Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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Jan-Jun 2000 Archive


Hi Jeanne! I've been sitting here laughing so hard at all these stories. Thought I'd add one that might interest you for the "Tacky Toasts" category. Here goes.

At the wedding of a dear friend and former college roommate, in which I was the maid of honor, everything went off without a hitch at the wedding---it was a very large, formal affair with about 500 guests in attendence. The reception was held in a gorgeous antebellum home that had been refurbished to serve such purposes as wedding receptions, parties, etc. It was quite a grand affair, and the drinks were flowing (of course!)

After an hour or so of socializing, as guests congratulated the bride and groom, the best man stood to make the traditional toast. It was quite moving, with a bit of history of the bride & groom, as well as containing a couple of short, funny anecdotes of their courtship. He ended it with words so sweet and hopeful, that there weren't many dry eyes in the house. As soon as he finished, one of the groomsmen (who'd apparently hit the bar a *bit* too hard!) rose to give his "best wishes" also. At least, that's what everyone thought. Here's what he said (and I quote):

When God made Adam, He made him out of string.
He had a little left, so he gave him a little "thing."
When God made Eve, He made her out of lace.
He had a little left, so he left a little space.

He then topped it off by raising his glass and loudly saying, "Here's to SPACE!"

There was total silence in that huge room for a few seconds, before the laughter started spreading....that is, to everyone except the bride, who was mortified!!!   TTOASTS0628-00

This site has been good for some wonderful wedding stress-reducing laughs!

As a classical musician, I have played at many a wedding and reception. One of the most bizarre incidents happened at a fancy wedding reception.  The bride and groom were both professionals, and their guests were quite well-heeled.  I did think it odd that one man spent the entire dinner on his cell phone, but maybe there was a crisis at home (I give him the benefit of the doubt.) As the afternoon progressed, the guests became more and more tipsy.

The bride's mother signalled us to take a break and invited us to have a bite to eat during the cake-cutting and toast. We sat in the corner happily munching leftovers while we observed the horror. The best man swayed unsteadily as he went on and on about how the groom had been his best friend for years, loved him like a brother, always there for him, great guy, etc. Then he said, "And I'm sure "Susie" is a great gal too," and sat down. Another groomsman stood to give more maudlin sentiment, but his final shot was the kicker, "And I really hope 'Susie' gives him everything a good wife should!"

We never did end up playing the second half of that gig, because at that point someone turned on the CD player and an orgy of frat-house dancing ensued. The bride's embarassed parents slipped us a check and thanked us for our services, and as we left, the best man was attempting to do the Macarena with the flower girl.   TTOAST0627-00

At my wedding, during the toasts several friends alluded to my adventurous single life. One friend said we discussed every single date, blind and otherwise, and that I found something wrong with every one until the bride. My uncle alluded to crude criteria for the perfect woman that he and my cousin had concocted, but falsely remembered them as coming from me. Finally, one woman friend decided (without warning me) to read a lonely, semi-pornographic letter I'd written to her from the wilds of the South. It had to do with some saying on a pair of panties that I could read through her sweatpants. Afterwards, my mother said to me, "I didn't know you were such a womanizer!" My wife's mother and aunt were very upset. Luckily, my wife wasn't shaken up. She had stories of her own, but luckily they didn't come out during the toasts.   TTOAST0515-00

While it's not uncommon for the bride and groom to live together/spend the night together/etc before the wedding, their personal choices are generally  not discussed at the wedding - especially if the couple has chosen to keep this info from their families.  At the wedding of one of my boyfriend's co-workers, the best man gave his toast.  After the usual comments on how wonderful the couple was, blah blah blah, the best man proceeded to announce that he was so happy that the couple was getting married because now he wouldn't have to lie to the groom's mom and say that the groom was spending the night at his apartment!  (The groom had been living at home.)  The look on the poor bride's face as this was announced to her entire family....I still feel bad for her!  TTOAST0426-00

I just got married recently, and although I am not the queen of good etiquette myself, I think my bridesmaid took the cake with her toast. I wore a semi-sheer white pantsuit (it was a rather informal wedding) and I asked my friend to make sure nothing was showing through the sheer. Everything seemed fine and the wedding mass went great. After the best man and priest did a toast at our reception, my maid of honor announced she wanted to make a toast as well. She stated in a loud voice "to the only woman I know with guts enough to go without underwear on her wedding day". I wouldn't have been quite so mortified if the priest and my whole family hadn't been there!   TTOAST0418-00

At my friend Judy's wedding, each of the bridemaids got to say a little toast to the Bride and Groom instead of just the best man and maid of honor, there were 5 of us girls, and we were a little bit nervous to pass the microphone to Layla, the one who always manages to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. So here goes the toast.

"Judy and I were talking one night on the deck smoking and drinking (No one knew Judy smoked-NO ONE) and we were discussing all the guys she has ever been with, and Ted's name kept coming up. So I just want you to know that I am really happy for you both..blah blah blah..." AMAZING-Everyone knew that Ted was not her FIRST, and there had be plenty others.  TTOAST0213-00

When I got married last summer, a group of my husband's co-workers went to a lot of trouble to organize a lovely potluck lunch for him, as well as me. I was particularly touched that I had been invited, because I was employed as "The Summer Student" at a government department, and my co-workers had barely bothered to learn my name, much less even wish me well.

The lunch went wonderfully- great food, a very generous gift (my husband and I were quite embarassed). It was tainted, however, by several of my husband's superiors peppering their speeches and good wishes to us with comments about how their marriages had failed, and marriage sucked. Where do people learn to be so tactless?  TTOAST0112-00