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This story is about my sister-in-law Tara, who is a year and a half older than my husband and the Drama Queen of the family. Tara loves to call attention to herself and if something isn't about her, you can bet she'll somehow WILL make it about her. She's very grumpy and not a great person to be around, plus she thinks the whole world owes her something because of the horrible life she's had (which is insulting to her parents because they did everything for her!).   

Anyway, when my husband and I first began to date, Tara had just broken up with her ex-husband. At our first introduction, she seemed pleasant enough, even going out of her way to talk to me and such. Well, all that changed when my husband (her brother) got engaged after 7 months of dating. Now, it doesn't seem like a very long dating period and Tara never failed to point this out. But, you have to understand that both my husband and I consider marriage very sacred and very special, and our engagement and impending marriage was not decided lightly. So, on a beautiful August afternoon, hubby proposed and I accepted.   That same day, we went back to his parents' home (he still lived with them as he worked and went to school) and after a few hours of discussion, decided on a wedding date three months later. 

With our date set for November, we told his parents who were pleased. Well, fast forward to about a month and a half. Hubby is home, talking with his parents, when Tara saunters in for a visit. She makes quite a showing of talking with her hands, prompting hubby to ask, "What's that on your finger?" To which Tara giggles and replies, "My engagement ring; I'm getting married, too!" Well, hubby and his parents don't know what to say as they didn't know she was seriously dating anyone. Turns out, Tara reconnected with Mark, an old boyfriend of hers that she had once been engaged to, but broke up with about a year ago. So what to do? Everyone smiles and congratulates her, even though it is a bit odd.   

Two weeks after that, I am over at my future in-laws' home, finalizing our wedding plans: we've already ordered and received the invitations/announcements, addressed them, reserved and put a deposit down on the reception hall, and completed our fittings for tuxedos and dresses. While I am there sealing envelopes, FMIL enters the room, clearly upset. When asked what was wrong, she said she'd just received a phone call from a hysterical Tara. It turns out, Tara and Mark finally decided on a wedding date...exactly two weeks before mine. As I sit there stunned (the ENTIRE family knew when our wedding was set for!), FMIL proceeds to tell me that Tara realizes how close together our weddings will be and is afraid that the out-of-town guests will only want to come to ours because hubby is liked better. (HUH?) So couldn't we change our wedding date for later? Hubby and I look at each other, clearly flabbergasted among all of our invitations. NOTE: Tata and Mark have only decided now on their date and haven't ordered their invitations yet, whereas we've had ours for almost a month now! So I say, "No, I'm sorry. We've already finalized everything." To which FMIL sighs and says, "I understand; but it will make things so much easier for Tara." EXCUSE ME?!   So now I'm on Tara's crap list and I could care less. 

With every family gathering, she never fails to mention how no one will come to her wedding and how she won't see any of her relatives, blah, blah, blah. I say nothing and for the most part, everyone ignores her...well, except for FMIL. Tara has mastered the art of emotional blackmail of her mother, which always ends with Tara getting her way. Well, except for this time. When she realizes hubby and I are going to go ahead with our wedding plans, she is so infuriated, she does not speak to us until the day of her wedding. And that is only because she needs hubby to play the wedding march. Need I say she is like that: refusing to speak to someone until she needs something?   Anyway, both of our weddings were great. The out-of-town relatives came to both celebrations and all enjoyed good times and food. But, looking at Tara's wedding pictures, you wouldn't know it; she's frowning in EVERY picture! Hubby and I have been married for 7 years now and we still laugh about this!



A full eight months later, I still need to get this off my chest.  I met and became engaged to a wonderful, professional, successful man from a very down-to-earth New York family.  Because my first marriage ended in divorce 5 years earlier after a 7 year run in which we tried counseling, religious instruction, a trial separation, vacations, etc., etc., I was thrilled that I had finally found my Mr. Wonderful and looking forward to a life with a partner after 5 years of grieving a lost marriage.

After a full 3 years of knowing each other through business and a year and a half of dating, I accepted his proposal (and the beautiful engagement ring I never had before) at an elegant dinner at a 5-star restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  My 8-year old daughter had met, spent substantial time with him and liked him.  My ex-husband and his wife (we share custody of our daughter as reasonable adults) had met and liked him.  We had mutual friends who wished us the best; my brothers and sisters met and adored him.  We were of an appropriate age to take our responsibilities seriously (I am 33, he is 41).  All was progressing perfectly.

Enter my parents.  My parents have never been to one of their children's weddings.  I am not kidding.  I have 2 brothers and 1 sister.  All of them had invited my folks--there was always some reason why they couldn't make the effort.  Not this time, I thought.  I booked a simple but lovely and elegant ceremony and dinner for 60 close family and friends at the beautiful 5-star resort at which we had been engaged 7 months after our engagement dinner.  I assured my parents that because this was my second marriage and I was older and made a nice living, that I would pay for the entire event, so that money would not be a sticking point, even though my parents are quite well-off.  I told them that I would also fly in my fiancé's family from New York at considerable expense and put them up at a nearby hotel so that the wedding would be on the west coast, WITHIN 45 MINUTES OF THEIR HOME.  I paid for my father's tuxedo.  I chose my mother's dress, because she claimed helplessness at going to the shop.  I would have arranged for a car to drive them, and told them that they could stay at my maid-serviced and beautiful home the night of the wedding (it would be completely empty) so that they would not have to make the drive home after midnight.  Then I began to remember why I had eloped the first time...

My father began by writing me an email that was so outrageous, even months later, I am still in tears.  He called me a tramp (that's a nice way to say it), said that he wouldn't come near the wedding, that I was a bad daughter and a horrible mother to be thinking of marrying again, and after I moved to New York, who would care for them in their old age?  (They are in their early 60s).  I couldn't even reply.  True, he was angry that I did not come to the hospital after my mother had a pre-arranged surgery because I was at my final week of work for that particular company and I wouldn't be able to get home in time to pick up my daughter from school, but never mind that I had asked her to please schedule it either the week before or after so that I could be by her side (she had a three-month window to decide).   I went 2 days after the surgery on Saturday to check on mom, called her immediately after she woke up, grilled the doctors by phone and sent flowers, but apparently that wasn't good enough.  I am convinced that he was just using it as an excuse to exempt himself from yet another one of his children's weddings.  What a meanie.

Long story short, I held out until the end.  I called and wrote pleading emails, I apologized verbally and in writing about not being there for the surgery, all to no avail, but I was still convinced that they would come, even after they began to visit my daughter at my ex-husband's house behind my back.  I ordered and set aside corsages for my mother and grandmother, booked their dinners at considerable expense and saved the front row for them.  Not only did they not show up, but my grandmother and mother's sister sent regrets that they would not be there either, using outright lies as reasons.  Thankfully, my brothers were there, my sister called that day (her baby was due the following day and she couldn't get on a plane) and several of my cousins (children of the aunt who declined) showed up and we had a wonderful time together.  It was still an elegant and beautiful day to remember, but my in-laws still haven't figured out how my parents could have turned out such wonderful kids and still be such jerks.  I can't even imagine the snub they must have felt after they flew all the way out to the west coast and my parents didn't even have the decency to introduce themselves, much less invite them over for a meal. 

By the way, the rest of the family hasn't stopped talking about what a beautiful event we had.  Every detail was perfect and I feel that we appropriately celebrated our marriage, even though it was my second.  I did wear an ivory-colored very simple gown for my fiancé's sake--it was his first marriage.  My little girl was a beautiful flower girl.  It would have been wonderful for them to see.

Needless to say, my relationship with my parents is very strained; my husband can't even talk about them without flying into a rage.  Now that I am expecting a baby and my hormones are in such a state, I can't even listen to my mother's infrequent voice mails in which she claims to "love me."   I still haven't received acknowledgment that they received an invitation to the wedding, much less a card to congratulate us. 


I enjoy your site and have several fun tales from my wedding.  For now I’ll just tell the first one, the touching story of my engagement. 

 My dear husband and I had been dating for quite a while, and had discussed getting married for several months.  He finally picked out a ring and asked me on the weekend of his birthday.  It was a really romantic moment and I was very excited.  We saw my parents first and told them we had news, and my mother immediately guessed that we were engaged.  In other words, this wasn’t really a surprise.  Then we called my husband’s parents to tell them.  He called and I was on the extension, and we both told them the news.  They made appropriate congratulatory comments, asked about the date, and so on.  Then we hung up but I stayed at his apartment as we were having dinner there that evening with friends.  

About a half an hour later, the phone rang and my husband (then my fiancé, of course) answered.  It was his father, calling to tell him how deeply hurt his mother was, how shocked they were, what a terrible mistake he was making, that *I* was far too immature to get married.  Apparently he didn’t consider that I might still be there and his shouting could be heard even though I was not directly on the phone.  Notice that he didn’t come at it saying he was upset, but rather telling us how hurt my future MIL was.  This has been a pattern for nearly 20 years now – very polite to my face, then Dad talks to my husband privately and tells him how hurt Mom is.  I’m not sure she ever really does get that upset.  It was not an auspicious beginning for a relationship with them, but it certainly got my DH’s dander up to the point where he was willing to tell them it was his own life and he thought I was the perfect choice.  My husband was the first to marry, his brother married a perfect woman (just like his own mother in nearly every way) and then the younger ones unfortunately married people like me!  I love to socialize with them, and we compare tips on how to cope.


My sister and her fiancé were living in Chicago before their wedding, as this is where the groom and his family are from.  They chose to have the wedding at our parents' home in Alabama.  A block of rooms was reserved at the closest hotel and when the reception was over all of the out of town guests, and there were many, returned to the hotel and continued the party there in the suite of the parents of the groom.  My sister's new FIL began a baby pool.  Everyone chose a date that the couple's first child would be born and contributed a dollar to the lottery.  My sister's new MIL thought this a fine idea and began a lottery of her own...A DIVORCE POOL for the new couple.  Needless to say, everyone was shocked and appalled and the after party ended quite quickly.


My 80's wedding was a nightmare. Me being the bride of this horrible wedding, started at 6:00 a.m. with my very drunk father telling me to get out of my childhood home and take my mother with me. He was notifying us he was bringing a new women there. 

I arrived at the church at being homeless at the moment. I noticed the church was very hot, this was a August wedding in the south. The ac was broke and couldn't be fixed in time. As the day progressed I thought everything might be ok.  WRONG,it gets worse. 

My wedding consultant tells me my father is too drunk and would not be able to give me away. At the last minute my uncle would perhaps be a standby. My father being a stubborn   man, decides to carry me down the aisle. I can hardly walk due to holding him up and balancing myself with my huge southern belle dress remember the 80's. At the last pew of the church my huge veil becomes entrapped and falls off my head. During the ceremony one of my bridesmaid faints, besides its just 90 degrees in the church. My father screams out and cries during our wedding song, the unity candle doesn't work, and the ringbearer plays with his pillow until he breaks it, and he refuses to walk up the aisle with the flower girl.  

The reception doesn't get better. My still drunken father follows me around the whole time crying, and no one cuts the wedding cake. Our wedding was talked about for years, I can happily say our marriage is still going strong and we have 2 beautiful children, I now help other people with their weddings.


My wedding, boring as it was, went off with out a hitch.  This is about my brother, Bill's, wedding.   Bill was marrying Kathy, who was nice enough, but a bit eccentric. She would pretend to fall asleep during family get-together to let us know she was done.   

As Kathy's parents were throwing the wedding, my parents were putting together the rehearsal dinner. They reserved a local restaurant.  They called the bride to ask if there were any special requests or needs.  None. My mom ordered spaghetti for everyone (it was an Italian restaurant).  At the dinner, it turned out the sauce was a meat sauce, and it was Lent. So, the mother of the bride turned to my parents and said, "How could you serve this during Lent??" She refused to eat the dinner and made a scene about it.   

The MOH was the sister of the bride. She and the bride ran to the restroom. So, my sister and I followed them there. When we entered, they looked at us and immediately stopped talking. We refused to leave until they did (trying to cut off any opportunity to bad talk our parents).  This happened 3 times.  During the dinner, the MOH, kept leaning to the bride and making snide comments about our parents. GRRRRRRRRRR.  

Finally, my brother stood up and said, "Thank you everyone for coming, but the wedding is off!"  The bride started pointing at each of the brothers and sisters in our family saying it was our fault for being so judgmental of her family (imagine, not wanting people being rude to our parents).    After much screaming and yelling, everyone finally left the restaurant.  My brother was extremely upset, needless to say. Nicest guy in the world, hooked up with nuts.   He finally worked things out with her.....spring forward to the morning. 

We arrive at the Church, but no MOH.  She finally pulls up in front of the Church---yells to the bride through an open car window that there is no way in HELL she will be part of this wedding, and pulls away. Nice way to treat your younger sister. I don't care if I HATE the guy, you show your sister all the support and love she needs. Especially on her wedding day. So, the poor girl is without a MOH.  She chooses our 12 year old niece to do the duties!  Poor thing.   

At the reception--the room was literally split. The families wouldn't mingle, and the MOH showed up.  Simply to throw elbows while dancing.  She got me a few times but I refrained from retaliating for my brother's sake. 


When my husband and I started planning our wedding, my mother-in-law-to-be started planning her "family reunion".  Little did we realize that she meant for them to coincide...not a day apart, but on the same day.    Yes, my lovely mother-in-law took advantage of the time period between our wedding and reception to split the entire wedding guest list in half.  My family and friends went to my mother's house for hors d'oeuvers and my husband's family went to his mother's for a "reunion." 

 Not only did my mother-in-law make an obvious split between the bride's and groom's family, she took all the groom's relatives from the wedding party with her!  (I was surprised she didn't demand my husband's attendance!)    You can't even begin to imagine the hurt and embarrassment my family had to face at the obvious absence of part of the wedding party and all my husband's relatives.  Instead of a blending of two families, my mother-in-law drew a line in the sand.  Little did I know that this was a foretelling of things to come!     

 My family has never been fond of "assigned seating" at weddings.  We always felt that we'd like to choose who we want to sit with rather than get placed with whoever the bride and groom chose for us.    As I planned my wedding, I chose not to assign seats.  My family was very small and would have comprised embarrassingly few tables.  In addition, this is just not something my family believes in.   

Hearing this, my mother-in-law-to-be tried to convince me to create a seating chart.  I explained my reasoning to her and thought that would be the end of it.  Four times, she came back and pushed for assigned seating.   Then, it happened.  I can still remember sitting in my living room with an uncomfortable silence.  I saw my future mother-in-law nudge my future father-in-law.  He cleared his throat and said, "About this, uh, seating chart, uh, we think that....."  and he proceeded to recite the speech he had rehearsed.  Well, once again I patiently explained that I was not going to have assigned seating and that I was caught between what my family and I wanted and what my mother-in-law wanted.  My mother-in-law even suggested that I just have assigned seating just for her side of the family.  Well, now that would be tacky!   That was the end of it, or so I thought.  

Then, it happened.  At my wedding reception, there was my mother-in-law, right by the door, waiting for the guests to arrive.  As they came in, she ran through a mental seating chart and then ushered her family to the seats she had "assigned" to them.  Needless to say, she managed to place all of her family at the very front tables!  So, in spite of my wishes, she got her way and offended my family (who didn't get ushered to a table) at the same time.

I'll never forget the picture the photographer took of her at the reception.  There she was, in all her glory, standing straight and tall, hands clasped, expectantly waiting for "her guests" to arrive so she could usher them to the right table.   

My husband and I hired the very best photographer available for our wedding.  Having excellent wedding pictures was important to me. 

My mother-in-law was thrilled about our wedding because she looked forward to having all her family together.  In fact, our wedding ceased to be "our wedding"; rather, it became her "family reunion".  That's all she talked about..."the family reunion".   I still remember it clearly.  At the wedding reception, there we were, ready to cut the cake when we asked, "Where's the photographer?"  He had been suspiciously absent for quite a while.    Finally, we found him toward the back of the hall, standing in front of a group of seated people, looking very overwhelmed.  And, there was my mother-in-law with him.  She had corralled him with a list of all the different family members and all the different combinations of pictures she wanted taken.  Off she'd go, grabbing this one and that one for a picture.  Then, she'd go in search of someone else for another picture.  And this went on and on while the photographer waited. 

 Meanwhile, the clock was ticking on our wedding reception and our precious memories were being lost on "family reunion" photos.    I couldn't believe how disappointed my mother-in-law looked when I announced that the photographer needed to come and take cake-cutting pictures.  Then, I heard it.  She announced to those present, "We'll resume taking pictures as soon as the cake cutting is over."


My fiancé's Step Mother insisted on throwing us an engagement party in order to get gifts because AND I QUOTE "We have been giving other people's kids gifts for years and now its our turn to get the gifts..."

First off, I read that it isn't proper etiquette to have gifts at the engagement party not to mention a party that a family member throws for you.

So, in an effort to offset her barbarian greediness and  lack of etiquette, I asked that we not open gifts in front of everyone because its tacky. Also, I didn't feel it necessary to make a showing of who gave what, seeing as my family isn't "nouveau-riche" like they are.

She told me AND I QUOTE YET AGAIN that my fiancé "could open the gifts by himself then."

Poor poor etiquette ladies...and downright rude.

I might have to counter by losing her bridal shower invite in the circular file.



I love my husband with all of my heart. He is a wonderful, kind thoughtful man. After almost two years of marriage I have decided he must be secretly adopted. I know many people have problems with their in-laws but our issues seem to get worse over time.

While we were dating, I got along well with my husband's family. He used to dread spending time with them, but I always thought they were fun. His mom is fairly gossipy and loves to "dish out the dirt on people", but it was kind of amusing. We would have dinner, a couple glasses of wine and she would tell hilarious stories about which ever one of her friends or family members was currently on "her list".

Everything was fine until the day we announced our engagement. Our parents knew about the proposal before I did. He had asked my parent for permission the day prior. However, we wanted to meet with each family and celebrate. This was the beginning of the end.

My husband's sister is a troublemaker. She is the black sheep of the family, i.e. - needing to be bailed out of bankruptcy, relationships, jobs, etc. My husband is a lawyer and I work in counseling. We have both been called in several times to help this woman through one crisis or another. However, her parents are totally blind to her flaws and make excuses for her.

The day we were to announce the engagement, SIL was supposed to be at their house so that we could have lunch with them and celebrate. She was very late, and they kept trying to push back the time. Eventually we informed his parents that we were supposed to meet my parents for dinner, so if they wanted us to visit it would have to be soon. They were livid that my parents were getting in the way of this "family" event. After we finally arrived, his mother told me that she would "have to wait and see if there was room for me in the family".

Over the course of our engagement, his sister tried to sabotage our wedding. She tried to talk him out of marrying me stating that she "didn't feel sisterly towards me." I tried to offer an olive branch by asking her to be a bridesmaid. She accepted and I made a concerted effort to befriend her.

I brought all the bridesmaids to a local shop to let them select their dresses, and took them to lunch to show my appreciation. I figured it would give them a chance to get to know each other. It was a very nice lunch. We all chatted and laughed. I made sure to sit next to SIL so she wouldn't feel awkward around my friends. I always try to be a good hostess and I made sure not to let the conversation drift to topics that would leave her out.

My husband-to- be called me later and asked what we had talked about at lunch, because his sister went home in tears. I was stunned. The day had gone smoothly. She told his mother a huge pack of lies. She pretended that we had picked on her and tortured her all afternoon. She claimed that we had all gone for my bachelorette party and intentionally did not invite her. That was a complete lie. The girls started discussing my MOH's bachelorette party and I very clearly explained to SIL that we had MOH's bachelorette party a few weeks earlier as her wedding was also approaching. That it was a tradition, we would probably have one for me in a few months and she would be invited. Then I tried to steer the conversation to a more inclusive topic. There was no way she could have been confused. She this and several other complete lies to my future MIL.

She complained to her whole side of the family that all of my friends were mean to her while they were planning my shower. My friends all say that she never returned one single phone call or even the RSVP. They had no contact with her. She arrived at the shower just before I did. They had to scramble to find a place for her at the head table.

One month before the wedding, my future husband called me and sounded as upset as I had ever heard him. Apparently SIL was suffering from kidney stones, her doctor had called MIL and told her not to worry they weren't going to attempt treatment until after the baby was born? THE BABY?!? This was a big surprise to everyone as SIL is unmarried. She was 5 months pregnant and never mentioned it to anyone. So they had a huge family crisis over this. Her parents were mad at all of us and sure that I would "kick her out" of the wedding. But as it was the year 2001 and not 1801, and SIL was a 32-year-old woman, I let her decide. My seamstress worked wonders and got her dress to fit and she chose to remain a bridesmaid.

When I eventually did have my "girls night out" and I did not invite my SIL. I was honest and told my MIL that although we had discussed it earlier, at this point I wasn't including SIL as we would be in a smoky bar and she would be over 5 months pregnant. I also mentioned that I didn't trust her enough to be alone with her as she had a history of making up stories about me. My MIL in denied that her precious daughter would ever lie, but she took it is stride, or so I thought.

Two weeks before the wedding, my MIL called my on the phone screaming about what a horrible person I was not to invite SIL to the night out. She called me a liar and a troublemaker. I cried for hours after we got off the phone. I usually get along with everyone and I couldn't (and still can't) believe my future MIL hates me. For one second, I even considered called off the wedding, even though I love my husband. I figured that maybe they could see something that we couldn't, as they were so dead set against the wedding. My husband convinced me not to take it personally; it would have been the same no matter whom he was marrying. He decided that enough was enough and told his mother that we would be focusing on our wedding for the next two weeks and not to call either one of us with anything relating to SIL. MIL had a fit and told us that she might skip the wedding.

She did come and she was nasty all day. Our wedding video shows her complaining about me several times to other family members. It also has her leaving a message to us relating to how sons need to stay close to their mothers and not let their wives steal them away. Even FIL looks embarrassed by her behavior.

SIL, however, stole the show. She was obviously six months pregnant in her formal wear and MIL had forbidden anyone to mention it. SIL and her boyfriend took inappropriate pictures with our camera, nearly knocked down some elderly guests, and danced very provocatively. At one point we went into the lobby of the country club to take pictures and we caught them changing the letters on the kiosk. It had originally read "Congratulations Mark and Lisa". They switched it to read "Today is your low score Mark and Lisa". My husband was embarrassed and mad. I told him to laugh it off, as it is really no reflection on us. Every wedding has little problems mostly it was wonderful.

Since then we have not had much contact with SIL. MIL pressured me into helping her during SIL's baby shower. I know, I know, family shouldn't throw the shower, but SIL does not have any friends. Also, pointing out an etiquette breach would not be wise, so I agreed to help, to ease family tensions. But SIL has continued to tell lies about me, so I have no contact with her now. FIL tried to pick a physical fight with my husband at a Christmas party over the SIL issues. SIL no longer speaks to MIL and FIL because MIL and FIL tried to convince my husband to help them sue SIL for "grandparents rights." He declined the case. FIL also threatened to call a hit man on us. It was very bizarre.

MIL, FIL and my husband have tried counseling to no avail. MIL is still horrible to me, jealous of my family and plays games every time we see her. The nicer I am, the meaner she gets. I cannot win. They claim that I am a "primadonna" and my husband it "too big for his britches" because we leave situations rather than engage in public screaming matches. She also complains that we don't see her enough. I wonder why?

It has been almost two years of this garbage and we are about finished. My husband and I are trying to start a family and while I cannot imagine my children not knowing their grandparents, neither can I imagine allowing these toxic people around them. It is all quite sad. My advice, weddings are stressful for everyone. Try to respect everyone involved because the marriage and family relationships are much more important than wedding day.



First, I really enjoy your website! Thanks!

My story is about my brother "Mike's" wedding, when he married "Kay."

Mike and Kay decided to get married fairly young- he was 22, she was 20. They'd only been dating a year. Now, naturally, my mom was concerned that they might regret this decision and wanted them to think it through thoroughly. In other words, she was being a perfectly normal, concerned mother. However, after discussing it with him, she decided that he was over 21, was convinced this was what he wanted to do, and she would support him.

Now, my dad, who is deceased, was an only child. Mike is the only son in our family. So Mike had about 4 or 5 heirloom rings to choose from to present to his bride. My mother, in an effort to show her support, offered her the ring that our father had given her, which Mike accepted. The ring was lovely, and Mike had it reset, which we all agreed made it the perfect combination of old and new. He presented it to Kay on New Year's Eve of 2001-2002, and we were all very happy for them.

The first battle came when Mike and Kay began to chose their date. Originally they wanted to get married in August of 2002. The only issue with that was that my husband and I were getting married in October of 2002. We'd been engaged since October of 2000 and already set our date. My mom was concerned that not only would it steal our thunder (which I had resolved just to keep my mouth shut about), but that our family already had to travel to my wedding, and now they would be asked to travel to Mike's wedding two months before that. She felt it was too tight on people's budgets, and asked them to reconsider their date.

Well, national politics ended up dictating the date anyway. Both Mike and Kay are in the Air Force ROTC, and Mike was graduating from college and being commissioned in May of 2002. In order to improve their chances of being stationed together and hoping that Mikes "married" status might help keep him home, especially with the political situation being what it is, Mike and Kay decided to get married a week after Mike's graduation. My mom agreed to this date, and all seemed fine.

So things move forward. Mom provides the guest list. She's a bit dismayed at how few people she's allowed to invite, but the bride's family insists on paying for the wedding, so I tell her that it's going to be fine. Everyone will understand. (The bride's mother has six sisters, so you can see where that family might take up a lot of the budget.) The bride's family very kindly hosts the couple an engagement party, to which they invite me and my fiancé. I take the 4 hour bus ride to my finance's house, then we drive 4 hours to the engagement party. On the entire trip, I see Mike for 45 minutes.

Well, I say to my fiancé as we're driving back, Mike is under a LOT of stress. And he truly was. The week before he and Kay had been in a BAD car accident. I mean, the car was totaled. Less than a month and a half from now, he's graduating college, getting commissioned in the Air Force, starting a military life (with the threats of war being rather constant), AND getting married. The poor boy is allowed to be stressed. As the weeks go by and my mother complains about how little contact she's having with Mike, my sister and I repeat this as a litany. Just let him get over the stress and he'll be back.

My sister and I were SO naive.

Fast forward to the weekend of graduation. Graduation is a royal pain for my fiancé and I to attend. I have to take the bus out to my fiancé's place, and then we have to drive nine hours. But we do it, because my little brother is only going to graduate college once. My 92-year old grandmother gets a ride down. My parents drive 13 hours. So does my sister, who could be working that weekend (her only income as she is putting herself through nursing school). The graduation is a two day event, and during the time we also host a little bridal shower for Kay since none of us could attend her real bridal shower... and my brother barely says a word to any of us. Okay, now I'm starting to get annoyed.

As we're leaving, my mother asks if she can talk to Mike. He insists that anything she needs to say, she can say in front of Kay. She insists she'd like to speak privately. (What she wanted was some mother-son time to tell him how proud she is of him. My family is extremely close, and Mom and Mike have always been even closer.) This is where my mom has her bad moment- when Mike refuses again, she starts screaming at him in the parking lot. She was especially upset that, despite the time and trouble my family went through to witness his graduation, he couldn't be bothered to spend any time with us. My stepfather, fiancé, and I pull Kay away from Mom and try to calm her down, reassuring her that Mom sometimes blows, but she never says anything truly hurtful. She just turns up the volume.

Anyway, Mom talks to Mike and calms down. Then, very calmly and very civilly- and very sincerely- she apologizes to both Mike and Kay. She doesn't try to explain away with "You made me so mad", she just says she had no right to act like that and she's very sorry. She also apologizes to the rest of us. Now, I don't expect instant forgiveness- my Mom screwed up. But she took responsibility, she apologized, and she was willing to work. And as much as my brother was under stress, my mom was too, because it was her son that was graduating, getting married, and getting commissioned in one week.

So the next weekend is the wedding. I take the bus ANOTHER four hours, and my fiancé and I drive down again (another four hours). We are unable to attend the rehearsal dinner, because my fiancé had just gotten off the plane from Reno and couldn't make the drive in time. (In a side note, my sister tells me the minister told her that she was going to Hell for concentrating on her career and not being married yet- my sister is all of 25 and had broken off an engagement earlier that year.) We don't see Mike at ALL before the service, even when my fiancé, sister, and I take their wedding present over to the place where he is staying.

During the day of the wedding, Mike forgoes the one request my mom makes, which is to spend a little time with him. Realizing he was busy, I had suggested he bring her along to pick up the tuxes or eat lunch with her- all were ignored. So my mom is quite upset. As we meet up with my grandmother, she is also upset. Mike had picked her up from the airport... and ignored her ever since. Not good.

The wedding is a rather nice affair that I wouldn't laugh at so hard if I wasn't so bitter. It wasn't Kay's wedding- it was Kay's mother's wedding. The theme (did you know weddings have themes?) was "In the Garden." This is Martha Stewart's long-lost cousin, apparently. And I've got to give the devil her due, the place looked lovely, the food was good, and the overall presentation was very nice. But something was off, and my sister, fiancé and I realized it as we sat down to dinner. We were seated with a collection of people we'd never met before. Now, these people were very very nice, but I had two cousins there that I never see, due to geographical constraints. They were seated across the room from us. And my step-siblings, whom I also rarely see and get along with quite well, were seated somewhere in between. In fact, no one in the groom's family was allowed to sit together! (But the groom's friends were.) Apparently, we were being used as filler!

Okay, so that's annoying, but how long do you sit at tables? So the three of us keep our mouths shut and make small talk with the very nice people seated with us. Afterwards, my fiancé seeks out my grandmother while I'm talking to my step-siblings. My grandmother is furious. Mike and Kay have already done the rounds of their table (she was seated with my mom and her husband, the bride's parents, and the minister), and Mike did not say a single word to her. Kay said a few things, but aside from that, nothing. My grandmother is especially mad because she gave Mike $1000 for a graduation present and gave them $1000 for a wedding present, both of which they knew at this point. She's also mad because Mike got upset at our mother. Mike and Kay had a less traditional guest book, where guests could sign longer messages. Mom wrote a very long one, but because she was constantly getting distracted and everyone was talking about it, rather than signing it "Mom and Will" she signed it "Mom and Mike." He was furious.

Around 10:00 I'm talking to my grandmother, and my brother finally comes over and asks my grandmother to dance. She turns him down. So he asks me. I accept, and as we're dancing I ask about the groom's cake, which looks really good. He says that's being served at the after-hours party at Kay's parents house. There has not been one single word about this party to the groom's family. Being annoyed enough already, I switch the subject, and mention that the wedding is very lovely and the people we sat with were very nice. He kind of makes a face and tells me that Mom was such a pain during the seating process, saying that she'd like to seat her own guests. I wonder to myself what's wrong with this, and change the subject again, saying that I really enjoyed being able to celebrate his marriage with him, and I'm looking forward to dancing with him at my own wedding. As soon as the song ends he's off. That's the last we see of him that weekend, because apparently there's a day after brunch as well. Not that we were informed of this, mind you.

Two weeks later, Grandma calls Mom. She's very worried about the check she gave Mike and Kay- it hasn't been cashed yet, and she's concerned that something happened to it. Mom had already talked to them since they'd returned from their honeymoon, and was aware that Mike felt she was being too clingy, but decides to call the couple anyway, because it's not often Grandma gets worried. She leaves two messages. The next day she gets home from school, and there's a message on her machine. "Mother, I will call you when I'm d@mn well ready."

Well, he's finally ready and calls her a few days later. After clearing up confusion about the check, he goes into a long rant. She's too clingy (she wants him to call once a week). She treats him like a child (he's been the man of the house since he was 12). She didn't accept his wife. (Remember what ring Mom gave him to give to Kay???) She needs to get counseling. She tells him that she is seeing a psychologist (which is true). He tells her no. She needs to get counseling with a pastor. She needs to find God. (My mom has not attended church much since my father's death, because it is extremely painful for her.) And she needs to focus on her relationship with Will. Now, I've been angry with my mother before, and to this day I maintain rightfully so. But I never, EVER would have spoken to my mother the way he spoke to her. After hurling more abuse at her, he tells her he will call when she is ready to talk to him. It's been a year and 2 months, and he still has not called her. When my sister and I tried to discuss it, we were told "it's not pretty" and he "didn't want to get us involved."

Well, I took that to mean he was still talking to me, and since he called in June of 2002, I think that's a fair assumption. Since his wedding was over I felt free to discuss mine, and he mentioned that because he was going to be in training, he might not be able to make it to my wedding. I assured him I understood, and when he got the invitation, not to bother returning it right away. I realized he might not know he could come until he was on a plane flying out. With that particular situation, if we ate the cost of his plate, it wasn't a big deal.

Well, we send out invitations and all, and four days later I receive his response card. He and Kay aren't coming. So, I call. Eventually, (he was in training and had no access to phones) he calls me back.

Okay, I can understand that he might not be able to make it. Fine. But there is no apology. No "I wish I could be there." And most importantly to me- absolutely NO mention of the fact he was supposed to walk me down the aisle. None whatsoever. Although it was a perfectly civil conversation, I have not heard from him since. And when the wedding comes, there is no phone call. No card. No email. Absolutely nothing to say he was thinking of us that day. (We've been married ten months and there still has been no acknowledgement of the wedding.)

We are baffled by this entire thing. Incidentally, I can say that my mom was completely fine during the process of planning my wedding. No wicked witch in sight. In fact, because her own mother had planned her first wedding down to the smallest detail and she'd recently planned her second wedding, she was very mindful of not being overbearing. Both my sister and I remain close to her.

But the absolute and complete kicker came in December of 2002. My mom sent him and his wife two cards. One was a Christmas card, one was a graduation card as Kay had just finished college. Both were signed simply "Love, Mom and Will." Because she'd had other things returned to her, she opted not to put her return address on them. Mike and Kay wrote Mom's return address on, and wrote "Return to Sender" on the cards. I have never seen anything so rude in my life!


I truly had the mother in law from hell. I say 'had' because I am now divorced, and about 50% of the reason for that is because of her. 

When planning my wedding the only thing I requested from both my mother and my mother-in-law to be was that they do not dress in white, or any kind of close shade (cream/beige) because I wanted to be the only one in the wedding party in white. My main color scheme was a pastel floral for the bridesmaids and solid pink for the flower girls. My mom had a beautiful periwinkle dress that complimented the bridesmaids nicely. I 'suggested' to my MIL that maybe a nice blue or light green might be really nice. She went for months before the wedding without finding a dress. Said nothing really caught her eye. 

Well 3 wks before the wedding she comes over with it. Unveils it and its WHITE!!!! Wait, no - she called it 'champagne' - but it was a winter white. It was so ugly too! Was a flared skirt with a jacket top that was all lacy. It was HIDEOUS!!!! I said to her "I asked you not to get a white dress!" and she would reply with a smirk and a sneer, "It is not white, it is champagne". I asked my fiancé to talk to her, but being the mama's boy he is, he refused and told me to get over it.   

Fast forward to the wedding day and the photos. Whenever we were taking photos that had both sets of parents in them, they would stand dead center, with my parents on one side, and us on the other. In the photos it appears to be their wedding, not ours! Then she wanted one of her son kissing her ON THE LIPS!!!! It is the grossest picture you have ever seen - and she had it blown up to an 8x10!!! I burned mine (seriously - right in the woodstove it went!).   She constantly meddled in the plans for this wedding, and I could give you a book full of stories on her. 

So any women out there who are going to get married, take one piece of advice from me. If your fiancé will not stand up to her before the wedding,  it gets 10 times worse afterwards! She even went as far as being so disappointed that her new grandchild (this was 2 yrs later) was not a boy, that she went out and bought my new daughter boys clothes and toys, because she could not handle the thought that the family name might not be passed on!!!



I've been best friends with "Crystal" since high school. After high school, she went off to college 800 miles from home where she met her boyfriend "Dan". Dan went to professional school out of state while Crystal waited for him and finished her own degree. They had rough times while Dan was away, racking up a giant school loan, but finally in his last semester, they decide it's time to get married. By then they had been dating for a total of 7 years. They want a May wedding, right after graduation.

When Crystal rang me up to tell me the news, I was thrilled and when she asked I agreed immediately to be her MOH. Since both the bride and groom's family lived near me, the wedding would be in our hometown. I'd be helping her with a large part of the planning since she would be out of town until after her college graduation.

Crystal isn't the ostentatious type and with both being starving students barely out of school, Crystal wanted a small, private, inexpensive, no frills wedding. Trust me, with Dan's loan, they didn't need more debt. Their budget was $4000. I suggested Vegas, where for a couple thousand dollars, they could have the small, private wedding she wanted and every detail taken care of by the hotel of their choice. Crystal loved the idea.

Now in comes the Mother of the Groom from the deepest parts of Hell. Dan's family is Catholic. (But trust me when I say Dan is not exactly an altar boy.) MOG's AGHAST at the very thought of a Vegas wedding, declaring that only "sinners pregnant out of wedlock" would have a Vegas wedding. No joke. She insists she can plan them a small church wedding and reception in 4 months to fit their budget of $4000. Crystal agrees as she knows that Dan always wanted a Church wedding and if MOG can do it within budget, fine. Most of those attending would be the Groom's side anyway since most of Crystal's relatives are overseas. I'm skeptical and leery of MOG but agree to help my friend out the best I can. As for Dan, through all of this, he just wants to please mummy.

In the hands of the MOG, the small church wedding turns into a full blown Catholic Mass with double the number of guests, a choir and a violinist. Just the wedding itself was now over budget and there was still the reception to pay for. When I point out to Dan that this is WAY beyond their budget, his reply was "What's another $5000 added to my $250,000 loan." I couldn't believe the MOG would allow her son to sink deeper into debt.

It doesn't end there.

Crystal was a very private person and was HORRIFIED at the MOG's suggestion that they show childhood pictures of both the bride and groom at the reception full of people who were strangers to her. When Dan told his mother to scrap the idea, all hell broke loose because she'd already picked out his pictures to use!

MOG liked to make plans for Crystal and Dan to meet with the priest, have lunch with the priest, talk with the priest, all without consulting either of them first. We constantly had to shift our pre-made plans to appease this woman. She also told Crystal and Dan, being the sinners they were, they had no authority to decide what kind of wedding service they were going to pay for! But of course, she did.

MOG at one point wanted to know if Crystal and Dan were going to spend their wedding night at HER HOUSE. EEEEWEE! I offered to gift them a night in the honeymoon suite of the classiest hotel near home.

MOG called them every night to hound them about the details of the wedding, throwing crying fits and tantrums when Crystal wouldn't agree to something she wanted.

With Crystal out of town, I was the one who went with Dan, his father and brother to hash out the details of the reception dinner. When asked about the color for the table linens, Dan says GREEN. I was shocked because since the beginning of the whole fiasco, Crystal made it clear that the wedding color would be lavender. I insisted the linens be lavender to match the chosen color and Dan thought it was "odd" that the table linens needed to match the color scheme for the wedding! That was the only major snafu that day. Afterwards, I heard from Crystal that Dan's father found me to be domineering!

Through all this I supported my friend, lent her an ear to rant about the loony MOG and consoled her frustrations. Thankfully, Crystal came to her senses and extracted herself from this psycho family a month before the wedding date.

I guess this experience traumatized her heavily because she went completely in the opposite direction when, six months after her breakup with Dan, Crystal tells me she's met the man of her dreams?! 2 months later she tells me they plan to get married and she's moving back home to move in with this new man "Josh". 2 weeks after moving back home and the first time I hear from her after her move she sends me a 2 sentence EMAIL telling me she and Josh had gotten married at the local courthouse!

The following year Dan's brother got married. They got married in Vegas, and it was a STAR TREK wedding. I wish I could have been there to see the look on crazy MOG's face.



This pales in comparison with some of the horrific things I’ve read about on your site, but here goes.

A bit of background is necessary.  My boyfriend’s mother died when he was a baby, and he was raised by her parents, both of whom have been deceased for some time.  He has never been close to his remaining relatives, consisting of aunts, cousins and in-laws.  In fact, they view him as an outcast because he’s never had as much money as they.  However, one of his aunts is fanatical about preserving the image of a happy, tight-knit family (to hell with reality), and she goes ballistic if we don’t attend every family shindig.  It’s easier to just go than to endure abusive phone calls from her.

My boyfriend and I were invited to her daughter’s (his cousin’s) wedding.  We RSVP’ed and we attended.  It was a huge, very formal extravaganza held at an exclusive country club.  I'm guessing the price tag was in the tens of thousands of dollars.  The ceremony went smoothly, but when we stepped inside for the reception, things rapidly deteriorated.  We found that there were no namecards for us at any of the tables. This was not a mistake.  Despite the fact that we’d RSVP’ed (on time), no seats had been reserved for us.  When we asked the bride's father what was up, he very curtly told us to find a place at the table with the photographer, the make-up artist, the videographer and other paid personnel.

My boyfriend couldn't believe that we were told to sit with the hired help.  Everyone else who was part of the family was seated with family and friends, not with total strangers.  Despite the obvious snub, we did try to find a seat, but there was no room at that table either.  We selected an empty table, and as the waitstaff began bringing dinner rolls to the tables, I tried to catch the eye of a waitperson.  Every time I did, they snapped their head in the other direction.  Since we were not at an assigned table, they thought we were crashers.  Other members of the family saw us sitting at this table, alone and not being served.  They said nothing.

Infuriated but not wanting to make a scene, we quietly got up and left.

It’s been almost two years, and my boyfriend still hasn't gotten over his anger at what happened to us.  No one has ever apologized.  In fact, his aunt told we were in the wrong because we weren't more aggressive about seeking a seat.  !!!!!!  Why were we forced to look for seats when everyone else (even the hired help) had an assigned place?

We’re now planning our own wedding, and part of me is tempted to seat his cousin, her husband and her parents with the photographer.  However, the guy I’m using is a friend of mine, and I wouldn’t want to subject him to these people.



Now, granted, it's been three and a half years since our wedding, but we just found out about this.

Background: My husband's siblings and his father hadn't spoken or seen each other in 20+ years. There was some bad feeling going on, which I won't go into. But when we announced our wedding plans, he made it very clear to everyone that EVERYONE would be invited to our wedding. I even made sure both sets of family were invited to the rehearsal dinner, along with my husband's best man and her husband. (You read that correctly. She'd been his best friend until I came along, and I loved the idea of her being his support. And since I wanted my brother to stand up with me, along with my sister, that worked out great).

Now, FIL has been known to have a drinking problem, so when I saw him with a glass of wine in his hand I was concerned -- but he behaved himself. (I suspect his lady-friend had something to do with that. She kept him on a tight rein, or so it seemed.)

The wedding day itself went without a hitch, as far as either my husband or I could tell. There were no fights, no drunken guests (we didn't serve alcohol), and everyone seemed to get along.

Now comes the horrible part. It seems that nobody bothered to tell us, but during the reception, my FIL made a pass at my SIL (my husband's brother's wife). Evidently, this was a very blatant pass.

The family (except for BIL and the aforementioned SIL) has not seen FIL since, and after hearing this, I doubt we'll be visiting him anytime soon either. BIL had gone to see him for his 80th, and evidently he made a huge scene at the restaurant, as well as another pass at SIL. Oh, and his drinking problem is back.

Just more fun with family.


Hi, Jeanne.  I love your site.  Here is my etiquette hell story about my in-laws from my wedding.  

While the day went beautifully and most of the planning went well, my in-laws caused much stress.   First, it is important to note that my husband's parents are divorced and have both remarried.  FIL is generally kind of a jerk, I get along well with MIL, but she can be kind of catty.  Second, we were engaged for just over two years (we were both in college at the time and wanted to graduate before we married), so everyone had plenty of warning that the wedding was coming up.  

 Anyway, as my then-fiancé, Frank, and I begin planning the wedding, his father offers to help pay for whatever the groom's family traditionally pays for.  So we figure the alcohol, my bouquet, the limo and the honeymoon (we went through many etiquette books).  We quickly find out we are mistaken, that he will only give a certain amount of money which will not come close covering the these four things, but fine, whatever, he was only interesting in paying for alcohol (he is a very heavy drinker).  We appreciated whatever he gave.  

So we plan the wedding according to the budget we have (my parents were paying for the vast majority of everything, Frank and I were paying for the rest) only to find out a few months ahead of time that he won't give us even half of what he originally promised.  I panicked, as we had already booked vendors and made deposits and would lose a lot of money if we cancelled any of them.  I finally told Frank we would have to cut the guest list some, that my parents couldn't afford any more and we were stretched to the limit as it was.  Frank thinks his dad is the greatest thing since sliced bread, so didn't want to say anything, but eventually did.  His dad did end up giving the money to cover the alcohol.  If he didn't want to give that much money, or any for that matter, fine, but he should have told us in the first place, not keep changing his mind.  

Oh, and I am Catholic, but none of Frank's family is.  His dad's side is actually rather anti-Catholic.  My FIL and his brother (equally, if not more so, jerky- he told me I am fat) kept asking me if the Pope would be at the ceremony.   

 My MIL wasn't too bad, but had her moments.  She kept quizzing me on what kind of cake we were getting and making demands on what it should be (things like "I hate dummy cakes, I think they are so tacky," and "you aren't getting that flavor, are you? It's gross"), but she never offered to help pay for it, or anything else, for that matter.  Again, fine, but don't tell me what you think everything should be if you aren't going to help out.  Any time I tried to include her in the planning, she wouldn't take part. She also kept crying that she wanted to buy us a place setting of our china, but couldn't afford it (it wasn't an expensive pattern).  I felt badly, but I wasn't going to change the pattern because of that- it took Frank and I 3 months to settle on something we both liked.  Again, we were engaged over two years, if she really wanted to get us that she could have saved the money- again it wasn't that expensive.  (What she ended up getting us was very nice, but cost more than the china, so don't know what she was crying about.) 

Then she tells me, not asks, that I have to have Frank's sister, Tara, to be in the wedding.  I had already planned this, but I don't appreciate being told, especially since Tara is a bit, um, spacey.   

The day of the wedding comes, and everything is beautiful.  The hairdresser was an hour late, but no big deal.  My bridesmaids start showing up at the house looking wonderful.  Except for Tara.  She strolls in late looking like she just rolled out of bed.  Her hair couldn't have possibly been washed in days, much less combed.  I had originally asked that everyone wear their hair up, I didn't care how, a ponytail would have been fine, but Tara threw a fit because she "would have to let her hair grow."  I was not going to argue, even though it was plenty long enough, so I told her not to worry about it.  But I thought she would have at least combed it.  Two of my BMs, who are my cousins, wanted to grab hold of her and brush it themselves, but decided that was probably not the best idea.    

 The ceremony and reception went off wonderfully, Frank and I couldn't have asked for anything more- it was the best day of our lives.  After Frank and I got back from our honeymoon, however, I found out some things that happened at the reception that still irritate me.  My FIL was going around telling people how much he paid for the alcohol and that they needed to drink more, and that he saw to it that we would have a nice honeymoon.  I didn't know which to be angrier about- that he told anyone who would listen how much he spent, or that he was taking credit for the nice honeymoon we had.  He didn't even help us plan it, let alone pay for one meal while we were there.  

To top this off, I also found out months later that Frank's 6 year old sister, FIL's daughter (she is a little demon), punched my 5 year old cousin and left a mark on her face at the reception.  When Frank told my FIL, he thought it was funny.  What a jerk. Sometimes I wonder what kind of family I got myself into.


I was married in 1993, to a good and kind man who had the misfortune to be raised by a narrow-minded, high-handed, lower-class snob of a woman.  We began dating when I was 18 and he was 23, and married five years later.  I am no longer part of the family (neither his fault nor mine nor hers), but he and I remain on good terms.   

From our five-year span of dating, I knew that the impending wedding would be an interesting exercise in restraint - ours.  I was not surprised when the FMIL turned down a pre-wedding lunch invitation from my mother - just a chance for them to meet and chat - since FMIL had avoided such opportunities previously.  I was not surprised when the guest list doubled at her insistence that this or that un-known relative would be insulted if they were left out.  

I was completely surprised when she suggested I take her other son off the list of attendants.  Here's how it went:   I have one sibling, a younger sister who has an amazing talent for music, especially piano.  My GTB had one sibling, an older brother, who still lived at home at the age of 35 and played a lot of Dungeons-n-Dragons (he's nice enough, though not very sociable, and had no ambition in life whatsoever).  GTB and I had easily decided on four other attendants each; even pairing them up with each other, though most had never met, went easily (after the 'honor couple', we matched them up by height - so that the shortest male would not feel out of place with a tall woman, and vice-versa).  We had decided that pairing my sister with his brother would reinforce the 'joining of our families' aspect of the wedding.  Since she was performing the processional music, she would go in first - therefore, he too would go in first.  We also wanted them to carry in, together, a large Unity candle for the ceremony -another important role.  

 I had been updating drafts of the guest list on my computer, and printing off a fresh copy every time we went to discuss the wedding with the MIL (FIL also a wonderful man - understandably quiet and not given to voicing opinions in public).  On the list, at the top, was a section showing the order of entry into the church:  Sister and Brother, then friend and friend, and so on, then MOH and BM, then GTB and me.  She was happy as a clam until the day I specified that this was order-of-entry, and that MOH and BM were the 'honor couple', not Sister and Brother.  She gave me a look I didn't then understand, then said "Oh, that's too many people - you should just take Brother off the list."  Perfectly normal tone of voice, as though that was what she really felt.  Neither of us understood - "But he's GTB's only sibling!  We very much *want* him to be part of the ceremony! We wouldn't think of leaving him out!"    Eventually the truth came out - "It's just a slap in the face to make him last!"  (I suppose being first-man-in, when the BM is the *last* man in before the groom, might signify some sort of insult, to those who think along those lines).  

Even worse for me, part of her problem was racist in origin - for our closest male friend, our BM, was purebred First Nations.  Even worse for her, obviously, was that "that (derogatory) fellow is even ahead" of her darling older son!  For a time, she wasn't going to let him participate at all (*LET* him!  A 35-year-old man!); she even briefly threatened to keep the whole family away.  Knowing that this sort of tantrum wouldn't work on GTB, and certainly not on me, I agreed that "if that's the way you feel, we will understand."  The threat didn't materialize, darn it! though she did have the grace to keep her lousy opinions to herself.   

After realizing that trying to placate her, without giving up control completely, would not work, we went ahead and finished planning our wedding, our way - and it worked wonderfully.  The ceremony was beautiful (my parents balked at the idea of my father 'giving me away', in this age of female equality and independence, so we convinced both sets of parents to accompany us both down the aisle, in effect 'giving' us to each other - and again reinforcing the family joining.  She went along with that, grudgingly, but FIL was proud as punch!); Brother was pleased to escort the very talented Sister, and did so with style, and the other attendants fulfilled their roles perfectly.    

The only other dim spot was the toasts during the reception - being part of a very informal group, we elected to spare our guests the rigors of a formal back-and-forth toasting procedure, and merely offered the microphone to anyone who had a comment.  MOH surprised me by spending half an hour describing several of my more immature teenaged antics - with tasteless exaggeration intended to get laughs - but succeeded only in making herself look crass; then an older man, currently living with his appropriately-aged girlfriend and her three children, proceeded to spend fifteen minutes berating *US* for living in "sin" for so long.  I still can't decide if his comments were more rude to us, or to the woman that loved him enough to house him!   

Since leaving that family (I miss FIL the most), I have met and now share a home with a wonderful man - and we have no plans to marry.  The best parts?  My parents adore him (my mother makes him a special side-dish of turkey stuffing at holiday meals, without walnuts, since she learned accidentally that he isn't fond of them - she *never* altered a family dish for the rest of us!).  And he has no family (and likes it that way) - so I have no mother-in-law!   Thanks for a wonderfully fun site - though I kind of think it's safer as a look-back-in-relief than as a pre-wedding guide!



When I was in high school, my uncle got married. My uncle and his fiancé had been living with his fiancée for quite some time before they married, and at the time of their wedding they rented a cottage from my parents on the same property as the home of my parents. 

Both of my parents, but my mother in particular, put a lot of effort into preparing food, bought at THEIR expense, for the reception.  My parents didn't provide all the food for the reception, but they did provide an awful lot. The ceremony and was to take place on a Saturday afternoon, and my dad found out that morning that the following Monday, my uncle and soon-to-be-aunt's rent check was going to bounce. My dad spoke to my uncle about this before the ceremony, and was rather sweet in his tone, as my parents figured they mustn't have given my parents a bad check on purpose; my parents initially figured that maybe their bank had made a computational error or something. But my uncle rather flippantly said he would take care of it on Monday and seemed to think it was nervy of my dad to be bringing it up. 

To this day, I suspect what happened was that they spent over their means on their contribution to the ceremony and reception, and just figured that they'd give my parents a check on Friday because they had to to avoid immediate trouble, and then they'd put out the fire when the check bounced. Even though they had the ceremony on a public beach, and the reception was at a friend's house, and they had a relative do the food, if you're so broke that you can't afford to pay for your wedding and pay your rent, maybe you need to wait to get married, especially when your landlords are kin. You just don't screw kin over like that, especially when they're the ones who provided a lot of food for your reception! And my parents didn't even give them notice, and didn't even force them to try to scrounge up the cash-- my dad just said, "You MUST take care of this Monday."


Page Last Updated May 15, 2007