Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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My e-hell story involves two friends, sisters, and their mother.  I’ll call them T and D and the mother N.  We had all known each other for 15 years and I had sincerely counted them amongst my best friends.  Little did I know….

Two years ago my boyfriend of 4 months proposed.  We immediately decided on a June wedding in my parents' riverfront yard, giving us 8 months to plan the wedding.  I immediately knew that my sister would be MOH and that I really didn’t want any other attendants.  I was happy to let things develop as they may, she could choose her dress, a friend from work offered to sing, etc.  After all a wedding is really about the ceremony itself, the party after is just gravy.  I wanted people to attend and have a good time.  I worked retail and saw N two days after the proposal at my counter and excitedly showed her my ring.  Her exact words were, “Well, would you look at that,” then she turn and left without saying anything else or making her purchases.  I thought it was odd but never realize it was a shadow of things to come.

T, D and N immediately ceased talking to me.  I found out from mutual friends that T and N were furious that I was engaged after only 4 months when T had been with her boyfriend for 4 years, living together for 3.  D apparently never said a word against me but cancelled any plans we had or just failed to show up.   I was surprised by their behavior but decided to let it slide.  Weddings bring out strange feelings in everyone, and if they wanted to be that way it was their problem. 

Three months go by; I haven’t heard a peep from the 3.  T appears at my work, I see her make a bee line from the door straight to my counter.  She announces that her boyfriend proposed on Christmas day, a week prior, and how romantic it was.  I’m happy for her; she’s been in love with him for a long time.  She then informs me that her wedding will be in July, but as she knows that my fiancé and I will be moving out of state after our wedding in June she won’t bother inviting us.  I’m surprised and a little shocked, but in all practicality I wouldn’t have been able to go.  Not once does she inquires after my wedding or fiancé, but continues on about her plans.  I try to be polite but I am at work and still very busy with the after Christmas rush.  I excuse myself so I can do my job.

New Years day she drops by my parent’s house with her fiancé to show off her ring, a very large and showy sapphire with lots of diamonds surrounding it.  She stays all of ten minutes, just long enough for everyone in my family to see the ring and admire it.  We’re all quite shocked, who drops in to show off jewelry?  Due to the previous chilly behavior we can only conclude that she wanted to show her ring was bigger than mine.  If she was going for jealousy, it didn’t work.  I chose my ring and loved it; it suited my small hand perfectly.

Almost immediately I find out about strange coincidences.  My priest, who is a good friend of mine, phones me to ask if I knew T and N.  They had called him to perform the ceremony for Ts’ wedding.  Oddly enough, we’re not the same faith.  They have their own church, complete with minister so why did they need mine?  He told me that they had inquired about my plans and decided to have similar but bigger.  I was having a riverfront yard wedding; they would have on at a riverfront park under a gazebo.  My family is from New Zealand, so my wedding was to be more in keeping with that countries traditions…so they had to have a theme wedding.  Hawaiian, despite the fact that Hawaii is 4000 miles away and no one is Hawaiian.  I belong to a local dance troupe, who offered to perform at my reception as a gift, so they need hula dancers and ask if my priest know any.  I find out later that my priest was not the only person they grilled for information. 

I call off my wedding in March, up until this time I hadn’t had any communication with T or N, I’d tried calling D but she never returned a single call.  Within two days of my calling off the wedding, N arrives at my parent’s house.  I happen to be there, she gushes on about how sad it is for me, always the bridesmaid never the bride sort of nonsense.  She proceeds to tell us all about Ts’ plans, and then some.  This becomes a regular habit of hers, it gets to the point that I drive by my parents' house before visiting so as to avoid her.  Occasionally she brings D with her, but D never says more than hello to me.

During these little visits we get to hear details we’d rather not know.  Such as how much everything costs:  $3000 to have a perpetual slide show of T and her fiancé run during the reception, $2000 for the dress ( which HAD to be bought out of state as there was NOTHING worth while locally), etc.  I was raised that it was rude to discuss money, so I found this to be in poor taste but smiled politely and held my tongue.  We also became privy to other details, such as the two bridal showers they were planning.  D was MOH so she was having a small spa shower, and the bride was throwing herself a much larger, 250 guest shower.  The spa show wasn’t actually to be at a spa but at the house of someone I’d never heard of, and it was a Mary Kay party.  This, I was informed, was so that all the bride's girlfriends could buy her make up and treatments to get ready for the wedding.  And the Mary Kay rep was a friend of theirs so the party would benefit her as well.  We are never told when these parties will be held.  When Mary Kay invite arrives I find it’s on a day I have to work a 12 hr shift, so I have to decline.  I am somewhat relieved as I did find the prospect somewhat tacky. Only a few of those invited were able to attend, largely because the invites were sent out only a few days before the shower leaving people without enough notice.   N informs us at the next drop in visit that T didn’t receive nearly enough of the gifts that she had wanted.

When the invites for the 250 guest shower arrive I discover it’s also at a time I have to work so I send my regrets, but my mother and grandmother did attend as did several mutual friends.  We had been told previous how much this party would cost the bride's family (more than my entire backyard wedding) and my family was surprised at how badly it was prepared.  There was a choice of 5 hors d’oeuvres and a soda for each person.  Not enough food for an event held at lunch time.  The guests were literally locked in.  Tables had been set up so that half were not facing the stage where the bride acted as MC.  It turned out that the vast majority of the guest didn’t actually know the bride; they were students or co-workers of N!  I did send a gift to the shower, a selection of perfumes that I knew the bride would like.  I had always been under the impression that shower gifts were something personal for the bride, not usually something off the registrar.  However the place of registrar was clearly printed on the invite.  I never did receive a thank you.

During Ns’ many visits she continually told us that we were invited to the wedding, but no invites appeared.  At the large shower there were invitations printed on the back of the shower program, so we assumed these were the invites.  Not so, everyone else received lovely engraved invites.  Since I knew where the registry was I had a look at it to select the gift.  I’m floored.  The bride and groom have requested things like $50 steak rub, and $30 spatulas!   Call me old fashioned but if a couple has been living together for three years it’s a little inappropriate to be expecting gifts like this.  They have a home already.

A week before the wedding N comes to my counter at work and asks why my parents hadn’t sent back the RSVP card from the invite.  I say that none of us received an invite.  N replies that of course my parents and grandparents are invited, but it turns out that I am not.  Since, unlike the showers, I knew the wedding date months in advance I had already arranged time off.  I’m shocked but do not say anything.  When I go to my parent’s house after work, T had dropped by with two engraved invites for my family and apologized for the oversight of forgetting to mail them.  However, I am still not invited.  My family was also informed at this time that they were not to wear anything other than beige or similarly muted colors, and anything else would upstage the bride. 

My family does attend the ceremony and brings gifts.  It is preformed by my priest, who is in T and Ns’ bad books because he refuses to perform a sand ceremony.  They wanted him to pour sand from two decorative bottles into one and give a speech about how this all symbolizes the bride and groom's new unity.  Nor will he bless a bottle with a copy of the wedding certificate in it and throw it into the river.  Neither of these are part of a religious ceremony and the bottle is littering.  N performs both of this herself.  The wedding itself was odd, in keeping with the Hawaiian theme the males of the bridal party all wear Hawaiian print shirts and khakis, and the females all wear Mumus.  None of these outfits appear to have been ironed.  Not with the theme are the flowers, hydrangea and roses.  The bride wore a huge white southern-belle style gown, a little over the top for what was billed as an informal wedding.

At the reception hall there are tables with name tags set up but none with my family’s name or that of the priest.  My family leave as it appears they were not invited to the reception.  The priest stays as he feels some sort of obligation.  He calls me a few days  later with the details.  The guests were divided into two groups.  Those who had name cards at the tables were to participate in a sit down dinner, whereas everyone else got an hors d’oeuvres buffet.  All drinks for the buffet crowd, including water, had to be purchased.  Adding insult to injury, the buffet was not big enough for all who were invited.  The hula dancers everyone had been told about never appeared.  The only dancing was the bride and groom dance and the father/daughter dance, N tried to organize a dollar dance with the bride and groom but no one wished to participate.  (Dollar dances are unheard of in this area.)  It was also announced that there was wishing well on the gift table where guests could donate money.  Gifts were opened and vetted for appropriateness in front of everyone.  My priest said that in all his years performing weddings he had never seen anything so tacky or money grubbing.  He asked why I had not attended, to which I replied I hadn’t been invited.  He had been told my absence was due to my “mourning”  for my own called off wedding.  Later a mutual friend found out I wasn’t invited as T felt I had upstaged her by planning my wedding for June, deliberately so she couldn’t be a June bride.  She also was informed that my family was invited because we’re “old money” and could afford decent gifts.  The fact that we’re “old money” was news to us, we have what we have because we work hard.  T informed the friend that my grandparents had purchased my house for me.  Not true, I purchased it myself.  I worked overtime and saved while T went to the beauty parlor weekly.

I felt no obligation to send a gift or even a card after such shabby treatment.  My grandparents received a thank you six months after the wedding and my parents never received one.  We desire no contact with these people anymore.  However, being a small town they cannot be completely avoided.  I ran into T at a party and she informed me that she hadn’t invited me as she knew I’d be working…I replied that actually I’d taken the weekend off and had gone to visit an out-of-state friend, which I had.  She then informs me that etiquette says I have a year to send her a gift.  N hasn’t stopped dropping in unexpectedly to my parent’s house and continues to go on about how sad it is that my wedding was called off.  D is still missing in action, I have no clue what has become of her. 


  The absolute worst disaster of a wedding I ever attended was about two months after I graduated from college.  I was dating my future wife, who was a year from graduating college herself, and was living with my parents while doing her internship in my home town.  She lived in a town about an hour and a half away, and her sister was getting married over the Fourth of July weekend.  Throughout the weekend, I had a feeling of impending doom hanging over my head, but was unsure as to just why.  The ceremony itself went well enough, and was a nice ceremony, with no more or fewer mishaps than you might expect from any wedding ceremony.  

Then we got to the reception, which had all the makings of a disaster.  The bride's paternal grandfather was on oxygen for lung problems, and for this reason, they had planned a non-smoking reception, and no ashtrays were placed in any of the public areas of the hall, which was a church social hall.  Within a half hour of guests arriving, the groom's family and friends, who found this prohibition unacceptable, had raided the kitchen, found where the ashtrays were hidden, placed them on the tables, and proceeded to light up.  Needless to say, the bride's grandparents didn't stay long.  

The second problem was the overly free-flowing booze.  The groom had hired some friends to tend bar.  They mixed drinks, but the beer, rather than being behind the bar with the rest of the alcohol, was left on a table out in the open, and the bartenders claimed no responsibility for it.  As the bride was only 19, many of the guests were underage, and most of them were drunk.  As a result, the bride's brother-in-law spent most of the reception carting home drunk teenagers.  

The groom had also hired a friend to DJ the wedding, with the understanding that the music would be appropriate for a wedding reception.  Most of the music played was rap, with the expletives completely unedited, much to the horror of the bride's maternal grandparents, who are strict born-again Christians.  Due to this and other behavior of the guests, they also didn't stay at the reception for very long.  There were fights between bridesmaids and groomsmen, fights between drunken guests, people sneaking off to the woods behind the hall to have sex, and at one point, several of the groomsmen set up a table with cups, and were playing BEER PONG!  There were also guests who nearly set fire to the church next to the hall setting off firecrackers, and the father of the groom spent most of the reception in his car in the parking lot, smoking marijuana.  

To cap the whole fiasco, one of the groomsmen, who was very drunk, managed to drive off without anyone noticing, and made it about three blocks from the reception before crashing his car into the front porch of a house.  It was by far the worst wedding I ever attended, and many of the guests deserve their condemnation to etiquette hell.



This is the all very true story of my baby brother's wedding. We will call him Alan. He was 19 at the time. His fiancée *Amy* was 16. Yeah, I know... underage. Her mother & father had to sign for her to get married. She was 4 months pregnant if that helps explain anything. We are not rich folk but do have pride and try our best to act like civilized humans. Her family however is a whole different species. Since the bride was really starting to show, her family decided she had to get married RIGHT then. There was maybe a week to plan the wedding.    

I love to do crafts, so I offered to make the bride's bouquet. She wanted a small one to throw. No problem, I did that too. They turned out gorgeous. My brother's GF made a beautiful wedding cake for them. There is a small church in their area & we knew the pastor. He offered to give the church and his services for free. Also his daughter had just married, so she offered her beautiful dress for the bride to borrow. The pastor also had a nice suit for my brother to wear. Pastor went waaaaay beyond what he had to.    

Day of wedding-fun begins. Brother was at Mom's house to collect my other bro. who was his BM. We took a few pics as we never get to see brothers dressed up like that. Bride calls & cusses out Groom because she wants him at the church at that moment. We all go to the church. Her family seat themselves on side of church where groom's family should sit. We can't convince them they are on wrong side. Ok, no prob. They are uber rednecks , so we just go to other side. In walks Bride's mom in a leather (vinyl?) vest. Nothing underneath, and a super mini mini-skirt. Completing the look was huge platform sandals. The uncle shows up in his cowboy gear and refuses to take off 10 gallon hat in church. Bride's maternal grandmother hated the paternal GM and threatened to kill paternal grandmaw right there at church. Said she was going to shoot her. Poor paternal GM is sitting in back quiet as a mouse not saying a word. Bride's family are trying to smoke inside the sanctuary. Pastor , knowing my mom, asks for her to please request that they go outside to smoke. Mom tells them and they are saying very dirty stuff about Mom.   

Time for wedding. My brother, his BM, and GM all look nice. Here come the MOH & BM's all dressed in pole dancing mismatched outfits. Here comes bride. She proudly goes barefooted and pulls up her dress to show us. While she's at the altar! Her family proceed to talk out loud thru ceremony and get in front of pastor to take pics.   

Reception. There is enough food for everyone. It's pretty good. Bride's aunt comes in with her plastic containers and packs up the food before everyone can eat!!    No one ever received a "Thank You" for bouquets, cake, loaning of clothes, church or anything.    It is the absolute marriage from hell, but alas, that's a whole other story.


I wasn’t sure what to submit this one as, since almost everyone involved committed an etiquette spoof, so I figured it might qualify as a Wedding from Hell, even though it isn’t as bad as most of them on here.

My friend from high school, Sally, got engaged to her 2 children’s father shortly after I got engaged.  Her wedding was a few months before mine, so we were both pretty busy.  Sally was a quiet girl, so she didn’t have very many close friends.  She had one childhood friend (Jane) who lived New York, and me.  One day she sat me down and apologetically explained that she had to make Jane her MOH b/c of a childhood promise, but that I was to be the secret “real” MOH, and could do all the MOH stuff.  Oh boy, really?  So I can be the maid part of MOH, but not get the honor?  I should have run for the hills.

My “real” MOH duties consisted of helping make all of the party favors (tying bows, gluing them onto plastic swans, filling said swans with candy….I now passionately hate swans), driving Sally all around town to buy wedding stuff as she didn’t have a car, watching her 2 unruly children while her mom helped her with other wedding stuff, and other delights like that (all unthanked, of course).  Oh, and planning the shower on my own. 

Jane was unable to attend the shower, as Jane is very poor.  So I realized as the “real” MOH, I was in charge of throwing together a shower.  I asked for a guest list (about 20 people – mostly her family).  Invitations were sent, decorations bought, etc.  2 weeks later, I still received 1 RSVP by phone.  Uh…did I not put the correct postage on?  I called the bride’s mom and asked if anyone had received the invitations.  Yes, they had.  They’re just incapable of following the directions on the card and calling me, and instead called the bride to say if they were going. The bride told to expect 10 people.  So I made food for 10 people, planned games for 10 people, all that stuff.  And 2 people show up.  2!!!!  Needless to say, it was kind of a bust. But maybe it’s because she had already had 2 baby showers the 3 years before, in addition to inviting all her relatives to all kid’s birthday parties, so people were all gifted out.  My head still burns in shame when I remember what a horrible “party” I was responsible for.  Still no thank yous, although it was a disaster.

About a month before the wedding, her cousin dropped out.  But we can’t have uneven sides!!!!  So she asked another friend she hadn’t talked to SINCE high school (about 4 years ago) to be in her wedding.  Her replacement friend (Nancy) surprisingly agreed.  So we buy the dresses, and the ridiculously expensive shoes, etc.  She buys a dress for her friend in New York based on a given size.  (I don’t remember how they planned on getting it altered). 

Fast forward to a week before the wedding.  Sally flew her friend Jane out, much to my relief.  I was thinking that I didn’t have to be the “real” MOH anymore and the real “real” MOH can take over.  Nope – apparently Jane just came for the free plane ticket, and didn’t plan on spending any time with Sally.  So much of the week is spent listening to Sally sobbing on my shoulder while carrying on more MOH duties. She’s not sure whether or not Jane was still planning on being at the wedding or not.

Rehearsal day: Sally’s two kids were running around screaming.  Jane hasn’t shown up, and after a phone call from Sally, screamed at Sally because this was Jane’s “One chance to see all of her friends again, and Sally was just being selfish!!!”   So I am now promoted to REAL MOH.  Oh boy.  And I guess the sides have to be uneven again...but wait!  Someone she works with can probably fit into Jane’s dress!  Again, another replacement person agrees to be in the wedding (THE NEXT DAY!).  The DJ (family friend) they hired was at the rehearsal, and strongly suggested a “Money Dance.”  All of Sally’s family sees this as a WONDERFUL idea!!!  I try to convey my misgivings among a crowd of yokels, but she decides that’s a great idea.

I decided to get my hair done professionally before her wedding – kind of as a dry run for my wedding.  (I hope this isn’t an etiquette faux pas…I never mentioned my reasons to the bride).  Nancy, her replacement BM, ate all of the food I had stored in my purse.  Wth?  That was for when I got hungry, not her!!  The wedding went and rehearsal went well though, although I hadn’t prepared a speech as I had been promoted to actual MOH only the night before.  So I was blabbering and trying to hide my annoyance at everything.  Thankfully, nobody heard it because Sally’s two year old son fell into the fountain in the middle of it.

After the wedding I got a call from Sally saying, “I don’t feel like writing all the thank you notes, so I’m calling everyone to say thank you.”  Huh.  I guess at least I got my thanks.



My Cousin got married today. I was really excited to go. The wedding started at 5. We got there about 20 minutes early. I soon found out it was the wedding from ehell.

Due to construction it took about 15 different detours to find the place (not the B or G's fault, just annoying).

It's about 100 degrees here, high humidity. We stood OUTSIDE for 10 minutes, why you may ask, the groom's mother (my step aunt) wanted to shake everyone's hands on the way in the door. This was a relatively formal wedding, suits, jackets, etc. People were melting.

So, we FINALLY get inside, there are about 150-200 guests, with room for MAYBE 125. It is also steaming hot because the MOG was leaving the door open, letting all the air outside, add to that all the people sitting on top of one another, ugh.

The wedding ceremony was FULL of inside jokes that no one but the groom and bride were in on, but was nice. There were 2 ministers, FOB and FOG, both of them chose to summarize movies about the wedding... strange but had some funny moments. An hour later the ceremony was over, but no one was allowed to leave. Instead of a receiving line, the B and G went to each row, and greet each guest as they excused the row (fine, except everyone wanted to talk, we were all sitting on top of one another, and the HC left for 10 minutes after the ceremony before returning to "release" us.) an hour AFTER the wedding was over, we were outside where it was actually cooler because of the breeze!

We then went to the reception. It took us 20 minutes to find the place, as the B and G only had directions to it for when there was no construction. We got to the reception. There were about 200 guests and wedding party. Sitting room for 100, and food for about 100. My elderly grandparents (who were IN the wedding and in walkers) had no place to sit. The B & G were standing in the front of the room, telling everyone they had to take turns sitting and eating! Then, told everyone to clear the dance floor which was where the buffet was set up, so they could dance while everyone was eating.

Needless to say, we all (me, dh, brother, mom, stepfather, and grandparents) left. We ended up going to Denny's. We spent all that time miserable, and left a reception without even a glass of water because there weren't enough glasses. Roll Eyes

I couldn't believe it. We're not talking about a poor family either. Not only that, but when I got married I had a MUCH smaller budget, and had no trouble feeding and seating everyone comfortably. I don't know if this was poor planning, or what. I am still reaming that both my grandparents were treated so badly, they're in their 80s. My grandmother had to go to the bar and ask for a water for my grandfather, and they wouldn't let her have it because she wasn't paying for it. Luckily, someone lucky enough to have a table gave her the water off their place setting.


Last Fall, when my close friend from high school told me she was getting married, I offered my home as a wedding/reception site. Not only am I an event planner, but I have 2 acres overlooking the ocean in Central California - the perfect place. I knew they were short of funds, so I offered to do decorations, cater, and do the cake at cost. I assumed, however, that she would be covering the expenses - I offered my house, not my wallet. My mistake. 

From the beginning, she was hell on wheels. This was originally supposed to be an intimate wedding for 50 at my home. By the day of the wedding it had blossomed into 250 people - I am on a septic system and can't handle that type of crowd, so I told her to get portable bathrooms. She literally threw a screaming hissy fit over the bathrooms and insisted that her guests had to use my house facilities. It wasn't until I pointed out she would have raw sewage coming up through the grass during the reception that she relented - but I HAD TO PAY $500 for the bathrooms, and she NEVER OFFERED TO COVER COSTS. I paid for the gardener, the clean-up crew, the lighting guy, the cake, and the parking. She never offered once to reimburse me for costs - she did ask what I paid, and I gave her receipts, but she never paid a dime! 

She chose 5 women as bridesmaids, ranging in age from 25 to 55, and ranging in size from 4 to 33. Originally she made us all order pink dresses from a mail order company, but when they looked bad, we had to order again from another mail order company. Again, these dresses looked so bad on a couple of the bridesmaids (the smallest size the dress came in was a 16, and when I tried it on - I'm an 8, she said it "didn't look that bad"). Again, the dresses were returned and we were told to buy off the rack whatever we wanted - as long as it was black. No offer of reimbursement for the two dresses bought that I couldn't return! She was so difficult to work with over the menu that I finally referred her to another caterer, and that caterer was threatening to quit the day before the wedding! She changed her linen colors 5 times, the last was 2 days before the wedding and refused to pay the difference. She ordered her flowers 5 DAYS in advance directly from the grower (white roses in July) and then called the grower screaming because the flowers died before the wedding and she had to buy more at the last minute - she also did her own flower arrangements the day of the wedding, by cutting my roses and putting them in vases! 

When she sent out her invitations - over 500 because she wanted as many gifts as possible, she complained when people would decline but not include a check in the rsvp card - she insisted that etiquette states that a wedding invitation deserves a gift. I paid for her bridal shower as I was MOH, and I told her 25 people - she invited 60! (this was at a restaurant, and the bill was over $1000!). The day of the wedding she was 2 hours late for her make-up appointment and then refused to pay the make-up artist for her time!  After the wedding, she stayed and opened her presents and complained about how cheap people were with the gifts they gave her. My property was a mess from her drunken friends and she never offered to help clean up or pay for a clean-up crew. It took me 4 days to get the property back into shape. Needless to say, I'm out about $2500 for her wedding without even a thank you. 

One final thing - she had the nerve to call me and brag about how she pulled off a wedding for 250 on less than $10,000! - Gee..I wonder why!



A distant cousin was married over the summer. Imagine my surprise when I got the invitation, as I hadn't heard from her or seen her since I was about five years old (I'm now nearly 30). The invitation came about a month before her wedding and I thought for sure I had only gotten one because I was probably on the B list, but I was actually wrong. The bride, who I shall call Tiffy, had mailed ALL the invites out one month before the wedding. As a result, many of her invited guests couldn't attend.

My husband is a construction worker, so he had to buy a new pair of slacks, shirt, and tie to wear to the wedding as he doesn't normally have use for "dressy" clothes. I got them a lovely gift card to the store where they were registered. We went to the church and there was this little boy in a suit (he was really cute) handing out favors. So we walk in, and head up to the front of the church which is completely EMPTY. I thought, wow, we got here early? Only after I sat down did I notice another person in a suit hurrying up the aisle behind us, trying to "escort" us to our seat. A little excessive, no? When the ceremony began, there were about eleven people in the church, total. I felt pretty sad for Tiffy but she's not that bright. She told me she met her husband "at the junk yard." Tiffy, you just don't say those kinds of things. I mean, at least say you met at the recycling center. That at least sounds more romantic??

After the ceremony we went through the receiving line outside and stood around. And stood and stood and stood, as the bridal party got their pictures taken on the steps of the church. 45 min later, me and hubby decide we would just go on ahead to the restaurant. I said nobody will even notice or care if we go. I was wrong - when I got to the car, I turned around and saw people fleeing the place like rats from a sinking ship. I guess everyone was waiting until someone had the courage to just leave.

The reception was enough to make you physically ill. I apologize in advance, and give you fair warning.

We get to this reception location off the interstate called "Unicorn Glade Restaurant and Dining Hall." Yes, no joke. UNICORN GLADE. This place was the most shit-tastic dive I have ever been to in my life. The interior decor consisted of framed prints of unicorns in various frolicking poses, pastel swirly wallpaper, gold ceiling tiles, mauve carpeting, and the whole place looked like it was right out of the 1970s. It was a place Napoleon Dynamite would have had his junior prom; not even senior prom. We were stuck at this table that didn't even match any of the other table. We called it the "Afterthought Table." There were so many utensils, glasses, plates and vases of varying sizes all over the table we could hardly see how they would put the food down. I felt claustrophobic just sitting there with my husband by ourselves.

By the time the bridal party came, about 50 people had showed up, all in their late 80s to early 120 years of age. It was like a reunion party for the class of '34. We were the youngest people there.

It was a cash bar and I wasn't drinking anyway so I went to get some sodas for me and for my fiancé. The bar woman SNEEZED IN HER HAND and then handed me my drink. I said, "No, I changed my mind!"

The food was so bad, I couldn't even take two bites of anything. Salad was atrocious, limp, disgusting. Salad dressing was SALTY. Salty salad dressing. The "lemon sorbet" that came afterwards came in a small glass dish; mine had a huge crack down the side. Like as if someone didn't notice that before giving it out. The waitress gave me some appetizers she called "vegetarian." Jeanne, these things weren't even kosher. There was diced ham over cheese on some of them. The same waitress later told me the vegetarian entree was "fettuccini with tomato pesto and penne." WHAT? It turned out to be penne with diced GREEN peppers with a tiny, eensy, weensy bit of parmesan cheese in the center. The peppers were so bitter I couldn't even eat it. We didn't stay for the cake because of what happened next.

The DJ was possibly THE DJ from Hell. His voice was like nails on a chalk board. It was the perfect voice for narrating a children's book about cuuuuute bunnies and squirrels who learn how to share and then go on a killing spree. You know, like, "Boys and girls, now, we are going to learn how to SHARE! Just like Mopsy and her eeevil little friend, Theodore." For instance this is how he introduced the wedding couple;

"Okaaaaay. Now we're going to give a big ol' hello and congratulations to the beautiful wedding couple, Fred and Tiffy...... Meyerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr." Just like that. My fiancé and I looked at each other with horror, like this guy could easily dash around the room with an axe and kill us all. He had that "merry axe murderer" voice.

I don't think a single person danced during the reception while we were there. The DJ nabbed a kid and asked him "Show all the boys and girls how to do the... chiiiickenn dannnnnnnce." As the terrifying jingle rang through the air, nobody so much as moved a muscle and that's when we bolted.

The saddest part of the whole thing was the 50 or 60 unclaimed seating cards on the reception table by the door. If that happened to me at my wedding, I'd tell the catering hall coordinator to take them away. Who wants to see that during their wedding celebration?? Anyway, we supposedly got a thank-you card but it was mailed to my mother's house, where I haven't lived in a decade. I mailed her a response card - hello - my address is on that??



The son of an old high school friend got married this last weekend.   The only way to fully describe it, is that it was a tragedy of errors, mostly on the bride and groom or whom ever was planning it.  

First of all, I’m not a fan of weddings.   Having never planned one (was a bridesmaid once) I can’t imagine the headaches and frustrations that go with planning an elaborate wedding and reception as this one was.  I am convinced that at this time in my life that if I ever do want to marry someone it will be in Vegas with Elvis as the preacher.  I admit I was never the kind of girl who dreamed of her wedding day.  Just wasn’t something I wanted, which may be some of my feelings towards them.   As for the reception, most of the time it’s bad food, followed by bad music with a few drunk relatives thrown in for spice. 

I did not attend the wedding ceremony, only the reception which was to start at 5:30.  I arrived on time and no one was there, just the caterers.  I went back to my car and sat there for about 10 minutes before a lady I knew arrived.  I walked in with her and her friend.  Since no one was there we decided to go to the bar (it was being held in a VFW) ordered a drink and caught up a bit.  I was told that the ceremony was very nice, although she told me that my friend would probably not tell me that.  I knew that my friend (I’ll call her S) did not care much for new daughter in law.  More on that later.  

About 15 minutes later another friend arrived with her husband.  I’ll call her D.  D had already had a few and seemed in the mood for a party. 

Another half hour passes, and we decide to head into the hall.  There were maybe 20 people milling around.  Soon my friend S and her husband walked in.  I could tell she was not happy about any of it.  She later told me she was not included in any of the plans, rehearsals, nothing.  She is usually a very talkative person, but was very quiet that night.  

It was going on 7pm and still no sign of the wedding party.  This was supposed to start at 5:30 right?  Everyone agreed at my table.  With nothing else much to do we had more drinks.  D now pretty much three sheets to the wind started telling us a very long, very silly story about a bra, a dog and her neighbors.  You had to be there I guess, but everyone that came later we were telling them they missed the bra story.     

There were a lot of young kids running around, along with the few very bored looking teenagers.  One, a boy about 15 or so was walking around with sunglasses on trying to look….cool.  To me he looked silly, but I wasn’t going to say anything.  D kept yelling at him….”Hey blind guy!”.  You’d think he get the hint and take the silly things off!

Finally the wedding party walked in a little before 8pm.  And yes…food!  And this was the best part of the wedding other the how nicely the hall was decorated.  Instead of  boring roast turkey and icky mashed potatoes, we had very tasty Lasagna, fresh French bread and other tasty side dishes.  Along with a cheese platter with other munchies that they had out before the wedding party arrived, which was a good thing since it was after 8pm before the food was put out.    

After tearful speeches from the Bride and Groom, the music started. It was after 9pm by this time and most people were getting antsy.  Again, a thing I dislike about wedding receptions is the cheesy music, and being the music snob I am I can’t stand DJ music.  I know you have to cater to all kinds of tastes but I can do with out the soppy ballads, crappy disco (come on… that died 30 years ago!) and of course the famous chicken dance that yes, I did dance to.  I think it’s a law right?  

 It was now pushing 10pm and D started yelling “cut the cake”.  For the most part she was ignored but I do remember her yelling that at least 4 or 5 times.  May have been more but after awhile we tried to ignore D as the pile of beer cans started to line up on our table.    In-between dinner and when the music started, the bride who had a young daughter from a previous relationship decided she needed to go back to the hotel.  The best man was asked to take her.  Seems though the brides’ drunken Dad didn’t want his granddaughter to leave and pulled the best man from the car.  Well, the police arrived and wanted the bride to press charges against Dad so they could haul him off to jail.  She refused and for a good hour the bride, groom and the whole wedding party stood outside and talked the police into not hauling Dad off. 

The grooms’ brother joked “has to be his wedding” and pretended like he was being arrested.   I looked over at S and she nodded her back and forth and said “wait till she starts swearing”.    During this time, just to add fuel to the fire, the ex-wife comes to pick up her daughter.  You just can’t make this kind of stuff up!!   She though didn’t seem to be causing any problems and they left peacefully.   

Now the cake which D kept yelling about.  The cake was one of those very fancy ones with a fountain in the middle, and the poor thing after sitting there for hours and hours was starting to wilt.  The caterer started cutting the cake before the bride and groom came over!!  The groom went off on her and many colorful metaphors were heard by all including many young children.   Toward the end of the time I was there, I watched the bride walk around looking more mad then depressed.  “She doesn’t look too happy,” I said to S.  “That’s her normal look,” S said.    I did feel sorry for her as she walked around begging people to take food home.  They had enough lasagna to feed 200, and only around 60 people showed up and most of those left after the food were served.    S sighed… “I told them not to have it the day before Easter but what do I know?”   The last comment S made to me, which seemed to sum it all up:   “It ain’t gonna last a year”.    


A few years ago, my boyfriend received a call from a friend from college, "Adam" asking that BF be his best man in his upcoming wedding. BF had not heard from Adam in over a year, but happily accepted. Possibly condemning myself, my BF and our friends to etiquette hell, I have to admit that none of us like the bride, "Cassie". She was not especially friendly to us, did not respond to social overtures, sort of whiney, and not very attractive. Now, the last part wouldn't prejudice us at all, but it was just another reason why we couldn't figure out why Adam would be interested in her. Also, as you'll see, I wound up intervening a few times. You can either think of me as capable in the face of difficulties, or really bossy. I do know that I wanted to make sure my friend had a nice wedding. 

The invitation came. And it was very nice. Except for, and I wish we hadn't lost it, a small card insert. Framed in a thick black line. Stating, and I kid you not, "Please refrain from using perfume, hairspray or scented deodorant or the bride and her father WILL DIE."  The last two words were printed in large, red, capital letters. I understand having bad allergies, but the dramatics! Oh my!   

Moving on to the weekend of the wedding. BF and I drove the 7 hours to the wedding. His car was making a thumping sound that I did not like. He said it was fine, but I had my suspicions. Jokingly, my BF and I decided that one of his best man duties would be to provide Adam a last minute escape plan. With one exception, all of the groomsmen were in our little circle of college friends. We stopped at the house of one of the ushers to drop off things for the Bachelor Party to be held that night following the rehearsal dinner. This group of guys don't drink much, and planned to spend the evening playing computer and video games, eating junk food and pizza. Another groomsman was also there. The guys needed to go pick up their tuxes. We asked if they knew the time of the rehearsal, since we weren't sure. They had no idea there was a rehearsal. Adam had never told them about this. He, in fact, had mainly discussed the party, but not so much his ceremony or reception. He didn't seem so enthusiastic about those.  We were all becoming more worried that this wedding may not have been the best idea...

Everyone made it to the rehearsal, which went well. We got to meet the bride's family. Her niece and nephew, true brats who were the flower girl and ring bearer, were running and screaming around the church. The boy is about 7, the girl 5 or 6. I am also a pastor's daughter (and again, bossy),  and knowing how important it is for a pastor to be able to rehearse the wedding, distracted the kids. Their mother looked drugged, and was also falling out of her very low-cut too-tight top. Pretty much the whole family looked strange and was wearing too-tight clothes. Her dad, who had the most amazing half-inch-part-directly-over -the-ear comb over, was wearing a power blue plaid suit. The whole family ignored the bad behavior of the children throughout everything, exactly like they couldn't see or hear it. 

We eventually proceeded to a nice restaurant for dinner. Even though she was seated next to her husband, the bride's mother spent the whole dinner flirting with the groomsmen. A lot. Including touching one of the ushers, who is openly gay, on the thigh. Up high, and repeatedly. The ring bearer again was running and screaming even during the groom's speech of thanks to everyone. I eventually pulled him onto my lap and fed him my dinner, during which he was pleasant and quiet. Poor kid was probably over tired and hungry. Still bratty, though. Adam forgot to get the usher's gifts. (he had 3 groomsmen and two ushers, but all wore the same tuxes, were in all pics, etc.) He had gifts for the groomsmen, but not the ushers. 

During the dinner, one of the groomsman ( the only one we didn't know from school)  proposes to and is accepted by the MOH. Which is very nice. But why would you do that publicly in front of other people's families? Its not like their own families were there, or even other friends besides the bride and groom. It was planned ahead, and the bride and groom clearly knew and approved of this, but the rest of us were surprised to be part of such an intimate moment between people most of us didn't know.

My BF doesn't come back to the hotel that night, and is not there in the morning. I had also called my dad and asked him about the funny noise on my BF's car. Dad said it sounded like a loose wheel. I decided I was not going to be getting back in the car until it was checked, and got rides from friends the rest of the day. In the morning, I ran into all of the women of both families who were having breakfast at the hotel. I told Adam's mom that he wasn't home yet, but I was sure BF was making sure he had slept and ate. She looked relieved (again, his diabetes is a problem). Cassie said that as long as he showed up, she didn't care what shape he was in. Protective of my friend, I told her, "I would think you'd want him to be alert enough to focus on the vows." She laughed and walked away.

Once BF and Adam came back, Adam told us how they got engaged. He had pretended to tie his shoe, and once kneeling, pulled out the ring and proposed. He told us she took so long cooing over the ring, she forgot to say "yes." Now, anyone who was more excited about Adam's ring than about Adam makes me and BF wary. BF begins to half-joke about the escape plan again, but is sort of hoping that Adam may consider the offer. Of course, he doesn't.

We go to the church, where the groomsmen are all getting dressed. I helped them get ready. The ring bearer's mother pushes him in the room and hands me his tux, then leaves. I dress the kid. They have also have given him the pillow with the REAL rings tied to it. He tries to undo the knots and is tossing the pillow to himself. Outside. The rings could go anywhere. I take the rings off and give them to BF for his best man duties. I scour the church and find a wedding gift with two fake rings tied on with ribbon. I used them for the pillow. I also found the bride and cleared this with her.

Then the groomsmen are having their pictures taken. The ring bearer won't stop making faces. I take him aside, have a talk with him about seriousness and behaving. He stops making faces, but you can see in the pics he is not looking directly at the photographer, but at me, who is standing next to the photog, still telling him to behave. 

I take a seat at the expected time of the ceremony starting. The pastor is at the front of the church and the organist is playing. Most of the guests have arrived and are seated. The organist is repeating the first lines of the processional music, clearly cuing the ushers to start escorting people in. Both ushers, also friends of mine, rush over to the pew I am in and whisper to me that they can't find Adam's grandmother. I tell them to go tell the pastor and organist. They do so, and everything stops. Someone rushes off to get grandma, who was left at home!!

Everything starts again. The family is escorted to their seats. The procession starts. Oh, all flowers are of course artificial due the bride and her father possibly DYING due to allergies. Polyester, purple, fuchsia, and royal blue. Hideous and huge arrangements, made especially garish being offset by the simple, white, classic New England church. The flower girl sobs all the way down the aisle. Loud, screaming sobs. Once she reaches the front of the church, She lies down on the alter, still crying, but more softly. The ring bearer runs up the aisle and throws the ring pillow at my BF, hitting him in the head. Thank God we had the real rings safe, as the fakes went flying.

It's a hot July day. The bride's dress is a long-sleeved and heavily brocaded polyester satin dress. She looked half-melted. Her very heavy make-up was starting to run. Once she is at the alter, she and the MOH ceremoniously exchange her bouquet for her inhaler, which she held through the rest of the ceremony. The ring bearer also lays on the alter, away from his sister, and proceeds to kick all of the groomsmen in turn. Eventually he walked off to sit in a pew. During the vows, the flower girl, who had stopped crying, danced in figure 8's between the couple. No one stopped her.

At the reception, I sat with friends as BF was at the head table. The only provided drinks for my table was a pitcher of water with stuff floating in it. We bought drinks at the bar. We started referring to ourselves as "the Slums of the Reception". The wallpaper next to our table was peeling off. One of the chairs was discovered to have a broken leg, discovered when someone sat on it and it collapsed, dumping him on the floor. When the tables were called in order to go to the buffet, ours never was, but we  went to the buffet anyway after we noticed the DJ getting food. The hall ran out of knives for our table, so we did without. They also ran out of plates for the cake, so we (the only table this happened to) were served the cake on napkins. We had a good time, though. Most of the wedding party spent a large part of the evening visiting us in the slums, jokingly bragging about their free drinks and plentiful cutlery and china. The wedding party's song was "People are Strange" by the Doors. Having now met Cassie's family, all of our friends completely agreed. 

We heard that the bride's sister ( mother of the awful children) had decorated their car. We knew that the B & G had to leave immediately from the reception to catch a flight for their honeymoon, and so we went to check on the damage. She had filled the interior of the car with latex balloons. Now, I know I have joked about the way the bride's allergies were dealt with so prominently, but I do know they are severe. She is especially allergic to latex. You'd think her sister would know this. My friends in the wedding party "undecorated" the car, and tried to air it out so Cassie wouldn't have a reaction. She had to take a couple of Benedryl even after our efforts to combat her reaction.

BF and I invited everyone from the wedding party, including a bridesmaid we had only just met, back to our hotel after the bride and groom left. I in a friend's car. BF was rather late showing up, as, indeed, a wheel fell off his car. Luckily he wasn't going fast and no one got hurt. Everyone was careful not to mess up their tuxes fixing the car, too. I helped the bridesmaid out of her dress, and as I was doing so, she told me she had only known the bride for 2 months, and she had no idea why she would be asked to be in the wedding, but she didn't want to hurt Cassie's feelings by refusing.

Shameful behavior by us all- we ended the evening drinking in the hotel bar making bets on how long the marriage would last, how many children the couple would have before splitting, etc. They are still married 8 years later and have a couple of kids, surpassing all of our bets. We've heard from them maybe twice since then. I have to say we had a good time at the wedding, even with all of the problems, and I sincerely hope they are very happy and that we just missed out on Cassie's shining qualities.


No one believes this story but it’s true, I unfortunately saw it with my own eyes and it has haunted me ever since.

My fiancé (now husband) and I were getting married in a few months. One of his grooms men was engaged and  their wedding was set for Valentine’s Day, about a month before our own wedding. We were excited to go because a) he’s a good friend and b) we were in a wedding comparison mode and c) the wedding was at a church of a very different denomination and we’d never been to a wedding of that denomination and were interested. As soon as we got the invite we ordered a gift off their registry (as they had so helpfully included all their registry info in the invitation /sarcasm) and just had it mailed directly to them. At the wedding we just brought a card. So now it’s the wedding. Our gift arrived a month earlier and no thank you. Ok they are waiting to do them after the wedding.

So Husband and his friends (the other groomsmen in our wedding) have all known the Groom for over 12 years. They are wary of the Bride. Groom is a cop and newly divorced. Bride was a stripper when they ‘met’ (they had previously known each other in high school but her family didn’t like Groom apparently as you’ll see below he wasn’t “classy” enough for them). She has a little boy that ADORES the Groom and calls him dad. Husband and friends are just worried he’s rushing into something: they only dated for a few months immediately after his divorce before announcing their engagement, they pushed their wedding up by a year b/c the Bride found out she was pregnant, and quite frankly the boys didn’t think she seemed like the marrying type. So the Bride unfortunately has a miscarriage about 2 months prior to the wedding (and about 2 weeks after announcing they are getting married). Rather than postpone the wedding back to the original date they proceed forward.

So the ceremony is very nice. One of the bridesmaids sings (wonderfully), the little boy is included in the ceremony and it’s very sweet. It’s a very small wedding. Less than 30 people are there. We know money is tight for them, the Bride made all the food for the reception! So we don’t think anything of it. But we notice that the maid of honor has the same last name as the bride but doesn’t look like a sister. She also is so skinny that you can see EVERY bone in her body. She is wearing a spaghetti strap dress and her back and chest…well lets just say I’ve seen photos of survivors of death camps with more meat on their bones (no exaggeration). So we (Husband, myself and Husbands mom) all assume she had cancer or is very sick. But her hair is very long and full. So we assume it’s a wig.

Then we go to the reception. Oh holy hell. The hall is enormous. We are immediately confused given the small size of the wedding and knowing that the Bride made all the food. All told about 200+ people attended the reception. Dressed in all manners of attire. From what one normally wears to a wedding to jeans with tennis shoes and t shirts. But the food was great. The cake was gorgeous. And then ….

A table of guests (who were related to the Bride) made a beer can pyramid. The bridesmaids were in various stages of undress- pulling down the straps of their dresses, dancing in a very suggestive manner. The Bride all but ignored the Groom. Neither Bride nor Groom really attempted to speak to the guests. And then…

The very skinny bridesmaid from before that everyone was trying to figure out a) who she was and b) what was wrong with her. Got VERY drunk. One of the other bridesmaids pulled her top half down. Then the Skinny one was dancing very provocatively. Then she was dancing on top of a table. During all of this she lifting her dress up at various times showing the world her literal boney backside. I was about to ask the Bride who she was when she turned to me and said, “Oh my god I’m so embarrassed that my MOM  is doing that.”

It was all I could do to keep from running away screaming.  Apparently her mom didn’t have cancer but very obviously had a serious eating disorder (by the way her husband thought she was gorgeous!). Then our wedding is one month later. Groom who is a groomsmen can’t come b/c his work won’t let him off. We totally understand. Then about 4 months later they are getting divorced because she had been cheating on him for almost their entire marriage. And we never did get even a card or how did it go? Congratulations for our own wedding nor a Thank You for the gift from theirs.


Page Last Updated October 11, 2008