Ask Team Practical: Family Teasing by Liz Moorhead Am I required to be a “good sport” at my wedding? I have a big, loud, mostly happy family whose affections are of the teasing, joking, dish-it-out-and-take-it self-deprecating variety, never in mean spirits but occasionally to excess, at least from my perspective as the baby sister. Usually I am pretty good natured about it, but I’m having a really (expectedly) hard time with the idea of being the center of attention at the upcoming wedding event, and my sense of humor has been temporarily re-calibrated. I don’t want the added discomfort of wondering which of my siblings might bring up which stupid thing from my childhood that I might not have the emotional bandwidth to laugh off. I want a fun, light-hearted party, but I don’t want it to end up feeling like a roast. Do I say something, or just assume that good sense shall prevail? We’re planning toasts and speechifying by invitation only, and the rehearsal dinner will just be our wedding party, so it’s not like we are opening the floor to embarrass the bride and groom, but I know about the best laid plans and all. And even though I hope this is all much ado, I’d still love to hear Team Practical’s take on it. -Sarah Sarah, Keep those people away from a microphone. Seriously. They’re not invited to do the toasts? Fabulous. Still—enlist some of your awesome bridal party to keep a watchful eye on that mic and your family, and if dear old dad starts clearing his throat, have them redirect him to the bar. But you’re not just writing in to ask how to avoid a bit of teasing, are you? The thing about weddings is that they can often shine a glaring light on the things we wish we could change—about ourselves, our relationships, and even (embarrassing to admit, isn’t it?) the people we love. Meg has written about it a bunch in the book. That’s what we’re really being sold in those glossy WIC magazine photos. It’s not the rows of matching burgundy bridesmaids dresses that we want, it’s the even line of eager and smiling friends who all get along together so perfectly. If we’re honest, it’s also what we’re being sold in the dreamy holga blog photos of indie weddings. It’s not just a cute rustic potluck, but a community of people who are all too eager to set up a folding chair and bring a vat of chili while they’re at it. I’m going to let you in on a little secret—Everyone’s Family is Embarrassing. No really, they are. Unfortunately, weddings do not give us the magical ability to change anything about our loved ones, and they don’t give us license to mico-manage them, either. Your wedding is not “your day.” It’s a day for you and the people who love you. All that a wedding enables you to do is take a step back and evaluate who you want to be there and who you don’t (and maybe ask them to wear a tie). But if you invite them, you have to take the whole package. That means overlooking the fact that Uncle Earl will chew with his mouth open, Dad will invariably find quarters behind everyone’s ears, and Mom will loudly discuss the price of absolutely everything in the room. Being teased by your family is one of those things that can be teeth-clenchingly annoying at the time, but that you may be able to look back on with a smile. “Remember when Dad interrupted the toast with an ill-timed, ‘That’s what she said’?” might be a really funny and special memory sometime down the line. When it comes down to it, I can’t really say whether or not your family is going to tease you. Because it hasn’t happened yet. So! Buck up, lady! You’re wasting precious energy worrying about something that might not even happen. We’ve all heard rumors about the embarrassing things said at the wedding of our brother’s girlfriend’s cousin, twice removed. Ignore them. There are innumerable horror stories about every single aspect of weddings. You can’t waste precious time dwelling on what might happen. If you continue to live in fear that some joke is going to ruin your day, the slightest hint of teasing will make you snap. Instead, focus on preparing yourself to enjoy your family. They’re your family. You love them—teasing and all. **** Now, how about you, Team Practical? Were you nervous about being teased or embarrassed at your wedding? How do you cope with the worries that creep in before the wedding? Photo by Emily Sterne Photography. If you would like to ask Team Practical a question please don’t be shy! You can email Liz at: askteampractical [at] apracticalwedding [dot] com or use the submission form here. If you would prefer to not be named, anonymous questions are also accepted. Though we prefer if you make up a totally ridiculous sign-off like conflicted and rageful but deeply in love in Detroit (CARBDILID, duh). However, don’t let thinking up a sign-off stress you out; we’ll love you regardless. You’re already writing in for advice, don’t you have enough to deal with, sweetie? Liz Moorhead Staff Writer Liz is an illustrator and writer who paints custom stationery and types up impassioned opinions about weddings, etiquette, feminism and motherhood (usually while shaking a fist and mumbling expletives around mouthfuls of cheese fries). Her spare time is spent sipping bourbon with her husband and playing Don’t Throw That in the Toilet with her sons.