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Honeymoon Suite Switch

I just thought I would share something that happened to my cousin’s last year during their wedding. This is going to sound farfetched but I assure you its 100% true and even today my dad still has a hard time believing it.

Now my dad’s side of the family is pretty well off (my dad is not). So they all have very lavish weddings. My cousin was marrying her husband in Sydney (we are Australian) and as my mum does not really get on well with dad’s side of the family and I was living with my grandparents quite a distance away, my father and sister attended the wedding. It was held at a very expensive function center and afterwards the wedding party  went to a posh motel in the heart of the city. Because my cousin could not get time off work for a honeymoon, the couple decided to splash out on the penthouse suite for a few nights and paid for her parents and in-law’s rooms for the night at the same motel. The rest of the honeymoon cash was put away for a house deposit. Very wise in my opinion. The wedding and reception went without a hitch; the trouble then starts.

The newlyweds get taken to their room only to discover that it is not the penthouse suite that was booked. The mix up seems obvious, the wrong Mr and Mrs. Smith were taken to the wrong rooms. It seems simply enough to fix, the porters take the luggage of the newlyweds up to the penthouse to explain the situation to in-laws….who promptly explain back that they had made the change!!!! They did not like the”pokey little room” their son had booked for them!!!! (Pokey meaning spa, egyptian cotton sheets, plasma tv’s ect). Well as you can imagine the newlyweds were floored. They thought it was a joke at first but it turns out that the in-laws were serious. They had on their bath robes and refused to vacate the room. My cousin’s hubby had gotten the staff to set the room up with rose petals and gift baskets from some guests had been sent up. Their wedding gifts had also been taken up as they would be a few days there.

Well, short of causing a scene as fellow guests were coming/going and some of the wedding party had come to find out what the problem was, cousin and hubby went back to the ‘pokey’ room and spent the night. The next morning they were informed that the room had been vacated and they could go up. Not only had the in-laws stolen their wedding night room; the petals had obviously been cleaned up, the in-laws had drank the French champagne the hubby had ordered and rifled through their gift baskets. But the WORST of it was they had OPENED the wedding gifts!!!!! The paper had been cleaned away by staff but the presents were strewn everywhere.

I know that the newlyweds did not speak to the In-laws for a VERY VERY long time. I cannot imagine how embarrassed the hubby was. Why did they do it? General conclusion is that because hubby came from a rich family and the bride a “less well off” one, they resented being given the same class of room as the “poor relations” and wanted something to show their status. Well, it showed it alright, it showed how low they are…    0517-11

{ 89 comments… add one }
  • Louisa June 15, 2011, 4:38 am

    I shouldn’t feel embarrassed just because I am a fellow Aussie…but for some odd reason I do. This is unbelievable. That poor couple will never get that night back again. I would still not be speaking to them to this day, as I am ashamed to say I would find it very hard to forgive this extent of selfishness.

  • PrincessSimmi June 15, 2011, 4:45 am

    Money will never buy class.

  • etimodnar June 15, 2011, 4:57 am

    Oh My Freaking Goodness! That is SHOCKING! And APPALLING! I think this takes the complete cake of all other wedding gaffes and etiquette faux pas! I am ASTOUNDED!

    My condolences to the poor couple whose honeymoon was so RUDELY trampled on by the groom’s own Father and Mother! I’m kinda upset that he didn’t stand up to them more actually. Maybe they should pay for another night in a penthouse suite with french champagne, rose petals and gift baskets to make up for it!

  • Lisa June 15, 2011, 5:12 am

    I injured my chin terribly when my jaw hit the floor….

  • Bint June 15, 2011, 5:24 am

    This story is actually quite sick. What sort of twisted people are this poor man’s parents?

  • QueenofAllThings June 15, 2011, 5:52 am

    Oh, come on! Really? Who does that to their child on his wedding night?

    Surely the groom saw this coming – his parents didn’t turn into spoiled grasping snobs over night.

  • Cydrius June 15, 2011, 5:57 am

    Words do not suffice. These people are the epitome of entitlement.

    To be entitled to this extent surely must require a certain level of mental instability. How else could these people feel it was appropriate to put themselves above even the newlyweds?

    The mind, it boggles.

  • Ange June 15, 2011, 6:10 am

    There are no words… Truly disgusting behaviour.

  • The Elf June 15, 2011, 6:33 am

    I thought I had read the worst, then I get to the part where they opened the gifts. Even if you could justify the rest (you can’t), how is it possible to justify opening someone else’s gifts? I have to say, I don’t blame them for not speaking to them.

    QueenOfAllThings – I bet the hubby knew they were capable of more minor things and might bitch about the “pokey” room, but never thought they’d go that far. Big weddings are funny that way – they bring out the worst in some people. Over time, I’ve come to more or less despise them.

  • badkitty June 15, 2011, 6:40 am

    I so very dearly want to cry fake at this story… but after years of reading this site, I guess I’ve lost that innocence. Ugh, they OPENED someone else’s GIFTS? Who DOES that?!?! I know money doesn’t buy class, but it should still be able to assuage greed, right? Sheesh, if you hate your “pokey little room” that much, just take your gold card to another hotel – problem solved.

  • DGS June 15, 2011, 6:45 am

    Disgusting, repulsive people – how could they do that to their own son and his wife on their wedding night? This is truly appalling. The couple will always remember that their wedding night was ruined by their grubby, selfish, insensitive parents. I don’t think that I would speak to them to this day if this is how they showed their true colors.

  • Angela June 15, 2011, 6:45 am

    In a lot of these stories you get the sense that there is another side of the story; I’m at a loss to imagine what that could possibly be in this case. Whoever said money doesn’t buy class is spot on.

  • karma June 15, 2011, 6:49 am

    Wow…that does sound unbelievable. I guess there truly are all kinds in the world.

  • kingshearte June 15, 2011, 6:50 am

    If the family is so well off, perhaps it wouldn’t make any difference to the parents, but just on principle, I dearly hope that the couple did not pay for that room that night, or any of the extras that they’d arranged.

    I’m also a little appalled by the hotel’s having allowed this to happen in the first place. If the couple paid for these rooms, a change like that should not have been made without their official consent. And with all the extras in there, staff should have been well aware, if not that it was a wedding, that at least it was a very special occasion. How could they possibly think that a switch like this was even remotely appropriate or acceptable?

    The parents’ behaviour was obviously atrocious. But whoever at that hotel allowed that switch to be made? As far as I’m concerned, that person’s job should be on the line.

  • Brian Katcher June 15, 2011, 7:04 am

    Kingshearte: I see what you’re saying, but the hotel’s only other option would have been to have security evict them, which the son was not prepared to ask them to do. Everyone lost in that situation.

  • AMC June 15, 2011, 7:24 am

    My heart actually aches for the young couple. I know it’s just a hotel room, but that was supposed to be their special first night as husband and wife. And opening their presents! What were they thinking?? If I were the bride, I’d wonder what kind of family I just married into. I hope the groom gave his parents a piece of his mind. What unacceptable and downright TRASHY behavior!

  • 1st-Time Mommy June 15, 2011, 7:26 am

    I wonder if the in-laws felt the son was marrying “below his station”, and this was their petty revenge?

    I’ve certainly seen similar (though nowhere near as bad) things occur in families who perceive that the bride or groom-to-be is not good enough. Nothing this tasteless though.

    I also agree that “people” (using the term loosely) like this DO tend to save their big, overdramatic acts of tackiness for the big events…normally in the interest of creating as much drama and gathering as much attention to themselves as possible.

  • lkb June 15, 2011, 7:45 am

    Wait: This happened to a cousin “last year” and the newlyweds did not speak to the groom’s parents for a “very very long time”? This implies that they are speaking to them now, less than a year after it happened.
    If so, then I salute the bride and groom for their ability to forgive, so quickly. We’re supposed to turn the other cheek but in the same situation I doubt I’d be able to do so for decades.
    Best wishes to the happy couple nonetheless. At least the room they ended up in didn’t sound all that bad: Egyptian cotton sheets and plasma TV and all).

  • Amber June 15, 2011, 7:49 am

    The parents were atrocious, but what in the heck were the people running the hotel thinking by giving the parents the keys to the room? They had the room set up for the newlyweds, so a sudden change without cleaning things up is awfully suspect. Why would the parents be brought there? Unless the parents straight up lied to the staff and took the keys on the premise that they would be handed to the kids, I think the hotel dropped the ball, here.

  • Jade June 15, 2011, 7:49 am

    I’m just wondering if the parents still feel that one night in that luxurious suite was worth the amount of damage it did to their relationship with their son and his new wife?

  • --Lia June 15, 2011, 7:53 am

    I blame the hotel. They never should have allowed the switch in the first place. Having made the first error, they should have physically removed the interloping couple. Not having done that, they should have at least removed the wedding gifts. Surely someone in the hotel business understands that people can have the same last name and not have authority to make changes like that. It would be like my ordering $1000 in room service and telling the staff to charge those people over there.

    My DH and I often meet my parents at a tourist destination. My parents are difficult people so we stay at the same hotel but emphatically do not share rooms. My parents would love it, but we don’t. (My parents, difficult as they are, seem to love seeing how far they can push me.) I ALWAYS make the reservation under a different name to avoid exactly this sort of mix-up. I don’t want some idiot at the front desk to decide that we have the same name so we can all bunk together.

  • Chocobo June 15, 2011, 7:55 am


  • Powers June 15, 2011, 8:09 am

    In my neck of the woods “posh motel” is an oxymoron. =)

  • SV June 15, 2011, 8:32 am


  • Otter June 15, 2011, 8:33 am

    The penthouse suite was paid for by the wedding couple. Special arrangements were made. Their things were brought into the room in anticipations of their wedding night. The room is then given to another couple just because they wanted it?! Also the bride and grooms belongings are left in the room to be rifled through?! What hotel in the world would do that…really?

  • SS June 15, 2011, 8:45 am

    I have vacationed with a friend and some of her family members . My friend and I were to have one room, and her aunts/mom were to have another. My friend and I were going to be arriving later than the rest of the family. When we arrived at the hotel, we could not get keys to our room because we were informed that the other women had already arrived and had checked in for BOTH rooms and they had the keys to both rooms. They were off having dinner somewhere so we had to hunt them down in the city in order to get the keys to our room. When we found them, they also let us know that they had looked through both rooms in order to pick the better room of the two for themselves. I was very stunned at that whole behavior. (Before anyone assumes they were doing it to help us because we were young and inexperienced at traveling, this was when I was in my mid-30s and very used to traveling)

  • AS June 15, 2011, 8:47 am

    Jeez… What kind of parents would do that? Even if they wanted the suit, at least they should have left the gifts and champagne and other stuffs untouched. It is disgusting for parents to steal their son and DIL’s honeymoon suit!

    @Louisa – don’t feel embarrassed about being a fellow Australian. These parents are from Booron, and if you are not from there too, nothing to feel embarrassed about it ? .

    After reading Lia’s comment, I too think that the hotel is to be blamed (though the parents/in-law’s actions cannot be condoned). Though unless they realized that these Mr. and Mrs. Smith were the parents, and thought that the arrangement was made with the newlywed couple’s consent (though I don’t know why some newlyweds would want to trade their room with their parents). Someone in the hotel industry can tell us what they think.

  • Enna June 15, 2011, 8:47 am

    The hotel shouldn’t have allowed the swtich in the first place that was shocking. Also how greedy of the inlaws to drink the chamapne that didn’t belong to them and rude to go through the gifts. The hotel should cover the costs of the chamapane and compensate the couple – and the in-laws should do their best to make it up to the couple, compensating them too. I doubt those in-laws will see much if anything of any future grandchildren.

  • Orwellian June 15, 2011, 8:50 am

    I think the parents might have, in the eyes of the hotel, had the authority to make the change if they were paying for the rooms. The parents were simply unexcusable in what they did, from moving the room to not giving up the champagne to pilfering things from the gift baskets to opening all the gifts. It’d be years before I talked to them and it would take the birth of the first child to do it.

  • Jilly June 15, 2011, 8:54 am

    I cannot get over how manipulative those parents are. It makes me wonder if it was the MIL trying to exert some sort of power like, “see, I can still get MY SON (not your husband) to do what I want.” Thankfully there was some form of repercussion. (no communication)

    I agree – less than a year is too short, though I do commend their ability to forgive. I wonder if it is just to keep things “civil”. If those parents want a relationship with their grandchildren, they need to smarten up. What they did was irreparable, and I highly doubt that couple will ever trust them again, especially the daughter-in-law (cousin).

    I HOPE that all of the gifts, and cards/labels were all there. What children, what absolute, pathetic, cheap, classless children. Wait… children would know BETTER.

  • Jillybean June 15, 2011, 9:03 am

    I second (or third, or whatever, lol) those who fault the hotel. It is appalling that they allowed this to happen. Additionally, all items for the bride and groom should have been removed from the suite when they decided that they wouldn’t have these no good louts tossed from the building. I’m sure in the moment, the bride and groom just wanted to get away from them, and I sincerely doubt they thought their gifts were in jeopardy, but the bottle of bubbly should have been taken with them to the new room (not blaming them, mind you).

    That said, if it were me, I would NOT, under any circumstances, have anything more to do with these vile nasty people. If my husband chose to continue to have some kind of relationship with them, so be it, but the door would be closed to me.

  • beckstar June 15, 2011, 9:13 am

    There are obvious etiquette breaches here on the part of the parents in law – the opening of the gifts is unforgivable, for example. But I’m more shocked by the lack of action by the hotel. Even if they made the room change in good faith, it was a mistake and they should have corrected that by removing the incorrect couple from the room – by using security if necessary.

  • LauraBeth June 15, 2011, 9:25 am

    This can happen and does. Twenty four years ago my husband and I went to check into the honeymoon suite at a historic hotel in our home town. We were informed that the room was no longer available. The convention of Retired Boarder Patrolem had decided to stay on and they would not leave our room. We were give a free room at another hotel that was the size of a closet. Its a funny story now, but not on that night,

  • gramma dishes June 15, 2011, 9:54 am

    I agree with those who say the bride and groom definitely should NOT have paid for that penthouse suite! The hotel was totally at fault here. I can’t imagine who might have authorized that switch but hopefully that person is no longer employed by that hotel!

    The only good thing about it is that although the parents opened the gifts, at least they didn’t steal them which was what I suspected was going to happen by the time I got to that part of the story.

    And I’m also with those who say I would certainly still not be speaking to these “people” if this only happened a year ago. I doubt I’d EVER speak to them again under any circumstances!

  • Aje June 15, 2011, 10:19 am

    I don’t know that I could ever forgive them for such an act. At least the bride now knows what she is getting into! I also agree with Lia. I think it would have been obvious to anyone who the new bride and groom were and they should have put two and two together. Room with rose pedals, gifts, champane = bride and groom Smith. Older couple most likely dressed differently =not.

  • Wink-n-Smile June 15, 2011, 10:36 am

    I’m shocked that the hotel security allowed them to get away with it. What they did was theft, pure and simple. The newlyweds should have called security, as soon as the parents refused to switch rooms. If Security couldn’t convince them to go back to their proper room, then Security should have escorted them out of the hotel, bathrobes notwithstanding.

    Imagine the spectacle of the groom’s “rich, high-class” parents being paraded through the lobby, out to a taxi, with a bellhop following behind with hastily packed luggage, and being told that they were blacklisted from the hotel, for their behavior.

    It may seem extreme to insist on it, but stopping it early would have saved the newlyweds the hassle of calling thier guests to ascertain who gave what, since the gifts were all opened and no longer labeled. And I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that some gift cash or checks had gone missing, as well.

    This was truly heinous behavior on the parts of the groom’s parents, and it would take a very long time to regain trust in that relationship.

    If it had been me, and it had gone all the way to the next morning, with the opened gifts, I do believe I would have called the local paper, and said, “Send over your society columnist. I have SUCH a story to share!” Public humiliation, names and photos from the wedding included, would ensure that the parents NEVER do such a thing again.

    Yes, I’m vindictive.

  • Erica June 15, 2011, 10:43 am

    Jaw, meet floor.

  • Wink-n-Smile June 15, 2011, 10:45 am

    Kinshearte – I agree. The hotel should never have allowed the switch, without confirmation, in the first place.

    It always shocks me when I hear stories about some third party, like an in-law, calling the wedding vendors and changing the arrangements. I have even read stories here on this site, about someone CANCELLING the wedding, and the bride ang groom show up, all unaware.

    As a precaution, brides and grooms should insist that vendors confirm with them, possibly even using a code word, for ALL changes. However, vendors really ought to have enough sense to check with the person who is actually contracted to pay the bills before they make changes.

    The hotel is certainly at fault here, and should be made to pay some consequences, such as comping the stay for the newlyweds. Due to the hotel worker’s incompetency (allowing the switch in the first place), and not insisting that the parents switch back to their assigned room (Yes, Security CAN force the issue. That’s why they’re there, and any good hotel will have security), the bridal couple were robbed. They are partly culpable, and in a court of law, would be made to pay damages.

  • Ashley June 15, 2011, 10:48 am

    This speaks very poorly of that hotel as well. I understand that the couple didn’t want to cause a scene, but the fact that the hotel didn’t look into this in the first place speaks volumes. If I owned that hotel I would look after all my guests, but if I knew there was a room full of wedding presents sitting around, I would make extra sure the right people ended up in that room so nothing got lost/stolen. So not only shame on those in laws, but shame on the hotel as well for not doing more to insure guests safety.

  • Wink-n-Smile June 15, 2011, 10:51 am

    Lia – at least you know. If you must give your real name, you can emphatically state, up front, that your reservation is completely separate, and if anyone tries to make changes to YOUR reservation without YOUR consent, that will take the issue all the way to the owner of the hotel, if necessary. In advance. Give the hotel people warning that your parents do that sort of thing. That way, you’ll be pretty sure that the hotel won’t give in to your parents’ demands, and if they do, you’ll already be on record as being against it, and can take it all the way to the top.

    The bridal couple didn’t know it before, but they’ll certainly know, for all their future dealings, that they need to take precautions. As I said before, it would take many years to rebuild trust in that relationship. While I may be able to forgive, and move on, I would never forget, and always take precautions, so they couldn’t get away with it again.

  • ashley June 15, 2011, 11:05 am

    You know of all the stories I’ve read on here I can easily say without question that this is the worst one about weddings ever o.o What horrible monsters those parents must be V_V;

  • livvy June 15, 2011, 11:08 am

    Amazing. Hotel messed up big time, because a)the in laws must have checked in normally to even see the “dinky” room. b)the penthouse had to have already been checked into, in order to have presents toted up there, rose petals, etc. c)Groom made arrangments, they should have known who he was, d)you would think that they’d check with the person who made the reservation on this, to confirm.

    I really really hope the groom didn’t pay for the penthouse room, or the champagne, etc.

    As far as opening their presents, I just don’t have any words. I wonder how the couple even figured out who gave what. Even worse, how could they possibly know if the parents helped themselves to something they really liked? Obviously, they don’t have any problems with stealing from their son & his bride, so why draw the line at just opening the presents?

    I can’t see how I’d EVER want to talk to them again.

  • Chloe June 15, 2011, 11:08 am

    Oh. My. Goodness.

    I felt my bloodpressure steadily rising as I read on. I can not believe someones parents would do this to their kid – and on their wedding night, no less ! Goes to show, money can’t buy class.

  • itsdamomma June 15, 2011, 11:11 am

    Yes, this story is completely appalling if it is true. What doesn’t make sense to me is that first the OP states that her Dad’s side of the family (the bride) are very well off. She then states that the groom’s parents were upset at their son marrying beneath them. Well, which is it?

  • LilyG June 15, 2011, 11:18 am

    I can easily believe this story-my in-laws who are normally very nice people, simply thnk differently. When we got married, since his family was from a city 10 hours away, came back to our house to “visit”. They decided they were hungry and so I ended up tying an apron over my wedding dress (a dress, not a full gown) and made grilled cheese sandwiches for them. They still hadn’t left by 11pm and I sobbed to my husband to get his family “out of here!”. I went to bed and left them playing cards. I found later his family was super Catholic and figured since we had lived together, we’d already had our wedding night and it didn’t matter if they were there.
    The next day they came over to watch us open presents and his mother thought it would be cute to let the nieces and nephews open them because “children so love opening gifts, don’t they?”. IBy then I realized what I was getting into and put my foot down. They thought it was odd and a little selfish, but let me open my own presents.
    They truly are kind people, but think VERY differently than I do.

  • Louise June 15, 2011, 11:19 am

    I, too, am curious as to how the parents managed to wangle the honeymoon suite for themselves. My experience with hotels is that it’s actually quite easy to switch things around. I recently called to change a hotel reservation I’d made online over the phone and all I had to do was provide my name, address and phone number — something my mother easily could have provided had she wanted to change my reservation behind my back (which she would never do).

    I would be beyond furious had my parents pulled this stunt, and it would take a lot for them to prove they deserved to be back in my life. It definitely would take more than a year. Were I the bride, I might eventually be able to be civil to my in-laws, but I would never trust them. This isn’t a blunder or misunderstanding where years down the road you can look back and laugh or at least just roll your eyes. This was malicious, and that’s harder to brush off.

  • LilyG June 15, 2011, 11:22 am

    “The rich are different than you and me.”
    “Yes, they have more money.”

  • Leslie Holman-Anderson June 15, 2011, 11:24 am

    That WAY tops my story, in which we attended a wedding too far away to return the same night and were expecting to spend the night an the bride’s parents house (my brother and his wife.) Instead, we were kindly given the honeymoon room at a supposedly-great hotel by the wedding couple (my niece and her new hubby) because they’d been comped a much swankier one at the reception venue. They were all smiling anticipation of how we’d love the ‘beautiful room.’ When we got there, the hotel demanded a credit card — for a room that had been paid for, mind you — and when ours didn’t have what they considered enough money on it, they gave us what I figured out later must have been an overflow room. It had egyptian cotton sheets, all right — with the wrinkles pressed into them. And a plasma TV — with nothing to watch unless you paid extra. A lumpy bed neither of us could sleep in. And dust on every horizontal surface. And sure enough, expecting us to rave about it, next time I saw my sister-in-law she asked how we liked the room. The only reply I could think of, “Uh, it was a room,” offended her.

  • Alkira6 June 15, 2011, 11:38 am

    Wow, just, wow. This makes me glad that my family confined themselves to missing the actual wedding and throwing keys at my head during the reception.

  • Justine June 15, 2011, 11:42 am

    Just when I thought I had heard everything! The nerve.

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