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Weddings From Hell

The Whole Thing from start to finish is a disaster

2000 Archive
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I have within the last couple of years started my own wedding cake business. In order to get started & get exposure I was giving wedding cakes as my gift to the couple. A good friend that I had worked with for a couple of years was getting married & I asked her if I could make her cake for her. She was delighted! As the wedding approached I asked her if she had thought of what type of cake she might want. She asked me if I could do a forest scene with deer drinking from a creek. I thought she was joking & I laughed at the idea...she was not. Well, I finally talked her out of that cake & she decided on a beautiful basket weave three tiered square cake with gold dusted poinsettias & a huge bow as a topper. I made the cake & it was gorgeous! I took the cake to the reception site (a shop/garage) & when I walked in the first thing I saw was a Christmas tree (no lights or decorations...just the bare tree) suspended with twine upside down from the ceiling. As I began to look around there was a pig cooking, a keg of beer, and deserts (Sara Lee) from the grocery store still in the freezer package. Needless to say my cake was a little out of place! I was in such shock that I forgot to take a picture of the cake. I called her a few months later to see if she would send me a picture to put in my portfolio. They didn't even take a picture of the cake. She said she might have one with the cake in the background that I could have blown up! To top it all off I never got a thank you note, not even a phone call to tell me thank you the cake was great. I would now charge $500 for that cake.   Wedhell0115-02

I was a senior in college, and a girl, Nancy, who was in my sorority, and who was several years younger than me, got engaged. Her fiancé was quite a bit older than her, by about 10-15 years, I think. Her mother was very opposed to the wedding. This girl did not have any "real" friends. She was nice enough, but sort of an awkward and shy girl, so it wasn't easy for her to make friends. If you tried to be her friend, she got really clingy and over-attached, which usually caused people to then run away from her. So she ended up asking me and three other sorority sisters to be her bridesmaids. We all had been the nicest to her, and sort of reluctantly agreed because we felt bad for her. She asked her "big sister" in the sorority to be her Maid of Honor. This girl also wasn't really close with Nancy. Nancy decided to have her grandmother make the bridesmaid dresses, so we all met at a fabric shop to get measured by her grandmother at the same time they were purchasing the fabric (pink). Her grandmother says it's ok to just measure us over our clothes, as she'll just use these for the pattern and we'll have another fitting later to tailor the dresses to us. Her grandmother proceeds to comment on all of our figures as she measures us. She told me I had the biggest hips and ought to be wearing "misses" sizes now. (I think I was a size 8 or 10).

She commented on how small another girl's breasts were. We were all humiliated. As it gets closer to the wedding, I don't hear much about it. I don't think there was ever a rehearsal or rehearsal dinner (if there was I have banished it from my memory). We never had another fitting with the grandmother; instead, Nancy brought us the "finished" bridesmaid dresses the DAY OF THE WEDDING, right when we needed to get dressed. She had been repeatedly assuring us that her grandmother was a "master" seamstress and it would be fine. We showed up at the church and got our dresses, all of which were totally the wrong sizes, with most of them hanging off of us about 2 sizes too big. They were pink, with a dropped waist, sort of an 1890s "gay 90s" ice cream parlor girl style it's hard to describe. Luckily, they had sashes, so we could all try to bind them to our bodies as much as possible. One girl's dress was literally hanging off her shoulders and we tried to find ways to pin it.

Nancy did not notice any of this. Why? Because she was busy fighting with her mother, who still, the day of the wedding, did not want her to marry the groom. Nancy stood there in her gown and veil, SOBBING, while the bridesmaids who barely knew her stood around uncomfortably and her mother was in the room refusing to speak to Nancy. Nancy stared at her mother, crying, while her mother refused to acknowledge her. This went on until time for the wedding to start. We grabbed our flowers and were told where approximately to stand and headed down the aisle hoping our dresses didn't fall off. Nancy came down the aisle, still crying. She and the groom stood at the front (I don't recall anyone giving the bride away but I could be wrong) and exchanged vows, which Nancy stopped crying long enough to do, and then the minister announced that a girl Nancy knew would sing a song. The song was "Wind Beneath My Wings" and it was dedicated, not to the groom, but to the bride's MOTHER. The girl sang, and Nancy turned to face her mother, who sat stonily in the front pew with no expression while Nancy sobbed throughout the entire song. The groom seemed nonplussed the entire time. After the song, Nancy and the groom were pronounced man and wife and we all scampered up the aisle. We stayed at the reception for the shortest amount of time considered polite and bolted. I'm sure there was picture taking and cake cutting and rice-throwing, but I don't remember any of it.    Wedhell0208-02

Hello! First, I must say that I love your page, and am thrilled to see an update. I have a story about a wedding that I attended the summer that I graduated high school, for a very close friend of mine. I had gone over to her town the week before the wedding to help out with last minute details, only to find that nothing had been done! None of the decorations were made, some on the invitations hadn't been sent, and very little of the shopping had been done. Needless to say, myself and the Bride's sister were very busy during the next week, trying to finish everything that still needed to be done. At the time, there were nearly 40 people staying in an apartment that was made to hold 5 people, 6 at the most. There was no space to move, much less sleep. I spent two nights sleeping on the dining room table, because it was the only free space left that was big enough to lie down in. There was already someone in the bathtub, and 4 people sharing the couch, somehow.

A few days before the wedding, the bride asked me that, for a last minute favor, could I possibly play the piano in the church as the guests were coming in and being seated. I was honored, and agreed. She said that I should only have to play for 15, 20 minutes at the most. The day of the wedding arrived, and I sat down at the piano to play. As I neared the end of the last song that I had prepared, there was still no sign of my replacement. I continued to play, believing that there had been some sort of unavoidable delay. I came to the end of the second repetition of songs, and there was still no sign that the wedding was beginning. I then began playing other songs, ones that I was not entirely prepared to play, but still could manage well enough. I realized, when I began running out of music entirely that something was going very, very wrong.

At this point, I couldn't remember anymore songs, and began making something up as I went along. I looked up, at the clock, and noticed that instead of playing for no more than 20 minutes, I had been up there for nearly 2 hours! Finally, my replacement decided that I looked like I was ready to be done (I was), and took over. Finally, the wedding began. Except for the late start, everything went fine. When the wedding was over, I asked the MOH what had gone on, and why everything was so late. It turns out that the bride remembered that she had forgotten completely about food for the reception, and had sent her parents and the MOH out to get some. They had to go to nearly every grocery store in the area, buying up all the meat and cheese, fruit and vegetable platters, crackers, punch, and other assorted things they could find. Of course the wedding couldn't start without the bride's family. Despite this, I am still close friends with the bride and her family.   Wedhell0211-02

My husband owns a small business and we are often invited to his employees' special events. Joe has worked for my husband for about a year; we had never met his girlfriend, Cherie. They had been living together for several years and she had 2 teenage daughters from a previous marriage - but it would be Joe's first wedding.

First the invitation - a single invite was put up on the bulletin board at work - no RSVP except a note to "just tell Joe" if we planned on attending. The wedding would be held outdoors at Noon in the gazebo at a small city park. We arrived about 15 minutes early and were among the first there. Slowly guests trickled in - until about 100 of us were standing around. No one from either family or the bridal party was anywhere to be seen. Around 12:30 a car pulled up and Joe and his father got out - they made the rounds stating, "We're running a little late." At 1 PM 2 cars arrived full of Cherie, her daughters, plus Grandma, the maid of honor and a couple of screaming 3 year old flower girl/ring bearers.

Now, Cherie and the 2 teenagers are all beyond plus-sized which is okay except - of course they were dressed in the worst possible attire - Cherie in full bridal white plus full veil and the girls in pale lavender - all tight sheath-style too short, sleeveless and low cut - I expected Jerry Springer to hop out of the bushes any minute. After arranging themselves into some order, the best man started a tape of the Wedding March on a boombox - and at that exact moment a rock band started playing REALLY LOUDLY - it seems the convenience store right next to the park (just a few hundred feet away) had a Grand Opening Celebration scheduled for that afternoon complete with live band, clowns, and hot dogs! After a little confusion - the Groom to be and Best Man walked over and asked the band to stop playing for 10 minutes so the wedding could proceed. They obliged - and the bridal party started up the "aisle" once again.

At this time, I noticed there was no officiant present! Grandma walked up the gazebo steps and proceeded to ask the couple if they wanted to be married - they each answered "I do", at which time Grandma said, "Okay, you two are now married." That was it - I thought, well, maybe Grandma is a minister - but, no - turns out they had forgotten to schedule the minister and he had a funeral booked that afternoon so they had been married in his office early that morning! Most of the guests walked over and got a hot dog - the rock band was actually pretty good. We skipped the reception. I heard from the grapevine it was interesting and included a cake fight and several loud arguments. Sorry I missed it....NOT!     Wedhell0525-02

My now husband, John, had remained friends with an ex of his from high school, Jenny. I was fine with this, and actually looked forward to meeting her, and possibly becoming friends. Well, the first time I met her, I had a feeling this wouldn't be possible. She asked us to come over one evening and spent the time letting me know how good of friends she was with John, telling me all sorts of stories that seemed fishy (she was stretching the truth considerably). Not long after this meeting, John spoke with Jenny on the phone and she proceeded to yell at him for flaunting me to her. She told him that she didn't flaunt every guy she dated to him, he shouldn't do the same. He gently let her know that we were serious and he had every intention of marrying me. They were very good friends, so this was unexpected, although she was single at the time, and lamenting it.

A few months later, John and I were engaged. About one month later, Jenny called to let John know she was also engaged, and they would be married in about 8 months. John and Jenny spoke a couple of times in between, and she would give him tips for cutting costs at our wedding. As the date neared, we received our wedding invitation from the couple. It was addressed to John only. I assumed I wasn't invited, and figured that she may not have been fully comfortable with me, and I accepted that. John opened the invitation, which was computer printed on stationery folded in thirds (which was fine, everyone has different budgets and tastes), but it was sealed with a sticker proclaiming where they were registered. The invitation had the itinerary for the big day, including the ceremony (to be held outdoors in a park), the "BBQ" immediately following, and later a reception with hors d'ouevres and dancing. It also noted that if additional parking was needed, to park across the street from the park at the hardware store. The RSVP card came with an envelope, no stamp, and said to send it in or to call in the RSVP.

Well, John spoke to Jenny on the phone later the same day and told her he would be coming, and he asked if I was invited (I didn't want him to, I thought it would be akin to inviting myself). She told him of course I was, it is always assumed that one brings a guest (I'd never heard that one before) and besides, she couldn't remember my name. Just before the wedding, John gets a call from Jenny wondering if he was coming. He reminded her that he spoke to her the day we received the invitation. She responded that she thought he could have at least shelled out for a stamp. (If it was that important to receive the cards, why did she give the option to call in and not provide a stamp), he apologized, and RSVP'd a second time, letting her know we would be at the ceremony and the later reception, but wouldn't be able to make the BBQ, as his Aunt was in from out of town for the day, and we promised her we'd have dinner with her (we see her once a year if we're lucky due to the distance).

The day of the wedding, we get dressed, John in a shirt, slacks and tie, and I in a nice dress (sleeveless, but dressy enough for a wedding). We drove to the park, and realized we were cutting it close for the ceremony. We arrive at the park and discover there are only ten spaces. So we head to park at the hardware store. We then have to walk across that parking lot, through a small field, a gas station lot, across the street, and all the way through the park (it was a large park, there were several other parties also taking place that day), it had just rained so it was fun to navigate in dress shoes. We get to the park a few minutes after the start time of the ceremony (we realized we should have been earlier, and felt badly).

We got nervous when we saw half the wedding party in the parking lot, and wondered if we had missed the wedding entirely or if we ha gotten the time wrong. We continue through the park, and run into the brides young daughter and a woman who is sort of a surrogate grandmother to the little girl (long story). We ask if we missed it, and she told us that the bride hadn't yet arrived, but to take a seat. We get to the ceremony area, and looking at the other guests, realize we are over dressed. We wait, sitting in the sun (it was windy at least so that helped the heat). Nearly an hour later, the bride shows up.

The entire ceremony including processional and recessional took less than 8 minutes, and we couldn't hear anything because it was so windy and there was no PA system, but the party coming back down the aisle was the clue that it was over. We headed through the receiving line, and booked back for dinner (with the delay, we were running late) then had to book back to the hotel where the reception was. We were half an hour late for the start time on the invitations, but hoped that we didn't miss anything important. When we arrived, the bridal party had not yet arrived, so we looked for a table to sit at. We didn't know anyone, so after depositing our gifts, we sat at an empty table and waited. There were appetizers, but we couldn't eat until the bridal party arrived. The band had a keyboard demo running for background music, and the bar was open. We opted not to get drinks, as we wanted to wait to have something to eat first.

The wedding party arrived about 2 hours after the start of the reception, and it was announced that we could finally eat. We went up to see what the options were (we were hungry again by this time). There were chicken wings that were cold and congealed, meatballs, also cold and congealed, and some veggies and chips. We opted for the veggies and chips, as meat that had been left out for over 2 hours seemed too chancy. We sat eating the snacks, and eventually the band began to play the first dance song. We couldn't understand what they were playing (it just sounded like noise). We waited for the unceremonious cake cutting, the best man (who had half changed, so he was wearing his tux shirt with sweatpants that had been cut off into shorts and flip flops) came around afterwards to let us know we could go get some cake. We had our cake, then found the bride to congratulate her and bid her a good night (we'd hoped to at least dance, but this was difficult without anything recognizable as music).

Interestingly enough, when John and I got married the following year, Jenny and her husband replied to our invitation that they were coming. They didn't show up. however, when my parents went to our place after our reception (they stayed with us as they live out of town), they did find a small gift from them in our door. We still don't know why they didn't come. It's too bad, we were hoping to show them how guests should be treated...     Wedhell0319-02

My friend Audrey, asked me and few other good friends of ours to be in her wedding, to Tony, a man she met off the internet. We said yes because she was a good friend, and even though she had not known her intended for very long, they had about a year and a half to plan the wedding, so we figured that since she was planning on her wedding in her home town, that it would be fine.

About 4 wks. later, Audrey announced to everyone that after she was done with school in 3 mos., she was moving to the town where her fiancé lived, which was a few states away. She reassured everyone, that she would still have the wedding in her home town, and would keep us up to date on everything. I knew this was the beginning of the worst, but my best friend, bless her heart, who was the MOH of Audrey, kept telling me that it would all be ok.

We will fast forward to 7 mos before the wedding when we were all clued in by an E-MAIL from Audrey that she was going to have to have the wedding in the home town of her fiancé. From there on out, she did all her correspondence by email, since phoning was too expensive. How nice. This was at least a thousand mile trip round way, and not many of us could afford to fly, since we were all barely out of college, so this was now going to be very expensive. Our dresses were bought on a day she was back in town, which she overloaded everyone with dumb information, (and kept the important stuff for emails when she left), our shoes were white and the dresses were really dark and this was a summer wedding. She informed us that she blocked rooms at a local hotel, noting that it was the only hotel in the town, and our hair would be done at a very expensive salon, on top of the gas, and etc. I asked her one night, if it would be possible for her to pay for our gas, since we were all carpooling just to elevate the expense. She agreed, and said that would be our gift from her. I thanked her, allot, and was very pleased with this at least, because it ends up being allot of money. And then she asked us to rent a car so we would not have any car problems. Yeah.

Fast forwarding to the trip to the wedding, the majority of us were the wedding party, about 4 in the same car for a 8 hour drive. We started out at about 5 am, since that night was the rehearsal, and none of us could afford to take off work the day before, and we would be there by 4pm to start rehearsing. We got there early, checked in to the hotel, which was gross and horrible nasty, but to our surprise, we saw a much nicer, and CHEAPER hotel NEXT DOOR! We were so tired from the trip, that we just unloaded and went to the church, since it was 10 minutes to 4, but realized there was no reason to rush, since there was no one but us, for about an hour. The church was tiny, and the minister was no where. Audrey came in with everyone else at about 5pm, and said hi , turned around and left. We were standing there smiling and not aware of where she went. She came back and was upset because she could not find the minister. We waited while her fiancé Tony, called a few people, and 30 mins. later, he showed up saying that he thought it was for 6pm.

We rehearsed 10 TIMES because her parents were worried we never developed any brains in our heads, and that since this tiny church was so enormous, we would get lost going down the isle. We just kept our mouths shut, and the minister was the one who finally said that it was enough. What a joke.

We were told that the dinner was held at a local activity center, and all of us offered our services for help. No one knew who we were, and told us to get lost, and they were just at the rehearsal. We went to sit down, and the dinner consisted of hot dogs cooked on a grill. We were starving! We waited until the gifts, so we could get the gas for the ride home the next day. WRONG! We got instead lovely travel bottles of scented soap and lotion in a small basket. This set me off. I told her we were leaving, and we would see her in the morning, where she told me that we should be ready to go for hair by 7 am. The Wedding was at 2pm. We were hostile. I asked her how the wedding plans came along, since they had about a year to get this all ready, and it seemed like they planned it all last week. She just cracked a small smile and said that it would be better than our weddings. What?? None of us were married yet, except one, and she had a beautiful wedding, a far cry from this one so far. The rest of the night, we laughed and joked about everything, just so we could get it off our chests.

The next day we were up and ready at 7 am. She did not show up for us until 8 am. We got to the salon that was 45 min. away, and cost about $ 80.00 a head. It took about 3 hrs. to get the 7 of us done. We picked up fast food on the way back, and got to the hotel to get ready, and while we started to undress, loud knocking on the door came, and everyone including the Mother of the Bride, and aunts were suddenly there to get Audrey and THEMSELVES ready in OUR one ROOM! WHAT?? There was 15 women, and one bathroom! Gross.

We finally got though that ordeal, and got to the church. Tony and his guys showed up 20 mins. after us. We waited to be cued.. The ceremony was fine, we did well to the surprise of her parents I think, and it lasted 45 mins, which I was surprised for a small non- catholic church, but oh well.
We got to the reception which was held at a public facilities hall, and was set up very nicely. However, disaster was just around the corner. The DJ took up half the room, and it was not that big to begin with. It was a buffet, that consisted of corn spooned out of the can, and ham, and boxed potatoes, because we watched them do it as we waited, and cans of soda, or juice. After dinner we all got a piece of cake, and then half the room cleared out to go smoke, leaving just the few of us that came together. I went out to "Pretend" to smoke only to over hear that everyone thought we were stuck up, and just there to look better than the bride, because we got her very expensive gifts, and we came all that way, and must have allot of money. WHAT??

After that, the groom's friends put some cans and other removable and non damaging things to the bumper of the car, to which Audrey and Tony both screamed at them for, causing most of them to leave, and the best man to clean it up. I told my other friends we were leaving, and we told her we were going home early. I asked her for our gas money, to which she said she had nothing, and I said" thanks, thanks for nothing." and we all left. She never sent a thank you for our gifts, or anything. None of us talk to her anymore, because for $50.00 of gas. We spent at least $500.00 for the dress, the shoes, splitting the travel and lodging and hair along with the gifts. For anyone planning a wedding, you either put up your attendants if your wedding is out of town, or pay for their travel. Don't lose any friends.   Wedhell0329-02

Traditionally, the bride or her family pays for the wedding attendants' accommodations if they are from out of town.   Travel expenses are traditionally the responsibility of the attendants.

This one's kinda long because a LOT of things happened at this wedding. A few years ago I was in my cousin's wedding (let's call her Joan). From the start it seemed like this wedding was doomed. Firstly, Joan assured us that she was choosing bridesmaid's dresses that we could wear again. No problem! $200 later and I now have a bright purple, off the shoulder chiffon dress with the standard butt bow and a material rose smack between the cleavage. The dresses were done the DAY BEFORE the wedding in the wrong color material and a slightly altered style. Also, the bride's sister who was in the bridal party was 8 1/2 months pregnant. She couldn't wear a bra as it was off the shoulder, so everything was sagging an her enormous belly was sticking out. But not big deal. I love my cousin, I'll wear a potato sack if it makes her happy. Joan's parents had contributed NOTHING to the wedding, since they were broke from throwing her pregnant sister a sad shot-gun wedding only a couple of months before.

The day of the rehearsal comes. Now the bride and groom have decided on two separate receptions. Joan comes from a religious family and Frank (her groom) does not. So the meal and toasts will be held in the basement of the church with no alcohol. Then later, we all go to another hall for the dance/booze. After the rehearsal all of the bridal party gets ready to decorate the church basement. No good. There's some kind of meeting going on and we can't get in there to decorate until almost 11pm at night! Of course, the groom and his posse have to leave at midnight, so us girls were there until 1am decorating. So much for any kind of rehearsal dinner.

We get back to Joan's house and are getting ready for bed when she comes crying out of the back bedroom. Joan didn't bother going to the doctor to get any kind of birth control pills so, on the night before her wedding, she gets visited by her "monthly" friend. We assure her that everything will be ok. The next morning we all go to get our hair done, only my aunt (the MOB) hasn't made an appointment for any of the bridal party, just the bride and the MOH. The two of them go to another salon and we end up at a Super Cuts. There are two other bridal parties ahead of us and we have to wait for over an hour! The hairdresser didn't consult any of us about what we wanted and I ended up with a bouffant biker helmet. I was thrilled.

Due to our late hair appointment, when we arrived back at the house the photographer was already there. We had on no make-up or dresses. Flash forward to the church. One of the women in the church volunteered to make the flowers as her gift to the bride & groom. As we're standing in the waiting room, the woman shows up with the flowers which NONE of us has seen. They are PLASTIC! not silk, not dried, not fresh. PLASTIC! They were also not even CLOSE to the colors that Joan had picked out. We bit our tongues and the ceremony went off without a hitch (forgetting that one relative was SO late that we had already started up the aisle when he came in).

At the reception the introduced the bridal party. Certain members of my family booed me when they announced my name. Classy. The first reception was beautiful. About half way through Joan runs up to me and asks if I have a sanitary napkin. Um...where would I put it? I don't carry my purse through the wedding. After some discrete inquiries we locate some and we rush off to the bathroom to help with the layers of tulle on the dress. But it's too late. Yes the bride had an accident right through the wedding dress. We were able to hide it with the train, thank God.

The second reception was something else. The DJ was the groom's nephew (he was about 13) and his equipment was his home stereo. He had about 15 CD's that were all hard core rap or heavy metal. We stayed for about 30 minutes. To top it all off, the groom had made arrangements for the honeymoon to take place at a local tourist resort. We found out later that after driving for 5 hours that EVERYTHING was closed because it was off season (they got married in May). They found a cheap hotel and stayed there for the weekend before coming home. They have now been married for about 5 years and are very happy.     wedhell0531-02

My wedding follies were extensive. I told my brother that I was getting married and he said, "Well, I won't be there unless you buy me a suit." He claimed he had nothing to wear. He didn't come to my wedding. Another brother was asked to be an attendant. He didn't show up until the reception (in the tux we rented for him) with no excuses. My new brother-in-laws girlfriend showed up wearing a white casket lining-like dress, white shoes, hose, the whole bit. The musician didn't show until the reception claiming to have babysitting problems. A friend of my new sister-in-law came (at the invitation of my sister in law) with Tupperware in case there was food left over. Tacky, tacky, tacky.     Wedhell0316-02

  I just got married about three months ago. We saved for two years in order to have our dream wedding and here's just a few of the things that went awry. One of the bridesmaids, Cris, dropped out of the wedding because I "bought" the bridal shower invitations. I did this because the MOH, Jane, was freaking out because Cris hadn't made the invitations like she promised she would and Jane couldn't get Cris to return her telephone calls to find out what was going on. Jane said her husband had told her to just go ahead and buy shower invitations and I said that was fine with me--I didn't care either way, I was just happy that they were going to all of this effort on my behalf. The next day while Jane and I were out shopping we stopped at a card store. They had some lovely shower invitations and Jane asked if I liked them. I said that they were beautiful and she bought them. Later that night Cris calls Jane and says that she's sorry she hadn't gotten back to her sooner but she was busy (for two weeks?). Jane freaks out and tells me that she's afraid to tell Cris (she has a rather nasty temper and Jane has to work with her) that she's already bought the invitations. I called Cris the next day and told her that Jane was worried about the shower and sending out the invitations in advance so that I had picked up a package of bridal shower invitations and had given them to Jane so she could send them out. Cris flipped out! She cussed me up one side and down the other claiming that I was a control freak and dropped out of the wedding. To this day she has no idea that the REAL individual who bought the shower invitations was Jane, not myself.

My cousin, Lynn, was also supposed to be in the wedding. She dropped out of the wedding about five months before because she got pregnant. I had assured Lynn and reassured Lynn I did not care if she was pregnant in the wedding and that we would find gowns to fit everybody and make sure that they were easily alterable. We offered to pay for the dress, her lodging, everything because we had talked about being in each other's weddings when we were kids (I understand a baby is expensive), but no such luck. She just felt she had to bow out. Keep in mind that she was not having a difficult pregnancy and there was nothing wrong with the health of the baby. It might also be good to mention that of my two remaining attendants, one was a good 8 weeks MORE pregnant than my cousin Lynn! Sara who had her baby about a month after our wedding managed to attend the shower, the bachelorette party and did a fabulous job at the wedding. It wasn't like I was going to work either of them to death, I had asked some friends of mine to help out as wedding "coordinators" and they basically took care of all of the small details for us. Both Lynn and her husband attended our wedding along with her parents, my Aunt and Uncle. We didn't even get a card from either couple. I understood with lodging expenses and driving to the wedding about a gift, but not even a card?! I could have cared less about a present but it hurt that they never said a word to us, not congratulations, not anything and on top of that couldn't be bothered to give us a .99 cent grocery store card. This after having arrived at the hotel to find two rather nice out of town guest baskets (one containing food, the other containing bath products) waiting for them and all of the out of town guests.

My husband and I don't drink and the prospect of paying for alcohol was going to break our budget so we decided to have a dry wedding, especially since my father who is an alcoholic was attending. We figured since we were having an afternoon wedding that we could get away without having to serve alcohol. I've also been told that a cash bar, although a popular trend, is extremely tacky. All of our friends KNEW in advance we wouldn't be serving alcohol and never said anything to us about it, other than to ask why. Although we were not able to pay for an open bar, we did pay for sodas, juices, coffee, tea, and water. We also didn't skimp on the food and provided all the guests with an abundance of appetizers and main dishes. There was an enormous amount of food left over. During our toast we drank ginger-ale. I was absolutely horrified that despite the fact that they KNEW we did not want alcohol at our wedding that some of my husband's friends went to the bar next door, got drinks and brought them BACK TO OUR RECEPTION! One of them cussed out my friend who was acting as one of the coordinators for suggesting that he not take the drink up to the reception as we had expressly asked for a dry reception.

This is also the same guy that complained because we had a short note in the back of our wedding program that asked guests to "please turn off or set to vibrate all cell phones and pagers during the ceremony" at the request of the church. It's not like he's a cardiac surgeon or something. We also found out when we got our disposable cameras developed that some of my husband's friends had used the cameras to take rather revealing shots of themselves. One of my husband's friends and his fiancée came to the wedding with the fiancée, Amy, wearing a dress that was slit clean up to her hip and cut down in the front below her bra line almost to her navel. (Never mind that she was still married to somebody else at the time and I had to send the wedding invitation to them as though they WERE married.) In the pictures Amy is hiking her skirt up so far that I was actually embarrassed my mother had taken the cameras home with her and had them developed.

When we got our wedding video back, the second the camera is on them they are either groping each other or he actually pulls her dress open a little farther for the camera! Lovely! I can only imagine what our kids are going to think! On the day of the wedding we had 6 people not show up who had RSVP'd yes (and consequently we had paid for). One of whom was a co-worker of mine. She was pregnant at the time and just before leaving for our wedding I had given her a gorgeous baby shower gift which was part of some exclusive baby line. The day of my bridal shower she handed me a throw off of our registry list in the wrong color! She told me that she figured I could just exchange it for the right one but that she was just too busy to find the right one at the store and had wanted to get it over with. Gee thanks, I feel special now! We received not a single telephone call from any of these people explaining why they didn't make it to our wedding.     wedhell0328-02

Just this past summer, my boyfriend invited me as a date to the wedding of one of his friends. I has been acquainted with the bride and groom for some time, but they were closer to my boyfriend than they were to me. I had known about the planning that was going on because a lot of my other friends were working on it. The planning was being done mostly by teenagers, and a few other girls that were in their early twenties. This was a low budget wedding, which there is absolutely nothing wrong with. In some areas they did very well with the resources they had, in others...not so great. My boyfriend and I arrived at the church on time, and were sitting in the last pew talking to each other until the ceremony was to begin. Just before the bridal party was lining up in the back to walk down the isle, the best man, "Jake," came over to my boyfriend and I and said, "Check out the hem on my pants." We looked and couldn't really see what was wrong. "Well," said Jake, "we didn't have a needle and thread, so we altered all the groomsmen's' pants with BLACK ELECTRICAL TAPE. I honestly don't know HOW that worked but apparently it held. It didn't look very nice when they were all standing in the front of the church, though. There's more. As the bridal party started walking down the isle, and the groomsmen were paired with the bridesmaids - you could tell...if you hadn't been informed by both members of the pair that there was animosity between them. THEN, as the actual exchanging of vows, etc was going on...the Pastor tried to work HUMOR into the speech. It didn't work. That was only the second wedding I had ever been too, but all the attendants found it to be one big sad joke.


It had been years since I had seen my friend since we live far away from each other. She told me she was getting married and asked if I would be her MOH. I told her yes. As time passed, I grew worried because we never met to discuss anything, including my dress. She then told me I was one of only two people who would be in the wedding party besides herself, the groom and her daughter. The best man would be wearing a tux so he was set. She gave me the colors and told me to pick anything I wanted so I bought a tasteful dress for the wedding. I traveled with part of my family to the town where the wedding was taking place in the afternoon. My family was worried. It was the day of the wedding and we had not had so much as a dress rehearsal. In fact, I hadn't even received a call to know if the bride had arrived in town yet. I hadn't even seen the place where my friend was getting married. I panicked when I learned it would be outside in the woods as the bride AND her MOH were both allergic to much of the foliage growing out in nature. I finally received a call late in the morning from the bride telling me where she was getting married that day and we were to meet in an hour.

After arriving at what could best be called a small lodge with no air conditioning for a summer wedding, the wedding party of five received a ten minute overview of the entire wedding and how it would happen. An hour later we prepared for the event and I was terrified. We hadn't actually tried a walkthrough and it showed. As the wedding started, the coordinator was coaching us through the actual event giving us directions because no one, not even the bride, knew where to walk once we made it out of the lodge outside. For the little girl, she had to physically direct her in the right direction. Then we were to take a horse drawn carriage outside around the woods before the minister began the actual nuptials. Bugs the size of Texas were attacking us since no one was truly prepared for the smallest attendees of an outdoor wedding in the woods. I could barely breathe, my allergies were flaring and I had nothing to blow my nose. Then the heavens opened, and it started raining on us. We returned and walked through the mud in our lovely outfits. The wedding took place in the rain because there were no backup plans to have one in an indoor location.

Once we had to walk back "down" the aisle after the ceremony, none of us knew where to walk so we just stood in the lodge as people took their seats for the reception to eat and dried off. The sprinkles of rain ceased for awhile, so the photographer took pictures while the hungry guests waited in the reception hall. After they were finished; the bride, groom, and best man immediately started getting drunk The music was horrible and no matter how much people asked, the disc jockey refused to take requests from his ten page music list. Since there was no preparation, and I was the only sober person in the wedding party besides a little girl; no one knew what to do about cutting the cake. There had been no rehearsal of what to do at the reception. I think they finally did cut the cake as people started leaving.


In 1985 I was engaged and living on my own when I received a wedding invitation, in care of my parents [who I hadn't lived with in three years], from a third cousin (mom's second). He was to be married labor day weekend.

My parents received a separate invite. We respond we will go (two response cards with 2 will attend on each) .

The day of the wedding is heavily overcast and humid (I live in Philadelphia). And my parents are miserable because their shore house is empty this weekend and we're going to this wedding.

Because we are "groom's family" we managed to evade all the pre-wedding parties/ showers etc and are only invited to the wedding

On the way to the church (the 4 of us are recovering Catholics), my mom fills us in on the B & G's story. Turns out he was in the seminary while she was studying to be nun when they met and fell in love. Okay this should be interesting.

We arrive at the church find a relative and look around, okay about 6 bridesmaids and groomsmen, not too bad... lots of family, 25 priests and nuns.... we figure okay friends from the seminary .... Well the wedding starts and there are four separate priests officiating. Now I can understand a full catholic nuptial mass but this thing just never ends. When they finally announce communion everyone in the church (excluding the six of us [another cousin and his wife] receive the sacrament. We were in the church over 2 hours. Now the real fun begins...

We start for the reception, held in a VFW hall in the worst part of the county seat. When we pull up and park, past the indigenous homeless, we see two of my mom's uncles (men in their 60's ) standing over an open car trunk. Assuming they have a flat we offer assistance, no.... they laugh ... turns out the bride's mother ordered a cash bar and they had "outsmarted it" by picking up several cases of beer and storing them in the trunk of their cars. Now my fiancé and I are concerned since we didn't bring any money (except for tip money) and neither of my parents did either. But we shrug and say "hey we can go without a drink" and walk into the hall.

To be greeted by the thrilling sounds of a ....POLKA BAND. Okay I was 23, into new wave etc, but my cousin and his bride were only 2 years older. My then fiancée says "just chill it could be fun" We go to get our place cards. Okay mom & dad no problem.... look for mine, not under my name, not under fiancés name, not anywhere. My dad finds my aunt(MOG) and asks... she looks nope no card, she gets the list ... nope we're not on it.... so sorry all the brides mothers fault of course look we'll just get some extra chairs and....Note: The groom's mother was my Mom's MOH and when her oldest child got married (11 years earlier) my mom hosted a reception at our home.

Well dad loses it, quietly snatches the envelope out of my hand ;throws mine and theirs on the gift table, mumbles under his breath about tacky and drags us out.

Okay so I've wasted 4hours already, no food, not even a diet soda and I don't even get to hear the Polka band....

In January of 1986 another envelope arrives at my parents house, containing a generic Xeroxed thank you note ( even the signature was Xeroxed) thanking someone for my generous gift and for sharing their wonderful day. I used this experience as a don't guide to my own wedding.


I'm not big on weddings and this is an excellent example of why. The cast of characters for this horror story includes [not their real names] my step-son, "Jerry", his then-wife, "Amy", Amy's brother as the groom-to-be "Clyde", Clyde's bride, "Sophie", and my then 17 year old daughter "Rhonda".

My husband begged off from attending the wedding, claiming he had pressing work to finish, wise man that he is. I also wanted to refuse but Sophie had asked Rhonda to be a bridesmaid. Rhonda was so excited about being in a wedding party that I reluctantly agreed to attend.

Jerry and Amy (and Amy's family) lived in an adjacent, Appalachian state. The wedding was scheduled for early Saturday afternoon so I had to leave out after work Friday evening. But after 8 hours of work and 4 hours of driving, I was exhausted. Since I knew that continuing to drive would be dangerous, I stopped at a hotel about an hour away from Jerry and Amy's home to get some much needed sleep.

We arrived early the next morning and tension was so thick you could wad it up in your hands like bread dough. Jerry and Amy had apparently been arguing with each other for days and Jerry had left the house just before we had arrived. Amy, being the doormat of her family, was left to coordinate the entire wedding party, including getting all the bridal party ready, curling hair, coordinating decorations, food, transportation, etc, etc.

Amy was *severely* upset not only that Jerry not helping but also that Rhonda and I had spent the night at a hotel. I explained over and over but I think Amy had made up her mind because she wasn't speaking to me. She wasn't speaking to hardly anyone. Sophie was oblivious to her wedding coordinator's dark mood and instead chatted it up with my daughter, Rhonda, because they hadn't seen each other in so long. I decided to pitch in where I could and stay out of the way the rest of the time.

It was a small country wedding, with a pot-luck reception at the hall attached to the church. The bride was lovely, Rhonda was lovely, the service mercifully short, and the reception awkward. Jerry had finally showed up about five minutes before the wedding and made not one effort to help his wife. At the reception he simply sat down and ate with the rest of the guests. Amy became more and move visibly agitated with Jerry and the more that folks tried to get her to sit down and calm herself, the more upset (alternately weepy and angry) she became. Finally the reception ended and Rhonda and I helped Amy clean up the hall. It felt like angry calm before a tornado. Fortunately the reception was at the church so there was no alcohol present. No, that came later.

Back at Jerry and Amy's home the alcohol flowed freely as did the anger and recriminations between Jerry and Amy. Thankfully, they continued the argument down the road at Amy's parent's house. I tried my best to stay out of it. Meanwhile, more and more alcohol was consumed by the wedding party and various friends of the bride and groom and to my horror I realized that my daughter was being hit upon by several men in the house. It was as if she was fresh meat in front of piranhas! One guy (married!) got so vulgar that he had to be physically removed from the house. He came back and had to be removed again!

About midnight, when I saw the groom's eyes just lingering a little too long on Rhonda's behind, I had had enough. Even though we were supposed to spend the night there and leave out the next morning, I grabbed Rhonda pushed her toward the car, telling her to get in and lock the doors. I found Jerry at Amy's parent's house throwing clothes into a duffel bag. Amy was having hysterics behind a locked bedroom door. He and I had had the same idea: get the heck out of there! Jerry jumped in his truck with his dog, I jumped in my car with Rhonda and we both sped out of there as fast as the law allows. We drove half the night to get back to my house.

Jerry and Amy have since divorced. As far as I know, Clyde and Sophie are still together. My husband just shakes his head. And I can only hope that I'll never be invited to another wedding in that part of the country ever, ever again.


I live quite a distance from my older sister, and farther from our hometown where the wedding would be held, so I had to put a lot of thought into accepting when my sister called and asked me to be a bridesmaid. After explaining to her that I may not be able to afford it she told me that our dad had already offered to pay all the costs involved. I accepted as I don't get to see or talk to my sister much and I wanted to be a part of her "big day". Now I had been quite afraid that my sister would be a bridezilla to end all bridezillas as this was her personality when we were growing up but she did everything to make sure that she was the farthest thing from it. Too bad not everyone involved was the same.

I called to find out when I was to be in our hometown about a month prior to the wedding. My sister told me about a week should be good if I was able but I only *had* to be there for the wedding. I decided to go so I would be there a week before the wedding as to help with anything. When I got there I found my sister trying to not take any of my time as she knew I wasn’t able to get there very often and had many friends I also wanted to see. But as I went there to be involved in helping wherever I was needed I made time to force myself upon her as a slave. I was always told that there wasn’t anything for me to do but I still always went with her "just in case".

The day before the wedding my sister had decided that herself, the MOH, myself and the 2 other bridesmaids were to stay at the house on the property where the wedding would be held. My sister got there that evening to find that the 2 other bridesmaids and the younger members of their family had decided to have a "get together" there. My sister hid her disapproval and nicely ushered all but the 2 bridesmaids, the groom's mother and the groom's aunt out. When asked what they had done all day my sister and the MOH happily told them that herself, my sister and some of their female friends had spent the day at the spa. You know getting facials, pedicures, body wraps and getting their eyebrow's waxed. Now here is when the faux pas happens. The groom's aunt looks over at her sister and in a very happy and excited tone tells her sister (the groom's mother) "Oh we have to get our eyebrows done tomorrow". The MOH asked "really?". Both the MOH and I thought it weird that both the groom's mother and aunt turned and walked away. A few hours later the MOH mentioned it to one of the other bridesmaids (as these were her mother and aunt) and was told that they had their eyebrows waxed a week ago. We couldn't believe it! They were making fun of my sister and the MOH.

Now this wasn’t the only problem with the groom's mother and aunt. Throughout the weekend of the wedding:

(1) The aunt freaked on me because I had got a run in my nylons and wouldn’t let her come put "bright purple" nail polish on to stop it from running the last centimeter to my toes (I was explained that it wouldn’t matter cause my dress was floor length and I didn't want to take the chance that somehow I would get the nail polish on my pale yellow dress)

(2) The mother freaked on my dad because she was "positive" that he was going to bring boat chain to hang the flowers with (no matter how many times that we explained that he was just going to get a small chain to hang the baskets with)

(3) She took all of the bridesmaids bouquets before the reception even after my sister told her that she wanted us to walk in carrying them.

(4) I overheard one of them telling someone that they couldn't believe that I accepted the offer to be a bridesmaid even though I was so "fat".

(5) One of them got mad because our great uncle (grandfather's brother) fainted on the way to our family photo. He is diabetic and even after she was told this she was still upset.

(6) On the nite of the rehearsal dinner (which was held at the wedding site) the sprinklers went off spraying the whole place (and all of us) and my father was freaked on because he and some of the groomsmen decided to jimmy there way into the garage to turn the sprinklers off (as the groom's mother didn't have the keys to get in there). Now the men didn't just bash a door in they decided to take the bars off the window (just needed to unscrew them from the wall) and then send someone inside. She seemed to think that having the timed sprinklers wouldn’t cause a problem and we should leave them alone (I could just imagine them going off in the middle of the ceremony).

(7) These two women kept trying to change the order of how the tent was arranged whenever my sister wasn’t paying attention. It didn't matter that my sister had chose the site to have the tables arranged so the head table was backdropped against the view of the ocean. These women wanted it so it was backdropped by the road and driveway!

There was other things that in my opinion were in bad taste but this is getting long enough as it is.


"Patrick" is my cousin. When he and his girlfriend, "C.J." were still in high school, they had a baby. Two years later, they had another. Two years after that, they decided to get married. C.J. is the youngest of three siblings in her Italian family, and her parents went all out to throw her a Big White Wedding at a church and a reception at one of our city's ritzy hotels. This wedding, from start to finish, was the epitome of bad etiquette and bad taste. Obviously, names have been changed to protect the innocent and not so innocent. To list the specifics:

1) Invitations. The invitations read, "Colton Michael and Corey Joseph Pratt invite you to witness the marriage of their parents, Catia Jane Ilario and Patrick Michael Pratt" on August 6, 2000." Now, lots of people become parents before they get married, but wording invitations with a four-year-old and two-year-old "hosting" the wedding seemed to be in exceptionally bad taste. I'm sure C.J. and Patrick thought this was a cute idea, but it really wasn't.

2) Gift Registry. This couple registered for what seemed to be everything under the sun, even though they had lived together for a few years. What's up with that? Free upgrades of existing stuff, I guess. Oh, and included in the bridal registry were Blues Clues and Sesame Street dish sets for the kids.

3) Ceremony Site. A church. Now these people and their families are pretty irreligious. I'm not knocking it, because I'm not really religious either. But it just seems hypocritical to me that they HAD TO shop around for a church to marry them when they and their families don't believe in the principles espoused by ANY church. I think it's weird to be so hell-bent (excuse the expression) on saying your vows "in the presence of Jesus" when you don't think about or care much about Jesus during the rest of your life.

4) Bride's Attire. Big, white, poufy dress, tiara, white veil. A minor point. It is my understanding that a big, white, poufy dress is acceptable for a bride in her situation, but that a long, white "blushing bride" veil isn't. I read somewhere that the veil symbolizes virginity (as opposed to the white dress). Could be wrong, but the whole ensemble and, if fact, the whole big white wedding thing, struck me as a breach of etiquette. Lots of people do that, so no biggie.

5) The Food. The reception was held during prime dinner hours. Cold cuts, rolls for bread to make sandwiches. The rolls were so hard that they could double as hockey pucks. Not enough food to go around.

6) Behavior of Guests. Bride's thirty-year-old single brother played drinking games with his friends during the reception, some of them quite loud. Tiffany, one of the groom's other cousins, is a professional singer and sang a song for the bride and groom at the reception. Right in the middle of her performance, one of the drinking games migrated to the dance floor, where bride's thirty-year-old brother was crouched in the center of a circle, holding one beer in each of his hands, guzzling one, amidst a circle of his drinking friends, who were all chanting, "Drink mother lover, drink mother lover, drink mother lover, DRINK!!!!" Only, it wasn't the word "lover" that was used. I think you know what I'm talking about. Charming.

7) Behavior of Bride. Bride gets drunk. Really drunk. At one point, she accompanied some of her guests (some underage, some not) upstairs to one of their rooms to imbibe in Goldschlager shots dispensed from an ice sculpture fashioned as a ski slope. Later that evening, she A) tore the spaghetti strap from her gown, B) threw up all over the front of her gown, C) passed out briefly in the handicapped bathroom at the reception, and D) passed out again, puked-on dress and all, in the honeymoon suite. I'll bet the groom was disappointed. This couple is still together and apparently happy two years later, and I guess that's what counts. This wedding and reception could have been much worse, but it was still TACK-O-LA.

Wedhell 1230-02

My wife and I have been to two weddings where the guests tapped the keg and were drinking beer during the ceremony. The first amazed us, but it was otherwise a fairly ordinary wedding. The second wedding was this summer, and we've gotten lots of mileage out of the story. The bride "Jasmine" is the daughter of "Martina", one of my wife's former co-workers. My wife had been good friends for awhile with Martina, and had hired Jasmine to do odd jobs a few years back. Martina & her family are very colorful people, not given to considering long-term consequences of short-term decisions. Martina considered it normal that none of her 3 daughters' boyfriends ever had a valid driver's license and all were on probation or awaiting court dates for something or other.

The ceremony was held at a very creepy private park that makes you feel like you've been transported to the world of "Twin Peaks". It is heavily wooded, thus dark, with trails snaking through the woods. Home-made signs about every 3-4 feet point out some feature of the woods, usually something quite unremarkable ("Notice the fungus on this log", for example). The clearing where the wedding took place has wooden counters that are very crudely made, a wooden dance floor, two outhouses, and a cold-water sink. Scores of logs had been cut into 2-foot lengths, set up vertically in bunches for seats, all of them had their tops painted white. There were a zillion bizarre signs in the clearing.

The wedding took place on the dance floor, where folding chairs had been set up and there were speakers hung from trees. The food and booze for the reception was on the crude wooden counters. There were about 50 adults and half a dozen kids at the wedding. Nearly all the adults were heavily tattooed. Martina's sister attended in a skintight strapless leopard-skin minidress, despite being about 50 years old and at least 70 lbs. overweight. She is famous for having gotten welfare to pay for a stomach-stapling surgery to lose weight. She also has a hideous burn scar nearly the full length of the back of one leg. Her daughter (Martina's niece, Jasmine's cousin) attended wearing a tube top and very short cutoffs jeans. She had a 4-month-old baby who screamed through half the ceremony. Jasmine was attended by her two children, only one of which is the offspring of the groom. Jasmine's grandmother was there, heavily medicated. She is about 70 and has 12 great-grandchildren. Martina has 6 grandchildren, she is 46.

The ceremony started with heavy-metal music blaring from the speakers. The owner of the park, an elderly man who seemed somewhat demented & deaf, was in charge of the tape player. People had to holler at him for a long time before he turned the music down, and someone shifted the tape to New Age music. People were coming and going during the ceremony. Most people were both smoking and drinking beer during the ceremony, including the father of the bride, and the parents of the groom. A cellphone rang during the ceremony, and was answered, and the owner of the phone indulged in "cell yell", describing the ceremony and his relationship to the groom (drinking buddy), while the minister struggled to go through the vows, to the distorted strains of music blaring from speakers. One of the bride's brothers spent the entire ceremony off to one side preparing meat skewers for barbecuing for the reception. None of the bridesmaid's dresses matched, and they all had short sleeves (including the bride), which showed off their arm tattoos. As the ceremony ended, the tape was switched to a romantic ballad. A young woman stood up and lip-synched to the ballad. The best man took off his shirt and went bare-chested as soon as the ceremony was over. We departed as soon as the ceremony was over.     Wedhell 1106-02

One of my cousins, an extremely nice guy, grew up in a very strict fundamentalist family. He met his wife while they were both students at a Bible college. They got married in a tiny but very picturesque church, in a small town about 50 miles from the bride's family's hometown. It was a very hot day, and the long side of the church was facing the sun, so it got very hot inside. It was a very low-budget wedding, the bride had made her own dress, sewed my cousin's wedding suit, and they had prepare much of the food themselves. Needless to say they were exhausted and she was a wreck. She had eczema, which flared under stress, and her future MIL (my aunt) is a very manipulative, bossy, stress-inducing woman.

Her parents had not wanted to offend anyone, so they had invited their entire church congregation. They assumed that since the wedding was not in their own church and was 50 miles out of town, that not many of the congregation would come. They were wrong. A friend of the bride's family did the decorations, which included flower arrangements on the altar, and broomsticks that fit into holders on the ends of the pews. These had glass hurricane lamp globes on top with candles inside, and were braided with ribbon like maypoles. All very nice, but the woman doing the decorations was in a wheelchair and could not fuss with the final appearance. I was one of two ushers, she commandeered both of us to adjust flowers a few inches one way or another, straighten the ribbons a bit, etc. Meanwhile people were pouring into the church willy-nilly, and a lot of close family ended up standing. It was so crowded the photographer could not get into the church, he stood on a chair in the narthex trying to photograph the ceremony. Extra folding chairs were set up in the outer aisles, so the main aisle was the only way in or out.

Just as the ceremony was starting, one of the hurricane lamp globes exploded, showering glass over the congregation. We had to stop the ceremony and blow out all the candles. The minister was from my cousin's family's church, they didn't really want him but they couldn't risk offending him. He made a long sermon about how God made the man the head of the family, God's chain of command was God-father-sons-wife-daughters. The vows he had them say included the bride being obedient to her husband, etc. Then they said vows they had written themselves. I had persuaded them to write them down rather than attempting to memorize them. Young family members brought the vows to them on scrolls of parchment. My cousin read his vows; they were so moving and his bride was so overwrought from stress that she started to sob. Real wailing boo-hoo-hoo stuff, and it went on for 5 full minutes, which in a wedding seemed like an eternity. Especially as it was over 100 degrees in the church. She collected herself, sniffled through her vows, then they signed the wedding certificate and she started crying again. They marched out with her still crying.

The day was growing hotter, so they set up the receiving line on the steps of the church, which were in the shade. This meant that no one could get out of the church. It was boiling inside. An older couple, trying to stand up, grabbed the back of the pew in front of them. It wasn't bolted down, it tipped back, and the hurricane lamp globe went flying with a smash. An old lady fainted from the heat. I fought my way to a side door and opened it, went around to the steps, and got them to move the receiving line under a tree. Another pew tipped and another globe went smash, at this point most of the people were out of the church and we two ushers took down the rest of the globes. I vowed then and there that if I ever got married I would elope. I didn't, of course, but that is another story...     wedhell 1106-02

I HAVE to tell you about the wedding I recently attended - it was just too horrible (or funny depending on how you look at it!) My fiancé's friend from high school got married recently and we received a lovely invitation in the mail informing us of the church wedding to be immediately followed by a dinner reception. My fiancé was very excited to go as he hadn't seen his friend in a few years and I expected a very nice affair. The wedding was in another state so we made hotel reservations at the suggested hotel on the invitation and drove several hours to the destination. However, we were not invited to the rehearsal dinner as out-of -town guests usually are, but that really didn't bother me (maybe it was only family?) No, as I later found out other out of towners were invited - still don't know why we weren't.

The suggested hotel was quite run down and I found several large insects in our room - yuck! O.k. not the Bride and Groom's fault, but yucky just the same. The wedding was to start at 5:00, we arrived at 4:45 as did many other people, but the church was already full, not an empty pew in the house! It seems the Bride and Groom had invited about 300 people, but decided to have their wedding in a church that only accommodated 200. The remaining guests had to stand up in the back and the Bride and Bridesmaids had to squeeze through people to get to the aisle!

When we saw the Bride, my fiancé whispered to me, "What's wrong with her dress?" I strained my neck to see what he was talking about - it didn't take long to notice. The top of the Bride's strapless gown was sticking out about 5 inches from her chest and she didn't have the chest to fill it. Anyone taller than the Bride would have been able to see right down her dress! (did she not have time to have it altered? Your guess is as good as mine.)

Wedding goes well - skip to the reception (to start immediately after wedding) They had it at a "re-creation of an old western town", sounds kind of cool right? Well, we drove out into the boonies, parked our car in this field and made our way down a very steep hill to the "town". It was quite amusing to watch all these nice dressed up people and ladies in heels try to make it down this hill without falling, thankfully I did. Well, the "town" consisted of 4 buildings painted pink, white, yellow and brown (did they have pink and yellow buildings in the old west?) The only building that was open was the brown one, where the band set up and they had a dance floor that could hold about 30 people. Across from that they had a big tent set up with lots of tables and chairs with votive candles as decoration. The cash bar had 2 bartenders and they set up the bar on big folding tables. Next to it was one of those big white beer trucks with a tap on the side to which we were supposed to help ourselves (what is this a frat party?) There were 4 tables in the tent with hors d'ouvres on them being replenished every so often by a catering staff that was set up in one of the closed buildings. I felt so bad for them, they were obviously working hard to get the food out as fast as possible, there were just too many people trying to eat all at once. After about an hour, it became painfully obvious that there was no dinner - just hors d'ouvres. That would have been no problem, I have been to many weddings that just had hors d'ouvres receptions, but none that started right after the ceremony, at dinner time, giving no one a chance to go eat somewhere first. I thought they could have done a better job of explaining this in the invitation! Another hour goes by and FINALLY the Bride and Groom show up! It seems they had been driving all over town taking pictures and had obviously stopped off somewhere for a drink b/c the Bride was DRUNK! After a while I had to go use the restroom, boy was I surprised at what I found! A little out-house type bathroom with two stalls in the women's and 2 in the men's. (2 stalls each for 300 people!) The reason I know there were 2 stalls in the men's is because halfway through the evening the toilets in the women's restroom overflowed, so the women had to use the men's room and the men were instructed (by the father of the Bride) to "piss in the woods". As the night wore on, the Bride proceeded to get more and more plastered, her bridesmaids were telling everyone she was acting strange because she had taken a Zantac that morning (yeah right). They tried to make her eat something, so she picked up a shrimp cocktail, stuffed it in her mouth and spilled cocktail sauce down the front of her dress. Lovely. She then got it in her head that she wanted to sing a song to her new husband. So, she went up to the band leader (who was on one of their many 1/2 hour long breaks) and asked them to play back up for her. As the song started I just cringed, recognizing it right away as Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" how very inappropriate. I just had to laugh at that point, I really couldn't help myself. The Groom then whisked the Bride away (at 10:30) to put her to bed and told his high school buddies that he would be over to the hotel to party with them later. Charming. My fiancé and I really did have a good time with the other people that were there, we all had a good laugh together. I just feel bad for the Bride who will surely not remember her own wedding reception.

Wedhell 1029-02

My husband and I married in late 1999. My husband's entire family lives in the Midwest and we are in the Southwest. MOG could not make the wedding because she was gravely ill and FOG stayed with MOG. So, using MOG and FOG's tickets, Sister-in-law (we'll call her Ann) brings her new boyfriend. Until then, no one even knew they were dating - I think the wedding must have been their second date.

We had our wedding Friday night with a small reception and then a big casual Open House at our new house on Saturday with fabulous catered food. However, SIL and BF would not know this, because they showed up for about 10 minutes, went out for "something to eat." and came back to the house six hours later (still hungry!). Oh, and at the wedding the night before, she spent most of the night in the bathroom chatting with her Ex-live-in.

Anyway, before leaving Ann takes a TON of food (for MOG and FOG) and then some food for herself as well and leaves a check in a card - for $500.00, which I told my husband was far too much and not to cash it. But he says Ann must really want us to have it and with the new house we really needed the money, so we went ahead and cashed it and sent a nice thank you note. Incidentally, MOG and FOG never saw - or heard about - the food I packed up especially for them.

Fast forward to February when Ann and the boyfriend announce their engagement - rapid courtship, but OK, maybe it's true love, right? The wedding is in October. I am to be a Bridesmaid - so I purchase $180.00 dress; $50.00 shoes; $100.00 shower gift (even though wasn't invited to the shower!); and take a week (my only week) of vacation with hubby to drive up the 1200 miles for the wedding (add in travel costs, etc.). The dress has a slit so high I can't sit down or it would be obscene (we call it the Hoochie Mama Dress). The Dress is sleeveless and backless, and the wedding is in the northern Midwest in Late October. Brrrr.

Ann does not acknowledge our arrival. When she finally does, she decides she wants to take her brother (my husband) out to dinner - I am not invited, it's "family only." Nonetheless, my husband, feeling extremely generous and no doubt feeling guilty about her generous present to us 11 months before, insists that we buy out her wedding registry - we end up spending around $750.00 on gifts.

I also find out that lots of people could not make the wedding. I find out from a (sane) family member that Ann had invited everyone she had ever met - and we're talking people she had met once at someone *else's* wedding shower. They probably didn't even know who the invitation was for!

So, the rehearsal dinner is at a kids pizza place - you know, with video games and Skeeball? The pizza stinks - it's kid-grade fare. There was no alcohol, which might have helped. Ann was over an hour late to her own rehearsal and an additional hour late to the rehearsal dinner, so the (bad) pizza went cold waiting for her. The toilets were all stopped up all night too, so there were no bathrooms available, not Ann's fault, but it sure didn't help.

The wedding and reception could have been much worse, to be honest. I, in my giant bouffant hairdo - which was forced upon me - spent the evening trying to make nice with the rest of the family. When I had had enough, I retired to the bar next door (same building) with the other bridesmaids.

Let's sum up the event by saying for all the gifts, a week off work, 1200 miles of driving, having to wear the Hoochie Mama dress, and helping out with the wedding we got no thank you note at all - or even a phone call to see if we made it back home safely. AND we come to find out that the $500.00 guilt trip she gave us originally was actually pilfered from my husband's gravely ill mother's bank account.

My one consolation is that during the reception she wandered around for quite some time with no one bothering to tell her that her dress had unzipped and her butt was hanging out. Oh, that and her impending divorce.
Wedhell 1028-02

I was very lucky. My Wedding went as my husband-to-be (now my husband of 7+ years) and I had planned it. My Cousin had the same luck. Unfortunately, her planning and execution were lacking, so hers was a Wedding from Hell. My cousin Karen was living in Upstate NY with her parents, a few towns over from my parents, my brother John, his wife Cheryl, and their two small children. Karen didn’t have many friends there, so she asked my sister-in-law to be her MOH. Cheryl is such a sweet soul that she couldn’t say no. She accepted the "honor" (horror is more like it).

Cheryl found herself performing all of the MOH duties, as well as those that should have fallen to the Bride. By the time all of the planning was done and the big day arrived, Cheryl had made the guest list, ordered and sent the invitations (at her own expense), taken the RSVP’s, made the reservations at the Bride’s choice of venue, put down the deposit, hosted the Bridal Shower, bought the decorations (Karen bought some streamers), and decorated the restaurant/bar that would be the site of both Wedding and reception.

Karen’s contribution to her Wedding? She specified that Cheryl buy a certain dress, and chose her own bridal gown. Thankfully, there were to be only four in the Wedding party. The Groom and BM chose their own outfits.

To add to Cheryl’s woes, the dress that had been chosen for her by the Bride was at a little shop that unexpectedly closed for the winter before the final fitting. Cheryl had quite a time getting in touch with the owner of the shop so that she could pick up her dress. She actually had to call the local police to find the shop’s owner, so that she could take the dress home and have my Mother take up the hem (alterations that had been paid for in advance by Cheryl).

When the night before the Wedding arrived, my husband and I were at my John’s house playing with our niece and nephew. Karen and a friend of hers were at the restaurant to do the decorating. They called asking Cheryl to come help. She was exhausted, so my Brother offered to go help with the decorating in her stead. My husband and a friend of my Brother’s went with him. A good thing too, because the Bride and her friend had a snoot full and couldn’t figure out what to do with the decorations. John and the boys hung the decorations, set up the tables, and had the favors, etc, ready for the next day. One of the Groom’s friends was supposed to make the flower arrangements and have them at the restaurant the night before the Wedding. Naturally, they had not arrived. The boys got back home shortly after midnight.

On the day of the Wedding, some flowers arrived. They weren’t as promised, and the Groom’s friend complained bitterly to anyone who couldn’t run away that she hadn’t had enough time, didn’t have the right materials, and had paid for them herself. She added that they were lucky to have such a good friend as she to do something like this free.

Then things got weird. I was on the porch in a beige skirt suit watching the guests arrive and listening to the flower lady complain. A man in a pair of jeans, boots, shirt, leather vest, with three teeth, who smelled as if a brewery had exploded, stumbled past me. I must have looked askance; the flower lady paused in her litany long enough to tell me that he was the Best Man. The next person I met was the Groom. The flower lady gushed as she introduced us. I was polite but unimpressed. Karen’s brother Greg and his toothless girlfriend showed up late and stinking. They were dressed from the rag bin, and headed straight to the bar for a pre-Wedding drink.

The restaurant was a small place, and wasn’t equipped for even a small affair. When I went to find my seat I was told that a couple of people who hadn’t RSVP’d had come so there wasn’t an place set for me or my husband. I told the staff to set places for us. They handed us plates, glasses, and flatware that didn’t match the rest. They said they didn’t have any more napkins. I told them to give me paper napkins (problem solved), and we ended up using them on our niece and nephew who were just as happy to have the extra attention.

The Wedding was mercifully swift. The one truly bright spot was when the Groom danced with his MOL. She was wheelchair-bound from Cancer, and that was the nicest thing he could have done. During the Bride and Groom’s dance, the BM tried to dance with Cheryl, and ended up sprawled on the floor. It wasn’t the last time that would happen that day. We later learned that he had a hip flask and was nipping when he wasn’t getting enough free beer. The Bride proceeded to make her way around the room showing off the moccasins she was wearing under her dress. Apparently, she and the Groom had a few before the ceremony as well.

The buffet was terrible. It ran out before everyone had filled their first plate. More was brought out, but the meat wasn’t cooked, and the vegetables (?) were swimming in grease. The pasta was stuck together in hard clumps that required a knife to facilitate serving. As little as I ate, I managed to find something that contained MSG and spent that night vomiting.

I had to go to the Ladies room. I asked a server and was told that the bathrooms were in the main entryway. I went there to find a line of people and a stench. Greg’s toothless girlfriend was in line in front of me. When the Men’s room emptied while the Ladies was still occupied, she offered to stand guard if I wanted to use the Men’s. I declined. I had to explain that my nearly floor length skirt already needed to be cleaned, and I didn’t want to add any urine stains to it. My husband finally sidled over and asked if I was ready to leave. The only other time I’ve ever been that grateful to leave a place was when I was being discharged from the hospital!

Mercifully, they have no children. Their marriage has not been happy. I believe the only thing that is keeping them together is the fact that no one else wants either of them.

Wedhell 1026-02

A little background: In April 2001 I married a wonderful man, and we paid for the entire wedding ourselves.

Fast forward one year, and my SIL is now getting married to a young man she presented to the family at lunch one Sunday, along with the announcement that they are expecting. First time we've ever seen this guy, too. Her mom, my MIL, insists on the marriage, although the happy couple themselves are hesitant. MIL goes on to throw an elaborate gala, comments constantly that she wants this one to be better than mine. SIL, out of duty, asks me to be a bridesmaid, but lets me know that I'm the last choice. I fork out at least $500 on the ceremony (canceling a trip my husband and I had planned for our anniversary) and offer to throw a shower for the bride. MIL informs me that "family" will take care of hosting a shower. Um, excuse me, I thought I was family? I just let it go, and on the day of the ceremony I arrive at the wedding site (at MIL's insistence) at 6:00 a.m. to decorate for the 3:00 PM ceremony. The bride calls my mobile phone to announce that we're leaving in 10 minutes to go get our hair done. I'll need to come back later to finish the decorating. It is swelteringly hot in Georgia by 11:00 a.m. even in the spring, and needless to say, we were all sticky and grumpy by the time the ceremony does start. Father of the bride is noticeably drunk, staggers up the aisle, pregnant bride is too big for her dress, bridesmaids are dripping sweat, mother of bride makes the bride's brother, my husband, leave in the middle of the ceremony because "we don't have enough spoons"! Horror! After the ceremony, we endure 2 hours of pictures outside, and mother of the bride yells at us because we don't look happy for the bride. Oh, did I forget to tell you-----groom announced at reception, on video, that this is the "worst mistake of his life." And WE didn't look happy.

Wedhell 1011-02

When my husband and I got married, we were just starting out in the big, bad, real world. We had NO money, and he had just been laid off from his full time job of seven years. I was also five months pregnant. Trailer-trashy enough for you yet? To make a long, painful, and utterly ludicrous story short: my mother brought her boyfriend (a formerly convicted pedophile) despite my specifically demanding that she not; my mother in law brought her Pit Bull and let it run amok, scaring half my guests away, while she was too bloody drunk to do anything; my sister in law showed up already drunk with five pro hockey players and their slutty girlfriends. They ate EVERYTHING in sight and helped themselves to ALL the booze we saved for months to buy. Someone brought around a collection jar (small change only and not my idea) to start a "college fund" for my baby to be. This lot begged off saying they had no money (despite the thirty thousand dollars of gold jewelry around their necks). The same sister in law jumped in my new husband's lap when he tried to make a toast to me, and started wiggling in a sexually explicit manner. She sucked on his neck and told everyone she's always been secretly in love with her own brother...all while my husband was trying to make a toast to yours truly. My husband forcibly shoved cake down my throat, even though I still had intermittent pregnancy nausea, and I barfed on camera. Everybody laughed at me, no one offered to help. And the soon as the food and booze was gone, everyone left, no one bothered to help me clean up, and I crawled into bed wondering what in etiquette hell I'd gotten myself into. I woke up the next find my brother in law sleeping on the floor with his fourteen year old girlfriend (he was 21). The end. Stop laughing at me.

Wedhell 1010-02

This story happened to a friend of mine and it is hilarious. She was asked to be in a wedding by a work friend. Mind you, they were not close friends as in "let's hang out after work and socialize", they were strictly friends in the workplace. My friend thought this strange, but agreed to be in the wedding because obviously this girl didn't have many friends. I think the wedding was in Nebraska. The rehearsal dinner was held in a bowling alley. Okay, no biggie there. The best part was that the bride's mother and father got into this huge, screaming brawl in the parking lot and the father ending up hitting the mother and the cops come and take him to jail. I guess he was bailed out the next morning in time to walk the bride down the aisle. Then the reception was held at...get this...a Western Sizzler. The couple just booked a room that was separated by one of those big sliding curtains. You had to pay for your own dinner and go up to the buffet just like everyone else. That means my friend had to go up to the buffet line in her bridesmaid dress (as did the bride in her gown) and help themselves to food, along with regular patrons in their jeans! How horrible!


Shortly before the end of the year, I received an invitation. It was home-computer produced, with full color and cartoons. On the inside, the left-hand side had a poem, preferenced with "to be sung to the tune of 'Let It Snow.'" The poem was all about new love, ending with "Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow!" The right-hand side of the page invited me to celebrate the new love of "Lenny and Tammy." It listed the date, time, place and the three hostesses. One of them was my sister-in-law, a woman named "Eleanor" and a third woman. Then, three stores were listed, for their registries. At the bottom was a little paragraph explaining that Lenny and Tammy were flying in from out-of-state, and couldn't carry back much on the plane. Therefore, they requested "no gifts" because it would be too difficult to manage. On the back, was a logo, "Invitations by Eleanor," registered trademark, as if to pass off the invitation as professional. My first thought was, "I don't know anyone named Lenny or Tammy." I asked my husband, and he had indeed known a Lenny in childhood. They had not spoken in at least ten years, and my husband was very surprised to hear anything of him. Nevertheless, he was happy for him, and wanted to attend whatever this event was. My next thought was, well, what exactly was this party? An engagement party, shower or the wedding itself? Since my husband and I are on poor terms with the sister-in-law who was co-hostess, we asked another family member also invited. She was convinced it was an engagement party. So, we accepted the invitation.

On the day of the party, I had great trouble finding my sister-in-law's new house. I finally arrived when the party was well underway. Due to a work emergency, my husband didn't get off work in time to be there. (It was on a weeknight, during the busiest week of the year in his line of employment.) I walked in to find everyone sitting in a large circle, opening presents. Now, I've never heard of an engagement party where presents are given, but they are all from the Midwest, where apparently, "engagement party" is synonymous with "shower." So, when my family member told me it was an engagement party, what she meant was "ignore that line about 'no-gifts.'" Where I am from, and where they live now, engagement party means the party where the engagement is announced. Since the invitation explicitly requested no gifts to be presented then, I assumed that I was not to bring a gift. I was glared at by a few people, because I was the only empty-handed guest. They returned to opening the gifts, and someone offered me champagne. I said "Yes, please." What I was actually served, I'm not sure, but it tasted more like alcoholic, carbonated cool-aid. Since I was late, I was told the food was "all gone." I wish I had been told that before I had begun to drink, because I started to feel lightheaded, what with embarrassment over the gift and the syrupy drink. I tried to remain composed, and I smiled and put on my best party face. I did finally get to meet the couple, gave them my best wishes and congratulations, but I still felt very awkward. Lenny kept referring to the event as The Shower, and how important it was for them to make the special trip, and what a long drive it had been. I commented that I thought they flew in, and that's why I thought gifts were to be sent (ahem), not brought. He gave me a peculiar look, and said, "Well, we had talked about flying in, but that was a long time ago. We wanted to drive to make sure we could get all this home." At which time he pointed to the ladder, sitting to the side of the Christmas tree. Somehow, I hadn't noticed the giant bow wrapped around it. Not only had everyone else been given different information than we had (including maps to the new house,) but they had also been told how important "getting the goods," were to this trip. Home Depot being the favorite choice from amongst the three stores. During the course of the party, I did get a chance to say hello to Eleanor. She was baffled that I remembered her from our first meeting, over a year prior. She fell all over herself to compliment me on my stationery. She was so taken by how "charmingly old-fashioned" I was by sending in a written response, using my own paper, postmarked the day after I had received her invitation. Apparently, she'd never heard of such a thing, but liked it, even though "we're all computer literate these days, and that's so much easier." I probably thanked her, but I'm still not sure if that was completely sincere, or patronizing. As I left the party, I was thrilled that part was over and looked forward to attending the wedding.

We received a formal invitation, and accepted promptly. When the day of the wedding came, my husband and I traveled to their home town (25 miles for us) for the wedding at the church where they both attended as children. The wedding was scheduled for 5pm, with a reception to follow. As we were walking in, I noticed one of the sisters of the groom in a white, lace dress. I thought this was odd, but I didn't say anything, assuming this was just a tradition of their family. While chatting with some family, they all commented on how organized Tammy was, and that she'd planned every last detail, giving everyone their itineraries and so on. We were handed programs and seated. My husband started reading his program and squirming, but I don't read those things, so I didn't realized his discomfort at the time. The wedding started and was a typical, traditional Protestant wedding. The minister seemed young and inexperienced, even mentioning that he hadn't known them well. He had a three-ring binder that he kept referring to, looking up-and-down, up-and-down during the ceremony. I chalked it up to being about the same age as the couple, and possibly one of his first weddings to perform. However, the bride was beautiful, covered in tulle and most things went smoothly. The sister in white performed a reading, but no one seemed to mind her white, lace dress. The mothers were dressed in mommy-of-the-bride pink and mommy-of-the groom blue which is not an etiquette violation, just comical, because they were obviously unflattering colors for each. The MOB was loving all the attention she was getting, but wasn't causing a scene. It was only late in the ceremony that I realized ALL of the women of each side were "matching," as in groom's female relatives in blue, bride's in pink. Candlelighters were in yellow, but the reader and the flower girl were in white. It made for a stunning look, and I was beginning to gather what the family had meant about her planning every detail.

After the ceremony, we all went to a hotel in the nearby city. The bridal party took off in a white, stretch limo, and we all drove in our cars. As they were entering the building, some of the guests were chatting, and catching up on old times . Someone had to go to the restroom, and somehow we ended up in the lobby for maybe a quarter of an hour. My husband and I were some of the only guests not carrying gifts. This time, I didn't feel awkward, knowing that I had sent a generous gift previously. We were some of the last guests to walk into the banquet room, but we were enjoying socializing so much we hardly noticed - until we walked through the door, that is. The other guests put their gifts on the gift table next to the door, a large table piled high. There was also a very large, wood and glass box with a slot on top, presumably for cards. However, it was empty. From there, we proceeded to the bar, and some guests approached the food stations. The MC barked loudly at them, "The food stations are CLOSED until the bridal party goes through FIRST." I was surprised at that, but then I noticed everyone else was sitting down at the tables with drinks only. I shrugged it off, and asked my husband to get me a drink. He asked which one, to which I said, "Whatever, I don't care." He then pointed out that we had to buy tickets at another station first; the bar was accepting only tickets for drinks. I was really puzzled, but we went to the ticket station anyway. My chin nearly hit the floor when I saw the sign posted on the table. Not only was it cash bar for alcohol - but sodas, juice and bottled water were more expensive than wine or beer, which were at hotel premium prices. There were children running around demanding aunts and uncles buy them a soda. I couldn't believe it. I was so startled that I requested tap water. My husband was getting really impatient that I wouldn't make up my mind, because, you see, they didn't offer tap water. The bar was instructed that all water served must be sold with a ticket. Fortunately, he had brought cash, otherwise we would have had nothing to drink all night. With our drinks we made our way to the only seats available, which were in front of the speakers. The music was so loud, that it was deafening. The other guests informed us that the bridal party hadn't taken any photos before the ceremony, and that we were waiting on the photography session. This was just after six PM, and we were expected to sit there drinking alcohol on empty stomachs until the bridal party arrived. No snacks, no appetizers, nothing. Fortunately, no one got drunk on their empty stomachs during the wait - most people sat quietly at their tables, nursing one of those expensive drinks. Some of the children were running around, but even they quieted down eventually. I plastered my biggest smile on my face and made polite conversation with several scowling faces. My sister in law was sitting at our table with her arms crossed in front of her chest, with one of the worst scowls. At one point, she got up and walked by me with a snip, "Can't you pretend like you're having fun?" I replied with, "It's just the low blood sugar," with the same smile I'd been wearing for hours. We had no idea how long things were supposed to take, so when they finally arrived at 8 PM, everyone was eager to get things started.

Now, I've seen this before on television, but I still wasn't prepared for the shock. As the bridal party came in, two-thirds of the guests formed a sort of corridor leading into the room. The DJ started to play music that I've only heard at the start of sporting events. They guests lined up started clapping, a slow, rhythmic clap. "Laaadieeeeeees aaaaaaaaaaaaannnd Gentlemen, The New Mr. and Mrs. Lenny Doe." They came in with their hands clasped above their heads, as if in triumph, to a strobe light affect. This may be common in some parts of the country, but for those who've never been to a wedding like that, it sure looked like the start of a basketball game, not a wedding. What I know of as "announcing the couple" is at the start of their first dance, if then, but nothing like that. I was so appalled at their lack of humility after we'd waited for so long; the contrast was stark. The wedding party was announced after them, also not common to my area, and half-way through someone screamed out, "Woooo-hooo! Way to go Jessica!" at the mention of a bridesmaid's name. The couple went to the dance floor where they were serenaded.

Finally, they went through the food lines. I managed to get in line about 3/4 of the way back. The lines were going very slowly. It took about 45 minutes for me to get close enough to even see what the food was. Once I did, I noticed peoples faces more than the food. They were disgusted, and I heard several comments along the lines of "THAT'S it?" and "Can you believe this?" That's when I noticed that the food was only appetizers. At that point, a lady dressed in pink turned around and started chatting with me. Everything was going well, polite chatter and all, until she asked, "Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?" After a religious wedding where virtually every guest attended the same church for decades, and the bride and groom met in Sunday School, I wasn't as surprised as I might otherwise be. I told her that I while I am very devout, my religion is not Christian. Her face turned to stone, and she turned her back on me. Fortunately, I only had to stand behind her for another minute, as we were finally at the front of the line. I picked up a plate, noticing that it was very small, a bread plate. I filled it with what was left from the appetizers, mostly fruit, cheese and crackers, and moved on to the next station. I picked up another plate, this one even smaller, a two inch plate upon which I would have served pats of butter. Both plates easily fit into one of my hands. There were very small rolls at this station, so I got two. The server placed about 3oz of meat total on top of the rolls, and I turned to walk back to the table. I placed the meat plate in front of my husband. I wish I had had a camera to take a picture of his face when he saw it. He had been sitting at the table while the children were fed. They were given 8 inch size plates of chicken fingers and French fries. Mostly, they didn't even eat them, while my husband drooled with envy at their food. After being kicked under the table for 45 minutes by children, that was the last thing he wanted to see. We were so hungry, that the appetizers did just that - stimulate our appetite for more food. I was ready to go back through the line again, when I realized they had closed the food stations after everyone got to go through one time. If I hadn't got a plate for my husband, he wouldn't have had anything!

At that point they started the dancing. My husband was giving me the signal to get out of there by then. I was insistent that we stay for the cake, due to hunger, and to shake hands with the happy couple. At this point, I didn't expect them to form a receiving line, but I thought they might make some time to socialize with guests. It took another hour to get the opportunity to do so. They were "making the rounds," to visit with everyone, and instead of spending two seconds with their guests in line, they spend five minutes with each guest who bothered to go to where they were standing. They had tried to go from table to table, but people got up and formed lines to get the chance to say hello. The dance floor could only accommodate about 1/4 of the 200 guests at any one time, so my husband and I just sat for most of that hour. During the whole time, my husband kept trying to get me to leave, but I was brought up not to leave before the bride and groom left. Plus, it was ten o'clock and I really, really wanted a bite of cake. Then, he turned crimson and started to cry. I couldn't take it any more, so I consented to leave, as long as we spoke with the MOB first. As we were making our way to her, I noticed a line to get to her, too. So, we watched her as we waited. She adored being the center of attention so much she was acting like the five year old flower girl. At one point, she pointed to her dress, looked down and swished her skirt back and forth. She was giddy, laughing and clapping her hands like a child. Now, I'm all for joy and happiness at weddings, but she wasn't acting like an adult. She was more childish than the children there! When we finally got to see her, she was blown away that anyone would introduce themselves to her, as if that were some bold social act. We told her what a beautiful wedding it was, and that we wished we could stay, but we simply had to leave. She was so dejected, and begged us to stay for cake. We thanked her again and walked out, passed the bartender, the attendant at the ticket table, and that big, still-empty box for envelopes.

In the car on the way home, my husband showed me that program. There was a lovely paragraph, all about how thankful they are to their parents for raising them in their religious tradition, and how important it is to cleave to the religion of one's parents, to ensure everlasting life in the hereafter, to have a partner in ministry to the evil outsiders and so on. It was very religious, and I'm sure very beautiful and meaningful for some. However, the reason Lenny and my husband stopped being friends ten years ago is that my husband "strayed" away from his own parents' faith, and joined mine. So, it was perfectly clear that Lenny still feels the same way, considering we were in a tiny minority of guest who weren't members of their church.

Several weeks later, we received a thank you note for our "lovely crystal," and the announcement that they are moving to our town. They wrote how they'd love to have us over for dinner sometime. Having seen what she plans, to the very last detail, think I'll pass.

Wedhell 0724-02

This is long, but it seemed like this nightmare would never end. My brother got married last year to the girl he'd been dating for 3 years. His fiancée, I'll call her Jane, and I had never really gotten along very well (although we do now), so I was very hesitant about her marrying my beloved brother. Jane had her moments, but it was really her family that I dreaded my brother marrying into. They hated my brother (I'll call him John) and tried any and everything to break them up. This family was very enmeshed and made Jane's life a living hell.

Anyway, they started planning the wedding, and it became very obvious that it was going to be Jane's mother's 4th wedding instead of Jane's wedding. Everything Jane or John wanted was overruled. They were on a tight budget, but they refused to do anything less than the best. Jane's mother didn't seem to mind that her own parents were going to end up footing the bill. The 6 months before the wedding was a nightmare! Where we're from, the groom's mother is usually responsible for the groom's table at the reception. My mother is an excellent decorator and was really looking forward to doing this for her only son. Well, Jane's mother informed Jane that "we'd better just do it ourselves, because we don't know what we'll get." Needless to say, my mother's feelings were hurt, and the rest of us were outraged. We let that slide. Jane picked out the cake she wanted for the groom's table from a friend of ours who does wedding cakes professionally. That was as far as our participation in that went. I'll explain more about the cake later.

As for the attendants, Jane's own aunt asked to be in the wedding. My sister and I never expected to be asked, and that was fine. Jane, of course, felt obligated to have the aunt and the rest of her entire family in the wedding. The only part of the wedding in which my brother had anything his way was with his attendants. He was allowed to have my dad as his best man and 2 or 3 of his friends, but Jane's family insisted that the uncle be in it also, along with her cousin as a junior groomsman. My son is the only "child" in our family and is very close to my brother, so naturally, my brother wanted him to serve as ring bearer. Jane's family threw a fit and insisted that Jane's little brother, 3 years old, be the ring bearer instead (not in addition to, instead) of my son. My brother put his foot down on that one, so they both ended up being ring bearers.

Well, fast forward to the day before the wedding. All of the ladies in our family were invited to a bridal luncheon. Mind you, we're from Texas and the wedding was to be in New Mexico. We'd left early that morning and drove over to New Mexico (1 hour time delay) for a luncheon to be held at Noon. We arrived at the luncheon and were informed that the hostess had been in a minor car accident that morning and wasn't quite prepared to serve us yet. We understood completely and agreed to return at 1 PM. When we arrived at 1, 2 PM Texas time, starving because none of us had eaten since about 7 am Texas time, we were greeted and waited in the dining area while the hostess and Jane's family stood in the kitchen and chatted for about 30 minutes. Not only were we hungry, we were feeling very uncomfortable and unwelcomed by that time. However, we all took this in stride and made it through the remainder of the luncheon, finally getting to eat at about 2:30 or 2:45 Texas time. That evening my brother approaches my mother and informs her that Jane is very upset because her mother told her that my mother insulted the hostess of the luncheon. It's bad enough that we're in a strange town, unwelcomed, but to have the bride's family accuse us of such ludicrous behavior was almost unbearable. My mother was devastated that Jane, whom she'd desperately tried to foster a good relationship with, would believe that she'd do something like this. By this time, I was seeing red, but all I could do was cry for my brother, my mother, and anyone else who had to endure this nightmare.

The next day, we show up prior to the wedding to set up the groom's cake. The cake was designed to be 3 square tiers with dipped chocolate strawberries cascading down the side, not my favorite design but it was what the bride had chosen. At the last minute, Jane's mother had found a beautiful silver pedestal to put the cake on; however, the original cake had a 12 inch base, and the pedestal was 10 inches. The cake was made with the 10 inch base to fit the pedestal, living little room for cascading strawberries. The cake decorator didn't attend the wedding, since it was several hours away, so my mother and I were responsible for putting the strawberries on. Needless to say, the cake wasn't made for amateurs, such as ourselves, to be placing strawberries on it, but they insisted that that's what they wanted done. We did the best we could, praying that it wouldn't topple during the ceremony. Well, it made it through the ceremony, but toppled at the reception. I've never been so embarrassed in my life!! Back to the part, though, about the groom's table. We arrived with the cake to find that they had done nothing to the table except place a coffee urn on it. No decorations were provided, so we had to make last minute trips to the craft store for decorations, after we'd been told that they'd take care of it. It was if they deliberately were trying to make fools of us!

The wedding ceremony was beautiful up until the part where the preacher began talking. The preacher, by the way, was Jane's grandfather, who openly disapproved of my brother. Throughout the ceremony he made ridiculous, inappropriate statements. He made the comment that he had refused to marry his 2 daughters and proceeded to ask Jane why she thought she was so special. He then proceeded to tell the couple that they needed to keep their problems at home and not broadcast them to the world (specifically to my family-her family is infamous for making their problems everyone else's-I guess he felt the need to say this, since they would be living near my family instead of hers). He also told the audience how much the wedding cost him. My granddad, a very calm, patient, wealthy, but modest man, was outraged at that comment, and it takes a lot to outrage my granddad. Several other comments were made, some very accusingly toward my brother, and my mother and I cried through the whole thing. After the wedding, he had the nerve to tell me and several of our friends and family that he really hoped that it would last, divorce is a terrible thing to endure. The whole thing was such a nightmare that we left emotionally drained.

Things have turned out well, so far, and my brother and sister-in-law are very happy. Jane is a much more pleasant person now that she isn't caught in the middle of her family soap opera, and we get along great. It's far from being over with her family, but they (Jane and John) seem to have done what it takes to live their own lives with as little interference from them as possible.

Wedhell 0726-02

The gowns were beautiful and obviously custom-made by a skilled seamstress, but they didn't cover the many tattoos of the bridesmaids. As the minister pronounced them man and wife, the bride threw her leg up over the groom and made humping motions right there at the altar! I am NOT making this up, I swear.

There was a three hour lull between the ceremony and the reception, during which the guests tried to think of something to do without mussing their nice clothes and the wedding party proceeded to drive all over town, blaring their car horns and getting wildly drunk.

The home made food at the reception would have served a third of the guests, at best. Some of it was served up on the table in the battered old pan in which it had been cooked. Beverages were the cheapest off brand cola served in the can, with MOB standing right there to police that nobody got more than one can, over the entire reception. During all that time she complained loudly about the cost of the reception.

The best man's toast emphasized the bride as a "terrible over-achiever"- well, she DID finish two years of community college, which I feel sure must have been a first for either side.

I won't even comment on the cake smashing, except to say there's a reason wedding cake is usually white - chocolate gets stuck in people's teeth and that looks SO fabulous in the photos!

The elegant bridesmaids dresses came off and the wedding party all changed into matching lime green polyester pants outfits. I guess they thought that looked better for the endless money dance. (And God help those who chose not to participate because they were literally chased around the dance floor by the MOB and various relatives.) The money was pinned to the clothing of the bride and groom.

How can it be that people don't know that you don't open wedding presents at the reception? Well, at least it was a respite from the ear-shattering rap music. When the bride opened an air popcorn maker, the groom stated loudly that it "would match the air in her head"- embarrassed silence all around until the bride grabbed her new kitchen knife set and pretended (?) to stab the groom. At that point we made our farewells and left.

No, we didn't get a thank you card and that's perfectly okay because I don't want this crew to have my address!!

Wedhell 0727-02

I went to my BIL's wedding the other day and it was for me a very interesting experience because I have helped plan and coordinate about 40 weddings including my own and amongst my friends and family I am known for my party planning abilities, I offered to help for free (I usually collect a small fee) and I have been able to throw beautiful weddings on many different budget levels, so when they turned me down I figured hey this will be great they must know what they are doing, they didn't. For starters the wedding was held at this church in the middle of nowhere, actually it was five miles past the middle of nowhere. The parking lot at the church held 12 cars and all the guests after that pretty much had to park down along the road and walk up the hill the church was on. The church only held 80 people (packed in extremely tightly on the pews) but over one hundred people were invited and showed up, which meant at least 30 people were standing packed inlike sardines at the back of the church, luckily the ceremony only took 15 minutes 10 of which the groom or members of the brides family were laughing and telling jokes. The bride never smiled , not once, at all. The decorations at the church were minimal, which is fine, except that instead of bows on the pews they had wadded up pieces of netting that I am pretty sure was supposed to be a bow or at least resemble one I am not sure. The flower girl wore white which I found odd. On to the reception which meant you had to leave the church and get back on the main highway (30 miles or so) and then travel another 40 miles to the reception hall located you guessed it in the middle of nowhere .. The reception hall held 150 people which meant thankfully everyone got a seat however we were packed in there because the food table, cake table and gift table took up the majority of the space. The bridal party table was located on top of a stage of sorts that gave the effect of the bride and groom towering over you and also made it impossible to talk to them the bride almost never left the stage because the only set of stairs leading to it were very small and she almost tripped each time she tried to navigate them. The food consisted of ham(extremely salty), chicken(dry and tough), scalloped potatoes(overcooked therefore they were mush), baked beans(actually pretty good), coleslaw (made with Italian dressing and apparently peppered by the crazy cook from Alice in Wonderland) , fruit salad(still frozen), cheese slices(starting to melt because of the heat), and rolls (actually good) . During the meal the MC announces to everyone not to throw their forks from dinner away unless they want to eat their cake with their hands. And the only beverages were coffee and punch. Unless you count the sparkling cider for the toast which everyone got about 1/2 oz. of in a dixie cup. Did I mention that the building was not air conditioned?? It was about 92 degrees outside so the heat inside was ungodly. A few things I forgot to mention were that the wedding was held on a Friday night at 5:30pm (kind of an odd time) and the day before the wedding the bride and groom were asking family members to participate in the wedding as ushers, cake servers, and bridal book attendant.

For cake servers they got my 13 year old nephew and 17 year old niece, they had no clue how to cut the cake so people were getting these giant pieces I noticed that they would run out soon and offered to show them the proper way to cut a wedding cake the brides mother reprimanded me and told me to sit down. And sure enough they ran out of cake the brides mothers solution was interesting she went around with plates and a knife cutting peoples giant pieces in half and giving them to people that had no cake. I passed and we left.         wedhell 0728-02

I was a recent college grad working 3 jobs to finance a trip to Europe. A girl I had met on a previous trip (we'll call her Jo) calls me 3 months before her wedding and asks me to sing at the reception. We agree which song I will sing and I mark my calendar.

I design a large etched mirror with her name, her fiancé’s name, and their son's name as a wedding gift, and have it framed beautifully. It's a large expense, but it would be an heirloom. I'm that kind of gal. A month before the wedding I get a second call: her MOH is moving out of town, and would I be able to step in? (hint: when MOHs bail there's probably a good reason.) So I agree to take on this responsibility feeling sorry for her. She says she'll send me the fabric and pattern for the dress. I don't sew, and it's May, the time of proms, weddings and graduations, so there are no seamstresses available. Believe it or not, my ex-boyfriend offers to sew the dress, though he's only sewn canvas awnings. We get sent a half-made dress in a size 22 (I am size 11). He does the best he can, bless him. I drive to the wedding, and it's my first weekend off since I was originally invited. I meet up with another travelling buddy who is invited and we drive 10 hours to Armpitville ( a city I will avoid naming so as not to insult anyone). We had been ready to find a hotel, but the bride insisted that as she and her fiancé would be at a hotel we should use her place. We arrive just in time for the rehearsal, which goes without a hitch. But now things get ugly. We go to the couple's house for the rehearsal dinner, and we met by an overwhelming pet stench. Who knew a dog and a boa constrictor could smell so much? I am formally introduced to the other members of the wedding party. In particular: the best man and his wife "Ann". Ann takes my hand, pulls me in close and tells me in my ear that she's a member on the NRA, she has a loaded .357 Magnum in the trunk of her car, and if I so much as touch her husband she'll blow my f***ing head off. Charmed, I'm sure. I head for the beer. My friend and I are intercepted by the bride's chubby preadolescent niece, who regales us with boasts of how smart she is, how she's surely smarter than we are, and that she can compose poetry in her head on any subject. She asks for a subject and we suggest "happiness". Her poem went something like this: Cold razor, cutting through my vein Hot blood, dulls my pain.... Etc. I don't blame her for being psycho, but you know, we're just here for the weekend. Not much we can help you with, missy. To change the subject, my travelling friend comments on how cute Jo's little boy "Jim" is. Jim? Oh my God I thought his name was John! (remember the etched mirror?) After a hideous meal of hamburger helper tacos the guest leave and we find ourselves sleeping on the reeking carpet... no guest beds. I try to sleep, my mind frantically problem-solving how to fix the mirror by the wedding and trying not to think of what's in the carpet. I awake early the next morning. It's my job to wake the bride and get her ready for her beauty appointment. I rise to find that the dog has torn into the garbage and has spread leftover ground beef, salsa, cheese, and stale beer cups all over the house. I don't want the bride to see this, as it is her big day, so I clean it all up myself and then wake the bride. the beauty appointment is with a clueless young beauty student, who takes several HOURS to do Jo's hair. this is actually a boon, as it gives me a chance to slip out and find a glass etcher open on a Saturday morning. My karma pays off... not only do I find someone, but he refuses to charge me once he hears my story. He etches a big double-heart over the kid's name. Tacky, but I'm starting to figure out that this won't be a problem. I get the bride, who now has a 60's lacquered updo, bring her home, and the family fun begins. This is apparently a family who hate each other. They are just unbelievably mean to each other. I am extra nice to Jo, trying to make up for her spiteful family. Jo's sister is supposedly a beautician, and does Jo's make up. Now the bride looks like Liz Taylor as Cleopatra... black kohl eyeliner and all. the whole time they are all sniping at each other. I try to help the bride into her gown. I could have used a crowbar. It turns out that Jo is pregnant again. I would have been coughing blood in a gown that tight. My cobbled-together dress is a shapeless shift with some lace. Even as we are leaving the house, the seams are beginning to separate.... The wedding itself goes off pretty smoothly, at a lovely gazebo in a city park. The best man's wife watching me like a hawk, I disengage myself from him as soon as we get down the aisle. The rain holds off until the ceremony is over, but then the bridal party must stay for pictures. Two hours of pictures. In the rain. I am holding an umbrella over the bride as the photographer works, while I get soaked. My shoes are ruined. The bride is beginning to crack. She had been getting snippy, but now she is screaming at the groom for having a missing button. She can't believe she married him like that, etc., etc. The groomsmen are drinking from bottles in their cars and can't be bothered to stay in their tuxes for the photos. The bride goes over the edge. I start whispering fairy tales into her ear. She is now dissociating. Later we will find out that the amateur photographer used the wrong light setting that day. None of the photos turned out. The reception is at a very nice restaurant. It is formal. No children, please, read the invitation. The groomsmen decide that the scotch at the bar is not up to snuff and sneak in several bottled of Jack Daniels. They have brought in their children, who are running around in diapers. They couldn't even be bothered to dress them. The manager who had scheduled the dinner had been fired and the order misinterpreted. the dinner is not at all what the bride ordered. I am seated at the head table with the best man on one side and his wife on the other, periodically hissing threats of physical violence in my ear. He is clueless. As soon as the bridal party dance is over, I change to the groom's seat, since he is drinking with his buddies. As my dress comes apart I continue to tell the bride stories to keep her from exploding. It's time for my song, and the accompanist hasn't shown. Fine, I sing by myself. The DJ takes over and the bride turns into a fun-Nazi. She insists that everyone dance. Now she has decided that this will be the night of her dreams if she has to kill us to make it so. She is far more interested in her friends who have come to visit than her groom, who she sees every day. she wants us all to go out on the town, down to the riverfront, drink until dawn. We just want her to go to the hotel with her new husband. We trick her into letting us go home with the excuse that we're just going to change into more comfortable (and for me, complete!) clothing. Once there we plead exhaustion and convince her to go to the hotel. I help her out of her wedding shoes to find that her feet are bloodied from her obsessive dancing. She leaves for the hotel with the groom and we collapse in heaps on the stinking carpet and sleep. In the morning the new couple arrive at the house and want to go out to breakfast to see us off. We go to a charming sidewalk cafe. Just as we have ordered our meals the alarm goes off on the building next door. It is ear-splittingly loud. The police arrive, but find nothing wrong and can't stop the alarm. It continues for the rest of our meal. I get through it thinking of how soon I can get in my car and leave this state and this whole weekend behind. I get my one and only speeding ticket ever on the way home. Within the year the Jo calls me to tell me that she's considering divorce. It's now 7 years later, and they're still together, two kids, but I don't keep in touch.

wedhell 0729-02