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When my son got married last year (his second, her second) he called about a month ahead of time and asked if we, his stepfather and myself, would be upset if they didn't have a wedding. He had previously mentioned Las Vegas, and we assumed he was talking about eloping. We told him that would be fine.

The event took place several weeks before Christmas, and when they came for Christmas they brought everyone a video tape of their wedding. My son is a professional and makes a good bit of money, and they had about ten couples at this non-wedding, all of them colleagues.

His wife wore a long white dress and they had a very nice sit-down dinner for all these people. I know it was nice because I've been to this place, it was only an hour or so from our home. None of the parents were invited. They asked if we minded if they didn't have a wedding. They did not ask if we minded if they had one and didn't invite us. Tacky0306-01

I love your site! Just reading everyone's adventures reminds me of one incredibly tacky wedding I attended in the mid 1980's. My husband at the time taught scuba diving lessons, and he had two students who met and fell in love while attending his classes. So, naturally we were pleased when a year later we received an invitation to attend their "wedding dance" and picked out what we thought was a very nice gift from their registry. The only thing funny about the invitation was the time we were to show up - 8:30 p.m. - but we didn't think much of it at that time. When we showed up at the hall at 8:30 along with a number of other guests, presents in tow, we were shocked to find a room full of people who had obviously just finished eating a full dinner. The bride and groom were frolicking together, so it was also obvious that the ceremony had already taken place. In addition, there was no place for anyone to sit as all the tables were fully occupied. At that moment, someone announced that the dancing would begin. In addition, they announced that the open bar was closing, and a "no host" bar was now available for the "dance" guests. Just then, someone came up to us and requested that we hand over the wedding gifts so that they could be loaded up for delivery to the bride's home. I think everyone was so shocked, they just turned them over. It was only after we were relieved of our gifts that the bride and groom approached our group to explain the situation. Because they could not afford to have "everyone" attend the actual wedding and dinner, they had to separate their guests into the "most important" who would attend the dinner, and the "others" who would get the pleasure of attending the post-dinner "wedding dance". They were certain that we (the approximately twenty or so "dance" guests) "understood". Needless to say, we did "understand" and left soon afterwards. Also, needless to say, we never received a thank you card. Tacky0313-01

Here's my story about a tacky wedding! The first clue was the "invitation." It was designed like a newspaper and the lead story was that gangster, Rick, was marrying his "moll" Clare. Another article advised guests to wear gangster apparel. We were advised that we were invited to a "dessert reception" and to arrive promptly at 8:30. Now, the couple was getting married in a lovely garden conservatory, so we weren't alarmed that we weren't invited to the wedding itself as that facility only holds about 75 people. We did as advised and arrived on time. There we find that a large number of guests are enjoying a sit-down meal. OK, this means that we didn't make the A list of being invited to the wedding, nor did we make the B list of being invited to the dinner. We were on the C list: dessert only. The groomsmen were dressed as gangsters, complete with fake machine guns. A nice touch at a wedding, don't you think?! The bridesmaids were dressed in assorted gowns which appeared to be purchased at the local thrift store. We sat in a room away from the dining room, waiting for the other, higher ranking guests to finish their meals. The cake was in our area and soon the wait staff came in and sliced it and took tray after tray into the dining room. Now, this was a dessert reception, so I expected a slice of cake. Nope. Those slices were not meant for us. After all of the exclusive guests had been served their cake, there were a few slices remaining. My boyfriend grabbed a couple of slices for us. However, there were no forks. He had to hunt down some waitstaff to get that. For all of the work, the cake was horrid. It was so dry it had to have been made weeks prior. The frosting had a very odd taste to it. After a little while, the waitstaff came by with the dessert portion of the reception: dipped strawberries. Tacky0514-01

I just found out that my brother, who has been married for 8 years, was secretly married 1 year before his "wedding." Here is the story: My brother Dan met Karen at college. They took an apartment together in our city after graduation. A year and a half later, they became engaged. Karen was born and raised in England. A few months after they became engaged, she was having major problems with immigration. Dan and Karen were planning a big church wedding with all of the frills and all of their family. However, it soon became clear that Karen was going to be forced to leave the country. Dan and Karen took a trip to the Virgin Islands, presumably to celebrate their engagement. I just found out that they were married secretly while in the Virgin Islands. They came back from their "vacation" and continued to plan this huge wedding. We are talking upwards of $25,000 worth of wedding stuff! Most of the expenses were paid for by my parents. They bought the designer wedding dress and all accessories, a beaded gown for MOTG (who couldn't afford a "fancy" dress), the flowers, the rehearsal dinner (a very formal affair), a full dinner and dancing at the most ritzy country club in our area, and more extra goodies than can be imagined. My brother paid for the photographer. My parents are not rich, but were pleased to indulge their son with a fabulous wedding. They spent two years making monthly payments to their creditors. I gave Dan and Karen a very nice wedding shower, and attended two other showers where I gave very nice gifts. I also purchased a nice wedding gift, and paid for my dress, shoes, accessories, etc. as a bridesmaid. I make a decent living, but don't have a lot left over for extras. I did really stretch my budget to indulge my brother on the occasion of his wedding. I should also mention that my entire family went all out to make her English relatives feel welcome when they arrived, including accommodating them at our homes and planning several family dinners for everyone. Some of these people made international phone calls from our homes! We endured these rude guests with smiles and grace. A lot of people jumped through a lot of hoops to see that Dan and Karen had a beautiful wedding. I find out 8 years later that they had already gotten married a whole year prior to their "Big Wedding!" I feel used, deceived, and hurt that they pulled off this scam. Only a few people know about this, and I am probably the only one who feels that what they did was wrong. I think if they "had to" get married...for whatever reason, they were wrong to have both the romantic elopement and also the Big Wedding with all the bells & whistles. I could understand a very grand reception, but a Big White Wedding? It just seems greedy and selfish.

This happened almost 20 years ago, but it still bugs me. I was living in Iowa and one of my best friends was getting married in Wisconsin, and asked me to be a groomsman. I was young and dirt poor at the time, barely getting by, but I took a couple days off work to be in the wedding. Actually, his parents were kind enough to give me a ride. The wedding and all the preparations were fun, but as we were being fitted for tuxedos, my friend took me aside and asked if I knew that I was expected to pay for the tuxedo rental. This may be tradition, but it was my first time in a wedding party, no one had mentioned it, and I certainly could not afford it. He said they'd take care of it, and I forgot about it. A week or so later, I got a letter in the mail from the bride's mother. A thank you note for my time and troubles? No, it was no less than an invoice for the tuxedo rental. I did receive a gift for being a groomsman, a very inexpensive travel alarm clock. Tacky0526-01

My 26 year old brother-in-law was about to get married for the second time to an 18 year old girl he had known for six months. It was obvious upon seeing her why, and they were stuck to each other by various body parts for the two days before the wedding. Her grandfather is a preacher (not evidenced by the clothes she wore) and married the two on the front porch of his rural home. After the long, soap-opera stares and good behavior during the ceremony it was time for the kiss. It was a full on, very wet kiss that lasted no less than one full minute. We were all squirming in our seats, looking around uncomfortably and feeling horrible for the grandfather up there on the porch with the two horndogs. But as a true southern gentleman would, he rose above the smut and proclaimed to the crowd, "And may this love and passion abide forever, amen." At which time the guests broke out in laughter and the bride and groom unlocked their lips. Yuck! -- tacky0719-01

I notice that your site has a couple of stories about underdressed or inappropriately dressed guests at weddings, but I've never heard of an inappropriately-dressed bride until recently... Last weekend, my husband and I and our friend traveled together to the wedding of a good friend of ours, who I will call "Marc." All of us are very fond of him, and even though I wasn't 100% convinced that he was ready for the commitment he was about to make to "Diva," I supported him all the way. It was a sweltering August day, and Diva's dress was a very pretty, lightweight sheath with a little train and a flowy fabric that drifted behind her as she walked. She wore no headpiece or veil and had her shoulder-length strawberry-blonde hair French braided and decorated with three large lilac-colored flowers. The effect was interesting - she looked *very* young, especially given the fact that she has almost no figure - she's very, very thin and tall. During the wedding, it was apparent that Diva was nervous. We thought she would pass out from the stress, as she was shaking and had to sit down with Marc in the first pew during the ceremony (which in and of itself is not unusual, but we were told later that this wasn't exactly planned...) She did make it through, and after exclaiming "That's it? That's all?" at being pronounced man and wife, made it back down the aisle on her new husband's arm. We all chuckled, having seen nervous brides before, and figured she'd be able to relax now... if only...

Upon arriving at the reception about an hour later, Diva was obviously not happy. She was apparently miffed at having her name left off when being announced as "Mr. and Mrs." and was quite vocal about it. Then, the best man made a slight error in his toast to the happy couple, which she criticized loudly in front of everyone - talk about stopping a man in his tracks, the poor guy couldn't get his rhythm back and continue on with the story! It was obvious that she was irritated, and continued whining and complaining for several minutes. During this time, I noticed that the entire bridal party, including the groom went to the buffet table for food, leaving Diva alone. She apparently didn't want to eat. The friend we were sitting with reminded me that "she doesn't eat when she's stressed." Despite the efforts of others to make her eat something, she refused, and the temperature in the room continued to rise, as it was now nearly 1pm. Diva ended up causing a mild stir when she was escorted from the room, one might say "swooning" from the heat and malnutrition, and sitting outside alone to "cool off" for several minutes.

Some time later, she disappeared completely from the reception, leaving Marc to make the rounds of the tables on his own. When he came to our table, I discreetly inquired about his wife, and he replied that she was upstairs in their suite, taking a shower and changing out of her dress. He reported that she had not eaten for three days, and had passed out during the rehearsal the previous night (which explains why she didn't know the wedding was over!) The alarm bells should have gone off then, but I innocently thought she would change into a traditional "going away outfit". Boy, was I in for a shock when Diva reentered the reception wearing a tight-fitting T-shirt, very short cutoff jean shorts, and sandals, her soggy ponytail swinging behind her. I really thought this was unbelievable, especially given that her dress was already lightweight and comfortable. She could have put it back on after her shower, or changed into something more decent, like a nice sundress or something.

Her mood improved somewhat, Diva proceeded to cut the cake (the only morsel she consumed that day) and dance with her husband and father dressed like this, her photographer taking photos the whole time. I can only imagine her reaction when her "wedding album" arrives. I felt really bad for Marc, who, being the stand-up guy he is, wore his tux for the entire reception. When it came time for Diva to toss her bouquet, there were no bridesmaids to be found - they were all upstairs changing their clothes, too, along with the groomsmen. Standing on a chair, ready for the toss, she quipped, "Well, really - who changes at a wedding reception," which was followed by a bah-dum-ching! from the drummer behind her. The entire bridal party's return in shorts, T-shirts, and sandals pretty much signaled the end of the reception to the guests, as everyone started to leave.  Tacky0809-01

Dale & Kelly (names changed) met when they were both married to other people. Dale and his wife were best friends with Kelly and her husband. Dale and Kelly began an affair which wrecked both of their marriages. They not only hurt their spouses and kids, they hurt their best friends! Once their affair was discovered they broke up but only for a while. Their divorces were barely final before they announced THEIR engagement. This is a small town and both ex-spouses still live here. You would think that Dale and Kelly would have taken into consideration their ex-spouses' feelings by being more discreet but no, not them. They went around and showed off her engagement ring to everyone, blabbed about their plans, even made out at public functions on occasion. Needless to say, both sets of parents were beyond humiliated. Kelly's dad actually admitted to a friend of ours that he and his wife were so embarrassed by their daughter they didn't even want to leave their house and risk being asked about it.

To this day Kelly is oblivious to the hurt she has caused and doesn't understand why her parents barely speak to her. They went to Las Vegas to get married. Another couple that lives here, Ken and Kathleen, were on their own honeymoon in Vegas at the time. Dale and Kelly showed up at Ken and Kathleen's hotel and followed them around Vegas and then asked them to witness their own nuptials! Hello! People who are on their honeymoon want to be alone! But that obviously didn't occur to Dale and Kelly. Unfortunately Ken and Kathleen are very nice people and never expressed to Dale and Kelly that they didn't appreciate the interruption of their trip and witnessed their vows for them. I believe they were still able to salvage part of their honeymoon after that.

Skip ahead a month later to their "reception" which they threw for themselves. They sent out formal invitations without RSVP cards which was a mistake on their part because they arranged for enough food, cake and beer for about 60 people but less than half that showed up. The "reception" was in his father's garage where his father stores farm equipment. No parents were in attendance. In fact, Dale's parents elected to attend the wedding of a cousin out of state. The finishing touch on this evening was when Dale and Kelly started dancing by themselves on their tiny tiny dance floor (no one else was dancing because we felt stupid) and Dale threw Kelly's feet over his shoulders with his face in her crotch!! He then proceeded to carry her around like that until he dropped her! Of course she thought it was hilarious! If these two don't epitomize tackiness then I don't know what does! Tacky0810-01

I was asked by my good friend and to be in her wedding. I cheerfully agreed! Time went on and she never mentioned going out to look for dresses. Then one day I overheard two of her other attendants (we all worked in the same small office) discussing how pretty the dresses she had picked out were! I interrupted and asked when they had seen them - to be informed that they had all gone out together and picked them out. Hmmm - this was getting really weird! More time went on and it was getting closer and closer to the wedding. The bride had switched to a night shift and so I no longer saw her at work to ask what was up. I finally mentioned to the other attendants that if she had a problem I wished she would talk to me. Long story short - about a month before she told me she was getting married I had found out I was pregnant with my first child. Apparently she didn't realize that this meant I would gain weight. She decided that I wouldn't look right with the others if I was to be in the wedding party so decided to exclude me. But she never bothered to tell ME! I did get an invitation to the wedding which my husband and I declined. Tacky0821-01

I attended the wedding of a friend of a friend. Not knowing either the bride or groom, I wasn't sure what to expect. We went to the wedding with a group of friends. We were all dressed in standard wedding attire; women in semi-formal dresses, men in suits. We showed up to the church to find that the wedding was being held in the congregation hall and that we were all greatly over-dressed compared to the rest of the wedding guests. However, our dresses were much overshadowed by the bride's huge ice princess dress. There was lace, ribbons, ruffles, bows and tulle everywhere. Keep in mind that the bride was a very thin, pale blonde. She looked like a 7 year old playing dress up.

The wedding was officiated by a female Nazi minister who shouted orders at everyone, wedding guests included. We had to endure the awful family solos to bad tape recorded 80's music. Then, at the end of the ceremony, the Nazi minister made all of the guests stay seated while she directed the photo session, screaming orders of "Okay, now we need the bride's family up here", and even arranged the people for the photographer. The reception didn't get any better. It was held at the Hickory Pit. There was an open bar, but only for the wedding party, the guests had to pay for their drinks. They ran out of food, as some guests decided to head back in line for seconds of the buffet of barbecued chicken legs and ribs before all of the guests had been served.

They, of course, had a money dance. While dancing with the groom, I asked a few questions about he and the bride. It seems they had been together for almost 3 years, which may seem like a long time, except when you consider that they had a 2 and a half year old daughter at the time. After the wedding, which ended early, we all gathered at the hotel. The groom was partying with his friends that he hadn't seen a while, and probably would see again. While enjoying the festivities, we were informed that the bride had left the hotel in tears and was nowhere to be found. It ends up that she was in an emotional state, being 3 months pregnant with their second child! She was eventually located and returned to the hotel, but that was the end of the party. I don't know if they are still together or not, but their wedding will remain in my memory forever as the tackiest I have ever attended. Tacky0918-01

At the wedding, I went to the bar for 2 drinks, one for me and one for my wife. When I got the drinks, I noticed the bartender taking money out of a mug and putting it into the cash register. I was confused and did not understand why. I finally realized why on my 3rd trip back to the bar. The wedding couple paid for a 350.00 dollar bar. After that money ran out, you had to buy your own drinks. I wish we were not even invited at all. Tacky1229-01

My husband's nephew was young and struggling financially when he married last year. Neither set of parents was in terrific financial shape either. Instead of shortening the guest list or hosting a modest but tasteful reception, the couple invited more than 100 people to their reception. The MIL offered to split the cost of a keg of beer as the sole source of refreshment at the wedding. After some pleading from the groom's mother, the MIL bought several hunks of cheese which she plunked on a table for the guests to eat. Yum yum. MIL also decided that since no one had the money for a DJ or band, the only source of "entertainment" for guests at the reception would be for them to watch the bride and groom open wedding gifts. The couple's friends ditched the reception as soon as the bride began to open the gifts, which coincided with the keg running dry.

Southern Baptist weddings are the worst, because they're usually done on the cheap with no music, no dancing and certainly no alcohol. I went to one such wedding knowing all of the above and prepared for an uninspired but benign event. This wedding, however, got much worse. The bride and groom were both self-described rednecks, as were their families. The reception buffet consisted of 7-Up with green food coloring, homemade pimento cheese sandwiches and mints. The reception decorations were green paper streamers. But it gets better. While everyone is eating, the bride's father-in-law whips out a big pouch of chewing tobacco and passes it around, to the vocal appreciation of the guests. And rather than cutting the wedding cake ceremoniously, the guests were invited to just dig in, which they did, leaving behind a decimated pile of grocery store sheet cake. And lastly, in perhaps the saddest violation of wedding etiquette, the bride and groom sat down in front of their guests and began opening the presents like it was Christmas morning. They would rip open a box, pull out the garment or china or whatever, and hold it up for everyone to ooh and ahh. Tacky0619-01

My girlfriend met a woman in line at the grocery wearing a garish, large
cluster style engagement ring. She complemented my friend's bracelet, which I
had designed and made for her (I had been in the diamond business for many
years.) The woman asked for my number, and my friend instead took hers, and
asked me to call her if I wanted to help her design a wedding ring.

I met with her at the mall, and she explained that they had "spent all their
money on the engagement ring", that it was $11,0000 and they needed to get a
cubic zirconia wedding band. So.....I made them one out of cubic zirconias.

Her fiancé contacted me and asked me to make one carat cubic zirconia
earrings for her, to look like big diamonds. I did, for about $100.

Now that she thought I was her best friend, she invited me - and my
girlfriend, who she originally met at the grocery, to the wedding, along with
our husbands. We then received WEEKLY shower invites for the bride - a total
of seven, I believe. My friend and I decided we'd go in on a gift for a
lingerie shower, but not attend. We went to the store where she was
"registered". It turns out they had no registry, the sales girl rolled her
eyes and pulled out a list. She said the bride "INSISTED" that they make a
registry just for her. We bought a size 14 nightie for the bride, per her
registry, wondering who she was kidding as she was more like a 20.

When it was time for the wedding, our two husbands bailed out. My girlfriend
and I went alone. It was hilarious! The bride sang, of course, and had
friends give testimonials as to what a great person she was - at the
ceremony! It was an outdoor wedding in July, and hotter than hell.
Afterwards we waited in line for over an hour, but there was no food left. We
were never even offered water! We got hot dogs and onion rings on the way
home at a street fair.

The two best parts of the story:

The newspaper did a front page story on the wedding. The bride arranged it
with her friend who worked there. It talked about "the groom's gift to the
bride was a pair of one carat diamond earrings".

But the best part: I ran into the salesclerk who I bought the nightie from a
few weeks later. The day after the wedding, the bride's mother called the
store in a rage, that her daughter was in Mexico on her honeymoon, and none
of the gowns fit. The "store did it wrong", and she insisted they overnight
her size 22's and 24's.

No, never got a thank you note for the $100 or so gift I suckered up and
bought. But, I did hear from her a year later, when she wanted an anniversary
present. She called, apologizing for not thanking me, she had been
busy...when could we get together???

We moved a few weeks later. I had the phone company just say "disconnected"
and told my girlfriend I'd kick her butt if she ever told her where I lived!