Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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At my wedding 3 years ago, quite a large and expensive affair considering our ages (late 40's and 50) and that it was a second marriage.  We went all out to make it grand.   All attendants were children of mine and the groom's.  The groom's 21 year old daughter was the "best woman" and thus made the speech at the reception.  As I sat and waited while she stood, expecting to hear a lovely and maybe somewhat romantic speech on my special day after months and months of planning, here is the what I got instead.  "...all I know is that Daddy would crumble like a house of cards without a woman to take care of him.  I want to thank Pam for stepping up to the plate."   She actually liked me.  This was simply an unfortunate  case of zero etiquette and poor upbringing by a know it all who could care less about manners!



At the wedding of a good friend, the father of the groom stood up to give a toast to the happy couple.  I was completely shocked when he started off the speech by pointing out the bride had made two mistakes in the ceremony program, one of which was misspelling the last name of his daughter.  He then proceeded to talk about his daughter's recent wedding and how beautiful it was.  All of this at his son's wedding!



What I about to tell you may sound cliché as we see it in the movies and laugh about it but I witnessed this with my own eyes. I have been to quite a few weddings, I enjoy them mostly because people are on their best behavior unlike office parties. Not in this case, mostly children are our of hand but in this case it was the best man.

We have all seen movies where the speech is off color and tasteless. Well, if you have sensitive eyes skip to the next story. The best man goes on about when he and the groom were younger they would go hunting. That all sounds good as that is what young men do, but he goes on to say hunting the two legged kind. He goes on to reminisce about a time or two when the groom actually used his bed for an adventure or two.

Most jaws are on the floor by now and we thought the worst was over but then the best man proceeds to describe the groom's taste in women and mentions color so when the groom called to let his friend know he was engaged the best man asks, "What color is she?" He said it on the microphone so all could hear. Not only had the guests heard but so had his children from his previous relationship who were of ethnic backgrounds.

To top the evening off was of course the removal of the garter. In a pornographic display and inevitably 1 minute we can't take back we were witness to the most tasteless removal of a garter in front of children no less. The remainder of the evening went without much more excitement. I don't think the Christian guest could stand much more as they left after the speech and prior to the garter.


I was at the wedding reception for my then-boyfriend's brother and SIL.
Her mother is crass and rude, and did many things to personally insult me during the wedding week. (my boyfriend's parents related to me and liked me better that his brother's wife) But her wedding toast took the cake in tackiness.
She went on for about 10 minutes as to how great her daughter M was and how great her future SIL was. Then she offered this gem, "All three years they were dating, I used to call my daughter every single night and say, 'Take the pill, take the pill, don't forget to take it!'  Now tonight I say 'Forget to take the pill, FORGET, FORGET, FORGET!!'"
Total silence. Then my boyfriend's 80 year old grandmother, who is seated next to me, leans over and asks me, my boyfriend, and his conservative parents: "What pill is this lady talking about?"



Oops!  I'll admit that I was (kind of) the one at fault here, but I just couldn't help myself.  Luckily, I think only a few people heard what was going on and, therefore, the damage contained.
My uncle and his (wonderful) girlfriend of several years decided to finally get married last year.  Our family traveled several hours to the event, which turned out to be one of the best weddings I've ever been to.  The location was a gorgeous country club and the meal was splendid.  The faux pas occurred during the ceremony itself.
The bride, being childless herself, had appointed her new "step-daughter" (my cousin) as well as a some varied nieces and nephews for the duty of being in the wedding party.  Which, normally, would have been just fine, except for the OPEN BAR that was going on for at least an hour before the actual ceremony.  The only one in the wedding party (minus the bride and groom, of course) that was of legal drinking age was my cousin who was hugely pregnant at the time.
The nieces and nephews, who were probably 16-18 years of age had been sneaking drinks at the bar, in the coat room and in the parking lot for quite a while before the actual ceremony.  No one seemed to notice this, or in any event, just overlooked it.
The ceremony began and before the vows, one of the nephews goes to the podium to read that bit about how "love is not selfish, love is never boastful" that is read in every wedding.  Except, instead of saying, "love is not selfish" in his drunken state, he slurs, "Love is never a shellfish."  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, love IS never an aquatic invertebrate.  I heard that and simply burst out laughing.  The nephew, bless his heart, never missed a beat and just kept plugging along.
I tried to contain my laughter, but my mother, having heard exactly what I heard began to chuckle as well.  Before you knew it, the two of us were trying so hard not to laugh that tears were rolling down our cheeks.  And, of course, the harder you try to stop laughing, the harder you end up laughing.  Luckily, we were seated near the back and I don't think the bride and groom heard our inappropriate laughter.  Every time I thought I got myself under control, I would picture lobsters in wedding attire and just start all over again.
So, although I don't think my faux pas is the worst I've ever heard, I still feel bad about it.  The bottom line,  however, is that some people should keep a better eye on the open bar and who, exactly, is being served.  Otherwise, you may end up with an unintentional comedian.


Page Last Updated July 30, 2007