Weddings are supposed to be the happiest day of the bride and groom's life. Only sometimes, not everyone gets that memo.
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Even The Kids Knew It Was Wrong
“It was about 30 years ago: I was at a Christmas party thrown by my friend Jack, a real blokey-bloke if there ever was one. As usual with his events, this party was absolutely jam-packed with people, all drinking and (many) smoking: the music rocking so loud the windows were rattling—three streets away.
I soon discovered there seemed to be a young woman who was awfully keen to make my acquaintance, and Jack introduced her to me as ‘Millie.’ Almost as soon as I had said hello, Millie started to drag me upstairs, along with a little queue of other people she had picked to accompany me. I tried asking Millie what it was all about, but the music was so loud I couldn’t make out her reply. We pushed our way through the throng and stumbled past the people sitting on the stairs, squeezed past those awaiting the toilet, all the while following Millie in a rather bewildered fashion. We all looked at each other quizzically: were these the dreaded ‘gateway events’ of peer pressure our mothers had warned us about? Those precipitated a gradual degradation into the playing of Dungeons and Dragons? Eventually, Millie opened a door to one of the bedrooms at the top of the house and showed us what she wanted us to see: two perfect twin girls, fully dressed, asleep on one of the beds!
I like children as much as the next person, and it did come as a surprise to learn Millie had been bringing ANYONE she could from the party up to see her two-year-old twin girls, just so these dozens of people could admire them! However, it was sweet. Most of us muttered endearments to Millie about their beauty, and we went back to the party.
After that, Millie’s twins made an appearance at just about every gathering of my little social set. At every party (once they were old enough), the little girls were trotted around, carefully being introduced to everyone. Several times I witnessed other friends (who had children of their own) roll their eyes and rather pointedly ask Millie if she would like the name of a good babysitter, but she ignored this. The little people, in matching dresses and hair, were very pretty, completely identical and always beautifully turned-out, although, as the parties went on into the night, they did look increasingly bleary-eyed. When they eventually dropped off to sleep, their mother put them in one of the bedrooms, and brought people in to view them there!
When I talked with Millie, I never heard her converse about anything other than her twins. She was the founder and president of a ‘multiple births’ association, where parents of (mainly) twins could meet up and discuss their experiences. She had arranged for special social events, and she had tried to instigate political campaigns addressing the particular needs of parents with twins.
The happening I witnessed involved a wedding of one of our little social circle, and it was, without doubt, the most bizarre incident I’ve ever seen at a marriage celebration (and I’ve seen a few). The bride was not a particularly close friend of Millie as far as I knew, but as she was having a large wedding, all of us were invited. On arrival, we could see the bride looked gorgeous in her white gown, and the men of the wedding wonderfully turned out in their mourning [sic] attire. The party (of over 200 people) was held in a fairly swish hotel, and the couple had put on a great event with food, a band, afterwards a disco, and a free bar. Everyone was having a grand time. There was a stage set up at one end of the hall, where the bride and groom were to stand when they cut their cake using a table placed in the centre. The DJ stopped the music: a few words were said, the couple sliced into the magnificent confection and pictures were taken. The speeches all having been done earlier in the day, the DJ was able to start the music again straight away. We were all just beginning to disperse onto the dance floor when the music stopped abruptly and a lady’s firm voice sounded on the microphone. All heads swivelled back to look at the person now on the stage: It was Millie.
She announced, although it wouldn’t be her twins’ birthdays for another fortnight, she just couldn’t miss the opportunity to have them blow out the candles, cut their birthday cake and give them their presents so they could unwrap them in at this ‘lovely party.’ People looked on, amazed. Most of the guests did not have the slightest idea who Millie was, and it was clear we were all going to have to wait and watch as some unknown children blew out their birthday candles and unwrapped some presents! I doubt if many people at the wedding were interested in watching the reaction of people they didn’t (and probably wouldn’t ever) know to their birthday surprise!
There was a silence unaccountably stretched out whilst Millie stood on the stage, apparently waiting and hissing impatiently at someone. People around me were muttering they wanted to get back to dancing. This was a wedding party that had stalled. Still, the pause continued, so I pushed my way to the front to see what was going on.
I saw a very pretty, quite tall girl of about 9 or 10, wearing a lovely (very sparkly) pink dress, very reluctantly step onto the stage and slowly sidle up to her mother. She refused to approach the cake (which, with candles as yet unlit, was now on the little table in the center of the podium) and stood with shoulders slightly hunched, holding the gaily-wrapped parcel (which she accepted but refused to open) staring towards the ground with a look of resentment. Her sister, on the dance floor not far from me, refused altogether to climb onto the stage. She looked red in the face, was crying, and no amount of cajoling by Millie could persuade her to get on that platform. She ‘didn’t want her birthday present or cake, she said through gritted teeth.
‘It’s NOT my birthday!’ She muttered.
And she was getting angry. I could see any attempt to drag that child one inch nearer the stage was going to end up in screams. Apparently, those girls had had MORE than enough of being exhibited. Or perhaps, young as they were, they had an idea what their mother was foisting on them (and the wedding) wasn’t normal.
Eventually, the bride, who was lovely, managed to smooth the whole affair over (she could hardly be blamed for not stepping in earlier: no-one had been told what was going to happen, and she had been busying herself with photographs and dealing with the cake). She hugged the girls, drew them away, and even managed to make Millie feel the whole thing was perfectly fine (frankly, her doing so was a huge example of good-natured courtesy). The music started and the party resumed.
I ask you: who gets on a stage and literally stops the wedding (of a fairly distant acquaintance) like that?”
Well That’s A Double-Standard
“I asked my mother to be my Matron of Honor, mostly to make her happy and to avoid a crisis. I chose her favorite colors for my bridesmaids so she wouldn’t be wearing something she didn’t like. I gave her free rein to choose a dress she liked, in the color, I ‘chose’ for her. Keep all this in mind.
From the very beginning of planning, she claimed the wedding was not for the bride, but for the mother of the bride. She dictated my dress, my veil, my flowers, my cake, the food at the reception, and the music that would be played. I got to choose my invitations and announcements, but only because I hid the catalogs from her.
I allowed all this because I believe a wedding is not nearly as important as the marriage, and I knew my husband and I would be fine.
Fast-forward to the day of the wedding. I hadn’t seen her dress yet, but she assured me I’d love it. I was so busy getting myself ready I didn’t worry about it. My wedding was scheduled for 3:00, so my bridesmaids and I were ready to go at 2:30. My mother insisted the ceremony wasn’t until 3:30. I showed her the schedule and she got mad, but allowed I was right. I still hadn’t seen her dress.
At five minutes to three, she was ready. My bridesmaids and I were already in the car with my dad when my mother came out of the house. I finally saw the dress. It was the exact same off-white color as mine. She was also wearing a small tiara with a little veil attached. As it was too late to do anything about it, I let it go.
I got married (we’ll be celebrating 29 years this July), and a good time was had by all, even with my mother telling everybody who would listen it was HER day.
Quite a few people who have seen the wedding photo of the whole bridal party ask which one of the two women wearing long, ecru gowns is the bride or was it a double wedding.
To me, my mother hijacking my wedding and my special day was the biggest breach of etiquette. The funny thing is, both times my brother got married, she told me it was the bride’s day and we had to respect her wishes.”
She Shouldn’t Have Treated Her Family Like That
“I was a wedding photographer and my cousin asked me if I would photograph her wedding. I had to travel five hours out of state, so I told her I would do it for $500 for gas and expenses and a hotel room.
She had a reverse wedding with a huge wedding party, 26 total. They had a reception on Friday night and were married in a traditional Jewish ceremony on Sunday with a short reception. So I had to arrive on Friday and stay until Sunday evening and basically did two sets of formal photos during the reception and the wedding.
I arrived early and helped decorate for the reception and stay to help clean up. After we were finished cleaning up I realized I had been so absorbed in the reception I totally forgot about asking for my room! Come to find out, no one had made arrangements for me. To top it off, her husband had tipped $100 to each person who worked the wedding; the bartender, the caterer, each member of the band, everyone but me. I brushed it off that evening and figured maybe he’d tip me when they paid me after the wedding.
I had nowhere to stay all weekend and ended up sleeping in the bridal couples’ RV with them. She was my cousin, but it was awkward because I was expecting to have a place I could upload my pictures to my laptop and start editing for them. Instead, I ended up sleeping on another cousin’s couch, thank goodness! The wedding ceremony was beautiful and it was crazy with so many in the bridal party and it made posing formals interesting. The bride and groom wanted to do their bride groom pictures after everyone left, so I hung out until everyone was gone only to find that the groom left to go home and watch a game or a race or something…
So no beautiful bride groom photos for them.
Not only did I not get a place to stay, or a tip, but I never even got paid.
I could have photographed three weddings that weekend and made money, but I agreed to photograph my cousin’s wedding because she was family.
If they’d tried to pay me, I probably would have turned it down because she was family, but that was my choice and I was hurt they treated me that way and didn’t offer me anything. The fact they tipped all the people they paid to be there was like a slap in the face.
I have photographed other relatives’ weddings for the same offer. A hotel room and $500 for gas and expenses and one of my cousins even gave me a thank you gift.
They Weren’t Even Invited In The First Place
“My husband and I decided to have our wedding in his hometown, so most of the guests at our wedding were people he knew. Most of our friends and my relatives were from other parts of our country, and they had to be told six months before so they could save and attend the wedding. We mailed some invites and back in our hometowns, we handed them out personally.
A few days before our wedding, my mother-in-law wanted some of their neighbors to come along too, even if my husband only knew them by name. She said they had asked her while she was out in the garden if they could come to the wedding. We said that was okay. Then my mom-in-law said we had to pay for their ride as well to the venue.
My husband is generous and he didn’t want to offend anyone, so he agreed and rented out vans for them. He also rented other cars for the other guests we invited to accommodate them as well. We didn’t think about it after that and went on with our wedding preparations.
Come wedding day and we started on time and everything went very well. Dinner was at 7:30 in the evening, and that’s a usual thing for us in our country. We made sure we had snacks, though, in between the ceremony and reception.
Right after the buffet, we noticed the hall was almost empty. We continued the program but had to cut it short (not even a bouquet toss) because almost everyone left except our closest friends. We ended at nine in the evening and enjoyed our honeymoon after that.
Then we went back to our in-laws to get our things ready so we could return abroad for work. Then we heard this as soon as we sat down in the living room and took off our shoes.
My in-laws told us people complained during our wedding. They said the dinner was so late and the food was no good, and the food almost ran out. Some guests we didn’t know even asked to take food out, but we had instructed the hotel not to allow this. The complaints came mainly from people we didn’t know who tagged along with the friends of the in-laws and the neighbors we also didn’t know. They said it would have been better we had our wedding elsewhere. They also complained we didn’t let them bring home some food still in the buffet. Seriously, they asked for food while people were still lining up to get it!”
A Monster-In-Law In The Making
“My husband and I just got married in June. My mother-in-law’s behavior was appalling. She started eating appetizers before the wedding, which in itself isn’t that bad. She stood during the entire ceremony, blocking the view of many of the guests, including my parents who paid for everything. They had to move in order to see. She also blocked the view of the wedding photographer we hired.
After the ceremony, she didn’t even give my husband and me a second to ourselves to celebrate together. She threw her phone at me, demanding I take a picture of her and her son. My sister said something to her, and she nearly threw punches at her for speaking up.
When I didn’t take a picture of them because the photographer walked up and asked to take family pictures, she pestered her to take a picture with her phone for about 15 minutes. The photographer offered to text her photos, but she refused.
At the reception, she complained about the food, saying it was too spicy (we had a taco bar). Despite complaining, she tried to get seconds before everyone had even been served their first plate. My husband told me she complained when I didn’t spend the whole reception at the head table. All I can say now is I’m so glad my husband is the polar opposite of her.”
The Rules Apply To Everyone
“Some years ago at my little brother’s wedding, he sent out invitations stating very specifically young children weren’t welcome at the reception and all parties must RSVP the guest each was bringing (if not named in the invitation). We were clear: you cannot show up with anybody not RSVP’ed and it better not be more than the plus one.
A relative showed up with her five kids and the oldest’s boyfriend to the reception. No gift. Never went to the actual wedding. Never RSVP’ed and they certainly didn’t RSVP the six people she brought, wearing really ratty street clothing. It wasn’t very pleasant. My stepmom was furious. My dad is anti-confrontational when it comes to family, but this was particularly egregious.
My dad and step-mom had to ask the individual to talk. As my step-mom explained it, she said, ‘I was under the impression family is the exception to such rules and that this was for friends.’
They wanted free food and drinks.
Pam (step-mom) apparently said, ‘No. You were sent an invitation with the rules which applied to you. You didn’t RSVP and you certainly didn’t have the right to bring six people including one total stranger, eat for free, fail to bring a gift, and then act inconvenienced.’
We haven’t seen that piece of trash since then.”
An Interesting Question To Ask
“l lived in Michigan with my now-husband, and my sister (and most of my family) and her boyfriend and his family lived in Chicago land. I knew my sister’s boyfriend and hung out with the two of them when I was visiting my family, and I liked him. My sister was my maid of honor, and it’s customary to invite your attendants’ significant others in their own right, not as ‘plus ones,’ or it was back in the 90s. My sister was close to his family, but I had never met them. When my sister’s boyfriend got his invitation, his parents asked (I think), via my sister, if they could come, too. Or maybe they told her they were planning to come. Either way, I found out maybe a few weeks in advance. They didn’t exactly crash the wedding with four uninvited guests. Still, I was surprised they even asked to come. I didn’t think people did that. I mean, it isn’t exactly proper etiquette to invite yourself to a wedding, is it?
I said yes, or said I was OK with it, because why not. I thought, well, they’re willing to drive over 200 miles and stay in a hotel overnight just to come to my wedding. When I was a little girl, I always wanted to go to a wedding, but just never got invited, so I wanted to let the little sisters come to mine (I said as much to my boyfriend’s dad at the reception). And my reception was a DIY buffet type of thing (with way too much food, as it turned out), so there was no issue with paying for extra plates or making a caterer flip out. So my sister’s boyfriend’s family came to my wedding without being formally invited, I enjoyed meeting them, and everyone had a good time.”
Ma’am, That’s Not How It Works
“When my husband and I got married, we had a very large wedding. There were approximately 400 guests. There were people on my husband’s side I did not know, and there were people on my side he did not know.
When it was time for me to throw my bouquet to all of the single ladies, this woman caught the bouquet I did not recognize. She looked a little out of place, as she didn’t seem to be dressed for a wedding. When I turned around to see who had caught the bouquet, it looked as though one of my friends from work had caught it, but this mystery woman ended up with it in her hands; my friend was left with a couple of leaves in her hand!
I had assumed she was on my husband’s side of the family, while he had assumed she was on my side of the family. Right after she caught (Correction – GRABBED) the bouquet, she came over to me to introduce herself. She told me she had the same name as me. I then asked her who she was related to from the wedding.
Her response astonished me and caught me off guard. She said she was at the wedding because she ‘came to pick somebody up who needed a lift home from the wedding!” I kid you not!
This woman who caught my bouquet – who actually GRABBED my bouquet right out of my friends’ hands (as an added bonus, it was captured on video!) – was not an invited guest to my wedding! She was a complete stranger. How does somebody do this and think it’s OK? I guess it takes all kinds!”
“This bridesmaid had been talking smack about the makeup artist, who was also a friend of the bride, at the bachelorette party. Comparing her own chest to the makeup artist’s chest and demanding they ‘show and tell’ to the rest of the gals for a final vote. The makeup artist was claiming hers were also real, but the bridesmaid was convinced they were not and wanted her to “prove” their authenticity.
A class act, the makeup artist declined and tried to drop the issue.
Cut to the wedding, where this bridesmaid looked totally out of place because she wouldn’t let the makeup artist touch her. She did her own makeup, while the bride and the other three bridesmaids had beautifully done professional makeup.
After a few hours of drinking and carrying on at the reception, the makeup artist and bridesmaid happened to both be in the ladies’ room at the same time. I don’t know if the bridesmaid followed her in there, or if it was just bad luck. But the bridesmaid, hammered and plastered on her own ego, decided to pick up the chest -comparing where she left off.
And it turned into a fight, in the ladies’ room.
The makeup artist was just trying to leave the room, but the bridesmaid wouldn’t let her and actually grabbed for her dress to try and pull it down to see the goods. Defending herself, the makeup artist pushed her away.
Since her dress was tragically miniature, and her chest was so big, the bridesmaid popped out of her dress like an overboiled sausage when she landed on the bathroom floor.
This is when the bridesmaid’s mother, who was also invited to the wedding, happened to walk into the bathroom. She saw her trashed, angry daughter on display on the floor, and the makeup artist standing there looking horrified but also trying to stifle a laugh.
She promptly walked back out and came to the bride to tell her what was going on, and I happened to be standing talking to the bride when she came up. The bride was summoned to the ladies’ room to break up the fight and get her bridesmaid under control. The makeup artist decided it was a good time to leave, while she still had a friendship with the bride. She apologized to the bride and took off. The bridesmaid stayed, kept drinking, tried to hit on anything that moved, including the groom.
Needless to say, her friendship with the bride didn’t last long after the wedding. To my knowledge, she’s still out there somewhere loving her chest to the point that she’s willing to fight people over them.”
Dad Of The Year
“A friend’s son was getting married – the bride was a lovely girl, but her family had little class. As they came out of the church, they paused for some pictures. The bride’s dad was standing behind her. He couldn’t wait a minute for a smoke and lit one up and burnt a quarter-size hole in her veil.
The sad part was she wanted a fancy veil but couldn’t afford to buy it, so she rented it and thanks to dad now owed a couple of hundred dollars to replace the ruined veil.”