Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


Main Page/Home

The Faux Pas Archives
Wedding Etiquette

Bridesmaids and Beastmen
Bridal Showers
Bridezillas and Groomonsters
Faux Pas of the Year
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme
Guests From Hell
Tacky Invitations
Wedding Rugrats
Just Plain Tacky
Tacky Toasts
Thank You Notes From Hell
Tacky Vendors
Wedding From Hell
Wicked Witches of the Wedding
Perfect Bride
Bridesmaid Dress Incinerator



Everyday Etiquette

Baby Showers
The Dating Game
Ooops! Foot in Mouth Disease
Funeral Etiquette
Gimme Hell
Holiday Hell
Just Plain Tacky
It's all Relatives
Every Day RugRats
Road Rage

Business Etiquette

Bad Business Etiquette
Merchants of Etiquette Hell
Bad Bosses

Faux Pas of the Year




Press Room/Contact


Wicked Witches of the Weddings

Momsters, Smothers of the Bride or Groom, SIniSTER/SIniSTERs-in-Law, Bothers/Bothers-in-Law and Dadulas

Jan-Jun 2000 Archive
Jun-Dec 2000 Archive
2001 Archive
2002 Archive
Jan-Jul 2003 Archive
Jul-Dec 2003 Archive
Jan-Jun 2004 Archive
Jul-Dec 2004 Archive

I love this site!  I have been glued for about a week, and it reminds me of my own wedding and gives me a way to vent a little without being found out.  It was filled with all sorts of horrible happenings, but I think the worse (and easiest to remember) was my ex MIL.

First, she and I never had a perfect relationship, although we did try dearly to make it work.  The problem was she is a self-centered, attention grabbing, down right mean woman.  But she does it in such a sweet way. 

My ex-husband and I dated for about 6 years before we became engaged.  We were  young and stupid (at least I was) and I really think she thought she could take advantage of that.  Both our parents were divorced and either remarried or had significant others.  And two of our grandmothers and my great-grand mother were still alive.  We didn't have much money for the wedding to begin with and were being helped out by family a great deal (they made the food for the reception, I made my own flowers, and so on). 

The first problem I had with her in wedding planning was about the mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmother flowers.  Since our families were so populated by parents of the B & G (4 sets), I decided on only having flowers for the maternal mothers only to wear.  Thought it was a good idea at the time.  Not to ex-MIL.  She decided that ALL of them were going to wear them.  I tried several times to explain this to her, and her only response was "I'll just order them from the florist for G's side then".  Well, I have to say, I was not happy.  Finally after a long conversation (basically me telling her if she does, they will be asked to remove their flowers, otherwise everyone will have flowers on) she finally gave up.  O.K. problem solved, right?  For now.

Next, she was living with my ex-BIL because she was not financially able to support her self, understandably.  She left her cheating husband and only worked for a local VFW that paid very little.  I had no intention of asking her to contribute to our wedding.  I knew purchasing an outfit (that story comes later) would be stressing enough on her bank account.  Instead, she insists.  So, I ask her to bring dinner rolls to the reception, knowing this wouldn't cost a great deal of money and it would make her feel good to contribute.  That was O.K.  Problem solved?  Keep reading.

Just a few months before my wedding, she is in a foul mood that I am now taking her youngest son from her, the one she "almost died giving birth to".  She continues to relate this to any and all that stand long enough to take a breath.  Finally, ex-hubby sets her straight, he asked me, remember?  Well, she didn't take kindly to that, but she did drop the subject.

Then, one week before the wedding she decides to show me the dress she purchased for the big day.  She had previously asked me what my mother was wearing, and seeing as it was an outside ceremony in the beginning of June, I had left it up to the mothers as to the color and style they wished to wear, my mistake!  My mother had a beautiful baby blue dress with a very light organza jacket that matched the length of the calf length dress.  I almost fell over when I saw ex-MIL's dress.  She choose to purchase a dress that was really nice, same length as my mothers.  The only difference was hers was white!  She tried to convince me it was "eggshell", but I didn't buy it.  It was white.  I really tried to talk her into another dress, but she wouldn't budge.  She became so upset with me that she actually wrote me a letter the night before my rehearsal dinner demanding she wear the dress or else she wasn't bringing dinner rolls, and she would not attend her youngest son's wedding, the one she "almost died giving birth to".  My ex-BIL had found the letter that morning and in the trash it went, I only found out after my honeymoon.  She did, however, bring the dinner rolls, and wore the dress.

Next comes the ceremony-went well although our JP wore a gray wool suit (this is outside in June, remember?) and ex-hubby and I are not even looking at each other during vows so we wouldn't bust up laughing, but that's a different story.  Then the pictures.  Ex-MIL demands that many pictures be taken of her side of the family, and the divorced partners, then divorced partners with their new partners, and so on.  It's a wonder I got the only one of my family!

On to the reception.  I thought, "Well, she's had her attention for the day, what with the dress and all, it can't get worse".  Boy was I wrong.  As we were being introduced, she was escorted by her new boy-friend.  Now, they are both old enough to know better than this, but I guess all sense checked out for the day because just, and I mean just, as they were being introduced as MOG, BF bends down on one knee in doorway and proposes to MOG in front of my entire reception!!!  So what was suppose to be my special day, did as she hoped and turned into her special day. 

I have to say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  30 seconds into our first dance my new hubby says, "I hope this song doesn't last long", and the night only got worse.  We lasted a long 6 years, and it was hard.  But I should have known better, seeing how she "almost died giving birth to him" (which she also repeated while I was in labor with my son!!)



Hi Jeanne,   My husband and I were married in a small ceremony in 2003. We did all of the planning (and 90% of the paying) ourselves, but managed to have a relatively goof-free, wonderful ceremony and reception. I say "relatively," because...well, my mom ended up being nominated for a one-way ticket to Etiquette Hell.

In order to cut costs, DH and I had decided to skip the videographer. Instead, we hired a wonderful photographer and trusted that she would take enough pictures to preserve our memory of the day. However, as a wedding gift, my FBIL, "Mike," decided that he would videotape the wedding. If I'd only known what problems this was going to cause....

Anyway, Mike sets up the camera, and it's rolling throughout the ceremony---just as the three-year-old granddaughter of one of our guests starts chattering to herself. Truly, it was not loud, though the acoustics in the church likely made it seem so, nor was it at all distracting to either DH or I as we said our vows. And after a bit, the mother of the child took her outside. However, the incident had given my mother her chance to gripe and complain about SOMETHING (I guess the wedding was going too well?), so for the rest of the day, all the way down to the reception and back, she complained about how the child had "ruined our wedding" and how she was just sure we wouldn't be able to hear our vows on the videotape. For all I know, she might have kept complaining about it during the reception, but I'd sort of tuned her out by then <g>.

Fast forward three weeks. We've sent all our thank you notes, returned from our honeymoon, and generally, started settling into our lives as a married couple. My mom calls to see how we're doing and almost the second thing out of her mouth is how beautiful the ceremony was, except for the child crying and how sad that our ceremony was ruined, etc., etc. She also went on and complained about the tattoos my MOH had on her back (which, by the way, I hadn't minded in the slightest---tattoos aren't my style, but the MOH was and is a dear friend of mine and I wasn't going to not invite her to the wedding just because she had tattoos, for crying out loud!) and then she complained about how rude my FIL was to her (possibly, but I daresay she was asking for it) and how obnoxious my DH's uncle was.....

Yeah, at this point, I was sort of wondering how she could claim to have enjoyed herself if she was also so offended by everyone's behavior. After letting her go on in this vein for a bit, I took a deep breath and asked her why she was so annoyed---after all, if all of these alleged offenses hadn't bothered DH and I (they hadn't) what was her problem? Funny, she didn't have an answer for that one....<g>



I am getting married in 20 days.  To accommodate all of our guests, we decided to have a "Luncheon" wedding from 10am-3pm.  To make it even more convenient, the ceremony and reception are taking place at the same location.  We are paying for the entire wedding ourselves and are having an open bar.  My parents, the bride's parents, haven't paid for anything.   I was disappointed when I learned that my (divorced) mother's family  members (30 guests) would not be attending our wedding, since a distant cousin of mine is getting married the same day.  Since they know this distant cousin more than they know me, they decided to attend her wedding instead.  This distant cousin is having a traditional "dinner and dancing" wedding in a town approximately 4 hours away from here.  I was disappointed but completely understood (even though most of them didn't bother replying at all.)   

A few days ago, my sister heard that my mother was planning on leaving my wedding early to be able to drive out of town and make it on time for the dinner/reception of this cousin's wedding.  I immediately called my mother to confirm this and she said it was true, she wanted to leave our luncheon wedding two hours early, and couldn't believe that this offended me.  When I cried, she laughed and said I was taking things too seriously.  She said it wasn't a big deal -- I told her that leaving two hours early from a 5 hour wedding is practically missing half of the wedding.   The worst part is that neither myself nor my mother have ever even met this cousin of mine.  Since she has 17 brothers and sisters who are all married, I have about 80 cousins in total.  It's not bad enough that her entire family isn't coming to my wedding because of this other wedding, but now the she, the mother of the bride, is leaving early to make it there too.    



This is the true story of my wedding which took place only a week and a half ago. Wounds are still open, but maybe it will help to share...

Because my mother is a dominating, controlling person, I had always known that planning our wedding wouldn't be easy, and it certainly wasn't. To begin with, although my husband and I live on the East Coast, she insisted through screaming fits that the wedding be held in my hometown in the Midwest. This obviously made it easier for her friends to attend the wedding, but very few of my husband's family were able to attend. The next step was choosing the reception site. Now, her best friend's daughter was due to be married three months before me, and it soon became clear that my mother wanted me to have the exact same wedding as her. My husband and I wanted a nice restaurant in the downtown area; she insisted on the suburban catering hall that her friend had chosen for her daughter. Again, lots of screaming fits and insistence that her friends would never drive the twelve miles downtown. We eventually wound up with the restaurant that we liked, but only by putting down a deposit secretly and hightailing it out of town before telling her. Meanwhile, my spineless father was no help at all in mediating or talking some sense into her.

Fast forward to the invitations. In the spirit of keeping things inclusive and also because we were paying for most of the wedding ourselves, we wanted to word the invitations "together with our families." Until my mother sent me a nasty email accusing my husband of putting the idea into my head because he had been raised an orphan. Keep in mind, his father had died just a few months earlier. She wanted to have her and my father's names on it. We gave in, choosing the path of least resistance.

For the rest of the planning process, I was either bombarded with screaming fits whenever I deviated from the wedding of her friend's daughter (which I couldn't have known about, because I was out of the country at the time and couldn't attend) or with weird requests that I later found out were things that the friend's daughter had had.

Less than a month before the wedding, my husband and I went to my parents' home for Christmas and to finalize wedding plans. My mother behaved strangely the entire time, ignoring me and spending all her time talking to him. I soon realized that unlike most horror situations, her problem wasn't with him, it was with me! She would even walk into the bedroom that he was staying in to talk to him. The last straw of that visit was when we went to the restaurant to set the menu, and my mother, furious that she hadn't been invited along, spent the rest of our visit screaming at me and calling me "disrespectful" and a "liar" because we had decided against having an extra dessert on the menu. Meanwhile, she's being completely sweet to my then-fiancé.

It was really sad to notice that she wasn't really happy or excited for me at all, but about having a wedding to show off to her friends and that she really thought of the wedding as her own. I should also mention that because she is a woman of tacky taste, we could not accept her creative input for the wedding. This will shortly become clear.

The week before we returned to my hometown for the wedding was when she set the plans in motion that ruined our wedding. Although we didn't want videography, she hired behind our backs the same videographer that her friend had used. This guy turned out to be completely slimy and pushy, calling himself a "male Jennifer Lopez" and tried to change our wedding plans behind our backs several times. For one thing, he called the catering manager and behind our backs, tried to convince her to change the order of our reception so that we cut the cake at the beginning of dinner rather than at the end, which we planned. Fortunately, she had the good sense to refuse. Meanwhile, both of my parents are criticizing me because I said "I have a bad feeling about this guy" and my mother is having secret whispered phone conversations with him. Because we were afraid that she was going to pull a fast one, we warned our DJ "no requests or CDs" and she said OK.

The day of the wedding, my husband and I could not believe how beautifully everything was turning out. No snow, no lost guests, not even any traffic jams. Everything was perfect right up through the dinner. The DJ had just come over to discuss the timing of the after-dinner toasts and we were walking around greeting guests. Then the DJ reappeared and said that it wasn't her idea, but that there was a surprise and we had to sit near the cake. How bad could it be, right? So we went and sat down. What followed was an incredibly tacky performance by a pair of dwarfs or very short people dressed in doll-like bride and groom costumes. Apparently, they're called the "little people." It really did not fit into the elegant reception that we had planned. We were horrified throughout the first dance routine but could have lived with it. However, it kept going on and on, until a friend of mine told the DJ that the bride wanted it to stop. We could not figure out who had done it, although our only guess was my mother and the videographer. When I looked over at her, she had a look of satisfaction on her face, finally having some control and her moment in the spotlight. It was a completely tasteless performance with the bride and groom dolls arguing about why their reception had been cancelled, which was the pretext for them showing up at our reception. We were furious, people had started to walk out during the performance, and it completely put the rest of the reception behind by at least 20 minutes.

We asked the DJ, and she said that my mother had given her a CD and told her it was a surprise. Never mind that we had told her no requests. We later got half our money back from the DJ company and a personal apology from the president. When we confronted the videographer, he denied having anything to do with it but we later found out it wasn't true. He walked out of the reception after I screamed at him - not a shining moment, but everything had started to fall apart after he came onto the scene and at least no other guests overheard. We later found out from the restaurant that he had gone there and told them about the surprise, and when the catering manager told him that it didn't sound like our taste, he told her that she couldn't dictate to the mother of the bride. It was also in one of his videos that my mother saw the little people and he helped her get in touch with them. Keep in mind, we had also told him no requests or CDs, and we were paying for the whole reception ourselves in order to avoid these problems.

Basically, my mother used the "mother of the bride" line to manipulate people into taking part. Naturally, no one wanted to ruin the special surprise. All the while, it was something for her and not for us. Even at my bridal shower, she had said to my mother-in-law, "Do you really think she deserves this?"

The next day, furious that the videographer had walked out and blaming us, she refused to talk to either of us. She and my father were supposed to come to our hotel and pick up the wedding gown and tuxes but never did. Meanwhile, we desperately needed to get into their house to pick up my luggage and the gifts. We finally managed to do that through the help of an uncle. But ever since then, my parents have been incredibly unkind, sending us emails accusing us of things we never did (such as threaten the videographer with a lawsuit) in order to deflect blame onto us and avoid admitting that what they did was wrong. They still maintain that it was a surprise designed to add humor and fun to the reception and they're ultimately more concerned about the videographer than with their own daughter. Really sad that it took my wedding to reveal the true character of my parents...



This story is about my Sinisters-in-laws.

My husband and I had dated for many years before we became engaged. I had a fantastic relationship with his father and mother. I felt very welcomed and included within the family. However, my husband's two brothers and their wives never took the time to even sit down and talk with me. I was ignored by them at all family events. I even went so far to schedule lunch with my soon to be sister-in-laws and they cancelled out on all of them.

When my husband and I became engaged, we wanted to establish a closer relationship with his brothers and sister-in-laws and we thought by having them in the wedding party would help this along. When we asked them they all were excited. Then the two sister-in-laws pulled me into the kitchen and told me that the wedding was not about my husband and I but all about them and the family. They told me that the bride and groom were insignificant and the attention should be totally on them and if it is not done that way, I will pay the price. Little did I know that this would be the start of a volatile year. 

The two sister-in-laws started to complain about everything that my husband and I were doing. Nothing was up to their standards and nothing was going to please them. Let me give you a list of some of the outrageous things they had done: Sister in law #1 -Screamed at me on the phone because I did not tell her what was the right pen color for the rehearsal dinner invitations. -Setup a bridal shower for me and did not tell me the time to show up. Originally the time was supposed to be 1pm but they changed the time to 11am and did not tell me. I showed up at the shower at 11:15am and they were absolutely livid. I was screamed at for this after the shower and was told I should have known even if they didn't tell me. -Even though she knew that we blocked rooms for out of town guests at a particular hotel, she told several relatives to stay at a different hotel 5 miles further away. -Demanded that I spend over $5000 on chair covers and high end silverware. My husband and I were on a strict budget, yet both SIL were not willing to help financially or do any tasks that had anything to do with the wedding. When I mentioned to her that it was not in our budget, she told me that we should do what she wanted.

Sister in law #2 -Every time I saw her, she would state "you are not a part of this family nor will you ever be" -Screamed at me on the phone because we ordered the bridesmaid dresses too late (mind you, I wanted to go bridesmaid dress shopping 6 months before the wedding - both SILs insisted that it had to be 2 months before the wedding) -Left vile voice mail messages at work criticizing on everything about the wedding plans. -Tried to setup a different rehearsal dinner in which the guests would be split up. Her reasoning - to get the kids out of the way and she wanted to be the center of attention.

Mind you, during this time I was trying desperately to maintain my sanity. My husband nor his two brothers wanted to even talk to the SILs about their outrageous behavior. I was the only one standing up for myself but every time I did, the SILs screamed louder and complained more about me not being perfect. I eventually called the family minister and explained what was happening. He eventually had a talk with SIL #1 but SIL #2 kept making herself unavailable whenever he came by.

During the wedding itself, both SILs refused to talk with me and they proceeded as if the event was planned just for them. At the reception, they screamed at the wedding planner over some minor things and both started to get very drunk.

Sad to report that I have not spoken with the SILs since the wedding (over 2 years ago). It became very clear to me that I was not to be a part of my husband's family for some unknown reason to me. I have tried to speak with them on several occasions to clear the air but they told me that because I showed up 15 minutes late to the shower they will never forgive me. In all the wedding articles that I have read, they state about being a caring and gracious bride but they never state what to do with two SILs that are out of control.



My daughters wedding was yesterday and I am so glad it's over!  The young man she married is very sweet, but his mother just about drove everyone crazy!  She is an absolute control freak and attention whore who insisted on being involved and pushing her way in every part of the wedding.   

In the beginning, we told our daughter we had a set amount budgeted since her sister had been married 4 years before and we agreed that whatever we spent on that one, we would spend on the next sister.  They decided they wanted a much larger affair (pretty much for his family, etc) and began to plan.  Since his family had so many people they wanted to invite, they said they would pay for the reception hall and catering as their share.  Our portion of the expenses covered the wedding, photography, DJ, limo, flowers, church, etc. ($4,000.00).   Since their family is Catholic, and our daughter had converted the previous year, they decided on a Catholic wedding - we had no problem with that - my husband was asked to do a reading and that was fine.  

During the course of the 1 1/2 hour ceremony, the parents, one set of grandparents, daughter, 2 cousins were involved in this ceremony while we sat like lumps.   When we got to the reception, (we were lucky we had a decent table as MIL had declared early on "since we are paying for the reception, I am writing the seating chart").  The priest said a prayer, the Best Man gave a toast, the Maid of Honor gave a toast and then suddenly the Groom's Father stands up, welcomes everyone to the reception without saying a word about us and our contributions.  Made it sound like they were responsible for everything!! 

Immediately after they ate, MIL runs up and dedicates a dance to her hubby and before the Bride and Groom have the first dance, she has one with hubby all by themselves while everyone sits and says "what the hell?".   The only saving grace is they are all heavy smokers and were outside much of the time smoking away.   They had planned some months back to have a brunch for the kids to open their gifts and did not invite us.  The Groom found out at the reception and told us to come.   I'm worried for my daughter and this Monster In Law - I have a feeling it's going to get worse before it gets better.



My fiancé, Shad, and I live almost 300 miles from his family.  We were driving up to spend a few days with them for the holiday season.  Shad was driving while I was watching over our pets, whom we had to bring along as we don’t yet know many people in the area.  Shad’s cell phone started ringing and he asked me to answer, as we were stuck in heavy traffic.  Caller ID identifies the caller as his mother, so I answer and she hangs up on me.  She calls back a minute later.  I can hear her talking to someone in the background while I say “hello” several times, trying to get her to acknowledge me.  She never bothered to respond to me, just stayed silent.  I hung up and let Shad know what had just happened; his mother apparently just didn’t want to talk to me.

The following afternoon, Shad and I were in the upstairs room we were staying in during the visit.  His mother comes walking in, carrying a silk negligee with a matching robe.  She hands it to me saying “Here, this is for you.  I wore it when I got married.  You’ll have to shake it off because it’s dusty from hanging in the closet for so many years.”  Well, I didn’t quite know what to say, so I gave her a confused smile and a thank you, all the while trying to figure out why I would want her old, used lingerie--so that we’ll think of her during our wedding night?  So I’ve just placed it in a corner of an unused room until I figure out what to do with it.



As the only daughter, my wedding was very important to my father.  Even though my fiancé Bill and I would have been just as happy with a quick trip to the JP, but Daddy wanted to throw us a huge party.  My family is very close, so planning this huge wedding ended up being a lot of fun for all of us - even Bill.  We scheduled the wedding for January 16, 2005, and requested the response cards be back by December 20 so we could get the head count to the caterer.  

On Christmas day, Bill had to call all 8 of his siblings and his parents to see who was planning on coming.  His family and friends were the only ones that didn't respond.  His mother called every week asking what dish she should bring for the pitch in.  We told her again and again we weren't having a pitch in, we were getting a caterer, and every time we told her that, she would get mad and say, "Who in the world has a wedding that's not a pitch in?  Maybe I shouldn't come if it's going to be so fancy." and hang up on us.  

The next day, our caterer, who had already been paid, fell through.  That night, Bill's best man called and said he couldn't afford to rent a tux, though he'd known about it for six months.  By the end of the week, we found another caterer, and another best man.  

When the wedding finally came, I was (six months pregnant) trapped in the dressing room for so long I thought I'd die of starvation, because we were holding off the ceremony waiting for his parents to arrive.  Finally, an hour and a half after the wedding was supposed to start, we had to start it without them, because the minister had another wedding to do.  Bill was devastated that his parents would miss his wedding, especially since he's the last of the nine to get married.  When they finally showed up (with two of his siblings), the ceremony had been over for over an hour.  When Bill and I came into the foyer to see his parents, the first thing his mother said was, "You two aren't supposed to see each other before the ceremony!  You did wait for us, of course."  The wedding was supposed to start at 1 p.m., and they didn't arrive until after 3!  They were dressed in jeans and not very clean sweatshirts, (they live on a farm) even though everyone else was in formal attire.  They stayed for an hour, went through the buffet twice, and then left.  When Bill and I got home that night and went through the lovely gifts and cards we had gotten, we found his parents hadn't even given us a card.  Neither had any of his siblings.  But his parents!  It broke my heart when I saw the look on his face when we opened the last card and it wasn't from his parents.  I just hate that they treat him this way.



I was a bridesmaid in the wedding of a future sister in-law. On the day of her wedding, the bride, some of the bridesmaids and flower girls were getting ready at her house. We were doing our hair, making sure the dress was ready to go, putting the finishing touches on favors for the reception, and doing all the basic last minute wedding things. Suddenly the phone started ringing off the hook. When one of us finally had a free hand with which to answer the phone, we were all shocked. It was the groom's mother, and she wanted to know if the bride would come pick her up and take her to Family Dollar to shop for a wedding gift. The poor bride just had to keep repeating, "I'm marrying this man, not his family," for the rest of the day.



I was in my sister's wedding recently as MOH. Both of us unfortunately had to deal with someone called Motherofthebridezilla. The wedding day weather was perfect and the day went relatively well but a few situations REALLY stand out to me MOB-zilla. I never once heard her compliment the bride and the area where the wedding party was getting ready was small and you can hear everything in the area (my sister looked beautiful and aren't you supposed to tell that to the bride anyways?). 

Then after the ceremony that went off without a hitch, MOB-zilla tries to boss around the photographer during group picture taking sessions. Good thing the pictures with her in them were taken early as they had to take my sister's children (they are from her 1st marriage) home to take a nap for a few hours as they are under age 5. I was so relieved when MOB-zilla left the church. 

At the reception, MOB-zilla got in my face because I wouldn't help my niece with her plate with her food cutting it up, etc - the little girl was next to her mom the bride and no problem as my sister had things under control. I told off my mother and she had a bit of a hissy fit. I didn't realize being MOH meant you cut up food on a child's plate when another adult had the situation under control and if my sister wanted help, she would've asked me, and I will not butt in unless it was necessary. I sat near a very rude groomsman who told me I was not to disrespect my mother like that - I told him he doesn't know what kind of pain & misery that this woman MOB-zilla has caused me in the past. 

I was near tears at this point, stormed off to the bar to get a drink and returned to the table. Lucky for me a kind groomsman & another bridesmaid who had overheard a bit agreed to switch places with me so I wouldn't have to sit near the idiot who had the nerve to be a pain in the behind to me. The kind groomsman did lend me his ear and let me talk to him about a few things - apparently he has an idea about MOB-zilla and what she has done in the past to either me or my sister in the past (but that's a whole other story!!). The bridesmaid is a long time friend of my sister, and knows all too well about some of MOB-zilla's antics. Of course I didn't hear the end of it that I had a few drinks at the reception later on (I am of legal age to drink and had 2 drinks that contained alcohol... and if I wasn't fit to drive, there were plenty of people there to deny me my car keys if I wasn't fit to drive and I am aware of my limits, and I drank diet cokes for most of the evening) and MOB-zilla still has an issue with her grown daughters enjoying an adult drink in the presence of others of age!! Thanks for letting me rant here... I really needed to get this off my chest!!!!!



I recently found out that shortly before our wedding (8 years ago), my husband's mother phoned a bunch of people that weren't being invited to give them my parents' address and let them know that "you're not invited to the wedding, but you can drop off a gift at the bride's parents' house."

I'm hoping these people haven't spent the last 8 years thinking my husband and I put her up to this rudeness. I wish I would have known back then....



I have to say I love your website.

My story involves my future mother in law. The wedding has not even taken place yet and already she takes the cake for above and beyond in the evil MIL category.  Although the rest of the family ranks quite well on the list.

My fiancé and I met in early February, we moved in together in July, and he proposed in October. Numerous people have suggested we were moving rather fast, but we are both in our late 20's, have lived on our own for a number of years, hold good jobs, and can reasonably be expected to know our own minds. Both of us simply felt that we had met the right person. We planned to get married the following November, a decent length engagement by today's standards. When Fiancé called his parents to announce that he popped the question and I had accepted, the first thing out of his mother's mouth was "Is she pregnant?" When Fiancé responded no, FMIL proceeded to spend 20 plus minutes trying to talk him out of it. "You don't need to marry her, you can call it off, etc" Fiancé disagreed with this. His mother continued to call frequently attempting to convince Fiancé to call things off.

I got my engagement ring in November. Fiancé and I had picked it out together post the big question. We went to his parents for dinner. The moment I walked into the house the FMIL wrenched the ring off my finger and tried it on her own wedding finger. I stood there stunned while she pranced around the house looking at the ring on her finger in different lights. When she finally came back to me and said, "Doesn’t it look so nice on my hand?" I replied, "Yes it does, may I have my ring back now." She frowned and said, "Oh, well I guess so."

For the next several months Fiancé and I planned our wedding. I wanted to elope but it was important to Fiancé that his family be involved so we compromised on a very small intimate wedding. Fiancé wanted to be heavily involved in the planning but had no idea how to go about things. For every item we decided on I would do all the field work and present him with a variety of options. For example, I used a web site to sort through 500 plus locations for a reception location in our area, I found 6 that met the requirements we had, and the two of us went to see those 6 in person. Fiancé decided on the one he liked and we went with that. We again went to his parents for dinner to tell them about the location: which provided everything, cake, caterer, decorations, and DJ in the package. They complained because we were having such a small wedding. They wanted to be able to invite all of Fiancé's extended family who lived out of the country. Fiancé explained we wanted a small wedding and that all of his extended family would not fit in the location we picked. His parents continued to complain and as a compromise Fiancé and I agreed to go to the other country on our honeymoon and have a cocktail reception there with the extended family, numbering in the 100s. They seemed to be agreeable to this.

The next thing I hear is that the FMIL has called one of the FSILs to tell her that I don't want her kids at my wedding. The truth is the location was unsafe for 2 small children under the age of five. But FMIL does not say this.

Following this Fiancé gets numerous calls from his parents again wanting to increase the guest count again with people from the extended family. Fiancé reminds them that we agreed to go there on our honeymoon. The phone calls continue.

At the next dinner the FMIL tells my FFIL that I don't want him to speak at my wedding. Again the real story being that with a spilt seating at the location, we feel it would be rude to have toasts during dinner, and will be having them just prior to cake cutting, so we are limiting toasts to the MOH and BM. But she doesn't explain any of this. After I rush to correct the story and placate my FFIL. I tell her to stop trying to stir up trouble. She laughs.

Next we get a call from Fiancé's godparents informing us that MIL is calling ALL of the extended family complaining that I am ruining her  little boy's life, that I have planned the wedding I want with no regard for what Fiancé wants, and that I hate all his family and am trying to take Fiancé away from them, she isn't going to come to the wedding at this rate.

We cancel the wedding location with 6 months to go till "I do". I take the FMIL to look at locations with me, since she complained we left her out of the previous planning. Seems to me she was too busy trying to talk her son out of marrying me to get involved but I digress. She tells various vendors snide remarks about me, every where we go. She tells me a number of items including: Fiancé does not really love me, I may have been a promiscuous slut but her precious doesn't have that kind of experience, and I am cold and defensive(Gee I wonder why).

When I finally choose a location and I called back to confirm, the vendor on site who I had gotten along with famously, asks very hesitantly if I will be bringing my MIL to all of our planning sessions. When I say no, the vendor sighs deeply and says yes she will be happy to work with me. The new location only caters, so now we need a baker, a DJ, and an increasing number of flowers. The future in-laws double our guest list. The parents seem happy.

I call the FSIL to tell her we have changed locations and would be delighted if her children could attend. She tells me, "You couldn't pay me enough to bring my children to your wedding." I hand the phone over to Fiancé crying.

Next Fiancé's other sister comes out to visit. While at dinner she berates us for changing our wedding plans. When we try to explain why we did, she goes off calling me a liar, with no morals or values and it's no wonder my family doesn't want to come to my wedding. I again retire crying.

Shortly thereafter Fiancé calls FMIL to tell her if she has a problem with us not to go talking to the whole family but to bring it directly to him so they can discuss it. She goes psycho, FFIL gets on the phone and starts yelling at Fiancé that he needs to apologize.  Fiancé refuses. FFIL hangs up. FMIL calls back, it's all my fault, I am making her life miserable, she has never in her life had a problem with anyone and since I came along, everything has been just one problem after another. FMIL hangs up. FFIL calls back, I am a manipulative B*TCH, who is ruining Fiancé's life, and Fiancé better cancel the wedding otherwise it is going to be a very unfriendly event. Whew.

And there's still 3 months to go till the actual event. I haven't asked anyone to be an usher, I'm hiring bouncers instead.


Update, please. 


Great web site! I was reminded when reading all the stories of something that happened to me when I attended my Sister-In-Law's wedding. I, out of courtesy to my Father In Law accepted an invitation to dance with him at my SIL's reception. Halfway through the dance, he whispered into my ear: "If you were not married to my son, I'd do ya!" Needless to say, I am not married to this guy anymore.

I don't know what was worse, having several of my (now) ex-husband's uncles try to "slip me the tongue" when congratulating me on at own wedding, or the proposition made to me by my ex-husband's father as described above!



This is a true story about our dysfunctional family, or should I say the family that I married into that is truly dysfunctional.   Several years ago, my brother-in-law announced that he was getting married to his live-in girlfriend.  I was excited for him as my husband does not have any sisters and I live several states away from my sisters.  I thought a female would be a great addition to his family.  Shortly after the engagement, the brother-in-law that I will call J. announced that he would have his twin brother in the wedding party, but not his only other older brother, even though they were not the best of friends, but were not enemies either.    

A week or two later, I called up my sister-in-law-to-be, whom I will call L., and asked her to lunch.  As we ate lunch she told me about the plans for her wedding and how stressful it was.  I mentioned to her that I thought it was odd that J. would only have one of his brothers in the wedding, and not the other, and I suggested to her that despite whatever animosity J. had towards his brother, that perhaps she could talk to him and ask him to reconsider.  Having two sons of my own, I thought that someday J. might regret this decision not to have his brother in the wedding.  Stupid me!   L. told J. and the next thing I know the twin of J. is calling my husband yelling at him that I need to mind my own business.  

During the next few months before the wedding, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer.  So some of the family spotlight was taken off their upcoming wedding, which J and L. often commented on. On the evening of the wedding, my husband and I arrived at the church with our young sons.  Instead of being escorted to the front of the church, we, the brother of the groom and his nephews, were seated half-way up the aisle!  We were not seated with the rest of my husband's small family in the front of the church and it was not a large wedding.  J's nephews could not see his uncle being wed nor were they ever asked to be a part of the wedding, and no one seemed to care.  The bride did have her two nephews and her sisters in the wedding.  After the wedding, in the foyer it was announced that the family should stay for pictures.  We were standing in the back of the church waiting for pictures and then were told that only the wedding party was to be in the pictures, not us!    

A few week's later, my mother-in-law's health started to fail dramatically, and much to our regret there are no "family" pictures of everyone all dressed up and together; it would be the last time that we would all be together.  To this day, my father-in-law and his family, except my husband, see nothing wrong with how they treated us at their wedding.    



Here's my story of my own unintended wedding etiquette faux pas, which I felt compelled to write after reading on your site about someone wondering why a person could be driven to such tacky behavior as to have a second wedding. For someone who has extreme social phobia and who never even wanted a first wedding (I am painfully shy and do not like being the center of attention), I still cringe at the irony of having had to undergo two weddings: both my own.

When I was dating my now-husband, he had given me the impression that he couldn't stand his family and that he was barely on speaking terms with his mother and siblings. At the time, I was barely on speaking terms myself with my own mother (a domineering woman with a diagnosed hormonal disorder who essentially disowned me because I wouldn't cave into her wishes and pursue graduate studies though I was supporting myself full-time as a magazine writer - but I digress). So we planned on secretly eloping by going to a JP for a quick civil ceremony that was to be witnessed solely by a couple whom we were friends with at the time.

Unfortunately, my husband accidentally let word spill via an email he sent to an old teacher and friend of his that he was getting married that weekend. Even though my husband swore to me that he told his friend to keep things hush-hush, word got round to his sister and family and they were NOT happy about it. Turns out my husband, though he claimed to have unpleasant/nonexistent relations with his family, had actually walked his sister down the aisle at her own wedding (gee, honey, thanks for sharing!). He and his sister weren't on speaking terms with his father, but that again is another story. It would have been hurtful behavior on his part for his sister not to attend this ceremony, so what was supposed to be a quickie with only 2 witnesses turned into 10 guests who more or less invited themselves. That event went quickly and painlessly and turned out not to be so bad relative to subsequent events.

When I eventually was on speaking terms with my mother a few months later and told her about having found someone I wanted to be with for the rest of my life (I hadn't worked up the courage yet to tell her we were actually married since she was and is still prone to bipolar rages), to my horror she demanded that we get married in a big church ceremony as I am her only daughter and she was not to be denied the right of getting to throw me a big wedding. She is the complete opposite of me - relishes being the center of attention, and BELIEVE ME, she is NOT the kind of person you say no to. She is scary hormonal and is still taking drugs for it.

I felt I had no choice but to give into her demands if I were to keep even a shred of family harmony. My husband didn't think it would hurt, as my parents were paying for the whole thing, but nevertheless I could have smacked him for how things had taken a turn toward disaster. It might not have been a big wedding by other people's standards, but the 60+ person guest list made me terribly queasy as I said I have extreme social phobia. This, unfortunately, led to poor judgment on my part the night before the wedding. In order to calm my dread and rising panic (I was literally shaking at the thought of walking down the aisle), I, against my better judgment, allowed my sister-in-law to get me stone drunk. So stone drunk, in fact, the next morning I was vomiting in the limo on the way to the church. I managed to make it to the church and somehow to walk down the aisle in a straight line, though my aunt later commented to me that I was shaking slightly at the altar (fortunately, she just chalked it up to the usual wedding jitters).

The day did not go so well for me as I had to keep sneaking Tylenol for my horrible hangover, but I managed to make it through the reception and the photographs despite guests continually coming up to me raving about how the margaritas at the reception were the best they ever had. Worse, the next week when photos came back my mother presented me with a huge, blown-up photo of me in my wedding dress looking green and fit to vomit. That event was one of the worst humiliations in my life, and I hope no one ever has to go though something similar. I learned the hard way that open communication is key, but they're only so much you can do being part of two very dysfunctional families. Nevertheless, I felt obliged to share my story as a way of apologizing for this unintended wedding etiquette faux pas.



Last summer my cousin, Clyde, married a wonderful woman named Linda. Clyde's mother is my mother's identical twin. Which meant that we were very close growing up, we practically lived in each others houses, and we've always considered ourselves genetic half brothers. When it came time to select groomsmen, he picked his best friend to be the best man. He also picked his little brother to be a groomsman. For various reasons, worked out in advance regarding timing issues, I could not plan to arrive in town until the night before the wedding. Because of this, I could not be a groomsman. That's not really the issue.

His brother, Dan, is a fundamentalist Baptist. In fact, Dan was attending a bible college which stressed and enforced his already rigid beliefs. Religious fundamentalism has a strong influence on a certain percentage of our family but Clyde was more liberal in his views. Linda and her family did not hold nearly the same religious conviction.

In accordance with the wishes of the bride and groom, as well as most family members on both sides, the reception was planned to include alcoholic beverages. This was part of the plan six months in advance. The wedding was on Saturday and Dan arrived in town on Thursday morning. I had arrived earlier than I had planned (as a mandatory class at my university was cancelled and moved back a semester which allowed me to leave early) but this news came far too late to include me in the official wedding party. Clyde, instantly did his best to make me feel welcome and insisted I come along for the official fitting of their Tuxes and to the dinner for the groomsmen and fathers of the bride and groom. I felt a little awkward, as I was not in the official party, but recognized that Clyde was more concerned with surrounding himself with people he was close with than the formality of everything.

During the fitting, Dan happened to hear that a couple men were planning on having a drink with dinner. This was unacceptable for him and he demanded that Clyde stop that from happening. Clyde, who was planning to have a drink himself, called the rest of us together and asked us to keep the peace and forgo the drinks. We agreed without question to keep him happy. Bob, the best man, is a fairly heavy drinker and Clyde assured him that this was just for tonight. Bob insisted that whatever it took to make Clyde happy was fine with him... and if that meant keeping Dan happy it was okay. Bob had no problem avoiding alcohol or keeping it hidden from Dan, if it would make Clyde happy.

There was some discussion between the best man and myself, arguably the two closest people to Clyde in the world, about talking with Dan about keeping his mouth shut regarding the other events involving alcohol. Before we even had the chance, Dan found out that there was to be alcohol served at the reception. He stormed up to his brother and demanded that there be no alcohol at the reception or he would not be in the wedding at all! Clyde was devastated as the plans could not be changed at this point. Not only had everything already been purchased but it was out of his hands entirely.

Knowing his brother had issues with drinking, Clyde had his real bachelor party a week early, and had a small get together the night before the wedding. Dan showed up and made it clear that no one could be drinking. Apparently it was not enough for him not to drink but the rest of the planet must abstain as well. Did I mention that he is a fundamentalist? We were at a rented condo where we all planned to spend the night and wake up early and have a nice breakfast together before the day began. Myself and Bob, as well as some of the other groomsmen and Clyde's father, took to stepping out back and having a few drinks to not upset Dan. Clyde's father encouraged us to be patient with Dan because he [Dan] was used to the atmosphere at his strict bible college and was not accustomed to the real world. As the night wore on, Clyde made a comment to us about wanting to have at least one more drink as a free man. It was a traditional thing we had always believed in and Bob and myself could see no reason to deny him.

We made comment about going out for some air to the other guests while Dan was in the toilet and quickly left. We planned to go to a local bar (as we had no intention of having Clyde drink out of a liquor bottle on his wedding night) which was right across the compound. About halfway down to the bar, Dan comes running up and demands to know if Clyde really intends to have a drink. Clyde informs him that he will be having a drink but just one and he would be right back. Dan throws a royal tantrum and storms out to his car and leaves.

Clyde has the drink but we're all so upset by what happened that we all go to bed when we get back. We did our best to cheer up Clyde but he was almost having a nervous breakdown fearing what was going to happen the next day. In the morning, Bob and I went out of our way to pick up Dan for breakfast to please Clyde, who still wanted his brother to be happy for him.

On the ride to breakfast we inform Dan that he is going to learn some manners or we will teach him some before the day is out. We made it abundantly clear that we intended Clyde to be happy and we were willing to do what it took to ensure that. Dan got the hint, although at breakfast his loudly proclaimed (to his father but audible to all), "Today I am going to practice 'Hate the sin, but love the sinner.'" It leads one to wonder why the hell he wasn't practicing that all week. Bob and I fumed over the look on Clyde's face as his brother twisted the knife one final time. But we agreed to let it slide as long as Dan actually kept his word from that point onward.

He managed to avoid saying anything. Although some of the looks he gave Bob and I could have killed lesser (more sober) men. We welcomed those looks as long as they were not directed at Clyde. In the end, Bob and I both got long flowing letters from both Clyde and Linda thanking us for "whatever it was you two did to Dan." At the time, we didn't think Clyde had figured out our little conversation with Dan had happened but he was wiser than he let on.

That was the worst example of etiquette I have ever seen. Dan's getting married this year and sent invitations addressed to everyone in my family... but me. His future wife, called and apologized when she realized he had done that and insisted that I come to the wedding. Frankly, I don't know if this guy has one redeeming quality.

-Sorry, that's so long... but I've wanted to vent about this jerk forever.


Page Last Updated May 15, 2007