The Whole Thing from start to
finish is a disaster
This one is interesting on many
levels. I was the MOH for my best friend’s second wedding recently. She
and her fiancé lived together for six months prior to the wedding, so they
had some minor experience with one another’s families, but obviously not
enough. Her parents live out of state, so they weren’t much involved with
the planning. His, however, live about 40 miles away, which is far too
close. She planned the majority of their budget wedding with little input,
because he wasn’t interested in the process – she booked a beautiful
Victorian home for the ceremony and reception, arranged for a friend to
cater, hired a photographer and arranged for a DJ. The only things she asked
for his input on were the JP and the schedule of events. Of course, the JP
they booked canceled a week prior, but not to fear – his mother knew a
Greek Orthodox priest who might be able to fill in. Neither of them being
religious and the bride being less than thrilled about his mother to begin
with, they met with the man and discussed the ceremony. It seemed reasonable
and simple to her, more of a non-denominational thing, so she agreed.
This guy showed up in
formal Orthodox robes, sang the entire ceremony in his tradition, and, it
seems, had arranged with the MOG to stop for a "reading" in the
middle of things. She picked the biblical passage about going forth to
procreate and the one about a wife submitting to her husband. The bride
was facing away from the audience, but I got to see her turn a deep red
that contrasted beautifully with her shiny white dress. She was furious.
The bridesmaids (self included) couldn’t stop giggling. The guy wound
things up and everyone filed into the reception room. The groom’s
sister, "Lila", had set up to tend bar (her profession) in one
corner, as a wedding present to the couple, and the BM and I had
contributed $200 of alcohol, cause a dry reception appealed to no one.
"Lila" had put out a tip jar with a sign saying proceeds would
go to the bride and groom. Needless to say, the jar was full, there was
plenty of alcohol left over, and she disappeared with both. To top it off
– the bride’s maiden name was Brown. The priest couldn’t spell it
properly for the certificate and had to write it over twice.
Almost a year later, I am
still in shock about a wedding I attended with husband. We'll call our
friends John and Jane. We weren't best friends, but belonged to the same
social group and attended a lot of functions together. Throughout John and
Jane's engagement, Jane would often tell me about various social events
she was planning (i.e., her bachelorette party). Their wedding was set for
No invitations for Jane and
John's wedding ever arrived. It seemed that Jane wanted to home-make her
own invitations and could only make very few. These few were scattered to
people so randomly selected that not even her future mother-in-law could
decipher the madness. No family member received an invitation, and no
invitation was sent to the church (it can be printed in the bulletin so
that you can avoid sending out 200 invitations separately). It wasn't
until I was at the Wednesday Night Church session three days before their
wedding, did I overhear three high school seniors talking about Jane's
upcoming bachelorette party. Mind you, we are all in our mid to late 20s
and these girls were no more than 17. Jane wanted to go to a male strip
club for her bachelorette party and had "forgotten" to invite
anyone in her old social group. One of the high school girls saw me and
told me I could come to this 'event' but I declined. I hadn't been invited
by the bride or her MOH or a bridesmaid. I was simply told by a youngster
that I could tag along....(no thanks). I later found out that the party
couldn't take place because the club they had chosen was a 21 and up club.
Even the bride's sister could not make her way in, so the party was
Three days later, the
blessed event was to take place...but since no one had received an
invitation, no one knew where or when it was taking place. My mother had
heard at the bridal shower for Jane where and when and that it was an
'open invitation for all who want to come'. My husband and I decided it
would be a nice gesture to go.
It was an outdoor wedding
in a small park in a suburb of Houston. Jane and John were getting married
in a lovely little gazebo. Since no chairs or tables are available at the
park, Jane borrowed 75 metal folding chairs from the church. Needless to
say, the boiling chairs burned everyone's rump as they sat down to wait on
the processional. Some people were lucky, however. Since Jane and John had
not opted for invitations or response cards, they didn't know how many
people to expect. 75 people were seated and then 100 or more stood in the
As the wedding started,
everyone was snickering. Instead of having a traditional wedding party
processional, Jane decided to have everyone "dance" down the
aisle like little fairies. (She said she liked dance...) Anyhow, Jane
appears by the outdoor bathrooms with her father and everyone stands. She
makes her way down the aisle to guitar music (not bad). We then are seated
again and you could actually hear everyone's skin being burned by the
metal chairs [again].
During the ceremony, the
guitarist kept picking at his guitar for no apparent reason. During the
prayer he started playing chords (not planned) and clearing his throat.
Soon enough, the blessed event was over and it was off to a reception at
an old airplane hangar...but not before each guest was instructed to help
take the chairs back to a truck to be driven back to the church.
We arrived at the hangar,
and since no one could park on the street and there was no parking lot,
everyone had to maneuver their cars onto a grassy lot adjoining the old
retired hangar. (Glad we were in a truck.) We make our way inside to a
small, cramped, poorly decorated hangar and waited for the bride and groom
to arrive. When Jane and John arrived, they insisted that everyone stand
in line to get food. Only about 30 people back, my husband and I get up to
the food table and there is nothing. NOTHING. No fruit or shrimp. No
veggies, chips or dip. It was a barren mess of dirty plates and plastic
silverware. It seems that the caterer hadn't received his full money for
the event and cancelled. Beer and sodas were served, but ran out quickly.
A bridesmaid's father ran to a local grocery store and got some more sodas
and water and another keg of beer. The bride and groom were toasted with
plastic cups of beer while dancing on a concrete floor, made slick by an
ever-rotating bubble machine.
The cake was then cut. It
seems that when the caterer cancelled, so did the baker. The cake was made
by a bridesmaid who is in culinary school. It is very apparent that the
poor girl needs a few more lessons on delectable desserts. The cake was
dry and gritty and terrible. (And we were wondering how long the Leaning
Tower of Wedding Cake was going to stand.)
Another couple was seated
at our table asked if we would like to leave and go to dinner with them.
As we left, we were bombarded at the doorway by a haze of smoke. The whole
bridal party was standing outside, puffing away (including the groom) and
hadn’t ventured further away from the door.
We heard the next day at
church from Jane’s mother-in-law that Jane and John hadn’t thought to
get a passport to travel to Puerto Vallarta. They made mad dashes back
home (across town), missing their flight, finally to find their birth
certificates. I guess it’s equally tacky that we never sent a gift for
A couple of years ago I
attended the wedding reception of my now husband’s boss, held at the
Groom’s own home in London. A lavish buffet was served and the beer
flowed freely. Indeed everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely,
until somewhat later in the evening when things went suddenly and horribly
wrong. A fist fight erupted in the hall way of the home over a ‘family
matter’ which ended abruptly when the Groom, in his immensely drunken
confusion, let fly with a wild swing - landing squarely in his new
step-daughter’s face!! The police were called by the also very drunk
(and now quite furious) Bride, however when they arrived the Groom was
nowhere to be found… in fact he was not to be found that night… or the
next day… or the next!! It turned out that rather than be arrested, he’d
gone straight to the airport and jumped on the first plane to Ireland -
without telling anyone, on his wedding night!! He returned somewhat
shamefaced about 4 days later… the marriage didn’t last much longer…
My then-fiancé and I were
brainstorming for a May wedding when we found out I was pregnant. At the
advice of my sister in law, we didn't change the date, but to keep my
mother happy we went to the courthouse as soon as we were able. That
didn't happen for several months because he had some trouble finalizing
his divorce! He and his ex had filed several times but the papers were
always denied due to errors. Four months later I was livid, and probably
over-reacting due to pregnancy hormones and demanded that they go to an
uncontested divorce lawyer (instead of doing the paperwork themselves as
they had been.) They did, everything was nice and legal, and they skipped
out of the office with their arms linked, happy to have everything over
So, we get married a week
later, I call my parents to let them know. Hubby and I decide to just have
a nice little party instead of the event we had been planning. My father
has a fit! I'm his eldest daughter and he all but demands that I have a
"Real Wedding." He sends me a check to start the planning, and
tells me when he can fly out. I have one month to plan a wedding to please
him. We decide on a nice little gathering in the back yard. Men in kilts,
women in medieval styles dresses (most already had these!), no actual
attendants, the reception dinner consisted of large slabs of meat, stuffed
mushrooms, homemade bread other various sides and plenty of beer. It ends
up being a community event, because all of our friends want to help out
(we gladly accept this in the place of any presents!)
Here's what went wrong: *My
father shows up a week before the wedding and decides to landscape the
yard for the event, so I'm plant shopping with him instead of getting
everything else ready. This took forever because Dad and I are from the
Midwest, but I now live in the Southwest desert and we had no idea of what
plants to choose. I had previously spent about $300 on landscaping, only
to have everything die a few days before dad arrived.
*My stepson gets so ill I
have to hire someone to clean my house so I can care for him, since I
can't leave his side for a moment.
*I "finish" my
and my stepdaughter's gowns at midnight the day before the wedding while
hubby is at a stripjoint for his bachelor party (financed by my father).
*The day of the wedding,
everyone insists that I go to my father's hotel and relax while they set
up the pavilion. Hubby, being the gracious host that he is, opens the keg
well before the wedding. Many men, including hubby, were slightly tipsy by
the time I arrived.
*The ceremony is about an
hour late to start because my stepson spiked a fever again as I was being
sewn into my dress.
*The official performing
the ceremony had no practiced, or even looked at the ceremony I had
planned. All he had to go on was my hand written notes, which was only the
bare bones- I told him to add an intro of some sort. He read only what I
had written so it only made sense to me and hubby.
*The dinner was late, and
the food came out in bits and pieces as it finished cooking.
*I end up cleaning the
kitchen alone, putting away the food, etc...and an entire stock pot of
tomato sauce spills down the front of my dress.
*My father was drunk out of
his mind at the reception (bonfire, toasting circle) and kept apologizing
to everyone there for the horrible job he did as a father, and how
wonderful my mother was- they have been divorced over 20 years. He also
confessed to me privately about all the affairs he had while married to
*My father (remarried) was
shamelessly hitting on my boss in front of her fiancé, who were both too
drunk to notice, luckily.
*The toasting circle
consisted of a lot of medieval songs, but my boss' fiancé decides to
break out his amp, microphone and harmonica to drunkenly serenade me in a
tacky lounge singer style...loud enough to be heard by the entire
neighborhood. And to top it all off:
*My ex boyfriend shows up
stoned, and hands me a love letter telling me how hard it was for him to
be there, and how he thought he would always be "the one". (Keep
in mind I am *8 months pregnant*!!)
*AND my hubby got so
intoxicated...well, let's just say I might as well have slept alone on my
wedding night. Wedhell0202-03
One summer while I was in
college I worked as an actor at one of the Newport, RI mansions. As a way
to earn a little extra cash we were given the option to work as butlers,
coat checkers, etc., for the special events that the mansion had been
hired out for. One wedding I work has been burned into my memory forever!
The wedding was the joining
of two police officers. As the guests arrived those of us working the
event began to notice some of the fashions that the guests were wearing.
This was a late afternoon wedding and some of the guests wore tuxedos, but
none of them were black. Theses colors were a mix of burgundy, powder
blue, lavender, purple, and lime-green. Because both the Bride and Groom
were cops, many of the guests were quite obviously "packing
heat," (more on that later).
The ceremony went quite
smoothly in a tent in the backyard of the mansion. The reception was all
set to go in the ballroom of the mansion. Part of the wedding package at
the mansion was the use of the Master Bedroom for the bridal party. After
the ceremony the bridal party went up stairs to change and the guests
filed into the ballroom for hors d'oeuvres and drinks, a lot of drinks!.
About an hour later the bride's maids show up en masse in the ballroom,
but still no bride and groom. Dinner is being held by the caterers waiting
for the Bride and Groom to arrive at the reception. The Caterers are
running out of hors d'oeuvres and the wait staff is beginning to grumble,
but the guests are getting very loud as they continue to drink. Now 2 1/2
hours after the ceremony ended the a disheveled Bride and Groom sneak into
the ballroom. The bride grabs the microphone at the head table to
apologize to a now rather drunk crowd for the delay in dinner as they had
been upstairs in the shower "consummating their marriage!" The
crowd now starts to whoop, cheer and holler. The Groom is immediately
surrounded by male guests giving high-fives and pats on the back, while
the women are shouting out their congrats to the bride in all sorts of
colorful language. Dinner is finally served. The glasses start to be rung
for the couple to kiss. The bride upon hearing the call for a kiss, gets
out of her chair, straddles the groom in his chair and proceeds to get hot
and heavy, just short of being a fully clothed lap dance. This spectacle
is greeted with more whoops and hollers from the guests. This
"show" happens a number of times during the dinner portion of
After dinner, the dancing
commences and now thing really begin to get interesting. The bride and
groom are now asked to come to the dance floor for their dance. The couple
start starts off tamely enough but soon evolve into a Lambada style grind
to the delight of the crowd. The parents of the bride who might or might
not have been embarrassed by their daughters behavior convinced the newly
weds to get into their limo and take their libidos back to the hotel.
Now the evening really kick
into full gear. Remember all those multi-colored tuxedos? They got on the
dance floor and begin to get down. As I also said many of the guests were
carrying. As the dancing continues, now and then there is a "thunk"
on the floor as a gun falls out of an unlocked holster and hits the floor
and skitters under the feet of our drunken guests. Now and a group of
dancers start to topple over as the owners of the loose weapons drunkenly
go scrambling after their guns. The evening ended with an ambulance ride
for a guest who had fallen and broken her ankle and the local police
breaking up the party. Wedhell0210-03
Hi, Love your site! This
story happened to some tenants of a fairly up-scale townhome apartments
where I was the assistant manger. As you entered the front office, there
was a rec room with silk covered couches, and a fireplace. this area
looked out over the pool area and was really quite pretty. We offered it
for use for tenants functions for a $100 cleaning deposit. Well, the whole
complex had witnessed the Bride (we'll call her Dixie) and Groom's( we'll
call him Chip) courtship, As it occurred poolside, loudly and drunkenly,
over the course of the summer. Dixie was the one who lived in our complex,
she was 35+, had 3 kids who were little hellions, and more tattoos than
teeth. She bragged that she made her living off soaking 5 different guys
for child support for her (3!!!) kids. she wore a bikini to the pool to
show off her tanning bed tan and full compliment of tattoos. Enter 'Chip',
18 years old, son of a minister. They met at the pool while he was
visiting a friend from college, and soon were inseparable.
Cut to 12 months later,
'Chip' has moved in with his amore, and she refers to him as her
'fee-ounce'. Ew. I was working in the office on a bright Saturday morning
when in waddles 'Dixie', very pregnant, asking about reserving the rec
room for her 'reception', I said, of course, what date had you planned
on?' She looked at me as if I were dense and said 'well, duh, TODAY".
had no other people reserving it so I agreed, and she said she would be
back from the wedding in an hour and a half with her guests.(Hour and a
1/2?!! The hell? lol) I saw her waddling toward the rec room later, in
spike heels and a mini skirt, 7 months pregnant with twins, dragging this
terrified looking boy behind her. To his parents credit, they came, and
only looked slightly ill. They asked if the food had arrived yet, and I
said "I don’t know' (I was not going to be a creep and inform her
guests she'd only reserved the rec room 2 hours ago. People filed in with
gifts, there was no food or drink, she directed her guests to help
themselves to the coffee in the office ( a 10 cup maker, which I did try
to keep brewed) for about 25 guests.
Her children were ripping
open the gifts and actually broke several as she laughed and watched.
Enter a man in a delivery suit and a cap, looking for Dixie. I assume he's
bringing food and let him into the rec room. Get Ready...He's a REPO MAN
there to collect her furniture from a rent to own store. New FIL writes a
check right then and there, While Dixie loudly says, "Well, At least
we get a better wedding present now'. I was so appalled. I wanted to pull
the FIL aside and assure him if I had had any idea what that man wanted I
would have been more discreet. They left without cleaning up, her $100
deposit check bounced high and wide, and she was moved out in a month.
Thank God for small favors. Wedhell0210-03
I have read your site until
my eyes ache, and laugh and cringe along. I am helping two people plan
their weddings currently and we all use it as a reference. You are saving
the world from bad manners a little at a time (Hopefully not so much so
that you run out of material, though I doubt that.)
Well here is my story......
I was finishing up college when my only cousin on my father's side asked
me to be a bridesmaid. I should have seen the red flags when she worded
the request something like this, "Well, I was going to ask one of my
other cousins (on her mother's side of the family) but I couldn't pick
just one, so will you be the family member in my party?" Um, sure,
when you put it like that who can resist?
This cousin and I used to
look at bridal magazines all the time as kids, dreaming up amazing
weddings with millions of flowers and fairy tale dresses. I assumed that
it would be a beautiful wedding. As the only child of a well-off family
she had the financial resources to do just about anything she wanted.
I didn't hear too much
about the planning, but that didn't bother me too much because I knew that
my cousin was the sort who wanted things her way. I would have loved to
help, I am an artist and love to do crafts, but she wasn't interested. We
didn't talk about dresses at all, though she did say that they would be
something we could wear again. I figured that a June wedding would mean a
nice sundress of some sort. One evening her family was over for dinner
when she whips out a choral dress catalog, the type that school choirs use
to buy matching dresses and cummerbunds. She was thrilled because the
dresses were less than $100, and you will see why. The dress were 100%
polyester in a "hunter" green. The green is very difficult to
describe, but it was obviously the wrong color for an afternoon wedding in
June. The dresses had a princess waist, bell sleeve and were tea length
(mid-calf). I cringed, but nodded and smiled to make her happy. When the
dresses arrived I was mortified. I am a "big girl" and it made
me look like a blimp. The fabric was coarse and uncomfortable. I don't
think that it could have been any more unflattering. The other bridesmaid
was larger than me and a fiery red head. So we two bridesmaid's and the
MOH made a motley crew.
The bridal shower consisted
of a pot luck, which is fine with me. But there were no games and we
mostly sat around and watched her painstakingly open her gifts. Heaven
forbids you should actually rip the wrapping paper! She decided that she
already had set up housekeeping, so her registry would have a garden
theme. She didn't register for anything, a few random utensils, and 4 sets
of those plastic corn on the cob holders. (She got 6 sets, tee hee)
The favor making party was
held at her parent's house. They had those little metal bells that we tied
ribbon and a little tag on. The idea of these bells is that you ring them
at the reception to make the couple kiss. Except that every time we rang
the bells, not excessively mind you, she glared at us and said they had
kissed enough. (Maybe a half dozen times) But I am getting ahead of
Her bridesmaids gifts were
a cheap set of gold earrings and matching pendant with a chain that was
far too short, I had to switch it with a longer one. It looked like the
kind of jewelry sets that you see in drug stores. We were expected to wear
this for the wedding. I cringed again because I wear all silver jewelry,
but wore it because that is what she wanted.
The wedding day arrives and
I put on the necessary undergarments to hold myself in the dress and not
look totally horrible. You ladies will know what I mean, I felt like a
sausage in an ugly green dress on a hot June day. Oh, and the shoes, black
flats and black hose for a summer wedding. Ekk!
We were supposed to be at
the church an hour before the wedding. No hair or nails done, so my mom
was kind enough to braid my hair. I didn't know that the hair thing was a
big deal, but it still doesn't bother me it would have been one more
hassle. We get lined up at the church, which is decorated with six potted
plants on the windowsills. The flower girl is screaming and being a brat
and her mother is on the verge of a breakdown (the redhead) We are handed
our lackluster bouquets (yellow flowers, green dress, red carpet.....gag)
The ceremony goes off ok, the bride delivers her vows like she is reading
lines in a play, with all of the sincerity drained out.
The wedding party goes
outside after to have photos taken and my father pulls me aside to say
that he has worked with the photographer before, in another line of
business. But he knows that the photographer shoots nude-y calendars and
has a very creepy vibe. I kept waiting for him to tell us to lick our lips
and look sultry! (Which he did at the reception when the bridesmaids and
MOH took a "fun/seductive" shot with the groom) But he was a
cheapest photographer and this wedding was anything is cheap. He also
walked down the aisle backward in front of the bridesmaids snapping
The reception was fairly
nice, except for more of the creepy photographer and the kissing. The food
was very good and the cake was excellent, everyone had two pieces and
there was plenty to go around. I was the lucky soul who caught the
bouquet, which was ugly artificial flowers. Of course this meant that I
had to have the garter put on me. I was terrified!! The bride is a size 0
and I, well, I am certainly not. Thank goodness for elastic!
There is more to tell, but
this could go on for pages. I survived it, hopefully she enjoyed her day
and will have many fond memories, and your readers and I can have a few
good laughs, and hopefully learn a few lessons.
K and I dated each other
for 1½ years before we got engaged. Still, both families were completely
stunned by the engagement. Since I'm Jewish and he's not, they just
assumed our relationship wasn't serious. Although we were young and very
poor, we decided to plan and pay for the wedding ourselves, to minimize
family quarrels, and because neither set of parents was exactly being
supportive. Beside, none of them had offered a dime, or asked if we needed
help; they only told us what we were doing wrong.
We got engaged in January,
and wanted to marry in April. My mom insisted we were not providing enough
notice to allow out of town relatives to make plans. The out-of-town
relatives said they could not attend until the school year in New York
ended (six of them were teachers). So, we planned the wedding for
mid-June. Only one of the teachers attended. Parental advice: My mom's
advice to me the morning of my wedding? "Remember, if it doesn't work
out, you can always get divorced." My FIL's comment to his son,
"She earns more than you. I don't give it a year." We spoke to
my family's rabbi about conducting our ceremony. He would only do so if we
swore an oath that we would raise our children Jewish. (20 years later,
with no kids, I'm glad I didn't swear a false oath.) We found a rabbi who
did not make such demands. We asked that the ceremony be conducted either
entirely in English, or with translation provided for any Hebrew used. He
seemed to understand our situation. We explained that our sisters (ages 18
and 19) would be bridesmaids and our brothers (ages 9 and 10) would be
groomsmen. The rabbi said he would bring the chuppa (Jewish wedding
canopy), and the brothers and sisters could hold it up. He didn't say the
poles on the chuppa were only 3 feet long, so that my brother had to stand
on his toes with his arms over his head to hold it up (the best man helped
One friend, young and poor
like ourselves, had as her gift arranged for her brother, a limousine
driver, to pick us up after the wedding. Unbeknownst to us, when he
arrived my mom decided we hadn't mingled enough and told him to come back
in an hour. He was doing this on his own time, and was late returning the
limo because of mom!
the day after the wedding, my MIL called my mom and complained about the
"Jewishness" of the ceremony. She hadn't told my 10-yr-old BIL
that a yarmulke is just a hat-he thought he had betrayed his religion by
wearing it, and his mom didn't correct him. Eventually, when I learned of
this, I explained to MIL that the rabbi had not followed our agreement
about explaining the ceremony, and that it wasn't my mom's fault. Still,
my folks and K's have never really become friends.
Final Insult: K's boss/best
man was supposed to be on vacation in Hawaii the week after our wedding,
and said we could honeymoon (and apartment hunt) at his house. Through no
fault of his own, he had to return after 2 days, so we honeymooned in his
tool-shed (bare light bulb, toilet, and cot). Blessing of starting out
with nothing: Everything we have and are, we built together.
Hello! I am definitely an
avid reader on your website. I applaud you for keeping up a site which
undoubtedly serves to help prevent etiquette blunders on many people's
part and also may provide salvation to many already in etiquette hell. I
don't know whether to attribute this story to "weddings from
hell" or your "wicked witches" or "bridezillas"
category...but it is the story of one unbearable wedding from start to
finish. A person I was connected to in college (I won't say how as to keep
our relationship anonymous, but I'll call her Fran) was planning her
wedding, which was held a week after school was over.
First was the shower. It
was being held in her hometown halfway through the semester was over,
about 2 1/2 months before the wedding. Not only were there 2 different
places they were registered at (not a flaw, I am registered at two places
myself)...but there was also a card in the envelope saying that we needed
to bring a gift in the 10-20 dollar range for a specific time of day that
we were assigned (i.e. if you had 8pm you might purchase a movie, or if
you were assigned 12pm you would bring a picnic basket, something like
that.) For a college student this is a lot of money, and I couldn't attend
anyway as this shower was scheduled in a town a few hundred miles away and
I would have had to pay for a hotel room and everything. Mind you, none of
us were invited to her bachelorette party or anything else and both me and
my FSIL were what she always said were some of her "best friends at
college". I did not attend and sent a card to her shower, figuring
that just because I was invited did NOT oblige me to send a gift as I had
no money for food let alone a shower gift. Later at the wedding I would
receive a comment from one of the girls throwing this shower when she met
me that "Oh, you're the one who didn't send anything to the
So Fran asks me to come to
her hometown with her for a few days before the wedding as her personal
guest to "keep her sane" with everything before the wedding. A
few weeks prior to the wedding she actually ends up asking me to only come
on Thursday before the wedding as she will be busy. I understand this, and
actually instead of going down to see her at the beginning of the week I
went to visit my boyfriend, who proposed to me. So it all worked out, no
hard feelings. I get there on that Thursday and talk to her to make sure
that it is absolutely okay with her mom and dad that I'm there. She
assures me that it is, etc. Her cousin decides that she wants to go get
her finger and toenails done so I go drive her to the nail salon. Since
she doesn't have money to cover it I lend it to her, and then drive her
back in time for dinner at Fran's house. In front of her entire family,
Fran's mother (who is not necessarily a nice person all the time) asks to
see my new engagement ring. She grabs my hands, acts like she has to
strain to see it, and then announces loudly that "Oh, I can't see
THAT without my glasses." I am left sputtering and blushing
The next day is the
rehearsal. I help Fran and her mother run around, get balloons, set up,
and everything. We eat dinner before the rehearsal, everything's
fine...then comes the church part. My friend wanted her pew bows to have
silk flowers in them, and so myself and two wives of 2 of the groomsmen
agree to help fix them up the way she wanted them. The bride's family
(mother, father, etc) and bridal party are at the front of the sanctuary
on the left hand side while those of us making these pew bows are at the
front on the right hand side. Mind you, we are not in anyone's way at all
making these, and as we are putting together the pew bows for HER
DAUGHTER, she comes up and rudely snaps "The front of the church is
for the wedding party. You can take whatever it is you're doing to the
back and do it back there." I don't say anything, but start moving
all the supplies back there. These "supplies" are six heavy
boxes full of bows, five plastic bags of silk flowers, and wire cutters.
One of the wives helping me was outside the sanctuary at this point
quieting down her crying son, and the other one was pregnant. I pick up
all the supplies, making several trips (and I couldn't use the middle
aisle so I had to walk all the way around the sanctuary), and doing this
all as quietly as possible even though, inevitably, the plastic bags are
going to rustle. She yells at me in front of everyone: "Could you
please do that quieter?"
After I finish moving
everything, finish making the bows, I put them all ON the pews as well. I
get chastised by Fran for not putting them on right. I sit quietly and
watch her wedding rehearsal. During the rehearsal, I get upset (My fiancé
was going to be away for 6 weeks with the military and the vows and stuff
were making me sort of emotional.) I quietly excuse myself and go outside
the church. No one even notices me leave. By the end of the night I am so
so tired of her mother's antics (and hers as well, but she wasn't even
that bad that night.)
We go back to her house to
get her fiancé’s things and her mother loudly states (knowing that I am
staying there that night) that she TOLD Fran that she didn't want ANYONE
in the house that night. I should mention that I am doing Fran's hair the
next morning (at 7am). The closest hotel I could afford was about twenty
five minutes away and was $80 a night. So I am saving her and her mother a
lot of money on her hair (because boutiques around there are so
expensive.) But still I get a complaint for it. I should also mention that
I made Fran's ringbearer pillow for her as her wedding gift which is
another reason I was there in time for the rehearsal.
The next morning I wake up
at around 5:45 to get a quick shower (so I won't be in anyone's way since
no one else was awake except Fran's mother.) I throw on my outfit for the
day, put on my makeup, and do my hair and am out of everyone's way by the
time they wake up. I do Fran's hair (which everyone later tells me turns
out beautiful). Her mother of course just makes a face and says "Is
that all that you're doing to it?" At this point I go pack up all of
my stuff to get out of the house. I help Fran get into her dress and
everything and the limo shows up for the bridal party. Fran's mother
starts handing me things to take out to the limo: favors for the
reception, the bridal portrait for the gift table, and Fran and her
Fiancé’s suitcases for their honeymoon getaway. She doesn't ask, she
just hands stuff and points. Then, out at the limo she starts taking
cameras from the girls (BM) who want pictures with the bride and hands
them all to me. She, of course, doesn't move to help me, just once again
hands and points at me.
When I get to the ceremony
all of the friends that Fran has invited from school (they are all mutual
friends) get there. Rather than be able to sit with them, Fran's mom hands
me a huge stack of programs and orders me to hand them out...and also to
only give one per family, etc.... She doesn't ask. She just hands stuff to
Finally comes the
reception. We all get there about fifteen minutes early. The reception was
three hours long. Me and my FSIL (who of course is there too) sit at the
table with all of Fran's other "college friends". An hour into
the actual reception, Fran and her bridal party arrive. They are
introduced, sit and eat, do the first dance, and then leave again. All
told they are there for twenty minutes. They come back in forty-five
minutes later. They cut the cake and do the mother/son and father/daughter
dance. They do the dollar dance. They leave again for twenty minutes. They
come back in and visit all the tables, but skip over the table of their
college friends, all of us who had come at least 50 or more miles.
At the end of the wedding,
Fran comes up to me and gives me a quick hug and says "thanks for
everything." She says hello to everyone at the table except my FSIL
in law (who she is really really jealous of because FSIL is pretty,
skinny, nice, etc), who she tries to ignore. FSIL hugs her (basically
forces it out of her) but Fran says not ONE word to her the entire time.
This was obvious to the rest of the table as well and by the end FSIL and
I are both fuming. I should also mention that about a month back, she had
said right in front of FSIL that I could bring my boyfriend but did FSIL
really have to bring hers because Fran doesn't like FSIL's boyfriend. This
is coupled with about a million other pre-wedding insults from Fran to my
FSIL but I won't go into those here.
A few weeks after the wedding
Fran tells me that everyone loved her reception and that it was the best
reception she's ever seen. When she started dishing out HER ideas for MY
reception, I felt like saying "well, if your ideas involve attending a
total of 40 minutes of my three hour reception, treating your friends
horribly and taking advantage of them, then fine, Ill take your ideas. Keep
in mind that SHE asked ME to come to her house and help her, I asked a
million times if I should get a hotel room or if I'd be imposing and she
INSISTED I stay with her. I asked her the day of the rehearsal when her mom
looked really stressed if I should just leave and come back the next
morning. I paid for my own food, I bought the materials to put her hair up
(bands, hairspray, bobby pins, etc.) I still have yet to receive a thank you
for anything: her pillow (which I spent $50 on top quality materials plus
time to HAND STITCH together rather than machine stitch), helping her, doing
her hair, setting up the pew bows, or anything. Maybe I'm being too
sensitive, and if so you can make ME the "friend-zilla." But the
whole three days spent before her wedding was an experience that I don't
really want to remember too much of.
I’ve been in the position of
volunteering enormous amounts of time and energy to wedding preparations and
usually it is the mother of the bride who can’t seem to resist talking to
me in that condescending manner and treating me like hired staff that can be
summarily ordered about or dismissed at whim. One answer to that dilemma is
to calmly inform the slave mistress that her manner of speaking to me is rude
since I am not aware of having accepted employment as the defacto slave for
the day. If they wish to speak to me in that manner, the privilege of doing
so will cost them $XX.XX amount of money for my professional slave services.
(I am a very expensive slave, btw.) You don't have to scream it, yell,
it, say it snottily or with curse words to get the point across.
Or I've been known to hide in
the church office or Pastor's office, have a quick cry or muffled scream
depending on the circumstances and then proceed as if nothing had happened
other than vowing to myself that the next time I ever coordinate an event
for that person, it will be a reception in Etiquette Hell upon their
I guess this one would fit
in many categories but since the whole thing was pretty awful I'll submit
it to this one. A cousin of mine got engaged over a year ago. Up until
Thanksgiving they hadn't set a date (in between they had a baby together
and didn't seem in any hurry to get married). At Thanksgiving last year
they told my dad (who is an ordained pastor) that they'd like him to do
their wedding in February. So he agreed and waits on them to get him
details. January comes and he calls them. They still haven't found a place
to hold the wedding but they will let him know. They finally found one in
a downtown section of the city they live in about 3 weeks prior to the
date. It's small and up a steep flight of stairs (with no elevator) so her
older sister's fiancé won't be able to attend as he is handicapped. They
also worried about our grandmother as she doesn't take stairs very well
So the wedding date approaches.
No one in our house received an invitation, we weren't about to take it on
faith that since my dad was doing the wedding that we were all invited. So
Wednesday before the Saturday wedding I get an email from her saying that
Grandma had been over and informed her that we didn't think we were invited
and we certainly were (along with my fiancé). She didn't send actual
invitations out to anyone at any point, only a few emails here and there. So
I email her back telling her I'll be there.
2 days before the wedding my dad
called to ask some more details. Asked if they would be having anyone stand
up with them. Her response, "well, we could..." So he gets the
bare minimum of knowledge that he needs from her to feel like he's going to
have a somewhat decent wedding.
Forward to the wedding day...we
all get there (there are about 40 people which is pretty much the capacity
of this room which to be fair, is pretty nice). Most are members of his
family and their friends but there is one table of our family members.
People hurriedly put decorations on the tables and then at some point the
wedding party (my cousin, her fiancé, his dad and a friend of hers) go to
the front of the room with my dad and just stand there and wait for us all
to stop chatting and notice they're ready to start. She didn't have her dad
give her away even which is not looked upon very well in my family but it's
So my dad gives a really nice
message (definitely the best part of the whole ordeal) and they are married.
While they were kissing at the end of the ceremony a member of his family
(in true redneck fashion) hoops and hollers. Then an impromptu receiving
line, they just stood there and waited for us all to come congratulate them.
During this my aunt made a really classless comment, "we got the first
one, hehe" which meant that her daughter is the first of all my 1st
cousins to get married. Let me also mention that while they were engaged and
hadn't set a date I became engaged and set my date immediately for July.
Being the nice person I am and not wanting to ruin anyone's day I just
smiled and laughed. What I wanted to tell her was that my fiancé and I had
discussed December but wanted all family and friends involved, we have many
who will be coming a distance and didn't want weather to be a factor. And on
top of that, we could've thrown together something way less tacky in much
But on with the story. They had
the cake cutting at which point she and her new husband smear cake all over
each others' faces, hair and clothes. We had been told that as the wedding
started at 4 we needed to be out of there no later than 5 due to increased
prices for the room after that. It didn't happen and people were there after
5. Thankfully we had another engagement so we were able to disengage rather
quickly after the "wedding". Apparently after I left, my dad asked
her older sister when she and her fiancé were getting married (they've
lived together 4 years and have never been in any hurry) and she said,
"May or June, whenever you want to do it". So now she's picked a
date for the end of May and I'm looking forward to something equally as
tacky if not worse than the first girl's wedding. And I'm really starting to
wonder why the hurry for either one of these gals except from my aunt's
comment I know, it's because they want to get it done before my wedding in
July and throw it in my face. If I get another comment at the second
"wedding" I will not be so nice. :)
I love your site! It reminded me
of my brother-in-law's wedding, several years ago. I should have gotten a
medal for everything I did for that wedding. He is no longer my
brother-in-law, as I divorced his brother, so I can tell this story with no
guilt. My brother-in-law, let's call him Ted, decided he wanted to marry the
girl he was living with. I can't remember her name, although I'm sure it
started with an L, as all of his girlfriends' names were in the 'L' family.
So let's call her Lisa.
When Ted proposed to Lisa, we
were very happy for them both. My ex-husband did jewelry, so we got them the
rings they wanted wholesale to save them some money. The first date for the
wedding came and went,...Ted had paid for the reception hall and JOP, but
the wedding didn't occur then, because Lisa couldn't be bothered to go get a
wedding dress. So, a second date was set. I was asked to be a bridesmaid
this time, but politely declined. (Lisa was a very slender, tiny girl, and
so were her friends. I've been affectionately called "amazon". I
could see dress-disaster in the future.)
Ted asked that we show up an
hour early to help with chairs. Since he was paying for this himself, I was
glad to help. So, my ex and I show up an hour early. To my dismay, I saw
that no decorations had been put up. The wedding itself was to take place
outside, in a 2 X 4 'gazebo', to use the term loosely. The building itself
was for the reception. Nothing had been done,...other than the cake had
shown up. Also undecorated. The family of the bride-to-be was meandering
around inside, staring at their feet. My mother-in-law had decided she would
pitch in, so she had bought streamers and balloons, and a helium tank. But
she wasn't going to put them up.
So, I took over.
I had the bridesmaids and
groomsmen blowing up balloons on the helium tank, and told them to cover the
inside ceiling with balloons. Fortunately, I was in jeans, as I was
expecting to help, and just brought my dress to change into later. So, my ex
and I spent the next 30 minutes blowing up balloons and putting up streamers
on the outside gazebo. Actually, he was already in his dress clothes, so he
didn't get to climb up and down the ladder. Or hang from the rafters, trying
to affix balloons in the growing wind. When the gazebo looked
semi-presentable, I went inside to check on the progress for the reception
area. Never leave teenagers in charge of helium. Two of the groomsmen had
almost passed out from inhaling balloon gas, and the ceiling was maybe
half-covered. I changed their duties to 'table decorations'. (A clear vase
with blue pebbles and one silk flower. Not too challenging.) I took care of
the rest of the ceiling in a matter of minutes. Next, I checked on the
kitchen area. The glasses were the plastic champagne style, which is
fine,...if they are assembled. Two table decorators were moved to 'glass
The best man had just shown up,
with his gift...unwrapped. To his credit, he had brought the wrapping paper
with him. One bridesmaid was sent to the kitchen area to wrap the present,
while I sent the best man back out for ice. Lots of it. The drinks were to
be served out of galvanized tin tubs, full of ice...but no one had bought
ice. This wedding was starting to resemble a bad prom or a frat party; I'm
not sure which. On to the cake. The decorations were live flowers, some
assembly required. I assembled. It came out very well, but there was no cake
topper. Ted started panicking...there HAD to be a cake topper. One of the
gifts had a nice pewter plaque with the name of the bride and groom engraved
on it. The gift was denuded of the plaque, and that went on top of the cake.
Ted calmed down.
Then I found the boutonnieres. I
chased around after the groomsmen, grabbing them to attach rosebuds to their
collars. I found the groom, in the back room, trembling. I attached his
boutonniere, and gave him a pep talk, patted him on the head, and went out
to tackle the next crisis.
I discovered a unity candle on
the gift table, which the bride and groom had bought for the wedding. Since
the wedding was outside, and there was NO table outside, and the wind was
turning into a high gale, I thought we could skip the candle. No, the groom
started panicking again, we HAD to use the unity candle. I sighed heavily,
and told him "okay, you are getting your present early." My ex and
I had bought them silver candleholders and candles. These were duly
unwrapped, and placed beside the unity candle in front of the wedding cake.
I convinced Ted that this would be a touching part of the ceremony before
cutting the cake. Then I noticed we had no knife to cut the cake with. I
grabbed the best man, who had since returned with ice and filled the tubs,
and told him to find a knife. And a lighter. I wonder if he was confused.
About this time, I decided I had
to change. I discovered the bride and bridesmaids and various other women in
a back bathroom changing. I was told, "you can't change in here".
I told the scrawny maid of honor to go dunk her head in the galvanized tubs.
I changed among the snotty glances, and went back out to check on the rest
of the ceremony.
By this time, the hour of the
ceremony had come and gone, and the JOP was saying, "This better get
started soon, I’ve got another ceremony in an hour." I dispatched the
groom and the JOP outside, and gathered all groomsmen and bridesmaids. I hid
the bride in the hallway. Then it started RAINING!
All the guests moved under the
awnings of the building. The groom was holding the JOP by the gazebo,
probably to keep him from escaping, and yelling, "keep going!" The
universe must have been amused, because the rain then stopped, and the
guests reseated themselves. I told the groomsmen and bridesmaids to start
the procession. They started arguing. No one could decide who went first. I
shouted at them, "OKAY! Who is standing next to the bride? And next to
the groom? And next to..." and so on. Having sorted out the order, I
sent them down the aisle. I then searched for and found the bride, who had
wandered off to another room. She was escorted to the aisle, and sent on her
merry way. No music was provided, but I couldn't do everything.
I have no idea what was said in
the ceremony. I'm sure it was touching and thoughtful. I was trying to catch
my breath. I was also staring at the poor younger sister of the bride,
strapped in some kiddie girdle, and stuffed into a dress one size too small.
(These dresses would have made Audrey Hepburn look hefty; I was glad I had
bowed out.) I checked on everything inside. Suddenly, I realized it was
rather warm. I checked the AC. Some genius had cranked it all the way up.
The AC had stopped, probably out of protest. So, I opened up all the
windows, trying to get in some air. The wedding ended, and everyone came
inside for the cake. I nudged the best man to light the candles, but NOT the
unity candle. I then stopped a helpful person from shutting all the windows.
Then the rain started up again, in force. All the groomsmen and available
able-bodied souls were shanghaied into gathering the outside chairs,
quickly. They were fabric covered, and the groom wanted to see his deposit
I dimly recall having cake, and
watching the happy couple dance. I also remember the groom coming up and
saying "God, everything was perfect, wasn’t it?" with a happy,
glowing face. My final gift to him: I smiled and didn’t say a word.
are so scatterbrained in their planning and they need those of us who can
pull it together like magic! But the groom was so sweet in seeing
the day for what it was, a marriage between him and his beloved, rather
than a series of snafus.
After reading your site, I knew
I had to send in my story-- unfortunately, I must find a higher caliber of
weddings to attend, since I actually have several etiquette blunders to
offer up to you.
I'm going to leave out stories
of inappropriate guest clothing, drunks and other run of the mill horror
stories, and concentrate on the two that stand out in my mind the most: The
reception from hell, and the bridal shower of smug self-righteous people.
My husband (then boyfriend) and
I attended the wedding of one of his cousin's in the mid-90s that was a
debacle from start to finish. She had met her now husband while he was at
home on leave, and they became engaged while he was stationed in TX (we all
live in CA). They are from a small town, and her reputation wasn't the most
stellar, but she is a nice person, if not a little dense at times. First
problem: bride has a male "friend" who is tapped to be their
entertainment for the reception. He pointedly sings love songs to the bride
all night (and, the groom didn't sock him-- he's a very calm man). Second
problem: The groom's father got sloppy drunk, and spent the evening hitting
on me (he's married of course), going on and on about if he had a woman like
me, he'd marry me in a heart beat, wanting to dance and grope (I got out of
that one ASAP). I then decided to go out and bum smokes off people, and I
don't smoke. That lead to the final big problem: The ILs were out writing
messages on the bridal car in soap and lipstick-- and some of the words to
describe the bride started with "C" and ended with "T".
I found some sympathetic souls to help me clean off the car, and were
verbally attacked by the goons doing the vandalism. Wedhell0407-03
Here's a story for your site
about the loooong wedding I went to last week. I went with my boyfriend to
the wedding of a friend of his from work. We had theatre tickets for that
night, but since the wedding was at 2pm, we figured we wouldn't have a
problem. We could just go straight from the reception to the theatre in our
nice clothes, and would probably have plenty of time.
We knew ahead of time that this
was a Catholic wedding and that it was at the Cathedral in the middle of
town, so we were prepared for a long and conservative ceremony. However, not
only was it a full Catholic mass, including communion, but the priest
performing the ceremony, an old friend of the bride's family, had been in
Mexico for years where he ran a mission. He was used to performing weddings
in Spanish, not English, so he kept getting misdirected in the ceremony,
sometimes just being silent for several minutes. It went on for at least an
hour and a half. (I'm not kidding.)
As a side note, to my horror,
not only did the ceremony include the reading about "the woman should
be submissive to the husband, as the husband is submissive to God", but
the priest's homily started with, "Marriage is a cross". He
actually said that he thinks God wants you to have conflict in your
marriage, because it makes you stronger and helps you develop good
When we finally got out of the
cathedral, we drove over to the reception, which was being held in the
community center of another church, in a nearby suburb. I assume this was
the church the bride's family usually attended -- why not have the wedding
there? Of course, most of the out-of-town guests got lost and were delayed.
But I have no idea what happened to the bridal party, as I believe we sat
around in the lobby for at least 45 minutes before they appeared. We all had
to wait in the lobby because the bride and groom were expected to make a
grand appearance and come down the ramp or something, and we were supposed
to be there to watch. Eventually they arrived and we all proceeded into the
reception room. After that long ceremony and the wait, I would have liked to
have a glass of wine, but there apparently was no alcohol available (I
wouldn't have minded paying at a cash bar!), although there were champagne
glasses on the table, so we figured there would be some eventually.
The reception dinner was a
buffet, which was fine (actually the food was very good), except that at the
end there was a pasta station. One caterer was there, to put together a
pasta dish for everyone that wanted one. The guest picks out ingredients,
and she puts it together in a pan and cooks it up. Since it took a few
minutes to prepare each one, it took forever for everyone to get through the
line. (I gave up, ate the other food, and went back later for pasta after,
literally, everyone else was done.) This caused even more delay.
About the time everyone had
gotten through the buffet line, the photographer asked that the family all
come outside for photos, as she had been there several hours already and
needed to leave soon (I would guess that she also had evening plans that she
had thought would not conflict with a 2pm wedding). The rest of us sat
around munching and listening to the dreadful easy-listening music (I'm
talking The Carpenters, Celine Dion, etc -- I don't think they played a
single danceable song the whole time we were there). Apparently the DJ was
also grumbling about wanting to get going, but "could stay a little
To pass the time, another friend
of my boyfriend's entertained us with horror stories of his first wedding
(including he and the bride trying to maneuver a houseboat to the wedding
location, taking out several docks in the process).
My boyfriend and I had decided
that we would need to leave about 6:30 to get to our play on time. At about
6:28, champagne was passed around, the best man and father of the groom gave
speeches, and the bride and groom finally got around to cutting the cake. We
stayed for a few minutes to watch that, but then had to leave before getting
to eat any cake, see the bouquet toss, dances, etc. We couldn't believe we'd
been at that wedding for more than four and a half hours already and yet
half of the reception stuff hadn't even happened.
It's kind of long, but this
story may even qualify as Faux Pas Of the Year, instead of just
"Weddings From Hell". Although dubbing it "From Hell"
would certainly be appropriate. A couple of years ago I was dating a guy
named Tay, and he told me that some friends of his that I didn't know were
getting married, but they'd invited him "and guest" so would I
like to be his date? He'd take care of the gift, since I didn't know the
couple. He said I'd find them somewhat strange, but how strange could a
wedding be, I thought. (DUN DUN DUNNNNN.... ominous music) I said I'd be
delighted to go. Big mistake.
It wasn't just a tacky wedding.
EVERYTHING about the wedding was downright HORRIFIC. One disaster after
another. I shudder to think about it even now. To start off, the wedding was
held outdoors. In the dead of night. On a full moon. In front of a CEMETERY.
AAAAAHHHH! There were even no decorations in the wedding area. The closest
thing there was the flowers scattered throughout the cemetery. Most of the
guests wore black. Some even had black hair and makeup. Even male guests. I
couldn't believe it. And one woman wore a floor-length (or ground-length, I
suppose) white gown. Another guest was carrying a cat, another was carrying
a SNAKE..... you get the idea.
The bride and groom had hired a
string quartet, they were dressed all in BLACK LEATHER and didn't play
anything that wasn't in a minor key. Even the "here comes the
bride" music sounded like a dirge.
The wedding party, that's where
I finally admitted to myself it wasn't going to improve. There were two male
and two female groom's attendants, and two male and two female bride's
attendants, too. There was NO clear MOH or BM. The groom's attendants all
wore purple shirts and black pants, purple lipstick and black eye makeup and
white face paint, and carried one white candle. The bride's attendants all
wore white shirts and black pants, black lipstick and eye makeup and white
face paint, and carried one purple candle. No flowers, pants on the female
attendants, and makeup on the male attendants.
THEN came the couple. The groom
wore leather pants and boots, and a white, open-necked shirt. In any other
setting, that shirt may have been nice, if a bit nineteenth-century.
Needless to say, it may have been the highlight of the event. Anyway, he was
wearing a LEATHER COLLAR, five earrings, and an eyebrow ring, and the same
makeup as his attendants, and his hair was purple to match it, his
attendants, and the bride's attendants' candles. And the bride's gown.
The bride... where do I begin?
She was about a foot taller than the groom, she wore white face paint and
black lipstick and eye makeup that swirled onto her temples and cheekbones.
And combat boots. No veil, no train, no flowers, nothing. Her gown showed
off her arms, back, and some of her legs above her boots. It also showed off
the tattoos she had all over those parts of her body. Her (black) hair was
pulled back to show off the seven rings in each ear.
I don't know who told these
people that this was acceptable at a wedding. The pastor was old, he looked
about five minutes away from disintegration. The blessing was unbelievable,
he said the most appallingly inappropriate things, like how in just a few
short decades they would be buried here in this cemetery, side by side, six
feet under, in matching coffins, rotting together for all eternity. I
remember that part word for word because it was in the Addams family. I
thought I was going to be sick. (Not at the imagery, but at the fact that it
was being said as nuptials.)
I only stayed because I wasn't
sure I wanted to be seen leaving early by these people. Needless to say, I
spent most of the ceremony reconsidering dating anybody who'd have that type
We all had to walk to the
reception which was at a big old house three blocks away from the ceremony.
The leather string quartet came with us to provide music there, much to my
It didn't get better away from
the cemetery. The house was dimly lit and full of cobwebs. There was no
champagne, instead they had a lot of red wine to drink and toast with. I
didn't recognize a single one of the dishes in the buffet, and a lot of them
were cold. There was no planned seating arrangement, they barely had tables.
A lot of people had to just stand around holding their plates in one hand,
with their wine glass on a nearby sideboard. Or else sit on a sofa with
their plates in their lap. Tay managed to get us seats at a table, but then
I had to work to avoid making eye contact with anybody.
Since there was no best man,
nobody made a speech, and most of the guests who tried to dance didn't have
partners. All the gifts had been given earlier, and they were on display on
a table. Not a one of them was an appropriate wedding gift. Only one person
had even given money, and HE had folded a check up and put it in a puzzle
box. Tay pointed out the gift with the tag that said "From Tay and [my
name]". It was a pair of hip flasks, one with a dragon on it, the other
with a skull and crossbones.
So I wrote two notes, one saying
they should be disgusted at what they're doing to the tradition of marriage,
and another breaking up with Tay, and then went to the bathroom and climbed
out the window. Needless to say, I've been screening my calls ever
OK, so about three years ago
(right after I graduated from highschool), a former classmate of mine (18
years old) was getting married to a guy a few years older. A close friend of
mine was invited, and I went along with him, since I knew the Bride from
high school. The invitation my friend received was fairly nice; it was a
"fairy tale" theme, complete with a picture of a purple (their
color scheme) castle. Not my style, but whatever. The invitation indicated
that there would be a pool at the site-so "bring your swim suits."
I saw the etiquette hell signs immediately!
Well, when we arrived at the
site of the ceremony/reception, we had to walk through this dirt path with
all kinds of weeds and rocks and crap underfoot. I should also mention that
this site was off to the side of a very windy, rustic road and was difficult
to find, especially since we didn’t receive decent directions.
Before we were seated, we walked
through the reception site which was just feet away from where the ceremony
would take place. The reception area consisted of several dirty, plastic
white table and chair sets with piles of candy with purple balloons tied to
them. There was a water hose strewn on the ground in the middle of these
tables. To the right of the reception area, was the earlier mentioned pool.
The ceremony site itself was a
gazebo with a bunch of plastic white chairs lined up for the guests. We took
our seats, and watched as some relatives prepared the gazebo for the
ceremony. They had this white paper like material that they used for a
runner. They had no tape or anything to hold it down to the concrete path,
so they came up with these small busts (you know, statues of heads!) to hold
down the runner. This went on, much to our amusement, for quite some time.
Then came the Bridesmaids. Their
dresses were actually quite classy. Then the Bride. She is very pretty, and
her dress was way out of place. I don’t think that it very expensive, but
definitely nicer than the rest of the wedding itself! It was a princess type
dress, with tons of tulle. Her father, wearing a zoot suit, walked her down
the aisle. As the officiant (who it turned out was the Bride's brother)
asked, "Who gives this bride?", her father was engaged in
conversation with one of the guests. The Bride had to turn around and say,
"Dad!" He finally went, "Oh, I do!"
The ceremony went fairly quickly
and then it was time to move onto the reception site. We sat at one of the
dirty white plastic tables and waited for the lunch to be served. When it
was, we were lead into the small building on the site where there was a
buffet table featuring, among other things, lasagna. It looked kind of
gnarly. Then, as we were in the buffet line, we watched a relative of either
the Bride or Groom walk in with a box of lasagna, fresh from the microwave,
and dump it into one of the chaffing dishes on the table.
After lunch, there was a toast.
A young girl passed out plastic champagne glasses and another came by with
either champagne or sparkling cider (as the majority of guests were under
21-as was the bride). She poured us our cider, and as we drank it, the
bottoms of the plastic cups kept falling!
After the toasts, it was time
for the first dance, which took place on a section of cement surrounded by a
black iron fence. The cement section was really, really small. The DJ and
the couple could barely fit let alone dance! We left as they began the
dance. A couple months after the wedding, the newlyweds had their marriage
This wedding took place
when I was 17 (almost 4 years ago). It was the wedding of the son of friends
of my father. My father's friends make good money and are very classy
people, but wouldn't put serious cash into this wedding because of the woman
("Mary") their son, "Carl" was marrying.
"Mary" had a lot of problems, including alcohol, and a past of
abusive boyfriends. She was a very nice girl, but not very stable. Carl was
always a nice, responsible guy, but after getting involved with Mary, he
also became kind of a loser.
Mary and Carl eloped about a
month before the wedding they had for family and friends. Carl asked my dad
to be in the wedding party. They did not rehearse the ceremony or anything
until the day of, so no one knew what the hell was going on. The ceremony
took place in some sort of cafeteria-like building, complete with a stage.
The guests sat at picnic tables that were lined up to serve as both seating
for the ceremony and reception.
Well, as me and the groom's
parents and my dad's girlfriend watched the wedding party rehearse, my dad
started fighting with the minister about where everyone should stand, etc.
The men in the wedding party were all over dressed (including my dad). They
all looked great, wearing these very nice tuxedos. The women in the wedding
party also looked pretty nice, but their bridesmaids dresses were a hideous
color. There was no color scheme or even much decor in this wedding, by the
The bride's side dressed in
jeans and t-shirts. The groom's side was better, most wearing very nice
suits and dresses. The bride herself wore a dress that didn’t even look
like a wedding dress. It looked like some sort of costume from the Salvation
Army. As her father and stepfather walked her down the aisle, a folding
chair crashed to the tiled floor, totally interrupting and killing the mood.
The ceremony was quick and painless; now it was time for the buffet. I
cannot remember the food for the life of me, but I think it was OK. I
remember most everyone getting really loaded (and if I were old enough at
the time, I would've been to!).
A thirteen year old relative of
the bride was the DJ. He played music basically when he felt like it, and
there were often lapses of time between songs, so people would have to stop
dancing and wait for the next song. The groom's parents were heartbroken the
whole time because of who Carl married.
At the end of the evening, the
bride, groom and wedding party went to a hotel to "celebrate"
(basically smoke pot and drink more). After their wedding, their marriage
shockingly didn’t last more than 6 more months.
This is a story about my nephew
and his new bride: First, we will start with the engagement. My nephew gave
his girlfriend a ring (she was only 17 at the time) for her birthday, which
she took as an engagement ring. Mind you, the ring was a sapphire, so maybe
she is just color blind. Immediately the big fat pig starts making wedding
plans. SO.....my SIL is planning the bridal shower (evil tyrant woman she
is!) and informs me that since I am an Aunt that I must partake in giving
the piglet a shower. Greeeat. So the day of the shower comes...... not only
did I need to bring a dish to pass, but I also drove 2 1/2 hours. The bride
(piglet) FORGOT to mention to the other bridesmaids that they would have to
help pay for the shower. Because of that, it ended up costing around $70 a
piece. 60 people were invited...... 20 attended, and 12 of us GAVE the
shower. One of the brides maids DID offer to chip in, but was told not to,
since she had driven so far. Being the inquisitive person that I am, I asked
the girl where she came from. Turns out that I drove further.... WHATEVER. I
was fuming, but no sense in ruining someone's day. I am blew up when I
received the thank you card.... "THANKS FOR COMING". Gee..... your
welcome?!?!? Good grief. Oh, and she did invite me to her bachelorette
party.....which was a sex toy party. I just couldn't bring myself to go.
So now here comes the wedding.
Ever heard the tune "hear comes the bride fair fat and wide?" I
couldn't stop singing it to myself the whole time!!! Well.... the bride was
drunk at the ceremony, she continued to drink at the reception, spilled a
red shot down the front of her white dress, literally RAN up and down the
hall. Back and forth, back and forth, at lightening speed. She then threw
herself onto the dance floor and began HUMPING the floor. She was also
grabbing the groomsmen’s....eh-hem.... "packages" She also
managed to drop her glass on the dance floor and fall on top of the broken
glass. She got back up and continued dancing like a fish out of water. This
was truly the TACKIEST wedding I'd ever attended. Wedhell0619-03
My now fiancé and I went to his
friend's (Tim) wedding to (Mary). My fiancé then boyfriend was the best
Tim and Mary had a nice ceremony
at a church. Their reception was to be held at a community center shortly
after the ceremony. Tim and Mary took some pictures but it was a very small
wedding so they were finished fairly quickly. Mary insisted they go with
small bridal party to Tim and Mary's hotel room. We stayed there for an hour
and 1/2, while Tim and Mary made out in the other room, because Mary
insisted that the bride and groom always show up late to their wedding. They
arrived about 5:30.
The reception went okay. It was
catered by family and friends. People came up buffet style to make their own
sandwiches and such.
At about 9 o'clock Tim and Mary
left, because the bride and groom always left early. This left the bridal
party and close friends to pack up unused food, wash dishes, put away the
tables and chairs, and mop the floor of the community center.
No surprise my fiancé never got
a thank you for being the best man, nor did we for our gift.
I've submitted a few
stories recently, but those were all weddings I attended as a guest-this
one I worked on as a caterer very recently. The bride and groom were very
unorganized from the beginning. They selected an entree to be served at
their reception very early on. They didn’t ask to try it or anything.
The groom insisted on having NO hard liquor served; which is fine, but the
bride wanted a bar and her controlling fiancé just said, "No-it's MY
wedding." They also did not have a DJ. (Also okay, but they also did
not have a plan for music without a DJ!) When my boss asked why they
didn't have a DJ, they just said, "Oh, do you think we need
one?" They did end up hiring a DJ at the last minute (more on the DJ
The day of the reception I
arrived to our site, which had been half decorated by the bride's family.
A half string of Christmas lights were hung behind the head table and
they'd tied balloons to one of the chairs. I was setting up their tables
and arranging the linens and napkins and utensils, etc., when a young
woman related to the bride showed up. She had with her three boxes of
stuff, including homemade centerpieces. The centerpieces were glass vases
to be placed on mirrors surrounded by candles in little glass candle
holders, and flowers were to be placed in the vases. All the girl had were
the vases, mirrors and candle holders. She said she would soon return with
the flowers and candles. Well, at 4 o'clock (three hours later--bear in
mind the ceremony was taking place at a church at 3 o'clock), still no
sign of this girl, the flowers or candles. I had put out the half-done
centerpieces anyway, in hopes that they'd show up before the guests
arrived with the missing items.
When the DJ showed up, we
asked if the couple had give him a timeline of activities-you know, the
cake will be cut at 7, or the first dance is to this song at 8...the DJ
says, "No, I never received anything like that-I don’t even know
the groom's name-how can I announce them?" We were anticipating
Well, a couple arrived
first, before all the other guests. They were very strange, and went up to
another caterer and said, "We're hungry. We didn't have lunch-is
there food here?" The other caterer politely explained, that yes,
dinner would be served but not until everyone else-including the bride and
groom-arrived! They still went up to the buffet table and looked around,
even though we already told them there wasn't food yet!! Then, before
other guests and the bride and groom arrived, they just left!! Next thing
you know, about 15-20 guests arrived, and here comes the girl with the
flowers!! She starts running around, placing these white flowers in the
vases as guests are sitting down. (I should also mention that their color
scheme was red, but their centerpieces consisted of white
Then another relative runs
up to my boss/mom and says, "Where are the candles?? We left them
here for you! Where are they??" She told them there were no candles
left for us (as I also assured them; I checked every one of their damn
boxes!!), and that if there were, we would have put them out and lit
them!! The bride's relative wouldn't let up. He insisted we just forgot to
put them out and lost them. He was going on and on, ranting and raving
when another relative of the bride walks up with the candles, saying she'd
left them in her car, making the guy look like a total jack ass. It was
much too late to put out the candles, though, as almost everyone had
arrived. We got the names of the bride and groom from a guest so the DJ
could announce them, and we pretty much ran the whole thing, even though
that's not really our job-if we hadn't, who else would've done it?
But things went pretty
smoothly, however we were told the wedding reception was to go until
around 11 p.m.; by 8:30 the place was nearly cleared out as they had done
every important thing (garter/bouquet toss; cake cutting; etc) very early
on, one after another. So everyone just took off after the cake was
served. The bride and groom took down their own decorations while their
irresponsible relatives who couldn't manage to get the site decorated
right in the first place partied. This wedding is a perfect example of why
I am going to be a wedding coordinator!! Also-this isn't bad etiquette,
but it's funny-a very large chested bridesmaid came right out of her
strapless dress during the bouquet toss-revealing EVERYTHING!! I felt kind
of bad for her, but it was sort of fitting for this wedding!
Several years ago a very close
friend of mine Ian who had been a roommate for a few years and was member of
a fairly close knit group of friends, picks up with this girl Bobby. Ian is
a stick figure of a man and Bobby was behemoth of a woman. This in itself is
no problem but it is a somewhat relevant fact for later in the story. Ian
and Bobby had been dating for a year when Ian announces to his friends that
he is getting married.
"Great" we all say..
"When?", we all ask.
"In a month" came the
This in itself was also not a
problem we were all well used to the impromptu nature of Ian and figured it
would be a low key affair with all of us making an effort to make the very
best with what was available. We were also aware that neither Ian nor Bobby
could afford a lavish wedding and no one's parents were willing to assist,
as the parents were either unhappy with the arrangements or just didn't see
the point I guess.
Ian then tells us that whilst
this will be a registry office affair he wants all the stops pulled out and
would even go so far as suit hire and flowers. We all agree, this sounds
like a grand plan and arrangements made. Bobby was approached by a friend of
ours who is a seamstress and they agree that Christine will make a dress and
that it will be a wedding gift so as not to add any debts as we are well
aware that Ian and Bobby are doing this as "cost effectively" as
possibly but still want a "Happy Day". We are all very
understanding of this. Christine buys yards and yards of fabrics, she takes
measurements, she drives miles upon miles to do fittings and make sure that
Bobby is as happy as she can be with everything about the dress. Christine
spends long hours late at night to make sure it's all done in time for the
big day.. in fact it's actually done a week before the big day.
Well it's three days before the
wedding... I am (at that time), working as a graphic designer for a small
firm who are jut about to land a huge contract with a Japanese client. These
clients are coming to the offices that day to "inspect" both the
premises and the staff. This is the norm and everyone knows the
"rules", no smoking, clean nails, nice clothes and tidy hair. Our
boss at this time however was being particularly "odd" about
having as many people in the office as possible and even drafting in
"extras" to bump up the numbers. Well I was sat there, when the
phone rang, it was Ian. "Tom?" "Yes Ian." "I have
some news." "What?" "The wedding has been moved."
"Oh" I thought.. maybe the parents have decided to chip in.. maybe
they want an extra week to sort something out. "When?," I
said. "Today, in about 2 hours, We would like you to be
Well I had two choices. Piss off
my friend who I had known for years and years even though he was asking for
the proverbial moon on a stick. Optionally I could offend my boss, who I had
known for 1 year. I told my boss about the impending wedding and said that I
was going to attend but that I would be back before the end of the day and
that I understood his position and would accept not being paid for the day
if that was his call. What he said was "You have a choice you either go
back to your desk and do as your told, or you can go to the wedding and
never come back.". This was the red rag I needed... I was on my way to
the wedding 15 minutes later. This, with hindsight, might have been
After stopping quickly off at
home and changing into a 3 piece suit. I met at the registry office
expecting to meet Ian and the rest all in their finery. Well I was partially
right. All the guests were dressed in suits, dresses and such. The groom was
in an "Iron Maiden T-shirt, jeans and shoes that had one shoe lace
between them. I even said "Bobby is going to show you up, dressed like
that.". Ian mumbled something and went inside.
The service started, and Bobby
enters, and everyone gasps, not at the site of the beautiful dress that
Christine had made, but at Bobby, dressed in Spandex (remember her
description) pants and t shirt that says "The bitch is back!".
Well Christine was almost in tears and many of us wondered why we had made
such an effort when the Bride and Groom couldn't be bothered. After the
service was over , and since I had no job to go back to, we all went to a
makeshift reception at a local pub. No one was drinking as everyone had
driven (rather quickly) to get there. Me and another guest ran down to the
bakery and bought a cake and had hastily the words Congrats Ian and Bobby
iced on it. When we got back we again find Christine in tears. It seems not
only had Bobby decided not to wear the dress, she had hacked into shreds in
a "mood". We consoled Christine and took the cake out to the bride
and groom. The bride having no knife proceeded to pick up the cake and take
a huge bite out of it. We all laughed.. the kind of uneasy laugh people make
when they are looking for the exits.
Ian and Bobby are still married.
We and the rest of the wedding party don't see them much, Christine refused
to ever speak to either of them again. The rest of us just avoid the hassle
as this day was to mark the start of a trend. It was upsetting to lose
friends in such a manner. I guess however that with friends like these...
When I was 15, my cousin got
married. She had a small, fairly tasteful ceremony at a local church, which
was kind of surprising. But then came the reception...
It was at a local VFW hall which is an old bomb shelter. First of all,
laying in the middle of the decrepit walk up to the building was an engine
block to a rusted out car which was sitting 5 feet to the left. So you had
to walk around the engine block in the mud (on a nice rainy day). Still,
this wasn't her fault, they had to throw together a hasty wedding due to
some insurance glitch at her future husband's job.
When we got inside, the place
was thick with smoke already. The entire wedding party had lit up upon
leaving the church, though, so I wasn't surprised. All they could afford was
a cold cut dinner, which was fine, I've been to really nice weddings where
cold cuts were served. But, this wasn't even a buffet, it was sit down
service. Each person got 1 sandwich, 1 spoonful of macaroni salad, 1
spoonful of baked beans, and a small sliver of cake, which was pre-cut so
the bride and groom don’t have to "mess" with it. Which was
probably for the best, because they had 200 people crammed in this tiny hall
and there was barely room to turn around.
Less than 10 minutes after we
were served (barely enough time to choke down the sandwich) they started
folding up chairs and tables to make a dance floor. And I could see why they
had to skimp on the food. They had splurged on 8 kegs of beer!!!! This was
for a reception of 200 people, about half of which left immediately after
dinner anyway. Less than a half hour after we got there, they had run out of
all soda, but they had plenty of beer! As I was underage, I didn't stay much
longer. My parents and I left, but my older brother and sisters stayed on to
dance and drink.
And now for the capper. At three AM, our phone rang, waking the whole house.
My Dad picked up the phone, listened for a few minutes, then started
laughing about as hard as I've ever seen him laugh. Apparently after the
reception hall shut down, the bridal party and about 25 guests decided to
head up to a local bar (still in their wedding clothes, and with 6 remaining
kegs in tow). You should know that this bar is a total dive, and it even has
a dirt floor. So after a few more hours of partying, all of a sudden the
bride just walked up to the groom, and without so much as batting an eye,
punched him as hard as she could in the face. No one had any clue why she
did it, as they had been getting along really well all night. The groom was
knocked out cold, and the groom's Mother decided to take revenge for her
son. Before you know it, there is an all out brawl, men ripping their rented
tux's, my cousin rolling around on the floor with the Mother of the groom,
tearing and soiling her big, puffy dress all to hell, and the whole time
this is happening inside, some unknown persons were stealing the remaining
kegs of beer off the grooms pickup truck.
Everyone went to jail (my brother included, hence the three AM phone call),
and in fact my cousin and her husband spent their first 30 married hours in
their ripped, dirty wedding clothes in separate jail cells. Not
surprisingly, both were jailed again about a year later when they were
busted for growing marijuana in their basement. What is surprising is that,
16 years later, they are still married. And still getting into bar room
I have enjoyed your site so
much! Here's one that happened more then 50 years ago, but I'll always
Many of the girls I knew in high
school got married in the summer following graduation, as girls used to
marry much younger than they do these days. One of them was my best friend,
Caroline, who asked me to be her MOH. We were very young, as was the groom,
and Caroline must have had her doubts, through she concealed them. The day
of the wedding, which was a beautiful, end of the world perfect affair, the
mother of the bride had been seated, the flower girl and ring bearer had
proceeded down the aisle without a hitch and I was paying close attention to
catch my musical cue so I would step off next. Just as I stepped forward,
something grabbed the back of my beautiful pink taffeta dress, very hard!
Caroline hissed, "Don't go, I'm not gonna DO it!"
And she did not "do
it". Her father tried to urge her forward, she would not budge. Her
mother was summoned from the front of the church, she could not make Carolyn
move. The music played, then played again. "Here Comes the Bride"
cycled to another song, then back again, then played some more, the confused
organist, along with the entire congregation and the groom peering at the
young bride, who stood her ground at the back of the church.
Eventually, after everyone had a
try at persuading Caroline to get married, her father announced to the
wedding guests that there would likely not be a wedding that day and they
should all adjourn to the reception site, which was a pub he owned. He was a
frugal and practical man, and all the food and the band was waiting there,
so why waste it?
To telescope this story a bit,
everybody had a very good time at the reception, not counting the incident
where the non-bride stepped between two combative drinkers and got herself a
black eye for her trouble. The young lovers eloped a week later, living
happily ever after... er, until their annulment within the year. I left that
town to go away to college and lost touch, but as far as I know, Caroline
never did get married again. Wedhell0714-03
By way of background, my sister
and I were young girls who grew up in a rural state and had moved to the big
city ...in Southern California, where, as we soon learned, almost anything
One day as we were driving, we
saw a quaint little church at which a wedding party was just emerging. It
reminded us of our home state and, being curious to see the wedding, we
pulled over and parked in front of the church, waiting to see the lovely
bride. Perhaps that was rude since we were not invited and didn't know the
people, but we were fresh from the country and like most young girls, were
very interested in weddings and the like. My sister happened to have her
camera with her and she thought it would be fun to snap a photo of the
couple as they came out, so we exited the car, but still stayed at the curb
so as not to mingle with the wedding guests who were coming out of the
church, since we were neither invited nor dressed appropriately. (At least
we knew enough to do that, naive as we were!)
Suddenly we became very aware of
two things: the bridesmaids were incredibly large and ugly and people were
staring at us in a very unfriendly way! Just then my sister aimed her camera
at the bride and groom as they stepped from the church, only to realize that
they were both men, one of them in a large, very fluffy white bridal gown
and veil. By now several people had begun to march toward us very
purposefully, so we decided it was time to make a quick exit and ran back to
the car. Trying to redeem the situation a bit, as we pulled away, my sister
leaned out of the window and wished them every happiness. Wedhell0714-03
When my sister got engaged, she
wanted a very small, very simple wedding, but her future mother in law
insisted that they have the traditional wedding and reception and that they
get married in her soon-to-be hubby's home town which has about 1,000
residents and is in the middle of no where Nebraska. My sister agreed to
this just to keep the peace. The planning went easily enough as she didn’t
have a lot of options. Everything was done well in advance and we were to
show up two weeks before the day just to set everything in motion.
When we got there, we learned
for the first time that the florist had gone out of business and moved away
a few days earlier. This florist was also in charge of the tuxes. My sister
scrambled and found a florist who could put something together, but not what
she originally wanted as no one in Nebraska had Gerber daisies available.
Sis also found a tux shop that the tux order could be transferred to, but
ALL the tuxes showed up the wrong size. The florist who had originally
ordered the tuxes didn’t measure anyone correctly. They all had to be
reordered, but again, they weren’t the ones Sis originally wanted.
Also, her future mother in law’s
fence wasn't done being built because of freakish early summer rain so they
had to move the ceremony from her backyard to the church. My sister had
opted not to do the ceremony in the church in the first place because at the
front of the church, where everyone would be looking, was a ten foot,
horribly tacky, carved wooden Jesus with a lamb on his shoulder. It was
truly ugly. We actually had to tell the wedding photographer to try and
"downplay the Jesus."
Of course, the reception had to be moved from the back yard to a VFW club
that smelled like smoke and had horribly water stained, cork board walls. We
did our best to decorate it, but the only decorations available were
streamers and balloons. My sister’s reception looked nothing like a
wedding reception and everything like a two year old’s birthday party.
It gets worse. The pastor that
was supposed to marry them and whom they went through counseling with was
asked to leave the church just days before the wedding because the directors
of the church had found out the pastor had, years earlier, been a cocktail
waitress in a nearby town.
My sister was actually very
upset that the church would not forgive the pastor for a past indiscretion
but days before her wedding was not going to try to launch a reform of the
church so she quickly met with the new pastor and went through another round
of very quick counseling sessions.
It gets worse. On the big day
everything looked like it would be fine until the DJ didn’t show in time
to play the processional and no one in the church could play the organ or
piano. The "new" pastor just happened to have his daughter’s
processional tape (she had just been married) in his car and there was a
tape player so my sister said fine, she’d use it. Two problems, the pastor’s
daughter had about 14 bridesmaids and five flower girls so the tape was too
long for my sister’s small party, and the music was horrid, a lot of bells
and chimes and very religious sounding. After the last of my sister’s four
bridesmaids and zero flower girls walked down the aisle, we all waited what
seemed like an eternity for the music to change to Here Comes the Bride.
After waiting and waiting, the pastor finally walked across the front of the
church and fast forwarded and rewound the tape to the right place.
Okay, my sister is finally down
the aisle and we’re half way into the ceremony. She has to walk up some
steps as part of the ceremony and she steps on her skirt hem and you hear
this very loud tearing sound. She screams, "OH MY GOD!" To this
day we don’t know where the dress tore, we could never find it thankfully,
but it was ever so lovely that my sister took God’s name in vain in her
loudest voice in the middle of the church. It is a classic part of the
It gets worse. By the end of
ceremony the DJ had arrived. Great you think, he got there in time to play
the recessional. He does, but because he hasn’t been able to check his
volume, the noise practically shatters the stain glass windows and everyone
has to cover their ears.
Okay, fast forward to the
reception. The only person in town that caters also does the school lunches.
The reception food that Sis was told would be nice turns out to be crock pot
nacho cheese and corn chips, and stacks of white bread, American cheese and
packaged ham and bologna with jars of mayo and mustard.
The only liquor my sister drinks
is wine. The VFW doesn’t serve it, only beer and hard liquor with no
mixers. We have to sneak in the only wine they have at the local liquor
store, Boones Farm Strawberry Hill! We drink like lushes to try and forget
the whole day and develop horrid, cheap wine headaches.
What about the photographer, you
ask? He did a lovely job, the photos are great. My sister is overjoyed with
his professionalism. He is leaving the reception and she loves him and wants
to shake his hand. He reaches across the table and knocks over the toasting
glasses she carried on an airplane all the way from San Diego to Nebraska
(this is before the toast). The stems of both glasses snap in half. The way
awesome photographer is mortified and runs off to one of the three local
bars to try and borrow champagne glasses. He returns with the two ugliest
wine glasses in the world. Hey, at least they hold the champagne my sister
so desperately needs at this point.
The worst part of the evening --
her hubby gets drunk, ignores her through half of the reception and instead
spends the night catching up with two ex girlfriends. He and my sister go
back to the hotel after the reception. Sis takes off her dress. He picks it
up, throws it in a corner, and yells that he wants a divorce. She spends the
night with us bridesmaids in our hotel room.
Believe it or not, after all of
this, they are happily married, have a beautiful five year old girl, and had
a beautiful baby boy a few weeks ago. It just goes to show, you shouldn’t
pin all your hopes and dreams on one day.
This is not so much an etiquette
story, but a wedding disaster story ... though, in hindsight, I wonder if I
might have been somewhat a villain ... My fiancé and I didn't date long
prior to becoming engaged; really just a few weeks. When we decided to get
married, we had planned to do it about 6 months into the future; however, I
have a daughter from a previous marriage, and considered it an absolute
necessity for her to be there (and stand by that still). Well, her mother
moved about 1000 miles away following our divorce, and was absolutely
relentless with visitation; if it wasn't laid out in the order, I wasn't
having it (and frequently not even what was in the order).
So, we set about to plan the
wedding around our visitation schedule; The only time we could really do it
was December, so that is what we decided to do. The point here is to
illustrate why we did (could) not reschedule the wedding later ...
A week prior to the wedding, I
am in the ER with truly the most unimaginable back/abdominal pains. Kidney
Stone. Wait, it gets better ... my ureter is collapsed around the stone, so
I have to have surgery immediately, or risk the kidney. "Oh by the way,
we are going to leave a stint in, to keep the ureter open while it heals,
and you will be in the hospital overnight, at most."
OK, so I have the surgery. We
didn't reschedule the wedding. Surgery goes fine; I stay in the hospital
overnight, because I am a sissy, and really want my Demerol.
So, I get out of the hospital
the day before the wedding. "Oh, by the way, a sting is a rigid plastic
tube from your kidney to your bladder." Do you know why kidney stones
hurt? The ureters contract like your esophagus (peristalsis); so the stone
is a non-malleable object in their way, which causes severe, acute
"cramps" in one place, where the stone is. Imagine that same
"cramping" the entire length of the ureter ... Trust me, anyone
reading this who has passed a stone is probably in tears thinking about
So, anyway, I come out of the
hospital in *much* greater pain that when I went in... They have given me a
codeine based pain killer, which might as well have been a sugar pill.
We still don't cancel the
We had planned on a very short,
minimal ceremony, conducted by a Justice of the Peace; which is exactly what
we had. I had a trash can just around the corner, in which to vomit, which I
did, 9 times during the events leading up to the wedding, and the wedding
itself (< 30 minutes). A family friend is an MD; he informed me that I
could safely take twice the dosage of the Codeine, as well as twice the
dosage of the morphine based pain killers I had been given prior to the
surgery, which I did.
I was throwing up from the pain.
In all of our pictures, I was
pale, and you can see sweat beads on my forehead (and obvious pain in my
eyes). I bailed after the ceremony, and showed up at the reception about an
hour late. (They came and got me for pictures).
The funny part is, I was telling
this story to my Divorce Attorney, and her response was that, due to the
pain, and the drugs, she could get me an annulment if I wanted (She is quite
a character; I am not certain, to this day, if she was serious or joking).
My wife loves it; she thinks
that it is great that we have an interesting story to tell about our
wedding, and that it is that much more memorable because of it! In
hindsight, I wish that I had had my father or someone announce something to
the effect that I was Ill; I wonder how many of our guests thought I was
just nervous and rude...
And I can honestly say that
marrying her was the most painful experience of my life :)
Ten years ago, I was
engaged and planning my wedding, when the engagement fell apart. I was
dealing with personal trauma, and advised my fiancé to leave and find
someone who was of sounder emotional health. (He did). Some weeks later,
one of my friends (I'll call her Rosa) told me she was going to get
married and invited me to a bridesmaid.
At that point, I'd have rather
shoved pins into my eyes than taken part in any wedding, so I politely
declined. However, I accepted Rosa's invitation to attend her wedding. I
didn't want her to think I was bitter, and I was happy for her and her
fiancé. Two other friends from college were part of the bridal party, and
told me stories I couldn't believe. Rosa had chosen her bridesmaids, named
her maid of honor (her sister), picked her flower girl and the ring bearer
(her little sister and her nephew, natch), and had proceeded to make the
entire wedding party (sans ushers) follow her from one boutique to the next
to choose a gown. We lived in Southern California, and I can vouch that
there are a LOT of boutiques to choose from. NONE of the gowns, according to
my friends, suited Rosa, and she was quick to announce what she didn't like
So, after two months, Rosa
finally chooses a place and demanded to have a custom-made gown.
Apparently, the owner of the shop permitted her to pick what she wanted
from a catalogue--Rosa chose the sleeves from one gown, the bodice from
another, and the skirt and train from another, then picked out the
fabrics, and handed over a deposit. Once again, the bridal party had to
all come along to watch the fitting. Rosa's custom-made wedding dress was
made of hand-beaded silk and Chantilly lace, and it cost $10,000. That's
not much nowadays, but back in the early 90's, it was a sum that made us
all gasp. (Whoooosh...that's
the sound of Miss Jeanne's wind tunnel gasp in 2003.)
Especially as Rosa's parents were paying for the wedding!
I received my invitation in due
time--a beautiful, silvery stationary; unfortunately, it had black and gold
wedding bells on it. I have never seen that pattern since. As Rosa had
decided to let the bridal party off when she chose the invitations, my guess
is that once again, she found a store and had a custom set printed.
Flash forward to six months
later. My friends wouldn't talk to me about the wedding, only grumbling
that, "You were SO smart not to be a bridesmaid." I started
wondering what was going on. I bought a nice blue summer suit (it was in
June), and showed up at the church an hour early because I had no desire to
be up front and be seen. The event brought back some bitter memories, and I
decided I'd sit in the back, wrestle my demons, and be happy for Rosa's
Well, I entered the church and
just gaped. I began to have an inkling of what my friends had carped about.
The church was small, with a nice vaulted ceiling, elegant woodwork, and
stained glass windows. Swaths of white cloth had been draped in enormous
swags between the windows and over doorways. I don't mean ribbons of cloth;
these drapes looked like jumbo-sized tablecloths that had been sewn together
and glued to the walls. Beside each pew were tall flower stands with
bouquets of white and gold daylilies and gardenias--and the fragrance from
them was overpowering. By the time I sat down in the back, my head ached,
and I could feel my nose start to itch. It would have been a good time to
leave and plead an allergic attack, but again, I didn't want to seem rude.
Besides . . . I had an idea I'd miss a real train wreck if I did.
The church filled up, and the
musicians set up in the nave. Yes, Rosa had hired a full-piece band to play
at her wedding. Unfortunately, they were tucked away in a corner, close to
the side door, and had trouble hooking up their electrical equipment. (I'm
not going to say Rosa went cheap here, but these guys certainly didn't seem
to know how to set up their own amplifiers!) As it turned out, they didn't
need them. The acoustics were great in the church. So great, in fact, that
my headache slowly grew until I pressed my ears closed to drown out the
Parents arrived, priest arrived,
the band started playing. In came the flower-girl, Rosa's little sister,
wearing a poofy white lace dress, white pumps with big lace bows on the
sides, and a white lace mantilla. She carried a little basket with rose
petals, and instead of strewing them on the carpet, she flung them at the
guests. Few of the guests found this cute. Then came Rosa's little nephew,
who was only 3 years old, carrying the pillow with the ring. Only he took a
few steps forward, stopped, then turned and ran back out. His mother jumped
up, raced down the aisle, and had to pick him up and carry the pillow, with
the kid screaming, "I DON'T WANNA GO! I DON'T WANNA GO!" at the
top of his lungs. Once she deposited him at the front, with a smack to the
seat, he sat down on the floor and cried. Great omen, y'think?
So in came the ushers and the
bridesmaids, and I FINALLY got to see what my friends had been complaining
about. I don't know what the guys were thinking, or if Rosa picked their
outfits. The ushers were wearing light grey tuxes trimmed in black (this was
a late morning wedding) with ruffled white shirts and black cummerbunds.
They looked like theater ushers--or maybe '50s bandleaders. And the
bridesmaids wore black and gold gowns. The bodices were black velvet with
leg-of-mutton sleeves, and the skirts were gold lame with huge ass-widening
bows. The crowning touch (maybe the coup d'etat?) was that every bridesmaid
wore black patent leather pumps with gold stripes painted on them. My
friends told me later that Rosa boasted of having her sister paint each pair
of shoes the night before the wedding!
The bridegroom actually looked
elegant in a grey tux without a ruffled shirt (a nice flat starched shirt,
vest instead of a cummerbund, nice pleat to the slacks). Then came Rosa. Her
father led her down the aisle, but you could hardly see the guy, because
Rosa's skirt was so wide it nearly swept the aisle on both sides. Her
"custom" dress looked like it had been pieced together from
different dresses, because none of the parts made a pleasing whole. The
sleeves were huge leg-of-mutton with lace windowpane inserts. The crystal
bead embroidery was heaviest on the sleeves and bodice, whereas the skirt
was silk with an overskirt of lace. The train was satin and lace, and was
about six feet long. (I've seen longer, but Rosa was so petite, and the
dress so big, that it looked like someone had trimmed the gown to fit as
well as it could and then tacked on the leftover fabric). She also wore a
tall tiara set with rhinestones, with her veil (more lace) draped over her
head. It looked like Glinda the Good Witch's wedding gear!
I sat through the ceremony with
a pounding headache. I attended the reception for base reasons--to get some
alcohol, some food, and commiserate with my pals on those Godawful gowns.
The food was good, and there was an open bar, so I had a Scotch and was
feeling much better when Rosa approached, STILL in that gown and headgear. I
thought I'd be polite, so I said, "Wow! You look like a fairy
princess!" (Out of a Disney nightmare, I thankfully didn't add.) She
beamed and said, "Isn't it great? It went off so well! Not a problem at
all!" I gave her my gift, pleaded work (I was working a night-shift job
at the time), and beat a hasty retreat.
The next Monday I happened to
meet a couple who attended the wedding. They asked if I was feeling all
right, and then started in on the wedding. "Do you know how much her
parents PAID for that monstrosity? $15,000! If it had been MY daughter,
she'd have paid for it herself! All those ~pinche~ flowers, and that stupid
dress!" To my shock, as I met many of the other guests later in the
year, none of them had a good thing to say about the wedding--except to
gossip about the cost and gasp over her dress. It might have been Rosa's
intention all along.
By the way, Rosa has recently
filed for divorce, after three kids, one house foreclosure, and one too many
affairs on her husband's end. wedhell0725-03
I could have sworn I sent this
in a few years back but I didn't see it so here it is again. Since it could
go under a number of categories, I'll let you pick where. And I attest that
every word of it is the absolute truth, no matter how unbelievable it seems.
My husband got a call from his
17 year old second cousin that he had not seen in 4 years. Seems her dad was
in jail, she was getting married and she needed someone to give her away.
She told him to meet her at the
rehearsal dinner at Outback Steakhouse that Friday night at 7pm and would go
over the details at that time. We showed up at 6:55 and nobody was there
except the usual Friday night throngs of people waiting an hour to get a
table. 7:15 rolled around and still no sign of the wedding party. Finally,
at 7:40, the groom walked in. He went up to the hostess and asked for a
table for 26. The hostess said it would be a minimum of an hour. Seems that
nobody had bothered to reserve a section of tables in advance.
At 8:50, we were seated. When
the waitress arrived to take drink orders, the bride started directing her
on how to break up the bill so each couple could pay for their own drinks
and meal. When we needed lo leave to be back in time to get our babysitter
home, our food still had not yet arrived. We paid our check anyway
(including the automatic gratuity for large parties) and the bride told the
waitress to box up our food so she could take it home. My husband asked her
about the "details" they were to discuss. She then told my husband
to wear his own tux and meet her at the chapel at 3pm the next day.
When we arrived at the
"chapel", it was a room about the size of my master bedroom
closet. There wasn't even enough room for two people to walk beside each
other down the isle so my husband had to walk in front of her, leading her
up the isle (about 3 steps). The actual ceremony was short and sweet, with
most of the guests craning to see in the chapel from the next room since it
only seated 12.
When we moved into the next room
for the reception, I saw a woman dressed in a Santa Claus suit. This being
November 15, I didn't think a lot about it. Then I found out it was really
the mother of the bride disguising herself. It seems she had lost custody of
all of her children and had restraining orders against her by several of her
children that were also attending. She was handing out AVON chapstick and
AVON catalogs and announcing to everyone that selling it was her new career
and if we wanted to place an order, there was an order form in each catalog.
When the food was brought out,
it consisted of cheese nips, pretzels, a cooler of beer, Wal-Mart cola,
dinner mints and a bowl of salted, mixed nuts. The cake was cut and promptly
shoved into each others faces. This started a war between the bride and
groom that caused them to utilize every bit of cake that was for guests in
their food fight. They looked so charming with frosting and cake all over
their faces, clothes and hair! How classy....
I was begging my husband to get
me home when the MOB (aka Santa) approached him about giving her away, too.
Seems she met a hunky 17 year old high-school classmate of her daughter a
few weeks prior and wanted to get hitched that same day while the official
and chapel were already paid for. My husband politely declined.
When the bride found out that
mom was moving in on HER wedding, there was a physical brawl that led out
into the parking lot. Bottles of wedding bubbles were thrown on each other
and the chapel and the chapel owner threatened to call the police. That got
the mother's attention. She went inside, took her gift and left with her 17
year old stud.
The bride and groom went back
in, sat down and started opening gifts. When the grandmother told her it
wasn't like a birthday party, that the gifts should be opened later, the
bride told her to go to hell, it was HER wedding and she would open them
now. After all, they would need money to stay up there for a few days for
their honeymoon. I was so disgusted that we had anything to do with it that
I grabbed my free chapstick and left. We never did hear from them again.
My boyfriend had made friends
while working "up north", meaning redneck/lumberjack country. One
of his friends, a woman, was getting married and asked if he could do the
music for them. Well, by that time he had moved in with me 41/2 hours away
in a big city. He told her not a problem, as long as someone can supply us
with transportation-meaning a truck. They call us a week before the wedding
to set up the plans.
The uncle "Joe"
and the aunt "Jean" were going to go in separate vehicles. I was
to drive the car with the Aunt "Jean" (as her eyesight was
failing) and her step daughter and boyfriend (very nice polite teens) and
my boyfriend "Don" was to drive with the uncle and the
equipment. Turns out the aunt wanted to leave early to get there to
decorate. So I did. Keep in mind in this whole adventure I knew NO ONE and
I've never been to that town before.
So we get there and the
whole family is sitting around getting drunk at the hall/church not really
decorating. We all ended up furiously decorating for about an hour. Price
of decorations: $50. Now, "Don" still hasn't shown up so I go to
hang out at the bridal shower. (this is the day before the wedding) and
finally about 11 @nite I find out Don's at one of the other uncle's house.
We finally meet up and he is just livid. Turns out the boyfriend of the
mother of the bride came up with them in the truck and this guy was drunk
out of his mind. He slobbered all over him and threatened to start a fight
a few times and basically pissed off "Don" A LOT. My boyfriend
has got a lot of patience but he's also quite sizeable and was just
itching to punch him out -so he wouldn't have to hear him anymore. But he
didn't-as it was his friends moms b.friend.
The next day me and Don go
to set up and at the end we go to the grandmother's house to change for
the wedding -across the street. We left our jeans and shirts in a bag by
the door as we were staying at a friends place that night. The wedding was
okay. They ran out of food -since they had made all the food themselves
and chicken legs are not going to feed a lot of people. Cost of food $100
(if that). I had my drink tickets stolen (that was our payment for doing
the music for them ) Cost of music $0. But there was free wine on the
tables and that's good enough for me.
So at the end of the night
we pick up our stuff put it in the trunk of an aunt "Sarah" and
headed out to her house first to drop off some people, then to our
friends. We wake up in the morning and realize that we had left our change
of clothes in Aunt "Sarah’s " trunk. We get there-nothing. All
the houses are turned upside down and we can't find it anywhere. Well,
Aunt "Sarah" (great lady) says to us, let me check some place.
She comes up from the basement and showed us our jeans and asked if that
was ours. We said yes, where did you find it. She says with a sad shake of
her head "In the bride's mothers room."....there was NO way our
clothes got down there unless the mother (a pill popper) and her alcoholic
boyfriend took it down there. Cost of the bride's mother trying to steal
our clothes: priceless.
But the best part...was
that on the Saturday (as we came in on Friday )the day of the wedding the
Aunt "Jean" I drove up with said she'd like to stay an extra day
and that "Don" could leave a day early with her husband. ?? !!
So, what she was saying was, since I have to drive them, I have to stay an
extra day with total strangers while my boyfriend gets to drive back a day
early!! I decided I was going to make alternate plans, and when aunt
"Jean" heard about it she immediately changed her mind. She
wasn't impressed but after all that's happened I don't care. Her husband
was very nice and when he dropped us off he gave us a cooler with about 30
beers. It wasn't much-but it's the thought that counts.