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Here is my invitation from hell story, or should I say the
lack of one. This one came from a friend that I will call “Julie”.
Julie and I have been friends for 9 or 10 years, we met when I first moved to a
small town and she was the first neighbor to introduce herself. Our
children were the best of friends and we did everything together as families.
As time went on Julie and her husband and children moved but we kept in touch,
when she moved across country to New York we still called and spoke. As
the years pass unfortunately like many couples both Julie’s marriage and mine
end in divorce, but we move on with our lives and stay friends. During one
of our conversations approximately six months before my second marriage I call
to tell her my good news and she lets on that she has good news too and she is
getting married in two months!! Well, with me knowing Julie’s finances
are tight I call one afternoon and tell her that I found the cutest guest books
and would she like to see it? I would love to help contribute to her
wedding in some way, especially since I live across country and could not attend
any type of bridal showers. I send her the website and tell
her if she likes one then let me know and I will order it and pay for what ever
she chooses. A week or two pass and I haven’t heard from Julie so I call
and ask her if she has looked at the website yet, instead of getting any kind of
answer I get passed off to the person who is helping her plan her wedding!!
Well I speak to “Jane” and she proceeds to tell me that “we” are not
having that kind of a guest book and that they have already picked out a frame
mat for people to sign. My response is okay, is there anything else I can
help with? No they have it under control, is Jane’s reply.
A few weeks go by and I receive an email and it tells us to
“Save the Date” Julie and Brian are getting married. With that
information I start looking at hotels and flights across country. I call
Julie and ask for more specific details, she tells me the wedding is small, it
is on a Sunday, and in the afternoon. I explain that Sunday is tough and I
probably could not stay late, as I will have to get a return flight. Well
time passes and I never receive an invitation in the mail, the wedding date
passes, still nothing, five days after the wedding I get and email “now its
eight!” Well they got married, I respond to the email what a lovely
family, unfortunately I never received an invitation but I understand. Her
response to me is that since I “bitched and moaned” and they had a BUDGET
she didn’t send one to me. Now isn’t that nice? I am sure her
registry list will arrive any day now though. J
My mother received a wedding invitation from a young woman she
barely knows (the three of us were in the same volunteer organization
several years ago). The young woman is a real up-and-comer in Los
Angeles politics and so is her husband. When my mother opened the
invitation, she called me on the phone and said, "You have
to see this for yourself." Needless to say, I drove over
The invitation was large and lavish, and included a
bizarre listing of the bride's "sponsors" -- a passel of local
politicians, lobbyists, officeholders etc. -- as well as a full list of the
wedding participants, caterer, florist, wedding planner, etc. But the real
kicker was the small card that said, "In lieu of material gifts, cash
donations will be appreciated."
My mom decided the best way to respond to this card
was to take it at face value. She did not attend the wedding, but sent a
lovely note of good wishes to the bride and groom, mentioning that she had made
a "cash donation" in their names to a charity that she was sure the
bride would approve of!
There was a couple at our church that were planning a wedding.
First of all, they were extremely annoying always talking about how
"stressful" all this wedding planning was etc. The thing was is
that they were both in there forties and were the kind of people that think
everything is stressful. The kind of people that don't like kids and have
really bad taste, but are inflexible. You know the type? Well,
we did not receive an invitation to the wedding even though we were invited to a
shower. Now I know in some circles that is acceptable, but it still
bothers me to be invited to a shower to purchase a gift for someone when they
don't even want to invite you to the wedding, BUT anyway the worst part is yet
One week before the wedding we are having the "coffee
hour" at church and lo and behold the groom comes up and says, "Hi!
What are you guys doing next weekend?" I said, taken aback," Uh,
I don't know... umm.." He says (and I quote) "Well, we had some
of the people that we invited to our wedding back out, and we were wondering if
you would like to come to the wedding and the reception... kids are not
invited." I had absolutely no idea how to kindly respond.
I was extremely offended by this horrible behavior-- to be told to your face
that you are the "B" list or even "C" list, to be asked in
such an "on the spot" manner, and not even given the time to think or
respond. So, I said, "umm.. sure, I guess I will need to get a
babysitter then." Well, I was still steaming about it... the more I
thought about it the madder I got. I couldn't believe I had said yes,
but I was unable to think of anything else. In hindsight, I should have
said, "Thank you for thinking of us, but I am not sure I can find a
babysitter on such short notice or we have plans etc...." But I
didn't. I said yes. Having had a very simple wedding myself, I
can understand budget constraints, but I feel that it is more important to never
make anyone feel overlooked than to make your wedding some sort of exclusive
event (tacky event that it was). So as the week progresses, I
did something that was probably even more rude. We stood them up.
Completely... Never sent a gift... Never apologized... Nothing. And you
know what, I don't even feel guilty about it. To be honest, I had never
had someone be so incredibly rude to me (at least under the guise of being
polite). Either invite or don't invite, but don't make people
think that you are being thrown a bone. In other words, don't EVER say,
"Umm... the people we originally invited can't come... soo.... we were
Like most brides do, when I mailed out my wedding invitations,
I included a self addressed stamped envelope to contain the simple RSVP card I
had enclosed. Despite my attempts to make it easy for those invited to
provide me their response, I still had several invitations unreplied to two
weeks before the wedding. One of the couples, I'll call them Marty
and Holly, that we'd invited weren't close friends, but were friends
nonetheless and traveled in the same social circles. They had invited us
to their wedding but we had been unable to attend due to it conflicting with a
vacation that we'd planned months before the invitation had arrived. We'd
sent a gift from their bridal registry, a crystal goblet that cost more than $80
per stem. Their thank-you consisted of a pre-printed thank-you card with
the line, "we would like to acknowledge the receipt of your gift and thank
you for the (fill in the blank). We have purchased a new home and it will make a
nice addition. Here is our new address......." I was told by
another friend that only people who attended the wedding got a handwritten
My wedding was fast approaching and I saw Marty and Holly at
the party of another mutual friend. I still hadn't heard anything from
them as to whether or not they were planning on attending, I asked them if they
had received their invitation to my wedding. They replied "Yes".
I then asked if they were planning on attending since I hadn't received an RSVP.
Here's how Marty responded, "Well, since we hardly know you, here's the
deal-- we have season tickets to (their alma mater's) home football
games. If it's raining, we'll go to your wedding, if you look
outside and see sunshine then don't count on us." He chuckled and gave me a
condescending pat on the shoulder. Keep in mind that he said that he
hardly knew us yet had invited us to THEIR wedding. Luckily, my wedding
day dawned bright and blue and those boneheads decided to cheer on their team.
The topper is when I ran into them at a party almost a year later. Holly
told me to hang on that she'd had my wedding gift bouncing around in her trunk
for almost a year. She went to her car to retrieve it and as she handed me
the plain white box she half-heartedly apologized for not having time to wrap
it. Gee, almost a whole year with no time to wrap a small box.
Inside was a single fork from my every day stainless pattern. Retail value
8 dollars. Why bother?
I have a coworker that I enjoy, though we do not socialize
outside of the office. "Shelly" decided to move out of state and her
friends threw a going away party. The invitation requested that I bring a gift
that is associated with a bar in our hometown (for example, bring a gift to
remind Shelly and her fiancé of Bar X). I called to RSVP that I was unable to
After six months, Shelly has decided to move back home which
is all good as she is welcome back at our place of business and her wedding will
be here as well. I then received an invitation for her bridal shower. I have
never heard of a "bar stocking" bridal shower. I was explicitly
instructed to bring 750 ml of a brand vodka and a bottle of merlot. I
emailed to RSVP that I was unable to attend.
I recently received her wedding invitation (with typos,
unfortunately) and felt as though I should go given that she and I are working
together and I did not have a decent excuse not to attend. She then informed me
that she will be paying $50.00 a head and is spending so much money on the
wedding. Now I feel pressured to spend an equal amount of money for the gift for
a coworker that I do not know well. Ugh.
A very good friend of mine from high school was engaged to be
married in the spring of 2002. My wedding was in October of 2001 and she
attended our wedding. Her gift to us was a card with $20.00 and an
invitation to her wedding stuck in the card. Needless to say, we didn't
attend her wedding and gave her back the $20.00.
Here’s a tacky request that was on the wedding invitation
(4th marriage of course) ….
Having an already established household, the bride and
groom have not registered at a department store. In lieu of wedding
gifts, they would appreciate a monetary gift.
We were initially planning on giving them money as a gift,
after reading this request we went out and bought a very tacky wedding clock
personally inscribed (non-returnable) that hopefully will hang on their wall for
I've been enjoying your site for a few years now. It is
just too fun to give up. This wedding announcement was received by me 4
years ago, it was tucked amongst some pictures and found it again this week.
It's from a friend of mine and in addition to the "schedule of events"
that included golf, a spa day and a wine tasting tour, the pre-invitation
announcement contained this paragraph:
The Princess Bride
Once upon a time, in the very near future, there will be
an event you will not want to miss. On Friday, March 30, 2001, in a land
far, far away, our fair Princess Kandy and our handsome Prince Brad will be
joined in Holy Matrimony. A small Italian villa in the heart of Napa
Valley, California will host this magical event. The Smith and Jones
families will be hosting a magnificent celebration in honor of this momentous
occasion. An occurrence this significant cannot be contained in just one
day, therefore it will be held over an entire weekend of March 29 - April 1,
2001. The pleasure of your presence will be requested to be a part of
this wondrous occasion so start planning now so you are not left kissing a
frog at midnight. And everyone lived happily ever after!!
I kid you not, this is the exact wording (spellings, bold,
underline, everything). Also interesting is neither of these people, nor
anyone in their families, lived in California. They thought we'd all take
two vacation days to attend their wedding. The invitation arrived later
with four registries to choose from and the prices for golf, etc.
My friend is getting married for the second time and wanted to
be somewhat low-key this time around. She planned the wedding in about 4
months, nothing fancy, and no fuss, but her friend from work insisted on giving
her a "couples shower".
The girl planned a rather informal (cheap) shower and ended up
running out of invitations before completing the mailing. So she rushed
out to the store and bought similar invites to complete the mailing, but instead
of buying the same cards with a heart design at the top (the store was out of
them), the new invites had a baby carriage design at the top. It gets
This girl actually sent the invites to the remainder of the
guest list with an arrow drawn pointing to the baby carriage and a handwritten
note (in ballpoint pen ON the invitation) that read: "Pretend this is a
I thought this story was just too good to be left out of the
Ehell archives. Bride and groom were planning a wedding on a limited
budget. Instead of going with their initial plan, which was a low-key,
family-and-friends catered affair, they sent out invitations stating that in
lieu of gifts, the guest would be required to pay for their meal at the
reception, as they couldn't afford it otherwise. Anyone who couldn't pay could
not attend the reception. The actual amount was mentioned in the invite.
To compound this awful, awful etiquette sin, they also: -posted very similar
invitation information (minus the cost, payment details and location) in a
public blog to anyone who cared to come along - heartily abused (along with
their friends) anyone who commented that this was not really the done thing for
weddings - held their wedding in a different city to that of many of their
friends and family, who would also have to pay for their airfare and
accommodation to attend I've never seen a wedding invitation so
I don't actually have an ehell story (yet anyway), but I have
almost made my own faux pas, so I can understand how some of these incidents
could have happened.
I am getting married in 2 months and just mailed out our
invitations. We are both in our 30's and each had our own separate
households. Meaning that we already have 2 of just about everything that
you would normally register for. We discussed a couple different options,
one of which was the honeymoon registry. I have never been married before,
so when I saw all these different websites and travel agents that offered the
honeymoon registry I thought what a great idea - we can go on a great honeymoon
and only have to pay the difference between what people gave us and the total
cost. Sounded good to me. After talking to several people, most
agreed that the idea was a little tacky, so we decided not to do that.
Next, we went to the store and registered for various
household items that we could use. While at the store, the service person
who was helping us asked how many we expected at the wedding.
Approximately 100 people. She told us that we needed to register for 200
gifts (!!!), since most people would give us at least 2 gifts - and the more we
registered for the better. I thought that sounded a little odd, but since
when I give shower gifts, I do usually give a couple smaller gifts rather than 1
large gift, that sounded reasonable. Then she gave us 100 cards with our
registry number on it to include in the invitations. That seemed tacky to
me, so I didn't - for which I am grateful after reading some of these stories.
Unfortunately for those of us who have no experience with
weddings and invitations, we rely on the people helping us in the store to tell
us how such things should be done.
Thanks for a wonderful site that will probably give me
nightmares for the next 2 months till I'm done with my own wedding.
Page Last Updated May 15, 2007