Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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They're armed, they're unprofessional and they're going to ruin your wedding day if you aren't careful.  (And stories of victimized vendors.)

Jan-Jun 2000 Archive
Jun-Dec 2000 Archive
2000 Archive


I love your site. At this point in my wedding planning I need a real good laugh every now and then, lately more now then later. I have been engaged for over a year now, my fiancé and I wanted a long engagement so we can properly plan and execute the perfect weddings. I have less then six months til my summer weddings and about two weeks ago all the troubles began. (All names have been changed to protect the truly horrible people we have dealt with.) I am having a fairly large wedding 250-275 people. I have been very careful to plan out all the details to a the letter.

Well two weeks ago the wedding dress I ordered in September arrived at the bridal salon. They called me up to see if I wanted to come in and peek at it. Of course I did so with my three friends in tow we all went to see this beautiful gown I had ordered. I wasn't prepared for what was about to happen by any stretch of the imagination. I got to the bridal salon to show off my dress but it wasn't my dress it was the wrong one! And it was not anything similar to one I ordered by any stretch of the imagination. I told the woman calmly that it was the wrong dress. the woman told me that she had never ever made a mistake before. I asked for "N" my original salesperson, and the woman informed me that she had been fired for STEALING MONEY! It was all so unbelievable, the woman insisted that I try the dress on but I refused. I had ordered a tank top style dress very elegant but simple and here she was insisting that this atrocity complete with long sleeves, all sorts of designs was the dress I ordered. Then she refused to talk to me any further because she was closing and I didn't have the original receipt.

My mother paid for my dress so I went straight from the bridal store to my mother's in tears. I was just shocked I didn't know how to react, after all this was my wedding dress! My mother returned the following day with a receipt and the woman still refused to acknowledge that they had made a mistake and would not rectify the situation. At this point my mother told me to go downstairs and pull the entire order of bridesmaid dresses. Oh did I mention I had booked bridesmaid dresses two weeks earlier and had nine people in my wedding party. I pulled the order of dresses and got all my deposits back. My mother threatened to stand outside her store and harass her customers if the saleswoman did not refund her money. It was an ugly scene. I thought my usually calm mother was gonna hit the saleslady who was cursing and screaming at my mother that she just didn't have the money to pay for it and wouldn't admit it. My mother was in sweatpants having left her aerobics class early to show up at the store when it opened. My mother now furious then ever starting yelling so loud then customers began to leave the store. The woman noticed this and quickly cut my mom a check. My mother took me out that day and bought me another dress at a place where they were beyond nice to us. My mom and I have told everyone we know to never go there.

This was bad enough until I found out last week my videographer died. The company had no one else available so I had to run out last weekend and book someone else. I am counting the days until the wedding is over. I should have just eloped. I hope I can laugh at this years to come. I am still having a hard time laughing about it now.


My mother owns a B&B that she rents out for weddings and other events and I help out occasionally. Usually we have no problems with the caterers, florists, valet and other wedding vendors. However, when ever there is live entertainment, the band usually causes most of the headaches. First of all we do not allow then to drive or park their cars on the grass. The closest door to the living room, where there will be dancing, is 20 feet from the drive way. They parked, partly blocking driveway and were making it difficult for the other vendors to get into the parking lot. Apparently, they all had to park near the side door until the equipment was unloaded from one car.

Once the other vendors complained about them, I went to find out what was going on. By this time they had been there for about 30 minutes and some early guests has begun arriving. The wedding ceremony was to take place here as well. I found them loudly complaining to all that were with in earshot about how they "the band" and we were not allowing them to set up. I had to explain to the band that pulling a dolly across the grass was not the same as driving a car and they began to set up. They also could have gone through the front door without too much trouble.

Next they needed a place to change. There were only two men's rooms located one on the second floor and one on the first, and they were in use at the time. The band leader came storming down the stairs and yelled "Where are we supposed to change?" Everyone was staring at him; he actually seemed to like it. By now, half of the guests arrived and were waiting for the ceremony to begin. I referred him again to the bathrooms. He became agitated, said "We are the Band" like everyone was supposed to jump to attention.

By this point, one of the caterers located my mother to come in and give me some assistance. She told then that there was no other place and he would have to wait on who ever was in the bathroom. Then he said, "You are a B&B can't we use a room." She said "No". Like she was going to let this guy in any of our rooms. More people were staring by now. Then he said "I guess I will have to change right here (in the portico). My mother said 'If you think it is appropriate, then go right ahead." He gave her a disgusted look and walked away mumbling something. We were busy still trying to coordinate the other vendors and direct the wedding guests to the ceremony area. Fortunately, the wedding went well after that. The band played some of the best music we have had there, but that does not mean that you have a license to be rude.   Vendor0112-01

First, thanks for your site. I've learned a lot about etiquette, and I've also learned how to gracefully handle common (and not-so-common) etiquette blunders. This is just the sad story of some strangers, but I've never forgotten it. My husband and I were apartment hunting in downtown Toronto, looking for a particular address, when we happened to pass a very attractively dressed couple on the sidewalk, standing in front of a (closed) restaurant. She was wearing what was obviously a wedding dress, though not a traditional gown, and he was in a very nice dark suit. She was near tears and being comforted by another attractively dressed woman who was holding two large bouquets of flowers. A second well dressed man was running up to them saying something like "no answer at the back". The man who must have been the groom was shouting into a cell phone. We clearly heard a snippet of the conversation, "What do you MEAN you don't open until 6?! We have reservations!! Yes I am SURE! THIS IS MY WEDDING DAY, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!?" We just passed by, since there was nothing we could do. But we'll never go to that restaurant... and folks, make sure to double check on your reservations the day before your wedding.   Vendor0222-01

Just a quick story about an incredibly crude and tactless wedding vendor. A family friend was getting married and had just purchased her dress. She then went to a specialty lingerie store to purchase some appropriate undergarments. The bride is significantly overweight, but also has an hour-glass figure, with large breasts and hips in relation to her waist.

Anyway, she (and my mother, who was shopping with her) entered the dressing room with the salesclerk and the bride removed her top and bra. At this point, the salesclerk exclaimed (in a voice loud enough to be heard on the street, not to mention every shopper), "Oh my GOD! Your BOOBS are HUUUUUGGGGEEEE!!! And ONE is even BIGGER than the OTHER!" The bride and my mother were flabbergasted. The salesclerk, who was muttering to herself about "extra-large" and "elastic" continued to gape at my friend. My mother gave the woman a shocked look, and led the (dressed) bride out of the dressing room and through the people-filled store (who were all red and trying not to look). I know I'll never shop there. How tactless can you get? Vendor0306-01

I used to date a guy who played the piano for his church, and thusly he was asked to play the piano for many weddings. I would attend with him and turn the pages, so I was there for this incredible breach of etiquette. During the ceremony, the bride was visibly nervous, and broke out into a giggle fit. Everyone in the church thought it was rather cute... except for the Father, who loudly told her and the entire audience that he would stop the wedding right then and there if that continued. I couldn't believe a man of God had so little tact. On a related note, this piano playing boyfriend would invite himself to the receptions of these weddings, usually for people he didn't know, and being a 6 foot 2 volleyball player, he almost always caught the garter. I would try to dissuade him from going up there when they called the single men to catch the garter, but he said he wanted to add to his collection.       Vendor0308-01

I work for a major Chain Copy company that begins with a K. I see literally thousands of customers a day and we have a reputation for handling every job that crosses our counter with unparalleled competence. I, however, will no longer do work for brides. It is not company policy by any means and I never refuse outright. I just present a slew of other options or hindrances until the Bride leaves the store. I know this sounds a bit cruel but I've reached my limit with them. Once their evolution is complete and they return with a new name I'm happy to help them but as the time of their transformation into Bridezilla gets closer and closer something inside of them clicks and they no longer deal with reality.

I've been lied to, threatened, and screamed at by brides. I've brides fall onto the floor and cry hysterically because their paper stock won't run through a copier. I even had one of these creatures drag her bewildered Fiancé to the counter to rough me up. The look on the poor guy's face was disheartening. I looked at her and I yelled, "STOP! STOP THAT! Stop or he'll be filing for divorce before he signs the GODDAMN marriage license!!" And that was it. That was the last bride I helped.

There's more to it than the magical date. Brides undertake these massive projects or farm them out to unsuspecting friends, things they don't do professionally and have no understanding of the process of. They all want to be imaginative and original but they aren't. They're more often tacky or just weird with layers of Velum and alien looking papers. They make these invitations or announcements or souvenirs, they always cost more than they think and take longer than they have, and EVERY guest throws them away once you say "I do". Brides lose any concept of the world around them. I could be helping out three people at once and a Bride will still grab me by the apron and politely drag me over to her impossible project, then freak out when I tell her there are other orders ahead of her. Brides don't say thankyou. No matter how hard I bust my butt or what I have to do to change the laws of nature for a bride I get no appreciation. The one bride who did thank me said, and I quote, "Thank you.. But I'm never coming to your store again!"

I know if you're getting married and you're reading these for laughs you're telling yourself "Oh that's not me.. Not all brides are like this" But you don't know how horrible you are to people. And you'll never know how horrible you are to me.. I'll never help you.

Hmm, who deserves Etiquette Hell in this story?  Surely brides can and are like described but declaring to never serve your boss's customers can earn a person a toasty corner of Ehell.

One summer during college, I took a job as a photographer's assistant, specifically as a wedding assistant. I wanted to be a photographer, and was thrilled when this gentleman "Adam" accepted me, on the condition that I would also work for the other photographer based out of this studio. "Heidi", was a trip. The first time I met her, she was wearing a pink matte jersey (essentially spandex) suit. She had all sorts of rules I had to follow - it turns out that this gentleman photographer was also her employee... but no matter, I thought it would pay well, and would be worth giving up my Saturdays for the experience.

As I did not have a car, I had to take the subway to the commuter rail, and ride for 45 minutes to get to the studio. Because the train schedule was set, I had to take an early train, then wait outdoors at the station until Heidi/ Adam arrived to open the studio and get equipment. This varied from 20 minutes to 3 hours. My first wedding, I was incredibly nervous. Heidi was the principal photographer, and Adam would assist and I would learn from him, so that the next day I could be his assistant. When they met me, Heidi deemed me "underdressed" and "unprofessional" because I was not wearing a tuxedo. As a 20 year old woman, I did not own one, nor have any idea that I needed one. I was dressed in a nice white blouse and long black skirt, and comfortable shoes. If I was going to work for her, it was full dress tuxedo (or long black skirt) and at least 2 inch heels. Bow tie.

That day, I learned that my job was to haul equipment after her, and make sure the lighting was appropriate, dress fluffed, every one standing on the same foot, etc. As well as to set up lights, carry photojournalistic strobes and keep track of all film. I also learned to buy her cigarettes, bottled water and breath mints before she arrived at the studio. Heidi constantly chastised me for my appearance, that I wasn't "hot" enough, and why did my boyfriend like me? I endured these questions every weekend. Mind you, I was then a six four, attractive brunette. But I did not flaunt my figure as she did. Nor my sexual exploitations.

Mid summer I did cut my hair into a more current, 'do, and after that she started treating me much, much better, until the "evil" wedding. I say evil, because everything went wrong, right from the start. I waited for two hours, and Heidi did not show up at the planned time (10am) to load her car. I had no number to reach her at, so I waited another two hours outdoors in August, in my tuxedo. When she drove up, she explained that the Bride had called her and said the bridal party was running behind on hair and pushed back picture time. She said she thought I'd enjoy the time sunning, because I was "ghastly pale". I had quite a sunburn. When we arrived at the house to shoot the Bridal party pictures, we found the bride drinking mimosas, 2 'maids having their faces done, and the other eight still at the hair salon, in transit, etc. It was another two hours before the bride and all ten of her 'maids were ready for pictures.

On our way to the church, Heidi did nothing but criticize the way I had handled the eleven whining girls. I lugged the 50lbs. of equipment case up to the choir loft, took my 3 permitted shots, and then lugged it down and had the car cooling off so Heidi wouldn't be hot when she had to get back in to go to the reception. We dashed to the reception site, and set up in the courtyard with three other photographers for three other weddings. While I stopped to change film, Heidi moved us across the courtyard for better lighting. When the 22 member bridal party arrived, the Bride demanded to have the equipment moved to have the gazebo in the shots. Again we moved everything. The pictures went well, and we went inside, did our work and finally after dinner, (now 8:30pm) I sat down to organize all of the equipment, catalog the film, etc.

Well, Heidi decided not to try to pick up men and drink, her usual practices, and checked everything I did. She decided that a roll of film was missing, because I hadn't catalogued the film all along. She then decided that I must have lost it outside. Heidi fumed for the next half hour, and then dragged me outside to look for it in the now dark (and unlit) courtyard. She stood on the steps to the building while I crawled around on my hands and knees in the grass in the dark. This lasted nearly an hour. When I had her convinced that it was *not* there, she went back in. I went inside, we shot the last dance, and left. The entire ride to the subway, she yelled at me that I was ruining her business, and obviously incompetent, and so on and so forth. She refused to pay me for my 14 hour day (18, if you include wait and travel time), and threatened to sue me for whatever this Bride sued her for when she found out that pictures were missing. I spent the entire ride in tears, explaining to her that she had miscounted, and we had all of the film. She barely stopped for me to get out of the car when she dropped me at the subway. I chose not work for her again.

About a month later, I was assisting Adam for my last job of the summer. I went into the studio to get the equipment, and Heidi yelled out to me "Hey, girlie, you were right, we have all the pictures from that wedding." No apology for her behavior. She actually came up to me and asked if I would like to work at her studio Saturdays throughout the school year, as a receptionist/ occasional photographer. I politely declined the offer, and she said "But why? We work so well together?"   Vendor0406-01

My husband and I attended the wedding of one of my co-workers. The ceremony was strange in that the minister primarily talked about sex. He kept referring to the "marriage act", "married love" and the "holy communion of the husband and wife's bodies". This went on for about 45 minutes. People in the congregation were stifling giggles and exchanging looks of disbelief. My husband finally leaned over to me and whispered, "I just it's ok to have hot monkey love if Jesus is watching!" I learned from the MOH at the reception that she and her husband quit attending Sunday services at this church because the minister was so sex obsessed that all of his sermons were starting to sound like adult entertainment.    Vendor0413-01

I am a 21 year old young woman, who admittedly looks younger, (many people peg me at 16-18) but that's no excuse for people's rudeness! When my fiancé'   and I were first engaged, I went to a local bridal shop, and was appalled. This woman talked to a friend about her prom in front of me for a few minutes, then decided I wasn't going away. "You need what...?" I told her I was looking for a wedding dress. By the way, I am 5 feet tall and a size 2, very petite. She looked at my stomach, and said, "Will it be soon, or will you need another size?" I said, "My wedding is in 16 months." "Well, that's usually best," she says, pointedly looking at my stomach. I guess I was being masochistic, because I stayed.

I told her I liked Maggie Sottero dresses (fairly expensive) and she says "Dear, those are pricey." I informed her that I was aware of this, to which she replies, "Why don't we look at something more suitable." She then gets out a catalog (the dresses they had in stock were apparently too expensive ... or something) of informals. Informals are fine-if you're having an informal wedding, which I was not, as I soon informed her. Her reply, another gem of wisdom, "The dresses we have on the rack are all at least $400." Someone still was not getting it. I am usually very tactful, reserved, and gracious, and after trying to explain to this woman several times that the price of my dress was not an issue (within reason), I blew up. "Ma'am, I'd like to give you some help for the future, my fiancé' is in Grad school, I have a wonderful job, and will be having a huge wedding with over 20 people buying or renting attire (8 flower girls, 5 bridesmaids, MOB, MOG, groomsmen, etc.). I suggest that in the future you do not suppose so much about your customers, or potential customers. I am now going to get into my new SUV and go somewhere that knows how to treat its customers."     Vendor0414-01

I am a young bride to be as I'm 18 currently and will be 19 years old by the time I marry. I anticipated some reactions to my age by people who don't know us well, but never did I anticipate being down right heckled by a bridal shop owner!

The first time I went to look at bridal gowns was early in my engagement. A friend of mine and my friend's little sister were at the local mall and decided to drop in at the mall bridal shop to browse. We walked into the shop where we were asked to take our shoes off at the door and then were ignored as we looked through the dresses. I found a lovely dress and decided to try it on. I went to the counter and told the lady (who was also the owner of the shop) that I would like to try on a gown. She looked at me rather skeptically and said "Exactly how old are you??" I replied that I was 18 and she pushed a card with a rather lengthy form at me and walked me through each step as if I was a very small child.

One of the questions asked for in depth information about my mother and I told the lady that my Mother had passed away. She told me to just put a friends name and information down and so I did. A few weeks later my friend's little sister who had accompanied us told me that she had returned to that shop to look for a prom dress. The same lady had approached her and affirmed that she was the one who had came in with me a few weeks previously and then said to her in an accusing fashion, "That girl's Mother isn't really dead is she?? She just doesn't want her mother to know she's getting married right? Was she lying about her age too?" Talk about uncouth! Needless to say my friend's shocked sister immediately told the lady she was wrong as well as rude and left the store.

When we started looking at reception ideas, we had a caterer that we wanted to use and had hoped to find a hall to put him in. After not having much luck we asked the caterer for suggestions of halls. He suggested a church basement hall that he had worked in and that I had been to for previous family weddings. I told him this wouldn't be acceptable for us, since the MOB is paraplegic and uses a wheelchair and the church basement is only accessible by stairs. He actually suggested that it would still be okay since we'd only have to carry up and down the flight of stairs at the beginning and end of the evening! That changed our mind right then and there and found someone and someplace else to do the wedding.   Vendor0604-01

We often wonder how brides can be so clueless. I guess this would go under the category of tacky invitations. I am registered with for my upcoming wedding. I just received this in email. I certainly know enough not to follow this advice, but how many unfortunate brides to be don't?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 17:26:47 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: A FREE Gift for You!

Dear Annie, Your wedding is approaching and your guests want to know where you are registered. Enclosure cards are the elegant and appropriate way to let your guests know about your registry or your wedding website. Enclosure cards A wedding website is a free customizable page you design to share the story of how you met and the details of your wedding events. Wedding website When viewing your wedding website, your guests will see the link to your registries. They'll love the convenience of ordering a gift online for you (as well as having access to key wedding day details). Plus, you'll love receiving just the things you need for your new life together! So make your guests' gift-buying easy and convenient; slip an enclosure card into your wedding or shower invitation. Simply select the card that you prefer -- we'll send up to 200 cards to you FREE of charge. Select the card that you prefer We think you'll agree -- enclosure cards make everyone's life a little easier. Yours, P.S. Your bridal party can help spread the word about your registry, too. Give them a few extra enclosure cards that they can give to guests who inquire about your registry.
To remove your name from our mailing list, please send an e-mail to:


A classic example of how the wedding retail industry devises all kinds of neat ways to increase their profits at the expense of brides practicing good etiquette.

My wedding was last weekend and reading your collection of stories made me appreciate my lovely wedding. Many things went wrong during the reception that ranged from having the caterers show up with the wrong menu to the DJ losing the music list and improvising with Kenny G all night. However, the worst thing that happened I did not hear about until today. Apparently my father, not being much of a drinker, had asked one of the waitstaff for a refill on his glass of ice-water. The women distractedly pointed across the room and said "I don't have time for this, there's plenty of punch over there why don't you go get some of that, hmm?" Let me just say it's a good thing I was not around. I can hardly believe my father still paid the remainder of the bill.     Vendor0620-01

My husband has many friends, two of whom I'm not too crazy about for reasons you shall soon see. He insisted we use his friend "John" to cater our reception because he owned a number of restaurants over the years. We gave "John" a sizeable deposit and told him the amount of money we had to work with total and that we wanted to keep it fairly simple.

About two months before the wedding I called "John" and asked him if we shouldn't maybe go over the menu so we know how much more money we needed to come up with for the reception. "John" assured me that he had everything under control and that he'll get back to me closer to the wedding.

Two weeks before the wedding, I leave a message for "John" as we've not heard anything from him and he's not answering his phone when we call. Tuesday before our Saturday wedding I was finally able to get hold of "John" and asked him what was going on with the food for the reception and would he have everything ready for Saturday. There was a VERY long pause on the other end of the phone as "John" asks incredulously if the wedding was THIS Saturday, June 27. I said yes, THIS Saturday, June 27! He replies that he has made plans to take his family to the shore this weekend and that he "thought" the wedding was July 27.

He had prepared no food, no grocery list, and skipped out with our deposit, to boot! At this point I was ready to go to a JP and get it over with but my husband-to-be called some of our friends from church and explained the situation and they graciously brought food donations for our picnic reception. We supplied the hard shell crabs, hamburgs and hot dogs, rolls, plates, eating utensils, napkins and cups.

Another friend of his was a groomsman. During the reception this particular groomsman was being obnoxious and working on my last nerve. This was my second wedding and my husband's first so we kept some of the traditional customs such as the garter under my dress. The photographer asked two of the groomsmen to kneel and I was to sit on their bended knees and my husband was to remove my garter. The groomsman in question decided to bellow out the famous line from the original Star Trek, "To boldly go where no man has gone before" as my new husband removed my garter! Overall, we had a wonderful wedding and reception and the photographer and videographer both mentioned that ours was the most fun wedding reception they had ever attended.       Vendor0706-01

I was married last month at a beautiful resort in the mountains. When I had seen it during the planning, I had been amazed with how much I loved it. It was a simple but classical place and with a view of the entire valley. They were expensive. For one, we had to use their caterer, which was pricey. They would also be charging cake cutting and corkage fees, no matter where we got the cake or wine from or who served it. It was a little more money than I expected to spend but I decided that the beauty and integrity of the resort made it worth it.

We also decided to have our honeymoon there, since my FH and I both had kids and were nervous about being too far from home. Well, everything was going fine. I was scrambling to get the wedding planned but the catering was the think I was least worried about. After all, the resort had hosted many weddings there before. They were experienced. What was there to worry about? Right?

Well, about two months before the wedding, the sales manager at the resort calls me and asks when I am going to fill out my contract?" My jaw dropped. I had filled out a contract the year before, when I booked the resort. I told her this and she told me "Well, the sales manager who you booked us with no longer works here, and we don't have your contract." She told me I could fill out a new one, but this still bothered me. Warning flags were going up. Then she tells me that the room for the honeymoon was not booked for us, and that they don't have any vacancies. It bothered me a little that, two months before the wedding, I was learning that there wouldn't be a honeymoon. I told her that I had my original contract (which showed that we were supposed to have a room booked for us. Her response was "But, we don't have that contract. You will need to make another."

I bite my lip. It was too close to the wedding to find a different place. We drew up a new contract (minus the honeymoon) and faxed it over to them. Everything seemed to be OK again. We sent out the invitations and let her know how many people we would be expecting. They then informed us that we didn't have enough people for her to keep the dining room we were going to use for our reception. (Our contract didn't say anything about us not having the dining room. In fact, the number of people we were expecting barely fit their room maximum.) I told her I would pay whatever money was needed but that I had already put on the invitations that the reception would be in the dining room. She said it wasn't possible and that I would just have the reception elsewhere. My FH got on the phone with her manager. He explained that we had a contract with them. The manager agreed and I thought everything had been worked out.

The day of the wedding came. The ceremony was on a patio with a beautiful view. It went off wonderfully. The reception was another story. The food was $17 a piece and consisted of sandwich meats. When I signed the contract, I suppose I was envisioning fancy breads and cheeses. Nope. What we had were plain, stale pieces of bread and the kind of meats you can get at Supermarket for $5 a pound. The punch that I paid $16 a gallon for was the same super sweet stuff you get for your kids for 99 cents. Nobody was serving it, as the contract indicated. We had also paid for coffee and tea to be served with the meal, but it wasn't offered.

The dance floor was in another room so, after a twenty minutes of eating, the DJ asked everyone to move to the dance floor for the first dance. Our guests followed us to watch us dance, and also to watch the father/daughter and mother/son dances. When we went back or the cake-cutting, we were horrified to find the caterers had packed up all the food and were taking the tables away. My husband asked what we were doing and one replied "We thought you were done here." He informed them that the contract stated that we had the room until 4:00, and we had paid for such (it was 2:00). The caterer replied with "We open at 4". My husband told him that if that were the case, they shouldn't have let us book the room and pay $1000 for it. They put the tables back together but didn't return the silverware.

After we cut the cake, one of the waitresses asked "Are we supposed to serve it?". My husband said "Well, we paid you 1.50 a person to serve it." The caterers served a few pieces and left. I found out later that most of my guests did not receive cake, or didn't have anything to eat the cake with. The rest of the day was fun, although I was still embarrassed about the reception room. I also felt strange that the resort was hosting a tour and people could be seen staring at us from the balcony above. I really felt like we were being "hustled out". The kicker, though, came the following morning, when we went to leave. As we were going to leave, we went to the concierge and asked for the boxed up leftovers from the cake. She smiled and disappeared into the kitchen. She emerged with a horrified expression on her face, carrying a large cardboard box (like what you put a TV in) and a smaller box, neither were food grade. The top piece was OK, although the box it was in was filthy and obviously well used. When I saw the larger piece layers, I wanted to cry. They had been tossed very unceremoniously into this large box. The middle layer was upside down and completely ruined. My husband told me we would probably have to throw the larger box away. We haven't received our final bill from the resort. If we do, they will have to take us to court for it.    Vendor0710-01

I had to share this one! I thought it was a bad sign when the wedding invitation showed up sloppily hand written with the gift registry information inside the invite. The response cards didn't have stamps on them so we had to do that ourselves.  (This is actually proper etiquette.   - Jeanne) It turned out that some people had been invited to the wedding and reception and then the others were invited to show up after the dinner was over and the cake had been eaten. But the non-dinner guest still got a gift registry reminder.

The actual horror was during the ceremony. The minister who was a close friend of the family had just become ordained. Right off the bat you could tell he wanted to do something different. So he sang half of the ceremony. For instance "Heaven....we're in heaven". Or the best was "Row row row your boat.....for yes life is but a dream." He would sing these one liners and then translate them and almost working them into the ceremony. I still haven't figured out if the bride and groom knew he was going to do this or not. But it was hideous. The bridesmaids were giggling because his singing voice was not that great. They were trying to hide their faces but because they were so visible everyone could see them.

Then half way through the ceremony the minister starts to choke. Stops and says "I am sorry but I need to stop and get a drink of water." Leaves with the microphone on him so we can hear everything. Then comes back. The worse part was that one of the groomsmen was his son so we had to be really careful not to hurt his feelings afterwards when we were all talking about how rude the minister was! It was a ceremony not to be forgotten. My fiancé keeps reminding me that we can't talk about making wedding plans around some of these people for fear of the suggestion of having the same minister.     Vendor0218-01

Several years ago, I was asked to be a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding. I scheduled my fitting and headed to NONAME Bridal Store. As I waited for the woman who made measurements, I witnessed a conversation that will forever remain in my memory.

A bride-to-be held up a dress and told a salesperson, "I'd like to try on this dress." Her answer was, "No." The bride asked, "Why won't you let me try on this dress?" She was told, "Because you have already placed a nonrefundable deposit on a special order dress. It will be your dress." The bride said, "Well, what if I like this dress better?" The store employee, raising her voice, repeated, "The dress you ordered will be your dress! Your deposit is nonrefundable!" The bride, now in tears, made one last attempt to convince the saleslady to let her try on the dress, saying, "Well, what if I want to buy two dresses?" The saleslady yelled at this poor weeping woman, "NOBODY WANTS TWO WEDDING DRESSES!" I was called into the fitting room with the sound of the crying bride in the next room.

The fitter popped the dress my friend had chosen on me, this sample dress was maybe a size 12 or 14. She pulled the back together with her hands (it was too big even to zip), and announced, "I'll order you a size ten." "No," I insisted, "I am a perfect size 8, a ten will need too many alterations." "Very well then," she said, "I'll get you the 8." In speaking with the other bridesmaids later, every one of them allowed the store to order the next larger size and had to pay a fee to have the dress altered to fit. My dress fit perfectly! I'll never forget that weeping bride, though. I bet she hated her dress, and felt sad every time she looked at her photos.     Vendor0729-01

I arrived home one day from work to find my fiancée Maria in tears. Our wedding date was about two months away and she tried to explain through her tears that her dresses were gone! We had originally planned our wedding for a year before but due to injuries Maria sustained in a car accident we postponed the wedding. Maria had checked with the dress shop periodically and was told that everything was fine, they would store the dresses for her until she was ready. At one point they asked her for a new date, and she told them "next summer." They said they needed an exact date so they entered June 1st. She stopped in the shop in late June to inform them that the finalized date would be September, 22. They told her everything was fine.

In July she called to make her final payment arrangements. That's when I walked in and found her in tears. The shop told told her that since she had not picked up her dresses on the planned date that they were considered abandoned and became the property of the shop. Furthermore, they had been sent back to the maker to be liquidated. They say they called to inform her of this but no calls were ever received. I called and spoke to the manager who admitted that the dresses were not really gone but if we wanted them we would have to pay the full original price (Maria had already paid about 2/3) and since the original price agreed on was discounted, she would have to pay the price before discount. I reasoned with the woman and she agreed to consult with her superior.

When I called back she told me we could have the dresses for the balance due plus about $500. I couldn't believe that was the store policy so I asked to speak to the owner. Well, the owner was away on vacation. After waiting two weeks and making about five or six calls I got through to the owner. She said she would review the situation. She called back and said that she estimated her storage fees at $750 and she graciously offered to split this with me. I could see I was over a barrel and had to accept. While searching the Internet for their number I thought it was ironic that their ad lists ways to steer clear of wedding dress scams. Vendor0806-01

My step-daughter's wedding was held in a large, multi-room, fully catered reception hall. All of these rooms are private, sound proof and stem from a main lobby so that several different events can take place without disruption. One room was decorated for the wedding ceremony and an adjacent room was set up for the reception. The bride was considering using a CD player for the ceremony and reception but the reception hall manager said that the sound system in the building was excellent and was designed so that CD music could be piped into specific rooms.

The bride selected several different CD's to play during the guest seating, candle lighting and of course when she and her father walked down the aisle. Unfortunately the employee on duty the day of the wedding didn't have a clue how the system worked. We couldn't understand why there wasn't any music during the guest seating and candle lighting ceremony. When the bride was ready to walk down the aisle, a family member ran to the office to tell them it's time to play "Here Comes the Bride." The CD was changed and when the family member headed back towards the ceremony room she hears the music playing in the adjacent reception room. Aha, that's where all the chosen music was playing. The family member runs back to the office and tells them the music is being piped to the wrong room. The employee fiddles with the unfamiliar switches. Now the wedding guests hear the wedding march playing in the lobby. The bride has stood there long enough and decides to go a head and walk down the aisle anyway to the distant sound of "Here Comes the Bride." The employee finally discovers his error and pipes the music into the ceremony room. But the aisle is a short trip and long after the bride has found her way next to the groom, the song continues to play on and on. The family member runs back and tells him to turn it off.      Vendor0815-01

A few years ago one of my friends from college got married. While she was planning her wedding for almost a year she made sure to inform all of her relatives and the groom's family that they did not wish to have children attend the wedding. It was an outdoor, evening wedding and she wanted to make sure that there were no little ones crying or getting upset during the ceremony.

Some of the groom's family was not too happy about this and especially one of the groom's aunts was insistent that her daughter be allowed to come if she was going to come to the wedding, a good day's drive from her home. My friend offered to hire a babysitter to look after her daughter during the wedding. However, after much pleading from other family members on the groom's side the aunt relented to having someone watch her child at home and come on her own.

Well, as you might have guessed, the day of the wedding arrives and of course the aunt comes and brings her daughter with her to the ceremony. There was not much my friend could do at this point so she went on with her ceremony and relented to having a good time at the reception. The kicker is this: the photographer she had hired to take pictures brought his son to the wedding and reception! After all the fuss with her own family, someone she was actually paying to be there brought his 10 year old son along with him. This child was not only uninvited he also had food at the reception for which his dad was being paid to work at!

Unfortunately this photographer did not have any idea how rude it was for his own son to crash my friend's wedding. The worst part though was when they asked all the single guys to get together to catch the garter. The photographer's uninvited son decided to plant himself in the group and ended up catching the garter! Now my friend has pictures of the photographer's son catching the garter at a wedding he was paid to work at!    vendor0818-01  

And the moral of the story is the photographer's son will grow up to be just as rude and unprofessional as his role model father thus perpetuating bridal heartburn and stress to the next generation.

Well, I've been to several really over the top weddings, but this one really does have to win the prize. I'll just keep it short by saying the clergy was some nutter the groom's family knew and had evidently been shipped in to do the wedding. It ought to be noted that the bride was about 19 and utterly beautiful, a fact not lost on the apparently sex-crazed minister, who kept making sexual comments, observations about her physical charms, and off-color jokes throughout the ceremony. (I swear I'm not making this up. If you want, I'll take you down to the chapel and show you the pucker marks on the wooden pews, left there by the mortified squirmings of me and about 15 friends. And I daresay we weren't the only ones clenching our butts in embarrassment.) At one point, this idiot even said to the bride, "There's going to be times you aren't in the mood, but don't turn him down. Take a couple of these." and handed the poor child a bottle of Advil. Yes.

She eventually leaned forward towards him and hissed, "Can we please get on with it?" What a sideshow. As hard as I imagine this is to believe, I do have multiple witnesses.  Vendor0821-01

Hi, I got married last weekend and here is my story. We hired our DJ who is a country-music-specific DJ, although we don't particularly like country music. He DJ'd at my parents' line dancing events, and my mom and dad both said that he was quite good and that he didn't have to play country music. So I hired him, and we had a meeting a few weeks in advance and picked out most of the songs. I told him that we didn't have the father/daughter song yet or the bride and groom song yet but that we'd find them and get them to him before the event.

Well, the day before the wedding, I called him and left a message but he didn't get back to me till the morning of the wedding. I told him that we are doing a song on a Boston Pops CD that we have to give to him, and that there's a post-it note on the inside of the CD case of which song to play. I also told him that my father picked out "Boot Scootin' Boogie" for the father/daughter dance. He proceeds to tell me that I'm wrong, that he already has "To Love you more" for the bride and groom dance. I tell him that I don't care what he has down, that this is how it is. That "To Love you more" is the bridal party dance. He proceeds to argue with me to tell me I'm wrong. Then he finally relents and says "well I don't have that song". I had to tell him THREE times, talking like I'm talking to a child that "WE HAVE THE CD TO GIVE TO YOU WITH A POST-IT NOTE ON THE INSIDE OF THE CASE OF THE SONG FOR YOU TO PLAY." Plus he yells at me for not telling him of the time change for the reception. I tell him that I tried to get ahold of him the day before to tell him that, that I'd gotten a different room at the reception hall so I didn't have the time constraint and could start hors d'oeuvres earlier.

So fast forward to the reception. The DJ announces us, and that's fine. He does the bride & groom dance and does the right song. Then we have dinner and before dinner, he decides to 'pay tribute' to the tragedy of the World Trade Center and played a LONG version of "America The Beautiful". I mouthed to my cousin who was sitting at the next table "I didn't do this.." and she mouthed back "Fire him." Everyone was wondering what was up with that.

After dinner, he shortened the father daughter dance to less than 30 seconds. And he added a mother/son dance when we didn't give him one. AND he made the mother/son dance be a country song. AND he starts trying to embarrass me by telling everyone that after I'd told him "no country" that I CHANGED the father/daughter dance to a country song (duh I had my dad pick a song), and that I'd told him that if everyone seemed bored to do a line dance lesson. (I'd said that if, before we arrived to the reception if people looked bored to do it.) So he asks "IS everyone bored?" And I yell at him "NOO!!!!!!!!" I wanted to strangle the man, seriously. He had his own agenda about everything. He only charged me $250 (and I'm not sure if that was their fee or if they sensed we weren't happy) but he was the worst DJ I've ever seen.    Vendor0927-01

My brother in law seemed to have no luck in securing good photographers for his weddings. The photographer at his first wedding was terrible; but the photographer at his second wedding was even worse. His second wedding was to take place on a Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. in mid-June.

I met the photographer at the rehearsal and I learned that she was highly recommended by the church and the reception hall. I figured she must be extraordinary since her camera of choice was a Brownie camera. I was shocked to hear her announce that she would need my husband, the groom and the two ushers to show up at 6:00 a.m. at the church the next morning to help her carry in and set up all her equipment. She also wanted to know what the video camera set up was going to be like as she didn't want the videographer in her way. My brother and sister in law said she'd have no problem as they opted not to have video taken to cut down on the expenses.

The next morning my husband is up bright and early to rush to the church and when he comes back, he has just about a half hour to shower and change into his tux. I asked him what took so long, and he said that she needed the backdrop and lighting set up just right so that everything would be perfect. And he said they sweated like pigs the entire time because the church was unairconditioned (it was mid-June).

The wedding went off without a hitch, but we were all detained for over an hour after the ceremony to take picture after picture while we were dying from the heat. And then the guys had to help her break down the equipment and reload it into her van, so we ended up getting to the reception hall two hours later.

We get to the reception hall and everything is proceeding as planned, except the photographer is nowhere to be found. It comes time to have the first dance, the father/daughter dance, etc. and the photographer makes a big scene by rushing into the room just as the music has started. Later on, the DJ announces that its time for the cake cutting and the bouquet/garter toss and again the photographer is MIA. I happened to go into the bathroom looking for her and come to realize she's having stomach problems. I come out to inform the DJ to hold up, but they had proceeded anyway and my brother and sister in law didn't even realize the photographer didn't make it out in time to take the pictures! Luckily, other family members were snapping away with their own cameras so at least they'd have something.

As it turns out, more than half of this highly recommended photographer's pictures didn't even come out and she was threatening to sue my brother and sister in law because they were refusing to pay her! All those photos we so painstakingly posed for never came out. As for the traditional cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc., my brother and sister in law had to go around and ask family and friends who took pictures to please make them copies of anything that came out just so they'd have something. I felt so bad because they didn't even have video to fall back on. I hope that lady photographer hung up her camera because she was a big disappointment.      vendor1018-01

I am sitting here taking a break from writing thank-you cards, and I have to tell you I love your site. I do have a good vendor-from-hell story for you concerning our DJ (which had a happy ending thanks to the foresight to hire a band to play in addition to the DJ, a very helpful coordinator, and an amazing band who stepped up).

I am the sort of person that is organized to a tee--have lists, and back-up plans for everything, thankfully. Recently, my parents very generously threw a reception for me and my new husband in a museum (one of the few places that could accommodate the nearly 400 invitee guest list) which followed our very intimate ceremony. Now, my Mom is the sweetest, but I have to say that my anal organizational tendency is partly because of her lack of it, which is why I did most of the planning. I (with help) had a year and three months to pull the whole set up together from 3000 miles away (this was a 2 state, 3 day affair), which was a good thing because the specific requirements and guidelines we had to follow for the museum reception took a lot of planning (to the point that they needed to approve the invite, the seating plan needed the fire inspector's okay, etc.).

One of the few things my Mom was extremely excited about was hiring the DJ. He was hired to play ethnic folk music that my Mom enjoys tremendously--this was one of the things that meant the most to her. Now, she knew this man for years and he was to give a few brief dance lessons before going into DJ mode so that the rest of the party could also join in the fun. My Mom had taken dance lessons from this man for a long time, and insisted that his wife and daughter be invited to the party. This was fine. Because his inventory was heavy on the ethnic side, we worked out a timeline where he would play background music for cocktails, alternate with a band in 30 minute increments for the reception, and then take over at the end of the night. All still fine. He was fine with this, we booked a band who was aware of the arrangement, and all seemed well and good. I spoke with him several times over the course of 15 months about the fact that he needed to meet with the museum to go over their regulations for set-up/break-down, etc. He said this was fine.

Months went by, he kept assuring me that he would contact the museum. The invitation responses came back, all three would attend, all still fine. Six weeks before the wedding, my life started getting really fiancé's Mom got ill, the Twin Towers were knocked down (affecting us and a lot of our guests), my fiancé's Mom passed away. We decided to go ahead with the plans, my saint of a coordinator proceeded to take over all the last minute confirmations...except she couldn't get a hold of the DJ. I ask my Mom to see what is up during her next dance lesson. I ask the coordinator to please continue trying.

Ten days before the reception, my Mom tells me this DJ has decided that "he has a pot luck to DJ for" (a POT LUCK?) on the day of our reception, and that he won't be able to make it after all. She proceeds to tell me that he said his daughter could take over, but that she could not use the equipment (and could we use a CD player instead?). When my sister calls to ask his daughter about these dubious arrangements, she has no clue she has been volunteered, and that he won't be there. None of them attend the reception. No one bothers to call to cancel.       Vendor1024-01

I'm working on etiquette advice for a greeting card website. I went to to find basic formulas for wedding invitations. I was horrified to find that they actually offer "friendly" little verses you can include with your invitation to specifically ask for money/donations for a honeymoon, etc. Disgusting. They should be telling people not to do that under any circumstances, but instead they're showing folks how to do exactly the wrong thing; giving people the illusion they're being polite when it's extremely tacky to send someone a not requesting their donation toward your ill-planned honeymoon. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. Period. If I got request like that (one of their verses specifically mentions that they don't need a toaster) I'd go out and buy that couple the most suburban, pedestrian toaster I could find.     Vendor1121-01

That's the Ehell spirit! Never feed those greedy animals what they want!

Four months before my wedding, my fiancé and I were busy selecting a photographer. I called several businesses in our local phone book. I found one that sounded promising and talked with the photographer. He kindly obliged to drop off a sample album at my work. I had the album for a 5 days. During those five days he called me 4 times. I thought he must have been desperate for work to call so frequently.

He asked me on the fourth phone call to have the album at my work that Monday so he could pick it up. I said, "Of course." Monday he did not show up. Tuesday he called again and asked me to mail it to him. I wanted to avoid the post office, it was around Christmas time, but I agreed. Work, however was very busy and I never made it to the post office. On Thursday he called me again this time informing me that he had lost another client because the book had not arrived. I never knew about that. He also told me I was a "self-absorbed hypocritical bitch." He told me he would never do my wedding and told me he was going to report the album stolen! Then he promptly hung up on me!

I was in shock. I called my fiancé and asked him to please call and straighten things out. The photographer then proceeded to call my fiancé a "*ucking liar and a thief" and said he would "kick his ass!" Five minutes later I got a message on my cell phone from the photographer. In that message I was called every dirty, offensive, derogatory name I have ever heard in my life. This man was totally unprofessional, rude, offensive and his actions were totally unwarranted. I was so upset I called every I knew, including area photographers, to tell them what happened. I also filed a report against his company. I quickly found another photographer who doesn't yell at me, call me names or swear at me! Imagine that!  Vendor1227-01

Just thought I'd send you an email about mine and my boyfriend's ring-shopping experience this weekend. We went to XXXXXXX, which touts itself repeatedly on the radio as "having 10 times the inventory of any other retailer, low prices, come see us last, etc. etc. etc." Sounds great, right? So, we go in there. True, it's a big showroom. We tell the sales guy that we are looking for a platinum, princess-cut ring with princess side stones. He shows us a few settings/stones until I found one I really liked. He says that he will get a manager to come over and give us a price quote. My boyfriend said, "Well, we'll be happy to talk to him, but we have no interest in buying today, we are just looking around and comparing." (This was our first stop).

So, here comes the salesperson. He strolls over and starts asking if we like the ring. I tell him yes, it's nice, but we were just looking. My boyfriend asks if the price is negotiable. The salesperson tells him he can work with him on that. So, my BF says, well thanks a lot, we will keep you guys in mind, I appreciate you showing us the ring but we want to go a few other places and take a look around so we don't limit ourselves. Sounds fine, right? Here's where it all goes south.

The jeweler says, and I quote, "Well, frankly, I don't care if you guys come back or not. If I held my breath for every person who said that, I'd be asphyxiated." We just stared at him, and my BF pointed out that we had informed him from the get-go that we were just browsing. So the salesguy says, "Don't you listen to our commercials? You're supposed to come here last!!!" Then he suddenly switched tactics, saying things like, "What will it take to get you into this ring today?" My BF says, "Nothing, b/c I'm not buying one today." So the salesguy barks (and I do mean loudly) - "Aren't you serious about her at all? Why did you go shopping if you had no intention to buy?" Then he started saying stuff like, "Well, obviously this ring isn't in your price range, or you'd be more serious about it." (Might I point out that my BF can well afford to pay cash for a ring on the spot.) Seeing that we were just staring at him he said to my BF, "Well, obviously you aren't listening to a word I'm saying, are you?"

At that point, I broke in and said, "I'm sure my BF doesn't want to discuss prices with you IN FRONT OF ME, especially since we have stated that we are just looking." So the sales guy says, "Oh, so price is no object, huh? If I brought you out the Ferrari of rings, you could just plop down the credit card, huh? If I offered you this ring today for $50 (it was a $9000 ring) then you wouldn't care, because you aren't buying today, right? Well, I'll show you that Ferrari, wait here." He retreats into the back of the store, and we stared at each other in disbelief, and simultaneously got up and left the store.

Appalled at how we had been treated, my BF called the store and asked to speak to the manager. The manager then proceeded to tell him that WE were the rude ones who had just wasted the salesperson's time, that he had listened to our whole conversation (easy when the salesperson is yelling) and that we refused to give the salesguy a price range to work with. My BF said that even if that was the case, the customer is always right, and they should have been at least nice to us, because if we had not found a better ring elsewhere we would have returned. The manager then said, "I don't know what kind of business you're in, but you must not be very successful at it, because the customer is very rarely right." At this, my BF hung up on him. We then went on the internet and found the same ring for $4,000 less on, with a bigger diamond and a higher clarity. The last laugh is on them for making a $9,000 mistake.     Vendor0122-01

Two of my husbands friends from college got married a few years ago. When the bride went to pick up her gown two days before the wedding, they asked her if she wanted to try it on, one last time. She said sure, and while everyone oohed and aahed yet again, a woman with two small children entered the shop. One kid had melted chocolate all over their hands, and the other had an enormous red lollipop.

Can you guess where this is going? Anyway, maybe five minutes later, one of the bridesmaids pointed and said, "Ummm....what's that?" Everyone looked at the big red lollipop deposited dead center on the train. The mother walked over, picked up the lollipop, gave it back to the kid, and led the children out of the shop. The shop owner was appalled, and had the gown cleaned and delivered to the bride before the wedding, so everything was fine in the end.  Vendor0126-01

My husband and I were married on June 16, 2001. We are a thirty something professional couple with large families so we decided on holding a "Wedding Weekend". Because the reception hall we wanted had a two year waiting list, we had plenty of time to plan three days of events and had booked most of our vendors at least 18 mos. in advance. Our "rehearsal dinner" was scheduled to be a dinner cruise on one of our local river boats that my husband and I had taken frequently and enjoyed.

At the time I booked them (November '99) I had put down a $500 deposit to reserve the Friday, June 15, 2001 evening. We asked for and were willing to pay extra for a private charter (the boat can take three separate parties) and we wanted to use our own caterer (the very excellent professionals who did the rest of our weekend with perfection) with the agreement that all beverage charges stay with the boat for insurance purposes. As I would be planning the menu with my caterers, I was told to come to make the final preparations with the boat two weeks prior to the wedding.

To be safe, I went to the cruise office three weeks in advance and was told rather rudely that MY reservation was for July 15th, not June 15th, two other parties had chartered the boat for June 15th, and "perhaps you have confused the dates." Now, I will admit that I can make mistakes, nobody is perfect, but let's be real. The odds of me "confusing" the dates of MY wedding weekend were slim to none. Especially after I produce the original deposit receipt with THEIR June 15th notation on it. Since I was able to prove that I had booked June 15th, even though I did not have a contract (they had explained to me earlier that a contract was not necessary since they were not actually catering the event. I should have known better), we could have one of the decks, not a private charter, I had to use them as the caterers as they were catering the other party and the kitchen was too small for two caterers AND I would still have to pay the FULL chartering fee since my party was much smaller than one of the other parties they would have to bump! Were they kidding? It was then implied that I had no choice as the invitations had already been mailed and this was the best that they would do for me.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT a shrinking violet. I told them that I would not, under any circumstances, share the charter, use them as the caterers and, certainly not pay any charter fee. I gave both owners a piece of my mind, told them that they should be ashamed of themselves for attempting to coerce a large amount of money from me that they were not entitled to and how dare they suggest that, to accommodate me, they were willing to destroy somebody else's plans by bumping the second charter! I then demanded my deposit back and the name of their attorney.

Fortunately for me, my matron of honor scoured the area and made alternate arrangements for the dinner with the local country club who bent over backwards and made a horrible time much easier for me. I will be hosting a web site in the very near future to warn future wedding parties away from this cruise line in Upstate New York and will post the address here.  vendor0801-01