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When I was in high school, I was best friends with two girls, we'll call them "Star" and "Lynn."  Star was killed by a drunk driver, leaving Lynn and me incredibly sad.  A few years later, Lynn and her boyfriend, "Tom," decided to get married.  Lynn called me up and asked me to be the MOH and only bridesmaid, as Star was no longer with us.  I agreed, and was touched by her thoughtfulness, since I had just enrolled in college that year and had not had much time to talk to her.  Lynn was as far from a Bridezilla as was possible, and I was more than happy to get a dress and plan a shower for her.  Since I was in college, my mother graciously agreed to let me use her house for the shower.  I tried to call Lynn's mother to see if she wanted to help or had any requests, but she never answered her phone, not event o RSVP to the shower. 

The day of the shower came, and I cut sandwiches, mixed fruit salad, and made punch.  My mom (who is a great person, and could plan a party in a hurricane if need be) helped with the decorations and food prep.  Just as a finished slicing the fruit salad, I had to dash to the bathroom.  I thought perhaps it was nerves that made me queasy, but I threw up, and felt much better.  I told my mother that perhaps it might be better if I switched to decorations and she finished up the food prep from a health standpoint.  At this point, everything becomes rather surreal to me, since it rapidly became obvious that I was suffering from some form of a stomach virus; every twenty minutes or so, I had to dash off to the bathroom.  Now, I was for sure not going to bother Lynn with this, as it was her shower, but I cringed inside, knowing how odd

it must look for the MOH to be continually excusing herself (a few times, during the recording of gifts.)  Lynn was never anything less that composed, however, and the shower was more or less a success; in fact, many of her older relatives couldn't believe that I had planned it.  The less part of the shower was Lynn's mother.  Her mom showed up late to the shower, didn't bring a present for her own daughter, and proceeded to loudly tell Lynn about how she wasn't sure if she would be able to take off work for the wedding.  After thinking about it some, she allowed as how she might make it, but she'd probably be wearing her work clothes still.  Never once did she offer congratulations to her daughter or ask a single question about how Lynn was holding up.  At some point, in between stomach episodes, I believe I had to hold my own mother back from ejecting Lynn's  mother from the party.  Although Lynn didn't show it, you could see that her mom's callousness was hurtful to her. 

I recovered from the stomach virus in about a week, during which I stayed at my parent's house, and my mom and I couldn't stop talking about Lynn's mother.  This behavior horrified my mom on a very deep level, and she and I told my father about it.  About a month later was the wedding, to which my whole family was invited.  It was a lovely, small wedding and Lynn and Tom were obviously very happy.  Her mother did make it to the wedding, and she was indeed in her work clothes.  This wouldn't be so bad, except for the fact that she didn't even bother to remove her Wal-Mart smock.  I could understand (barely) that maybe she wouldn't have time to change out of her work clothes, but all she had to do was take of the smock and just wear the shirt she had on underneath.  During the reception, the best part came when my father told Mom and me that he'd met Lynn's mother, and she seem really nice and very interested in Bri.  My mom asked him who he was talking about, and he pointed to "Janet" who was a lovely woman who'd been sitting at our table, dressed in a peach suit.   Mom and I sort of giggled as we told him that that was Lynn's STEP-mother, who'd done twice as much for this wedding as Lynn's biological mother.  Dad looked a bit nonplussed and asked who Lynn's mother WAS then.  As we pointed out the lady in the Wal-Mart smock, you could see the disbelief in  my father's eyes.  Fortunately this story has a happy ending, Lynn and Tom are still married, and they remain good friends of mine.  She doesn't see her mother very much, and I'm pretty sure everyone is happier that was.  To this day, however, if you want to see my mother go into a fit of apoplectic rage, all you have to do is mention Lynn's mom in her presence. 



My friend got engaged. Very exciting for me. I love planning parties. I tell her that we will have an engagement party and a shower and a bachelorette party and have very much fun. So we start with the engagement party. I employ her other nearest dearest friends to help plan the location and date etc. All is well and under control, I get a call from her mother. Her mother has never met me before. I thought her call was just wanting to help with the party, but reflecting on it later, I realized she was seeing if I was up to par for this task. She wanted to bring the hamburgers to the engagement party. (It was a BBQ in the park) No biggie right? I said go for it. We were expecting around 30 people and she brought 60 hamburgers. No biggie, right? Except she layed into one of the bridesmaids for not bringing 60 hot dogs, she only brought 16. She said she knew she didn't need that many with so many hamburgers, but the bride's mother would not let it go. Back at the original phone call, she mentioned that she heard I told her daughter I would throw her a shower. Then she asked me how big my house was. How was I to answer that? I said it was pretty big but I didn't throw any square footage at her. Well, she didn't know how big my house was, but she was pretty sure it wasn't big enough to hold the 6 million people SHE was going to invite to MY shower. I saw the danger signs and told her if she wanted the shower, she could have it, and she took it. She "forgot" to invite me to her shower. Her daughter was appalled and made sure I was there. For the record, there wasn't that many people there and my house is bigger. I remain annoyed. I didn't throw the bachelorette party, her sister did as she is the Maid of Honor. Her mom was there. In her mother's defense, she did leave after dinner, but still, I know she is the mother of the bride and everything, but that doesn't mean she has to be at EVERY function and control EVERYTHING. Hard to "get crazy" at the dance clubs with your mom there. But she left before all that, so I'm over it. I guess "overbearing mom that likes to plan and control everything" is bound to clash with "over-energetic friend that likes to plan parties" What are you gonna do?



Several years ago I attended a wedding of one of my dearest guy friends. At the time we had been very close friends for around eight years. During that time he had asked me on dates on several occasions, I always turned him down. Our relationship never progressed pass the "best friends" stage because I had no interest in him that way. With that back ground here is what happened when I attended his wedding.

First, the wedding was a spur of the moment wedding that only had around one week of planning time. His bride was not pregnant, they just didn't want to wait to plan things out. We live in a very small town and both attended the same very small church. There were no decorations, she did have a dress and a bouquet. He wore a nice suit and they had a cake and some finger foods for the reception. They kept things very simple and focused more on the reason for the ceremony.

When I showed up for the wedding, the bride's family recruited me to help with setting up the reception (I didn't mind since I enjoy helping out when needed) after that I was recruited to run the sound system at the church so my friend and his bride could play special music during the ceremony (again I didn't mind).

But this is what takes the cake. At the reception, in front of everyone, the groom's mother says to me... "I always hoped it would have been you that he married." I could have died. Her family was mortified.

After the wedding my friend's wife didn't care to be around me even though we had become friends during the time she had been dating my friend. I moved a year later and have since lost contact with him. And I never saw his mother after that.



I love your website. Whenever my family does something that gives me a headache, I read a story on your site that makes me feel positively blessed.

My own mother, may she rest in peace, spent most of her life trying to make me pay for a) having been born only a year after she had my brother, and b) not being born a boy. I could write a book and just may some day.

Two months before my wedding to my DH, of 11 years now, I got a call from my mother screaming at me, how horrible I was, how dare I not invite her to my surprise bridal shower. I was unable to get a word in for about 20 minutes as she screamed obscenities at me. Finally, as she stopped to take a breath, as I asked her how she knew there was a shower, since I knew NOTHING about it, yet here she was calling me. Mother told me my SiL had gotten an invitation that afternoon but since she had not gotten her own invitation the same day, obviously I was just an awful person and hadn't invited my own mother to my surprise bridal shower. I must mention here, that is how she referred to it the entire time - my SURPRISE bridal shower.

I called my SiL to get the details of the invitation since I knew nothing about it. She gave me the RSVP phone number, which turned out to be that of my future MiL. I called and explained the situation. My MiL was crushed that the surprise was ruined but shared that my bridesmaids had planned everything. It was to be held at MiL's house though. I called my MOH and explained the situation to her. She was not only crushed, since the girls had been planning this for a while, but she was very angry. She told me that, of course, she had invited my mother. She has no idea why she hadn't received an invite in the mail.

I called Mother back and told her this. She cursed at me some more and then hung up on me.

Mother called me the next day to say that her invitation had come. She never apologized. She also asked me to come pick her up to take her to my surprise bridal shower. She still called it that. Mother lives on the West end of the state. I live on the East end of the state. My Mil's house, the site of the shower, was in the middle of the state. My mother wanted me to drive across the state to pick her up, go to the shower, drive her home, then drive back across the state home. To try and make peace, I agreed to do this. (My fault for playing doormat, I guess.) I had to tell my MOH that I was doing this so she wouldn't worry if I was late. MOH is fuming mad at Mother.

What I didn't know at the time was that Mother had called all of my relatives who had been invited to the shower to tell them SHE had not been invited and asked them to boycott my bridal shower. Since it sounded to them like I was being such a horrible person, not one member of my family attended my bridal shower. I didn't find out why until much later. Mother herself called my cell phone the morning of the shower to say she didn't feel well and couldn't attend. That was the nicest thing she'd had to say about the matter.

There were other incidents, too numerous to mention but here are a couple highlights. Three days before the wedding she suddenly told my father that I was refusing to let him walk me down the aisle. Out of nowhere! She called all the relatives again and everyone agreed I was being horrible. Lucky for me, the relatives got my mother so worked up over the matter that she forgot SHE HAD MADE IT UP so she called me to curse me for being a terrible person to deprive my father of this honor. I had NO IDEA what she was talking about. I called my father at work the next day and asked him about it. He said he knew it wasn't true but he didn't want to argue with my mother and make her mad. Besides, he said, why would your mother make this up?

But since all the relatives were already angry at me, my parents then decided to have a party the night before the wedding. My In-law, wonderful lovely people, had planned a rehearsal dinner and had asked my parents to invite all of our guests, especially those from out of town, so the families could meet and mingle and have a nice evening. Not a single relative of mine showed up to the rehearsal, not even my parents or brother. At the wedding the next day I found out about my parents party and that the invitations to the rehearsal were never issued. Some people said they had been told outright by my parents that there WAS NO rehearsal dinner or pre-wedding party of any kind. My mother actually told people at her party that she had expected ME and my fiancé to show up, that we had just blown off her party, being just a horrible terrible person still.

It bothers me more that not a single person in my family called to ask me about any of this. They just took my mother at her word, even though history had shown her to be almost incapable of telling the truth where I was concerned. They were all more concerned with not making Mother mad than with protecting me, even as a child. They all tend to wonder why I'm so close to my in-laws and don't spend much time with them.

Last highlight, I had bought my mother a Mother of the Bride outfit, spent my own money on it as a gift to try and make her happy. (I know, doormat again but Honor Thy Mother and Father doesn't say anything about "only if they're nice to you.") She picked out the style she wanted. She said she loved it, it fit perfectly, it looked wonderful on her. She showed up to the wedding wearing a white sweat suit. There were so many things wrong with that, I was speechless. When my voice returned I calmly asked my mother where her MOB outfit was. She said she tried it on that morning and it didn't fit so she decided to just be comfortable. I asked her why she wore white. She said, well, it's a wedding isn't it? Later my father innocently let slip a few facts. My mother hadn't filled him in on what she had planned to say so he didn't know enough to lie to me as she had. Mother had worn her MOB dress to the Bat' Mitzvah of the daughter of some guy my father used to work with the weekend before and she hadn't bothered getting it cleaned yet so she couldn't wear it to the wedding. But he assured me that Mother had looked wonderful in it. And, after all, she had made sure her sweat suit was clean so she could wear it instead.

Our wedding was small, very inexpensively done. I still have all the receipts. We spent less than $7000 for the wedding and a reception for 80 people. My father came for a visit recently and the topic of weddings came up. I mentioned how proud I was that we had kept our expenses low. He informs me that he spent $15,000 on my wedding. I actually listed the expenses for him, pointed out the things my husband and I had paid for ourselves as well, and asked him how that added to 15K. He includes the party he threw that took people away from the rehearsal dinner, plus he says my mother kept taking money out of the bank and telling him I had asked for it for wedding expenses, to a total about 15K. To this day I had no idea where she spent the money and, even though my father admits that our wedding didn't look like something that costs that much, he doesn't want to make my mother mad.

May she rest in peace.



I have one more shorter tale for you. When my friend, "Grace" got married she had two Bridesmaids (BM), me and her sister, "Carol." When she asked me I was thrilled ! She was unsure what she wanted for BM dresses and had asked me to keep my eyes open. I found a beautiful dress in a department store and told Grace which one it was so she could go take a look at it.  It was a long, scarlet color with spaghetti straps. She went and looked at it and loved it. She called to say this was THE dress!  She then brought her mom  and Carol to look at it. Grace called me back to say that she was in love with the dress and she was thinking about ordering herself one for their honeymoon, but her sister hated it and REFUSED to wear it. Carol told her sister that if the BM's dresses did not have sleeves she would not wear it Everything Grace likes Carol didn't. In the end we wound up wearing these horrible, matronly, navy blue get ups. They were SO unflattering! But, Grace wanted to keep the peace so she ordered them and we wound up wearing them. To me it really didn't matter what she chose, I was just upset that she allowed her sister to dictate what we wore.

The other Wicked Witch moment her sister displayed was for my friend's baby shower several months after the wedding. The day of my friend's baby shower her sister chooses to announce that she is also pregnant. Talk about stealing the spotlight! My friend was very gracious even though I knew she was hurt. Later on, we sat down for the gift opening. I was in charge of handing the gifts to Grace and getting rid of the paper, her sister was writing down the gifts and who they were from. Each time she got something Carol liked or a duplicate Carol would whisper, "I can have that one, right?" Or " Can I borrow that?" Ugh, I was embarrassed for my friend! Thank goodness as Carol has grown up and had kids she has mellowed out a bit, but there are still times it's obvious it's all about Carol.



My college roommate, "Mary" asked me to "stand beside" her at her wedding on New Year's Eve 8 months before her wedding date. I accepted, but was unsure if I was actually the Maid of Honor (MOH) or a bridesmaid (BM). I didn't say anything and just went along with it. When it came time to plan the shower her mother and neighbor who was a BM  decided they and they alone would throw Mary's party. Myself and the bride's cousin (also a Brides Maid)  wanted to help and both offered several times. Neither woman would allow it. We were not even allowed to bring so much as a batch of cookies. I was very very hurt that Mary did not stick up to her mother. She said she was upset, but only made excuses for her mom.

So, my mother and I attended the shower with beautiful gifts and smiles on our faces. When Mary introduced me to other guests she introduced me as her best friend and Maid of Honor (MOH)! Since I now knew I was considered the MOH, I felt especially hurt that her mother and the other BM/neighbor would not let me help.

Later on, at the shower her cousin/BM and I were talking and the cousin said, " I would have really liked to help. I am kind of upset." I agreed and we had a short conversation about doing a low key luncheon for Mary and a couple of very close friends (no presents, just lunch to honor her) because she had expressed that she did not want a bachelorette party. Apparently word got back to bride's momzilla and I got an e-mail from mom POSING AS THE BRIDE. She started saying that we had no right to say that at the shower (it was a very private conversation between cousin and myself, I think once cousin tried to talk to her aunt about it all hell broke loose) and that "she" was perfectly happy with her shower and that who was I, it's not like I was the MOH! That's right. The Mom posing as Mary, said I was NOT the MOH. So now I think that my friend is angry with me and has demoted me. I sent back an e-mail explaining myself and cousin/BM and said that we had just wanted to do something special, that we would back off.   

Not two weeks later I get a phone call from Mary inviting me to a luncheon her MOTHER decided to throw for the bridesmaids. I was SO furious. But, we were only a few weeks from the wedding and I did not want to stress her out by confronting her about the e-mail. At that point I was pretty sure that mom had written the e-mail but was not 100% positive. At the rehearsal dinner I became positive about what her mom did.  Again, we were at the rehearsal dinner and her Father introduces me as:  "Best friend, college roommate, AND (you guessed it!) MAID OF HONOR." To top it off she gave me a cute, little, figurine that was called "The Maid of Honor." Yup, it was not until the night before the wedding the mystery was solved.

It turned out to be a beautiful wedding and we had a lot of fun, but it was really sad that her mom was so power hungry that she would literally pretend to be Mary to get what she wanted.



Dear Miss Jeanne, I am writing to talk about my mother. My fiancé and I got engaged almost a year ago and as planning is getting into full swing my mother has turned into a MOBzilla. Right after we became engaged my parents offered to pay for our wedding. I was very pleased with this, and was even more surprised when she offered to look at venues that we on the more elaborate side. 

After booking the reception site, my mom informed me that she had blown the budget and asked if I would talk to my fiancé’s family to see if they would help pick up the bar tab. She then informed me that it is customary that the groom’s family offers to pay for the bar tab. This is after we chose a reception site that offers 5 and half-hours of open bar because my mother does not expect any guest to pay for their drinks. (At least she got something right) Luckily my fiancé’s family is very excited about the wedding and offered to help in whatever way they could even financially. Since there is no bar tab to pick up, they decided to pay for the photographer instead. 

Then my mother sends me an email listing whom was paying for what. I was so appalled; my fiancé’s family has ended up having to pay for the DJ, the photographer, the cake and the flowers. Again I am thankful that his family has graciously offered to pay for all these things, but I feel like if my mom offered to give me a wedding then she should have been prepared to pay for it. 

But it gets worse. She also told me that she is not cutting any of her friends from the guest list because they will bring me nicer (more expensive) gifts than my friends will. Her friends that I have never met are more important then my friends that I spend time with every day. Personally I wouldn’t care if no one brought gifts. This is the most important day of my life, and I want people there because I care about them and they care about me, not because of how much money they spend on the gift. She asked how much the photographer cost. I don’t think it is any of her business. She wanted to know if my fiancé’s mom was going to be there when we picked out flowers. I said, "I would hope so considering she is the one writing the check!" In response my mom says, "Well I hope she doesn’t take away any of my decision making power." 

She asked if she could see a list of music that the DJ is going to play. We don’t have our final meeting with the DJ for another 4 months, but he did give me a list of the top 200 requested songs. My fiancé and I have looked over the list and highlighted songs we like. Neither of us are into heavy metal or hard core rap, but we do like good dancing music. I do admit that "Shake Your Tailfeather" has made it onto the list, but so has, "Old Time Rock and Roll", "Come on Eileen", "YMCA", many country songs, some Frank Sinatra, and Patsy Cline. My mother threw the list at me and told me there was too much hoochie music on the list and she doesn’t want that kind of music played in front of my grandmother. I asked her what kind of music she wanted and she wouldn’t tell me, I told her she could go to the website and look at his entire stock of songs if she needed help getting ideas, and she ignored me. I tried explaining that most of the dance music will be played after grandma returns to the nursing home, but she didn’t want to hear it. 

We are also having a female best man, and my mom didn’t agree with that, argued with me for months about how this was tacky, and it would draw attention away from me. After defending my fiancé’s choice for months I finally had had enough and told her if she had a problem with it to bring it up with him as I was done being in the middle. When she finally did bring it up again 3 months later she said that it was okay because it was more common than she had realized. And just this weekend she asked for a guest list from my fiancé’s family, I wrote it down for her, and gave it to her. She then asked me where all the addresses were. I told her that I didn’t have addresses just yet (as it is still 7 months to the wedding) but that I figured this list would be a starting point to figure out where our guest count was. She said that she couldn’t believe I didn’t have addresses for her, and how inconsiderate I was, and when did I expect her to address all of the invitations. I was under the impression that I would help her, that my bridesmaids could help, even my fiancé’s mom offered to help, maybe on the same day that we make the wedding favors. And she told me that since the invitations will state that her and my father are inviting the guests that only she could address the envelopes. 

I wish I could tell you that I was making all of this up. I feel that my mother has taught me good manners and etiquette. But how do I politely tell her to stop being a MOBzilla. I don’t want to hurt her feelings and I know that she only wants the best and that she wants all eyes to be on me the day of the wedding. But if she doesn’t stop soon I think I am going to have to cast her into etiquette hell!   Thank you!



My mother in law has had a problem with me from the very beginning, mainly that I'm "taking her little boy away from her".  Well, I met her son while I was in college, and she was upset that the two of us were not going to see her enough.  His parents are divorced, so it's hard having to see both parents individually every week (plus, I was 20years old... who wants to go on dates like that??).  She was upset that I was only seeing her (him seeing her on his own doesn't count apparently) about once every two weeks.  I tried to explain that I was busy with being a full time college student and also working, but she didn't believe that.  After I graduated we started seeing her every week, but I guess she still felt hurt from me not seeing her enough while I was in school.   

Well I and my then fiancé decided to get married after I graduated college, in August.  My whole family lives several states away and my father was in poor health and I knew he couldn't come to the wedding, unless we had it close to his home.  My in-laws just couldn't understand why we're getting married in another state and felt slighted by this.  I explained and they couldn't accept it.  All the plans were made and the ceremony and reception were reserved.  His family, although they have lots of money, didn't offer up any funds for the wedding.  Eventually I and my fiancé had to ask them for money and they grudging gave us $1,000.  I was grateful for it, but I didn't like that we had to beg.   

A month before the wedding, my father died.  This was very hard for me and my family, but we all agreed to try and enjoy the wedding even though he wouldn't be there.  The in-laws arrived a couple days before the wedding, and the whole time mother in law was making it clear that she wasn't happy with the fact that she had had to travel.  Two nights before the wedding, they called me and said they wanted to go on a harbor cruise the next day and wanted me to arrange it.  It had been storming all day and the internet was down so I couldn't look up any information on the cruise.  I and hubby stayed up till 2 am trying to find out about it.  The next morning we were up at 7am still trying.  But apparently the cruise was canceled that day.  

They then decided they were going somewhere else.  We told them that we hadn't eaten yet and that we were going to eat breakfast first, we invited them to join us.  They declined and said they would meet us there.  When we joined them a half hour later, mother in law seemed very angry.  She kept making snide comments the whole time to me.  Here I was, dealing with my father's death of just a month ago, and I had to put up with her.   Well, after several hours, hubby told her we were going to go because we had to go to the church for the rehearsal, and help my mom decorate.  She flew into a rage.  She pulled my husband aside (not very far 'aside' because all the relatives could hear her screaming at him) and yelled at him about how they had had to wait all morning for "little princess" me to finish eating my breakfast (it was only a half hour!), that I was a brat, and that I was controlling and ruining his life.  His whole family was just staring at me while they listened to her say these things about me.  Hubby stormed off and we left.  

That night, the in-laws had a 'family meeting' on how they were going to deal with me.  Of course I was not invited and no one apologized to me.  My mom was mad that she would have made such a scene the day before the wedding.  Hubby told me that his mom felt bad about what she had done, and I expected her to apologize to me during the reception.  Well, she just pretended like everything was perfectly normal and said nothing to me.  They left and went home the day after.  When me and hubby got home, I told his mom that I wanted an apology and she told me that I wasn't going to get one because I deserved everything she had said and more.  This became a point of tension between me and my husband and finally we agreed to not talk to her anymore.  Eventually she did apologize and things are fine between us all for the time being, but I am still wary of her.



This story relates to two men that 'took part' in my wedding, one as to his actions the day of, and one as to his actions leading up to and on the day of the wedding.

My family is fairly religious, and were pretty upset when I found a man that wasn't a member of my church and started dating him. They were even more upset when I moved into an apartment with him (it was that or continue to live on friend's couches, as I was seriously broke at the time) where I slept in the bed and he slept on the couch. Basically we were roommates that just happened to be dating, too. My parents didn't know much about my fiancé (which he was six months after I met him) and my brother was happy to supply any detail he could, even if they weren't true. 

One day I received a frantic call from my mother because he'd informed her that my fiancé was a devil worshipper. It took me nearly an hour to calm her down. Sadly, by the time we actually had the money to go up and see them so they could meet him, they had heard a lot of negative things, none of them true. My mother cried, and my father sat in stony silence for the first hour of his visit. Talk about a bad way to meet your future in-laws. We finally got things sorted out and got started on the wedding plans. Since my parents aren't very well off, and his aren't either, he and I worked to pay for everything that we could, and what we couldn't was either hand-made or improvised. It was really nice, in fact. My mother made my dress, my godmother made my wedding cake and my groom's cake both, a friend made the bouquets and boutonnières as well as took care of the flowers (I repaid her), and the wedding was held at my family farm house, with a priest from my church presiding. All in all it was pretty, and cute, and everyone enjoyed getting to go to a wedding in jeans and t-shirts. My Maid of Honor was a good friend of mine and borrowed a former Prom dress of mine for the day and my husband's two best men wore suits instead of tuxes. Hubby even wore a suit he borrowed from my godmother's husband. 

Now we come to the parts that are really the bad etiquette. On the day of the wedding we had a family reunion at the same place before-hand, where both families got to meet each other for the first time, with a Dutch over cooked dinner and pies. During it my sister's husband took off to go hunting on the same property the wedding was being held on. And didn't come back for the wedding. We could hear his gun all through the ceremony. And then you have my brother. He refused to speak to my husband to be up until the ceremony, except for the occasional vague threat about hurting him if anything ever went wrong, and on the actual day of the ceremony he chose to show up late (we delayed for him), refused to be in any of the wedding photos except a single one with my sister, and wouldn't even shake my husbands hand. How's that for 'welcoming' the new family member?



About a year and a half ago my husband and I got married. It was a small civil ceremony with a dinner for his immediate family (since mine weren't able to attend) after which was all we wanted. The weekend after we were invited up to his parent's cabin north of town. While there they put up a 'Happy Marriage' banner and my MIL told us that despite the fact that we were going to hold a renewal of vows service later on when we had the funds her family wanted to give us our gifts now. 'Really, anything you can think of being able to use' she said.  So we discussed it and my husband brought up the idea that they could make little contributions towards my immigration fund (due to circumstances I was living with him in a different country but we hadn't save up the fees needed). He seemed really happy with this idea so I agreed. 

The next morning Hubby was still asleep but I was up helping get the breakfast ready. My MIL came out and asked me if we'd talked about it and so I told her the idea. Her face literally got a twisted expression like she'd just gotten a bad taste in her mouth. 'Oh, well...we'll see' was all she said. Later, when my husband got up I saw her run over to him and start waving her arms around excitedly while talking. I found out a little later that she was very upset that 'D would suggest such a tasteless thing. My family wants to give something you (hubby) would have a use for.' Talk about insulted, it got worse later when she informed me that 'Her family didn't want to pay for my immigration' to which I had to reply that I wasn't asking for her family to pay it (I had told specifically told her that it was just an idea and that even the smallest bit would help). She refuses, to this day, to believe that her son would suggest something like that and that I must have put it into his head. I suppose I shouldn't really have been surprised, this is the same woman who stood up at our wedding dinner and talked about how she was so certain that we wouldn't work out but...oh we were now. Needless to say now that her marriage is falling apart I'm not really inclined to stand in her corner.



My wedding was nine years ago, but reading this site brought up some memories that I haven’t yet managed to completely block. When my husband (I’ll call him Bob) & I got married, we were both in our late 20’s and neither of us felt comfortable with the usual Midwest wedding fiesta -  a big reception hall & tacky DJ & a million attendants. We decided to get married at 10:00 AM, with one attendant & groomsman, with an adult brunch immediately following . As my husband comes from a very large family, we decided the best way to keep the peace was to leave both of our families out of the attendant/groomsman thing & asked our respective best friends to fill the positions.  They accepted, I thought everything was fine, until Father’s Day a couple months later. 

We got to my future in-laws' house & all hell broke loose - my MIL (I’ll call her Elphaba) started WAILING about how HUMILIATED she was that one of  Bob’s brothers was not going to be the best man, and how she had hoped Bob’s sisters’ 4 boys (who were complete brats at the time - more on this later) could all be Jr Groomsmen & how she thought she had raised Bob better, to value family above all else etc etc etc.  This upsets me of course, but not wanting to put myself through months of this, I tell Bob that either he calls Elphaba off, or we were going to Vegas. Period. That seemed to work, & all went along in an uneasy truce until  the invitations were sent out. 

We had made it clear that Bob & I were in agreement that this was to be an adult event , neither of us like children running around & being loud at adult occasions like weddings or funerals or in nice restaurants.  Anyway, we get the response cards back & Bob’s sister’s has 6 will attend & his brother has 5 will attend. His brother’s kids would have been fine, they were nice little kids, but his sister’s four boys who were like 2,4,5 & 7 at the time were wild animals.  Our reception was a sit-down deal, with only a pianist for music; those kids would have been running around & creating a disturbance, I had observed them at other weddings & restaurants & they were literally out of control, they had no idea how to behave like civilized beings.  So Bob again has to run interference with his family, undoubtedly creating more ill-will between Elphaba & myself, because of course in her eyes all this was MY idea, no matter what he said. 

The final horror of this whole ordeal came to fruition on my wedding day. My mother had attempted to contact Bob’s mom about what she was going to wear, she described her dress in a letter to which Bob’s mom never responded. Well, guess what - the wedding day arrives & both mothers are wearing the same dress, only in different colors.  My mom confronted Elphaba & said, what, didn’t you get my letter? Elphaba said in essence, oh I got it, but I don’t really care about this wedding.  So that was my dream wedding, I’m glad I’m not the type of girl who had always fantasized about my wedding day.  Everything else went well, & we have a fantastic marriage, so I guess no harm no foul. Elphaba & I still pretty much ignore each other, but luckily I only see her a few times a year.   



At the reception after our wedding, my ex-MIL, "Margaret", handed me a lovely envelope without saying a word. I thanked her profusely for her gift and placed it tastefully out of sight with other gifts brought directly to the reception thinking only that she must not have had enough time to shop in her busy life. You must imagine the shock we received when my ex-husband, "Joe" and I opened the envelope later. Margaret had written a nice note to her son, not a word or reference to me, and had included with it a payment coupon book. Puzzled I looked closer at it and found that it was payments for a loan she had taken out to pay for a drug rehab program Joe went through to get his life back in order a few years before we met. Her wedding gift to us was that loan payment less 500$ that she had already paid on it.

I learned later that at the reception, Margaret made several passes at her ex-husband in front of his wife, Kathy and insisted that Kathy be excluded from all the photos of family members as Kathy was not a family member. 

This same woman now leaves messages on my answering machine threatening to sue me for "grandparental custody" of my children because I am keeping them from her if I happen to not answer the phone when she calls.  I should note that she has never really made any effort to get to know past birthday cards (usually sends one to only one child per year).



My dad got married about four years ago to a woman most of the family can't stand. I could tell many stories about her, unfortunately... At this point, however, he hadn't known her long, and I'd only met her once before, so I didn't know what to expect. She made me a little uncomfortable, but I didn't really pay too much attention to that. My dad getting married to someone I barely know, right? Bound to have some mixed feelings about that; and she seemed pleasant enough, or so I thought after the single, hour-long meeting I'd had with her.

It was a small wedding, in a friend's backyard. I was pleased to attend and came there with my partner. Nothing fancy: folding chairs, cheapish wine, veggie trays from Safeway, a homegrown affair. I didn't mind; our family has never had much money and if I were to get married I'd do it the same way, probably, because I hate big ostentatious anythings.

The shock came when my sister-in-law came to me about 15 minutes after the actual ceremony and informed me that I and my partner were expected to stay and help clean up everything after the wedding, along with my brothers and my sister-in-law, and that it was my father's new wife who was insisting on this. (Not that my father wasn't going along with it!) They'd had the company they rented the folding chairs from come in and set up, but we, the "children" (all in our 20's or early 30's) were supposed to fold up the chairs and stack them, clean up the backyard, etc.

I was totally astonished, and then outraged. If they had asked me *ahead of time* I would have been glad to do it. But the fact that we were told, NOT asked, AFTER we got there, and not even by my new stepmother, who was the one insisting on it! I was furious (my SIL was pissed too -- we had a good bitch about it together). I must admit that I didn't wait too long for people to begin leaving; as soon as the crowd started to thin noticeably, I began folding the folding chairs and stacking them, because I didn't want to wait around for everyone to leave before I did my "share". (If I hadn't wanted to leave my brothers in the lurch, I wouldn't have done even that!) And that was when my dad's new wife came marching up to me in a tantrum and hissed, "What are you doing? People are still here! This is really rude of you!"




I've read a lot worse on your site, but here goes . . . maybe, just maybe, some well-meaning but misguided parents will read this and refrain from overstepping their bounds when it comes to their sons' weddings . . .

First of all, when I got married last year, contrary to what "everyone else" is doing (what "everyone else" is doing very often constitutes tackiness to me, as it should to more people, but I digress) I did not originally plan to use save-the-date cards, especially as I planned to send out invitations two months in advance (as is proper, for the same reason: to give out-of-towners time to make travel arrangements). Although most of the out-of-town guests were on my husband's side, I knew that most of them, and certainly those who would actually attend, had been informed of the wedding details months in advance. However, three months before the wedding, my FMIL essentially bullied me into making save-the-date cards, mainly because she'd just received one from my husband's cousin who was getting married three months after our wedding. Needless to say, the $50 I spent (on a very limited budget) to buy paper and envelopes to make my own save-the-date cards--nothing like the fancy ones she'd envisioned, I'm sure, but hey, I'd already ordered the 400 professionally printed invitations at a hefty price and had not budgeted for her pet project--were not worth the expense or added stress to me, and I seriously doubt the one extra month of extra reminder meant much to the guests who received them. Of course, most of the cards went to her friends and family; I sent two (to relatives who already knew exactly where they were going and had lodging arrangements). If I'd had more backbone, I would have made her pay for the paper and postage, but I guess she considered the cards my "responsibility" (who gets to decide which new fads are "necessary", anyway? Certainly not the few of us who know better).

Secondly, my FILs spent a nice sum of money on a fairly big rehearsal dinner at a local restaurant. It was a bit inconvenient that this restaurant was an hour or more away from the church and rehearsal (in an rural area on the opposite side of town from the rural area where the church is), but I actually considered this less of a problem than anyone else did, and didn't attempt to put a stop to the plan since I thought it was a unique place, and this restaurant was specifically where my husband wanted to have the dinner. Before my FILs sent out invitations, I let them know what time the rehearsal was starting (5:30, so early that several participants weren't able to make it on time from work, but I felt that I couldn't set it any later because of the dinner plans), and that, including travel time, the very earliest we could be expected to arrive from the rehearsal would be 7:30, and that it most likely would be, realistically, at 8:00 or after before the wedding party made it to the dinner. 

In addition to those of us who would be traveling straight from the rehearsal to the dinner, there were several who would be stopping at the hotel to pick up other out-of-town guests who were invited to but chose not to attend the rehearsal itself. The FILs argued with me that "shouldn't the rehearsal take no longer than an hour", and I told them that ideally, yes, but they almost never do, even in a big "town" church where the entire event is strictly planned ahead of time by a paid wedding-nazi who never strays from her rules (not the type of wedding I was having, although mine was pretty traditional and straightforward). Nevertheless, they issued the invitations for 7:00 (meaning we'd have to stop the rehearsal at 30 minutes in order to get to the dinner on time, and that wasn't even giving time for the people who would be late; someone always is). I refused, as was my prerogative, to move the rehearsal time back any further--heck, the minister was having a hard time getting to the church by 5:30, as he had another regular job. So, when my fiancé and I arrived at the rehearsal dinner after 8, and others were still en route, there were probably 30 out-of-town guests in the banquet room who had been waiting over an hour. Because I knew that my in-laws were itching to start the dinner and wanted to start without all the guests present, I waited outside by myself until all guests arrived (including my parents, who were the last to arrive, having had to go over a few last-minute details with the pastor and wedding coordinator); I knew that if I went inside, my FILs would immediately have everyone seated and served. Because of this, I missed meeting much of my husband's family, several of his college friends who I had never met before, and missed visiting with my few out-of-town relatives who had traveled long distances to be there.

One more, relatively small thing; earlier, before my in-laws had left the rehearsal for the restaurant, they decided to derail my arrangement of attendants at the altar. As the coordinator and I were lining up attendants in height order, my FILs called my fiancé over, who then pulled me aside and told me that his parents *really* wanted my cousin (daughter of his parents' best friends, ironically) to be paired up with his brother, even though my cousin was the tallest female, but his brother was about the second or third tallest male. We almost fought with each other over this, but he insisted, and I (very resentfully, with steam coming out my ears) gave in to avoid a scene in front of everybody. Talk about last-minute rehearsal changes--that's the sort of thing that makes everyone late for the dinner!

Now I need to pray that my in-laws never read this and recognize themselves; we have a good relationship now, but I am more determined now not to give in to their control issues!



Where to begin…well, we are approaching our 1 year anniversary and I still have not gotten over the hurt that I experienced on the day that was supposed to be the happiest day of our life. The problems began the very day we got engaged and continued. I've never encountered such self-centered people in my life. To begin when my husband and I decided that we would pay for the entire wedding ourselves. This decision was made so that we didn't burden either side. There were no regrets regarding this decision and we were both happy with it. Our decisions/plans were made based on what we could afford. With each decision we made, we told them so that they didn't feel excluded and with EACH decision we were criticized. Not ONCE was there any nice words spoken. With each and EVERY decision, there was criticism. Here is what we encountered thanks to his family:

1. His mother wanted us to reduce the guest list. I'm not sure why considering it wouldn't affect her in any way shape or form. This conversation was held about 3 times. Her list consisted of "well I know this person won't show but we'll add them" …. 

2. His mother felt thee reception hall was too far away (1/2 hr away). Considering the hall was in our price range and accommodated the number of guests. This conversation was also debated several times. 

3. His mother wanted REAL flowers. Our decision was to use silk flowers to reduce cost. I was able to put the flowers together myself which saved us approximately 3 thousand dollars. This conversation was held 2 times (reason/justification provided each time for our decision) and then my bridesmaids were emailed requesting that I be talked into real flowers because they are so much prettier. 

4. We had decided that in order to keep the size of our bridal party in control, we would not be putting boyfriends/girlfriends in the bridal party. That included my own brothers as well. His mother argued that his brother's girlfriend should be in it because they are getting married (no proposal). Well, two months went by and we stood by our decision, and the brother and girlfriend broke up. 

5. His sister (18 years old) emailed me to tell me it was inconsiderate of me to pick out dresses for the bridesmaids that she didn't like. My response was it is our wedding and we are making decisions based on what we like. Our wedding did not revolve around her and with or without her we are getting married. She dropped out of the wedding. 

6. On to the entertainment. We decided to go with a band that I had known. Since the band could play and would learn anything we asked them to, it was ideal for us. We had to hear on several occasions that a DJ would be so much better. 

7. The bridal shower location was also another issue. Due to time constraints (our weekends we so busy) we decided to do ONE shower. V (his mother) was not too happy with this decision either. The hall was too far away (1/2 hour away). 

8. My husband had asked me to include his mother in so that she feels a part of everything. So, I found something for her to do (since he indicated that was the problem) – I asked her to help set up for the shower, she refused. 

9. His mother wore ALL BLACK for the ceremony. 

10. His sister (18 year old) told us to go to he** as she walked out of the church after the ceremony. 

11. 18 year old wrote "go to he**" in our guest book 

12. The 18 year old decided to get heavily intoxicated with the alcohol that she brought to the hall with her. Considering she is not old enough to buy it and came with her parents, it's not a mystery where she got the alcohol. 

13. I was given "the finger" by V's lovely sisters. The lovely women that they are. And one even decided to stick her tongue out at me as she walked by. Very mature ladies. 

14. I was kicked by the 18 year old BRAT. One of the guests had approached me after the incident to warn me that she hears he in the bathroom. However, it was too late. 

15. Both sisters proceeded to steal from the hall. They made 3 trips from the hall to the vehicle taking centerpieces and bottles of wine from the tables. When confronted, the 18 year old Vikki decided to dump hot wax on me. 

16. The 18 year old decided to also run around calling all the bridesmaids B*tches and flipping the bird. 

17. V (despite numerous guests from THEIR side going up to her to tell her everything her rotten daughter was doing) did NOTHING. I guess this doesn't fall under "how to be a wonderful mother in law / sister in law" category. 

18. My husband did nothing either. This has also put a strain on our relationship. 

19. V's wonderful sisters (my husband's selfish aunts) couldn't even spring for a CARD let alone a gift. 

20. The sisters were ever so generous. NO card as well. 1 year and STILL no apology. They still believe that it was very inconsiderate of ME (not us) for the decisions that WE made. And that the 18 year old is "ONLY a child". Well who stopped that "child" from drinking and making a fool out herself and the rest of the family? 



I was in a friend's wedding a few months ago, and her bachelorette party consisted of a weekend-long trip with her mother and other family members. I had worked for her mother in the past, and as far as I was concerned- she liked me. I really couldn't afford the weekend, and wasn't planning on going, but the bride really wanted me there since I was the only non-family member in the bridal party.

I decided that I would ride up with the bride and her family so that we wouldn't take too many cars. The town that we were going to was about 3 hours away, and I didn't want to waste gas. The weekend started out fine enough, I was uncomfortable, but we had a nice drive up. Once we got there there began to be much debate and arguing over what would happen during the weekend. The bride's family are all very self-centered and they all wanted it their way instead of what the bride wanted. She spent much of the weekend arguing with her family, and I spent much of the weekend trying to play mediator with everyone. Saturday night we went to one of the big restaurants in town, and had a great dinner. Towards the end, the bride and her sister's got into an argument. I followed the bride outside, calmed her down and we went back and had a nice dinner. I assumed that the MOB would be grateful that I convinced her daughter to return so that they could spend this time together. I was sadly mistaken. We went sightseeing and the subject of Church was brought up. I am not Catholic, but the bride and her family are. I was not comfortable going to a catholic church, but the MOB informed me that I was going whether I wanted to or not. I never would have gotten through the weekend had it not been for the Brides aunts. They encouraged me to tell her that I was not comfortable, and that I would not be attending church in the morning.

The next morning I told her that I was not comfortable and that I would be staying at the hotel, along with her sister, and that I would be ready to go wherever they had planned when they returned. She seemed fine with it at the time, and we moved on. We were having brunch at the hotel, and she sat by me and the bride. All of the hostility from the entire family seemed gone and we had a wonderful brunch. As soon as the plates were cleared, her claws came out. She started asking me questions about whether or not I would still like to be in the wedding. She informed me, with the Bride sitting right next to me- that I could drop out of the wedding if I wanted. The bride was furious, and she told her mother that I would be in the wedding and she could not do anything about it. After the previous evening, I had been told not to follow the bride when she stormed out, because it would just make things worse for myself. So, when the bride left the table again, I stayed. The MOB began to tell me how horrible I had been the entire trip, that I was "stuck up" the bride's rear end, and that she couldn't believe how cruel I had been.

To this day I have no idea what I did to anger her so badly. After she finished her rant, I tried to gather my composure and leave the table. I excused myself but I couldn't get out of my chair before I was crying. I went outside, had a good cry and then went back to the table. I was determined to stay for the Bride's sake. As soon as I returned, she made a loud comment about how she couldn't sit by me, and she told me that "The tears weren't working." I gathered my purse and went outside to call my boyfriend.

I begged him to come get me and explained what had happened. He was on his way. I went back in the building to explain what had happened. I told the MOB and the MOH that I would be leaving and that I thought it was best for everyone. The MOB looked at me and told me that I was manipulating her with my tears and my attitude. I couldn't take it anymore and I went looking for the bride.

Earlier that day I had put my things in the MOH's trunk because we were leaving after brunch. Before my boyfriend arrived I knew I would have to talk to her one more time to get my things. When I knew my Boyfriend was minutes away, the bride and I approached the MOB and MOH so that I could retrieve my things. They gave both of us the silent treatment and completely ignored us. I was in shock. I had never seen anyone act so childish. I left without my things, and retrieved them from the bride the next day.

I remained in the wedding, as I had made a commitment to the bride. The wedding was wonderful, and I got trashed at the reception. I will never have anything to do with her family again. The bride however, is a wonderful friend and thankfully nothing like her family.



My older brother (Damon) was getting married to (Jesse) at a slightly informal church wedding. Although the cost of the wedding is suppose to be covered by the bride's family, my parents graciously agreed to pay for "half" of the wedding. Well, right from the start the MOB started causing problems. I guess it is important to note here that the MOB was not only pregnant, but was also attending school. Nevertheless, she insisted on making the bride's wedding gown as well as the bridesmaids’ dresses. (My mother is a seamstress, and was more than qualified, and offered to do this herself.) The MOB was also going to sing a song at the wedding (even though she had an AWFUL voice), bake the wedding cake, and make all the flowers for the wedding. (Keep in mind that my mother would have been more than pleased to do all this.) So, my mom and her mom were supposed to get together and talk about the reception. MOB doesn't show to the meeting, but the bride, groom and MOG all agreed to order ham from a local market and do sandwiches, chips, potato salad, ECT. for the reception. 

All goes fine until a week before the wedding, when the MOB decides that since she is pregnant, she can not eat ham, and refused to have ham at the reception. My mom tried to talk her into having a special meal for her and letting the guests have ham, but MOB wouldn't hear of it. So instead, she makes my mom order roast beef for the reception (even though MOB did not pay one cent toward the whole wedding). Fine, one crisis adverted, and all is great until about two days before the wedding. My mom calls Jesse to see if everything is going ok, just to find out that MOB hasn't made the bridesmaid dresses, the wedding gown, or started on the cake. Jesse is in tears, and my mom offers to go buy her a wedding gown and cake, so at least something would be right. Jesse agrees to let my mom buy a cake, but she doesn't want to hurt her mother's feelings about the dress. So the wedding arrives, the bridesmaids all walk down the isle in hastily made dresses (TWO seems and a zipper...I AM NOT KIDDING)...and Jesse walks down the isle dressed in a gown that is made of plain satin...One seem in the back, totally not form fitting, and a train with no hem that is already starting to fray. I, however, way out-shined the bride in a beautiful dress that my mom made me (I was flower-girl).

The reception did not go much better. The wedding was in June, and it was a hot night (and no AC) everyone went home and changed (including the bride into jean shorts and a tie-dyed t-shirt) before the first dance. No one complained about the food except the MOB. Anyway, at the end of the night the MOB left with all of the leftover meat and cheese, and left my parents with 20 pounds of potato salad (even though my parents never got paid back for their half of the wedding). The nerve of some people. Luckily, my brother divorced her later (she mysteriously got Chlamydia, even though my brother didn't...) and is now with a wonderful woman with a great family.


Page Last Updated May 15, 2007