Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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Gimme Gimme

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Some friends ' Tracey' and 'Ian' of ours got engaged a few years back and decided to throw an informal evening engagement party - just a BBQ and salads. This was fine with everyone as it was in the middle of the Australian summer and an indoor party wasn't going to be much fun for anyone. One of the co-workers of 'Tracey' (who worked in the Australian equivalent of Wal-Mart) had brought her guitar along. Fair enough, we all thought, a bit of guitar-strumming never goes astray. 'Tracey' and 'Ian' had a stereo set up so that there was plenty of music but in-between their guest played her guitar and sang a few songs. It was all very laid-back and we were all having a lovely time. I don't remember why, but 'Tracey', 'Ian' and their parents were not in the backyard for a short time and the 'friend' decided that her time had come - she got her boyfriend to go around the assembled gathering very quickly  - WITH A HAT, asking for donations as she had been entertaining us (!!!!!!) We were all absolutely gob-smacked and, out of sheer embarrassment and confusion, most people dug around in pockets and purses for some loose change. I don't think that anyone said anything to 'Tracey' that night but she somehow found out what had gone on - and apparently chewed the ears of her colleague quite soundly shortly afterward. Needless to say, we didn't see her at the wedding.          


 I recently attended a shower held for a friend whose wedding I am standing up in.  Before the shower, one of the other guests said that she "shredded all receipts so that the bride couldn't return the gifts for  cash". I was appalled, and chastised the woman for thinking such horrible things about the bride to be.

Well, a week or two later, I was on the phone with the bride, and she mentioned that she needed to make a couple of returns - items that had been purchased off her gift registry.  I asked her why - had they been multiple items? She said that no, in fact they had not, and that she had an "in" at the posh store at which she registered so that with or without the receipts she could most likely exchange for cash.  Mortified ( and suddenly feeling bad for wagging my finger at the guest who called it ) I asked her "Why on Earth did you register for these things if you didn't plan to keep them? "

The reply " I knew they'd be worth something if I decided to return them after the fact".


 I love this web site!   My story is one of greed. I was invited to a "couple shower" at a church. There were several people there. So many, that the shower was held in the church gymnasium. Come to find out, 99% of the guests were the Groom's Mother's friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Most of the people there had never met the Groom (he lived in a completely different state) or had only seen him once or twice.

The people I sat with at our table were a lot of fun! I looked forward to seeing them at the wedding. The wedding was taking place in the state the Groom lived in, so I was surprised all of these people (who didn't know the Bride or the Groom) would travel the 7 hours one-way to attend the wedding.

Well, to my surprise, most of the people at the Bridal Shower were NOT invited to the wedding. The guest list was considerably small. 

But wait, there's more...   The Groom's Brother got married a few years later. You guessed it, history repeated itself. There was a huge guest list for the shower, but a very small guest list for the wedding/reception. This wedding was local. Anyone that attended the shower could have attended the wedding. I could not believe this happened - twice!



My husband's family can be positively awful with the gimme-gimmies.

His brother John had FIVE weddings to one woman in the span of two months. Nothing was wrong between them -- John and Cici apparently felt they weren't getting enough recognition (or presents). They were married once in France at the courthouse, again in a ceremony for her mother in France, once in New York for US officialness and his family, again in NY after some of his family couldn't make it to the first three weddings, and then YET AGAIN when that wedding wasn't fancy or productive enough.

These two have also had the audacity to ask my MIL and FIL for their share of "their daughter's inheritance" (referring to the granddaughter) so that they may dispense of it as they wish. Both grandparents are definitely still alive and kicking.

My husband's sister Mariah is totally into present-grabs too. After less than one rocky year of marriage (there was talk of a possible split only 3 months ago), Mari is planning a large one-year-anniversary party using many of the same decorations from her wedding. Reportedly included with each invitation are the specs for a requested $150+ gift. To quote Mari, "This way we can get some of the things we wanted but didn't get as gifts for the wedding." C'mon, people, it's the PAPER anniversary.

These people are RUDE. We're glad they live 14 hours away! :-)



I got a phone call from the mother of an old friend telling me that I was invited to a wedding reception. That my old buddy had a baby and got married and was coming in from afar for a wedding reception.  I figured I hadn't heard from her personally because of distance, moving and just time in general passing by.  I accepted and soon received my invitation.

The invitation was worded with "private ceremony" okay- I can understand, but very VERY plain so I assumed it would be a simple reception. This old friend had been engaged at least three times before and had a child with her former lover, she was already married with a new baby so I assumed it would be a low-key reception. 

We arrived at a  pseudo Polish-Catholic wedding (without priest) and the bride was wearing a gown she bought three engagements and two babies ago.  The entire bridal party was decked out and ignoring the guests.  One groomsman couldn't even tell us where or when the wedding had taken place.  Before we were able to see the bride, we found out they had been married over a year and none of this dressed-up crew was even at the ceremony which happened over a year prior.

I immediately sensed the greed factor, we were invited for the gifts!  A year later with NO word, then NO mention of it having been so long ago THEN showing up dressed up like a princess carrying around a 9mo old baby.

We found it totally tasteless to have a first-wedding reception when she was so obviously not a traditional bride.  I'm not picking over the white-dress issue, I'm freaked out about the whole charade!  Did she want to be a bridey-bride for so long she just HAD to throw a party to wear that damned dress? 

Sure looked like it to me and the 50 other head-shaking people heading for the door.  We stayed for dinner, tried to talk to the bride, groom, bridal party, or anyone but the bartender- to no avail.  We felt like we should have just dropped off the gift and left.  So we waited it out, after all, I wanted to see my old friend, but time ticked by.  I am a photographer and wanted to give her a professional picture CD as a gift, she couldn't take time out to pose. She couldn't spare two whole minutes when there were only 50 guests present, I guess we really were there just for a gift and since a family member was doing photography I wasn't worth her time.  We left without saying goodbye and I'll be damned if that film just rotted in the sun.



A few years ago, a good friend (or at least I *thought* we were good friends -- we had been close for about 10 years) was engaged to get married.  The wedding was going to be small, so small in fact that she was going to get married in her mother's backyard with basically just family and a few close friends in attendance.  Maybe 20 people in all, including the wedding party and the minister.  She told me in advance about this, and apologized that I was not one of the people she'd be inviting to the wedding.  OK, I was hurt and disappointed, but I tried to suck it up, telling myself I was not her family and that the few friends she was inviting were people she'd been friends with longer than me.

I was DUMBFOUNDED when a little later I received a bridal shower invitation!  So, I'm not good enough to attend your wedding, but I am good enough to attend your gift-grab?????  Like a chump, I went to the shower and even brought her a gift.  (This was about 10 years ago, before I grew a spine.)  Every other person at the shower was also in the same boat as me ... i.e., not invited to the wedding.  What in the hell???????  It was, and is, unbelievable to me that someone would have the gall to invite people to her wedding shower whom she had no intention of inviting to the wedding!


 I was at my local gym when the mother of a future bride gave this information to everyone within earshot.   This past weekend, MoB and family go to their vacation house in a very ritzy city known for their golf courses.  While she is there, Bridezilla learns of a promotion that a bridal store is offering for the military.  If a bride is in the military or is marrying a person in the military, they could stand in line and the first hundred people could go in and choose a wedding dress for free.   I applaud the store for doing this to support the troops, because I know some of the military are not paid well and this is a very generous offer that they make to the military for the special day that may not be available otherwise.   

So, this girl, whose family owns a second home and MoB drives a new large SUV that probably set then back $50,000, goes and stands in line for a dress.  She is third in line.  She goes in and chooses a $2300 dress (according to mom) and takes it home for free.   MoB proceeds to tell us all in the gym, that Bridezilla already bought a dress months ago and only went to the store to get free goods so she could sell it on eBay and make money off of the store's generosity.  She cheated the 101st girl out of a dress, and that girl may not have had the luxury of already owning a dress...  Appalling!  


I'm not sure where this would fit, but it sure bothered me!   I went to Sunday school with a girl when I was 8 years old. We were not necessarily best friends, but due to our wonderful teacher & the small size of our class we did go to several parties together. (hosted by our Sunday school teacher) This girl moved away shortly before I began 3rd grade, and I have neither heard from nor really thought of her much since.   Last year, my mother received a combination wedding/shower invitation addressed to "Sue and Sue's Mother." (myself being "Sue.") I was married over 8 years ago, and certainly no longer live with my parents... and my mother could not remember meeting this girl more than once! I called the phone number listed for RSVP & explained that I had not even heard from this girl in over 20 years, and that since it was out of state there was no way we would be attending. We had a little laugh, and she commented that several people had said the same thing. We decided that her mother must have somehow unearthed an address book she'd had as a little girl and I thought that was the end of it.   

A few months later, I received a phone call from someone saying she was a bridesmaid from the wedding. Oddly enough, somehow my phone number must have been saved from that original phone conversation, as I had at no time given anyone my last name. She was "just calling to see if the wedding gift had been lost in the mail." I was shocked and told her that we had not send one since I hadn't even heard from this girl in over 20 years. She responded with "but surely you want to send her a gift to wish her well?"  I hung up on her, truly not knowing what else to do.   Not that long ago, I received an invitation to a baby shower... for the same person!  I threw it away, but I am sure I'll hear from them soon as I was so heinous as to not send a gift!


I had these two friends who were to get married who made their wedding the "wedding of the town." Wedding of the town not because it is a wedding of a kind, but because they made the town spend for their wedding. Someone was assigned to buy the wedding dress, pay for the reception venue, contribute for the food, purchase the wedding thank-you gifts, buy the flowers and decorate the hall for free, lend and drive the bridal car, and even spend for the honeymoon vacation! It was horrible! Asking people to pay for your wedding is just plain lack of etiquette. Their faces and guts must have been made of steel. True, they are not financially well-off, but please, before you decide to get married, please get a job and save enough money! Please try not to burden people!


 I love your website and I have an unbelievable story to share about a Stag and Doe I thankfully had to husband's cousin *Jim* was about to marry a girl ,"Dana",that his family didn't really like too much. They have one child together, and "Dana" has one from a previous relationship whom he considers his own. (Both children are very young). "Dana" is very controlling, and when it came down to their Stag and Doe, she expected to make a certain (and ridiculous!) amount of money. So *Jim*'s best man threw them this Stag and Doe, and everyone was having a great time until the end of the night, when it came time to count the earnings. Apparently the amount wasn't satisfactory to the bride-to-be."Dana" promptly threw a huge tantrum, accusing the best man of stealing thousands of dollars, and even had him arrested by the police! This poor guy had gone above and beyond for this party. My MIL, who was there, told me it was a huge embarrassment for *Jim*,his parents, and the wedding party.

To top all of this off, the wedding invitations said no kids allowed ,(but "Dana's" family's kids were invited.) and *Jim* was told, in front of his parents by "Dana's" close family members, that she was engaged before and that wedding was called off by her former groom, and he shouldn't be in a rush to marry her! Needless to say, the wedding was cancelled a week before it was scheduled to happen...."Dana" kept all the shower gifts with no thank yous, and "Jim's" best man didn't get a police record!



A couple I went to high school with became engaged. They threw a large "engagement party" where they received many gifts. There subsequently was a bridal shower, where they also received many gifts. As is customary, they received many gifts at their wedding. But I suppose all of these gifts weren't enough to satisfy the happy couple. During the reception, the bride "disappeared." The guests were told she was "kidnapped" and would be returned only after a suitable ransom was collected. The groom and groomsmen made their way around the reception hall with hats until they had collected several hundred dollars!


 I went to a daytime wedding and reception.  At the reception there were only three dances (the rest of the time there was background music) - bride/groom dance - bride/father of the bride dance - and then the beloved dollar dance which is tacky in and of itself, although fairly common where I am from.  Anyway the really tacky thing happened after the dances were over, when the bride and groom counted the money in front of everyone, whooping it up after they hit a new milestone (We got $50 folks!!  We just hit $100!!) or got the occasional $10 bill - and then fanned it out in front of them while their photographer snapped photo and photo!  By the way they got $210.  They announced it.


Page Last Updated May 15, 2007