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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.

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I was at my hair dresser one Saturday, and he was telling me about a wedding he chose not to go to that day.  Of course I asked why he was not going.  His reply was that Bride and Groom did not want presents.  I could not imagine why he would not want to go since I was thinking, wow a B & G that just wanted the company of their family and friends.  I asked him if they let people know where donations could be made in their name.  He laughed and asked me what planet I was from.  Puzzled, I looked at him with raised eyebrows.

He told me that the invitation, had a disclaimer at the bottom of it.  I told him that I did not believe him and no one was that tacky.  Well, of course he left me with my hair standing on the top of my head and went into his office.  Out came a beautiful invitation, beautiful paper, beautiful handwriting.  The envelopes outer and inner addressed properly.

When I read the invite, proper wording in the body, at the bottom on the right hand side were the words, "The favor of your gift is declined, only monetary gifts accepted."  I swear on my favorite cat's grave, I saw this with my own eyes.  Well, I never found out what happened at the wedding.  I don't think they ever spoke to my hairdresser again... but then again who cares. Who wants tacky, thoughtless, greedy people in their lives. 


"The favor of your gift is declined, only monetary gifts accepted."  To diehard EHellions, those words are like waving a red flag in front of a bull.  We are compelled to act upon those words in ways the bride and groom never envisioned or intended.  You want money as a gift?  We'll give you money...our way.  Yes, we might give a foreign denomination forcing the recipient to expend time and energy going to a bank to get it converted.  Or wrapping up the lowest value of coinage into rolls which once again forces the recipient to haul it to a bank to be converted.  If a group of wedding guests were to do this, it might take the use of a dolly to haul it all in to the wedding.  One hundred eighty-one pennies ($1.81) weighs a pound (16 ounces) so a generous gift of $100 would weigh about 54 pounds, give or take a few ounces.  


 I was planning for my wedding a year in advance. We picked a lovely location, had a beautiful church and the minister was the man who also baptized my husband.

All the formalities went perfectly and we were driving in our Victorian horse drawn buggy to the location where our party, cake and other guests where waiting.

In Holland it is sort of a tradition for family and friends to make up some poem about the couple, or a funny short performance. I personally hate this. Just give me good food, drinks and music and I'll be happy. So I told everybody not to rehearse stuff. I told my master of ceremonies this to. Anyway, my husband's parents made a poem anyway starting with an A and ending at Z.... It took a long time. The master of ceremonies couldn't resist the parents of the groom. And I didn't mind. What I did mind was that a couple of friends (my hubby's) thought "If they are allowed to perform something, so are we". So they took the mike from the DJ and announced their "play".

It involved a huge bra for my husband to wear over his suit. And for me they made a huge fake penis to compliment my gown. It was tight around my waist before I could say anything. I was horrified. I ran. Once outside (alone, nobody followed me to help me) I could not undo this 'thing' from my waist. My sister came to free me from it. Once back inside the 'friends' were seated in the back with my husband who was apologizing for my behavior!!! The friend felt really insulted by me!!! I left them there for the party's sake but this was NOT the end of it. I wrote the 'friends' a lovely letter which included the words; "thick skulled, most beautiful day of my life ruined, idiots" and I concluded with an advise not to get married in my lifetime, or take every precaution to keep it hidden from me.

Now years later, I still don't want to see any of them. But my grandma, co-workers, real friends and family still remembers and now and then bring it up. They can laugh about it now. I can't.


First, my condolences on marrying a spineless, pansy-man of a husband who lacked the basic decency and testicular fortitude as a gentleman to publicly support his wife.  I suspect much of your angst of your memories is the realization that your husband did not protect his beloved, his partner he just committed to love and HONOR.  Your memories might have been considerable different had he stood up to defend you.  

Second, people who publicly humiliate their alleged loved ones are selfish cretins who derive pleasure in public spectacles of embarrassment.   They place their victims in awkward, compromising situations and then manipulatively accuse them of not being "good sports" when the victim objects. Who needs self-serving "friends" like that?  Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Third, I wouldn't have wasted an iota of energy writing these "friends" anything.  You owed them no explanation, no apologies and no rants about how uncouth they were.  If they did it to get a "rise from you", they achieved the goal and now have written evidence of their success.  

Fourth, I wouldn't waste any more time allowing this incident or these people to live in your brain rent free, stealing more and more contentment and happiness as you replay the scene over and over again.  There comes a time to take ownership of the memory and refuse to further be a victim of it.  It's time to see the humor of it all from YOUR perspective, not as a victim being the focus of someone else's humor.  So many heinous stories get sent to Ehell and instead of bemoaning the utter depravity of some people, all one can do is laugh. Heartily.  At them.  



A few years ago I was invited to the wedding of a former friend. We have not been close for a number of years but nonetheless, I attended her bridal shower and wedding.

The wedding was held in her church that was semi converted from an old bank building with the bridal procession coming out of the bank vault. The reception was held in the same room and was called a "dessert" reception. This consisted of a few store bought cakes and some deli sandwiches on the side of the room.

Half of the guests didn't touch the cakes or sandwiches and about 90 minutes after the ceremony, I noticed many of them looking at their watches. Also, the room became very quiet. It came out that the bridal party and about half of the guests (those who didn't eat the deli sandwiches) were scheduled to have a catered sit down dinner after the rest of us left. It was apparent by this time that they were getting hungry and were hoping that the other half would soon leave.

My advice to anybody planning a wedding is this; If you can afford a wedding of 50 guests, then don't invite 100. If you want an intimate wedding with close friends and relatives, then don't invite people who are old friends or not close friends. My former friend's wedding will be remembered as an embarrassment and the worst social blunder I've ever witnessed.


I am having a garden wedding and my fiancé and I wanted a very simple event he is wearing a suit shirt and tie, nothing fancy and I was going to wear a yellow cocktail dress. Anyway when a friend of mine heard this she kept saying how nice it would be if I wore a wedding dress and would bring over bridal magazines to see what types I liked. I thought I had finally got through to her when she stopped talking about it. Three months later she arrives at my house with her mother and a "surprise". She had actually got her mother to make me a dress. It's beautiful but just so formal. I didn't know what to say. I am still not sure if I should wear the dress or just wear what I had in mind. They are expecting to see me in it on the day!


I think the one question I ask the most during the wedding planning is, "Who is being served by this?"  Some people need a nudge (and some a massive shove) to get them to see that their wants, needs, plans and actions are either meant to serve their own selfishness or selflessly serve someone else.  Most of the time, it's the former motivation.  Your friend may have truly felt she was serving you by providing a surprise wedding dress but if she had really thought about it, who is really being served here?  I doubt she would have been thrilled with someone making a surprise dress for her so really her plan and execution was to serve her need to see you in a white wedding dress.  Have mercy on the mother who may have thought she was making a dress for some poor, cash strapped friend of her daughter.

 This is an example of the kind of not-so-subtle hints you have to apply when straight talk isn't effective, and the rudeness of taking people for granted isn't a one-time Oops, but a fairly ingrained habit. When you interact with people like that frequently, you eventually have to educate them. Here are the whacks with the Hint Hammer, followed by the Clue By Four, and the last straw that led to the Clue By Four.    

"Darla" has no car. She has no driver's license. She hasn't figured out that when you want someone to give you a ride, you have to ask and you have to ask in a timely manner and you have to ask at such a time when it isn't going to make your ride go to ridiculous lengths.   

Whack #1, the Hint Hammer: There was a gathering at a friend's house with about 15 people, including Darla. The host lives a few blocks away from me and it was summer. I walked there. We had a nice time. When the gathering was over, it was about 10 PM. We all left around the same time, said our good-byes, and I walked down the street toward my house. Everyone else who drove piled into their cars.   I noticed that I wasn't alone. Darla was trotting behind me like a puppy. I asked where she was going.   "I thought I was riding with you."   "I didn't drive. My car's at home. In the garage. I walked." I looked back and saw that all of the cars had left. I told her that she should never assume anything and that she should always ask first. I did give her a ride home, and it came with that lecture. She never apologized for my going out of my way to take her home.   I  thought that this incident plus the straight lecture would be enough to remind Darla that she needs to ask, not assume. I was wrong.   

Whack #2, the Clue By Four: Darla hasn't figured out that when you have no car and luggage to haul home, you should accept offers from people with cars. If you turn down those offers, you should have a ride already lined up instead of assuming that someone will take you home at the precise moment you're ready to leave.   At a yearly weekend event taking place at a hotel in town, an event that can involve heavy drinking in the hospitality suites in the evenings, and always includes a hot tub run on the last day, Darla, several other people, and I had gone out to dinner after the event was officially over. Darla was offered a ride by no fewer than two people. She turned both down.   Offer #1 came before dinner and she wanted to go out with us. Offer #2 came immediately after we got back to the hotel, as another friend was going home about that time. She wanted to stick around and hit the hot tub with us. There may have been other offers, none of which she accepted. We were well aware that she was going to ask for a ride just after the hot tub run, just when it was time to finish off the alcohol or crash after the action-filled weekend. 

This had happened several times and we were sick of it. Remember that being direct and telling her what's expected has been tried repeatedly and didn't work. It was time for an object lesson.   We had some alcohol we had left over and we were all still in a party mood, including Darla's sister and brother-in-law. We had passed around a bottle of pre-mixed drinks earlier in the weekend and if we didn't drink it, the booze would go bad. They included Mudslides and other similar things. We had all planned to finish off the pre-mixes, and maybe open other things if we were still of a mind to.

Darla had to work the next day and couldn't stay over. If she could have stayed, we had space in the hotel room for her. We were also getting (intentionally, I might add) toasted. So toasted that we would not be legal to drive. Darla's sister was refilling the cups after we emptied them, in agreement with the application of the Clue By Four. All of the people with cars were getting buzzed. Darla's sister and brother-in-law were equally unwilling to take her home. They'd witnessed at least one of the offers that was turned down. We polished off the partial bottle and Darla's sister suggested opening another bottle. We did, and continued our heavy drinking. We weren't going anywhere until the morning.   She ended up mumbling to herself and getting more and more agitated, and finally called a taxi.   Lest you think the second whack seemed a bit mean, here is the incident that led up to the drunk-fest. We planned Whack #2 after this, to go into effect if she pulled the same trick again.   

The Camel's Back Breaks: Darla, Darla's sister, Darla's brother-in-law, a couple other people, including Ian, and I were at the annual weekend event the year before Whack #2. Darla had to work the day after the event and was hanging around after the festivities were officially over. People staying over at the hotel usually hang out and finish off munchies and talk and hit the hot tub. It's what's known as a Dead Dog Party.   Darla could have gone earlier with other people who were leaving, but she A: wanted to go out to dinner. B: wanted to socialize. C: wanted to be home before it was too late, meaning before 11 PM.   Ian, a thoroughly nice guy, has a car. He offered to take her home immediately after dinner, as we were all carpooling to a restaurant near the hotel. She said no, she wanted to stay and chat. It would have been very easy to drop her off after dinner, and it was not that far out of the way.   We all wanted to hit the hot tub, but Darla whined about needing a ride home and was looking for volunteers. It was 10 PM, the hot tub and pool close at 11. No one was volunteering.   I have a car, too. But I'd already loaded it with all the junk our group brought for the event and there wasn't any room to put a passenger, let alone luggage for a second person. I know how much my car can carry and I take maximum load to and from each year.   Darla continued to stew and mumble to herself and become agitated and whine and wheedle. 

The question wasn't whether someone would agree to take her home to shut her up or to avoid a blow-up, but who would crumble first. It wasn't going to be me, I'd just as soon let her work herself into a tizzy, all the while reminding her that she had opportunities to go home already. Other people are nicer than I am. When you say "No", they act as if you don't have that right, and many people just give in at that point. No one is immune.   Ian wasn't happy about it, but he reluctantly agreed to take her home. When he got back to the hotel, it was after 11 and the pool and hot tub were closed. Ian, Darla's sister, and Darla's brother-in-law, and I planned Whack #2 for the following year for the express purpose of educating the clueless.   Darla's getting better. She still hasn't mastered the art of not taking friends' vehicles for granted, but she is slowly improving.


Why did I put this story into Faux Pas of the Year?  I can't remember. Maybe it's the plan to get drunk just to apply a Clue by Four to someone. 


A little memory from about ten years ago, when I was working as a checkout girl in a supermarket:

 It was close to Christmas, and very busy in our store, when a lady at my checkout realized she had too little money to pay for all her shopping. She paused for a second, thinking which items to take back, when the guy next in line said: "Ah, you know what, it's pretty much Christmas, I’ll pay for your shopping". (The lady had a small baby and looked a bit worse for wear as well, so I thought, such a nice gesture...)

 I think a few seconds passed before the lady quickly ran back into the store, picked up a chicken, and added it to her shopping. Me and the guy were dumbfounded, and he still paid for her. I think we were still wondering "what the ...." when she was already up and out the shop. 

 It still makes me laugh when I think of how silent the queue was when she did that, blinking their eyes, it was so out of this world. It took a few seconds to compose ourselves and get on with things.


I'm such a mean, old cuss, I guess.  Had I made the offer, it would have been for THESE groceries.  By adding more to it, the woman defaulted on the agreement and voided my offer.  I would have looked at her and said,  "I'm sorry. I agreed to pay for these groceries.  The addition of further food without consultation or permission negates my initial offer. Have a nice holiday!"

 Extraordinary examples of being blessed by complete strangers are indeed extra ordinary and should elicit astonished gratitude. Not a frenzied dash to pile on more.  


After being a loyal father for 32 years, sending my daughter to private schools, college and law school, we had a disagreement.   She said to my wife and I that she would be married on her own. I said OK. A year now passes.   However, one month prior to her planned wedding she called me to say that she wanted me at her wedding, and that it would be an informal affair on the beach sand at a resort hotel. At the same time she obliges me to apologize to her future in-laws. For what?   Of course I understood this to be a no-aisle affair, and she did not say that there would be an aisle.   To my surprise, as all of the guests and I stood on the patio overlooking the beach sand, she comes walking 100 yards from the hotel to an improvised podium/altar preceded by a flower girl right past me.   I was so stunned that I was speechless, and remained stunned for a week. Later, I concluded that she wanted to punish me for our disagreement. The 20 guests, and my own wife and 2 sons said nothing to me, and I determined that all of them were in on this shameful surprise which had been premeditated. 


For such a short post, it seems you presume quite a bit.  The presumption that paying for college equates to expressions of love, the presumption that there would be no aisle to walk your daughter down, the presumption that this was premeditated revenge for your argument a year earlier, and the presumption that your wife and 2 sons conspired together to hide this from you prior to the wedding.  There may be more to this story than what was submitted but my initial reaction was that you presumed the worst without further evidence presented to support your beliefs. 

I'd love to hear the other side of this story.


So here's the mother of tacky invites...I opened the mail yesterday to find a wedding invitation from an old friend of my husband's, whom we'll call John. I'd heard through the grapevine that John was getting married to a wealthy girl and that they were planning a ritzy wedding. The invitation was printed on expensive paper and although it was clear they'd spent a lot of money on it, the invitation was extremely gaudy. I didn't make much of it and read to find out that the event would be held in the country club. The invitation went on to say that there would be a cocktail hour followed by a 6 course dinner, an open bar, and live music. You can imagine my surprise when I continued to read and found the following line printed towards the bottom: $115 cover charge.

Yes, they are actually charging people to attend their wedding! Who in their right mind spends months bragging about the fancy wedding they're throwing only to later ask their guests to finance it?  Who prints a COVER CHARGE on an invitation?

I'm fantasizing about sending them an etiquette book, a financial planning book with a note about how sorry I am about their financial difficulties, or placing the invitation in a nice frame, highlighting the section where it says 'cover charge' and writing 'WTF?' next to it.  I will most likely go with a cash donation in their name (do you know of any etiquette organizations I could donate to?)


Lucky you! You got invited to feed someone's Gimme Pig!  Here is what you'll be missing:


I just returned from my youngest sister “Kate’s” wedding this last weekend.  Our other sister “Traci” and I are so hurt over the way our sister treated us throughout the entire process.

 We know there is no rule that says the bride’s sisters have to be included in the wedding party, of course, but we are sisters, and we have always gotten along well, at least I had always thought we did, so Traci and I were a little bit surprised that we weren’t asked.  My thought was that Kate probably didn’t think either of us would be able to manage being actual wedding participants, due to the fact that I live 2,000 miles away from where the wedding was, and Traci is a struggling single mom who would have had trouble affording a bridesmaid dress, shoes, and accessories, and also wouldn’t have anyone to look after her kids during the ceremony.  Wanting to give Kate the benefit of the doubt, and not wanting to cause any kind of rift, neither of us said anything to anyone but each other about our hurt feelings over not being asked.  I should add here that both my sisters were included in my wedding, as flower girl and junior bridesmaid (I am the eldest sister and got married many years ago when my sisters were still young).  In addition, I was Traci’s Matron of Honor when she got married the first time.  (Kate had prior commitments that prevented her from attending either of Traci’s weddings.) 

Kate and “Mark’s” engagement was 15 months long, so, while not being asked to be bridesmaids, I still thought that at some point we would be asked to perform some role or position of importance of some kind.  Finally, a couple of months before the wedding she asked us (by email) if we would be “usherettes” – show guests where to put the gifts, have them sign the guest book, and pass out programs.  We both really felt like we were nothing more than an afterthought with this request, but I still thought we would be given some kind of consideration before the wedding, since we all got an email a couple of weeks before the big day with the pre- and post-ceremony schedule, and saw in big letters with lots of exclamation marks the pre-photo Hair and Makeup!!!  Surely, we thought, we’re her sisters, we will be included in this!  HA!  Not only were we completely snubbed here, when Traci went upstairs, where the hair and makeup session was going on, to find a washroom, she was actually SHOOED AWAY!  We had been told in no uncertain terms were we to be there for photos at a certain time, but were then left sitting in a room without so much as a glass of water for two hours till it was finally time for us to be in the pictures.

 Immediately after the photo session, during the 30 or so minutes before the wedding started, instead of getting to visit with family, whom I hadn’t seen for a few years since I live so far away, I was whisked off to stand by the front door so I could greet guests, show them where to put the gifts, have them sign the guest book, and give them their programs.  Traci was busy with her kids and didn’t join me till about the last 15 minutes or so, but there we were, away from everyone else, standing by the constantly opening door, made worse by the fact that the temperature was below freezing, with strong winds, heavy sleet, and freezing rain pouring in.  It ended up being a bigger and more difficult job than I thought it was going to be, and I realized we weren’t “afterthoughts” as I had originally thought, but more like hired help, and we didn’t even get so much as a thank you for it. 

At the same time Kate asked us to be usherettes she also asked our only brother “Bob” if he would read a poem they chose, and possibly give her away if our dad was not able to.  So there was Bob, up front near the bride, groom, and attendants, while Traci and I were relegated to audience members.  The hall where the wedding was held for some reason couldn’t manage to put out more than about a dozen chairs for well over 100 guests, so my husband and kids weren’t even able to sit with me. 

At the reception, we never once saw our sister and new brother-in-law.  I don’t have any idea where they were.  I’ve never been to a wedding reception that the newly married couple didn’t at least try to say a few words to as many of the guests as they could; especially family members, many of whom went to a great deal of effort and expense to attend.  Not a word about being happy to see us, no thanks for coming, nothing.  I know they were there because when it was time for dancing we all were forced upstairs and made to sit and watch the bride and groom have their first dance.  Even then, they couldn’t seem to be bothered to speak to any of us, and, after another hour or so, we decided to leave, so we went to say good-bye (I know you’re not supposed to leave before the bride and groom do, but they didn’t follow a lot of the usual traditions, for example, she didn’t throw her bouquet and Mark didn’t toss her garter).  She was talking to someone at the time, but after a couple of minutes she did turn to me and I said that I wanted to say good-bye, how beautiful the wedding was, etc., and she just said, oh ok, bye.  Still no “thanks for coming”, “thanks for working”, not even a hug. 

Oddly, it was our dad who noticed the snub, and commented on it to Traci.  Our mom, a self-proclaimed etiquette expert, doesn’t seem to think there was a thing wrong with Kate’s behavior at all. 



The following happened to a good friend of mine, "Fiona" (names have been changed); a woman who has been through very difficult times yet has always found a way to share the goodness in her heart.  She was working at a certain company around Christmas time 2006 and her team mentioned drawing names to exchange gifts.  These gifts would be given at the annual company Christmas Luncheon.  (It was a small company so the party was held at a local restaurant.)  It was agreed by all that each person would leave a short list of items they would like to receive on their desks in order to assist a co-worker who may not have an idea what to purchase.  

My friend drew the name of someone hereafter known as UGR - Ungrateful Gift Receiver.  UGR's list had one request; a gift card to a local restaurant.  Easy enough, my friend thought.  However, a gift card isn't much fun to unwrap, so Fiona went to Wal-Mart to find something else.  UGR's love for penguins was well known throughout the office so when Fiona found a small penguin cookie jar, she thought she'd found the perfect gift.  She took it home, filled it with candy & the gift card, taped it shut, wrapped it, and took it to the Christmas Luncheon.  There, they exchanged gifts, enjoyed themselves, and Fiona went home feeling pretty good.  

The following Monday, she found a note on her desk sitting next to the still partially wrapped penguin cookie jar.  Below is the note (complete with grammatical errors).  

"I’m so sorry that I can’t except the gift that you gave me because it’s not what I wanted and I honestly don’t have any use for it. I know that you and the others got what you all wish for on the wish lists, too bad it wasn’t the same for me. If people can’t afford gifts or exchanges then I feel that there is nothing wrong with NOT participating. I didn’t want to tell you anything at (name of restaurant deleted) Saturday because it would have been embarrassing for you. I guess my wish list was useless. Just to let you know I have no hard feelings. God Bless You. "

Naturally, my friend was hurt.  She would have let it go and nursed her wounds but another friend and I convinced her to respond.  I completely admit this was probably not within etiquette standards, but we couldn't just let her get away with what she did to Fiona.  So with our help, Fiona penned and sent the response:

I just wanted to apologize to you for the gift exchange misunderstanding. I'm sorry you didn't like the gift. I'm even more sorry you didn't appreciate the gesture in which it was intended. I'm sorry you don't realize that it really IS the thought that counts. I'm sorry you felt you had to write such a passive-aggressive note instead of just accepting the gift graciously. I'm sorry you miss the entire point of the Christmas season. It's not about how much or what you get, it's about what you give. Most of all, though, I'm sorry you never found the gift card at the bottom of the cookie jar. 

Shortly after UGR received the note, she sent Fiona an instant message.  Below is the conversation:

UGR: May I see you in private, maybe like now. Breakroom

Fiona: No, thank you. We've said our parts. Let's just leave it and go on our happy ways.

UGR: OK, but all I know is that God knows the real truth about you.

Fiona never responded.  She figured if UGR hadn't gotten the point with her initial note, she probably never would.  Luckily, she no longer works there and is now happier at her new job.


Why couldn't UGR "get away with what she did" to Fiona?  The last laugh is on UGR.  The ultimate Ehell approved reaction would have been for Fiona to have accepted return of the cookie jar, placed it on her desk or the staff break room for others to enjoy the candy and then relished using the restaurant gift card in quiet satisfaction, content in the knowledge she had done the right thing.  

But, instead Fiona takes a flying dive right into the pig pen with UGR and instead of being a humorous inside joke at UGR's own expense and choosing, it merely degrades into pettiness.  


It's pretty amazing to me how you purport to be such an etiquette maven, yet you are so unbelievably rude to so many people who write to you.

Someone throws their own birthday party. BIG DEAL. You think this is an etiquette problem? How about spread a little less uptight hatred and a little more love?

I'd suggest catching up with the times. It will never be okay to register for people to pay for your wedding. But organizing your own birthday party? Get over it. Pick your battles, Etiquette Queen.


My husband has a useful phrase, "If you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one that yelps is the one that got hit."

Awww, did someone get bonked on the head when I  lobbed my rock into the pack of people having birthdays?   You probably had a rip-snorting birthday party you hosted in your own honor and since everyone knows birthdays are gift-giving occasions, you probably got gifts, too!  Pretty darn cool!  After years of annual practice directing people how best to honor you on your special birthdays, you're all primed and ready for your wedding day, the bestest day EVER for being the center of attention.  

<We'll just kinda whisper here that persons who host their own birthday parties are a desperate and pitiable sort of people. Imagine the pathetic situation of having friends and family that couldn't be bothered to honor their loved ones with a party every once in a while so the birthday "boy/girl" has to organize it themselves.  Or maybe it's that they have but the honoree is a greedy sucker who wants a party every. single. year. >

Check out the discussion on the forum about this submission, my response to it and my comments.


Having read and enjoyed so many of your wedding-related stories, I begin to realize that perhaps I owe my guests an apology. Because we were on a budget (the entire wedding including my dress came in at under two thousand dollars), we "did the reception on the cheap" by having no drinking, DJ, or dancing.

Our motive in not having any of that was financial, but it didn't occur to us that the relatives and longtime family friends would file us under "tacky" for it.

My fiancé's mother invited 50 or so relatives from her side of the family, and I fill up the other 50 seats with my own friends and family as well as some family friends who have known me for 15 years. No one had to travel more than 2 hours, and one reason the wedding was held at 1:00 was to ensure that no one would have to spend the night or have hours of down time.

The wedding ceremony was great, everything we hoped it would be.

The reception was held at 2p.m. at the fellowship hall next to the church and was scheduled to be (and was) over by 4:00. We served punch and a variety of finger foods, including finger sandwiches, chicken salad, spinach dip, and other snacks that were not designed to feed everyone a full sit-down meal but to carry them through that time between lunch and dinner. Everyone would be back home by 6 p.m.

No alcohol was served at the request of the groom's mother, which was OK with us. We had not hired musicians or a DJ because we couldn't afford it. Several dear friends who sang in regional theater and award-winning a cappella groups were kind enough to provide some simple singing during the reception.

The decorations were ribbons, silk fall foliage and raffia, which my sisters and I put up in the fellowship hall the day before.

For entertainment, everyone seemed to have a fine time visiting with one another (it was family reunion time for my husband's side, and the bride's guests were all getting along well). We circulated heavily, making sure not to miss anyone, cut the cake, threw the bouquet, and ran out into a hail of birdseed.

I had (sniff) thought it was a lovely wedding and reception and still treasure the memories of it. But now that I have seen so many postings deriding cheapo receptions and not enough food, I fear that I have done wrong.

Oh, P.S. Some gave lovely gifts, some gave unlovely gifts, some gave no gifts, but all who gave any gift at all received a personally handwritten note within one week of the wedding (we had a short honeymoon, three days).

Tell me, am I .... gulp ... tacky? 


Sounds like my wedding.  And I am never tacky.  Ever.  



Where do I start?   I should have realized when I got my engagement ring that things were never going to be what I dreamed of.  I already had a child from a previous relationship (I had never been married) and my current boyfriend and I have a beautiful baby girl.  My boyfriend presented a ring to me after a session of sex.  To tell you the truth I don't even remember the actual date (2001) or even what he said when he gave it to me.  I have since found out that he had planned an evening out but changed his mind and cancelled that after we had a argument, previous to giving me the engagement ring- Who does that?  

My boyfriend had been engaged to someone else.  I have found out that he took her out to dinner and proposed and then they had a party with everything.  The photos of this are still in our garage. How do think I feel about that?   Time goes on and getting married never gets mentioned again.  Three years after I first got my engagement ring I found out that I was having twins.  Still no mention of getting married.  I was informed that one of my twins appeared to have a health problem and I was told that I may have them early resulting in two sick babies.  I was very scared and this is the point when I suggested that for our babies' sake, should anything go wrong, that we at least be married so that they have their right names in the hospital.  We had an agreement to have a quickie wedding and redo it after the babies were born with a proper party, etc for our friends and family.  

At no point did I see any enthusiasm coming from him.   I was totally reliant on him for money as I didn't work and he worked for himself.  He gave me money for shopping only.  How was I supposed to plan anything better than this with no budget at all.    

We were married on Australia Day weekend 2004 by a marriage celebrant at home.  My preparations were as follows:  We paid the celebrant $100 and we were supposed to give her the balance of $300 when she did it again at the later date this has never happened and its 2007.   I wore a red dress that I had in my wardrobe - the only one that fitted me being five months pregnant.  I prepared my own food, basic platters.  We had nine people at my wedding, myself and the groom, my mother, my mother in-law & partner, the best man & partner and my friend & partner. It wasn't even on par with a prison wedding - trust me I watch the crime channel.  The groom wore a shirt and jeans and the best man wore runners.   When it was time to commence the ceremony my friend had to usher the best man and the groom outside away from the cricket on the TV.  The ceremony commenced and then it was over.  Someone took a few happy snaps with his camera that looked like it came off the ark.  When it came to signing the paperwork the only photo I have of that is of my friend and the best man - it looked like they got married.     Speeches!  What speeches!  The best man rambled on about how he had known us for sometime and we would be good together. That was it.   

My new husband said nothing to me the whole day and night, other then general chit chat.  I have never felt so belittled and humiliated as I did that day.     Cake!  I bought a cake from a shop the day before.  My new mother in law bought the bride & groom cake topper she had from the 1950's and put it on my cake.  It somehow got broken on the way to our house, but she stated that will do!!!   Not one person (apart from my friend) bought a present or a flower.    

The next day I got up and cleaned up, threw up (morning sickness) and proceeded to do the washing as I have done every other day.   I see a counselor fro various things relating to my life and this is one issue that I have never gotten over.  I will never get the opportunity to even try on a dress to get married in or feel anything special about the one day in your life that is supposed to be your happiest.  Our anniversary is always a constant feeling of devastation for me and I think it always will be.   I now cannot go to weddings or even watch them on television without having an anxiety attack.  It really is a dreadful feeling to have.

The one person  I do blame in all of this is MYSELF........  for not standing up and getting what I want.    Girls don't let men treat you any less than you think you deserve. You will regret it for the rest of your lives, I do!!!


Better to live single and unattached with one's dreams and hopes intact than to be married with shattered dreams and living a nightmare.  


As a church musician, I meet with Bridezillas more often than I care to, in preparation for nuptial ceremonies. What amazes me is the facility with which brides are manipulated by friends and family members; for example, a bride can pull her  "best friend{s}" aside for a heart-to-heart chat, and mention that "she's not really sure if she should go through with (this) wedding....!"   All those people (the people other--than--the--bride") have to do ----is reply, "What color are the tablecloths going to be at the reception?" and bingo! everything's on and moving again...   ("OH! well I was THINKING of a nice SEAFOAM GREEN----to match my teeth...!")   Why don't all the BrideZillas who read this defer to their church organist for "taste judgments"? We see SO many things done in the WORST of all possible tastes that the rarity of a TASTEFUL wedding is a welcome relief! My NEXT submission will be on the subject of the "certified" wedding coordinator." What a joke...!            


Your last sentence is the sole reason for this post being in Faux Pas of the Year since I cannot understand what you are saying in the previous four sentences.

"Certified wedding coordinator" can be a joke. I'm not certified by anyone nor a member of a professional organization.  I stay plenty busy enough solely by word of mouth and reputation.  I attended a wedding once where the "certified coordinators" who had charged the bride a tidy $75/hour, yet didn't even have duct tape in their emergency kit arsenal and had to borrow mine.  In fact, shoelaces, a ribbon, pins also came out of my own emergency kit.  What kind of coordinators don't have duct tape and pins?  Not having duct tape and pins is like showing up to a job interview with half your wardrobe missing.  


Is it possible to get a valuable addendum put on an entry?  Mine was Bridezillas0806-03 and starts with “The newly engaged couple …” at the top of the page.  And there’s a real whammy involved in the update.

 UPDATE June 21, 2007

 Time passed after the couple’s wedding and slowly, bit by bit, we became closer to them.  We began to realize that not only were we wrong about them, we’d been led astray by a couple of mutual “friends” (and I use the word loosely) who made fun of them to the extent that they even did mean-spirited imitations of them.  Still, we’re responsible for judging people characters on our own, and my then-partner (now husband) and I take full responsibility for being gullible enough to listen. 

So little by little we began to realize that the erstwhile bride wasn’t a b****; she just was honest about her preferences.  The erstwhile groom wasn’t a pushover; he was an easy-going fellow with the patience of Job.

 Meanwhile, we got farther and farther away, socially speaking, from the couple who had convinced us that the bride and groom were just awful.  (That couple had, in fact, urged me to submit the bridezilla story in the first place, and there are aspects of what went on through the wedding planning and the wedding I wouldn’t have known about had they not been telling us of them.  The female half of the couple was a bridesmaid.)  

Then came the night, a couple of years after I wrote the long-forgotten bridezilla story, that the former groom --- by then a close friend --- came to our house, knocked on the door, and presented me with a print-out of the bridezilla story downloaded from the ‘Net.

 I was horrified. 

And amazed.  How did he find out about an anonymous posting, years old, in the far-reaching muddle that is the Internet?  There were no names, no dates, no places, no nothing that could have led anyone to it. 

There was only one explanation, and it turned out to be the correct one.

 The couple who had said atrocious things behind their backs and even urged me to submit the bridezilla story had told them.

 I was given the opportunity to apologize to the former bride and groom, and I did so, profusely and honestly.  I said that I had misjudged, and I had.  I did not play the “led astray” card because, lastly and finally, we’re all responsible for our actions. 

The upshot is that the backstabbing couple lost on their gamble to drive yet another wedge between the ex-bride and groom and we.  It didn’t take genius IQs for the four of us to realize the couple had been trying to play us against one another for years, and in the end they used their last, most vicious ammo --- the existence of the bridezilla story ---and it backfired. 

Come to find out that the whole time they were making cruel fun of the bride and groom behind their backs to us, they were doing the same thing about us to the bride and groom. 

None of us have spoken to the blabbing backstabbers in two years now, and none of us have any intention of ever doing so.  Meanwhile, the ex-bride and groom and we are closer than ever, having survived that particular piece of ugliness.

 My partner and I got married last weekend and the onetime bride and groom were a huge help.  I told them both if they saw me going into bridezilla mode about anything, please just slap some sense into me.  They never did.

 I’d like to think it’s because they never had to!

 There are several morals to this story:

 The Bridezilla site is wonderful for blowing off steam and for helping other people know they’re not alone in dealing with wedding insanity.  Not to mention it being riotously funny.  Just make sure that your “anonymous” really is, and that no vile backstabbers can dime you on it. If a couple of “friends” are making fun of another couple who are ostensibly their “friends” in front of you, chances are 100% they’re doing it to you behind your back too. I’ll take a full-on bridezilla over a backstabber any day.


Page Last Updated October 11, 2008