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
Unfortunately both the MOB and MOG at my wedding were witches.
(And the fathers were no prizes either.) I will focus mostly on my own
mother. In some ways she was a very helpful MOB, in others ways she was
impossible – that made it more difficult however, because you didn’t know
which woman you’d be dealing with at any given time.
The biggest problem we had with her was the clothing – mine
and hers. My parents had insisted upon buying my attire and insisted I buy from
a certain store. My mother was convinced that this store – let’s call it
Lulu’s -- was the snootiest place in town and therefore that’s where I
should get my gown. I refused, because I had heard terrible stories about
gowns never arriving, poor service, terrible alterations, etc. However, she also
became obsessed with finding me the cheapest dress possible and called every
other salon in the area. She would ask them for the price of their cheapest
dress and insist that if I came in (giving my name to them), I should be shown
that dress and that dress only as that was the only dress they’d be willing to
pay for. Ironically, she also insisted I should have a huge pouf of a gown with
the longest train, high neck, long sleeves, and every bead known to womankind on
it. As long as it was CHEAP, of course. Unfortunately for her, I did not want
that type of gown at all – I wanted something difficult to find at the time
– a very simple gown without a train. It became such a source of contention,
that I finally told her that she would not be welcome to come with me when I
tried on gowns as I was NOT going to give in to her and buy a gown I detested or
a gown that was the cheapest in the store if I didn’t like it. It should be
noted that I am in no way an extravagant person, paid my own way thru college so
I know all about savings and value, and everyone who knew me was incensed
on my behalf at her behavior in acting as if I were a spoiled princess out to
break the bank.
As it transpired, the real problem was that my parents refused
to believe that wedding attire cost more in 1983 than it did in 1959. They had
heard that gowns now cost – gasp! -- $200 or more and believed completely that
any gown that cost more than $50 must be a rip off. So my mother was really
trying to find a store that sold big formal wedding gowns with cathedral trains
for $50. Needless to say, none existed. My parents finally say they understand
this. So, I go off to buy my gown and my father hands me an envelope “For your
gown, veil, underwear, shoes, slip.” He’s smiling and telling me how
generous he is and that he feels ‘good’ about the amount of money he’s
giving me for my entire ensemble. I breathe a sigh of relief, my MOH and I set
off and we look in the envelope and there is a whopping $200. There is no way I
can fund my entire wedding ensemble for $200. No way. (Lesson learned – when
someone offers to pay for something, find out how much they are giving you. If
I’d known I was only getting $200 for my ensemble, I would have never agreed
to my parents’ insistence on wine at the table, an open bar and TWO drink
fountains. I should add that my parents do not drink, nor is anyone in our
families big drinkers either.)
So off I go to buy an ensemble with what amounted to almost
nothing and now no time to make any alternative financial arrangements. Wondering
how I’m going to find the extra money, my MOH and go to a nice little shop,
highly recommended, and had a lovely consultant who was sympathetic to my
problems of money and not liking the style of the time. She found me a great
gown and lo and behold it was the cheapest one in the store at $235. LOL It was
not good enough, however, because it was not the big pouf of a gown that my
mother wanted. For fun, the consultant had me try on that type and being a
fairly smallish person, I looked utterly ridiculous and lost in it, confirming
that it was not the right style for me. (Nor would it have been for my very
petite mother – ah, you see, that was the problem. SHE had wanted that
type of gown herself and could not afford it at the time and was hoping to live
through me. But not pay for it this time either.) We ended up returning to
the store for my bridesmaids’ gowns and all could not have gone smoother from
beginning to end with the store. They were incredibly nice and gave me many
money saving tips.
Nonetheless, my mother constantly belittled my gown (which she
did not see) and the store. Constantly. She kept insisting that the ‘nice’
store would have gotten me that gown for much cheaper (why a snooty store would
sell for much cheaper was beyond my logic) and insisted that she buy her gown
there. I told her fine, but you’d better keep on top of Lulu’s because
they are notorious for failing to get the gowns by the wedding. She bought the
gown 6 months in advance, was told it would take 2 months to come in tops and 5
months later, no gown.
The Tuesday before my wedding, my father calls me in a
whisper, hissing, “Your mother’s on the warpath because her gown is not in
yet. She’s trying to cancel the wedding.” He hangs up. Sure enough, 60
seconds later, my mother calls up and is literally screaming at me, “We’re
canceling the wedding! I’m calling the reception site and canceling!”
At this point, I interrupt her insane hysterical screaming and say, very calmly,
“We are not canceling MY wedding because YOUR gown is not in yet. It is not
your wedding. It is mine, Not yours. If you do not have the exact dress you
want, this is not a reason to cancel my wedding. Moreover, you have several
gowns in your closet that would do just fine. OR you can call up LuLu’s and
demand that they provide you a gown. Choose one of those options, because you
are not canceling MY wedding. And by the way – I told you so.” Then I
hung up and called the reception site and warned them that my mother was insane
and to ignore any insane calls she might make.
She ended up going to the store with a friend and discovered
that the gown had been ready for months but the store had not paid the
manufacturer for shipping and that was the hold up. She did end up getting that
gown. But it was never good enough anyway -- my MIL-to-be did make an etiquette
error of buying her gown first. Okay, whatever, as far as I’m concerned, but
my mother was insanely angry especially because MIL bought a mauve gown which
was ‘her’ color. I told her, “Wear mauve anyway.” Oh no, she couldn’t!
Crying and screaming ensue. (Actually, it was a good thing, because my mother
looked terrible in that color.)
I have vowed that I will never ever make my own daughter feel
that her wedding day is about me and my unresolved issues or ruin her memories
of what should be a happy time the way my parents did.
For Thanksgiving my two daughters aged 18 & 20 went to
their Dad’s Sisters house as was the tradition since they were born. Their
cousins asked why they had not attended their Dad’s wedding; to which they had
to reply “because we were not aware until this minute that he had gotten
My daughter confronted her father with this news and he said
that since the divorce only occurred six weeks prior to the wedding he didn’t
think they would have been able to handle it.
My daughter replied back to her dad that it should have been
their decision what they could or could not handle, and how is he going to feel
when she gets married and doesn’t invite him to her wedding.
My mother in law isn't really wicked - the filter between her
brain and her mouth are just totally inadequate. When my daughter got
engaged her beloved gave her the ring of her dreams. It is different - a
soft square with one corner covered in tiny pave' diamonds - but perfect for
her. She was so thrilled to show it to her grandmother. Grandmother's
first comment? "Well, honey, maybe someday he'll be able to give you
a nice ring." My daughter was dumbfounded. Fortunately, we
raised a good kid and when we got home, we all died laughing!
I have a friend whom I cannot say enough good things about.
She’s lovely in every way. We’ve been friends since college, although
we don’t live close now, so don’t keep in touch as often.
I was in this friend’s wedding party. Since we were
friends from college, I didn’t live by her family or know them very well.
When she asked me to be a bridesmaid, I was honored. I asked if I should
get in touch with her younger sister (Maid of Honor) or if she’d be in touch
with me. She said that her sis would call me.
I waited a long time and finally I called. The mom
answered and said that the shower was (this was in 1992, and I always mix up
this one detail) in 2 or 3 weeks. Whether it was 2 or 3, I was appalled.
I was in the bridal party and had heard nothing about it. The wedding of
my best friend’s sister was that day, and I was going.
Anyway, during the same conversation, her mom told me that I
was to chip in a large amount for this shower (I forget…$190 or 200.).
It was being held at her house. Some of the other girls were baking
things, etc. (I do not know if that meant that they were giving less or
I was so upset. Please trust me when I say that the
money itself didn’t bother me nearly as much as the feeling of being taken
advantage of, particularly because I was totally left out of the planning.
Maybe that’s fairly normal, but I was young & didn’t know this, PLUS I
was being informed presumably later than the other guests!!
I mulled this over for a day or two; then, called her sister
and said that I would not chip in the full amount, that I would contribute $125.
The day of the shower, I drove an hour to her mom’s house
for the shower, had to leave early & miss my other friend’s wedding
ceremony, and drove directly to the reception (my husband went to the Church
part). What a fiasco.
Now, the bridesmaid dresses were pricey, but that’s fine.
The shoes were $80. I was told to send her cousin $80 because she was
picking up the shoes. Well, I had to be fitted and was told that they were
actually $76 (total, w/tax & all). I said nothing: What’s $4?
However, if I buy something for someone & they want to pay me back, I think
it’s dishonest to round it up. Whatever…not enough to make a big deal
over. I only met the girls in the bridal party a few times, and her cousin
& one high school friend were bitchy to me, maybe because they heard I only
chipped in the $125. Okay, but what’s so funny about the $80 shoe story
is that the night of the rehearsal dinner, her cousin realized that she needed
pantyhose. I lived nearby & offered to pick them up the next morning.
Her mom gave me $10 (the pantyhose cost something like $5 or 6, I guess).
She whined (she was in her 20’s, a teacher) at her mom, telling her not to
give me $10, to look for singles!! Her mom gave me the $10 and I, of
course, brought her change to the penny with the receipt the next day.
The day of the wedding, the bridesmaids were kind of bitchy
again (NOT all of them, but a couple). They didn’t let me know what the
bridal party was doing a couple of times, etc. Also, in the Church, we
were standing waiting. One of the BMs, her friend from high school., almost fell.
She grabbed my HAIR to break her fall. I didn’t say much, but was just
appalled. I guess if you’re falling, you get scared, but I don’t know
what to make of that.
I kept in touch with my friend, but never told her the horror
stories. I don’t know if I should have: I’m of the school of
thought that a real friend knows you and sees the truth: I don’t beg
people to see the good in me. Others (my husband & a friend or two)
said that I should have told her, but that would have been bad-mouthing her
family, so it was a no-win situation. My friend is such a nice person, but
I certainly didn’t want to hurt her or cast any negative memory upon her day.
We kept in touch for a while, and now it’s the yearly
My friend "Mike" got engaged to a wonderful girl
he'd been dating for several years. Mike and "Susan" were
very much in love and suited each other completely. Well,
Mike's parents didn't see it that way. They disliked Susan from the start.
When they heard that the two of them were engaged, Mike's father drew Susan
aside, pulled out his checkbook, and did the sort of thing I thought only
happened in movies - he asked "How much will it take for you to go away and
never see my son again?" Considering that Mike's parents aren't
exactly wealthy, Susan didn't know whether to laugh or cry. She did
neither, politely telling Mike's father to put his checkbook away, because this
wedding was going to happen. It's been almost 14 years, and Mike and
Susan are still happily married with two terrific sons. Relations
with the in-laws are still strained to this day, however.
My cousin- "D"- got married about four years
ago. I didn't know his bride very well (and still don't) but she asked me
and her friend "Kaya" to clean up the prep room afterwards, to be nice
to the church and the MOB who was very sick.
Now the bathroom and the prep room are connected by a set of
swinging doors. And while we where cleaning up My uncle "Jay's" wife
at the time, "Betty" went into the bath room and started talking (in
her southern drawl) about how she could not believe they had a N***** here.
(Kaya.) Then when Kaya and I went into the bathroom to wash our hands,
pretending we didn't hear and ignoring her, she asked Kaya to her face
"Don't they call you N*****s up here to?"
Needless to say I was very glad my aunt
"Carol" was able to get that horrible woman out of the bathroom before
"Kaya" broke into tears.
I married my (now ex-) husband right after finishing a
graduate program. I was on the East Coast, he was on the West Coast and my
folks (who were paying for the wedding) were in the desert Southwest. In
order to make all of the families feel like they had a part in the wedding, we
asked his very evil sister if her daughter (“Susie,” then three) would be a
flower girl along with my 7 year old cousin. This was fine. Because
my SIL/BIL and Susie were going to have to pay for flights to my parent’s town
for the wedding, I offered to take care of Susie’s dress for the wedding.
We were having a simple garden wedding in July, and I knew it was
going to be hot outside—it’s the desert, for Pete’s sake! I
chose a very simple pink, tea length sundress for Susie to wear, then purchased
the pattern, cotton fabric and all of the sewing notions needed to make the
dress. Six months before the wedding, I sent it all to my MIL who had
assured me that she could and would be happy to sew the little dress.
Ten days before the wedding, my evil SIL calls to inform me that she does not
like the style of Susie’s dress and asks if she can substitute a long white
dress with a ribbon sash in the color of my bridesmaids’ dress. Well,
no; I felt that the bride (that would be me) should be the only one dressed in
white. I explained that the other flower girl already had her dress and it
was important to me that the girls match. SIL says OK and hangs up.
One week before the wedding, MIL calls to say “Oops, I ruined the dress while
I was cutting it out. We’ll just get a white dress for Susie to wear.”
I repeat that that is not acceptable and that if Susie does not have the
dress I chose, then she should just sit with the family in the family pews and
the other flower girl would do it by herself. Well, at this point, all
etiquette he** breaks loose. My FIL calls that same day and says he’s
not coming unless Susie is in the wedding--so much for fatherly love. SIL
accuses me of being unreasonable—funny, I thought the bride, not the SIL,
got to choose the attire for the wedding party. MIL calls my fiancé
at work to tell him that I’m being difficult—he tells her to work it out
with me. This goes on all day long. One week before the big day.
Finally, my very wise and level-headed mother (as if the MOB doesn’t have
enough to do the week before the wedding) gets on the phone with my MIL and says
“OK, you measure Susie right now and give me her measurements. I will
buy new fabric, notions and a pattern and I will pay to have the dress made
right here. If the dress doesn’t fit her when she gets here, she’s out
and you can decide what to do then.” Smart Mama; that way they don’t
give incorrect measurements. End of the story: they arrive, Susie wears my
dress and looks lovely.
We’re divorced now, and the was-band lives back at home with my former
in-laws. Makes me feel sorry for him. Well, maybe not!
My fiancé has family several hours away and most of my very
large family is thousands of miles away, so we didn't expect those people to
attend our wedding. On top of that, he had just spent his savings on a home
and we are both very shy people who enjoy simplicity. A big wedding just
isn't for us and would have made us very uncomfortable. I had originally
wanted to elope or possibly invite just parents and siblings, but something
my mom did convinced me otherwise.
When I called her to tell her I was
engaged, instead of congratulating us, she started freaking out about how
she was scared to fly. I found this a little disheartening, but continued to
explain to her that we wanted to invite only parents and siblings, if that.
Immediately after we got off the phone, she sent a mass e-mail to everyone
she could think of telling them they were invited to our wedding and I began
receiving e-mails asking when the wedding was. Sure, most of those people
probably didn't actually plan on coming, but the principle of my mom's
behavior bothered me. How rude is it to hear your daughter's wishes on one
of the most important days of her life and then totally disregard them?
After her mass e-mail attack, we quickly decided that we would definitely
have a private ceremony, because my mom has a habit of always being that
inconsiderate. So, in the coming months, I made sure that everyone knew we
would be eloping and no one would be invited. We wanted everyone to realize
this so no one would get their feelings hurt. We also decided to make the
actual event and day a surprise. My fiancé's family understood our wishes
and supported the idea, as did my father's family, but my mom never did
accept that we wanted a private ceremony.
After we made our final wedding
plans, I decided to warn her so she wouldn't be upset; I tried all along to
be considerate and explanatory in everything I did. I called her and told
her we were getting married soon, and she immediately freaked out that she
wouldn't be able to get a flight that fast. Again, I explained that NO ONE
was invited, so she didn't need a flight. I fervently explained over and
over that the wedding was a secret, a surprise and that we were not telling
anyone else, not even my fiancé's mom.
Immediately after we got off the
phone, she called all of her relatives, then she told everyone she worked
with. My fiancé and I were very disappointed, not just because she ruined
our surprise, but because once again, she totally disregarded our wishes and
proved herself untrustworthy.
After our pleasant elopement and beautiful private ceremony,
I came home to hate messages from my mother and some of her relatives. The
other relatives just shunned me and I have yet to receive any kind word from
anyone in her very large family. It turns out, my mother had called all of
her siblings and complained that I was cruel and didn't invite her to my
Although I am very happy with my wonderful husband and his family
has been incredibly supportive and happy for us, this newlywed has cried
many tears because no one in my family wanted to share my joy.
Page Last Updated October 11, 2008