Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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Looking for that perfect bridal shower gift? Every bride needs a commonsense guide to the etiquette that really matters.  Let Wedding Etiquette Hell:  A Bride's Bible for Avoiding Everlasting Damnation by Jeanne Hamilton be your guide.

Order it now!

Bridal Showers

1999 Archive
Spring 2000 Archive
Jan-Jun 2000 Archive

A cheap friend sent this tacky invitation for a bridal shower & and she invited men too! We had to bring our own food. Apparently, this friend thinks bridal showers are a throw back to the 1950's.


As you all know, the best of marriages can get stale. To ensure an enduring blissful partnership for Suzie and Bob, we will be having a Sexworld bridal and groomal shower on Saturday, August 12. Should the happy couple's tricks get old (if you know what I mean), they need only open the plain brown paper wrapping to find something titillating to amuse themselves. They're not registered at Sexworld so use your imagination.

For those who don't want to be seen exiting Sexworld alone with a package, a group shopping trip is scheduled for 2:00 pm on the very same day. Who knows? You might even find something for yourself & although we'll all be watching at checkout and you'll have to explain yourself if certain items don't show up as a gift at the shower.

Please bring a bottle of wine and a dish because I'm up to my #$# in alligators and can't afford to feed you all & I won't even discuss the cost of keeping you all liquored up.

Also, please use some kind of permanent marker to initial your "product".   Lord knows this is one gift we don't want recycled and showing up at our own shower.


Hi, Jeanne--Love your site.

This story is 24 years old, but I still remember it well. The very spoiled only child of our high school basketball coach and PE teacher--who thought she was the most popular thing in school even though at least half of the "popular" kids couldn't stand her--somehow found herself pregnant in the middle of her college freshman year. I heard through the grapevine that she married a guy--surprisingly NOT the father of the baby, from what I heard. All this happened during the school year. Bear in mind that in high school this girl was with the popular clique, I was more of a grind, and we were certainly not the best of friends. She would only talk to me if no one else "better" was around. And I knew for a fact that I was one of the people she liked to make fun of when we were all still in school. So imagine my surprise when I got an invitation to a shower for her. The people who organized the shower apparently just got the class list and sent invitations to every girl in our graduating class (we had 192 members--more than half of them female--so she would really have cleaned up if we'd all come).

I did not go. And I did not lose any sleep over it.


Found this the stories...I've been laughing so hard I almost peed my pants! You'll love this story...A bride was being given a shower in her old hometown, her parents and the groom's parents had moved out of the town in the previous 5 year time span, but there were still lots of friends and family in this tiny mountain town, so the MOH's mom hosted a beautiful shower for the bride. The MOH called the mother-in-law to be and asked her for any specific guests she would like to have invited, of course she wants to have her evil friend and her offspring...terrible, rude, nasty women, the bride and MOH went to High School with them and just about died to know they were on the invite list, but kept smiling about, going through the torture in the name of family love.

The bride lives five hours from her old hometown, so the bride's MOH comes down for a night so the bride can catch a ride to the shower with the MOH, knowing she can get a ride home from her future mother-in-law...well, 30 minutes before the beginning of the shower, the future mother-in-law calls the groom and tells him she will not be attending the explanation whatsoever! She does not call the hostess, the bride, nor even her evil invited friends...the groom has to reluctantly phone the bride, realizing at that moment that she doesn't have a ride home, and drive up to the mountains to pick her up and bring her home...a 10 hour drive in one day! The bride had to endure endless questions as to where her future mother-in-law was, and receive those strange looks when telling everyone, "No, I don't know why she didn't show up." Needless to say, I have no respect for my mother-in-law since that day!!


A few years ago one of the female executives sent out an e-mail to the entire department inviting us to her house for a surprise birthday party for her husband. The food would be spectacular, she promised, because her brother-in-law was a gourmet chef for one of the best hotels in the city. A few minutes later, she sent out another e-mail that basically said "That last e-mail was just a ruse to get 'Susan' (the department's secretary) to my house for a surprise bridal shower. Don't let on! (etc. etc.)". Nothing was said in the e-mail about bringing any food, which is the tradition for showers where I come from, so I assumed that her brother-in-law would be taking care of that part of it.

So, on the afternoon of the shower, I told my fiance not to save any dinner for me since I'd be chowing down on all kinds of fancy gourmet treats. The other ladies and I congregated in the livingroom, fairly drooling in anticipation of the delights to come. We couldn't smell anything cooking, but perhaps brother-in-law hadn't started yet. While we were waiting for the bride-to-be to show up, our hostess came around with glasses of wine and a cheese tray. I took one piece of cheese so that I wouldn't spoil my appetite.

The bride-to-be arrived, was suitably surprised, and she had a lovely time opening her gifts. Once the gifts were all opened - that was it. The hostess started thanking us for coming, and it was clear that the shower was over. We looked at each other in consternation - NO FOOD? We were all starving! It was bad enough that apparently the whole "my gourmet chef brother-in-law will do the catering" thing had just been part of the ruse to get 'Susan' to the hostess' house, but the hostess hadn't provided anything to eat besides cheese!

My husband ended up sharing his dinner that night.


My story isn't so much a horror as it is a laugh. About three years ago, I got invited to a bridal shower of someone I barely even knew. At the time, I wondered why I was being invited. I had only met her a few times. But, I figured, what the heck. Well, then we got to the games. We played this one where in a certain amount of time, you have to answer all these questions about her, such as how long she'd known her fiancee, where they'd met, etc. Talk about feeling like an idiot! I literally could not answer one single question! I didn't even know the name of the guy she was marrying! YIKES!


To start with, Jack, my brother in law is a nice person. However, he lacks tact and taste at times.

When he and my sister Debra were getting married, I was the MoH. After his stepmother threw an extremely bad shower (ie... announcing the price of the gifts, making comments on the quality of the gifts, not inviting anyone my sister knew or liked) I offered tothrow her one. Around this area, it's customary for the MoH to be a sister and for her to throw a shower.

Jake and Debra have a lot of the same friends, so I thought a cook-out Jack and Jill shower would be a good idea. Wrong. To start with, Jack insisted on playing football.   Insisted on all of us playing football. I told him quite bluntly no, that I was throwing it and that since the majority of the people would be females who didn't like football, I wasn't going to force them to do it.

And they didn't give me a guest list. I ended up giving them 25 invitations and telling them to hand one out to each person they wanted to invite. Jack wanted to invite 50 people! I put my foot down.

Then there was the problem with the cake. After I ordered a very nice cake, he mentioned he wanted a big cookie at the shower because he didn't like cake. The place that sold the cookies was in another town, and I gave him a fifty and told him to go buy one. I expected change back from him, which I didn't get.  Instead I got a fifty dollar cookie, which I had to go pick up the day of the shower.

At this point, Jack and I had agreed on football for the guys one hour before the start of the party. The day of the shower, Jack offers to go with me to go get the cookie. Like an idiot, I agree, with the assumption that we would be back three hours before the start of the party.  Once we were in the town, I notice Jack calling people on his cell phone. When I ask why, he explains that he knew of some cancellations, so he was inviting more people. What he didn't tell me was that he was going to pick some of them up... with me in the car.

Two hours and five minutes before the start of the party, we pull up to the house-- only for me to discover eight people-- six guys and two women-- waiting on us. Seems Jack thought he would start the football early, without telling me. My sister only says that "I should have known better than to go with Jack."

I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to get food ready to go, trying to play hostess to these uninvited guest, trying not to kill Jack. Then the two girlfriends start coming in and out of the house, complaining about the heat. They let my indoor only cat out in the process.

After getting my cat inside, I start to move things out of the fridge. In the process, I move a bottle of sparkling grapefruit juice out of my way-- right in front of the two women, one of whom was 17 and Jack's sister. She starts to open it, thinking I was offering some. I tell her that's not for her, and she starts to beg for it, telling me she needs it or anything alcoholic. (My grandfather is a preacher and lives with us, something she knew... we don't have alcohol).  I offer her some tea instead. She takes one sip and literally spits it out in the sink, complaining that it doesn't have any ice.

At that time, I take some stuff out to the grill and grab Jack. I insist he make his sister get out of my way. They go to play football as the other guests arrive. Twenty minutes later-- twenty minuets after we agreed that the football ends, his sister gets hit in the nose with the ball.

After the party, Jack invites them all to watch TV, suggesting that they rent movies. My party that was supposed to end at 7 ends at 2 with Jack saying "We just can't throw them out... these are our friends."

To his credit, this has been the only time his behavior has been so dump.


Hi, Jeanne. I love your page!

This story is short and pretty tame compared to some of the ones I've seen at the site so far, but I still laugh about it years after the fact.

My cousin met a girl at a bar one night and within weeks was engaged to her.  I knew the girl (let's call her Marie) in high school and she was shall we say, a bit of a wack job. Anyway, a few weeks before the shower Marie takes my aunt (mother of the groom) aside and informs her that in the event that just in case she (Marie) decides to dump my cousin before the wedding, she planned to keep all the gifts from the shower. Sheesh!

Oh, and the marriage was annulled in less than a year. What a surprise. I wonder if she kept all the gifts.


The wedding of my very best friend all through junior high and highschool... We'll call her H. She asked me to be her MOH and I accepted.  Typically the MOH gives the shower, but her mother informed me that SHE would be giving the shower as she wanted to invite HER friends and not have it be a bunch of twenty-something girls. Okay.

I offered to do the games packet as I had a computer (this was 1994) and am fairly good at publications. Purchasing the wedding clipart, getting copies made on decent stock, binding them, etc. cost me about $75 which I considered to be my contribution to the shower in addition to the gift.

WELL, at the shower the mother is upset because the inner pages of the game packet are not in color (which would have doubled the cost)... at the end of the shower she presents me with an itemized list of the food cost (rigatonis, salad, rolls, etc) and informs me that I owe her $35 for my share of the cost of food. Right.....     bridals1227-00