Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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Bridal Showers

Spring 2000 Archive

I just love this site. My girlfriend (who is a wedding consultant,) told me about it and I just can't believe some of the stories. Being a wedding photographer, I've seen my share of tacky, but I wanted to share a couple of personal memories.  I was married in 1979 and back then I don't believe as much planning went into weddings as it does today. At any rate, my involvement in the planning was minimal. My parents more or less took over, with my blessing. Being business owners they felt they had to invite various business acquaintances as well as neighbors in our housing plan. Well, my bridesmaids had a wonderful shower for me and everything was just beautiful. Opening the gifts was rather overwhelming as there were so many of them, and you stand up there with everyone looking at you and all. I was cool with it and was really enjoying the whole party. Then came the gift. The gift from a current neighbor, fellow business owner's wife, who also happened to employ my Father before he began his own business. The gift.   Now, I wasn't brought up to be greedy or to put a value to people based on gifts or whatever, was this woman who had alway put on airs around our family in that her husband once employed my father and loved to flaunt anything and everything around. So, the gift is handed to me, I read the card and note that it is from Mrs. X. I open the gift and find one tiny little white hand towel with an owl on it. Now, I could handle a gift of hand towels (note the s) with no problem and be very happy with it, but being that I was getting married and there would be two of us I didn't quite understand what the deal was with the one hand towel. But I thanked her and dutifully sent out hand written thank you's to all of the shower guests. I thought maybe she had just forgotten to put the other hand towel in, and let it go at that. Keep in mind this is the woman who has to talk about the amounts of money she spent on every little thing, the same woman who put down anyone that didn't appear to have the amount of money she told everyone she had.

At any rate, Mr. & Mrs. X attended the reception, which was held in a beautiful restaurant with a 5 piece band and all. My parents spared no expense. After the wedding and the honeymoon we returned and opened gifts. We received countless lovely gifts, bedding, small appliances, etc. Then we came to the gift. Yes, another gift from Mr. and Mrs. X. I was really anxious to see what she would have thought to give us as a wedding gift and opened the package. Insided the package was one bath towel, one hand towel, and one face cloth. All with owls on them. One of each. Yes, here we are, the two of us, married, and we receive as a gift one set of towels. I still don't know what she was thinking...although upon looking back I can see she may have been psychic (as well as psycho.) I was divorced seven years later. He got the towel set.                 Bridals0611-00

A friend of mine was formerly married to a very petty and greedy woman (fortunately, they have since divorced) who shocked me with her ungrateful and money grubbing behavior after her bridal shower.

At her shower, she received several generous and beautiful gifts from various people, e.g. Tiffany bowls, Calphalon pans, entire bar ware sets, Waterford crystal, Lenox china, etc. However, instead of being gracious and grateful, she curtly thanked everyone and then spent the entire next day recounting what she got from whom and how much each gift probably cost! Statements like "X bought me a mixer. That's probably about $250" were common but never once did she mention that  everyone had been thoughtful, esp those who paid for the shower itself (like me!).  Things only got worse at the wedding but it would take too long to tell of all the horrors this woman caused at her own wedding!    Bridals0608-00

My MIL decided to throw me a shower a month before the wedding. That was fine. The only people I knew there was her, my mother and my grandmother. She invited all of her friends from her work. I did not know these people and they didn't know me. I found out later that she had demanded that people from her work give us gifts! and if they gave us cash she went and bought us things she thought we needed. During the shower she reminded me after every gift i opened, to thank them......loudly....Then at the shower my Aunts gave me. She asked me in front of my entire family and I quote, "How much weight have you gained? You look like you're pregnant."   I just stared at was all i could do to keep my grandmother from killing her. Besides that the wedding went off just as planned. Now I have a MIL from hell.     BridalS0508-00

My friend Christy was getting married, and I was to be one of only two attendants. As the other attendant lived out of town, it fell to me to throw the bridal shower. We decided on a "desserts only" afternoon shower, and I baked from scratch probably six or eight different desserts, serving lemonade and iced tea as the beverages.

As the guests were getting settled and before any gift-opening began, I went into the kitchen for a moment to check on something and found on the counter a bright red cheapo plastic divided tray (you know, with two separate "wells" for putting one snack on one side and another snack on the other side). One of the sides was filled with Fig Newtons, and the other side was filled with Cheez Doodles. I had no idea who had left this atrocity in my kitchen, but I sure as heck wasn't going to put it on my table with the homemade desserts and the antique lace tablecloth and the expensive floral arrangement! So I stuck it on top of the fridge and hoped that no one would notice.

We played games, Christy opened gifts, and everyone had a good time. Then it was time to eat, so the ladies began to get their plates and serve themselves from the dessert buffet. Probably ten minutes passed with no comment from anyone about the dreaded Fig Newtons and Cheez Doodles, and I thought I'd gotten away with  something. But alas, it was not to be! One of the ladies (an older, overweight lady who looked as though possibly Fig Newtons and Cheez Doodles were the most frequently chosen food groups in her diet) suddenly said in a "hold everything!" tone, "Hey, where's them Cheez Doodles and Fig Newtons I brought?" She looked right at me, and I had to go get them. I took them  down from the top of the fridge, slunk back into the dining room, and placed them on the table. She smiled triumphantly at me. I tried to smile back.    BridalS0327-00