- 4 years ago
- Wedding: May 2014
My brother got married June 2013. I am getting married May, 2014. at the time of pete’s wedding we were NOT engaged. in the midst we’ve had wedding nonsense that I was unfortunately involved in with my brother.
It started with little things. My mom was trying to figure out seating for peter’s wedding and asked me if I thought my grandparents would like to sit with their 6 children rather than with my mother and my dad – who are sitting with the officiant’s family and my dad’s only brother, his wife, and my dad’s family. Everyone at this table – with the exception of my mother and my uncle’s wife – has Italian as their first language.
I am the closest out of everyone with my mom’s family, FYI. During one of my phone chats with my grandmother, I just asked where she wanted to sit – with her sons and daughters, or with my mom, dad, and a bunch of people speaking italian (honestly my mother would probably have picked another table if she could ;)). Her response shocked me. “so you’re kicking me out of the head table? Do you even want me at the rehearsal dinner? Should i even go to the wedding?” I explained that everyone wanted her there, there was no head table, and i was just asking her preference. I told her she could sit with my mom.
Three weeks later, her sons and daughters call my mom asking why she cut her mother out of the “head table”. What a mess. We do damage control, but it doesn’t work.
It goes downhill from there. Some of my cousins are still in post-graduate school. They really don’t talk to us at all. My brother didn’t give them plus ones because he didn’t know they were dating someone. Plus, they are like, in college. Well, they all started dating people in 2012 apparently. They call my grandmother complaining about hte lack of guest invites. My grandmother calls my mom livid saying she’s insulted her family by denying them guest invites.
My brother is with my mom when my grandmother calls, and overhears the phone call. apparently just gets on the phone and tells my grandmother to stop talking to his mother that way. My grandmother makes a second threat not to attend the wedding unless my cousin’s new boyfriends are invited. She gets what she wants – they go to the wedding and my brother busts his budget. All is well. So we thought.
We still get phone calls from my mom’s brothers and sisters. Diferent things my grandmother was upset about – most were things that never happened. Many were how horrible my brother was in daring to tell my grandmother how she talk to her “own daughter”. While I drive her to the rehearsal dinner, she is still talking about how my mom must not want her at the wedding and my brother is a “little shit”. I feel like I am sitting next to a different person. I continue to stay silent hoping everything will blow over.
At the wedding, two of my mom’s siblings don’t give a gift. Or a card. My mom’s youngest brother has never met my brother’s wife, and never introduced himself to her the entire night. She still doesn’t know what his voice sounds like. They didn’t even say hello the entire weekend.
Later there is a card fiasco. The wedding venue forgot to put the gift table together. Some gifts left in random spots. Under tables, etc. They say “well, let us know if you hear of any missing, and we will refund you what the guest gave you.”
My brother goes through the list and sees my mom’s sister and brother didn’t give a gift or a card. He asks if I think they did this on purpose, and has decided he’s cutting off contact. We can explain away how they never congratulated or talked to him during the wedding, but the no gift thing really sealed the deal – they are pissed at him and wanted to hurt him. I am convinced otherwise. I was a bridesmaid’s in my aunt’s wedding. I sure as fuck bought her a gift with my own money and I know what my parents gave her. She’s my godmother. No way would she not at least give a card. (also she’s incredibly wealthy, not that that matters, but i mean, i can’t think it’s a financial situation). I send her a text and explain the venue issues and ask if she left a gift/card for my brother. She writes back “no. we did not.”
At this point, I should have stopped. But I was still in shock! I write “oh if you want to send them a congrats card or something do you need their new address? They are moving in 2 weeks.” her response? “Hope you’re not sending this crap to non-family members.”
I write an apology (immediately!) and tell her I love her and didn’t mean anything by it, but she and her brother were the only family member to not bring a gift/card and they were the only ones we could realistically ask.
Weeks later I’m at a birthday party and mention to my OTHER aunt that I bought her son a funny gag graduation gift. her response? “oh yeah, gifts are important. Apparently if you don’t give a gift, we shouldn’t even let you in.”
Again…shocked. She mentions that my mom’s sister told her about the whole lack-of-gift crap and says she didn’t know gifts were mandatory. I am taken back – of course they are not! That’s all I really say as I am still doubting this conversation is even serious – how am I the bad guy?
By way of explanation I must say traditionally my mom’s family has never attended a wedding without a gift. When the aunt who didn’t give a gift got married, I was a bridesmaid. I gave her a gift for her bridal shower and her wedding. My parents gave a financial gift that is above and beyond. Same thing for all my mom’s brothers and sisters. No one is epecting that they pay my parents back in generousity but is it too much to expect a card?
I go to a graduation party for a cousin, and again I get digs about how “apparently gifts are necessary”. I debate getting serious and finally say “you know, jokes aside, no one said wedding gifts are necessary, ther was a legit problem with my brother’s cards and I assumed we were close enough that asking wouldn’t seem like a demand for a gift. I love you guys!” laughter…and subject change.
My fiancee and I get engaged one month later.
I hate how this has put a black cloud over my engagement. My family, once so close to me, now will probably not attend my wedding. If they do, there will be nonsense over the wedding gift.
What do I do?