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I love your site and I know I'm not alone in that opinion. Reading your site has helped so many of us realize what not to do. I have a story that may or may not fit your page. I was rather offended by this, but I don't know if it's horrific enough for Etiquette Hell. If it's not, then call me a whiner and put me on the Bridezilla page :-)

I have an great aunt, "Philomena" (henceforth known as "Phil"), who although is only a great aunt by marriage (my great uncle died when I was very young), has always been considered a part of the family. She has attended every holiday dinner my mother or grandmother has ever given (including Mother's Day) as well as all large family gatherings. My uncle takes her and my grandmother shopping every week. There was never a question of her being invited to my wedding this past fall.

About three weeks before my shower Phil's "favorite nephew" died and she traveled to the funeral and back for the weekend. My side of the family hardly knew about her side as she never appeared to spend much time with them. However, we sent sympathy cards and invited her to the shower. The deadline for the shower RSVP came and went and my Maid of Honor wanted a head count. It had been my assumption that Phil would show. We thought perhaps she was uncomfortable calling a stranger (she didn't really know the MOH) and there was an option to RSVP by email on the invitation and we thought that perhaps Phil had thought she needed email to reply. My mother decided to call her and get the confirmation that she was coming. When my mother asked if she was coming her only reply was "I'm going to (the name of the town where the nephew's family lives) that day." We gave her the benefit of the doubt. She might still have to put some affairs in order and perhaps have some more mourning time with her family. We also thought she might not be able to afford a nice gift and was embarrassed about it (I didn't care about her presents - just her presence.)

Soon the deadline came for wedding RSVPs. Phil never sent hers back to me. I just assumed that she didn't think she needed to. This was my wedding after all. Everyone on my side of the family who had known, loved, and grown up with her would be there. When my husband and I were making our head counts, I automatically included her and put her into the seating arrangements. My husband is a cautious man though and said that I should make sure that she really was coming. As I knew my uncle was going to take her shopping that week, I asked him to ask her if she was coming and what she would like to eat. Imagine my shock when my uncle told me that when he asked her, she gave the same response she had given my mother about the shower, "I'm going to (town name) that weekend," without any other explanation.

No one is sure what we did to offend Phil or why she won't even respond to our invites. My mother invited her to Thanksgiving dinner and got the same answer. Ditto for Christmas. My brother married two months after I did. He also never received an RSVP from her. It's not fun when people make a point of not coming to your wedding, but it's especially hard when it's a close relative and you don't even know why.

Keep up the great page!


A good friend of ours is a guy named Mack. Mack is the eldest of four boys. Their mother died when they were fairly young, and their father remarried and went on to have one more child by his second wife. This child grew up to be a young woman named Barrie. Barrie had little or nothing to do with her four half-brothers as she was growing up, partly because of the jealous attitude of her mother and partly because of the age difference (Barrie is eleven years younger than the youngest of her four half-brothers).

So. Barrie, at the age of twenty, falls madly in love and decides she is getting married. Mack and his three brothers like the fiance well enough, but pity him, as they all think Barrie is the most self-absorbed, spoiled creature on God's green earth. Of course the four half-brothers and their spouses are invited to the wedding.

The wedding day comes and the brothers and their wives all show up. It is an outdoor wedding, with no tent, in the heat of July in central western Kentucky. There are only a dozen or so chairs up front "for family members," but not for everyone--the other guests are expected to stand. Mack and his wife Liz come to the usher at the beginning of the "aisle" in this meadow and he says to them, "Bride's side or groom's side?" He doesn't even know that they are family! When Mack says, "I'm Barrie's brother," the usher goes off to consult with Barrie's mom (Mack's stepmom) and comes back to say that Mack and Liz are expected to stand (as are the other brothers and their wives). They are apparently not considered family.

The wedding ceremony is over with and now everyone's standing around wilting in the heat, waiting to go through the receiving line. Mack and Liz are busy scrounging up chairs for some of the elderly folk who are in attendance, and trying to get them some lemonade or iced tea or even just plain water to drink as it's so bloody hot. They are told by the caterer, "No one is supposed to have a drink until the receiving line is finished." Mack, who is a doctor, finally says, "Look, buddy, some of these older folks are going to keel over if they don't get some fluids," at which point the caterer throws a hissy fit and goes off to consult with Barrie's mother. The word comes back that, oh, well, too bad if some of the older guests die of heat stroke--there are no drinks to be had. Mack is so peeved at this (and genuinely worried about the state of these elderly guests) that he gets in his car, goes to the nearest 7-Eleven, and comes back with bottled water, Cokes, etc. Guests descend on him, thanking him profusely, and all the older, sweating guests are provided drinks quickly. For his trouble, Mack gets screamed at by both the blushing bride, Barrie, and her mother, for "trying to run the reception."    Witch0115-02

After our wedding reception, the out of town guests went back to the hotel and continued with the festivities. My now in-laws were also there and pretty much hosted the extra-curricular activities. My wedding party let me in on some of the antics...My new father-in-law (God love him) started a "pool" as to when my new husband and I would have our first child. A dollar in and the closest got the "pot". My new mother-in-law thought this a fantastic idea and began her own pool...her "target date?" The day my new husband and I would get divorced. (Two years later and her dollar still remains in her pot.)    witch0125-02

There's a noticeable absence of a mother in law from this wonderful site. Maybe my future mother-in-law, Mary, can be the beast that helps create one! My fiancé Mike is without a doubt the most wonderful generous person I've ever met. Which is why it is so difficult to believe that he is the son of the most monstrous woman I've ever met. Hell has a name and it is Mary.

Aside for the general day to day injuries and insults we suffer at the hands of Mary, she seized the opportunity of our wedding to stage her coup de gras. Since Mike proposed a year and a half ago we've been planning our destination wedding. Initially we decided on a destination wedding because it would be the perfect opportunity to get away from Mike's entire family because on the whole they are evil spirited little people. However, Mary, being an expert in guilt and manipulation managed to coerce an invitation out of us. For those of you who think it was unfair not to invite her in the first place, read on. For those of you who understand, sit tight and enjoy the ride.

Mary had been, for the length of our courtship, in the process of a violent divorce. For the better part of three years I watched as Mike would endure phone call after phone call of lopsided reaccounts of how horrible a person his father is. I stood by as Mary used Mike's desire to be a good son to put him in painfully compromising positions. She would do all she could to convince us of her victim status. A status that I and gratefully Mike were aware was exaggerated at best. She'd tell us how, with the unfair position Mike's dad had left her in, she could barely afford her brand new SUV and three homes. Finally, after she had used Mike to squeeze every red cent out of his father, the divorce proceedings were complete. This was three months before our wedding.

And then she drops the bomb. Mary announced that she had become engaged to her seventy-five year old, MILLIONARE boss(she being in her fifties)! THAT VERY DAY! She got the ring out of the old coot at lunch after the divorce hearing. To make matters worse it turned out that they had been together for years and he was supporting her the whole time. Now I could shake all of this off. Yes, I'm saddled with a harpy for a mother-in-law but I've grown to accept that. She can act as despicable as she wants. After all, what in the long run does it have to do with me? I was about to find out.

One day she called Mike at work with some "exciting news." she would be setting her date the day we get back from our honeymoon. Also it was to be a grand and lavish event that would squash our little understated destination wedding. I was hurt. She had taken no regard for our plans and chosen a date that was clearly designed to shadow our special day. But, like I often do with Mary I found a brighter angle to view the situation from. At least, I thought, she is waiting till after our wedding. Mary is just full of surprises. A scheduling snafu forced her to move her date. Not later...but earlier. She had decided to set the date for THREE DAYS BEFORE OURS!!! And she wanted us to put off flying down to our destination so we could attend. So many emotions. Fury comes to mind, disgust, hatred.....sorrow. I felt like she was trying to destroy me.

Mike had had enough. He told Mary that if she chose that date she was choosing to be cut out of our lives. She though a fit but called back an hour later saying that she'd move it back a week like she'd moved Heaven and Earth. Since then she's taken to introducing me as Kara, the other bride after her. Also I've been hearing about the favor she is doing by having her wedding a whole ten days before ours. I guess I'm incapable of gratitude. So we've got about a month to go before the two weddings. Hopefully I won't have to come back here and write a part two.

My older sister, "Rachel", had a huge and elaborate wedding and I was quite touched and pleased when she asked me to be her Maid of Honor. I thought of the fun that could happen with me helping her plan the wedding where ever I could. What I didn't count on was my mother going absolutely insane.

My mother likes my brother-in-law, "Fred", but she didn't like not having control over the situation. Rachel has always been a strong and self-assured woman and didn't let my mother take over. So she became extremely critical of everything: the dress was too big, the train was too long, the ceremony was too much, blah blah blah. When Rachel didn't listen, she started in on me. I was informed that I was too fat, that I should "watch how I eat, because I live alone and don't know how to eat with people anymore" and "for heaven's sakes, don't be an embarrassment". I'm a bit more sensitive -- okay, a lot more sensitive -- than Rachel and this hurt me quite a bit. But I determined to bite my lip and just let it go.

It was a *gorgeous* ceremony and a perfect day. Rachel and Fred were actually going to the reception in a horse drawn carriage and Rachel asked me to give her sunglasses and little purse when she got in the carriage. That was no problem and we all waved them off happily. I turned around and found myself completely alone. I was stunned. I'd driven to the church with my sister and the bridesmaids, but my mother was supposed to drive me to the reception. She, my grandmother and a family friend who were my ride were nowhere in sight. The parking lot was rapidly emptying and another party was arriving. The limo driver who brought us to the church asked me where my ride was and I had to tell him I didn't know!! I was very embarrassed and a bit upset about being left behind, but chalked it up to nerves of the day. He offered to drive me to the reception, which I thought was very nice and accepted. He dropped me off and I tracked down my mother, who was fussing around the hall outside the reception room where the bridal party was setting up to be introduced. She saw me and said loudly, "Where the hell have *you* been?!" I told her that she forgot me and she actually called me a liar and said I wasn't supposed to get a ride from her! Only Rachel reminding her of the arrangement made her shut up about it. No apology, of course.

The reception was very fun and nice and I actually caught the bouquet. When they started to bring me to the chair so the garter could be put on me by the man who caught it, my mother leaned in and whispered loudly, "Don't let him put it too high! You're too fat!" My sister heard and gave my mother a horrified and furious look, but I don't think anyone else did. Thank goodness.

Rachel and Fred had a wonderful day, though and are still together after all this time. If that meant my mother being a bear to me, then I accept that. Better me than Rachel!


My friend who had her fairly unrehearsed wedding in the rain- well, some of the things that may have happened may not have been completely in line with perfect etiquette but she tried since she was left almost completely on her own but here is the horrid backstory on her blessed day. I was the MOH, but I lived much too far away to help her and she understood this. My friend's fiancé is a nice guy but he truly has the family from Hades. I think his mother is going to bring forth the antichrist one day. Well, this woman was raised Catholic. Not the nice "say your confessions, go to mass and take communion" kind. No, this was an everyone is going to hell if they don't believe the VERY same thing she does.

My friend has a child by her ex-boyfriend but her fiancé treats the child as if she was his own. It's very sweet. But MIL is something else. Because the child was born out of wedlock, my friend is treated like she should be wearing a scarlet letter everytime she is around her in-laws. Even on holidays, the MIL tries to find ways of inviting her son without including my friend and her daughter. The MIL insisted this same child and any future children be raised Catholic though my friend was raised in a different faith.

Well, when my friend comes to the house, the woman will talk as if she isn't even there. In fact, she doesn't want my friend in the house as if she will contaminate the place. So when the time came for the wedding, then my friend's future brother-in-law decides he will get married at that time- almost the same time to be exact, two weeks before her. My poor friend is rightfully hysterical as she and her fiancé are trying to pay for as much as they can but they need at least some help from family and this brother-in-law choosing this time makes it worse. Well, MIL supports them completely. So my friend postpones the wedding- for a year. During this time, MIL from hell makes it very clear that she does not like her son's future bride and does everything she can to sabotage this relationship. The fact they are living together makes her dislike my friend even more because she blames the girl for corrupting her son.

Since the MIL can't stop the wedding, she and the fiancé’s sister decide to take over the wedding plans. The sister insists on being in the wedding, Maid of Honor, if possible. Only problem, as I mentioned, is that only the bride, groom, bride's daughter, BM and MOH are in the wedding. My friend put her foot down. She said, they can't afford anyone else in the wedding since the future in-laws refuse to help. Well, now the in-laws are blaming my friend for ruining their poor son/brother's wedding. The bride wants me as the MOH and that is that. My friend is wonderfully loyal. I would have stepped down as MOH if that was what she wanted, but I certainly did not want to see the woman who was already stressed over this wedding being bullied. To make things worse, the best man who was known for doing things that could only be listed on a porno site wanted to throw a very bawdy bachelor party with strippers and the whole nine yards. This guy would not be above getting the groom drunk and having him sleep with other women on the night before his wedding so needless to say, the bride was livid. My friend absolutely put her foot down. It bothered her, and being a considerate man, the fiancé agreed he did not want this but could not guarantee his surly (and other things I won't say) friend would listen to either them. And after meeting him, I agree with the assessment. There were also problems with the dresses, but that is another story.

So my poor friend has all this drama going on when the MIL and sister-in-law threaten not to show up at all to the wedding if their demands are not met. Now, her fiancé has pressure from the family put on him. This is where I was really proud of my friend. She said if she was footing the bill (and to a small degree her family), then she was going to do what she wanted and in a nice way told them to butt out if they couldn't deal with it. Well, my friend had her wedding, the in-laws showed (but MIL would not speak to the guests) and the best man was on his best behavior while he was sober. I took care of the bride and her daughter with getting ready, seeing her through the whole day (to her parent's relief) to make up for not being able to physically be there while she suffered being terrorized by the in-laws. Okay, so there were some faux pas moments. Morale of this story: When you're planning your wedding, there may be people who try to employ emotional blackmail via the purse strings. Not giving in may mean some missteps, but giving in (when you really truly feel it is wrong to do so) could make your wedding one of the more colorful postings on this board in your misery. It worked out for my friend, she is still happily married, so it can work out for you too!    Witch0408-02

My husband and I met when we were teenagers. After dating for a year, we got engaged. During our engagement, which lasted over a year, my husband enlisted in the US Navy. He went off to boot camp in September and was done in late December. We decided to get married on his first leave in early January.

Now, we decided to go to a judge to get married because neither of us is religious and we didn't have time to plan an elaborate wedding. We let all of our relatives know in mid-December when and where our wedding was to be held. The only free time the judge had was on a Tuesday afternoon at 4p.m., so we knew many people would not be able to attend but we figured our close relatives would be there.

My husband's father has never liked me. But I never thought he would sink to such depths. The day before our wedding, my husband went to visit his dad. He wanted to see his dad after being away at boot camp. His dad then proceeded to try to talk him out of getting married. He told my husband that he could do better, he shouldn't marry me and it would be a mistake. All of this from an alcoholic, who changed jobs frequently, had left his wife and 2 sons, and hadn't even paid child support for his youngest son. Now, my husband and I were only 20 at the time, but we knew we belonged together and are still married 9 1/2 years later. My husband just listened to his dad, and then told him we were getting married the next day and hoped he would be there.

My wedding day, I return from getting my haircut, when I get a phone call from my MIL-to-be. The FIL has told her he won't come to the wedding because he thinks it is the biggest mistake his son will ever make. Apparently, his absence was supposed to force my husband to back out of the marriage. Didn't work. Of course this upset me. Why was I expected to fix this problem? It was my wedding day and this was her husband. Up to this point, I had known nothing about his talk with my husband the day before. I told my MIL that I didn't care if he didn't show up, but his son's feelings would surely be hurt.

Come that afternoon, the wedding came off without a hitch. Quick ceremony, my husband in dress blues and me in a simple dress. Of course, FIL did not show up. I was glad but my husband was angry.

When we returned from our short honeymoon, we had a small party for all who could not attend the wedding. This time the FIL was there. He immediately offers up many lame excuses why he didn't attend. He had a doctors appointment, his car wouldn't start, etc. You get the idea. When he offered his congratulations, I almost laughed.

Throughout the years this man has been a pain in the ***. He has called me a *itch and said many other hurtful things. It is at the point where I refuse to have anything to do with him other than holidays that can't be avoided. When he calls, I immediately pass the phone to my husband. Luckily, he and my MIL reunited and moved across the country to Florida. However, we just recently had a child and they want to move closer. My MIL has even talked about the child spending summers with them when she is older. Like I would ever expose my daughter to this man any more than I have to.       Witch0501-02

Pay attention parents!  If you boycott the wedding, be prepared to have your access to any future grandchildren barred.  That's one threat a parent should never make and certainly never carry out unless planning to totally burn all bridges.

I was married about 10 years ago to a wonderful man. We were young and didn't have much money and my fiancé was in the Navy, so we decided to go to a judge to get married. We let all of our relatives know of our plans and called each one personally to invite them. We didn't have time to send out paper invitations as my husband-to-be was on leave and we wanted to get married before he had to ship out. This still left guests with about 3 weeks notice.

Now, I had never been close to my paternal grandparents (they didn't like my mother and preferred my other cousins, but that is another story) but I still wanted them to attend. Well, I called grandmother "H" to invite them. I was sad to hear that they would be unable to attend because of work but this was okay because we were getting married in the middle of the week at 4 p.m. My dad was upset when I told him, though because it seems that grandfather works the early shift and is off by 2p.m. and grandmother gets off at 3 PM. I guess taking a few hours off early from work was not an option.

Anyway the wedding went off beautifully and my husband shipped out to sea for 7 months. During this time I received no card or phone call from my grandparents.

A few years later, my cousin (one of the favorites) is getting married and this is the first wedding since mine. My dad and I are visiting the grandparents one day when my dad jokingly says that he might have to work on the wedding day and wouldn't be able to attend the wedding. My grandmother immediately starts yelling "He is your nephew. You have to be there. Take the time off. You can't hurt him like that!!" Can you believe that? She wouldn't take time off of work for her granddaughter but no one had better hurt her favorite grandson that way. I was so stunned I couldn't say anything to her about her absence at my wedding.

The kicker is that while my cousin was always the favorite grandchild growing up, he doesn't even visit them anymore and they only get to see his child on rare occasions.


  Dear Jeanne, My fiancé and I drove an hour to announce our engagement to his mother. When we told her our happy news, she stared blankly at us and replied, "Oh. Well, you could have just called." Sigh...       Witch 1204-02

I knew my husbands family was very different from mine, but what I did not know was that his mother lived in 'another world'. We were both moving out of our parents houses to get married and we had only taken possession of our new apartment 2 weeks before the wedding. We had not done much, just set up the kitchen and bathroom and bedroom and taken delivery of a big TV/china cabinet unit for the living room. After our wedding we made it back to our new apartment at 2 in the morning, piled all the unopened gifts onto the living room floor, and got about 3 hours sleep before we left for our honeymoon at 6am the next day. His parents asked for a key to our new place to pick up the mail. As we had only had the place 2 weeks the only mail we were getting was from the previous tenants so I suspected that when we returned from our honeymoon there would be some sort of surprise waiting for us. Maybe a welcome home sign or confetti. Was there ever a surprise.

While we were gone my mother-in-law took it upon herself to set-up my apartment. This included rearranging all the kitchen cupboards, getting into everything in the bathroom (including taking 6 months of birth control pills out of their individual boxes in the bag under the sink and putting them in the medicine cabinet) and OPENING UP ALL MY WEDDING GIFTS! In addition she threw away all the boxes the gifts came in so when I had one item that was defective I had to go through a big hassle to get the store to exchange it. When I got upset she was hurt because I should be thanking her for going to all this trouble for me. And my husband sided with her. Can you say fantasy world.

I knew I had to get the upper hand in this situation or it would be repeated throughout my marriage. I started with my husband. He worked in an office with a lot of female clerical help. I told him to ask every girl in his office if I was right to be upset and if even one took his mothers side then I would be gracious and say no more. Needless to say he was forced by popular opinion to admit I was right. As for his mother, I never mentioned it again but I was such a cast-iron bitch for about six months that she never messed with me again.

Witch 1128-02

I love your site, and after having been through a few of the categories, I can honestly say that my sister's wedding could qualify for many of them. (I'll call my sister Michelle to protect the innocent.) However, I think the most coherent narrative would center around the Wicked Witch category. The Witch in question would have to be her mother in law, whose antics eclipsed most of the ones I've seen on your site...and that's saying something.

It started months before the wedding, when our mother called the Groom's mother (we'll call her Jocasta to protect the guilty) to coordinate what they were going to wear. Jocasta announced her intention to wear black. Now, I know that times have changed and that some weddings will even be themed black and white, but this wasn't one of them. It was an outdoors, summer wedding with the bride in traditional white and the bridesmaids in beautiful summery watered-silk dresses. My mother tried gently to talk her out of it, saying that it would be uncomfortably hot in the sun, but she was adamant-she'd wear black. She explained that she'd worn nothing but black since her husband had died-15 years earlier-and that she'd wear her widow's weeds to her son's wedding as well. At the time, we all shrugged it off as a minor eccentricity, not as a sign that she was mourning the "loss" of her son. We soon started to feel otherwise...

Because she was the mother of the groom, and lived half a continent away from where the wedding was to take place, nobody expected her to take on much of a role in the wedding planning. She did volunteer to take care of the rehearsal dinner, which we thought was nice. Three months before the wedding, Michelle and her fiancé supplied Jocasta with a list of restaurants that would be convenient to the hotel and the wedding site. When they learned a month before the wedding that Jocasta hadn't so much as called any of them, they then offered to call around and get some pricing. Jocasta said she wasn't sure she could afford anything like that, and besides, their (groom's) side of the family didn't much like to stand on ceremony, so why didn't they just let her get some takeout and have an informal gathering around their apartment-complex pool? A bit taken aback, my sister gamely agreed and called the apartment complex people, who were accommodating and told her they'd be happy to reserve the pool for her on a small deposit. Michelle then called Jocasta back with that information and naively assumed that everything would be o.k. Three days before the wedding, Jocasta showed up to "help." Michelle asked her if she'd had any trouble with reserving the pool, to which Jocasta replied, "Oh, yes, I should go ahead and call them now, shouldn't I?" (!!!) Michelle (who had plenty of her own to worry about at that point) offered to take care of it herself, but Jocasta insisted that this was why she'd come early.

Cut to the day before the wedding, ten minutes after the rehearsal is complete...Jocasta is on my sis' cell phone, tearing up because Subway has just informed her that if she'd wanted a party platter, she should have called 24 hours in advance, and the apartment complex has informed her that there's a childrens' birthday party taking place in the pool right now because the deposit never got paid. At this point there are 30 hot, hungry, thirsty people and no place for them to go...oh, I haven't mentioned that MIL invited the groom's entire extended family to the rehearsal dinner, have I? Michelle, who is being a heck of a trouper, announces that there's a cute little bar and grill half a mile up the road and she's friends with the manager. She suggests we walk over and see if we can get seated. I'm pleasantly surprised when the bar and grill is able to accommodate us-not so pleasantly surprised when the check comes and Jocasta is nowhere to be found. My father pulls out his Visa card. My mother and I agree, sotto voce, that Michelle must never ever hear of this.

Michelle has finally gotten around to wondering who the lady with the three year old twins part because she doesn't remember inviting her, and in part because the twins are running around the tables, screeching at the tops of their little lungs. She asks her fiancé who are these people? And it turns out that they're friends of his sister's...and no, they weren't invited. It is further revealed that Jocasta told her that it would be just fine to come along...despite the fact that Michelle made it very clear that she didn't want any small children present for the ceremony. Since nobody who was invited had small children, Michelle didn't bother putting that in the invitations. (She did, however, tell her future mother in law.) Michelle isn't a child-hater, and if the kids had been just a little better behaved, she probably would have taken this incredibly rude and presumptuous development the way she'd taken everything else-with grace. But the children are monsters, and Michelle is coming very quietly unglued. Our mother decides, after checking with Michelle, to approach the uninvited intruder and offer her (paid!) child care for the duration of the ceremony. Uninvited intruder is shocked at our mother's "cold and heartless" suggestion and proceeds to circle about the groom's family, trying to convince them to boycott the wedding. She actually succeeds with 5 of them.

Why would a future mother in law work so hard to sabotage this one special day? we wondered. The reception came, and we got our answer. As we proceed with the traditional "dances," it comes time for the groom-and-his-mother dance. They danced to-no kidding-"Unchained Melody." And the whole time, she is grinding her pelvis into his crotch and nuzzling his neck. E-E-E-E-E-E-U-U-U-W-W-W-W! There aren't any pictures of it, because the wedding photographer wisely turned away and decided to shoot the wedding party table there are several absolutely priceless shots of four groomsmen and four bridesmaids, with matching looks of open-mouthed shock and revulsion.

And to think, Michelle had worried that it might rain...       Witch1230-02

My SIL-to-be basically had very few friends, and was not on speaking terms with her own sister, so she asked me to be her maid of honor. I was really not up for the job, being as I had just gotten divorced a few months earlier, and was feeling very emotionally vulnerable. Add to that, she was having her wedding and reception in the exact same locations as mine had been! But I agreed to do it anyway, out of consideration for her and my brother. She wasn't too bad, but what a load of garbage her family put ours through.

First, her mother demanded that I throw her daughter a shower, even though I lived in another city hundreds of miles away. Her mother "helped" -- she got a couple bags of potato chips. I had to wear this monstrosity of a long red velvet number (velvet - in August), with shoes dyed to match. I had to make big tissue paper flowers to decorate the wedding party cars. Then her mother tried, the evening of the rehearsal dinner, to press my dad into service as one of the bride's chauffeurs. Yes, the father of the groom having to work his own son's wedding! MY mother put a stop to that.

The final straw was, at this catering hall it cost extra to have them cut and serve your wedding cake. MIL's solution was to have the bridesmaids cut and serve it. So we got to trip around this tiny low-ceilinged hall in long velvet dresses and high heels, waitressing this crummy cake to the guests. Later, I found out that while they'd had little to no say about any aspect of it, my parents had ended up paying for more than half of this reception. After initially agreeing to pay for all of it, the MIL backed out. The florist, caterer, etc. would have cancelled if my parents hadn't stepped up. And please note - these people were NOT hard up. If they had been, it would be an entirely different story. Instead, no doubt using the money they promised then held back from the reception, Evil In-laws treated themselves to a nice Caribbean cruise the following spring. Seven years later, my parents help them when they have financial difficulties, while her parents pretend to be poor and then go out and buy a new car the next week.

Witch 1104-02

Once, at the wedding of a female college friend, I struck up a conversation with the mother of the bride. I was a little surprised when she told me that she wished I was the one up there, instead of the groom. Even more surprising, since I had only met the mother once. Too make things worse, I always did have a secret crush on the bride.     Witch 1017-02

My husband's best friend was getting married, and he was the best man, and as I was acquainted with, but not really great friends (yet) to the bride, she asked if I would help serve the cake. Therefore, I was an observer during rehearsal, and was sitting next to her mother, and I asked about a flower girl and ring bearer. Her response was "I was not going to have any bratty kids mess up MY daughter's wedding." Well, that just set the stage, I realized this was HER wedding, not her daughter's!

At the wedding, I sat just behind the family, so that when the usher's released the rows, I would be able to quickly get down to the reception hall and prepare for the cake cutting and to serve the guests. Well, after the ceremony, the ushers came and released the first 3 rows (family) then disappeared! Everyone was left in the church wondering if we should just get up and go on our own or not. After a while the usher's came back, and started releasing us. I got downstairs to find out that mommy dearest had arranged for only family to be downstairs to watch the cake cutting, while the rest of the guests were languishing in the sanctuary. Then she had the absolute gall to ask me where I had been, I should have been serving the cake to the family. Needless to say, I don't care a lick for her, however, her daughter and I have become great friends, and still joke a bit about her mother's wedding.     Witch 1009-02

While visiting my future in-laws recently, my fiancé talked to his parents to see if they were going to offer us any financial support for our wedding. While they are not going to help us financially, they still expect to have a large say in all aspects of our wedding. His sister yelled at me in front of 8 other family members because we would not pay for her expenses related to the wedding. She thinks that the bride and groom should pay for all of their attendant's clothing and travel expenses! To top this off, the total clothing expense for her husband (groomsman), son (ring bearer), and daughter (flowergirl) is only $160! She is complaining that it is too much, but they just got back from 2 week long vacations, bought a new car, hot tub, and giant trampoline for the kids.

Then they told us that we are wasting money on the wedding. Our wedding will be "typical" for my family, but "lavish" for his family. His family thinks we should simply go to the justice of the peace and get married and then go home, that anything beyond that is frivolous. Then his mom and sister yelled at both me and my fiancé because he wants a traditional black and white tuxedo for the wedding. His mom and sister think that he has to wear an all white tuxedo for our wedding day because black symbolizes death and white symbolizes purity and he can't wear the color of death on our wedding day. When asked what I thought of this, I told them that an all white tux wasn't my taste in clothing and it wasn't as fashionable as it used to be. His mother then yelled, "NO! White never goes out of style!".

Their guest list was only 9 people and they think that my family's guest list is outrageous...however, we're only expecting maybe 150 people at the wedding. When they gave me their list of 9 people, they then put a star by each guest's name that they knew wouldn't attend, but we should invite anyway...that left 3 people who would probably attend our wedding from their list. Finally, his mom is planning on wearing every day clothes to our formal wedding and his dad, who is the best man, refuses to wear anything tight around his neck (including a dress shirt with tie). We're still trying to make him understand why he has to wear a tux on the wedding day.

Witch 0909-02

I think this one belongs in your "Wicked Witches" category. I recently attended a wedding at which my friend, the Mother of the Bride, showed me what class truly is. She and the Father of the Bride divorced many years ago and he has since re-married. The Bride lived with her mother until leaving school to attend college. The Bride's step-mother basically took over the planning of the wedding and MOB was asked for very little input.

As the MOB is engaged to my brother, we were sharing a suite in a hotel. This hotel was located next door to the hotel where the Bride, her father and step-mother and other family members were staying. When the appointed time for pre-wedding photographs arrived, my friend, the MOB, called over to the Bride's hotel room to make certain that everything was ready and to let them know that she was on the way. The wife of the Father of the Bride actually answered the phone in the Bride's room by saying "Mother of the Bride speaking". My friend simply responded by calmly answering "No, actually, this is the Mother of the Bride." I could not believe the step-mother's audacity! Personally, I would have screamed at her. My friend, the MOB, carried on throughout the day as if nothing untoward had happened and kept her hurt to herself. A truly classy lady.      Witch 0909-02

This wedding is still 5 months off, but the mother of the bride has created enough havoc already to warrant the story being shared with all. We're living it (I'm the Step-MOB) and can't believe it! Our story begins with the future bride and groom selecting a wedding date. MOB, told them the date they had chosen was worse astrologically than 9/11/01, and if the wedding was held that day, she wouldn't be there. So the bride and groom changed the wedding date to a more properly auspicious one.

About 9 months before the wedding, a series of events caused the groom to miss a deadline for work he was doing for the MOB. She went ballistic and told the bride her groom was a slacker and loser and would never amount to anything, among other negative comments. The bride got upset (duh!), making the groom upset, causing him to react a bit too hastily and send the MOB a nasty e-mail. That made the MOB even more explosive. She called the groom many unkind names, said that he was unworthy of the bride, who deserved better, and that she couldn't be a hypocrite and pretend she supported the marriage in any way, and therefore was not coming to the wedding. By the way, a day later, the groom's mother was coming into our town for her only pre-wedding visit and to meet all of us for the first time. The dinner with the MOB was of course called off.

The next day we sat down with the bride, groom and his mother and persuaded the groom to apologize to the MOB, which he did, in writing. Without responding in any way, the MOB went on a vacation out of town. When she returned, she made the bride this offer: if they put the wedding off for a year and a half, she would attend and would even pay for half. And even if she didn't come, she would pay for the bridal gown to make sure the bride (and this is a direct quote) "looked presentable." By the way, the only way the MOB could afford half the wedding would be if we held in her back yard, everyone picked flowers by the side of the road and brought a covered dish. That's a perfectly fine kind of wedding to have if it was what the bride and groom wanted, but they wanted to be married in February with a candlelight ceremony in one of the old mansions available for rent in our fine city. And my husband and I are fine with paying for that kind of wedding. The bride said no thanks to both offers.

So the MOB upped the ante: she read the groom's nasty e-mail (that he had apologized for) to the Matron of Honor. The MOH didn't give the MOB the response she wanted (good girl!). Then the MOB sent that same e-mail to all of her relatives! This caused many of them to call the bride and her sibling to find out what the heck was going on. Next, an unrelated set of circumstances caused the bride's sibling to have a huge argument with the MOB (which included the MOB saying some nasty things about the sibling's love interest) and stop talking to her altogether. The bride called to make sure her mother was all right (a relative term). The MOB then allowed she might come to the wedding, but she wasn't sure whether she ever was going to talk with the groom. That tore it for the bride, who told her mother that until she (MOB) apologized to the groom about all the badmouthing and bad-e-mailing, the bride would not be talking to the MOB and did not want her at the wedding. And that's where we are now. There can only be more chapters to this saga, but the story is already long enough.

Witch 0908-02

I attended a friend's wedding in 1998. The ceremony and reception were lovely and few mishaps occurred. However, I was appalled to discover that immediately after the ceremony the MOG had changed from her nice clothes into blue jeans (for a relatively fancy reception) and had also removed her corsage (that had been made with care) and pinned it to her butt!

She then proceeded to dance at the reception. In EVERY picture of my friend dancing with her new husband and also her father, you can see her mother-in-law in jeans with her corsage tacked on her behind.

What sad is that this woman considers herself down-to-earth with a great sense of humor. Her act was a symbol of neither. It was just plain tacky.    Witch 0812-02

From the start my mother has been unenthusiastic about the woman my brother chose to marry. For the most part it's a communication problem. My sister-in-law refuses to communicate with my mother. Considering the fact that communication, particularly intra-familial communication, is my mother's profession, this has been extremely frustrating and disappointing to my mother. Pulling teeth would have been easier than getting answers out of the bride about the wedding. My mother eventually gave up and talked only to my brother about it. He was very forthcoming about the search for a hall, the tastings and the like, but a mother wants to talk to a girl about these things, even the mother of the groom, especially when she has two sons and no daughters.

The absolute bottom of the whole interaction between my mother and sister-in-law was the dress. My mother asked the bride what colors/styles the bride would prefer my mother wear and what is considered fashionable in this particular country for the mother of the groom to wear. "I dunno," was the response. Not enough for my mother, who never accepts "I don't know" as a legitimate answer to anything. The only acceptable way to answer with that particular sentence is if the next clause is, "but I'll find out immediately." Needless to say, the bride didn't get that far. And as much as my brother was willing to talk about the wedding, he was completely useless when it came to making decisions on my mother's attire.

Meanwhile, my father was suffering a debilitating illness that prevented him from attending the wedding. This leaves myself and my mother as the only members of our extended family who will be traveling to a foreign country for my brother's wedding. Since neither the groom nor the bride could be bothered to answer a direct question about her attire, my mother decides she's going to have her little revenge.

My mother is not a tall woman. She is also not particularly slim. Out of her hearing, when we're sure she isn't going to hear, we sometimes whisper that she's.... matronly. My mother decided to buy a very décolletage, high slit, red, sequined dress that would be thoroughly inappropriate for the mother of the groom to wear to a wedding. We went looking for something she would literally fall out of. This is all the more nasty because my brother and sister-in-law are very religious and her father is a prominent member of the clergy in their community. My mother was going to model the dress sometime before the wedding and say that since they hadn't expressed any interest, she had come up with this. Of course, they would be absolutely floored when she showed up in the beautiful, tasteful and elegant dress she actually picked out for the wedding (I gush, but I chose it for her, and it was gorgeous. Dare I say, even fabulous?). My father was all for it, which surprised my mother, since religion and observance have been at the center of their domestic issues for over 30 years. But I knew he was as upset with the couple as she was, and he has a better sense of humor.

We spent hours discussing the various reactions we could expect, the looks of horror, the stammers, the pleadings, the emergency shopping trips (my mother was really looking forward to getting my brothers credit card and going wild). While the plan didn't come to fruition (it was more fun to talk about than to go out and find a dress to fall out of), just the discussion of it made an intolerable situation palatable, distracting my family from the really heavy challenges facing us and giving us something frivolous to play with for a little while. So we were able to enjoy the little joke, and the bride and groom are none the wiser of how bad it almost got.
Witch 0827-02

When my brother decided to marry Bettel, my family was not overly pleased. It had been hard enough for my brother when he asked Bettel's father if he could merely date her, asking for her hand in marriage was a nightmare. Bettel advised my parents that THEY had to ask HER parents if my brother could ask for her hand in holy wedlock also. That did not go over well. Bettel's parents proceeded to tell my parents how awful my brother (as well as the rest of our family) is. How he was not worthy of her blah blah blah. They also proceeded to tell my parents how awful THEIR daughter was. How she was undisciplined because she could not control her weight and how she is very manipulative. This continued for months. I think they finally agreed when they thought it would be better for their daughter to be married than to have a grandchild out of wedlock.

Fast forward to the wedding plans. Bettel's family is very well off, and we thought that was good because Bettel had very big plans for her wedding. We would often call her and ask if we could help with anything and how things were going. 1 month before the wedding she still did not have invitations, plans for the cake...anything for that matter, just her ideas. She had already gone to a woman to get her dress made and halfway through (and after she had put $800 down) she decided that she no longer wanted that style of dress and bought another. She had asked me to be a bridesmaid, which was more out of obligation to my brother's wishes than her desire to have me in her wedding party of course. I was going crazy because 2 weeks before the wedding we did not have dresses or anything! I was worried about buying my bridesmaid dress because I was doing a coast to coast move right after I left from their wedding. We got a call one night saying that our dresses had been purchased and we could just pay them back. I was wondering how they bought me a dress without asking my size, not to worry because they didn't even CARE. They had gone to an outlet shop, which was in a way nice because the dress cost $15 but they had gotten me a size 12 (when I wear a 6). So here I am mortified because they expect me to get a dress 3 sizes too big altered in time for the wedding in less that 2 weeks. I was asked to come pick up my dress and attend a little party where we could discuss plans and have a good time. The little party was nice with all the refreshments and whatnot. Then it came to the discussion part. It started with this from the mother of the bride, " Now first, since your dresses were very inexpensive we are asking that all the bridesmaids split the cost of the cake." I was too mortified to even speak. From there we were also given a list of things we needed to buy the bride. At first I was given the duty of buying gold coins (??????) I was called and also told to buy a small white bible, a rope, and a pillow for the rings. As the expenses rose I decided that it was better for me to call and tell her I would not be a bridesmaid than to bear the bride malice. So I called an told her that I could not afford to be a bridesmaid, and to her credit she was very understanding (at least on the phone she was).

The week before the wedding Bettel's mother called my mother and asked if she would throw Bettel a bridal shower. We begged my Mom not to do it as it is not the soon to be Mother-in-laws responsibility to pay for a shower for the soon to be daughter-in-law. But my Mother did anyway. I then was told since I was not in the wedding party that I could be the photographer. Yippee. I felt bad enough about bailing on the bridesmaid thing, so I agreed. The wedding went off well enough, it actually was a very pretty wedding (I'm sure thanks to the wallets of the 4 bridesmaids) To this day when I think of faux pas her face comes immediately to mind. She continues to be the 'tackiest' person I know.     Witch 1225-02