Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


Main Page/Home

The Faux Pas Archives
Wedding Etiquette

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



Everyday Etiquette

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

Business Etiquette

Bad Business Etiquette
Merchants of Etiquette Hell
Bad Bosses

Faux Pas of the Year




Press Room/Contact


Faux Pas of the Year

Stories which earn the coveted honor of actually making Miss Jeanne bust out laughing or cause some lower mandible rug rubs.

Jan-Jun 2000 Archive
Jul-Dec 2000 Archive
Jan-Dec 2001 Archive
2002 Archive
Jan-Jun 2003 Archive
Jul - Dec 2003 Archive
Jan - Jun 2004 Archive
Jul-Dec 2004 Archive
Jan-Jun 2005 Archive
Jul-Dec 2005 Archive
2006 Archive
Jan-Jun 2007 Archive


I've read a lot of stories about the tackiness of the dollar dance on your website, but I'd like to put this up for discussion. At my college roommate's wedding they had the dollar dance with the bride or groom, and you put a dollar in the basket (many people put higher denominations in) in order to dance with the bride or groom, and at the end of the dance you got a shot of liquor. I didn't find this tacky and danced with both the bride and the groom, though refused the shot. Is my etiquette meter off?


Way off. Way, way off.  Waaaaaaay off.  


Ooo, look!  Another Dollar Dance debate!  **Jeanne cracks her knuckles in anticipation of another Ehell smackdown**

While reading through the stories, I noticed a couple comments on the issue of the "Money Dance" or "Dollar Dance" as we call it.  I decided to put my two cents in because this has been a topic of discussion between my boyfriend and me.  I've been a lot of weddings where there is a Dollar Dance, and a few that have not had them.  My boyfriend and I have begun discussing our wedding, and the Dollar Dance came up.  On the one hand, we both think it is slightly tacky.  You're asking your guests to pay a dollar to dance with you for 30 seconds.  On the other hand, it is only a dollar.  And it's optional. 

The bride and groom are usually so busy mingling with their guests and celebrating their day that they often do not have a lot of time to spend with individual guests.  Additionally, I have a big family with a lot of uncles and male cousins.  I doubt there will be enough slow songs at my wedding to give me an opportunity to dance with each one.  That is why the Dollar Dance is beneficial.  It gives your wedding guests a chance to dance with the bride or groom and spend some brief one-on-one time with them.  Wow, a whooping 30 seconds to greet, bond, and catch up on personal news. An allegedly dear relationship reduced to mere seconds on the dance floor.   

My boyfriend and I have discussed doing the dance without charging a dollar, but we come up with the problem of what do you call it?  The Free Dance?  Everybody knows what the Dollar Dance is; guests would probably be confused by the DJ announcing that The Free Dance is about to start.  Our end decision has been to have the Dollar Dance at our wedding.  It is NOT because we want extra money or because we're trying to screw our guests out of a dollar.  It's because we know many of our guests will expect it and because we want to be able to dance with as many of our guests as possible.  Also, I do not plan to turn any guests away who come up to dance without a dollar.  I do think announcing how much money the couple "makes" off of the dance and/or waving the cash around is tacky.  But, for guests who are offended by this dance--stay in your seat.  No one said you have to participate in it.  In other words, if these guests offended at the idea of a Dollar Dance wanted some "brief one-on-one time" with you or new husband, they are screwed. You don't even realize that money has already caused you to create different classes of guests whose access to you is predetermined by their position on the issue.   Just understand that sometimes the Dollar Dance is done for more reasons than to further suck money out of your guests.

Sorry, anytime money exchanges hands from guest to either host or guest of honor in order for the guest to acquire hospitality that should have been given graciously and freely, there is no good way to redeem it or sanitize it.  There have been many creative and gracious alternatives to Money and Dollar Dances offered on Ehell for well over a decade that do not involve any transfers of cash.   People who either cannot or will not challenge the Dollar Dance are weaklings who whine of their bondage to the status quo while sticking their hand out.  



I just want to let you know that I found your site last night and have been glued to its hilarity all day today. Thank you for adding this to the world of entertainment! Nothing pleases me more than to relish in the stories about monstrous bridezillas, evil 'maids and tacky-as-hell invitations. I myself have seen my share of bratty bride moments. However, to me, some of the stories didn't sound like the bride or B&G were doing much of anything that wrong, but were being bashed by both the contributor and the editor. A BTB myself, I'm now a little...well...terrified of being a bride. Of handling an invitation the wrong way, of not spending enough on the open bar, or of otherwise not catering well enough to my guests and my family.

Brings me to wonder when weddings stopped being for the bride and groom and started being for the guests?

Weddings can bring out the worst in some people, and in brides indeed, but it does sound to me in some cases that the modern-day bride is being backed into a corner by her outside observers. Pelted by warnings left and right not to misstep in any way as to upset or offend any single person involved in the wedding day. Now, admittedly, I've always been one of the first people to bash away on bridezilla behavior, but I think the pressure on a bride can go too far. It's enough to kill the fun of wedding planning for anyone.

For example, one story was shared about a couple who performed a big "no-no" by noting their gift registry on a card with their invitations, and on the same page I read a story about a couple who performed a "no-no" by asking guests not to send gifts at all. And BOTH actions were considered rude and selfish. Good lord!

Yes, because both presume that the guest exists to be told how to spend (or not) their money in honor of the bride and groom and presumes gifts are forthcoming from guests and one can therefore control the flow.  

I mean, I wonder if any of these story tellers ever considered the sincere (albeit naive) efforts of first time marrieds-to-be, couples who are just trying to pull off a great party and see people they cherish enjoying the day with them. Has anyone ever taken into consideration that an average wedding costs more than the average down-payment of a home - and that most of said money goes into feeding and entertaining other people? People who might just end up questioning the "cheapness" of their cash bar or complaining about the informality of the invitations? Should a new term be created for guests who demand too much from their hosts, who throw hissy-fits about uncovered chairs, adult-only receptions or inexpensive favors? Maybe "Guestzillas"? Pssst... you might want to see this...

And another question: with the exception of true "bridezillas," are the bashers of these more innocent brides simply envious of their joy and therefore attempting to gain some inward revenge by picking out each and every slip-up and casting it under such a harsh floodlight?

Bridezillaism is defined in my mind as the attitude of entitlement to achieve what one wants.  Every real life bride I have identified as "bridezilla-ish" entered her wedding planning with a definite attitude of selfishness and entitlement which eventually manifested itself as disregard for the welfare of others.  When I call someone a bridezilla, there is nothing innocent about them.

It just seems to me, in my own humble opinion, that a few of us need to give Bride-to-Be a break. Every person has his or her own differing set of guidelines that a couple must follow - including the couple itself. In an event where rules get muddied up by familial differences and modern upbringings, among other things, how can a bride ever get through her own wedding without inadvertently insulting or offending SOMEONE along the way?

Thank you for letting me opine. Great site.


Thanks for keeping me entertained during slow days at work!  Your website is hysterical (in a cringe-worthy kind of way).  I have a rather amusing "tacky wedding" story involving my own family, which I only recently learned about...   My mom is the middle child, between two brothers.  Her two brothers' wives loathe each other.  I'll call the older ones Aunt & Uncle 1 (AU1) and the younger ones Aunt & Uncle 2 (AU2).  Normally AU1 has the family's "tacky" reputation, and AU2 are more classy, even Kennedy-esque.  In this case, though, the roles are reversed.   When AU2 got married about 10 years ago, AU1 was not able to attend the wedding.  Nonetheless, they wanted to make sure to send a nice, heartfelt gift, appropriate for a close family member.  (The "U's" are brothers, after all...)  A2 had a complicated registry, and very different taste from anyone else in our family.  So, after much searching, A1 finally selected a beautiful, limited-edition, *expensive* hand-blown glass vase.  The vase was stamped 67 in a series of 100.    Anyhow, AU2 had a gorgeous, lavish, East Coast wedding, and of course received TONS of gifts...  Flash forward about a year later...   AU1 are visiting their son and his fiancée one weekend, when lo and behold, A1 sees a  *beautiful, limited-edition, expensive hand-blown glass vase* sitting on their fireplace mantle.  She picks it up and examines it.  Sure enough, it's stamped 67 in a series of 100. 

When confronted later on, AU2 made up some lame, paltry excuse about having received two identical vases, so they gave one to their nephew.  Yup, they (re)gifted their nephew with the same wedding present given to them by his parents...   Aah, I love my family...


An e-mail I received for a friend's upcoming birthday party (that she is throwing for herself, but did not have access to her email so she had another friend send it):

Hi Friends of XXXXXX,

Here are the par-tay details

Purpose: XXXXX is getting old(er)! =) 

Date: 8/25/2007 
Time: 5:00 PM L
ocation: 5555 X Street (Google it!)

Fare Provided: Cake, Spirits, Appetizers & Snacks

Optional/Bring Your Own: Grill items (steak, chicken...etc), chairs, items you cannot party without

If I have to buy my own “grill items” and bring something to sit on, I think I am better off sitting at my own table at home eating my “grill items”


Ooo, yeah.  The old "It's my birthday and since I don't trust any of my deadbeat friends to properly honor me in the style I feel appropriate to my stature, I'm hosting my own birthday party" faux pas.  


The bride and groom at first were asking people to pay a $10 COVER to go to their wedding.  Bizarrely enough, however, this money was to go to assorted charities, including helping to pay for a mission trip the couple wanted to take. Eventually enough people convinced the couple not to do this, so instead of charging guests to come to THEIR party, they've settled on the LESS tacky "in lieu of gifts, please donate to these charities" (plus their own trip) announcement on their wedding website.   Friend asked me what she should get the happy couple, and I said an etiquette book.   How ironic that in seemingly doing God's work they ended up in Etiquette Hell.


I've heard of couples marrying to acquire material assets that come from the receipt of wedding gifts but getting married to fund a missionary trip is a new one.  


I don't have a large family.  As such, I'm fairly close to my whole family, extending as far out as third and fourth cousins.  "Marie" is my grandmother's first cousin; albeit much younger than Gran.  I am the oldest of my cousins on my Mom's side.  This woman and her husband were invited to my Bat Mitzvah, along with the rest of my family, and I received a modest check from them. 

Between my Bat Mitzvah and that of my next-oldest cousin, two years later, Marie's daughter "Betty" got married out of town.  Her having moved away when I was little, none of us knew her all that well, and couldn't fit a far-away weekend getaway into our schedule or budget.  However, as a gift from my family and my aunt's, we sent an extremely lavish crystal bowl to the couple with our love and well-wishes. 

After the gift was received, my aunt received a call from the bride's mother, asking where the gift was purchased, and not-so-subtly hinting that it would be returned.  As tacky as this was, we brushed it off.  Maybe Betty didn't like the style, or had received a similar one.

However, the problem with having a close family is the grape vine.  Invitations to my cousin's Bat Mitzvah had not yet gone out, but already Marie was whining and bitching to other cousins that she couldn't wait for the Bat Mitzvah, because of how "crappy" and "cheap" our gift to her daughter had been.  She claimed she was going to, "give as good as she got," and that she was going to eat our food and drink our wine and stiff us on the gift.  Note that we did not even attend her daughter's wedding, and that none of us had seen her daughter in years.  Note again that the gift would have been for my twelve year-old cousin on the occasion of her most important rite of passage.  This remains to be the pettiest thing I've ever heard.

Needless to say - whoopsie! - she was never invited.  Nor was she invited to the B'nai Mitzvah of my brother or other cousins in the following years. But wait! There's less! My mother's second cousin (Marie's sister's daughter, first cousin of Betty) is very close to us and also to Betty.  Upon hearing the stories of her Aunt Marie, she did a little snooping.  It turns out that Betty actually loved the bowl and had kept it, as evidenced in her gushing thank you letter to us.  (We'd just assumed that she was being polite or even sneaky.)  It was Marie who had decided that the bowl should be returned, because *she* didn't think it was good enough. 

We no longer speak to Marie, but have seen Betty and her husband at family events a few times.  They're the kindest, most gracious couple, and I can't believe that someone so sweet was reared by someone so manipulative and rude. 


The problem with the family grapevine is that second, third and fourth-hand stories can be tainted by the gossipers' own motivations and prejudices and end up bearing no resemblance to the truth.  I would never form a conclusive opinion about a family member based on grapevine hearsay but would ask directly the person attributed with the crime if this rumor was true.  You and your family terminated a relationship based on gossip and not firsthand evidence and that's kind of sad.  


Although this story is concerning a baby shower, it was more the sheer disregard for the honoree that prompted me to submit this.      

About a year ago, I was planning a baby shower for my dearest friend. This was her third child. I would like to mention that her oldest was 10 year old girl and her infant was a boy. As such, I planned a very casual bar-b-que for girls and guys alike (kids too). I had received a guest list from the Mommy-to-be (again!), which mostly included mutual friends and members from both her and her husbands’ family. As we all are close, everyone knew that no gifts were expected but would be much appreciated. (I did not put this on the invitation though. That would be a major faux pas.)

We had almost all of the 30 or so people invited RSVP with a positive response. The etiquette blunder occurred on the day of the bar-b-que. Only the mothers of the Mommy and Daddy to be, myself and my husband, and 1 other person showed up!!!! My dear friend was devastated, as was I. How could so many people just decide not to show up?? Along with her feelings of rejection, was the realization that we had enough potato salad to keep us fed for a month!

It just seems that most people these days have no regard for others feelings and no thought to as what a hostess invests, financially and time-wise, for functions. These people need to be banished to etiquette hell for life!

On an ending note, my dear friend still enjoyed her bar-b-que and now feels that she knows who her true friends are.


The failure to reciprocate the hostess' kindness with an accurate RSVP is one of my pet peeves about entertaining.  Here I am expending time, money and energy planning a party, sending invites, buying the food, preparing and serving it and some percentage of my guests don't have the decency and kindness to either tell me whether they are coming or not or bail out on the party for no apparent reason.  Over the years I have trimmed my potential guest lists of these parasites.  My opinion is that if my invitation are so bothersome to respond to, I'll refrain from exposing them to further temptation to be burdened.  

Where I used to work, there was a tradition that had been adhered to for many years.  When someone was getting married or having a baby, the receptionist (who was clearly the alpha dog in our pack) would go buy a gift for the person, would return to the office and announce to everyone how much their individual share was and would then plan a lunch where everyone attended at one of the nearby restaurants (the honoree's favorite).  You could only sign the card if you gave your full share.  A cake would be ordered and the law firm we worked for would pay for the cake.  This had been going on for years.

Then the shy girl who worked near me, Jean, got engaged.  She was in mid-30's, sort of plain and quiet and had never been married and when I asked about the planned wedding she told me that her family was outraged that she was getting married at all.  Her father had died several years before and all her siblings were married with children and they had basically decided that it would be Jean's lot in life to stay single and live with her mother the rest of her life.  When Jean met her fiancé' and decided to get married, they were all against it and so the couple had decided they would go to Mexico and be married.  They made all their plans very carefully, even going through pre-wedding instruction so that a Catholic priest they had contacted would be able to marry them in Mexico.  Jean went out several times at lunch hours and finally found a short but elegant cream colored lace dress for her big day.  She was so happy and for a formerly prim and somewhat glum little person, I thought this was marvelous.

As time got closer and closer to the wedding, though, I noticed that there was no flurry of planning.  The receptionist had made no mention of any gift collection.  Finally, I cornered the receptionist in the lunch room to ask her what we were getting for Jean.  We only had a week to go and I hadn't heard anything.  She glared at me and said "Ha!  I don't like her and we're not doing anything for her!"  Now, Jean had never done a thing to this person, and had always chipped in on all the other showers and gifts over the years.  Then the receptionist glared at me and said, "And I am telling you, that is how it will be, we are NOT doing anything for her!"  I said "Well, you can certainly determine that YOU are not doing anything, but you are just one person."   I then went around with one other coworker and we collected money in advance of shopping.  Many coworkers expressed relief.  They didn't have to give some set amount decreed from on high, we took all contributions, no matter how small and everyone was invited to sign the card.  Then after the money was collected, we went shopping, bought a nice gift for that amount of money and planned the lunch.  There were 25 of us who usually attended these things and we made the arrangements for the lunch with the understanding that 15 people had said they would attend.  The day of the event, however, several of them started avoiding eye contact and at the shower/lunch, it was Jean, me, the other girl who had helped me collect money for the gift, 1 paralegal who was part-time and not privy to the grapevine and the elderly bookkeeper who also was never kept up to date on the current "gossip."  Apparently, the receptionist had put out the word to everyone else that they were incurring her wrath if they attended and like sheep, they followed.

I often wondered if any of these people knew that this was potentially the only celebration this poor kid was getting for her big day.  She was afraid to have a wedding in town because her family had said they would all boycott it and of course, none of her family had gotten her any wedding gifts or wished her well.  As it happened, her husband's mother had a little reception for them in her home a few weeks after they returned to town and, rather than be left out, Jean's family did somewhat grudgingly, attend.  I came and noted that at one point, right before they cut their cake, the groom's friend who was taking photographs asked the bride and groom to each get whoever they would've had as their best man, maid of honor to stand with them for a photo and Jean looked around wildly and finally rushed over and grabbed me.  We were not all that close but I knew she was very shy and had few friends, contrary to her outgoing new husband.

And as an epilogue, about 5 years later, the receptionist was taken ill and diagnosed with a brain tumor.  She, who had bragged on a daily basis about her fabulous marriage and her husband who ADORED her and worshipped her, died from this tumor very soon after being diagnosed and the husband that she claimed "worshipped" her brought a DATE to her funeral and married his girlfriend a week later.  I have wondered many times if she wasn't really just jealous that someone else was really and truly happy when all she had was just a sham marriage that looked good on the surface.



Having recently stumbled upon this wonderful vault of etiquette faux pas, I feel compelled to share what I still consider to this day to be my "tale of woe". My husband and I were married November 18, 2006 in Orange County, California. We were engaged in August of 2005, giving us nearly a year and a quarter to plan our large and lavish Catholic ceremony.

Given the amount of work planning a wedding requires, and considering my own ongoing health condition I chose to hire a wedding coordinator. She came highly recommended and endorsed by several bridal organizations as well as various media outlets (magazines, websites, etc.) We paid our deposit at the end of August 2005 and began planning our wedding.

The first sign that I should have hightailed and run away came at our first vendor day. We were scheduled to see 2 florists, 2 caterers, 3 photographers, and 2 DJ's in ONE DAY. We started at 7 am and by the time we reached the first florist we were already exhausted. The coordinator let us know that this vendor was her favorite and were "the absolute best" in their industry. They must have been, because the price they quoted us was 3/4 of our entire wedding budget. The coordinator took me to the side and let me know that my budget was "completely unreasonable and impossible to work with." So we caved, and bumped our original budget from $25k to $30k.

We thought that had solved the problem. No. By the time we were finished, our wedding wound up costing over $90,000. Yes, I take responsibility by half on this. Our coordinator insisted on only using "the best" vendors which obviously meant the most expensive, and I just didn't say no.

Throughout this time, the coordinator is becoming more and more elusive and I have trouble getting a hold of her or getting return calls. I then get a cryptic email saying "we need to talk." I arrived at her home office where she proceeded to tell me she was three months pregnant, making her due date in July for my November wedding. I asked if this was going to be a problem, she insisted it wasn't. After all, there were 4 months in between the two dates.

The planning goes on, but somehow I never see the coordinator again. I start working with another woman at the company, "Danielle", who is fantastic. Now keep in mind that our contract specifically indicates the original coordinator's presence alone, not that of an assistant or alternate. But being fairly low-key I was fine with working with "Danielle" since I was still receiving fantastic service, and assumed that because of her pregnancy that our original coordinator had to hire help. Not a problem, I thought to myself, as long as she still performs the main duties of the rehearsal and wedding itself.

The week of the wedding comes and still no sign of or contact from the original coordinator. "Danielle" meets me for all the final detailing events and assures me that the original coordinator would be at the rehearsal. Night of the rehearsal, no sign of her. "Danielle" comes in and handles everything, saying she doesn't know where the original coordinator is, but she should be here any moment. She never did show up.

The day of the wedding is a huge affair, as it is for any bride. I was set to have myself and my girls all set to go by 2pm for pictures. The coordinator was to be at my house at 1pm. I got a voicemail on my cell phone from the coordinator saying that she couldn't find any childcare and that she had to stay home with her child. This woman knew about my wedding over a year in advance! So "Danielle" shows up, apologizing profusely but still receiving the brunt of the anger coming from my mother at having to see her daughter upset and crying on her wedding day.

Luckily things went smoothly (thank my lucky stars) the whole night. Or so I thought. My mother, and anyone else involved in the wedding party shooed the wrongdoings away from my attention. The wait staff didn't give my 80 year old grandmother water or juice to take her diabetes medication, my MOH was violently ill and was left to fend for herself in the women's restroom, and my mother's table was vandalized by some unknown assailants.

Long story short, I wound up communicating with the original planner after the wedding. She indicated to me that in the event of an emergency, her contract allowed her to send a replacement. Well, her "emergency" didn't quite add up with me, so I chose to ask for a refund of 50% of her service fee. She refused, even after veiled threats of talking with the Better Business Bureau. So, we wind up with our day in small claims court. She was so outrageous, out of control, and unprofessional that the bailiff made us wait in the court room until she had left the building because he feared for our safety!

I won the case, had my money returned, and all is well. And luckily, "Danielle" was fabulous and a lifesaver and my wedding was wonderful. She left the company a few months after the lawsuit and started her own business. I say cheers to her! 


I highly recommend reading "One Perfect Day - The Selling of the American Wedding" by Rebecca Mead.  Professional wedding coordinators have a vested interest in creating bridezillas, particularly if the coordinator's fee is tied directly to the overall cost of the wedding.  They need brides to want more and subsequently spend more.  Just because a coordinator has memberships in "professional" associations that allow her to put indecipherable initials behind her name does not guarantee she is a talented or competent coordinator.  


Some people's word is anything but their bond. I've known Vinny for about thirty years now. We went to school together and he spent several summers with my family and I. We lost touch for a while, then I found his address on the net and we got back in touch. After about a year or so, we once again lost track of each other. I had called him before and after that I didn't hear from him for many months. Then my mother passed away and I called to tell him the bad news. He always considered my mom his second mother and mom felt the same way. He asked if he could be a pallbearer for Mom and I told him that would be a very nice gesture. I gave him directions to the funeral home and what time the funeral would be. 

The day of the funeral we waited and waited and no Vinny. I finally told the preacher to wait five more minutes and start without him. About four minutes later, in comes Vinny only saying, "We're late." After the funeral Vinny tells me to give him a call sometime and we'll talk over old times. (If the roles were reversed, I would have told him I would give him a call in a couple of weeks to see how he was doing.) So I called him sometime later and after that I didn't hear from him until July 4th. (We last spoke in November the previous year.) He told me he was at work and he would call me that evening. Evening came and went, no phone call. Then a couple of weeks later I emailed him asking if everything was going ok. He got back with me with news he had gotten married and he would call the next day before a football game started. I sent him an e-card congratulating him. He emailed me thanking me and reiterated he would call me the next day. The following day came and went and , you guessed it, no phone call. 

On my mom's 1st anniversary of her passing, I kind of thought he might remember. But in typical Vinny fashion, no phone call, email, nothing. In my opinion, calling is a two way street. How much time does it take to call and ask someone how they're doing? And if I tell someone I'll call them, I will. I try to keep my word to friends. After all you never know when you may need them.   


I'm sorry about your mother and also sorry that you had the unpleasant epiphany that your friend simply does not want to invest in you the way you have invested in him.  


When my boss got engaged, a co-worker threw her a bridal shower and invited most of the women in the office.  (A faux-pas in itself, since most of us weren’t invited to the wedding – but as the wedding was 3 hours away and most of us couldn’t have gone anyway, nobody really seemed to mind.)

I wasn’t able to attend the shower, but my co-worker “Kathy” told me what happened.  Everyone got there, and the hostess announced that this would be a sales party shower, with the guests expected to purchase items.  This was not mentioned in the invitation!

And of course, it wasn’t just any type of sales party; it was a sex toys sales party!  Just what you want your co-workers to see you purchasing!  Kathy had brought her elderly mother, and was mortified.  (Luckily, her mom had a good sense of humor about the whole thing.)  I don’t know if people purchased items for themselves, the Bride, or both - and frankly, that’s information I’m just as happy to do without.


EWWWW!  Not only would I not want my co-workers to know what type of sex toy I buy, I wouldn't want them to even have a teensy hint that I could be the type of person to own and use them.  Nor do I want my work experience tainted with the knowledge of what my co-workers have purchased for their off-work pleasure.   I can see it now.... "Now Jeanne", the elderly senior secretary said, patting me on the arm matronly, " I really didn't think you were a 'jiggly fluffy bunny' kind of girl.  Between you and me, I've got my eye on that 'raging bull horns of love' thingy."

Umm, yeah.  


In May of 1999, my husband and I were unfortunately present at a horribly tacky wedding. First off, the bride and groom were a very unlikely couple and had a highly volatile relationship due to his drunkenness and drug use. They decided to get married the day after New Year's 1999, even though he had gotten extremely drunk and extremely abusive. He not only pushed her around because she refused to give him the keys to his truck. He then proceeded to kick and dent his truck in a rage. The future bride then called his parents and they came and picked BOTH of them up. They were both living with his parents at the time. The next morning, he said since she had stuck with him he felt they should get married. She stupidly said yes and proceeded to make wedding plans for May of same year.

The Future Bride insisted their family hit up their friends and family for sponsorships to pay for the wedding. (None of which were thanked for the money!) The MOH was a co-worker of the FUTURE BRIDE and started off enthusiastically helping her out. She insisted on taking the FUTURE BRIDE to a little town in Mexico to have the Future Bride's wedding dress made. After poring over magazines, a dress design was picked and they were told to come back in a month for a final fitting and to pick up the dress. Mind you, the town was about a 5 hour drive from where they lived in the US. The day before the final fitting the MOH calls and says she can't make it for some reason or other. The FUTURE BRIDE gets her sis and BIL to take her to Mexico. They get to the seamstress's and lo and behold, the dress hasn't even been started! They say they will definitely have it before the wedding. The FUTURE BRIDE agrees to wait because where can she possibly get a custom made dress for $250 that included the ring pillow, corsages for the groom, parents and crowns for the BM's? Bad mistake. 

The MOH promises to take her the following month, but again the night before calls and says she can't make it. The FIL takes them and once again, the dress in not finished so they wait around for about 4 hours. The dress doesn't even closely match the original design! Anyway, the MOH was opening a restaurant and offered to cater the wedding as a gift. The week before the wedding she calls the FUTURE BRIDE and says if she can pitch in $450 for the food since she didn't expect it to cost so much. The FUTURE BRIDE obliged and gave her the money. (should've known not to rely on the MOH by now!) 

On to the wedding day: The bridge insisted on making all of the decorations herself. Really just taper candles surrounded by ivy. Decorations had to be put up the day before. Remember now, it is South TEXAS and super hot and humid in May already. The wedding was held at a party house that basically had water coolers to cool the place down, but for some reason was terribly stuffy. The bride rented an old beat up car and proceeded to driver herself, her mother, aunt and cousin to the wedding. Upon entering the party house, she realizes she forgot about the music for the march, so just walks in on the arm of her brother and mother. She quickly realizes that the tapers have softened in the heat and are now arched over!

Now on to the reception. Needless to say, the food was great. Her friend even had the wait staff at the restaurant wait on people. They were served tea and if they wanted anything else, they had to purchase it from the bar. Some people even walked in with their own bottle of liquor! Needless to say, the bride and FMIL got plastered together. The groom didn't since he was already hung over from drinking tequila with his father and friend the night before. The MIL proceeded to dance and actually knocked over a toddler and fell over him. The bride even went out and badly danced the Macarena! After the reception, the bride and groom again went their separate ways. He went to his mom's--where they were having an after reception party--and she went to drop off her mom, aunt and cousin at her mom's house. Afterwards, they met up at the In-Laws where a keg had been bought by the groom. He proceeded to get drunk with his father and friend. The bride went to bed about 3AM alone. When she awoke the next morning, the groom was still outside getting plastered with his dad and friend.

That night, their honeymoon was spent picking up pizza and a case of beer on their way out to a State Park about an hour away. They spent the night in the back of the truck and awoke to have buzzards circling overhead. (Maybe they thought they were dead!) They then went home and opened up presents and the bride then went mad looking for envelopes that she knew had money in them. She didn't even send out thank you notes. Talk about tacky, tacky, tacky!!! UGH!

My husband and I are now Christians and have been happily married 8 years this last May. Needless to say, I own up to my tackiness and am now horribly mortified by it.


HAHAHAHA!  Best Ehell story punch line ever!

I received this via email from the groom of a wedding, a day after the nuptials.   This is my husband's brother and he is in his early 50's, and this is his second wedding. Most everyone received this email, or a hard copy through the postal system, can you believe this? We sent a very appropriate gift, worth about $100.00,  however it was not green. Can you believe this?

Guests of xxxxxx, 

Thank you for attending the Wedding and sharing our Marriage day together. I had planned the Wedding with the size constraints of the xxxxxl, and the xxxxxxx facilities available to me to host the Wedding. I also took into consideration that this would be and mature Wedding due to our age. I hoped that everyone could appreciate the opportunity to enjoy an upscale location, Hors D’oeuvres, Entrée menu selections, bar selections, and entertainment. Many are simply unaware as to the true cost of a Wedding in today’s dollars. I hoped ahead of time, that everyone could estimate a reasonable gift, and only hoped that any potential gifts might cover the expenses of the Wedding itself. At this point, I wish to delicately point out, the true cost of the Wedding that I put together, paid for myself, and hosted, for you to understand and consider. The total cost to me for each Guest to attend the Wedding was $97, including only for the items listed above, and enjoyed by each Guest. I am writing this letter, to delicately point out the true cost of attending this Wedding, so that information that may not have been not previously known by Guests, may be used as they see fit, for any choice they may wish to make. I really do appreciate everyone being there to share the moments, and create lasting memories of our Wedding.


Your Brother-in-law has earned the coveted EHell Spit BBQ Award for this update!  


I was on Facebook when I saw this advertisement. Can you believe this? Taking out a loan to pay for your own wedding is one thing (though as a bride to be I believe sticking to a realistic budget is much better) but taking a loan out for your wedding, then expecting other people to help you pay it off????

Here's a link to their site: *deleted because I never like to give free advertising or better Google ranking to sleazy wedding businesses*

"The Wedding of Your Dreams Without the Nightmares"

"A new way to pay for weddings"

"Planning a wedding is bad enough. But paying for it can be a nightmare, particularly if you don't feel so good about asking your parents to foot the bill.

With XXX, there's a new way. You can take out a MysteryLender Loan—a personal loan—to pay for up to $25,25,000 of wedding expenses. It's an unsecured loan, with rates as low as 8.75%, based on your credit. That's a lot less than credit cards and big banks.

But there's a twist. With MysteryLender, you can get help with the payments on your loan from other MysteryLender members! You post a profile, they pick you as a borrower to help when they invest at MysteryLender. They get a risk-free MysteryLender CD with a top interest rate. You get a lower loan payment.

Now think how it would work if you asked your parents, friends, or guests to buy a MysteryLender CD. Since a MysteryLender CD is guaranteed and insured, they won't have to worry about when you'll pay them back. But they'll be helping you while doing the kind of investing they might be doing anyway. And since more than one MysteryLender CD can benefit you, you could get your entire loan paid off.

How MysteryLender works You can borrow for any reason. No fees to borrow or prepay. Friends and family buy a 1-year MysteryLender CD to benefit you. They earn a top risk-free rate and lower your payments"



I have an (ex)-close friend who was going through a divorce. She’d found out her husband was having an affair, and was having a rough time of it. She’d invited me to spend a few days with her at her home, which is in a large city.

I explained I would be glad to come, and asked if she was sure this was a good time (since she’d been busy with divorce attorney, etc.). She assured me it was, so I bought a plane ticket, packed my bags, and left to visit her.

I should note that while I am by no means poor, I also am not wealthy. The income from my husband’s job funded the trip, as I am a stay-at-home wife. He didn’t mind, as he understood it was something akin to an “emergency trip”, in a way.

Well, I got to my ex-friend’s house, and she was in a terrible, awful mood the entire time I was there. Screaming at her two poor toddlers, etc. I assured her I sympathized with her plight, and asked if she wanted to talk, go out for coffee, etc. but she just said “No, I’ll be okay. I just need some “space”.

I then decided to go shopping alone (since my friend didn’t want to come, even though I would have found a sitter for her via phone book, or not objected to taking her kids with us).  
When I returned, she apologized to me, saying she was just “out of sorts lately”, and suggested we go out for dinner. I assured her I understood, and agreed it would be fun to catch up, and go to a nice dinner out. Her sister came with us. I bought dinner and drinks for all of us (not that it matters, really).

We had a good time at dinner, although I noticed my friend was consuming more than her fair share of alcohol.

After dinner, she and her sister were going to an obligatory family event at their brother’s home (in the same city), and they were dropping me off at a large shopping mall, at 9pm. All fine and good.

Well, I went shopping, and 9pm came and went. I was standing in the mall parking lot, waiting. At the time, I had no cell phone, so I couldn’t call my ex-friend, to find out where she was. I WAITED FOR 2-1/2 HOURS. Half an hour I understand, but 2-1/2 hours late? She knew I had no car, no phone, etc.

When she finally arrived, she was really drunk, and no excuse except she’d “lost track of the time” (I guess she and her sister were obviously in a few bars.) I didn’t really realize just how drunk she was, until we were on the Interstate, driving back to her house.

She was weaving all over the road, driving 80 miles an hour or more. I was terrified she might get us killed. I was also very angry she’d done this. I know she was upset about her divorce, but does that entail trying to kill your friends via drink driving, necessarily?

I finally urged her off the Interstate and into a gas station/convenience store, under the pretext of needing to buy some women’s hygiene products. Where I promptly excused myself, and called a Taxi-cab, and explained I wasn’t going to go on like this, and was going to fly home the next morning, and spend the night in a motel near the airport.  

She then said to me: “But – all your luggage is at my place”.  I was so steamed, I told her to just keep it. Her mouth fell open a little (good), and she told me I was “over-reacting” (Really? Hmmm). I said “Good-bye”.

She drove away, and I went to a motel, with no tooth brush, or pajamas, or make-up, etc. Next morning I bought  full fare plane ticket home. The flight customer-service attendant must have thought I was some battered, runaway, house-wife. I looked a mess. But I didn’t care. I just wanted out of there. Fortunately, my husband understood, and was furious at my ex-friend.

Her sister brought me my luggage the next week, at my house, and said she, too thought I’d “over-reacted”. I said thanks for the luggage return, but that I didn’t think I’d over-reacted at all, and that I didn’t want to discuss it further with her.

My relationship with my ex-friend cooled off immediately afterward, and I can only hope that she has checked herself into some alcohol rehabilitation facility, and joined a therapy group. I feel nothing by sympathy for her two children.


My fiancé and I have dated almost 5 years.  We both lost our beloved spouses to cancer when we were in our 40’s.  When we became engaged, my adult children both called my fiancé and congratulated him.  Now, three months later, his adult children have yet to speak to me.  His son pretends I’m invisible.  His adult daughter has been on the phone to him and other members of their family distraught, weeping and proclaiming “…I always thought someday he might move in with her but never dreamed he’d actually marry her.  How could he do this to MOM???”   Her mother passed away 6 years ago.  The daughter has undergone no more heartache than my children and I.  It is a blessing that I have found another wonderful person to spend my life with.  Please let (self-focused) adult children know that their behavior throughout the engagement sets the tone for our future relationship.  I’m dreading the wedding for fear that she will make it all about herself instead of about our joy.


I have really enjoyed your site! It is very entertaining. I'm not too sure if the category fits the occasion, but here's an interesting tale....   My brother's stepdaughter got married a few years ago, I'll call her Kelly. He was divorced from Kelly's mother a year before (I'll call her Wilma). My brother, Will,  felt honored to be involved in the wedding because he basically raised Kelly and loved her as his own. My mom and I were invited as family and were happy to attend. 

The event was at a very elegant venue with all the trimmings. It was a picture perfect wedding except for one jaw-dropping surprise.   It was held at a glorious two story ante-bellum style mansion. It was tastefully decorated with flowers and candles and crystal sparkling everywhere. There were no seating arrangements for the guests, and no ushers. My mom thought that odd, but we didn't have a problem finding a place to sit. We didn't see Wilma, but figured maybe she was upstairs with last minute arrangements for the bride. We didn't give it another thought at the time.   The main room had a sweeping, curved staircase that the bride was to walk down and join Will, who was to give her away (or so we thought!).  The processional was like a fairy tale. One BM after the other came down the stairs to a string quartet's beautiful music.

Then the moment we had all been waiting for... The Bride! The music built up to an exciting crescendo, we all stood up in anticipation....Then she appears at the top of the stairs-- all smiling and radiant... but wait! What's this? TWO brides? Can it be? No... its her MOTHER !(Wilma) in a long white sparkling wedding gown holding the arm of her daughter, in a long white beautiful wedding gown as well! The deciding difference was the bride had a veil and big bouquet. Wilma had a small yet sparkling tiara and BM bouquet....   They eased down the staircase to the amazement of us all. We thought we were seeing double!!  Kelly joined up with Will for the walk down the aisle. Will was looking a little baffled as Wilma took Kelly's other side and the trio proceeded to walk to the altar. It was quite a bizarre sight, one gentleman and two "brides"...

The pastor did the usual asking of "Who gives this woman away" and first Will said, "I do," then Wilma said the same. Will hugged Kelly, then walked away and sat by his current wife. Wilma just stepped a few feet away next to the MOH for the rest of the ceremony (which went beautifully). I was sitting a few rows in back of Will, and could see his head shaking in embarrassment throughout the entire ceremony. My mom and I had to stifle the giggles, and that took quite an effort. After the announcement of Husband and Wife , Kelly and Josh (new hubby) walked out together, with Wilma close behind (alone), then the rest of the bridal party followed.   Afterwards, my mother mentioned to Wilma (her ex-DIL) that the staircase processional was beautiful, and what a surprise to see Wilma with Kelly! Wilma explained that she always wanted to have a big fancy wedding but couldn't afford one until now, and thought it would be a fun surprise for everyone. My mom was appalled but replied in some tactful way. Wilma's new (third) hubby was hiding in corners behind large flower arrangements during the whole process. Bless his heart.   

I later asked my brother, Will , if he was aware of what was going to happen. I thought he was privy to the proceedings since the night before there was the usual rehearsal and all. He said that the bride's mom stood in for her during the rehearsal (something about bad luck). But he had no idea Wilma would be marching down the aisle with him and the bride.   The rest of the evening went fine,  Kelly was very gracious and sweet. Josh, her new hubby was apparently very happy.  She said she was a bit surprised by what her mom did as well. She said she should have gotten an inkling when Wilma tried on dresses at the wedding boutiques with her. But she was told, "It's just for fun"!    We never heard about any "fallout" later. Our family isn't in that loop anymore. Knowing Kelly, all was forgiven. What a classy gal.      



Last year my boyfriend and I were invited by a friend to attend her college graduation. We knew her as she was the girlfriend of a long term pal of my boyfriend but we became friends with her nonetheless and I felt happy to support her on her graduation day. The morning of the graduation her boyfriend phoned us and suggested we carpool (he had just gotten a new car and wanted to show it off to us). We declined and said we'd rather not be any extra trouble as we live on the other side of town but he insisted that it made more sense to carpool and even went as far as to say he was "already on the way" so no ifs ands or buts about it. We shrugged and agreed to go along in the new car.

We got our first ride in the new car and all arrived together. Fast forward through the graduation service which went well. She was graduating with a performing arts degree so the group used their graduation to display their many talents.

After the service there was a small reception with coffee and desserts. This is where the tackiness begins (but sadly not where it ends). The new graduate introduced me to her family and then quickly asked me to help her parents bring her gifts (including ours) out to the car. Then she gave me and her folks a list of other things to do, helping clear the table and toss out people's cups and plates as they were left behind. I wasn't aware but apparently the university did not provide the refreshments but many of the graduates set it up with their own means. Anyway, I didn't really mind helping out so she could mingle as it's not like I knew anyone else there and it was "her day" so I did this all as a favor an even found myself joking and laughing with her parents as things came to and end.

Now here's where it gets really awkward. Turns out the new graduate, her parents, her boyfriend and his mom were all headed out for dinner directly after. Essentially everyone she invited to her limited-seat graduation was expected after dinner (except us). In fact, it was the first we were hearing about this dinner, which someone mentioned they had made reservations for well in advance. I can tell the lady of the hour is at a loss what to do because she clearly did not invite, nor has intentions of inviting us out to dinner so she point blank asks me, "Um, what are you guys going to do while we have dinner?" I was shocked! I certainly did not expect her or her family to treat us to dinner and would have paid my own way (as I think this was her concern), but honestly we were both offended that she would invite us to her ceremony but expect us to get lost for dinner. I guess the fact we carpooled (at her boyfriend's pleading) threw a wrench into the plan.

So what could I do? I told her that was fine and we'd just like to be dropped off at home. She stared at me and nodded rather slowly and then runs off with her boyfriend into a storage room where we can both hear them heatedly discussing things. After a minute the boyfriend comes over and says, "Yeah I guess we won't have time to drop you off and still make our reservations so we're thinking we can drop you two off at the mall so you can get something at the food court."

That's exactly what happened. We sat silently in the car as we were dropped off at a nearby mall where we both had a good long rant together at our rude friend's expense. They picked us up 2 hours later and little was said till we thanked them for the ride home.

The topper, a few days later she calls me and says, "Oh you two really should have come to dinner, my parents were treating and we thought you were coming but everyone was SO surprised when you weren't there but (boyfriend) said you guys wanted to go to the mall instead." I was in SHOCK! Not only did we totally get snubbed, but then she phones me and acts like the "plan" was for us to eat dinner with them and we flaked out and were no shows.

To this day I am still shocked as it is probably the rudest I have ever been treated by anyone but it has been a good story and great for a few laughs. I never mentioned the incident to either of them but needless to say we've kept our distance since and have learned the valuable lesson to always have an escape vehicle on hand lest you be stranded at the food court!

Thanks, this has been cathartic. Hope this counts as a faux pas for your archives! FauxPasoftheYear0414-08


Hi Jeanne. I love your site. About two years ago, my then bf, now fiancé and I attended a wedding from hell.

My boyfriend and I sometimes like to go to a local nightclub known for its alternative culture. This club is the place to flaunt your tattoos and piercing, listen to industrial music and dress up in Goth or fetish clothing. During our visits to this nightclub, we met another couple. We'll call them Joe and Linda. They both look the part of the nightclub with large tattoos, unusual hair and the uniform of spikes and chains.

We began to get together socially from time to time. Now, my boyfriend and I don't dress the way we do at the nightclub all the time. Joe and Linda, however, do. When they got engaged and invited us to the wedding, Linda enthusiastically told us that it would be a 'medieval, Goth fetish wedding.' She encouraged us to come in kinky costume, assuring us that the people at the church were the most open-minded in the world.

Well, neither of us typically dress this way for a wedding, but we wanted to make the bride happy. So, dutifully, we dressed up. I wore a little black dress with fishnet stockings and six inch heels. My bf wore leather from head to toe complete with S&M accoutrements hanging from his belt. We felt pretty good, since this is what Linda wanted.

Well, we went to the church and immediately knew that something was not right. The people outside were all extremely conservative religious people: suits, ties, flower print dresses. We double checked to make sure that we had the right address. We did. We both took deep breaths and walked in to the church, which happened to be a particularly conservative denomination. The bride neglected to tell us that the groom's family was extremely conservative. They looked worried as we walked in. We were both so uncomfortable. We dress that way when it is appropriate, not generally at weddings. However, we couldn't do much about it at this point, so we walked in and found seats in the church, trying to ignore the looks of shock and horror on the other guest's faces.

After a while, others dressed like us showed up. Apparently, the bride had told half of the guests to dress like they were going to a fetish club. The other half of the guests were not impressed and everyone was uncomfortable.

Well, we sat there waiting for the bride to show up for two hours. The whole time, we listened to the same song on a loop. I did not want to listen to that particular musical group again for about a year after the wedding.

Linda finally showed up. She was wearing a nice, medieval style dress. The ceremony itself was quite beautiful. We went through the receiving line and into the church multipurpose room where the reception was to take place.

Now, Linda is beside herself and crying nonstop, which would have been understandable if she hadn't insisted on grabbing the mike and rambling on and on. The reception did not have an MC, so she, the bride, was able to do whatever she wanted. After over half an hour of her tearful blabbering about her friends, I wanted a stiff drink. I had always thought that a wedding was about the couple, not the bride's friends, tattoo artist, etc. But whatever. It's her wedding.

There was no alcohol at the reception. The bride, apparently, did not believe in drinking. That's fine, provided the bride does not give the guests cause to want to drown their sorrows. The food was cold and not very palatable. We ate anyway, attempted conversation with the cranky people at our table who went and ate somewhere else, leaving us alone. We were both very happy to get out of there.

At the wedding, the couple stated that they did not want gifts. They gave the option of donating to a charitable organization on their behalf. Later, when my bf was visiting Linda, she told him that she was hunting down everyone who didn't send her and Joe a card. She then remembered that we hadn't sent a card and freaked out, yelling at him. He said that he had a card and just had forgotten to send it. He bought a card which we both signed and gave it to Linda. After that, we distanced ourselves from both of them.


I would have thought that the invitation designating a church as the ceremony site would have been plenty of information for you to have known not to dress like you were going to a night club.  

Page Last Updated October 11, 2008