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



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.)

Jan-Jun 2000 Archive
Jun-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
2006 Archive


I went to my fiancée's cousin's wedding- it was a small affair (the bride and groom were expecting and wanted to marry before the baby was born), but very pretty. However, at the reception, many of the guests needed to use the restroom. The only other available restroom was at the other end of the banquet hall- through another wedding reception! Everyone was good about it- in the other reception the kids were saying "Hey look! Another bride!", but I was honestly shocked that a place of business would make people from one party intrude on another just to go to the restroom!



Reading over the new updates reminds me of our extremely inept wedding photographer. Despite me giving him a shot list and timetable which he agreed to, he spent so long with the groom before the wedding that there were none of me, the bride! Nearly a hundred of the groom and his groomsmen, but none of me and the 'maids beforehand. No bridal portrait. We were late getting to the church as the photographer was late to my home; he did take the cars, out of focus, bearing me away in a flap due to lateness. 

During the service, I asked only that he not take shots during the sacrament of the Eucharist (we are practicing Catholics) and that he not take any 'kissing' shots. Not to our taste. Sure enough, these were the only 'church' shots he took. My family members have been married in this church for generations, so I had asked for a shot of us leaving the church. Oh no-the photographer was in the toilet at this point. We adjourned to the spot he insisted on for that time of day-so dark the shots didn't turn out. 

At the reception we gave him free rein, asking only that he take our guests as well as us. By not asking them to pose, we have very ill-framed shots of people shouting, looking around, eyes closed etc. He only snapped around three tables. He didn't take ONE of my husband and I together. I spent much of the reception requesting him to take shots of us during such things as the cake cutting. None of the speeches or toasts. Even when I asked him to use backgrounds such as the bridal table he managed to miss them and shoot us with the toilet door, etc in the background. 

I was not a bossy bridezilla btw-my family were telling me to get him moving as we weren't getting any shots. I had none with my parents either. We were mystified to receive discs only and realized it was because most of the shots that were taken were too blurry to use. Our reception place was even worse, but to save your patience with a long post I'll leave it here. I am still devastated not to have these treasured shots, but comfort myself with the fact that I had my family and friends with me for a lovely day. And our beauticians, florist, drivers and priest were superb, warm and efficient people. Good vendors make such a difference to the day and I am forever grateful to those wonderful vendors! I have recommended them far and wide and I wish slackers like this guy realized that etiquette costs you business, apart from anything else such as the customer's pleasure in their wedding day. 


I was planning my own wedding from out of state, and I was planning on using a DJ that my future mother-in-law recommended, that they have been very impressed with in the past.  Well, unfortunately, he wasn’t able to perform at my reception, but he recommended someone else.  Now, I should have known better than to sign up a DJ without listening to them first, but there was so much to do that I really welcomed the shortcut and I assumed that a good DJ would know who to recommend.

I called the new DJ two or three months before the wedding to ask if she was available, she was.  We discussed the particulars of my wedding, what songs I wanted, etc.  She sounded very agreeable and nice, so I sent the deposit.  Two weeks later I called her to make sure she’d gotten it, she said she hadn’t.  So the next time I was in town I delivered it in person.  I called her a couple weeks later because I had a couple new requests, she said it was no problem.  A few weeks later she calls me to see if I changed my mind on anything and make sure she was bringing the right music, and I called her (just like I called every other vendor) the week of the wedding to make sure they had the correct times and locations.  Each time I called we discussed the wedding and what I wanted her to do.

Now it is important to state that my fiancé and I were having a themed wedding.  We both loved fantasy, and so we decided to go purely fairytale.  I wore a medieval-style dress, the groom wore chainmail, the bridal party were all decked out as lords, ladies, and knights, even our parents and grandparents and several other relatives and friends got in on the action and wore costumes.  For the décor, we had tiny knights and bowls of grapes on the tables, candles and greenery and such.  I wanted everything to have a sort of medieval/renaissance feel, nothing strict, just trying to play down the modern stuff.  For this reason, I asked that the DJ try to keep things low-key.  I knew she would need speakers and a turntable, and we set up an area for all of that, but I asked that she leave anything she might have like flashing lights and disco balls behind, and she promised that would be no problem.  I also told her that we didn’t want a money dance, that she didn’t need to keep people from eating before we arrive (we were only serving snacks, sandwiches, and desserts, since it was an afternoon wedding), and told her I would be leaving a CD that I would like her to play while the guests wait for us to arrive – very beautiful hammer dulcimer music, nothing you can dance to, but would set a nice tone for mingling.  She assured me that all of this was fine.

The reception was held on the third floor of a historic building, in the ballroom.  When we arrived after our wedding, someone met us at the front door of the building asking something about food, and I asked why they were waiting, since I expected that people should have already filled their plates by then.

By the time my new husband and I made it to the third floor, the door was crowded with a huge line.  The DJ announced us, but we got lost in the throng of people.  My maid-of-honor explained that the DJ had just announced that the buffet was open when we arrived.  No big deal, I thought, although I was a little peeved that people weren’t already fed and seated.

I made my way over to the DJ, who was playing rock and roll, not hammer dulcimer.  She had my CD sitting in front of her, however.  The first thing she told me was, “You never told me this was a themed wedding.”  I just stared at her in shock, before saying, “Yes, I did.”  “No, you didn’t.” she replied.  I had told her, in every phone call, that it was a themed wedding.  This wouldn’t have been so bad if she had been wearing something wedding-appropriate, businesslike, or nice – but she was in dreadlocks, which she didn’t have when I dropped off the check, wearing a stained, striped, old T-shirt and jeans.  Who wears something like that to ANY wedding reception?  She asked me again what songs we wanted for our first dance and parent dances.  I told her, again, the music we’d agreed on.  Luckily, I had the CD with that, too.  Then she held up my hammer dulcimer CD and said she’d play it whenever I asked her to.  Since I’d asked her to play it before we arrived, I just told her to forget it.  Last, she asked when I wanted to do the money dance!  At this point I thought I was going crazy, it was as though I had never spoken to this woman at all.

Oh, and later, my mother told me that when she’d gotten there, the DJ had flashing lights and a disco ball going. 

The reception was still a lot of fun, but I wish I would have just put the songs I wanted in an iPod and let it DJ.


First let me say thank you for this website. White planning my wedding I read every story and used them as a “what not to do”. It’s been incredibly helpful. Now for my tacky vendor. 

In December of 2006 I became engaged. We live in a small town that is actually a resort community with a lake and ski slopes. Our first thought in planning the wedding was where to have it. We are not members of the local churches and after reading the horror stories on your website regarding hours between the ceremonies and receptions, I knew I wanted them to be in the same place or close to each other. We found the perfect option. A two story paddle-wheel boat on the lake, which I will call the SB. In January of 2007 I called the SB and asked about charter prices and general information about the boat. The price was right and the boat seemed perfect. We would be married on the upper deck at sunset and then the party would move downstairs which was enclosed with heating, air-conditioning, full-bar, and tables for dinner. We reserved the boat six months in advance, for June of 2007.

When we received the information packet in January, there was a per-hour price for private charters. When the contracts were sent to me three weeks later the price on the contract had jumped $500.00. I called and they explained that the price had just increased but they would honor the original price sent to me. Wow, what a great company, NOT!

I spoke with the owners of the SB off and on for the next couple of months. Discussing table linens, when we could board to decorate and this and that. My contact was someone I’ll call Betty. Betty was always friendly, everything seemed right on schedule and we sent the invitations.

Then in late March I get a call from my bridesmaid who asked if I had seen our local paper that day. I said no and she said, “Well, there is a huge article on the front page that the SB has been removed from the lake.” I ran to my computer and pulled up the story. Sure enough the owner of the dock where the SB had a 20 year lease has kicked the boat out of their dock. Seems the owner of the boat hasn’t paid rent in two years! On top of this the city has also said the boat is not handicap accessible and since it does public tours during the day, it cannot be on the lake until it is renovated.

I immediately call Betty. She says, “Oh that local paper. They didn’t even call us, none of that is true. Everything is fine. The boat is being renovated with new carpet and paint. It’s on “K” street being worked on and it will be beautiful for your wedding.” I give a big sigh of relief and call my family and say, “Don’t worry, it’s nothing”. Sure enough, I drive down “K” street everyday on my way to work and I can see the boat has been taken apart like someone is starting work on it. As we move into April, I glance over at the boat on my way to work everyday and everyday it’s the same. No work on the boat. I call Betty who says, “Oh, don’t worry we have plenty of time”. I explain to her that the invitations have already gone out so she needs to let me know if there is going to be a problem getting the boat back on the water by June. You guessed it, “no problem”.

All through April I’m calling Betty and asking her which dock the boat will be leaving from, since it’s not the one on my invitations, so that I can inform my guests of the change. Every time I call, I am told they will know in a couple of days, not to worry, they will call me back. I never once received a call from this company.

Now we are six weeks away from the wedding and I am seriously panicking, calling every two days. I call the city one Friday. The city tells me that unless the owner of the boat gets some paperwork to them by the close of business that day, there is no way the boat will be on the water in time for my event. I call Betty and relay this information and she says, “Well, you know more than I do.” The boat owner never gets to the city that day, surprise! Next, I am told that they will be meeting with the city on May 18th, and will know after that. May 18th will put me four weeks away from the date. I start scouting other locations and do a lot of crying because I have been purchasing things for this big day. Things that I will need on the boat. I call Betty again, crying and say to her, “Look, we’ve been working together for 5 months on this. Please tell me, one human being to another, will we be able to use the boat for my wedding?” Her response is “keep good thoughts.”

I find another location which is going to work very nicely. But here’s the kicker, just to see what she might say, I call Betty on May 19th. “Well,” I say, “What dock will we be leaving out of?” Her response? “We were taken off the agenda for the meeting with the city. We’ll know on the 7th.” I said, “the 7th of June?” Betty replies yes. I say to her, “So on the 8th, two days before my wedding, you could call me and say the city denied you access to the lake?” Yep. I politely say, “It’s been nice working with you, I wish you the best of luck”. By the way, as of this morning, three weeks until the wedding, the boat is still in pieces and has never had any work done on it.


A little background,  On my wedding day in Jan of 1995,   we were setting up before the wedding, There was a phone call for my friend Shay. Shay comes back in the room in tears, her dad had a stroke and was not expected to make it. We took her to the hospital and things continued. Her father passed away  10 days later. During this time her old bf  Joe shows up. Next thing we know they are engaged. 

Wedding set for July.  The same lady who sewed my wedding dress,  Donna, offered to sew Shays also.  All Shay would have to do is buy the material.  But Donna was already sewing the 2 bridesmaid dresses, so Shay had Peg sew it. Now Peg is very talented seamstress, but she does not exactly understand time restraints.  This was well known in our circle of friends.

Fast forward to  W- Day.  I arrive at the  wedding and go to see Shay. It was about 15 min before the ceremony was to start and she was not dressed,  and completely beside herself!  Peg had not delivered the wedding dress yet.  At that moment in storms Peg, shoves the dress at Shay and leaves. I go set down.   The BMs dresses look fabulous. Donna is a very good seamstress, I had told Shay several times to have Donna take over the dress, as she was finished with the BM dresses.

Wedding march- In walks Shay ----In the most awful dress imaginable!  It seriously looked like a  toga!  All she needed was the crown of leaves.  She told me later she was afraid it would fall apart.

Needless to say that was the highlight of the marriage. She divorced him  2 yrs later. 


 When I was planning my wedding, which took place last week, I found a florist I thought to be incredibly professional and friendly. We had three consultations that she went out of her way to have at our venue so we could see some test arrangements of our flowers and triple-confirm what we want before we put any money down (at an amazingly inexpensive price, too!). I was so impressed, I even recommended her to my friend, who is having her wedding a couple weeks after mine.

The big day arrives. The florist and I signed the contract that stated she and her employees would be at the venue at 1 pm for the 3:30 ceremony. By 1:30, still no florist. So I call her cell phone to make sure she's alright and she informs me that SHE had decided to change the time to later, and assured me that she had MEANT to call me and let me know. Well, nothing to be done about that now, I think, and am comforted hearing that the stuff is almost all loaded up and they will leave in a matter of minutes.

An hour and a half later, after failed attempts by the increasingly frantic bridal party to get her back on the phone, she calls me and says they hit some heavy traffic, but are just up the street. Okay, I'm kinda sweatin' it by now, as I am completely sequestered away in the bridal suite and can no longer leave or else ruin the tradition of not seeing the groom beforehand. This is torture for me as I am a hands-on person and thrive on solving problems personally, but I feel I have no choice but to sit and wait, so I do so as calmly as possible. We lost the opportunity for many pre-ceremony bridal shots with the professional photographer as a result.

By this time, unbeknownst to hidden 'lil me, the bridesmaids are scurrying for a backup, with roughly 25 minutes to go before show time. The photographer even offers to run to the local grocery store to buy some flowers just so I'll have SOMETHING to carry down the aisle. The husband of one of my 'maids is getting ready to do just that as the florist's van finally pulls up. It is now about 3:15 pm.

Her "employees" consist of her husband (who is in no way associated with the business, he told my now-husband later) and mother! One of the things we had rented were some pillars which were supposed to be draped with fabric and topped with floral arrangements. I was told later by some of the guests that it was like watching a comedy act as some of the pillars toppled and hit the florists on the head as they struggled to set them up. They visibly used packing tape to secure a cheap bunch of fake ivy to the top of the tallest two. The shorter two were supposed to have tall rose-filled vases, which never materialized. The fabric draped between them looked like a remnant, complete with frayed edges.

The bridesmaids rush in to my room with the bouquets, which as you may be able to guess by now, were also not what I had ordered. Many of the roses in my own bouquet were damaged and wilted-looking. Thinking quickly, I turned over a pot of metallic gold-pink eyeshadow I had brought and dusted the petals liberally with a blush brush, which helped mask the brown creases and spots. About 5-10 minutes behind schedule, I make it down the aisle. I notice that some of the boutonnieres on the groomsmen are either bent or the bows have come untied. Unfortunately, we weren't able to completely make up for all the bridal photos we missed out on beforehand, and ended up missing the entire cocktail hour. The flowers and decorations for the reception are about 1/3 of what we ordered. After the reception was over, she was too embarrassed to clean up what was left, and sent only her poor husband, who, albeit unrelated to the business, got an earful from a few of the still-peeved-on-my-behalf bridal party members.

Now, I understand that the unexpected can always come up and she may well have had a family emergency or something that caused her to be late. All I really would have wanted was a phone call so that we would have had more time to form a back-up plan and get things rolling more quickly, rather than being left to depend on her insistence that she would be there any minute when she was really two and a half hours late. The good news is that everyone else ended up being so professional and the venue itself was so beautiful that no one else noticed the flaws--not even the mother of the groom, who had been there for two of the consultations! I commended for being so calm and friendly through the whole ordeal (I must be a pretty good actress, haha!). My bridesmaids were totally awesome and supportive the whole time and I love them to death. My one friend/'maid ended up threatening to not continue with her own order if we were not compensated and she was guaranteed that they would not do that to her. We are supposedly going to get half our money back from the florist (although she called my cell phone at 7:30 am the morning AFTER my wedding--hello!?), and my pictures still turned out beautiful. But thank goodness we created our own centerpieces, table numbers, and birdcage for the reception instead of depending entirely on her!


Page Last Updated October 11, 2008