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Weddings From Hell

The Whole Thing from start to finish is a disaster

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As it is a tradition where I live, 50-year wedding anniversaries, i.e. Golden Weddings, are celebrated quite elaborately, complete with a second ceremony and reception. My long-term boyfriend and I were invited to my grandparents' golden wedding this past January, and it was a truly memorable day of keeping up appearances...

As a little bit of a background, I have to say that my grandfather has had an adulterous relationship with a local woman for at least ten years, and this was very well known all over town (and the parish my grandparents belong to). As a result, only those people that were to attend the reception actually did attend the ceremony (although traditionally, most of the parish would have attended), thus labeling the entire event a mere charade. The priest that held the ceremony added to this by elaborating on this great achievement of a "happy, faithful, loving" marriage that had lasted 50 years now, and more happy years were to come... The tension in the "congregation" just kept rising and rising. I was basically forced to read some intercessions, all against my beliefs, as I had turned my back on Catholicism a few years prior. But I gritted my teeth and put myself on the spot for much mockery by my boyfriend for being such a pushover.

We arrived at the reception, where my cousin, who is a year older than me, arrived half drunk from the night before, apologizing half-heartedly for not "making it to church", before he proceeded to loudly talk about his involvement in a rather radical political party, and how he shared their nationalistic and racist views... Everybody was so embarrassed and indeed very happy when he left promptly after lunch (only to return as dinner was being served).

My grandparents had hired a "band" for entertainment, consisting of two women in traditional costume, both equipped with guitars, who were hopping all over the place and making up little supposedly witty songs about every couple or single guest who was there, often including sexual references or plain insults. My boyfriend and I were subject to two of those "serenades", in which, among other things, they told him not to put his head into the coil of marriage. My face was red with shame. What was even worse, though, was that they soon spotted a single elderly woman (my uncle's mother), and inquired of her where her husband was. She painstakingly responded that he was deceased, and they proceeded to make up another happy little song (it was all supposed to be witty) how her husband was burning in hell and whatnot. The poor lady could barely keep her composure, as her husband had in fact only deceased a couple of weeks prior...

What took the cake, however, was when my grandfather had gotten very drunk, and gave a toast in which he loudly proclaimed that he'd much rather married my grandmother's stepsister (who was also present and going to celebrate HER golden wedding only a few months later), but alas, she didn't want him and so he settled for my grandmother. It was painful, horrifying, and just plain bizarre. The entire party was extremely uncomfortable, and most people quickly excused themselves very soon after dinner. Being immediate family, we felt obligated to stay longer, but thankfully - yes, THANKFULLY - I had been in a car wreck a few days earlier and was suffering much pain due to a whiplash injury, so we had a VERY good excuse to leave this farce... Needless to say, we were very glad to do so.


Shortly after my husband proposed, we went to his cousin’s wedding.  Since we were newly engaged, several family members suggested the possibility of getting ideas for our own wedding from this event.  Mostly, we ended up getting ideas on how not to have a wedding.

First of all, the ceremony started late, not incredibly late, but still late.  As the bridesmaids were walking down the aisle, we noticed that the dresses seemed to be selected to highlight the maid of honor’s rather large and hideous tattoo.  I realize these aren’t big infractions, just things to make you raise your eyebrows.  Ceremony ends, and we all wait out the posted time between the ceremony and reception and head over to the reception just as it’s scheduled to start.  We’re sitting at our table, and sitting, and sitting.  Forty-five minutes later, the bride, groom, and the bridal party stroll into the hall.  Apparently they were barhopping because it had always been the bride’s dream to go barhopping in her wedding dress.

Finally, it’s time to eat.  The DJ’s plan to release the tables to go through the buffet line is to play trivia – the first table to get the question correct gets to go next to the line.  Thankfully, my husband’s brother is quick and we’re the first table to go up.  The food is in a separate room, and the temperature is sweltering in that room.  The salads were wilting, the butter was melting, the food was generally just not at it’s peak.  Might not have been so bad had we not waited so long for the bride and groom.  By the time we’re done eating, the DJ is still going with his trivia.  We felt awful for the poor people at the last table to go.  Since the bridal party had long finished their meal, they were socializing among themselves and continuing to drink heavily.

At every place setting there was a card stating that the couple donated money to the American Cancer Society rather than purchasing favors for everyone.  Great, let the money go to a good cause rather than get a knick knack that will end up in the trash anyway.  At one point, the groom, my husband’s cousin, stands up to call our attention to these cards on the table.  He then states that, rather than spend the money on thank you notes, they’ve decided to donate that money as well.  We were not to expect a thank you note for the gifts we gave or the time and effort it took to get to that wedding.  Wow, don’t we feel appreciated.

It’s finally time for the dancing to begin.  Nothing big until it’s time for the bouquet and garter toss.  Personally, I hate the bouquet toss because I always felt like the pitiful single friend and I find it degrading.  Since I hate the event and I was engaged at the time, it was a no-brainer that I wasn’t going to go up to the dance floor.  That is, until the DJ walks over to the table as he’s trying to rally more female participants for the toss.  I’m the first victim he’s attacking.  He’s suggesting, into the microphone so all can hear, that I go up.  I state no.  He continues to try and get me to go up.  It’s to the point where I’ve turned my engagement ring upside down to try and fool him.  He then asks to see the other side of my hand, and there he sees the diamond.  He was verbally attacking me to go up for several minutes before he finally gave up, all the time speaking into the microphone so all eyes are on me.  He finally moved onto his next victim – the groom’s great-aunt who was recently widowed.  After about 15 minutes of the DJ attempting to get females up there, the bouquet toss finally happens.  But now it’s time for the garter toss.  And guess who the DJ’s first victim is?  Of course, it’s my now-husband.  His brother had handed him a ring to try and fool the DJ, but of course that worked as well as my decoy.  The DJ did give up on him much quicker than he gave up on me.

When all of the wedding traditions were over, we couldn’t get out of that reception fast enough.


Let's see how many red flags we can find in this story!

This is a long story, but I think it will be worth it to stay until the very end.  I certainly hope you will have a chuckle or two since I can laugh about it now...why shouldn't you?  I will premise my story with the statement that I really was not thrilled with the idea of having a wedding.  

Over the years I had seen smart, strong women turn into stressed-out, emotional basket cases over the course of planning and did not think that all of the pressures of having a wedding (and spending the money) was worth it.  I was in my mid 20's at the time and very busy with my career as well as school so time was also an issue.  My now ex-husband (John) and I decided to simply get married by a judge with a few friends present, and that was enough for me...apparently he decided a few days later that he really wanted to have a wedding for reasons I still don't understand.  His sister had recently gotten married, and his family decided that since they paid for that one they really didn't see any reason to help out with ours, and my parents were deceased.  So, I emptied my savings account to ensure that it would at least be a nice wedding.   

Any evidence that John has emptied his savings account for the wedding he wants?

We worked for the same company (we started dating well before I ever took the job at his company, and we worked in different departments), but we lived several states away from either one of our families, so we were really unsure how many of our relatives would actually drive such a long distance, but we had many friends in the area so we planned for between 25-40 people (I hadn't been in the area for very long so most of these people were John's friends).  After I had agreed to this he was informed that he would be working on a new project and sent away over-seas on business for about 45 days prior to the wedding, so I would be doing most of the work, which I didn't mind since I'm a fairly organized person and good at crafts and the like, and who could be fun!  

My MOH (Barb) was a good friend who also worked for the same company, but John decided to ask Larry to be his BM which left me speechless.  Larry had worked for the company for years, but had transferred to another branch several hours away just as I had started working there.  I did not know Larry well, but his reputation was quite notorious not only as a drinker, but for his vulgar language and affinity for women, even those who did not appreciate his advances.  Not wanting to be the kind of wife who tells my husband who he can and cannot have as friends I said nothing.  I have lived to regret it.   

The only thing John asked was that one of the colors for the ceremony had to be forest green since that was his favorite color.  No problem.  It was a fall wedding anyway so that shade of green would fit the season nicely.  He really didn't want to be involved with any of the other choices and I wrote this off as a typical male response to wedding planning.  My MOH and I set off making decisions, choosing the venue, looking for her dress, etc.  

About a week after John left on his business trip the company informs Barb that she too must fly across the country to oversee a project for the next month having her return about  5 days before the grand event.  So here I was with a wedding to plan and not much help.  A few friends chipped in when they could and I was so very appreciative of their help, but most of the big decisions were left in my hands.  Not a problem, I could do this (that's what I kept telling myself anyway).  So between work and school I planned a wedding.  

Checklist and a wedding planning guide in hand I set off to pick a dress, talk to the caterers, make the decorations, the wedding bouquet, the rehearsal dinner....etc.   The dress actually turned out to be one of the easiest tasks!  I had an idea of what I wanted: something simple and elegant without much beading.  I found the perfect dress at the second shop I went to, but it was about $1,000 more than what I had planned on spending.  No problem!  The wonderful owner of the boutique had another dress which was nearly identical from last year's collection and was willing to sell it to me for only $250!  With alterations the dress ended up costing $300 total and I was ecstatic.  The guest list was done via phone calls to John, and his mother (who really is one of the sweetest people alive) and I had the invitations done in no time.  The decorations were coming along, and I was fortunate to have been able to make most of the centerpieces for the tables, the silk flower bouquets, and favors with minimal difficulty.  Maybe this wasn't going to be so bad after all!  Oh how wrong I was.   

Skip to the week before the wedding.  All was going smoothly with the cake, caterers, and the other stuff when John gets back from his business trip with some dire news: Larry had gotten married to an 18 year old girl because she got pregnant.  They are bringing their 10 day old baby and wanted to stay in our house for the 4 days they would be here because they were really running on a tight budget.  With all of the stress of the wedding and the commotion going on in the house (it being ground zero for most of the activities), I thought it would be best if they stayed at a hotel so that the new mother could have some privacy and I would happily pay for it.  Great!  Let's do that!  Larry was insulted and told John in no uncertain terms that he did not like me, nor did he think making him stay at a hotel would keep him from "ensuring" John would enjoy his last days as a bachelor (we were already married...remember?). 

Sometimes there is karmic justice when trying to have the show wedding after the real one has already happened. 

Well I blew it off telling John that I would be more than happy to have them over during the day for as long as his wife thought the baby's schedule wouldn't be disrupted, and I would even provide the meals.  Larry was still not happy, and informed John that there were a few women from their old days as single men that he wanted to visit.  WHAT?  I did not remain silent on that one.  Why would two married men want to spend the night going out to strip bars and who knows where else to visit women from their past?  Now in John's defense I never understood what he saw in Larry.  John was usually a very quiet, easy going guy who would never disrespect anyone, but when he was around Larry he turned into someone else quite entirely.    

Meaning John was a weak-kneed slug with no backbone who could be influenced into evil by the most obviously unprincipled people.  Danger Will Robinson!

Two days before the wedding and my MOH finally gets back from her trip...and guess what?  She hasn't had time to find a dress.  We spend all day going from mall to mall until we finally find one that kind of matches the forest green in the decor, and it fits well enough so we get it.  Now Barb does not wear dresses and prefers a comfy pair of sweats and tennis shoes over a long, formal gown and pumps.  I told her I would be happy with whatever dress she chose because I knew this was not going to be a comfortable outfit for her, but she willingly sacrificed and I was so very grateful.   

We arrive back to my house just as Larry and his young wife arrive (let's call her Terry...short for Terrible!).  The first thing out of Larry's mouth is, "So, this is the b**** you're marrying, huh?"  There was a short pause and then he and Terry chuckled a bit.  Barb is not a soft-spoken gal, so it's all I can do to hold her back from belting Larry (she had known Larry for years and they were not exactly friends).  There were some other friends from work there as well and it seemed as if everyone tried to filled the tense silence at once as the room erupted with idle chatter to which Terry says, "You guys need to keep it down.  This brat has been squalling for the past two hundred miles and I'm sick of hearing it!"  Excuse me?  Did she call her child a brat?   Things went downhill fast. 

And John said what in response to this insult on his bride,... er, um excuse me, wife? 

I escaped to the kitchen to make dinner for our guests and I'm halfway done when Terry enters the kitchen and announces that Larry is a vegetarian now.  What?  Could someone have mentioned this to me earlier?  So during the course of dinner I get to sit and listen to Larry complain about what a terrible meal it is and how he'll have to go and spend money he doesn't have to feed himself.  I offered over and over to make him something else, and to even go shopping in the morning (the day before my wedding) to purchase whatever he would like.  The entire time John is silent.  Why am I not surprised?  I'm not sure he could have done anything about it, but I could have really used some back up at this point.   

The next day John informs me that Larry and Terry want us to go to the mall with them so that they could do some shopping.  Huh?  The wedding is the next day, there is a ton of work to do and they want to go to the mall?  I thought they were broke?  Wanting to keep the peace I agree as Barb warns me, "Don't listen to anything he says.  I can't afford to bail you out of jail if you kill him."  Sure enough Larry and his young wife and child spend hundreds of dollars on "gifts" for their family at the mall, the entire time I'm holding the baby because Terry kept leaving him in the stroller and walking away (as the poor thing is screaming his head off).  

So here I am in the mall with a very unhappy baby, two rude guests, and a husband that is deadset on Larry and I becoming friends.  That isn't going to happen so I finally sit down outside of one of the stores and try to rock the baby to sleep (to no avail) when John and Larry walk over to me and announce that they have decided to go out to Hooters, then to several strip clubs and would I mind calling Barb to give Terry and myself a ride back to the house.  You're kidding right?  Please tell me that you're kidding.   They weren't.  

Are we all reeling yet from the clang of warning buzzers blaring in our heads?

We drop Terry and the baby off at her hotel room (she wasn't allowed to drive Larry's car) and Barb and I go to my house and have a couple of beers.  My nerves are completely shot, and I'm wondering if I can really stand next to John at tomorrow night's ceremony without belting him one.  Then I get a call from Terry, "Can you come and pick me up?  I'm bored and the kid is getting on my nerves." problem.  We call a friend of ours (who hasn't been drinking) to pick up Terry and bring her over.  Terry shows up with not only the baby but a 6-pack of beer and begins to drink.  I mention the fact that she's only 18 and has a young baby to care for to which she snaps, "What's it to you b****?"  Nice.   

Storywriter, thy name is Doormat.  At that point, I would have put on my civil, business-mode face, clapped my hands together and announced, "Well, I think your visitation time in my home has regrettably come to an end.  Let's pack up the baby and stuff and get you back to the hotel."

The rehearsal dinner had been cancelled since the groom and BM were out doing other things, so at least I could hide from the world for awhile right?  Wrong.  Terry happens to be quite a chatty drunk.  So chatty in fact that she doesn't shut up for hours about why she got pregnant, how she did it to upset her mom and "catch" Larry (oh yeah...great catch), etc.  John was going to get hurt if he ever came home.   

Cut to the actual wedding.  Now I had asked John to relay to Larry some things about what to wear to the actual ceremony (Larry was a torn denim, heavy metal T-shirt kind of guy and they had informed me that they couldn't afford to buy anything special), and I wanted to make sure that he had something to wear that wouldn't clash too badly.  I was told several times that Larry had a sweater he was planning to wear with some khakis, and I really didn't have the energy to put up a fight so I left it at that.  Larry shows up at the house that day (hung over of course) wearing a white T-shirt with a sweater vest and a pair of black jeans.  At this point I don't care.  

Now we had decided to have the wedding at one of the local country clubs which was actually a converted plantation, and absolutely stunning.  As John and I were driving over he says, "Oh did I mention I told everyone in the company that they could come if they wanted, and not to worry about dressing up.  Is that ok?"  Sure, why not.  After last night I just wanted the whole thing to be over with.   

While Barb and I are putting on our dresses Terry walks in and begins to talk about the awesome sex she had with Larry when he finally got home last night.  Not only does she give graphic details, but she even puts in the sound effects.  At this point I'm asking Barb to shoot me.  No, I'm begging her to shoot me! Terry continues to talk this way until it's time for me to walk down the aisle. 

Storywriter, you are a double- sided, plush and cushy Doormat!  "Terry, would you mind? I really have no desire to hear the details of your sex life at this point because we're a little pre-occupied getting dressed.  Could you please leave us to finish this task?"

The ceremony was short and sweet, just the way we had planned and I was quite relieved.  After the ceremony I look around the room to see most of our co-workers and friends smiling which makes me very happy to see all of the friendly faces until I notice that some of the people really took the "don't worry about dressing up" to heart.  Now I'm in a full length gown and chapel length train, Barb is in a floor length gown, John is in a 3 piece suit.  Some of our guests are wearing sweats, T-shirts, and even spandex pants!  At least Larry fit in!  Of course Barb is laughing saying she at least was dressed properly for once!  Someone pour me some champagne!  Please!   

When it's time for the BM's toast I cringe, worried that Larry would say something inappropriate.  He did not disappoint.  The entire toast was about how great John was and how he couldn't believe he was marrying me.  He all but called me the wicked witch of the west, telling everyone that John could have picked someone a lot better, or at least someone who had larger breasts.  I was so embarrassed, but smiled anyway reaching for more champagne.   The evening went on without any further hic-ups if you don't count Terry telling everyone who would listen the best technique for oral sex.  No, I'm not kidding.  

After it was over we invited some people back to our house where Larry and Terry ended up getting quite drunk while I baby sat their infant son.  Larry continued on in the spirit of his toast telling anyone who would listen what a terrible cook I was and how rude I was to them by making them stay in a hotel.  He also went into great detail about how great all of John's ex-girlfriends were prior to me and couldn't figure out what I did to "get him".  Terry hit on every man there (including my husband) and informed me that unless I got breast implants I'd have a hard time keeping my man happy.  Now I am a size 4, about 5'6" tall and I work out 4 days a week.  I'm not very well endowed, but I'm quite proportioned for my body type (John wasn't complaining), but for the rest of the night I got to hear about the breast size of every one of John's ex girlfriends.  Thank goodness there weren't that many or it would have been a long night.   

Finally around 3am I kicked everyone out, having to arrange a ride for Larry and his wife to get back to the hotel since they couldn't possibly drive in their condition.  I was so exhausted, so irritated, and so aghast at what had happened over the last couple of days I simply crawled into bed and fell asleep.  John never apologized, Larry never once thanked us for feeding them and putting them up in a nice hotel (or for babysitting), and I really didn't care.  

A few months later Larry did call to invite John up for a visit, but asked that he not bring that "woman" (meaning me) with him because he just didn't feel I was the kind of person he wanted around his son.   Yes, John went.  Any wonder why we divorced in only 5 years?   That long?  I would have given it less.  I'm now dating a wonderful man, the true love of my life and we have been skirting the issue of marriage.  We have joked about eloping, but I have a feeling that his mom would really love a wedding since my boyfriend is her only child.  She is a very wonderful, very sweet woman and I would be willing to have a wedding so that the family could share that day (should it ever happen), but I can tell you honestly that I shudder at the thought.  My best friend keeps telling me that I really should have a wedding if it comes to that or we'd regret it for the rest of our lives.  Perhaps this time would be different?  Or am I being naive?

I vote for "naive".


I used to work as the manager of a University chapel.  The Chapel was a Roman Catholic church but was used for all sorts of ecumenical events and weddings for all denominations.  Strangely enough, I eventually married one of the people who succeeded me in that job, so we have a whole slew of wedding horror stories.    Some of my favorites involve:   

1) A Pentecostal minister who wanted to remove EVERYTHING from the sanctuary because it was all Satanic.  When I told him that the couple had explicitly agreed that nothing was to be moved/removed/changed in the chapel he threw a hissy fit and held the wedding outside in the rain.  "And have a nice day yourself pastor..."   

2) A University professor who'd organized a conference and assumed that the chapel didn't need to be booked.  When he arrived on a busy Saturday of weddings to find a bride getting ready he was quite shocked and demanded that I find another venue for the weddings.  Yeah right.  

 3) The bride who never arrived.  This one was sad.  We spaced the weddings 2 hours apart to allow for one crowd to leave and cleanup time with some allowance for tardiness.  She wasn't just tardy, she never showed.  What do you do?  The church is packed, there are people waiting outside for the next wedding... no show.    

4) Our wedding.  The only one that Saturday, but coincident with a Caribbean Festival parade that shut down the main roads leading to the church.  So we started late... big deal.  But I lost my uncles.  They had arrived early but had become entranced with the semi-nudity of the parade participants.  Can't blame 'em.  My aunts did though.  Quote my uncle:  "I have to get to the city more often".   

The one that takes the cake though was a story of a Bridezilla in absentia.  My wife was still working as manager of the chapel, but was pregnant with twins.  For months she'd been in contact with a groom who was organizing a wedding extravaganza for his wife.  Apparently she was a jet-setting fashion model and couldn't be in town to do the planning.  Usually we'd meet once with the couple at the rehearsal, but he called weekly and met four or five times with my wife and with the Chaplaincy office.  The young man was not Catholic, but his wife-to-be was.  He just wanted to clear the fact with the chaplaincy office that they were bringing in a minister to conduct the service.  Since more than half of the weddings were not RC, this was no problem.   I met him on one occasion when my wife asked me to come along to a walk-through of the chapel in case there was a need for any lifting - a nice enough young man, well spoken, very presentable.  He told me that the wedding had to be "just so".  There was going to be a string quartet, organist, trumpet / wind quartet for a fanfare.  Flowers?  I think they bought out the entire stock of florists for miles around.    

The day of the rehearsal my wife returned home with a bemused look on her face.  She insisted that I had to attend the wedding the next day.  "You MUST see this bride, she's stunning!"  Apparently she's a very tall woman with one of the sexiest Great Garbo voices you could imagine.  She was quite pleasant, and went through the paces of the rehearsal several times with the minister.  Everyone seemed to be walking on eggshells around her though, and my wife got the hint that they were a bit afraid of her temper and intensity.  People kept making comments about the special nature of the wedding and how much adversity the couple had lived through.   

The day of the wedding and the church is packed.  Photographers, two sets of videographers and someone from Entertainment Tonight.  ET?  I wondered what was going on.  The bride flew in a state, very upset with her mother and her MOH, almost spitting in anger.  My wife ushered her into the "ready room", where they proceeded to primp and preen and get everything into place.  The gown was gorgeous, the bride?  Livid with anger.  Swearing like a trooper.  Some of the language could be heard in the church.  Then it was time.  My wife, sensing that this wasn't going to go well grabbed the bride by the arm and said:  "You're on...!"  and lo and behold she went into her model role and the room was lit by a smile.  The minister made much of the fact that this was a unique love story and that the couple had endured so much to be together.    Wonderful wedding, beautiful couple.    Cut to next night and the news on ET that a trans-sexual model had gotten married.  You guessed it.  



The youngest member of a very large group of cousins proposed to his wonderful girlfriend and the wedding plans were moving forward. The couple had decided on an outdoor wedding. Since we live in the Pacific Northwest everyone's first question was "What if it rains?" Even in mid July that is a concern here. At each family gathering and shower leading up to the wedding someone would ask "What if it rains?" and each time we were told, "Don't worry the event planner (who owned the site where both the wedding and reception were taking place) has enough room for everything to be moved inside".

Fast forward to the Day of. . . on the way to the wedding (about 20 miles out of town) it was POURING; raining so hard the windshield wipers couldn't keep up, but in this part of the country the weather can change within a mile or a minute (especially in the foothills of the mountains where the wedding was taking place). We arrived at the wedding venue and there was no rain, but some clouds on the horizon.

The wedding venue was a beautiful, large estate with chairs set up for the wedding and tables with umbrellas set with mints and cheese & crackers, personalized napkins everything you would expect. It started to sprinkle, then rain about 20 minutes before the start of the ceremony. No worries, it might pass. Then it started to POUR. My sister (not a member of the wedding party) went over to the owner of the venue and asked if she had any towels we could use to wipe off the chairs for the guests, the woman looked at her as if she had asked for a live baskets of snakes or something, finally we went to the caterers and got some bar towels, and in our wedding finery started to wipe down the chairs so the guests could sit. 

Then it REALLY started to rain. During this time the wedding party was inside having photos taken so they had no idea that a monsoon had started. Again my sister went to the event planner and said "Do you want us to help move everything inside, it doesn't look like this is going to stop." The woman said "I've never had it rain before, ummm can you find out if the guests have any umbrellas?" Remember we live in Seattle, what do you mean you've never had it rain before??? SO we start circulating among the guests to see who has umbrellas. A mad dash is made by the guests through TORRENTIAL RAINS back to gather umbrellas from their cars while the rest of the guests hurry to move the food under cover (just to remind you, this is a venue that has wedding EVERY WEEKEND, it's not like we are at Aunt Tilly's who has never had a big party at her home)

We are able to secure enough umbrellas for the wedding party but the guests will still be exposed to the elements. We ask the wedding coordinator AGAIN what is her backup plan since it is now raining so hard you can not see from one end of the ceremony area to the other. She has us collect all the large umbrellas from the tables and place them around the guest seating areas. Of course since they are table umbrellas they do not stand on their own (they rely on the table around them for support) so the guest seated by the umbrella HAS TO HOLD IT UP WHILE EVERYONE ELSE HUDDLES BENEATH.

The wedding goes on, it is beautiful and touching and lovely and we all would have sat through it two times in the rain, but when the evening is over the parents of the bride and groom take the owner of the venue aside and ask for some sort of recompense since she had stated that in case of rain she could move the ceremony inside and as all of their guest were DRENCHED (I personally was so wet that when I returned home THE OUTLINE OF MY DRESS WAS VISIBLE ON MY SKIN FROM THE DYE OF THE FABRIC). They were told that since this was an act of God she was not responsible for the rain.

A word to the wise: if you choose an outdoor venue make sure THE CONTRACT outlines what will happen in case of rain!!


We had decided to get married in my now husbands home town in the Midwest.  Being that it was in June and a collage town, I had to book the LAST hall available for our day.  The owners and their employees were more then wonderful to us and our guests.  It was a small hall upstairs of a 100+ year old brewery turned restaurant. It was beautiful.  The weather had been hot and very humid for the days prior, but the wedding day was sunny and perfect with low humidity, my prayers had been answered! 

All went smoothly until the Ceremony started.    My nephew was the ring bearer ( he was 7 ) and became upset with me by sulking during the rehearsal because he couldn't carry the 'real' rings' on the pillow.  I found it adorable.  He was so disappointed, it broke my heart.  Well the pillow was misplaced in our van that night, so on the day of the ceremony, it was basically lost and he ended up caring the unity candle. He wore a smile the whole time, bless his heart.    

Well as I am waiting in the back of the hall for it all to start, I am notified that the place cards were not laid out so no one knew where to sit ( I had it so they were sitting where they would sit for the reception ).  I had no way to fix this as my fiancé and the minister were waiting out there for the ceremony to begin.  So I told my brother to let everyone know, sit where ever.  The DJ preceded to sit with my parents, even thru dinner! AND the red rose petals we got for the flower girl and to sprinkle over our all white cake ( for contrast, our colors were red and white ) went missing.  So no petals for the flower girl and a plain yet beautiful white cake!   With that taken care of, the ceremony goes off without any more problems.  

We start the reception and that is when it starts.  I told the DJ, no polka's or karaoke (spelling?) but he proceeded to allow a friend sing three! songs!  I blew it off an allowed myself to enjoy the time.    Then my bustle breaks and I just let my train trail behind me.  Well my aunt is standing between her table and her chair as I walked by.  My train grabs her chair and tugs it along with me just in time for her to sit! Plow, down she goes to the floor.  I feel the chair dragging on my train just as she falls and immediately go to her aid profusely apologizing because I was mortified she might think I did it on purpose as a joke! All said and done, she knew is was an accident and the rest of the night went well! I look back now and do not really care that little things went wrong.  I married a wonderful man and am living happily ever after! And my Aunt and Nephew still love me ,lol   !!!!    



I'd like to share with you the story of my wedding day and a few choice events leading up to it. My husband "Ryan" is in the Navy, and we met while he was stationed in NY and I was visiting friends. Our relationship progressed quite quickly, and within three weeks of knowing each other we found ourselves before a JOP, saying vows before my mother and godmother, the only two people we cared to invite as witnesses. We loved the simple ceremony - the lack of a guest list, the simple attire, the stress-free lunch afterwards - but felt badly that the rest of our families hadn't been included in our happy event. So we decided that before we moved across the country to WA to his next duty station we would have a formal ceremony, with all the bells and whistles. I figured I could plan a wedding of such magnitude in a month with few problems. BIG MISTAKE.

Most of the planning went well, despite the fact that I was living in NY and the ceremony was taking place in PA. My mother was a lifesaver, as she always calmed me down when I called her at two in the morning with some insane question. The first hitch we encountered was related to my wedding dress. "Ryan" wanted me to have a traditional wedding gown, so I agreed to drive down to PA for a weekend and go dress shopping. His mother, "Marie", told us both that she would be more than happy to pay for the wedding dress, since we were paying for virtually everything else on our own. This was a relief, since I wasn't working and his military salary wasn't exactly large. The designated shopping weekend arrived, and we headed off from my mother's house to find a David's Bridal, because they were supposedly having a sale. After hours of driving around and not finding the store, we passed a large pink-and-white complex that advertised wedding dresses for sale, and decided to stop. We went in, looked around, and I found the perfect dress. After making "Ryan" sit in the lobby while I tried it on (I didn't want him to see it before the ceremony, even though we were already technically married), I decided it was definitely what I wanted. I called my mom to share the news, and discovered that "Ryan" and I had stumbled on the exact same place my mother had purchased her wedding gown at eighteen years before. How perfect! To top it off the dress was on sale, so we were able to get a $1000 gown for $350. The downer came, however, when we called "Marie" to tell her. She flipped out over the price, insisting that we find a dress for under $100 or she wasn't paying for it. "Ryan" saw how much I wanted the dress, and compromised, saying she could give us the $100 she was willing to pay, and we would cover the rest. I got my beautiful dress, and "Marie" never gave us the promised money. Not a big deal really, except she did offer, and I thought it was rude that she didn't follow through.

At any rate, the rest of the plans were completed, and the day of the wedding finally arrived. My MOH and I overslept, and ended up having to rush to our hair appointments. The stylist I had insisted on pulling my hair up, even though I kept repeating that I wanted it left down and curled, per "Ryan's" request. She ignored me, and up it went. First strike of the day.

After our appointments we rushed back to my godmother's house, where the ceremony/reception was being held outdoors, and helped set up the chairs and tables and finish putting up the decorations. My mother and brother arrived, and I noticed that my father wasn't with them. He's not a social person, he doesn't do well in crowds, so my only request had been that he come to the ceremony, sit next to my mom and watch us exchange our vows, and then he could leave. I arranged for my brother to walk me down the aisle, so he would even be spared that uncomfortable task. He chose, however, not to come, and didn't bother to tell me. My mother pulled me aside and tried to explain, I burst into tears and called him, and after half an hour on the phone was finally able to get myself back together and move on. It still bugs me that he didn't come, but he had his reasons, and while I really don't understand them, I've learned to deal with it. I couldn't, however, deal with the fact that throughout the ceremony and reception "Marie" repeatedly remarked on how she and "Ryan's" step-father could be there, and they drove all the way from Ohio, but my step-father didn't have the decency to show up. Now my "father" is indeed my step-father, but he and my mother have been married since I was two, I've always referred to him as my father (my "real" father is a waste of oxygen that I don't know and have no desire to), no one EVER calls him my step-father, and before the wedding my half-brother didn't even know that he was my step-father and not my real father. So in one fell swoop "Marie" managed to destroy my little brother's family security, mock my father in front of everyone else in my family, and make me want to gouge her eyes out with a spoon.

We got through the ceremony, and most of the reception, with no further problems. Then came the doozy. "Marie" announces after about an hour at the reception that she thinks we should all leave and go to the bingo hall and play bingo. We haven't even cut the cake yet, and she wants me to leave my own reception and play bingo. I said no, there was no way that was happening, and she THREW A FIT. She grabbed "Ryan's" step-dad, threw him in the car, went back to their hotel, packed everything and actually drove back to the Ohio that very day, within an hour of my telling her no bingo. And here's the best part: she had brought "Ryan's" best friend with her from Ohio, as he was the BM, and she left him there in PA! The poor guy had no money, no clothes beyond what he needed to get through the weekend, and no way to get back home. So "Ryan" and I ended up taking him back to NY with us for a few days while we finished packing our house (remember, we were moving to WA in a few weeks for our new duty station), and then keeping him with us while we spent another two weeks in PA for our "honeymoon". Since he had no money we had to buy all of his meals, as well as a few changes of clothes for him so he wasn't wearing the same thing over and over again. Turns out he's not that great of a friend, and despite repeated promises to pay us back, we haven't seen any of the money yet (we got married in 2003).

So we finally get him back to Ohio, where we had planned on spending a week anyway on our way out to WA, and we work in a few visits to "Marie" while we're there. She seems civil enough, and there's no mention of the bingo incident. Things seem pretty normal, actually, until our last night in the state. She calls us up where we're staying and insists we come to her house so she can talk to us. We go, and she proceeds to tell "Ryan", right in front of me, that I'm a sl*t, I'll cheat on him the instant he goes out to sea, she can't believe that he would go and get married, and he might as well divorce me now and save himself a lot of trouble. I'm in complete shock, "Ryan" is trying to drag her into another room so I won't be able to hear what's going on, and his poor step-father looks like he's been hit with a ton of bricks - apparently he wasn't prepped with details of the conversation beforehand. When "Ryan" tried to find out what the heck her problem was, all "Marie" could say was we were treating her terribly because we wouldn't stay an extra day in Ohio and go with her to the zoo. Yes, I think there are some mental issues involved with this one, and no, I don't know what they are.

It's now a year and a half later, and I'm due with her first grandchild in about five weeks. We haven't spoken since then, and to be honest I don't even know if "Ryan's" told her we're expecting. That's probably a cruel thing to do, cut her out of her grandchild's life, but all I can think about is how my wedding and pretty much the whole month afterwards was completely ruined by this woman's insanity. We'd have been better of just sticking with the JOP ceremony, and saying screw the rest of it. I know that's what I'll recommend to my daughter, when she ever decides to get married.

Oh yeah, and in the middle of my reception, my uncle decided it would be a good idea to cut the grass. So he rode around in circles on his riding mower and covered pretty much everything in grass clippings. He also neglected to de-poop the yard before the ceremony, and "Ryan" was livid when he stepped in dog crap at least a half a dozen times. Now that I think about, my whole damn family is crazy, not just my MIL.



I have already submitted a story to the Wicked Witches section regarding my mom on my big day, but this story is about many of the other wacky occurrences that made our wedding especially memorable.

To start: I had one MOH, 'Sherry', my BF since age 11, and three attendants, 'Lila', my other best friend for the last 5 years, 'Tina', my husband's BM's wife and a total sweetheart, and 'Mary' a former coworker of mine who had been there for me through many difficult times.

I slept over at Lila's the night before the wedding, as my FH and I lived together. Early on my wedding day, after my hair appointment, all the girls gathered at our makeup artist's apartment, across the way from Lila's house. He was a good friend of mine and a professional, and his services for the wedding party were his gift to me. After makeup, we all headed to my parent's house to get dressed. While we were trying to get dressed, the photographer, a friend of my mother's, had to be repeatedly kicked out of the room so that we could have some privacy. He insisted that these 'getting-ready' candids were absolutely necessary, so we put up with him until we discovered that Sherry's shoes were nowhere to be found. Neither was my bra. We began to panic then. My bra was finally found (in my mom's lingerie drawer - she would've fallen out of it!!), but Sherry's shoes were not. As we checked the limo to see if they'd been left in there on the trip over, the neighbor across the street was getting ready to leave for the church. Yes, we were running VERY late by this time. She found a pair of shoes that Sherry could wear. They were black instead of green, but they were shoes and her size, so we left for church.

When we arrived, now 30 minutes after the ceremony should have commenced, we realized that the shoes for Sherry wouldn't work. She ended up spending the entire ceremony and reception barefoot. Barely anyone knew, as her dress was almost floor length, but we had quite a few giggles over it! Eight months later, my makeup artist's female room mate asked him why he had a brand new, still in the box, pair of forest green heels. Sherry had left them there and they had no idea for that long, each assuming the box belonged to the other!

At the altar with my husband to be finally, I begin to relax. Then we headed up to the altar to light the unity candle from the two that our mothers had lit. As we climbed the steps, my veil fell off! (It was attached via a comb that I thought was firmly planted in the bun my hair was in) The priest caught it but had no idea what to do with it. I gracefully and unobtrusively (I THOUGHT) beckoned Lila, who was closest, up to fix it. She darted up, jammed it into place, and darted down so quickly that once again, the guests in general had no idea of the snafu. Watching the videotape my cousin made, my over-wrought grimaces and urgent hand movements should have alerted the whole church. I lucked out.

Once at the reception site, I almost got blown away during the posed pictures. The site was on the bluffs overlooking the ocean, and there was a strong breeze. My cathedral length train, now embedded in my scalp thanks to my quick-thinking Lila, caught the wind and starting dragging all 150 lbs of me away! It took all four of my attendants to catch it and me!

Once inside, my new mother in law became ill and had to go back to our apartment. My makeup artist friend drove her and came back (one hour roundtrip), and she missed the entire reception, including her dance with her son, which my mom did in her stead.

My bridesmaid Mary was having a very public spat with her husband of six months. She was, I believe, in the wrong, but she kept trying to make me and our other friends take sides. (They divorced two months later.) The photographer flirted with her the whole evening, and there are more pictures of her than of all of the groomsmen put together.

My bridesmaid Tina overindulged and ended up having to leave soon after dinner after throwing up outside. She managed to be very discrete, but still hasn't forgiven herself for it, although I did long ago.

Our friend's girlfriend was plastered and knocked over a table outside, sending ten or fifteen full glasses of drinks to the ground, along with herself.

Lila's ex, a friend of ours and her escort, ended up drinking to much as well. He insisted that the photographer hated him. We didn't believe him until a few years later, when we saw someone else's snapshots of him, camera in hand, glaring at my friend.

My uncle was plastered and kept asking me where the "Bridesmaid with the big t*ts" was- he meant my MOH, who wasn't especially amused.

When the venue closed at midnight, my dad invited everyone still there back to my parent's house to continue the festivities. One girlfriend brought a bus boy from the venue back to the house as her guest.

Two friends decided to walk home, cutting through my parent's backyard, and one of them bashed his head on a tree branch in the dark. My mom found bloody towels al over the bathroom the next morning, which freaked her out! He should have had stitches, but was too drunk to realize it, so he and his brother made it home and passed out.

In spite of everything, it was by far the best day of my life. My husband and I are still madly in love, and all of our friends and relatives still view our wedding as the best and most fun that any of them has ever attended. It somehow became the yardstick by which other weddings are measured. A second cousin's wedding recently was judged to be almost as pretty but not as much fun, which actually scares me a lot! :D I guess it's the imperfections that make things truly memorable. I'm just glad that we kept having fun despite problems, because it all turned out well in the end.



My husband and I attended a wedding 3000 miles from our home this past August. Because the groom was a close friend of my husband (as well as a groomsman in our wedding) we felt obligated to go, though the wedding was held on a Sunday and it would mean taking two days off from work. I should also add that this particular groom had a torrid liaison with one of my bridesmaids at our wedding since he attended alone. A year later, I had to keep a straight face at HIS wedding... though I digress....

Upon arriving, we were invited to the bachelor party which was held on a Friday. As I was along, I ended up tagging along for the evening portion of the festivities. After racking up a bill of about $200, the groom's father threw in cash like he was one of the kids! He did not even offer to spot anyone a thing, though we were all there to honor his son and we were not invited to the rehearsal dinner the next night.

Saturday, we were entirely on our own. Nothing was planned for us. Nothing to make us feel welcome despite the fact that this was the bride's hometown. That night, we were invited out for drinks after the rehearsal dinner, but again, we were not treated and had to pay our own way.

The actual wedding was just awful--every corner that could be cut was cut. Held in a steakhouse with neon signs littered throughout, the reception was a complete nightmare. The "dinner" consisted of make your own burritos--flour tortillas, fatty chicken, ground beef and canned salsa--Taco Bell could have catered it. There were no passed appetizers. As it turned out the "open bar" was beer and wine only which we found out only after we had ordered mixed drinks!

After "dinner" the dancing--my favorite part of any wedding--began. But before we could get up there, the bride (who is 32, five years older than me and in a much better position financially than me) and groom did something called the money dance where they essentially begged for our loose change. My husband and I were livid at this point--thank you for inviting us to the world's cheapest wedding that we paid more to attend then you paid to hold--but PLEASE do not expect us to pay you MORE for the "privilege" of dancing with you! Begrudgingly I gave a dollar and the bride's aunt had the audacity to corner me in the bathroom five minutes later to essentially accuse me of hitting on the groom. Sure, I just love super CHEAP men who CHEAT on their fiancés at other people's weddings!!!

We left the wedding agreeing that it was the worst, cheapest, least gracious wedding we had ever attended. Sure, there are ways to make weddings less expensive and I agree wholeheartedly with those who find ways to cut corners, but if you cannot afford to have a wedding where your guests will not feel bilked and used, then please just ELOPE.

The kicker came about a month later when the groom emailed my husband asking him to remind him what our gift was. "Was there something funny on the card?" he asked. "I certainly remember opening one from you. I know you got us a gift." The thing was, we had not bought a gift yet. Knowing we still had a YEAR to buy the gift, we had opted to wait until after we paid off the $1500 attending the wedding cost us before buying a gift. Then, after the wedding, we were both so angry, we decided to regift them with one of our worst gifts. But then to receive this email essentially BEGGING for a GIFT from us was so repulsive I may not buy a gift. And then they can write to Etiquette Hell and talk about how rude we were.... 



The college dining hall I work for is also a catering service. We often rent out the dining hall and other college facilities for various events and hooey. One of these events just happens to be wedding receptions, plus housing any out-of-town guests who need a very cheap place to stay. These weddings, as you may expect, are not the ultimate in class.

This particular group was...disturbing, to say the least.

I knew this was going to be a rough evening when I saw the decor: pink and white balloons (Inside my head, I screamed, "IT'S A GIRL!"), tiny arrangements of the flowers left over from the previous night's event, one small centerpiece at the head table. Standard brown plastic dining hall chairs. Very ugly. Dove-shaped confetti everywhere. Party favors were a custom-printed matchbook and a small candle. "Okay, so they're trying to keep it on the low-down," I argued to my coworkers, "I mean, maybe they spent their money on the church decorations or the honeymoon or transporting relatives into town or something..."

"There's a chocolate fountain," someone added. "Where? "I dunno. It's not here yet. Or the cake." Understandable, since it was three and a half hours before the reception was set to start, but...

So, we finish all our stuff and hang around for a bit, as we've all been scheduled too early and there's nothing to do. My boss informs me that I'll be bartending. That is more than fine by me.

Then we find out a few unpleasant things: 1. Cake is MIA. 2. Chocolate fountain is also MIA. 3. It's a cash bar, and all drinks are three dollars each. 4. I have to card. 5. 40% of the wedding guests are children.

A cash bar is a recipe for disaster. You rarely get the ridiculous drunken behavior of an open-bar crowd, but you do get verbal abuse from irate customers, not to mention...well, I'll get to that.

So, I go out and set up the bar. Cake has arrived- and is not too pretty, but who cares, right? You're just going to eat the damn thing- but the chocolate fountain and the DJ are both missing. Still.

A few people make some rude comments about being charged, but none nasty enough for me to say much back to them, so I keep a smile on my face. The DJ finally arrives- and drives THROUGH THE COLLEGE QUAD. Oh, my god. Right over the brickwork. The fancy, fancy, memorial-buy-a-brick-for-$500 quad. Needless to say, this is not a road. He and his son start unloading, but refuse to use our discreet ramp, and prefer to plow through wedding guests and UP THE STAIRS. I guess those wheels were just for show...

The mother of the bride comes over and informs me that she is setting up a bar tab, that she has cleared this with management and got their permission. Okay, cool. She points out two or three people who are going to be on her tab, then mentions that the same goes for the entire wedding party. Cool, whatever.

First customer of the evening practically bites me on the butt for charging him. “Whadjewmeeeeeeeeeen I gots to pay?” he whined. “Well, sir,” I said carefully, “by ‘pay,’ I mean that you have to give me three dollars before I give you a beer.” Rude? Yes, but it was so over his head. He took his Coors Light (by the way, what is WRONG with people? Isn’t Coors Light renowned for being terrible?) and stalked off, complaining to everyone he saw about “how y’all gots t’ pay fer beers!” Waaaah.

I got a few more customers, but since they realized they’d have to pay, the group pretty much stayed away. Fine with me. I got to observe some more lovely behavior:

One of my co-workers, who is very petite, got roped into passing around hors d’oerves, which is the worst possible job in the world. The trays are huge, cumbersome, and piled with greasy things that invariably roll off their piles and onto your boobs, leaving a gorgeous splot on your white shirt, and you are lugging these annoying mothers around until a reasonable amount of goodies have been snatched up. There’s nowhere to rest the tray, even for a minute, and it’s damned hard to do. You need to stabilize them with your entire arm on either side, and balance them against your chest. They are seriously that huge.

So, naturally, one of the guests thought it would be very funny to stick his foot out in front of M (as I shall call her) in an exaggerated manner, seeing this tiny girl struggling, with a gracious smile.

Maybe he was joking, maybe he thought she’d see his foot in time and stop. Dear Not-Very-Bright-Man, SHE CAN’T SEE OVER A TRAY THAT’S AS WIDE AS SHE IS TALL.


Lemme tell you, girls look hot when they’re covered in baby quiche.

Unfortunately, I didn’t know this was going on- I was serving more people now at the bar, none of whom were gracious, none of whom were tipping. I only saw the aftermath, when she leapt up and ran off with what was left of the tray. They must have made some compromise in the kitchen, because another coworker, M2, appeared with a cheese and fruit tray, as well as a table.

Let me just impart to you how people were dressed for this wedding. I mean, when I hear “casual evening wedding,” I think, oh, a long skirt with a nice top, or maybe some classy pants. Guess I missed the Lack-o’-Class memo, because these people could not dress themselves. I give you the following examples of blazing taste:

One girl, who could not have been any older than myself, was wearing jeans, a tank top, and an oversized blue plaid shirt. When I spotted her, she was displaying her piercings to her horrified grandmother. (Number of piercings: eleven.) This is the only person I carded all night. Therefore, she is the only person who called me a “stupid ho” for carding her, so I guess I came out on top...

Not long after I spotted her, I saw what I thought was a bridesmaid- a young girl of about fifteen wearing a dress that matched the color scheme. The dress in question was too big for her, shiny as hell, and backless, with one of those weird tops that’s held on by a band around the throat. White girl with badly-done cornrows. It was like Hilary Duff and Christina Aguilera had a freaky baby child thing. Tacky as it is, she wasn’t even in the wedding party, yet she looked as if she was, due to her exactly matching the color scheme.

Her mother, however, took the cake (almost literally.) This woman, as I shall go on to explain, practically destroyed the whole evening.

From a distance, I thought she was the bride, as she was wearing a form-fitting white dress. I also thought she was wearing a veil. When she came up to me to complain abut how high the prices were, I noticed that not only was she not the bride, but that you could see her bra and underwear through the dress. What I thought was a veil was just a serious case of roots showing through. White to a wedding?

In any case, she was horrible to me. The following "conversation" transpired, verbatim:

ME: Hi! Can I help you? WENCH: Well...lessseee...gimmee a Bud Light. No, make that three Bud Lights. ME: (Could she have said "please"?) Sure thing! (Pop, pop, pop. Wipe, wipe. wipe.) Would you like these in glasses? WENCH: (staring) HAYL naw. ME: (shrug) Okay, no problem. Some people like it that way. WENCH: Wayl, ah DON’T! ME: (brittle laugh) Yes, I can see that. Your total is nine dollars, please? WENCH: YER KIDDING! ME: Nope. WENCH: WAYL AH SURE AS SH*T AIN’T PAYING THAT! ME: All right, then feel free to grab a bottle of water. WENCH: THE HAYL IS WRONG WITCHOO?! ME: Not enough, apparently, because I don’t understand why you’re yelling. WENCH: YER TRYIN’ TAH RIP ME OFF! ME: Prices are set by the management. WENCH: Well, HAYL! (She make a clumsy grab for my tip jar, which a very nice group had tucked a few dollars into earlier.)

Please allow about three minutes to watch Your Humble Servant in a glassware tug-of-war with an insane piece of tornado bait.

WENCH: YER GONNA PAY FER MAH DRINKS! ME: (finally wrenching the cup away from her and deliberately knocking all three bottles off the table) GET THE HELL AWAY FROM MY BAR! WENCH: YEW SPILLED MAH BEER! ME: DAMN STRAIGHT!

I hope you’re all sufficiently entertained, ‘cause I wasn’t. She finally left, cussing back at me. Thankfully, despite the fact that we had both been yelling, everyone else seemed unaware.

Cocktail hour was set to be just that: one hour. We tried to get people to go inside for almost half an hour before they started to get the idea.

My oh-so-helpful manager (where were you when that chick started threatening me, buddy?) came out to tell me that I had to move the bar inside. Groan. That meant wheeling enormous carts of beer, wine, ice, and glasses up the ramp and setting back up in the middle of a crowded dance floor. Naturally, the second I start to pack things up, people come over and start freaking out. “WHERE ARE YOU GOING? DON’T CLOSE THE BAR! I NEED A DRINK!” Yaddah yaddah yaddah. No matter how often I told then I would re-open once dinner was served, they still kept hollering at me. People were trying to sneak bottles of beer out of the tubs whenever I turned my back. Someone ELSE made a grab at my tip jar. It was ridiculous; I had to hold the pointy end of corkscrew out like I was going to stab this one guy. It took us almost twenty minutes to haul everything inside.

I had to call tables after that, which I hate. No one can ever hear you, and I’ve had tables completely ignore me when I was standing there, trying to tell them they can go and EAT. (These are always the people who bitch about how long it takes to get dinner.) Added to the experience was the fact that the DJ- who, by the way, was a fat guy equipped with a stereo and a bunch of country CDs. Only. No actual DJ equipment except maybe if you count the big strobe light that he never actually used, to our great relief.- refused to stop playing “Damn! I Feel Like a Woman” for a paltry ten minutes.

Oh, and this goes out to the three tables to went without being called: I hate you. I hate you all. Not only do you make things harder for the staff who are trying to bring new, hot trays of food out, but you make it a longer wait for yourselves and everybody else. Oh, and doing that makes it look like I don’t know what I'm doing, which gets me in trouble. Thank you so much, cretins.

So, they eat. The usual complaints about having to get their own coffee and why don’t you have flavored coffee and can you bring me a cup of coffee and why isn’t there any fresh-brewed coffee and can you go make sure the coffee machine is on and I got hot chocolate by mistake go get me coffee.

Why coffee? Why me?

Finally, I get to go set the bar back up. After all their complaining, people don’t even bother to come up to the bar for another hour. They make a few speeches, during which time I notice that the slightly creepy man who has had at least six Budweisers already is the bride’s brother, and therefore should have been added to the tab. Oops.

So, when he comes up for number seven, I apologize, and offer him a refund, which he won’t hear of. The bride’s mother comes over during this and hears our conversation, then flips that I charged him for drinks. Yeah, because I'm psychic and I automatically knew everyone who would be on your tab from the get-go.

So she yelps about him being on the tab. I’m officially an idiot in her mind now, because she spends the ENTIRE NIGHT running up to me and telling me that so-and-so person is on the tab, even when it’s obvious, like the bride or the groom’s mother or a bridesmaid. Blargh.

Remember the two-toned redneck tip jar thief? Well, she struck back at us and our “high prices.” (Okay, I don’t drink in American bars, but bottled beer is at least $2.95 in every restaurant I’ve ever been to in the US, and that’s for domestic. So where is this bull about high prices coming from?! Yeah, it WOULD be cheaper if you ran down to Sunoco and got a six-pack of Bud, but you’re at a wedding and not a convenience store. The beer is fairly priced. Behave already.)

She brought a cooler full of Corona from parts unknown. Which she placed OUTSIDE. Yes, drinking in public is real smart, especially when you’re on a college campus where all of the students are underage. (It only offers AAS degrees, which are two-year programmes.)

So, we get yelled at by security, and my supervisor had to go bust her and send her home. Apparently the battle of all ages ensued, but my supervisor wouldn’t provide details. Aww...

Meanwhile, the groom’s brother comes back for number eight, asks me what I’m majoring in (Physical Anthropology and History), and when he hears, makes some joke about how he knew a lot of Neanderthals in the navy. Hahaha. You so funny, girlfriend.

Redneck Wench comes back with a third plan for revenge: SHE BRINGS HER DOG. Her ugly, horrible, tiny little fat dog named Frankfurter. Oh, and she sets him loose in the kitchen. We had to clean the entire kitchen for a second time, because of health code laws. Redneck wench, I hate you so much.

The dog finally waddled out to the dance floor. I spent the majority of the night trying to catch it, which I couldn’t, because we were under strict orders not to let its owner see us chasing it- she was obviously spoiling for another fight.

Oh, groomsmen, it was SOOOO DAMN FUNNY when you put in those fake teeth and kept asking us questions. Especially the sixth time you did it. That was REALLY funny!

One guy, who was actually a lot of fun, kept insisting that his wife take pictures with the bus staff, and that we keep our gloves on. I didn’t know whether it was a fetish thing or what. While I was mostly amused, a couple of my co-workers were severely annoyed by this, especially poor M, whose arm got yanked in his eagerness to photograph her, causing her to drop a bus bucket full of wineglasses. Not her night.

The evening was capped by the gracious and lovely bride howling at the top of her lungs because security had asked her not to drive her pickup truck onto the aforementioned brickwork. Until then, she had been nice, but all of a sudden she threw this raging fit, ripped her bouquet apart, and stomped the hell out of it.

I don’t know what she planned to accomplish with that.

To add insult to injury, a guest was seen later walking out of the kitchen with my tip jar- and she got away with it.

It sucked, but I have to say- this was the first wedding couple I’ve seen at the dining hall who actually seemed happy to be there, and the children were so well-behaved, it was impossible to imagine that these people had spawned them.


My fiancé and I attended my cousin Layla's wedding this weekend. Layla is a quiet, nice woman with a rather poor opinion of herself. She's very unassuming and is as far from pushy as humanly possible.   Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for her oh-so-delightful mother-in-law.  

I won't belabor the early details; it suffices to say her fiancé, Will, lost his job only a couple of months after their engagement. Money matters became even tighter than they were originally, but rather than scaling back, her MIL's ideas became steadily more elaborate. Poor Layla kept trying to rein things in, but the MIL became more and more demanding as time wore on, despite the fact that the groom's family wasn't paying for anything but the alcohol!   The MIL even decided Layla's bridesmaids should be the wives and girlfriends of the groomsmen. The groom did nothing to stop this, and even made matters worse when he insisted on having two flower girls (one 3, the other 11), because he'd "promised" a friend years ago that both girls could do so if he ever got married.   

Fast forward to Layla's bridal shower, which took place a couple of weeks before the wedding. Layla had to be talked into a shower, because she'd convinced herself no one would come. The MIL took over, deciding the shower would be held at her house. My mother and I attended in order to support Layla. It was a decision we soon came to regret.   There were no games, and only a limited amount of rather poor-quality food. But the big problem was no one could carry on any conversation because the MIL and two of the other women were talking/shouting in brassy voices, discussing rather bawdy and intimate details of their respective lives. We found out later that the three of them had gone into the kitchen just before the other guests arrived and had a little celebration of their own, consisting of each one downing several shots of high-proof liquor. 

My mother and I left as soon as we politely could. I learned afterwards Layla had cried herself nearly sick out of embarrassment once she was through with the whole ordeal.   Fast forward to the wedding, which took place at an outdoor amphitheatre at a nearby resort area. My fiancé and I arrived 25 minutes before the ceremony was to start, only to find the wedding party going through a rehearsal, with full music. This was strange both because they'd already had the rehearsal dinner the night before and because many guests had already arrived. I shrugged it off, thinking Layla must be nervous about having things go right.   It turned out I was right: she was nervous, and with good reason. On the way over, she'd managed to get grease on her dress. 

Then Will was a full half-hour late getting there for pictures. The ring bearer, who'd also been promised a spot in the wedding because he was the child of one of the groom's friends, ran around like a maniac, rolled around on the lawn and dusty amphitheatre floor, and basically made such a mess of himself that he couldn't participate after all.   When all the guests had arrived, we waited, hoping for things to move quickly because it was early September and about 90 degrees. Nothing happened for 10 minutes, then 20, then 30. Finally they announced the minister was running late because he had been in a city at least 2 1/2 hours away to perform a funeral - and the funeral had started 2 hours before the wedding's scheduled start time! We were all shocked, and family members even began to enquire as to whether anyone there had the authority to conduct a wedding.   The minister finally showed up, a full hour late. He proceeded to conduct a ceremony no one could hear - there was no microphone set up, and what breeze there was carried his deep-pitched voice away from the audience. What little I could pick up from time to time sounded nice, though, and Layla and Will seemed to be very happy. The groomsmen, in sweltering black tuxedos, seemed less so, but things went fairly quickly.   

When the ceremony was over, we drove across town to the union hall for the reception. The decorations were sparse and fairly cheap, but we all knew Layla and Will were saving every penny, so there were no mean remarks. One thing they didn't scrimp on was alcohol, and the MIL made full use of the open bar. She was hammered before the toasts began.   But the crowning moment of the entire experience was yet to come. 

After a while, the dancing started; Layla and Will danced together happily, followed by Layla's dance with her father. Both were touching enough to make some of the guests cry.   Then came Will's dance with his mother. The DJ announced she had chosen Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," which was a rather odd, not to say creepy selection. Anyone who knows the lyrics to that song knows it really describes sentiments more in line with romantic rather than parental love. However, while there were some raised eyebrows, we all figured she'd just liked the general idea. But when the song ended, she kissed her son on the mouth. Now I know this is very common in some families, and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that. However, this wasn't just a quick peck on the mouth - this smooch lasted a full five seconds (or an eternity, I'm not sure which), and you could hear everyone in the place starting to murmur or gasp in shock.   The groom was extremely embarrassed by his mother's almost incestual kiss. I heard she had to be carted home long before the reception ended because of her overindulgence. Will is her only child, and she has no husband, so I think Layla has a long, tough road ahead with this scary MIL! 


Page Last Updated May 15, 2007