Wedding Disasters – Sick Groom, Barking Dog, and More with Mel McGlensey  

Wedsure Team
01 July 2024

In this episode of Wedding Disasters, stand-up comedian and celebrant Annie Louey sits down with improv comedian and writer Mel McGlensey to discuss her own epic wedding disasters. Mel decided to set her wedding plans to hard mode by having two weddings in two different countries! From a deathly sick groom to a barking dog and even an invitation typo, discover how she navigated her wedding mishaps with humor and grace.

But that’s not all! We also delve into the internet’s wildest wedding stories, including lead-foot brides and a shocking tale involving dead doves. Don’t miss this episode filled with laughter, unexpected twists, and wedding chaos!


Episode Transcript

Annie: Welcome to Wedding Disasters presented by Wedding Insurance. This is the podcast where I, Annie Louie, chat with comedians about weddings that did not quite go to plan. On today’s show, we have multi award-winning comedian, writer, and filmmaker. It’s Mel McGlensey. Hi!

Mel: Hello.

Annie: Thank you for joining me on the couch. Your dress matches the vibe that we’ve set up here.

Mel: Thank you so much.

Annie: Yeah, what do you think about my dress?

Mel: I think it’s beautiful. Wow.

Annie: You’re not saying that sarcastically?

Mel: I feel a little underdressed.

Annie: No. Wow. Okay. Thank you.

Mel: Do you want me to…

Annie: No, no, it’s interesting today. I feel, um, very going to a formal, but it could be a wedding. It also could be a maternity shoot. I think, yeah.

Mel: Are you? Is this, is that, are you making an announcement?

Annie: No, I’m not making an announcement. I’m not. I’m not. But this is what I know about you so far. You had a wedding and not only that, you went back to your homeland, America, to have another wedding.

Mel: I did.

Annie: Yeah. How long ago was that now?

Mel: It will be a year in like two weeks.

Annie: Having one wedding is stressful enough, but having two and also going over to source your wedding dress beforehand, tell me what happened, what’s going on in the lead up.

Mel: Well, okay, in the lead up, basically for context, I live in Melbourne, Australia, but I am from the US. My partner is also from the States. And we found it really difficult to navigate our like fractured bi-continental life. Cause we were like on the one hand, if we don’t celebrate in Australia, all of our current contemporary friends and colleagues won’t be there. But if we don’t celebrate in America, all of our like past family and, you know, extended family won’t be there. So we thought, you know what, we’ll keep it simple. We’ll do one in each place. We thought that was simpler. Turns out it’s not.

Annie: What are some of the challenges of having two weddings, two different time zones?

Mel: It was so stupid. It was really idiotic. We thought we were making things easier every step of the way, and we were actually making them harder. For example, we were like, everyone’s invited to both. Cause that way we don’t have to field like separate RSVPs, but then we just, that made it so much more complicated. Cause now we had to keep track of who’s coming to which, who’s coming to both.

Annie: Okay. I feel overwhelmed.

Mel: Yeah.

Annie: Alrighty.

Mel: It was a lot.

Annie: Are you good at admin generally?

Mel: No. I’m a comedian, Annie.

Annie: Comedy is mostly admin though. So I thought there might be some transferable skills there, but before you get stuck into some of the disasters that happened, rewind me back to how you met your partner.

Mel: Uh, my partner and I met when we were both living in New York, uh, nearly a decade ago in Brooklyn in, I think it was 2014 or 15, uh, we met on a dating app and we had like a couple incredible dates and then on our third or fourth date he was acting weird. He sat down at the date and he said, okay, let me just come out with this. I’ve been offered a job in Australia and I leave tomorrow.

Annie: Wow. Bombshell.

Mel: Yeah. I was devastated. I was like, people have had excuses to leave me before, but all the way to Australia.

Annie: Bit extreme.

Mel: Commitment.

Annie: Yeah.

Mel: So long story short, I maybe followed him here.

Annie: So when you first came to Australia for love, what did you think about the city? What did you think about Melbourne?

Mel: I moved to Sydney initially. So I hated it.

Annie: You have to say that. You’re talking to a Melbournian.

Mel: I have to say it, but it’s also true. I really just felt like really discombobulated and lost in Sydney. Um, it reminds me a lot of Los Angeles where I’m from. So I was just like, this isn’t what I’m across the globe for. And then I came to Melbourne just to visit Doug, my partner, and was like, wow, what a coincidence. I’m actually relocating here. It wasn’t enough to follow you from the US to Australia. Now I’m following you from Sydney to Melbourne.

Annie: Yeah. So he didn’t know that you, he thought that the relationship was going to end.

Mel: Oh yeah. He tried to break up with me so many times.

Annie: What was your excuse firstly for going to Sydney?

Mel: I had a job there, I was teaching improv at a school there. I just thought that’s far enough away where it doesn’t look like I stalked him to Melbourne.

Annie: Aaaah my god, you’re so strategic.

Mel: Plausible deniability, it was like, this is a little, yeah.

Annie: Yeah, I’m not obsessed with you.

Mel: Definitely not.

Annie: I’ve got my own things going on.

Mel: Yeah, yeah. Oh my god, I live in your city now.

Annie: Yeah, I live on your street. Oh my god, hi. You live behind these bushes? That’s crazy.

Mel: Oh my god, weird, me too.

Annie: So how did you kick off the relationship once you were here? You reconnected and then where did you go? How did you get to your engagement?

Mel: We’ve been together about like nine years so it’s like a long trajectory but I was here on a working holiday visa and he was like, you know, a lecturer at RMIT. He’s a video game designer, like, very professional, has his life together. And I was like, I’m teaching improv, and I’m a backpacker. So we were on really different life paths, and he kept thinking, like, this is temporary. She literally has to go back to the U.S. in a year. So it was hard to, like, really invest in the relationship, but kind of inevitably over that year, we couldn’t deny that we loved each other. And then when the government kicked me out, he went, okay, but what if you came back? So we ended up spending two years apart working on that partnership visa application. And then in 2019, I was able to move here with a partner visa.

Annie: And then the engagement story itself, how did you know that you were ready to go in that direction?

Mel: It’s funny because I’ve never been a very traditional person. I didn’t really see myself having a traditional marriage or a wedding, but lockdown did something to my brain. Yeah.

Annie: Where did you spend lockdown? Oh yeah, so many of my couples have been lockdown couples, which is accelerating the relationship and they had a lot of time to plan and that’s when people could have been dating for a month and then they see each other in that confined environment go, okay, yeah, I could live with it.

Mel: Yeah.

Annie: Yeah.

Mel: I think for us too, it was specially isolating because we weren’t allowed to go home. Like, I had just moved here, promised my family I’d visit them, like, every six months, and then it was like, bam, two and a half years until you get to see your mom again. And so we were really forced to, like, build our own family bond in our little home, and over that time I was like, you know what, I need something positive to look forward to. My whole livelihood dried up, and he was everything I had. And in some ways still is. So yeah. So yeah, I just needed something positive. So we started looking into rings. And started planning. And, you know, ultimately I don’t regret marrying him because I love him very much, but all the hoo ha around the wedding was a lot.

Annie: So how did you start planning? How far in advance were you already looking at venues, at itineraries for your travel?

Mel: I’d say we had planned to have a longer engagement. It was about a year and a half, and then we genuinely scheduled it all around comedy. So we were like, um, we want to do it before the weather gets too bad in Melbourne and we have to do it not before comedy festival. So we did it like two weeks after comedy festival. We were like two weeks that gives everyone time to get over the COVID they catch at closing night party, come to the wedding. And then the wedding in the like reception in my hometown in California was like, three weeks after that.

Annie: Right. You’re so considerate because people don’t know if you’re not from the comedy world, that March is the craziest time. It’s also the most popular time for weddings because the weather is good. So March and November are the biggest wedding seasons and yeah, I that’s when my brain just goes haywire and explodes. So for considering that even though the weather gets a little chillier after April.

Mel: It did. Yeah, I did it sprinkled a little on my wedding I married May 5th and I was like this is worth it because people are here and not.

Annie: And it’s meant to be good luck right? Right is it?

Mel: Let’s go with that.

Annie: Yeah, good for the marriage.

Mel: Yeah, yeah.

Annie: What was the hardest part about either of the weddings and the organization?

Mel: I found it really difficult, God there’s so many parallels with comedy because this is true in comedy also. I found it really difficult to take off producer brain and enjoy the moment because I was, I was producing my own wedding. I like to say it’s like the most expensive comedy show I’ve ever put on where like there was no even glimmer of hope that I would make back the money.

Annie: Yeah. You’re not going to break even.

Mel: So I would say like just all the stress of all the stuff around it. Um, but then at the actual ceremony itself, which was really beautiful. It was private. It was just my partner and I and his parents and my parents essentially and our pets. Uh, and that I was able to like drop in in those moments, but the lead up to was just full of so much stress. And having so much family here visiting and they’re not from this country, right? Like, they’re foreigners and tourists and they don’t know how to get around. So, whereas if I was getting married in my home country, and I need something from the store, someone can like go get it here. They’re like, how do MYKI’s work? And what’s an Australian dollar? You know, it was just like, I was playing tour guide on top of wedding producer.

Annie: Oh my gosh. You’re wearing so many different hats. Um, the wedding itself in Australia first, what was the venue like and what did you get up to for the reception?

Mel: The venue was the post office hotel in Coburg, just down the street from my house. It was important to us that it be chill, walkable to our house. Cause we had a fun little after party in our garage later where we played games. The ceremony was private, which was really cute. We did something cute. I haven’t heard of anyone else doing, which is we did a private first dance. Oh. So we were like behind some curtains. No one knew we were there. Because my partner’s very shy. Yeah. He’s a little introvert who married this. So it was like compromise. And um, yeah, it was just like 50 ish of our close friends. We just danced, partied, ate good food. It was really casual. Mm. We wanted everything to be like casual and not like stuffy and sit down and all that.

Annie: Yeah. With the private dance, did you have photographs of that or was it completely?

Mel: There was a photographer for part of it. Yeah. But what was cool is the song was playing for everyone, but we were just backstage and then they didn’t know we were having, but I told my family. So when they heard it, they knew. And then we did our big entrance after.

Annie: Yeah. Oh, that’s awesome. Yeah, I like that there’s no rules around weddings and more of my couples are requesting private vows and I think that’s great. You know, you can have it any way that you want. Um, or the first look is a very popular one to have privately as well. Tell me about the American wedding then. It sounds a little bit more chaotic. Is that true?

Mel: It was, but mainly because of some disasters that happened that we’ll get into.

Annie: Yes, please.

Mel: But I will say. In some ways it was beautiful because we kind of had like one wedding each, like one wedding that was more Douglas personality and one that was more mine. And the American one was much more me. It was like big, loud, raucous. It was in this gorgeous old venue in Fullerton, California where I grew up called Villa del Sol. And it used to be called the Hollywood Hotel. And it was like a hotel starlets and celebrities in the, like, 1920s would go to when they needed a vacation from L. A., because it’s in Orange County, which used to be like rural for them. Oh, wow. Yeah. So, it’s really cool. And, in fact, my great great grandmother used to stay at that hotel when she would like travel in from L.A. So there was like some beautiful like family residence there and it’s like Spanish style architecture, open courtyard, very SoCal. It’s got my favorite brunch and coffee spot. So I’ve been like spending time in that cafe and plaza my whole life. So it was really beautiful. I was like, this is…

Annie: What a great connection.

Mel: Yeah.

Annie: You just vibed with it immediately.

Mel: Yeah. And like we wanted an outdoor summer California wedding. It was June. There was no ceremony. We had already done that privately here. So we just took pictures with friends and family. One of the big motivations was my grandmother can’t travel. So doing it there meant she got to take part in it. And yeah, it was, it was so fun. Just the most fun. The other Melbourne one was very low key. The fullerton one was very fun. We had a DJ plus horns. Which wasn’t a thing I knew you could do, but I recommend that everyone does this.

Annie: How many instruments are we talking about?

Mel: There was, I think like, there’s like a sax and a trumpet and like one more horn.

Annie: Oh, that’s so good. Cause I’ve seen saxophone on the dance floor. Yeah. A friend of mine does that like sax man on the d-floor. It’s so good because when the dance floor dies, there’s still one person on it and you can’t leave him there by himself. Cause he’s like creating the vibe. So it keeps it simmering away, adding the extra instruments as well. It’s like, even if you don’t want to dance, you’ve got some entertainment.

Mel: I love that you’re like when the dance floor dies, Annie Louie at my wedding, the dance floor does not die. Okay. Especially at the California one. We were, we were on that dance floor all night long.

Annie: You got to get your value. You’ve traveled across the world for that.

Mel: Genuinely. I’m in it for the dancing and I get to pick the songs. That’s the best part.

Annie: So you had a playlist that you submitted going, I want these.

Mel: Well, we had a DJ, but I was like, you better play these. There’s like a few that I was like, I’m trying to throw this ass in a circle, you know what I mean?

Annie: Yeah, what was some of the classics you had to have?

Mel: I got a lot of questions for this, but I made them play Trap Queen, which is one of my favorites.

Annie: I don’t think I know that song.

Mel: This is like so American of me, I just love my like, you know, mid to early aughts hip hop. Um, and then a lot of like Motown classics.

Annie: Yeah.

Mel: You know, just bands.

Annie: I didn’t see that from you, that’s very cool.

Mel: Oh really?

Annie: Yeah, is the playlist available somewhere?

Mel: Oh, there’s several. Oh, they’re not like publicly available.

Annie: Yeah, maybe you should maybe drop a link down below.

Mel: Maybe I should drop a link. Yeah. Did you just turn me into a mogul? What’s happening?

Annie: Yeah, I think you’re a DJ now. Wow. Yeah. Tell me about the disasters then because this sounds juicy.

Mel: Great. When you have just finished planning your long delayed, but debut solo comedy festival show. And then a wedding two weeks later and then another wedding three weeks after that, things fall through the cracks. I mean, there was just like a lot of little things that didn’t happen that ultimately didn’t matter. You think they matter so much at the time, like, Oh, you know, place holders or whatever. It doesn’t matter. One thing that like did matter to me was as a wedding favor, we got printed these like beautiful little seed packets of like Australian native wildflowers, um, which we had to like fill ourselves and everything. And I have my mother and father in law and my mother and father in our home helping me stuff these, the weddings the next day, we’re all getting ready. And my mother in law looks down and she goes, Melissa Ann Douglas, 2003, I realized the dates were wrong on all of them.

Annie: So it was meant to be 2023?

Mel: It was meant to be 2023.

Annie: Oh, they’re not even close to each other on the keys.

Mel: Nope. And I, that means I got married as a preteen at that point.

Annie: Oh boy. Did you try to make amends white out?

Mel: We like started doing it and I was like, you know what? We didn’t notice this for a long time. No one’s gonna notice. They will notice more if we’re like putting a big sharpie on there.

Annie: Yep.

Mel: But that was just like tip of the iceberg. There was just like lots of little things. I would say by far the biggest disaster was through all the stress of all the weddings and the planning and the travel, my partner Douglas got super sick right before the, the June wedding.

Annie: It’s the stress.

Mel: Yeah.

Annie: And the travel.

Mel: Yeah. Thank God it was not COVID. The whole point of the California wedding was for my family to get to spend time with him because he moved me to Australia. You know, there’s, he hadn’t even met my grandpa till my wedding day.

Annie: Wow.

Mel: So there’s like a lot of people.

Annie: Eager to shake hands. Yeah, give him hugs.

Mel: Exactly. And then he was so ill. I didn’t even think he was gonna make the wedding.

Annie: Yeah, did he make a miraculous recovery?

Mel: He I took him to the doctor and I just crying was like our weddings tomorrow He hasn’t met my grandpa get him there Yeah And the doctor just like gave him like a huge shot of something.

Annie: I have heard of this yeah they can inject you with a little pep in your step and you can just, I don’t know, like zombie your way through.

Mel: I guess.

Annie: Did he seem fine on the day?

Mel: No.

Annie: Okay.

Mel: He tried. I’m the one who can put on a brave face easier, but we did like an informal rehearsal dinner the night before for like out of towners. He didn’t make it to that at all, which is pretty sad. He did make it to the wedding reception, but in all of our photos he looks so ill.

Annie: Oh gosh. You can’t retouch that.

Mel: You probably can. Luckily we have, you know, the photos that really matter were the ones from Melbourne. Yeah, but these are the ones with family and you know, maybe everyone can’t tell I can tell cause I know him. But he’s there was one point where we were taking photos and he’s just squeezing my hand. He’s like I might vomit.

Annie: Oh, through like a half smile. Like I might just puke.

Mel: And his face just grey. But he was a trooper. And then like after photos, it kind of got better. Like he had fun. It kicked in, but I’ll never forget. He went to meet my grandpa and my grandpa comes like running over to him. He’s very frail, older man. And Doug, and he reaches out to shake Doug’s hand and Doug went like this. I was like, I don’t want to get you sick.

Annie: Hands in the air like, don’t touch me. Did you tell anybody that he wasn’t feeling good?

Mel: Oh, they all knew because they had all come to see him at the rehearsal dinner. So all these people had flown in to see him. But the doctor had said he was likely not contagious anymore. So yeah, I don’t, I don’t think he would have come if he was still contagious.

Annie: Yeah. So did you think at all you might have to cancel or postpone the whole thing?

Mel: Oh, we were not canceling. I was going to go it alone. I was genuinely going to go get a cardboard cutout printed of him or like strap a GoPro to someone’s head and put him on zoom. Yeah. It wouldn’t have been pretty, but I would have done it.

Annie: It sounds like you have survived. You’re happily married now. So thank you so much for sharing such a trauma-inducing time. You came into the set and you were like, I’m triggered.

Mel: I am. I am. I would definitely not consider myself a wedding person, but you know, at the end of the day, you keep the good memories and you drink to forget the other ones.

Annie: Is today’s episode of wedding disasters breaking you out in a cold sweat? You can’t control the groom being violently ill. But you can give yourself peace of mind with Wedsure’s wedding insurance. Visit for more information. I personally have never been to a wedding in America. Is there a difference in the etiquette?

Mel: I’m sure there is. I’ve never been like that across wedding etiquette, period. But there’s like definitely a difference in the vibe. And again, all of this is like a massive generalization, like, please don’t come at me internet wedding people in one camp or the other. But I would say American weddings are like over the top. Um, they’re very momentous and from my experience, Australian weddings are much more like about the couple and about what they want and at least here in Melbourne, they’re like not afraid to really customise and make it what they want specifically.

Annie: I thought that’s the only way. What else can you do?

Mel: Uh, it’s so much about what the family wants in the states like I’ve been to so many weddings that are like this isn’t for the bride and groom This is for their family and I get that I I felt that pressure like not from my parents But just it’s just is there you’re like, oh my grandparents my extended family. Like what do they want to see? Versus what do we want to give? But I’d say, yeah, there, there’s a very big vibe difference even just between my two weddings. The Melbourne one was like much smaller, all artists, very like quirky and chill, lots of like chatting, playing silly games on the dance floor. And then, you know, the dance floor was like, you know, more sporadically populated in Melbourne that people are having chats and whatever. And in America it was like hard, all night, full dance floor. Yeah. Um, everyone’s really letting loose.

Annie: I was thinking is it movies and TV, because you get so many wedding movies coming out of America that they take that as the template. Like, Oh yeah, I got to do this. And there’s gotta be drama.

Mel: Yeah. I genuinely think like weddings are just like a bigger cultural thing there. Also they matter more in some tangible ways, like taxation wise and like insurance. Like you can be on your spouse’s insurance once you’re married. In the U. S. Right! Like, we actually legally did not have much incentive to get married in Australia. Cause like, you know, partner visas exist and Civil unions and all those things. Whereas there’s actual incentive from the government in the US. I think it’s just a bigger deal.

Annie: Yeah, and also weddings can be organized very quickly. Like here we have the one month period where you have to wait, you have to lodge your notice of intended marriage first and then you can’t just have a shotgun wedding. So a lot of people are like, Oh, you know, can’t I just get married in two weeks? And I say not without a special shortening of time permission granted from the government. So is that, is that true? Those weddings would be valid if you were to just rock off and go. I want to have a wedding tomorrow.

Mel: I’ve never done that, so I don’t know. I imagine, yeah. I’m like, it’s the U. S., sure, people can, their general vibe is like, do whatever you want.

Annie: Do whatever you want. Yeah.

Mel: Yeah. I find it interesting. I’d love to ask you this, as a celebrant, there’s like so many myths around what is and isn’t legal.

Annie: Oh yeah. Yeah.

Mel: Like I went to a friend’s wedding where a friend had like married them, gotten certified online, whatever, which it’s a way bigger process here in Australia. Way bigger. In the U. S. it’s like a forum online.

Annie: Yeah. They do it overnight. And I don’t get how, because I had to full on do a legal course. It was so dry. I didn’t realize that. Um, I never took legal studies ever, never wanted to be a lawyer, and now I’m looking at different sections of the law, the Marriage Act 1961. And the laws change every year, there might be little tweaks, and you have to stay up to date with it. So it’s not something that I recommend to people who want to do just one wedding. Often, um, a family member or a friend will pay for it. for them to do the course. And it’s quite a lot of money. It’s three to 4, 000 to do one wedding. And you need to keep your, um, qualifications up to date every year by doing a test. And if you let that lapse and you have to do the course all over again, um, which is why it’s not a quickie business or anything that you should consider for like a, a one wedding only.

Mel: It’s so full on. For our wedding we were like, Oh yeah, we’ll just have my sister do it. And then I spoke to someone and they were like, Is she going to move to Australia and take a TAFE course or whatever? So we ended up like having her do the ceremony and then someone else do the legal stuff.

Annie: That’s an easy way around it. I would recommend that instead of having your friend do the full course is that you can get your sister to do it and then I come in and just do the paperwork and it’s still fine and easy and you’re married legally.

Mel: It’s so wild.

Annie: Did you have other misconceptions you wanted to run run by me?

Mel: I was at a wedding of one of my good friends. And they had had this friend like certified online to do it. And I was a little drunk and thought it was funny, this was years ago before I was married, to like take that friend and another friend and do it. Tell him to marry us and like this other friend, my friend Daniel was drunk and I convinced him that we were now legally married because this person had been registered online. That’s not how it works. Right.

Annie: What do you mean registered online? They…

Mel: He had like…

Annie: In America?

Mel: Yeah. This was all in America. Yes. He had done some form online to marry the friends at the wedding I was at. And then I was like, well, he’s already done it online. Daniel, let’s get married. This will be quick and easy, and he said some words, and then I was like, this is a joke, right? I guess my question is, Annie, am I accidental double married?

Annie: That’s a really good question. You need to have paperwork filled out in America still to get married. So yeah, what you can do is you get that paperwork, any certificate that shows you’re legally married, and then you come to Australia and you register that at our offices and then that marriage is valid. So if you have never come here to have your legal paperwork transferred over, then you’re not married.

Mel: Great.

Annie: But I like that you, you can go to bed, um, and sleep well tonight knowing you are not cheating on your husband.

Mel: Yeah. I’m not an accidental polygamist.

Annie: Great show name though. Maybe next.

Mel: Accidental Polygamist that’s my next show. Yeah. You heard it here first.

Annie: Love it. I want to talk about a story now from the internet of other people’s wedding disasters. I’ve got a couple and I want to see what your reaction is and whether you’d have any advice for these people? Someone submitted the story on Reddit and they’re referring to the person as Bridezilla.

Mel: Okay.

Annie: Bridezilla had always dreamed of driving herself to church in an open topped Porsche. It’s not easy when you are driving in heels and in a long dress and a veil that blows around and obscures your vision until you crash and smash your nose on the steering wheel because it was a pre airbag model and you were not wearing a seatbelt because it might wrinkle the dress. There was chaos at the church waiting for news. Nobody knew if she had run off, or the car had broken down, or if she had crashed. Eventually, we all had to vacate as there was another wedding due. Car was borrowed and not insured. Write off. The dress was covered in blood. Write off. The wedding ceremony was cancelled and non-refundable. The reception, dinner, and party was cancelled. And a fortune was pissed up against the wall. The bride went to hospital. Once she recovered, she demanded it all again. Exactly the same, including the open top Porsche. Wedding and relationship cancelled shortly after.

Mel: Wow, that’s a lot.

Annie: That is a lot. Did you have any veil in your wedding dress?

Mel: I had no veil. Yeah. I had a little bit of a train.

Annie: Yep.

Mel: Which I didn’t want, but the seamstress looked like she was gonna cry when I told her I wanted to cut it off. So I was like, alright.

Annie: Cause I think those are ripe for, you know, a horror story already. Yeah. Like, uh, just driving in fabric and not wearing a seatbelt, uh, for one. What did you travel to your weddings in, by the way?

Mel: I walked to the first one and the second one, I think like my mom’s car, someone else drove me, but yeah, that’s bold that the real love story there is between bridezilla and the car.

Annie: I think it doesn’t mention the groom at all in the story. Where was he? What was he doing? It was like, no, I’m getting in the car. I’m driving myself. I’m having, I feel like she had a vision of like Thelma & Louise, you know, sunglasses on looking awesome. This kind of reminds me of a friend as well who had a nose job and, uh, she crashed her car and destroyed the nose job shortly after. Yeah, so. Don’t do that.

Mel: I won’t. I promise. That’s wild.

Annie: That’s one of them. The second one, I was best man at my sister-in-law’s wedding. Stepped in for the brother of the groom. That’s another story entirely. For a whole year of planning, all the bride sister-in-law wanted was a dove release. While they had handwritten vows being read to each other. Very small, non-denominational, most of the family are atheist anyway, wedding. The day arrives, early summer, and something is off with the bird handlers. They show up a bit late and are sourcing help from the wedding party to get everything in line. When the time comes to say their vows, I help the handler carry the chest with the doves in it over to what is to be the altar where the bride and groom are standing. Vows are just about wrapping up and the handler gives me the signal to open the chest. I open it and see 20 to 30, caps lock, dead doves in the crate! Four exclamation marks. I immediately close it to try and limit who knows what had happened. Too late. The look of horror on her face was all that was needed. We spent the next few hours trying to cheer everyone up, but by the end of the reception, the entire wedding party had organized and filed animal cruelty complaints. It’s on the handler. It was all anyone could focus on. I did ask you earlier before we started recording whether you liked animals and you said, I love them. And I went, shit.

Mel: No, no fair. You know, look, that’s the risk you’re going to take with live animals at a wedding. Yeah. 20 to 30 is too many doves. That’s too many. And it’s almost like animals shouldn’t be used as props. I say that. I did have my dog and cat, uh, walk my partner and I down the aisle.

Annie: Oh, that’s adorable. How do you walk a cat?

Mel: On a leash and very reluctantly. There’s a lot of just like sitting down angrily.

Annie: Have you taken your cat out for walks in preparation?

Mel: Yeah, ever since she was a kitten, we’d take, cause we lived in a tiny little apartment. And wanted like an ethical way to let her out and not let her like murder possums.

Annie: Fair enough. Are you one to put a backpack on?

Mel: Oh, there’s a little backpack.

Annie: There’s a little backpack?

Mel: Of course. Yeah.

Annie: And I’ve met your dog, Mango.

Mel: Yeah, Mango. Yes.

Annie: She is adorable.

Mel: She’s very adorable.

Annie: What kind of dog is she?

Mel: She, she’s a rescue mutt, but our best guess is like kelpy, pom. Something small.

Annie: Yeah, it looks like a little, little fox neurotic. Yeah. And what did she have as a role in the wedding?

Mel: So both of them were the ring bearers. They had little tuxes and we put little rings on them that we took, but it was cut an idea than execution because Mango’s very neurotic and she did bark the entire ceremony.

Annie: Yeah, that is a risk. Um, often you have someone designated to be the dog’s handler for the day. And if they get a bit frazzled, you can take them away, right? But you just let her stay and bark.

Mel: Well, she was only there for the ceremony. And my good friend, actually, I’ll put him on blast, my good friend Pedro was the designated mango handler, but I forgot that Pedro is just an absolute pushover for mango. She can get him to do whatever she wants. So she just barked and he couldn’t really get her to quiet. So at one point my dad went over and quieted her, but yeah, she barked through all the vows.

Annie: Oh, there you go. Birds though. Do you like birds?

Mel: I really like birds.

Annie: Yeah, I do like birds as well. Um, I used to have a parrot when I was a kid, but they’re, they’re pretty hard to get involved in a, in a wedding ceremony. I think we had another story about an owl that crashed into a mirror and slid down the mirror into some almost candles. So yeah, I feel like animals at weddings, they’re just not a great idea unless they’re your pets.

Mel: Even then, not a great idea.

Annie: So you would not recommend?

Mel: Like, there is video footage of my vows with me being like, and I love you. Mango, shut up! Yeah, just like in general. It’s like, why add that extra layer of stress to a very stressful day?

Annie: I think you rank quite highly in the difficult wedding category. Like, you went for the hard part. Level difficulty.

Mel: I thought, again, every step of the way we thought we were simplifying and we were not. We had wanted to elope. That was what we wanted to do. And if we, I don’t know how we ended up where we were.

Annie: If you were to do it all again though, what would you change? What would you keep?

Mel: I would simplify everything, uh, and we would elope to Fiji.

Annie: Wow.

Mel: Yeah.

Annie: Very specific. Yeah. Your cat’s name is Fiji though.

Mel: It is. We really like Fiji.

Annie: You’re a bit obsessed with…

Mel: A little bit obsessed with Fiji.

Annie: You can always still do that in your wedding anniversary.

Mel: That’s true.

Annie: You can head over there. Yeah. One year nearly.

Mel: One year so soon.

Annie: Thank you so much, Mel. You’ve been a fantastic guest. Thanks for joining me on the couch and sharing some of your tales of trauma with me.

Mel: Thank you so much for having me.

Annie: Thank you so much for joining me on wedding disasters presented by wedding insurance. I’ve been your host, Annie Louie. Please be sure to subscribe to the podcast, follow Wedsure on social media and visit to find out more.

Protect your wedding day in 2 mins.

Get Started