"I think this site is so underrated and
everyone needs to read a few posts and learn how not act. This whole site
serves as a wonderful cautionary tale of what not to do. "
Jan-Jun 2000 Archive
Jul-Dec 2000 Archive
Jan - Jul 2003 Archive
Jul - Dec 2003 Archive
My husband and I recently attended my cousin's wedding.
About one quarter of the way through the ceremony, a straggler tried to
sneak into one of the pews in the back of the chapel so she wouldn't have
to miss the entire ceremony. She might have gone unnoticed by the
wedding party and those of us sitting closer to the altar except she
allowed the chapel doors to slam shut behind her!!! Can you imagine?
During my junior year of college my (now-ex) boyfriend
of two years was invited to the wedding of his oldest childhood friend
(the groom). The invitation said "and guest" and since my
BF and I were living together at the time, I assumed that meant I was
invited. I told BF I would love to go and he TOLD (this is
important!) he would RSVP for both of us.
For some reason, the groom's family demanded that
everyone make the five hour drive to their hometown for the wedding.
This town is so small not only is there no hotel/motel, there is only one
church which the family does not belong. Two weeks before the
wedding is to take place, groom calls my BF and asks if he can be the best
man ... why he hadn't gotten around to this before I don't know, but what
are you going to do? BF and groom SUPPOSEDLY discuss how to do the
whole driving to small town, spending the night, wedding thing, and since
my BF doesn't have a car apparently he tells them that I have to come down
early as well. So
we are now spending a long weekend in country, which is fine.
Except it isn't. The first inkling something is
wrong comes when we pull up to the small country church, the groom's dad
(GD) takes one look at me and asks "Whose your friend?" to my
BF. My BF just mumbles something about me being his girlfriend and
needing a ride. GD turns to me and inquiring where I will be staying
and am I planning to attend the wedding. Turns out not only had my
BF not told them I would be arriving early with him, he hadn't even told
them I existed. He only RSVP'ed for one! I gatecrashed their
wedding. I know now I should have just left BF and whole situation right
there, but I was young and believed my BF's excuses, "You were so
busy, I just wasn't sure," and the GD's claims of ,"We can
squeeze one more in."
So GD goes to explain situation to everyone in the
church and I sit in the car as the rehearsal takes place.
Afterwards, we troop back to GP's house. It's a beautiful home with
about 20 acres and a lake. Now here's the fun part. Apparently
there are extra beds in the house, but because my BF and I aren't married
we can't sleep under the same roof. Nevermind, that we wouldn't
sleep in the same bed or that most of the unmarried bridal party are
staying in the house, and there is extra space! I can't stay there.
It would be sinful, though the groom's parents aren't exactly religious,
or even attend church. However, there is a lake house on the
property with a cot and I can sleep in there. Now let me clarify
when I say lake house, I mean a one room, windowless, screened-doored
building with a cot, a light bulb and a sink. That's it. Yeah,
I really should have left, but I guess I needed to do penitence for my
etiquette crime, because I actually spent a night there.
I also toted around my worthless BF to the rehearsal
dinner (I had to go down to the gas station for food), wedding ceremony,
and reception. I finally decided it was time to leave when my BF's
mother cornered me by the wedding cake, and told me I better not get any
ideas from this wedding, "Because I was trash and her son would never
marry trash." That was it! I calmly walked out the
reception, drove back to groom's parents' house, and wrote them a long
note of apology. I then wrote a much shorter note to my BF informing
him exactly what I thought of him. Drove six hours to get home that
night, and spent the remainder of that horrible weekend moving out!
I attended a huge church wedding of a sorority sister of
mine about five years ago. The bride and groom had a tempestuous on
and off relationship for ages, and we were all rather relieved when they
finally decided to save "I do." Right before the ceremony
started in this massive cathedral, a young woman in came in and sat in the
back of the church. My friends and I noticed her because she was
dressed all in black which was strange for a morning wedding, and even
though there were plenty of seats, she chose the very last pew on the
grooms side, miles away from everyone else.
Anyway, the wedding starts and the bride looks lovely.
That is until she sees the young woman in black on the back row. The
bride gives her a look which could curdle milk, then looks accusingly at
her groom at the altar. The ceremony continues though, and the show
really starts when the couple exchange vows. That's when the woman
in black starts wailing. No, not crying, the girl is weeping like someone
has just run over her dog. Her cries fill the cathedral and can
probably be heard in the parking lot as well. One of the groom's
friends moves to the back of church, and whispers to the girl. She
stops her death chant, but sniffles and moans the rest of the ceremony,
just loud enough for the videographer to get it on tape. Woman in
black is also the first out of the church and a no-show for the reception.
We didn't get the whole story until my sorority sister
got back from her honeymoon. The bride and groom are both deeply
religious, even though they attended different churches. In fact,
one of the reasons, the bride wanted to marry the groom was for his
"high moral standards." Anyway, she finds out right before
the wedding, that the groom still attends the singles club at his church,
and apparently one of the woman in the group "got it in her head,
that they [this woman and the groom) were dating." Well,
he was at a singles group where everyone is supposed to be single!
This woman didn't even know he was engaged until he gave her an
invitation! That's right, he invited this girl who just happens to think
they are in a relationship, to his wedding! The groom promised that
the girl wouldn't attend the ceremony, but as you can see a fat lot his
word is. The most amazing thing they are STILL together after five
years, two kids, and he along with this same woman STILL go to the singles
club at his church!
The Tacky Twits A and B are perfectly normal humans in
all aspects except one: weddings. They grew up in families, as did I,
where they were told that childhood and adolescence is troubling, but
someday they'd get married and everything would be wonderful. (Don't I
wish life were that easy.) Now these women are perfectly capable of
solving problems, but they have always nursed the hope that someday the
problems themselves will melt away in the arms of a groom.
I have lots in common with these two. We like the same
books, movies and music. But I cringe when the subject of weddings come
up. These two women are pretty strong in their beliefs. They meet men.
They tell the men that they expect to be provided with a problem-free,
perfect life. The men run. So adulthood came and husbands didn't happen
for these two. Beware the bitter ones.
As a result of this, they turn into green-eyed monsters
every time someone gets married. They are never civil at weddings.
I've sat down to swanky catered dinners with these two
and heard, "There's only one roll apiece for the guests. Oh, that is
sooooooo tacky. That is sooooooo cheap. At my wedding there won't be any
scrimping of the food, nope."
I've been to weddings where no detail has been spared in
flowers and heard, "There's lots of ivy in that arrangement. You can
tell she tried to fill it up with cheap stuff. My wedding is going to have
lots of flowers. Lots of expensive flowers."
Or "Where did they get these linens? I would be
ashamed to put this on my table. This is sooooo cheap."
I've known them since I was 20 and I am now pushing 30.
So I've seen them at literally dozens of weddings and never heard a kind
word about any of them. They called my wedding, "A cute wedding done
on the cheap," and that's as close as they have ever come to
complimenting one. At this point I just shrug it off and remember that
they are just jealous.
Recently, one of Tacky Twit'sB's housemates got married.
Both TTA and TTB were invited. So was I since the Housemate wanted my
husband to play an organ solo for the event. I admit, I was curious how
this was going to turn out. Housemate comes from a wealthy family.
Sometimes people say, "They could have made a downpayment on a house
with the money they spent on the wedding." Well, Housemate seriously
could have almost paid cash for a house with what her father spent.
So I was morbidly curious about what Tacky Twits would
have to say about a wedding that ran into the six figures. I saw them at
the ceremony, looking daggers at the bride. I saw them during the cocktail
hour and asked them how things were going. TTA said, "I just want to
smash that whole tower of champagne glasses." "Uh...why?"
"Because I can and that girl needs to come out of her sheltered existence."
(Side note: The bride was wealthy and had never held a job, but she
volunteered at a Homeless shelter and a school for the severely retarded.
Pampered, yes. But I think she deserves some credit for TRYING to be less
sheltered than she could have been.)
They were put at the same table. But they never showed
up. Later, TTB called me to boast that they had gone to McDonald's. Now,
these women "don't do" McDonald's. They finally found a wedding
that was "up to snuff" and couldn't face the fact that they
weren't the bride. So they tried to get their revenge by insulting the
bride and saying, "We'd rather be a McDonald's than at your
meticulously planned and catered wedding." How classy.
They made a big deal about what they did. They think
they are soooo clever for sticking it to that spoiled bride. Ironically,
there were about 500 guests at the wedding and I don't think the bride
noticed at all! If anyone else gets married I swear I'm never talking to
them a month before or after the event.
Now TTA is in a relationship where things are getting
serious really fast. I mean, fast. They discussed their future on their
first date and while they aren't engaged - they've been engaged to be
engaged ever since. Don't know whether to shout "Run like the
wind!" to the guy or to just make lemon faces at HER flowers and
While my story isn't as horrendous as others I have read
here I think this person belongs in Etiquette Hell because their behavior
was extremely offensive.
I am Wiccan and my husband is atheist moving towards
Wiccan so we decided to have a gentle version of a traditional hand
fasting ceremony so we could have a meaningful ceremony without offending
our guests, several of whom are Christian. The ceremony went smoothly and
a few guests commented afterwards that the ceremony was beautiful and that
they loved the vows. We were pleased by this, no one seemed to have been
offended and even one friend who was hesitant to come to a pagan ceremony
said she loved it. We even had a couple of Christian ministers there who
enjoyed it and certainly didn't seem to fear burning in hell for attending
a Wiccan ceremony.
One of the Christians however will burn in hell or at
least Etiquette Hell. Just as we were sitting down to dinner,
congratulating ourselves on balancing a potentially explosive situation we
noticed one guest talking to the MC. The MC stood to make an announcement,
we assumed he was about to ask people to start filing to the buffet table.
Instead he announced that this man would like to say grace! Bear in mind
this was a man who refused to come to the ceremony because he knew it was
Wiccan so this was no gentle faux pas, this was just full blown
disrespect. Most of our guests were Christian so thankfully it didn't
really faze them although several looked at me puzzled when the
announcement was made. I'm quite sure the look on my face made it quite
clear I knew nothing about this and that I was horrified by his behavior.
If you find someone else's lifestyle choices offensive
then stay away, don't try to convert them to your ways!
My boyfriend (let's call him Sam) and I were at the
wedding reception of my oldest friend. He had met the bride a few weeks
before but had never met the bride's family.
During the reception Sam was dancing on the dance floor
and the bride's brother-in-law (her sister's husband of four months, let's
call him Bill) slapped Sam on the butt and ducked behind another guest.
Sam thought this was strange, but Bill had been drinking heavily, so Sam
told him to stop and left it at that.
Ten minutes later, Sam was again dancing and was again
slapped on the butt by Bill. Now keep in mind that Bill was a high school
teacher in his mid-30s - theoretically mature enough to know better than
to slap people he didn't know. Sam told Bill that he didn't like it and to
please stop. Sam walked off the dance floor and over to me to tell me what
Later, Sam walked across the room to say hello to
another guest, and on his way back to our table was accosted by Bill who
pinched Sam's nipple. This was the last straw for Sam and he began to get
upset. A few of the bride's cousins saw this and stepped in to avoid a
physical confrontation. I saw the bride's cousin take Sam outside and I
followed to see what was happening. Sam explained the whole situation to
the cousin who replied that this was what Bill was like and to forget it.
As we were standing outside, Bill walked up to Sam and
asked if he wanted to fight. Sam asked for an apology instead. Bill
reluctantly and insincerely apologized with a mumbled "sorry".
Sam and I returned to the reception, a little offended.
I felt that as I had known the bride's sister for 20 years, I could speak
with her about her husband's behavior or at least inform her about it. I
told her the scenario and she blamed Sam for starting a fight and said we
were ruining her good time. She then told me that this is how Bill is. I
said that his behavior was inappropriate and hostile and that she should
know about it. She said she would take care of it, and angrily walked
A few minutes later, the groom took me aside and said
that the bride's sister had informed him that Sam and I had said
"derogatory things" about the military (the bride, groom and
most of their friends were currently serving in the armed forces) to her.
The groom said she didn't tell him what our exact words were. I pointed
out to the groom that Sam and I had been talking to their friends all
night and had been unfailingly respectful and polite. Sam and I also
informed the groom that the only time we had spoken with the sister was to
bring Bill's behavior to her attention. We told the groom the whole story.
The groom said he didn't know whom to believe, and asked us not to tell
the bride about this. He told us to avoid Bill, which we had been doing
Sam and I felt very uncomfortable and unwelcome, and
left the reception. I was determined to make sure the bride knew what had
happened. Sam did not deserve to be treated this way. If this was just an
ordinary friend I would never have spoken to her again. However, she had
been a good friend for most of our lives, so I wanted to give her a chance
to react to this situation. After she got back from her honeymoon and was
settled into her new home, I told her the story. She was very apologetic
and said that if she had known at the time, she would have done something.
My family--Mom, Dad, my brother and I, were invited to my
cousin's late spring wedding. He (the cousin) was my mother's
nephew. Slightly on the spoiled side, his fiancée was a gorgeous if
slightly self-centered lady. The invitations featured a shameless
plea for cash, not gifts and the bridal shower (a Jack and Jill) was
designed expressly to get as much money out of guests in order to pay for
the wedding which cost way over $35,000, a hefty sum for the time.
We were unable to get to the bridal shower, but were going to the wedding.
My Mom had had some surgery a few weeks before the
wedding, but felt well enough to go (and I don't think wild horses could
have kept her away). When we got to the church (a huge gothic
affair) no one was there. We thought we had the wrong church.
Finally, we just went inside. And waited. An usher arrived and
escorted us to the groom's side.
Finally, people started arriving. Now,
it was an afternoon wedding. I won't say I was decked out in grand
style, but I was quietly and tastefully dressed for church. Indeed,
everyone on the GROOM'S side was dressed quietly and tastefully. But
the bride's guests straggled in, giggling and snorting and laughing out
loud. And they were all dressed in cut off blue jeans, halter tops,
paint stained overalls without T-Shirts underneath--and that was the
girls. The guys were even worse. Unshaven, some unwashed...and all of them yammering
while those on the Groom's side stared in disbelief. The mothers of
the bride and groom (both nicely dressed) were escorted in and then the
big moment arrived.
The bride commenced her march down the aisle. She
was attired in a low back, plunging front mermaid gown which prevented her
from doing anything but the Bette Midler wiggle. Her
bridesmaids were attired in black and white flamenco dresses and wore what
appeared to be silver 45 Records in their hair and at their waists.
When the bride reached the altar and the priest was reading the liturgy, a
song started to play. Everyone stopped what they were doing and
stared. The song stopped. It started again. It stopped
again. The bride's guests tittered explosively. The music
began again. Finally, the bride hiked up her gown and removed her
garter to which she had attached a music box of some kind. More
giggles. The Bride's side talked through the entire ceremony and
most of them disappeared before the happy couple began their walk down the
aisle. In fact, some of the guests were walking out with them and
were gone before the reception line. In fact, it was only the
groom's side that went through the reception line.
Now, it was a hot day, and the reception itself was
scheduled for FOUR HOURS later than the ceremony. We could not
understand why that was necessary...when we reached the reception itself,
however, we understood. It gave the Bride's
many guests a chance to go home, shower, shampoo and change into dresses
that were themed to the color scheme (black, black and more black).
The young men who arrived, filthy, to the church, were now clean and
shaven and turned out in black suits. My mother and I and a couple
of other guests nodded in sage irritation, "Ah, the reception
is so much more important than the ceremony they were supposed to
witness." A slap in the face of the church and the institution
of marriage, I guess.
As it turned out, we wound up not staying for the whole
reception: because of the unexpected heat, my mother had a relapse from
her surgery and we had to get her home and eventually back to the
hospital. Never one to whine, she joked that we were lucky she was
sick as we would have had to endure a lot more of the silliness that went
on (I learned
from the groom's mother that most of the guests on the Bride's side got
well and truly blotto by the end of the evening and it wasn't pretty.
She and my Uncle were mortified. ) We never did
receive thank you notes for our various monetary gifts.
The whole reception-is-more-important-than-wedding
pattern seems to be a theme with this couple. When my brother
married a few years ago, my cousins were late, claiming they couldn't find
the church. They did show up for the reception, however, and when we
saw them, we figured it was just as well they skipped the church.
Our minister would have died: he was attired in black leather slacks
for a June wedding, she was in a red leather shift that left little
to the imagination...and when the dancing began no imagination was
You know, I don't believe they even brought a gift.
I suppose one wasn't required, but seeing as we helped finance their
wedding, you would think they would at least bring a card....
Will it surprise you to know that we see my Uncle and
Aunt but never these fabulous cousins???
Hi! I really love the site and wanted to share my
wedding guest from hell story.
I got engaged 11 years ago and we set the date 8 months
in advance. All was going well until my aunt, who's also my Godmother,
asked me about my young cousins and their role in the wedding. I told her
that not only was I not planning on having any flower children or a ring
bearer, but that no children were to be invited at all. We'd had a lot of
family weddings in the two years prior, and that year as well, and I'd
seen these kids act like total creeps at the receptions. I wanted my
wedding day to be about us and to not have to worry about children taking
over what was to be a very nice, incredibly expensive, celebration of our
Unfortunately this confrontation took place at my aunt's
house and she got extremely irate over the issue. She blocked the front
door and told me I couldn't leave until I agreed to invite the children.
We went round and round and I *finally* got out of her house. My father
went over that evening to discuss it with her and he told her it was my
wedding and that whatever I wanted was fine with he and my mother. My aunt
then proceeded to get on the phone and alert the entire family from where
we live on up to the relatives in Canada of our plans. We were labeled
child haters. As a result, most of them boycotted my bridal showers and
refused to come to the wedding.
I was fine with that because I think a wedding should be
whatever the bride and groom want, it's not for the rest of the family to
say what's right or not. Lo and behold, though, one rogue cousin did come
to the reception long enough to use the open bar, and leave a video
message for us in which he said, loud enough for all to hear, "Great
party! Sure would be better with the kids here!!". I've never
forgotten that and we haven't spoken to this day.
Thanks for letting me share!
Many years ago, I attended the wedding of neighbor's
son. The reception wasn't a very fancy affair - the reception was in a
community center basement, but neither the bride or groom's families were
very well off. The dinner was served, we heard the speeches, the tables
were moved back for the dancing to begin, and wham, half of the wedding
guests got up and left. I was a bit stunned by this since it was only
about 8 o'clock on a Saturday evening. Turns out, the bride's family were
mostly members of some fundamentalist church that disapproved of dancing,
so the minute the DJ set up, they all left en masse. To this day, I think
this was incredibly rude of them - and how embarrassing for the bride. No
one was forcing THEM to dance, and they certainly could have stayed a bit
and visited with friends and family. It just seemed so mean spirited of
them to do this to the bride.
Some religions ban dancing
because of the temptation it can have for the viewer, i.e. dancing can be
sexually provocative thus leading the viewer to be tempted to sin.
As long as the departure is done discreetly, people have a right to
exercise their religious convictions. If the bride's family were
members of a church that forbids dancing, surely their departure from a
situation they would deem to be inappropriate for them should not have
come as a surprise to her.
My fiancée (call her Lois) and I have been
engaged for six months, and our wedding is next month. We both have fairly
prominent careers in a small-ish rural town, so we were very careful with
our invitation list (i.e. if we invite Bob, we need to invite his sister
and his parents as well to avoid hurt feelings). We put a lot of thought
into who to invite, and came up with a list of 375 (not individual people
alone, mind you, but invitations representing families as well.) With some
grimacing we managed to cut the list to 325 invitations.
Last weekend, my fiancée's sister (Jo) was at
Wal-Mart, and a friend (Gwynn) of my fiancée's came to her saying "I
hear Clark and Lois are getting married. Well, I want an invitation. I
need to go to her shower too." Gwynn was a friend of Lois' in high
school (over a decade ago) and neither of us even knew she still lived in
the area. Since neither of us were present, all we received was the
message from Jo that we have to invite her, which we feel obliged to do
rather than point out her faux pas. Gwynn was never even on the original
list, and we cut 50 families/people that we would much rather include in
our wedding, but are stuck with inviting Gwynn. Arrgghhhh!
This is my story of wedding Etiquette Hell. I have been
married for ten years, but only found out about this very recently,
although it answered some questions that I had had since my wedding day.
(I would also add that it was a lovely wedding, we had a fantastic day,
and are still very happily married!)
I have a number of close girlfriends, obviously they
couldn't all be bridesmaids, only my one closest friend was. The others
all sat together on one table, and seemed to be having a ball at the
Two of my girlfriends, I'll call them Joyce and Anita,
had gotten married to their boyfriends the year before and were there with
their respective husbands. The wedding ended, everyone seemed to have fun,
and in the following weeks we meet up to look at photos etc, but whenever
I asked Joyce to come she would ask if Anita was coming, and if I said
yes, she refused to come. This was very strange as before the wedding
Joyce and Anita had been very close. As the months passed Joyce refused to
talk to Anita, ignoring phone calls and letters. She also refused to tell
me or anyone else why she wouldn't talk to Anita.
The years have passed, still with Joyce shunning all
contact with Anita and still not giving any answers. Anita, I have to add
seemed to be as mystified as the rest of us. Finally, last year I pleaded
with Joyce to explain what had happened, and finally she told me.
Anita and her husband were staying in the hotel after
the reception, while Joyce and husband were going home. It was a very hot
day, and Joyce's husband made some comment about being sweaty. On hearing
this Anita swung her room key at him, and said "Well, help yourself
and I promise I won't come in while you are." Joyce was surprised to
hear this, but she was even more surprised when Anita's husband put his
hand on her knee and said, "Yes, Anita and I are in to swapping, so
if you and husband are interested we could go up to our room once the
reception is over!" Joyce was very shocked, and said no thank you!
Once the reception was over and everyone was saying
goodbye, Anita's husband went up to Joyce again and asked if they were
sure they wanted to go home, as "These hotel beds are quite large you
know!" Joyce and husband made a very fast getaway!
Now Joyce can't stand to be in the same room as Anita,
and I can't say I'm surprised!!
I don't know if to be amused, shocked or angry-isn't it
the bride and groom that are suppose to the night of hot sex, not four of
About two years ago, I attended the wedding of an old
law school friend. I had gone to a very small law school, and this
particular friend, "Bob", was a very affable guy who had been
friendly with many people in our class. Therefore, he invited many
of my former classmates. Unfortunately, although Bob was and is a
great guy and extremely friendly, he lacks some judgment when it comes to
his selection of friends.
First, Bob had asked a friend of his from law school to
be an usher at the wedding. I found out the day before the wedding
from another former law school classmate that this particular friend,
"Fred", was not planning on going to the wedding, even though he
had agreed to be an usher and was expected to be there. When I
showed up for the wedding, Bob was standing outside of the church.
He came up to me and asked where Fred was. (The wedding was to
start in 20 minutes.) I said that I had heard Fred wasn't
coming. Turns out, Fred had never bothered to tell Bob that he
wasn't going to make it to the wedding. I think, however, that
Bob suspected this, when Fred never showed up for the rehearsal the
night before. Luckily, Bob had the tux and another friend who was Fred's
size, and so his other friend stood in as an usher.
After the wedding, I got together with some other
law school friends who informed me that Fred had told them that he
couldn't come to the wedding because he would have to bring his fiancée,
and he was afraid his fiancée would talk to the wrong people at the
wedding and find out certain things about Fred's behavior in law
school. It turns out that Fred had been dating and/or engaged to his
fiancée the entire time in law school, but hadn't exactly been
faithful. And it also turns out that Bob had invited some of Fred's
former law school love interests to the wedding, who did not know at
the time they were dating Fred that Fred had a girlfriend/fiancée back
home. In other words, Fred was afraid he was going to get
busted. So, he just didn't show up and never bothered to tell Bob he
wasn't coming. He also never called Bob to apologize and did not
invite Bob to his wedding the following month. For the life of
me, I will never understand why Fred agreed to be an usher in
Bob's wedding in the first place.
That's not the only Guest From Hell at Bob's
wedding, however. When we were at the wedding, I noticed that a
whole group of guys from my law school class were not in attendance (let's
call them "Obnoxious Boys"). I had asked Bob before the
wedding if the Obnoxious Boys were invited, and Bob had
assured me they were. I was not exactly pleased that this
particular group of guys was going to be in attendance, because they were
notorious in our law school class for being obnoxious, rude, sexist and
immature when they were all together. I also knew they were not the
kind of people to miss a party, especially one with an open bar. So,
I was very surprised to not see them at the wedding.
After the wedding I asked another law school acquaintance
why the Obnoxious Boys had not shown up and she informed me
that they were indeed in town, and had come to the rehearsal dinner the
night before (Bob, ever so gracious, had invited all out-of-town guests to
his rehearsal dinner). I had no doubt that they would go
to the rehearsal dinner because there was free food and booze there.
But I was amazed that they didn't show up for the wedding! Then I
found out that, about an hour before the wedding, the Obnoxious Boys had
been spotted in the hotel bar, watching the horse races. (It
was the weekend of the Preakness.) It seems they decided that
it wasn't that big a deal to not go to Bob's wedding, even though they had
come to town specifically for the wedding and had even gone to
the rehearsal dinner the night before.
Of course the Obnoxious Boys (never ones to miss a
party) did show up for the reception.....an hour late and drunk.
They came in, disrupted the whole dinner, and went straight to the
bar. I never saw them say hi to Bob, congratulate him or his new
wife and I didn't see a single one of them carry in a gift.
They spent the night at the bar, drinking all of the free booze, and when
the bar closed, they left to go find another bar in town that was
still open. It seems that the Obnoxious Boys used Bob's wedding
as an excuse to have a bender weekend at Bob's expense. It was tacky
Since the wedding, I've spoken to Bob on numerous
occasions and have decided that he is just a well-meaning, sweet guy with
very poor choices in friends.
Last year my husband and I attended a very classy
Manhattan wedding of a good friend from college (the groom). We went with
some friends, including my best girlfriend from highschool and college,
who was also one of the MOHs at my wedding earlier that year. The wedding
was apparently a typical NY wedding, according to other stories I've read-
dance, some food, dance, some food, on an on until dinner around midnight.
I wasn't aware that the wedding would be so long, but the club was
gorgeous, the couple beaming, and the other guests lots of fun. All in
all, fabulous wedding- shame I missed most of it...
My good friend from school had a wee bit too much to
drink. Okay, she was absolutely trashed. She disappeared downstairs to the
bathroom for 15 minutes before I decided to go after her. I found her in a
reading room of the club with the groom's mother (first time I'd met the
darling woman). She was absolutely wasted, puking into one of their fancy
trashcans. The groom sent down two of his doctor relatives, who looked at
her and pronounced her drunk, but called the EMT anyway. All the while,
she's writhing about on the couch, without any panties on, showing
everything to everyone (not that anyone else was allowed in the room). I
held her hair while she puked and helped her sign her name on the papers
the EMTs brought. During this time the cake is being cut so MOG has to go
back upstairs, but bless her heart for staying as long as she did.
At this point, my friend is screaming "Me no
speakee English!" in a Chinese accent for some reason, while the
Asian housekeeper was kindly bringing us water and more trashcans. I got
someone to fetch my husband from the reception so he could go get our car
and we could take my friend to her friend's apartment. Like a trooper, he
hiked the couple of blocks to the garage and got the car. We had to pick
my friend up off the couch and put her in a wheelchair, which my husband
and one of the employees carried outside to our car. We then loaded her in
the backseat, praying she wouldn't puke all over the place, and drove
around the unknown streets forever trying to find her friend's apartment.
When we finally got there, her friends put her on a luggage cart to take
My hubby and I got back to the wedding around 2:30, just
in time to see the bride and groom off to bed. I missed the cake,
desserts, and most of the party, but I still love my friend dearly and was
glad to be there to help her out. And no one else at the wedding knew
about what was going on, so, besides my little adventure, the wedding was
My husband and I had a relatively small wedding in June,
2003. The reception site could only hold a small number of people, so we
had to cut quite a few people I would really have liked to invite (this is
important- and, by the way, if you RSVP to a wedding, it's so insanely
rude not to show!!!). Everything went remarkably well, and I have nothing
to complain about. Except, that is, one special guest, whom I call
We were married in the lobby of an old Southern inn, and
the bridal party, myself obviously included, descended down a grand
red-carpeted spiral staircase to the site in front of the fireplace.
Having been upstairs for most of the morning, I didn't see most of the
guests arrive. The time comes for me to descend the steps, which I do so
very carefully. When I get to the bottom, I look out at the small crowd of
about 70 people and spot one woman I have never seen before in my life
(remember that we had to cut people we DID know from the list!). Not only
do I not know her, but she's wearing a skin-tight, strapless black dress
that barely covers anything at all- looks about as big as, you guessed it,
a Pillowcase! The wedding was casual, but that's certainly not appropriate
attire for any wedding, ever! I was stunned, but smiled and continued on
my way and got happily married. I actually made sure people got pictures
of her because no one would believe it otherwise!
Turns out this woman was the guest of an aunt who had
once been told she couldn't bring a guest, but whined until my MIL gave
in. During the reception, all the young guys were dying to dance with her
for obvious reasons, and she was all too happy to oblige, all the while
telling everyone who would listen, in graphic detail, about her recent
sexual exploits and what she would be willing to do. The aunt she came
with ended up having a hissy fit (a common occurrence for her) and left
the party early, so Pillowcase spent the night with the best man (who has
his own fiancée and child).
The worst part is yet to come, however. Since most of
the guests were staying at the inn, there was a sort-of
"after-party" - my hubby and I missed most of it because we were
exhausted. Apparently, at some point, this unknown Pillowcase threatened
to beat one of my groomsmen over the head with her beer bottle!
Fortunately, said groomsmen was very calm and offered to walk her over to
the police station on the next block if she were to do so. Good thing I
wasn't there, because I certainly would be burning in Etiquette Hell for
what I would have said to her!
When I was 19 years old my Aunt Cathy got married. This
should have been a joyous occasion, but at the time she had terminal
cancer and would only live for another year. Her wedding was small and private
and her reception was held at the home of her longtime friend Brenda. When
the time came for the throwing of the bridal bouquet I tried desperately
to catch it. I was my Aunt's only niece and we were very close. Having
that bouquet would have meant the world to me. I was hoping to use it at
my own wedding the following year. Anyway, I unfortunately had no chance
to get the bouquet because I was completely blocked by Brenda's huge
middle-aged-and-still-single daughter. The sound of her cackling as she
snatched the flowers is still in my memory. She made sure no one else
got near the bouquet. I'm sure, 21 years later she no longer has those
flowers. I would still have them as a treasured memento of my dear Aunt.
Here's a story that isn't so much a breach of etiquette,
but something that can be interpreted as an undesirable situation.
James was a tutor who had helped my sister and I through
most of our highschool careers, and like all his students, he considers us
friends. When he got married, my family was invited to his wedding
reception, along with the families of his other students. James is
Chinese, and was marrying a Caucasian woman. His reception was held at a
Chinese restaurant serving a traditional wedding banquet.
When I arrived at the restaurant, I noticed that all of
James' other students (some I knew and some I didn't, and none of which
were Chinese) were seated together, while their parents were scattered at
other tables, but my family had been seated together next to the table
full of students. I just figured that there was not enough space to seat
all the students at the same table and I had no problem with it at all.
As I was enjoying the meal, I noticed that the students'
table were not eating much. In fact, they were peering at the food in
front of them, sniffing at it, dangling it from their chopsticks and
watching it wiggle (jellyfish tends to do that). The entire table even
declined to try a soup that is considered a delicacy, not to mention
extremely pricey. In the end, I don't know if they left hungry.
Now, I don't blame the guests or the bride and groom's
planning, but I would have been more than willing to identify each dish
and promise it wasn't harmful, had I been seated with them. I guess the
lesson is that if you're serving food that might be new to a certain
group, it might be helpful to have someone nearby to act as a guide in
order to limit confusion, strange behavior and wasted food.
So, brides and grooms have to arrange
for a food babysitter for guests now? Guests unfamiliar with the
cuisine are not under obligation to eat everything placed before
them. There is an art to re-arranging your food on your plate while
making small talk to distract attention from the fact that nothing on your
plate has been eaten. As long as the students were not being
disruptive to other diners or blatantly rude to their hosts, their
reluctance to eat foods strange to them wasn't a faux pas.
My cousin's wedding was a fairly standard affair at a
local hotel. Everything was going well, if not especially so (what was
with the bride's sons chasing each other around the dance floor?), until
the cake cutting.
The bride's friends and relatives (a Mullet Brigade if
there ever was one) loudly shouted "Smash it! Smash it!" My
cousin decorously fed his bride with a fork, ignoring the booing from her
Then a wedding guest appeared in front of them. He
started shoving money at my cousin, daring him to smash the cake in her
face. When he refused, the guest tried to hand him a credit card to get
him to do it. Finally, he gave up and took his card back.
My aunt (the mother of the groom) later revealed that
the credit card-brandishing guest was none other than...the bride's
ex-husband. Now that's class!
Our wedding was a month ago, and I sent out invitations
to 215 people, 3 months in advance. I included self-addressed, stamped
response cards. I received 30, yes just 30, RSVPs. I needed a number for
my caterer, and eventually found out that 100 people were coming. About 80
actually showed, so we paid for 20 people that did not come.
Of the guests that did attend the reception, most
left BEFORE the cake cutting, an hour or so into the reception. I thought
it was customary to stay until the bride and groom leave? So we paid for a
$600 cake to feed 100, and really only fed about 40. Now all of this would
not have been so bad if my husband's immediate family had stayed! They all
left! His dad, mom, stepmom, and sister's family. Even his cousin, a
groomsman! That left a handful of my very good friends, family, and bridal
party to send us off as well as clean up the reception. The groomsman left
his shoes at the reception site, and my mom was gracious enough to drop
them off at his hotel (where his family was staying) AFTER cleaning up my
reception. Mind you, they drove 5 hours from GA to FL for the
wedding, and then they don't even stay for it! What were they
doing when my mom got to the hotel? Not resting for their trip back the
next day- Swimming in the hotel pool. I was so offended.
My husband and I decided to have a smallish
wedding--about 75 guests. As we drew up the list, we realized we had a
problem deciding which coworkers to invite.
My husband works in a close-knit department. Many of his
colleagues are around the same age, so we often do things as a group--pub
crawls, birthday parties, holiday parties and, of course, weddings and
One of the women in his department--let’s call her
Norma--is several years older with grown children. In general, she is not
interested in participating in the group events. I met her only once, when
she attended a lavish wedding reception for a colleague.
Since our wedding was so much smaller, I didn’t think
it made sense to include Norma on the guest list. My husband felt she
should be, as he didn’t want to hurt her feelings by inviting most
everyone else in the department and not her. He pointed out that he had
worked in the department with Norma for years and that others in his
department had invited her to their weddings, although the weddings were
usually much larger.
In the end we invited Norma with a guest. She responded
that she would attend and would be bringing someone.
The day of our wedding, Norma did not show up. When my
husband saw her at work several days later, she told him: “I tried to
come to your wedding but I couldn’t find a good enough parking space so
I went home.”
Tacky! Tacky and annoying!
Dear Jeanne, I love your sight and am so glad that you
are letting people know that you can have your own style and still have
class. I especially appreciate that you are letting people know that not
serving alcohol at a wedding is perfectly acceptable.
My story is not that bad comparatively but I thought it
was worth sharing. My Husband and I had our wedding in his parents lovely
back yard. Everything was great except for a few things... My brother
refused to come to my wedding and has not spoken to me since because as he
said "You can not trust a man you can not smoke pot with." Yep, that's
right. My brother hates my husband because he is not a pot head and
because I refuse to smoke with him any more and informed him that it was
no longer going to be allowed in my house. I should say here that the only
reason I ever did it as a teenager was because it was the only times he
would be nice to me.
"Mrs. Rude" is a step-relation in my husbands
family that is notorious for being tacky and rude but it is tolerated
because she truly does love and take care of the man she married. As the
processional was going on and the mother and father of the groom were
being brought up the isle by my adorable new brother the photographer was
taking pictures from the front of the isle. Mrs. Rude stood up in the
middle of the isle blocking the photographer to take her own pictures. The
photographer who was so nicely trying to be discreet and stay out of the
video cameras way had no choice but to run in front of her to get the
picture to which Mrs. Rude very loudly states, "People just always
have to get in my way. How dare you block my pictures!" My poor
mother in law was trying desperately to not make a scene and started
shaking her head no and saying as quietly as she could something to the
effect of sit down and shut up. Although she is much to polite to ever
tell someone to shut up.
The funniest part is that my brother in law behind the
video camera was trying to keep Mrs.Rude out of the picture so all you can
see on the video tape is that my mother in law looks as if she is being dragged
down the isle and does not want the wedding to happen. We laugh at the
video like crazy.
The last thing that happened was just tacky and not the
end of the world but funny too. After the ceremony was over and we were in
the house to sign the wedding license and a few family members were in
there with us, an aunt of my husbands all of a sudden says rather loudly,
" Now that I see you up close I realize why I like your dress so
much, My daughter wore the exact same one at her wedding three months
ago." Which meant the about half of our guest list had already seen
my dress! The whole room went silent and looked to me. I realized that I
was not the only one in the world to have that dress so I smiled and said
she must have good taste and that I would like to meet her someday. The collective
sigh of relief was hilarious of those that didn't know how I would react.
The day was wonderful and even though we have been married almost a year I
would do it all again in a heart beat. Thanks for letting me share.
Page Last Updated May 15, 2007