Being a bridesmaid at your friend's wedding can be incredibly fun. Sometimes you get to witness the joyous matrimony of two people who are truly meant to be together—no chiffon dress required. Other times, you've somehow managed to get yourself sucked into the celebration of a union that should never, ever (ever!!) be.
Twelve former bridesmaids reveal the awkward moment when they realized that the marriage was not so much an "until death do us part" situation, and more of a "maybe I can recommend a good divorce attorney" type of thing.
1. “We all tried to warn her but she refused to listen. He cheated with every woman he could find that would go along with it. I planned their wedding and am her oldest friend, and the groom tried to get me to sleep with him the week before the wedding!” —Tiffany, 30
2. “It was so obvious. They fought on the night they got engaged. She was texting throughout her whole bachelorette party, but we knew it wasn't her fiancé. The worst was at the wedding. He was so in love, looking into her eyes, doing all the lovey things, but you could see he was in pain. It was because she never looked at him. Not during the dance, not during dinner...and whenever we would clink the glasses for a kiss, she'd get pissed and refuse to kiss him. I've never been to a more awkward wedding. They lasted three months. I wish someone would have stopped her. We all knew, but we knew she'd deny anything.” —Sally, 29
3. “I knew their marriage was doomed from the beginning. As a couple, they never spent time together. The bride was my best friend, and was always going to the bars with the single girls and flirting with other guys. The night before the wedding, we were all out running errands, and she told me we had to make a stop at some parking lot to pick up the phone charger she had left at another guy's house! I never said anything to her husband; I figured it wasn't my place and he would eventually figure it out. He finally did. After a few years of marriage and a baby, he caught her Skypeing with some guy with her boobs out.” —Rae, 31
4. “I was in my best friend's wedding from high school. She was with a guy for about three years. They were engaged then eventually split. When they split, she immediately got with a new guy that 'had all the qualities' she looked for. After about six months, they moved in together and got engaged. About seven months before the wedding, the ex passed away. She was devastated. She started wearing the engagement ring from her ex and her wedding turned out to be exactly the way she planned it with the first guy. All that changed was the groom. We tried to warn her to postpone it to grieve, but she wouldn't. About nine months in, she told me she wanted a divorce. About a year later, it happened.” —Stephanie, 25
5. “I was a bridesmaid for my ex-boyfriend’s sister. It was a mess, but they still thought of me as family, so I agreed. As we were getting ready for the ceremony, she was wearing wedding-type lingerie before putting on her dress. She was taking sexy selfies of herself. I was asked to hold her phone and saw she had been sending them to an ex-fling. I told her maid of honor, and together we tried to have an intervention and repeatedly asked if she wanted to so this. She swore she wanted to get married and did. The wedding felt so weird. They divorced a year later.” —Calli, 26
6. “At their rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, [the bride] threw her ring in [the groom's] face and stormed out. They were warned for months prior. They were both cheating on each other. We made bets at how long it would last at their reception dinner. It lasted one year and that's only because she got pregnant on their honeymoon.” —Julie, 22
7. “The groom was late to the rehearsal, forgot his vows, stood around talking constantly and not paying attention. The bride screamed at him 'This is your third fucking marriage, don't you know what you are doing?!' After the rehearsal was over, on our way to dinner I privately asked the bride if she was sure she wanted to go through with the wedding. She responded that they had spent $20,000 on the wedding already and it was too late now. They were divorced within a year.” —Anna, 30
8. “I was supposed to be the maid of honor for my brother's fiancée. Then I found out, from someone I was seeing that she was sleeping around. She must have found out because I was demoted to bridesmaid. Then when I told my brother, he told me he would take it with a grain of salt. She ended up kicking me out of the wedding completely (I had even already bought the dress but she wouldn't repay me). So I sat front row during the vows and she gave me the most evil death stare. Throughout the marriage, I heard of her going out and sleeping with multiple people, but this time, I kept my mouth shut. Two years later, they're divorced. We're all pretty relieved.” —Christine, 25
9. “I was a bridesmaid for a childhood friend who had been with her fiancé since we were in middle school, so everything that happened was so insanely unexpected. Basically the morning of the wedding, my friend pulls me into a room alone and tells me that she thinks she's in love with me and always has been, but doesn't know what to do because the wedding was huge and expensive, and she didn't want to cancel it. I swear my jaw was literally hanging on the floor. I was already engaged at the time, so I tried to calm her down and tell her everything was going to be fine. The wedding went on and their marriage was fine for about two years until her husband came out and is now together with one [of] his groomsmen! So crazy! My husband and I always joke that I should sell this as a script!” —Harlowe, 26
10. “The day of the rehearsal dinner, I was with the bride...she told me that the groom gets upset about the weirdest stuff, and he was mad she didn't give him a hug and kiss before they departed. I asked her if she felt like she was marrying the right person, and she told me yes and that he was just nervous...they lasted two years because of how emotionally unstable he became, and how he blamed her for their lack of trust and intimacy in their relationship...but he was the one having the affair.” —Heather, 26
11. “I knew it was doomed from when he proposed to her by sticking the engagement ring in a cigarette box. At the bachelorette party, her maid of honor and another bridesmaid left early and quit two weeks before the wedding. I was then promoted to maid of honor that night. The next day, the bride found out she was pregnant. I knew the guy was no good, and they were the couple who was on-and-off again 10,384,820 times and had cheated on one another numerous times. After finding out the baby news, I said my piece and how I thought it was all bad news. She was mad and it was so awkward. I still had to be her maid of honor, which was beyond awkward. I googled 'bridesmaid speeches,' wrote it down, filled in some blanks, and phoned it in. The best man topped it with his speech outing her pregnancy to all guests who had no clue.They divorced after two or three years. We are also no longer friends. Wedding from hell.” —Alexandria, 25
12. “I was in my older brother's wedding as a bridesmaid. I was friends with his wife, so she had my sister and me as bridesmaids, which was exciting, but we were skeptical of the marriage lasting. Being friendly with his soon-to-be-wife, I knew that she was still quite immature, and she was constantly bashing people we knew at family functions or just out in public. She was supposed to be like an older sister, but she was so mean, and I wondered if she was mean to my brother like that. They have since divorced, but my parents and I agree the moment we knew things were doomed was on a vacation with our whole family in a beautiful place. She decided she was tired of it and locked herself in her bedroom until my brother agreed to go home with her and leave our family three days earlier than planned. Luckily the divorce wasn't messy, and my brother came out of it relieved and much happier.” —Emma, 18
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.