Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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The day of my wedding, my new FIL stood up to give the toast and my husbands step mother yells out..."say something nice for me because I don’t have anything nice to say"

That was only ONE thing she did that day...but the one I'll never forget. Thank God I am divorced from him and his psycho family...his biological mother was going to miss the wedding to work the flea market instead. (This was the day after Christmas) She found someone to work for her for an hour and stayed for the ceremony only then headed back to the flea market...

All these signs I should have noticed, eh..

Toasts 0820/03

About a year ago, my fiancé and I attended the wedding of my cousin. She married her college sweetheart, and the bridal party was made up mostly of their college friends. During the toast, the best man decides to talk about when he first knew the groom was going to propose. He says that he and the groom were in New Orleans celebrating Mardi Gras. He was surprised to hear about the upcoming proposal at that time, given that they were surrounded by women taking their tops off to get beads. The conclusion he comes to--and proceeds to tell the whole group of family, friends, and of course the bride's father--is that my cousin "must have better breasts than God."

Toasts 0826/03

At my wedding a year ago, my father gave a toast that went over like a lead balloon. He said (in paraphrase), "I've seen my daughter grow through the years and have had a few laughs, like the time she fell in the toilet as a small child. She was so mad at me for laughing at her, that I think maybe that's why it took her so long to find a man to marry." (I was 32 when I got married.)

Everyone, including me, just sort of looked at him oddly, and clapped half-heartedly. I forgave him on the spot because I never did have high expectations for my own father's maturity. Later, my husband's aunt made a point of saying she thought my family was lovely, and then went on to compliment every immediate family member by name EXCEPT my father.

Toasts 0904/03

My husband's brother is well known for his selfishness. He was the best man in our wedding and gave the worst toast you could ever imagine. The speech was typed, single-spaced, on 5 pages, front and back. It lasted about 20 minutes and I (the bride) don't recall being mentioned once. The theme of the speech was "I'm losing my brother" and contained gems like "I can't believe he is getting married", "it's going to be so weird" and "we won't be able to hang out anymore". (Why not?) I was not welcomed to the family, not congratulated, not spoken to or looked at. And we get along just fine -- it wasn't intended to be disrespectful... apparently he's just a bad toaster.

He went on and on about how his parents sacrificed and drove crappy cars when they were little so they could provide for their kids and how much HE appreciated this. And how he (and the groom) were involved in sports and their parents would buy them all the gear and take them to their games. And that his parents had paid for the groom's dinner the night before and how they were also paying for the groom's dinner at HIS wedding, four months later, all while they were trying to retire. All of this is lovely... but what does it have to do with our wedding?

And there was just no end in sight. It had been 20 minutes, he was only on page 2 and was clearly ad libbing at this point. I'm looking around the room and seeing people staring in disbelief, pretending to shoot themselves in the temple with their finger and hang themselves with their ties. People are rolling their eyes and waiting for this miserable toast to end. So I nudged my husband and told him to interrupt. He ran up and hugged him and said "thank you" mid-sentence and took the microphone away, receiving a very large, thankful round of applause from the guests. I believe my brother-in-law's heart was in the right place, but his mind was not present. It really upset me, because after THAT toast, no one else wanted to follow... so the toasts ended and we didn't get any fun stories or congratulations. Friends and family from both sides later told us they wanted to say something but didn't dare after that lengthy toast.

Two years later... we are expecting our first child. We just broke the news to the famous toaster (over the phone - we are in different states) and then asked him to get his wife on the phone to share in the excitement. He snapped back "we aren't even talking right now" and launched into a story about how they are more like roommates than husband/wife and how she isn't being supportive of him after he got fired from his job... and then he went on and on about how he can't find a job. Finally my husband had to say "you're bumming me out, I have to go" and hung up on him. I've never seen such selfishness in my entire life.

Toasts 0909/03

My good friend from college was marrying a lovely man who turned out to have the most heinous friends. On the evening of the rehearsal, these "men" (using the term lightly) disappeared into the hotel bar for a few hours and were late arriving to the rehearsal. The poor bride was in a panic when they showed up nearly a ½ hour late for the rehearsal.

The idiot squad then began to goof around during the rehearsal, ignoring the wedding coordinator’s instructions and generally being uncooperative. They were eager, however, to get to the rehearsal dinner for the cocktail hour.

They kept drinking heavily during the rehearsal dinner and paid little attention to the toasts to the happy couple. Finally, one of them stood up and slurred, "The groom and I were in a car wreck in college…." (We’re all waiting for the possible punchline) "….and it was all his F-----G fault!"

The bride turned white as a sheet, our mouths dropped to the floor and the drunken table hooted and congratulated him on his performance. The bride’s and groom’s grandparents were noticeably offended. The bride’s mother then grabbed her purse and elderly mother and immediately left the room. I felt horrible for my friend as she chased after her mother and grandmother, near tears.

Fortunately, there were no other incidents during the wedding and reception, as the bride’s stepfather read all of the groomsmen the riot act the next day. Strangely enough, I don’t think any of them socialize with the groom anymore. (Do you think the bride may have had a say in that?) Toasts 1017/03

This website amused me prior to my wedding and now, after my wedding, I have my own etiquette faux pas story to share.

At our rehearsal dinner, after the lovely, well-wishing and touching speeches given by my now husband's family and friends, my family and friends started to stand up and put in their words. While their speeches were intended to be well wishing and funny, they made me want to crawl under the table.

My father said that he was proud of my accomplishments and wished me well.

Then he said that there wasn't much more he could say about me, because I spent my entire childhood in my room, and the groom probably knew me better than he did (ha ha).

One of my bridesmaids, one of my best friends from college, stood up and stated that for as long as she has known me, I have been a wonderful friend, and I would do anything for anybody. Then she said that I had a "long, spotty dating history," that I have been "hurt many times over," and that she was so glad that I was marrying my husband because he "fulfilled a large void" in my life that needed filling (yuck!).

Then another one of my bridesmaids, a great friend from high school, stood up. She said that she has seen me grow up into a mature, successful person (nice) . . . after my string of "bad prior relationships" (groan). My father added from his seat at the table, loud enough for everyone to hear that I just decided on the guy who refinished my kitchen for me (of course, this is not true).

Then my two sisters stood up. My younger sister gave a truly lovely speech about the bond and lifetime friendship between sisters. Everything she said was very nice. When she finished, my older sister chimed up, "Brian, we're just glad it's you." (Ugh!)

While I know that these speeches were well-meaning, no matter how inappropriate they were, I was nonetheless embarrassed about the impression that they must have given to my husband's family and friends, most of whom I had just met or was getting to know better. Additionally, I was surprised that my father would find it such in jest to poke fun at me on the eve of my wedding, considering he gave very nice speeches at both of my sister's weddings. As for my friends and older sister, they are smart women, two of whom have had weddings. I found it disconcerting that they would bring up prior relationships. Certainly no one brought up their past relationships at their rehearsal dinners!

So there we were girl with relationship issues and all-around great guy.

We tried to make our own speech but we never actually made our way through it. My husband tried to thank everyone and broke down with emotion. Then I teared up, and we held each other. I think that said it all.

Toasts 1026/03

At the rehearsal dinner, one of the bridesmaids, who had been drinking, gave a toast. It started off just fine, but then she ended it with "sometimes you do buy the cow!"    Toasts 1026/03

In September 2003 I had to attend the wedding of a co-worker of my wife’s. No big deal. I had met the bride before and we got along fine. I had never met the groom but had heard many stories about him and he seemed like a great guy. The wedding was to be at 6 PM at a local hotel. The reception was in the same hotel. We arrived just in time for the 6 PM ceremony and proceeded up to the ballroom it was being held in. The wedding itself was being held in the same room as the reception. On the left half of the ballroom were the tables (for about 150 guests) and on the right side were folding chairs arranged in rows for the ceremony. Well, 6 PM came and went. As did 6:30. Then 7. Then finally at 7:30 the ceremony started? Why the delay? Who knows. The bride was there, the groom was there, ALL the guests were there, as was the gentleman marrying them!

The ceremony starts, and completes with no problems and only lasted about 5 minutes. It’s now time for the reception. Could we just stand up and walk over to the reception area? I mean, I could reach over and touch the tables from where I was sitting for the wedding ceremony. No. We had to file out of the ballroom, walk down the hall and around a corner and then re-enter THE SAME ROOM through another door! What purpose did this serve?

Being an evening wedding, dinner was to be served at the reception. As were appetizers. A table was set up with them. Small problem. With 150 guests, they put out enough appetizers for about 30 people! I took notice of their scant availability and made sure I was one of the first to get to them. It was also a cash bar, which is fine. It’s not their job to provide me with alcohol. But $5 for a bottle of beer? $7 for liquor drink? There were free drinks though. Water and sweet tea. Oh, if you happen to not like sweet tea and prefer a soda. $2.50 a can!

My wife and I proceeded to a table (as there was no reserved seating. Sit where you want) and sat down with our plate of snacks. There was a black couple at the table already and as soon as we sat down they got up and left. Leaving us all alone at the table. And we continued to be all alone until someone my wife barley knows from work came and sat with us so we wouldn’t be alone.

Here is where it gets interesting. As stated, 143 guests were black and 7 were white. Everything was going great until the brother of the groom got up for his toast. He proceeded to read a poem he had written entitled something like "Beautiful Black Women". The poem lasted 10 minutes and was an endless string of accusations and hate against the white man, how evil he and Europeans are, and how only the black women can save humanity and the world. All the while the crowd is cheering him on, hooting, hollering, and yelling in agreement.

I'm thick skinned and can handle it fine. But I can only imagine the outrage and hell I would catch from the bride and groom had they been at my wedding and I had a member of the Klan give a toast.
Toasts 0908/03