The Sick Groomsman

by admin on August 28, 2012

My then-boyfriend was asked to be a groomsman in a friend’s wedding. All was going fine until he woke up in the middle of the night before the wedding with a fever and a bad case of the flu. He tried to call the bride and groom who lived together that morning and tell them he was too sick to come, but the bride threw a fit and said he absolutely had to be there. He ended up having to have a friend drive him to the ceremony site because he was so sick, but managed to get to the site in time. He ended up having to leave during the ceremony to be sick again, and the bride was furious. When he went to the groom and bride after the ceremony to tell them he was too sick to go to the reception and needed to go home, again the bride was furious that he wasn’t going to be there for post-ceremony pictures and there wouldn’t be anyone to dance with the bridesmaid he escorted down the aisle. He never heard from the couple again and never received a thank-you note for the gift he sent.

I never understood the bridezilla’s thinking. If I were a bride and someone in the bridal party called up and said they had the flu, I’d be telling them to stay home!

I’m wondering what the edame and ehellions would say if they were in the groomsman’s position. Is this the time for a polite spine and to tell the bride or groom, “I am too sick and cannot accommodate your request?” Or if they are that insistent, do you show up with your wedding present of the flu? What is the etiquette in the situation if a member of the bridal party gets sick and cannot attend?   0820-12

The etiquette is, you go home to bed after giving your hosts and the guests of honor the courtesy of informing them you are too ill to continue enjoying their hospitality.

This is one of those pivotal moments in the life of a relationship where you will discover the content of the character of the people you call “friend”.   And sometimes there is an ugly epiphany that people you thought cared for you are not who you thought they were.  Sometimes I think God arranges these relationship dust ups to allow us to see that we have been investing our precious resources on unworthy people and that is time to find more suitable friends.

{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria August 28, 2012 at 4:59 am

I agree, you stay at home! There’s nothing noble about subjecting the entire wedding party and all the guests to a potentially contagious illness!

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lkb August 28, 2012 at 5:34 am

Wonder how the bride felt if she heard from some of the guests later that they came down with the flu that night… Groomsman did the best he could.

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akaCat August 28, 2012 at 10:36 am

lkb — I can’t imagine this bridezilla would have felt a shred of remorse, and it’s even less likely that she would take any responsibility. She probably blamed the groomsman for any other guest’s illness. Doing so with the thought “it’s his fault for getting sick”, while the other afflicted guests heard it as “it’s his fault for attending the wedding while sick.”

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--Lia August 28, 2012 at 7:27 am

I can only imagine how furious the bride was when she discovered that both she and her new husband had caught the flu 2 days into their expensive honeymoon. I imagine them coughing and shivering in their hotel room, not enjoying the sightseeing but instead moaning about their body aches, sleeping fitfully, and wondering about the medical services in a foreign city. All you need is tap water in that situation, but it sure is nice to have someone bring you hot tea, and let’s guess room service isn’t equipped to offer nursing care.

I believe the groom did the impolite thing by showing up. From the bride’s point of view, he was capable of being there as evidenced by the fact that he got there. From her point of view, if he really was sick, he’d have been home in bed.

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Spuck August 28, 2012 at 10:06 am

I don’t think it was impolite of the sick groomsman. He was the only who was ill an had an excuse for not thinking clearly, dealing with a bride who did not have an excuse for her hysterics.

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LadyLelan August 29, 2012 at 8:10 am

I am afraid I do not understand your point of view, Lia.

As from what I have read, if the groomsman finally came to the ceremony, it was to appease the hysterical fits of the bride who would not even take a few seconds to see and understand that the groomsman was absolutely not in the right state of health to be there…

The groomsman did all he could to honor his duties, despite being seriously ill (as if he could have been ill on purpose… seriously…), only to be thanked by a rudeness and a behavior that would have left me speechless with shock.

As for this bride… well, she has a nice place waiting for her in eHell.

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Kim March 21, 2013 at 9:47 pm

He came sick because he was FORCED to, he had NO choice. I’ll bet he wished he could have stayed home in bed that day instead of being forced to come to the wedding sick.

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Cherry August 28, 2012 at 8:04 am

If someone was sick, then surely the sensible thing to do is tell them to stay at home. If you wanted them there on your special day, surely you care about them enough to NOT demand they potentially make themselves worse just so your attendants are symetrical?!

In this situation, I think your bf should not have folded and instead should have stayed home. If the bridezilla had complained, a blank look and a comment of “I told you I couldn’t make it because I was sick with flu” would surfice.

I can imagine the Bridezilla complaining to others, saying “He can’t have been THAT sick if he managed to get to the ceremony…”

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The Elf August 28, 2012 at 8:20 am

Who wants a sick guest hanging around anyway? That just seems like a recipe for disaster.

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jena rogers August 28, 2012 at 10:35 am

I agree. The groom should have STAYED home (not “go home” as Admin suggested… he never should have gotten out of bed!!!) Sometimes we need to measure the preferences of a few against what’s best for the masses. What’s best is to stay away to avoid spoiling the occasion and making others ill. When one considers who else could have been at the event and vulnerable… (individuals with compromised immune systems, the elderly, young children), this really seems like a pretty obvious decision to me. I wouldn’t care what the bride and groom said.

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GleanerGirl August 29, 2012 at 5:00 am

Exactly! Have you ever read Agatha Christie’s “The Mirror Cracked from Side to Side”? Spoiler alert!
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OK, is it safe? NO one is reading this who doesn’t want to read a spoiler?

A woman who was much too sick to be out, and had been ordered by her doctor to stay at home, decided to go out in public, anyway, and because of that, she infected a pregnant woman, whose baby was born with terrible birth defects, because of it. The sick woman just thought of herself as a real trooper, for dragging herself out of bed and going on with her life, but the other people who were affected by that contagion suffered horribly. And the woman never even knew. She had no clue of the damage she had done.

And a wedding, where the elder family members are gathered around is, shall we say, a target-rich environment for any sniping germs that may be brought in by over-zealous well-wishers.

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jena rogers August 30, 2012 at 6:56 am

‘Reminds me of Typhoid Mary… a woman who was in complete denial…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoid_Mary

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Chris August 28, 2012 at 8:22 am

Having never been married, or part of a wedding party, my perspective here is as a guest and, less so, as an uncle to children. If an invited person, guest OR wedding party, is ill they have a responsibility to all the remaining persons to STAY HOME. This wedding is not so important that you should risk infecting the other guests. You also have a responsibility to YOURSELF to rest and recover.

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GleanerGirl August 29, 2012 at 5:02 am

And if the bride or groom is sick, especially with a contagious disease, then they have the responsibility to make alternate arrangements. If it is not too inconvenient for most of the guests, re-schedule the wedding. If that would be a hardship, then have the wedding ceremony conducted at the bride’s or groom’s house, and broadcast via video-conferencing to the guests. If you don’t have the smart-phone, then borrow one for the occasion.

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Shannon August 28, 2012 at 8:57 am

I was the sick bridesmaid at a wedding years ago. I had a mild case of the flu, in fact, I originally thought I was just a bit hungover from the rehearsal dinner wine. But as the day wore on and I felt worse instead of better, I realized I was ill. Fortunately, my sister was staying with me and was able to prop me up with meds, hot tea and a nap, and I made it through the ceremony and most of the reception. (Though, I can’t begin to tell you how hard it is to get through a Catholic service with a full Mass when your stomach is doing eighty things at once.) I rallied for my friend. If I’d had to cancel at the last moment, I’m sure my friend would have been upset and disappointed, but she would have gotten over it pretty quickly. I also told her in advance that I felt ill, and would not have been hurt if she told me to stay home.

Ultimately, it’s not your wedding day that matters most, it’s the days that follow. Real friends are more than props for your pictures, they’re around for a lifetime.

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Lizza August 28, 2012 at 11:12 am

“Real friends are more than props for your pictures, they’re around for a lifetime.”

Oh, that quote needs to be on every wedding website there is!

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AMC August 29, 2012 at 8:27 am

Ditto!

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josie August 28, 2012 at 10:14 am

And how great would he of looked in those wedding pictures? Nothing like a green complexion and a blah face to perk up the pictures.

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LovleAnjel August 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Two of my attendants had started to come down with the flu during my wedding, and I didn’t know until I saw how pale they were in the pictures! I would have told them to stay home and rest if they had told me about it.

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Angela August 28, 2012 at 10:31 am

I wonder what the groom had to say about all this?

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Hemi August 28, 2012 at 11:39 am

I agree with the others who say, STAY HOME. By insisting you be there for symmetry, pictures and dancing, Bridezilla exposed all the guests & other attendants to a very contagious illness. And like @Lia pointed out, what if the B & G got sick and were sick for their entire honeymoon? It takes a week , usually 2 if you have a really back case, to recover from the flu.There’s nothing like paying big, nonrefundable bucks for a nice honeymoon and then being too sick to actually partake.

IF she & groom got sick, I’m sure she would have said, “Well if *he* had stayed at home….”

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Cat August 28, 2012 at 11:46 am

The presence of a flu-ridden groomsman being ill while we are at the altar would probably upset the priest and a good many guests. Coughing on my wedding cake and in the face of a dancing bridesmaid would cast a damper on my big day if he had insisted on doing his “duty” and coming to my wedding.
Anyone who has ever had the flu knows that you end up looking and feeling like death that has been warmed over.
Bridezilla would just have to stamp and scream. I’d go to bed, taking my germs with me. Some things are best not shared, especially with large groups of people- none of whom wants to have the flu because of an entitled, over-bearing shrew getting married.

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Miss Alex August 28, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Oh, that bride’s demand was just ridiculous. Stay home if you’re sick!

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Stacey Frith-Smith August 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm

If you are due at a wedding or event of similar gravity and are ill, one hopes you are being seen in the ER. Anything less is going to cause some consternation. I know this will be a terribly unpopular opinion, but this would be the time to take whatever over the counter medications that you must in order to survive including mammoth stomach calming, fever reducing, pain mitigating agents and attend. Not for the sake of the dancing and pictures, for heavens sakes! But because of the solemnity of the occasion. If you are too sick to attend, you are too sick to be home without the services of a physician and a written excuse. This is just basic common sense! And groveling apologies are in order if you have done so. “I don’t know what I was thinking! I was so ill that I wasn’t thinking clearly and should have headed straight for the “. A long letter of affectionate and humorous apology is in order along with a steak dinner and a few good bottles of wine.

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Angela August 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Eh, this is a matter of public health. It wouldn’t have stopped the ceremony, just readjusted it. OTC meds are OK for a cold but the flu can be serious, especially if there are older people or children there.

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lkb August 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm

… exactly what I was thinking, Angela. For the most part, the flu is a relatively minor thing (not pleasant, to be sure, but most of us bounce back relatively quickly). However, for Grandma, Grandpa or Baby So-and-so (or someone else with a chronic condition), it could be entirely different.

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Mary August 28, 2012 at 10:54 pm

I don’t think so. If he had to leave to get sick, that mean he was vomiting. Who goes to the doctor to get treated for the stomach flu? They usually can’t do anything for you anyway.
But someone with the stomach flu should not be at a wedding! That’s not something you can just treat with Pepto and get through the wedding.

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Jenny August 29, 2012 at 8:25 am

Basically for stomach flu, you try to sip as much water or gatorade as you can keep down and just try to wait it out. You only go to the hospital if you are seriously dehydrated and they need to put you on an IV. But the hospital can’t make the virus stop – doctors aren’t magic.

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Holly September 13, 2013 at 11:30 am

I agree. Sometimes you’re just too sick with a common malady to get out of bed and see a physician. Sometimes the only treatment is stay home and rest and get better. Obviously, the person who said that you should go to the hospital for treatment and get a doctor’s note has never had a real dose of influenza. I had real influenza once in my like. Nothing a doctor could do. It didn’t kill me, but there were times during that week that I wished it would…and I was a healthy 21 year old. I can’t imagine someone elderly, a child, or someone with a compromised immune system would have been able to handle. To the person who said,

“If you are too sick to attend, you are too sick to be home without the services of a physician and a written excuse. ”

Get the flu and then try to say that again with a straight face!

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GleanerGirl August 29, 2012 at 5:09 am

You can be contagious without being “emergency” material. If you’re coughing and sneezing and spreading germs, then you shouldn’t be out in public. That doesn’t mean you take away resources at the emergency room, who are busy dealing with heart attacks and gunshot wounds.

I’ve had days when I’ve been very sick, and went to the doctor, and it took up the WHOLE day, only for the doctor to tell me there was nothing they could do for me, because it was viral, and the best thing for it was to take OTC medication to treat the symptoms, and get as much rest as possible. This, after spending hours getting to and from the doctor, waiting in the waiting room, then waiting in the office. Once I was actually able to watch an entire movie while waiting in the doctor’s office. I could have spent those two hours resting in bed, and actually recovering, rather than facing the cold weather outside, and aggravating my situation.

Insisting on a doctor’s note to *prove* that you are really ill enough is rather silly, in my opinion. Most people have sense enough to know that they are ill enough to be at home, rather than public.

Also, I must say that your comment is rather privileged, assuming that people have the money to afford doctor visits, steak dinners, and good bottles of wine.

Although I do agree with you about the long letter of affectionate and humorous apology. Almost everyone can afford that.

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jena rogers August 29, 2012 at 8:54 am

You’re right! This IS a terribly unpopular opinion!! Even with all those palliative approaches, one still has to consider the contagious aspect of an illness. I don’t appreciate that someone should “buck up” for my wedding at the expense of exposing other people to his illness. We’re talking about adults here who presumably know themselves pretty well, and can judge for themselves where and whether to go to a wedding or a hospital. Such judgment should be trusted, not criticized.

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The Elf August 29, 2012 at 9:50 am

The sniffles shouldn’t be cause for skipping a wedding. And one should try home remedies before giving up completely. But fever? Diarrhea? Vomiting? All good reasons to stay at home without necessarily good enough reasons to go to the ER.

But I do agree that the sick groomsman, once he opted out of the wedding, needs to make extra effort in apologizing and making it up to the couple. It is a commitment. It isn’t his fault that he was unable to fulfill his commitment, but he still failed to do so.

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Lilac August 29, 2012 at 9:52 am

I can’t quite figure out if this is a sarcastic reply or serious. Usually it’s pretty obvious but I must be slow today. The tone seems genuine but who would really expect a written excuse from a friend? If this post isn’t tongue in cheek then I have to respond. People are very sick sometimes and do not have to go to the ER. I can’t imagine heading to the ER for the common stomach flu! If you are throwing up and have diarrhea you should not be at a wedding infecting other people or barfing on the bride. The possibility of an embarrassing incident that would certainly take the attention away from the happy couple and perhaps lead to unavailable restroom facilities should keep the sick person at home. Unless the illness is extreme (can’t take in any fluids for a prolonged period, etc.) or the person is in an at risk population ie. elderly, young etc. there is usually no need for an ER visit. Rest and fluids! And stay away!!

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StephM August 30, 2012 at 3:06 pm

I feel like this is tongue in cheek as well.

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Cami August 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm

I strongly disagree. I caught a stomach bug due to a coworker coming to work with it. She was only “mildly” sick. I was a healthy 18 year old and ended up in the hospital. I can only imagine that something much more serious, possibly fatal, could have happened to someone with a compromised immune system or the elderly or a baby.

If you have the stomach flu, stay home!

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Yvaine August 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm

…a written excuse, for an adult and among friends?

o.O

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Redblues September 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Not everyone who is too ill to leave the house requires the care of a physician, much less the frivolous use of an ER. Even a young healthy person can take every OTC drug available (assuming, just for the sake of argument, & that they are 100% effective, the individual can take them, and has no health conditions or allergies that preclude doing so) and still not have the strength to stand up for a ceremony. It is also a huge public health risk. Anyone can get the flu, and can become very ill and even die from it. A wedding is the kind of family event that people who are elderly, young or who might be immunu-compromised due to say, chemo, would make every effort to attend. An ill guest could easily infect them, and easily infect anyone who came in contact with him. People matter more than ceremonies, no matter how solemn.

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Claire October 30, 2012 at 3:16 am

Stacey I cannot for the life of me understand your perspective. It is a heartless and selfish thing to insist that someone spends a day in total misery and risk passing the whole thing on to other guests

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Margaret August 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm

“He ended up having to leave during the ceremony to be sick again, and the bride was furious.”

It would have been better for him to vomit in the middle of the ceremony, possibly on members of the wedding party? Shame on the bride.

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Second you! August 28, 2012 at 6:26 pm

My thoughts exactly – probably on the bride’s wedding dress! That would serve as a reminder to let a sick person stay at home!

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GleanerGirl August 29, 2012 at 5:11 am

Or possibly it was diarrhea. Either way, one would want that mess contained in the person’s HOME bathroom, if at all possible.

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LadyLelan August 29, 2012 at 8:15 am

Could not have said it better.

I’m just flabbergasted at how the bride seemed to think that the groomsman was ill on purpose (or something as lame…)

Seriously…

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Katy August 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm

My husband’s best man was in the Marines, and we carefully planned things well in advance so he could get the time off to attend the wedding, and he had everything planned so he would be on leave during our wedding, and could visit family in the area as well. Well, you know what they say about the best-laid plans, and he wound up getting his girlfriend pregnant, due a few weeks prior to the wedding. He was informed about a month prior to our wedding he’d either be able to get time off for the birth, or for our wedding, but not both. He was upset when he called my husband, but we quickly insisted he go to the birth, which is MUCH more important than a wedding. Hubby immediately called up another friend and asked him to be the ‘new’ best man, and I didn’t even entertain the idea of trying to add another groomsman to ‘even things out’. We just had one groomsman escort two bridesmaids, which became a bit of a joke (someone had a ‘pimp hat’ in their car and it wound up on his head as he walked in, as well as him loudly announcing ‘there’s enough of me to go around’ before the dance). Of course, we had more than a day, but I would still think that the health of a good friend trumps the photos looking even or a bridesmaid having to walk into the reception alone.

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GleanerGirl August 29, 2012 at 5:12 am

Good for you, Katy! Kudos to you and your husband.

The pimp hat thing was humorous.

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sv August 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm

How DARE he??? How DARE he?? Didn’t he know it was her SPECIAL DAY?? Oh my, gotta love a bridezilla :)

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AS August 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I don’t get these people. Would the bride rather have him be sick at the ceremony/reception rather than leave it surreptiously; or infect others they are in close contact with which includes the bridal couple? Imagine how exciting their honeymoon would have been if one of them came down with the flu! Seriously, some people baffle me!

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AS August 28, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Misspelling – I meant “surreptitiously”.

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Hal August 28, 2012 at 7:06 pm

I believe without knowing anything about the people involved in this unfortunate situation that there was certainly some man there who could have stepped in as a groomsman. If tuxes were worn a quick emergency trip to the tux shop would probably have been possible. To immediately become angry if something changes is childlike, Adults are happier than children because adults have learned to adapt cheerfully and politely. The bride was both childish and unsympathetic.

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Lacey August 28, 2012 at 8:54 pm

To Stacey, if this guy had a stomach virus (I know the OP called it the flu, but it sounds like she meant a stomach virus?), there would have been no point in going to the doctor. First of all, there is nothing they can do. Second of all, if you’re feeling so ill that you can’t make it through a wedding ceremony without having to vomit, imagine how fun getting to the doctor’s office/hospital and sitting in the waiting room for at least an hour would be. Not to mention, as everyone else said, the possibility of spreading a contagious virus around the wedding.

I can see the couple being disappointed, but not questioning the legitimacy of the guy’s illness or actually trying to make a sick person come to their wedding – or forcing a bridesmaid to dance with a contagious groomsman.

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Agania August 29, 2012 at 1:24 am

I was asked to do a reading at the wedding of some dear friends. During the night before I came down with the most horrendous gastro – six hours of bolting to the loo! By dawn I had not a drop of moisture left in my body. I could barely walk down the hall to get a glass of water let alone drive nearly an hour to the wedding site. I rang the bride very early in the morning to tell her. Bless her, she assured me that it was OK and to get some rest and get better. Afterwards, she and hubby came over and showed me wedding photos, told me all about the occasion and gave me one of the bonbonniere (sp?) gifts – an etched glass bell which I still have to this day. Now that’s class!

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jena rogers August 29, 2012 at 8:58 am

It certainly is!!

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GleanerGirl August 29, 2012 at 4:51 am

If I were that groomsman, and had actually dragged myself to the wedding, I would have been sorely tempted to sneeze and/or cough all over the bride.

What a silly fool to insist on someone bringing their contagion to the wedding.

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GleanerGirl August 29, 2012 at 4:55 am

And another thing: In this day of ubiquitous telephones, and even video calls, if you really, truly just want the people you love to “be there” and share in your special day, one would think an intelligent bride would say, “OK, you stay in bed and get well. When the ceremony is about to start, we’ll call you, so you can be a part of it.” Shoot, you could even have the bridesmaid dance with the “groomsman” on the phone – holding her arms in the frame position, while holding the cellphone in her hand. That would be charming, showing that you really care about the man and want him to be included, while simultaneously allowing him to take care of himself and not share his germs with others. win-win-win!

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majuba August 29, 2012 at 7:08 am

I’m on the side of the group that says ‘ stay away so you don’t infect everyone else’.
Its not a wedding story but many years ago, when I was a child, we attended a christmas party put on by a friends of my mother’s. There were probably a dozen families there including 30+ kids. Lucky the host family had a farm so there was plenty of room and it was very relaxed, a classic Aussie barbeque.
Anyways one family thought it totally okay to bring their 10 year old daughter…who had a raging dose of the chickenpox. Sure enough EVERY single child at the party caught it from her plus a couple of the adults. I found out later that my mother, and many others, were FURIOUS at this family for their thoughtless actions. The parents of the sick child were apparently totally puzzled by the hostile reception they recieved. Chicken Pox isnt just annoying, it can be deadly. Some of those kids who caught the chickenpox from her ended up very sick indeed.
Now translate this to the wedding in the story above -what would have happpened if the boyfriend had turned out to have one of the more nasty forms of the Flu, or if the whole guest list had gone down sick with it? It was selfish of the bride to be willing to risk her entire guestlist just so she could have the perfect wedding and the best photos.

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--Lia August 29, 2012 at 8:08 am

Allow me to register a drop of amusement. When I read “flu,” I understood the abbreviation for influenza which is a virus that causes respiratory troubles: coughing, sneezing, fever, chills, sweats, and body aches. The severity and length of time the symptoms last depends on the severity of the particular flu and the general health of the patient. A healthy adult gets over it in a week with the only treatment being rest, liquids, and maybe aspirin. An infant or elderly person should get expert care to make certain it doesn’t turn into something much worse.

But apparently “flu” was a euphemism for gastro-intestinal virus or norovirus because upper respiratory problems are polite where G.I. ones aren’t. You’re allowed to cough and sneeze politely but not vomit or run to the bathroom with diarrhea.

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Jenny August 29, 2012 at 8:22 am

Another thing is those horrible stomach bugs (sometimes norovirus) are incredibly contagious. My sister once came home from camp with one, and the rest of us were all ill within 12 hours. It’s not pretty, it’s one of those lie-on-the-bathroom-floor-in-fetal-position illnesses for like 6 hours in between bouts of being sick. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to dance with this guy, knowing that you could be sick by the end of the night.

But I never went to the hospital for this. You can be incredibly ill and not go to the hospital. I mean what would they have done? Tell me not to get dehydrated (which most people know already)? Plus the bug passes within a day, you don’t want to leave the bathroom long enough to get to the hospital, and you could spread the bug to seriously ill people at the hospital who are more sensitive to it and could end up dying.

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Kate August 29, 2012 at 9:08 am

How awful! I’d be insisting that any guest that unwell stay home and rest (not least because they might throw up everywhere, which would be a real downer).
I attended a wedding ceremony last year and started the day with a bit of a headache. Two hours later, with a further four hours to go before the reception even started, it had become a full-blown migraine complete with blurred vision, spots in my eyes and vomiting. I felt awful but I had no choice but to miss the reception, go home and lie in bed in a dark room. Fortunately, the bride was not bothered at all and displayed no bridezilla behaviour!

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Lacey August 29, 2012 at 10:01 am

Agania, yes, total class on the part of your friends! That’s how real friends should behave.:)

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FerrisW August 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm

I’m always aghast when people put their own desires over someone else’s health and wellbeing. If I was the bride, I would have looked back on it years later and gently teased the best man, perhaps saying that I’d expected it to be the groom who would be so nervous he’d be sick, or something similar.

Many years ago I was a bridesmaid for a University friend I hadn’t seen in a few years. While the whole thing was an etiquette shambles from the get go (a story for another time perhaps), while we were posing outside for photographs, a bee flew under the shawl I was wearing and stung me. I’d never been stung before, and although it smarted I carried on posing until I started to sway alarmingly and someone had to rush me off to the side. The site of the sting had swollen up and luckily one of the guests was a doctor and could give me antihistamines to reduce the effects. I was told to remain seated for at least a half hour before returning to my bridesmaid duties (after I said I didn’t want to go to the hospital) but the bride was so outraged that she stormed over to me, and yelled at me for ruining her photos and said that if I was allergic to beestings I should have been prepared for it (although there was no way of knowing I’d have a reaction!). She cried so hard she had to have someone redo her makeup, and by then I was feeling well enough to stand and we carried on with the photos, our smiles now large and fake. Incidentally, the photographer had suggested taking other pictures of the bride and groom, and their families, while I rested, but the bride refused because I was ‘doing it on purpose for attention’. Sigh.

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GleanerGirl September 3, 2012 at 3:19 am

Seriously? She thought you had a known allergy, even though you’d never been stung before, AND you trained a bee to get under your shawl (quite a feat) and sting you JUST THEN.

I think she was slightly unhinged by the stress. I’m being generous and attributing it to stress, and not flat-out stupidity.

I hope she was able to relax and see reason later.

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FerrisW September 4, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Judging by the rest of her behaviour on that day (which I really should write up and submit here) she probably did think I trained a bee especially to sting me! Her older sister was 8 months pregnant at the time, which the bride insisted had been planned to upstage her at the wedding (since of course their relatives were all interested in the baby that would be soon joining the family) so I don’t think she was in the most sensible frame of mind at the time.

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Liz0613 August 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I have to admit, I’m really OCD so if I were the bride, I would tell him to stay home but I would have to have someone stand in for him so everything is even (I know it’s weird but I can’t help it). In that respect I understand her frustration.

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Lizza August 29, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Why on earth would you want a visibly ill person at your wedding, coming into contact with you, your groom, your friends, and your family? Who knows how many people got sick from that? What ridiculous entitlement!

A couple years ago my boyfriend and I were invited to a friend’s father’s house for a post-New Year brunch and watching of the Rose Bowl. The night before, other family members joined us for a small Christmas gathering – nieces/nephews/grandkids had small presents to open. One woman brought two of her kids, explaining that the other toddler and the baby were at home with her husband, and all three were sick with the “flu” (not sure if it really was the flu or some other sort of stomach virus.) Luckily, she and these kids had already “gotten over” it!

The morning after brunch I woke up, took a sip of water, and promptly fled to the bathroom. My boyfriend and the couple we’d gone with were sick as well. At first we thought we’d gotten some bad burgers for dinner that night, but then we found out that SEVEN other guests had ended up sick. I’m not sure if they were still contagious, or were just spreading around germs from other family members, and I know it was a Christmas gathering, but if illness is affecting your whole family, maybe you should skip it!

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No Wedding August 30, 2012 at 8:51 am

There were MANY holiday celebrations with my X’s family where we would show up with our young children and be told, “So-and-so was up all night throwing up, but they’re fine now!” or “So-and-so still has a small fever, but they’re feeling so much better!” The one time we were told “So-and-so threw up multiple times this morning, but still come visit” and I declined, I was being “Irrational and making a big deal out of nothing.”

I do not miss this.

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GleanerGirl September 3, 2012 at 3:17 am

I was once engaged to babysit for a family (friends), and when the mother called to give me a heads’ up that one of the younger children had been diagnosed with scarlet fever, she was quite shocked when I immediately told her she’d have to change her plans, as I would, under no circumstances, babysit for them, for at least two weeks.

She was shocked, you see, because it never occurred to her that a teenager would not have already had scarlet fever. Everyone else of her acquaintance had scarlet fever as a child, and so, naturally, I would be safe by then. However, I had moved into the country, and had never even known anyone who had ever had scarlet fever, so that was quite a “culture clash.” Add to this a very poor immune system, and there was no way I was going anywhere near them.

Anyway, since then, I take contagion quite seriously. I keep my germs to myself, and if I look sick, I am quick to point out “I am definitely not contagious, or I would be at home.” If I call in sick to work, I don’t give details. I give “You don’t want my germs.” No one with sense argues with that.

The bridezilla in this story, though, did not have sense.

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StephM August 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm

My friends had a Superbowl party last year at their home. When I woke up, I felt fine. Most of the day, I felt fine. Then I started feeling cold. I put on my sweater, was still shaking like crazy. We put a space heater not three feet from me on full blast, I was still shivering. Then I started going in and out of consciousness and I realized that something was definitely not right. I got my hind end home (BF drove) and stayed in bed for a week. I felt so awful about taking my germs to my friend’s house, even accidentally. Luckily none of them got sick.

I cannot imagine *knowing* that I’m sick and going out in public. It’s just disgusting. So a tiny shame on the groomsman, and a large heaping of shame on the bridezilla.

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Enna September 22, 2012 at 7:47 am

I would have stayed at home. If Bridezilla got too much I would say “do you want to be sick on your honeymoon? If you or your husband got it you would be cursing me for turning up!”.

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Claire October 30, 2012 at 3:28 am

Lilac, I am having real trouble with the fact that some people here have no sympathy with the poor guy and as for giving a written apology – what rubbish. A good bride and groom would understand completely. Heavens!

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LawGeek February 12, 2013 at 11:28 pm

At my cocktail reception, my bridesmaid’s fiance had an allergy attack. She told my mom while rushing off with him to the hospital. When I found out she had left, I expressed concern for his health. Neither my mom nor I knew that it was supposed to be all about how it affected us — that was the last thing on our minds.

I then asked my brother whether he wanted to make his entrance solo or with someone. He chose to enter with his then girlfriend. Only later reading bridezilla stories did I realize I was supposed to freak out that he was escorted by a non-bridesmaid (with beaucoup tattoos and piercings) in a black dress. At the time, I was too focused on whether my shy brother was comfortable.

Stuff happens. Her fiance was just fine, and we all managed to somehow survive the ordeal of an imperfect wedding entrance. I think most brides are people who instinctively act with humanity and basic kindness in daily life. But something about weddings makes some women think that everything has to be perfect. Perhaps TV shows about perfectionist brides spread this idea.

She married him later that year, and I stood up for the two of them. They were the ideal bride and groom – non-demanding and easygoing. It was the only chance I’ve had so far to be a bridesmaid, and I wouldn’t have missed the secret pre-wedding bridal suite tequila party, tearful ceremony, or festive limo ride for anything. If I had acted as this bride did, I doubt I would have gotten that opportunity or this continued wonderful friendship, and I certainly wouldn’t be booking flights 7 years later to meet their new baby.

Sure, my brother rolled his eyes at his ex in a few scattered pictures, but we just instead framed the ones of him dancing with me and laughing, something that wouldn’t have happened if he had been uncomfortable walking in minutes before. Relationships matter so much more than appearances. I don’t think we need to be told that, but I guess some people need to occasional reminders.

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