venue we all agreed upon. I ordered the invitations and sent them to 150 people. When the second installment was due, they denied ever offering to help us. So, we had to call everyone that we sent invitations to and move our October wedding to March. We lost all of our deposits! Not only that, but my mother-in-law and sister-in-law were demanding that I wear my SIL's dress. I didn't. My in-laws did everything possible to interfere and make us miserable, even throwing my husband out of their home several months before the wedding."

    "My mother and sister made sure that we had a lovely wedding. Fast-forward 37 years, we do not speak with his family. We tried, but it was simply not worth the pain and heartache. God has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams, and we are going stronger every day!"

    —59, New York

    man putting on cuffs

    20. "My mother-in-law and four brothers-in-law did not turn up for our wedding. My MIL said she did not have enough money for gas. My husband and I make more than enough money to give her gas money. She was just being petty because she wanted my husband to marry his cheating ex-girlfriend. My husband was so devastated. Looking back, we should have eloped."


    closeup of a gas station pump

    21. "I have a chronic illness that leads to unstoppable vomiting and is triggered by stressful events. For this reason, I didn’t want a wedding, I wanted to elope, but since my husband is an only child, it was important to him and his family that we have one. When the day finally came, I ended up in the worst episode I had in years and was an hour late to the ceremony."

    "I barely made it through and didn’t actually attend the reception, although everyone else did. I later found out my mother-in-law was telling everyone I was sick because I didn’t want to marry my husband and was purposely trying to ruin the wedding and her big day."

    —27, Canada

    woman sick hovering over the bathroom sink

    22. "My husband and I paid for our own wedding during a full-on recession. At one point during the process, we were both unemployed, so it was stressful, but we curated a wedding that we could afford, with small contributions from both sides. My husband told me his sisters had to be in the wedding or he wouldn't marry me — I wouldn't have thought to not include them, but they were insufferable. They refused to work with anyone in my bridal party, so my girls started planning a bachelorette without them; my husband intervened and said his sisters had to be included, so I called it off. We all would've had to suffer through it based on their behavior up to this point, and it wasn't worth it. But they took over the bridal shower and contacted my wedding party to tell them what they owed them the week of. They didn't consult anyone on dates and some of the bridal party couldn't even come."

    "The place was filled with their family — I only had my mom, one aunt, and a few friends there for me. The event was generic and not personal to me at all. When I walked in, no one even acknowledged my presence, and the breakfast buffet was damn near cleared out. One of my sisters-in-law came shopping with me one day to get a gift for the junior bridesmaid (who was also their cousin) and watched me carefully pick out jewelry, because while I was on a budget, I wanted to find nice pieces. The day of the wedding, I arranged for hair and makeup for everyone, but they didn't show up to get ready with the bridal party — stating it was a 'sister thing,' and they were not comfortable. Fine. At that point, I gave up because I just wanted to enjoy my day. The icing on the cake was they brought the junior bridesmaid with her hair and makeup done by them, wearing jewelry they gifted her. Needless to say, we're not a close bunch. Years later, and I still avoid family gatherings at all costs. And my husband, who fought so hard for his sisters to be included, has hurt feelings about how little they are involved with our kids — but they are very involved with the children of other family members. I mean, I told you so? Better off, in my opinion."

    —41, Massachusetts 

    closeup of hands holding bouquets

    And finally...

    23. "My mother- and father-in-law were furious at the fact we didn’t invite a particular person to our wedding. So, in protest, my father-in-law didn’t attend the wedding, telling my husband, 'I’ll come to the next one!' My mother-in-law did come to the wedding; however, she refused to participate in anything — unity candle, photos, mother-son dance, etc. Now, 12 years later, my husband and I have chosen to move past that awful time in our lives and we do see his parents a couple times a year. Still, I have never forgotten what they did to my husband."

    —37, Indiana

    wedding RSVP with weddings bands set on top

    Have you had to deal with shocking in-law drama over your wedding? In the comments below, feel free to share your story. Or, if you'd prefer to stay anonymous, you can use this Google form.

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.