The Bridegroom's Revenge

An Urban Legend

An unhappy bridegroom
Buccina Studios/Photodisc/Getty Images

Example #1:
As told by a reader:

A bride and a groom are at their wedding reception. Everything is going perfectly when the groom stands up to give a toast. He thanks all the guests for coming and for the stack of presents on the table, then thanks the father of the bride for the beautiful reception.

He then tells the guests that he has a surprise for all of them. He instructs them to look under their chairs. They do and find a picture taped to the bottom of each seat.

The guests are shocked and horrified! It's a picture of the bride and the best man having sex! The groom says he had a feeling they were having an affair and hired an investigator who took the photo. He then says to the father of the bride, "Thanks for the $30,000 sit-down dinner and party, but I'm out of here." And he walked out.

He filed for an annulment the following Monday.

Example #2:
As told by a reader:

I heard this from someone who said their brother was at the wedding...

Apparently, a man and a woman had a huge wedding. When they were at the reception and it was time for the best man's speech, the groom stood up instead. He said he knew it was highly irregular that he was speaking, but he had something to say. He wanted everyone to know that the wedding was totally legal and on the up and up. The man with him, he continued, was his divorce lawyer. If the wedding guests would all flip over their plates, they would see the reason. With that, he tossed off his champagne and walked out.

On the bottom of every plate was a picture of the bride and best man walking into a cheap motel room together. The electronic date on the photo was three days before the wedding.

Example #3:
As told by a reader:

I heard this story about a man and woman who got engaged. They were both from very wealthy families. Eventually the wedding day arrived. It was a huge wedding with hundreds of guests, many of whom had flown or driven great distances to be there. The ceremony went off smoothly and all the guests headed for the lavish reception.

When it was time for the groom to give his speech he thanked all the guests for their wonderful gifts and for taking the trouble to travel so far to share the happy occasion. He said he was so grateful to all the guests that he had arranged a gift for each person at the reception. All they had to do was reach under their chairs and each would find an envelope stuck to the bottom with the gift in it.

Naturally, all the guests quickly reached under their chairs and retrieved the envelopes. Each one contained an 8x10 color glossy photo of the bride and the best man having sex and obviously going for it with a will.

There were gasps of horror and fainting women. Amidst all the bedlam the groom got the final words in by cursing the bride and the best man, stating that he had known of the affair for some time and that his lawyer would be applying for an annulment on the following day.

Analysis: Folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand has traced this story (also known, in a gender-reversed version, as "The Bothered Bride") back to a brief item in a 1985 newspaper gossip column that subsequently ran as a full-blown "news story" in the Weekly World News, a U.S. tabloid. It has also circulated widely since the mid-1990s via forwarded email and social media.

While such an incident certainly could have happened, no one has ever come forward with evidence that it did.

Also known as: "Wedding Revenge" or "The Groom's Revenge."