Some reality television producer is going to make a mint one day when they realize that the groom can be the scarier half of the wedding couple. The cameras are on the wrong person. Although not as common as a bridal freak-out, when it happens, it's a hideous experience for everybody working for that wedding. I've suffered through more than my fair share of "Groomzillas" in the past five years, but there were certainly a few that truly stand out in my mind. It's certainly proof that weddings can bring out the worst in anyone.
In my experience, grooms participate in the wedding planning in one of the three ways: 1) Helping the bride plan every aspect of the wedding, and working together as a team during the wedding weekend to entertain the guests, 2) Participating in the planning only with regard to large money decisions and choosing the bar for events, 3) Showing up where he's told, wearing what he's told, when he's supposed to be there. As long as he arrives on time and says 'I do,' there are no other expectations. These are the ones you've gotta watch out for.
Most of the grooms who have turned into complete jackasses have fallen in Category three -- as in, they weren't involved in the planning at all so I was totally in the blind when Groomzilla arrived. Once I meet them, I totally understand why the bride has excluded them from the destination wedding planning process.
The award for most memorable Groomzilla would go to the firefighter from Texas who didn't do anything to help his bride with the planning and called me "Candy" all weekend. When he arrived 20 minutes late to his own ceremony and the spot had already been chosen and chairs set up (if you're late, you take what you get or nobody will have a seat when they arrive), he freaked out because he'd wanted it done differently. As the guests gathered, he screamed and yelled and cursed at me and had all of his friends tear apart the wedding setup and redo it facing another direction. By the time the bride arrived, he was filthy and sweaty and apoplectic. It wasn't rational on any level. All he needed to do was be on time for his own wedding, but since he didn't, we did our best to set it up for them. Being sober would have probably gone in his favor too. Alcohol can usually be pointed to as a key factor whenever a client has a psychotically disproportionate response to something during their Caribbean destination wedding weekend. But it was definitely memorable. I wonder if they're still married. She was very friendly during the planning but I never heard from her again, other than her whispered thanks when she gave me a quick hug goodbye at the end of the reception. I still think she looked scared.
Then there was my gangster wedding from the West Coast. Not to ID anybody, but my husband Bill looked up the gang signs they were spontaneously throwing in candids all weekend and now we know where not to vacation. Or where to market our services. But anyway, the groom wasn't a part of the planning and seemed to be a gentleman all weekend, til the wedding reception came to an end on their wedding night. We'd made arrangements for an after party but he decided that they were going to stay at the villa and party, and that I wasn't going to shut down the bar or music. Wrong-O. It all happened in a split second -- one second after I said "no" to him for the first time all weekend. He started bouncing around like a lottery ball and screaming at the top of his lungs "Ignore this b*tch. We are staying here. The party is here!!!" and other such ridiculous nonsense. I ended up cancelling their after party at the bride's request, and then having to call back and try to put it back together after the bride slapped her new husband and restored calm. It was freaking crazy. They are still happily married and she's hopefully in charge.
The drunken texter probably came closer to getting hit by a member of my staff than any other Groomzilla. This was another MIA groom until they arrived on Vieques, where he made quite a name for himself by falling overboard during a fishing trip (after barfing) and then stripping to his boxers at his own beach party. He got into a disagreement with his embarrassed bride and almost hit her, prompting our caterers and my husband to get all their panties in a wad with what they were gonna do to the guy if he took one more step at the bride. Of course, both of their families were standing there watching all of this so I'm not sure what exactly made us think it was our problem. But we did. Anyway, the guy texted me all wedding weekend with stupid, rude or angry text messages. After the wedding, he proceeded to keep me on his drunken text distribution list for years. Then all of a sudden they stopped. Sadly, this couple is no longer together. Happily, the bride is still in one piece and sounds better than ever.
Weddings are an emotionally-charged time in people's lives. Frequently, a wedding shows off the talents of the couple -- organization skills, crafty creativity and such -- but sometimes true character (or lack thereof) is revealed when the chips are down. If you're getting married and the "worst" side of your intended rears its ugly head, I suggest you take a step back and make sure you know exactly what you're vowing to take for "better or worse" because if you think that wedding planning is the most stressful thing you'll ever encounter together, you have a big reality check coming.