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"I think this site is so underrated and everyone needs to read a few posts and learn how not act. This whole site serves as a wonderful cautionary tale of what not to do. "


2000 Archive
Jan-Jun 2000 Archive
Jul-Dec 2000 Archive


Dear Jeanne, I was delighted to see my story about Rude Bob appear in the "Guests From Hell" section of Etiquette Hell in 2000. (Rude Bob was a co-worker who refused to RSVP to my wedding invitation until two days before the event--if "I guess we'll come if nothing else comes up" qualifies as an RSVP--and then didn't show up anyway because he was "too busy.") I have an update to the story: as I mentioned in the original submission, after not showing up for my wedding, Rude Bob mentioned that he had a wedding gift for us every time I ran into him at work for four months, and then abruptly stopped saying anything about it. Weddings are not about gifts, and honestly I didn't care whether he or *any* of our guests gave us a gift or not. I was instead hurt by Rude Bob's callous response to our wedding invitation and the subsequent no-show, as I had considered him to be a friend until that point. Fast forward 15 months. The marriage is over--husband decided that it was a mistake and walked out on me with no warning and total refusal to try to work it out. I'm presently in the process of filing for divorce. Completely out of the blue, three weeks ago Rude Bob started talking about this wedding gift again. One day I came to work to find a box wrapped in shiny pink paper with a big bow. It was the famous wedding gift! Clearly, in addition to being incredibly rude at times, Rude Bob is also the absolute master of bad timing. This is by no means his fault, as no one at work other than two close and trusted friends knows that I'm in the middle of divorce proceedings. What was strange, however, was the strange *smell* coming from the gift. It was indescribable--a heady combination of mildew and dust is the only way I could possibly describe it. I cannot imagine that Rude Bob was unable to detect the odor while wrapping the gift. Not wanting to be ungracious, I thanked Rude Bob profusely and took the gift home. It was a rather heinous-looking ice bucket, and for some reason it totally reeked--when I opened the box, it literally brought on a sneezing fit. I cleaned it up as best I could, however, and although I didn't succeed in getting rid of the the smell entirely, it is now possible to stand within two feet of it without triggering my allergies. I had a brunch party the other day, and the two aforementioned close co-workers were among the guests. They knew that Rude Bob had given me a wedding gift after the marriage ended, and they asked to see it. I brought the ice bucket out and displayed it for everyone's admiration. That was when I found the card. It said "Congratulations on your marriage. . . Rude Bob and (Rude Bob's wife)." They got married 11 years ago. No wonder the ice bucket smelled. Guests0305-01

Last year, I got married. It was a lovely day, but the whole build up to it during the months and weeks beforehand was typically stressful. On the day itself, I braced myself for things to go wrong - bridesmaids falling into the duckpond, the priest getting drunk, the bridegroom fainting etc. In the end, all went well - how dull. Oh, yes, there was one little, titchy element could have done without. Allow me to introduce you to the uninvited wedding guests from Hell. A few months before the wedding, I got a surprise telephone call from an old schoolfriend whom I hadn't seen for 10 years. Let's call her Tina. Well, Tina and I met up and what fun we had. I was more amused than taken aback when she said "Well, are you going to invite me to your wedding, then?" - she always was a cheeky kid and she hadn't changed! I replied that of course, she was more than welcome. Now, I really wanted to keep the number of guests quite small. I particularly didn't want people bringing 'partners' who my fiancé and I didn't know and who, quite likely, we would never see again. I groaned inwardly, therefore, when Tina called me shortly before the big day and asked if she could bring her boyfriend - someone she had often said was just a 'casual' amour and whom I had never met. However, I said okay - after all, I thought, she won't really know anyone at the wedding and she is an old friend. A few days later, Tina called and said that she had broken up with her boyfriend. Could she, she asked, bring her SISTER instead? Well, I was rather surprised, but I was in the middle of organising the wretched wedding, so I agreed. It was a bit much, though, I thought. I also had a vague memory of Tina's sister - wasn't she the one who always tagged along with us and who once came to my birthday party and scattered a bowl of sugar all over my mum's kitchen? Oh, well... surely she must have grown up since then. The great wedding finally arrived. The service passed without a problem and then it was time for the 'line up' - when my new husband and I greeted our guests. I had to consciously suppress an exclamation of amazement when Tina appeared... not only had she brought her sister, but her sister's husband and young daughter! Two extra, uninvited, guests! At our wedding! Actually, I wouldn't have minded had they contributed to the fun of the day. As it was, they behaved atrociously. They complained that there wasn't any beer, only wine or champagne, but that didn't stop them from drinking themselves into a stupor anyway. Every time the waitress walked past, they would grab more drinks from her tray to add to their already large collection of glasses in varying states of fullness. They treated the whole event like a free-for-all jamboree of booze and food - well, that is part of the fun of going to weddings, but these guys weren't even invited! The poor little daughter of Tina's sister was completely abandoned whilst her mother, father and aunt replaced the water content of their bodies with alcohol. At the end of the night, we couldn't get them to leave. When they finally went, they took some unopened bottles of wine with them - 'for the journey'. Unbelievable. Anyway, after the wedding, I reflected on their behaviour and had a little chuckle to myself. It was, after all, quite funny. The smile was soon wiped off my face, however, when Tina telephoned me. She said she and "her family" had had great fun - could we please send them some of the official photographs as a souvenir? She made it quite clear that she didn't expect to be billed for these. Well, I am sorry - the photos were very expensive and I said that she would have to pay for them like everybody else if she wanted some. Strangely, I never heard from Tina - or her family - ever again. We did, by the way, get a wedding present from them - an extremely cheap, tacky looking picture frame. Thanks, guys. Guests0219-01

Several years ago my husband and I went to our friends' wedding. One of the male guests, who used to work with the groom, brought a call girl to the wedding. (She told other guests that this was her job.) The maid of honor opened the door to a small room in the reception hall where the gifts were stored and found the guest having sex with his "date", and the bride nearly stumbled over them when they were having sex in the bushes (again) outside the reception hall. The bride and groom placed disposable cameras on each table so that the guests could take photos of each other. When the bride and groom picked up the prints, they were shocked to find photos of the male guest's erect penis. Judging from the raucous laughter and gasps at his table, apparently he had unzipped at the table during the reception to prepare for his photo shoot. Yuck! Needless to say, he is an ex-friend.

Hello, I just got finished reading through the web site. Absolutely hilarious. I have two short wedding faux pas stories. The first was when my Husband was asked to be an usher at his college room mates wedding. My husband comes from a very large catholic family. Everything his parents couldn't give him materially, they made up with love and support. Because of this, my husband was able to work his way through college, and earn a well deserved Bachelors of Science degree. My husband's room mate, we'll call him Gene, is from an elite New Orleans family. The wedding and the bride were absolutely beautiful. And the couple have both been very sweet to us. However, at the rehearsal dinner (held at the most elite restaurant in New Orleans) I make the mistake of telling Gene's uncle where my husband went to high school. Not being from this area, I didn't then know the severe competitions between Catholic High Schools. Gene of course went to the one that all of the son's of high society went to, but my dear husband went to the less elite, yet very good (90% graduate college) high school. During the rehearsal dinner, we'll call him Uncle Idiot, got very drunk, and began berating my husband very loudly, saying things like, "I'll help you read the menu if some of the words are too big." And then the kicker was, as everyone was leaving, with his arm around me, he states, "What is a pretty girl like you doing with a white n****r like him?" My mouth dropped to the floor. Now, coming from a wealthy family myself, I was accustomed to all types of social situations, but upon that coming out of that man's mouth, I decked him, not slap him, but punched him right in the mouth! With tears streaming down my cheeks, I heard applause from all who had heard what he said, including the bride and groom. You see, I didn't know until then that no one liked this particular uncle, and that he was known for his outlandish behavior. After the wedding the next day, I was greatly relieved when the groom came up to tell me he had wanted to deck his uncle for years! Guests0226-01

My husband has a friend whom he's known since high school, but their lives have sort of gone in different directions. The friend - we'll call him "Jim" - works at an auto manufacturing plant, while my husband went to university and so forth. They still keep in touch, sort of, so when Joe got married to someone I'll call "Sandy," almost ten years older than him, previously married with a teenage son, we were invited to the wedding. The reception was to be in the local union hall. Although I would not personally have chosen a huge white meringue dress and all the trimmings for a second wedding, the wedding itself was actually very nice. Hubby and I were seated at a table with some friends that we hadn't seen in a while, as well as two other women and a young girl who were also very pleasant. Alas, the guests at the table next to ours - I still have no idea who they were! - were not so pleasant. They already seemed a little tipsy when they arrived at the reception, and by the time the main course was served they were, there's no other word for it, DRUNK. We could hear them telling dirty jokes in loud voices, laughing hysterically, and shouting at the newlyweds to kiss. The bride and groom had put disposable cameras on each table, and at a certain point I saw the teenage girl at our table looking really shocked and turned in my seat to check out what was upsetting her. What do I see but one of the female guests pulling down her (already plunging) neckline so that her date can take a photo of her bare breasts!! Then a few minutes later loud laughter made me turn around again, and this time someone was pointing the camera *up the skirt* of one of the other women. All of this is before the toasts have even begun. Fortunately, they eventually got so drunk that they settled down ... to sleep on the table. Guests0302-01

Here is a guest from hell story -- actually, the same guest featured in two different stories. Both stories happened a long while ago, but my relatives are still talking about them. Many years ago (30+) when my parents got married, they invited all of their friends and relatives to a church ceremony and evening reception. "Danny" was the boyfriend of my father's sister, "Jessica". Jessica had also been selected to be a bridesmaid for this wedding. Now, Danny was known to be quite loud and obnoxious at times, especially when he had a great deal to drink. I should also mention that he enjoyed drinking a great deal. This was the primary reason he looked forward to events that served alcohol, like weddings.

Anyway, on the day of the wedding, everything seemed to go well at the start, and the ceremony was beautiful. Then, it came time for the reception, and a junior bridesmaid, Laura (Jessica's niece, who was about 9 at the time) needed a ride to the reception. Danny agreed to drive her there. Why Jessica didn't go instead, I don't know -- but somehow Danny and Laura were left alone in the car. Well, everyone arrived to the reception hall. That is, everyone except Danny and Laura. Both my parents and Laura's parents were extremely worried, and wondered if there had been a car accident. After waiting awhile, they had no choice but to begin the dinner. After an hour, Danny showed up at the reception with a very frightened-looking Laura. It turns out that Danny decided to take Laura on "a joyride" along gravel roads, at high speeds. Not only that, but apparently Danny had been drinking as well -- his breath reeked of beer.

Laura's parents were furious with him and began to reprimand him for endangering their daughter. Then, Danny stormed out of the reception hall. Jessica followed him out, and instead of being at the head table with the wedding party, she spent the rest of the evening consoling him outside. Years later, my cousin "Doreen" (Laura's sister) had been planning her wedding to "Keith" for over a year. She had not ignored any detail regarding the wedding planning process, because everything had to be perfect. However, she also had to invite Danny, who was by this time married to Jessica. The ceremony went well, but at the reception Danny had too much to drink. Then, he began to grope some of the female guests. At this point Doreen's father (who still hadn't forgotten about the incident involving Laura) approached him and Danny began a fist-fight with him!! Imagine Doreen's horror to see her wedding reception unravel into a fist-fight with the father of the bride!! These are stories I have been thinking about recently. You see, I will be getting married in a few short months. Guess who I have to invite? Perhaps I will have a new update to give "The Guests From Hell" section. Guests0316-01

When my husband and I were married, my parents very kindly gave us a nice sum of money, enough for a pleasant wedding with a few special touches. Based on what they'd given us, we calculated how many people we could afford to invite, got guest lists from my future MIL, future FIL, and my parents (all of whom gave us very reasonable lists), and sent out invitations. With some minor prompting, we got all the responses back and told the hotel caterer how many would be attending. A little less than a week before the wedding, we got a call from my future FIL, who said he'd made a dreadful mistake and forgotten to include his "Aunt Petunia" on his guest list. Apparently she'd heard about the wedding from someone else in the family and her feathers were ruffled that she hadn't been invited. Could we please send Aunt Petunia an invitation? Yes, under the circumstances, of course we would. We sent an invitation off the same day.

Knowing there wouldn't be time to get the response card back, I added two people to the total (assuming Aunt Petunia might like to bring a guest) and contacted the caterer to revise the total number of people. Aunt Petunia showed up to our wedding with SEVEN relatives in tow...some of them so distantly related even my FIL had never met them! Three of them were her grandniece and grandnephews (aged 10, 4, and 5); as it happened, we had not invited any other children to the wedding and I'd even had to tell one or two people "so sorry, but no" when they asked if they could bring their kids. The hotel's wedding coordinator was rather annoyed about the extra headcount and cornered my mother, who basically had no choice but to write a check on the spot for the six extra dinners, to the tune of $350.

I'd had the florist make up lovely corsages for my mother, my MIL and my husband's grandmother, plus I thought it would be nice to have corsages made for my four sisters-in-law. Unfortunately, the corsages did not have names on them (my fault - I should have asked the florist to label them) and after Nana, my mom and my MIL received theirs, three of the other four corsages were appropriated by Aunt Petunia, her grandniece and her cousin! My Matron of Honor ended up pulling some flowers from her bouquet and mine and (bless her) used some floral tape to wind them into nice corsages for my sisters-in-law. When the time came to toss the bouquet, there was the 10-year-old, right up in front, jockeying for position with encouragement from Aunt Petunia. I managed to lob the bouquet over her madly waving arms to the ladies of marriageable age standing behind her. As it landed in the arms of one of my friends, the grandniece turned around, grabbed the tail end of the long ribbons and tried to actually yank the bouquet out of the woman's hands! Aunt Petunia and entourage thought this was hilarious. I happened to catch the expression on my mother's face and she was definitely not amused. About 2 months after the wedding, we received a gift of 3 dishtowels from Target (card signed by Aunt Petunia and all seven relatives). I think of Aunt Petunia every time I use them. Guests0320-01

I had been friends with a woman named "Donna" on-and-off since we were children. We reconnected about 4 months before my wedding. She happened to be engaged also. My husband and I had been planning a large, fairly expensive wedding (which we were paying for ourselves) for over a year. She and her fiancé had been together for quite a bit longer than Jim and I had but still hadn't set a date for their wedding. When she heard that our wedding was scheduled for June 1 she decided that since she and "Donny" had been together longer than us that their wedding should be first and set her wedding for the Saturday before ours. I was miffed, but figured that it wasn't a big deal since there would be no conflict. She put together a wedding on a shoestring budget (which I thought was admirable since they were buying a house) and in a very short period of time. I attended two of her bridal showers and brought nice gifts to both. She didn't attend mine because she was too busy with her wedding plans. Jim and I attended their wedding and gave a large gift of cash (which was requested in the invitation) and attended the punch and cake reception in her in-laws garage (they had a keg of beer later in the evening, but we decided to forego that). The following Saturday Jim and I were married and Donna attended without Donny (he was moving their stuff into their new home). At the reception I saw her WEEPING at a table directly across from the head table. I went to her and asked what was wrong and she proceeded to WAIL that my wedding was prettier and nicer than hers. And that if she had had the time or the money, she would have had a wedding as nice, or nicer than mine. This was in front of 300 guests, who all heard her. I tried to soothe her by reminding her that her new hubby was moving things into a house they had purchased because they decided on a small wedding, but it didn't help. She grew more and more agitated until finally my Maid of Honor marched over, picked up Donna's purse grabbed her arm and DRAGGED her out of the room. I didn't hear from her again until about 4 months ago, when she sent me an invitation to her baby shower -- I don't think I'll be attending.

I got married for the first time five years ago, when I was 21. It was a large, lavish affair for over 200 people and the ultimate commencement of the rest of my life with my high school sweetheart, whom I'd been dating for nearly 5 years... I sent out beautiful cream and gold invitations that had our first names -- Nora & Dan -- printed prominently on the front to numerous friends, family, and coworkers. We had been engaged for nearly 2 1/2 years and my now-mother-in-law had been talking about our wedding to her friends and family for that long, if not longer.

Most of my invitees came to the wedding and a good time was had by all. After the honeymoon, my new husband and I stopped by my parents' house to open gifts and all the cards that had come as well. One of the things that struck me as being odd was the number of cards that came addressed (from my husband's family and his mom's friends) to "Dan and Norma", "Danny and Moira" or "Dan and Laura". I think one relative may have even called me "Cora". These were all people who had received invitations and surely could have checked them (or called my mother-in-law) to double-check the spelling of my name before they wrote their greetings.

What was even more suprising was that quite a few people had written, "Hope you have a healthy child!" Apparently, due to my age, they had assumed I was pregnant, even though no one ever asked (some co-workers of my mom's had confronted her at work about how they felt that I was "ruining" my life, as I found out later). Imagine how suprised people must be that I'm now almost 27 and still childless! :)    Guests0330-01

I love your site, I've learned quite a bit about Western Etiquette and I've been taking notes =) I have an eyebrow raiser for you: I'm getting married this July. My fiance's father is insisting on inviting the woman he's openly having an affair with. He is not paying half a penny for our wedding and threw a tantrum when my fiance expressed concern about inviting TOW (The Other Woman). Just _concern_, mind you, my fiance didn't even give his idiot father the faceful that he deserves. My sweetie and I are the type to err on the side of generosity if we're not sure what to do. We offered the compromise that we invite TOW, but not the rest of her family. It would be awkward enough for her to be there. As well, my fiance and I are paying for the whole wedding and it's a pretty significant size already (guest list of 300). There are rumours now that he will not attend our wedding over his unreasonable request. I just hope that staying away is _all_ he does... =P Guests0428-01

After a lovely church wedding, we joined my cousin Alex and his wife Susan for the reception at the local hall. I'm from a small town where wedding receptions are relatively informal - often, family and friends contribute to the buffet supper, and the overall effect is of a warm, and joyous event. It was especially sweet when during toasts, Susan's stepfather who had raised her from childhood, and obviously loved her very much, picked up a guitar and sang a song he wrote for her wedding day. Dancing then of course followed, and they played the usual standbys: "Tie a Yellow Ribbon", and "Thank God I'm a Country Boy". When they got to Billy Idol's "Mony Mony" - I was floored - the crowd (i.e., my family) was bellowing out the adolescent chorus: "Get Laid, Get F&%@*d!" I turned to the dance floor to see who was leading the lewd chorus only to find the mother of the bride shouting at the top of her lungs! Guests0430-01

A few years ago I was the maid of honor at a wedding in a desert locale. The
bride and groom picked an outdoor location at a resort at the foot of a
picturesque mountain. The reception was held to be held in the dance hall
where they met, and due to a greater than anticipated response to the
invitation, the morning of the wedding the groom rented extra chairs for the
hall and the bride's family ordered extra food to accommodate the expected

Since the wedding was supposed to take place outdoors, the bride and groom
carefully picked a date that was a full two months before the start of the
annual monsoon rains. Well, monsoon season started two months early that
year. It rained for the two hour window we had for the wedding to take
place. We ended up in a hotel conference room for the ceremony, much to the
dismay of the bride. Only about 40 of the expected guests came to the
ceremony, but we figured they skipped the ceremony due to the rain and headed
straight to the reception.

After the ceremony, off we go to the reception site. The 40 guests present
for the ceremony arrive shortly, but we wait for the additional 40 guests who
had R.S.V.P.'d they were coming, but who didn't make it to the ceremony.
They never made it to the reception. Half the guests who actually responded
they were coming, and for whom additional chairs and food were ordered, never
showed! As the maid of honor, I got to sit next to the bride during dinner
and try to keep her spirits up as she realized half the guests weren't
coming. But despite that disappointing beginning, the couple has had a very
happy marriage. Guests0514-01

My fiance's sister "Lorna" got married in New York City last month. She and her husband-to-be decided on an evening ceremony, followed by dinner and dancing until the wee hours. The couple invited about 125 guests and let it be known through word of mouth that they did not want children at the reception. Lorna's boss, who lives near the wedding site and has a young child, offered his house for use as Babysitting Central - he and his wife called their nanny, who agreed to babysit for any children whose parents could not make other arrangements. All the guests understood the wisdom in not having children at an evening, adult-oriented affair. All were happy with the child-care arrangements...that is, except for one couple, "John and Jane", who whined and complained about having to leave their three-year-old son "Bobby" for the evening. Lorna spoke to them with increasing desperation and emphasized that (1) no other children would be at the wedding; (2) the ceremony started at 7PM, which is Bobby's bedtime; and (3) the site didn't allow children (this last was a little white lie, but the wedding was held in an industrial loft space, so at least it was a plausible little white lie). Of course, John and Jane showed up at the wedding with Bobby, who was overexcited and cranky. They stayed less than an hour, with one of them always in the corner trying to calm down their fussy child. The kicker: Lorna discovered that John and Jane had called several other guests, including Lorna's boss, and encouraged them to bring THEIR children to the wedding so that little Bobby would have other children to play with!   Guests0609-01

I once attended a Catholic wedding in which the bride and groom were very young and still in that somewhat self-absorbed stage, which ended up causing a logistics problem. Many of the invited guests were not Catholic, and the ceremony went on for an hour and half, so people got bored with the liturgy. This was something the guests were willing to put up with, though, since it was a sacred day that was important to the couple. The problem was when the couple asked everyone to go directly to the reception in the church hall, then kept all the guests waiting for two hours while they took photos. That was the limit of people's patience. So...some of the more troublesome guests amused themselves by tying helium balloons to ice cubes and floating them to the ceiling, thus creating a rainfall in the middle of the reception hall. I'm getting married in June 2001. While I don't necessarily hold the couple responsible for the rainfall, I will NOT be letting the guests get bored.

I had always dreamt of having my wedding reception under a tent in my parents' backyard. As the planning progressed, my mother, father, and I realized that our budget was much too small to do justice to the very large tent. Fortunately for me, my mother's friend, we'll call her Jane, owns a rental company. Jane offered to loan us any centerpieces, serving pieces, or candleabra that we needed. On the day of the wedding, I was overwhelmed with how beautiful everything looked! The ceremony was beautiful and the music was beyond my wildest dreams. We had even rented a trolley to take us to the reception. While we were taking pictures after the ceremony, my brother, who was one of the ushers, let us know that there was some sort of disturbance outside. We all assumed he was overreacting, so we waited until after the pictures to see what was going on. When I stepped out of the church with my new husband, Jane was on the trolley with her children, cursing at the driver, various guests who were trying to intervene, and ME! She wanted to ride to the reception in style, and refused to get off until she had done so. Her voice carried so far that the people who lived across from the church were coming out of their houses to see what was happening. Needless to say, I had to do some fast talking to smooth things over (she had, after all, loaned us thousands of dollars worth of decorations) so she would get off the trolley and allow the wedding party and families to get to the reception. What a mess! Guests0611-01

 My husband and I had a lovely June wedding with plenty of sunshine. Unfortunately, not all of the chairs at the sit-down reception were shaded, requiring some guests to sit in the sun. One guest approached a man seated in the shade and said, "Excuse me, my wife recently underwent chemotherapy and needs to avoid sunlight. Could she trade places with you?" His answer: "No." Eventually, the guests moved the tables to place them in the shade (and perhaps to lose the selfish guest, who was at the buffet). Guests0616-01

My husband and I started making our wedding plans quite far in advance. One of the first things we decided when we went to look at reception halls was that we wanted an adult only, evening reception. When we sat down to make out the guest list we did not include anyone under the age of 18. We proceeded to let friends and family know that their children would not be invited and asked that our parents do the same so that there would be no surprises when the invitations went out. Well low and behold my mother-in-law who is not a "communicator" decided to ignore our request. So when the invitations went out one of her "friends" who we will call Lucy pitched a fit. My mother-in-law called us and told us that there was a problem and she really couldn't tell Lucy that her children were not invited so just add two more to the list and she would pay for their dinners. We explained to her that this was not acceptable. We could not make an exception for one person because that wasn't fair to our other guests and besides we didn't want the children to come. It was our reception and it was our decision that we hoped everyone would respect even if they didn't agree.

In the meantime my husband ended up in the hospital with a heart problem and I get a response card back from Lucy with 4 dinners. I waited until my husband was home from the hospital to tell him about the response card and he in turn called his mother and told her that if she didn't call Lucy and tell her her children were not invited that he would. It was up to her. My mother-in-law's response "Lucy isn't just anybody. I can't believe you are being such a stick in the mud about this. What about what I want." Timeout!!! Who's wedding is this? I have never seen my husband as mad or as hurt as he was that day. The conversation turned into a screaming match with the end result being that she would call Lucy and tell her that the kids were not invited.

A few weeks go by and my husband gets a belated birthday card from Lucy, who by the way has never sent him a birthday card before, with a post-it note stuck to one side that says "Please tell your future wife's parents that we will not be attending the wedding since we cannot attend it as a family." The big day finally arrives and before the reception started we had all the family get there a little early to take pictures. And guess who joined us, uninvited... Lucy and her family! My mother-in-law introduced Lucy to my mother with tears in her eyes as her "best friend in the whole world." They hung around until the reception started and then left. But the fun didn't end there. At some point during the reception my mother asked me who a particular couple was that was hanging out with my sister-in-law. I said I don't know I've never seen them before in my life so I asked my husband and he said that it was his sister's college roommate and we hadn't invited them. I was never introduced to them but they appeared to have a good time eating our food and drinking our drinks. We never even got so much as a "congratulations" from them much less a card but we will always have the memory since they appear, groping each other, on our wedding video! Guests0725-01

I went to the wedding of two friends of mine about ten years ago. The ceremony was beautiful and the reception enjoyable of the guests at my table who didn't have enough money to buy drinks at the bar opened her "unsealed" gift envelope (which only contained $25) and removed $10 so she could buy more drinks. Then one of the guests (who showed up in shorts and a T-shirt with no bra, mind you) proceeded to dance provocatively and lift her shirt up and down for everyone to check out her massive décolletage. Guests0727-01

I had a small, intimate wedding that included a few friends and close family. My cousin, "April", RSVP'd that only she would be in attendance at the reception. Imagine my surprise when she showed up at my reception with not only one, but two, uninvited guests that I had never met before. Her contention was that she was going to bring her boyfriend at the time but wasn't sure if he could make it, so she invited a close friend of hers instead and it turned out that both of them could make it after all. She said she couldn't be rude to one of them and uninvite one, so she brought both to my reception. I was gracious about it at the time and made discreet arrangements with the reception hall to accomodate the two unexpected guests. Luckily I had my credit cards with me so I was able to pay for their meals and drinks. When my aunt scolded her for being so rude and not letting me know in advance of her guests (let alone the fact that I never met either of them), her response was, "So what? She can afford it!" Both of her guests got sloshed at the reception, by the way.  Guests0731-01

My best friend got married 3 months ago, and I'm sure if it was to be done again, she would leave a few people of her guest list this time. It all started the night before the wedding when I got to the bride's house, to find the bride in tears. I heard from the best man that one of the guest had decided that morning to invite her sister (who happens to be the groom's ex girlfriend) to the reception as she knew that some guests had to cancel at the last minute and that there were therefore some place available. The groom (by respect for the bride or for his own sake) refused to have her there. The guest in question immediately assumed that it was the bride's decision and processed to call her to give her hell. When the bride tried to explain that it was actually the groom's decision and that she would have to talk to him, the guest replied that since she had picked up the phone, it was now her problem! The guest then declared that she would not attend the wedding if her sister could not come, regardless of the fact that the bride and groom had already spent $60 on her and her boyfriend's meals and that it was to late to cancel with the caterer. The guest also declared that her sister had already bought a new dress especially to attend the wedding (she bought a dress the same day, before it was even confirmed that she could come?). Like if it was not enough, the guest then processed to call all their mutual friends and complain how unfair it was and to inform them that she would not be attending the wedding (probably hoping that her friends would take her side and decide not to attend either). Thankfully, none of the other guests got into those childish games; every one attended and had a great time. The bride and that guest from hell still aren't speaking. Guests0801-01

My cousin, Chad, married a beautiful girl named Kiley last summer. Their wedding was gorgeous, the dresses were beautiful and the church was perfect. Aside from her large family seeming like a rather motley and restless bunch, everything was fine during the ceremony. Our side of the family is very small, so the antics on the bride's side of the church were pretty obvious, but I thought nothing of it because there were a large number of teenagers. Everything at the church went off without a hitch. Now Chad and Kiley became Baptists during their engagment. This meant no liquor at the wedding, and certainly no open bar. The buffet dinner was nice and people seemed to have a good time dancing despite the lack of alcohol. The reception started at 8:00. By 9:30, the reception hall was nearly empty. Confused and dissappointed for Kiley, I began to gather my own family and said my goodbyes to the bride and groom. I had to take my elderly grandmother home 35 miles away, so I had planned to leave early anyway. The new Mr. & Mrs. seemed unconcerned that pretty much everyone had left. But I was wrong. I went outside in the parking lot to pull the car around for my grandmother and found a wild, drunken tailgate party in full swing. Kiley's family, apparently aware in advance of the lack of an open bar, had brought along their own beverages. Kegs full. Coolers were everywhere, ice spilled out of trunks and everyone, including all those underage, were rip-roaring-wasted and whooping it up. Many of the girls weren't wearing their shoes anymore, or even some of their clothing. People were hollering, guzzling, fighting. I managed to rescue my car from the lot and retreive my grandmother (also a staunch Baptist) without her witnessing any of the mayhem. I couldn't beleive that the attractive, smart, well-educated and well-employed Kiley belonged to these people in the parking lot. I no longer wonder why no one had ever met anyone from Kiley's side of the family until just a few days before the wedding.   Guests1004-01

I got married recently (September 2001). All the wedding planning was going smoothly until we started getting RSVP's - actually one RSVP in particular. My Aunt (my mothers sister, we'll call her Aunt Sarah) is a very selfish and out spoken woman. Always says what's on her mind without thinking or caring how it might affect others. For an example, Aunt Sarah told my mother one day, a few months before my wedding, that she wasn't going to bring my grandmother (her mother) to the wedding with them (they live near each other) because she didn't want to fool with her. Aunt Sarah said that my grandmother wouldn't be any fun. Real caring lady, huh? Well one day, about 3 weeks before the wedding, she calls my mother up to chat with her. During the whole conversation, my mother can hear my 15 year-old cousin (we'll call her Kim) in the background saying, "Can he?" "Can he?" over and over again. (Side note** This same cousin weaseled her way into my sisters wedding party as a jr. bridesmaid 5 years ago by doing this same thing..."Am I in it?" "Am I in it?" so what could we do but let her be in the wedding**)

Anyway, finally, after much whining from Kim, my Aunt Sarah asks my mother if Kim's boyfriend can come to the wedding. Now for a little background here, they live in KY and the wedding was in CT and my cousin is FIFTEEN. First of all, what is she doing with a serious boyfriend that she wants to travel half way across the country with at that age and second, this is a family function! It's not like she won't know anyone there! Not to mention that this idea is OK with my aunt?! Besides none of us even know this kid. Never laid eyes on him before! Anyway, my mother doesn't know what to say on the phone, so when my aunt asked, my mom just sort of pretended like she didn't hear her and ignored the question. So my aunt asks AGAIN. This time my mother brings up the whole traveling issue and "what would you do with him in a hotel? He obviously can't stay in the same room with Kim". To this my aunt responds "Oh. I hadn't thought about that".

So we think that is the end it one. Wrong. Two days later my mother forwards me an email from my Aunt Sarah that says how excited they are to be coming to the wedding and that they have solved the whole boyfriend and hotel room dilemma! They are going to be bringing the boyfriends’ mother too! I was floored! I mean this woman refused to bring my grandmother to my wedding but she is willing to bring her daughters’ boyfriends’ mother? How wrong is that! At $110 a head…that was a lot of money to spend on a complete stranger and a complete stranger’s mother! Needless to say, this won them a table in the back of the reception hall. And I can’t wait until the day Kim gets married, I bet I can dig up 4 or 5 people they don’t know who are just dying to go to Kentucky! Guests1005-01

I just got married recently, and naturally, a bridal shower was held in my honor. My MOH/sister asked me for a list of people I would like to be there, which I gave her, and she addressed the invites to exactly the people I had listed. The people I listed were the ADULT FEMALES only of each family, as is a fairly common practice at a bridal shower. I should have known that my fiance's 3 sisters would not catch on to that. The sisters showed up with their children. All of them. The youngest sister has an 18-month old son, who, while very cute and sweet, got into EVERYTHING in a home that has not had children in it for years, and thus was not baby-proofed. None of the dishes of nuts or candy made it through without getting turned over at least once.

The middle sister brought her 14-year-old daughter, who is about as un-, well, girlish as a girl can get. She had no interest in being there at all. She also has an 11-year-old, but she was the flower girl, and had to be there because we had fittings earlier that morning. The oldest sister, however, takes the cake. She showed up with her 4-year-old spoiled brat of a daughter, and her fifteen-year-old BOY. WHAT?!? Why would he even want to be there? He spent the entire time following me around, begging to have my car, which is a new sports car. My mother put out a special tablecloth for everyone to sign and write in their favorite recipe, or good wishes for us. The boy wrote, "I want your car." Lovely.

The little girl was a champion princess, and spent the entire time digging through my presents and standing in front of me during all picture-taking. Oh, and she purposely went over and and stood on the foot of one of my BM's, who had a severely broken toe. My BM had to bodily remove her from her foot. Needless to say, these 5 extra people changed our head count a little bit, and consequently we did not have enough food. Well, this boy and the teenage girl are rather, er, large people, and spent most of the time trying to get food. My mother had to stop the boy after he drank 4 glasses of lemonade, because no one else got any. My mom also had to police the food table, so they didn't grab a handful of sandwiches, when there was only enough for each to have 2.

I think what takes the prize is when the boy decided to run to the end of the line and scoop up handfuls of the small plate of homemade chocolates my aunt had brought. My mother made him drop them, and go back to the beginning, where he proceeded to reach OVER all the food and punch for the chocolates. In the process, he knocked over one of my mother's 40-year-old punch cups, shattering it into a million pieces. My mother had moved 12 times, and had never lost a piece from the set until now. I did not find out about the punch cup incident until later, or I am sure there would have been a scene at the party. These people are actually very nice and fun, but somehow their manners never took hold. Their own mother was there, and she is very conscious of etiquette, and yet never said a word to them! Sigh. And my husband wonders why I want to visit MY family on the holidays... Guests1017-01

The nerve of some people is beyond belief... Two days before my wedding, as I was running around doing last-minute errands and taking care of those numerous details - I phoned home to check in with my husband (then-fiancé). He informed me that it was urgent that I return a call to a *friend* named Dawn. She had called and wanted to know if it was "too late to come to the wedding". (Bear in mind, I never heard a peep from her in any way until that precise moment - and had sent out my invitations 6 weeks prior) I plunked a handful of change into the pay phone and called her right away. She said she never got around to sending in her RSVP and asked if she could still come. I told her yes, she was more than welcome to attend, and that I was really happy that we'd see her there.

Then she asked if she could bring a friend, so that they could give her a ride. Hmmm, okay - yeah, sure - bring her. Then she said she had lost the directions and the map that we had included in the invite. So I went over all of the directions, painstakingly, step by step for her to give to her friend. Meanwhile, I'm now running late for all of these little appointments and am a little frazzled about getting everything done in time. Since I had just paid the caterer and given him the final count, I raced back over to his office, added two more guests and paid for two more people. Long story short - guess who didn't bother to show up for my wedding??? You guessed it - Dawn! To add insult to injury, I never even heard from her again. But she did send a postcard to a mutual friend of ours about 3 months later. In the postcard she said, oh, sorry about the wedding - I just couldn't make it over there.

Thought I would add my own story about the Wedding Guest From Hades--in my case, it was my own sister! My husband and I decided to get married in a resort town about two hours from where we were living at the time. Much to our delighted surprise, about twenty friends and family members expressed interest in traveling at their own expense to see us get married. We'd planned a semi-elopement--the two of us plus a couple of friends as witnesses--but juggled our finances to accommodate a miniature formal wedding and reception.

Another surprise was that my middle sister "Randi" wanted to come. Randi and I, for various reasons, have never really gotten along, but when I was told that she'd be there I was pleased. Due to distance and time, this would mark the first time that my siblings and myself had been together in about three years, so I was looking forward not only to the wedding, but to the mini family reunion that would take place. Randi, however, seemed to have a mission that weekend--to be the biggest, rudest pain in the butt possible.

The first comment I heard from her when I stepped into the hotel room where she and my brother and sister were gathered the night before the wedding was a snide "Oh, nice invitations. Couldn't afford a separate reception card, huh?" She then went on to complain about the hotel, the flight (apparently it was my fault that she had a three-hour layover), the weather, and on and on. I was stressing as it was, so I just mumbled something along the lines of "Yeah, whatever," and left. The wedding went without a hitch, although per my other sister Randi was making more snide comments about my dress, the setting--a small chapel in the woods--and everything else. We had rented a trolley to take everyone to the lunch reception back at the hotel, and while I was chatting with my MOH Randi butts in and says, "Is it true that you aren't having any alcohol at the reception?" I said yes, and she literally shouts, "What kind of cheap b*&%$ are you? I came all this way and I won't even be able to get a BEER?" Mind you, she was complaining because I wasn't serving liquor at my reception, which took place at NOON! I kept my cool and said, "If you want to get hosed that badly, there's a liquor store down the street. Get whatever you want." And that's what she did--sat at a table with a bottle of rum wrapped in a paper bag, dousing her Cokes, shooting me dirty looks, and loudly complaining about "this cheap redneck wedding."

My husband (who had never met her before this weekend) finally had enough and shot back, "Unless you were tied up and stuffed in the luggage compartment, you came of your own free will, so shut the hell up or leave!" Even my sweet elderly aunt applauded at that! Then to top it off, later that night when my husband and I were opening up wedding presents, we came across her card. She had made up a fake check and stuck it inside, writing on the card, "I forgot my checkbook." Never mind that she had written a check--in my presence--for my other sister the previous night. It's been over three years, and family and friends STILL talk about what a b-word-that-rhymes-with-itch Randi was that day ... Guests1021-01

Hi Jeanne. First, I have to say that your website entertained (and sometimes horrified) me as I planned for my wedding. Little did I know that I would have a story to tell here! All of my friends told me that I absolutely had to submit this, so here it goes. I have a very complex family, in that there are half siblings, step siblings, and "family members" who aren't really family. Luckily, I have some very wonderful friends, and so I had no problems picking my attendants. I had three of my best friends and my step-sister "Nadine" as my attendants, and my fiance's niece as a junior bridesmaid. Everyone was wonderful, there were no issues in the group, and it appeared as though we would have few, if no problems planning for the wedding. After a few bumps and bruises in the vendor process, we were on our way to a perfect wedding day!

Well, unfortunately, the wedding itself was not to go off without a hitch. Our wedding was planned for September 15th, 2001, which is, in my opinion, a perfect time of year to get married. Unfortunately, many of our plans had to be re-routed due to the events of 9-11. Our pastor got deployed to New York, and many of our friends and family could not attend due to travel restrictions. We also had to cancel our honeymoon to Ireland. Well, we took all of this in stride, and decided to have a great day, no matter what. A certain family member wouldn't let that happen.

The day of the wedding, my other step-sister "Jennifer", who I only see maybe once a year or so, showed up just as I was about to enter the meeting house. She was dressed in a skin tight, low cut, high-rise black and hot pink dress, with 6-inch heals (she's already 6 ft. tall!). With her was her no-good boyfriend, "Greg". No one in the family likes Greg, and there is good reason! By the time they showed up, he was already drunk and unruly. They made it through the ceremony, only annoying a few of the people around them, so I was unaware of the situation, or what was to come! At the reception, Greg hit the bar, and proceeded to get even more drunk and unruly. My new sister-in-law saw this and decided to tell the bartender to cut him off, which they did. Unfortunately, this "upset" Greg, and he proceeded to get rather loud and boisterous. A couple of people herded him outside, and Jennifer followed behind, yelling and fighting with him the whole way.

I, in my newly wedded bliss, thankfully missed most of this. Well, outside the reception, the fight escalated, and Greg smashed the windshield on Jennifer's car. Someone called the police, who quickly arrived and arrested Greg for public drunkenness, disrupting the peace, and domestic abuse. Suddenly, Jennifer decided that she didn't want to fight with Greg, so she took it upon herself to start attacking the police officer that was arresting him. Next thing you know, she's also in handcuffs. At this point, my whole family is outside (I missed all of this, as I was "working the room"), and Nadine, trying to do what she thought was right, tried to get Jennifer to calm down. Well, she got in the middle of all of this, and she also got arrested. The police carted all of them off to the station to try and sort through everything.

Well, now it came time for my mother to break the news to me. She pulled me aside and gave me the scoop, and to my credit I took it rather well. My one question was "Can we get Nadine back". I figured the other two could cool off for a little while. She assured me that they were working on it, and I went back to the party. A short while later, while I was dancing, I looked down and realized that Nadine's shoes were sitting by the stage. Suddenly, everything that had happened hit me like a ton of bricks, but all I could do was laugh. I had this mental image of Nadine, sitting in jail, in a bridesmaid dress... barefoot! She made it back  soon after that, and we laughed about the whole situation. Jennifer even made it back before we left, and she apologized for the events. I made her promise not to scare me again like that, and my new husband and I left for our hotel.

We've gotten lots of comments on how great an evening it was, and surprisingly, most people didn't know about the "extracurricular" events until we told the story. My older brother "Sam" had a lot of fun telling all his friends about what a great party it was, and how the cops showed up! Of course, he doesn't tell the whole story. Now for the conclusion: Jennifer and Greg finally broke up, and she is now seeing a nice guy. I've only met him once, but he seems to be 100% better than Greg. This story is often told around the dinner table, and the whole family laughs about it. I'm just sticking to my belief that it's not a party until the cops show up... that, and all's well that ends well. Guests1130-01

A few years ago, the older sister of my best friend was getting married. My friend and I were so much alike that even our own mothers had occasionally confused one of us for the other. My friend and I were acting as chief ushers for the wedding. At the wedding, it was wonderful, and happy, and a bit of crying like normal, and then "Beth" shows up. She had evidently had a "crush" on the both of us during high school, and had never quite gotten over it. Beth is a bit of a big gal, slobbish, and quite unpleasant; needless to say, she wasn't on the guest list.

My friend and I had both recently graduated from a military academy, and we were wearing our matching dress uniforms for the occasion. Beth, as soon as she arrives, goes into the banqueting hall next to the chapel that has already been prepared for the reception. She then proceeded to eat quite large portions of the entree, and helped herself to the wine the bride's father had brought back with him from his most recent trip to Japan. My friend and I got wind of this just as the actual ceremony was starting. So, rather than being with a woman I considered all but a sister on her big day, I was attempting to peacefully remove an unpleasant woman that I had never liked much anyway from the next room. She became quite stubborn and was already well on her way to drunk (that Japanese wine is stout to say the least). She then proceeds to pick up a tray filled with brisket and barbecue sauce (it was a Texas wedding, after all) from the buffet table, and threw it at the two of us, ruining our uniforms. We tried for several more minutes to get her to leave quietly, but to no avail.

Eventually, we just picked her up bodily, and carried her to her car. She was kicking and screaming the whole way, and we were doing our best not to hurt her. Her kicking gave my friend a bruised collarbone, and my left wrist was broken. Then, as we put her down, and tell her to leave as politely as we can, she launched into a most unladylike string of profanity that would have made a Marine blush. At this point however, the local Sheriff, an uncle of the groom, came out of the chapel and arrested her for disturbing the peace. He loaded Beth into his squadcar and took her to the county jail and left her there for the night. And, in short, the reception was interesting as there was no food (it was on us) and no bride as she insisted on going to the hospital with us, but then she always was a real lady. Beth was infamous from that point onward, and moved away about six months later. Guests0115-01

My husband, Drew, and I got married 15 years ago, when I was 18 and he was 21. Drew's brother Adam had been dating a 17 year old girl for three months at the time of our wedding. I didn't know Maggie well, but invited her to the wedding because it would mean a lot to my new brother in law. Maggie showed up at the church in a white lace gown. It didn't bother me at all at the time. I just remember thinking what a scream for attention it was. I didn't get mad until the reception.

As soon as the guests were all seated and dinner was served, she and my brother in law launched into a skit they had written to 'roast' the bride and groom. They dressed in costumes and performed various routines. Some of my brother in law's material was humorous, but all of Maggie's was horribly insulting. She put on a wig and pretended to be me. She primped and paraded and declared that I never pass a mirror without admiring myself. She announced that I was only getting married for attention, had mental problems, and played with Barbie dolls. It was all performed in a vicious manner with no humor intended. None of her material came from any encounters she had with me. She had never even been to my house. She humiliated me in front of all my family and friends, and my mother's whole church congregation, many of whom didn't know if what she was doing was a reflection of me or not.

This fiasco lasted for the entire reception! There was no time for anyone, including my husband and me, to mingle with guests at all! Almost all of the reception photos are of Adam and Maggie doing their act. They drug it out so long they had run out of ideas but still kept going for over 2 hours! Drew and I didn't feel we could say anything to shut them up without appearing rude and we were hoping someone would tactfully end the embarrassment. Finally, my mother in law got them to wind it down, but not before many guests had left. Adam and Maggie managed to monopolize Drew's and my wedding reception. What is supposed to be one of the most memorable days of a person's life was ruined for my husband and me. It was obvious that while Adam was planning to poke innocent fun at his brother and new sister in law, Maggie, in her white lace gown, was planning to be the 'bride' on my wedding day. Unfortunately, this woman is now my sister in law.  Guests0130-01

Well, I don't know if this is outrageous enough for this website, but I've always wanted to be able to send something in. A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were at a wedding reception. We ran into a friend of my husband's who was supposedly "seeing" one of my best friends. Only the date he had with him wasn't my friend (who hadn't even know about the wedding.) I was nice, though, and chatted with her anyway. Due my husband and the friend's connection, we were assigned to the same table for dinner. The friend's date sat next to me, and we continuously chatted. After a while, it became apparent that the table was overcrowded, and the guy who couldn't find a seat was getting a bit tiffed. He kept showing his card, which had the table number and all. He had a choice of sitting at an empty extra table all by himself, but instead he was able to get a waiter to crowd in an extra setting at our table. After all the fuss, the friend's date leaned over to me and said "I hope this wasn't all on my account!" Astonished at the remark, I peeked at the name card between her and her date. It only had his name on it. Not even an "& guest" which some people had. He had brought this date without ever RSVPing for her! They should have sat at that empty table rather than make other people work around them! Okay, okay, not shocking, but definitely a burr on any wedding planner's butt! Guests0109-01