Bad Wedding = Great Family Folklore

by admin on March 5, 2012

I got married in 2006 and I just wanted to share something that has been bothering me about my wedding day.

Background: I was bullied all through primary (it got so bad that I had to be home schooled from year 5 until year 7) and high school (I went back from years 8 to 10 to get my school certificate) and asked not to go to my year ten formal (prom for Americans) or attend years 11 and 12, or that formal “for my own safety”. My wedding was the first time I had ever felt like I had any confidence or got to dress up. Even then I was not wearing my dream dress as after having everything booked and a deposit put on my dress, I found out I was pregnant so I cancelled the dress and lost the $300 deposit. I had to get a dress made by a friend of my parents, she made it for $150 and it was nice but NOT well made though I was grateful to have one that fit. I have a chronic pain disorder and throughout my high school years had no self confidence whatsoever. My mums side of the family are the kind of people who gossip about each other and backstab whenever possible, with a few exceptions. Thankfully those few are the ones who made the 8 hour journey to my wedding with one uncle coming from the other side of Australia. My dad’s family are what you would call “high achievers”, they are mostly very rich, well educated and look down upon my father who is on a carers pension to take care of my mother who has the same chronic illness I do but a lot worse. They also see my sister and I as “lesser” people as we grew up in the country, not the city, and we have not traveled the world like their precious children. My parents are the most loving, generous, helpful people, and even though they don’t have much money they have given me the best childhood home-life I could have hoped for. Now to the actual story.

More of my father’s family turned up to my wedding than my mother’s side as they live a lot closer, but here is where I get to the etiquette issue. The club where I got married and had the reception offered a courtesy bus service to pick up my guests from their motel. I found out later that my mum, who had gone along early to help finish setting up, was worried as the bus had not arrived with the guests and it was almost time for my arrival. It turned out that my guests had left it until the last minute to get ready and told the bus driver he must wait as some of them only decided to start getting ready at the time they were told the bus would be there to pick them up.

Then at the exact moment I was walking down the isle, the PA system of the Golf club where I was getting married, blocked out my music I chose to walk down the isle with and started blaring out the golf championship scores! All I can remember as I walked up the isle is, “Bazza really knows how to hole those balls!” In hindsight it is funny, but not on the day I getting married.  I was devastated, especially since when we went up earlier that day and the PA was blasting out the same sort of thing, I commented to my dad, “I hope they don’t do that at the wedding!”, as a joke. One of my cousins did run inside to tell them to turn it off and they said they couldn’t do that as the gold members had booked the PA (my music was through a stereo outside on the deck), my cousin told him there was a WEDDING going on outside and they would turn the thing off (they did thank god). I had to stand there with my husband in front of all the guests, waiting to make my vows while this argument was going on.

So what else could go wrong you ask? well…. because I had gestational diabetes I was on a special diet and could not eat what the guests were eating. My doctor and I worked out my menu, I could have roast chicken and vegetables as a treat rather than the Chinese the others were having, as it was a treat and something I wouldn’t normally have but still healthy enough. We explained this to the club kitchen, who would be catering the meal and they said this was fine. When it came time to serve the meal I was given steamed chicken and boiled vegetables with no sauce or salt or dressing. When my mother went to inquire why I had been given the wrong meal she was told “the Chef decided this was healthier for her.”  The meal was really horrible (I mean tasting very very bad) and they refused to make what I ordered as the restaurant was about to close! So I did not eat, but at least the guests liked the Chinese even though I was told they only barely had enough to go around.

The other thing was that my husband’s cousin, who apparently has a temper when drunk, decided to guzzle as much free alcohol as possible and attack another guest (his brother in law) on the deck (the inside-outside was opened up by large sliding doors). The trouble was that I was outside having a quiet moment with my new husband at the time and looked on horrified as one man pushed the other.  The second man lost his balance and slammed right into me knocking me into the glass panel and I fell to the floor. Keep in mind I was 8 months pregnant! My husband and his uncle pulled them apart and ordered the attacking man to leave. He did that, drove home completely drunk. I was in tears and a bit of pain and the offending man’s girlfriend and sisters were in tears apologizing everywhere. I eventually got over it and the rest of the evening went ok. My husband’s sister who was 9 months pregnant fell on the deck on her way home and spent the next two days in hospital but she was ok and had the baby 2 days later. My husband and I had to cancel our honeymoon to drive my grandmother to a specialist appointment as mum couldn’t take the long trip and no one else was able to do it.

Good news is that 5 years on I have 2 kids, 5 and 4 year old healthy happy boys, and just about to start Law School next year and my sister is about to get married and is a successful gym instructor/part manager. My dad’s relatives are not so vocal about their disapproval and seem to have forgiven me for my “tacky wedding”.    1121-11

Sometimes the worst weddings can become the substance from which great family folklore is born.  When things happen that are out of your control, you can choose to laugh about it later and retell the exploits to the next generation and every family get together.

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

AMC March 5, 2012 at 11:01 am

I remember when I was researching venues for my wedding a few years ago. One of the places we looked at was a country club. We weren’t members but they rented out space for weddings to non-members. I asked a lot of questions about where we could and could not go, what we could and could not do. And it seemed that every answer was prefaced with “If the members are okay with it…” It was very apparent that the country club members were top priority. I understand because the members pay hefty dues to the club, but who wants to deal with that on their wedding day? We decided to look elsewhere, and I’m glad we did. I’m so sorry your special day was marred. I hope you can look back on it and laugh now though.


Bint March 5, 2012 at 11:11 am

I’m glad the bride can laugh about it now, but Lord, this made me sympathise with the poster in the previous story who asked submitters to make it brief!

“I had a rough time at school and have health issues” would have covered the first paragraph!


VM March 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm

And even that wouldn’t have been necessary to understand the points the bride was complaining about. (The sole health issue there was specifically pregnancy-caused.) Please people, backgrounds are meant to annotate a story for comprehension, not as an excuse for a mini-bio.


MoniCAN March 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm

I like the totally overdone backgrounds.

Regardless of what the Letter Writer is trying to tell us, the way they write and the information they feel is important to include can give us a much clearer picture of how they think. Often it reveals things about them they didn’t intend to show.

I can see how people find this information a pain to get through, but I try never to read this blog when I’m in a big hurry for this very reason.


MellowedOne March 5, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Agree wholeheartedly!


Mary March 5, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Makes me very happy that my reception at the golf club was in November and started at 5:00 so it was already dark outside so there weren’t any golfers around. Ceremony was at my church so no worry about golf scores on the PA system.


LovleAnjel March 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I, too, was married at a golf club. Luckily the members there were very respectful. We took pictures outside, and the golfers politely waited until we were setting up a new shot to cross behind us on their way to the next hole.

Having scores announced during the ceremony is very upsetting, but hilarious in hindsight. I am glad the OP has been able to see the humor in things now.


Just Laura March 5, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Agree with Bint! I know it’s rude to post tl;dr, but I’ve been considering it lately. There is virtue in brevity.

On topic, I am very sorry that the OP looks back on her wedding day and cringes. How fortunate she has a nice life today.


Asharah March 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Excuse me? The chef changed the brides meal, which was approved by her doctor, to something he thought was healthier for her? Did he get his medical degree before or after he went to culinary school?
I would have refused to walk until they put my music back on. I’m sure they’ve booked other weddings at the club, didn’t the person in charge of the PA have any sense?


Enna March 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I’m diabetic, it’s different for a woman who gets it during pregnancy because she doesn’t have the same flexiabilty to get it controlled before she is pregnant but if her Dr approved the menu then that’s it. Doesn’t take much to make a sauce.


Ann March 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm



Shoegal March 5, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I am not sure what in particular was bothering the OP about her wedding – it sounded as if she was going to recount one little circumstance – not every instance about what went wrong. The background portion wasn’t needed in my opinion – it didn’t really set up the story any more than if she skipped it. But ok – I can sympathize – every girl wants it all to be perfect but it so rarely is.

1. Golf scores and announcements – well that was terrible – I would have been upset – like the Admin says – it is something to laugh about afterwards – stuff happens.
2. Bland dinner – good food makes for a good wedding. It was only the bride’s dish than wasn’t prepared correctly – well that is better than all of your guests suffering through a lousy dinner.
3. A fight at a wedding? – this site has recounted numerous versions of that fight – to look at the bright side at least the fight wasn’t between the bride and groom -and didn’t result in any jail time.

But I do sympathize – nothing so traumatic happened at my own wedding and I still wish I could have changed some things. In the end you have something way better than a perfect wedding – a happy marriage.


jess March 6, 2012 at 5:37 am

HI I am the OP, I am sorry I might have overdid it on the background but on the day I wrote this I was having a very bad day and I guess it just came pouring out. I did not mean it to be overbearing. I dont think I even really expected it to be posted.

Also Shoegal, I understand where you are coming from but I have to point out to me that the fight was a big deal, I dont know if you read the part where I was 8 months pregnant and one of the fighting men knocked me to the ground, hitting a fence on the way down. And I thought this forum was a place to get our frustrations out about people being rude…… I have read posts on here with the whole story dedicated to something similar to what the chef did to me.

I regret writing my story and submitting it now as I seem to have committed more serious etiquette faux pas in my one post than the people I was complaining about.


jena rogers March 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm

If your faux pas was that serious, I doubt the Admin would have posted it. I believe your post evoked many a memory for most of us reading this who have been married. It certainly did for me, as I recounted both the high and low points of my own wedding and those of others I’d attended. Thanks for sharing. If nothing else, your entry serves as a testament to the human spirit… Congrats on your successes with your family, and best of luck in your studies, btw.
Kind regards…. JR


Shoegal March 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I didn’t mean to upset you Jess. I just thought it would help to see it from another’s perspective – sometimes downplaying the situation helps a little bit. I do understand – weddings our one of our life moments and we want it to be perfect. I would be complaining about my dinner too – the chef didn’t have a right to serve you boiled chicken and veggies instead of roasted – and fighting relatives at a wedding?? – I still wouldn’t be on speaking terms with them. You have a legitimate right to be upset – don’t let me take that from you.


Another Laura March 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm

OP, I’m sorry that you regret your story. I understand why your background came out. You had never really had a chance to dress-up/party/socialize the way most girls dream about, so you were hoping that your wedding could fulfill that dream, and boy did it turn into a nightmare instead!
Being 8 months pregnant now myself, I fully understood why being knocked down could be a traumatic experience , wedding day or not.
And the chef was just evil. As you stated that the club kitchen agreed to prepare the meal your DOCTOR approved for you, and you were paying them to, they were contractually obligated to serve you that meal, not substitute it for something else. You would have been in your rights to refuse payment for the catering. As for Shoegal’s comment “It was only the bride’s dish than wasn’t prepared correctly – well that is better than all of your guests suffering through a lousy dinner.” While I agree that it is better for one person to go hungry than the entire party, in general, it is VERY important that an expectant mother with gestational diabetes eat. And as this is also the BRIDE (usually considered to be an important person at a wedding), her ability to eat and enjoy her meal on her wedding day should be considered.


B March 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm

You were doing great until your last sentence. Don’t martyr yourself over someone disagreeing with your internet post.
Yes, Etiquette Hell is is the place to vent your frustrations. But the comments section is where we can leave comments about submitted stories. Sometimes the comments are very different. Just like in real life.


Katie March 7, 2012 at 3:19 pm

OP, you have nothing to regret or feel bad about! It’s your story, to tell however you want (background or not)!


German Shepherd March 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm

One day you’ll be telling your sons about your wedding. And when it comes time for their weddings, I’m sure jokes about your wedding will be made then (“Someone remind the venue not to announce the golf scores when the bride walks down!”). 😉


L March 5, 2012 at 2:33 pm

The diabetes thing vexed me. I was in a similar position on a school trip once – everyone else got chocolate desserts, but because the type 2 diabetic bus driver (otherwise a very nice man) said it wasn’t suitable, my type 1 diabetic self got fruit salad. I could have eaten the chocolate desserts, and they would have known this if they had decided to ask the person who was going to eat the dessert!
Sorry, this is a bit of a sore point. Just ask the person (or a guardian in the case of small children), don’t assume you know better or that someone you know with same/similar condition does this… arrrgh!
And steamed chicken sounds foul, no pun intended.


Just Laura March 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm

This reminds me of something I see in my line of work (working with students having disabilities).
Professor calls: “Hey, StudentX uses a wheelchair. We are going on a field trip. Do you think he’d want to come too?”
Me: “Um, did you ask StudentX if he wants to go?”
Professor: “I didn’t think of that.”


Wink-n-Smile March 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Why do so many people seem to believe that a physical ability also means the person is mentally incapacitated and cannot think or speak for themselves? Arggh!

Just talk to the person directly. And don’t make choices for them, especially as regards food.

Bleh, that chicken dinner sounds awful. And hellloooo! It’s protein! Diabetes is about carbs, not protein. So roasted, boiled, or freeze-dried, it still wouldn’t have made a difference on her blood-sugar. If he was concerned about the fat, involved, well, he should take that up with her cardiologist. The pancreas doesn’t regulate fat.


Enna March 16, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I’m type one diabetic too and I eat choclate and sugary stuff too! Within reason. Type Two Diabetes and Type One are very different. Although maybe the school just didn’t want to take the risk? It’s annying but some people sue at a drop of a hat.


Asharah March 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Type 2 diabetic here. Luckily, people around me have enough sense not to make presumptions about my diet. I did have to inform one coworker right after diagnosis that yes, I can still order lunch with other people at the office if we decide to get takeout, after she didn’t bother to ask if I wanted anything one time.
Aside from that, I once had my niece say at a family birthday party “I’m gonna tell grandma” (my mother), because I went back for seconds on the birthday cake. Mom is also diabetic, but she has the sense not to monitor my food choices. I’m an adult, I’m not eating big slices of cake every day, just on special occasions, and my doctor is very pleased with my blood sugar numbers, so my family knows MYOB.


Cat March 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm

I never married but, if I had, I would not have told my family (which is like yours , but somewhat worse) about it.Sometimes the best wedding is with the cleric, your intended, and a few very close friends/family members.

I went to my graduation from university by myself and refused to go out to dinner with my family because I was not going to be insulted and humiliated on what was one of the best days of my life. I have never regretted it.


Candy March 9, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I perhaps should have passed on the post-graduation dinner with my family, like you did. My sister got lost on the way to the restaurant so we had to go find her and lead her back, which took around 20 minutes. When we finally made it to the restaurant, we found that everyone had started eating without us and were pretty much done, then, one great-uncle kept commenting about how much I was eating (which was really not all that much- it was a buffet type place and I was simply trying lots of different things)- my mom said later that that was “just his sense of humor” and not a big deal, but I’ve always struggled with my weight (although it was fine then, I still had the “fat girl mentality”) and it was disheartening to me. I think I went home and cried after that, and I’m thinking if I ever get married, dear ol’ uncle is not invited lol.


Melanie March 6, 2012 at 1:22 am

Gosh, a lot of people aren’t very sympathetic. You have my sympathies, OP, and I *like* the longer stories.


Wink-n-Smile March 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Me, too. I like that it gives us more to go on. So many times we have the big argument about what REALLY happened, because we don’t have enough information. Now people are complaining abot too much? Gee whiz.

OP, I’m glad you can laugh about it now. And as for the “rough childhood” and “health issues,” I think the *type* of rough childhood and health issues really does make a difference in how things affect you.


Wink-n-Smile March 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm

There’s a big difference between a bride with chronic pain disorder AND gestational diabetes and someone who is “just pregnant.” I mean, here it is, supposed to be the happiest day in your life thus far, and you’re in pain, as you always are, and you’re 8 months pregnant, AND you have idiots telling you what you can and cannot eat, despite what your doctor has already said, and I’m sure the loud announcements grate on your nerves when you’re in pain. I know that loud noises make my pain worse.

I feel for you, OP.


Jay March 6, 2012 at 9:58 am

I don’t know how all that background was relevent to the main story, but I want to hear more! How can someone be so bullied from age ~8 to 18 that they can’t attend a prom “for their own safety”? Need a followup post!


Wink-n-Smile March 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Yeah, that’s a whole other story, that I’m sure is worthy of etiquette hell.


KITTY LIZARD March 6, 2012 at 10:31 am

My wedding was the debacle from Hell. It wasn’t funny then and it isn’t funny now. I threw my wedding photo album in the trash when we moved to a bigger house. It was sitting on top of the trash can when the garbage men came. One of the trash guys found it and knocked on the door, thinking it had gotten thrown away by mistake. I told him to open it up and look at the pictures.
He took a look at the faces of our parents in one of the group shots, said “Oh, my God”, shut the album, said “You poor thing” shut the album and walked away. I couldn’t stop laughing. The only way I’d get married again is if my fiance was an orphan with no extended family.



Library Diva March 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm

I don’t suppose you’d ever consider submitting it, would you?


Wink-n-Smile March 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Oh, please post that story!


German Shepherd March 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I’m very interested in reading it too!


Asharah March 23, 2012 at 11:25 pm



Molly March 6, 2012 at 11:12 am

Stories like these make me really think. If I ever get married, I am going to think long and hard about what kind of ceremony and reception I will (or will not) have. My family is as fractured as the one in the story and I have to wonder if it would even be worth it to invite many of them. Back in the days when your whole family lived in the same village, it made sense to invite the whole fambam, but these days… And while a golf club is a picturesque setting, there’s something to be said for a backyard barbeque.

Oh, and the venue that served me the wrong dish and wouldn’t fix it would be getting O tip in the payment.

I was confused about the honeymoon cancelling part. I thought it was in relation to the sis-in-law having her baby, but that seems like it was the other side of the family. Why was no one suddenly available (father, sister, one of the relatives in town for the wedding), and why couldn’t it have been rescheduled? I’m guessing the honeymoon wasn’t to an exotic location, but still…that part could have used some more elaboration.


jess March 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm

OP here. with regards to the honeymoon, as we live on the beach and close to the forest, we were just going on a forest retreat for a few days for our honeymoon 🙂

The reason we had to take nan to the hospital was because she was on a waiting list and they called her up at the last minute (it was a knee replacement) My mum was too ill to travel that far, my dad had to take care of her and my sister did not have a drivers license at the time. All other family were back in nan and pops home town. We drove the 8 hours to pick them up for the wedding and then drove them back for the appointment two days after the wedding.
The sad thing is when we got to the hospital they said ‘oh sorry we have to reschedule the doctor could not make it in’


Lindz March 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm

The OP is writing and venting about an event that was somewhat traumatizing to her at the time, and people just feel the need to criticize how long her submission was? I feel that is rude. I’ve been reading this website for a long time, but have never posted due to some other hostile posters. Please, if you can’t be bothered to read an extra paragraph, I don’t want to be bothered by your posts about you not wanting to be bothered. Skip it or go read something else.

My sympathies to the OP. I’m glad you can laugh about it now.

Oh, and, I too like the longer stories, and I appreciate the background as it gives insight to why you felt the way you did about your day going so poorly.


admin March 7, 2012 at 6:23 am

For the record, I’d rather receive a lengthy story that explains the backstory than someone submit a short story only to keep adding details as readers try to figure out what really happened.


Sarah Jane March 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Agree…backstory as well as details the OP prioritizes in each submission give us great insight as to each OP’s personality, attitude, and experience. A clearer picture of the OP, if you will.


Bint March 8, 2012 at 9:05 am

I don’t think it’s rude to point it out. I found it made her story much harder to read because her style was so lengthy. In the same way, it’s not rude to point out that rambling, long-windedness or very poor grammar affects one’s ability to read a story.

“Please, if you can’t be bothered to read an extra paragraph, I don’t want to be bothered by your posts about you not wanting to be bothered. Skip it or go read something else.”

Skip those posts then. Your preferences don’t trump everyone else’s.


Library Diva March 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Aftre the backstory, what I was imagining was so awful, I didn’t want to keep reading. I had visions of OP’s school bullies uniting with her snooty family to somehow ruin her wedding day and jeopardize both her health and that of her mom’s.

I was so relieved to see that it was nothing like that, that the story really doesn’t seem that bad in comparison to what I was imagining. But isn’t it strange how issues always seem to arise from the least likely place? OP was probably thinking that the ceremony and dinner would go without a hitch, but she’d have to endure her family’s sneers the entire time. Instead, it sounds like no one sneered, but the venue screwed up twice and there was an out-and-out fight. I’m glad that the marriage turned out to be as wonderful as the wedding day was lacking!


MellowedOne March 7, 2012 at 8:21 am

I do agree that an abundance of truly relevant backstory is always welcome. The point is well made, however, that a surplus of irrelevant information detracts from the impact of the main topic, the OP’s horrific wedding experience. And wow was that a story worth relating!

It’s kind of like that beloved aunt who has a very interesting story to tell but keeps getting off-topic. You love the aunt, and find the story interesting, but boy do you wish she would stay on the subject! 🙂


sammafic March 24, 2012 at 5:31 am

A fight breaking out, a pregnant bride being knocked down, and the caterer serving the wrong food on purpose are all unforgivable and I can see how you would still be upset about that today. However, I’m glad you can see the humor in the announcements being made during your ceremony (though they were understandable very annoying at the time).

My husband and I were married in a public park, and just as we were starting our processional a leather-clad man rode up on a Harley and called out, “Is this the Cavenaugh wedding?” When he found out he was in the wrong place, he idled for a while, then drove off and looped around past us one more time. I’m pretty sure there’s motorcycle engine accompanying Pachebel’s Canon all the way to the altar. But the joke was on him- we checked the pavilion rental schedule later and noticed the Cavenaughs had it signed out for the previous week!

In any case, “Is this the Cavenaugh wedding?” is now a running joke in our family.


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