By: Revanche

Wedding Etiquette: Ways to get Shortlisted, and not in a good way

June 3, 2011

Over the years, I’ve been witness to a great many friends and family pledging their troths, and in the planning processes, not too many of them have gone the way of the ‘zilla: Bride, Mother, or Groom Edition, but there have been a few.  As we get older and wiser, some of us are getting cranky and less tolerant of these behaviors.  We certainly are no longer willing to entertain the demands when they’ve blasted beyond the boundaries of sanity.

While it’s wonderful to share this day of joy with your family and friends, and it’s even more joyful if they can participate if they can offer their love and skills with you, there comes a time when you’ve created an indentured servant of your friend or loved one and it’s time to stop the madness.

Happily, selfishly happily, I’ve only been observing the latest dramas from afar and shaking my head but I can say that without a doubt a compleat set of poor performance has been displayed by someone I thought I knew and it’s quite disappointing.  We wonder if this will wear off post-wedding – I sure hope so as I imagine there’s no excuse to act like this afterward!

As witness…. 

* Inviting your bridal party to every one of your serial wedding shower events, and telling them they must buy you a gift for every one of the events – Not Kosher.

* Telling a dear friend who has lovingly created a piece of art you commissioned that you plan to use for an integral part of the wedding that everyone will see that you’d “rather pay for those materials so that he/she ‘can buy you a real gift'” – Not Kosher

* Sending people back of beyond to select flowers in the perfect shade of “your color” for one of your celebratory events that’s not actually the wedding – Not Kosher

* I couldn’t say that doing the above for the wedding itself was Kosher, either.  But I would expect you to order your flowers from someone you pay to abuse like so.

* Insisting that people follow your schedule for six-nine months before the wedding, the whole time block, for everything you deem important to the planning process – Not Kosher

* Asking for favor, upon favor, upon favor – should not ever be couched as a demand. Or a right. I don’t care how “bestie of bestie friends” you are.  You’re asking for favors. Their time, skills and resources do not actually belong to you.

* Asking your bridal party what their budgets are for dresses and then demanding that they buy dresses precisely four times that amount will break something.

* Telling your invitation designer to go back and change the design again after you’ve gotten specially sized envelopes, special card stock and a specific design on no budget because your sketch would look really cool on there – Not Kosher

Conversely?  

* Don’t offer yourself up to do favors for people endlessly and then be angry or put off when people take you up on it, ever.  The people you whine to then are the same people you whined to before when you weren’t being asked to do things. We hear both sets of whining.

* Don’t offer your professional services as a gift, and then sit down at the table after failing to render a service to negotiate a fee.

* Don’t insist that you have to be kept apprised of everything but never respond to any updates or requests for input.

* Insisting that your way is the only way and then completely failing to contribute to making your way work by reason of absenteeism, lack of communication, sulking or alcohol – Not Kosher

For the record, equal opportunity exasperation here – all sexes, ages, and creeds have been guilty of something in the above list. 

Shaking our heads over the latest spate, a good friend of mine has firmly stated her adult life rule: I don’t have room in my life for this.  He/she and I were never close and this confirms that that couple is now on that short list of people I just don’t need.

Have you been trounced or bounced about in a similar game of My Life is More Important Than Yours?  Would you, like my friend, draw a line and say Enough? 

11 Responses to “Wedding Etiquette: Ways to get Shortlisted, and not in a good way”

  1. Well, keeping Kosher is all about observing boundaries! “Real weddings” sound so scary. People are just as bad about their babies, but I guess you know that already.

  2. Yeah, I hear these horror stories from other folks. The only actually witness I’ve been is my BIL’s wedding where his MIL was mother-of-the-bride-zilla. Though she lightened up when I started cracking up with laughter every time she’d say something crazy. Too bad I wasn’t there before the day before the wedding! Maybe the bride would have had fewer nervous breakdowns and the couple would have fought less.

    Rule: Don’t take complete control of every expensive detail of the wedding insisting on your way and having a fit if things aren’t perfect according to your vision if you’re not even paying for the wedding.

  3. Shelley says:

    I guess I’ve just never been around the ‘right’ people. I’ve yet to meet anyone who thought the occasion of their wedding made them that important. I certainly never thought that my wedding(s) were of any particular importance other than to the groom and our parents and even then it never occurred to me to be demanding of anything other than to not have any major catastrophes on the day: keeping it very simple greatly enhances the chances of this. I’m afraid that if anyone felt they could behave in any of the ways they listed, they would soon cease to be my friend…like well before the wedding day. When did it EVER become appropriate to tell people they ‘had’ to buy you a present? Where on earth do you find these people? Can I suggest you consider finding some different ones?? =:-O

  4. Sense says:

    thank goodness, i’ve never run into this diva behavior in one of my friends! i have had friends whose parents or other friends acted crazy, but I didn’t know them so who cares if I offended them? my friends, the bride and groom, were was happy with my etiquette, so that is all that matters.

    I may have screwed up once, though: One time i asked if I could bring a plus one to a large-ish wedding (100+ people?) because I knew I wouldn’t know anyone else there, aside from the bride who was going to be uber busy. is that OK to do? the bride was one of my oldest friends and she said OK. I brought my sister because she had known the bride for as long as I had, and they got along really well. i think that was probably bad to do, but oh well. we got her a really good gift.

  5. I haven’t met too many zillas yet, thankfully, but not a whole lot of my friends are married yet, either.

    I did have a bad experience with one of my bridesmaids…for starters, I hadn’t even asked her to be a bridesmaid yet, when she was already “helping” me find bridesmaids dresses, which were out of the other girls’ price ranges. Then she didn’t send her measurements to the store, because she wanted to try on the dress first (and lived in a different city), and the dresses almost didn’t get ordered in time-and expected me to find her a seamstress in her college town, because most of the other girls were using my seamstress and why should she have to find her own? There was more, but that was the one when I thought really? As the bride, I should find you a seamstress in a city I’ve only been to twice? *rolls eyes*

  6. My husband’s niece has asked us three times if she could have her gift opening at our house. We live on a lake. She said she’d bring bagels and would open her gifts outside. No one would come in our house. What if it rains? What if someone has to use the bathroom? And seriously once the wedding party spots the boat are they going to want to watch her open her gifts or go boating? Then when would this event end? Sounds like a party at the lake the day after the wedding. We said no all three times.

  7. Revanche says:

    @frugalscholar: I knew there was a reason calling them out for not keeping Kosher felt right.

    I don’t think the enbiggenedness makes it more real, though. Just more prone to crazy.

    @nicoleandmaggie: Could you come to my wedding, please?

    @Shelley: I don’t know WHAT happened to this individual – this insanity was not what I expected from a person who told *me*: “It’s not a gift if it is a burden to you, set boundaries.”

    I take it with a tiny grain of salt because I haven’t personally witnessed any of it but the person reporting the behavior isn’t given to exaggeration, so I’m quite unhappy about the development.

    As I said – never saw that selfishness coming and I’m generally a pessimistic person!

    @Sense: If it was your oldest friend and she was annoyed, I think she would have told you. I’m sure it was fine. I’d be absolutely fine with that, personally, I’m inviting my oldest friends and if they wanted to bring their siblings that I know as plus ones and I could afford the extra seat so they wouldn’t be alone – totally.

    I think it’s problematic when people are disrespectful about it and assume it’s fine to substitute anyone they want without even asking for any reason.

    An aunt who had recently married into our family decided she was going to leave our uncle at home and bring her friends in his place to party it up at a cousin’s wedding! Without telling or asking her. Um. We didn’t know her, OR her friends, so that would be a situation of using better judgment – wouldn’t you just not go if you didn’t know the family well enough to be comfortable alone rather than volunteering to bring extra friends that no one knew at all? Judgment and manners, I tell you.

    @Insomniac Lab Rat: Oh my heavens.

    That’s just … come on now! See my post on Support Your Bride, Dammit. Were you originally planning to ask her to be a bridesmaid?

    Eyeroll indeed!

  8. @Revanche-
    I missed that post, I’ll go read it now 🙂

    I was thinking about asking her anyway, but hubby and I were engaged for about 2 years, and I was going to give it 8 months to a year before we decided on wedding party size…but as soon as I told her I was engaged, she started going on about bridesmaid stuff, and the numbers worked out, so I just went with it. I mean, she would have been the first to be “eliminated”, but it’s not like I didn’t ask someone else because she had already assumed she would be one. But hey, life went on 🙂

  9. psychsarah says:

    I put up with a lot of BS for my brother’s wedding. His wife is not in touch with reality, and I would hae preferred not to be in the wedding party (DH and I originally weren’t, but apparently my brother “put his foot down” and then we were included). But alas, I love my baby brother (my only sibling) and dealt with it for him.

    She picked a pricey bridesmaid dress that would have looked lovely on her, but looked terrible on three of the four bridesmaids (she’s thin as a rail with no curves, three of us are full figured gals with boobs and/or butts-her sister, who is a skinnier version of her, looked lovely). She demanded I drive 1.5 hours for every fitting appointment (which the store would only do 9-5 during the week-hello I have a full time day job!), because “the seamstress said the dresses would look different if I got it altered somewhere else”. We’re talking about a hem here people-not major reconstruction! She also “demoted” her “best friend” as maid of honour, because this woman had the nerve to have to leave the country 4 months before the wedding to complete her international adoption that she had been working on for years (after dealing with infertility for years). She did not miss any wedding-related activities, my SIL just sent her an e-mail while she was in the country of adoption telling her that her sister was now MOH! This made me sick to my stomach. What kind of friend does this?

    She told us we had to have hair and make-up done at a certain time and place (on our own dime of course), and then the week before the wedding told us we all had to book our own hair appointments, because she didn’t like the place she’d booked. Again, I’m out of town here, how do I know where to go, with one week notice?

    She made us wear hideous uncomfortable plastic shoes (that no one could see) with our expensive very long dresses because “they matched”. Then we had to change the ribbon on them because she didn’t like it once we ordered them in. Then she bitched about the way we changed the damned ribbon.

    She demanded the wedding party throw a stag and doe party (which I personally find tacky and offensive) on very short notice, which caused more stress than I can even describe (I was less stressed about my own wedding than this stupid party-it almost caused my brother to call off the wedding, in retrospect, I wish it had!) and then complained about how little money we made.

    Apparently, this post opened a sore spot… sorry for the rant. I just can’t believe the ridiculousness that I put up with, especially now, a few years later, when she proved to be showing her true colours during the wedding planning, and is treating my brother like crap.

    On the bright side, I’ve been in a few other weddings with no such drama. Thank goodness. Thankfully most of my friends are married now, and we’re moving into baby shower mode, so hopefully there are no more wedding party debacles to cope with in my future.

  10. Revanche says:

    @pyschsarah: Wait, is the stag and doe party different from a bach/bach’ette party?

    Because I have never known the latter to MAKE money?

    That whole ordeal sounds draining and intense, it’s a shame that’s also a long-term problem. Your poor brother, and everyone around him!

  11. Horrors!

    Makes me glad my father bribed my (now former) husband to elope with me.

    Elope! It’s the kindest thing to do! 😀

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