There are a lot of common anxieties about around wedding days, but it’s rare that anyone worries the best man will absolutely ruin the whole occasion. Maybe you should worry, because it can absolutely happen! A bride wrote into Dear Prudence for a piece of advice, explaining that her husband’s best friend and groomsman took her wedding day from her. He didn’t get drunk or fall in the cake, or anything. He just straight up stole the spotlight.
The column was published over a year ago, but it’s making the rounds again because Twitter user @chaeronaea screenshot and tweeted it. Twitter user @ash_uhhleyyyy did the same thing in March of 2017, and it went viral then, too. The reason why is obvious—no one can believe how absolutely selfishly this guy and his girlfriend behaved on someone else’s special day. It’s truly shocking:
Look at this nightmare y'all. I absolutely wouldn't speak to John or Jane ever again. pic.twitter.com/SUvAv64XFa
— Tub-Li (@ash_uhhleyyyy) May 31, 2017
The question to Dear Prudence starts:
Q. My husband’s best friend proposed to his girlfriend during our wedding ceremony
So, the best man was both in the bridal party and the officiant; he had a lot of power over what happened and when during the couple’s ceremony. He chose to abuse that power. The questioner writes that she and her husband had a kid and bought a house and even got a dog before they decided to get married. They wanted to save for a huge blowout when they could afford it, and they’d finally reached that milestone:
The setting was beautiful, everyone seemed happy, our families were overjoyed. My mom may have used the phrase hallelujah a few dozen times. The entire atmosphere felt moving. So moving in fact that John stopped midceremony to propose to his longtime girlfriend, “Jane,” and reveal her pregnancy. I couldn’t even hear the vows my husband wrote or the rest of the ceremony over the noise of Jane’s happy sobs, her very surprised family who were also guests, and people seated nearby congratulating her.
Even the videographer cut to her frequently during the ceremony, and you can’t hear anything over the chatter. When John gave his toast, he apologized for being caught up in the moment, and then proceeded to talk about he and Jane’s future with nary a mention of us.
This is such a terrible position to be put in on your wedding day. John and Jane behaved horribly, but most people wouldn’t want to grab back their day like toddlers fighting over a toy. No one wants to be the bride saying, “No! Look at ME!” even if that’s a totally reasonable response to these shenanigans. And it got even worse:
During the reception John and Jane became the primary focus of our guests. John even went out of his way to ask the band for a special dance for just him and Jane on the dance floor. I’ve never been an attention hog, and I wouldn’t even have minded if he’d proposed after the ceremony, but weeks later I am still seething. I am so shocked and angry that I keep asking myself if this is real life. My husband hasn’t spoken to John since the wedding, and our mutual friends think what he did was rude but that my husband should just get over it. My husband has joked that he’ll resume his friendship when John and Jane give him a $40,000 check for “their half of the wedding.” Do you think John’s behavior warrants the end of a long-term friendship, or are we angry over nothing?”
They are not angry over nothing! That is not a friend you need to hang onto! The bride may be doubting herself, but everybody else is raging on her behalf. They also have plans for ruining John and Jane’s day. The one they pay for, I mean:
"can you play a special dance just for us" no but i can beat the shit out of BOTH of you with literally whatever I can find
— blocked thot (@chaeronaea) September 11, 2018
This is my exact flavor of petty.
— choild o erf (@suupaneko) September 12, 2018
That’s brilliant. If I ever need to get revenge on anyone for anything, I’m going to ask you for ideas. You could start a business.
— Wine Fan 🍷🌹 (@ebugoblog) September 12, 2018
They deserve an invoice
— hellotherefreak (@hiloserface) September 12, 2018
So, what did Dear Prudence advise? A conversational fight over violence:
A: I think it merits a fight! In between “getting over it” and “never speaking to John again” is the happy medium of “having a difficult conversation with a longtime friend who did something selfish and self-absorbed on your wedding day.” He’s your husband’s best friend, so your husband should tell John just how upset his behavior during your wedding made him. Maybe John will apologize and the two of them can have a meaningful reconciliation and build a better friendship as a result. Maybe John will double down and dismiss your husband’s feelings, and things will naturally fall apart between them. Whatever the outcome, there is definitely at least one step in between “seething silently” and “cutting John loose forever,” especially since the two of them have been best friends for a long time.
Some friendships aren’t meant to last forever. This is definitely one of them.