Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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The "tortured" and the "torturees"

1999 Archive

I am getting married in 3 weeks. I had to have my two sisters and best friend as attendants, and my groom only had two close friends to ask, so we were looking for a third male. I thought of my close friend from high school, whom I've known 11 years, whom I've visited several times since graduating college. He recently got married himself last year in a private ceremony in Greece, and his spouse has lots of money, so I thought they could surely afford to travel out to our wedding. His response, when I asked him in November to be in an August wedding was, "Can I tell you in May? I don't know what my summer travel plans are yet." Like, "if I don't have anything better to do, maybe we can make it out to your little wedding there"!! I was very insulted and hurt, and considered not inviting him at all. When I did decide to rise above it all and just send him an invitation, they of course responded 0 people would attend; no note, no card nothing. Some friend.

Call me a wimp or whatever, but I had to share this story of my wedding day with you. My sister..we'll call her Carolyn, was my maid of honor. My husband's sister...we'll call her Laura was a bridesmaid. You would have thought it was their wedding!

A couple of weeks before the wedding, we decided at the last minute that a limo would be nice to ride to the reception after the ceremony. The reception was about 15 minutes away. They only had one limo left for that day. Carolyn thought that the wedding party should be brought by limo as well...SO....after the ceremony, the wedding party hopped into the limo and my husband and I were standing out front of the church waiting for the limo to come back. It was windy, and the priest had another event to attend and had to lock up the church!

When we finally arrived to the reception hall...I had the seating at the head table arranged so that the bridesmaids were on one side of the table and the groomsmen were on the other side. Laura decided she didn't like that arrangement, and proceeded to switch all of the placecards around after we were all announced. Now come on! How long do they actually have to sit there and eat? She couldn't live for a minute without sitting next to her husband. Give me a break.

I'm sure there's lots more, but those are the two biggies of etiquette from hell that I can remember.

Thank you so much for your site. It's provided me with hours of entertainment and taught me to think carefully about my guests' feelings while planning my own wedding. But I didn't see any rude groomsmen stories, so I thought I should share this one with you. At a friend's wedding a year ago there were six groomsmen. Before the wedding they stood in front of the church not talking to anyone and getting snotty with people who mistook them for ushers.

During the wedding they kept giggling and whispering to each other. At the reception they refused to mingle with the guests, they refused to talk to any of the wedding party except the bride and the groom, and they were openly rude to the guests. They all sat at a table together drinking and snubbing anyone who attempted to have a conversation with them. Their behavior during the reception was just deplorable.

Afterwards the bride discovered that all the groomsmen went to a bar together after the reception and proceeded to mock and roast everyone who attended the wedding! Their bad behavior has cast a taint on her memories of what should have been the happiest day of her life. In fact, she has spent the past year apologizing to people who went to her wedding for the groomsmen's' behavior!

I just got married six weeks ago and, thankfully, just about everything went perfectly. Our engagement was over a year long, and I had asked my bridesmaids to participate just after I got engaged. One of the bridesmaids grudgingly accepted. I told her at the time that if for any reason she did not want to be a 'maid, I would totally understand and not be hurt at all. After all, I did know that she had already been in four previous weddings. I told her I was aware of this and that I would not be offended if this time she just wanted to be a guest, and that I merely wanted her to have the honor of being asked.

Even after all of this discussion, she said she "supposed" she could do it. Because she lived in another state, she was not at any of the parties or showers but was invited. She bought her dress, I bought her shoes and mailed them to her, and about a month before the wedding, she called and told me she had her hotel reservations and plane ticket. We also talked about how she had just started working for her father and how much she liked her new job. As far as I knew, everything was on track.

Then about two weeks before the wedding, she called and told me that she couldn't attend because she had to have her tonsils taken out! Not only that, but that the surgery was scheduled for the day of the wedding (Saturday) and she could get no other time off work because her boss said she had already requested that weekend and she wasn't allowed any more time off until she earned it. But her boss was her FATHER! I doubt he wouldn't give her the extra time to have the tonsils out on another date. Here's what I think the real reason was: She told me previously that she had gained a lot of weight, and I think she didn't like the way she looked in the dress. Plus, about two years ago, she had a one night stand with the Best Man and I think she was also embarrassed to see him after she had gained weight.

At least she was nice enough to mail me the dress so I could try to find someone else. (Luckily, I did and the wedding was beautiful!)

I have been rolling on the floor reading your site.

My best friend was getting married (Faith). MOTB had arranged for a  professional dressmaker to make the dresses for the bridesmaids. The bride  had her dress specially made at a huge cost. Imagine my surprise when I saw  her gown, it was the exact image of the dress I described to her as my ideal  wedding dress.

Anyway her cousin, hastily invited to be in the bridal party to make up  numbers decided the dressmaker wasn't to be trusted and her friend would make  hers. Weeks go by, no one hears anything about the dress, except everything was fine. Day of the wedding, no dress, went and had hair and makeup done, no dress. As the bridal cars pull up, so does the friend with the dress. At  least six sizes too big. The waistline, supposedly under the breasts was round the hips, wrist length sleeves were half way down the dress. Completely wrong trim, falling off the shoulders. Cousin is hastily pinned into dress, complaining all the time about our comments on the quality. Even the material is the wring shade, the nap of the velvet is upside down, you couldn't pick one nice thing about it.

Wedding itself goes off without a hitch. While cousin is dancing, trips on her own dress and rips it completely off. Unfortunately no video camera, it's busy taping Faith and new husband canoodling. Cousin goes and changes dress. Not another word heard from cousin. I could go on, but I won't.

What a great site! I can't resist adding my own story: a few years ago, I was MOH for a dear friend from college. One of the other bridesmaids, I'll call her "Deb", was a friend of the bride's from high school who I had never met. The wedding was being held halfway between the bride & groom's hometown to make the trip shorter for everyone, which I thought was very considerate. The bride had already arranged to stay with me the night before the wedding, and I had also offered to "house" a bridesmaid that was also a friend from college.

The day before the wedding, the bride called and said she couldn't pick up Deb at the train station and asked if we (the other bridesmaid and I) could do it. So in the torrential rain, we drove into the city to pick up a girl neither one of us had met. We somehow managed to find her, and then picked up the bride to go to lunch, where it's discovered that Deb wants a manicure but did not get one before she left home, still needs to buy pantyhose, and is not 100 percent positive that her uncle (who she was supposed to stay with) is even in town! The bride was shocked and urged her to go ahead and call her uncle from the pay phone. When she came back to the table, sure enough, her uncle's answering machine had been on and she didn't think he was home at all. Deb turned to the bride and said, "I guess I'm staying with you now". The bride kind of looked at me with a guilty expression on her face and I immediately said that "Deb" could stay at my apartment with the rest of us, but I was out of beds so she'd have to sleep on the couch. She said, "well, I guess that will have to be OK".

When we got to my place that afternoon, Deb started whining about how she still needed a manicure, and she wanted to get her hair done, too. I had made appointments for the rest of us weeks ago (the bride had told everyone to let me know by X date if they wanted an appointment but of course Deb didn't call me), so I called the salon to see if they could fit her in at the same time. Luckily, they could. Saturday afternoon, I dropped the bride and the other bridesmaid at the salon while I took Deb to a nearby mall so she could run in and pick up pantyhose.

Everything was fine until Deb got her hair done. She started yelling at the hairdresser in the middle of the salon about how her hair looked like a rat's nest, she wasn't paying, and the stylist should not be allowed to do hair. (Mind you, her hair was all one length -- she didn't want it up, so there's not a lot that can be done with it.) The bride was getting her makeup applied at that time and I could see the stress starting to cross her face. Another stylist offered to re-do Deb's hair just to shut her up, but by the time that was all finished, we didn't have time for Deb to get her manicure. Deb started complaining on the way back to my apartment, but I pointed out that we were already late, and told her that I had a French manicure kit at home and that she could use that in the car on the way to the hotel if she wanted. We jumped in the chauffeured car and Deb starts doing her nails, and makes a big deal out the fact that my nail polish base is so low! How dare I not be more prepared for her demands!

After that, the only major incident was when Deb went downstairs and got some handyman or cleaning guy in the building where the reception was being held and brought him up to the reception as her "date" -- he was wearing jeans and a tee shirt -- and then he proceeded to get drunk, catch the garter (thereby appearing in the wedding photos), and grab the behinds of some of the female guests! The groom asked Deb to get rid of him, but she said, "I don't know him, he's not my responsibility", and started to cry! Oh, yeah, and she never even thanked me for putting her up at the last minute or any of the other hassles. The groom, to this day, won't even speak to her, and thinks she was purposely a pain because she's jealous of the bride. How sad.