A couple years ago, I was invited to my close friend's sister's wedding. The
bride and groom are not wealthy people, so they decided to have the reception at a cheap
hall that is attached to a strip joint. The reception was to start at 6:00 p.m. The bakery
dropped the cake off at 4:00 p.m. By the time that the Bride, Groom, wedding party and the
guests had arrived, half of the cake was missing. Turns out that some of the bar flies had
stolen it and smashed it in the middle of the street! If this didn't upset the bride
enough, the Groom proceeded to get completely trashed and came onto some of the guests.
When one of his victim's boyfriend politely asked him to back off, he(the groom) started a
fight that ended up outside in the street. Needless to say, he was hauled off to jail for
I'm not sure if this is firsthand by your definition, since I didn't attend
this wedding. I work for a catering company in Minneapolis that caters many functions,
including weddings of all sizes. Several weeks ago we catered a wedding reception at which
60 guests were expected, but the convenors only ordered enough food for 35. This was
deliberate; their instructions specified that the wedding party was to go through the
buffet line first, and that the food was primarily for them. What made it particularly
egregious was that this reception was held at about 6:30 PM, prime dinner hour! Those of
us who work in the kitchen stood around shaking our heads at the gall of people who would
invite friends and family to a reception, and only let some of them eat.
First off let me say - LOVED your page!! Its unreal how some people are. Here's
one for you: At my wedding reception my husband and I received a set of crystal candle
holders. The woman (who was my husbands boss's wife) said that she bought two incase we
ever split up that both of us could have one.
Thanks again for the great laughter!
When we got married 13 years ago, my husband I received some beautiful
home-made gifts and some lovely, expensive, store-bought pieces and everything in between.
But one gift really sticks in my mind...
David & Gail had been married about 3 months before us. We invited them to
the wedding because they are my husband's cousins, but we didn't know them well. They came
late and left early so I still didn't get a chance to meet them. They left a gift behind.
When we opened it the following week (after the honeymoon), we started with the card,
"Congratulations Dee & Tom" blah, blah, blah. Then we opened the gift. Then
we opened the card inside the gift, which said "Congratulations David &
Gail" blah, blah, blah.
Now I know that many of us "recycled" a few of our wedding gifts. But
hopefully we managed to take out the original card!!
P.S. My sister has been banned from returning items at one of our local
department stores because she has returned so many gifts that her children had received
but that she decided they didn't like!
I feel funny writing on this taboo subject, because it is not necessarily a
breach of etiquette (maybe in some unspoken code somewhere it is), but rather a horrible
My mother went to the florist one day to see whether or not she should purchase
a corsage for the bride of a bridal shower she was hosting. She wasn't too sure if
hostesses did that anymore...anyway, the florist commended her for at least asking, the
woman that had come in before my mother was interested in purchasing a balloon bouquet.
The florist asked the woman what colors of balloons she wished to purchased and the woman
mentioned that she was getting the balloons for a child's funeral! The florist picked her
jaw up off the floor and informed the woman that her gesture would be very tacky. The
woman then proceeded to ask the florist, "Well, would black balloons be ok?" The
florist immediately ordered the woman out of her store.
I've been enjoying your web page but it reminded me of an incident at my own
wedding that I thought you might like to hear.
My wife (fiancée at the time) attended the wedding of one of her best friends.
We gave the happy couple a nice marble cheese tray with glass dome and knife. We received
the appropriate thank you card and all was as it should be. When we tied the knot
ourselves about a year later, what do we get from this "friend"? The same cheese
tray, not an identical one but The Same One, still in the box, complete with the tape
marks from the wrapping paper.
How's that for a way to save money using your unwanted gifts?
A few years ago, my grandmother, father, and I flew completely
cross-country, coast to coast, to attend my cousin's wedding. This is my only
cousin, my father's only niece, and my grandmother's only grandchild other than
myself, and since we live so far apart we do not get to see each other very often,
so this was a special treat as well as a considerable special expense for us. The
wedding was lovely, and we were invited to a post-wedding brunch the next day with
the rest of the family, put on by the groom's family.
We had not met the groom's mother and stepfather before this time, but
they had seemed nice enough. We, especially my grandmother, enjoyed attending
the brunch and visiting with our far-flung family (and we did not consume very much,
as we are not breakfast eaters). Meanwhile, the groom's family had quite a party at
the other end of the table, laughing up a storm and knocking back mimosas. The party
was winding down when the groom's stepfather came up to my dad and whispered to him
that more people had come than he thought, and the party had ended up costing more than he
expected, so could we please slip him some cash?
My flustered father would have paid him, but my aunt, the mother of the
bride, was furious. (The bride's other grandparents, my aunt's own family, who had
also made the trip, were NOT asked to pay.) She insisted on giving this boor his money for
us, while I just sat there and helplessly stewed.
We would have understood if we had been asked to contribute ahead of time, but I
found it amazing that this man would single us out, after we had spent so much money,
time, and trouble to come and attend this wedding -- and grandmother and uncle of the
bride at that!!! -- to reimburse him for his own indulgence and lack of foresight.
My cousin is now divorced, however, so at least none of us is related to this
tacky man any longer.
My sister-in-law of 4 years is not easy to love, but we all try. We are used to
sharing our super parents with others, but haven't seen a takeover bid like this since
Turner & Murdock.
She decided to throw a party for our Dad's 75th Birthday. We were included...on
the guest list! Our Mom was not consulted on the guest list, and many much-loved friends
and family members were left off.
Poorly done computer-generated invitations were sent out in ill-fitting
envelopes using e-postage, and address labels. About as personal as a mailing from Visa.
We decided to include ourselves, using the
"great-idea!-we'd-love-to-help" ploy. Did not go well. She invited all her
neighbors (unknown to Dad) and their small children; wanted clowns, play equipment, and
rock music. We flinched, as the man next door to her would be home only one day after
coronary by-pass surgery.
Party day arrives. In retaliation for our involvement, when we arrived with our
contributions in hand, she had done nothing. No set-up, no housekeeping. Good friends
pitched in before others arrived to put together food trays and set up tables. One even
took the laundry off the sofas and hid in a room. 60 people we have known all our lives
were greeted by a surly sister-in-law, who answered every question with a shrug. She
didn't know where anything was, in her own home. Her son, walked unattended, in nothing
but a disposable diaper.
The crowd's average age was 55. She ordered Cajun\peppered beef, and no one
could eat it without suffering burns. The bar turned out to be Coleman coolers with canned
drinks, set on the ground 20' from the food and tables. Glasses had to be sent out for,
and there was no cutlery. Ever get a good handful of potato salad? Baked beans through a
straw?....if we'd had straws... She brought out a cake that had his company logo on it,
and before we could rally to sing to him, she presented and cut it. It was chocolate. She
changed the order to her favorite --and his least.
We are still apologizing to our friends and forgotten invitees. Our Dad
hopefully remained clueless. He seemed to enjoy the gift he got from all of us...except
she chose that, too, and signed our names.
Glad you weren't there. All the drinks in coolers? Too bad she 'forgot' the
Last May, I was invited to attend the wedding of a young man I had known since
his infancy.The groom's parents are lovely, gracious people with a wonderful sense what is
appropriate. However, the bride's family was putting on the celebration...
The ceremony was a formal one and was to be held at the bride's family church.
This turned out to be a small (stress on SMALL) historic building in a rather backwoods
town about an hour away from the large urban center where I live. My husband and I set off
in what we thought was plenty of time for the 6:30 PM wedding, but had trouble finding the
We arrived with only moments to spare. But I didn't worry too much, there were
still plenty of people in the parking lot, including my sister and her husband in formal
attire. We joined the crowd of 15 or so people standing outside and I asked my sister why
was everyone outside? Her beautiful velvet evening gown was trailing in the dust of the
unpaved lot. She smiled and said through clenched teeth,"The church is full."
What? Why did they invite so many people if the church couldn't hold them all?
We thought surely they must be moving people around inside, perhaps adding some chairs to
make room for the guests. But no. It was full and no more were to be admitted. To
underscore the point: One of the ushers left the church to speak to the bride's party
(yes, it was so small and "historic" there was no "bride's room" and
the poor thing had to cross the parking lot and stand outside until it was time for her
entrance) and one of the wedding Nazis (AKA wedding coordinators) refused to let him back
in! Not being allowed into the church caused a lot of hard feelings among some of the
guests who had come from out of town to attend the event.
I heard later the reason for the crowd was twofold. Being a small town, several
of the locals with too much time on their hands decided that weddings are public events
and it would be okay if they attended the ceremony, as long as they didn't go to the
reception. Additionally, most of the bride's invitees did not bother to RSVP so there was
no accurate headcount. The MOB simply had no idea how many were actually planning to
attend when they decided on the church. I should mention that every last RSVP card was
returned on the groom's side... and the MOB was terribly impressed. "How'd you get
'em to do that?" she reportedly asked.
At least the weather was pleasant and the ceremony mercifully brief. The
reception was held nearby in an old house that had been renovated to be a party site. It
was located on a wooded lot and boasted an additional outside pavilion, beautifully
decorated with candles and flowers. Since it was rather close inside the house, most of
the guests at some point or another made their way to the pavilion - only to be regaled by
the sight of a two-seater outhouse, door open, facing the pavilion not 20 feet away! Yes,
guests got to sit at a table with a white cloth, in the glow of candlelight and gaze into
that...relic of a bygone era. Since there was indoor plumbing, I presume this was
someone's idea of a decorator touch. I really can't understand why they at least didn't
close the door!
There were other signs of tackiness, such as the fact that the father of the
bride had three wives, past and present, at the wedding and his toast to the couple was
something along the lines of "Hope y'all are more successful than I was!" And
the mediocre food, poorly stocked bar, etc... Much of which might have been cheerfully
overlooked but which became glaringly obvious once the theme had been set. The mother of
the groom was completely mortified, almost to the point of tears but like a true lady she
put the best face possible on the situation. We all agree it is the kind of thing that one
day she will look back on and nervously change the subject!
Hope you can find something to use out of this long epistle. Love your site.
People just never cease to amaze me.
Dear E-Hell Webmistress,
This evening I will be attending my friend's buy-your-own "groom's
dinner". The wedding agenda which was mailed to all wedding participants stated,
"We will be paying for appetizers only. Any other food and drinks are on you."
It was also stipulated that "if you can't make it, don't sweat it" as there will
be a run-through on the wedding day. I've taken a poll on this matter and absolutely
everyone insists this is TACKY.
And how does the tacky-meter rate pets (dogs) in the (indoor) wedding ceremony?
Let me also add that the wedding invitation was addressed (with a sticky label that did
not match the color of the envelope) only to me; there was no mention of my live-in love.
Always a pall-bearer, never a corpse.