Weddings can be the most beautiful day of a person’s life or they can be the worst. and sometimes it is the worst for the guests. Content has been edited for clarity.
An Unusual Request
“We made an unusual request for our wedding.
We were a bit older (37 and 43, first wedding for both), and doing pretty well, so we decided to have a nice event. We both had lots of friends by this age, so it was to be pretty big. We both loved children, didn’t have any at the time, and had been to too many boring weddings, where the guests had all been told no children were to attend.
We decided to turn that upside-down, and informed all of our guests that had children that they were not to hire babysitters, bring the kids, and if they showed up without them would be sent home to get them. Our venue had a loft that we set up as a kids area, and we hired a couple of young ladies to help make sure the kids were safe and attended to.
We had 185 guests, about 40 of whom were children, from 3 weeks old to teenagers. It was delightful. There was exactly one “disciplinary incident” when a boy, about 6, threw something and almost knocked over a glass of vino, and thus had to be told not to throw things anymore, please.
So that was the unreasonable demand — bring your kids, or else! Still the best day of my life.
“My husband’s father obviously grew up in a different generation than people who are in their 30/40s now and views a lot of the customs of today’s weddings as ‘Rude, entitled and outrageous.’
Two of his daughters mortified him when they sent their wedding invitations out.
You know how invitations always state the parents’ names inviting you to their children’s weddings? Ex: “Mr. and Mrs. Dale Jones cordially invite you to the wedding of their daughter.”
So both invitations looked like they were coming from him directly. But obviously both of his daughters designed them.
Daughter One’s invitations stated “Please only bring cash and or gift cards due to us living out of state and not being able to transport gifts. “
His other daughters’ wedding really embarrassed him.
Her Invitations were in the same fashion, addressed from him to the guests and stated:
‘For gifts, we are registered at the following…please send them directly to our address instead of bringing them to the wedding.” They had some sort of go-fund-me page for cash donations if you were unable to attend AND at the bottom said ‘Since the newlyweds are just starting out, we ask that you donate to their honeymoon fund to Fiji’ they had set up another page or you could donate solely to their honeymoon.
It was a backyard wedding and the daughter decided to keep the money given to her for the wedding and instead asked all of her friends and family to coordinate the wedding, cook all the food, cater it, control the music, set up the decorations and everything- Instead of hiring people. Boy was that a whirlwind. They were invited as ‘guests’ but were expected to work before the wedding and the day of the wedding before the ceremony started.
She asked her husband’s stepmom to cook food for 60 people and when the mother-in-law asked for money to go shopping the bride was offended. The stepmom ended up paying for all the food and cooking it after a conversation where the bride said ‘I thought this is your contribution.’
My husband aka brother of the bride’s ‘job’ day of was to go pick up some side dishes and pre-made desserts from a nearby restaurant. He was given no money, he paid $500 and they never offered to pay him for it. We just decided that was their present from us. Although it was never mentioned again or inquired about from their part.
The day of at the venue I arrived(as a family member) to complete chaos. I ended up directing everything because the guests who had been asked to “come early” had no idea they were expected to set up and had no clue what to do with the tables/chair/centerpieces and everything. I just winged it. The bride and mother were off doing their hair and makeup. The bride‘s two sisters were the ones supposed to be helping with everything and they showed up late because they were busy doing their hair and make-up.
They also decided to have it outdoors in August at 2:00 PM. Everyone was hot and sweaty and there was no adult beverage station.
The guests who had been asked to show up early( 12 pm) were hot and starving by this point and there was no food given to them until the reception which didn’t start till about 4:30
The icing on the cake was during the ‘Money dance’ where they got out their cell phones and had Venmo and Square pulled up in case anyone didn’t have the cash to dance with the bride. They even went as far as to announce it to all the guests over the PA system.
I notice a lot of people left right after they ate and didn’t stay for the ‘reception.’
I don’t think they meant to, but they came across as money-grabbing to a lot of people. I completely get that they wanted to be frugal, but if you’re going to go this route then you need to have a very small wedding and not expect people to bring you lavish gifts and money.
“You Are Responsible For This”
“A male friend of ours is getting married and had asked my husband to be in the wedding party. He said yes. We had met his fiancée, Rachel, a handful of times but never got to know her on a personal level. Because of that, Rachel had suggested a get-together at her house prior to the wedding so that all the people who would be in the wedding could get to know one another. Makes sense.
A week later I got an invitation in the mail for the party, as well as a note stating:
‘You are responsible for bringing 10 bottles of soda (must be name brand), home-made brownies for 25 people, five bags of chips (must be name brand). Each person can bring food to put on the grill but limited to a hamburger for each, or two hotdogs each, with a small piece of chicken. The rolls for these items have been assigned to ‘Luanne.’ as well as all condiments (must be name brand).’
My eyes! I had to read it ten times to believe it was real! Bring our own food to fit on the grill? As well as other food?
My phone rang off the hook. Everyone was comparing their ‘YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS’ list. She assigned one person to bring garbage bags and they were the clean-up crew. Another person was assigned decorations and linens.
I, along with several others, called Rachel to decline. Her response: ‘Okay. But you are still responsible for your list, so please drop those items off to my house ASAP.’
I told her that she is off her rocker.
Long story short, the party didn’t happen. The wedding was postponed for over a year. It did finally happen. They divorced two years later.”
“My former Mother-In-Law, a very sweet, prim, and oh so proper lady who rarely had an unkind word for anyone, received a wedding invitation from one of the children of her very long time next-door neighbor. The invitation described a remote hilltop wedding venue overlooking the Pacific, pretty much all family and friends lived in Detroit, at some strange hour that I don’t remember. This was to be followed by a somewhat challenging hike to a remote camp of some sort for the reception. At the end of the invitation, they included the following, (paraphrasing) ‘Since we know that most of you will not be able to attend we request that you give us cash to help pay for our dream honeymoon in an expensive island somewhere’. My MIL was flabbergasted, to say the least. I was there when she read the invitation and heard more than a few ‘Oh my’s’ as she reread it to make sure she actually understood what they were asking.
The reaction of her children and others present was what you might expect but she didn’t say anything more, tucked the invitation away and went about her business. A couple of months later I asked her what she had decided to do about the invitation. She said she sent them a very nice set of custom monogrammed bath towels (no returning those) and smiled sweetly with a slightly evil glimmer in her eyes.”
Please And Thank You Would Be Nice
“There was a company-wide email sent from one of the ladies in the office.
I knew her but rarely spoke with her as she was in a different division and her work was completely unrelated to mine. The below is not word for word but is basically the same drift.
While on vacation in Las Vegas last week (some guy nobody knew) and I got married. As no one knew about the wedding you were not able to attend or send a wedding gift so we set up a web sight with a link to our registry. (A list suggesting specific items was included) If you would prefer to send a cash gift a link to enter your credit card information is also included.
We are going to have a honeymoon in Vegas in a few weeks so we would also like donations for money to gamble with.
Thank you very much,
(new couples names)
I never heard any discussion whatsoever about the email. I am assuming it went nowhere.”
“Weddings Can Sometimes Bring Out The Worst In People”
“The requests (many of them) were not necessarily on the invitation itself, but my experience should qualify nonetheless. One of my (ex) friends decided to get married in a tiny village in Italy. She lives in a major US city and I in another. We had become pretty good friends after going to school together a few years before. She blindsided me a bit when she asked me to be her Maid of Honor (MOH), since she had several childhood friends that she spoke about frequently. But she also had a difficult personality, so I figured that might have something to do with it. At first, I accepted, but let her know that I would have to fly in the day before the wedding and then fly back the day after. I also let her know that due to my insane schedule that I would not be able to put long hours into planning either, but that I wanted to be there for her.
I am a healthcare provider and run a small clinic, which leaves me very little time off, as I do not receive PTO. If I leave for any length of time, I have to either shut down my clinic or hire a locum tenens (neither are great options). At first she agreed, but then began texting and e-mailing all day every day regarding flights that had me there for the entire week. She then demanded that I take the entire week off as she had planned several outings, lunches and other events spanning the week before her wedding. As the MOH I would have to be there! She also began hinting that she wanted her Bachelorette Party in Vegas and wedding showers in both her hometown and the city she lived. I told her that I now had some reservations about being the MOH and told her that it might be better to have someone else do it, as I had little time to help with planning and couldn’t take off that much time to fly all over creation. She works for a major airline, so all of her flights are almost free. I calculated all of the expenses, which included me taking a week off of work and flying to these locations. I would have been on the hook for over $10,000 and that’s without a plus one at the wedding (my SO bowed out gracefully after learning the cost of the tickets).
After a few weeks of constant phone calls, texts and e-mail (during the day when I’m with patients) that she demand I answer immediately, I finally grew some balls and told her that I was no longer able to be her MOH. This was 10 months before the wedding, so plenty of time to find a new one. She was, of course, very upset. At that time I was (stupidly) still not ready to end the friendship, as I realized that weddings can sometimes bring out the worst in people. I told her I was still planning on coming to the wedding, but would fly in the day before and leave the day after as previously discussed. To that she responded with “why bother” and “please return the gift I gave you when I asked you to be my MOH”. It actually cost more to ship this “gift” back to her than the actual cost of the item ($6).
We have not spoken since. Thank God!”
“I do NOT understand bridezillas. I also don’t understand the idea that you should ask friends to go in hock to attend your joyous occasion. It eludes me.
My sister’s wedding announcements were the best EVER. We all got invitations post-marked Hawaii to a party HERE and they were each laced with sand. Sand from the beach in Hawaii where she had snuck off to and gotten married. My mother said, Thank God! We had a party when she got back from her honeymoon. No stress, no fuss, a great time.
But years after I got married, my husband’s little brother, my brother-in-law is getting married at the Citadel. Good for him. Sounds like fun, a full-military-type wedding, uniforms and swords, and a fairy-tale horse and carriage. We are now both broke college students again, I’m working on a master’s part-time and working full-time, he’s finishing up his bachelor’s on the GI Bill. One day as the happy date is fast approaching, my MIL mentions, casually, like it was no big deal, that she needed the 130 bucks for my bridesmaid’s dress by the weekend.
I said, What?
Turns out, we were both in the wedding. Unbeknownst to either one of us. I was supposed to not only stand up with my brother-in-law’s fiance at their wedding, a woman I had never met, but also I was supposed to cough up 130 bucks for the one-of bridesmaid’s dresses I had never seen or heard about until that moment. For a wedding that had been a YEAR in the planning. That I would have to travel across two states and stay in an expensive hotel as well. None of which had been mentioned to me, much less discussed with me until that moment in time.
I did what I always had to do with my MIL, I took a deep breath, I drew a firm line and I stood behind it, heck or high water, evil witch that I am. What dastardly thing did I do to ruin her picture-postcard dream wedding of her beloved baby boy?
I said no.
My brother-in-law and his future bride came over to our apartment. My MIL sicked them on me, the shrew. I explained I loved my BIL very much, I was honored, but not only did I not feel comfortable standing up for someone I’d never even met before that moment, but we really couldn’t afford it. Any of it. (We were eating an awful lot of simple spaghetti and sauce in those days because it was cheap and filling. The dress alone would have set us back to starvation.) I deeply resented my MIL for 1) committing me to something without even asking me, and 2) putting me on the spot for having to explain that I was fiscally responsible enough to know we couldn’t afford it. Thankfully my husband backed me 100%.
My FIL got involved. He said he’d pay for everything, the dress, the trip, the hotel, everything. (Not my MIL, my FIL.) I said thank you, it’s appreciated and the only way we could possibly attend, but I won’t be in the wedding party. I’ll attend, I’ll wish them the best. But she should pick someone she has actually KNOWN for more than the 10 minutes in my living room while I explained I wouldn’t be in her wedding party, to stand up with her on her most special day.
It was a big frickin’ deal for the next several years. MIL mentioned it A LOT. I ignored it and carried on.
The SECOND most outrageous invitation arrived via snail mail a few years ago at a low point for me during a medical scare (but I’m healthy now). It was from an (at best) casual Internet friend who asked me to drop everything, fly out to Denver and be her maid-of-honor. On the Saturday coming up. I had to email her (we weren’t close enough to have each other’s phone numbers.)
And say, Sweetie, you know I’d love to see Denver, and you, of course, and I’m honored you’d think of me to stand up for you at your wedding, but since I have surgery scheduled for the Thursday before your wedding to find out if I have cancer — or not — and might possibly be dying of said cancer — or not — and will be bed-ridden for a couple of possibly weeks after AND we have been talking about this for a couple of weeks now, I don’t think I’ll be able to make your lovely, spur-of-the-moment wedding.
Her answer, ‘But what will I do?’
Then she asked, ‘Can you reschedule your surgery?’
Tricks Up Her Veil
“My best friend asked me to be her bridesmaid roughly one year before her wedding, which I agreed to do. I must point out that I am Italian and so is my friend and in Italy you don’t have bridesmaids but a ‘witness’ for the bride and one for the groom.
In the year leading to her wedding, my husband left me and my 6 year old son (plus two dogs!) to go back to the UK (he is English) to find a job, which he did immediately. Previously we struggled for a good year relying on family for help. Once he settled, I decided to join him with my son and dogs. The moving date was April 21 and her wedding was on May 1st. I must point out that I was completely broke at that time as a move to another country costs a lot of money, I was working part-time and my husband spent almost a year trying to save up for a home in England.
A few weeks before the big day I ask her what gift she wanted and she said: “well, it is tradition here that the witness of the bride and the witness of the groom buys the wedding rings”. (I later found out this is not a tradition at all!)
So I asked what she wanted me to do next and she said:” you will need to come to the jewelry shop so we can choose our rings and you pay for mine, while the other witness will pay for the other”
Remember I was broke but I was willing to fly back a few days after the move to attend the wedding and make her happy.
When I asked her how much the budget was she said she wasn’t sure, but around 350 Euros., maybe more.
I said I could not afford it and she said “ok no problem but you can’t be my witness anymore as it’s tradition! Another friend of mine agreed to buy me the ring and she will be my witness. But you can still come to the wedding”.
Needless to say I didn’t attend the wedding and haven’t spoken to her over the past 5 years. We grew up together and, I thought, we were best friends, she treated me and made me feel so small and insignificant.
They divorced less than two years later.”
People Can Be Utterly Crazy
“My father remarried. I didn’t have a lot of time to get to know my stepfamily as I was doing grad school in a different state and stayed there for some years as I was also traveling to different archives and was closer there, then I would have been had I moved back home. However, I DID do my best to get to know them and be as supportive, loving, and compassionate as I could be.
Some years after he remarried, one of the delightful “only” girls my stepmom raised, got married. Yes, only children as they both had the worst traits an only child could have. The. Absolute. Worst.
I received my invitation to attend the wedding reception which was held a few weeks after the actual ceremony. My father, very ashamed, had already told me only “immediate” family could attend the 4-5 day wedding celebration at a swank bed and breakfast. Mind you, neither groom nor bride had had a job for years. And by swank, I mean swank by Vino Country, CA standards. Yes, my father paid for the whole thing. He hated doing it, but is very, henpecked, shall we say!!!
Yes, I was not invited for the four-plus days of wedding celebration. Not even invited to just attend the ceremony. Because it was for “immediate” family, oh, and the friends who were ‘like’ family who did the whole 4+ days.
Needless to say, I did not attend the reception. Nor did I buy anything off their registry. Mostly as I had gone to a family Christmas party with them. In the house I grew up in that I am no longer allowed to have a key. But the two girls and their spouses have keys too. No one told me it was a gift party.
So, there I was, watching people down 3-6 bottles of vino. Gift time came. They all gave each other tacky but spendy crystalware. The stepsis who didn’t have me at her wedding gave me a gift. It was a gift card to the local cinema. In the amount that paid for a matinee. For one person. I kid you not! I just laughed and left it behind.
I can’t make this up! People can be utterly crazy about gatherings and petty beyond belief. As a follow-up, the stepmom took exception to me saying that these and the other petty bull hurt my feelings. Because she had tried so hard to be like family to me. Since none of hers have sent me anything. Zero. Nada. Zip. After 3 years of them being married, I stopped sending anniversary gifts as she couldn’t even acknowledge my anniversary. Just not worth it. Not anymore.
At the end of the day, these actions have brought about a polite detente, and we dont have much contact. I am happier, they are happier, except for my poor dad. When I visit it is very difficult for him, as he knows I can be wonderfully polite and charming in situations that are uncomfortable. But she and hers cannot be. Which shames him. But, that is my worst thing demanded on an invitation.”