|Looking for that perfect bridal shower gift? Every
bride needs a commonsense guide to the etiquette that really
matters. Let Wedding Etiquette Hell: A Bride's
Bible for Avoiding Everlasting Damnation by Jeanne
Hamilton be your guide.
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Many years ago I worked in retail as a manager and had an
assistant we'll call, "Susie." Susie was young, but intelligent and
very mature (or so I thought). She had not had many breaks in life and having
been mentored myself at that age, I know how much difference a mentor can make.
So, I took her under my wing, gave her the benefit of my experience, and we also
became close friends. She even babysat my daughter at times -- offering to do
so. She became engaged and not having any family to help her, I understood the
unofficial role of MOB (although I was not in any way old enough to be her
mother). I hosted (and paid for) her bridal shower, which was such a
huge success many of the attendees wanted to hire me for their own showers. I
went with her to pick out her gown, her shoes, etc. I did the alterations on her
gown and made her a custom-made handcrafted wallhanging for her wedding gift (at
her request). Throughout this entire process, we grew even closer and she would laughingly introduce me to her vendors, etc. as
her "Real Mom."
Fast forward to the day before
her wedding, when a bridesmaid drops out. The bridesmaid had dropped by our
store and thrown the gown at the bride and picked a huge and nonsensical
fight. So, Susie is down a bridesmaid and she is upset, frantic,
stressing. I am helping calm her down, but have to leave to do actual, you know,
work. Someone points out (not in my hearing) that, "Your boss is the same
size and height. She'd fit into the gown and she'd love to be in your wedding.
She loves you so much, she'd be thrilled to be asked, even at this late
date." Susie agrees with enthusiasm (again, I know none of this) and
asks me to try on the gown saying, "I know it's a really late request, but
I'd love for you to be in my wedding if this gown will fit, but I'm sure it will and isn't this GREAT? I can't believe I didn't ask you to be in my
wedding, so this all works out and....blah, blah,blah." I agree
and I admit I am very excited not only to be asked to be in Susie's wedding, but
also because I've never been a bridesmaid before.
I try on the gown and it fits
perfectly and someone comments that they know I actually have shoes to match, so
we're good to go! Everyone is all excited. But
Susie is staring at me and asks me to pull my hair up. I do and think nothing of
it as we're all happily chattering away. Susie abruptly asks me to take off the
gown and says she'll call me later that night to tell me what's going on. At
this point, everyone stops talking and there is this confused silence. I am
confused (along with everyone else) but do as she asks, while wondering why she
would call me late that night since the rehearsal is in about an hour. Finally,
someone asks that question and she shrugs and says, "Oh, she's been to so
many weddings, she doesn't need to go to the rehearsal." Okaaay.
So although Friday
night is our family's "Night Out" we stay home to stay by the phone.
No call. At this point, I am not only a little hurt, but I am aggravated about
her rudeness. Saturday, I am confused, but we set out to the
wedding. I arrive at the site and nothing more is said about me being a
bridesmaid and I quietly assume I am "OUT". She ended up with
uneven numbers and one groomsman had to run to the back of the church after
escorting one bridesmaid to pick up and walk down another. Everyone from work is
whispering behind their hands about how bizarre this all is when I could have
been a bridesmaid, but I'm trying to ignore it all and be happy for Susie, but I
do feel a little hurt. If she'd never asked me, I wouldn't have cared, but to be
more or less asked, then treated this way was hurtful and rude.
Finally at the reception, a bridesmaid tells me the truth. Susie told her that she wanted me to be in her
wedding, but since I don't look good with my hair up (true enough, it's not my
best look), she did not want me in it. Another bridesmaid who knew of our
close relationship, suggested that the maids did NOT have to have clone hair and
it would be fine if my hair was down or pulled back and wouldn't it be more
important, emotionally, to have in the wedding party a person who had been so
close to her all these years and who had been so involved with the wedding?
Absolutely not, said Susie! She announced she would rather be one maid
short than have one who was not picture perfect in appearance. I was
shocked and deeply hurt. Needless to say, we left the wedding reception soon
after. Also needless to say, our relationship (on my side) never recovered.
happened to get a new job shortly thereafter and frankly, it was a relief to
leave Susie behind. Unfortunately for her, the boss who replaced me did not like Susie in the slightest
and fired her. Karma is rough, isn't it?
Love your site! Every time I look at it I think about
sending in the story of my brother's wedding and the monster I am forced to call
my SIL. Well, this evening I decided it was time to unleash the beast and
tell you about her. Just a brief history, my brother met Amy* (name changed)
while at a night club, they shared a birthday except she was a year older.
They clicked and started dating and next thing you know they were an item.
Amy definitely had a very different family life than my brother and I were
raised in. She lived just with her mom and her brother, while often saw my
whole extended family (by often I mean weekly.) She always seemed
somewhat uncomfortable in social settings, but everyone understood, since we
know we can be overwhelming. So everyone liked Amy even though no one was
close to her. When my brother decided to propose I was so excited!! I have just
my one brother and couldn't
wait to have a sister. I was even more excited when she
asked me to be in her wedding party. I was super ready to be the best
bridesmaid ever. When her maid of honor contacted me about planning the
bridal shower, I made it well know that I was very excited to help in anyway
Well, long story short, despite all my suggestions and desire to
help, I was only included in one way: When I was sent an email telling me where
to be, when to be there, and how much I owed. Upset yes... but not at Amy,
these were her friends not her and it was a surprise shower and she knew nothing
that was going on. So I let it roll, certainly I would be included now
that the bride to be was involved in everything... but I was wrong. When Amy
picked her wedding dress, I was so excited and again eager to get to know my new
SIL, so I asked her if there was a day I could come see. She said yes and
one day I drove an hour south to where she
lived to meet her at the shop and see the dress. It took
all of ten minutes and then she had to go so I drove the hour back. Not
exactly the afternoon of bonding I had hoped for but oh well... 2 hours for a
ten minute view. My fault. I should have added, "and maybe go
I was planning my own wedding at the same time, and would wait
for Amy to pick her details before I selected mine (color of dresses, favors,
etc.) Twice Amy picked something then I picked it and she went ahead and changed
her mind to what I had picked. Once was very upsetting because I had
already purchased the item when she changed her mind and bought it too!
forward to wedding weekend. This is when it REALLY got bad. I had
asked Amy about hair and nails. If people were going together, what did
she want, etc. She said everyone was doing there own things and she didn't
care how we did our hair or what color our nails
were, but she was having a makeup artist come to the house to
do makeup, if I wanted that. I said sure, just let me know what time to be
there. So the day before the wedding I go to have my nails done, and get
them painted light pink. At the rehearsal dinner, I ask Amy what time I
should be at the house to have my makeup done. She said she forgot to make
my appointment and there wasn't going to be time to squeeze me in because the
makeup artist has to leave at 11. Ok, great. Time to run out and get
some makeup since I was away from home and brought very minimal amounts of
The day of the wedding I had my hair done in a salon in a chignon
at the nape of my neck. I get in my dress and go over to Amy's house for
pictures at 12. Well, no one else in the house is dressed, as the bride and
bridesmaids were just getting back from having their hair done... together... in
identical styles. They all matched from
Bride to flower girls. They began to talk about how much
fun they had in the nail salon the day before. Yes they went and got their
nails done... together... in identical styles. Again from bride to flower
girl, all French manicures. So much for on our own and not matching.
I sat there for over an hour as the makeup artist was able to squeeze in 3 extra
people and she stayed to one.
As Amy came down the stairs from getting
dressed I noticed that it was not the dress she showed me in the shop!
When I asked her if she had changed her mind about her original dress, she told
me she just didn't want anyone to see her dress before the wedding and that's why
she purposely showed me the wrong one! She just could have told me that
and saved me the 2 hour drive. Needless to say our relationship has not improved
since the wedding.
One of my good college friends got married a few
years ago and being an avid reader of your site swore up and down she wouldn't
be a Bridezilla. For the most part, she behaved herself, but there was one thing
she did I found enormously inconsiderate and insulting. Bride and Groom were
going to have a big wedding with several attendants on either side and 200+
people invited, and everyone was fine with that. One thing Bride told me several
times was that she didn't care if the attendants were even because it was about
getting people to stand up for the bride and groom, not just fill slots. Groom
had a large family, so he five attendants to stand up for him – his three
brothers, Bride's brother, and his best friend since elementary school. Well,
Bride didn't have such a large family. After making her own sister, the groom's
sister, and her cousin part of the wedding party, she also invited two college
friends, myself and "Beth." Beth and I knew Bride was going to ask us
to be bridesmaids, so it didn't seem like Bride was just trying to fill out her
Two months before the wedding, the cousin got hit with an unexpected
financial blow (I never did find out exactly what), but it was no longer
possible for her to go to the wedding. Bride was upset her cousin couldn't go,
but these things happen. Then suddenly Bride is looking for another bridesmaid to
fill her cousin's spot. She selected her godparents' daughter and swore that she
didn't invite the girl just to fill the spot but because she felt it was right
for the girl be a bridesmaid since her godparents were being a considerable help
in planning and paying for the wedding. Ok, fine, I was glad it was settled, but
I was wrong.
Bride's brother, "Dick," was going through a phase in
which he was, well, a dick. Much drama ensued about whether or not Dick would
even come to the wedding, let alone be a groomsman. Bride is understandably
upset about her brother's behavior, but suddenly she's also worried about
Groom's attendants being uneven now that she's filled the missing cousin's slot
and dropping an attendant was out of the question. Groom (who didn't seem to
care one way or another as long as Bride was happy) asked another friend of his
to fill the slot, but that friend couldn't manage the out of state travel. So
Bride then asks Beth if Beth's husband, "Phil," would stand in for
Dick if Dick decides to drop out. I have no idea if Bride talked to Groom first
about this. This might be a nice gesture except I know that while Phil was
friends with Bride and Groom, he wasn't as close to Groom as the other
groomsmen. And Beth confided in me she always felt Bride thought Phil wasn't
good enough for her (Phil, bless his heart, never let that bother him). So Beth
and Phil were skeptical of Bride's motives, but Bride talked them into it by
telling them how much it would mean to both of them.
One month before the
wedding and finally Dick decides he's going to stand up after all, but Bride and
Groom decide Phil should be a groomsman anyway. So that makes *six* total
groomsmen but *five* total bridesmaids. If Bride really didn't care if the sides
were uneven, the party would have been left at that. But of course that's not
what happens. Bride had a good friend who couldn't attend the wedding, but his
girlfriend "Shay" of one year could attend the wedding. So Bride asks
Shay, whom she has met maybe once, to be a bridesmaid in her wedding one month
before the date. Shay agrees, and in the end there were six attendants on either
side. I never found out what Shay thought of the last minute request, but Beth
was pretty insulted the Bride clearly only considered Phil because it was
convenient. Bride, of course, saw nothing wrong or hypocritical about what she
did regarding the attendants.
My sister in law has many positive qualities, but
unfortunately she took her wedding as an excuse to go a bit too far with
“it’s all about me”. I’m sharing this story hoping that some of
those brides who read your site will avoid her mistakes!
When my (then) boyfriend (DH) told me that his sister (SIL)
and BIL were engaged I did my best to be gracious. We had been dating
longer than they had, but they were at a different point in their lives (we were
in grad school) and I thought BIL was great. I was honestly happy for
them. But DH took my positive response as an excuse to tell me the rest.
Wish he hadn’t! Turns out that when SIL told DH she was getting married,
she also said, “Don’t you dare give ‘my name’ her engagement ring until
after our wedding. I don’t want your engagement to take attention away
from my wedding.” Until that moment I really thought that no sane person
would ever say those words and it was just something people who write wedding
books made up to show the worst case scenario.
While visiting DH’s apartment, I found the wedding
invitation addressed to “DH and guest”. Not only is this really bad
etiquette, it’s also one of my personal pet peeves. I know there are
lots of brides out there who think they are being kind to allow single guests to
bring someone, but do you really want a bunch of strangers at your wedding?
If you do, that’s great, but it would be really kind and thoughtful to find
out their names so YOU can invite them. And in this case, I’d really
like to know just WHO SIL thought DH might be bringing with him? Surely
she realized it was likely to be the woman she’d instructed him not to give a
ring? Seems to me that even if she was determined to save invitations by
mailing one to DH for both of us she could have at least made it for DH and
‘my name’. When I started my soapbox speech to DH, he replied
“yeah, I heard that groomsman Y’s fiancé was really ticked off too because
their invitation was for groomsman Y and guest.” I suppose I was
supposed to feel better about it because she wasn’t only offending me!
After I had already arranged to leave work early to make the
drive (four hours) in time for the Friday night rehearsal dinner, I was informed
that it was wedding party only. I should plan instead to finish work and
meet DH at my in-law’s later that night. Okay, no problem. My
family usually invites all out of town family to the rehearsal dinner, but
different families have different traditions. So I arrive about 9:00 ish
to a huge houseful of people. As I’m chatting with the guests it becomes
clear that yes, all these people WERE invited to the rehearsal dinner. I
am ticked, but explain to those who ask that “oh, I couldn’t get away from
work early enough to come to the dinner.” (Did she honestly think I
wouldn’t realize it wasn’t “wedding party only”?)
To this day I continue to wonder why I went ahead and attended this wedding.
It certainly appeared that the bride didn’t want me there and she sure
didn’t invite me! I knew it would hurt my in-laws’ feelings if I left
and DH was very clear that HE wanted me there, so I stayed. Besides, I
honestly don’t think SIL had any idea how badly she’d offended me. I
get along fine with SIL now – she seems to have completely recovered from her
And if you’re wondering, yes, DH did, in fact, wait
until after SIL’s wedding to propose. I let him get away with it only
because I knew he had ordered the ring – it took longer to arrive than he’d
expected. However, my FMIL spent most of the reception pointing me out to
her friends as “her future daughter in law” so we had a parade of people
coming by to congratulate us anyway.
Katherine dragged 22 people to David's Bridal to pick out
bridesmaid gowns. She actually ended up deciding to let us loose on the
separates collection, and as long as she approved and it was black, it was okay.
Her comment on it was "The guests won't notice anyway; they'll be looking
I picked an organza ball gown skirt and a corset top that had
a high enough neckline to still be modest.
Well, a month after the dresses came, I found out I was
pregnant. And with pregnancy comes increased, uh, "assets"… I had
gone from a barely C cup to a DD in no time at all. As soon as I realized it, I
tried on the top. It was now frankly obscene on me. I would've been right at
home in a strip club. I emailed Katherine all this, and her response was "I
don't care, you're still wearing it." When I protested that it was really
inappropriate and that I had had trouble keeping my top covered at all, she told
me that SHE was the bride, and that I would wear what she told me to wear, and
to shut up about it. I asked if a shawl was okay to cover myself with; she told
After that, my pregnancy became very troublesome. I almost
lost my daughter several times. By the time her wedding rolled around, I had
been told by the doctor that I was to be lying down as much as possible; if I
had to get up, it would be to sit. I was to walk around as little as humanly
possible. I told him about the wedding, and he released me to go as long as I
was sitting down the whole time.
So I told all this to Katherine, who of course, threw a fit
and told everyone I was trying to ruin her wedding. She then kicked me out of
the bridal party (fine with me).
The day of the wedding, I did an oops. I'd been on bed rest for
a while now, and I decided that I was going to get dolled up for this, simply
because I'd felt so gross, and I wanted to feel pretty. I was six months along
by then, so my mom went out and got me a simple black stretchy dress with
spaghetti straps and pretty shoes. I got all dolled up, just because I hadn't
felt pretty in so long, and you can get dolled up to go to a wedding.
Unfortunately, I forgot the whole stupid situation.
When I got to the wedding, I was accused of trying to cause a
fuss with my appearance – I matched the rest of the bridesmaids, so I was
obviously trying to make a statement that I was unfairly kicked out. I was also
accused of faking pregnancy issues and therefore keeping my husband away from
In the end, she forgot about me long enough to get her moment
in the spotlight, and the wedding went on. The reception was really
uncomfortable, as people kept coming up to me that I didn't know from Adam and
telling me that I should be completely ashamed of myself for the stress I'd put
on the poor bride, not to mention what I'd done to her at my own wedding.
Until the day that I divorced Katherine's brother (who never
once stood up for me in all this), his family whispered about me when I walked
in the room, and wonder out loud when I'd ever learn manners – but I couldn't
be completely blamed, they said often, because I wasn't raised in a good
Southern family. Can't expect Yankees to behave themselves, y'know.
I'm so glad I'm out of that family.
Here's one for the record books! My cousin (we'll
call her "Maria") and I have never been close. In fact, she was not
very close to any of our family, other than the few with higher status in her
church. She is a very devout Mormon, though not very many in our family are.
This becomes important later.
announced her engagement to another church member, we were all happy for her.
But as the wedding drew near, we realized that none of our family, including her
immediate family, had gotten invitations. My mother and I were not too terribly
surprised that neither of us received one, as both of us did not "measure
up" to Maria's religious standards.
About a week before the wedding, my mother got a call from one of her sisters
(not even the MOB), letting her know that she was invited to the reception, and
to bring "Ana (me) along, if
you want". I was pretty insulted that Maria couldn't be
bothered to send an invitation, or at the least call us herself, so I chose not
The reason, as it turns out, that we
were not invited to the wedding itself was that Maria chose to go for a temple
wedding. As you may know, non Mormons are not allowed inside their temples.
Which meant most of our family, including the BRIDE'S OWN MOTHER, had to stand
outside the temple doors and wait for the rather long ceremony to finish.
Rather than have her ceremony in a neutral venue, then have the marriage
"sealed" in the temple, she chose to boot out the majority of her
family. The family, I might add, that paid for most of the wedding and
Ah, the reception... this is where it gets bad.
My mother showed up at the reception site a few minutes early, where she was
promptly shoved into the kitchen to help prepare food
with the rest of her sisters, including the MOB. The FOB was
out in the hall decorating. He had already carved out some beautiful,
intricate "bowls" out of melons for the fruit salads. When the bride
waltzed in, she took one look at the hall and became hysterical. She screamed,
swore, and sobbed, because her reception looked "Too Mexican!" Hullo,
she IS Mexican. But she swore that her family was just trying to humiliate her in
front of her new, very white, in laws. Then she began smashing the fruit bowls.
forward to the reception itself. Maria, still angry about the decorations,
pouted the entire evening, and would not allow any of her family to leave the
kitchens, other than to serve her new in-laws their plates of food, or to refill
their drinks. She did not bother hiring caterers, because she had decided to use
her own parents, siblings, and aunts as waitstaff!
Had I attended, I probably would have upended a
plate of food in her lap. As it was, she was not invited
to my wedding. It probably would have been too Mexican for her anyway.
Read the comments
on the forum about this story.
I have been with my DH for many years and at the time of this story we had
been married for about 5 1/2 years. It all starts when my FIL, who is in his
early 50's, decides to start seeing this woman that we will call
"Sara", who is also in her early 50's. When they first started seeing
each other they were both married to other people, but in the process of getting
divorces. Oh and did I mention that they met on the internet. Anyway, as soon as
the respective divorces have been finalized, they get engaged.
Now my FIL has 3
sons, my DH who was 28 and his two younger brothers who were 26 and 22, and
"Sara" has 3 sons and one daughter ranging in ages of 30ish
to 17. At the time of the engagement announcement, my DH and I along with my two
BILs and one SIL were not thrilled. We all found "Sara" to be rude and
controlling of our FIL. We informed him of our misgivings which he promptly told
"Sara" all about. Needless to say she informed us that she loved him
and was going to marry him regardless and that we should all get on the
bandwagon or shut up.
Fast forward about a
month. They announce that all the sons of both B & G are to be ushers
at the wedding. All agree, especially since it wasn't exactly stated as a
question, and that is when the first "request" is made. The BTB
states that all the ushers need to either purchase or rent matching
black suits to wear for the occasion. Now mind you none of us are well off and many
of us have young children at home. At the time, my DH and I had a 4 year
old who is terribly shy and a six month old. Needless to say we in particular
were quite strapped for cash since I had given birth via c-section, had
emergency surgery when the baby was a month old and the baby had to undergo
emergency surgery at 3 months old. We informed both the bride and groom that we
were up to our eyeballs in medical bills and would it be ok for my DH to wear
the suit he already owned. It was a very dark olive green and matched very well
to the identical ones my 2 other BIL's already owned. It was stated that it
would not be okay, so we figured that we would figure something out.
Shortly following the usher "request", my DH and I were asked if our
older son would be able to walk down the aisle if asked to be the ring bearer.
As I have stated before, our son is extremely shy especially around large
groups of people. I informed "Sara" of this and nothing else was said
and I of course didn't give it another thought since she had never actually
asked. Then about a week later she started calling me and telling me that I had
to find and purchase a red tie ,that had to match exactly to the ones she
had purchased for the ushers, and a black suit for my son to wear in the
wedding. I decided not to argue the point that I had never agreed to his even
participating in the wedding and went with it. As a side note, he
actually did very well despite my misgivings.
About a month and a half before the wedding, we are informed of the
finalized wedding date which is to be held on a MONDAY night over an hour away
from our home. The wedding is to begin promptly at 7 p.m. with the ushers and
others required to arrive no later than 6 p.m. At this point we are all livid.
Who gets married on a Monday night anyway? We all have jobs and most of us don't
even get off work until at least 5 p.m. We all inform the B & G that it may
be difficult for us all to arrive at the wedding location by the desired time
because of work and having to get ready. At this point, the bride informs us
that she has given us a months notice to work it out for ourselves and she
expects everyone to arrive at the set time even if it requires taking off of
Fast forward to the wedding. The bride
is wearing a traditional all out white wedding gown, yes I said white, complete
with the ugliest looking fake floral bouquet ever. The wedding and
reception are being held in a log cabin type hall and the bride and groom's cake
are behind the justice of the peace during the whole ceremony. Following the 15
minute ceremony they do toasts and mingle with the guests. It is getting
late at this point and we need to be leaving to get the kids in bed since we all
have to get up and go to work the next day. We go to say our goodbyes and the
bride asks that we wait just a minute while they cut the cake.
We stay and get through that part. Then we attempt
to make our escape a second time, almost 45 minutes after the first. We are once
again thwarted by a request to wait because they are about to do the bouquet and
garter ceremony. Yes, you read that right. This 50 year old bride was actually
wearing a garter and planned to do the traditional garter throwing. Okay, so now
another half hour has gone by and we are all cranky and ready to leave. Did I
mention that we are all starving because there was no food served at the
reception for a wedding held at 7 p.m.?
this point it is almost 9 p.m. and we have over an hour to drive to get home, so
we say our goodbyes once more only to be asked to wait again because the B
& G are about to make their exit. We pack up our things and go to stand
outside to the throw birdseed at the fleeing couple. Once outside we are handed
engraved SHOT GLASSES, how tacky can you get, filled with a bag of
birdseed. The couple exits in a hail of birdseed and then reenters the venue
while we head to the car. We finally get all the kids strapped in and their gear
stowed and start to drive out of the parking lot, when we are waved down by my
BIL. Apparently the bride now wants my DH and son to come back inside so that
they can take wedding pictures. I'm thinking are you kidding me, but they go
back in anyway for my FIL's sake. They take one picture and then come back to
the car and we finally leave at 10:15! I was just thanking my lucky stars when
we finally made it out of the parking lot.
As an additional tacky note, I would just like to add that I was later
informed that the reason the B & G went back into the venue was so that they
could open all of their wedding gifts before pictures were taken! I've left out
many other rude actions by the BTB, but I must add that 3 days before the
wedding was to take place we were informed that we would have to attend a
rehearsal at the venue at 6 p.m. on the night before the wedding. Just
like at the wedding, there was no food and no rehearsal dinner, and we were
all left to fend for ourselves and children at 8:30 p.m. on a
week night and then drive over an hour home and get to sleep before work the
next day. I can only hope that she enjoyed her big day because all I've
spoken to have said it was the tackiest and least tasteful wedding they have
About 10 years ago my best friend, we'll call her
Jessie, confided in me that she was pregnant and was planning a wedding with the
father, we'll call him Jack. Jessie was just 19 at the time and really worried
about being a mother and a wife at such a young age. I was there for her
when she broke the news to her not so understanding parents (who later were a
big help and support) and some of her closer friends. Anytime there was a
problem, she called me first. After all the announcement were made to the
families and friends that there was going to be a wedding, she asked me to be
her MOH. I was thrilled and excited and ready for the challenge. The
wedding was planned in a few months (due to a growing tummy...) and I did
everything that I could to make things as easy and stress-less as possible.
She told me what she wanted and I communicated to her mother, and her other 3
bridesmaids to get it done. I went with her to her dress fittings, (which were
out of town) helped address invitations, planned and threw her a nice
shower, arranged lodging and travel arrangements for the honeymoon, made
bouquets out of the silk flowers she had chosen, and pretty much anything else
I understand that this was a really trying time for her
because she is dealing with pregnancy hormones, her fiancé is on a boat in the
middle of the Pacific ocean somewhere (he was in the Coast Guard) her parents
are being somewhat difficult (the wedding was at their home so they were trying
to do everything THEY wanted) and I understood that. But I don't remember
getting so much as a thank you for any of it. After a while, I felt like I was
the hired help without actually getting paid for it but I didn't complain and
continued to help as much as I could.
About a month before the
wedding, we had the shower and everything went off without a hitch. The dresses
were in and fitted, the invites were pretty much all accounted for, the groom
was back into port, the cake was ordered, flowers done, decorations ready, and
all things pretty much accounted for. I had planned to have everything that I
could do, done, a month before the wedding so I could go on a trip to Africa
that I had been planning for over a year (mind you, Jessie knew about this and
helped me pack) without leaving her with a mound of stuff to do while I was gone
for 14 days.
So, I go on my trip (Jessie and Jack drove me to the
airport) and had a great time (it was a missions trip to build a church for a
small village in Uganda so it was just as much work as it was vacation) and made
it back to the states without incident and with a good 2 weeks before the
wedding. Jessie and Jack were going to pick me up from the airport, and I
waited, and waited, and there was no one there. This was in the time before I
had a cell phone, so I had to find a pay phone and call her to see if everything
was okay and when I could expect them. Her mom answered the phone and told me
that they were in the middle of Jessie's baby shower- BABY SHOWER!! and that
they wouldn't be coming to get me. I lived in a pretty small town at the time
and the nearest airport was over 2 hours away. So I am stranded with no car 2
hours from home and not enough money to take a cab or a bus after my 22 hour
flight. I call my mom in tears and tell her what happened and she got in the car
and came to pick me up... 2 hours away.
So in the car ride on the way home, I am fuming and exhausted
from my trip and my mom hands me an envelope that she found in the front seat of
her car. (Jessie worked at the building next to my mom and put it in her open
window one day while I was gone.) The letter says that I am completely
inconsiderate and I am not helping her and I am stressing her out and I
shouldn't have left when there were so many other things that needed to be done
before the wedding. It said that I was totally selfish because I wanted to go
and look at animals when I could have gone to the zoo for that. ( I wasn't
even in a place that had animals...) So I became the evil MOH that didn't do
anything to help. The letter goes on to say that she wants me to step
down as MOH and not even come to the wedding if I am going to only think about
myself and what I want to do and she doesn't want me to ruin the day that she
worked so hard to plan on her own.
I was FLOORED! I had
given up hours of energy and time and I wasn't even INVITED to the wedding.
But she mentioned that I knew where they were registered and when and where the
wedding was going to be so I could either drop of their gifts- more than
one...(she was expecting a baby shower gift too because I was too busy to
come to a shower I knew nothing about) at the reception or I could send it
with my parents, who were still "totally invited". Needless to say
that no gift was purchased by myself or my parents. (My parents didn't attend and
the bride later rebuked my mom in the parking lot of her office for not sending her a
My parents still live in the same small town so there are
times when I go home to visit that I see her and have to at least try to be
civil. I think the real kicker comes after my own wedding when she had the nerve
to ask my parents why she didn't get an invitation and that she thought that it
was extremely rude of me to not even consider her daughter as my flower girl and
so on... My mom didn't say anything, she just shook her head and walked away.
I know how hard it can be to plan a wedding, but that is no
excuse to treat those who love you and want to help you like they have the
plague for not committing their entire life to you... I thought that was what
the groom was for...
Mary is 21. Mary has been dating Bob (the drunk) for
around three months when she decides she wants to marry him. She moves in
with him, but continues to pay her portion of the utilities (always late
due to lack of cash) at the apt I and a few other girls share with her,
because we couldn't find a replacement and she wanted her mom to continue to pay
her rent for her so she wouldn't know Mary had moved in with Bob (remember, they
are getting married.)
Mary goes wedding dress shopping with some future bridesmaids,
and puts a down payment on one of the first dresses she tries on. Then,
she has bridesmaids try on some dresses, and asks them to please put down a
deposit. It's a tight time for everyone with student loans about to
start, but the bridesmaids put the money down anyway. One is very happy
to do so and loves Bob, the other is hesitant but does not want to spoil the
planning process for Mary.
Mary's family knows nothing about her getting married. The only person who does, her brother, was told that if he tells anyone he will
not only have all of his secrets told to the family, but he will not be invited.
Mary and Brother are twins and very close and Brother is visibly upset and
breaks contact with Mary even though they go to the same college in a small town
Best part? Mary never was engaged. No ring. No proposal.
No solidified plans to marry. No venue. No
date. She bought a dress, made bridesmaids buy a dress, and threatened
Brother without ever making plans to actually marry- just doing the fun girly
dress shopping. Her bill portions were always late hurting other
peoples credit (those who the bills were in the name of) yet she bought
a dress for a wedding that, a year later, still has no date or location or
And, Mary and Bob fight like cats and dogs. They
destroyed a hotel room in a fight and left the other couple they were staying
with with not only the bill for the room, but the bill for room repairs and
Bridesmaids have now put a deposit on an ugly bridesmaid
dress for a non existent wedding. Great.
My story is short but not so sweet….. I had a friend I’ll
call B. B is so cheap she squeaks! B becomes engaged and asks me to
be a bridesmaid. Two other bridesmaids live out of town so I go with her
to shop for bridesmaid dresses. She finds one she likes, I’m not too
excited about it but figure it’s not my wedding. Two days later, she
explains to me that she doesn’t want me as a bridesmaid because I don’t look
right in the dress. So I’m downgraded to a “brides assistant”.
She’s been married two other times, the first being a huge affair.
Remember when I said she’s cheap, well, she takes the wedding gown from the
first marriage and has it altered to wear at the third marriage and takes the
engagement ring from the first marriage, pawns it, and buys her new fiancé's wedding band with the money.
Needless to say, I did not participate in any
way during the ceremony or reception and she and I are no longer friends.
My cousin Jane asked my sister and I to be bridesmaids in her
wedding, along with 2 of her friends from college. Her wedding was
going to be 3 states from where my sister and I lived, but since we had been
close as children we both accepted the appointment.
The other bridesmaids didn't seem terribly interested in
planning the wedding events for the bride so my sister and I took it upon
ourselves to create some fun events for her. She absolutely did not want
any strippers for her bachelorette party, so we planned an elaborate surprise
quasi-strip show for her. We had her father, groom, and uncles all learn a
dance that we choreographed to a popular song, we traveled to two states to
teach all the men the dance, made a videotape so they could practice on their
own and then got them their costumes. The night of the party we
blindfolded her and started the music - she was astounded and delighted when she
turned around to see the men she loved best performing for her and her friends.
The night was a roaring success. No thank you ever given.
I should mention that I was pregnant, and only the bride and
my sister knew. After the party the bride called me and insisted that I
tell everyone in our family about my pregnancy at once so it wouldn't ruin her
wedding. If I didn't I was out of the wedding. I never thought I'd
have to announce my pregnancy due to the demands of my cousin.
The day of the wedding the bride was harried and rushing
us all around. I was 6 months pregnant and moving a little slower then the
others so the bride's mother was yelling at me to hurry it up all the time - I
was never given a chance to sit down or get water even when I asked for a brief
break - they even yelled at me for using the bathroom too much.
After the outdoor ceremony we were headed for the reception
1.5 hours away. I went into early labor. We headed to the nearest ER
and I was admitted. We didn't have anyone's number so we couldn't call the
relatives to tell them the issue. They figured it out and my parents
arrived. The bride never called to check on me and never gave a thank you
for all we had done. After traveling all that way for her and paying for
our own tickets and accommodations and hosting all the bridal events she thanked
the other two bridesmaids at the reception in a toast but not her cousins.
Turns out I went into labor because I was dehydrated and in a
higher elevation. I had to go on bed-rest for the next 3 months. The
price I paid for being in that wedding was way too high.
I was asked to be Kelly's maid of honor (one of 2) after a few
years of close friendship. Here's a brief outline of Bridezilla's (and
Momzilla's and Bridesmaidzillas') behavior:
1) Shower attempt #1: Immediately after finally
receiving the list of the other girls in the wedding (8 of them, not
including the other maid of honor), I contacted them to talk about the shower.
I received no responses. (I really should have run for cover then.)
2) Dresses: I was told by Kelly that she would send
pictures of different dresses for the girls to vote on. Again, I contacted
all of the girls and this time got responses (apparently, they cared about what
they were wearing and spending). After sending the tally back to Kelly,
she sent another e-mail telling everyone which dress HER MOTHER had decided we
all would wear. (And still, I did not run.)
3) Shoes attempt #1: We were also told that we could
wear whatever shoes we wanted.
4) Shower attempt #2: I tried again to contact the
girls (while I thought I had their attention) to talk about the shower.
This time I did get responses - "I'm in college and don't have any money to
help". "I will be out of town until two days before the wedding
so I can't help." And on and on like that. Exactly 2 girls
offered to do anything, but later, when asked, only one actually ended up
** Momzilla insert: In the meantime, I received an
e-mail from Kelly's mom berating me for not planning the shower yet -
"Kelly deserves so much better from you." Close to $500 dollars
later, and help from only one bridesmaid to set everything up, Kelly's mom
shows up, criticizes everything we did, and with her niece, rearranges the
setup, replaces the favors (which I had made by hand), and stops speaking to me
(thank you, God!!).
** Bridesmaidzilla insert: The bridesmaids all
attended the shower acting like the party was for them too, expecting to be
waited on hand and foot. They were all more than happy to do the gift part
of the shower, but only one stayed to help clean up when it was over.
5) Shoes attempt #2: Two weeks before the wedding,
we receive another e-mail from Kelly telling us that her mom wants us to buy
dyed shoes to match the dresses. (For the record, I wore the shoes I
originally intended to wear...I was pretty much done at this point and just
wanted the stupid thing to be over.)
6) Rehearsal dinner: The bride and three of the
bridesmaids showed up an hour late wearing shorts and t-shirts, looking more
like they were going to play kickball than attend a rehearsal and dinner. It
turns out that they were all getting their nails done. (Kelly had not made hair
or nail appointments for most of the other girls, even though two of us were
from out of town and had no contacts in the area.)
7) Bachelorette party: I was never actually invited, so
I didn't go. At this point, Kelly's cousin had taken over as if she were
the maid of honor (or as if she had made a single useful contribution up to this
point), so I was more than happy to not have to participate in the
13-year-old-like sleepover she planned.
The wedding itself went off without a hitch, but to this
day, I have not received a thank you note for anything that I did, no offer from
any of the bridesmaids or her family to reimburse some of my out-of-pocket costs
for the unappreciated shower, nor have I heard a single word from Kelly. I
say, good riddance!
“Amelia” and I had a close friendship throughout high school,
sharing many formative experiences and even living together for a period as
young adults. Our lives paralleled in many ways, particularly when we met our
long term partners at the same time, and we enjoyed talking about our respective
relationships among other things. After a couple of years she and her partner
decided to get engaged and I was delighted for her, and happily discussed
wedding plans in which I was included as a prospective bridesmaid, along with a
couple of our other close friends.
Now, love her as I did, Amelia had always
been known to have a catty streak which emerged in conflicts, she was often
spatting with her friends only to soon make up again, but I was rarely on the
receiving end due to my non-confrontational temperament. This streak came into
play as she planned her wedding, swapping her friends in and out of
bridesmaid’s roles depending upon with whom she was quarrelling at the time.
It happened that at this time my circumstances changed quite dramatically when,
being only 21 and feeling unready for further commitment, I decided to take a
break from my partner (we are married today), and I also took a demanding
full-time job, which left me with much less time available to spend fussing over
Amelia and her upcoming nuptials (albeit with no actual date yet set).
later, I was shopping in town when I bumped into an acquaintance, and upon
enquiring as to what she was up to that day I was absolutely floored when she
told me she was on her way to Amelia’s wedding! I could not believe I hadn’t
even been invited! (Neither could the acquaintance who, though herself quite
friendly with Amelia knew that she and I had been very close). Although I felt
awful I immediately bought a beautiful card and expressed my heartfelt good
wishes for her and her husband’s future and posted it. I didn’t want to make
her feel guilty, I really wanted to let her know that I wished her all the best,
as obviously she didn’t think so. I can only guess that either (a) breaking
off my relationship, which had been on such a similar path to hers, made her
feel insecure about her decision or left us with too little in common; or (b)
she was offended that that I wasn’t calling every week to dote on her as a
bride-to-be. I really wouldn’t have minded if she’d booted me from
bridesmaid duty (as it turned out she had her two little sisters only) but I was
shocked to have been completely uninvited to her wedding!
Upon seeing one of our
close friends who had attended I naturally enquired about how things went. It
seemed that the event had turned Amelia into quite the Bridezilla. The friend
tells me that as she and some other girlfriends were approaching the church to
attend the ceremony, the bridal car pulled up with Amelia screaming at them out
the window to, “Hurry up and get inside, you’re late!” A dry, formal
ceremony was followed by a reception at which Amelia glared down her friends,
worried they’d behave inappropriately (have fun) and embarrass her in front of
her new relatives (which would never have happened as they’re a lovely bunch
of girls). She goes on to order the staff to stop serving drinks to one guest,
which my friend deemed completely uncalled for as the girl was not at all
intoxicated, just being her bubbly self. I also learned that Amelia had invited
several people to whom I knew she had never been particularly close, which made
her snub even more hurtful. Sounds like I didn’t miss much, but I was sad that
a long-time friend could cut me off so coldly.
Amelia never spoke to me again
and I could only conclude that she had no interest in continuing a friendship
with me. I am still in contact with many of my high school friends, several of
whom attended my wedding recently. I have heard through mutual friends that
Amelia is still married and now has two children, and I still hope she is happy.
I have a painful confession to make. I'm afraid that I
myself was a Bridezilla. Now, I don't think that my behavior was as offensive
as much of what we've found on this site. In fact, I pray it wasn't. But
I have to say, I often wish I could go back and do it all over again.
In my defense, I was young, inexperienced, and broke.
Very broke. Sadly, I think I let money concerns become the most important
thing about my wedding, though I didn't really have the sense to limit the guest
list. My mother had very specific ideas as to who should be invited (not a
small list), and I didn't really know enough to tell her no. Not that I
would have had the backbone to do it. So here we are, two kids trying to
throw ourselves a wedding on a shoestring budget, inviting 500 people, and
expecting about half of them to show up. I cringe.
Furthermore, my fiancé came from money, and I did not.
The very low-key open-house style wedding that I had in mind was somewhat
jarring to his family's sense of sophistication. They couldn't believe we
registered somewhere as cheap as Target. (My mother thought it was tacky
to register all.) Okay. There's only so much you can do on minimum
What I really regret was my choice of attendants. My fiancé
wanted two friends for groomsmen, and I would have preferred not to have
attendants. But it was important to him, so I made the easiest choice:
my little sister and his little sister. They were local, available, and
liked to get dressed up. Unfortunately, I don't think I had the presence
of mind to actually ASK them to be my bridesmaids. Once I had it in my
head that they would be, I guess I sort of assumed they knew. Somehow they
found out about the plans, though, and my fiancé's sister was gracious enough
not to express any annoyance at my lack of decorum.
I called a friend of mine later to tell her about my wedding.
She and I grew up together, and she was practically a sister to me, so I wanted
to be the one to share the news. She declared that I should tell her what
dress to buy and she'd be standing by my side on the wedding day. I was
terribly uncomfortable, telling her that since we didn't want to cause financial
burden for anyone, we had decided that only my sister and his should be my
attendants (despite our many youthful promises that we would attend each other).
I think she was crushed. I think even I was crushed. Of all my
mistakes, that's the one I wish I could rectify. I didn't want to be a
burden on her, but it was apparently a burden she was quite anxious to shoulder,
and I'd have been so much happier to have her with me than my fiancé's sister,
whom I hardly knew.
I'm sure I was bad at communicating my plans with the other
participants in the wedding, but they were all very patient with me. The
one thing I did communicate clearly was the time I wanted everyone available for
pictures . . . and when we were slow getting out the door that morning, I
snapped at everyone, including my fiancé. Dumb.
To all the patient, gracious people who endured me during my
Bridezilla phase, thank you. And I'm very, very sorry.
I was a bridesmaid in my college roomate, L's wedding. My roommate
was shy, and did not have many other female friends at school - I am
not terribly outgoing myself, so we managed to get along very well, staying up
late and sharing emotional stories with each other. We roomed together for a
year before she was married, and I considered her a good friend. Since we were
friends, I did let her know towards the beginning of the year that I was
surprised and concerned that she would be getting married as a sophomore in
college, months after her twentieth birthday, to a man she had known less than
a year at that point. She did not seem upset by this, and actually was quite
confident that although everyone around her cautioned her against marrying so
young, she felt she was prepared for it. I admired her confidence in this
situation, and liked the groom, whom I had known longer than she had, and I
thought in all other areas of life she was a very mature person, so I did not
feel like this difference of opinion hindered our friendship. I was very
honored to be asked to be her bridesmaid, especially since the other two
bridesmaids were her sister and her cousin.
She was generally gracious about the wedding, and allowed me to
stay in her apartment during the wedding since I was coming back into our
college town from out of town, and all of our friends were away for the
summer. At that time, a few things struck me as odd: although I was a
bridesmaid, I received no shower invitations (I assumed this was because all
the showers were in her home town an hour away - still, I would have made the
trip, and felt left out). Second, I had asked if it would be possible for me
to stay the night after the wedding, since her apartment would be empty that
night and it would be impossible for me to drive the four hours back home
after her wedding. I was 19 and too poor to afford a hotel room, and everyone
I knew in town was home for the summer, except my BF who was rooming with four
other guys in a small apartment, and in my society/upbringing it is
inappropriate to stay over at his house, and definitely inappropriate to stay
with a room full of guys. However, although she had entrusted their best man
with a key to their apartment and essentially open access to come and go as he
wished, she politely refused my request - I was not sure why, but she didn't
have to give a reason, it was her apartment.
I also found it odd that on my way up to her apartment, I
received a call from her FH, who did not generally call me and with whom I
spoke much less often. He, very awkwardly, mentioned that my BF was welcome in
their apartment, but not when L was not in the apartment, or when she was
sleeping. I was disappointed that they felt the need to point out something so
very basic to me; of course I would not be "sneaking my BF" into the
bride's apartment while she was asleep! Furthermore, I could not understand
why she felt the need to ask her fiancé to call me about this, which she
clearly had, instead of simply mentioning it to me once I arrived at her
apartment. Still, I brushed all this off and the wedding went well. Since she
was my friend, and since she had been so gracious, I had bought her an
expensive gift certificate, and a gift off of her registry, and since I have
been making cakes professionally for years, agreed to make her cake at cost
(which turned out lovely and the picture is now used on my business cards).
And afterwards? Nothing. It is a year later and she has not
sent me a thank you note. She and I continued to go to the same school in the
same town, but I have seen her a total of three times since her wedding, and
only after much work on my part to get together. The last time I called her
and suggested we spend some "girl time" together, we set up an
appointment to go eat - and she brought her husband along! Then, she asked me
where my BF was - he had to work, and had not been invited to our "girl's
night out." She has ignored my calls and e-mails, so I had simply given
up. I know it is common practice for newlyweds to ignore their single friends,
but not only does that not make it polite, it is not as if I am a
"desperately single" girl going clubbing all night - I am now
engaged myself to the same BF I have had for the past 3 years, and we would be
happy to spend a quiet evening together with them.
I recently noticed she was on instant messenger and tried to
start a conversation with her. I told her that I missed seeing her, and asked
her how her job was and how she had been doing for the past several months.
She answered any questions I asked her, and her excuse for not seeing me was
that she was "busy," but did not once stop to ask me how I had been,
how my own wedding plans were going, or show any interest at all in what I was
doing with my life.
Perhaps I committed some serious error of my own that I simply
do not recognize, or perhaps she never really considered me a friend at all. I
wish she would at least give me a chance to be her friend or apologize for
anything I may have done or said. The moral of the story is this:
Brides, don't ignore your single friends when you get married,
especially if they were your bridesmaids. If you don't care enough about
someone to stay in touch with them after you are married, then don't have them
stand up for you. And if you do care about them and they wind up offending you
somehow, try to bring it up so that the offending party can at least have the
opportunity to apologize.
Bridesmaids, if the bride suggests you stay with her during the
wedding, avoid it if possible - it only makes things awkward.
Page Last Updated October 11, 2008