After scouring your library of stories, gasping at the audacity of some and chuckling at the cluelessness of others I have decided to share the horrible faux pas that happened at my very own wedding.
Now I feel I should explain here that I live in a very rural area of the South. A place where the national sport is hunting, and men with spit bottles are a common sight. The populace is an interesting one and their grasp of etiquette is diverse to say the least. We range from old style southern belles who are impeccable in their taste and grooming at all times, to their trashier cousins who wouldn’t understand basic etiquette if it paraded by and offered them free candy.
Unfortunately for me, a good chunk of my family lies within the latter territory. I should also mention that my immediate family (Father, mother, brother and myself) relocated to this area from a different state to take care of my aging grandparents who had retired here. This did not go over well with the cousins who were already here. It wasn’t because they loved and wanted to take care of my grandparents, but rather because they felt entitled to inherit all of my grandparents estate upon their deaths. Our moving here was seen as interloping and they have always treated us as outsiders rather than family. I could go into the details of what happened when my grandparents finally did pass away and how they fought over every single scrap, but that is a long story of a different sort and I really should submit it at some other time.
I sent out 140 invites with RSVP cards. I received absolutely no RSVP’s back from that portion of my family. Naturally this came as no surprise to us at all.
Our wedding was a small informal gathering and since my immediate family who are all food enthusiasts were providing all the food we determined that our safest course of action was to provide food for an additional 60 people. This wasn’t because we wanted leftovers, it was because we knew that no RSVP’S didn’t mean they wouldn’t show and to ensure that there were plenty of seconds for those so inclined.
Our careful planning was spot on it turns out. Most all of the cousins did indeed show. Their showing up without an RSVP isn’t the etiquette breach in this story though. I don’t believe their inability to return the RSVP was malicious at all. No, rather it was their own lack of knowledge on proper decorum that caused it and truthfully as you can tell by our food preparation was expected.
In fact, except for the one incident where one of my well meaning cousins switched my carefully planned wedding cd (we couldn’t afford a band or dj) with a mixed classical music cd from Walmart there were no problems. Incidentally this resulted in the 1812 overture playing on the sound system blaring at my guests with its loud cannon fire. Which in itself is actually quite funny. I know I was a mass of giggling as I ran to correct the mistake. I always thought it’d have been great to follow it up after with the Ramones, “I wanna be sedated”, just for laughs. Too bad I didn’t think of that at the time.
No, the faux pas happened directly after my husband and I left. My family was cleaning up the hall, packing up leftover food and the like when my cousin to whom I will fondly assign the initial “T” walked in. Bear in mind, this was a good 3 hours after the reception had been slated to start on the invitation, AND that his wife and kids had been there without him so he had to know the festivities were over. He was in his hunting clothes, covered in dirt and sweat. He immediately began to grab at trays of wrapped up leftovers, even going so far as to try and take one of the coolers filled with leftover beverages. My mother whom I have always thought of as a very polite bouncer stopped him immediately. She asked him very sweetly how he’d been and told him we’d missed him at the wedding and reception. His reply? “It’s deer hunting season!” So not only had he skipped my wedding to go hunting, he had the nerve to show up directly after and try to take leftover food home. My mother made him a generous plate of leftovers and sent him on his way with the portion of food that would have been his had he bothered to show up to celebrate with us. According to her he mumbled all the way out the door. 1016-12