British Columbia

When weddings go wrong: 6 tales of woe from the B.C. courts

If you're in the middle of planning a wedding, you're probably fretting about all the things that could possibly go wrong. Care if we add a few more to the list?

Decisions detail disastrous alterations, inappropriate DJ errors and even wedding party arrests

B.C.'s court system has seen plenty of disputes related to weddings. (Shutterstock/Dima Sikorsky)

It's May, and that means wedding season is officially here. If you're in the middle of planning one, you're probably fretting about all the things that could possibly go wrong.

Care if we add a few more to the list? B.C.'s court system has seen a few doozies over the years. Here are just six of them.

Wedding dress turned miniskirt

Four days before her wedding, a B.C. bride took her dress to the dry cleaner looking to have it hemmed just above the knee. Instead, she came back to find her dress had been turned into miniskirt that was "totally unacceptable for a wedding," according to a decision from the Civil Resolution Tribunal.

The dress was shorter than her mid-thigh, with an uneven hem that left the slip hanging out the bottom. A droopy, "sloppy" bow had also been stitched to the front of the skirt, without the bride asking.

She ended up running around the day before her wedding to find a new dress, and successfully sued the dry cleaner to have the business owner pay for the replacement outfit.

I like the way you work it, Mom

When a Metro Vancouver couple got married at a banquet hall in Richmond last year, the evening failed to live up to the "Enchanting Romantic Pink" wedding they'd envisioned. The newlyweds were unhappy with just about everything, including the bartenders, the lighting and the decor.

Perhaps most upsetting was the venue's DJ, who hadn't downloaded the couple's song requests. That included the poignant country song he was supposed to play for the groom's first dance with his mother.

"Unfortunately, the DJ first played No Diggity, by Blackstreet, because he could not find the requested song. The bride's brother had to intervene," a member of the Civil Resolution Tribunal wrote in a decision awarding the disgruntled bride $1,116.

Everything from the cake to the DJ can turn into a legal dispute. (Leon Rafael/Shutterstock)

The wedding (and $149K divorce) that wasn't

In October 1988, a Vancouver couple eloped to France just a few months before a traditional wedding ceremony they'd planned to hold in Ontario. There was a service of blessing, rings and vows were exchanged, and the couple returned home from Paris believing they were legally married.

Sadly, they separated before their traditional Canadian wedding. The groom, still believing his marriage was legitimate, paid his bride $149,649 in a post-nuptial settlement. It was only afterward that he found out they were never legally married and he had no obligation to settle.

The groom lost his lawsuit for the money in 1991, when a B.C. Supreme Court justice found the cash was "a very generous" gift.

Seeing double

Remember the days of film cameras, when mishandling a roll of film would mean all of your photos were ruined? This Vancouver Island couple sure does.

When they were married in Port Alberni in 1988, their friends and family flew in from as far away as Brazil, Australia, Chicago and Toronto. It was a momentous occasion they would have loved to treasure for the rest of their lives.

That turned out to be difficult. When the newlyweds got their photos back, there were only 47 — and 37 had been double-exposed with photos from someone else's wedding.

The couple sued to get their photographer to pay for flying all their guests back to Vancouver Island for a re-shoot. They lost that argument, but they did get a refund.

A B.C. man was arrested on his wedding day for unpaid child support in 2014. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Arrested on your wedding day

This ex-couple has been in B.C. Supreme Court for an abundance of family court disputes, but one of them involved the ex-wife contributing to her ex-husband's arrest on the day he was supposed to get remarried.

The man was arrested just before his 2014 wedding on Salt Spring Island for failing to pay child support. He alleged his ex-wife was "involved" in the arrest and had refused to let their son go to the wedding.

He tried to argue in court that his ex-wife had denied him time with his son on his wedding day, but the judge dismissed the idea, saying the would-be groom missed time with his child because he was in police custody — not because of anything his ex had done.

Falling off the 'Funseeker'

This best man had a legitimately awful time at his friends' 1990 wedding aboard a houseboat called the "Funseeker" on Okanagan Lake.

Disaster struck during the reception. The best man was perched on the boat's outer deck when he made a rude joke to a woman standing nearby, according to court documents. She raised her arm and he somehow lost his balance, falling backward toward the water.

Unfortunately, another boat was pulling up beside the "Funseeker" at that exact moment, and it crashed into the best man as he fell. He was left with serious injuries and required multiple surgeries, but his claim for damages was denied.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.