Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Last week, we published an open call looking for the best (aka the worst) wedding horror stories. After sifting through the entries, we've tracked down the most cringe-inducing experience. Read it below.
Image via Tobias Arhelger/Shutterstock
When I arrived at my friend's wedding, new boyfriend in tow, I was exhausted. I had flown back to the city a day earlier from a week-long work trip, a harrowing and bumping transatlantic journey that left my nerves completely frazzled. Our accommodations for the wedding weekend included a pool and a hot tub, and I was eager to jump in.
Earlier, we had picked up another friend, let's call her Sam, who was in the bridal party and would be going to the rehearsal dinner. I wasn't invited, which I understood: I'm not very girly and I hadn't seen the friend who was getting married much since we had all graduated high school. Sam urged me to try to track her down for drinks after dinner and left, headed to the concierge to ask where everyone was gathering for the rehearsal.
My boyfriend, who we'll call Ethan for the purposes of this story, and I changed into swimwear and trekked down to the pool area. Staffers were setting up tables around its perimeter, so we skirted that and came across the hot tub, which sat separated from the pool on one side and a swampy, man-made lagoon on another by a thin layer of hedge.I sank into the water and tried to relax.
Soon, the sound of syrupy country music and party chatter began to permeate the wall of greenery. "The music probably won't be much better at this wedding we're going to tomorrow," I grumbled. Getting hot, I had risen half-way out of the water and was pushing steamy hair away from my face. Mosquitos had made their arrival; it was time to return to the room. All of a sudden, I heard a truly horrifying utterance. It was the mother of the bride congratulating the happy couple—that's right, that pool party we saw setting up thirty minutes earlier was in fact the rehearsal dinner.
We were trapped, garbed only in swimwear, in a hot tub while a majority of my high school acquaintances milled about in dresses, makeup and heels mere feet away. I briefly considered making a swim for it in the muddy-looking lagoon, but abandoned thoughts of that escape route when I noticed that it would require me to traverse a large artificial waterfall (the climbing of which would certainly bring me into view of party guests). It was then that they decided to roll out a slideshow of childhood photos of the couple. Ethan pointed out that the slideshow was so displayed that it would draw guests' attention away from the concrete path we'd have to travel to return to the safety of the hotel. A plan was hatched. Jittery, we swiftly walked with heads' turned and towels around our necks. No one called out. No one noticed. And I never said a word the next day.
· Send Us Your Best (aka Worst) Wedding Horror Stories [Racked]
· All Weddings Week 2013 Coverage [Racked]