When the Groom Is a Jerk

by Ann Minnett

Every wedding, no matter how well planned, has that one catastrophe that threatens to spoil the day—weather, a misplaced ring, or the family feud flares. Inevitably, family and guests remember the unplanned event lovingly, but not always.

I can’t get one wedding out of my mind. It occurred 35 years ago in the bride’s quaint hometown in Texas. The small town girl was marrying our friend—and sometimes jerk—and none of us gave the marriage a chance. Not long after checking into our hotel for the weekend, we learned: 1) unbeknownst to either, the groom had been living with a woman in Houston while living with the future bride in Dallas (airline pilots could finesse the arrangement); 2) the groom had not mentioned to his Houston girlfriend that he was getting married; 3) the Houston girlfriend accidentally found out about his Saturday wedding on Friday evening; 4) Houston drove overnight, intent on breaking up the ceremony; and 5) the worst yet not surprising news was that Houston had been the groom’s father’s mistress before. The apple doesn’t fall far…


Everyone on the groom’s side knew the sordid story, and some of us wanted to urge the bride to Run away now! However, she and her family must have known because the sheriff patrolled around the church on Saturday with instructions to detain the Houston girlfriend. Fourth generation families can call in those kinds of favors in a small town.

Unfortunately, the ceremony took place, but I took satisfaction each time the groom flinched and glanced over his shoulder, afraid of what he’d find among the guests. I have no idea what happened to Houston. We had little to do with the bride and groom after his wedding but hear they’re still married!

I wonder what kind of life they’ve had together.

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