When you combine family feuds, friendship drama, and two people who are about to spend the rest of their lives together with an open bar full of alcohol, you're bound to get a few shudder-inducing stories. So, when a bartender decided to vent to the gloriously petty and judgmental 'Wedding Shaming' group of Reddit about a groom who tried his hardest to ruin his special day (and this bartender's shift), people were ready for all of the salt-rimmed, juicy sour mix of gossip.
So this is a story from a couple of years ago. Still one of my favourite stories from working in my bar. To set the scene: the bar is quite small. At absolute maximum capacity it seats around 45 people which means around 65 people would fit comfortably in there. Therefore when working we work alone.
It was a Saturday night and the whole place was booked for a wedding. This was more than unusual. We had people who were getting married the next day come and celebrate before but this couple actually had the wedding celebration with us. Food and everything. Only time.
We're a bar, a small, kinda alternative one at that. We're not in Ireland but imagine an irish bar and you kinda get the vibe. Not the venue you would imagine for a wedding. I might have understood if they were regulars or had some other connection to us but no...never did I see them before, never saw them again.
I came early to my shift to talk to them. Like an hour early. In full anticipation of it being a hard shift, my boss was there as well to work the shift with me. It started off with my boss congratulating the young couple and saying something to the effect of what a beautiful bride she was. The groom looked at her and said (direct quote) 'yeah, there are worse.' I get this was supposed to be funny, not my humor, by the look on her face, not the bride's humor either.
He started drinking at the bar which left her greeting all of the guests by herself. She came over and asked her new husband to come greet guests with her. He ignored her and ordered more shots. His 'boys' had arrived. Drinking with him at the bar. When his family arrived she was pissed and more or less ordered him to come and at least greet his grandmother.
The 'boys' all started to laugh and mock him for being under her thumb and he got really annoyed, snapped at the bride for already ruining the evening and finally went to greet guests.
There was no planning or communication with us beforehand. They had given us around $150 to buy food so we bought bread and cheese, a couple of grapes, tomatoes, hummus and a bit of ham and whatnot. What you would expect for $150 (pre inflation) when you have to feed 50 people. Apparently not. The groom came over completely enraged asking us where his money had gone, accusing us of stealing from him. This was not food...this was only a spread!! Where was his money?? Gosh...I swear I'm not making this up.
The only food they brought was this absolutely disgusting thing they like to eat in this part of the country. It's a 'met hedgehog.' Met being raw meat. Please google 'mettigel.' That was the only food they brought and it stood in that small bar for hours on end. By the end it had this weird greyish color and shine to it.
We don't have Internet and play from records. They didn't know this. Apparently on top of working i was to play DJ. That's not even a possibility. I could go on but let's skip to the end. The couple was covering one drink for every guest. It being a small party and us having reasonable prices the bill was around 240. I was happy for them. That's not too much right? Wrong! He was absolutely enraged.
Demanded to see the bill. Saw that there were 5 wines on there which were kinda pricey. Demanded to know who ordered them and I pointed at a table with some young women who were all still there. The bride was sat with them. Oh no! He did not invite those girls!
They were not his friends and he went to tell them he was not covering their bill. The bride quickly came back to the counter with him and I heard them argue that they were her girlfriends and she had of course invited them, he knew that. After all his 'boys' were there aswell. He says he would have never agreed if he knew how expensive that would have been.
He paid the bill and surprise.. I got a 5€ tip. So this is not the United States, i get paid regardless, but this is still completely horrible. She said 'you have to give her more' He said 'that was 5 dollars! Are you crazy?' He went back to his friends and she, very secretivly gave me 10 dollars and whispered not to tell her husband. Hello 1950's!
There is so much more but this post is already way too long. Spoiler the night ended with him screaming and her crying. Let me know if anybody actually read the whole thing. Oh and: no she wasn't pregnant, from what i could tell this was not a shotgun kinda thing.
Ah yes the music. I briefly mentioned the organizational disaster that was the music. We don't have Internet and therefore play records. Our selection is a mix of old records we were gifted, stuff the staff brought to listen to and the odd record we actually bought just for the bar. It's a bit weird but it works for us. It is not unusual for regulars to bring their own records to listen to. The bride and groom didn't know that.
They had no affiliation to the bar and whoever recommended us to them did a poor job of explaining how we worked. Anywho. We played our music, there was nothing they or us could do, it was what it was. Until they decided that a first dance was in order. Well actually they didn't decide this, it was one of the groom's friends who thought this was a good idea. He jumped in the middle of the room and declared 'FIRST DANCE' like he was shouting it from a rooftop, at the same time frantically gesturing to me that I stop the music. I did.
The room was completely silent. Everybody had stopped talking and looked from the guy to the newly weds who were taken completely by surprised. Again. This was not planned. I briefly mentioned our dimensions. It is not a big bar. It is not a dancing bar. And more importantly it is a bar with desks and seats. Meaning there is literally no room to dance around.
The room was silent and everybody was looking like they were expecting planned solutions to all of these problems. His solution was to get another guy, ask the family (they were seated in the middle) to move and move one table and those seats to the outer edge. Alright. Now you have cleared the space of one table and eight seats. Plus two grandmas and one grandfather without a place to sit but honestly...who cares, right?
Still no music and still so silent. So he whips out his phone (you can't fault him for lack of enthusiasm) and puts on a waltz. So many of you guessed the country of origin in the last post and yes this happened in Germany and in german the word for first dance is 'wedding waltz' and I guess this is the information he went by. To make things worse we first had to listen to one Ad before and actual Austrian waltz was played.
The bride and groom now awkwardly started to dance to this super traditional waltz, shrillly blasted from a phone, obviously without having practised once and in complete restriction of this very small space they had cleared by moving one table. Maybe halfway through the groom decided he had enough, abandoned his bride, declared she was up for grabs to dance with somebody else and came to the counter and ordered another shot. One of her girlfriends came to the rescue but I felt so bad for her.
They finished the dance. The end of the dance was not the end of the awkwardness since then we were back to silence. I waited a couple of seconds, realised nobody was gonna talk, the bride just stood there, the groom grinning to mask how uncomfortable he was so i just jumped to put the music back on. The tables were put back and everybody including the bride and groom looked like they were trying to ignore what had just happened.
The evening continued and after a couple of hours the room had cleared a bit. Some of the guests and all of the older relatives had gone home. We hardly ever have the room completely booked. I had written a note and put it on the door but throughout the evening there were a couple of other guests who hadn't read my note and entered. All of them were super understanding when I told them there was a wedding and there were no problems. At around midnight a couple of people entered.
One of which was a friend of mine the others were acquaintances. Since the room had significantly cleared I decided to ask the couple if it was fine if my friends had a drink at the bar. Both of them were completely fine with this (yes even the groom). He said that they had to pay for their own drinks which they would of course do so they came in. It was December and they had just come from their Christmas drinks. It is important for this story to note that my friends all work at the University for the department of statistics.
The professor was with them. Since they came from their Christmas drinks all of them were in a really good mood and decided to mingle. After a while they all rejoined at the counter to order another drink. The chosen topic of conversation: the groom. And how horrible he was. Me being the senior on this topic shared a bit of the previous evening. The professor was intrigued. One could say his professional curiosity was awoken. Oh so he was horrible the entire evening? I wonder if this is a statistical outlier in his behavior or the norm! So many people here one could ask.
Of course most if not all of them are good friends...but who better to actually be able to judge if he's always this horrible..And before I could muster up the courage to discourage a very determined professor (of mine) from his quest to raise a study of questionable scientific significance he was already off talking to the guests yet again.
Working in a bar I have seen many people sober up in a heart beat but this was actually impressive. He was very smooth with it and throughout the course of the next thirty minutes I got a couple of glances from his conversations: oh you've known the groom since you were kids? It must be so nice to see him on his happiest day...and so on and so forth.
After half an hour he was back. Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly) the majority of the present company did not like the groom. One of the questions was of they were well suited to another the majority seemed to think that she could have done better. The brother of the bride went as far a to say that he was an ass and he didn't understand his sister. Of course I didn't like him but it was surprising to me to hear that his guests didn't either. Overwhelming positive support came from his 'boys.' Great guy! The best!
The end of the night. I told you about the paying bit and the part with the tip. It was after 4am, well after our closing time but I didn't want to kick them out on their wedding. Despite my feelings about the groom, I thought she was sweet and I wanted her to enjoy her night... because it looked like the rest of her life would be miserable. It was 4am, the bill was paid, most of the guests had left. Him and his boys, her and her girlfriends.
Only them were left. This was when the guys started to sing and 'gröhl.' This loud obnoxious behavior douchebag guys have when they had too much to drink. After an entire shift I have zero tolerance for this plus we're trying to entertain a good relationship with our neighbours. So very firmly I told the guys to be quieter and asked them to finish up the night. Finishing up the night?? Oh no! That's not going to happen!
Afterparty in somebody's basement! Honestly, I don't care! I wish them good luck, happy partying and bid them goodbye. The girls soon follow suit. She's super sweet, I wish her the best, am happy to be closing the door behind them and face the chaos inside. My boss had gone home as soon at it began to significantly quiet down.
I start the cleaning process when I hear a knock on the door. Ergh.. you got to be kidding. But it was her with one girl. So apologetic and asked me if I had seen her purse. I had not but I let them in to look for themselves. After a couple of minutes and no luck another knock at the door 'and somewhat louder than before.' It was him with another friend.
'Where the F were you?' 'We're waiting for you!' 'It's your f**ing wedding aswell ' 'I've been calling like crazy, why didn't you pick up??' Oh boy. Somebody had had more to drink. She explained that she had lost her purse and had been looking for it. She asked for his phone to call hers and that's when he shouted 'are you stupid? I've been calling you for half an hour! If your cell was here you should have heard it.' That was when she started crying. He turned around and left. Leaving me with a crying bride and her friend.
I have to say i didn't know what to do...I didn't know her, didn't know him, didn't anything about saying the right thing in situations like these (or lets be honest, any uncomfortable situation) and let my bartender instincts take over. Whisky time.
Didn't know if it helped at all after all she was still married but it killed some time. Enough time for one of her other friends to find her way back, clutching in her left hand: the lost purse. I'm so sorry to everyone who had hoped for an epic ending where the bride somehow gains the upper hand or some sort of satisfaction.
This is all I have to offer you. I have never seen them again. My last memory is a teary bride happy to have found her purse which was indeed quite pretty and led me to believe that more thought was put into the choice of accessory than in the choice of partner...
Ugh Why was she marrying that guy? I bet he said he'd only have a 'party' if it was at a bar.
I need more! What a wild ride! That poor woman…
Thank you so much for introducing me to the mettigel! By the sound of it of it she would have been better off marrying that...
Will they have the divorce party at your bar also?
Omg. What a nightmare. I wasn’t even there, but this post have me anxiety. Just throw the whole man away, girl!