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My friend D and her husband B have been really sweet to my now-husband and me over the past few years, so naturally we invited them to our October 2005 wedding. They are involved in some kind of multi-level marketing (MLM) program, kind of like Amway, but it's all catalog-based.

After we got home from our honeymoon, my husband and I found out that they were shilling for this business DURING OUR RECEPTION to the other guests at their table! They also talked one of my husband's friends/work colleagues into giving them her phone number, on the pretext of going out to hear music or something. Then of course they called her all about their business.

This is not the first time they've cornered friends of ours at other parties in the hopes of enlisting them in their business, but I feel doing it at a wedding was especially tacky! I see nothing wrong with giving someone your business card at a social function if the other person ASKS for it, but this was neither wanted nor asked for!

I haven't spoken to D about this. My imperfect solution for now is to just not invite them to our parties in the future. They certainly have a right to develop their business, but we don't want our other friends to worry that they're going to have to listen to some sales pitch when they come to our home!



This story was told to me by my father who witnessed all this as a teenager. The events took place about 50 years ago. It is still being talked about in my family. 

My dear aunt was getting married to a man whose mother did not feel that my aunt was good enough for him. The reason? His family had money and our family did not. MOG (a woman who HAD to be the center of attention) did not hesitate to point this out to anyone who would listen.  Given the modest means of my widowed grandmother (MOB) at the time, she managed to put together a lovely wedding (about 25 people). Very simple, yet beautiful.  

Because of the size of the wedding, the guest list was limited to siblings, parents and grandparents. My great-grandmother was one of the guests. Our family was simply but appropriately dressed for this wedding. My great-grandmother (who had the least amount of money among us) had her best dress on - a blue dress with polka-dots that she wore on Sundays to church. She was also wearing the only jewelry piece she owned - a simple gold chain around her neck. No other accessory except for handbag and shoes. MOG was dressed to the teeth. Jewels, furs, designer gown, etc. She looked very out of place for this sort of wedding. I'm sure she did not like how my family was attired. She particularly did not like my great-grandmother's outfit at all. During the reception, my great-grandmother was accosted by (drunk) MOG. She loudly demanded: "Mrs. *******, where are your JEWELS?!"  Without batting an eyelash, my great-grandmother quietly replied "Home with their children!"   

Got to hand it to Great-grandma! At least SHE had her priorities straight and could take care of herself. When my dad told me that, I was never more thankful and proud to be a descendant of this terrific lady. She had more "class" in her little finger than MOG had in her entire body. This kind of comment should not be said to anyone, particularly to a poor elderly woman who raised 8 children, largely by herself. Goes to show that abundant wealth does not necessarily mean abundant manners.   By the way, MOG proved to be an equally obnoxious MIL. For over 30 years, she made my aunt's married life very difficult.       



I invited my long-time friend from high school and university, "Ariel", to our wedding, and as I also really love her parents, I wanted to invite them, too.  I have known Ariel and her parents for many years and had celebrated holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions with them in the past.  Even though Ariel and I weren't as close as we used to be, she and I would get together on occasion to have coffee and catch up. When I saw her parents around town, they always invited me to stop by their house and visit.  I assumed that we were still friends and on good terms.  As my wedding approached I didn't have a whole lot of leisure time, but I'd still see Ariel at work occasionally (we work in the same building, but for different companies), and she and I would talk.

Ariel's sister, "Jessica" had recently moved back home with her parents after a drawn-out divorce.  I didn't know Jessica that well, but decided that it would be rude to invite everyone in her household and not her, so I invited Jessica to the wedding as well.  I expected that Ariel, her son, and her parents would attend.

On the day of my RSVP deadline, Ariel and her parents had not sent back their cards, but Jessica had - and she had RSVP'ed for two when I had invited only her.  I thought that maybe she was RSVPing for someone else in her family who was also invited, so I called Ariel and Ariel's mom.  Ariel's mom informed me that she and Ariel's dad wouldn't be attending - I was surprised, but didn't ask any questions.  Ariel never called back after I left her two messages.  The second message was basically "I haven't received your RSVP card, so I understand that you're not coming to the wedding.  I hope that everything is okay and that we can get together after I get back from my honeymoon."

Two days after I left that message for Ariel, I came to work to find an envelope at our reception desk with my name on it.  It was Ariel's RSVP card - declining, of course.  I was so steamed that she dropped off personal mail at work.  I had just received a wonderful promotion to management and was trying to assert myself as a professional in an office of (mostly) older men.  I felt like this was intentionally rude and very unprofessional - the card had a perfectly usable postage stamp on it!  I took this act (and the fact that she would no longer return my phone calls) as the message that she was throwing my invitation - both to the wedding and my voicemail "invitation" to see me after my honeymoon - back in my face.

I was pretty upset that Ariel used my wedding invitation as a vehicle to hurt me, but I scraped up my feelings and moved on.  The day of the wedding, Jessica showed up alone.  Apparently she had RSVP'ed for herself and an uninvited date, but the date wasn't able to make it.  I heard that after she found out her date couldn't come, she had offered "her seats" at the reception to her parents, but they said no.  Jessica had also informed some of my guests that her sister didn't come because a mutual friend and I never invited her to lunch with us.  I was floored.

Six months after my wedding, I'm still puzzling over what happened with Ariel and her family.  I still see her at work quite frequently, and she won't even acknowledge my existence.



I was at a wedding last month of a close friend of mine.  Everything had gone well, great weather, everyone was crying happy tears. Until the reception was well under way that is.  We were all dancing having fun and I look at the bride who suddenly drops into a chair and starts balling her eyes out and her face shows a look of shock.  I couldn't see what she was looking at and thought maybe someone stepped on her train.  I looked at the groom and saw that he was livid about something - his hands were balled into fists!  I looked past the dancing group and saw the bride's ex-boyfriend (they broke up like 3 years earlier) was standing there in jeans and a dirty t-shirt, smiling like an idiot!  Well, needless to say he wasn't in the hall very long thanks to a few of the guys and was "nicely" escorted out.  We didn't realize it, but one of the guests (a-used-to-be close friend of the bride's) asked the ex to pick him and his girlfriend up from the reception, but told him to come in and find them instead of meeting him outside.  How many weddings do you have to attend to understand that there is a reason people don't invite their ex's to their weddings!!!



I had to laugh when I read in the "Guests" section of the latest updates about how rude it is for guests to change into comfortable clothes right after the ceremony, because I once witnessed the opposite.

My husband (then fiancé) and I were invited to the wedding of an old friend of my husband's from college.  We got the invite orally about two weeks before the wedding because the groom didn't have our address and didn't know where to send the invitation.  I felt strange about going because of the last minute invite, but I was assured that everything would be fine, that our presence was truly wanted, and that we wouldn't be messing up any head counts or seating charts.  As it turned out, a lot my husband's friends from college were there and were happy to see us.  They had told us that the groom really wanted us there and had been trying to track us down for months in the hopes of finding us and inviting us to his wedding.

Before the ceremony, while standing outside of the church, I was being introduced to my husband's friends and friends of the bride.  I was introduced to several young women who all had their hair, makeup and nails done professionally but were all wearing jeans and casual tops.  These women turned out to be very close friends of the bride and appeared to be her bridesmaids.  I assumed that they just got to the church and would be changing into their dresses before the ceremony.

The ceremony started and the procession was very short; no bridesmaids or groomsmen.  The ceremony was beautiful and afterwards we all went to the reception.  Imagine my surprise when the DJ introduced the wedding party. The young women that I saw outside the church were introduced as bridesmaids and came into the reception room dressed in their formal gowns.  Apparently bridesmaids have no function at the ceremony.  But they sure know how to party.



I recently got married and my fiancé and I had a small wedding. On the invitations we included the names of those who were invited as we did not want people bringing  uninvited guests. 

About a week after the invitations were sent one guest contacted my fiancé's father to ask him if his married daughter and her husband who live in a different state, and have various drug problems, were included in the invitation. My fiancé's father told him that the invitation was only for him, his wife and possibly their 15 year old son who still lived at home, if they want to bring him. After this conversation we thought the subject was ended. Then on Mother's Day, which neither my finance's family or this guest's family celebrate, the same guest calls my fiancé's mother to wish her a happy Mother's Day and ask again if his daughter was included on the invitation. At this point my fiancé's parents were pretty irritated and explain again that we're worried about being able to fit everyone in the room and we cannot invite his daughter and her husband. 

About three weeks before the wedding we had most of the RSVPs in a realized that there wouldn't be a problem with seating as most of the out of town guests were not able to make it. At this point the guest called my fiancé's father again to see if his daughter and her husband were invited. Although we were annoyed by this and we probably shouldn't have, my fiancé called this guest and told him that he could bring his daughter and her husband to the wedding as we now knew that we would have enough room. In response the guest said that his daughter and her husband wouldn't be able to make it as they had to work and couldn't travel that far. We were left wondering what all the fuss was about, when the guest knew his daughter couldn't come. Then on the day of the wedding the guest and his wife never showed up after RSVPing that they would, leaving us to pay for 2 uneaten meals. I guess we should just be happy that he didn't tell us that his daughter and her husband were coming which would have made us waste more money.



My friends Robin and Sam will be getting married later this year. Robin has been planning a small ceremony and reception as this will be the second marriage for both the bride and groom and they would like to keep it to close family and friends. They are also trying not to break their bank funding an extravagant event.

Everyone in our circle has known that they are invited to the event and whether or not they are permitted to bring a guest for several months, even prior to the invitations being sent out to allow time for travel arrangements.

One friend of the bride, Billy is widely regarded as having the worst kept secret in the world, which is his love (read: lust) for the bride, and conviction that had he only gotten to her first, she would be marrying him instead of Sam. This knowledge has made Robin regret her invitation to Billy to attend their wedding, however she believes that he will be fine and not cause a problem so goes ahead with inviting him.

One day, Billy asks Robin if she would mind him inviting a friend of his, Glenda, to her wedding. Robin tries politely, several times to make kind refusals ranging from "We really are at the limit of what we can afford for our guests" to "We have already allowed you one guest". Billy continues to pester Robin about this until she finally tells him the honest reason he cannot bring Glenda. Robin just doesn't like her. He finally drops it.

Later he decided that he will only be attending the ceremony and not staying for the reception at all.

I was personally horrified that a guest would not except the bride's gracious refusal the first time, without forcing her to lay out that fact that she dislikes the person and doesn't want them at their special day. Also, knowing the financial state of the bride and groom, a "good friend" would have taken the first answer and been satisfied.



He wasn't my guest, but rather one of a mutual friend (the bride) whose wedding we both attended, albeit not together. His name was Nick, we had met a few times and were always friendly to each other. Prior to the wedding, though, I hadn't seen him for the last year or so.

I attended the wedding alone and since it was a sit down dinner we had table assignments. I was seated with her co-workers with whom I was acquainted, but by no means did I really know them (we worked in separate departments for the same employer.) Anyway, all was fine as we pondered who the one empty chair at our table belonged to. Unfortunately, I was soon going to find out.

It was for Nick, who was late. I could tell he was embarrassed by this, and I also knew I was the only person at the table he'd ever seen before. In what turned out to be a misguided attempt at making him feel comfortable, I said "Hi Nick, it's been a long time since I've seen you." His reply?

"Not long enough."

I am very rarely speechless, but his comment stunned me. It was so out of nowhere and completely without merit....where the hell did this come from and what the hell was this guy' s problem? Meanwhile, I am acutely aware of my tablemates reactions which ran the gamut between a loud gasp, a muted "uh oh," an "oops" and then silence, as all eyes turned to me, ever so curious how I would react to this insult. All I wanted now was to come up with a quick retort, but alas it was not to be considering that a good comeback has a very limited time frame for it to be effective. The best I could do was a very poor Jim Carrey imitation, "Well alrighty then." Somebody else, mercifully, started another conversation and the tension eased. I didn't speak to him again.

The wedding was in November, and a few weeks later he sent me a Christmas card apologizing profusely and, yes, gave me his phone # because he wanted to make it up by taking me to dinner. I never called him.



 This happened at my own wedding. I'll be the first to admit it was....unconventional! lol. My (now) husband and I were very into the Goth scene at the time. I was actually a writer for a well-known horror mag, and hubby-to-be worked as a...well, as a "gore designer". Think slasher flicks, and you get the idea! We were, therefore, very into the scene--as were most of our mates. We chose to hold a Goth wedding--cemetery, memento mori-style imagery...the whole nine yards. It was a few years ago, and yes, I'd do things differently now...but at the time (and since!), my more-than-loving friends went at their leather togs with gusto and a good attitude.

I had to give you a rundown on my "untraditional" wedding before getting to the Main Course. A good friend of my HTB was invited with his guest. The friend (whom I'll call "T") was NOT a subscriber to our lifestyle, but had been more than supportive. and got completely into the swing of things. T's girlfriend, however, was another story! I didn't hear about it at the time, as I was a nervous bride and my friends and family (God bless my mum and sister!) kept this girl from me. But I gather she spent the whole ceremony bitching at those who looked "normal" (her quote) about the setting, lack of decor (we were in a cemetery! Would bows and flowers on the gravestones be more appropriate???) . makeup on boys (my mate and I have oodles of friends who are gay, straight, and everything in between. If they came in glitter and neon, if they were happy, I'D BE HAPPY. Who was this woman to belittle us?), and (gasp) my freakin' footwear! (I had a long dress, and chose to wear comfy shoes as opposed to new ones...)

So this stranger is accepting our hospitality whilst yipping to a LOT of our close friends about how "nasty" and "uncouth" we were. Even her Boyfriend was embarrassed by her behavior. She went off about our choice of a cold buffet (although we had a seafood bar (!) ), and refused to sit with any of our friends-- "T" actually went and set up a table for her, and her alone. so she wouldn't be "contaminated"!

The one interaction I had with her involved her commenting, "Wow, I'm amazed (hubby) knew where to put the actual WEDDING ring." I am quite pierced, and, in fact, have several tattoos. But what the heck? Do my browrings somehow nullify the wedding ring?

As a final indignity, this girl left a note IN MY BOUQUET, written on tissue, accusing me of making a mockery of marriage, and telling ME, the bride, to tell "T" that she didn't want to see him anymore!

...all I can say is that hubby and I are still deliriously happy, and T is now married--to one of my best friends! While we might not do things the way we did, neither Jay nor I regret our wedding. And all this girl did was prove to me that I have the best, most unjudgemental, most loving friends and family ever. They'll know me to read this, as they ALL remember her--and I love you guys!



I adore this site.  I'm in my early 20's and a recent college grad.  At this stage of my life, so many of my friends are getting married that I sometimes feel that it is my fulltime job to attend weddings.  One I went to was so far above and beyond that I just had to share it with you.  The bride had chosen a lovely reception site.  However her guest list kept growing and growing, forcing her to be a bit more creative with the seating.  A second room that opened into the first was reserved and a few tables were placed on the outskirts of the dance floor.  It ended up being okay, and there should have been enough room for dancing.  

As we stood in line for the receiving line and to enter the reception hall, a friend of the bride walked down the line showing us on the seating chart where we were seated.  I and several of my friends were among the first through the receiving line so we got seated quickly and had an excellent view of what followed.  Behind us, some of the brides extended family (her uncle among others) had just received their seating assignment.  Apparently it was not close enough to the head table, not as close as his family, and they felt slighted.  They jumped out of their place in the line and bullied the wait staff into moving the table.  Various family members in formal attire and wait staff moved the chairs, picked up the table, carried it across the dance floor, and plunked it down directly in front of the head table.  They then repositioned the chairs and set down.  The new table position obliterated much of what remained of the dance floor!  The bride, groom, and their parents were still in the receiving line and had no idea what had transpired until they took their own seats.  At this point, they held their tongues as there was no way in the world for them to move the table back and maintain any semblance of  decorum.  To this day, my friends and I still laugh at the audacity of those relatives moving the table.  Watching the guests try to dance around the table in the middle of the floor was also fairly amusing, and the offending relatives still had no idea what the problem was.



I've since been told by this girl that I overreacted, and she apologized for me taking it the wrong way, but never apologized for what I consider rude, inconsiderate behavior. Maybe you can tell me - am I wrong?

My husband and I had been together for several years when we finally decided to get married. This was my third marriage (what can I say, I was young and stupid the first two times) but his first - but he wasn't interested in a big gaudy affair or anything, which was fine by me. (My first wedding had been the church, veil & long train deal, my second wedding at the courthouse, so a small ceremony with close friends and family suited me just fine.) He and I had known each other since we were four, and had been friends on and off throughout the years. We decided that a really cute place for us to get married would be the local museum where we had gone to preschool together. We invited less than 20 people, mostly family and a few close friends, one of whom was a girl that had previously been our roommate. She'd always been sweet on my husband, and it made me a bit uncomfortable, but I figured I was reading too much into it. 

A week or so before the wedding she calls me up and asks me what the ceremony is going to be like. I told her it was going to be a small, non-formal affair - I was wearing a cream linen dress & jacket, my husband was wearing nice khakis and a cream dress shirt, and my future brother-in-law was officiating. She then tells me that she's found this GORGEOUS dress that she would LOVE to buy and wear to the wedding but she "didn't want to outshine the bride." I considered this an incredibly rude way to say she was worried about being overdressed, but figured I was being oversensitive - I'd gained a lot of weight in the last 3 years and was running kind of low on self esteem in that area. She and I had commiserated about such things in the past when she lived with us, and I thought she should know me better than to phrase it that way, but oh well. I laughed and told her to feel free to wear anything she wanted; I loved to dress up in frilly things as much as the next person, and if she felt comfortable wearing something much dressier than anybody else was wearing, to go ahead.

Fast forward to the wedding - it was POURING, so instead of the outdoor wedding we had planned, we ended up standing in the portico/ doorway of the museum on their front porch. We were running a bit late, as my husband and I are frequently late anyway, and we'd delayed a bit longer after THAT because we hoped the rain would let up. I'd discovered that the dressy shoes I was going to wear with my dress didn't fit after all (I'd not put them on in several years, and my feet had changed shape due to wearing Birkenstocks darn-near non- stop in the intervening time) so, laughing, I took off my hose and was standing up with my husband barefoot. 

We'd started the ceremony already, when out of the corner of my eye I see somebody walking across the front walk towards the door in the pouring rain. Keep in mind we're getting married IN THE DOORWAY, so whomever this is is going to have to have us move so they can get in behind us. When she gets closer, I realize it's our ex-roommate. She's wearing a gold-bronze BALL GOWN that is off the shoulders and shows some heaving cleavage, she's wearing more makeup than I am (I typically don't wear any, but for my wedding had put on a little bit), and her hair is up in a fancy braid-up do, and I think had pearls in it - I can't remember for sure now. She gets plenty of stares as she walks up and joins the group, but it's what happens at the reception that really tore it for me.

We're all in a little room with the wonderful foods that had been made - I'd made several cheesecakes and had decorated a tiered plant- stand to hold them in a cascade, had made butter mints with our initials on them, and friends and family had donated other homemade gourmet munchies and greenery for the table.... it was a pleasant time with family and friends and my husband and I were being congratulated and then this girl comes and sits down next to me, pats me on the knee (which I felt was done condescendingly) and said "See? I didn't outshine you after all!" Several of my other friends who were sitting near me sort of inhaled at this, and after she wandered away to flirt with my husband some more, my closest girl friend (who, incidentally, had been MOH at my first wedding, and had had to wear an awful dress - we joke about it now) leaned over and told me not to worry, that nobody can ever outshine the bride on her wedding day. I managed to blink back the tears, and thank her, and put it out of my mind.

So, am I out of line? Not only was she very late, she had to interrupt the ceremony to join, and she insinuated that the bride COULD be outshone. Wearing something way too dressy for the occasion I didn't consider a faux-pas, as she'd asked about it before hand, and the only person that I figured that would be made uncomfortable by it was her. It WAS a gorgeous dress. To finish off the story, my husband and I remained friends with this person, and later when our daughter was 9 months old she attempted to steal my husband from me. When he eventually figured out what she was doing, he told her he never wanted to see her again. Which makes me think that even back then she was trying to get his attention...



Recently, a "short-term" co-worker "Mandy" invited us girls from work to her wedding. She was a young college student just hired for the summer until she got married in August. While the whole office was invited to the wedding, only 4 accepted the invitation. Three of us four worked closely with her, enjoyed her company all through the summer, really hit it off, probably would have became good friends, if given more time. The 4th, "Betty" worked in a different department, probably never socialized other than a quick hello in the hallway, but chose to accept the invitation (as was her prerogative, I s'pose).

The wedding ceremony was lovely. While we knew no one but the bride, we had heard of all her wedding planning all summer it was fun to see it all put in action. As the wedding was ending, the minister announced that the sanctuary would need to be cleared so the photographer could take the formal photos of family, wedding party, etc... and the sooner they could get started the sooner the bride-and-groom would be able to come join us at the reception in the fellowship hall.

To three of us, that sounded great. We went out to the reception area, mingled, munched on appetizers, etc.... 2 of us brought cameras and took pictures of each other, waiting until the bride and groom came out and we could say hellos and maybe get a candid photo with her. "Betty" and her camera on the other hand, had their own plans.

She went back into the church and started taking photos of the bride, etc... posing for the photographer. They let this go on for a little bit, but photographers aren't too keen on others ruining their lighting with flashbulbs and taking advantage of their hard work posing the family so someone else can get a "free shot."

Bad enough, probably already worthy of a polite "boot out of there." But then Betty asked the photographer to take a photo of her and the bride. This, again, is in the middle of those formal wedding portraits. The bride spoke up and said to Betty "I'm sorry but this is for family and wedding party, only" Betty left in a huff, and came to us "Can you believe what Mandy just said to me?, how rude, embarrassing, I just wanted a photo, etc..." We kind of politely listened, not agreeing, but not wanting to argue either.

It is now 3 months later and every once in awhile Betty will ask if anyone has heard from Mandy. Betty's feelings are still hurt from the wedding. Just a random co-worker we worked with for 3 months, and she can't get over not getting her photo with the bride.



My husband is a senior, undercover officer with the local police.  Occasionally he is introduced to people that he already knows through his job (arrested, etc).   When my younger sister married into a very large family, our family didn't know a lot of her new in-laws.  At her wedding reception, my husband and I were introduced to many of her husband's relatives for the first time.   The best introduction came when we were introduced to the groom's uncle, a man who quite honestly resembles a troll.  The uncle brought his brand new "girlfriend" to the reception.  She was moderately attractive and certainly didn't seem a likely match for the troll.   It wasn't until we were out of the receiving line that I remarked about the uncle's girlfriend.  My husband just grinned and said, "I hope he's getting a good rate.  She's a prostitute from the downtown area!  We just arrested her last week."   I was too surprised to say anything.  I never did tell my sister that her new uncle brought a hooker to her wedding!



I used to work at a small family business that also employed a handful of non-family members. For the most part, it was a fun place to work, and we all mostly got along with a lot of laughs throughout the workday.   Anyway, when the bosses' daughter got married, of course the whole office was invited, along with their respective spouses. It was going to be a grand affair, held at one of the nicest hotels in a beautiful "tourist trap" town (my husband and I spent our honeymoon there), three hours for picture taking at a formal garden, huge catered reception - the whole nine yards. At least the guests know well in advance that there is three-hour gap between ceremony and reception, with nothing planned, so we can make other plans. 

Most guests get rooms at the hotel where the wedding will be hosted, so they can take a nap in between or whatever. Also, that way they can just crash after a night of partying - no calling cabs to prevent drunk drivers. My husband and I decided not to get a hotel room in order to save expense (we were rather tight on money at the time).   One of my coworkers decides that it's stupid to spend a whole day at the wedding, and she and her husband are only going to go to the reception. Everybody bites their tongues around her, but we all later agree that this is poor manners, though no one wants to say so and risk getting into a fight with her. But really, you don't show up for the free party without going to the reception unless it absolutely cannot be avoided. My husband and I planned to go to both ceremony and reception, as is proper - we'd just find some way to while away the three hour gap in between.   

But a couple of days before the wedding, while eating at a restaurant, my husband bites down a bone in what was supposed to be a boneless piece of meat, and ends up breaking a tooth all the way down through the root. In order to save it, he's going to need emergency surgery the day before the wedding where they will lower his gumline in order to save the root, so that he can get a crown instead of needing a partial denture. Needless to say, it will be very painful, and my poor hubby will be either in agony, or looped out on those unbelievably strong Tylenol 3s. However, we have already RSVP six weeks ago, so we really should go.   

So we show up to the ceremony, which is held outside. The ceremony starts about an hour and a half late, due to problems with the weather (first it rained, and a scramble to move it inside, then it stopped raining, and another scramble to move it back outside). Nowhere for us to sit while we wait in the hotel lobby. Everyone remarks on how pale my hubby looks, but like the stoic soldier he is, (he's in the Canadian forces) he does his best to endure it. At the actual ceremony, there are only enough chairs for family and the elderly, in spite of the fact that there are over 200 guests present. So my poor pale husband has to stand throughout, practically leaning on me and ready to pass out from the combination of pain and medication. Once this is over, we realize that there is no way that he can handle the three hours until the reception, let alone get through the reception itself. Even if he could, he can't eat anything, as the open wound in his jaw from the surgery is covered over with medical putty, and it will come off if he chews anything. And with the medication, he can't drink either. If we go, he'll probably end up passed out on the table. So we send our regrets to the bride and groom, congratulate them, and drop off the gift in the reception hall.   

Turns out that the coworker decided not to show up at all, even after RSVPing for both her and her husband. (He didn't show up either). Her reason? She changed her mind, and "just didn't feel like going". I thought this was beyond rude. My husband and I didn't go to the reception because of unexpected medical reasons beyond our control, not because we were lazy. But at least we made the effort to show up the ceremony.   BTW, I never received a thank-you note from the bride, or even a thank-you email. And I bought a very expensive gift off of the registry, which I had to have specially shipped in from across the country so that it would be in the correct color scheme to match their kitchen decor. (The registry information was included with the invitation as well - a definite faux pas.) And as a side note - one of the things on the registry was for a brand-new Jeep Wrangler! I am not kidding!



I am still reeling at the rudeness displayed before and during our wedding.   Firstly, I decided to invite all aunts and uncles and my cousins that I grew up with. As we are spread out now, weddings and funerals are the only time we catch up. I was unsure about one cousin who lives in the same city but went ahead and invited her and her husband, naturally. I received an email from her sister demanding to know 'what the deal is with inviting no kids to my wedding'. I was so stunned and furious. I told her that only teenage nieces or nephews of mine were invited and for out-of-state cousins, their children were invited. After all, I wouldn't expect them to leave them hours away. 

The relatives from hell arrived at my wedding-in jeans! My aunt and uncle were dressed dowdily and the emailing cousin, did not even speak to me. My parents were appalled to find out that not only did she not offer congratulations, she left early. This I found out when I was looking out for her for a photo. 

Then there is the sister-in-law and mother-in-law act. It seems SIL was intent on having her badly behaved son at the wedding from the start. After the invitations went out, MIL told us 'through the grapevine' SIL asked her if one child was left off the invitation by mistake. She apparently said 'Oh, don't tell them I asked' but of course we did hear about it. Almost 2 months passed and two nights before our wedding, my fiancé tells me via MIL that SIL no longer has a baby sitter for the uninvited child. I refused to do anything. I told my fiancé to sort her out (i.e.. speak to her and tell her it's not on). She had a babysitter (his half-sister) and had 2 months notice of our wedding. He was most unwelcome. That didn't stop SIL. 

The day before the wedding, whilst trying to transport my cake to the reception, I received a call. She thought I had suggested she call me. I did not. I had told my fiancé to speak to her and not bother me about it. She told me her dilemma. I told her mine-I had finalized the seating and payment. She was going to let her husband stay home and mind him and I reminded her that I had just paid for his meal. I asked her her preference-her husband or child as well. She told me she wanted her husband there so I gave in and said I would now go and pay for her son and make a place for him also. This does not go down well especially as 6 months later, she split from the all-important husband. My poor videographer had to endure the child constantly running into him and shouting into the camera. Most unpleasant for both of us. There were numerous other faux pas committed but I don't have all night......



DH and I were dating and living together for about 8 years before we got engaged.  Once we got engaged, we wanted to get married as soon as possible to get over all the fanfare involved with being engaged.  (mainly family politics)

DH’s family is HUGE.  His mom has 11 brothers and sisters that are living, and they all have kids and even some grand kids.  His dad has 12 brothers and sisters with kids and grand kids.  That’s a LOT of people.  Thank heaven that I have only 7 people in my entire extended family.

So, we ended up inviting 300 people… mainly all family and VERY few friends.  (due to money, of course.)  We initially wanted just immediate family – Moms (2), Dads (2), Brothers (3), Sister, Grandmas (2), Grandpa (1) and Niece (1).  Oh no.  We couldn’t do that.  It would be a TRAVESTY.  (According to our mothers)   So, we ended up cutting the list at 1st cousins and their kids. 

WELL.  When I put together the invites (Which my DH and I designed and made ourselves since we’re artists and we like that kind of torture) I did the “normal” thing of putting “Mr. and Mrs. S0-AND-SO” if we just intended a couple, “Ms. SO-AND SO and guest” if it was a not married couple, and “Mr. and Mrs. SO-AND-SO and family” if their kids were invited.  That was the outer envelope.  On the inner, I wrote out everyone’s individual name, including children so there would (in my naïve eyes) be no confusion.

On the return cards I had “Number Attending” and “We Decline” as choices.  MISTAKE.

I got “Number Attending” as high as 17 on one card.  SEVENTEEN?!!?!?!  Are you inviting your whole neighborhood with you?  I do believe I also had a 10 and a 7.

I was paranoid that the hall we rented would be shut-down by the fire marshal if everyone kept doing this!  (The hall only had a capacity of 350) 

So, lesson learned is to be veeeeeeeery specific who you’re inviting, and word that response card carefully!  Thankfully, my MIL stepped in and made some diplomatic phone calls for us.



I could write pages and pages about my wedding from hell (though thankfully the marriage is one from heaven!), but I'll just send in a quick story that won't be too recognizable, so as not to offend anyone.   My mother-in-law's best friend (I'll call her Jane) invited a Korean family to my wedding (mother and two teenaged children). These were people that my husband and I never met before. They were right near the doors of the church, and as my husband and I were recessing down the aisle at the end of the ceremony, we saw them and were whispering to each other "who are they?" I know that this isn't as bad a breach of etiquette as some, but I do think that inviting guests to someone else's wedding without even asking is rude. 

When I politely asked Jane who these people I had never even seen before were, she acted like nothing was wrong. Why should it matter that she brought them along, after all, they're only here for the ceremony, not the reception. Sorry, but a wedding ceremony is not a free-for-all entertainment event. Even if it doesn't cost the bride and groom anything to have you there (they didn't eat or drink anything) it's still rude to crash a wedding, no matter how quiet and tucked-out-of-the-way-in-the-corner you are. And I couldn't even say hello to them, because they didn't speak any English, and I don't speak Korean. All we could manage was a smile and a nod. How uncomfortable.   I think that the fault here lies with Jane. After all, the Korean family may have different traditions in their culture, and maybe this kind of behavior is acceptable in their own country. (They were friends of Jane's family, and happened to be visiting that week.) How were they to know, since Jane, a lifetime resident of this country, told them that it was okay? They did give us a card and a cash gift, and I dutifully sent a thank-you card. I don't blame the unexpected guests for Jane's faux pas, but I still shake my head at the audacity of Jane to invite people that my husband and I didn't even know to our wedding.



Last summer, my fiancé and I attended a wedding for a close friend of his. My fiancé owns an amateur league football team and this friend was a member of his coaching staff. The wedding as a whole was a very nice affair. The couple's closest childhood friend officiated the wedding and gave the sweetest sermon. Now, onto what made this affair truly unique: When we made it to the wedding, several guests had already arrived and were drinking beer in the parking lot. Several of these guests were players on the team. As more of them arrived, more beer was pulled out from the back of their trucks. All in all, I would calculate that roughly twenty-four beers were consumed within fifteen minutes and plans were being made for someone to head to the store for more. My fiancé insisted we stay in the parking lot until it was time to be seated for the ceremony despite his obvious discomfort at his friends' drinking. While waiting, I noticed that few of the guests had neglected to dress for the occasion. The invitation had stated that dressy attire was required but guests were coming in jeans and t-shirts. Of our group, only four of us had dressed appropriately. My fiancé, myself, another friend and his girlfriend. The girlfriend was wearing a lovely dress and looked beautiful but it was somehow diminished by the large tattoo on her shoulder of a bald eagle in front of the American flag. The wife of one of the groomsmen wore a tank top, shorts and sandals. It was just horrifying to me and plain disrespectful of the happy couple's wishes.

Once we were seated for the ceremony, I noticed the tuxes that groomsmen were wearing. Now, I think it was tacky but this is simply aesthetics and the groom's is obviously different than mine. However, the vests and bow ties of the tuxes were camouflage. Particularly that which is known as "real tree." I was amused and a little shocked by this. But once I thought about it, I actually appreciated how it reflected the groom and his friends' interest. They are all hunters. And, I thought it rather nice that the bride was okay with this because it showed that she accepted her husband as he is and loved him for it. (It's not like I can say anything myself. Me and my fiancé are each marrying for the second time and have chosen a simple ceremony and dressy casual attire for our summer wedding next year. So, I plan on wearing an orange slip dress and he wants to wear a tan silk shirt and linen trousers.)

I noted in the program that the groom and his attendants were going to have their own processional down the aisle. I had never seen this done before at a wedding but I thought it rather fun. Again, this is another item that isn't so much tacky as tongue-in-cheek after I had a moment to consider. But, they came down the aisle to theme song from "The Dukes Of Hazzard." It was kind of funny. Not so much when the bridesmaids cam down the aisle. In the program, the song they were to walk to was called, "Where My Girls At?" My first thought was that it was all about sisterhood and friendship and isn't that sweet? Well, something about it just seemed wrong when the song played. I couldn't quite make out all the words but it just bothered me. Please note, that this isn't a criticism of the choice of music itself or its appropriateness. That wasn't what bothered me. It was the lyrics. I just knew something was off.

I shrugged it off thinking that I must have misunderstood something. I turned my attention back to the wedding. It was lovely and very touching to see a couple so deeply in love. The rest of the evening went smoothly and we had a lovely time.

A few days later, I was still troubled by the lyrics to the aforementioned song so I looked them up online. This is not a nice song. Especially not to dedicate to your friends at your wedding. Essentially, it warns the "girls" that they shouldn't bother trying to steal the singer's man. I'm certain that the bride had no idea. She would not have had it played if she knew. She's well liked and has a wonderful reputation as a sweet girl and loyal friend. I've never told her because I just don't want to embarrass her.

It was by far the most interesting wedding I've been to. I'm disappointed that people couldn't be bothered to dress but I certainly learned a lot about graciousness from the bride. She is just a darling!



Many years ago my best friend attended an out of town wedding with her live in boyfriend who was the BM.  She had never met the groom or anyone else attending the wedding, but she's always up for a good time and figured it would be fun.  In order for her boyfriend to attend she had to split the cost of gas for the 8 hour drive to the wedding and the hotel expense. 

After driving 8 hours to the wedding, he was quickly whisked off to perform duties and attend functions, she sat in the hotel room alone for the entire day.  That night he attended the bachelor party, while she once again sat in the hotel room.  Not one other person in the wedding party even inquired where she was.  The next day he once again performed duties the entire day, while she sat alone.  She attended the rehearsal dinner with him and had a great time.  Until the groom's father approached them at the table right after dinner, while all the guests were still seated and asked her boyfriend for $40 for HER dinner.  Her boyfriend quickly paid him, but my friend was mortified.  Not one other person had been asked to pay for their own meal, including other groomsmen's dates. 

The BM had informed everyone he was bringing a date and no one mentioned it would be a problem.  She ended up staying in her hotel room for the wedding also, as she just couldn't face the other guests.



A co-worker of mine and his girlfriend got married a few years ago. They'd lived together for years, had a son together (the world's coolest nine year old), and were having a quick ceremony and simple reception for what everyone assumed was insurance purposes.

I ran into another co-worker ("Mike") at someone's party who announced he'd received an invitation, and we were all so surprised the couple was getting married, but excited. Everybody loved them. Mike said he needed a date - did I want to go with him? Of course, I'd love to!

The week of the wedding I was out of town, but rushed back early that morning, showered, and met Mike at the hall (this was not a date). We had a drink and greeted the bride and groom who seemed VERY surprised to see me there, but ever the gracious couple were welcoming and I passed it off as nerves. After a short and lovely ceremony, everyone went to the next room to eat. There was no seat for me at the table where Mike was assigned - it turns out his invitation did NOT say "and guest", and instead of formally RSVP'ing for two, he told the groom he'd be there in a passing conversation. So as dinner was starting people were scrambling to find a chair and place setting, and the rest of my co-workers looked embarrassed for me as though it were my fault. I was absolutely humiliated.

I'm getting married soon, and if anything like that happens at our wedding I hope I'll be as gracious and accommodating as this couple was.



Although the faux pas was narrowly averted in this story, I still feel a twinge of guilt when I recall it. It was a second wedding for both the bride and groom. Their children, all young adults, stood up for them. This was that rare combined family where everyone genuinely seems to like one another. It was one of the loveliest ceremonies I've ever attended.

The outdoor setting was idyllic. The weather couldn't have been more cooperative. The decor and attire were all in keeping with the dignified elegance of a second wedding. The couple's chosen vows were sincere, touching and beautifully delivered. In short, everything about the ceremony struck just the right note. Up until the end, that is.

It concluded with the beaming couple serenading each other with a famous sappy love song. Ordinarily they were pleasant and capable singers, well-accustomed to performing in public. I don't know if it was nerves, or if they were choked up with emotion, or maybe they forgot to do a vocal warm-up or something. All I know is that they laid an egg and it was funny! The perfection of all that had preceded it seemed no more than an elaborate setup to this unexpectedly hilarious burst of bad operetta.

My companion that day was a woman who shares my own wicked sense of humor. When the intro began our adjoining hands shot out toward each other in mutual support. Tighter and tighter we held that grip as on and on the newlyweds warbled in and out of key. I'm not being a nitpicky musical critic, this was an unmistakable travesty.

Never in my life have I fought harder to stifle the urge to laugh. Not only would the merest giggle have been rude, it would have sent me rolling. I planted my feet firmly in the ground. I bit my tongue and froze my face. I drew slow, measured breaths through my nose. I dared not make eye contact with my companion. I could tell by the death grip we shared that she too was enduring a similar ordeal.

The duet couldn't have lasted more than three or four minutes, but that's an eternity when you're trying not to laugh. Before they were done, I had two or three tears rolling down my cheeks. I could only hope that if anyone noticed, they would think I was weeping at the beauty of it all rather than crying in painfully suppressed mirth.

At last the song was over, thus ending the ceremony. In the ensuing applause, my companion and I collected ourselves, quietly gasping for air. A casual reception was announced to follow immediately in the same location. Before joining the throng in congratulating the bride and groom, my companion and I had some urgent business to conduct.

Without exchanging a word, we made a beeline for the nearest exit. Four or five of our friends in the crowd spotted us and joined us. Our little pack strode with a purpose several blocks down the sidewalk, not stopping until we found a spot well out of sight and earshot of the wedding party. There the nasty lot of us collapsed in fits of riotous laughter. The long-delayed release made it all the funnier. We were bent double in pain from laughing so hard.

Finally spent, we returned a few minutes later to the reception which included a plenitude of good wine and excellent food. We were relieved not to have spoiled any part of that otherwise delightful occasion. Now that I'm a little older, I think it's more important to remember how tenderly the couple looked into each other's eyes as they expressed their love that day. But I doubt I'll ever quite forget how the sound of their music nearly delivered me and my friends into Etiquette Hell.



My fiancé and I were getting married, and while our wedding was an intimate one with only family and friends, we invited over 60 friends and additional relatives to a formal, very expensive, dinner reception the following evening. I felt compelled to ask my boss to attend, and he graciously gifted us with 6 place settings of our flatware. He could be quite generous at times. However, he did not RSVP to the reception. I contacted him before my catering cut-off and asked if he'd be able to attend, and he said he "might" be able to at some point during the evening. Well, with no idea what his choice of meal would be, or whether or not he would actually attend, or even if his wife would accompany him, I did not include him in the head-count (it was over $125 per person). 

Wouldn't you know, the evening of the reception he showed up alone just as dinner was being served (about an hour after the reception had begun with cocktails and appetizers). I was extremely embarrassed that I did not have a meal prepared for him, but since I had one no show, I quickly asked him which entree he'd like, and asked the restaurant staff if they could please arrange to have his meal expedited. He seemed a little miffed that I had not prepared for him, but under the circumstances, what was I to do?



My own wedding story - my husband and I threw our own wedding at a very beautiful, but relatively small cape cod venue, because we paid for everything ourselves. We had about 50 guests, just the closest family and friends. One of my uncles from Indiana who arrived early was giggling to himself quite a bit in the days before the wedding. Finally the night before the wedding, my father pried it out of him - about 5 of my relatives out there who had declined to answer their invitations had decided to "surprise" us and show up at the wedding. The night before the wedding I scrambled to re-do the table arrangements, get in contact with the wedding coordinator to ensure that they would have something to eat, and get favors made up for them. Our wedding was relatively informal (men wore suits or khakis and women wore mostly sundresses or casual dresses - this was already seen as insanely casual by the 5 star restaurant we chose to host our wedding at) but they showed up in t-shirts... they had decided I guess that a weekend vacation on cape cod with a free dinner was a good idea after all.



My husband and I had a small wedding about two weeks ago. Because my family was unable to attend, my husband's cousin helped me to dress before the ceremony.

My husband's cousin had shown me the dress she intended to wear to the wedding, and, though I recall thinking that it was very revealing and a bit outdated, I told her I was sure she would look very nice in it.

Imagine my surprise when, as I was applying makeup, she called me into her bedroom, sat me down, and said:

"I'm worried that I'm going to look so good that I'll outshine you. I just wanted you to know so that you didn't get your feelings hurt."

My jaw hit the floor. I didn't stop crying until right before the ceremony began.


Page Last Updated May 15, 2007