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

  • M
    Devoted April 2017
    Miranda ·
    • Flag

    Not enough food for everyone. super long ceremony and outside ceremony in the middle of summer (100 degrees here), pissy bride, not enough room in the reception to get around, the guests had to help tear down, cash bar and the bride and groom didn't thank people for coming. Yes this was all the same wedding I was in. It definitely gave me pointers when I had mine.

    • Reply
  • A
    Super May 2017
    AokiPartyof3 ·
    • Flag

    I went to a wedding where the b&g were very young. The entire reception the bride had a funky attitude, almost like she didn't want to meet the guests, and like she was using her reception as her chance to party it up with her very young friends at the club.

    At that same wedding during the ceremony, when they were exchanging vows and the vow to be faithful came up, the groom said "I can't take that vow". There were crickets and the officiant asked again, the groom repeated himself, "I can't take that vow", then they just continued on with the ceremony. Needless to say they're divorced now, that marriage lasted about a year.

    Another wedding they had a two-hour gap between the ceremony and the reception. The hors d'oeuvres consisted of fruit and cheese that ran out in the first 20 minutes. They didn't serve anything any cocktails, only mint water and lemonade, both run out very quickly as well. Their dinner however was the bomb, and I will say that besides the cocktail hours everything else was great.

    Another wedding was extremely elegant, with probably 400 guess. The bar was serving only beer and wine, only one bartender for all the guests, so the line to get a drink was 20 to 30 minutes. Everybody was taking two or three drinks at a time. Then it was super weird because there was no dancing at all, but the groom is part of a men's a cappella group and for 2 hours everyone just sat and watched him and the group sing songs. It was like his own personal concert.  The bride just say there the whole time,  looking bored af.  They divorced in less than 1 year.

    • Reply
  • Harlori
    Beginner June 2017
    Harlori ·
    • Flag

    Bad food, cold food, servers who don't know the color coding system for entrees.

    Can you tell good food is important to me?!

    • Reply
  • Alicia
    Dedicated August 2017
    Alicia ·
    • Flag

    1. Cousin had a potluck wedding. For 300+ people. I dearly love her and it was not abnormal for her church community to hold potlucks, but I almost died when I found out though. Surprisingly it turned out better than I imagined, but I threaten my fiancé with a potluck wedding to watch him have a mild heart attack.

    2. Different wedding: No MC or coordinator to announce the shift from ceremony to reception (in the same location) or have an exit down the aisle. The bride and groom just looked at the guests with kind of annoyance/incredulity, threw their hands up in the air and went, "Uh that's it!"

    3. Same wedding as above: didn't get a +1 for my live-in boyfriend so I figured I would learn from my previous experience (see below), and RSVP'd yes for just myself. Bride texted me to ask if my fiancé was coming with, I replied that I didn't think he was invited since his name wasn't on it and I wasn't given a +1. She replied that of course he was invited, she just didn't know how to spell his name (it's foreign). They'd been Facebook friends for over a year.

    4. Different wedding: Got an invite without a +1 for my fiancé (boyfriend at the time). It was for a very very good friend so I knowingly broke etiquette to ask if he was invited also (I literally wouldn't have known anybody at the wedding). My (male) friend replied, "Well yeah I guess if you're still dating him by that point." We'd been dating 2+ years and living together.

    5. Same wedding as above, could not attend last minute due to throwing my back out and being unable to walk (or exist without Percocet). Donated $100 to their Honeyfund instead, never got a thank you or acknowledgement.

    • Reply
  • Jeanette
    Super July 2017
    Jeanette ·
    • Flag

    1. Having a wedding at a country club and only hosting terrible wine...when drinks were $10

    2. The DJ sucked. No one was hardly dancing.

    3. There wasn't enough cocktail hour food and champagne only for cocktail hour=annoying

    4. The ceremony was 1.5 hours late. I repeat it was late. The brides hair dresser didn't get there on time...

    5. The invitation said Black Tie and FH and I were only in Black tie attire

    6. The wedding was too short. Ended at like 1030pm...like we were just starting??

    7. The dinner portion of the wedding was 2.5 hours....omg was I so bored

    8. There wasn't enough food on our plates. FH started eating from mine...

    9. The music and dancing didn't end once the bride and groom came in. Usually there's a break for dinner time but no...it did not stop. It was like a night club for the next 5 hours.

    Let's just say I've been too a lot of weddings recently....

    • Reply
  • Lucio@Last
    Super June 2018
    Lucio@Last ·
    • Flag

    Wedding was a beach ceremony, we all scrambled to find parking on a busy road and walked literally a half mile down rickety wood steps to the beach. Afterward had a photographer for an hour force us all into awkward poses, yelling loudly and rudely at all of the guests to make fake candid shots. After ceremony we all drive over to have lunch at a Tommy bahamas, again ridiculous parking. We all ate to find out that we had to all pay for ourselves.

    • Reply
  • Natalie
    VIP June 2017
    Natalie ·
    • Flag

    I've enjoyed all the weddings I've been to. As long as I am well fed and boozed up I will have a great time. Hosting your guests properly = a decent meal, alcohol & a seat. It really is as simple as that.

    • Reply
  • Vicki
    Master November 2017
    Vicki ·
    • Flag

    @jetgirljade

    I didn't call you a child.

    You seem to be particularly hung up on what your family wants and not having a big budget.

    Those two things are completely independent of etiquette and proper hosting.

    I'm doing several things that my mom prefers or my dad wants, because I want them to be happy too. The only time an adult is obligated to follow what their family wants is when the are accepting money from them for the event.

    I also did not say that having family help pay for a wedding means you are not an adult.

    The issue is that many people come on here and say "well it's my day I'm doing it my way!" and use a myriad of excuses to explain away proper hosting.

    Etiquette isn't regional. It also isn't opinion. If you can't afford to plan a wedding and properly host the guests you invite, you should cut your guest list or push it back. This doesn't mean everyone needs to serve steak, have a premium top shelf 6 hour reception in a country club with ten Bridesmaids, a 10 piece band ice sculptures. It DOES mean that every guest should have a place to sit, be served a professionally catered meal in a climate controlled environment, and have access to complimentary beverages, including alcohol. Aside from a few VERY limited exceptions, such as a cake and punch reception, not providing those things is considered poor hosting.

    And you can pretend that only those on WW would side eye poor hosting, but the reality is, many people will, particularly if some of these crazy stories you read on this thread happen.

    Don't take everything so personally. Of course I hope your wedding day is perfect, for you and your guests.

    • Reply
  • Natalie
    VIP June 2017
    Natalie ·
    • Flag

    I really would like to know why a 'cake & punch' reception is not considered poor hosting. Is the punch generally alcoholic?

    • Reply
  • kmd0506
    Dedicated June 2017
    kmd0506 ·
    • Flag

    This was a while ago with SO (of a year at that time- now an ex). Flew across country as his +1. He was the BM and sat at the head table with the wedding party. I sat at the back corner table of the ballroom with the photographer and her assistant, buffet dinner we went last.

    Cash Bar.

    Grooms father told my SO, in front of me, that he shouldn't have brought me because there were a lot of hot single women there.....

    Same hotel had a number of weddings that day- 2 different wedding parties got into a brawl in the hotel lobby, police were called, firetrucks showed up. Hotel shut down all alcohol service for the night- wedding reception, bar, restaurants.

    All the above happened at the same wedding.

    • Reply
  • VC
    Master May 2017
    VC ·
    • Flag

    Honestly, haven't really had a wedding that left a bad taste in my mouth.

    All of the weddings I go to, they know how to host properly.

    Only one was my sister's and it was really bad, just boring, communication was a bit lacking and my BIL speech was so damn long and boring.

    • Reply
  • Melissa
    Devoted May 2018
    Melissa ·
    • Flag

    Outdoor ceremony with 1)mulch 2)grass 3) sand - not okay with heels on!! I also notice the bathrooms.... and when the officiant doesn't tell the guests you may now sit and then we are all left wondering and standing there for almost the whole ceremony....

    • Reply
  • Mrs. Coakley
    Master June 2017
    Mrs. Coakley ·
    • Flag

    @jetgirljade

    You said that a wedding reception isn't necessary. That is only true if you are eloping and are not inviting people. As I said before, once you invite a single guest, they need to be properly THANKED for attending your wedding. You seem to misunderstand the actual amount of time and effort it takes to go to a wedding, especially if out of town. The whole "they are lucky enough to be invited and should be grateful" attitude is really entitled and off-putting. Your time is no more important or valuable than theirs.

    Also to clarify:

    There is nothing wrong with a low budget wedding. Many brides on here have had wonderful weddings on a small budget, BUT they hosted a proper wedding according to that budget. They had maybe 10 guests, but they were all well fed, well liquored, in a comfortable, temperature-controlled environment, and they all had a seat. That's basically all you need. I (and many on here will agree with me) am personally sick and tired of all the brides on here that want to have nieman marcus taste on a k mart budget, ie, invite 200 guests, but are unable to properly feed them/ provide open bar, yet they want to spend 3k on a dress, 10k on flowers, and god knows what else on something trivial.

    Bottom line: when you're planning a wedding, the guests' experience should be prioritized before any other details. That's all we are criticizing. Because once you start making people uncomfortable/inconvenienced, it's not really much of a "thank you" is it?

    • Reply
  • HufflePuffin
    Devoted June 2018
    HufflePuffin ·
    • Flag

    @Natalie, cake & punch receptions aren't considered rude if they are held at a non-meal time. And, IMO, this is the only format when it would be acceptable to not serve alcohol. (As long as the couple isn't expecting a party atmosphere.) A 1 pm ceremony with 1-2 hours of mingling & cake immediately afterwards is a great option for hosting a large guest list on a budget.

    • Reply
  • Tamara
    Super October 2017
    Tamara ·
    • Flag

    Hmmm.... I m normally not very picky when it comes to these things, HOWEVER I am going to name a few things that I really, really get bothered by:

    1 - When bride and groom don't come and say hello and give us two minutes of their day.

    2- Bad food. ( We are very generous gift givers, so YES WE WANT TO EAT GOOD FOOD!)

    3 - Bride and groom who sit at their sweetheart table THE WHOLE NIGHT!

    AND I HAVE A QUESTION... more like a statement to make, actually.

    I noticed someone who said that "one hour drive from the ceremony to church was too long". I mean, I am in New York and every single wedding I have gone to, was either in New Jersey or Upstate New York and the distance from the church to ceremony was either an hour or longer. That doesn't bother me, though.

    • Reply
  • Meaghan
    VIP April 2017
    Meaghan ·
    • Flag

    UO here but sweetheart tables annoy me. They just do. I can't explain it. Most weddings I've been to have them and of course-I keep my thoughts to myself but I just think they're extremely standoffish. Not a fan.

    But worst than that are brides/grooms who don't say hello to their guests- receiving line or table visits, whichever--- make time for your guests! Come on, people.

    Finally, one wedding I went to - the couple were outside taking pictures the whole night. I thought it was ludicrous. They didn't eat, they weren't visiting people, they were outside trying to document their day-which I understand to a point. But it's a wedding not a photo shoot. I made it clear to my photographer- get gorgeous photos please. Get what you can get with us and our guests/family/etc but when the reception goes down...photo time is largely over. I don't mind going out for a sunset photo or 2, but reception time is me and guest time.

    • Reply
  • Meaghan
    VIP April 2017
    Meaghan ·
    • Flag

    @Tamara v- you're right. The US is also a huge country (and I'm guessing many forum folks here are American). What's an hour is NY/NJ is not necessarily the same as an hour in Illinois or Florida or Kentucky. Traffic, distance, etc needs to be factored it.

    My venues are 35 Miles apart. Even by Atlanta standards, that may be a stretch but it should take us less than an hour to reach because it's all highway. I'm also providing transportation so not many need to fret about driving. They can relax and mingle on the way to the cocktail hour for more relaxing, more mingling.

    • Reply
  • Ohheyitscait
    Super September 2017
    Ohheyitscait ·
    • Flag

    @Vicki actually ettiquette is regional and also a bit of an opinion http://listverse.com/2015/02/03/10-examples-of-confusing-etiquette-in-other-countries/

    A comment like that is eurocentric and culturally blind. It is improper etiquette in Japan to wear shoes in the house. It was also improper etiquette to wear bikinis 50 odd years ago. Etiquette constantly changes.

    • Reply
  • Meghan S.
    Super June 2017
    Meghan S. ·
    • Flag

    Went to a friend's wedding right after she graduated college. It was held on campus and they didn't have alcohol (I believe for religious reasons as well). They didn't start the ceremony on time because the bride's aunt was late. They finally started it 30 minutes late, and then we all moved inside for the reception. Aunt finally shows up about an hour late... so the whole bridal party goes back outside to do the ceremony again for her! The rest of us are stuck inside and could see the ceremony again. I don't remember what the food was, it was probably just appetizers because it was an early afternoon wedding. There was no dancing. I'm pretty sure I left before the cake was cut because I was so bored.

    • Reply
  • Taralaine
    Dedicated August 2017
    Taralaine ·
    • Flag

    This girl I know decided to save a little money by giving out wrist bands for free drinks to only her bridal party and close friends and family, every one else at the wedding had to pay for their drinks. It was so wild, and tacky- It would have been better if she did an entirely cash bar at that point!

    • Reply

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