Every bride should look beautiful on her wedding day. Every groom should show up on time. And every couple should create memories they'll treasure for a lifetime. But certain wedding calamities-like food poisoning, last-minute cancellations, and run-ins with the law-can quickly transform a couple's dream day into a nuptial nightmare. Read on as we reveal the 10 worst wedding horrors of all time.

Matrimonial Meltdowns

Cloudy skies and slight delays are one thing, but these unforeseen snafus can spell major trouble when you're tying the knot

1. Runaway Brides or Grooms.

Although nervous jitters are perfectly normal, some brides and grooms develop such a serious case of cold feet they head for the hills. Perhaps the most famous runaway bride was Jennifer Wilbanks, who disappeared from Duluth, Georgia, in 2005 to avoid her wedding and later falsely claimed she had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted. Wilbanks was eventually sentenced to two years' probation and 120 hours of community service. In 2008, her former fiance, John Mason, married another woman.

2. Food Fiascos.

When you're choosing a caterer for your big day, you never imagine they'll put salmonella, campylobacter, or E. coli on the menu. But according to experts, wedding-borne illnesses are more common than you might think. At a 2004 reception in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, dozens of guests became gravely ill after eating salmonella-tainted food. The bride, Marsha Cochenour, has since filed a lawsuit against the restaurant where the event was held; the restaurant's attorneys, however, claim the salmonella stemmed from the wedding cake, which was provided by another vendor.

3. Stolen Gifts.

It's hard to believe that anyone would burglarize a bridal couple, but there have been numerous cases of staff, party crashers, and even guests doing just that. At Mary and Herb Wright's 2005 wedding in Jacksonville, Florida, reception staff told attendees to leave their presents with them, rather than directing them to the gift table. The result? Thousands of dollars in gift cards, cash, and checks were stolen. Fortunately, one of the thieves was promptly arrested, and the venue where the wedding was held offered to pay for the stolen goods, as well as the fees for canceled checks.

4. Robbed Memories.

Although most couples successfully preserve their bridal bliss in photos or on video, certain unforeseen events can leave newlyweds with no record of their special day. Recently, Celebration Studios, a regional photography service, left dozens of couples throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania without photos, even though the couples had paid for the entire service up front. Apparently, the studio shut down shortly afterward and is currently in the process of filing for bankruptcy.

5. Dress Disasters.

When a couple is saying "I do," all eyes are on the bride-and, of course, her gown. While a minor mishap, like a broken button, is no big deal, what if the dress suddenly disappears? That's exactly what happened to Eula Strickland, a bad-luck Chicago bride whose dress was stolen from her car just hours before she was scheduled to fly to Jamaica for her wedding. Apparently, someone pried open the car's trunk and simply walked off with the dress.

6. Grooms Gone Wild.

While most people view bachelor parties as harmless fun, too much drunken debauchery can lead to catastrophe. In some cases, grooms have gotten so inebriated that they've missed the rehearsal dinner or even the wedding (which is why experts recommend throwing the bachelor party at least two weeks beforehand). Other outcomes have been even more devastating: A Houston groom recently drowned in a friend's pool at his bachelor party just days before he was scheduled to say "I do."

7. Bridezillas Gone Batty.

Most of us have known at least one bride who becomes so mired in wedding minutiae, she drives herself-and everyone around her-crazy. In 2003, a Connecticut bride went on a rampage after restaurant workers closed the bar at her wedding reception. She reportedly began throwing cake and gifts at the staff and even tried to bite a police officer while being taken into custody. Bridezilla later pled guilty to a reduced charge of creating a public disturbance.

8. Rings Repossessed.

Wedding crashers are never welcome, but when the uninvited guest is a repo man, it can quickly turn a fairy-tale event into a humiliating scene. At a 2006 wedding in South Africa, the groom was about to exchange vows with his betrothed when the unthinkable occurred: A private investigator stormed into the venue, interrupted the ceremony, and seized the wedding rings for non-payment. Apparently, the rings had been purchased with a check that had later bounced.

9. Environmental Hazards.

A little smog is one thing, but what if the wedding venue suddenly fills with poisonous fumes? At George Quenneville and Sharon Strack's 2007 reception at Dante Caterers in Queens, New York, a malfunctioning boiler in the basement caused carbon monoxide fumes to spew into the dance hall-sending numerous guests, including the bride and the couple's 2-year-old daughter, to the hospital for oxygen treatments. The venue's owner later apologized and offered to refund the $15,000 cost of the event.

10. Honeymoons From Hell.

Just because a couple has survived their wedding doesn't mean the honeymoon is smooth sailing. Travel delays, lost luggage, and stolen credit cards can put a damper on any dream vacation, but that's nothing compared to other, more sinister scenarios. In 2006, eight days into George and Jennifer Smith's honeymoon cruise, George mysteriously vanished. Investigators later found his blood on the couple's balcony but still haven't determined whether the disappearance was an accident or murder.