Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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Amusing or Horror stories involving children

2002 Archive


Twenty four years ago I had what I was hoping to be a beautiful perfect wedding. My dress was princess style so was knee length. I decided to use my veil as my train so made a gorgeous one myself. We had my niece (who was 5) as flower girl, my nephew (who was 7) as train-bearer and my sons (7 and 9) as ring bearers. It was a small formal wedding and I was sure it would go off without a hitch. Silly me! My flower girl got stage fright and kept stopping, my train-bearer kept wondering into the audience to talk to people (almost pulling me down backwards) and my sons handed our rings to the wrong way. I received my ring and my now ex-husband received his. We tried to discreetly exchange them before anyone noticed. And as if that wasn't enough, the notary performing the ceremony saw my bouquet shaking from my being nervous and forgot what he was supposed to say. You would think I had learned my lesson. Next year my new husband and I will be married for 10 years. We are planning on a huge formal wedding since we didn't have one 9 years ago. My wedding party will consist of 8 bridesmaids, 8 groomsmen, 2 ring-bearers, 2 train-bears, and 6 flower girls. Ages ranging from 2 to 9. Hopefully they will have my room at the psychiatric center ready when I return from the honeymoon.     Rugrats0228-03

I still can't exactly laugh at this situation that occurred at my wedding, but witnesses to the crime claim, including my wedding planner, claim it's one of the most insensitive, cruel situations they've seen at a wedding... My future sister-in-law was planning to read a Bible verse for us during the ceremony. This was a special role in the wedding and something my fiancĂ© and I put much thought into. We made arrangements for her 1 and 1/2-year old to stay with a nanny during the ceremony, so that her mother could read without interruption, and then the baby could make her appearance at the reception. (Note, the ceremony and reception were in the same location--a mansion with a large lawn). Despite conversations with my future in-laws about the nanny (hired from an elite agency in the city) and clear direction to them that our preference was for our young niece to be in the care of a nanny for 20 minutes (the necessity of which was made very clear during the rehearsal), my future sister-in-law balked at the last minute, apparently severely offended that her 2 year old was not invited to stay with her. She then crumpled the Bible verse, threw it at my wedding planner, and told her to tell "the bride" to find someone else. Off she stormed from the grounds, not to be seen for the next 2 hours! 

Picture me, the bride, giddy with excitement, five minutes before I'm to walk down the aisle....and I receive the crumpled verse and message. We had 15 wait staff scouring the grounds for her and her child, peaking in cars, running around, trying to find her. The ceremony was delayed. I had to make a last minute decision to find a replacement reader. I was stunned, hurt, angry...I couldn't think straight and couldn't fathom how someone who supposedly cared for me, on my wedding day, would do such a thing! To make matters worse, she has never and will likely never apologize for her behavior. She claimed she was in the right and says that I am not yet a parent, I cannot possibly understand the mother/child connection and what it's like to have her sleeping child "ripped" from her arms, akin to child abuse. So, not only am I wrong, I've apparently endangered the well-being of my sweet niece?? She is now in the process of "forgiving us" for putting her in such a difficult situation. She also claims that as a wedding is just ONE day out of the rest of our lives, that we'll forget everything about the day anyway and that what's really important is that we're married and have each other! The nerve.! My fiancĂ© and I lost at least an hour of the wedding dealing directly with this situation (trying to appease other family members), were burdened with it for the entire day, I cried on my wedding night and all the next day...and it has seriously strained our relationship with this couple and others in the family, who have divided loyalties. I had planned for so many things to go wrong, but never to be treated with such self-centered, cruel behavior from a beloved family member and someone in our wedding party. In order to maintain peace in my family, I have to let it go. But boy, when I saw this website and had an opportunity to write about it, you bet I was going to!!! :)    Rugrats0307-03

My boyfriend and I recently attended the wedding of one of his friends from high school. My boyfriend was a groomsman, however, as a guest I sat in a far corner of the church. Anyway, about halfway through the wedding, I could see Paul's (my boyfriend) face getting incredibly red. Soon, the other members of the wedding party were all acting like they were going to burst out laughing. It turns out that the ringbearer and flower girl were having a fight in the front of the church. The flowergirl was sitting on the floor with her skirt up over her head. When the ringbearer (her older brother) tried to fix her dress, the four year old flowergirl took off her shoe and threw it at him! Then she took off the other shoe and threw it into the congregation! Finally, the bride turned around, saw what was happening and started laughing so hard she was crying. The embarrassed mother took the children out as soon as she could get to them, but I have never laughed so hard at a wedding as I did that night.


When my own daughter was 4 years old my now ex-husband and I were invited to a close friends long anticipated wedding. The wedding invitation very tactfully requested that no children be brought to the ceremony and following reception, so we obliged the couples wishes and found a sitter for our child. We were surprised to see that one of the friends of the groom's had brought her baby, who was about 15 months old. My husband and I were a bit annoyed that we had gone through the trouble to make accommodations for our child when another guest was disregarding the instructions. For the most part, the baby was well behaved through the actual ceremony. Afterward, we were seated at a table near the front for the reception, and the seating arrangement laid out by the bride and groom had us sitting next to the mother with her baby. It became immediately obvious that the baby had dropped a large smelly load into her diaper, and the noxious fumes were intensely nauseating. As the food begin to be served, my husband and I became more and more uncomfortable, finding it impossible to eat with the strong fecal odor wafting over our table. We couldn't believe that the mother wouldn't take the baby out to change her, especially while people were trying to eat, but neither one of us had the nerve to tell her to take the baby out to do her duty. Finally, after sitting in the miserable diaper for over 25 minutes, the baby began to wail (pretty patient baby if you ask me). The baby chose to start screaming and crying during the speeches that were being given by the wedding party. So after forcing the groom and the best man to shout over the crying child for around 5 minutes or so, the mother FINALLY took her out to clean her up.



 I suppose this story would go in the Rug Rats section. It was my niece's wedding. The church was fairly modern. The altar was open, with a sort of shelf across the bottom - a perfect seat for a six-year-old to sit on and face the congregation. The flower girl was six-years-old. A little angel in a white linen dress with a wreath of flowers in her baby blonde hair. Ignoring he mom and all the other ladies gesturing to her she climbed onto that altar seat and amused herself during the ceremony by giggling and flirting with the congregation. Mothers and aunts gestured and shushed to her, mouthing threats and trying to be subtle about it. Suddenly and without warning the flower girl popped up off the seat like a jack-in-the-box. WHAM!!!!! Her head SLAMMED into the underside of the altar!!!!! She must have seen stars! 10 seconds of absolutely stunned silence, and then - - - - - - WAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! She ran down off the altar to her mom, who finally escorted her out of the church so the ceremony could continue. The congregation tried not to smile. The Lord works in strange and mysterious ways!    Rugrats0515-03

Yet another one ... First, let me say this ... Anyone planning to have/attend a wedding should be required to thoroughly read your site ... I read the stories, thinking to myself "What must these people be thinking" ... then I realize, surely most of them, at least, do not realize that they are being rude ... I wonder how many times I have acted inappropriately, and didn't realize it (I am frequently accused of being in my own little world ... not much for noticing my surroundings). In any event ... you are providing a great service, thanks! 

So what if this one isn't really about etiquette? It is hilarious, and, I think, sweet :) My 2 year old daughter (extremely precocious) was to be a flower girl at my cousin's wedding. She, and the other, somewhat older (6ish?) flower girl performed beautifully, until it happened ... My little one ran out of flowers (she had been throwing them out in huge clumps). Problem was, no one instructed her on what to do in that event ... She threw down the basket, turned and RAN down the aisle, bawling, to where I was waiting to coax her back when she was done (she was not to remain during the ceremony, due to her age). We all assured her that she did fine, end of story, right? At my (2nd) wedding, she is to be flower girl again. She seems a little apprehensive, but eager. She performs beautifully. She stands quietly with the wedding party when she is done, a perfect angel. After the wedding, I thanked her for participating, and told her how well she had done, and how proud of her I was, and her response was, "I didn't run out of flowers this time". She had dropped a total of 6 or 7 petals; one at a time, on her trip down the aisle. After talking to her, it was apparent that my wedding was very important to her, and she didn't want to disappoint me.


Me and my boyfriend have been going out for awhile. Well, about two years ago, his bestfriend, "James", got married. My boyfriend is godfather of his child. Well, during the reception, which had no family (and frankly I don't blame the family for not showing up!), my boyfriend was stuck holding "James' " son. At the time the child was about two. Half through the ceremony, which was in a church, the child keep screaming "Daddy! Ddddaaaaaddddddyyyyyy!" To which "James" smiles at like it's cute. The kid keeps screaming Daddy and James just nods at him and says shhhh. Me and my b/f are sitting there with this kidding screaming "Daddy! My daddy! Daddy!" My b/f is embarrassed, as am I, and getting sick of this. So, he tells the kid in a stern voice to behave. The kid goes nuts and slaps my b/f in the face. I swear it felt like everyone is looking at us. My boyfriend and I sit through the rest of the ceremony red-faced as he screams Daddy! Most unbelievable is "James" didn't understand why we went home directly after the ceremony.    Rugrats0724-03

Caring for a toddler during a wedding ceremony requires some preparation and planning.  I suggest bribing the child with safety lollipops, or my favorite, Smarties, which are a lot less messy than M&Ms.  I unwrap them and offer a few at a time to the child.  I also have a small toy in my pocket/purse such as a Polly Pockets for girls or Micro Machines for boys.  A mini Etch-a-sketch, or one of those magnetic "make a funny face" games are great, too.