Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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They're armed, they're unprofessional and they're going to ruin your wedding day if you aren't careful.  (And stories of victimized vendors.)

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The choice of wedding church and officiant usually falls on the bride, and since neither the bride nor the groom in this story was especially religious, they were more than willing to accept the suggestion to get married in the church that the bride's parents attended every Sunday rather than in the Church the groom's parents hadn't been to in years.  As sister of the groom, my role in the wedding was to simply show up, smile and meet the new family.  However it became difficult to keep the "smile" bit from turning into hysterical laugher by the end.

The wedding started fine.  The small children got their jobs done and the bride made it down the aisle.  We knew that the ceremony was going to be etched into our memories as soon as the minister started to speak.  At all the weddings I had ever been to before this, the minister had given a short sermon about love, happiness, marital bliss or something along those lines.  Not this one!  His topic of the day was:  the ten deadly sins of life and why society and marriages today are going to completely to Hell.  He spared no detail.  He skipped over the obvious murder, rape and pillage and focused on divorce and the wanton consumption of caffeine and cigarettes in today's society.  It was particularly amusing to watch the best man's reaction to this as he was an ordained minister himself.  His eyes came close to actually falling out of his head, but don't worry, his jaw was on the floor to catch them.  Meanwhile, my family is silently keeping track on our fingers of how many of these things applies to us and thinking "Do we get air miles for this flight directly to Hell?"

As he finished up his rather long rant, my parents gave a little sigh of relief that nobody in the family fell off his chair from the giggles and figured that the ceremony would go on pretty much as every other ceremony from here.  Wrong again.  The minister had a last twist to throw in.  The bride and groom had given in on the minister's insistence that the love, honor and obey bit stay in, and had chalked it up to the minister being older and a stickler for tradition.  When that phrase came up in the ceremony though, it was changed to love, honor, obey and SUBMIT TO (MY BROTHER) AS MASTER AND OWNER!  We were lucky that the Heimlich maneuver wasn't needed.

After the wedding, the father of the bride commented on how beautiful the ceremony was and all my family could say was that it filled us with warmth.  Possibly it was from the flames of Hell licking at our feet.



My story might not be considered an etiquette problem, but certainly could be a lesson in tackiness.  My husband and I got married in October 2002.  We had a beautiful wedding with around 100 guests.  Everything went well except for in one area – the photographer.  We had hired him after hearing him recommended by several – several – of my friends and acquaintances who had used him in the past and showed me his work.  I had heard of him too, and thought his rates were reasonable and his work nice.  So my fiancé, my mother and I went to interview him.  He showed us his albums, and the romance in his style was wonderful.  My husband and I put a down payment on his services.

“Should I make a list of photographs I’d like you to take on our wedding day?”  we asked.  “No,” he replied.  “I’ll remember if you tell me closer to the wedding date.”  (I should have given him the list anyway.)  “Will you come to the rehearsal and check out the church?”  we asked.  “No,” he replied, “I’ve done several weddings there.”  “Will you take black-and-white pictures?”  we asked.  “Yes,” he replied.  “As many as you want.”  “Since the church doesn’t have a center aisle, but rather two side aisles, will you photograph the wedding from the balcony so that the pews in front don’t get in the way of the pictures?”  “Of course,” he replied with a smile.  “Will we need to order dinner for you at the reception?”  we asked.  “No,” he replied.  “I’ll bring something with me and take pictures during dinner.”

Things went beautifully, and we got married and headed down to a lighthouse in our neighborhood.  The photographer took picture after picture.  “Are these black-and-whites?” I asked at one point.  “Oh, ****,” he cursed out loud, laughing.  “No, I forgot the black-and-white film back at the store.  But we can convert whichever ones you want into black-and-white at the studio.”  Okay.  Sounds reasonable.  So, after we were done at the lighthouse, we headed off to the reception.  We had put disposable, easy-to-use cameras on each of the dinner tables, and the guests had a ball snapping candid shots of the wedding reception.  Our photographer, however, was too busy eating dinner, which he told me not to order for him to bother with, to take his own candids.  He didn’t take pictures of very many people and didn’t bother with many pictures of us doing our wedding tango or of other people dancing.  The candids from the disposables were better than the photographer’s pictures!!!!

He called while we were on our honeymoon and left a message saying our pictures were done and the proofs ready to be picked up.  I went to get them, totally excited about what he had captured.

Horror of horrors, two-thirds, and I’m not kidding, two-thirds of our pictures were out of focus.  My matron of honor coming down the aisle.  My brother escorting my mother to her pew.  Me.  Other bridesmaids.  Many shots of our entire wedding party.  On top of that, there were about five pictures of my future sister-in-law arranging my dress or doing some other chores for me.  The pictures were of her back half, bending over.  Not that she was wearing a short skirt, mind you, but the implications were there.  Other vitally important pictures were missed – such as the all-important first kiss, our best man signing the license, and others.  Family members were left out of pictures – apparently, this person had forgotten that my husband and I each had a brother ushering for us.

Turns out that the photos this photographer showed us during the interview were not his.  The studio personnel didn’t tell me whose they were (I didn’t care – all that mattered was that they weren’t his work).  He had been fired a few weeks after our wedding – again, for reasons which I didn’t care about.  They apologized profusely and offered a photo session for free, with extra enlargements of the wedding pictures, also for free, to take some of the sting out of it.  They also did a beautiful job with our album, and I’m happy with it, but the whole thing could have been a whole lot different if this person had had any skill and honesty whatsoever.



Hi Miss Jeanne! I love your site, and I am glad to submit this little gem for your disapproval. I married my best friend last summer in a beautiful garden ceremony. As a busy bride, I relied heavily on my mom for much of the planning process, and she did at least as much of the work as I did, probably more! My twin sister had married several years before in our hometown; we relied on many of the same vendors for the wedding that had done such a good job for my sister's blessed event. Little did we know that with at least one of these "professionals" (I am using the term loosely here) we were making a grave mistake. Our florist was a family friend and attended church with my parents for at least 15 years. She worked with a local company, but did not own the floral shop. She did have tons of experience with weddings, and assured us repeatedly that she could get the flowers I wanted for the wedding. She also told us that she was not reporting this job to her boss, as he would make her charge far too much for the flowers and services. My mom assured her that this deception was unnecessary, and that she would gladly pay whatever the charges were, but the lady assured us that her idea was best, and wouldn't allow us to change her mind. Since we trusted her and we thought that she would do a good job like she had for my sister, we grudgingly agreed. She arranged to have the day off from work so that she could set up some decorations and drop off the bouquets. 

Months prior to the wedding, we met with her twice to discuss our options. The first meeting was held at her shop, where we thumbed through pages of pictures, and gave her a basic idea of what I wanted: light blue and green hydrangeas and white roses. Since she couldn't let her boss know what she was doing, she didn't write down anything, but assured us that she would talk to her sellers and make sure that they could get these flowers around the dates. She praised us for our planning ahead, as hydrangeas are somewhat popular during early June in our area and would be a little tough to get. I let her know that I would be willing to change my mind if there was a problem getting the flowers, but she insisted several times over, "It will be no problem! I can get WHATEVER you want! Especially since I can talk to the sellers so early!" 

About a month and a half before the wedding we met a second time, this time at the church to talk more freely. In the months between these meetings a lot had happened in this woman's life. Her son, who had gotten his girlfriend pregnant, had decided to marry the girl. Her first grandchild was born soon after the wedding, and apparently grandma was the self-appointed full-time nanny. She held the baby in one arm, and scribbled our order on a pad with her free hand, noting the number of bouquets, corsages, etc, as well as the two large urns that we wanted filled with flowers to accent the front of the garden aisle. We were interrupted many times whenever the newborn made a noise or a face that was cute, and had to wait until grandma finished cooing and otherwise doting on the baby to continue on with the conversation. Mom at this point felt a little bit uneasy about our dear vendor's estimation of our needs, and despite assurances of how easy it would be to get our flowers, Mom started keeping an eye out for what we were looking for, just in case. We also assured her AGAIN that her lies to her boss were totally not needed, and that we'd be happy to pay whatever the going rate was. We didn't want her to lose her job over this if her boss found out, and we also didn't want to be a part of the lie. She insisted we do it her way and said that she would give us a great deal. 

Weeks beforehand, as Mom's search turned up a few gorgeous plants whose owners were happy to donate cuttings to our cause, she began calling the florist. And calling. And calling. And calling. It seems this woman had also recently purchased a lake home with her husband, and spent evenings and weekends there (presumably when she could tear herself away from the baby!). They had not been to church in quite a while, and since Mom had planned to be able to coordinate last minute details through seeing her each Sunday, we were beginning to get a little nervous. My mom didn't have the lake house number, so after two weeks of leaving messages at her residence and getting no response, my poor stressed mother went into panic mode. She began leaving messages at the flower shop, and dropping by there on her way home from work whenever she could. Another three weeks of this finally resulted in the florist resuming contact with my Mom, and now we are about a week away from the wedding. The florist assured Mom AGAIN that the order was placed and there was no need to worry. My Mom simply expressed her frustration at not getting her calls returned, and let the florist know that she would be bringing extra flowers to "add in" wherever needed. She was instructed that for best results, the cuttings should be done that day, in early morning hours, and placed in buckets of water. 

On to the morning of the wedding! My family knows that I am a bit of a worrier, and used that info to decide that I was not to be stressed, under any circumstance if at all possible. My loving parents awoke early, traveled far and near to gather over 30 stems of flowers at several locations, thanked the generous gardeners for their gift to this unknown couple's wedding, and then arrived at the wedding location. Enter the florist. Up to this point, her demeanor could be described as carefree, relaxed, and casual. On this day, she was tearing around like a maniac. Somehow in the week between her contact with my mom and the day of the wedding, her plan went completely awry. As my husband and I were taking pictures with our photographer, she informed my Mom and the bridesmaids that she had spent HOURS the night before DYEING my flowers blue! Her seller couldn't get the amount of flowers that she had needed for our bouquets and decorations, and so she decided that this was the only choice she had. Nevermind the fact that my parents had already gathered enough to cover her poor planning and then some! My sister (the Matron of Honor) picked up her bouquet without being told that the dye wasn't yet dry, and immediately and permanently marred the front of her dress with the flowers. At this point the florist told them the dye "might still be a little wet" as my mom and sister struggled to contain their outrage. Mom showed her the buckets that she and Dad had gathered, and the florist immediately began replacing the dyed and already wilting flowers with the beautiful donated blooms. Meanwhile, our photographer yells out "Can we get the bride's bouquet for some pictures?" only to be met with frantic miming of "It's not ready!!!" behind my back in order to not stress me out. The flowers were all switched out (except for the ones in my bouquet!) with the help of my bridal attendants and mom. The girls are already dressed and ready for pictures, while my mom is running around in shorts and a t-shirt. The florist begins decorating the huge garden urns we had bought, and I am finally let in on the horror of this woman's ridiculous and delusional behavior as she is now working in the area where pictures of my soon-to-be hubby and I are being taken. She is WORKING with her grandchild IN HER ARMS! That's right, she has brought the precious baby to the job site and instead of handing the child to her husband, whom she has also brought, she is simply directing him in work we had hired her to do! This proceeds for a while, and then she finally decides that she should pass the baby off, and begin to actually do something. With an hour to spare before the ceremony (about 1/2 an hour before the guests arrive) she BEGINS work on the urns, which were to be the main ceremony decoration. We had given her several pictures for how this should look in the previous meetings, but since we all know how much she remembered from these meetings, we got quite a different result! The urns contained about 4 blooms, and she proceeded to graft in my mom's flowers to fill in the look. It didn't work. They looked like locusts had attacked and left droopy, half-dead flowers in their wake. She proceeds to tell anyone who will listen her tale of woe: she hardly slept last night, she was covered in blue dye, she hadn't eaten anything, she was soooooo tired, wah, wah, wah. The wedding party has now arrived with the family members, (including my mom, who had to dress in record time). They are all trying desperately to keep her away from me so that I won’t have to deal with her whining and baby talking and unprofessional behavior. The photographer is arranging pictures AROUND the florist so that she won't be seen in the background. When she does what she can with the urns (not very much!) the florist decides to make a last ditch effort to salvage her credibility by asking if I now wanted the dyed blue flowers in my bouquet exchanged for fresh ones. I declined, since the ceremony is minutes away at this point, even though she insists "It'll only take a second, honey!" Right. I'd already gotten quite good at turning the "good side" of my bouquet towards the camera, so I figured I could just continue with that, and not worry about it. This lady’s antics had already been so frustrating; I hated to think of how long it might actually take her to complete the task, and I would rather have ugly flowers than to start my wedding later for lack of a bouquet! I was ready for this woman to leave, and so was my poor mom. The rest of the day went on and the rest of our vendors were at least competent if not spectacular, and we had a great time. My mom's frazzled nerves were soothed and she was able to relax and enjoy the day as well. (it's almost over-- thank you for reading this far!!!) 

In the following weeks, the florist began attending church services regularly again, and was working with another church family on their daughter’s wedding. Their choice of flowers? Of course, blue hydrangea! My mom valiantly bit her tongue when our dear florist said within her hearing “Well don’t do what Mrs. Bride’s Mom did, and wait until the last minute to ask, because those flowers are hard to get!” Hmmm… The kicker to this family friend's contribution to the beginning of our lives together came a few weeks later when she delivered her wedding gift to my mom's house. We weren't expecting one, but she insisted and when we opened it, we saw why. She used our wedding to get rid of two unwanted presents from her son's recent nuptials (complete with tape marks and paper remnants on the boxes from the previous wrapping job), and wrapped them in crumpled and obviously used tissue paper! Recently, as I opened one of the boxes I also found a handwritten price sticker. It seems she had already tried to sell these gifts at a recent church yard sale, but she was not successful. As you can imagine, I am personally overjoyed to be able to take the tacky and unwanted gifts off her hands! I hope Miss Jeanne will only banish me to the third level of e-hell, as I have not yet found the words to send her a thank you note. 


If you continue to engage the services of a vendor willing to lie, you have to accept the consequences that the vendor will deceive you, too.   To an experienced wedding coordinator, this train wreck was obvious miles down the track.  


I'm getting married ten days from now, and I still have no idea if I'll have a dress that fits. That's the only prelude I can offer to this story.

I was a bit of a procrastinator bride, largely because I really didn't understand (and still don't understand) why non-couture wedding gowns take so long to order and produce. You order them in a size, so the manufacturer is obviously not creating it to your specifications. Waiting until early January to select a gown for my small end of May wedding was my way of thumbing my nose at the crazy, over hyped wedding industry.

So when I found a dress I loved at the second salon I visited, I considered myself lucky. Sure, the saleswomen were pushy and acted shocked when I came in without a loud entourage like the bride in the dressing room next to me (my attendants and family are scattered throughout the country). They selected dress after unflattering dress, despite my very clear instructions that I wanted a simple white dress with a lace jacket to go over it. Finally, they produced that very dress, and the second I tried it on, I knew it was The One. Problem solved, right? They even offered to waive the rush fee. I assumed that the pushiness I sensed was more of a cultural thing than bad salesmanship--the shop was owned and run by a large XXXXX family. I dismissed whatever niggling fears were stirring in the back of my mind with the thought that I'd found exactly the dress I'd wanted.

At the beginning of April, they called to say it was in, and I made an appointment for a first fitting for a week later. With all of the other planning, I hadn't given much thought to undergarments or shoes, but I swung into gear and ordered everything, including an expensive corset. I knew I wanted to wear flats, since we were walking behind a bagpiper from the ceremony to the reception, and I tend to get blisters easily with heels. When the shoes arrived, they were too big, so I made plans to exchange them. There wasn't enough time to replace them before the fitting, but since they were the same height (obviously) as the ones I was thinking about wearing, I figured I'd just wear them in briefly to get the hemming right. (This becomes important later.)

I arrive for my fitting and am greeted by the same pushy saleswoman, who, when I said "Hi, I'm here for a fitting," snapped "Yeah honey, I assumed that." She then led me to a dressing room where my dress was hanging, and told me that the seamstress was busy, so I should just "wiggle" into it myself and wait. Twenty minutes later, and no wiggling required, I'm wearing a dress that's way too big for me. I'm literally holding it up. The seamstress walks in, and immediately starts clucking in very broken English about how she'll have to let everything out. I was too stunned to say much as she took apart the seams. The saleswoman comes in and stands around because she'll "need to translate." However, there was no need to translate when they started talking about how "smart" it was that I had a lace jacket to hide my various figure flaws. They then proceeded to yell at me for 1) not wearing heels; and 2) choosing a corset that didn't constrain my hips. I'm not usually very sensitive about my appearance, but it took all of my effort to keep from crying.

Finally, the seamstress threw up her hands and said I'd have to come back with better undergarments and the shoes I actually intended to wear. I said that they were flats, the same as these, and she snapped "This is your wedding day! You wanna look good or no?"

I went up to the counter to schedule a "second" fitting, and was tempted to just pay the balance on the dress and take it somewhere else, but with everything that's going on, I didn't want to start shopping around for another seamstress now. The saleswoman says, "You want to make an intermittent payment with your credit card? You have to make the last payment in cash only." Um, cash? What, in wadded up gangster rolls? I said that I would make an intermittent payment for the whole amount, and handed her my American Express. She frowned and said, "Why would you think we would take this?" I was mightily angry at this point, and said, "Well, because most places accept major credit cards, and you took this card for the deposit four months ago!" She said, "Well, we changed our minds." She then starts peering over the counter at my wallet, seeing if I have Visa or MasterCard. I abruptly pulled it back, and told her that I would make a payment at my second fitting. I then asked her how much the seamstress estimated the alterations would cost, and she said, "Oh, I don't know. You'll have to ask her." What, the woman who she had to translate for just a few minutes ago? As it turned out, she'd already flown the coop.

I fully acknowledge the stupidity of the decision I made. I should have listened to my instincts, and cared more about the sort of people providing the dress. I also discovered, when I arrived home, that according to the very measurements they made, they ordered the dress too big. I've lost weight since, which isn't their fault, but it would have helped if they'd ordered the right size in the first place. I'm going for my second fitting tonight, and now that I know what they are, I'm going in prepared to be just as forthright as they are. If things don't improve, I'm paying off the dress (and not telling them that it's my last payment) and then promptly demanding that they turn over the goods. I'll take it to a competent seamstress and pay whatever it takes to have it done right and, hopefully, sans snide comments about my figure.



A wedding photographer experiences the same amount of stress as an air traffic controller. We worry about equipment failure, satisfying requested group photos, schedules, dealing with unexpected zits on foreheads, in-laws that don't get along, drunk and agitated grooms and best man, and finally sending the film (FED EX always) and getting everything back as great as expected. Lets face it, this is a day that has been planned for eons. I have seen brides carrying huge loose leaf note books that rings explode with pages of celebrity weddings, hairdos, and pictures of cakes that look like frosted castles. Expectations and choices run high, and so do stress levels. With so many aspects of a wedding the main worry is having the plan come together. Often these wedding are in the thousands of dollars. This makes the bride very unstable.  

Of all the workers hired for the wedding, the wedding photographer gets the least amount of respect. We try not to interfere with the day as it unfolds, but if we don't conduct some sort of demand from the bride, some pictures are not taken-the day is over, the opportunity is lost and we get the wrap later for not having those priceless photos. Every component of a wedding requires several meetings, the wedding happens, and then it is over, but the wedding photographer meets with the bride groom and families many times over. If there is a personality clash this can be unbearable! I have seen an angelic bride at the alter (this is the most prized photo) one that last forever, well,  she looks so magnificent, but she is in a hurry, and some bratty two year old is crying and screaming in the background...the bride looks at me and says "just take the GOD DAMN PICTURE"! I have seen fights at the end of a wedding where the best man has taken a tire iron to the groom's car and had to take pictures for the insurance company. I have also had to take pictures of a melting cakes and swan ice formations in 90 degree heat before they could be enjoyed by the ceremony. 

One of the worst aspects about my job was having to deal with a bride who could care less about my presence, ignoring me when I had to organize the group photos. The attitude of total un-co-operation. Let's face it -the wedding photographer documents the most important day of your life, they also document how much money you spent...without proof you might as well be married by the justice of the peace. I was a very good and very conscientious wedding photographer, but had to quit because I couldn't take it any more. My sanity was at stake. No longer a wedding photographer.



My story is a wedding that I was a MOH in on the west coast.  My best friend was getting married, we will call her "Marie".  We spent a year with all the regular planning, looking at reception sites, cakes etc.     She settles on a "cruise ship" reception.  Ship leaves at 4pm, returns at 10pm.  The ceremony goes as planned and we arrive at the dock on time.  The first problem was the hotel, arrangements had been made with the hotel, that the guests could park their cars there and a shuttle would be provided for anyone who was staying at the hotel to the dock, and back again.  There was about 50 people, knowing ahead of time that the shuttle only held 15 people, Marie's In-laws hire another bus to be at the hotel, to pick up the remainder.  The problem was the bus they hired wasn't big enough for everybody, and it turns out there was another event at the dock, with people staying at the hotel, leaving over 75 people trying to take a shuttle to the dock in a 15 person van.  The limo company came through and the limos went over and retrieved the remainder of her guests who were at the hotel, because the cruise ship was unwilling to wait, they had a schedule to keep.  Good thing the limo people were there, because the brides father was in the last group to arrive at the ship!     

The big problem though turned out to be the cruise ship people.  There was supposed to be 2 decks set up for the cocktail hour, with food, waiters, bar the works.  There was only 1 room set up.  When Marie found out, her parents went and spoke with the manager and were told that, the person they made arrangements with wasn't there, and they didn't care what was said before.  So, we were left with 150 people in a room built for about 80, with seats enough for about 15, which left everyone except the elderly standing for the entire time.  There was supposed to be extra appetizers, paid for by the bride's parents, but there was only 1 table set up, and when the trays were emptied after about 10-15 min, they were not refilled, so many people got nothing.  My husband went to get us drinks, and there was only 1 bartender so it took 20 mins for a couple glasses of soda.     

 My feet were killing me, because I was standing all day, so we went upstairs to where the dinner was to be served to sit.  I was yelled at, by a waitress, because she "didn't understand" the guest book, and I was obviously in the wedding party (complete in my purple taffeta).  The guest book was to be a signature mat (which I have seen plenty of times before), but this waitress had never seen it and yelled at me, because she didn't know what to do with it, so I sent it up myself.      

On the 3rd level of the ship, there was a bathroom, I am told someone went in to use it, and is was  broken, with no note on the door, so unsuspecting people kept walking into a mess, before I requested that it be locked.  This left us with 1 working bathroom, for 150 people (men and women).  

The party starts, we are introduced (DJ does great job) and salads come out.  The food is less then great, but oh well.  That is until we realize that only 1/2 the room ever got their actual dinner.  At 915 (45 min before the reception was over) the bride complained that people never got dinner, and was told by the owner "If you don't like how we are doing it, we will stop serving altogether. If they don't have dinner now, they are not getting it" This of course caused a screaming match between the bride, groom, parents and the owner of the ship.  In the end everyone got dinner, but it was inedible and didn't really matter.  We then had to hurry through the cake cutting, because we were running out of time.  They placed her cake, which they provided and was not what she requested, on a table with a broken leg, so during the cake cutting the DJ actually had to hold the table still, so the whole thing didn't crash to the floor! (you can see his hand in the pictures holding it up!)     

At the end of the evening, I asked for a box to put the top of the cake in and was told, to just carry it like that, you don't need to wrap it at all.  Her parents also paid for an extra dessert table full of cakes and cookies, there was plenty left over, but instead of offering to pack it up for the people who paid for it, he told the waitstaff, they could take home whatever they wanted! I feel lucky I got out with the uncovered top of the cake!     Several months later we saw the place on the news, in one of those investigative reports, for lying to people and not doing the things they promised people they would do.  The whole event cost over $40,000 and I am just glad they are closed now and cant ruin someone else's day.



I just had to send this to you!! I was looking for something else on the net in regards to weddings, and happened upon this site on accident.

Essentially, it's this woman that writes poetry for people, but the top 3-4 poems are all the "nice appropriate" ways to ask for money in your invitation!! You know, in rhyming form.


I had to cover my eyes several times. 



Well maybe this group isn't quite so bad, but I felt the need to tell someone, anyone out there, that young guests at weddings, however small, are NOT to be used as unpaid labor!!   A few years ago I attended my cousin's wedding.  He is a very nice, polite, quiet guy and everyone thinks he is a sweetheart.  During the wedding, while saying his vows, he got a little choked up, like you would (he is pretty sensitive) and a few of the other guests sitting behind me in the church began making fun and laughing at him.  Rude but not the reason I am writing.   

During the reception a local women's church group catered the wedding.  As we live in a reasonably small area, and have very few if any professional caterers, this is usually the way most people go.  Well, the ladies did a great job with the food, it was wonderful, and when it came time to clean up the tables a few of the guests assisted them.  Well, then it came time for the dancing to begin.  About ten minutes before the first dance was to begin, one of the catering ladies walks out of the kitchen and asks my mother (yeah I am about 16 at this time) if I would mind helping them with the dishes.  Ok, so I am a pretty nice person, I figure why not.  It shouldn't take too long.  They got another teenage girl to help and we all went into the kitchen.  Once the music began for the first dance, the ladies left and went outside the kitchen to watch, and left us GUESTS in the kitchen to do the dishes.  When they did come back in, one of the ladies had the nerve to criticize the way I was washing the silverware!! I didn't realize there was only one way to wash it, but in her world there is. 

Moral of this story: I was nice, and I didn't get to see the bride and groom's first dance, or the bride dancing with her father, in fact I didn't get to see ANY of the "special" dances, by the time I got out of the kitchen, they were over.  I don't know if my mother ever informed my aunt of the way in which myself and the other girl were treated, but other than that little incident, it was a wonderful wedding.



This wedding was the worst I've ever attended. The nephew of my ex-boyfriend (let's call him Dan) and his girlfriend were getting married -- both aged 19. No one in either family thought this was a good idea, but no one objected, either. I was appalled, but said nothing because it wasn't my family. Anyway, Dan and I drive out to the wedding which was in a small church in the country (we all live in a remote area). The ceremony was fine, nothing unusual happened, but the reception was awful.

They arranged to have it at a local B&B that "supposedly" did catered weddings. It was a large, hacienda-type of place with guestrooms, a small ballroom and lounge areas. The first thing we noticed when we arrived in the small ballroom was that there was no air conditioning -- just big, noisy, industrial-looking fans that made a lot of noise and only pushed gusts of hot air around. The pictures were being done outside on the lawn, but the guests (there were about 60 or so) were expected to sit in the ballroom with nothing to do until the bridal photos were finished. We sat there at the tables, with NOTHING to eat or drink, trying to talk over the sound of the roaring fans. Not even water, and nothing to eat, and no music. Talk about boring. The tables were decorated with the usual dumb wedding junk, the engraved matches, balloons and little envelopes of glitter, but we could not believe that no one had thought about at least giving the guests something to drink while we waited! Finally, after almost 2 hours, the photos are done and the wedding party comes in. There were about 12 of the bridal party in all, and they sat down and were served some food. Only after they were seated and served were the guests allowed to get up and go get in line for the buffet.

This was where the horror really started. The food was so disgusting I could barely look at it. Think of the worst kind of school cafeteria food -- mystery meat in brown glop, CANNED vegetables swimming in murky liquid, wilted iceberg lettuce "salad" with only ranch dressing -- and you get the picture. The dressing, by the way, was squirted on top of your lettuce from a huge plastic jug. Not  that I've been in prison, but prison food was what I though when I saw the food. It was served oh so classily on paper plates, with "sporks" instead of proper cutlery. I took a few chunks of rusty iceberg lettuce, no ranch, and a baked potato since this was the only food I could recognize as food. The worst was when we sat down -- the ONLY thing to drink was warm red sticky juice that we all assumed was Kool-Aid. We completely forgot that the wedding party were all under-age, and so the families just apparently figured that no one could drink if the B&G couldn't. There wasn't even a chip of ice for the warm kool-aid. IT was utterly disgusting. My boyfriend kept muttering under his breath that he wanted to run and buy a six-pack and chug it in the parking lot. We left as soon as it was polite to do so.

My boyfriend and I agreed it was a horrible wedding and I was simply amazed that the families could allow such a hideous reception without at least apologizing to the guests.



I went to a wedding recently which could have employed cows instead of waiters and no-one would have noticed the difference. The starter was a cold salad, but instead of laying the plates with the salad, they collected all the plates up after we came into the dining room and dished them out again with the salad. Can we say waste of time?

There were about fifteen people to a table, but when they put out the bread basket, it had SIX rolls in it.

They had obviously never heard of serving over the left shoulder, which was a bit off-putting, but my goodness, they actually LEANED ACROSS my face to serve someone else! You NEVER reach across someone, ESPECIALLY if you are the waiter.

When they served wine, they splashed it into the glasses and on the tablecloth, which was gross, but worse, they didn't return the bottles to an upright position before moving away, so they dribbled wine all over our clothes.

Every time anyone left the table, they swooped in and refolded their napkin, which I find very odd - but they didn't take away the entree plates before serving dessert. We ended up pushing them to the middle of the table. They had time to refold the napkins every time someone went to the bathroom but couldn't be bothered to take away the plates?



I just discovered your site a couple of days ago, and enjoy it very much. I find it personally humorous that I did not remember my own stories until I stumbled across the categories they fit under. So I would like to submit one for wedding vendors, and one for foot-in-mouth, general sort of thing. Spread the laughter. I'll start with the wedding vendor since that one is not my fault ;)   It concerns my mother's wedding. This was her third wedding and his second (?) I think. It was held in the church that she had attended for years, and was a very nice and special event. EXCEPT for the vendor. 

My mom had gone with this one catering company because they provided services for both the food and the flowers for a very reasonable price. The reception was at the church so there was no problem with separate locations or anything. Months of planning went off without a hitch and everything appeared to be going swimmingly until the actual day itself. Everyone was assembled and everything was set up, but the caterer/florist had not shown up. There were no flowers in the church, my mother did not have her bouquet, there were no corsages for whoever needed them, besides the food and wedding cake (also being provided by the same company) not being there yet. I don't remember the exact time frame, but long after they should have shown up/called an assistant of the owner called to say that the owner had been on her way and had been in a car accident, which had destroyed the flowers, so they were frantically putting those back together. So we waited, and waited. I think they showed up finally right when the ceremony was supposed to have started. 

By this time my poor mother was in tears. But what they showed up with made it much, much worse.   Everything they brought was horrid. My mother's color scheme was navy and silver. Not only were the white flowers half spray-painted this odd shade of lightish blue, but they were sloppy and falling apart all over the place. It was actually quite humorous as parts of my mom's bouquet kept falling out all during the ceremony and pictures. No question of throwing this one. It would come completely apart in mid-air. 

Also they had brought these two white wicker flower stands in which to place the two main bunches of church flowers (also sloppy), and the flowers did not fit inside the sands, they were too deep. We ended up getting out two wooden church stands to put them on (which in my opinion looked better than the stupid whicker things anyway).   

Then there was the cake. Which was preposterous. It simply did not want to stay together. By the time people got to the reception area it looked ready to implode, and commenced slipping and sliding all over the place when they tried to cut it. My brothers, sister and I tried to give it extra support, but there was no saving this pitiful thing. Now, I'm not trying to be insensitive to the fact that they had a car accident, but why had it taken so long for them to call? And they had said the flowers had been ruined, but nothing had been said about the cake, which leads me to believe that something was wrong with that to begin with. 

At least the buffet dishes they brought were OK, even though they forgot one.   I understand that some things just happen, perhaps it was not entirely the company's fault. But the thing that made it unforgivable was that when the assistant finally showed up with the flowers and mom saw how horrible they were and he saw how obviously upset she was, he promised that she would be fully reimbursed. The owner never showed up. The assistant said she had gone to the hospital (not serious) after the car accident. After her wedding day Mom never heard back from them. Not once. She called and left messages galore, and no response at all. That was three years ago.   The sad and rather ironic end is that for her one-year anniversary my mom ordered another wedding cake (different company, of course), to make up for the one that she didn't have, and that one still looked objectionable. Poor Mom.        



My husband and I recently got married after a long-distance engagement. I planned the wedding locally while he spent the year training 1,000 miles away. It wasn't an ideal situation, but we would make it work. Soon after the proposal, my mother and I decided to start perusing dress shops. Since the days of Bridal Departments in most stores are gone, we sought out a few boutiques in the area. We stop in a shop we had passed a few times in the area to see what they had to offer. There was one couple in the store looking at invitation catalogues, and two associates. When we first walked in, one of the associates walked briskly over to us and spoke directly to my mother asking "Are you getting married?" (not "Can I help you?"). My mother smiles and points to me and says "Actually, my daughter just got engaged." Now, I will concede I look a young 23 years old, but that is no excuse for the associate's response: "I am sorry, we don't outfit teenage brides." At this point, I am on edge -- first off, I'm 23, and second, why would you discriminate against a young bride? Money is money, and it they are willing to buy it, why wouldn't you sell it? I explain as politely as I can through gritted teeth that I am a few years beyond teenager, and she chuckles and says "if you say so." 

At this point, I am ready to leave, but mom figures it's worth looking around even if we're not intending to buy -- what better way to get their goad? We start walking around, and the couple leaves -- meaning, it's two associates and my mother and I. As I go to pull one dress out to see the train, the second associate bustles over and explains that we need an appointment to see any dresses. I said I wasn't looking to try on, just to get ideas for style. She again states I need an appointment to look at the dresses. Keep in mind this is a Sunday in November... not high bridal season. I look around the store (admittedly with an exaggerated "Riiiiiight, because you're so busy" expression), and put the dress down. Meanwhile, the first associate is explaining to my mother how the store owner makes all the dresses by hand and that each dress is custom and different. 

By the hands of the Irony Gods, I happen to pick up (much to associate #2's disdain) a dress that looks EXACTLY like the blue-trimmed Amsale dress I had been eyeing in magazines. I, pointedly, say to my mom "Hey, mom, remember that blue trimmed dress I really liked?" The first associate rushes to ensure us that this dress is LIKE the Amsale, but that the design is unique and that the straps are totally different. At this point, I am at my limit of BS and we decide to leave. 

As we are walking out, my mom asks if I saw anything I liked. I nodded and pointed to one and said "something like that with smaller straps." Now, we are at the door and are OBVIOUSLY leaving, and the first associate says exasperatedly "What part of custom do you not understand? We tailor it to each bride! Each dress is unique!" She turns on her heel and mutters that perhaps we would be better served to go to a lesser store like David's Bridal. "Perhaps the cookie-cutter dresses would suit you better." So, we went to David's... and I found my dress for a lot less and a lot easier! The service was great, the ladies were fun, and no one tried to deny the 'teenager in me' service. Perhaps my own faux pas, but so worth it: I made sure that when I stopped by the craft store next door to the boutique a few weeks later to pop my head in and thank them for the wonderful recommendation of David's. Needless to say, there were two associates and no customers in the store.



I love the site--having gone through two weddings, I can sympathize! My weddings went fine. But a friend, well... "Louise" and "Jack" were getting married in the small town where Louise had grown up, in the Catholic church that had been her family church since forever. Jack had been raised a Friend (Quaker) and did not convert. He had also been married before--his ex-wife left him, very abruptly and with all their money. He had taken a long time before he was able to even think about marriage again. 

At the ceremony, the priest made a point of mentioning that they were not having a Nuptial Mass because Jack wouldn't convert, and besides had been married before, and then during the homily, kept mentioning that they should "gratefully accept all the children God sends them" or words to that effect, and that "this marriage is eternal." I'm clergy (now) and I find that even more horrifying now than I did then! 



Love your site!  I probably have zillions of stories to tell if I just thought about them, but I try really hard not to dwell on other people's rudeness--I just try not to commit my own!  However, this story goes down as one of the most disgusting examples of bigotry that I've ever encountered.

About 15 years ago, my DH's brother married a lovely girl from the Philippines.  "Maria's" family were all there (parents, brothers, sisters) and they are all wonderful, friendly people.

"Maria" and "David" were married in a church in a little town in a southern state.  This town is well known around here for its golf courses and outdoor attractions (boating, float trips, camping, etc.) and it attracts a lot of retirees.  The happy couple had their reception at the local country club.  They had arranged to use the country club with the understanding that it was basically public--that is, they could not actually reserve the reception room, but there was a live band, and they could have their cake there and have dinner served to their guests.  Not a problem for "Maria's" family.  The band played big band music, and it turned out that "Maria's" dad was a fabulous dancer!

The problem was with the staff.  "Maria's" MOH, "Ruby," who was also Filipina, works in a country club on the east coast.  She noticed that there was no cake knife on the cake table, so she approached a staff member and requested one.  The woman haughtily told her, "We don't HAVE a cake knife."  "Ruby" informed her that the bride would need something with which to cut the cake.  The woman snorted and stalked off, returning about 20 minutes later with a BUTTER KNIFE.  "You'll have to use this," she said as she plopped it into "Ruby's" hand.  "Ruby" thanked her and put the knife on the table with the cake.

After leaving "Ruby," this same staff member made a beeline for "Maria's" brother, "Danny," to tell him he had to leave because he wasn't wearing a suit jacket.  (We had all, including the bride and groom, changed out of formal wedding clothes before going to the country club.)  "Danny" was sitting right next to my DH, who wasn't wearing a jacket either, but she said nothing to him.  When "Danny" told her he was the bride's brother, she said, "I don't care, you have to have a jacket!"  Still no word to my husband--who, incidentally, is NOT Filipino.  My DH spoke up and said, "What about me?"  She told him there was a closet out in the lobby with jackets and they could just go pick one and wear it, but jackets were required.  "Danny" and my DH went to the closet, picked out the loudest, ugliest jackets they could find, and came back in.  She glared at them, but they now had jackets.

At this point, my BIL, who had heard the entire exchange, approached this woman and informed her that he had paid X amount of dollars to SHARE this room with members of the country club, pointed out that the MOH hadn't been able to secure a cake knife, expressed doubt that a COUNTRY CLUB would lack such a knife, pointed out that no one had so much as bothered even to refill has bride's family members' water glasses and he wasn't stupid enough to believe this was not based on the fact that they weren't white, because his OWN family members weren't being treated this way, and would she please refrain from being rude to his guests from this point on?  He was really angry, and I can't say I blame him.  I think I would have demanded to see the manager right then, but admittedly she behaved herself after that.  What nerve.


Page Last Updated May 15, 2007