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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 married”.

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 not.)

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 Christmas card.


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 wedding. 

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