Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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Let me preface this story with the fact that I don't blame the girl in question at all for this situation--it was completely beyond her control. But the situation is so out there I have to tell it.

Kay is my sister's next-door neighbor and good friend; in addition, they are both Mary Kay vendors and aestheticians (aka makeup artists). Kay has agreed to do my hair and makeup (she's a licensed hair stylist) for free for both my engagement pictures and the wedding, and since my sister is a Mary Kay rep, I got my cosmetics for free as well. We went through two hair trials before we found a style I liked and I scheduled an appointment to get my hair done for my engagement pictures. My wedding was in December, so I decided to schedule my e-pics session for September 14, 2004. Now I live in the Gulf South, so anyone who's lived here known that this is hurricane season. This particular season had been very active, and at this time (around the 8th or 9th) the weathermen projected that Hurricane Ivan was headed to our area and, if it hit at the Category 5 strength it had built to, it would put my city underwater. That Tuesday the 13th, I had gone to get my hair done, just in case the storm moved in another direction and I could still take my picture the next day. After all, the weather was still calm. But that session was not to be, as I wound up being the most well-coiffed evacuee in the city. We were spared Ivan's wrath, and I was able to reschedule my photo session and my hair appointment.

So I figured that this minor hiccup would be it--until it got closer to my wedding. In addition to all the Wedding Hell with my dress shop, Kay was having some legal difficulties. Again, this was no fault of her own, but earlier in the year she had been arrested in another parish for fraud and car theft--which would have been fine, if she had been the one who committed the crime. Yes, boys and girls, Kay was the victim of identity theft, and my tall, slim, light-skinned black hairdresser had been mistaken for a short, fat, sloppy looking white woman who "happened" to have ID with Kay's name on it. In any case, she was able to get released and get all of the charges dropped. 

Fast forward to my time in purgatory--Kay tells me that there is ANOTHER warrant out for her arrest (this is for the parish she lives in, a different one from the first case) FOR THE SAME CRIME. Since she had all her documentation from the last case, she was confident that she could manage to get things straightened out before my wedding. I get a call from my sister less than a week before the wedding--Kay's troubles have not been resolved because the investigating officers, despite the evidence presented to the contrary, are still convinced she is the criminal they are looking for. So Kay has called to tell my sister that she has left town to regroup, and will not be able to do my hair or anyone else's (she had also offered to be available to anyone in the bridal party if they arranged an appointment with her). Naturally, I am freaking out because I now have to find a hairdresser on extremely short notice, but I'm more upset that Kay has to continue to deal with this BS--who, by the way, is beside herself that she's letting me down. Fortunately, my sister's boyfriend du jour happens to own a barber shop and beauty salon, so with their help I'm able to squeeze into my flower girl's hair appointment with no problem, and while it was not the style I had planned on, it did turn out great. Plus my sister was able to do my makeup herself, since she's also a Mary Kay rep.


This does not really count as a Bridezilla story, because “Helen” is basically a nice person, just extremely disorganized to the point of pathology.

Helen was the manager, and I was the assistant manager.  She had met the groom over the internet, and they planned a wedding for September.  I was wondering about the marriage ahead of time.  The groom came from another state, so about a month before the wedding, he formally quit his job, sold his house, and moved in with Helen – all without having a job here, or even the prospect of one.  Now, I would have been concerned if I were Helen (he hasn’t even started looking for a job, he has to help plan the wedding!), and I wasn’t the only one who wondered if Helen knew what she was doing.  But, hey!  She’s an adult, and she was head over in heels in love.  It is a second marriage for both; surely they must know what they are doing.

There is a small lingerie shower, to which I send my regrets.  For a solid six months, Helen has been ducking her responsibilities and dumping everything she could on me.  I am sick unto death of hearing about the wedding, especially since she can’t make up her mind about anything, and it is the same idiot discussion every dang day about color schemes, dresses, hair styles, blah blah blah.  But I do send a gift and a card to the shower, for which I do receive a thank you note.

Finally, the happy day arrives.  Mid-September, unexpectedly perfect weather.  Not a cloud in the sky, crystal clear blue, low humidity.  I drive to the hotel where the ceremony and reception are to be held, and arrive about 10 minutes before the scheduled beginning of the ceremony.  The ceremony is to be at 4:30 pm, with the reception to follow at 5:30 pm.  I meet up with some co-workers, and we settle ourselves in the open air courtyard, and chit-chat to pass the time.  And we chat, and start to wilt, and chat, and get extremely hot.  These beautiful crystal blue skies, and the sun in beating down upon us and I can feel my skin start to flush with the beginnings of a sunburn.  Finally, a few of us damply get to our feet, and go inside for a few seconds to get a break from the sun.  It is now 5 pm.  We ask other guests who are milling around, and no one has seen Helen, and has no idea what the hold up is.  One of Helen’s daughters walks by, and we grab her only to learn that Helen has not arrived at the hotel yet, and in fact, no one knows where either bride or groom are.

For the next hour, we alternate between sitting in the courtyard (in the forlorn hope that SOMETHING will happen soon), and dashing inside to escape the unrelenting heat.  While making conversation with some of Helen’s and my employees, I learn something disturbing.  Helen had told me that of everyone from our office, I was the only one invited to the reception, as she could not afford to feed everyone.  To my dismay, I find that Helen has not made it clear to our staff that they were invited to the ceremony ONLY.  Helen is expecting them to leave after the ceremony, and they are expecting to stay.  Okay, I was a moral chicken at this point.  But I don’t think it was my job as a guest to tell other guests that they cannot stay, when the hostess hasn’t done it.  Besides, considering how variable Helen is, maybe she changed her mind and did invite them for dinner.  (Or am I grasping at straws?)

Finally, at 6, Helen’s stepson-to-be arrives at the hotel.  Bless his heart.  This 15 year old gathers up all the guests, apologizes profusely, and explains that bride and groom are running late, but should arrive within the next 30 minutes.  Guests head for the hotel bar, where the staff takes pity on us and furnishes us with pitchers of ice water for free.  The wedding videographer approaches us for the third time for us to record our messages, but the look on our sweaty, red faces stops him in his tracks.  These are not people from whom you want to hear any messages.

At 6:30, a flash races through the lobby.  Helen and Ben have finally arrived.  A few people stand up, and then someone points out that Helen was in jeans and Ben in sweats.  Come on, this is Helen.  She takes at least an hour to get dressed.  Everyone sits back down, and grimly drinks more ice water.

7:30 – we are told to assemble in the courtyard.  I sit in the first row (6 months of resentment are starting to boil to a head), and study the wedding set up with a critical eye.  There is only one entrance into the courtyard and the ceremony is arranged in such a way that right where you enter is where the ceremony is to be officiated.  Also, immediately beside this area is a table set up for the wedding gifts.  Yes, the wedding ceremony is to be right smack dab up against the gifts.  (It showed in all the pictures except for the extreme close-ups.)  Not only is the gift table right there, whoever decorated it ran out of ruffle, and there is a 2 foot gap FACING THE GUESTS so that we can see the dirty metal legs.  (And, yup, that showed up in the wedding photos, also). 

The wedding party starts to enter the courtyard, and then they realize the courtyard is set up backwards from the way they expected.  So, they enter the courtyard and race down the aisle to the back of the courtyard to then do a more traditional processional.  The guests uneasily look away as they lurch to the back of the courtyard (I guess we were trying to pretend that we didn’t see them).  Helen’s sister (who has been sitting around complaining the entire time, shrugging sarcastically whenever someone asks her the status) unexpectedly decides that she is the wedding planner, and she runs up and down the aisle, trying to get people to change their seats (bride’s side?  Groom’s side? Friend? Relative?)  She comes up to me and I give her THE LOOK.  For the past 3 hours, we have been told to sit wherever we want, and I am on my fifth seat.  Sister has been useless up to now (and from what Helen has told me, Sister has been less than kind about Helen’s wedding plans all along), and SHE is going to tell ME to move?  Not for nothing am I in management in an extremely busy office.  Sister gets THE LOOK, and decides to sit down and let the ceremony begin.

Here come the bridesmaids – and they are all in different dresses.  Well, Helen was trying to save her bridesmaids money.  They had all been in other weddings over the past year, and instead of buying new dresses, she told them they could just use the dresses they already have.  They are all in black and white, so it isn’t too jarring.  What is jarring is the way Helen’s daughters keep smirking and jeering throughout the ceremony (they didn’t want her to re-marry).  Helen’s 8 year old son throws himself down on a chair next to me, and I see that he is in extremely dirt jeans and a torn T shirt.  What??  (I find out later that Helen had rented a tux for him, but never had it fitted.  She was running so late that they never even tried it on him until they got to the hotel, and the tux was for a 4 year old.  He’s wearing the same dirty clothes he’s had on all day because there was no time to run home and get him something decent.)

Ceremony is over at 8.  I am famished, tired, and slightly sunburned and so fed up with this wedding I can’t see straight.  I commit my own piece of etiquette hell and run for it without staying for the reception.  My only excuse is that my absence at the dinner helped cover at least one of the persons who were not invited but stayed anyway.  By the way, dinner was not served until 11 pm.

PS – No thank you notes were ever sent.  Ben wanted to “create the perfect thank you card” on his computer, but he never got around to it.  The marriage ended 9 months later, because Helen kicked him out when he refused to find a job.  I no longer work at the same place – Thank Heaven!



My little brother and his fiancée got married on Easter weekend, which I find a little sacrilegious but their church allows it so we went with it.  There were 7 bridesmaids, including grooms 3 sister and 2 of the brides sisters.  Because all of the bridesmaid away from the hometown, where the wedding took place, everything was crammed into a 4 day weekend. 

The personal shower for the bride was thrown by her sisters and mother it was fairly nice and then us younger girls, bride, bridesmaids, and two friends, went bar hopping while the moms and grandmas went home.   I was not looking forward to this since I'm a little  old for the meat market bars.  First we went to a nice bar in town for a drink since my cousin is a bartender there.  Everyone was having a great time by the MOH, bride's sister, was very anxious to get to the other bars.  Well it was Holy Thursday and the good bars are in a very Catholic town so it was pretty dead.  We had guys trying to grope us and one threw up on the dance floor.  The bride was having a miserable time, you could tell this whole thing was for the MOH, who had gotten married the summer before and had a similar party.  The bride told me soon after we got to the meat market bar that she wished she would have had a bachelorette party like mine where everyone could have talked.  I had mine in a hotel where we could enjoy the hot tub and just chill.  We finally leave the bar to go back to our hometown and on the way there the bride's other sister, Tara, passes out.  So we pretty much ended the party and all went their separate ways.   One of the "friends" that was at the bachelor party didn't even bother coming to the wedding, she said she had to work.  She works at a restaurant and had over a month's notice.

Friday the rehearsal went fairly well besides the strict instruction list we got, but it was the coordinator's first wedding.  The attendant's gifts were a little cheesy, but that's not a big deal.

Saturday we all meet at the hair dressers the bride had picked, half the girls changed their hair when they got to the church after paying $40, which is a lot where we are from for an updo.  MOH gets really upset I am giving bride's hairdresser my opinion on her hair.  Same thing happened regarding the brides makeup at the church.  I have worked make-up on various plays and have been trained by professionals.  Anyhow, we all get ready for the before pictures and are just waiting for the groom to be hidden when MOB comes in to complain to MOH and bride that MOG made her cry.  MOB had not invited MOG to help decorate, or help in any other way with the wedding.  My sister, "Jenny" had made chocolates, per brides request, for the reception.  MOG found out MOB was not even going to put them out,. which resulted in huge drama at the church.  Regardless not something Bride should be worrying about that day, but it gets worse....MOB told bride that she looked fat and her dress looked awful on her.  So most of the before pics were never taken because the bride was crying.  Oh and the bride is maybe a size 6 and looked like a Barbie doll on her wedding day.

Photographer was very unprofessional, but you get what you pay for I suppose.  The pictures look okay but a lot weren't taken that traditionally are.  It also took a long time after the wedding and we ended up not leaving the church till the time we were suppose to be arriving at the reception.   Jenny knew how badly the bride wanted a limo but had not gotten one cause of the cost, so Jenny arranged one as a surprise.  The surprise was ruined during the pictures but still appreciated.   It was probably the best hour we had all weekend.

We got to the reception almost 2.5 hours after the wedding ended and an hour after it was suppose to start.  Most guests left as soon as they'd eaten since their denomination doesn't believe in drinking or dancing.  I went up for seconds and ended following a guy into the kitchen, I was looking for my rolls and he was looking for more fish.  The rolls were cold by the way when they did appear.

MOB had placed some candles behind the head table, which looked great but caught the bride's veil on fire.  Thank goodness we saw it before any damage was done to her but the veil and possibly her dress were ruined.  Bride and groom left around 10:30, by 11:00 we were still dancing but the MOB and friends were tearing down everything.  My family left early and went to a bar to hear my aunt's friend sing.

Sunday we had brunch at the newlywed's house and watched them open presents.  MOB was missing during this and the day before while we were getting ready.  My fiancée and I stayed longer than the rest of my family and amazingly MOB turned up after my family had left.  The bride told me later that evening to leave as soon as my wedding was over for my honeymoon to save myself the headache. 



Several years ago I was asked to be a bridesmaid for my childhood best friend. Her sister (MOH) also a best friend of mine, and to other friends were also asked to be in the wedding. All seems well. Enter Juli, bridesmaid from hell.

Two months before wedding, Bride's friends from her now city throw shower. All is very nice, MOG is a sweet, well mannered woman. Whole family is welcoming to us country folks. Juli does not attend.

Two days before wedding, I collect trashy BM from the trailer park where she lives, no kidding. We pile in my truck and head two states away to home of bride and groom. First night girls are staying with her. We then have booked the hotel she included in the invitations, this comes up later.

We do bridesmaid things, nails, luncheon, etc. All seems well. Time to get ready for rehearsal.  MOH gets something on dress, throws fit, tells husband to pack up, they are leaving. Bride and I calm her down. She had just given birth and was completely forgiven for letting the stress get to her. Off we go to the rehearsal. Groom is Catholic, Bride has converted. This isn't a big deal as the other maids and I have at least some idea of Catholic church rules. Not trashy BM. She did at least keep quiet.

This is also time to note that trashy BM is a large woman. Nothing wrong with this, but she had the largest size dress this particular store had for BMs and elected not to spend the extra money for panel fabric or have it altered. Whatever, she is covered in a respectable manner. I have nothing against large women, I am not thin myself, but this comes back into the story. In addition, having had lovely brown hair for years, Juli and friends in the trailer park decide two days before wedding to make her a blond. She gloats in the fact that it took five bottles of dye. It showed. It was terrible.

Trailer park bridesmaid, who was one of my very close friends many years ago, who despite good parents turned herself into white trash at the end of high school, has already been married and divorced a couple times, at the ripe old age of 25. This wedding was very classy. Bride had saved for several years to pay for it herself. She didn't make this known, but was very proud. She had a rough upbringing and was able to do quite well for herself. I think BM was feeling upstaged or jealous or something to explain her behavior. She does behave during dinner. At least as best she can.

Upon returning to bride's home, we play some cards, have a few drinks and just relax. Groom is sent away at 5 minutes to midnight. Us girls talk about old times for a while and start going to bed. I was staying on the couch in the basement rec room, BM from hell on main floor living room couch, MOH in guest room and other BM in additional guest room. Bride chats with me along for a while and heads upstairs. All is well at breakfast.

During the pre wedding dressing, etc. there is some chaos. Parent sof the bride check into hotel and call the house, there is a problem with the reservations, and we are told that the rooms "might not be what you expected". I have to take care of hotel rooms as the front desk has our reservations all wrong. Everything is settled with the hotel, and they give me a free upgrade to a Jacuzzi suite for all my trouble in sorting out 14 rooms. My FH arrives during this period, but I can't really spend any time with him. Bride spills makeup on dress, frantic calls follow. Luckily photographer knows just what to do.

Boyfriend of trashy bridesmaid arrives in ghetto pants and button down shirt, untucked. And sneakers, dirty untied sneakers. He's dressed and ready to go. Bride is horrified. Bride's brother arrives and forgot shoes. No problem, mall 10 minutes away, inexpensive shoes available. {As a side note, trashy bridesmaid is short on cash, I have been just bleeding money all weekend making sure bride pays for nothing and covering for BM.} Just as brother is leaving, trashy bridesmaid gets the hint on boyfriend's shoes and tells brother if he can find a pair of black shoes for $20 or less to get them for boyfriend. She will pay him back. Brother figures at best he can find black sneakers at Payless, cause that's about all he can think of under $20!

Girls get in limo and head for church. We get word that brother indeed found dress shoes for $20 and will meet us there. In limo we have a toast. MOH, bride and I talk about where our lives are going, exciting opportunities, change, etc. Trashy BM talks about high school exploits. She apparently feels the best days of her life are behind her.

Church wedding is wonderful. Pictures are quick and nice. Our limo driver was the most helpful person during the entire day. Note to brides, they are worth every penny extra they charge for weddings!! B&G, MOH and BM leave in one limo, BMs and groomsmen in other. We have drinks and GM asks about us, where we live, etc. Trashy BM begins monologue that I still can't forget and don't think I can ever forgive her for. She starts going on about how we are all inbred hicks, the town we live in is dead end, we are all poor, uneducated people living in welfare supported apartments and will never be anything more. People in our town have no teeth, high school drop outs, etc. I just sat with my mouth open. I tried to get a word in but just gave up. You also need to appreciate the language and tone she is using, which I can only describe as ghetto. She keeps using the expression "Da bomb hon-ey". To denote something very good I guess. The GM clearly aren't impressed. And I just want to crawl under my seat and die. I happen to be college educated and had just purchased my SECOND home at age 25, not married, no children. I couldn't believe it.

We then arrive at the reception site, and in the restroom bride screams, "Keep her away from me" and runs into stall. Everyone has the decency to leave while MOH and I get the rest of the awful story. Trashy BM managed to corner the bride on the eve of her wedding until 3am telling her how awful the rest of us are. Including the bride's sister. The things she told the bride about us were untrue and just horrible! We get the bride taken care of and run out to move place cards at the head table to put trashy BM at the end of the line of us.

The reception was wonderful and trashy BM is pissed that we won't let her BF sleep in our room. Luckily they leave with someone else to drive home that night. Remember the hotel? Well, we arrive and it's a motel, think motor court. We get in our room, upgraded remember, and it's the no tell motel!! Our "suite" was a regular room with a bump out in the wall with a heart shaped Jacuzzi. With mirrors all around it, even on the ceiling. There is also a row of spot lights at the edge. The mirrors continue over behind the bed and on the ceiling. It looked like the set of a porn movie! The bed even squeaked. There was no place to put quarters at least. We decided that relaxing in the Jacuzzi would be nice anyways. Well, when we turned it on it sounded like a boat motor! There was this horrible lawn mower engine sound with the bubbles. I am sure we woke the whole place up! We shut it off and went to bed to get the earliest possible start in the morning.

When I finally told the bride about our "hotel" she laughed and cried. Seeing how she never stays in a hotel in her own town, she just picked one out of the phone book. She had never seen the place!

The kicker? At the end of the reception trashy BM has her BF take off the shoes, and hands them to the bride's brother saying to take them, she can't afford them anyways and had no intention of paying him for them!!



My boyfriend at the time we will call him "Fred" and I were invited to his somewhat estranged cousins wedding (they never talk and I had never met her after 3 years of dating Fred). We will call her "Edith".  Edith was having a very posh destination wedding on an a popular vacation island in the Northeast. After viewing her wedding web site and not even receiving an actual invitation I was skeptical at best. Was this a real invite or was she fishing for money? Or just showing off the destination wedding? Never mind said Fred, we were going. My sister's boyfriend is a pilot, so he agreed to fly us out to the island free of charge. Fred thought this would one-up his family as they were all stuck on the ferry and the freeway while we would be whisked away by private plane. Riiiight.

When we arrived we had to rent our own car to get from the airport, no directions were given on how to get to the house they rented so we had to "wing it". When we arrived, dressed for a wedding, Fred in his summer suit it was August, and I in my summer dress, the groom was in a bathing suit, soaking wet and having a beer....T-minus 1 hour till he says I do. I knew there was going to be a problem.

Don't get me wrong the place was gorgeous the view was spectacular right on the cliffs and beach. However no sign of the bride or anyone else in the wedding party, no DJ, no band, no hairdresser, this was a private home where the hell was everyone?

There were no cocktails or refreshments available to the guests who were starting to pile up out on the lawn and it was now 20 mins from the advertised start of the ceremony.

The JP arrived looking quite a bit like Abraham Lincoln in a ridiculous hat and said we should all go to the beach and prepare for the ceremony. The reason being is that we had to carry down chairs for everyone to sit in. Which we did, even though there were not enough chairs and Fred and I ended up standing along with 20 other people and waiting, and waiting... for nearly an hour the majority of the guests waited on the beach for the groom and eventually the bride to come out.

In the sun and wind of a hot August afternoon, I actually entertained the thought of swimming home. We were all hot, hungry, thirsty and full of sand. We could only thank god it wasn't raining. Finally the bride emerged from the house. It was going to take her 10 mins to get from the yard to the beach based on her dress and her sheer size, it was actually more like 20 mins. Once she was finally on the beach I have no idea what happened next because you couldn't hear a word old Abe was saying it was too windy and the waves were so loud it drowned out everything. I can only assume they got married. Fifteen minutes later, no receiving line, all of the guests were waiting up on the lawn near the tent ready to start the reception. No cocktails or food, for the past 3 hours. It was bad, but it was going to get worse, after another hour still no wedding party or groom, they were still taking pictures!

The caterers were getting upset, rumor has it they were not paid in full yet or were shorted and no one knew what was going on. Apparently due to the money issue or the 3 hour delay, they left the grounds. That's right folks- the all vegetarian ( no meat anywhere)  wedding dinner was never even served, it was starting to get dark, the bugs were coming out, no food no cocktails- nada.

Fred and I had enough fun for one day, we left. We never even said hello to the bride and groom and I still don't know if anyone ever got to eat dinner. It was truly the largest bust of a destination wedding I have ever heard of. (And no thank you cards for us coming or our gift.)



On 11/13/2004, I attended a wedding that, I neither wanted to attend, nor did I know any of the people.  I went because the bride was a childhood friend of my wife.  Talk about ghetto from the start.  I will break it down, because I am not the greatest story teller.

1. The bride and groom both looked like criminals just released from prison.  Instead of the traditional, bride and groom wear, they both opted to go for the pimp and ho look.  Worked for them I guess, but she better not bend over

2. The church were they got married is the MOB’s church and evidently the bride used to attend there until she got pregnant, according to my wife.  The bride got into an argument with the maid of honor because she was a bit late.  She told her that she was trying to ruin her wedding because her man wasn’t man enough to marry her so she was jealous – I heard because, we were seated near the back just in case I wanted to make a hasty escape.

3. After the ceremony which included a horrible and insulting to Stevie Wonder rendition of "Ribbon in the sky", a piano player who seemed like he was just learning, and hideous decorations.  The church held about 500 people and there were maybe 100 tops and people sat scattered.  When it was over they played an oldie joint from the 70’s and the groom and bride danced out.  That was the gist of the recessional.

4. At the reception groomsmen all looked like they were gang members, one had dreads, another had braids and 2 others look like they didn’t bother to comb their hair..  They were all dressed like pimps, but not as flashy as the groom, maybe like pimp assistants.  One of them kept looking at my wife and even went as far as to ask her to dance.  I protested and he got all thuggish.  I informed him that I was a cop (a little lie, I am an ASPCA officer and showed him my gun in shoulder holster) and that he didn’t want my kind of trouble (a little dramatic, but it worked).  Of course he still kept looking at my wife.  But decided to harass other women.  Which led to a fight at the reception between him and a brother of the best man, who said, and I quote, “I was dealing with shorty first.”


5.  The bride then began to toast her mother, but dissed her father and said he shouldn’t even be here.  The groom backed her up and the bride's father got up and left with his “new wife”.  Someone evidently stole the cases of liquor stored at the facility (a community center in the middle of the projects) so they ran to the local store and brought back “40’s”  Yes they served, Crooked I Malt Liquor.

6.  At the reception, one of the bridesmaids got so drunk she performed a full striptease act and was completely naked by the end of the song.  No one tried to stop her and the bride just cursed her out afterward.  Probably jealous she didn’t do it first.  Two other groomsmen started fighting with some guys who crashed the community center where it was held, someone started yelling something about, “put ya block up” and that was it for me.  I grabbed my wife, some other young woman who latched onto my wife during the reception and the wife of the minister who performed the wedding (all seated with me) and we left.  I gave them rides home and it turns out that the young woman was the former girlfriend of the groom, whom she has a baby with.  She only came because she was a born again Christian and wanted to tell him she forgave him and that she was moving on.

Even though I didn’t know anybody, and all the fights broke out and I almost had to shoot a guy (not really, I like my job and freedom too much).  The only thing that made it livable was this couple who were the aunt and uncle of the bride.  They basically were giving me play by play about who was who and what was what and such.  They couldn’t stand the bride and groom either and said that he was a worthless sponge loser who has several children with several girls.  They didn’t care because the bride was a “skank anyway and probably deserved him”.  These two where funny people and they made it interesting enough to be one of those stories I tell at parties and such.   

No more ghetto weddings for me, I am sticking to weddings in churches with reception at real reception halls with people with class. 

As I write this, my wife called to tell me that the groom and the best man (groom's cousin) from that crazy wedding I keep telling people about, just got arrested for armed robbery.  Evidently the bride called because she needs to get bail money together.



My cousin's wedding was the worst wedding I've ever been to. It was held at a park. The groom showed up in blue jeans and a cowboy hat. The bridesmaids wore plain white flip-flops, and their (white!) bras showed out the back of their (dark blue!) strapless dresses. The reception  was at the park, just a few yards away from where they got married. They held up this reception for an hour while they got pictures taken. The rest of us just sat around in the HOT HOT sun in our fancy clothes while they primped and posed. After much haggling, my mother was able to get a glass of water from the "caterer" for my elderly uncle, who has multiple health problems. Finally the couple was done with the photographer and they opened the reception table. Whoop-te-do, gotta love those wilted grapes, soggy crackers, and rolled-up lunchmeat. The bride's cake was made with (WHAT were they THINKING???) fresh fruit inside the cake, mixed in with the batter. The person cutting the cake licked their fingers in between slices. Oh, and she used her hands to put the slices on little plates. Ewww. The groom's "cake" was actually one of those big pizza-sized cookies that you see in the mall. (Only they got his from Wal-Mart. I saw the box.) The cookie was cut into stamp-sized slices (I'm serious, they were that small) and each one was placed meticulously on a plate. We were instructed to "only take one". Then, at the reception, the mother-of-the-groom passed out invitations to her daughter's high school graduation.

Final outrage? We never got a thank-you (not even a verbal one!) for the $100 we spent on their very nice wedding gift. But the bride still invites us to her Tupperware parties.



My sister "Nellie" got married Labor Day weekend 2003.  We were never very close, and she hadn't spoke to me for almost seven years.  She was marrying "Dick," and there was a lot of resistance to them getting married from the beginning.  First off, Nellie and Dick had dated for about a year in high school, and then Nellie went off to college.  On one of his frequent visits to her far away college, Dick caught her in bed with another man.  Instead of apologizing, or doing anything decent, Nellie dumped him on the spot.  

Fast forward three years, when Nellie comes back home to our small town and bumps into Dick again.  Turns out he's still in love with her, they go out again and six months later he proposes.  (If I were Dick, I never would have spoken to her again.) Dick is not liked at all by my family, particularly my father, who told him never to come to the house one night after he came to dinner wearing a pistol on his belt.  (Dick loves guns and carries one with him at all times.)   

Wedding plans begin, and my mother becomes the chief meddler.  Dad is refusing to have anything to do with it, saying he won't go, and I feel the same way.  I tell my mother pre-emptively, since Nellie is still the ice princess, that there is no way I want to be considered for the bridal party.  A few weeks later, I get an instant message on my computer from Dick, who asks me to do a reading at my wedding.  Not a phone call, not in person, by instant message, how lame.  I type back "sure, whatever," hoping it will never come to pass.  Time passes, and sure enough, no one sends me what I'm supposed to read, or mentions it.  

My aunt throws Nellie a bridal shower without a theme so the gifts were all over the place.  I decide to be nice, since, well, it is my sister, and get her an emerald pendant (her birthstone).  She opened it, passed it around, and left it at my aunt's house.  Nice.  I didn't get any sort of thank you for it, not even there in person.  That made me pretty mad.   

Two weeks before, I decided I didn't want to have anything to do with this wedding, and called my mother to say I wouldn't be doing the reading, since it hadn't been sent to me.  She began to go ballistic, saying Nellie had been so kind to me to ask me to be a part of her special day and here I was ruining it.  Thoughts of a wasted $200 on a nice piece of jewelry danced in my head as I hung up on my mother.  A few hours later, I get an email from Nellie with the reading in it, with Mom's original email below the text, describing how nervous I was about ruining her special day by not having the reading perfectly practiced, and could she send it to me? I was very angry about my mother twisting the situation like this.  

When I got home, I found Dick on instant messenger and figured that since I was asked that way, it was a perfect medium to use to back out.  I had barely typed hello when he explained that he was the one who had asked me to do the reading and Nellie didn't want it at all, and had to be talked into letting me do it.  So my mother's rant was all a lie about Nellie wanting to be a good sister, etc.  I was very pissed, but decided to go through with it.   

At the rehearsal dinner (held at the seediest dive of a steakhouse I've ever seen), it comes to light that there is no photographer hired, and Nellie just wants everyone to take snapshots.  It's about then that my mother tells my boyfriend (who has taken several photography classes and does lovely photo work) he should offer to take their photos for them!  My boyfriend, who I have dated for six years, decides to be nice and agrees, but finds out he has to pay for all the film.    I wore a bright red linen sundress to the wedding, since no one told me what I should be wearing.  My boyfriend and I arrived before the ceremony, held at Dick's parents' house, right next to a swamp.  Our hellos to Nellie were met with stony silence.  We brought a gift (a set of vases from their registry) and put them by the gift table.  I was given a program, told to sit somewhere near the front and they would call me when I was supposed to read.  

The wedding itself was the silliest and tackiest I've ever been to, and I've been to a few.  The two maids of honor wore shapeless green satin dresses that made them look terrible.  One was a very large woman, and the dress made her look like the Michelin Man.  The other was very pale and the dark green of the dress made her look like the walking dead.  Nellie is short, and they both made her look tinier.  My dad did agree (after much hen pecking from my mother) to walk Nellie down the not-well-mown-lawn aisle; he scowled the whole time.  We sat in the front yard in plastic folding chairs (some of them cracked) that wouldn't rest evenly on the bumpy grass.  The couple looked bizarre, because in addition to Nellie being only five feet tall, Dick is six foot five, and it looked like Nellie was going to break her neck looking up at him.  I did my reading, and pictures reveal that Nellie was making a face the whole time I was speaking.  It was a very short justice of the peace ceremony, thankfully.    

The reception was held in a tent in the backyard, with mosquitoes from the neighboring swamp.  The dinner consisted of make your own sandwiches complete with potato chips from big bags like you buy at Costco (you can also imagine the insects on the deli meat).  Drinks were sodas from cans, or from the cash bar, from which the bartender disappeared after an hour.  A port-a-potty featured prominently in many pictures, as it was placed behind the head folding table with its white plastic tablecloth.  The bride made no effort to get up and greet any of her guests, she looked statue-like throughout the whole thing.  The "first dance" consisted of Dick dragging Nellie around a few squares of linoleum to a Phil Collins song that lasted seemingly forever.  It was awful.  

My boyfriend and I stayed for about an hour, and realized that no one was mingling or dancing, and the bride wasn't going to get up and visit any guests.  Since my mother was happily located far away from us, we decided to leave.  I'm so glad we did.  The pictures we saw later on from other people included my mother drunk out of her mind standing next to one of Dick's brothers, whose shirt was open and my mother is pawing at his nipple ring.  She also apparently did several shots with the groom (the pictures don't lie).  (Also note: after paying for film and developing and giving them to the bride and groom, no one has ever seen the pictures that my boyfriend took except me and him, which were quite nice, considering what the subject was.)

A long while after, we received a pre-printed thank you note reading "Thanks for attending our special day and for your lovely gift."  It matched their invitation, which means they were ordered at the same time, meaning that she had never intended to write thank you notes in the first place.  That really pissed me off, particularly, since both of us were raised to always write thank yous for gifts.  It was a cheap affair, and while I know they didn't have a lot of money to spend, they probably could have just saved themselves a lot of embarrassment and had a quiet civil service.  I know I won't have a lot of money to spend on my wedding, but I promise you, there will be no port-a-potties in the pictures when I get married.  I will also say hello to all my guests and write thank you notes.  I consider her wedding a lesson in what not to do.



I thought my wedding was wonderful, but it certainly had some Hellish aspects to it. To begin with, my parents have been divorced for nearly 20 years, but they still can't get along. My stepmother, we'll call her Carnie, really hates my Mom. Needless to say, I have always been worried about their behavior towards each other on my special day. Things started going wrong in the planning phase. My Grandfather passed away right as we had chosen a date, so I didn't think it appropriate to announce the forthcoming nuptials at his memorial dinner. However I had told my immediate family, and started looking for a site. 

Not a week later my cousin who lives out of state announced that she was getting married ON THE SAME DAY!  I am Wiccan, so I had chosen this day with certain correspondences, and I was really set on it. My Dad basically told me "too bad" and said I would need to get a new day. I was upset, and contacted my Aunt, but my cousin already had a deposit on her reception site. Okay, I choose another day. A month later my Dad and Aunt argue over my Grandfather's will, and they stop speaking to each other.

My hubby and I start talking budget, and my Dad and Carnie tell us they will pay for the traditional stuff, reception, wedding, dress, flowers, etc. Hubbie's family is not forthcoming and his mom is really poor, so we weren't expecting much. Well, Dad and Carnie keep "adjusting" their portion of the budget, and finally demand an itemized list of everything that needs to be paid for because they were "tired of being nickled and dimed to death" (they seriously said that).  At that point, they hadn't paid for one thing. My Mom and Grandparents (on mom's side) ended up paying for the dress, ceremony site, flowers, centerpieces, and all the other odds and ends that were needed. Hubby's mom paid for the cake, we paid for the photographer, and finally, TWO WEEKS before the wedding Dad paid for the reception hall. Thankfully the owners of the banquet room are old family friends, or we would have lost the place. He also managed to get a discount.

Then there were my bridesmaids. My MoH (call her Rose) had been studying abroad for a year, and she was still abroad during most of the planning. I didn't really need much help, because my Mom and sisters helped with the majority of the planning. I had told my other two BM's, (call them Hope and Bessie), that Rose was the MoH, but since she lived 3 hours away, she might not want the responsibility when she got home from Europe. They said that they would plan the Bridal shower, and when Rose came back they would contact her. They also promised to let my little sisters help (they're all under age 13). I was very nice about the dresses, I let Hope and Bessie have a say in what they would be buying, because it's my dread to be a Bridezilla, and we all agreed on a very nice dress, (even though they complained about the price, which was not bad since we bought them at a discount store). They wanted the shower to be a secret, but Carnie was complaining that they hadn't called her or my sisters. My mom confirmed this, so I kept asking if the planning was going all right. I knew they had no money, but they said all was fine. My Grandma offered to pay for the shower, but they turned her down. 

It's now a month before the wedding. Hope admits that they have nothing planned for the shower. I finally tell them that my mom and sisters will plan it, if they truly have nothing done. At the shower (2 weeks before the wedding), Hope and Bessie show up late, and Hope had not showered. She had just come from working her horses, and she was wearing a wraparound skirt with her belly hanging out, a short shirt, no makeup, hair hadn't been brushed, and her eyebrows hadn't been plucked in a month. They sulked the entire time, and left early without offering to help clean up. (Rose however was perfectly groomed and a very nice hostess). Rose later told me that they wanted to throw me an '80's themed shower at a rollerskating rink. Yep. I can totally see Grandma rocking out to Billy Idol on rollerskates. Great idea.   

Later I send out an email, mentioning Rose as MoH (a fact known by all for months now). That night I get a very upset call from Hope. She is so angry and hurt to find out that Rose it the MoH after she and Bessie had been thinking that they were Co-MoH's and they went through all this trouble to plan my Shower and then Rose was acting like she ran the thing, and she knew she shouldn't burden me with her feelings, but it was so unfair, blah blah blah. I told her she had no reason to be so upset since I had told her and Bess MONTHS before that Rose was MoH. She had also admitted and confirmed that she and Bess had not planned ANYTHING for the shower, which is why my mom took over. They hardly talked to me until the rehearsal. Rose was late (she got caught in traffic) and Bessie didn't come due to a school commitment. Hope was sulking in the corner the entire time and wouldn't talk to anyone at dinner, except me. When Rose showed up she left. 

At the rehearsal dinner my future MIL started to complain about a pain she was having. She ended up going to the hospital with a ruptured spleen, and missed the wedding the next day. Hubby was very upset (as was I) that his mom wasn't there. My great-aunt, who had flown out from NJ (we're on the west coast), also had to miss. She got seriously ill and rushed back home. My makeup artist flaked out with no notice (she has never talked to me since) and Bessie did our makeup. Bessie and Hope decided they couldn't buy new shoes or do anything with their hair, so they just wore it straight down. Besides all that, the actual wedding was fine. We wrote our own ceremony, and everyone raved about it afterward. We went to the hospital to visit MIL afterwards, and she was so happy to see us in our wedding togs.

Now Hope is getting married in June. They ordered my BM dress one size too big (then tried to tell me I was between this size and the next size up, which is impossible unless I mysteriously lost 30 pounds since I was measured and didn't notice) and she sent out a LIST of days the bridal party is expected to be available to help her for things like addressing invitations, and making centerpieces. All the things she never helped me with. I missed the first day, because of work, and she had the nerve to say "It sounds like you made plans that day. You know, I sent that list out a long time ago, and it just makes me feel unimportant when you can't make the effort to be available." Oh, okay then. Just pay me for all the work you expect me to miss to help you, and then we'll see. But I guess that is another story ....



In 1999 my brother and only sibling, got married. Due to prior commitments I was unable to attend (before I get blasted for this, I'll explain why) and this tale has been relayed to me by several of my brothers' friends. I apologize for the length, but I hope you find this entertaining.

A bit of background. My brother met his now-wife back in 1994 and she was five months' pregnant (not his). Our parents were very strict and disapproved of the union for two reasons: The child wasn't his, and she was very vocal in demanding my brother give her money to support her and the baby. My brother was never outgoing, especially with women, and basically continued on with this relationship because he felt he couldn't get another woman (she was his first and only relationship).

Fast forward to 1998. Our father fell ill from cancer and was living his final days in the hospital. My brother, who never forgave our parents for not giving him their blessing, brought his fiancée to the hospital room and rubbed my dad's face in the fact that they were going to get married regardless of how dad felt. Dad died two days later, with our mother following suit after six weeks.

The wedding was planned for March 1999. In late February 1999 a relative passed away, and my brother had the audacity to pass around wedding invitations at the funeral during refreshments (at least he waited 'til then to do so.) He hadn't told any of us the exact date of the wedding beforehand, so all of the family members were notified at the same time. Looking at the invitation, it gave us about a week and a half notice to attend. I had prior business commitments that would take me and my fiancé out of town and neither of us could attend. Had we been given more notice, we would have been able to rearrange our plans. The other thing that baffled me was what was printed on the invitations:

"You're invited to our wedding which is to be held on [date] at [location] at [time]. We request that gifts be presented in the form of funds. Monies raised will finance our honeymoon in Hawaii. There will be a coin catcher located at the front door."

I knew my brother and future SIL were hard up for finances (not to mention tact), so I brushed it off. I politely informed my brother that my fiancé and I were unable to attend. He seemed okay with that and understood.

Here's where the fun begins. And please note that this is second-hand information from my brother's former best man and the DJ (a long-time friend of my brother's and now a very good girlfriend of mine).

First, my brother's best man (his best friend from high school) was bumped in favor of a guy my brother worked with. Turns out that he and my brother barely knew each other, but the guy was head waiter at a restaurant and offered my brother a discount for the reception. Not only that, but my brother's former best man wasn't even invited to the stag. No matter; he still had an invitation to the wedding and wasn't going to throw away 20 years of friendship over it.

The wedding day arrives. The Justice of the Peace stands at the altar with my brother and his attendants. 45 minutes go by and the bride still hasn't made an appearance. People are starting to get a little antsy, and finally one of the (female) guests disappears to find out what was happening. Turns out the bridal party couldn't find the father of the bride. Father of the bride is next door at the hotel bar getting drunk. Several male guests drag FOB from the bar and the ceremony commences, with FOB staggering down the aisle with his obviously embarrassed daughter while her 5-year-old son is running around screaming like a banshee.

The ceremony continues, and when the JP starts the "If anyone should oppose these two individuals getting married, speak now or forever hold your peace" speech, the room thickens with apparent uneasiness. The bride shot the congregation a hateful look. The JP is trying to continue but the bride's son is running around and yelling at the top of his lungs, knocked over the videographer's tripod and kicked the JP in the shin. When the time finally came for my brother to say "I do," she replied with a very curt, "You'd better."

Immediately following the ceremony the JP had to leave to perform another wedding. Problem -- the best man lost the cheque for the JP and my brother had no cash on him. Remember how the wedding invitations demanded money? My brother ended up ripping open several gift envelopes in front of the guests to pay the JP.

The guests made their way to the restaurant while my brother and his bride went to have their photos done. The happy (?) couple finally arrived and the reception commenced. Guests were a little put-off that my brother had chosen a family-style buffet place for their reception -- the kind of buffet that serves mushy vegetables and instant mashed potatoes -- and were muttering amongst themselves about the quality of food.

Side note: In my brother's defense, I know he and his wife put this wedding together on a shoestring budget, and I find guests who complain about the food at a reception are quite tacky themselves.

One downside to having the reception held at this particular restaurant: Apparently they were given a two-hour limit. After two hours, the area that was roped off for the wedding guests was open to regular customers of the restaurant, so there were complete strangers mixed in with the reception! No amount of pleading with the management could get the section roped off again (the restaurant was packed) and my brother was forced to suck it up and deal with it. My brother was okay with it, but his MIL was absolutely livid and started screeching at the manager of the restaurant. Turns out that they had given my brother a hefty discount (equivalent to $5 a head whereas regular price is $11.95 a head) and they were warned about the two-hour limit. MIL calmed down and went back to her seat.

The MIL offered to pay for the reception dinner as her wedding gift to the couple, which came to about $300 not including gratuity. She gave the waiter her Visa card. From what my brother's friends recall, the waiter came back with her card and proceeded to cut the card in half right in front of her. Apparently she had exceeded her limit and had not made a payment in a very long time.

All hell broke loose.

MIL starts yelling and screaming, telling the waiters they were stupid and how dare they decline her card, yadda yadda yadda. She shut up after they threatened to call the cops and after my brother said he'd pay for the dinner. Only his way of paying for the dinner was to go through the wedding gifts again and find any cash donations. They came up with just enough for the bill, but nothing for the tip. So what did they do next? They started passing a hat around the guests' tables to solicit donations for the gratuity. This is when my brother's friends made a hasty departure for the parking lot, where they enjoyed a good laugh.

After the reception my brother and his wife were going to take off on their honeymoon. Hawaii was out of the question (they nixed the idea before the invitations got sent out -- I think it was a ploy to try to get people to make bigger monetary donations) but they had planned a road trip to Oregon for several days. The only problem is they didn't own a car and they didn't have a credit card to rent a car. Basically they booked the hotel but they had no way to get there. After begging several of his friends to loan him their credit cards, a former co-worker of his loaned him his Visa to get the rental car. Big mistake -- it's six years later and the guy hasn't been paid back.

My brother and his wife are still together, believe it or not. They're not happy, but they're together. It'll be interesting to see how things turn out.



I don't even know where to begin on this one.  The wedding of a friend of mine was the worst wedding I had ever attended.  My brother was a groomsman, and since he was to ride in the limo, I agreed to be his ride home so that he could have some drinks.     

Anyways, I'll start at the church.  The ceremony itself went okay, except that someone perhaps should have told the bride that a ball gown was probably not the best style of dress for someone of her short stature and excessive weight.   She looked a bit like a wedding cake, but that wasn't an etiquette faux pas, merely a fashion one.     We hung out for a bit, threw rice, and headed over to the reception hall.  

We are now waiting around for the B&G to show up because they are taking pictures.  There were a few plates of appetizers which disappeared quickly and were not refilled.  We couldn't start eating even though the buffet was set up because the wedding party wasn't there yet.  We couldn't dance because the buffet was set up on the dance floor.  We couldn't talk because the DJ was loud and obnoxious.  All we could do was sit and drink on an empty stomach from the cash bar.  (I'll mention here that not only were we expected to pay for our alcohol, but they were charging for SODA too.)  

An hour and a half later, the wedding party shows up.....drunk.  They had taken their stretch limo to the supermarket to buy beer and drink it before coming to their own reception.     Finally, we get to eat, and they start the dancing.  The bride and groom have picked "Stairway to Heaven"...the live version, for their song.  This is an 11 1/2 minute song. 

Now, it's cute to watch the B&G dance for a couple of minutes, but eleven and a half??  Then they did the father/daughter and mother/son dances, then they did a bridal party dance.  And then, did the dancing for everyone start?  Of course not.  They did a dollar dance, where the BM with a bullhorn (yes, a bullhorn) was trying to coax people into coming up and paying for the privilege of dancing for 30 seconds with either the B or G.  Ugh.   

Fast forward to the bouquet toss.  C, The woman who caught the bouquet has hated me and my brother since high school (long story).  The DJ announces that whoever catches the garter will get the privilege of putting it on the lucky woman who caught the bouquet.   The Bride sits down to let my friend take her garter off, and he produces a HEAD LAMP  (the type of flashlight that attaches to your head used for caving work) and proceeds to PUT HIS HEAD UP HER SKIRT WITH THE LAMP ON to go fishing for the garter.   Having procured the garter,  the group of men ensures that my brother is the one who catches the garter.   The DJ announces that for every inch up the thigh my brother places the garter means five years of happiness for the couple.  C does NOT look happy, but sits down anyways. My brother (I'd like to think I was adopted) takes the head lamp from the Groom and then proceeds up C's skirt.  All the way up C's skirt.   C of course throws a fit (I don't blame her) and shoves my brother away. All the guys are congratulating my brother.   

Fast forward to a little later.  My brother has been buying shots of crown royale for himself and the bride's step-father and he is roaringly drunk.    (I found out later that he had sex with one of the bridesmaids in the women's restroom!!!!)  He stumbles up to me and says that he ran out of money and could I go pay his bar tab?   I am livid and I storm up the bartender (who really should not have kept serving him) and I tell her that I will pay the tab, but under no circumstances is he to have any more alcohol.   

I decide that it is time to take my brother home.   I tell him that it's time to go home, and after I get three more people to tell him that, he finally agrees.   But, now he can't find his wallet and refuses to leave without it.  (Later we find out that the bridesmaid from the bathroom incident stole it because she thought it would be funny).     Now he starts yelling at the top of his lungs that somebody had better give him his f--ing wallet back etc etc.  He then lays down in the middle of the reception hall and refuses to move.  Time to enlist help. I, several of the groom's friends, and the father of the bride (whom my brother tried to HIT) manage to at least get him outside.   He is being held outside by these men while I go to get my car, and then I come back to him puking in the parking lot.  Classy.  

The B &G have come outside now since they are leaving to go on their honeymoon, and my brother starts to yell at the groom about how he spent $400 on the tux and gifts and bachelor party and how he deserved to be Best Man and how much he hates the bride (I don't like her much either, but I kept it to myself).   So we finally stuff him into my car and I drive away quickly so he doesn't try to get out and go back in looking for his wallet.   I manage to cancel his credit cards and dump him on his couch in his apartment before driving back to the reception hall to apologize profusely to the father of the bride about my brother's behavior.   The B&G of course still do not speak to my brother.  



Several years ago, I attended a wedding of a young woman who worked for me at a small company. It turned out to be a giant family wedding in a very rural part of the state, and the only other people I knew at the wedding other than the bride were my husband and our boss (my husband, myself and my boss were the main hierarchy of this company), who is also a good friend of ours. The wedding itself was fine, but the reception was hell.

The invitations had read that the wedding was at 12:30 and a late lunch would be served at 2:30 in the reception hall, which was a few miles away. After the wedding, we arrived at the reception hall close to 1:30. There was nowhere to sit other than at the large tables, and not really much room to stand either because the tables took up nearly all the space (we found out later they were planning to move the tables for dancing later). The entire selection of appetizers for about 250 people consisted of a couple large crockpots of cocktail weenies and a vegetable tray, as well as a very large and plentiful bowl of extremely alcoholic punch. There was no bar of any kind, paid or unpaid, so no options for non-alcoholic drinks. The three of us had not eaten a proper lunch, having anticipated the 2:30 lunch, so we didn't partake of any of the meager appetizers.

We commandeered the end of a table and spent the next couple hours watching the other guests. The punch bowl was apparently unmonitored, so we noticed immediately that several older children and adolescents appeared to be quite drunk. While they weren't actually drinking the punch, they were eating the fruit out of it, which had become sodden with alcohol.

The group of people sitting next to us spent an entire two hours talking about (I am NOT making this up) exactly three topics: Jell-O molds and the best way to make concrete supports to get their trailers off the ground, and methods for hoisting the trailers onto those supports. The tiny number of appetizers were long gone, but there seemed to be an almost infinite supply of punch and drunken fruit. My boss, fortunately, found a water fountain and we were able to get something nonalcoholic to drink.

The B, G, BM, MOH, and their six sets of ushers and bridesmaids didn't even show up until about 5:00, more than two and a half hours past the advertised start time for lunch. The parents of the bride apparently insisted that the caterers not serve dinner until the wedding party had shown up. All of them were pretty well snockered, having spent the time between after-wedding photographs and their extremely late arrival being driven around the county in a "party RV", while their guests waited for them to arrive at their own reception. Things were further delayed by the necessity for each member of the wedding party to be individually announced (except the happy and by now extremely tipsy couple, who were announced together) so it was well after 5 before the caterers were allowed to start serving the belated meal.

It's the first time I've been to one of these things where the dinner was both overcooked and cold. The caterers had done their best to keep things going for the 2.5 hours later than they'd intended to serve the meal, but there's only so much they could do with cooked food. None of us did much more than nibble at the corners of the food, even though by now we were all starving.

We decided to make a polite attempt at eating dinner and then making early excuses to leave. On the way out, we were confronted by someone (a friend? a relative? No idea what their relationship was) wielding a "money tree" -- a sort of elementary-school creation made with dowel rods and paper clips, asking each of us to make a donation to help offset the costs of the reception! I murmured something about not having any cash with me. We met in a neighboring town for a much better meal.



This one is either an oops or a faux pas. I wouldn't go so far as to say she was a bridezilla because nothing was done for the sake of meanness, just some poor judgment:

In 2000 I attended the wedding of a co-worker ("Maria") who was marrying her long-term boyfriend and the father of her three children. They had a somewhat rocky relationship in the past but she stated that the groom had changed his ways and at the time things were good between the two of them so we were happy for her. She did not send an individual invitation to each person but passed a sheet with the wedding information around the office and had people initial whether or not they wanted to attend. A lot of people in the office thought that was tacky but I knew Maria and her beau didn't have a lot of money and the wedding itself had only been planned about a week or two before. Plus it wasn't meant to be a slight to us, she didn't send out invitations to anyone. Her family and the groom's family were invited by word of mouth. 

Her wedding happened to be on the same date as another co-worker's 60th birthday dinner which was being held by her husband at a local restaurant. I, along with a few other co-workers, had been invited to the dinner several weeks before knowing about the wedding. Maria's ceremony was to start at 2:00 pm with a reception to follow. The birthday dinner would not be until 5:00 pm. Another co-worker ("Jane") who was also invited to the birthday dinner and I figured we would have plenty of time to go to both the wedding ceremony, spend some time with the other co-workers and Maria at her reception and then go to the birthday dinner. We RSVP'd that we would attend the ceremony but would have to leave the reception early due to a prior commitment. 

Maria's wedding ceremony was being held at a small church and the reception was going to be held downstairs in the church basement right after the ceremony. Jane and I were not very familiar with the area where the church was located so we left early. We did get lost a few times and were beginning to panic that we would be late for the ceremony. She and I are both sticklers about being on time, especially for something as important as a wedding. We finally saw the church and noticed the groom outside with his attendants having a smoke. We were greatly relieved because it was already 1:45 pm. Upon entering the church we noticed that the only other guests in the pews were a few co-workers from our office, the bride and groom's children, and four or five family members. I felt bad for Maria because I was thinking that not many people were attending her wedding and that made me very glad that we had decided to attend the ceremony at least. 

Well 2:00 came and went. It is 2:15 and we were all wondering where was the rest of the wedding party since the groom and his attendants were there as was their daughter (the flower girl) and two sons (ring bearers). 2:30 comes and one of the male relatives made the rounds stating that the ceremony would be delayed for an hour because they forgot the music and someone had to go get it. An hour?! And we had been worried that WE would be late. Sure enough, exactly one hour later the ceremony started with a taped copy of "Here Comes the Bride." The really humorous part of this was that by the time the ceremony began, the bride's and groom's entire families were present and the church was packed. Later we found out that it is traditional in her culture to "make the groom wait at the altar" so the forgotten music had been a ploy to make him wait. Everyone in their families knew about this tradition and showed up late to the wedding (which in reality made them right on time). Evidently she made a comment to someone else in our office about making him wait at the altar. That person thought she was joking. Too bad she didn't take her seriously and pass the information around to the rest of us. Although even if she did pass along that information I don't think any of us would have known just how long he (and we) were going to be waiting. 

The bride really was a sweet person and probably didn't realize that the groom would not be the only one "waiting at the altar" for an hour and a half. I really don't think she thought she was being rude by being that late but I do wish she would have explained her tradition a little better. By now it is 4:00 and just about time to head over to the birthday dinner so Jane and I just chuckled, gave our presents, wished her and the groom well, and departed for the birthday dinner. A sad postscript was that Maria filed for divorce only three years later.


Page Last Updated May 15, 2007