J
Super September 2017

What about other people's weddings have left a bad impression on you?

Jenny, on April 18, 2017 at 3:36 PM

Posted in Planning 182

As I'm going through the nitty-gritty of wedding planning details in preparation for the perfect day, I found myself wondering what mistakes or oversights my guests will really notice or remember about my wedding. Thinking back on weddings where I was a guest, I was surprised at the things that...

As I'm going through the nitty-gritty of wedding planning details in preparation for the perfect day, I found myself wondering what mistakes or oversights my guests will really notice or remember about my wedding. Thinking back on weddings where I was a guest, I was surprised at the things that stuck with me:

1. The entire wedding was absolutely beautiful and elegant, but the bride looked extremely angry right before she walked down the aisle.

2. The bride felt poorly in her wedding dress during the reception dancing and disappeared for an hour with her bridesmaids. The groom acted like nothing happened and did not check up on her.

3. The wedding party got "lost" on their party bus ride, and dinner was two hours late.

4. When nothing suggested it would be an alcohol free wedding but the couple served bottles of grape juice.

5. When the invitation said 'black tie' and we were the only ones to actually show up in black tie. No one else went beyond country club casual.

182 Comments

  • Orchids
    Master March 2018
    Orchids ·
    • Flag

    I've also been to a dry, cake-and-punch reception(Mormon) where the couple hosted the heck out of their guests and I had a wonderful time. You can absolutely pull off a budget reception without making your guests feel blown off.

    • Reply
  • FutureMrs2017
    Super May 2017
    FutureMrs2017 ·
    • Flag

    Travelled 5 hrs to attend a wedding for a high school friend. Cash bar (beer and wine both $5 each) also didn't receive a thank you note.

    I was in a wedding where there was a dollar dance, honeyfund, a bride who got so drunk she disappeared into the toilet for 45 minutes to throw up, and a MIL who refused to act her age while wearing an extremely short low-cut dress. Also - no communication or day-of timeline so I was berated for not knowing where to be and when. (um?) Also her sister's dress was at least 2 sizes too small and split as she walked down the aisle. As you can imagine, this was an extremely classy affair which I was thrilled to be a part of.

    • Reply
  • Kelly
    Dedicated March 2017
    Kelly ·
    • Flag

    These were the same wedding.

    --got an invite 2 weeks before the wedding with no RSVP card. I called the bride to confirm our attendance and she seemed shocked. She was just going to be surprised I guess with who showed up.

    --During the ceremony, the flower girl puked on the altar steps. Awkward.

    --Cash bar during cocktail hour, then hosted wine only during dinner. Back to cash bar after dinner. --Cheese and crackers (and not nearly enough) during cocktail hour.

    --dollar dance

    • Reply
  • Christa
    Devoted September 2018
    Christa ·
    • Flag

    So crazy so many of yoy have these experiences! Definitely something to learn from!!

    • Reply
  • BKL
    Dedicated September 2017
    BKL ·
    • Flag

    Only one wedding that I've been to left a bad taste in my mouth at the time and the main reasons were:

    -Bride and groom didn't make a point to speak to guests. No receiving line, and they said their plan was to make their way to everyone at the reception. This didn't happen, so many people (some who had traveled across the country) felt like the bride and groom didn't care that they were there when they didn't even get a "hello".

    -The reception venue (an old theater) was not handicap-friendly. The bathrooms were located in the basement and to get there, you had to navigate sharp corners and stairs. This was difficult for elderly family members who came and as a result they chose to not have anything at all to drink so they wouldn't have to use the facilities.

    -They had a seating chart for dinner but forgot to include a few families (who traveled the farthest, to boot) on the chart. They wound up eating in the balcony of this old theater while everyone else was on the floor level. Very uncomfortable.

    I understand that these details can be easily missed and don't fault the couple at all for what happened.

    • Reply
  • J
    Super September 2017
    Jenny ·
    • Flag

    @jetgirljade, I completely sympathize with the comment you made, that "a lot of people can't afford a big wedding, but their families expect to be included and couples do their best to make that work. There is a lot of pressure. There is NO WAY to please everyone."

    I have experienced that myself where familial obligations caused us to cut down significantly on our friend list (of people we actually wanted to be there) and make room for extended family - many of whom we see once a year at best. Many people say, "You're an adult, just say no, have the wedding you can afford and move on," but family dynamics are very difficult. Ultimately we decided a few extra thousand wasn't worth the drama. Thankfully we had the disposable income to accommodate the extra people.

    • Reply
  • ashley c
    Devoted November 2017
    ashley c ·
    • Flag

    @jetgirljade

    Not trying to be rude, but we all know how expensive and hard planning a wedding can be. Regardless of how big or small the budget is, there is NO excuse for someone putting their guests through some the stuff I've read in this thread.

    Your guests are spending their own money to come to your wedding. Some are spending hundreds/thousands on flights and hotel stays alone. Why? Because they love you and want to be there to celebrate your marriage. The least you could do is reciprocate that love and make sure they are comfortable and having a good time.

    I will never understand this "they should be grateful they are even getting invited" attitude. Mailing someone a piece of paper doesn't mean you can put your guests through whatever the hell you want and expect them to be happy about it because it's "your day".

    • Reply
  • J
    Super September 2017
    Jenny ·
    • Flag

    @ashley c, the disconnect I constantly see driving these discussions is between the couples who have a large wedding because they were forced to and couples who have a large wedding because they truly want them to come and celebrate. (Large is subjective - I just mean, perhaps bigger than initially planned for).

    It comes down to "stick up for yourself and your budget/dream wedding size and cut down the guest list hysterics from your mom aside" or cough up the money to make everyone comfortable.

    Saving money but inviting everyone and making your guests uncomfortable though shouldn't be an option. (We were cowards and coughed up the money).

    • Reply
  • jetgirljade
    Beginner August 2017
    jetgirljade ·
    • Flag

    @Vicki D

    Wow like I said posts on here get petty and hurtful.

    For the record, etiquette says a lot more than how the guests are taken care of. (Clearly little regard for etiquette in how to speak to one another on these forums though) Respecting your parents wishes, and a million other things have nothing to do with the guests or being a good host, yet on this thread they are being thoroughly judged. No alcohol??? Sure it sucks for some as a guest, but tons of people don't believe in that. Dollar dance, bride kidnapping, I won't be doing those either, but if it's not my wedding, who the hell I am to judge.

    Just to be clear...Are you suggesting that people are not adults if they get help paying for their weddings? That's pretty unfair to all those who are fortunate to have that help. Or that caring about family opinion makes someone a child? There's that judgement I was talking about.

    For the record, I am paying for my own wedding, and I don't appreciate your attempt at calling me a child or assuming anything about me. I didn't assume anything about you, just disagreed with you.

    If you actually read my post, I'm not advocating for be a crummy host, I'm saying that judging people for doing their best for their day and it not always being awesome...it is so prevalent on these forums and is pretty frustrating. There are many approaches to the big day and you couldn't possibly please everyone, but we can all be more considerate when discussing these topics.

    For someone so keen to discuss what it means to be an adult, you have missed the mark in that last post. Your attempt at insulting me because we disagree is not very mature.

    All I've been saying is show a little more respect to others on here because everyone brings something different to the table...you've managed to prove my point exactly about these forums. Lots and lots of judging and assumptions.

    I hope you have a lovely wedding, and don't think twice about mine. It's going to be quite nice for us and our guests.

    I give up on the forums though. This is a waste of time being frustrated.

    • Reply
  • jetgirljade
    Beginner August 2017
    jetgirljade ·
    • Flag

    Quick thanks to the ladies that understood what I was talking about! Not saying it's cool to mistreat your guests, just that things get harsh on here and there is way more to consider than money or the receptionSmiley smile

    • Reply
  • Del
    Master November 2017
    Del ·
    • Flag

    The obligation goes both ways. I often groan out loud when I get an invitation to a second cousin's wedding or the wedding of my mom's business partner's daughter or whatever. I don't necessarily want to go but family obligations and guilt means I am now expected to put hundreds of dollars into this event.

    With that in mind, the least they could do is make it fun.

    And no, it's not an honor to be invited. Being invited to a royal wedding is an honor. Being invited to the wedding of someone I genuinely love and cherish is an honor. Being invited out of obligation is not a honor. It just isn't.

    • Reply
  • MrsLabrec
    VIP October 2017
    MrsLabrec ·
    • Flag

    Cold food.

    Steak- where they serve it to you bleeding. Like I could still hear it moo-ing. That's sick. If you are gonna serve meat. Ask how they want it cooked. Idk how many people you have. I refuse to eat something so bloody

    • Reply
  • ashley c
    Devoted November 2017
    ashley c ·
    • Flag

    @jenny I totally understand that! I'm dealing with the same thing. I also ended up coughing up more money to make my guest list bigger because of family. There just isn't any excuse to do some of the crazy things I've read on here. Guests should be comfortable and be having somewhat of a good time. That's all my point is!

    @jetgirljade I'm sorry if I came off rude! Your "you should be honored to attend" comment just got me going. I see that used as an excuse a lot and it drives me nuts. All of that rant wasn't necessarily aimed at you.

    • Reply
  • jetgirljade
    Beginner August 2017
    jetgirljade ·
    • Flag

    @ashley c thank you! i get what you mean, I wasn't saying that should be an excuse for not caring about your guests, just that it gets lost in all the shuffle if you know what meanSmiley smile good luck with your big day!

    • Reply
  • BS_2018
    Dedicated April 2018
    BS_2018 ·
    • Flag

    A friend's wedding:

    1) The bride sent FH and I an invitation to her wedding and sent me a text message saying " I thought about it and decided to invite you and FH". She also previously mentioned that she had sent her invitations out a moth before this so we were obviously B listed. Oh and invitation even said "BYOB"....

    2) We were asked to arrive 30 minutes BEFORE the start of the ceremony, which ended up starting 45 minutes late!

    3) The bride looked like she wanted to kill someone during the whole ceremony.....which they didn't do a rehearsal for and the officiant was a friend that was obviously already a little drunk

    4) The tables were on an incline so my chair almost fell over twice before dinner was even served

    5) We had to leave early due to another previously made commitment. When we went to say goodbye the bride got really mad and basically said what is more important than my wedding.....which again, we were B listed to

    6) We didn't receive a thank you until about 6 months after the wedding

    At a different wedding we weren't served food even though it was during dinner time.

    At my cousin's wedding:

    1) It was outside......in Arizona......in SEPTEMBER

    2) Dinner was served late and the didn't provide lighting at the tables so since it was outside, you couldn't even see your plate

    3) The bride danced by herself since the groom didn't want to dance and it was so hot that no one else did either

    4) There wasn't a trash can so everyone just threw their trash away in the bed of a truck

    5) They ran out of alcohol about 1 hour into the reception

    6) The bride and groom NEVER greeted any of their guests

    7) We drove 2 hours to this wedding and never received a thank you

    • Reply
  • Cindy
    Super October 2018
    Cindy ·
    • Flag

    Cash bar, bride was over an hour late for the ceremony, okay food and staff, because the bride was late the reception was rushed and there was no one in the room to serve us soft drinks... it was serve yourself. Also bad music and emcee.

    • Reply
  • Missy B
    Devoted October 2019
    Missy B ·
    • Flag

    Oh goodness, here we go...

    1) I can understand a cash bar, but do not do a signature drink and make guests pay for it. There was a bartender yelping at us to try their "signature drink"...um, ok, so I say sure and then take a sip and she is like, that is $9. What??? That was wrong and it didn't taste good. I get a cash bar, but a signature drink should not be at a cash bar, the assumption is that it is included.

    2) One of the brides family members had a screaming baby during the ceremony and would not get up and take the kid outside. I would have lost it if I had been the bride. I was losing it for her. I know myself, my other half and like 10 other people were giving her the look of death and she wouldn't get up. Later I found out she didn't take the kid out because she didn't want to miss the ceremony....ok, so you just ruin it instead. Cool!

    3) An hour drive from church they were married at to the reception location. Never again, Too far.

    4) DJ that was inappropriate and rude to guests.

    5) Outdoor ceremony or reception when it was freezing cold.

    • Reply
  • J
    Super September 2017
    Jenny ·
    • Flag

    @Mo - to be honest, I'm terrified of the screaming baby scenario. I'm not a mother, and I understand that I'm only looking at it from one side. I've had friends who are mothers insist that people should not be annoyed/offended/disturbed by a crying child because society (and particularly a wedding ceremony that combines two families) should not exclude or inconvenience mothers with children. They would also be extremely annoyed at an adults-only wedding.

    I keep quiet and don't say anything but I don't particularly like very young children (I know, terrible) and would be extremely annoyed if my ceremony was disrupted by screaming.

    • Reply
  • Del
    Master November 2017
    Del ·
    • Flag

    @Jenny

    I am a mother, and when my kid is screaming I take him the hell outside. Even if it's just at Dunkin' Donuts or whatever; if he's making noise we go out. I haven't taken him to a wedding yet, but if we attend one before he is old enough to sit still and be quiet reliably we will be sitting at the end of a row at the very back so I can hustle him out the door before he disturbs the ceremony if need be. Society shouldn't unnecessarily inconvenience mothers but that courtesy goes both ways and someone's right to an undisturbed once-in-a-lifetime event is higher priority than my right to sit there.

    You absolutely can and should expect your guests to take their noisy kids outside.

    • Reply
  • RaeGin
    Master September 2017
    RaeGin ·
    • Flag

    @delfina, your comments are always spot on. Just wanted to tell you that.

    My worst wedding experiences:

    1. I was a bridesmaid in my now ex-boyfriends, niece's wedding (they're stuck with a bunch of photos of me forever). Wedding was outside in April, in northwest Indiana. It was 35 degrees that day. We were in strapless tops and the bride wouldn't let us cover up. Guests were in winter coats and earmuffs and most were commenting on how cold we looked...

    2. Same wedding, bride and groom were 20 and 19 respectively. Since they weren't old enough to drink, they decided no one else should be able to. Dry wedding.

    I've been to several where there was too big of a gap between ceremony and reception. That's one of the reasons we are doing 1st look photos.

    • Reply

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