Grandmother’s Wedding Walk Out

by admin on September 29, 2011

I’ve asked readers to submit videos of faux pas as they happen but so far, no videos. I stumbled upon this particular Youtube video and I have to say, it’s a first for this web site.

This is the commentary that came with video:

A speech given by the grandmother of the groom that prompts 20+ family members to walk out of a wedding minutes before the ceremony. The groom had banned close family members from the wedding because of his “give me” attitude about who pays for the wedding. I agree your wedding day is special but it doesn’t give you the right to play god. Especially with your family.

This is a fascinating scene we are watching and it prompted a lot of thought as to what exactly would be the right thing to do in this situation.  Obviously there was some major rift between the groom and his mother and brother that lead to the groom retracting invitations and outright banning them from appearing at his wedding.  So, my first thought is, groom is at fault for retracting invitations over what we are told is a disagreement about who pays for the wedding.  Once that invitation is given, it is NEVER retracted unless for egregious behavior like amoral or criminal acts.  Sexually harassing or hitting on the groom, the bride or her maids would be sufficient cause to boot a previously invited guest, for example.  But throwing a tantrum because you didn’t get something you thought you were entitled to have is not grounds to expel family guests.  The groom begins family World War III over someone else’s money and the odd thing about this is that typically in US weddings the bride’s family pays for the bulk of the wedding expenses.   It makes you wonder what the back story is to this video.

I choose to presume Grandmom and the rest of the groom’s family came to the wedding in the hopes that Jeremiah, the groom, would have a last minute change of heart and his mother and brother would be there.   But alas they are not and just moments before the ceremony is to commence, Grandmom leads the family in a united walk out because they cannot condone the behavior of the groom.    Grandmom is sending the unmistakable message to her grandson that this family sticks together and his fracturing of the family unity over money does not sit well with the rest of them.    They will not give their tacit approval to the absence of a daughter/aunt/sister and nephew/cousin/grandson with their continued presence.  Grandmom apparently chose to cut off one member of her family from the rest of the clan rather than risk an even greater split of her family.

Drama?  Heck, yes!  Would I have done it?  Unlikely.  I would have ascertained that my daughter was not in attendance and that the groom continued to insist that she not be (as opposed to him relenting and his mother now refusing to come), told grandson privately that I cannot give my tacit approval to this and that I must leave.   Then I leave quietly with whispered comments to immediate family as to why so they would not worry I was ill, etc.

What gnaws at me about Grandmom’s speech is the lack of any reference to the bride, other than a cursory congratulations, or her side of the family.  It’s just as special a day for them as well yet Grandmom focuses solely on how this day impacts her clan.  We have no idea if the bride or her parents are in agreement with the groom’s ban of his mother and brother or whether their objections were overruled by a bully groom.   If I had been forced into giving this kind of announcement, and the circumstances would have to be pretty dire for me to do it, I would have spoken to the bride’s side of the family saying, “I am so sorry this impacts you as well.  We, as a family, cannot condone a purposeful exclusion of a beloved daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, and grandson from this special day.   We regret that it has had to come to this.”

Again, I wonder what the back story is because typically the bride’s family extends the invitations and I would wonder h0w the bride and her parents would NOT know the mother of the groom and his brother had been kicked off the guest list.  How much did they know and did they approve of the groom’s decision?

Regardless, this is an epic family mess that will take years to heal, if ever.   Jeremiah sets into motion a catastrophic family chasm and Grandmom seals the deal.     Sad no matter how you look at it.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mechtilde October 4, 2011 at 10:02 am

Grandma’s speech was sheer spitefulness.


Kat October 9, 2011 at 1:33 pm

I am shocked at the number of commenters posting on an etiquette website (along with the Admin) who condone this behavior at all. In my mind, there is NO excuse for Grandma’s behavior and it is so far out of line and atrociously rude that I cannot believe there are some who believe there is justification for it.

No, we don’t know the back story here. Anecdotally, I come from a family where we had to cut off much of dad’s side because of my controlling grandmother’s emotionally abusive behavior (this kind of scene would be right up her alley). In addition, we had to not invite my husband’s brother to our wedding this May (he was never given an invitation… but clearly he expected to be invited) because his drug and alcohol addictions make him violent and unpredictable. For example, the month before we decided for sure not to invite him, he stole his cousin’s car for a week and went on a cocaine bender. Although I left it up to my husband, we had the wedding at my parents’ house and I would have been extremely nervous to have him there. Despite the fact that my husband’s grandmother was disappointed his brother wasn’t there (she’s in major denial regarding his addictions), she never would have caused a scene like that- if she had, being the private person I am, it would have completely ruined the wedding for me.

I think in any situation, if you have an issue with someone, you take it up with them directly and in private. This public shaming/airing dirty laundry is childishly dramatic and humiliating to the poor couple. Even if the groom was horribly rude (which we don’t know) the best she did was stoop to his level.


Cheryl November 10, 2011 at 9:31 am

Wow, I have seen some interesting events at several weddings but this takes the cake. Seriously, leave family matters at home and not in the public.


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