Your First Dance Will Be Your Last

, , , , , | Romantic | May 14, 2021

I was asked to be the best man at a friend’s wedding a good twelve or so years ago. He was an ex-serviceman and she was his childhood sweetheart.

I’d been friends with the groom for upwards of twenty years and known the bride for close to ten. They’d been together the better part of a decade and they always got on, so no one was surprised when they announced their wedding, and everyone expected things to go off without a hitch.

Roll forward a couple of months. The groom showed up at my place unannounced.

Groom: “[Bride] and I just had a huge argument!”

The guy was upset, but a couple of drinks later, he laid out what had happened. He’d been happy to go along with the bride’s plans with one exception: he didn’t want to do the first dance. Why, you ask? He’d been discharged from the service due to losing a lower leg to an IED in the Middle East. He wasn’t exactly fire on the dance floor to start with, and he was as graceful as a hippo now. He also hates doing things that draw attention to his disability, which is understandable. He was going along with a lot of other things that he definitely didn’t really want to do and this was his line in the sand.

He stayed the night at my place, and the day after, we went back to his place as a duo and, with me as mediator, we managed to work it out after a lengthy back and forth with a fair amount of shouting and tears. His bride finally agreed to no dance for his sake and things moved on.

Months later, the big day arrived and it went off great. The weather was flawless, everything came together great, we got through the ceremony, the meals, and the speeches, and it was on to the reception.

It was 7:50 pm and the cake cutting was down for 8:00 pm, so I was gathering outliers back to the main room for that when I heard the DJ get on the mic.

DJ: *Loudly* “Okay, everybody, it’s time for the newlyweds’ first dance!”

I hurried into the room to find the bride centre stage on the dance floor, staring down the groom, who was just the most enraged I’d ever seen him.

Bride: “Come here, [Groom]. It’s dance time!”

He walked over to her, pulled his wedding ring off, and threw it in her face. Then, he walked out, making the “cut it off” gesture to the DJ. He left everyone in shocked silence, and a few seconds later, I got my jaw up off the floor and followed him as the bride went into a meltdown where she stood.

I found the groom stalking through the car park outside and had to physically grip him to get him to calm down. I’d got him at least calm enough to be lucid again when the bride’s mother stomped round the corner and began screaming at the groom, which prompted him to go off again.

Me: “Hey! [Bride] promised him she wouldn’t do this and embarrass him, and yet here we are!”

This shouting match went on for quite some time, until, eventually:

Groom: “[My Name], get me out of here.”

I got a taxi down and we bailed out back to my house so he could cool off.

Early afternoon the day after, the bride knocked on my door.

Bride: “I know [Groom] is in there!”

Groom: “F*** OFF!”

She tried to push past me and I blocked her.

Me: “Just to remind you, this is my house.”

She settled for screaming round me at him. He eventually got fed up and came and stood behind me and spelled it out in the kind of voice you can only manage when you’re restraining unbearable rage.

Groom: “You lied to me, put me on the spot, and shattered my trust in you. How can I continue after that? If you’re willing to lie about something like that, how can I trust you to do anything?”

She tried to counter him but ran out of steam as he kept going, and he ended by saying that he wanted the marriage annulled. She burst into tears and left.

The marriage was annulled not long after. Unsurprisingly, they don’t keep in touch. The groom remarried three years ago with the same request, this time respectfully held by his new wife. The bride moved out of the area shortly after the marriage collapsed and I’ve heard no news of her since.


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