|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.
I had to share this - I think it is one of the most perfectly awful weddings
that I was ever involved in.
Before you read this, you need to understand I grew up with this bride, and our
families are very close. Ducking out of the wedding would have hurt her parents dearly.
Few people who were in the wedding and dealt with this bride has kept in touch with her.
My best friend (S) decided - on really, the spur of the moment - to get married
two months after another friend (M), whose wedding we were both in. I was working - making
below poverty level income - and the two other girls were both RNs, so they were making
As a maid-of-honor, I had planned on throwing a wedding shower for M, being
that she asked me to be in her wedding first. When S asked me to be her maid-of-honor, I
accepted, but only after explaining that after footing the cost for two gowns in two
months, gifts etc, and one wedding shower, I could not throw her one as well (I had moved
back in with my
parents to try to recoup costs), but I would be more then willing to work with another
person if someone else offered to do it.
The first sign of trouble was when she moved in with her finance three months
before her wedding. I was never given a phone number to reach her at, and had no personal
contact with her outside of M's wedding. I found out later that it was because I was
currently single and she did not want me to feel "left out" with the "happy
couple." Somehow, this excluded me from picking out the dresses, etc with the other
bridesmaids as well. She also suggested that I may not want to attend the rehearsal dinner
for the same reason, but she still wanted me to be in the wedding.....
So, the rehearsal dinner arrives - which I attend. Which she proceeded to
announce to more then one person that she never had a wedding shower because her
maid-of-honor did not want to throw her one. In front of me.
The wedding ..well, lets not get into her behavior there. I will just say that
out of 8 people in the wedding party, only one person took communion (it was a full Mass),
and no-one in her family did. Yet somehow, I was the one singled out to be berated at the
reception for disgracing her by not taking it.
At the reception, she did the toast, and then left the groom sitting at the
table so she could go around and talk to everyone. After all, as she told the groom, they
were all there to see her. I took the groom around to many of her relatives so he could
Oh wait - I forgot one other part -2 hours for photographs, with the guests not
being able to go to the reception hall, since it was not set-up yet.
There was one picture taken with the wedding party, one with the bride and her
brothers, a half-dozen with the bride and groom, and the rest of just the bride. For two
And as a great note, the only people who got thank-you notes were those who
bought gifts from the high-end stores that she registered at.
Love the Etiquette Hell site. I still shake my head over the wedding 'woes' of
a coworker of mine a few years ago...
My coworker, let's call her Naomi, was engaged to marry a very nice guy
(Michael) from a wealthy family; she was from quite an affluent family herself. As a
wedding gift, her future in-laws offered to completely furnish their new home, and we're
not talking Sears Homelife here, it was a very generous gesture.
Meanwhile, her fiancé's younger brother also decided to get married. The
younger brother (umm... Alan) is developmentally disabled but does very well for himself:
has a job with a government organization, where he met his intended, also developmentally
disabled. Well, Naomi was just FIT to be tied that the brother would be allowed to stage
(her word) his wedding within the same year as hers and Michael's.
She simply could not fathom the concept that Robbie and his bride-to-be were not equipped
to handle an extended pre-nuptial wait.
The kicker (according to her) was when Michael's parents modified their
generous gift to a flat $25,000 in cash in order that they be able to provide equally for
Michael's brother, who was in much greater need of financial stability; Michael had an
excellent job and he and Naomi were going to be quite well off, in-law gift or no. I still
vividly recall Naomi ranting and raving about this terrible injustice. The good news is
that Robbie and his bride are living happily ever after while Michael managed to dump
Naomi after just a couple of years. Poor guy. Even my husband (who doesn't like anyone)
thought Michael was an all-around good guy. I sure hope he managed to do better the next
My sister-in-law got married a few months ago. She planned the wedding
herself and id not put much effort into it. She has ordered corsages and
boutonnieres for every member of her family, including aunts, uncles, cousins, even her
friends! She did order any flowers for the groom's side of the family, who are
European and notice the littlest things about a wedding. It's been over a year and the
groom's family is still talking about it!
I have to tell you about a wedding that I was invited to last summer (98). It
was the son of my estranged brother who lives in the state that I reside (1500 miles from
his home) and the wedding was in my town.
An invitation was sent to Mr. & Mrs. Tom Smith at an address that we
haven't lived at for six years but I am a mailcarrier so it was handed to me. My first
husbands name was Tom Jones(divorced 20 years ago) and my current husbands name is Dave
Smith. They took a little bit of both names and sent the invitation out. I returned it via
the USPS stamped: Attempted not known. The second invitation arrived with a current
address and correct names. We were not planning to attend because of the 'estranged
circumstances' of the family relationship but had not communicated with anyone hosting the
wedding at this point. Several weeks before the wedding, we purchased their wine glasses
at a local department store and had them shipped to the brides home as a gesture in good
faith and to wish them luck.
My parents were planning on attending the wedding and staying with my husband
and I while they were in town. I called them prior to our going on a vacation a week
before they were to come and was told by my mother that my husband and I were uninvited by
my nephew to this wedding. He did not call us to request that we not attend; but called
his grandmother and asked her to let us know of his wishes. We transported them across
town everyday for wedding functions without complaint and not saying anything negative
about this whole weird situation because we did not want them to be caught up in the
middle of this entire awkward extremely rude situation. You would have thought that this
would have been thoroughly discussed before the invitations were mailed - not once, but
The topper was when I received the rudest "Thank You" that I have
ever gotten about a month later. I call this a "Thank You" but it was as
insulting as hell! He outlined why he did not want our presence at his wedding in
length!!! I've never heard of anything so rude! Needless to say, I wrote him back and
suggested that he send the $200 worth of wine glasses back since I was sure that he would
receive no enjoyment from this gift being from us. Over a year later, I still get angry at
their bad manners!
I must admit, my story can't come close to some of the stories on here, but it
was bad enough to make me not speak to the bride for 2 years. I was in a wedding a few
years back for a friend "Samantha" from school. To start with, her original MOH
got engaged about 6 months after her, so in a snit "Samantha" told her MOH that
she didn't think she would handle the job properly, and asked one of the other bridesmaids
to step up. But that can't even begin to be the worst of it.
When the time came for her bachelorette party, she informed her Bridesmaids
that she expected to receive lingerie gifts, exactly where her party would be, and that we
had "better get her a male stripper or she would be pissed." At the 6 PM
rehearsal (two hours away from where we all lived), she obsessively went over and over the
walkdown, going so far as to scream at her mother inside the church b/c she was walking
too fast. We finally left there at 8 PM, and headed one block away to the restaurant for
the rehearsal dinner. One hour later, she still hadn't shown up and since it's was already
9 PM, no one had eaten, and all of us still faced a 2 hour drive back home, her future
father in law told everyone to go ahead and order. Just order mind you, not EAT. When she
finally showed up 30 minutes later, she FREAKED that we hadn't "waited for her"
and took it out on her future husband by yelling at him that he was "useless" in
front of everyone assembled. We found out later that she had just been "taking it
easy" while everyone waited that 1.5 hour at the restaurant.
The next day, before the wedding, her mother and her screamed at each other
repeatedly that they hated each other, but 30 minutes later were best friends again, as
though nothing at all had happened. Samantha gave us, the bridesmaids, a detailed drawing
of how she wanted the "get-away" car to look along with a bag of decorations,
and later bawled out the groomsmen when she found out that they had gotten to it first.
Though her wedding & reception was about 2 hours away from where the majority of the
guests lived, and she expected all of the people to drive to the wedding, she only invited
about 3/4 of them to the reception. Even then, she went so far as to post someone outside
the reception with a guest list who would keep out any of the wedding attendees who
weren't invited to the reception "just in case someone told them about it and they
showed up anyway." As she told me, the people she didn't invite to the reception were
worth inviting to the wedding b/c they were "good gift givers."
At the reception, when she discovered that none of the bridesmaids could find
her throw-away bouquet, she screamed at all of us that we were "idiots and the worst
bridesmaids ever" To top it all off her half-brother who was 3 sheets to the wind
managed to catch the garter, while his girlfriend (in the smallest dress ever) managed to
get the bouquet. Whoever came up with the tradition of whoever gets the garter puts it on
the leg of the girl who caught the bouquet, didn't know what they were letting us in for.
Not only did they decide to do that, but he did it with his teeth...alllllll the way up
until he reached her panties (yes, everyone got a shot of her string bikinis), then
proceeded to kiss all over the inside of her thighs, then stood up, wrapped her legs
around him, and proceeded to grind dance that way. I wouldn't be surprised if the
Videographer makes a profit by selling this part of the wedding film to Fox.
Hi. I really loved your site. Boy how some of those stories really ring true to
things that have happened to all of us at some point in time.
My husband was asked to be an usher or groomsman in a friends wedding. The
friend lived six hours away so we had to take vacation time and arrange for traveling and
overnight accommodations. His friend is known for being a bit on the frugal (ok cheap)
side so the list of hotels he gave us were a bit on the ratty side. Nevertheless, we got
there Friday for the rehearsal. All these people were there for the rehearsal. Everyone
they knew was taking some part in the wedding (except me). The preacher got up and said
anyone that doesn't have anything to do in the wedding please move to other side of the
church. I was the only one that got up and moved over all by myself. Turns out the best
man didn't show up because of work so the preacher asked if I could stand in so everyone
would know were to stand etc. I did so as asked. Everything went fine.
After the rehearsal was over the groom and bride asked if they could use our
car for the procession. My husband asked how I would get too and from the wedding and they
suggested I take a cab. They really had their heart set on having each groomsman and
bridesmaid in their own private car. Then they asked if my husband needed a ride to the
rehearsal dinner or if I was going to drop him off and come get him later. They said they
would call because they wanted to have a little party afterwards so he could call when he
was ready to come back. My husband was furious. I went back to the hotel (which had no
phone in the room) and started to watch TV. The manager of the hotel come to the room and
says that I have a phone call but to make it quick. Turns out they had to pay for the best
man's dinner (they tried to get a refund but the restaurant said no you have to pay for
it)...and why don't I come down and have a meal too? So I go and then my husband refuses
to go out afterwards with them he is so mad.
We had to pick up his tux on sat. morning. Turns out it is in a mall which
doesn't open again until Sunday at 12 noon and we need to be on the road before then. We
ask the brides' family (who is local) if they will return his tux for us and they say no
we can't. Finally the couple that I sat with at the wedding heard our plight and said they
would be happy to return it for us. So luckily they were very nice people and the tux was
returned on time.
The morning of the wedding they wanted to decorate our car and all the other
cars. My husband says no I don't want my wife to take a taxi to the church. (We called and
found that taxi service was not very reliable in their town)...We will have to double up.
So now the bride is mad at me. She starts to cry and says I am trying to ruin her day. By
this time I am upset. My husband is mad because I have been excluded from everything up to
this point and they are yelling at me. He wants to leave and I have to point out that this
is his friend and we must stay and do what he committed to do for this friend.
That day we did go and buy a much cheaper gift than the check we had intended
to give them for their gift. My husband spoke only briefly with the friend on one or two
more occasions after his wedding. One of the wife's friends ended up marrying another of
the groom's and my husband's friends and that wedding two was a fiasco from what we heard
from others in attendance. I am sure they are all very happy now and that their wedding
day was truly wonderful for them.
I know you hear it often, but Kudos to the site! Its fantastic!.
Here's a story about my sister's experience as a bridesmaid. With about 3
months till her own wedding, my sister was asked to be a casual acquaintance's wedding.
The bride was the fiancée of a guy that my sisters fiancé worked with. So, she barely
even knew this girl- they had gone out as couples a few times. First, the bride to be
picks out a hideous dress of green and informed my sister that it cost 200.00 and she had
to pay her for it all upfront. Again, this was right before my own sister's wedding and
about a YEAR before this other girl's. But my sister paid and was fine for it. She invited
this couple to her own wedding as well. Nothing happened for a couple months with this
other girl's wedding, the couple attended my sister's and they remained still, casual
friends. Needless to say, they did not even get my sister and her new husband a wedding
Here's the clincher. A couple of months after my sister's wedding, she had
still not heard from this girl. When she followed up b/c she wanted to check into plane
tickets for the wedding (it was 2000 miles away). She was informed that she no longer
needed to be in the wedding!!! So she asked for her dress money back (it seems that the
girl had asked some other girl- maybe she could buy the dress from my sister!- Can you
believe the nerve!). Well, its been 6 months and 1/2 dozen phone calls- my sister has yet
to get any of that $200 back!
Your site it great..and just what I needed after my recent experience as MOH
for an old friend.
Well...to begin with..this was her second wedding & I was MOH in the first
one as well. She paid for nothing in the first one but at least that dress rental was only
$100. She asked my opinion on the dress for wedding #1, all I asked was no long sleeves
(it was June in a un-air-conditioned church). WELL, we got floor length heavy fabric
dresses with long sleeve jackets!
The second time around, I had moved several hundred miles away. Never the less,
I accepted when she asked me to be MOH. Then she waited until 4 weeks before the wedding
to order the dresses! I ended up ordering the style she wanted in my town & paying to
ship them to her! I paid for my plane ticket, accommodations, dress ($140!) everything!
Then, at the wedding, she wanted me to help her with her hair. Suddenly, she started
screaming at me and told me to get out of the room & she SLAMMED the door! She said I
touched the curling iron to her neck! I apologized and offered to put something cold on it
and she was still really rude. If my car had been there, I would have LEFT!
I stayed through the wedding and got a ride to the reception. She had told me
previously that she would not cut the cake until 10pm so people would stay longer. I left
immediately after the cake cutting (I had a 2 hour drive to my parents house ahead of me)
and toasts. She called me over a month later and told me that if my family was so
important, why did I even come to the wedding! Then she hung up on me. Forgive me for
leaving when it was appropriate and not staying long enough to give my toast...."I
hope this one lasts forever because I am sure as hell not in the NEXT one!!!!"
I personally am a member of "generation-x" and not especially
attached to many traditions, but that doesn't preclude basic courtesy and consideration
for guests. Many young people throw their own weddings, which can be difficult,
considering that they are just starting out, or in some cases, still students. Even
understanding all of these limitations, I am still mortified at the poor execution of a
recent wedding I attended. However, rather than anger, it illicits mostly pity for the
host and hostess. They obviously have little clue how miserable their guests were during
the whole ordeal.
They held a rather elaborate wedding ceremony, to which only about 30 people
showed up. The flower arrangements in the church were enormous sprays of the sort of thing
the bride likes - not attractive, but still expensive. We drove 4 hours to the wedding,
which was at 11 a.m. We left with just enough time to get there, since we were sure there
would be a lunch after the wedding. Nope. After the wedding, we all caravanned to a little
hole in the wall restaurant, where the thirty of us we were presented with a vegetable
tray and a plate of meatballs.
By my calculations, they spent about 3x as much on the flowers as on the food. The guests
could not get out of there fast enough.
I was asked to be a bridesmaid at my cousin's wedding (more like my dad's 2nd
cousin's daughter). The invitation was a surprise to me because I had only met the bride
to be once and I was going to be the only bridesmaid. I questioned why her best
friend was not asked, to which she replied, "She's not pretty enough, but I've asked
her to do other things".
I declined the invitation to be a bridesmaid because the wedding was interstate
and although I would be attending, wouldn't really be able to assist her with preparations
beforehand. I had also just started a new job, so getting leave was impossible. At the
time, the bride's father did say to me on my refusal that he was offended I didn't quit my
job to come over a few weeks before the wedding to help (being family and all)!
Due to family pressure, I eventually agreed to be the bridesmaid on the
understanding that the earliest I could make it would be the night before the wedding. No
problem say the bride's family.
The wedding day was cheap and nasty - plastic flower bouquets - and a reception
held on a Friday night starting at 5.00pm (when most guest were still at work) because it
was cheaper than the weekend!
We all went home a little miffed, but the whole experience was more than made
up for when a copy of the wedding video was sent to us by the bride's family. The bride
had gone cheap with the photography and video-recording as well, and to her embarrassment
a fake front tooth had come up as a black hole when she smiled! She looked like a pirate!
I went to school with a girl that I will call Amy. She and Jimmy decided to get
married two weeks after our high school graduation. Amy's grandparents were prominent
people in our community and Amy would sit and count how many people she would actually
receive wedding gifts from. As soon as the
graduation announcements came in she had them mailed by the next day. She sent out 200
announcements. Amy said she only had a small window of opportunity because, after all she
was going to be sending these same people wedding invitations. So, sure enough she started
receiving her envelopes of money for graduation along with some very lovely gifts.
Amy then sent out the 200 wedding invitations. I attended two of her showers
where she acted like a spoiled brat. One friend of ours (who was graduating and getting
ready to pay her own way through college) gave two very expensive monogrammed towels to
them. Amy opened the gift and stated that there was
only two and she hoped someone else had enough sense to get the other ones for them.
In the end none of this would have been so bad, but she decided to have her
reception the night before the wedding. A "Cake Cutting." So, the only people
that ended up there were the people that were in the wedding, family and the close
friends. Forget about the her grandparents' friends who had sent place settings in her
Francis I silver and her $150 china settings. She left for her honeymoon and immediately
moved to another state. She never wrote one of the 400 thank you note for her graduation
gifts or her wedding presents. To this day her grandparents do not know how rude she was
to some of their very good friends.
This one should go under the heading of BRIDES FROM HELL
My happiness with being asked to be in the wedding of a friend I had known
since high school was short-lived when I quickly realized how demanding she became. She
insisted on having a shower, but demanded to have a couple shower with pizza and beer and
all of her favorite snacks. She even brought another bridesmaid and I the coupons she
wanted us to use to order the pizza!
When we went dress shopping, her fiancé' (who up to that point had said
nothing) insisted that our floor length skirts be cut to tea length. Of course, this was
after we all had had to order and pay for extra long dresses because we were so tall.
This being the first of our friends to be married, we all smiled and tried to
be pleasant. I drew the line, however, when, in an attempt to save her money, she asked me
to bring 200-300 meatballs to the wedding reception. (Keep in mind that her family was not
At the rehearsal dinner, she handed us all boxes that contained the very cheap
and traditional "pearl" necklaces and earrings worn by so many bridesmaids. Her
statement when she handed them to us, however, took the cake: "Here are your earrings
-- they're from me -- but pay the MOH $8.00 before you leave tonight for the
The funny thing is that to this day, that bride has no idea how incredibly
terrible she was. Additionally, her tackiness has spilled over to bridal showers she has
thrown for others. When her MOH got married, she offered, with our assistance, to hold the
event at her home. When we showed up that day complete with a full meal and gorgeous cake,
our "friend" didn't even have a tablecloth on the table, had only water to
drink, and, to our request for her to provide condiments, had plunged a knife into a half
empty jar of mayo. A-U-G-H!
The other bridesmaids and I just laugh now at how cheap and tacky has been over
the years. Needless to say, neither of us asked her to be our weddings!