- 7 years ago
- Wedding: April 2015
I am sorry to report that I had a terrible wedding experience. A lot of it has to do with Pre-Wedding experience but alas here is the story….A year ago, my future SIL had her wedding in a cool barn location in Pennsylvania. My Fiance and I arrived at the airport the day before, were picked up by FI’s mom and were told we heading straight to the venue. I was confused as I expected to stop by the friend’s home we were staying at and get freshened up. Turns out that everyone in the family (and me, since Fiance and I have been together for 4+ yrs) was expected to help set up the entire venue for the wedding the next day. Okay. No big deal. It would have been nice to been asked beforehand. But I don’t mind lending a hand.
What I didn’t know was that FSIL’s wedding was nearly 100% DIY and very budget-conscious – which is absolutely fine. But I really think if you’re going to do that route, you have to do A LOT of planning and consider all aspects of a guests’ experience. Unfortunately this was not the case. Upon arrival, future Future Sister-In-Law had us unload tons of heavy boxes from the SUV. Turned out to be plates, serving platers, spoons/forks/knives, etc. She asked me to set the tables. I took a second look at the contents of the box and asked, don’t you want to wash these first? Everything in the box was purchased from Goodwill so everything was wrapped in tape, newspaper, had marker written on them and were SO dusty and dirty. She didn’t really react, except to say, that they didn’t have any soap. I was appalled – its one thing to purchase second-hand plates to use but gosh at least WASH THEM before using them. I eventually got her to go out and purchase dish detergent, and I STUPIDLY volunteered to wash some dishes. I had to do this in the venue’s basement in a filthy sink without a sponge and without gloves (FSIL did not think to buy those) – I had use my fingers to “scrub” the plates. I stood bent over at that sink for 6.5 hours. It was absolutely awful and extremely tiring – no one offered to help me for the first 5 hours, and I convinced Fiance to take over so I could have a half hour break. In total, I washed about 450 plates, platters, and indvidual pieces of forks/knifes/spoons. There wasn’t any real lunch or snacks available – only a partially-consumed container of mysterious Greek yogurt. We finally had a dinner break at 8PM. Fiance and I were at the barn helping with other set-ups until ~11PM that night.
On the actual wedding day, it was slightly better because I didn’t have to do much more set-up. The ceremony itself was fine – not too long or short. It was religion, including a foot washing ceremony which I enjoyed seeing. The only thing was that it took place just outside the barn on this very steep and ROCKY hill. It was hard to even get up there. Plus with the heat and bugs, it was uncomfortable to sit out there.
Future Sister-In-Law had some friends of hers cook and cater the wedding. I was grossed out with the short-cuts that her friends took with the food. For example, to wash the potatoes – a friend took a bag of potatoes, filled with up water, gave the bag a swish, and dumped out the water and proceeded to cook with those potatoes. I was really hesistant to eat the food that night but I did anyway (barn venue is the middle of nowhere). Appetizers which were put together ahead of time were okay – not a big selection just a veggie plate and some goat cheese in puff pastry. The actual dinner was disgusting. Chicken was DRY, DRY, DRY – wasn’t even edible. Potatoes with sauteed onions had zero seasoning and zero flavor. The only thing that was worth eating was the dessert table (multiple cakes, cookies, macrons, etc.) – which was AMAZING as friends happened to be bakers. They had a friend watch over the table and limited what you could put on your plate. I left really hungry. Also, I felt bad because a handful of guests and family members were put to work, and asked to serve tables before eating dinner themselves. I could not imagine asking my guests or family members who had just driven in the morning (most guests came out of town) to serve dinner to others before eating themselves. Thankfully, they had alcohol – beers and one wine to choose from. I just filled up on wine and hoped the night would end. Also as an aside – there was only 2 bathrooms – one men’s and one women’s – I guess everyone had the same idea to fill up on drinks as the line for the bathroom was SO LONG. At one point, I got out of line and went to the use the men’s bathroom (for some reason that was relatively short).
The night just seemed to drag on forever. The DJ was someone’s laptop hooked up to speakers …which is a great set up for the venue but the music selection was awful. For hours there wasn’t real dance music and it wasn’t something I could get into at all. The dance floor area was empty except for maybe 10 people who were trying to make an effort. The bride and groom had to make rounds from table to table to get people to dance. It wasn’t until the last 1/2 hour that FI’s cousin plugged in his iPod and changed the music selection, and FINALLY something to dance to came on. When the night wrapped up, the happy couple jetted off. The remaining family members (yours truly included) had to clean up the entire venue – taking down decorations, picking up trash, cleaning tables, packing away accessories, and of course washing all of the rented glassware and plates. I avoided those dishes completely. Three of FSIL’s cousins stayed 2-3 hours after the wedding to do the dishwashing. And no – they were not asked ahead of time to help.
Worst wedding that I have ever been to. I wish I was asked beforehand for my assistance and at least told what to expect. It would have been nice to have been asked. I did not even receive a thank you from Future Sister-In-Law the entire time I was there. She did send me a thank you note and a giftcard a couple months later.