Begging On The Streets

by admin on September 18, 2014

Last week I and some coworkers were in a different country with a language we do not speak having dinner at a restaurant with outdoor seating. This whole street, in fact, was lined with outdoor seating patios. We saw, a few restaurants down, a woman dressed in a makeshift white tulle dress carrying a basket and sign, followed by a larger party.

Eventually she made her way to our table. For her wedding shower, she was walking up to strangers who were having dinner and asking them for money. If they gave her money, she’d give them a piece of candy (a singular candy, like a peppermint). As she approached our table, she asked if we spoke her language. All together, we said NO and she left without propositioning us.
Unless this is a custom we had never heard of, I can’t believe it’s not tacky to interrupt people you don’t know at a meal to ask them to fund your wedding. Talk about a gimme!   0827-14


Freudian Slip In The Invitation?

by admin on September 9, 2014

I know you’ll see the humor in the typo in this actual wedding invitation. Or maybe we finally have a gimme pig being honest?


Rescheduling The Wedding Date For A Dress

by admin on June 23, 2014

I thought of something today that I saw a while back, and decided to submit to see what you all think.

A few months back I was helping a friend look for some bridesmaid dresses, and I suggested she try Etsy because she wanted something very original and wasn’t having any luck in stores. We found a very promising looking shop that sold wedding and bridesmaid gowns, and I began reading reviews. The owner had well over a 500 reviews, and 95% were either 4 or 5 stars (the highest rating on Etsy). But being me, I went straight to the bad reviews to see what was up. Most complaints were basic things—it didn’t arrive soon enough, it had to be taken to a tailor afterward, the color didn’t quite match the picture—basic problems you would expect from purchasing a garment online. However, there was one review that simply took the cake. I wish I had taken a screen shot, but since I didn’t I’ll do my best to explain.

A woman, “Lucy”, had ordered a champagne-colored wedding gown from the seller and given it one star. Lucy even stated that if she could have given it no stars she would have done that. She complained first that the seller would not communicate with her in a timely fashion, because after she placed her order (originally a white gown) she wanted to change the color several days later. Her next complaint was that she didn’t get it in time, so she had to reschedule her whole wedding! When the dress did arrive two weeks later, Lucy didn’t think it fit well, so rather than take it to a tailor, she sent the dress back to the seller, and rescheduled her wedding AGAIN. Of course, Lucy blamed all her complications on the seller.

Now if you are not familiar with Etsy, the seller of the product has the opportunity to comment on reviews for the sake of other customers. She explained in her defense that it was Lucy who would not communicate with her, thus prolonging the creation time of the dress. Also that she had to restart the dress as Lucy decided she wanted another color. She mentioned that the dress was sent in the time frame listed on the shop’s site—which is about five weeks: three weeks to make the dress, and two for it to be shipped, as it was coming from China. (This is an honest mistake people purchasing from Etsy for the first time make. They don’t look where it’s coming from.) As for the tailoring, the seller explained that the dress was made according to the measurements given to her.

I suppose it is entirely possible that Lucy’s wedding was going to be a very small affair, and therefore rescheduling wasn’t a big deal, but I cannot eve imagine doing such a thing—and over the dress! And then returning the dress rather than getting it altered…I don’t know what this woman expected… it all  seems ridiculous to me. 0606-14


The Anti-Gimme Pig Dilemma

by admin on June 19, 2014

When my DH proposed, I immediately started putting money aside for our wedding and honeymoon. I never once expected anyone to foot the bill for us, and subsequently we had a longer than proper engagement – 2.5 years. I was so touched and appreciative when my father offered to help us with the venue and catering. All in all, the wedding total came to $12,000, and my dad helped us with the two most expensive parts of it. Because of his help, we were able to set aside extra money in case we wanted to do something spontaneous and fun on our honeymoon.

Needless to say, I am very careful with money. 🙂

Anyway, in the very beginning, my mother’s casual friend offered – out of the blue – to be our wedding planner as a gift. She had been a planner for over ten years and recently retired, but she wanted to do it for us. This incredibly generous woman (Let’s call her Rachel) taught me so much about wedding ettiquette and proper traditions, gave so many ideas and helped with so many aspects that looking back, my wedding would never have been as beautiful without her. I did my best to help her help me, though I always felt as though I would be a “gimme pig” if I kept asking her questions or demanded her assistance in every aspect of my planning. So I never imposed, never initiated contact, always demurred to her suggestions, etc. I am a private, hermit person and feel a little awkward in social situations, and I really did not want to stress Rachel out with too many details or questions. I had never budgeted for, or even thought to have, a wedding planner – such an extravagance! Maybe that was selfish, or rude, to not let her into more of the putting together. I don’t really know. I was trying to be gracious and accommodating.

Anyway, the wedding was just beautiful. Everything was so absolutely perfect, and I was blessed to have such a perfect day.

My DH and I left the next afternoon for our honeymoon. The morning of, we opened gifts and made our lists to write thank you’s during our honeymoon down time. To my extreme surprise, Rachel had given us a gift of money on top of all she had already done for us! I never expected anything from any of the guests, really, but this was so far above and beyond that I think I sat there stunned for some time before my husband noticed.

And here is where I may have made a horrible blunder and need to be condemned forever.

Because I had managed to set aside more than needed for the honeymoon, when I wrote my thank you to Rachel, not only did I send BACK the money, but I sent extra. I was sincere in my thanks, I tried to convey my utter gratitude and how much her help meant to me, and that she went so far above and beyond that she needn’t to have given us any further gift. I said that while I knew the amount I was sending was not nearly equal to what she did for us, that I hoped she would accept this small token of our gratitude.

Please, even writing this two years later, I cringe. I guess that is sign enough that I did something hellish, but I really thought at the time that I was being a GOOD person.

I received another card from Rachel in which she sent everything back and told me that it had been her pleasure, she appreciated the gesture, and she insisted I keep the money. It was very gracious and made no hint that what I had done was horrible and uncouth. I left it at that, and didn’t try to get into one of those incredibly uncomfortable money wars that certain people are so fond of (where assault of the person is common, in an attempt to force money on a person). I did send out another thank you card, and that was that.

Anyway. What is done, is done. I just wanted to know if my instincts are correct, that what I did was completely out of line and ungracious. Or, by chance, is it a gesture that would have been taken in the spirit that it was intended?  0607-14

Your intentions were very good, your execution could have been improved.   It could have been viewed as a rejection of Rachel’s money gift to send back the same cash with more added.   I suspect Rachel did not take offense at this.   But next time send a deeply sincere thank you note with a gift card to a nice restaurant in it.   My son married recently and there were friends who offered their services to us for a lovely wedding but who insisted their time was a gift to us and that they wanted no payment.   I gave those friends $50 gift cards to a nice seafood restaurant I knew they liked.

You can stop cringing now, btw.


The Generation Gap At Bachelorette Party

by admin on June 17, 2014

My only sister is getting married early this fall and asked me to be the maid-of-honor for the ceremony. I currently live several states away from where the wedding will be taking place and have not been able to participate in any of the planning. It’s not that they need my help or that I particularly enjoy helping people plan weddings, I just lament the fact that I am honored in this way but not really doing anything special for her yet.

When I got married about 5 years ago, my sister was also my distant maid-of-honor. Similar to the current situation, she couldn’t help with the planning but was still able to plan and organize a great bachelorette party. We had a private dining room at a local casino, had a few PG-13 drinks, spent a token amount in the slots, and just had a fun time.  Ultimately it was just really special to have the outing with other young female friends and family members who were all close to me.

For this reason I was really looking forward to returning the favor and hosting a girls’ night (or afternoon) for all of us to have fun.  After doing a little research, I found a great business that will host a private event where they teach you how to do a painting of your choice while you provide your own food and drinks. I told her what I had in mind to gauge her reaction and she loved it.  She also mentioned my idea to several local family members who agreed that it was such a great idea that they would probably try it out themselves sometime in the future.

Just recently, I provided her with a couple dates and times to get an idea of what fit into her general schedule.  She gave me an idea of her schedule as well as the other bridesmaids, all of which was really helpful.  She also included this line in her email,  “We could always invite Mom and [local aunt] and whoever else is in town early to join.”

Here’s the rub: I don’t really want my mom or aunt to join us for this particular event.  College friends and/or cousins, married or single, is not a problem.  As I said earlier, part of what made my own bachelorette party so special was having a unique blend of girls and women my own age and I really want her to have some of that.  It’s not like we’re planning to be foolish or raunchy, but the fact is having my conservative mom and aunt there would invariably change the dynamic to something that is a little bit less fun and special just to us.

At the same time though, I understand that as a host I should do my best to accommodate reasonable requests by the guest of honor.  What could be more reasonable than including a mom and aunt who actually did help with the wedding? At this point I’m torn.  Her email isn’t insisting these people be invited but it is clearly suggesting we should include them.  Also, I really have no way to know how much is her trying to be inclusive versus the possibility she’s being passive-aggressively accosted to include them.   Am I being selfish for wanting to insist on an “our generation only” party?  If it makes a difference, I am planning on paying for the entire event, some (if not all) of the food and drink, and the required transportation from hotel to site.

Thank you for your time and help.  0616-14

You’ve talked yourself into the answer.   Your sister has suggested that Mom and Aunt be included in those invited to the bachelorette party and it is a waste of your time to speculate as to the reasons why Sis would do that.   While you chose to exclude those of a particular generation as being too fuddy duddy for your own bachelorette party, your sister does not appear to be that exclusive.   What matters in the end is not how much fun you will have at Sis’s bachelorette party but whether Sis enjoyed herself.


Another Perfect Bride

by admin on May 6, 2014

A few years ago, I lost my job and couldn’t find work for three months. I had to get help from friends and my church to do things like pay rent or eat.  In the middle of this, my good friend got married.

I had planned for over a year to come to the wedding, several states away. While I was not a bridesmaid, she had asked me to be the violin soloist for the wedding mass.  I had helped her pick the music during the wedding planning and was thrilled to be asked at all.

And then, of course, I didn’t have enough money to come to the wedding.  When my dad found out, he offered to drive me out there because he had a business trip to a neighboring state.  So I jubilantly told K. that I’d be able to come and would set aside money for the expenses.

I arrived two days before the wedding and she had arranged for me to stay with a BM so I didn’t have to pay for a hotel or meals. After we carted some stuff from her house to the new apartment, she took me out for dinner.  She made sure I had rides to and from everything from the rehearsal dinner to the musicians’ run through.  She made sure that I had temporary friends to keep me company during the wedding.

What I appreciated most about that weekend, though, was what she gave me.  I have played violin and viola in weddings for friends for 16 years now and have never been offered payment for my services.  It’s always been implied that this is my way of contributing to the happy day.  This would make sense if it were my family–we have a tradition of writing music for the reception and I’m usually either the vocalist or part of the choir.  But a few weeks before the wedding, K. asked me how much I usually charged for playing in a wedding. I told her that, because I was on a tight budget, I wanted her to pay me half of whatever the other musicians were being given and then consider the other half my gift to help her with the new life. 0430-14


Parents Can Be Such Petty Tyrants

April 23, 2014

We are planning the wedding and my bride-to-be has decided on a “white wedding”, which to start with is completely against my family’s religious beliefs, as all of them expect me to get married in someone’s back yard for $200 or so. My family has refused to help with organizing or any costs or anything. […]

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Attire Torture For Bridesmaids

April 22, 2014

I want to firstly go ahead and admit that I have no knowledge about what went on in the planning of this wedding and how this story panned out after it left my sphere of observation. A little over a year ago I was working at a little restaurant downtown. It was about 3pm, so […]

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Wedding On A Budget

April 21, 2014

My fiance and I are going to be married in less than two months. We are both young college students (we many various reasons for deciding to get married young so please no judging). My grandmother has given me $1500 so far for the wedding, so it’s going to be extremely simple. There’s been a […]

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Prepping The Little Rug Rats

April 21, 2014

This isn’t really my nephew’s fault, but it’s a cautionary tale nonetheless. My nephew “X” was maybe 3 years old when his mother remarried. He wasn’t a member of the wedding party, but he was at the chapel they were married in. It was a small chapel. That’s an important fact. My sister and future […]

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