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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
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Jan-Jun 2003 Archive


I attended a wedding of my sisters SIL (her husband’s sister). I didn't know the bride well or the groom at all. The wedding was in my town and my sister, who lives out of state, had a 1-year-old whom I wanted to see badly so I went.

Upon arriving at this quaint chapel surrounded by woods and picnic tables, I began to look for my sister. I walked down the hill to get to the first floor of the chapel. I noticed nearing the bottom that a woman was sprawling out on a picnic table clad in a leather teddy, fishnet hose with garter, dog collar around her neck, black lipstick and eyeliner and spiked pink hair. It seemed like she was posing as a crack-whore for a cover shoot for an S&M magazine. I hoped she would disappear before guests began arriving so it would not cast a pall on the wedding.

I went inside, found my sister and niece and we began talking and visiting while the bride and her party were getting ready. To make ourselves scarce and give them some space, we moved to another room where the baby could play. My sister then introduced me to her husband's aunt who had just come in the room to see the baby as well. We began a friendly chat and she mentioned that the reception would be held at a smaller building down the hill from the chapel. Suddenly remembering the shady lady down the hill, I informed my sister that someone better run off the dominatrix laying on the picnic table down there so the guests would not be scared.

My sister froze. I saw utter panic in her eyes and she glared at me. Before I could think what I had done wrong, the aunt informed me that the dominatrix was her 16-year-old daughter, a wedding guest. Was I horrified? YES! It haunts me to this day. I can never face my BIL's family again.     Faux Pas 0802/03

This was the wedding of a distant cousin of mine. They decided to hold it in an old country church that the bride's family was involved with for generations. Sounds like a quaint, charming idea, but in this case it wasn't very practical. The church had been closed for about 35 years and had fallen into considerable disrepair. It was still structurally sound but the roof was falling in. The bride's father and brothers, at their own expense, repainted the whole place and re-roofed it. The day of the wedding was quite late in the summer, and the church was in the middle of what is now a farmer's field. There was a flourishing wheat crop surrounding the church, so nobody could drive in. Everyone, including the bridal party, had to park on the road and traipse through this waist-high wheat crop in their nice clothes and shoes. The MOB, who was in a wheelchair, was transported to the church by putting her on a utility trailer which was hauled in by a farm tractor. Very dignified.

The church was way too small for the number of people there, so about half of the guests had to stand outside and look through the windows while the ceremony was going on. There was no electricity to the building, so the windows were the only source of the light. Of course most of the light was blocked by people peering in the windows, so the church was very dark inside.

On to the reception where it looked like they were trying to keep the rustic country theme by scattering hay bales all over the place, including the middle of the dance floor. This could have had the desired effect if the rest of the wedding hadn't been so tacky - the hay bales just made it look tackier.

The MOG had her own catering company, and she was catering her son's wedding along with her three daughters/employees. Between the ceremony and the reception they changed into their "working clothes" which consisted of t-shirts, shorts and sandals or thongs. On arrival they disappeared into the kitchen, where they didn't emerge until about 10 o'clock, so they missed all the speeches, toasts, etc. The FOG was seated at a table alone with assorted grandchildren, whose mothers were working in the kitchen. He made half-hearted efforts to contain them as they ran amok throughout the dinner and speeches.

When it came time for the bridal couple to dance with their parents someone was dispatched to the kitchen to fetch the MOG, who came out wiping her hands on a towel to dance with her son, then went straight back to the kitchen. The performance was repeated a few minutes later when the bridal party did their dance - one of the daughters working in the kitchen was a bridesmaid. It was charming to see her dancing with a groomsman in her T-shirt, cutoff shorts and thongs, while the other bridesmaids still had their nice dresses on. Of course, by this point she and her mother had been in the kitchen for several hours, so their clothes were filthy.

The rest of the wedding went all right - over the course of the night the hay bales all got moved to the edge of the room as people tripped over them. The amateur country and western band wasn't really my cup of tea, but other people seemed to enjoy dancing to them. Oh well, at least nobody got in a fight...

Faux Pas 0810/03

An excellent example of why it is important to delegate tasks to someone other than immediate family on the wedding day.

Betty, a friend from college, got engaged. Since graduating from college 5 years earlier, we had grown apart some and only saw each other for the occasional dinner after work or party at a friend’s place. Therefore, I didn't necessarily expect to be invited to the wedding. About 4 months before the wedding, Betty, another friend from college, and I got together for dinner. As could be expected, the conversation included a discussion about the wedding plans, including the time and date and that my husband and I were on the invite list (I even put it on my calendar with her sitting right there).

Fast forward a month, and I received the following email:

"Hi Lauren. How are you? Unfortunately this e-mail is not bearing good news and I apologize in advance. When we had dinner last month, our guest list had not even been close to finalized. The biggest problem Jeff & I have had with our wedding is the number of people we want to invite vs the number of people our reception room can hold. Our list started with 350 people, but the dining room can only hold 220. Since February, we have slowly cut people, both family & friends. Every time we talked about the list, it ended up a war with me crying and stressed and Jeff not wanting to worry about it yet. Because the invitations have to go out the first week in September and I will begin addressing them next week, Jeff & I finally acted like two, mature adults and finalized the list. It was extremely difficult and took us over two hours as we had to cut about 40 additional people. We decided the easiest way to cut the last 16 were to do those who we talk to occasionally and rarely see. I am soooooooooooooooooooo sorry, but I had to cut you & Derrick from my list. Since we don't see each other that often, I hoped you wouldn't be too hurt. I also had to cut two of my close girlfriends (Samantha & her husband, and then my crazy friend Alex) from high school because I only talk to them every couple weeks and see them maybe once a month. The guest list is down to 250 people and we are now praying for at least 30 regrets when the invitations go out. Although finalizing the list didn't end in a war, I still ended up in tears feeling bad about not being able to invite you guys. I really am sorry!! I hope you understand? Your guilt-plagued friend-Betty"

I'm an understanding person, especially since I experienced my own drama when planning my wedding. I would have completely understood if I was not invited to the wedding to begin with, but after being given a verbal invitation, I think it was heinous for this "friend" to disinvite me via email. If she had to disinvite me, the least she could have done was tell me in person or over the phone. Obviously she talks to the 250 invitees more than she talks to me, so she clearly just didn't have the time to squeeze in that phone conversation to disinvite me!!!
Faux Pas 0820/03

My story is of one hellacious event, beginning to end.

In college a new friend of mine asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. I agreed even though we had only known each other a few months.

I should have had an inkling that this wasn't going to be smooth riding when she couldn't decide on wedding colors and told us (the bridesmaids) to "pick whatever." Finally, after much pushing from the bridesmaids (and none-to-soon as the wedding was weeks away) the bride scheduled a day so we could pick out a dress--since the bride refused to pick a color, cut, or design for the bridesmaids dresses. Two of us (we'll call the other girl Becky) drove almost 2.5 hours to the bride's hometown to shop for this dress with the other bridesmaids and the bride. We spent 7 hours driving around the town with no idea what we were looking for, the bride didn't like anything we had suggested and refused to give us ideas of her own. At the end of a long day, we were all getting testy with one another, the bride picks up a JCPenney catalog and points to the first dress and says "Here, this is fine, we'll all order this one." Great. Swell. I could have done that from home.

Then time for showers. Two of us bridesmaids (me and Becky) lived in the city where we all went to college with the bride. We offered to have the bride a shower since campus was so far from her home. We were thinking a small intimate gathering with close friends. The bride made a list of 140 people (some of whom she had not met, but only worked with, had class with, or were in her sorority and hardly knew her). When the other bridesmaid and I suggested to her that perhaps this was too many, the bride got upset and mailed the invitations herself before we knew what she was doing! Becky and I tried to be good sports and plan for this--we knew 140 people would not be there, so we planned food for half that number. Keep in mind the other bridesmaid and I were living on the meager college student income.

The morning of the shower Becky and I were planning to pick up our cake, mints, nuts, fruit trays, veggie trays, and decorate after our morning class. The shower wasn't until the evening. The bride checked in early and wasn't satisfied with our progress...she freaked out and called her mother 2.5 hours away (without telling us, of course). Her mother owns a Chinese restaurant. Apparently she told her mother we weren't even having food.

Therefore her mother works her staff double time to get full course meals of food prepared for 140 people that night! She also didn't like our decorations (cute table clothes with a simple vase of flowers in the middle and some wedding bells and garland, etc.)--she called another friend who's mother was a florist and begged for more professional arrangements (also, without telling me and other hostess/bridesmaid/sucker).

Imagine Becky and my surprise when we are putting the finishing touches on our food that evening when the bride's mother pulls up in her catering van and unloads hot, cooked meals for 140 people!

Oh, the best part? Twelve people showed up for the shower. That's right.

Twelve, including me and the other hostess. Apparently we weren't the only ones having issues with the bride....

As if the events leading up to the wedding weren't enough to kill our warm fuzzies about the bride, the day of the wedding just got better. Becky and I drove separately to the wedding from our college town 2.5 hours away.

While getting ready for the big day we were told to leave our personal belongings in the pastor’s office "for safety". During the ceremony someone broke into the back of the church and stole everything we had put in the "safe" spot--including my analog and digital cameras, jewelry, money, credit cards, phones and house and car keys.

Chaos ensued afterwards when we discovered all of our stuff missing. Becky and I made phone calls to our boyfriends to bring us spare car keys from our college 2.5 hours away, we had to call college housing to get new room keys, credit card companies, banks, etc. We then went outside to give our report to the police. The other local bridesmaids gave their reports and then they left for the reception being held several miles away. The bride and groom also left. Since Becky and I have driven up the night before and had our overnight bags with us, we had the most stolen. It took us longer to talk to the police. While we were outside talking to the police, it would seem everyone else left and locked the church up. So once we finished giving our report we went to return to the church and discovered all the doors were locked (too bad they couldn't have done that earlier, eh?) and no one was left on the grounds. Everyone had left for the reception and forgot about the two of us. Of course, we didn't want them not to enjoy the day, but it would have been nice if someone would have offered to give us a ride since we were carless. But we sat outside, in the dark--with no phone, for more than 2 hours waiting on our boyfriends to arrive with spare car keys. We can assume not one person realized we were missing from the reception since no one came back for us. When our boyfriends arrived we just went home and skipped the reception, or what was left of it--as whatever festive feelings we had after the robbery were soon brooded out at the knowledge we had been forgotten.

The cherry on the sundae was when they caught the couple that had broke into the church. It would seem they had broken into 19 different churches over a 3-month period. The police caught them when they tried to use some of our credit cards at Wal-Mart. Great that they caught them! However, Becky and I then had to take time off from school to drive back to this place to testify that, yes, these items were ours. It was very nice of the bride's father to come to court that day to support us, but the bride and groom sent their regrets they couldn't make it--they were busy that day.

Needless to say Becky and I have had very limited communication with the bride since the entire fiasco.

Faux Pas 0830/03

A few years ago I flew home to New Orleans to attend my cousin "Andrea’s wedding. Our family is all Catholic, but Andrea's fiancé "Luke" came from a Baptist family.

Now it should be understood that we are talking about New Orleans here, the land of Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street. Mardi Gras, believe it or not, is a religious holiday at root, which should give you an idea of what brand of Catholicism is practiced there. Drinking and eating and generally making merry are very important aspects of any ceremony, especially a wedding. Luke himself, as far as I know, did not have a problem with any of this, being an extremely... exuberant kind of guy (as we will see later), but I can imagine the fun and games which went into deciding just what kind of wedding this was going to be.

I wasn't privy to the negotiations preceding the wedding (thank God), but the determination of both families to have a religious ceremony resulted in what I thought was a fairly bizarre compromise: they decided to have both a Catholic AND a Baptist ceremony.

Of course, Andrea's parents evidently scored much more in the way of leverage here (probably because they and not Luke's family were paying for it), so the eventual result was that Andrea and Luke were to be married in a Catholic church, with the priest conducting a full Mass, and that a Baptist minister would be responsible for the Homily (or sermon, in Baptist services). Having attended a Baptist service before (as well as going to Mass for most of my life), I was morbidly fascinated to see how this would proceed!

I mean, it sounds all ecumenical and friendly, doesn't it? Heh. I have rarely in my life seen a man who looked more uncomfortable than that Baptist minister, sitting up there next to the altar boys while the Mass went on. The family and friends on the groom's side of the church looked almost as ill at ease as he did. I think Andrea's parents scored a definite coup in winning the venue.

But oh, the sermon the minister gave! My sisters and I sat there with mouths open as he went on and on about Adam's rib and the woman was created to be by the man's side and obey him and succor him and etc. etc. Can I just say "puke"? Why Andrea agreed to this topic for the sermon is just beyond me; if I'd been the bride I would have whacked him upside the head with my bouquet. Jeez.

And of course, this strange hybrid wedding they had made up took twice as long as it normally would have. The actual marriage ritual was kind of hilarious, since it was performed by both the priest and the minister, and it had obviously been laboriously worked out beforehand who got to say what part of it all. All told, the ceremony lasted almost *two hours* before we could get out of there and head over to the reception.

I had been dreading the reception a little, because we didn't know who had won the alcohol/no alcohol war, and really, if you can't drink at a wedding there's just no point. Turns out they had compromised there too - there was wine and beer, but no hard liquor or champagne. Whatever, I guess it was better than nothing, though it seemed really silly to me to have to toast the couple with freakin' *Chardonnay. I mean, at that point what's the difference?

Anyway, the reception went on with no major mishaps until my aunt - the MOB - noticed that the groom, the best man, and all the ushers had mysteriously disappeared. Since they hadn't yet cut the cake at that point, MOB predictably began to panic, demanding that Andrea produce her new husband like she had hidden him (and the best man, and all the ushers) under her dress or something. Andrea had no idea where he was. No one did.

All of a sudden, the double doors to the reception hall burst open and in marches the ushers, with black leather jackets over their tuxes and black sunglasses on, and they quickly surround the stage, crossing their arms and doing their best to look all forbidding and stuff. The best man, who had crept up to the stage beforehand without anyone noticing, hijacked the microphone from the wedding singer: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together, and please welcome [dramatic pause] the one! The only! Elvis! Presley!"

And you guessed it - in sweeps Luke, in full Elvis regalia, including wig and guitar. My sisters and I all said, as one, "Oh, he *didn't*!" From where I was standing I couldn't see Andrea's reaction, but I could see my aunt was about to DIE from mortification. She turned around and around, telling everyone in earshot, "I didn't know about this! I'm so sorry!" and so forth, red as a beet. Meanwhile Luke jumps up on stage and orders the stunned band to fire up "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You."

("Could have been worse," my sister whispers, "He could have decided to sing 'Hound Dog'.")

Fortunately for Luke, once the guests got over their shock most were willing to go along with the gag and pretend to be screaming Elvis fans. And to his credit he did do a pretty credible Elvis impersonation. The "bodyguards" swiftly dragged Andrea to the foot of the stage so he could serenade her, and to *her* credit she laughed and blushed rather than getting angry or embarrassed, though with a certain air of unsurprised resignation that made me chuckle. I guess she knew her new husband better than her mother did.

Trust Luke to make sure no wedding of his would be "ordinary". To this day, my aunt turns beet-red if you so much as mention "the Elvis incident".

Faux Pas 0905/03

The Elvis Incident was cute.  The storyteller's belief that it ain't a weddin' unless there is freeflowing alcohol out the wazoo is not cute.  

In 1981, I was waiting tables in a higher-class steak house (not overly formal, but expensive with excellent food and service). Many patrons were somewhat informal in how they dressed, but that is typical of the relaxed attitude of the city in which I live.

One evening, I had just served a party of five when I saw one of the women at the table unbutton her blouse, open her bra, expose her breast and begin nursing an infant while she ate. As I could see other patrons at other tables could and were noticing what she was doing, and being too embarrassed (as a nineteen-year-old male) to speak to her directly, I grabbed a waitress and asked her to take one of our oversized napkins to the woman. I hoped the woman might take the hint and use the napkin for a little modesty.

When the waitress offered the napkin to the woman, the woman immediately took offense and began loudly to preach that what she was doing was normal and natural and that no one should be offended or embarrassed by it. Her extremely vocal protest was causing more of a scene and drawing more attention than the breast-feeding ever could have. Before the waitress had a chance to react, an older and very refined lady seated at the next table leaned over to this woman, looked directly at her, and let loose a most vociferous belch. She then stated in a calm and sweet voice that that too was normal and natural, but most people refrained from doing it in public.

The waitress turned white and walked away. Most of the tables sitting nearby whom had heard this exchange burst out in laughter and a little applause. The party of five left quickly while casting quite angry glares at the whole restaurant. Needless to say, I did not get a tip - but I did tip handsomely the poor waitress for her trouble.

Faux Pas 0924/03

My husband and I are professional photographers, and, by and large, our clients are wonderful, sweet, genuine people who hire us to realistically portray their wedding day. We adore most of our clients, and by the end of the wedding we are hugging family members we've never met, and are sincerely wishing the couple the best life possible. We LOVE our wedding clients. Every time they get married, we get married all over again.

One bride in particular, however, made us worry about the future of marriage in general. She was the bride from...Heck. Or slightly south of Heck.

The bride had told us this was going to be an elegant affair, and we were prepared. The fact that the church was a metal building in the middle of a field was not a big deal; some of the best weddings we've seen were not country club affairs anyway.

We asked the bride to be prepared and provide us with a list of shots she wanted. Her album contract provided her with "100+ photos", and she took that to heart.

She gave us a list of THREE HUNDRED FIFTY "must-have" photos. And she was wedded to that list for the grand sum of...


She had six bridesmaids and the flower girl was (I kid you not)... a Chihuahua...carried by a sweet, 300lb female friend. The Chihuahua wore a wedding dress...with a veil. eew The nice woman who carried her was treated like a prop. It was sad.

I don't remember the groom (except that he looked like a man who had recently donated his manhood to science), but the bride was everywhere. After the ceremony, we made portraits on the altar. These were real portraits: a large format camera, studio lighting, etc. She was so impatient that any photo that took longer that 5 seconds was met with enough eye rolling that she looked like a slot machine in a white dress. And yet, she had a list of photos that would fill up National Geographic for the next ten years. "Could you do the ushers pretending to do a pyramid while my groom acts like Tarzan?", would not have been an unusual request from the bride. She kept yelling, "We're gonna be late to the reception!!!!!" The reception was 5 steps away at the church.

The reception took place in the church gym, and again the bride was the queen. "Whahh down't yew tayke ah peetcher owver thayer?", was her mantra. In an average wedding, we take 360 photos, plus the portraits we do after the ceremony. This wasn't good enough for this bride. Either we take 9 million pix, or she's upset. And they better be pretty, too. She kept saying, "Don't make it look like a gym!" Lady, I'm a photographer. I'm not a miracle worker. It's a gym. There's a basketball goal over the groom's cake. Are you blind? Oh, by the way, did you see the Chihuahua in the dress? I can't turn her into Marilyn Monroe. Sorry.

So, we live through the reception, and now it's time to leave. The groomsmen have managed to shoe-polish the phrase "seven days makes a hole weak" on the back window of the couple's car (how cute). The groom told us his new wife/millstone had a surprise we simply MUST photograph. He said this with the same enthusiasm that an oncologist uses when he tells you there's nothing more he can do for your granny.

We waited, and lo and behold, as the newly birdseed-christened couple drove away (for their Disneyland honeymoon), the limo skidded to a stop, and they had to throw out the bride's mother and the groom's mother (wearing mouse ears), out of the back seat of the limo. Why, they were going to try to sneak into the Magic Kingdom, those cheeky devils! Then, as they drove away, the bride released two Mickey Mouse shaped Mylar balloons.

Here's a case of a bride's fantasy gone out of control. We were the photographers at this event--if we had been invited, we wouldn't have stayed ten minutes. The groom was a darling, and I'm sure the bride (under normal circumstances) was just fine. Under the pressure of the event, she snapped and turned into Robert Duvall in "Apocalypse Now".

"I love the smell of birdseed and royal icing in the morning. Smells like...marriage".

Faux Pas 0929/03

This might feel worse to me than it actually sounds, but here goes... After my father passed away my fiancé and I decided to shorten our engagement from 24 months to 12 months, partly to take our minds off the pain my mother and I were feeling from the loss. As an only child I chose a favorite aunt to be my MOH, 2 friends and a cousin made up the rest of my wedding attendants. It is this cousin with whom I have an issue. Let's call her "Satan".
By the way, my chosen profession is "hairdresser". That will be important
later in the story.

"Satan" was peeved with my choice of MOH and made her feelings loudly known at my Bridal Shower. Not only did she express her
dislike for my Aunt, but reminded me that when she and I were 6 I had said she could be my MOH when I married and she said I would be one of her bridesmaids. She some how saw me as reneging on some kind of sacred
vow when, as an adult, I altered my plans. She did nothing to help me, the other bridesmaids, or my MOH with anything. Including not showing up for fittings or to pick up her finished gown.

At the wedding she drunkenly sobbed over the loss of *my* father, ignored my MOH and picked fights with my other 2 bridesmaids, who thankfully ignored her. Fast forward 6 years...

My mother passed and I was left with no immediate family members and my cousin had long since stopped speaking with me. One day I received a phone call from her asking if I had gotten the invitation to *her* wedding, I hadn't so she invited me over the phone. I told her I would try to make it but she had given me less than one days notice and it was an adults only function and by then I had two children. Needless to say I didn't make it. Fast-forward 3 more years...

Not a word spoken between us and one day I get an e-mail from Satan. She's been looking for me, worried about me...blah blah blah. I tell her that I can't be bothered to begin a relationship with her unless both of us were going to give equally. She says she wants to clear the air between us. Satan wants to know why I would hurt her so much as to not show at her wedding. Flabbergasted, I tell her in no uncertain terms that I was disappointed that after the death of my mother that she chose to break ties with me knowing I had no other close family.

She says..."But, I really wanted you at my wedding. I needed you to do my hair."
Faux Pas 1001/03

I thought you might be interested in what I found on the web. I was searching wedding advice sites and came across "Dear Prudence". A bride asked for advice on how to ask for money as wedding gifts. "Prudie" (as she is known to her readers) thought this was a fine idea, and even composed a short poem the bride could include in the invitations. Many etiquette-minded people told Prudie this was terrible advice, request for gifts should NEVER be sent in the invitations, etc. Prudie promptly wrote an apology in a subsequent column, and vowed to stop answering etiquette questions.

However, it was the responses of the people who SUPPORTED Prudie that really disturbed me. They told her she shouldn't have backed down on her original advice. Some thought the idea was "awesome" and said they were planning to include the poem in THEIR invitations. Some said the bride wrote in for an opinion and Prudie gave the bride her opinion (as if someone's opinion is the same as gospel etiquette). Some said this practice was "normal" on the East Coast (funny, my family is from Boston and no one we associate with has ever partaken in this practice). Some likened etiquette to "tradition" and said traditions are different for every person. Some even suggested that etiquette was "outdated" and did not reflect the "needs" of modern couples.

All I could think of was, good Lord people! Etiquette is not a "regional" thing, it is not the same as "tradition" and it is not up for others to change for their convenience. With all the terrible advice floating out there for all to see, it's no wonder receives hundreds of stories a year.

Keep up the good work!

Faux Pas 1009/03

Miss Jeanne: Thank you so much for your hilarious and informative website. For several years I worked as an assistant in a bridal shop and it helped my fellow staff members and I keep a smile through many difficult 'bridezillas' moments. That being said, I never thought that I would experience wedding etiquette so heinous that I would feel compelled to share it with you and those that read your website, however my associates convinced me to tell my story in the hopes of deterring similar behavior or at least eliciting a laugh or two from your readers.

My cousin, 'Robert,' the son of my mother's sister, had met a lovely woman whom I'll call 'Lara' and had dated for several years. They had become engaged during a family Christmas holiday, which pleased all of us, especially my grandmother (mother to my mother and her sister, 'Robert's' mother), being that this would be the first wedding of any of her grandchildren. They set a wedding date for that July, when the bride's children would be out of school. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter my grandmother was diagnosed with a difficult to treat cancer and passed away in March of that year.

Clearly, that spring was a very difficult time for all of us, and to make matters worse I came down with meningitis that May. After a hospital stay and treatment, I had begun to recover, but meningitis can really take a toll, and most patients have symptoms for several months to a year after the initial diagnosis and treatment. By mid-June I felt well enough to attend their wedding and RSVP'd to the couple with the understanding that I could not stay terribly late into the evening.

The day of the wedding came and the ceremony was beautiful. However, the reception that followed had much to be desired, with not enough food or beverages (not alcohol, mind you, not enough soda, water, lemonade, iced tea, etc) and an extremely loud, thumping DJ asked to play the latest in popular, bass heavy music. Being July, it was also extremely hot in the reception hall, as well as full of cigarette smoke, enough to make anyone, let alone a person recovering from meningitis, get a headache. We stayed for the meal, cake cutting, various toasts, and the first dance. After spending another half an hour tracking down the newlyweds to congratulate them and wish them the best, my date and I quietly ducked out to let those so inclined celebrate as they wished.

Having bought a rather nice gift off their registry, I was pleased to receive a thank you note soon after the wedding date. However, I was appalled at what was written:

Dear 'Pamela,'

'Robert' and 'Lara' thank you for the very nice gift. However, I was so disappointed in you that you couldn't have stayed [sic] longer at the reception. Don't you care at all about this family? It shows that you don't care very much about anyone but yourself! I hope you don't expect 'Robert' and 'Lara' to stay for your wedding!

Signed, Your Grandma 'Bertha'

That's right, the 'lovely' couple had sent me a note admonishing me in first person as though my deceased grandmother had written it! To this day I'm unsure as to who exactly cooked up such an insulting and horrible idea, as I've severed all ties with my mother's sister or her children--can you blame me?

Faux Pas 1029/03

My Daughter got married August 2003, The owner of the Groom's company he works for introduced my daughter and her new husband and asked to be in the wedding. This is where Hell began.

She announced at a company picnic, she was the Maid of Honor. (not true), when we were shopping for bridesmaids’ dresses and flower girl dresses, she announces she wants something without a back and a slit up the side to show off her tattoos. The other girls picked out a simple straight dress, (something you can actually wear more than once) and she complained the entire time to me, she kept saying the bride told me she hates this dress. My daughter just kept crying saying if I say anything she will get mad and fire the groom from the company. She then decides her entire family is in the wedding party, her husband and her two bratty kids, 1 boy and 1 girl, my daughter had already asked her niece and nephew to be a flower girl and a ring bearer, so now we have 2 of each. I kept telling me daughter this was going to get out of hand and she needed to handle this. Needless to say she didn't.

At the wedding shower, she stands in the middle of the room in front of everyone and says she wants to walk down the aisle with her daughter, I speak up and say well, that is not appropriate, you are not the one getting married, there is no reason for you to walk with the flower girl. she says well I did it at my wedding, (the flower girl was her daughter). At this point I am ready to boil and excuse myself for about 20 mins.

She found out the name of the photographer for the wedding, calls him and arranges time for pictures of her family together during the reception. I told the photographer, no way, I am paying you for your time, do not do this, (he did), I threatened to sue him. I will not sue him, I have other things more important in my life.

She managed to worm her way into every picture, of me with my daughter, or my daughter and her husband. My daughter and her groom, reserved a nice suite near the water where we live for their wedding night and everyone went to the hotel to get dressed (except the groom of course), I left earlier than everyone else, and she walks into the church, yelling to anyone who will listen, hey I am going to party tonight, I have their room keys, they won't mind if I take the other half of the suite. She was actually telling people to meet her after the reception, because she was going to party and she was crashing in their room. I asked for both hotel keys about 15 mins later, and stood there until she handed them over.

I was helping my daughter with last minute items at the church, like checking her slip , and redoing a few curls, I was with my older daughter (the real maid of honor), and she barges into the room and says "Well, I'm here, so you two can leave."  I looked at her and said we are not leaving. She never missed a move, just kept jabbering about how much weight she had lost and how she couldn't wait to see her pictures from the wedding, and how excited she was, because she was going to have more pictures taken, and how she couldn't wait till the BS was finished at the church, so they could get drunk. I just looked at both of my daughters and said I have had enough. I left.

I had everyone lined up and in their places, ready to go, talked to my daughters and my husband for about 30 seconds, and then got myself seated, Her husband puts me in the 2nd aisle in, I said , no, row 1, he said no, the bride said seat them in the 2nd row, let the flower girls and the ring bearer sit in the first row. well, I am here to tell you, God put me in that 2nd row, to keep me from killing the maid of Hell.

She changed the entire processional into the church, my granddaughter walked in first, then my grandson, then her two kids are holding hands walking together, She is right behind them, (she was supposed to be in the middle).

During the ceremony, she lines herself next to the bride, while pushing my older daughter out of the way. My daughter, planned on letting her niece hold her bouquet instead of the maid of whatever (we never figured it out), the bride hands the bouquet to my granddaughter and the maid of hell proceeds to keep pushing my granddaughters arm, until she finally gives the brides flowers to the maid of hell, the kids never sat in the first row, no one sat in the first row, the mother of the groom sat in the first row on her side.

When the wedding party is leaving the altar, everyone was to walk single file out of the church, she grabs the best man and walks out with him.

When we get to the reception she goes to the groom and says I have people at my table who I want moved, I butted myself into the conversation and said, this is his wedding day, leave him alone, let me handle whatever you need. She says I want those people moved, I can't stand them, I tell her to put up with it for 15 mins and then we will move them ( I never moved them, ) the heck with her at this point.

Well, to top all of this off, she is dancing during the reception with one of her girlfriends she has invited, ( she invited 6 of her closest friends without telling anyone). She is dancing and evidently thinks her dress is too long and starts hiking it up, she hiked it up over her underwear, (what a site), her husband is sitting there plastered and not caring and the DJ is talking over the speaker, "we didn't need to see that side of you, " stuff like that.

When they do the garter toss she decides, they are not putting the garter on the other girl right and starts with the dress again, she gets right in the middle of it, with her dress up to her panties and I am livid.

As if all of this was not enough, she calls my house last week, (over two months after the wedding, not a peep from her to anyone including the bride and groom) and wants to know why everyone is so upset with her.  I said I can't speak for anyone but myself, and I explained to her I was embarrassed by her behavior at the reception, and she starts screaming, she would never do anything like that and why am I making stuff up, to get the point. She calls everyone she can, saying I screamed at her, and no one is listening to her side, and why am I such a witch, then she calls the groom and fires him!!

Says if he is not her friend anymore then he can't work for her company, one of the VP’s intervened, but we really think it is just a matter of time, before she finds some reason to fire him. He is looking for another job and this will probably be the best thing that ever happened to him (getting away from that bunch of morons).

Faux Pas 1103/03

Not many of the previous stories can top this one! When I was getting married and choosing my attendants, my future husband was insisting that I have one of his longtime friends, let's call her A, as a bridesmaid. I was not really a friend with this girl, but to please him I agreed although I really did not want to. She didn't really know anyone else but me so I made an extreme effort to make sure she was always happy. We all went out to get the dresses and of course A was unable to make it and cancelled at the last minute. Everyone else paid for and ordered their dresses. I reminded A to get to the store as soon as possible to order hers as well. MONTHS later she finally did. Anyway, it came time for the bridal shower. The other girls all got together to shop, plan and make favors on several occasions. A was emailed and called several times with no response. She did end up showing to one meeting and only stayed for an hour and was not much help. The day of the bridal shower A showed up late and did not help the others set up. They had previously told her to bring $60 to pay for the shower. When she arrives, they ask her where her gift was. She said I thought the money included a gift!!! Now where are you going to pay for an entire shower and gift for $60?????? So instead she went to a pharmacy and left for an hour. She came back with a card and placed the $60 in the card. A promised to give the other girls money later but of course that did not happen. Then came the bachelorette party. She said she couldn't afford dinner and was only coming to the bar. She did not wait for us to call her and went straight to the bar while we were still at the restaurant. She called me on my cell from the payphone whining and being very nasty that she had been at the bar alone for an hour and was leaving. I told her she should have waited for me to call to let her know the time we were arriving and then went on ranting and raving that she didn't have her cellphone. How is that my fault?? Fast forward to the wedding. Everything went perfectly for the wedding and it was a wonderful day. We deposit the checks we have received as gifts and about a week later get a letter from our bank in the mail that one of the checks has been returned for insufficient funds. Can you guess whose check that was....Yes, it was A's. A month later A called my husband just to chat and casually mentioned she was sorry about the check and would be mailing us a new one. I am still waiting for it and have been married for a year and a half! Not only did she not give us a gift but we had to pay the return check fee to our bank!!!!!! We have spoken to her several times and she has never mentioned the gift again. Some people are just amazing...

Faux Pas 1105/03