Dear Auntie Shameika (Can I call you that?),
I recently got married in January 2019, but we sent out invitations in July 2018. Everyone followed directions with the RSVP except for my husband Jerry’s brother Carl. I reached out to ask Carl if he was coming and he responded with, “It depends on the weather.”
Let me give you a bit of background, Auntie. They live near the Canadian border where it is cold as hell, and the options in January are a hell of a lot of snow or a little snow — basically, they can handle the damn snow. Plans can be accommodated with some preparation. Snow plows exist for a reason.
The wedding was on a Saturday afternoon. Everyone else arrived on Friday with the idea that they would adjust plans accordingly if the weather turned. Carl and his family waited until the day before the wedding to announce their plans to attend. They drove down on Saturday morning and arrived 10 minutes before the wedding. Carl was wearing work and snow gear, his wife was in jeans and sneakers, and their son was in jeans and snow boots. It wasn’t snowing.
You can imagine how my wedding pictures turned out right?
The icing on top of the wedding cake, was they didn’t even bring a card! It’s not the fact that they didn’t bring a card, but it’s the fact that they breached all wedding etiquette and failed to even try. Now I have to interact with these Neanderthals for the rest of my life and I fear for my blood pressure. So, my question is what can I do to survive future social interactions with these bad-mannered people? What is your take on wedding etiquette?
-Confused by People’s Lack of Etiquette
You don’t know me, and we aren’t related, so the Auntie thing is weird, but it kind of has a nice ring to it, so I’ll allow it. Kudos to you for spelling my name right, so that gives you points! Now let’s dig into this scenario and keep it 100.
Congratulations on your nuptials, because some of us can barely get a text back from our baes, but that’s a whole other story. Now this brother, Carl, sounds — well, to put it bluntly, trifling. You did the right thing in giving your guests plenty of time before your wedding date to RSVP so you could get a final head count to the caterer and finalize other details like seating charts, and whatever else brides need to come up with. My first question for you is: If this is your fiancé’s brother, why wasn’t he in the wedding party, anyway? Why was he banished to the visitor’s section? I need the tea on that story, but back to what info you did give.
With the amount of time that you did give for guests to RSVP it is very easy to see how it could slip someone’s mind, so, did you follow up with a phone call, email, DM, tweet, text or something to see if he was definitely coming? Did your invitation specify a dress code?
I mean, you are pissy over his choice of attire, but did you explain it was black tie, cocktail attire, or come as you are? Was the invitation fancy and elegant and gave guests the hint that you should break out your fanciest party dress and suit? Now, I understand weather being a concern and all, but with that being said, did you take that into consideration when you and your boo decided on a January wedding date? Some folks just ain’t comfortable slipping and sliding to other destinations even for family.
However, Carl could have RSVP’d and let you know well in advance, a yes or a no, because let’s face it, if he has been living in the tundra up north, then well, he should know how to drive in the ish or arrive early ahead of a potential storm! Waiting until the day of the wedding and arriving 10 minutes before you walked down the aisle was pure and utter trash.
If it was my wedding he wouldn’t have been allowed inside. To top it off, the attire that he and his family thought was wedding appropriate is a slap in the face to his brother, not to mention everyone there that dressed like they have some sense.
Now let me get in your face for a minute, why did you let these fools mess up your wedding pictures? The easiest way to avoid that was to not let them be in any of the pictures the photographer you paid for was taking.
It’s one thing for them to take their own selfies and photos with their cell phone but a whole other to jump in the pics with a professional behind the lens.
As for them not even bringing a card? Judging by their lack of etiquette with the RSVP and not giving a damn about the attire, did you really expect a gift of any kind? I suppose they are ones that think their presence is gift enough.
You can’t really do anything about that but give them the side-eye and bring it up at every opportunity you can going forward, but is it worth it?
Unfortunately, you can’t really avoid interacting with this lovely bunch for the rest of your life. But what you can do is either bite your tongue, grin and bear it, or get tipsy during a family gathering and let ’em have it once and for all.
You’ll need to get it off your chest at some point, especially if this sort of behavior continues, because silently brewing and glaring across the dinner table isn’t going to resolve anything.
I suggest talking to the brother and his wife and explaining to them how you felt about their lack of respect for your wedding.
Hopefully they will be open to hearing you, and who knows, if they aren’t, they may just take the open door and walk their asses right on out of it and you won’t have to worry about dealing with them in the future anyway. Stranger things have happened, right?
The petty side of me says the next time they have an event, give them the same respect they gave you — absolutely none — and don’t bring a gift, card, bottle of wine, nada. Just show up, dressed in your rattiest clothes and be sure to jump in every damn picture. That might teach them a lesson for the future.
If you have a dilemma you need help solving, drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org.