How to ruin your wedding reception – 8 handy tips


How to ruin your wedding reception – 8 handy tips

Some brides and grooms just want to watch the world burn. Well, maybe not the whole world, but certainly their own wedding receptions. And while the internet appears to be replete with advice and tips on how to achieve the perfect wedding (amazing wedding dress, beautiful friends, living your best life etc), there doesn’t seem to be much information for the bride and groom who are looking ruin their wedding reception.

Based on our experience of being a professional live band, having performed at hundreds of wedding receptions and seeing some of the funny situations that take place, it occurs to us that some wedding couples – not to mention their guests – really do want to torpedo their own big day.  We know you’re out there, so if this sounds like you, here are 8 handy irreverent  and tongue-in-cheek tips on how to create wedding chaos, schism and tears. Alternatively, if you DON’T want to ruin your wedding reception, just remember to not do any of these:

1.) Be stressed

Wedding receptions and stress make for strange bedfellows. It’s supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life, but you can’t have a wedding reception without experiencing periodic stress. And you will tend to find that it’s the smallest things (slightly different RSVP card text spacing, wedding car hubcap colour) which cause the most stress. Of course, it’s unlikely that everything will go exactly to plan as this is the nature of weddings, and while the sane person will take a philosophical approach to such hiccups, why pass up a golden opportunity when you can fully embrace your inner bridezilla / groomzilla and spend your wedding reception like a volcano ready to erupt? The best part about acting like a two year old throwing a tantrum is that your guests will give you a free pass. Why? Because it’s your wedding day!

2.) Be spiteful

If you are planning on ruining your wedding reception, be sure to start as you mean to carry on. Being spiteful and vindictive in which friends and family you do and don’t send invitations to is a great slow burning way to cause wedding reception upheavals. This is a useful way to show that you still bear a grudge against your older cousin for making you wear a horrendous bridesmaids’ dress ten years ago. You can also pick and choose who sits where at your wedding breakfast, so your partners’ friend who just happens to be their ex might just find themselves on the table next to the toilets. Stir that pot well in advance, stand back and watch the rancour bubble to the surface!

3.) Be jealous

Face facts – there is always going to be one friend who is so effortlessly successful in every part of their lives that you will never, ever compare. They are taller, more elegant, have the job you always wanted, a social circle to die for and a more beautiful partner. Their wedding must have cost thousands more than yours, they honeymooned in the same resort as your favourite celebrity and their babies are cuter than yours will ever be. At the wedding reception, you just know that people will be watching them and their immaculate attire, not you. But you what hurts the most? They are a genuinely nice person, and when they congratulate you after the wedding ceremony, they actually mean it. So, time to put all that negative energy eating away at you to good use. Make sure you direct caustic passive-aggressive comments at your loved ones so they are left in no doubt that you’re in charge and are doing the utmost to scupper your big day.

4.) Be disorganised

Skillset. A word used to describe a persons’ range of abilities. Most commonly a term found in the world of employment, some wedding couples labour under the mistaken belief that the qualities they possess which makes them an efficient office manager by day are somehow transferrable to wedding preparations and will allow them to successfully organise the myriad of tasks required both in the long, tortuous lead up to the wedding and on the day itself. Now you may well be the person who can detach yourself and your emotions from the fact that so much is riding on your organisational abilities and plough through your “to do” list like a red hot wedding machine, but if you suspect you may not be that person, under no circumstances admit to your partner and friends that you need help. Remember – in order to successfully ruin your wedding reception you will need to soldier on, rejecting all offers of advice or help while simultaneously convincing yourself that nobody else has the requisite skills. And when the car arrives late, vegetarians are served meat and you realise you told the band to play the wrong song for your first dance, only then can you blame everyone for not helping you. Win!

5.) Be a gossiper

What would a wedding be without wedding fight? Having performed at over 500 wedding receptions, we reckon we can predict the likelihood of a punch up with a fair degree of accuracy within a few minutes of arrival at a venue. Out trained eyes and ears pick out the most likely candidates – either the guy with his shirt untucked before the evening party has started or the girl clutching more than one drink and talking a little louder than anyone else – season with a little more alcohol and some imagined slight and hey presto! Let the fighting begin. However, as a bride or groom determined to have their wedding reception remembered for all the wrong reasons, extra points are awarded for engineering the social dynamics of your guests so that it to take place at the most unusual time in the evening and between the most unlikely of attendees. You will gain the admiration of others if the rumours you spread about your partners’ mom and uncle Geoff some years ago return to kick off a fight between guests who don’t even know uncle Geoff – and a gold medal to you if the fight breaks out during your first dance! If this all seems a little farfetched, it’s not – something similar did take place at quite an opulent wedding reception we performed at some years ago!

6.) Get really drunk really early and disappear

Brides and grooms who want their wedding evening to be a success know that guests need to feel relaxed enough to enjoy themselves. The best way to do this is to “work the room”, spending time with everyone, thanking them for coming and encouraging them to get on the dancefloor. But nothing quite says “I hate you all” than getting drunk and absconding from your own wedding reception. If you want to leave proceedings rudderless, so that nobody really knows what’s going on, gentlemen, why not think about moving straight to the bar after your first dance, chugging twelve pints and then pass out in the venue garden. Ladies, try drinking all day, then returning to your room after the first dance, only to re-emerge towards the end of the night with various liquids staining the front of your dress and proceed to abuse the venue staff and few guests who remain. Another good tip for a ruined wedding reception is demand that drinks are served and music is played well after the agreed curfew time!

7.) Sleep with someone

If you’re not the type of person who wants to spend months preparing to create a wedding disaster, just go for the jugular and sleep with one of the wedding party. Hey, if you do it and your partner still marries you, they’re a keeper.

8.) Treat the band badly

The good news is that if you have hired a professional, versatile and experienced function band such as HARD TO HANDLE to entertain your wedding guests, virtually nothing that can and may happen on your big day will stop us from creating an amazing party vibe and getting you and your guests on the dance floor all night. Having said this, you might like to try demanding that the band play songs that are guaranteed to clear the dancefloor, stop the music and use the microphone to make a drunken and largely incoherent speech, fall into the drumkit and break sundry pieces of band equipment or forget to pay us.


We’re joking, of course. Though we have seen most types of behaviour at wedding receptions, alls’ well that ends well. No matter what happens, when you hire HARD TO HANDLE BAND, everything is forgiven because you have had a truly memorable night, and we have played a big part in making sure your guests are entertained, treating your guests professionally, sounding amazing, performing all your favourite songs, and providing a live DJ at no extra cost.

For more information, call us direct on 0796 433 5657.