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Weddings From Hell

The Whole Thing from start to finish is a disaster


Okay, I just found your site and HAD to submit this.

Recently, the live-in girlfriend of a good (male) friend of mine asked me to be in her wedding. I was a little surprised, since we aren't really friends, but figured it was because I was a friend of the groom. It wasn't until I had already committed that I learned the full, awful, details.

The wedding was held at a bowling alley. At the bar attached to the bowling alley, specifically. The bride had wanted to wear a slinky silk dress, but I talked her out of it, since she is five feet tall and weighs almost 200 pounds. So instead she wore a floor-length black velvet coat with a Cruella De-ville type collar. My bridesmaid's ensemble consisted of a red polyester top, backless, mid-riff baring, sleeveless - as little fabric as one could legally get away with, I suspect. The top was trimmed with fringe, beading, and sequins. There was a matching miniskirt that sat at hip level, exposing even more flesh. Red platform shoes with sequins completed the look. (The bride wanted me to wear fishnet stockings, but I had to draw the line somewhere.)

Prior to the ceremony, the minister (a female friend of the bride), walked around dressed up as the Pope, carrying a huge martini glass full of vodka, which she was sprinking on guests and saying 'Bless you my child', etc. My job as bridesmaid, during the ceremony, was to lug a plastic jug of tequila up the aisle. The other two bridesmaids carried limes and salt, respectively. The ceremony consisted of the bride and groom each taking tequila shots and saying "Let's do this." The ENTIRE ceremony.

Oh, and did I mention The bride and groom arrived 3 and half hours late. There was no food and a cash bar. There was a cake, but only enough for the bride, groom, and their attendants - we were supposed to just eat in front of all the guests.

Several months later, another friend of ours had a fun, cute wedding in Las Vegas. The bowling alley bride said indignantly "She's just trying to have a better wedding than me!" Sorry, hon, ANY wedding is better than yours.


Allison and Greg were a couple with whom I attended college. I was very close to Allison and was extremely excited to hear she was engaged. I was not so thrilled, however, to learn that their wedding was to take place on the date of a huge college basketball game that promised to be very exciting. (Keep in mind that the previous year, this was the couple that did their fair share of complaining because another friend had her wedding on a basketball weekend; they swore up and down they would never do that.)

Fast forward to the wedding. About 200 guests had been invited to the wedding, probably 50% of whom were still in college and very interested in attending that basketball game. Everyone showed up anyway because we all liked the couple so much - BUT - this is the kicker. During the reception, someone had brought along a radio, and many of the guests were clustered around it, listening to the game in another room and totally ignoring the bride and groom while all the toasting, cake cutting, etc. was going on.

Furthermore, it turned out the wedding was outdoors - in NOVEMBER. At night! It was 38 degrees! Few guests had dressed for this sort of thing and most left their jackets on the entire time. The bridesmaids had on sleeveless dresses as did the bride.

That's not the only thing...the groom and his friends had been playing golf all day (i.e. drinking since 900 am) so every time an usher walked down the aisle, a whiff of Jim Beam was smelled by all. One of them was responsible for lighting the candles, and he ended up knocking over a large calendebra.

So, here come the attendants and the ring bearers, etc. Lovely. The musician is playing nice bridal music while they walk, when suddenly I realize the bride is walking past me. There was no "dunh dunh dunh" music announcing that we were supposed to stand, the preacher didn't instruct everyone to stand - nothing!  I'm whispering, "Stand up! Stand up!" to everyone around me, but we are so confused that by the time everyone realizes what is going on she is at the front already!

Then to make matters worse, the preacher says, "We are here to celebrate the union of Anne and Greg..." except that her name is Allison. Oops.

Also for some strange reason, the ring bearers were allowed to carry the actual rings, which of course were promptly dropped on the grass by accident. The MOH had to spend a few minutes searching for them.

Finally, two guests were particulary obnoxious. One was the cousin of the bride, who proceded to hit on every woman at the reception, single or not, by coming up to them and sliding his arms around their waists. (This guy was also wearing a dark suit with white socks but that's another story). Also an older lady there, wearing a black sequined dress no less, got so intoxicated that she fell on the hardwood dance floor, shattering her champagne glass.

I felt really sorry for the bride and groom, both of whom are lovely people, and the majority of the problems weren't their fault.    wedhell1010-00

This is a story about a wedding I attended about 2 1/2 years ago. The bride and groom were both in their early twenties, both in college. They had been dating for about 3 months before they got engaged, and only spent about 4 months after than planning the wedding. Understandably, they were both young, strapped for cash, and looking to cut corners wherever they could.

The wedding was held on a Saturday afternoon in late June. The reception was held the Saturday BEFORE the wedding, and the shower was the Saturday before that!  Those of us who attended all three gatherings pretty much gave this couple a month of our weekends. The shower was a few hours long, held in a church.  They had 2 trays of finger sandwiches and one veggie plate for 75 guests.  Many of us did not eat. No desert, punch or coffee. We had tap water in styrofoam cups from the church kitchen.

The next Saturday, at the reception, there were crepe paper bells hanging from the ceiling, and wooden tables set up with aluminum folding chairs. No table clothes. We used the church's own paper plates and plastic utensils to eat our spaghetti dinner. There was a buffet table set up where we got our sticky spaghetti and cold garlic bread. Then we went to our tables for the sauce. Each table had a jar of spaghetti sauce on it, some opened, some not, and we poured our sauce from the jar onto the spaghetti. They had a small carvel ice cream cake for desert. The bride,  groom, and their families had cake, but there was not enough for the 100 guests.

After we ate, they opened all of the presents, including cards, and read out loud the amount of each check they received, and who it was from. Many people were embarrassed. There was no dancing, no music, it felt like another tacky bridal shower.

The next Saturday was the ceremony. They were only having a maid of honor and best man. No other attendants. The morning of the wedding, the maid of honor was taken to the hospital with an asthma attack. The bride asked me to step in because I was wearing a similar style dress, and I wasn't too pretty to show her up on her wedding day. I agreed only because she and my brother are the best of friends. I walked down the aisle, stood in the receiving line, and was preparing to go home with the rest of the guests (There was nothing after the ceremony... Just a long ride home) But the Bride said that as the maid of honor, I was expected to go to the "Family Reception". I went. It was the most beautiful reception I have ever seen.  Ice sculptures, Swing band, 5-course meal, 4-tier wedding cake... All for 15 guests. If they had cut costs all around, they could have afforded a very nice reception for all of the 100 guests, and not just spaghetti and bottled sauce.

At the end of the reception where I felt very out of place since I was only there because of the color of my dress, I was asked by the bride's family where my gift was. I told them that I had bought gifts for the shower, and also had brought one to the reception a week earlier, and they said gifts were expected at the ceremony from the attendants. I wasn't even supposed to be there. The bride's mother then announced to everyone that the maid of honor had not brought a gift, but it was okay because I wasn't really supposed to be there. I was chose to stand in at the last minute because I was the only guest who the bride thought would not upstage her in beauty. It was at that moment that I thanked them for being invited and left.

The wedding was in June. I finally recieved a thank-you note for my two very extravagant gifts (Over $200 total) The thank you was inside a Christmas card which I received closer to New Year's. It said "Thanks for the gifts. They all got mixed up so we don't know what was from who, but we assumed the Walmart dishtowels were from you. We don't use them, but they're nice back-ups" Of all the nerve! Needless to say, they're divorced now. That's what happens when you go from first date to honeymoon in 7 months.     wedhell1031-00

My tale of terror was my brothers first wife.

His highschool sweetheart was a cute little blond. He succombed to pressure to move in with her shortly after graduation, and they lived together for about 2 months before she forced him to move out as his living with her was incompatible with her "Christian morality".  It was, apparently still ok for them to sleep together and date, they just couldn't live together. We should have figured it out then, but didn't.

After a year of this, they decided to get married in the summer. This was on 1 month notice.  My mother was ok with this, as the bridal shop was in the same town, and the church was local, and the reception was to be in the local fire department's hall. She didn't even put up a fuss over my brother footing the bills for the wedding, Jan having only a mother and sister, both of whom were not overly well off. The wedding cost about $12,000 for everything, dresses included.

The problem came when it was time for the dresses. The shop had us do the fittings with muslin slopers, pattern pieces that can give better results for a fitting as you aren't working on the dress, you are making a single, one-off pattern. The problems started when we saw the dresses the day before I went to Washington for a symposium that was a make-or-break matter for my degree. There were 4 of us, 1 MOH and 3 maids. The dress for the MOH was simply beautiful, a pale green dress. No bow-on-the-butt, no funky flowery things anywhere on the anatomy, a simple peplum floor length dress. The rest of us fared worse. Mine was in pink. I am auburn with blue eyes and winter coloring. Mary Kay pink makes me look like I have jaundice. Penny's dress was pale grey-blue. She is black. Her beautiful skin and eyes made the dress look washed out and wimpy. The third maid was the most wonderful china doll, alabaster skin and golden hair. She was dressed in lilac. Some blonds look good in lilac, she looked like she had been dead for a week. Penny looks wonderful in Lilac, and I look wonderful in blue-grey. Did I mention the color of her dress matched my eyes perfectly? We all decided to put up with the dresses as the dresses were beautifully made, fit perfectly and [snicker] I turned mine into a dress pattern to make my graduation gown.

The biggest problem came when she demanded that I leave Washington the morning of my last day there, missing 3 very important lectures which caused me to drop from a 4.0 in the class to a 2.9, and having to beg my advisor to let me make it up in some manner in August. This was to attend the wedding practice, set for 3 in the afternoon, and the rehearsal dinner at 7 pm. If I had returned with the rest of the people going to the symposium I would have gotten back at 8 pm. She could have scheduled the rehearsal for the weekend before I left, or for the day after I got back, but she insisted that I return especialy for HER wedding.

The day of the wdding rolls by, my brother picks up his lovely white tux. Jan is getting his clothes ready [can you say micromanagement?] and pulls out white gym socks with red stripes on them. Then she has the guts to get pissed off when people laugh as they can be seen through the white tux legs as they kneel at the alter. Her wedding photographer show up thoroughly blitzed and with the exception of the staged wedding photos before the ceremony and the one with the cake [he used a tripod for these] they look like something from one of those trendy commercials where they cant seem to hold the cameras still and upright.

We get to the hall, and it is nice, a number of the people that my brother and I worked with spent several hours the night before decorating and getting it ready. The food is pretty standard, roast chicken, mashed potatos, asparagus and a very nice cottage cheese and fruit on lettuce salad. The wedding cake is beautiful. The live band is one that is popular in the area. Jan's mother pitches a fit because my parents provided an open bar and champagne to toast the couple. She started shrieking, "Good Christians Don't Drink," at the top of her lungs. Then she starts picking on the band. "Good Christians Don't Listen to the Devil's Music."  She starts blaming my father and shoves him into the table with the presents and the cake, toppling the very expensive cake just enough so the top tier falls off. Well, we manage to salvage the rest of the cake, and put the little figures on the second level.

It comes time to do the schtick with the garter and bouquet, so of course, mommy dearest starts complaing about that too. At about this time, my boyfriend of the time, my mother and father, and about half the people simply give up and we walked out en mass. According to my brother, her rather rude behavior ended the reception very shortly after this when she started having hysterics and whining about how Danny was taking her little baby away and that he was going to corrupt her precious little girl until she goes to hell.

After this festive fiasco, a bunch of us at work were not surprised in the least that after 8 months of marriage, Jan asked for a divorce because "marriage was not up to her expectations!"

I have heard that she has worked her way through 4 more men and is currently out shopping for another!  I am very glad to say that it didn't turn myself or my brother off of marriage, he has been happily married to his second wife for 13 years.    wedhell1108-00

At one point in my dating life, I was dating an English guy. During a summer visit, we were hanging out at a pub and one of his friends said he was going to be married next week and this was his stag night.  Well, I felt a little out of  place, but they said not to worry.  In fact, Cal (the groom to be) asked if I'd like to come to the wedding.  I was a little taken aback being that the wedding was next week and I'd only just met him.  Then Cal asked if anyone else at the table would like to come as well.

Well ,everyone kind of blew off his request until later I told my boyfriend that it might  be fun  to go to the location of the wedding for a weekend with our friends.  It was a big tourist area and I'd been backpacking there with my cousin.  So my boyfriend and I along with another couple agreed to go to this wedding.

We arrived at the provided hotel and looked around.  It was the wierdest place I'd ever seen.  It looked like an old hotel from a horror show.  The rooms were like dorm rooms with one bathroom per floor.  Everything was covered completely with dust.  We settled in and began touring.  (The groom was staying in a tent overnight.)

The day before the wedding, we were walking around town and I whispered to my boyfriend that it might be nice to get a gift for the couple.  So we went to a store to pick something out.  We decided that the four of us would chip in and get them something nice.  We asked the groom's brother and sister what kind of house they would have or the colors they liked or maybe what they needed?  They had no clue.  So we got them a set of bathroom accessories including towel racks and towels and other assorted stuff.  When we began to sort out the  money, the groom's brother and sister said, "Hey, that's a nice idea - to get a gift.  Can we chip in as well?"  So they gave money too.  All in all, we each spent what was equivalent to $7.00 / person for this gift.

That night was a pub crawl (bar hopping).    During that time, Cal asked my boyfriend and his friend to be his ushers.  That was a bit odd, but everything was at this point.

The day of the wedding arrived.  I was very concerned that my dress was inappropriate being that I was merely travelling and was not expecting to go to a wedding. I thought I should go out and get panty hose since it was tacky to have bare legs.  Well, I had no reason to worry.  We arrived early and watched the guests come in.  There were your typical overweight aunts and uncles and tons of kids running around screaming.  Then there was a girl with pink hair, a black caustic and combat boots.  Another guest was wearing cut off denim shorts and a t-shirt.  Another one wore jeans and a fake-leather vest.  Just the vest.  I began to notice that everyone was being seated on one side of the room.  There were only seven people there for the groom including the four of us!

The bride showed up in a fancy car.  Through the window the party looked beautiful.  As the bride walked down the aisle, I noticed buttons missing on the dress that was practically falling off of her.  Her tattoo was hanging out of the back of the dress and she had a nose-ring.

After the ceremony, the bride and groom went off in their car.  We walked a couple of miles to get to the reception.  On the way, the people who were guiding us stopped to grab a pint!  By the time we got there, the bride was upset because apparently they wanted my friends to be in the pictures as the ushers.

The reception.  Oh boy.  We went to a pub.  We had a beer or two then the guests were seated one-by one by a director.  We sat as the bride and groom and their families were served and we waited.  We finally relaxed that this was a buffet for us.  Oops. We danced and had a good time afterwards.  It was a strange experience, but a good story and some great fun!   End result - her family thought we were wierd. They were divorced three months later.     wedhell1126-00

I went to a wedding back in 1985 that we still talk about. In fact it was so awful people who weren't even there call me to recount it.

A college friend of mine was getting married in a remote state. Everyone who was attending had several hundred miles to travel. The invitation was standard and was for the ceremony and reception.We all made our own arrangements. Upon arrival at a very exclusive country club we were handed a crystal and given lines to recite. I refused and was told I would have to stand to the back as it might affect the aura.

After the very brief crystal ceremony, we were ushered into the country club. The bride, groom and wedding party were roped off. We then found out that this was to differentiate those who were entitled to drink and those who were to have CASH BAR. Nope, not even a toast of champagne for the unwashed masses. I don't happen to generally carry lots of money to a wedding; we couldn't even get a club soda without paying. Meanwhile the wedding party got roaring drunk. And no, there was no mention of cash bar on the invite. In our sober state we took a poll and no one had ever heard of treating guests differently than the wedding party.     wedhell1129-00

A girl and guy that I worked with asked me and my then husband to be in their wedding. The bride, being sensitive as she was, would have been  devastated if I had said no but I ignored my gut feeling and said yes. If I had only known........

The bride and groom, while quite nice, were rather indecisive and less than bright. Everything was all right, or so I thought, until the night of the rehearsal.

We all arrived at the church, a beautiful old structure, to find that the  wedding (a rather large event, I might add) was being held in the tiny  chapel rather than the larger sanctuary. Oh, well, I thought, not my problem! We find where we are supposed to be and in walks this woman in a shapeless, disheveled long green dress, sandals with no stockings, long ratty hair, and a bible. It was the minister! Ok, whatever. We begin the rehearsal, and the minister starts asking the usual questions, like do you want the moms to light the unity candle, are you having a receiving line, which the bride and groom answer, "We don't know." So the rest of us had to help them decide how they wanted their wedding to go! This was turning out to be more work than I had anticipated. 2 hours later, we leave the rehearsal to head for the rehearsal dinner, held at a friend's house. Not only was there not enough room, there was not enough food! So we left early.

The next day, we all arrive at the church early for pictures and whatnot. The photographer took one picture of the bride and her attendants, and then spent the next HOUR photographing the groom and his attendants. I couldn't believe it! So we all sat upstairs, doing nothing, while the photographer has the men parading all over downtown for pictures. (The bride and groom, but especially the bride, are not the kind to say anything about poor service even though they should, and this will be evidenced again later.) He left right after the wedding.

About half an hour before the ceremony actually begins, the bride is getting really nervous. She half cries while she walks circles around the tiny dressing area winding her nicely pressed train into a knot and spreading beads and sequins all over the floor. For some reason, I am the only one that thinks to tell her to either pick it up and carry it or sit down! She does neither. To top it off, she is wearing lingerie she would not normally wear (satiny) and is complaining about how bad it feels and she wants to take it off. Finally she sits down so one of the bridesmaids can do her makeup, of which she normally wears none. She looked rather strange to me, but she was happy, so I let it go.

The wedding goes just fine, and we all file out into the hot, late-June sun to await the limo that is not yet there. It finally pulls up, and I can't believe it when the driver steps out and introduces himself. He has no teeth! I can't even remember his name, but he was memorable. As we all try to pile into the back, of course there is not enough room for us all. My husband and I have to sit up front with the driver. The day being hot and sunny, we asked that he turn on the air conditioning for us. "Hope you don't mind", he says, "but the air conditioning is broke." So we ask him to roll down the back windows. He says he can't, it's against company policy. Whatever! So we finally take off. The driver asks the newlyweds where they want to go. Their response? "We don't know." My husband and I end up directing the driver where to go. This is starting to feel like OUR wedding! We drive around downtown, and as the radio in the limo is broken, as well as the phone and television, the driver has a tape of horrible disco music. We pass a park where a gay and lesbian festival is going on, and "YMCA" starts playing, blasting out of the speakers and the open windows of the limo. I could have died.

Then the bride and groom have an idea--let's go to the local Home Depot and parade around there in our wedding attire! Help me! We arrive and file out of the limo into the store. Needless to say, the workers and customers are rather surprised to see us. We traipse all over the store, and for some bizarre reason the bride decides to have her picture taken on a TOILET sitting in the aisle. Can we leave now?

We file back into the limo and head for the reception (held in the lower level of a bowling alley). We get out, and the driver takes off! All of my husband's and my stuff is in the trunk, including my purse! Aaaah! We go to the reception, considering everyone is waiting for the bridal party, and perform as usual. Meanwhile, I am telling the groom to call the limo service and the photographer to get his money back, and my husband is on his phone trying to get a hold of the limo service to bring the limo back. Nobody there! He tries again, and gets someone that does not speak English! Finally, somehow, he gets the limo driver to come back and retrieves our things from the trunk.

After all that hoopla, I was exhausted. I feigned a headache and we left! I don't think I ever want to be in another wedding again.   wedhell1130-00

This story actually took place about 15 years ago.

A long time friend of mine informed me she was getting married and asked me to be her matron of honor.  I had several issues with this....first of all, she was getting married in a state that was 12 hours away by car which meant that I (and the rest of the guests) would have to travel there.  I couldn't understand why she didn't want to get married in her home town, since she had only lived in this new city for less than a year.  I also really didn't have the funds for the dress, travel and gift.  Secondly, I no longer considered her a good friend and disapproved of her lifestyle.  In the years prior to her marriage, she had become very promiscuous.  She lived off men, and used all of her friends.  Her fiance was still married when she met him and left his wife and two kids to marry her.  They were living together.  Thirdly, she wanted me to be her "matron of honor". I informed her that I had never been married, so I couldn't be a "matron of honor."  She disagreed with me and told me it simply meant "second best maid of honor."  The Maid of Honor was to be her fiance's sister, who had been married three times!

Anyway, she pressured me to honor her request, and even cried and begged me.  I reluctantly agreed, and that's when things started to really get bizarre.  First she informed me that she had picked out designer bridesmaid gowns that were about $400 each.   Remember, this was in 1985 dollars and I was just starting out, so it was money I didn't have.  She told me they only had a size 6 left and I was a size 10. No big deal though, her mom could alter it for me so it would fit!  She mailed the dress to me and I was mortified.  It was lime green and the most hideous thing I had ever seen - satin with bows and ribbons and puffed sleeves.  Worse yet, it was several sizes to small and I knew it would never look normal when altered.  She also informed me I needed silver shoes, which I didn't own and couldn't afford. I told her that, and she cried, begging me not to ruin her wedding day.  ! I went ahead with the altering and bought the shoes.  

Next, I drove the 12 hours  to the city where the wedding was to take place. I had to check into and pay for a hotel for 2 nights.  To add insult to
injury, she was too busy to even speak to me and I felt very uncomfortable
around her new circle of friends.  They were bible-thumping Evangelists and worked on me to convert to their religion all weekend.   It was so unpleasant.

The next day I went to the rehearsal, then the prenuptial dinner at a restaurant.  All of the guests were presented with checks and had to pay for their own meals.

When I arrived at the church the next day, I discovered that the only attendees of the wedding were in the wedding party.  There wouldn't be a single guest in the church to watch the ceremony!  I also learned that she decided to get married in her finance's city instead of back home because her minister there disapproved of her lifestyle. So, she had all of us travel 800 miles for her special day.  The big formal wedding seemed so very hypocritical. Then I walked down the aisle in my ill-fitting, $400 altered creation and stood next to the other eight bridesmaids and maid of honor and listened to a "fire and brimstone" minister lecture us all about the evils of our life.   

The wedding was over and we were quickly ushered into the hall way for the reception.  Yes, I said hallway. Our refreshments were punch and mints.  For the entertainment , the bride and groom rented six TV monitors/VCRs that played a video they had professionally made with music and all.  It was the story of the bride and groom's lives.  The bride looked lovely, in her expensive white designer wedding gown and 3 carat wedding ring.  When I went up to congratulate them, the bride informed me hat their white stretch limo had pulled up in front of the church to take them to the airport for their honeymoon --- to Europe!  So, they had to run, but thank you for spending our special day with us!  I was stunned...the reception, if you'd call it that, lasted less than 1/2 hour, there was no food or drinks for the guests, other than mints and punch.  Plus, everyone had travel expenses and had to pay for their prenuptial dinners.  

I then added up the $400 gown and silver shoes and a wedding gift I had to buy.  The entire thing cost me $1,000 and I certainly couldn't afford it.  I seethed as I watched her get into the limo in her expensive wedding gown, huge diamond ring and extravagant trip to Europe.  I felt like we had really been duped.

Of course, I didn't receive a thank you note, and the next call I received from her was about a year later, informing me they were getting divorced.  I think they ended up staying together, but  it was by far the tackiest wedding I ever attended.      wedhell1209-00

This past summer I went with my fiance, "Denny" to a wedding of one of his friends, "Gwen." Also need to mention here that Denny and Gwen had dated very briefly a long time back, and she still gives me dirty looks, as if I'm somehow the one who caused their breakup back then.

The place they held it was over-the-top-elaborate/gaudy, the kind where they have 5 chandeliers for a 10-foot room for no reason other than being ostentatious. The ceremony was held outside, and the reception at one of the rooms inside. They actually lucked out on the weather - it was bright and sunny and not too hot.

The ceremony was to begin, say at 5, and we got there a little before 4, main reason being that Denny was asked to read a poem during the ceremony, and he wanted to get there early. I can't even remember the poem, just that it was something awful and trite. We go to get seated and I can't sit with Denny because of said reading - he sits in the first row and I am seated what feels like three states away where I can't hear anything or see because of the giant ivy-covered beam right in front of me. Surprise. They don't even have enough programs for everyone (and between these two families there is an extremely substantial amount of money), so I have to lean over to read what's going on. The ceremony starts late.

There are two ceremonies; he is Indian and she's not. They have the first traditional American ceremony minister, short service, readings (Denny did great), "do you take this woman," etc. They kiss and get announced as man and wife, but we're not allowed to leave or even move, because now there will be a separate traditional Indian ceremony. The staff was incredibly rude and when I went to congratulate Denny on a job well done I got *yelled* at.

Now let me say that I think it's a great idea to incorporate all kinds of traditions into your wedding in general. I just think that the guests should at least understand what's going on. The second ceremony was AT LEAST an hour and not only could I not hear anything from where I was, I wouldn't have been able to understand it anyway because it was in Hindu! All of it! There was no sort of translator to at least say, "And this is when he pledges his undying love," or anything like that. There were dances and songs that I am sure would have been lovely if all the guests had a vague clue about what was going on! And I can assure you that all the 300+ guests spoke English. Meanwhile I spent the hour reading and re-reading what's printed on the back of my driver's license because it was the only thing to do.

After the ceremonies, Denny and I were starving and I desperately needed a drink and to use the bathroom. But in order to get to where the hors d'oerves were and bar (not to mention the bathroom), we had to go through the receiving line. I've seen less traffic on highways at rush hour. Then once we got through that and went into where the reception was being held, there was ANOTHER massive line to get in. It felt like Soviet Russia. One of the bridesmaids barked orders at us like elementary school children. Turns out that we weren't even granted access to the room unless we signed the guest book!

Once we were granted access upon signature, there was yet another line for the buffet or hors d'oerves. There was maybe one tray of breaded vegetables circulated by a sullen waitress. Let me just say that if you have that many people, buffets are just not a good idea. Especially if there is no food. You'd think that with the budget there would be something to eat, but no. By the time we got to the front of the line, there were maybe 2 cucumber slices left and they were already setting up (another buffet) for dinner. Denny was starving and when he went over to the buffet for dinner, he got sharply reprimanded -- by the groom! Dinner - once we were allowed to get up - consisted of cornmeal mush and soggy veggies. Denny and I subsisted on stale rolls and chunky butter. The band? Unintelligible and undanceable. I know because I sat next to the speakers.

At one point at the table, Denny leaned over to kiss me, and the waitress literally stepped in front of him, knocked his head away, and barked "Move!"

The reception was maybe 4 hours and people were leaving after the toasts. We stuck it out for about three hours and then felt sick and had to leave.

The best part is now that I'm engaged, Gwen offered Denny the books she used to plan the wedding! I'm sure it'll help - as a blueprint for everything we DON'T want! Thanks and keep up the good work!   wedhell1229-00

I've been dating James (names have been changed to protect the innocent and even the not so innocent) for several years. In April of 1997, we announced that we would be married. Approximately three days later, James' younger sister (Perky Patsy) became engaged as well. Immediately, all attention focused on Perky Patsy and we were pretty much left in the dust, as they say. I have never felt like I was truly welcomed in this family. Heck, even James does not feel like he's a part of his own family. (Neither of us had ever done anything to offend anyone in the family. We've always remembered birthdays and tried to be as generous as possible. Both James and I make very good incomes and we've always been very free with our money, showering his siblings with gifts that they would not ordinarily be able to afford. To complicate matters, James' father's side of the family is quite wealthy. Apparently this means that they can be rude. Sssshhh! We don't want them to know that they aren't the only ones on this planet who have money!)

The ensuing months included much wedding preparation and the big day for Perky Patsy and her intended, whom I refer to as Hitler Youth (no kidding - that's the nickname I use for him, of course not to his face!), was set for June of 1999. There were the requisite bridal showers, during all of which I had to endure the usual "So exactly when are you getting married anyway?" questions. (James and I had pretty much been told "not to steal the limelight away" from Perky Patsy, so we postponed all of our plans. Don't want to upset Perky Patsy and take away any glory from her "special day"!) Come to think of it, I still haven't received a thank you from Perky Patsy for one of the several gifts I gave to her at one of her showers.

June arrived and Perky Patsy and Hitler Youth were all ready for their nuptials. The wedding was to be outdoors, but because of inclement weather, the wedding had to be moved indoors. Perky Patsy's mother, whom I will refer to as Viola Victim, totally came unglued with the change in plans. To add to the problems, Viola Victim had been divorced from Perky Patsy's father long ago, but Viola Victim was still just that - a victim. And she played it to the limit, including making remarks about her ex-husband and all his "girlfriends" being at the wedding and about his lack of contribution to the cost of the wedding. She was a total wreck and everything was so disorganized and out of control. She was the only person who knew what was supposed to go where, but she wasn't too forthcoming with information. Those of us who were trying to help with the flowers and decorations were really in the dark, all because Viola Victim was having a nervous breakdown. Also, when she married !

Perky Patsy's father years and years before, there was no wedding. Now was Viola Victim's chance to live vicariously through her daughter and have the wedding she didn't get to have. Needless to say, this was a true example of dysfunctionality at its worst!

When the guests arrived and were seated, James (who was one of the ushers) seated me in the section reserved for his family. After I was seated by James, his brother Boring Bob promptly came up to me and said, "You will need to move. This is the family section." Well, I had spent several years with James at this point and, after all, we were engaged, but apparently I was not "allowed" to be in the family section! I had to stand up in front of the crowded room and walk out. I broke into tears! James became upset and added more chairs in the aisle for us (not the aisle where the wedding party would be walking, but on the opposite end). Hitler Youth promptly advised that we were to immediately remove the chairs, that they couldn't be blocking anything! James of course said, "I don't care what you think - we're sitting here."

It got better from there. After the ceremony, an announcement was made that all family members were to report to a certain area for pictures to be taken. James insisted that I should go with him because he felt I was part of the family. I obediently followed behind him to the area where we were to gather, at which point I was told by James' father Arrogant Adam (who, as noted above, was once married to Viola Victim) "You are not part of this family." Well, I wanted to leave at this juncture, but could not get access to my car keys because they were locked up in the bride's room. Both James and I were very upset at the treatment we were being given.

And it got even better! During the reception, it was time for the bouquet toss, which is an extremely archaic tradition (in my opinion). I was one of maybe two adult, unmarried women. All the rest of the females standing out there ready for that bouquet were under the legal drinking age (average age of 12). The other adult, unmarried woman (Babs, who is James' cousin) grabbed me by the arm and said, "If I have to do this, so do you!" Despite my protests, she dragged me to the floor. We stood in back of the crowd, at which point Hitler Youth promptly came up behind the two of us and said, "If you're not going to have any fun out there, I'd prefer that you leave." Babs and I looked at each other and turned around and simultaneously told Hitler Youth to "F-- Off!" He retreated to his cage at that point and has pretty much not spoken to either of us since.   wedhell0726-00