Witches of the Weddings
Momsters, Smothers of
the Bride or Groom, SIniSTER/SIniSTERs-in-Law, Bothers/Bothers-in-Law and Dadulas
Jun-Dec 2000 Archive
Jan-Jul 2003 Archive
Jan-Jun 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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
Page Last Updated May 15, 2007