Wednesday, April 11, 2012


All the Weddings I Have Ever Been to, as I Remember Them

There was the one when I was a little girl. It was the wedding of relatives, people I'm not sure I knew then and certainly don’t know now. I wore a lavender dress with four tiers of ruffles and large, round glasses that my straight bangs rested directly on top of. I was more awkward than adorable. My brother, who is three years younger, wore a little khaki businessman suit and was adorable. We alternated between holding a stuffed monkey and dancing and taking pictures of people’s feet until my grandmother brought us to our hotel room and tucked us into bed. Later that night when my parents came in she told us her boyfriend Jim had asked to marry her, and I jumped on the bed and cheered. I was approximately nine years old. Gift: N/A.

There was the wedding I attended as an awkward teen. The daughter of my father’s college buddy was marrying the man who would eventually bear the dubious honor of having been her first husband. We were staying with my dad’s other college buddy, and my brother and I were toted to the reception by the boyfriend of his daughter, in a pickup truck. He was handsome in a rangy, slightly scary way, and I was 13 or so and tried to imagine what it would be like if he were my boyfriend. We arrived at the wedding spot, which was outdoors and covered in a large, white tent; the guests were wearing galoshes, as it had rained the entire day and mud was everywhere. My mom was a bit drunk, and I told her so, which she has never let me forget. I might have been wearing jeans. Gift: N/A.

There was that first wedding out of college, the couple who married early and are still very much together. It was at a resort in the Dominican Republic and the ride on the little plane that carried us there was very bumpy. One of the other wedding guests looked at me and said, soothingly, “Pretend it’s just a gravely road,” which I tell myself on turbulent flights to this day. We arrived safely and drove golf carts around and sat on the beach and danced at the discoteca for several beautiful days, and a man who was the friend of the groom fell in that we’re-at-a-destination-wedding-together kind of love with me, briefly, sweetly. At the end of the trip he presented me with his email address, which was an AOL account. I wore a pink dress with one sleeve and a floral pattern. Gift: Were there even registries back then?

There was the high school friend who had her wedding in our high school town after we’d graduated from college. It was the first time I’d returned since my parents had moved away. It was at the country club, a place reminiscent of high school formals, dark and cool and full of the scent of cedar, and I flirted with a man who’d been my high school boyfriend’s good friend, who’d dated one of my friends, back when we were dating. I was staying with my best friend and her boyfriend (now husband) at her parents’ house, where we returned post-wedding to drink smoky, sweet-tasting things in glasses full of ice chips and talk of how grand it was that we didn’t live in that town anymore, and never had to again. I wore black, strapless. Gift: Can’t remember.

There was another college friend, who’d met her husband at med school. Their wedding was in Vermont, and we stayed at an old country inn, and everything was very green. There was a glassblowing factory nearby, and my boyfriend at the time went with me and we picked out some sort of gift from there, I think. We stayed at the inn and we did not have sex, partly because the walls were thin and you could hear everything, but also because we were falling out of love. Hot water was in short supply. I wore the same blue strapless J.Crew dress that all the bridesmaids wore. On the night of the wedding the bride, who was violently allergic to peanuts, ate a piece of pie not knowing it had peanuts in the crust, and had to be rushed to the hospital. I cried, and everyone said, “Thank goodness they’re doctors!”

There was the one in Boston. It was the wedding of a high school friend and another high school friend went with me. We waited for our bus at the appointed spot on the Upper East Side, but it got later and later and it never came. It was very hot. Finally we called and the bus company said, “Not coming!” and we very nearly gave in but instead rushed to Amtrak and arrived at the wedding just barely in time. Our hotel room was a smoking room and the air conditioner didn’t work. We slept for a few hours after the wedding and then left very early, our hair smelling of Marlboros and mildew, to return to New York. Or maybe we left right after the wedding. I have no memory of the gift I gave, or what I wore, but the table settings were very white, the bride very thin, and I sat next to the mother of the girl who’d dated my high school boyfriend’s best friend.

There was the one I just couldn’t bring myself to believe in, having counseled this friend through a number of, shall we say, “red flags” on the part of the man who would be her husband (now they have two kids and, to their credit, seem very happy). I put on my best face at the wedding, which took place on the beach at precisely the moment tide started to rise, and to which an ex (a friend of the groom) had brought a date in a tacky neon green Marilyn Monroe-type dress. Ocean water submerged our feet, but we smiled and laughed and moved our folding chairs to higher ground, and later we went to the country club and the single women were forced into a line for the ritualistic bouquet toss. When the flowers — hydrangeas, I think — plunked down in front of my feet, I did not pick them up. Attire: White sundress with floral embroidery and a lavender belt. Gift: KitchenAid?

There was the one in New Orleans, to which I wore a silky purple dress and a large black belt, topped with a black jacket with a fur collar. We sat at a rotating bar and drank adult Shirley Temples before the wedding, which took place at the St. Louis Cathedral. After the ceremony we second-lined to the Board of Trade, where, to everyone’s great dismay, a number of the wedding gifts were stolen. I got very drunk and had words with the husband (still unforgiven for red flags) of the friend who’d had the beach wedding, and one of the groom’s friends took me back to my hotel room where he may have held my hair back as I vomited, and cried. The friends I was sharing the hotel room returned and took pictures of me, which they thought were pretty hilarious, though I did not agree. Gift: Something that had to do with cooking.

There was the longest-sustaining best friend, a girl I’d met in seventh grade, who was married in Nashville. I brought a date, my boyfriend of going-on two years, a man with whom I was finally working up the courage to break up. He was miserable the entire time. At the rehearsal dinner I gave a toast, and the bride and I wept joyful tears, and then I did Jack Daniels shots with her father, who counseled me that I should dump the mopey boyfriend, who was hiding in the corner. We got on the bus that drove us back to the hotel, and I yelled something jokey about the bride being a bitch, and most people laughed, but my boyfriend shushed me and looked mortified. That night he put a trashcan next to my side of the bed in case I needed to puke, but I didn’t. To the wedding I wore a brown strapless dress from David’s Bridal, because I was a bridesmaid and, I am proud to say, the maid of honor. Gift: Le Creuset Dutch oven.

There was the one at a resort in Virginia, the wedding of the friend I’d met when I lived in Boston for a year, who was marrying a dentist. I had to show ID to get a drink, and there was a boy there who I’d kissed before on Cape Cod, but he had a date and told me he’d wished he’d come alone. There was another boy there, a blonde guy who lived in Providence who wanted to hang out after the after party. He didn’t have any coke, so I told him I’d go back to my room to get Red Bulls and vodka and meet him at an appointed bench in 15 minutes, but instead I went back to the room and fell asleep. It was not to be. I wore a flowered Tracey Reese halter dress. Gift: No idea.

There was the wedding in Jamaica, where I went for a week despite being unemployed. My father said, “You’re going to go despite not having a job?” And I said, “What better time is there?” I sat by the pool by day with the bride and groom, and then I went to the bar, where there was wireless, and I wrote blog posts and leaked information about my former employer to a media gossip website and drank refreshing, weird concoctions out of coconuts. One of the male guests had defeated me in a debate competition in high school, so I made it my point to seduce him as a way of “getting back at him.” On the night of the wedding I wore a silky turquoise halter dress with a string of large beads that tied at the neck. There was a tequila bar, and after my second shot I puked on the cliffs that overlooked the ocean (neatly, elegantly) and later went back to the straw-hutted villa of my onetime debate competitor, who handed me a toothbrush and toothpaste. Gift: Plates?

There was the one on the Jersey Shore, in early May, when it was still cold and rainy. I had been involved with someone who'd decided to move to another state and therefore dump me, so I went to the wedding — which was of a former roommate of mine, who’d met her British vegetarian husband in New Orleans — alone. I proceeded to make out with two different men in three nights: one on the first night, the second the following two. The first was married and I felt terrible about it, even though I hadn’t known he was married at the time and we didn’t sleep together, we didn’t. The second is now married, which I know from Facebook. I wore a magenta-colored silk wrap dress, and vintage earrings, which I lost, I believe in the hotel room of the second man. Gift: A bowl.

There was the one in L.A., the wedding of a girl I’d gone to college with and her on-again/off-again boyfriend, now husband. It was at the top of a building downtown and we were almost late, being fairly clueless about L.A. traffic. There was a cute bartender who kept refilling my wineglass, and we all danced madly in the out of doors to amazing views. I wore a black wool minidress with buttons down the back and felt very chic. I was with a group of girls from college, and all was well until the after party, when I said something I shouldn’t have in the elevator of the Standard Hotel to one of them, which led to a fight, and the entire evening went downhill after that, ending in tears. The next day, feeling bleak, I got up early and went to the airport and flew back to New York, never really speaking to the girl I’d argued with again, except for polite hellos and goodbyes when we meet out of necessity. Gift: Something we all went in on together.

There was the wedding of the couple that met after she and I helped paint a school for charity. We’d gone to a bar after our charitable work (of course), and then another one, where he happened to be, and after they bonded over Thailand and running, she gave him her number. Later, when he called, she thought he might be short and Asian (he was neither). They had a wedding on the Lower East Side, and I brought a date who did not own a suit and instead wore black jeans, which I was somewhat embarrassed about, even though what I should have been embarrassed about was the PDA we exposed everyone to at the table. (I am sorry. Sorry, sorry, sorry!) I wore a Diane Von Furstenberg dress, and we left before the after-party. Gift: Unknown.

There was the one in Connecticut that my friend and I arrived at, through a torrential downpour, in a red Mini. This was stressful. In response I got drunk and kissed, one at a time: the bartender, a wedding guest, and a stranger at the local bar where the after party took place. I was wearing a purple dress with ruffles down the front that I’d bought in Paris. The bride’s mother tried to separate me from the last guy, and I became irate and threw my high-heeled shoes down the road, where they had to be collected by someone … the bride’s brother? I was driven back to my hotel room by a male friend, and when I threw my shoes at the window of his rented town car, the limo drivers in the hotel parking lot, who thought I was a paying customer, flocked to him to commiserate about his “Bitch Fare.” Later I convinced him to come to my room, where I got in bed with him and cried, violently, on his shoulder. Days later I found a Missed Connection posted by my final liaison at the bar, who compared me, perhaps not unfairly, to Amy Winehouse. This is not something I am proud of. Gift: Did it have a rooster on it?

There was the one I worked, when Mayor Bloomberg officiated the ceremony of two of his (male) staffers at Gracie Mansion. It took place on the first Sunday that gay marriage had been legalized in New York City. It had rained that day, but the sky was clear by the time the guests began to arrive, at which point I was still waiting between two bored journalists in a press line that ran through the Mansion’s gardens. The grooms had two little girls, each dressed in white lacy dresses and gold ballet flats. I confess I got a bit weepy when they all hugged after their two fathers were pronounced married. Matthew Broderick was there, too, in khakis. I wore a sleeveless blue dress with darker blue horizontal stripes, and I carried a phone and a notepad and tweeted incessantly. I was kicked out before the reception began, with the rest of the press, and so never got to partake of the ice cream truck, though I ended the evening at an Italian restaurant with a cold glass of wine. My gift, I suppose, was the post that ran about the ceremony the next day.

There was the one in Brooklyn, at a restaurant with views of the Brooklyn Bridge. I wore a steely purple dress with cutouts at the shoulders that my dry cleaner has since ruined and shiny patent leather Mary Janes. There was one single man there, and I was seated next to him (purposely, says the bride), even though she had told me beforehand that I would fight incessantly with him. I immediately lied about my name even though it was right there on the card in front of me; I claimed I’d snuck in through the side door and was a wedding-crasher. Later he gave me some of his steak and I gave him my chicken, and we went around pretending to be each other’s dates, his arm around my shoulders, protectively. We haven’t spoken since. Gift: I have a year, right?

Jen Doll is a senior writer for The Atlantic Wire.

Photo by Karen Grigoryan, via Shutterstock

234 Comments / Post A Comment


I went to my first wedding when I was three. My mom claims that, during the reception, I chugged a flute of champagne while her back was turned and promptly passed out. Dubious, but not surprising (see: every wedding I've attended since.)


I was 8 and I mistakenly chugged a rum and coke. I then proceded to the dance floor which they had to drag me off of many hours later.
Good times!


@faustbanana I was 8 and force-fed champagne by my grandpa. There is a picture of me chugging the flute framed in my parents' living room. I proceeded to be stalked for the rest of the ceremony by the photographer, who thought I was an adorable little girl, while I thought she was a terrifying and weird stranger. I broke into the locked upstairs balcony and other ballrooms in the reception place in my attempts to escape, and also climbed aboard someone's boat, because it was on the water at a marina. My dad found and hung out with me on the boat and told the photographer to please leave me alone. see: the rest of my life.


@itiresias You have given me a new dream in life - to have that same photo of my own child hanging proudly on my wall someday. And I mean that in the most non-photo-stalking manner possible!


@itiresias Oh, little kids and champagne! I was in the wedding of my parents' friends when I was four and, after the ceremony, I was driven to the reception with the wedding party as opposed to going with my mom and dad. I think there were pictures and cocktails and all of that for just the wedding party.

When my parents arrived, my dad had a shitfit (which, granted, for him, is not usually too bad) because some of the groomsmen had given his four-year-old (and only, at that point) child a few glasses of champagne. He claims I was spinning on my ass on the shiny reception hall floor in my pretty (?) dress (an empire-waist thing, made of maroon velour up top of and some shiny gold business as the skirt part) with my crown of roses askew and tangled into my matted hair. I believe my wicker basket of matching roses was never to be found! Oh, also, the two groomsmen/perps were named Dr. Chicken and Mr. Boots (or so I was told).


As a frequent wedding guest and soon to be bride, I both recognize and am appalled by how inevitable weddings start to feel after a while.

Also, a KitchenAid? Pretty swank for a friend gift! I usually spend between $80 and $100.


@sheistolerable Thank you, I was just thinking "holy cow you give expensive gifts."


@Maria And on top of that it was for the girl whose husband she had reservations about!


@sheistolerable Just because it was a "KitchenAid" doesn't necessarily mean it was a "stand mixer."


@purefog Yes, it could be the cobalt-blue whisk I got in a misguided attempt to divert myself from the mixer of the same color... which I neither need nor know what to do with! But is is so aesthetically pleasing!


My own wedding last year was the very first wedding to which I have ever been.* And then, this year, I am going to 5 weddings. I feel like, because of the order of things, I am going to be doing a lot of comparing and contrasting of these upcoming weddings to my own.

*When I was 8, my family (parents and me) went to Jamaica. The first night there, they met a couple at the resort with whom they really hit it off. Turns out, that couple was there to elope. So on the fourth day of the vacation, the couple invited my parents and me to the ceremony (that was supposed to be 100% private), where I got to stand there holding flowers. For these people I didn't know. So I guess that was my first wedding, but IMO, it doesn't count. There was no dancing.


@olivebee If weddings where there is no dancing don't count, that eliminates the probably 65 Southern Baptist weddings I've been forced to attend. Now, I've probably only been to 3 weddings.


Dang! I have been to...four weddings? One for relatives, when I was small and a flower girl; one when I was eight or nine, for my dad and his second wife, where I was also a flower girl and fought with my brother about keeping the ring bearer's pillow; one in Vegas two or so years ago, where the bride's sister didn't know about it until we called her afterwards; and one in the middle of nowhere a year and a half ago for the sister of the girl who got married in Vegas, where I volunteered to go back the next day and help clean up the rented space, and ended up cleaning up all by myself because my cleanup buddy bailed on me. #5 is coming up in about a month, and I will be the maid of honor, and #6 will be nine days after that (oof). I'm not sure I even have enough friends to go to very many weddings after those.


@frigwiggin Oh, yeah, and I forgot about the reception of friends of friends who are Mormon, so a godless heathen like me wasn't allowed at the actual ceremony--but I got to hang around in their backyard afterwards where a small boy threw water on me and my best friend because we both had brightly dyed hair and he wanted to see if it would come out. Charming.


@frigwiggin whoa hold up - you weren't ALLOWED at their wedding? No birthdays and now this? This deal just keeps getting worse (for the Mormons)

Off-topic, but do Mormons celebrate Christmas? I mean technically they oughtn't to if they don't do birthdays right?


@iceberg Mormons (or I guess I should say LDS) do celebrate birthdays, as far as I know! You might be mixing up LDS and Jehovah's Witnesses? But yeah, LDS weddings are private and non-members are not allowed.


@iceberg You're thinking of Jehovah's Witnesses.


@iceberg Do Mormons not do birthdays? I thought that was Jehovah's Witnesses.


@frigwiggin Oh, I thought they were the same thing. D'oh! Yay Hairpintariat!


Yeah my partner and I were invited to his good friend's Mormon wedding halfway across the country, where the groom wanted my guy to organize some sort of bachelor party that did not involve strippers or drinking in a town to which he had never been, on a college student's budget, and we weren't going to be allowed into the ceremony. The kicker: this wedding was on DECEMBER 23RD.
We declined.
But they're having a reception here this summer for local friends and family who couldn't make it, so that'll be nice, but also means I have to get them a gift, right?


@iceberg : Mormons typically have a reception to which their non-Mormon friends and family members are invited.

Mormon Temples do not allow non-Mormons to attend any of their ceremonies--I don't know about Sunday services, but the ceremonies are off-limits.

(aside: My great-grandparents were married by Brigham Young. And I am *so* glad that the Mormonism kinda stopped with them)


@OxfordComma I went to the wedding of a Mormon (at the time--he's since left the chuch, I think) friend in Salt Lake City. The ceremony was in the main temple, and since we couldn't attend we kept ourselves entertained by taking a tour of the temple grounds, fending off the recruitment pitch at the conclusion of the tour, and marveling at the seemingly endless number of brides and grooms waiting for their timeslot to get married in the temple that day. (15 minutes apiece!) Later in the afternoon, there was a "ring ceremony" that we all attended. It was fascinating!


@frigwiggin I've always wondered how they know your mormon. Do they check IDs at the door or something? Couldn't you just sneak in the back to see your friends married?


@frigwiggin Yes, you need a temple recommend card from your bishop. (You literally need to be a card carrying Mormon.)


@OxfordComma Sunday services aren't held in the Temple, so non-Mormons can totes attend.


@heb : Ah! That explains it! :)


@heb WOW. I figured they had some sort of Mormon-sensing forcefield. What happens if you lose your card?


@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Eternal damnation.


@frigwiggin If you lose your card? You don't get married that day. One of my best friends is Mormon and on her wedding day, her husband forgot to bring his Temple recommend and was almost an hour away before he realized it. They had to have someone drive it down to him before they could get married. Otherwise - reschedule the whole thing.


Apparently I have not been to many weddings!


Enjoyed these. What is it about attending a wedding that brings out bad behavior? I'm glad I'm not the only one. We had five last year, three this year (including ours). I'm sure at my wedding everyone will have the correct amount of fun and no one will end up fighting with their boyfriend about nothing/alternately puking and having diarrhea (too much?).


@julia i'm thiiiiis close to uninviting mr. teenie's bestie's (now, finally) ex-girlfriend. hopefully she won't go because it would be awkward and horrible if she did. but she's kind of an asshole, so i wouldn't put it past her. she also has this habit of not being able to drink without blacking out and starting fights. sooooo there's that.


@julia I have no idea. I'm usually so well-behaved, but I was THAT BRIDESMAID at a friend's a few years ago and it's so embarrassing retrospectively. Literally, within the first hour I was the drunk who kept telling people, unprovoked, that she wasn't drunk.


@travelmugs I tell everyone I AM drunk (because of course I am). Like, if I just get my drunkeness out into the open, we can all move on to more cocktails and questionable behavior, sans judgement. In hindsight, this is probably a terrible strategy.

amateur hour

@robotpony Haha, I was JUST saying that my least favorite drunk behavior is how I need to tell everyone in the room, repeatedly, that I'm drunk. I'm a lightweight so this literally could start in the middle of my first drink. I'm always so annoyed with myself the next day. And then when I actually am totally sloshed I become adamant that I'm not drunk. Sigh. Recognition is the first step toward recovery, right?


I've had a pretty decent (though sometimes boring) time at every wedding I've been to. Clearly this means I have not gone to enough of them.


@SarahP I've been sober at all of them, though. Maybe drunken escapades would've made things more terrible and/or exciting?


@SarahP I always have at least a little fun at weddings. I don't know if that's a reflection on me or the weddings. Even at the lame, sappy, boring ones, there's SOMETHING to appreciate or silently mock. And I've been to a few dozen weddings, I'd estimate.


@SarahP And yeah, I've only been drunk at one- and it was the best one I've ever been to as a guest. Correlation?


@whateverlolawants Agreed! There's always something to enjoy, even if it's being able to talk about it afterwards. I wouldn't say I love weddings (except my own which was awwwwwesome), but I don't mind them!


@SarahP I hated weddings before I myself was married, now it's like a free date night (not really, but still) where you get to dress up, dance, and be silly.


My favorite: I went to a wedding in Florida that was right before I had scheduled a trip to Bolivia. So I went to this resort an hour from Orlando, got good and drunk and danced a lot. Then a friend who was very drunk got very upset about her on-and-off boyfriend so I dragged her into the women's room to comfort her/help her fix her makeup, and a few random other girls plus one middle-aged lady wanted to know what was wrong and it turned into a big, weepy, story-sharing girl-empowerment party in the ladies room. Then we went back to our hotel and drank more, until at 2am I had to put down the booze, get in a cab to the airport, and fly to Bolivia.

Passion Fruit

@paddlepickle That is the best part about being drunk! Weepy, story-sharing, girl-empowerment parties!

Slurred "I love yous" are the truest "I love yous."


The first wedding I remember going to was my aunt's, I was 3 or 4 years old. I guess it was at some big fancy house because there was some kind of swimming pool in which all the small children ended up getting naked and going for a swim. I don't really remember this, but there is photographic evidence in which I am wearing a curly white wedding-decoration ribbon and nothing else.



Did your mom and Jim never go through with it?

Jen Doll@twitter

@gobblegirl it was my grandma, and she said no. they stayed together though! she was just "over" marriages at that point?


@Jen Doll@twitter Similar what happened with my mother-in-law - she calls the man her husband but they maintain spearate houses? I guess there's a point where you just don't want to have to fold someone else into your at-home life and compromise and share drawer space and stuff!


@iceberg My boyfriend and I finally just got an Ikea dresser that matches our other stuff like we're adults, and I have empty or half-empty drawers for probably the first time in my life. No compromises!

But I did have to compromise on not hanging an anatomic drawing of someone's head above it. :( And if he has his way, on decorating with heads generally. I just think they make fun decoration?


@themmases Aw man! You should festoon the house with heads. I have some foam wig heads that my friend painted with truly alarming faces, you want?


@frigwiggin Haha, yes! I have a phrenology head which I only recently learned he doesn't like (I mean, what?!). My campaign to buy a giant glittery skull last Halloween failed. Maybe this year?


@themmases I don't know how giant you're looking for but I glittered the hell out of an empty Crystal Head vodka bottle and it is so pretty--it's on my coffee table! It was easy too. Plus, you simply have to drink all the vodka so that you may embark on this project (just don't do it right before, I guess).


@themmases I take it you did not participate in the doll head wine glass extravaganza of 2011?


@gobblegirl @Hellcat
Alas! I told him I'm the only one on the Hairpin without a doll head wine glass and he literally made rain fingers and said "look at all the fucks I don't give." I kind of want to glitter one of those clear glass heads I saw at Pier One after I moved. It is definitely going on his pillow to announce its addition to our family.

Slightly related: I think the head picture was actually from a coffee table book someone got at a rummage sale and framed pages from. It seems like such a clever way to find cheap art but on the other hand, destroying books? I might just have to keep paying flea market people to do that part for me.


@themmases Maybe they were from calendars and not books? It's a good way to get cheap art, especially if you nab the calendars after the new year starts and get cheap frames from thrift stores. My whole kitchen is decorated with pages from an old calendar of pictures of Mexican art/craft stuff, including a photo of various hot sauces, and those Lotería cards, and a drawing of a man sadly clutching his head above the caption "Legitimo Polvo de Olvido"!


@themmases Well, if the book is falling apart/not a precious one, and it's never going to be looked at, I think it's fine. Although it would make me wince to do it, I probably would. Like killing a chicken. I mean, I'd have to want it bad enough/be hungry enough.

Also, I am going to try to find a print shop that is open late next week and get my full-face x-ray of my crazy long teeth printed out and framed. Then I'm going to hang it on the wall, along with the tooth I had out. I wished I'd asked to keep my wisdom teeth.


@Hellcat Calendars are really the best for that. I used to have a calendar's worth of this lady's work that I must have moved with 3 or 4 times. Unfortunately the double-sided tape I was using to keep them up was pretty serious stuff (so much so that I reused pieces of it between moves) and it eventually ruined a bunch of them.


@themmases Oh, man. I have a few like that -- stuff I'd like to change the frames of... but I don't dare at this point.


best (worst) wedding ever: my future sister in law's wedding a couple years ago, which i've discussed on here before. the short version: mother of the bride and father of the groom start arguing at the end of the wedding, father of the groom throws a punch, which the bride managed to successfully intercept... with her face. mayhem (and a pile of men throwing fists at each other) ensues.

i wish there was a drama-counter, like a geiger counter, and we could screen guests before they come into the wedding.


@teenie Is punching at a wedding as entertaining as it sounds? I'm sure it's actually kind of weird and awful if it's people you know and care about, but it sounds so great if it's strangers/people you don't like! Ahhh, I am such a Roman spectator.


@frigwiggin well, it was shocking (as shocking as anything can be when everyone was as drunk as they were). the best part was the wedding planner shouting "THE BRIDE IS DOWN! EVERYONE! THE BRIDE IS DOWN". everything after that, however, was sheer drama and pain and woe and misery. like, the father of the groom had several broken face bones, and mr. teenie's younger half brother was soooooooo upset (he's only 12!) so i tried to focus myself by taking him away from it and distracting him. ugh.

to answer your question, it's like 10% entertaining, and 90% pretty awful. that 10% is right at the beginning, the awful part lasts for hours.


@teenie That's pretty much what I expected. Thank you for bringing me back to earth! Yikes.


I've never been to a wedding! I went to my 3rd grade teacher's ceremony but not the reception. I'm going to my first wedding in October for my college roommate. I've also never been to a funeral D: /knock on wood


@triplea Wow! How have you managed that? Young, few relatives, etc? Or just by coincidence?



The local paper a few years ago had a cover story (slow news week, small town) about a teacher in the school district who invited her whole class to the ceremony and I thought it was kind of boundary-pushing to have your students at your wedding. Plus, having thirty eight year olds in the church, yikes!


@Bonnie_Irene I went to my 5th grade teacher's wedding ceremony. It was really cool for us! We took a big picture with her: all 30 of us, her in her dress, and her husband. Then we were dismissed. It depends, I think, on how the teacher relates to her (or his, this is the 21st century!) students. Ours was young, and had a really good rapport with us, and so it made natural sense to her.


@Bonnie_Irene My 5th grade teacher got married to a mother of a girl a year older than me (lots of dramatic, small town gossip, affairs, confrontation, etc) and he brought in the wedding pictures which were quite lovely, but then he triumphantly pulled out the picture of THE KISS and we all went "Ewwwwww!" and he said "Old people kiss too". I've been scarred for life. I think he was kind of creep for pulling that one


@bibliostitute I think that sounds really nice. It would depend on the teacher and class, of course. I can see if you had a good relationship with your students, it would be exciting for the class to come to the ceremony. If they're your students, they're the people you hang out with 5 days a week, you'd know them pretty well - why not?


@triplea: I've never been to a wedding either... never been invited. People always act SHOCKED when I mention it.

The Lady of Shalott

One time my dad was in a fairly distant suburb and decided to go to Mass while he was there, instead of going the following morning. So he turned up at a Catholic church at the appointed time they had posted on their board outside, and went in and sat down wearing his ordinary Saturday khakis-and-polo shirt.

AND IT WAS TOTALLY A WEDDING. Of some completely random people he did not know. He (obviously) did not know a soul there, was wildly underdressed, and by the time he realized it was A WEDDING, thought it was too late to politely sidle out. So my dad sat through an entire Catholic mass and wedding (VERY LONG), then went through the receiving line (!!!) at the end, and congratulated the bride and groom. Then went home for supper.

The best time my dad ever unintentionally crashed a wedding? When he was in his 20s he used to crash weddings with his best friend on the weekends as a hobby.


@The Lady of Shalott I just need you to know that this story made me grin reeeeeeeeeally huge, and it's been kind of a shitty day, so I needed that.


@The Lady of Shalott your dad sounds tops. I want a dad like that.


The one that never happened: And we all knew it shouldn't have. But we all smiled and went along much like Jen's "the one I couldn't bring myself to believe in." We all bought our bridesmaid's dresses ($250, which I, months later, only managed to garner $50 from at a consignment shop) and planned the bridal shower. And then he literally walked out on her with only a note explaining why and when the date of the wedding came around, we all went to Bermuda. It was like a mash-up of the first Sex and the City movie and the SATC episode where Berger breaks up with Carrie on a post-it.


@orangeyouglad What a champion juicebox.


@Gnatalby Also, what champion friends :).


@wee_ramekin There's no denying you're a
Champion, greatest of them all
You're a champion, never gonna fall
You're a champion, still standing tall
You're a champion, and you'll always be a hero!


@wee-ramekin Ahh! I named my cat after that one-legged dog. Thank you!

And yes, my cat is gonna be quarterback someday. He's gonna through for 2000 yards.


@Pizzahut "You're a champion, little horse, and you're dead!"


Someone PLEASE invite me to a wedding where there are boys I can make out with! EVERY wedding I have attended has contained not one single man over the age of 13.


@QuiteAimable SRSLY.


@QuiteAimable i invited two! one came and was macked on by all the single ladies, the other couldn't come.
i still hear about guy #1 though from some guests. he was an old roommate from college, such a drama queen but looks like a prada model.
(my mom even asked me about him before i started dating my now-husband... moooo-oooom!)


@QuiteAimable So what's stopping you? Has it ever occurred to you that maybe you're a pederast but you just haven't met the right boy yet? Find your bliss in sweet, underage makeout sessions with middle schoolers in the VFW coat closet.


@QuiteAimable Oh honey, I wish you'd been at my wedding. I only had one single female friend there, but more than half our guy friends are unattached. I felt so sory for them that they didn't even have prospects!


@saythatscool Okay, ew.


@wee_ramekin Oh don't act innocent, wee.


@saythatscool Saythatscoolio, usually I try to let your jokes about child sexual abuse slide, but I know from reading comments for a while that there are several Pinners who experienced sexual abuse when they were younger, and I want to at least put an alternative sentiment out there to let them know that not everyone thinks child abuse jokes are funny.


@wee_ramekin fair enough. I guess I have never read those. Sorry to whoever I offended.


@wee_ramekin Just want to second that. Thanks for saying it.


@saythatscool I do not wish to make light of child abuse or of the people on the list that are rightfully squicked out by "child abuse jokes" (almost an oxymoron). But I do want to interject that, as a guy, I can tell you that my guy friends would almost universally at the age of thirteen have been thrilled to be "taken advantage of" by the right older woman. That said, I still get the point of those not amused hereon.






@melis I don't even know what a commenter number is!


oh my god that's so embarrassing



i literally just turned into a crab-beast made of poison vapor is how embarrassing that is


@QuiteAimable The best wedding I was ever at (besides my own) was a good friend's from college, where she purposely made sure that there were equal single ladies and men (mainly so that she had something to gossip about after ;)). Loads of fun, some hanky panky in the halls (we got busted by a parent - UGH), and good gossip to be had.


@QuiteAimable I go to 2-5 weddings per year on average, and I've only had the opportunity to make out with ONE guy in all that time! Generally weddings are a terrible place to meet people. That one guy was pretty hot though. He had those D'Angelo hip muscles, and we went skinny dipping in the river, and then back to my hotel room to see if there was a hot tub. "To see if there was a hot tub."

Jenny Cox


Dear Internet Stranger,

I die a little every time you break out the italics. Thank you for making me crack up. Also, sometimes I start talking to my friends and I'm like, quoting some random-ass thing you've posted on this site, and I'm like, "WHATS THAT FROM AGAIN? IS THAT FROM A SHOW? A YOUTUBE? WHATS THAT FROM AGAIN?" (And I really am like "and I'm like" in real life, unfortunately.) And then I get silent because I know it's from a comments forum on this blog. And then I turn into a crab-beast made of poison vapor because I'm internally embarrassed.


Internet Stranger


@QuiteAimable You need to hang out with me more.


@melis Was your face ever red?


@QuiteAimable Yes! All the weddings I have ever been to were family weddings (I have a large extended family) or were people I knew quite well and thus knew most of their friends AND, mostly, my friends are all coupled and particularly by the time they get married they only have coupled friends and... me?

So for example the last wedding I went to, I was a single older sister bridesmaid (there's a life experience everyone looks forward to as a little girl... wait), and there was exactly ONE other guy there who was single. not even another girl who was single. both the other bridesmaids were younger than me and both were partnered with 2 kids each and one of the bridesmaids had another on the way. (I want kids.) I consider it a feat of superhuman strength that I only cried once the whole day.

Anyway, I don't get this whole go-to-weddings-get-drunk-pash-people business, and I'm now actually looking forward to the wedding I have to go to in October this year because I have a lovely boyfriend. So not only do I get to take him, but nobody will try to pair me off with anyone just because we are both single. HURRAY


@jenny_ I love the way it's like we're at the back of a crowd and she's whispering inappropriate things about the speaker, and everyone is pretending not to hear/laugh.

@purefrog I know a couple of guys who were sexually abused by older women, as kids. I actually find that comment more worrying and insidious that saythatscool's original statement (on which, I third weerammie, and say thanks to saythatscool for being cool about it.) One of said boys was not believed when he asked for help because everyone said that either it couldn't be sexual abuse (like stuffing marshmallows in a parking meter, amiright? NO YOU ARE NOT RIGHT) or that he was 'lucky'. So, it makes me very cross to see sentiments like that, no matter how true they may have been for you at that age.


@Craftastrophies plus 1,000 feminist points to me for humourlessness.


@Craftastrophies Now see, deadpan meta comments about yourself, that is actually the kind of joke I find hilarious


@Craftastrophies OK I'm adding myself to the list of people politely saying that jokes about sexual abuse of kids aren't funny for me. I just... can't. It's not.

Passion Fruit

@missvancity HAHAHA! Fucking love it. You and that dude, always trying to see if there's a hot tub.


The one where I got too drunk: all of them.

Except my dad's wedding to the harpy, which was DRY of all the indignities.


@Gnatalby The only good thing about my dad's upcoming wedding to the harpy will be the excess of available alcohol. Little sis and I are getting fucking crunk.


@LabRat Good call.


@Gnatalby Oh god, dry weddings. I grew up in a pretty evangelical environment and have attended way. way. (WAY!) too many dry weddings for the sake of family and friends. Never again!!


@SuperGogo I attended one last summer that wasn't dry, but it was in the middle of nowhere, no cabs would pick anyone up out there, and I didn't know anyone there to carpool with. The only thing worse than a dry wedding is a wet one where you can't drink


@Gnatalby Best/worst wedding weekend I've ever had was a "dry" wedding. My now-fiance was in the wedding party and the only people I knew at the wedding were the boys in the wedding party and one girl who I didn't much care for. Spent the night before the party getting wassssssssted with all of the groomsmen in our hotel room and subsequently trashing it; spent the wedding night becoming BFFs with everyone at my table bc I was alone (fiance was seated at the head table) which was sucky but then awesome bc I ended up at the young-alcoholics-passing-flasks-under-the-table-table. Drunk by the end of dinner. So much dancing. So much awesome.


This is inspiring me to start an 'events attended' journal to keep track of such details as are described above.


@sox This made me make a list of my own, and I realized I keep forgetting certain weddings!


In 2008, I was invited to 13 weddings and attended 11 of them. After that, I pledged that I would never again get on a plane for a wedding, except perhaps for immediate family. Funnily, since then, I have been invited to exactly zero weddings I couldn't easily drive to.


@josiahg My mom and I are road tripping it up (10 hour drive, I think?) this summer for my cousin's wedding. Cheaper than a plane, but possibly way more traumatic.
(For the record, my mom and I get along very well. We will see what happens after this trip?)


@josiahg OH MAN! I thought I had it rough a few years ago with five over the course of one summer! Two were on the same day, different times but in the same place (The Brownstone of The Real Housewives of New Jersey fame, in fact). It was a bit surreal; when I was leaving the first after the late-afternoon coffee-and-dessert portion of the reception, I was heading downstairs to the cocktail hour of the next one. And I suspect people there thought we were wedding crashers because who does this?

J Walter Weatherman

There was the one I never actually made it to when I was six because an old lady swerved into us on a Pennsylvania highway and totaled both cars and everyone thought I had brain damage. (I didn't! Just a concussion! And mild trauma-related amnesia!)


@J Walter Weatherman Great excuse for misbehaving, though. "Sorry, head trauma."


I was twelve. We were invited to my mother's cousin's wedding, for unknown reasons (I'd never met him before, and haven't seen him since). My sister, cousin, and I dominated the wedding video with our 3-girl swing-dancing routine.


There's no way I could count all the weddings I've been to! None of them have contained that much drama though. They were all fun (exception, one of my cousins had a dry wedding, but that actually turned out to be fun once we all started tailgating in the parking lot of her church) with drinks and dancing and laughing and all the shenanegans. I've caught 5 or 6 bouquets. I love weddings!

Best Wedding Ever: One of my best friends from high school rented out an entire camp (like one used for summer camp) in the Columbia River Gorge and we all went out and spent the weekend swimming and camping and there were bands playing every night and everyone pitched in and helped with different parts of making meals and cleaning up. It was one of the most fun weekends I've ever had.


I kind of want that wedding! It's like a little festival all its own.


@Brunhilde I was just on a hike out in the gorge this past weekend! That wedding sounds amazing, totally up my alley.


@klaus One of the bands that played was March Fourth Marching Band the night before their wedding day. After their wedding it was a Jug band (whose name escapes me at the moment). There were a couple of little bands/people jamming too.


@Brunhilde Awesome, that sounds like A Very Portland wedding. One of my friends had Glass Candy play their reception and for guest gifts they had mini boxes with Voodoo Doughnuts in them + Stumptown coffee.


@Brunhilde That Gorge wedding is my dream! Only out in Dry Falls, I think. I just want to bring my village out and live with them for a few days whilst, you know, turning married.

sarah girl

I have been to SO few weddings! Only two in my adult life, and one was my brother's. I hear so many of my peers (mid to late 20s) lamenting how many weddings they have to attend and augh all the bridesmaid dresses, etc etc, and I just... don't understand! It kind of makes me feel like a sad and unpopular person, but really I just have a smaller friend group and most of said friends haven't gotten around to marriage yet.

...I'm not sad and unpopular, right? :(


@Sarah H. i get so sad when people talk about weddings, i want to go to one so badly. :(


@Sarah H. Same here! I've had a blast at each of the weddings I've been to, but they have been so, so few! It's partly because I'm incredibly unpopular (insert sobbing sound), partly because my parents always made this concerted effort to isolate me and my sister from the seedier elements of our extended family to the point where we barely know most of our own relatives and can't get invited to their awesomely seedy weddings (insert another sobbing sound), and partly because my friends seem to be eternally single and I'm still eagerly waiting for them to get into relationships, let alone have weddings. SOMEBODY HURRY UP AND GET MARRIED SO I CAN GET DRUNK AND DROP IT LIKE IT'S HOT AT YOUR WEDDING PLEEEEZ.


@Sarah H. Yeah, I look into the future and don't really see myself as a bridesmaid unless it's to someone I maybe haven't met yet. I don't know, I tend to have really intense bff relationships that cool off into seeing each other a few times a year, and I don't use gchat? Lots of my friends have sisters and friends who would care about/enjoy this honor lots more than me?

I was also such a hot mess of unstable depression in college, but I think that's a sad thing specific to me.


@Sarah H. Yeah, I've been to two as an adult, and one was for a family friend whose mom is my mom's best friend and my entire family was invited. Which was awesome fun! But I also worry that I am sad and unpopular.


@themmases You are not alone. Any good friend that I've had has moved away and none of them are really interested in marriage. The one friend I know who is married had her wedding the same day as my cousin's so I couldn't go. What are the odds? I did not pick up any good friends from college (except my boyfriend) but I'll see some Facebook friend classmates going on pre-wedding trips to Vegas together. Definitely failed friend making.


@Sarah H. I have only been to three weddings in all my 26 years and they were all for family. I'm maid of honor in one coming up in May, and it's a little strange. The bride is my lifelong BFF but we have completely different groups of friends. She's always complaining about having to go to/be in one million weddings and I...well, all my friends are going to be single forever.


@Sarah H. I feel the same way, and I'm probably 10-15 years older than you! I have a pretty wide group of friends, but until grad school, most of my close friends were my small town friends from childhood (I went to a big state school, but most of my friends went to the same one and we didn't do much branching out). And I feel like the whole wedding hopping phenomena is a mostly upper middle class white people thing that wasn't my demographic (I am white, but a good portion of my friends aren't, and none of us came from families that threw these big expensive country club weddings). And by grad school, everyone was either married or waiting until they moved on to a more permanent residence to date seriously. So even though I feel like I have a decently big and diverse group of friends, when people talk about weddings like this I feel like I grew up in another country!

sarah girl

@finguns Aww, I'm so glad I have fellow few-weddings compatriots! I also forgot that my extended family is very small - I have maybe three cousins, total. Most of my friends are singletons or in casual relationships; I can only think of one or two who miiiiight get married, and that probably wouldn't be for a few years, at least. I also feel like at least one friend would be horrified to be included on that list, haha! So maybe not.

And @themmases, I feel you on college. I came out of there with maybe three friends...? I went to a women's college so I see sooooo many weddings (not that men get married less often, but you know, less likely to splash those pics all over Facebook), and they all have a bunch of college friends as bridesmaids/guests... I might have unresolved issues about my college unpopularity!


@Sarah H. I have a small family too! Tons of bachelor uncles, three or four cousins, step-cousin I met once 6 years ago. Not a lot of wedding potential there.

I think most of my college friends will get married-- most of them were paired off the whole time-- but they are understandably closer to other people and I'm pretty sure I don't come off as someone who'd just love to help pick wedding favors. And the ladies who would definitely pick me, yeah, I can't see more than one of them getting married. Oh well, more freely chosen outfits for me!


@Sarah H. I was sort of a hot mess of depression in college too! And I have exactly zero close girlfriends left from college. My besties and I parted ways in a scorched-earth fashion during senior year. There were a lot of cool girls in college I wish I'd been closer to instead of them.

But I have my post-college friends and my high school friends, plus a sister, so I might be a maid of honor yet. I've been a bridesmaid twice and it was pretty fun. The brides were laid-back and easygoing, and I was glad I could help them with preparations.


@Sarah H.: I try not to feel sad and unpopular for having been invited to zero weddings... I have a very small family (no first cousins) and also didn't acquire many close girl friends in college -- even though I was in a (low-key, I swear!) sorority. (A LOT of those girls are currently planning weddings...) Of my few definitely-would-invite-me friends, most are still single or, if they're dating someone serious, it's relatively new. The upshot is that I have saved SO much money! I'm sure once I hit that point where I DO get invited to a bunch, I will be lamenting about travel, gift, wardrobe, etc fees.


The brides were laid-back and easygoing, and I was glad I could help them with preparations....ira gold investment


i have never been to a wedding :( i am invited to one in oct and i REALLY REALLY truly want to go, but my mil is going to be there and i can't. she is evil and may or may not cause a huge ugly scene, which i don't want to do to the bride.

Reginal T. Squirge

Bueller wouldn't be caught dead in khakis at a wedding.


@ReginalTSquirge@twitter I'm sorry, but have you SEEN that car commercial? He's all about the khakis and sensible sedans these days.


I've been to approximately a million weddings (in reality, maybe 20-22?). All my cousins are older than I am, and my mom was the resident head of a dorm until I was 13, and a lot of the college girls invited our whole family to weddings. I've been to two weddings so far for college friends. For one of them I literally had no money so I didn't get a gift and still feel guilty - I just got them a baby present (books) I'm sending tomorrow. It was the first Eastern Orthodox wedding I've ever been to which was fantastic and a lot of fun. The other I got them a casserole dish off their registry. It was over New Year's and also a reunion of sorts for all of us who were friends from the dorm I lived in in college. Also a lot of fun.

The most remarkable thing is that at all of the weddings I went to when I was a little kid, I often had a sip of champagne and thought it was LITERALLY the most disgusting thing I'd ever tasted in my life. How?!?!


I have seen more weddings than I ever care to, because I used to be a banquet waiter for a hotel that mainly hosted weddings. I'm kind of just not impressed by them anymore.

However, one time when I was around 12, my family and I were chillin' outside the cottage we were renting on a lake. All of a sudden, a wedding broke out in front of us! We had no idea that the owner of the cottages had told his daughter that she could get married on the lakefront property, so we were like, grilling dinner and in our bathing suits in the middle of this random wedding. It was kinda cool.


@klemay: I really love the idea of weddings just breaking out all over the place. Like flash mobs, but with more jordan almonds.


@klemay That is awesome! One time a wedding broke out at a public park next to my friend's birthday party in middle school. We were really obnoxiously blowing bubbles toward them, and I started to feel guilty, and then afterward the bride came over and told us that the bubbles were the perfect touch to their ceremony!


My favorite wedding I've been to was when my dad and stepmom got married after 14 years of being together. Vows exchanged on their front porch, entire guest list was: bride's parents and sister & brother-in-law, groom's best friends (couple), me, and the officiant (who was a friend). The bride picked some flowers from her lawn to hold, and the pastor sang the Doobie Brothers for them. Then we all went out for dinner and drinks.
I think I'm too much of an introvert for "normal" weddings to be that much fun, except when I'm dancing at the reception.


@Changeling That sounds like a really nice ceremony :).


Holy crap that is a lot of weddings. I think I have only been to 4 in my entire life.


So...I just realized that I basically crashed the wedding party of the first wedding I ever went to (my cousin's, when I was about 6).

I am the oldest of four sisters. My cousin had asked the sister born after me to be her flower-girl and do a reading of Corinthians at her wedding. She did NOT ask me to be a part of the wedding.

I ended up being SO jealous and throwing SUCH a fit about it that my mother had to talk to the cousin and basically be like "Either you take the horrible ugly one AND the cute one, or you don't get either. This request has cast a plague o'er both our hosues". So my cousin ended up letting me into her wedding, where my sister and I co-read Corinthians.

You guys, I hadn't thought about that wedding in such a long time, and I didn't realize until JUST NOW how terrible and self-centered I was! I was like...a Sister-of-the-Flowergirlzilla. Ugh.


@wee_ramekin Aww, I'm sure you weren't horrible & ugly!



Uh, I mean, thank you for your generous sentiment :).


@wee_ramekin Wait, she gave two jobs to one small child cousin and no jobs to the other small child cousin? It sounds like the bride needed the lesson in graciousness, not you. (Well, maybe also you, but c'mon, six years old.)

Does Axl have a jack?

@wee_ramekin Yeah, I'm pretty sure your reaction was completely justified. Especially at six.


All those weddings, oh my! I've never been to a wedding and I don't see one coming up in the immediate future, so it's always interesting to hear/read about the variety of weddings there is.
I'm well-versed in funerals, though. So, next story coming up: All the Funerals I Have Ever Been to, as I Remember, Even if I wanted to Forget Them.


@kystilla Don't worry, I'm in the same boat. I'm 22 and my family's all old and my friends are all very sensible people. Maybe there will be some in the future, but I'm beginning to suspect the first wedding I attend will be my own.


@kystilla I will have so many stories to tell in that comment thread, boy howdy. (The Muppet Coat. The Funeral Director Who Recommended His Favorite Bar. The Giggling At A Wake. The Funeral Parlor Next To A Subway Track. And many more!)


For my high school friend's sister's wedding, I was hired to watch the kids. I was 17, the bride was barely 20. I was an experienced babysitter, but no one told me about the 6 year old with a severe mental handicap. She had the mind of a toddler but the strength of someone three times that age. It was exhausting (imagine how her parents must have felt.)

The sister was always sort of a prima donna, so I was surprised that the wedding seemed a bit low-budget. (I'm not sure they ever paid me like they'd said they would.) Even though the bride was already in great shape, she insisted on a too-tight dress. Thirty minutes before she walked down the aisle, she sneezed and it split 5 inches down the back. Somehow they got it mended, but I would have loved to see that meltdown.


I'm starting to tally up all of the weddings I've been to and coordinated.

...This may take a while...


...I'm up to 30.

Good grief!


All of this is reminding me: have you guys seen this Russian wedding flash mob? It's the BEST!


"defeated me in a debate competition in high school" - I was also in high school debate and STILL recognize all of those bitches and remember my record against them. I would not hesitate to take revenge on the ones that bested me using any means available.

Briony Fields

The worst was being the maid of honour to my friend who was marrying a horrible, abusive man. They'd been in a long distance relationship so I only met him a few days before the wedding, but there were definite 'red flags' coming in as we did the wedding preparation. I watched her get bullied by him and listened to her say things like 'I hope being married improves our relationship' and 'sometimes I wonder if this relationship is good for me'. I just encouraged her not to be afraid to cancel the wedding if she felt it wasn't right. I mean, how can you tell someone they're making a huge mistake? You can't! Thankfully she figured him out eventually, but not before marrying him and having a miserable 2.5 years of it.


Best: wedding of my dad's boss's daughter in London, which was basically my family's summer vacation for that year (and the next two). The whole shebang was at the Savoy, including a ladies' tea and the reception. In between the ceremony and the reception there were double-decker busses hired to cart us around on a mini-tour of london, and at the reception the mostly-scottish groom's friends took obscene photos up their kilts with the disposable cameras left on the table. My only regrets about that wedding: being too young to drink (I was 15, maybe?) and appreciate all the detail (and cost).

Most awkward: the wedding of college friends, where the bouquet hit (was not caught by, hit) two people: me, and an awesome girl who happens to be a devout muslim and was wearing a hijab and floor-length gown. She looks at me and says, "sorry, you're going to have to take the fall on this one," hands me the bouquet, and next thing I know a stranger is putting a garter on me.


@snuffleupagus I went to a friend's wedding and the bridesmaid who caught the bouquet was so unamused by the whole garter thing that she tucked her legs up onto the chair and covered the whole shebang with her skirt and then folded her arms and shook her head at the dude. It was spectacular.


Most of the wedding i have been to have been family. When i was 6 we went to my (second?)cousin's wedding, which precipitated a move from georgia to southern virginia. Then my aunt, where i was a junior bridesmaid, and told i was a very fat 11 yr old, my mom's (where i was told i was a fat 13 yr old, despite losing 40 lbs), and then my sister's best friend, at which my mother came down with a horrific stomach flu, and threw up in the catholic church. We had to stop at kmart for a new, awful, dress. Finally, my sister's wedding, when my dress barely fit, my grandmother's portugese friend kept violently pulling it up, and i got drunk with my distant stepfather while trying to get my distant father to talk to me. Currently planning my own wedding, can't wait to see the fuckery that ensues. :)


Wow, sorry that sounds so bitter. I loved every one of thosee weddings and i hope mine will be as much fun.


@bskinz I hope your wedding is fun too! They should be fun. But how mean of people to say things like that to a child.


@bskinz We portuguese are such dress pullers.


Man, I haven't been to any good weddings except when my mom's best friend's sister got married and I was 16 and my dad kept sneaking me rum and cokes because we were bored out of our minds in the era before smartphones. I wound up drunkenly singing some Sex Pistols song on the way home while my mom disapproved all over the place. (Dad, for the record, thought it was hilarious.)

The most recent wedding I went to was a few years ago, for someone with whom I was good friends in middle school and kept in touch sporadically throughout high school and college. I'm pretty sure, though, that the only reason I was invited is because she was actually inviting my mom, who was her homeroom teacher at one point. Uuuuunfortunately the wedding was a huge bust. The ceremony itself was very nice, held in the church we attended as kids, but then the afternoon reception was dry, and there was an honest to god FUCKING POLKA BAND, and I could not wait to go home and drink an entire iced tea glass of Malibu rum, because oh my god, live polka ought to be considered a form of torture if there is no booze to go with it. Then after I got drunk at home, I wound up drunk dialing my then-girlfriend, who thought it incredibly funny that I was hammered at 5 PM.

Thankfully, nobody likes me enough right now - or lives close enough - to have me in their weddings. I don't want the responsibility anyway, or the expense of buying a bridesmaid's dress/helping to plan the wedding/organizing a bachelorette party. It sounds awful to me. Just, all of it. I think that if I get married, I will just go to the courthouse and then have a big drunken party at my favorite restaurant, and everybody can wear whatever the hell they want.


@Anji I should clarify and say that it sounds awful not because I hate helping people I like or that it's inherently stupid or anything, but because I don't know anyone who has been in weddings and never got stressed out or clashed with anyone else in the wedding party.

Porn Peddler

I am so annoyed that weddings are going to happen in a constant stream sometime in my near future. Ugh. HOW DO THIS MANY WEDDINGS HAPPEN! AH! I barely know you I don't need to witness your Important Life Event, ugh

I have been to a total of two weddings that I can actually remember: my mom's third wedding which was really just an awesome party/reception in our back yard at which I got pretty tanked (but not bad behavior tanked!) and gave a toast to the marriage as Miss Swan because it was Mama Third Wave's wedding wish and had an awesome time. I wore a black and taupe bandage dress with thick black straps that were functionally useless.

Then there was the wedding of two of Mister's friends, in his hometown, under a year into our relationship, at which there was no DJ, just an iPod (pretty sure "Astral Weeks" or "Sweet Thing" was their song) I met basically all his friends, and everyone had an amazing time. The groom eventually realized he had planned for an afterparty (he rented out a bar) and failed to pick up food for it, realized I was the only responsible and not-drunk party, and sent me off to buy food at BJs. I spent a lot of time at the afterparty in the kitchen of the bar prepping food and running around trying to make his life easier. Black and white strapless bandage dress and purple satin pumps (what, I know what looks good on me, I ain't changin' shit) A bunch of us piled into my tiny red acura (oh right, I arrived in a fire engine red '95 acura integra, I am the hottest fucking thing walking!) at the end of the night to go do something else and we came to the conclusion that all weddings in the future would suck and nothing would compare to how great this one had been. Now I'm back to that thought.


@Third Wave Housewife Your mom asked you to do the toast as Miss Swan?! That is just amazing, and I'm going to award Mama Third Wave the "Most Awesome Mom Ever" trophy, as soon as I can figure out where I put it. Please say there's video.

Porn Peddler

@Anji Sheis jewish so she would never ask me to do that-- she just continually dropped over dinner, every time I saw her in the year preceding the event, that it would "make the wedding."


@Third Wave Housewife But still! It was her intent! Which I find just as rad!


@Third Wave Housewife How did the only having an iPod there work out? I am cheap and like the idea of making my own mix and encouraging my friends (who have awesome music taste) to bring something too. Also wanting to avoid paying a lot/scrambling to book someone who might turn out to be corny. So it's always kind of been my plan.


I've only been to four weddings, two of which were for co-workers. I wore a white dress to one of them because I didn't know THE RULE and was really embarrassed when I read something online in which all these people were bashing someone else for doing it. The bride didn't seem to give a shit, but I've concluded it's why her sister was cold to me. :(


@klaus Or you could do what my mom did, which is wear a white lace dress to the morning after brunch of my wedding (after passing out drunk in the hotel lobby the night before and telling me when I needed help that weekend that it wasn't her problem since she was the mother of the bride). While I could totally forgive you for not knowing, my mom just didn't give a rat's patootie.


@snuffleupagus Sometimes I think about retroactively apologizing to the bride, but now I want to apologize for your mom more than anything.


@klaus If her experience was anything like mine, there were so many other little bits of drama going on that someone wearing a white dress was not even a blip on the radar. Maybe mention it sometime if it comes up in conversation - how embarrassed you were and you hope it didn't bother her.

My mom's behavior stemmed mostly from the fact that she fully believed the party was about her. This is not surprising or unusual, though I appreciate the sympathy! :)


@snuffleupagus Is the white dress rule still relevant? I have my second coming up where I've been asked TO wear white (once as a guest where it was just a cute summer-y thing that everyone was supposed to do, second time as a bridesmaid where they're doing the off-white/nude/pale trend). I always think if it's a knee-length, casual thing, nobody will mistake you for the bride, no?


@travelmugs I am not at all versed in wedding etiquette, but I think that the "no white dresses" thing is still pretty relevant. Unless specifically asked to wear white (it seems like it was a specific request in both of your examples), I think it's good to err on the side of "anything but white".


@wee_ramekin Thoughts on wearing white (with a pattern!) to a bridal shower? Yes? No?


There was the wedding of two grad school friends which occurred approximately a month after my brief marriage had imploded and my ex had served me with divorce papers just before our first anniversary. It was on the campus of my university. I was ok during the ceremony, but during their first dance I totally lost my shit and had to go outside. My two best friends came out to console me, they were the greatest. I pulled myself together and went inside and proceeded to get ridiculously drunk. (Except for that brief interlude when I had to run across campus in my wedding attire and check on my science experiment...I was only a little drunk at that point...) I drunkenly took photos of the campus in full summer glory during my solo traipse across campus. Gift: Something for their honeymoon?


My first wedding was my aunt's when I was three. I wore a blue and white Laura Ashley dress and a straw hat with a ribbon and a flower. I've always been on the, ahem, petite side, and during the reception a little boy not much older than I was pointed at me and asked, "Why's that baby talking?" Last year my mom informed me that apparently this happened frequently.

Passion Fruit

@runlolorun Oh my GOD, this made me laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh.

Why is that baby talking?


@Passion Fruit me too! the confusion he must've been experiencing!


The first wedding I remember going to I was I think six or seven and I caught the bouquet. I was SO excited until I heard people saying that whoever caught the garter (a MAN!) would have to reach up my dress and put it on my leg...I ran out of the room in tears. How modest I was in my youth.

Also reason no 357 why we won't be throwing garters at my wedding.


@LizHo A MAN!? shocking. I probably would have had a near-identical reaction. Wedding traditions.. you think it's all just throwing flowers around, but then it gets all icky!


@LizHo: I was not aware of the garter-on-the-catcher thing until JUST NOW. I already didn't like the idea of the groom removing the garter from the bride in front of everybody... now I'm really WTF'ing over here.


I've attended 30 weddings, 11 times as a bridesmaid or maid of honor. I'm also 30 years old. Help. I have my third of 2012 this weekend.
The best are the accidentally awkward toasts. My favorite was the bride's father toasting his daughter: "and then Lynn PLOWED her way through college..."
Needless to say, Lynn was rather promiscuous, so this was especially hilarious.


@Leanne OMG awkward toasts. At my cousin's wedding last summer his best man told a story about the cops knocking on the door because he and his then-girlfriend were having sex really loudly. Thought he was joking but he was apparently . . . not.


The first time my uncle's wife saw me after their wedding she started calling me "shooter girl." What, her Croatian third cousins were very friendly.

This was also the wedding where my grandmother, one of the most liberal people ever, was in charge of finding the priest. So she went around making sure that we didn't mention to the Catholic/Eastern Orthodox side that the priest was gay, and had a husband and children.


Oh man, I've been so so many weddings, and love them all. One year eleven friends of mine got engaged, and the following year I went to 8 weddings, I think.


As someone about be married to someone who sometimes does wedding photography, I have only recently started to rack up my wedding card. Last year, we went to two completely fabulous weddings: one in Toronto, where the bride and groom had a miniacademic conference about love (it was amazingly perfect for the two nerds), and one in Austin, where the bridge was like three months pregnant but gorgeous and there were some vague awkwardnesses among various people present. I get married next month(!!!), and then 9 days later we shoot one of his groom'smen's wedding, and then...there's one wedding this summer that we're shooting, and then one wedding in the fall that we're attending. ALL THE WEDDINGS.


A friend and I went to a mutual friend's wedding (we had known each since elementary school) in Orlando. We were almost late to the ceremony because we insisted on seeing the dolphin show at Sea World beforehand. At the reception, those nice waiters just kept showing up with more wine, so the last thing I vividly remember is my friend getting in trouble for making out with the bride's little brother in the men's bathroom (the wedding/reception was at a very chi chi hotel). We somehow managed to make it back to our much cheaper hotel and both passed out fully clothed while trying to order pizza. Ah, good times.


I am jealous of all the people who have been to like, two, weddings. My little brother's wedding is coming up, I am single, I dislike 95% of my family and have nothing to say to them, I'm a bridesmaid, AND I can't drink (see also: the time I went to the hotel bar post rehearsal in a thong, the time I made out with a gross man on the dance floor in front of my parents). Thank god for klonopin, seriously.


@drunkennoodle I did this last year, single-older-sister bridesmaid, I wrote about it in a comment somewhere else in this thread. There was alcohol, but I couldn't drink because I would have just cried all over the place (I cried once as it was). I HEAR YOUR PAIN. (except, please don't hate me because I am recently un-single)


@sevanetta Haha I don't hate you, you give me hope for the future! i just looked up your other comment on here and "a life experience everyone looks forward to as a little girl...wait.." TRUTH, my friend. I expect to cry and not pretty "isnt this ceremony beautiful tears.." and then I think about how every person in the room will be like "poor drunkennoodle, it must be hard to be 30 and single and watch your little brother get married!" (although maybe, not everyone will be thinking about me, perhaps) I just feel like an object of pity! And if anyone asks me when I am getting married, they are getting a knee to the groin, even if it's my grandma. i am just happy to know you survived, and if I cry once I will consider it a triumph haha


@drunkennoodle yayyyyyyyy! I love the hairpin for moments like this, when you find someone else to share the pain with!

I worried a lot / copped a lot prior to the wedding (I was the Bad Bridesmaid who didn't want to wear high heels), but on the day I actually had a lot more fun than I expected to. I hadn't ever been a bridesmaid before, and I didn't realise that the good thing is that you have stuff to do and feel special sitting on the bridal party table.

Nobody asked me when I was getting married because they knew I was single, and in retrospect, although I felt EXACTLY like you ('everyone will be like 'poor sevanetta, single older sister bridesmaid, wah'), most people seriously will not be giving you the pity-eye at all, they will just think you look pretty, especially if they don't know you. I totally worried about it and then it actually wasn't an issue, I only had to deal with my own feelings on the matter, which was much easier. Trying to look as good as possible was something else that helped me cope. That and my relaxing herbal drink (which I had instead of alcohol).

Anyway YES I survived! The key to crying is (a) if you smile people will think it's because you are so happy for your brother (b) tears indicate happiness, sobs and gnashing your teeth indicate sadness (b) save it up for the end of the day for your most sympathetic family member, if you can't hide in the toilets.

Also try to work out ahead of time how you will get out of there - I didn't have a lift because I came in the hired vehicle and ended up being one of the last to leave just because of that.

I was 29 last year when I went through it so you will make it!!! hug!!


@sevanetta haha yes, the magic of the hairpin strikes again! seriously this came up on my phone last night and then somehow disappeared and i was like must get on computer immediately and find out the secrets to survival!!


I've been in 6 or 7 (bridesmaid and one time officiant) and been to at least that many, if not more, where I wasn't a bridal party member. But, with the exception of 3, possibly 4 more, I think I've seen the end of weddings (except that I just had to update the number because I remembered the wedding next year in Australia that we have to go to, so....yeah.).


I've been to... five weddings? The first was my uncle's when I was like six and he's now divorced and living under a bridge or something (idek) and we all keep up with her more than him, because he's a bum and she's lovely. The second was my former best friend's in her now-husband's brother's backyard and it was great but very hot - June in Atlanta - and I only remember the feeling of "we're not friends anymore" that had already settled over me with regard to her made everything feel kind of bittersweet. The third was a gorgeous vineyard wedding for a lovely musician friend of mine and there was live jazz and a wine bar and my now-fiance and I had one of our first very memorable deep-serious-stuff conversations on the patio overlooking the vineyard. The fourth was my dad's best friend's marriage and dad was the best man, and I just remember he made me cry with the sweet speech he gave about what he'd learned from his marriage to my mother that he wanted to pass on to his best friend. And the most recent was my future sister-in-law's wedding, which was the BIGGEST NEW YORK STYLE WEDDING I HAVE EVER SEEN, so I'm all intimidated. Hee. All of them were happy delightful things, and my memories of them are fond, even the one that was kind of bittersweet. Apparently that makes me weird.


The only weddings I have ever been to were when I was a baby/toddler. (This makes me nervous when my boyfriend and I talk casually about maybe getting married, because I don't know how weddings are supposed to work.)

Does Axl have a jack?

Best: of the friend-weddings I have attended, most have been fairly awesome and varying degrees of drunk. My college roomie's reception was held at a hall where you had to provide your own liquor separate from the catering service. When it got kind of late they attempted to encourage the party to break up by collecting everyone's glasses; roomie's dad countered by going into the stash of remaining wine (that they had bought) and passing out bottles.

I adore my cousins on my mom's side, but two of them have gotten married in the last few years and both weddings were highly detrimental to my ego. One married a semi-horrible southern ex-sorority girl, and so said wedding was filled with fully horrible southern ex-sorority girls (no offense to non-horrible sorority gals, of course). They found my nerdy self...amusing. At the second, my aunt (blood-related) thought it would be nice to suggest that her husband's nephew (not blood-related) ask me to dance. In front of me. I've never seen a dude make excuses about the bathroom and flee so fast. *sad awkward trombone*
Luckily, despite a lack of proper alcohol (beer and wine only) at the reception, the hotel in which it was held had a bar. I've never been so happy to pay $10 for a shot.


I have been to three. I remember nothing of one of them (dad's cousin's wedding, I was like 7 or 8) and little of the other (dad's sister's wedding, a couple of years earlier, though at least I know what I wore because there is photographic evidence -- that's me and my sister with our grandfather; I'm the one in green). The third was a friend's daughter's wedding at which I babysat the bride and groom's daughter, two years ago. I wore a brown and white sundress from JC Penney. There were no single adult men at the reception, and I don't drink. But I got paid, so that made up for the other things.


I have been in a dozen, not including my own. The first was when I was five-ish, as a flower girl. The most recent will be this year, as a matron of honor.

Best: the one in the field out by Mt. Baker, with all of the tents. The groom was a chef and the menu was carefully developed and amazing. I still remember the beauty of the vows, and how we all danced until the sun came out. Bonus awesome point - the bride's last name was Moore, and she married Mr. Weener. I was the MOH, and I never tired of making the Moore Weener jokes.

Most Martha: boutique hotel in Dallas. Every last detail was perfect, from the portrait of the bride in her dress, to the impeccably polished silverware. People were oppressively polite, mannered, and gracious. It was perfect and beautiful and utterly boring and cold.

The night before, the groom screamed at the bride behind closed doors, and as their houseguest (and MOH), I heard every word. Knowing my friend as I did, I knew that my overhearing it was the absolute worst thing she could have imagined happening that night, and, in an act of amazing grace and restraint, I said nothing about it. I grew to love the groom, by the way. Years down the road.

Cheesiest: also one of the best, weirdly, but the bride and groom were both managers of a McDonalds (this was high school). Bride walked down the aisle to Eternal Flame by the Bangels. Vows were specific about things like underwear drying in the bathroom. I paid five bucks for a wristband to access the keg. There were bona fide McNuggets involved (and special sauces to boot).

Worst: Two people who barely knew each other, but had no other prospects. Ungrateful, nutcase bride. Groom expressing regret that vasectomies were not something you could register for. No two people deserve each other more.

Passion Fruit

@karion I love these stories, they're great. Thanks for sharing. And the categorizations are so apt!


@karion what ever happened to the McDonalds couple?

Summer Somewhere

Once a friend from college asked me to be her bridesmaid. I declined. From what I understand now, you're not supposed to do that and it's a horrible offense. We were never that close, though. I figured out at the wedding that she just wanted a female-shaped person to pair with the odd groomsman.


@Summer Somewhere Once I got asked to fill in when another bridesmaid dropped out. My sister was already a bridesmaid and was closer to the bride, but I liked her too, and I didn't mind the idea, so I did it. But I don't think saying no would have been horrible either.

I think I offended my then-bffs in college by saying I thought being a bridesmaid was a waste of money and I hoped no one ever asked me to be one. But those girls sucked anyway, and I eventually changed my mind about being a bridesmaid.

Summer Somewhere

@whateverlolawants I agree with your college self. What changed your mind?


@Summer Somewhere I just liked the girls who asked me, and the dresses weren't that expensive, and the time commitment wasn't bad at all. I also realized that not all brides are bridezillas, and if it's important to my friends, I should consider it. I don't blame people who feel differently, thoug.

Two-Headed Girl

I have been to two, neither as an adult. The first was horrible and tacky because the bride was horrible and tacky (still is), and the second was so boring that we left and crashed another reception in the hotel. We were all under 16, and our parents were drunk and displeased at our antics.

But now I'm at that age (finishing undergrad), where Everyone Starts Getting Married, and six weeks ago three couples I know got engaged in the span of 10 days, so there are many weddings in my future.


I've been to two, except that it's really three because I forgot my sister's wedding. (Half-sister. She's a lot older than me and wears a Barbie-pink Yankees visor. We're not close.)

The Hyperbolic Julia Set

I can't even begin to list all the weddings I've been to because my dad is a minister, so that means when we were really young my sisters and I were free lance flower girls. My little sister was a flower girl in 5 weddings for people she'd never met, they just knew she'd be there on time because my dad was doing the ceremony and she had the crazy curly hair, which meant these early 90s brides didn't even have to pay for her to get a perm. When we were too old to be flower girls we were free lance guest book attendants, program hander-outers, set up and clean up crew, etc. But most were not as fun as these stories because for some crazy reason in my hometown churches need permits (expensive ones I might add) to have drinking and dancing at receptions, and the church being very conservative, was not willing to pay.
Although there was one wedding for a couple who had met by having competing entries in dog shows and they both bred show dogs so they had some of the prize dogs be part of the ceremony. And there was the one where the reception was off church property so there could be dancing and the sister of the groom had her flaminco dancing troop perform.


You've been to a lot of weddings. Wanna come to mine?


I always give money. This post makes me feel kind of tacky about that, but the registry is always covered at the bridal shower. Or there's like a $700 vacuum left on it. Is this just a thing in the circles I travel among?


@rocknrollunicorn I hear the $700 vacuum is because if they don't get it, it's 10% off for them after the wedding date.


Coke?? Are we all doing coke now? I know I'm not so much up on what my peers are doing, but...

amateur hour

@candybeans yep. Everyone is doing coke.


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