Bridal Wedding Etiquette

Wise words from the bride.

the marie claire wedding survival guide
(Image credit: Roxanne Lowit)

I was an easy bride: I fell in love with the first dress I tried on. I married locally, so my friends and family needn't travel far. Hell, I barely flinched when my priest was banished from the church for "inappropriate behavior in the rectory" just days before my wedding. Nothing could ruffle my tulles.

But that was all before I realized that some of my guests had been beaten with the cheap stick. They stuffed their gullets, drank from the open bar, found the nearest Conga line and shook their stingy selves toward the exits. No cards, no cash, no gifts — yeah, no shit.

Look, my husband and I are big believers in the cliché "it's the thought that counts." We didn't expect our guests to fatten our bank accounts. We wanted to throw a kick-ass party, and at best, break even. And we did. For every cheapskate, there was a generous guest who made up the difference. Our cousin Vinny ponied up 1K and a heartfelt message: "I love youze, sonofabitches! Spend it on something good or I'll kill yahz!" (Sweet guy, that Vinny.)

I just couldn't wrap my head around the fact that the guests who did us wrong were professional and well to do. They should know better. Unfortunately, when you get stiffed, the etiquette police goes AWOL. (Emily Post, where you at?) The only advice I found online was to forget about it and move on.

I initially cooked up a sneaky way to confront the offenders — I would tell them I received a registry gift with no return address. But it felt like I was calling a guy twice just to "make sure" he hadn't lost my number. Too desperado.

In the end, I did as the advice columnists suggested. I moved on. I've been happily married for a year and a half now, and the no-gift guests are still a part of my life. Life's too short to hold a grudge. But I hope they're reading this. And they better pray they never run into my cousin Vinny....