Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


Main Page/Home

The Faux Pas Archives
Wedding Etiquette

Bridesmaids and Beastmen
Bridal Showers
Bridezillas and Groomonsters
Faux Pas of the Year
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme
Guests From Hell
Tacky Invitations
Wedding Rugrats
Just Plain Tacky
Tacky Toasts
Thank You Notes From Hell
Tacky Vendors
Wedding From Hell
Wicked Witches of the Wedding
Perfect Bride
Bridesmaid Dress Incinerator



Everyday Etiquette

Baby Showers
The Dating Game
Ooops! Foot in Mouth Disease
Funeral Etiquette
Gimme Hell
Holiday Hell
Just Plain Tacky
It's all Relatives
Every Day RugRats
Road Rage

Business Etiquette

Bad Business Etiquette
Merchants of Etiquette Hell
Bad Bosses

Faux Pas of the Year




Press Room/Contact


Just Plain Tacky

Jan-Jun 2000 Archive
Jul-Dec 2000 Archive
2000 Archive
2001 Archive
2002 Archive
Jan-Jul 2003 Archive
Jul-Dec 2003 Archive
Jan-Jun 2004 Archive
Jul-Dec 2004 Archive
Jan-Jun 2005 Archive
Jul-Dec 2005 Archive



DH and I had a small wedding with 3 attendants each. His best man was his only brother. Following the wedding, we had a reception in the church hall. We took most of our pictures before the ceremony so the meal was served about 30 minutes after the mass ended. Immediately after the meal, his brother and his long time girlfriend got up to leave. I was very surprised that they were leaving so early and asked them why (I now, of course, realize I never should have questioned their desire to leave but I was young and rather ignorant of proper etiquette). BIL’s girlfriend says they have to leave because they have to get back to town in time for her to return the dress she was wearing! She promptly pulled the tag out of the back of her dress to show me while saying, “You didn’t think I would actually go out and BUY a dress just for this, did you?”



My senior year of high school a long term friend decided to marry her boyfriend. This was strange, considering the fact that she was 1) still in high school on the date of the wedding 2) Not pregnant or anything that Southern tradition would nod upon 3) she hand delivered invitations roughly two weeks before the reception (Ok, we can't always find addresses or anything---but couldn't you at least try? And yes--reception. The ceremony was courthouse type.) This was just slightly strange/tacky. The reception got me. 

First, she was dressed in a white prom dress( very nice) and some of the guest were dressed for a nice, casual wedding. The majority of the guest however? Ratty jeans and t-shirts. We wait around talking for the groom to show up with the food since he and his friends were cooking it all (it was actually good). What do they show up in? Jeans and ratty t-shirts, tattoos on display. But, they brought the food--and the kegs. This is what got me. She was trying to act very classy and important for getting married (she shamed us for not knowing how to fill out RSVP cards) and she had not ONE, but THREE kegs. I'm not against alcohol at weddings, but kegs? Isn't that reserved for Frat parties? Needless to say, many people there got very, very drunk. The MOB was so wasted, that as they loaded the kegs, she tried to climb into the bed of the pickup truck, demanding another beer. 

And the cake cutting? Let's just say I spent half an hour in the bathroom with the bride trying to wash cake out of her hair. Oh--and they opened their gifts at the reception. MoG said it wasn't kosher. I informed her of course not--it was redneck. I never received a thank you card for my gift come to think of it. Oh well, I didn't expect one after that afternoon.



I was living with my mother a couple years ago, when one of my step-father's friends got engaged. Mind you that they had been together for about twenty years and had two children together. They were the epitome of trailer trash. Anyways my mom and my stepfather were both in the wedding along with their two kids. The wedding was to be held at a bowling alley not far from our home. They wore a tux and full length gown. The ceremony was quite tacky not to mention funny, but anyways the best was after the wedding they both changed and the bride wore a pretty blue dress. The kicker was her now husband who is so tacky comes out in a pair of bib overalls and a t-shirt that looked like a tux. It was hysterical. The reception was in the same place or should I say, the same room, as the wedding. While the bride and groom changed, me and my mom had to reset the room so people could dance. There was no food and everyone was drunk and stupid, including the groom, who didn't even go home with his wife. Needless to say this was by far the tackiest wedding I have ever been to or hope to attend in my life.


Here is a story about a wedding that, on the part of the bride and groom, was very poorly planned, though not particularly rude. I think what really took the cake, rudeness-wise, was the poor behavior of the guests. But people might also benefit from seeing how poorly-planned an event can be.

In the first place, the bride and groom were upset at each other, and grumpy all day long. They apparently had had a fight that morning. The groom was also upset that at the last minute, he could not afford the make and model of rental getaway car he really wanted, and had to settle for typical rental car, which no one would have noticed were it not for his bitterly complaining all morning about it-- the car looked fine to me.

After my friend "Andrew" and I (my friend was a groomsman AS WELL AS the photographer-- meaning NO GROOMSMAN IN THE PHOTOS-- how's that for planning?) decorated the getaway car before the ceremony (Andrew had bought the decorations as surprise), the groom saw the decorations and got really angry and said it was sloppy and tacky and looked trashy. So we took off most of the decorations. This did not cheer him up.

Then, the groom revealed that he had brought along his videocamera and wanted the ceremony and reception recorded, but he had no tripod, nor anyone lined up to do the videotaping. Andrew the photographer/groomsman could not, since he was doing the regular photography. Stupidly trying to cheer up the groom (btw, groom is an old high school friend of mine), I volunteered to videotape the ceremony with his camera. This is 30 minutes before the ceremony, mind you! And suddenly I’m the videographer!

Ceremony goes relatively fine, except for bride and groom can't stop scowling at each other-- could not drop whatever they had argued about that morning-- and also the flower girl was not wearing a slip under her dress and she really did need one. You could very clearly see her underpants outline. There were about 40 people in attendance. My arms were sore from holding the camera still, without a tripod, for an hour, but I worked really hard to make the recording as artful and professional as possible (very long ago, I did go to college for TV production), beginning and ending the entire taping with the talented church piano player, zooming in and out and showing appropriate faces at appropriate times, etc. I really put effort into it, so it would turn out nicely.

Then we go downstairs to the church hall for some sort of pre-reception reception, which confused me and which I did not expect to even take place. But this pre-reception was really lovely, if simple-- a big sheet cake and a fruit and cheese platter and punch, all set up by the Church Ladies' Hospitality Club or whatever. It was really pretty, and nicely done except for the use of disposable dishes and forks. People were cheerfully chatting and having a lovely time. But then, when only half of all the food on platters had been eaten, people abruptly start gathering their things and heading out for the REAL reception, which was at a community center across town.

This community center had a big multipurpose room, with walls of white-painted concrete blocks. This was the site of the real reception. The center would not allow alcohol or candles, and also disallowed any taping of decorations to their pristine white concrete block walls. It all looked very sparse, and sound really bounced off that concrete!

Guests arrived and were sitting around, watching and waiting, as family of the bride and groom were still setting up the reception tables and chairs. Centerpieces were a wire candle holder with candle on them that, due to the center's restrictions, could not be lit, and that's probably a good thing because with any vibration or bump to the tables, the centerpieces toppled right over, being poorly constructed and top-heavy with the unlit candles. We seemed to sit around for an eternity with no food or drink, while the reception was still being set up around us.

The wedding favors were those tiny bells you are supposed to ring to have the bride and groom kiss. And there was nothing else to do so people were sitting around absent mindedly ringing the bells, and for the kids, that was all there was to play with. ALL AFTERNOOON AND EVENING, I want you to imagine the constant noise of those damn little tinny bells, ringing and ringing and ringing. People just would not let up, especially the kids, who were understandably bored cranky and hungry. And the bridal couple was STILL annoyed with each other and would not kiss when you rang the bells, anyhow. I sat around close to two hours, listening to the start to DJ play, getting a headache from the bell favors, slowly realizing as people trickle in that the reception is set up for about 80 people, not 40. HALF THEIR GUESTS had skipped the ceremony and only showed for the reception! Plus most guests were wearing absolutely the most casual and sloppy of street clothes, including one young woman who was wearing the same "rap-video-chic" camouflage-inspired hoochie outfit (camouflage with rhinestones attached, that is) that I noticed she had also worn one week previous, at the bridal shower. I wondered if that was the only outfit she owned.

Another woman who I recognized as a former high school classmate of mine, was wearing ONLY the top half of a two-piece dress outfit, as she must have thought it was some sort of micro-mini dress. She was dancing all over the place in this garment, all afternoon, very dangerously close to showing everyone present a clear view of her entire rear end.

Finally, the Church Ladies and family members appeared again, with trays of homemade buffet food, which frankly, tasted terrible! The wedding cake came out of a MallWart box in front of everyone. I ate 4 pieces, starving because the dinner food was so gross.

At this point, other family members commandeered the video camera away from me, and started passing it around, everyone taking turns taping. Eventually, people are dancing, people with the video camera are dancing, and then I notice some pre-teen cousins are alternately rewinding the tape to see what’s been taped, then starting to tape again without putting the tape back to the proper spot. THEY TAPED OVER MOST OF THE CEREMONY I HAD WORKED SO HARD TO RECORD! The bride told the kids it was OK, and shrugged at me saying it didn’t matter. It mattered to me-- I had worked hard on trying to create a nice video for them. All I could think was that the video was probably unviewable anyhow, with the audio being so full of those damn little bell noises (even through the speeches, the bell ringers would not stop ringing the crappy bells).

I would have left early but “Andrew” was my ride and had to stay until the bitter end, when everyone had left and the bride and groom released a bundle of helium balloons into the sky for ‘fun’ (I hate when people do that-- it is basically littering via helium!). I don’t know why they didn’t just have the pre-reception in the room under the church BE the ACTUAL reception. It was 100 times nicer than the crummy dinner reception in the community center, and they could have saved all the expense of the terrible center, terrible food, terrible centerpieces and terrible DJ. People were happy and fed at the pre-reception, and were all in a good mood. Sending everyone home happy after the pre-reception would have been a much better end to their day!

After Andrew and I had helped the bride and groom shuttle their gifts to their final destination (STILL grumpy and bitter at each other and generally being irritating pills to be around), we went out to Wendy’s to finally eat something. Also, no thank you notes were ever sent for the shower and wedding gifts at this wedding.

The couple is still together and, although they have their “moods,” they really are a lovely couple, just seem to be clueless about etiquette matters. They have a cute little baby boy now.



I love your site. It sure has helped me learn what NOT to do for my wedding!   Anyway, the wedding I am writing about is my step cousin's, Blondie. I was close to Blondie when I was very little, but as we grew older we grew apart to the point that we didn't keep up with each other. However, when I received an invitation to her wedding I was more than happy to attend.

As always, I arrived with my parents slightly early. While I was not surprised to see two of my cousins, Blondie's half brothers, as ushers dressed in tuxes, I was surprised to see a third usher dressed in a t-shirt and jeans. He had been coming from out of town and his luggage was lost, and no one had bothered to scrap together something more fitting. We took our seats, however, and waited. We waited, and waited, and waited. The time for the wedding to start came and went, with no Blondie. It was hot, and the church we were in was not well ventilated, and eventually over the protestations of the wedding planner we, all of the guests, the groom and the minister, ventured outside.

By this time I could tell that the groom was getting nervous at the prospect of being stood up. He wasn't, however. An hour past the time that the wedding was supposed to start, Blondie arrived with her sister Kate. We all filtered back into the church and took our seats, but the wedding did not start. Kate has a few decorative items in her car that absolutely had to be arranged before the wedding could proceed.

No mention at all about why they are so late. No apologies either.   No matter, the wedding starts. Blondie is looking beautiful, but she has gained weight, and she literally looks as though she is about to burst out of her dress. To this day the best that we can figure is that her dress no longer fit and they were late do to letting out seams to get her to fit into it. The ceremony starts, and we are a bit miffed about having to swear to God that Blondie and "Dagwood" are meant for each other. My family is not religious and balked a bit of having to swear to God. My aunt (not Blondie's stepmother) who is religious balked at having to swear that they were meant for each other when she barely knew them as a couple. No matter, it was their wedding.

  The ceremony finishes. I see my other aunt (Blondie's stepmother) outside, looking royally upset. I ask her what was wrong and she says that she found that someone had stolen over $100 in cash from her purse! Someone steps in to calm her now, and we make our way over to the reception. The food was terrible. Due to the fact that the wedding had been so late in starting, the food had been sitting out too long and had gone bad.

My mom and I sent my dad out to get us some sodas (I was underage at the time, and my parents don't like the taste of alcohol), and he came back with three SMALL cups of soda proclaiming that these are the only drinks we're getting. They came at three dollars a glass! So hear we had this awful food, and nothing to wash it down with, thrilling.

I will not even delve into Kate's behavior at the wedding, other than to add that the guests started hiding from her. We left as soon as the cake was cut. No one ever received a thank you note. To this day we all have a good laugh over it, though.



Love the site!   My etiquettehell story happened several years ago. My boyfriend at the time was a student at a college a few hours away from mine.  He invited me to go to the wedding of a friend of his in a small town several hours from his campus.  The wedding had some minor annoyances but nothing out of the ordinary (the church had no air conditioning and it was July for example).  However, the reception was another matter.  

First off let me say that what annoyed my boyfriend the most was that he hadn't been warned that there would be no alcohol or dancing, I believe that it was against the bride's religion.  Playing cards were passed out with the bride and groom's names on them instead.  Not my cup of tea, but hey, it's not my wedding.  What I found unbelievable was that while the bridal party sat up on some sort of stage in the front of the room, with linens, china and a catered meal the rest of us (approx. 200 people) were served a very, very cheap buffet and sat at cafeteria style tables.  The room wasn't even decorated.  While they ate steak we ate macaroni and cheese!   Now I can understand that the bride was from a small town, wanted to invite a lot of people and didn't have a huge budget for her wedding but for her to eat a meal completely different from what she was serving her guests seemed just beyond rude.  It was as if the bridal party was at a different wedding then the one we were attending.  If macaroni & cheese is all you can afford, so be it, but that is what you eat too!  My boyfriend and I were shocked that anyone could be so dense but we ended up laughing hysterically about in on the drive home. 



This wedding was the most interesting one I’ve ever seen. Christy and Steven were married this past Friday and the reception was held on Saturday at the bar. We arrived at 12:10, and were told verbally (no physical invitations were sent, despite being purchased by the Father of the Bride) that the reception started at Noon. Upon arrival, we saw the groom, we’ll call him Steven from here on out, hanging decorations. We showed up 10 minutes after they told us to and they were still decorating the bar area. Not a big deal. At no point does Christy or Steven actually come over to greet us. There weren’t many people there yet, so it wasn’t like they were really making the rounds. We kill some time by talking to Christy’s dad (my DH’s uncle).   Eventually Mary (Christy’s sister) comes over to us; she starts making the introductions and manages to introduce us to Steven’s mother and father (who were standing by themselves since they had arrived apparently). 

In the course of conversation with Steven, I learned that his real name is Stephan. No one but Christy calls him Steven, and that’s just because she never learned/bothered to say it right. Throughout the entire afternoon everyone is calling him Stephan, except for Christy. It was very awkward, because I wrote the wrong name on the card, because Christy always introduces him as Steven. She has never called him Stephan, ever apparently. (Apparently, it isn’t imperative that the bride actually know the groom’s real name.)   

Okay so then we get to the eating part at about 2 PM. It was a cash bar, and cash soda drinks too, but not that big of a deal. The food was awful. It was over garlicked potatoes, green beans, and some god awful meat. But whatever, I had a roll and figured DH and I would eat after leaving. It was fantastic, because the venue was a bar.  So the entire room was filled with other people who were constantly smoking (this includes some members of the “Bridal Party”). So we were all eating dinner/lunch at 2PM in a poorly ventilated smoky bar. Let’s just say I’ve had better meals at MickeyD’s. FWIW I don’t care if people smoke if it really bothers me that much I’ll move and it normally doesn’t. It would have been nice if the entire venue wasn’t a smoke filled bar, especially when the Bride is pregnant, but whatever.   

Christy and Steven have their first dance, which was really awkward. Apparently Steven didn’t know it was their song, or something because he said so and looked so confused for a while. There was no DJ so it was one friend playing a song from a CD <<insert large gap of time without music>> and then more songs. Before that friend showed up people were using their quarters to play songs from the jukebox. You had to pay to fill the endless silence, since apparently the bride and groom couldn’t have burned some CD’s in advance and put them on rotate or something. And there was a huge dance floor, because it was a country bar, but no one danced at any point, except for the family dances. It was really awkward.   

Now the speeches were just mildly hysterical. They started out with Christy’s dad giving a speech, which was all of 2 sentences long. “I wish you both a very (you’d think he was going to say happy, and that’s what he started out saying) long married life. Live long and prosper.” He didn’t do the finger thing, but it was really weird because neither the bride, the groom, nor the bride’s father is a trekkie. It was obvious that he just had no idea what to say. 

Onto the bride’s speech which was 3 sentences…She thanked Mary for putting everything together and all the guests for attending. And at no point did she mention the groom or her marriage, or love or anything even remotely mushy. It was WEIRD. The groom did a fairly decent job. He introduced himself as Stephan and thanked everyone for attending and said I love you to the bride at the very end. He tried and I appreciate that.   

After the speeches, cake was served, but most of the people didn’t know it because no announcement was made. We were all sitting on our bar stools and at our bar tables oblivious when people came over and offered us cake. And apparently they did the cake smashing. The cake and all the food and the champagne in small plastic medicine cups was really just awful. I understand that people try to cut corners on the food, but sometimes it’s just inedible. We left shortly after cake, since there was no dancing and we didn’t want to pay to put on music from the jukebox.   

As we were saying our goodbyes to the bride and groom and the family, Christy asked me when baby showers normally occur. I said about 2 to the 3 months before the baby is born, but of course you shouldn’t be planning your shower yourself, someone else is supposed to do that. She walks right over to her sister Mary, who had just planned the reception and the bridal shower and everything, and said, “I need a baby shower, when are you going to do that?” I kid you not!  I gave Mary a hug and we left. Mary and I will be hanging out this Friday and I really feel for her.   This was the tackiest wedding I’ve ever been to. FWIW I wore jeans, and the majority of other people did too (including the Bride's father), so I wasn’t out of place at all (after all we were at a bar). We wound up giving a $30 gift card to Target, which was a typical amount. Everything worked out okay for us, but I really hope Christy bothers to learn his name soon enough.



Page Last Updated July 30, 2007