Jessica, Where Art Thou?

by admin on May 31, 2010

My DH and I were married June 15th 2005.  My DH and I met while in the Army and dated for 2 years before becoming engaged.   I chose my BF Jennifer to be my Matron of Honor since we had been friends since Junior High School, as well as 3 of my other close friends to be bridesmaids.

My first warning about Jessica should have been when she had NO time for anything from helping me find a wedding gown to attending my wedding shower (thrown by my Grandma.) Ok, not a problem. I understand that people have busy schedules.

DH and I were married in Reno, NV and asked everyone (if at all possible) to stay at the same hotel that the wedding and reception were being held. If this would be an issue, to please let us know. As a wedding gift, DH paid for a suite room in which myself and all of my bridesmaids could stay in together.

Rehearsal was supposed to start at 1 PM. Come time for the rehearsal, no sign of Jessica. My mom gets a phone call at 1:20 from Jessica telling her that they were on their way, and when Mom tells her that we need to begin the rehearsal she demands that we wait.  Jessica, her husband and her 4 year old son (who we weren’t aware they were bringing) finally arrive. The reason for their lateness? They  had to stop by the Motel 6 they were staying at, order a pizza due to her husband being hungry, wait for it to be delivered, THEN come to the rehearsal. OK.  Rehearsal dinner was held directly after the rehearsal at a wonderful Italian restaurant, which Jessica and her family wouldn’t be able to attend due to the son being tired.

My bridesmaids then informed Jessica to please be at our hotel room at 8 PM to meet up for the bachelorette party. 8:10 no Jessica, 8:20 no Jessica. We finally leave for  the arcade at 8:35 (still no Jessica). At 9:15 Jessica, her husband, their son AND my parents come storming into the arcade to demand to know “why we ditched Jessica and didn’t let her know where we would be!!” I was in tears as my bridesmaids and I tried to explain that we had done nothing wrong. Mom has me apologize to Jessica to just smooth things over and let it all be OK again. Jessica and her husband demand that we go up to the room and play cards since they have no money to play at the arcade. I can’t stand to play cards, but go along with it to achieve peace.

Noticing that there is a habit of Jessica being late, we inform her to arrive at the hotel at 8 AM (2 hours before the scheduled time) for hair and makeup the next morning. Jessica arrives the next day at 9:50. She has my mom pay for hair and makeup as she and her husband don’t have any money to pay for anything. My mom pays for her, my sister, Jessica and my hair and makeup.

As we all begin getting ready  I realize that Jessica didn’t bring the bridesmaid dress that we had ordered but had instead “found a dress at Goodwill that matched well enough for $2!!” My colors were Royal Blue and Cream and she bought a navy blue dress.

The wedding goes off without a problem. DH and I take pictures while everyone heads to the reception area for cocktail hour. As I arrive at the reception to have Jessica bustle my gown, I find that instead of waiting with the rest of the wedding party to be announced she has gone into the reception and started in on the cocktails. My mom had to drag her out of the ballroom to get her to bustle my gown and to be announced.

As everyone was eating her child was running around the reception dragging silverware off the table, jumping all over the place, and running all over the train of my gown, snapping off all the beads in the process with his sneakers (keep in mind her husband is at the reception. When I ask her to please get her husband to grab her son, she calls over my sister to watch him. They stay long enough to eat and then leave quickly without saying goodbye. My ring-bearer comes up to tell me that, “The little boy in the red shirt ate your cake.” When we walked over to the cake to find out what he was talking about, we found a small child fist sized chunk missing from our cake, and upon looking around to find the little boy in the “red shirt”, discover it was Jessica’s son that had decided to eat the cake that we hadn’t cut yet. To add insult to injury, she refused to speak to me for 11 months after the wedding due to my rude treatment of her!!   0311-10

At least the first part of the story has the appearance that Jessica agreed to be MOH and then discovered she could not afford this honor.  She’s making somewhat of an effort to accommodate the bride’s wishes without breaking her bank account.  For future reference story writer,  if the bride wants her bridesmaids to have a certain hairstyle or professional make-up, the bride/parents of the bride are obligated to pay for this.  You want it, you pay for it.  If the bride doesn’t care what hairstyle her maids wear, then the financial responsibility falls to the bridesmaid if she so chooses to use professional hairdressing the day of the wedding.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne May 31, 2010 at 7:41 am

Ugh. This story is spectacularly vile on all counts. Another case of people being unable to open their mouths and express their feelings. If the bride – who btw, refers to her “BF” as Jennifer in the first paragraph and as Jessica in the rest of the story – was annoyed with her behaviour and that of her son and husband, why couldn’t she say so? They were after all ostensibly ruing her day and other preparations. And if the friend did not have money to spend up large at the wedding, why couldn’t SHE say so? And for the record, I find the behaviour of her son despicable.

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Jennifer May 31, 2010 at 7:59 am

It looks like Jessica had neither the time nor the means to be a fully participating bridesmaid, but also did not have it in her to say no to her nearly-lifelong friend. I definitely see the writer’s point of view with Jessica being late for everything and causing a kerfuffle over the bachelorette party, the surprise Goodwill dress and the badly behaved son, but there are some pieces missing. You don’t say how far Jessica had to travel for the wedding, but I’m assuming everyone involved was required to travel because the wedding was in Reno? Air travel is expensive, especially with a husband and a child. I can see why Jessica was unable to pay for a lot of things. Was Jessica living in a different part of the country and therefore not able to help you find a dress and attend your shower?

Even though the groom paid for the suite for the bridesmaids, that doesn’t change the fact that she and her husband still had to pay for a room to accommodate him and their son. You say you weren’t aware she was bringing her husband and son to the rehearsal and dinner. So, the husband and son were supposed to hang out at the hotel? It seems to me that unless children are expressly not invited, you should assume your wedding party’s significant others and kids who have traveled with them will be coming to the rehearsal. Families come as a package, unless she specifically indicated in her RSVP that she alone would be attending.

One last nitpick — was everyone in the bridal party told they were not supposed to join in cocktail hour before being announced? Most wedding parties I’ve been a part of will generally begin with a casual cocktail hour, with the bridal party mingling with guests until it’s time to eat, and then the emcee or deejay will ask the bridal party to line up for introductions.

In general it seems there may have been several things not communicated to Jessica, and that Jessica, for all her faults, may have felt out of the loop.

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Tuhis May 31, 2010 at 8:09 am

In the first chapter Jessica is referred to as Jennifer.
Thought of pointing this out. Left me wondering for a moment. :)

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Shayna May 31, 2010 at 9:52 am

I’m wondering if Jennifer and Jessica are two different people. The writer doesn’t specify the names of her other three bridesmaids in the first paragraph, so I assumed that this story isn’t about Jennifer, her Matron of Honour, but about one of the other bridesmaids.

I really think the writer should have spoken up and said something about this whole debacle. And why the heck is her mother making her apologize for someone else’s uncouth behaviour? Isn’t this Jessica a fully mature adult? She’s married with a kid, after all. Then again, maturity has never been a requirement for the two.

For the record, it is children like Jessica’s that make me happy sometimes that I have no children of my own. I would die of embarrassment if a child of mine ever acted like that in my presence, let alone in a public place.

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Skoffin May 31, 2010 at 10:42 am

I assumed the change of name with Jennifer/Jessica was because the OP changed the name of the guilty party, but mixed up the name while writing it.

Either way, two things I hate about these stories. One is naturally the rude participants to begin with, but second would be the people who write in about these rude acts but don’t do anything about it.
The constant bailing on the bride is enough to warrant asking the person to get their act together or remove them from the bridal party. But once this horrible human being started hounding the bride and the bridesmaids at the bachelorette party well… enough should have been enough. Don’t apologise just because someone else tells you to if you know you were not in the wrong, it just gives bad people more reason to continue their bad behaviour. OP should have kicked this Jessica person out of the wedding party right there and then.
When they turned up with the kid, OP should have asked them to keep an eye on the monster. When the child got unruly she should have then told the parents to settle the kid down or take him out of the event.

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karmabottle May 31, 2010 at 10:42 am

After reading this twice, I decided to go ahead and say what I really thought.

There is no way under the sun that this is the first time the writer and her family have seen this type of behavior out of Jessica/Jennifer. I guarantee you that if they have been friends as long as the write says, somewhere in those years Jessica exhibited similar actions. As young as the writer sounds, it may be that her mother knew it, but the writer herself could not see it for what it was until it wrecked havoc on her as a young adult.
It also seems that the writer and her family are a little on the unsophisticated side themselves based on some of the details in the story.

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jenna May 31, 2010 at 11:13 am

Tuhis speaks the truth.

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L. May 31, 2010 at 12:07 pm

I thought it was interesting that the bride’s mother forced her to apologize to Jessica to “smooth things over and let it all be OK again.” Living life with that sort of attitude is how one ends up with friends like Jessica.

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Voice of Reason May 31, 2010 at 1:29 pm

You probably should have just hired a professional dress bustler to attend you on your Big Day. You don’t want to leave something as important as bustling to a mere amateur, who may be off imbibing when you and your train really need her most.

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M. May 31, 2010 at 1:56 pm

I really wonder about the veracity of many of these oh-poor-me-I-was-so-wronged-on-my-special-day stories. I highly suspect they’re largely people trolling for sympathy after reading the archives, but don’t read the forums and aren’t aware that many EHellions take a dim view of chronic doormat-ism.

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Snewt May 31, 2010 at 7:17 pm

If the MOH had no time to come to any wedding preparation things, how would she know how to bustle the dress?

I really think there is a lot of detail lacking in this story. Details that would explain what happened to make the MOB have the bride apologize to the MOH.

I think that if your friends and family are coming to a destination wedding, it’s not up to the bride to dictate where they stay.

Not that I am saying that the MOH and her family weren’t rude at some points… but I think that some things are left out that would have left the bride in a less flattering light.

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Patty May 31, 2010 at 10:41 pm

This story has me confused….Jennifer/Jessica? Could’ve been edited better for sure.

OP….sounds like Jessica had NO MONEY. And it just so happened that that to her and hubby there were more important things than your wedding. Agreed…she should’ve talked to you. (the son eating the cake was RUDE) Again, this is a case of NO COMMON SENSE. The bride and her mother letting Jennifer/Jessica walk all over them (but, seriously you REALLY needed her to help bustle your dress? Please…have mommy do it and let it go) Jennifer/Jessica for accepting the MOH role and not being entirely honest with the bride.

I agree with a previous poster…..there’s a lot of infor missing. Did J/J RSVP for the whole family? Did she buy the dress with the other bridesmaids and if so…what happen to it? Did she agree to any of the agenda?

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PrincessSimmi June 1, 2010 at 12:33 am

There seems to be way too much pressure and responsibility thrust upon maids and matrons of honour and bridesmaids. My understanding was that you should offer to help, do what you can to make the day less stressful and most importantly witness the joining of happy couple. I can understand the bride requesting one of her bridesmaids to fix her train, or carry a certain item, etc, particularly if the bride has gone to the expense and trouble of asking you to be in the wedding party, purchased a dress for you, paid for hair and makeup and also transportation. I personally have offered to pay for and make (to the bride’s specifications) baskets for the two flower girls if she decides to have them carrying baskets. On the other hand I would not expect to be asked to hire a DJ, serve food, etc.

In this case, I don’t think the OP has provided enough information on what Jennifer/Jessica was like before the wedding. However, I have a family member that suffers from chronic lateness and I know how frustrating it can be. Having to tell her to be there two hours before is ridiculous and despicable on her part. She is also incredibly selfish. To demand that you play cards with her, allow her son to run rampant on your dress and allow him to damage your wedding cake would be the point where I would seriously consider continuing a friendship with her. Mistakes happen, she however is a disaster.

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Elizabeth Bunting June 1, 2010 at 12:41 am

This story is so familiar to me. It seems to happen with MOH’s for some reason. It happened to my daughter in 1990 and it happened to me in 1960 and mine was my only sister. I don’t know if it is jealousy or what. My daughter had it right – she fired the MOH immediately before she could do any more damage. It was a case of jealousy. In my sister’s case, it was sibling rivalry from when we were children. She was already married at the time of my wedding.

Sigh!

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josie June 1, 2010 at 8:37 am

I would think there should of been communication between the bride and Jessica well before the Reno event. Like, “why” didn’t she have time to help out….if they are/were best friends, a nice chat would have been in order. Regarding the 4 yr old tromping across her train multiple times….grab the little monster and tell him “NO!!!”. And as for the bustling….where’d the bridesmaids disappear to? They could of done it just as easily. The bride said that Jessica refused to talk to her for 11 months afterwards…what happened when they did talk? That would of been a nice time to straighten all of this out….maybe there were serious money issues going on. Still no excuse just to tell your honest feelings and communicate.

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Casey June 1, 2010 at 9:07 am

Snewt, sounds like that’s the problem. Jennifer/Jessica didn’t come to any preparations so she didn’t know what she was supposed to do.

OP, I would’ve let her go as my MOH. She forgot her dress, was chronically late, brought her HUSBAND and CHILD to a bachelorette party (seriously?! If it was planned that way, sure, but it doesn’t sound like it) By the day of the wedding it was your fault for allowing her to kick you around like that for so long. If this friend of yours had no money it was her responsibility to inform you before the day of the wedding. Being poor doesn’t also excuse forgetfulness, laziness, and rudeness.

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Hanna June 1, 2010 at 9:54 am

Seriously, why would someone cry over something like that??

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Ruth June 1, 2010 at 10:52 am

Some things like professional hair styles, Jessica wasn’t in the wrong for not paying for. However, being chronically tardy and offended when others simply go on without you (if you have to be tardy, be gracious…or call) does not make her look good either.

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Lizajane June 1, 2010 at 12:00 pm

They asked everyone to stay at the hotel where the wedding and reception were going to be “(if at all possible)” and if that “would be an issue, to please let us (them) know”. Evidently it wasn’t possible, but I have to wonder what the bride and groom intended to do about it if someone were to let them know.

I think there’s another possibility here and it’s pure speculation. Jennifer/Jessica’s husband may be the real problem here. Consider this: he didn’t want her going to Reno alone, they couldn’t afford the same hotel but she couldn’t stay with the rest of the bridal party without him, HE was hungry so she was late to the rehearsal because he wouldn’t let her go on without her.

I agree with others that there is more to this story.

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Xtina June 1, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Wow, what a train wreck of a story. Some detail is missing here. Communication could have been far better all the way around. The OP doesn’t say how well she communicated instructions to the ‘maids and I wonder if things were clearly stated or rather somewhat off the cuff. At any rate, Jennifer/Jessica’s behavior was bad and whether it was her husband who drove her to acting that way or she had it in for the bride herself, she did act pretty appallingly and pettily. If she could not afford the duties of being a bridesmaid (or her husband made it difficult), she should have backed out—the bride would have understood—or they might have worked out something specific that would allow her to participate without springing all these ugly surprises on the other people. With the way she constantly disregarded schedules and events and was never sorry about it at all, it seems indicative of her true feelings for the bride—and the OP considers her that close a friend? That’s shocking. I would treat people that I dislike with more courtesy.

I do wonder how come J/J felt it was appropriate to come up with this $2 dress; that was absolutely disrespectful and showed how little she cared about her supposed friend’s ceremony. Again, if she had told the bride ahead of time that she couldn’t afford the dress, arrangements could have been made, I’m sure. Another instance of rudeness for rudeness’ sake?

As for her hellion of a child—someone needed to rein that kid in. The bride was far too nice about some of the things both the kid and J/J did, and certainly did not need to apologize to J/J about the bachelorette party; an hour is ample time to wait on someone to show up. The only comment I can make on that is that they might have left a message for J/J that they’d gone on to x place and if she was coming, to meet them there.

I do believe J/J must be quite the drama queen; seems that everything revolved around her, but the OP allowed it.

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Shayna June 1, 2010 at 1:01 pm

I was thinking more about this as I read it over a second, third and fourth time. I agree with Lizajane that the husband may very well have had a lot to do with this. Maybe he’s completely controlling and abusive, and Jessica/Jennifer had to do whatever he said, period. I know someone with a husband like that, and she is now, thankfully, on the road to divorce.

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Anna June 1, 2010 at 8:14 pm

I’m with the OP on this one. Jessica sounded very rude and entitled. And why should families be a package deal? Does someone honestly have to be part of other people? Jessica was incredibly rude being late for he bacherlorette, and then bringing her whole family! Just because Jessica has a family, it does not give her the right to show up for things several hours late, tote her child around everywhere where he was not invited, and then not control him.

Okay, communication could be better. OP does not mention any discussion of Jessica’s money problem, so it’s possible that Jessica was being entitled or the bride was. We don’t know either way, so maybe don’t pass judgements here. The rest of it? Rude rude rude.

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Elle June 2, 2010 at 7:50 am

“DH and I were married in Reno, NV and asked everyone (if at all possible) to stay at the same hotel that the wedding and reception were being held.”

Here’s my question…why did the bride insist that everyone needed to stay at the same hotel she was staying at? Seems a little overbearing to me.

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Aria June 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Taking the story at face value, without casting suspicions on the husband (for all we know, she’s the type to be insecure without her guy , and it doesn’t make him the bad guy) or wondering why the bride’s parents sided with Jessica, it sounds like Jessica didn’t RSVP for her son, or children outside the bridal party weren’t invited. Families are NOT a package deal. Spouses, yes, children, no. If families were a package, the typical wedding would easily be half kids.

Jessica’s faux pas were in disregarding the time, not minding her son, and changing dresses. If you can’t afford a reasonably-priced dress, then you need to decline, unless the bride goes off and chooses dresses she knows are out of the range of what her bridesmaids can afford. This requires communication. The girls can afford about $150 each? then don’t pick a $300-dress. But if you can’t afford even $50 for a dress, then you many need to decline.

I agree that if hair and makeup has to be done a certain way by a certain person, unless this is spelled out at the very beginning so that the prospective-attendants can factor that cost into their decision, then the bride needs to pay. I still remember having it dropped on me, when I was a reader, that everyone involved in the wedding all had to have our hair done at a certain salon. A pricey one. To try to avoid fall-out, I scraped together the money. (This wedding also had a joint-bachelor/bachelorette, Jack&Jill style party that ended up costing a lot of money, someone even designated to go around collecting “admission” from everyone there AFTER we all were there.)

Expecting all out-of-towners to be invited to the rehearsal is nuts. Why have them see the ceremony, even a practice one, ahead of time? Just because people travelled doesn’t mean they should be a part of every single event from the moment they arrive until they leave. Only my bridal party will be at the rehearsal. For the dinner, we’re having a bbq and having it be a birthday party for our daughter, whose first birthday is the day before. Anyone who wants to come (presents not needed) is welcome. But the rehearsal is the party only. The rehearsal is work, not play.

I think a lot of brides need to be more reasonable in their expectations. Just because it’s “the most important day ever” to the bride doesn’t mean that a bridesmaid doesn’t care just because she can’t take time off work to go to a dress fitting (why the hell do brides need friends there for a fitting when all they do is sit there while the seamstress pins?) or travel to every one of the parties and various events? I won’t even have the chance from this point to see any of my bridesmaids until the day before the wedding. I didn’t choose them for what they can do for me, but rather because I love them, they love me, they’d be there for me in a heartbeat if my world fell apart, I would be for them, and because of this, because of their loving support, I want them beside me on my wedding day. Who cares about the parties.

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Enna June 7, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Bride pays if bride wants cetain hair styles and make up etc etc. However if the best firend and her husband can’t find someone to babysit bride has a choice: no bridesmaid or an extra child. At the same time guests should control their children. If the bridesmiad can’t keep time – just do your best without her: after all the marriage vows are the most important thing. She can’t be a good firend if she can’t be on time for her own firend’s wedding.

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Another Jessica June 9, 2010 at 2:53 pm

As a fellow Jessica, I have to say that the Jennifer vs Jessica problem seems to be a common thing. I get called Jennifer all the time and I have always wondered how the two are so easily mistakable.

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CherryBlossom October 19, 2010 at 7:17 pm

I kind of get the impression from the story that the bride paid for J’s dress (she says ‘the dress that we had ordered’ after noting that J wasn’t really involved in the planning process at any stage) and J failed to show up with it, instead bringing along something that didn’t match and cost almost nothing. So my question is, if the bride DID pay for the dress, what happened to it? Did J return it and pocket the cash? A MOH showing absolutely no remorse for not wearing a gown the bride requested, especially if the bride shouldered the expense, strikes me as a little suspicious.

Also when did bustling a gown become rocket science? Why couldn’t anyone else have done it, as apparently the entire bridal party was waiting right there?

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