My Wedding Guests Were Terrible

AAPW: How do I forgive the bad behavior and move on?

Q: I’m having problems forgiving some people who were at my wedding, which was one month ago.

We planned our wedding to be fun, very practical, and easy. It was a laid-back California affair, with a taco truck, open bar, and beautiful location. The problem is that some people are fussy and have told me in the month since our wedding that they did not like certain things about our wedding.

Just last night, at a party, a guest of ours said, “People did not like standing around on the grass waiting for their tacos… they were complaining.”

I’m sorry—what???

My grandmother was one of the most difficult people to forgive. She came up to us, during our sunset pictures and said, commanding and exasperated, “Listen, people want to go home. Don’t you think you should cut the cake, so that people can go home already?” It was only 7 p.m. My dad was so flustered that I had to convince him to do the father-daughter dance with me, because he wanted to skip it and appease my grandmother. We rushed through the cake cutting right after that.

I would be lying if I said that it didn’t ruin the day for me, just a little bit, to be told that people weren’t having a good time and that they wanted to go home. Even if that was according to my eighty-five-year-old grandmother.

Many people left our favors behind, or didn’t eat our cake (we had the entire bottom tier left). We made zoetrope toys for our tables, and despite our instructions, no one could figure out how to use them.

We had a very modest, but very colorful and beautiful wedding. My dad has been jobless for quite some time, and my husband and I both have massive student loans. My parents live very far away and it was a tremendous joy and hardship for them to come out to our wedding. Many of our vendors were friends. Many of our flowers were paper. We had a saint-like friend offer to coordinate our day-of activities, from the ceremony to the bouquet toss, because we could not afford a professional one.

My wedding was the best day ever for my husband and me. Nothing could change that. But the idea that our wedding was somehow a mess, or not classy enough, or inconvenient somehow for our guests, is a really difficult pill to swallow.

I showed a friend the Mexican paper flowers we were planning to use, and she wrinkled her nose and said I should give them away to homeless people. I can’t even imagine saying that to another bride.

How can I move on? I almost wish we had invited fewer people, because I feel like people have rained on our parade, and what I want to remember are the beautiful, intimate moments between my husband and myself, and the friends and family who thought it was magical too.



Dear Anonymous,

I know you’re really hurt and disappointed by your guests, but here’s what I want you to think about. Most people are thrilled to be at your wedding, are excited for you, and want nothing more than your happiness. And even these people aren’t going to love everything about your wedding.

I’m thinking specifically about your taco truck complainers. Maybe it really was irritating to stand around waiting for tacos. Maybe the truck was taking forever to serve people, or there was a hold-up of some kind, or it was pumping out some funky smelling beef exhaust, or who knows. These sorts of things happen at every single wedding. The bread is stale or the bathroom is sort of grimy or the DJ’s mic feedbacks with a sharp squeal. No wedding is perfect. That doesn’t mean that you planned a terrible wedding, or that your friends are jerks. It’s just the way it goes. Sometimes, sure, some of it is avoidable or foreseeable. But not everyone is an event planner, and even folks who are really trying to be guest-conscious can miss major details. (Also, lots of weddings end with loads of favors and tons of cake leftover! Don’t let those things bug you.)

Most people realize little snags like taco lines and cruddy DJ’s are just part of the package of going to a wedding. You’re signing up for whatever quirky choices someone else makes—choices that maybe you wouldn’t make yourself—and any of the little inconveniences that happen as a result of (or in spite of) those plans.

Your friends were very possibly overjoyed to be at your wedding, while also simultaneously irritated with the line at the taco truck. They might have felt both ways at the same exact time, even. I’ve been to beautiful weddings for beloved friends where it was painfully frigid outside. It was really so wonderful to be there for them and with them… and also the weather was really annoying! (And unforeseen, so not their fault!) Sometimes you can absolutely love something, while also hating a tiny bit of it. (Put a pin in that thought, because we’re coming back to it.)

But of course there are other kinds of people. People who, instead of being mostly thrilled for you, are actively looking for things to be inconvenienced by, and to complain about. It’s possible Grandma is this kind of person (I don’t really know, I haven’t met the lady.) I try not to stake too much of my opinion of someone on how they behave during the weird, stressful, expectation-laden wedding times. But, maybe the way some folks behaved during this wedding were just super concentrated expressions of who they are and who they always have been.

Getting that kind of insight into someone’s character leaves you with two options. You could step back and see that this problem impacts way more than just the wedding day, and tells of a larger friction in your relationship. Or, you could recognize that this is just one little flaw in an otherwise sparkling person, and forgive it the way you’d forgive any other misstep.

Frankly, now might not be a good time to decide where you fall on these friends (though, I’ll be honest, I’m voting to ditch the paper flower lady). It’s only been a month! Just a month! The emotions of the whole wedding are probably still raw and maybe still coming down from all of the anticipation and build-up. Give it some time.

So, I know. You’re patiently waiting for me to tell you how to get over this, how to just shake off these bad feelings and let it all go. Unfortunately, I can’t. While it might seem nice to think that the amazing, happy, important central parts of the day should cancel out the icky and petty parts, they really don’t (at least not for awhile). Even now, nearly six years after my own wedding, I can think of a few things that people said or did on that day that hurt my feelings. It doesn’t take away from the joy of the day. It just… coexists, sits beside it. Like your friends who, in all likelihood, loved being at your wedding even though the taco truck thing wasn’t their bag, you can super love your wedding day and still also really be bugged by tiny bits of it. That’s probably more normal than loving the whole thing.

If you would like to ask APW a question please don’t be shy! You can email: askteampractical [at] apracticalwedding [dot] com. If you would prefer to not be named, anonymous questions are also accepted. Though it really makes our day when you come up with a clever sign-off! 

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  • LJ

    I think a key point here would be the tactless nature of them telling you the things they were less-than-thrilled about. I mean sure, I’ve complained to my husband about weddings where we weren’t fed anything until 9PM after a 5PM ceremony, but NEVER would I go up to a bride or groom and make demands or complain about how things went on their wedding day. One could argue that’s not much better, but it was quite rude of them to say anything! It’s also okay to have hurt feelings.

    And super ditto on having a lot of leftover cake. I was positively overjoyed by this though because the day after my wedding (almost a month ago!) I ate ALL. THE. CAKE.

    • lady brett

      that’s the part that confuses me. there is no constructive in that criticism – i mean, sure, if you’re planning *another* wedding, it might be time for a friend to kindly bring up something that logistically didn’t work this time, but ’till then…it’s too late, y’all, why even mention it?

      • Liz

        I wonder if friend who was sharing was like, trying to rat out/gossip about the complainers? Or s/he was irritated by the tacos, and wanted to voice that EVERYONE WAS so s/he could feel justified? Otherwise, WHY. Why even mention it!

        • JDrives

          Either way, it’s not positive and shouldn’t be shared with the person who hosted the dang shindig!

          • tr

            Ugh, I have one or two of those friends. They truly are wonderful, sparkling people. However, they have zero common sense regarding when they should or shouldn’t rat out other gossiping acquaintances!
            If someone in our friend group says they hate me and wish I would die, then yeah, please tell me about it! On the other hand, if you heard that Laura commented to Katie that my shoes were tacky, just keep it to yourself! I do not need or want to know every single marginally petty comment that has ever been made. However, some people just insist on being the gossip tattle tale, regardless of whether it’s really appropriate…

          • BeeAssassin

            So, I was one of those complainers at a wedding I went to, but I complained only to my partner and one other guest that I’m good friends with. (Background: the wedding was weirdly and deliberately set up to put all the college friends who had traveled from the other side of the country on the fringes of the event, while bringing the bride’s “new” church friends into a very obvious inner circle; which, frankly, made me cranky and complainy about a lot of things about the wedding.)

            HOWEVER, even as cranky as I was, I would feel awful if someone shared my complaints with the bride. So if someone passed on someone else’s complaints, remember that there’s a reason that the original complainer didn’t say anything to you. People might complain about the event; but they can feel that way AND still want you to enjoy your wedding day without being burdened by their cranky complaints.

            However, as someone who also had a budget, and thus went with painstakingly crafting hundreds of paper flowers – that paper flower woman would be DEAD to me.

          • tr

            Seriously, no shame in being the complainer. Especially not in that situation, because geez!
            People complain all the time. Especially at weddings (because lets be honest, no matter how much you love the couple, the reality is that you’re traveling hours to go to an imperfectly planned event full of people you would not normally choose to spend time around, and that’s pretty much a perfect recipe for finding things to complain about). The key is NOT TELLING THE BRIDE.
            Also, paper flower woman should be dead to everyone. Paper flowers are awesome.

      • Another Meg

        Yep. Exactly. What’s the point? I put this into the dump out, comfort in category. If something about the event bothers you to the point of complaining, you can’t do it to someone more invested in the wedding than you. I was in a wedding with so much joy, and so many logistical problems. Like, I found the lost photographer, the lost caterer, the wedding cake, and cleared plates after everyone ate. But the bride never heard about it, and she won’t. I let off steam to my husband. The bride knows we thought the ceremony was beautiful and that we love having her new spouse around.

      • jubeee

        Yes I totally agree, there is no point in pointing out the flaws in someone else’s event. I am amazed at what people can feel insulted by (including myself) apparently when my cousin got married 5 years ago, she asked me if I liked her colors and I said “they are nice but not totally my style.” and she is still upset about it. I’ve learned to just shut your mouth and allow people to enjoy their decisions, especially since now that I am planning, I get unsolicited comments about everything and it makes me want to punch everyone.

        • Lauren from NH

          Yeah I think the trick with that kind of comment is you have to put the emphasis on the positive part they want to hear and down play your difference of opinion. And then it still may go over badly. My mom is awful, truly the worst about latching on little things I say in passing versus my overall message of support.

          She has agonized over her dress for my wedding. I think she first mentioned, do I want her to color coordinate with the bridesmaids? My response what something like, “Sure if you would like to. That could be very nice.” (Not caring a lick, but thinking she wanted to be included and trying to be open to that.) But ever since she has had an existential crisis about me wanting them to match but she doesn’t want to be seen as an old lady pretending to be one of the girls. No matter how many times I have said I want her to feel good whatever she is wearing, no dice. Sometimes you can’t win.

      • SarahG

        A thousand times yes. I had this moment with my mother about our wedding. I have an aunt who was offended about the invitation she received (apparently I was supposed to send each couple in their household a separate paper invite, instead of including them all four of them on one…?) and when I said “OK, does she want me to apologize? What needs to happen here for us to move on?” My mom said “oh, no. It’s just so you know. For next time.” For WHAT next time? Gaaaaaaah…. Apparently this still bothers me, a year later :)

        • Eenie

          The next time you send out invites. This is general etiquette. And also makes people happy. When your sending a paper invite, I like to send a separate one to any “adult” kids. It makes them feel grown up and honestly doesn’t cost that much.

          • SarahG

            Yeah, but honestly, I am never sending another paper invite. I didn’t want to in the first place for ecological reasons, but caved because my partner wanted them. I’m just not a big fan of the waste, which is why I didn’t send them separately but listed everyone instead.

          • Lauren from NH

            Don’t even worry about it. You can’t win lol. I sent an evite for our rehearsal and tried to send them to both members of a couple if I had their email. No one was upset, but my aunt wrote me a note that she was RSVPing for her and he boyfriend instead of him doing it through his evite and my mom acted all confused when she heard about it. I was just trying to ensure more people had easy access to the info…win some you lose some.

          • KimBee

            Agreed. Paper invitations are wasteful. Multiple paper invitations to the same house are doubly so. Do not feel guilty for not adhering to antiquated ideas about etiquette that do not align to your own values.

          • Jessy

            Thats so inconvenient and ridiculous because making them feel grown up by doing something childish to appease them only makes them more entitled. My husbands uncle called my MIL talking trash about us because we’re not inviting our own cousins. I assumed they had kids at home that I didn’t account for on their guest count- and yes I did fill everyone’s guest count because we’re Hispanic and I didn’t need anyone acting “hickish” and bringing whoever and how many of whoever they wanted. So I said then tell them to just bring the kids. My MIL then says something along the lines of well they probably can’t come because they live in Colorado- and this is an old couple in NJ asking why their “kids” aren’t on their invite. So I proceeded very matter of factly and responded by sending the “kids” they’re own invite while also reporting to his aunt and uncle whom I hadn’t met in 10 years that we’d been together that consideringthey had no interest in being part of our lives all that time and only had trash to talk that didn’t even make sense, because their “kids” are adults who don’t even live in the same house as them therefore wouldn’t be on their invitation in the first place, that it would be just as well if they didn’t come at all.

        • Tova

          What gets me is the ‘offended’. What is it about weddings that makes people so easily offended by the slightest thing? Then the fact that your aunt and mom felt that you should be scolded for this egregious offence.

        • Raissomat

          Bhahahahaha that happened to finances dad has remarried and said we where “cheap” not to send his new wife a separate invite, and we wouldn’t aknowledge her enough! We called and told him they were no different from the other couples.
          Ha apologised later. He better behave at the wedding or..I’ll spit on his cake :D ah, divorced parents..

      • Danielle Antosz

        For the Taco Truck, the point might have been “Hey, the Taco Truck people took foreeeever to get out food. I know you paid them $2000, and I think you should discuss it with them before you pay full price.” or, “I wouldn’t hire them again for a different event.”

    • Exactly to all of this.

    • Anon

      Yes. I DEFINITELY complain to my partner, but never to to the couple getting wed.

      One of my best friends ran out of food at her reception, and a couple guests snuck out and went to a steakhouse and came back in time for dancing. I have never, ever told her this. I will take the secret to my grave.

      • Amy March

        The wedding where the food was so inedible that we drove to McDonald’s, 45 minutes away, when it was over? Mostly I remember for the beautiful ceremony and amazing pies.

      • Keakealani

        I think that’s what partners are for, tbh. So you can say it (and have at least one person confirm your grousing is legit, or tell you you’re worrying about nothing), but it never gets to the host or anyone else who matters.

    • Eve

      I think more and more, people are not taught BASIC manners at home. I’m older than most on here and, well, it’s just obvious.

      • AP

        Except that it was the LW’s 85 year old grandmother making demands and negative comments…

        • Eve

          Well, two things – the grandmother only talked about cutting the cake, which (see my comment below) is a generational thing. As a family member she may have felt entitled to speak up, though she should have been more gracious and subtle for sure.

          It was the guests who complained about the taco truck and paper flowers that were really out of line as far as basic manners for guests.

          • Amy March

            Can we not make this about how the young-uns weren’t raised right though? I might not know how to use a fish fork, and my friends suck at RSVPs, but I’m pretty proud to be part of a generation that’s making love win and teaching us all that warmth and generosity and tolerance might be more important than “manners” which have basically only ever served as a way to keep “those people” in their place.

          • Eve

            It’s just my observation that more people say things that used to go unsaid.

            And I’m not sure what is warm, generous, or tolerant about complaining to the bride about the taco truck at her wedding?

          • Amy March

            Nothing. But she doesn’t mention the age of those guests and I think sighing over the manners of kids these days is problematic for many reasons, and not necessarily even at issue here.

          • Eve

            You know, I didn’t call out any certain age group in my original comment. I merely said that “more and more people are not taught basic manners”. I think it’s been a gradual thing that includes many generations.

          • AP

            Ugh, yes. Exactly this.

        • laddibugg

          To be fair, we don’t know what time the wedding started. Not saying Gma was right, but like any letter, we only have half the story.

          • AP

            Oh sure. I just wanted to push back a bit on the idea that “these kids today have no manners.” Rude is rude no matter how old you are. I have one grandmother who would never dream of interrupting a bride having her pictures taken to hurry things along no matter how long she’d been waiting, but I also have a great aunt who would loudly proclaim to anyone listening that she didn’t like the food. It’s not really a matter of young people not learning manners.

          • alicia

            Doesn’t matter. If you want to leave a wedding leave. Don’t complain that the wedding party isn’t on your schedule. If they don’t want to cut the cake till 10 pm then they don’t. It’s there wedding.

          • laddibugg

            I agree…generally. But grandma could have felt she was in the right to complain and push because she’s ‘family’ and/or perhaps the matriarch.

    • Exactly, I think everyone has been annoyed at some things that have happened connected with weddings but I can’t imagine telling the bride and groom about them after the fact. It’s just not really important in the scheme of things.

    • Abigail Jacob

      Agreed. EVERY wedding has something go wrong with it, and not ONCE have I ever actually complained to the bride about a sub-optimal experience that I as a guest had. When the bride asks, I always pick something I did like to give her a compliment. Seriously, the wedding isn’t about me as a guest having a 100% perfect time. I got to see someone that matters to me get married, got to attend a party, usually got fed at least some cake and some punch….that’s enough. These people are all being absolute jerks.

  • Meg

    I had a few people complain about not being served hand and foot at my wedding, I feel bad because they mostly did it to my mother not me so I was insulated from that negativity on the day of. When my mom did tell me about it, it was to make fun of those people not to try and make me feel bad for the non-existent shortcomings of the venue or our caterer.

    I’d try and chock up your grandmother being a crank to her being old, but your father should apologize to you for having to be CONVINCED to do the father daughter dance. That’s one of those special moments :(

  • Amanda

    I made individual s’mores packets as our favors – we had a fire pit at our reception – and they somehow got buried on the gift table and I don’t know that any actually made it home with a guest. Also, when we ordered our cake, it was before half of our guest list declined to attend (nope, not still bitter about this a year later) so we had so.much.cake. leftover – and it was AWESOME. Cake for days! With enough to put in the freezer for our first anniversary!

    Unfortunately, we can’t control other people and their rudeness. But it sounds like you carefully planned a wedding that reflected you both as a couple, within a budget you could live with – congratulations! Easier said than done I know, but try not to let a few bad apples ruin a whole day you thought was perfect :)

    • joanna b.n.

      At our reception, we had a huge table of beautiful (and carefully chosen) hors d’oeuvres, that it appeared nobody touched. I grabbed a plateful for myself as I moved through the cocktail hour, and tried to just forget it.

  • Amy March

    Lots of people don’t take favors, or eat cake, or play with toys/games etc at any wedding! That’s not a reflection on your wedding not being good enough or them not liking it at all.

    I think Liz is spot on here- standing around waiting for tacos might have really sucked (food taking a while and lines forming is kinda a thing with food trucks), and some people might not have liked it. And? They probably still were happy to celebrate with you! I think that’s par for course at any celebration. Some things just aren’t going to appeal to everyone, and that doesn’t mean your party wasn’t great.

    To forgive (except for flower lady, I’m not on her team) I think you focus on the good parts actively. And when you find yourself thinking about someone who was rude, actively try and change that narrative in your head “oops! Nope. Not dwelling on this. Quick brain, retrieve all my shirtless taylor kitsch memories stat.” It might take a while, but you just made lifetime vows so there’s time!

    • Eve

      I’ve never been to a wedding where there isn’t a lot of leftover cake. Favors are almost always left behind and as they aren’t really traditional, they can be dispensed with.

      • Eh

        This is why we didn’t have favours and no one missed them.

      • clairekfromtheuk

        We had a TON of cake left over at our wedding and I know it was mother effing delicious because I made the damn thing (all three beautifully iced, chocolately tiers). We ended up taking three boxes of the stuff on honeymoon with us.

        • MC

          I was a little bummed that we didn’t have any dessert left over – we had delicious cake and delicious donuts and they were ALL gone by the end of the night. Definitely would have loved some leftover dessert the morning after. So yours and LW’s situations sound pretty ideal to me :)

        • Ashlah

          We had so many leftover cupcakes, but we forgot to bring any containers to transport the leftovers :( :( :(

          So I stuffed two in my face right before we left for the night.

      • OhNoThereGoesTokyo

        I had no leftover cake because I had no cake. It was glorious. For our one year anniversary, I will order a custom made hazelnut buttercream with toffee cake creation.

    • RMC

      Joining the chorus that food/toys/favors are definitely not an indicator of people’s enjoyment of the wedding – I know it can feel like part of the same narrative as people telling you about the taco truck lines or your grandmother’s complaints but it’s really and truly not. I think it’s super important to remember that those elements of the wedding are really more for you than for the guests – maybe try to reframe it as, “how cool that we made zoetrope toys and got to share them with our guests” rather than thinking about how the guests couldn’t be bothered to figure out how to use them and “how awesome that we had a beautiful cake that we loved and now we get to keep eating it!”

      • Amy March

        Like, I am spending zero time figuring out how toys work or playing games at your wedding because open bar + people to chat to is more than enough to keep me busy! And that’s a happy thing!

      • Sarah E

        Agreed. I almost never have cake at weddings (and barely had two bites at my own) because I’m too busy dancing my face off by the time desserts are out, and I can’t be bothered to leave the dance floor. As for favors, unless it’s a “take home the centerpiece” deal, or something edible, I generally leave them behind, as I really hate inviting clutter into my home, and would rather have warm fuzzies thinking about the wedding than “grr, that bottle of bubbles is still sitting there.”

        • Eenie

          By “bottle of bubble” I thought you meant champagne. And I was very jealous that you went to a wedding where the centerpiece was bottles of alcohol, you got to take them home, and they didn’t get drunk.

          • Sarah E

            Lol I WISH

      • macrain

        I still have TONS of koozies left over from our wedding. Anyone want one?

        • elle

          LOL, I have friends that got married 4 years ago and are still pulling out their leftover wedding koozies when they host parties!

          • emmers

            I love koozies! This actually made me wonder if I could get away with creating a household koozie that we pull out for parties/give to random houseguests, now that we’re married. Haha.

          • elle

            I love that idea!

          • macrain

            It’s fun to collect them from other people’s weddings too! We have quite the collection going!

        • Corinne Keel

          My wedding is two months away and I fully expect to have leftover koozies. In fact, we over ordered because it was a better deal. We also made the graphic bigger and the initials and date small so they don’t scream “wedding” and maybe people will want to take a few home. Either way, I love the idea of having a stash to bring out for parties for years to come!

      • Larkin

        So true. Leftover favors and food definitely are not a reflection of your wedding. I’ve forgotten favors that I completely meant to take with me, because at the end of the night you’re not really focusing on the favors at your place setting… you’re focusing on saying goodbye to the bride and groom, hugging your friends, making sure you’re not too drunk to get home, etc. I also don’t always eat the cake because I’m often either too full or too focused on dancing/talking to people. :-) So don’t take those things as a sign that people didn’t enjoy themselves.

    • laddibugg

      I’m not a favor-taker unless it involves food, and food I like. Or matchbooks. Otherwise it’s usually just more clutter i don’t need.

      • Vanessa

        Exactly. I love my friends and I’ve been so happy to go to their weddings but I absolutely do not want some random item with their initials and wedding date on it.

      • BoundariesWee!

        This is why I’m kindof anti-favor for my future gig. Honestly…EVERY single wedding I’ve ever been to, most of the favors were left behind (even easy things to take, like fancy cookies). I’m not a cake eater or favor taker at all, and sometimes I arrive and see all this work and money and I desperately wish I had known the couple better so I could’ve said waaaaait don’t doooo iiiiit! Details are for the person insisting on the details–which is totally ok. It shouldn’t come as a surprise though when folks are less enamored with paper flowers from your old T.S.Elliot volumes, or the adorable themed table scapes, than you are. YOU enjoy the hell out of them, and carry that as a positive little torch going forward. I think there’s a lot of pressure to deliver an “experience” at a wedding–even when we’re on a tight budget, which I can see is fueling some friction and bad feels here (how can they not take my favors when my blood, sweat and tears made them possible?!). But when our, like…Offbeat bride super queer boho forest wedding doesn’t translate for our cranky, blue collar Midwestern relatives (or whatever class/culture inversion you want to insert here), it can cause a lot of emotional pain that is really about the health and quality of our relationships, our financial situations, where we are in life, our values.

    • My sister used teeny tiny favor jars of honey for her tea for like 2 years after her wedding because no one took them and there was a MOUNTAIN left over.

    • MC

      Looking at pictures really helps me focus on the good parts of the wedding. (And, since she wrote this only a month after the wedding, it’s possible she hadn’t seen many pictures?) Seeing my face and my husband’s face during the ceremony, the toast, the dance party – it’s totally clear how happy we were. And seeing pictures of my Ladies of Honor crying during the ceremony and friends that had never met grinding with each other, etc. Maybe the LW could put together a few pictures into one folder on her computer or into an album that make her super happy to look at, and look at them when she’s feeling hurt by people’s comments.

    • elle

      Agreed that is a harsh reality for some brides that you’ll put in a lot of work into thoughtful details that your guests simply don’t care about. This isn’t a reflection of the quality of your wedding or your guests. It is just how the world is!

    • MDBethann

      I was actually disappointed at my wedding that there weren’t more favors to take home. We used small potted annual flowers as our seating cards/favors/center pieces and everyone took their home. It was a good thing we had some extras at the cake table so I could plant them in my garden after the wedding!

  • I think you can call out the rude comments when they happen next time, if that would help you move on. “Grandma, I’m sorry the taco truck thing bothered you; we made the best decisions at the time based on our budget and am bummed to hear you feel that way.” “It hurts my feelings when you say that.” Or, more directly, “You know there’s nothing I can do about that now and your comments really hurt me; why do you keep reminding me/why do you keep bringing this up?” Because seriously, WHY DOES SHE KEEP BRINGING IT UP? PSA: if someone else’s behavior is impolite, out of line, or hurts you, it’s OK to TELL them that.

    • TeaforTwo

      Yep. You can’t do anything about how people behaved at your wedding, but you can have some control over how they treat you from now on.

      We only got one complaint after the fact, and I just shrugged and told that person that the good news was that I wasn’t planning to have another wedding, so it wouldn’t be an issue again.

    • pajamafishadventures

      Does this technique ever actually work though? I see this language touted in a lot of advice given about a lot of things, and in my experience it never goes well. Sure it doesn’t escalate the situation the way saying “Grandma, you’re being a real b-word” would, but my experience of framing things as “your comments hurt me” has always been met with “you deserve to be hurt by my comments because the thing you did sucked.”

      • Amy March

        I think it depends on why they’re complaining. With someone who actually feels entitled to be hurtful? Not really. With your whiny friend who complains to make conversation? Sure it can really help to remind them that you’re not watching an episode of Four Weddings, this is real life and it hurts.

        • BB

          So true. Sometimes people (esp. when it comes to weddings) need to be reminded that even though they watch All Those Wedding Shows Where People Have Opinions, does not make them WEDDING EXPERTS OF THE WORLD. And those are reality TV shows…not reality. Those biting comments can linger…
          Going wedding dress shopping and hearing some of the things people were saying to other women trying on dresses really made me think about the effect wedding TV shows have on what people think is acceptable to say. It’s bizarre.

          • Jules

            I wonder if people get used to throwing down wedding criticism for total strangers that they’re not able to identify when that’s not acceptable. I’ll full-on admit a good laugh over some episodes of SYTTD, but I would NEVER dream of offering an opinion on a friend’s dress other than “it’s beautiful”. Not even “not my taste” because we all know that to be code for “I don’t like it but glad you do”.

            Or, people are and have always been insensitive pricks. :)

      • Lauren from NH

        Maybe, based on Amy’s analysis which I agree with, it is more reliable as an asshole test rather than a guarantee of reconciliation. Which might be freeing in it’s own way.

        • pajamafishadventures

          It certainly can be! And I will say that I think you should be able to say “This hurts my feelings” and have the other person acknowledge and work through what they were saying that hurt and how to work through it positively- I’ve just never had it go down that way.

      • Maggie

        While telling people they’re being hurtful might not work, pointing out that their complaints can’t actually change anything (because we have not yet invented time travel) can get them to stop. Saying that you’ve heard that people didn’t like , but it’s over and you can’t do anything about it now, so it’s not useful to talk about it, might at least get mean people to shut up.

      • macrain

        I think it depends on your definition of “work.” It’s probably going to be hard to change someone’s mind about it. That shouldn’t be the goal. The goal of letting someone know they’ve hurt your feelings is only that, and it should just be for your own peace of mind.

        • BoundariesWee!

          Exactly. If you are dealing with a shitty family member or friend, technically, you’re the expert on how to cope. For combative narcissist types, a dead-eyed, non-engaged stare/swift subject change is their Achilles heel. Or, simply repeating yourself in the same nondescript way: “Hmmm. Sorry you feel that way.” Over and over again. The point isn’t to have a cathartic emotional experience with a consistently difficult person (i.e., I’m honest about my hurt feelings and they will make amends). The point is to assert boundaries, protect yourself, and remove yourself from emotional harm. So, if I make my demands clear (“Don’t say that again please, it hurts my feelings.”) and it doesn’t help, I’ve asserted my boundary. Then I move away–meaning I remove the object of their delight or habitual fascination, which is to get attention with hurtful criticism of my wedding cake, fight with or manipulate me. So in these situations, having clear boundaries and removing the “rewards” of shitty interactions (like opportunities for control, etc.), I am literally conditioning that person (in a very classical sense!) not to fuck with me, because it will *get them nothing*, and it will not maintain our relationship. We have to be willing to break cyclical patterns of drama ourselves, too–unapologetically. The healing stuff has to happen on your own time, on your own end–they aren’t going to change, or do it for you.

        • pajamafishadventures

          My definition of work is acknowledge of hurt feelings, and they stop picking at the issue, but mostly that they stop picking at the issue. Using it with the people in my life (friends and family) they usually seem to interpret it as “well you have your head in the sand about something so lets ramp it up a notch!”

      • Greta

        Also, old people. seriously. They are set in their ways, they think things should happen in a certain way, and they can be out of touch with the younger generation. My grandma thought a lot of the things we did at our wedding were CRAZY – like having my brother officiate. And she definitely made comments to my mom about it. But you know what? She’s old. She’s my grandma, I love her, but she’s old, and she has very strong opinions on things that are not likely to change. With her, it’s best to just smile and nod and change the subject, which she does pretty quickly.

        • MC

          With the caveat that not all old people are like that (my partner’s grandparents are very open-minded & I love them for it), we definitely got some flack about our wedding from older generations. My mom’s partner’s mom, who was invited but couldn’t attend, was horrified to learn that I wouldn’t be wearing a white dress, that we wouldn’t be getting married in a church, etc. She complained about it to my mom after the wedding too, even though she wasn’t even there!

          • Greta

            Yes, definitely not old people. But I noticed a certain generational theme. Another older person at our wedding was uncomfortable with the amount of alcohol we had available. It was beer and wine only! You just can’t please everyone. And honestly, I would have hated the wedding that my grandmother would have planned for me.

        • Alyssa M

          Hehehe… my grandmother went to my cousins giant traditional southern wedding just before my 30 guest woodsy west coast campout and was kind of adorably confused by everything. (I’ve chosen to call it adorable rather then be annoyed). Hearing all weekend about how at Ben’s wedding just everyone was wearing pearls, and she was seated by the ushers as a guest of honor and THEY had a tiered cake! But she’s old and from small town Oklahoma. I live in and love my little west coast mountain hippy town. So I just sighed and smiled and said “my wedding is too small for that grandma” and gave her a hug.

        • Turn off Fox News, grandma!

          Ahhh, yes. My first thought when I read this letter was, “So glad I haven’t talked to my grandmother about our wedding!” My husband and I were lucky enough to have all of our living grandparents at our wedding, and they all – except my maternal grandmother – have, unprompted, told us how much they enjoyed our wedding. My maternal grandmother has some health issues that have changed her personality, and she has become dour and racist. Unfortunately my (black) husband didn’t have a chance to get to know her before she became an unpleasant person. Fortunately it’s very easy to steer the conversation with her, and I will never ask if she had a good time at our wedding because I have no desire to hear her response!

      • elle

        When people complain about something you have no control over, or is in the past, I like to just say calmly “What can I do to make it better for you?”. The key is to not be snarky and to be as genuine as possible (even though you might want to strangle the person). It catches people off guard because it forces them to confront the fact that there is nothing you CAN do for them and that their complaints are therefore fruitless.

        If they run down the tangent of “Well you SHOULD HAVE done xyz” then the obvious follow up is – “Well, I can’t do those things now since that is in the past. What can I do NOW to make it better?”. Just keep driving home that you’re willing to do something now to make it right and hopefully they have the self awareness to realize they don’t want you to do anything, they are just jerks that like to complain.

      • Alexandra

        TOTALLY! Using advice column confrontation language doesn’t work for me at all. My own mom can be a bit of a doozy, like the OP’s grandma, and what works with her is just changing the subject really abruptly and obviously. I would never confront her because it just gives her a way to get into an argument, which is her favorite thing ever. But I don’t take it when she starts getting inappropriate/unkind, either. “Hmmm!” is one of my favorite things to say, over and over again, while making a really phony “you don’t say!” face. Don’t make a single comment responding to her crazy. This is VERY IMPORTANT! And then CHANGE THE SUBJECT. This can be a very good strategy for teenagers, too (I’m a high school teacher). Actually, I invented it with teenagers and then realized it would work really well with my mom.

      • Glen

        That’s exactly how my mother would respond, but I’ve done years of therapy to recover from her narcissism.
        I hope that most people would respond with “oh, I’m sorry; I didn’t realize.”

      • Larkin

        I’ve done it with my mother before and she always acts chagrined when I point out that she’s being hurtful. It probably depends on the situation, too. If you’re saying it in response to someone saying, “You’re a huge b—- because you did xyz that really hurt me in some way” then you might be more likely to get a “Good, I’m glad I hurt your feelings” response. As opposed to saying it in response to “I really hated your taco truck” which, unless you are a completely unreasonable jerk, is nowhere near the level of “deserving” to be upset.

      • msditz

        My father-in-law is all about giving his opinions and advice, and I have found with him a little sarcasm/comedy helps with him. Some people get super defensive when you are really upfront, like saying “That really hurts my feelings”. Of course it totally depends on the person you are dealing with, but with my FIL I find if I respond with something like, “Thanks for the tip! When I get my time machine working I will go back and get real flowers haha” lets him know that his comment is useless, but I am not going to start a fight about it so he does not have to put his defenses up. Some people might find this passive aggressive, which I understand, but it has really helped defuse some situations.

      • Mooza

        Lol. This made me laugh (sorry for the late LAAAATE comment) because that is EXACTLY how my family would respond.

    • Larkin

      Yeah, I totally support responding with something along the lines of, “Wow. That really hurts my feelings to hear you say that.” Sometimes you need to come out with it to make people realize that they’re being a total asshat. Seriously, straight up telling someone that they’re really upsetting you can make them step back and actually think about what they’re saying/doing. Most people don’t WANT to be assholes… they just aren’t thinking when they say stuff. If they do want to be assholes, that’s a different issue entirely and it’s probably time to get rid of those people.

  • lady brett

    my spouse’s grandmother is like that at every family wedding (except she didn’t come to ours). she is generally polite about it, but as far as i can tell, culturally, cutting the cake is the indicator that all the formalities are over and you’ve moved on to the party, which it’s okay to skip. she is *not* there for the party, she is generally up later than she likes, and the “real” part – the ceremony – has already happened.

    sorry it was said rudely, and that it flustered your dad – that sounds hard and crummy – but i think the sentiment itself is just a bit of generational/cultural difference.

    • Eve

      Yeah, I think the cake cutting tradition has changed. It used to be that you didn’t dare leave until after the cake was cut and served, as that was the signal. Receptions are spaced out longer now than they used to be and the grandmother obviously had no idea of this. (though 7:00 p.m. isn’t really late).

      I’ve seen etiquette columns though where older people are asking how long they have to stay now since many receptions go on until very late night and there is no clear indicator (event-wise) on when it’s okay to leave.

      • joanna b.n.

        And then there were the people at our reception who left immediately after dinner. Is that the new normal?

        • Eve

          NO! I have seen advice columnists say it’s okay if it’s a long reception and it’s getting very late and the cake still isn’t cut. But they were talking about people who wanted to leave at 9:00 p.m. or later!

        • Kristine

          My sisters left exactly at this point of my wedding. Granted, they had 18 month olds, but I have often thought their spouse’s could have put the little ones down or at least someone could have come back (four blocks from hotel). We even had another family member offer to take care of the little ones. My MOH left at the same time, but with older kids. So, at least at my wedding, apparently this was the new normal.

          • StevenPortland

            Having 18 month olds in a hotel is harder than it sounds. And taking care of them through the entire day of the wedding outside of the baby’s house is really exhausting. I entirely would be let down as well if my sisters didn’t return afterwards, but from the other side of the experience I understand why they didn’t.

      • Lauren from NH

        For an old person who may have a drive to get home, 7pm does sounds legitimately late from their perspective. Not a reason for the wedding schedule to change for one person, but I do think 7pm = late is normal in some circles. I would be fine if someone living on that kind of schedule left after dinner.

        • Totally agree.

        • jubeee

          Agreed, we should expect that our older guests will want to leave earlier and that’s OK. This is a good thought for me though, as I am not serving dinner until about 6:30 pm….I will make sure the cake happens no later than 8:00.

      • Kayjayoh

        Heh, our guests didn’t even wait for us to cut the cake before they started serving up the desserts. Which surprised me for about half a second, then I started laughing and made sure to grad a cupcake before everything disappeared.

    • pajamafishadventures

      I did not know that bit of etiquette but it explains a lot about my childhood wedding experiences- I was so excited to go because CAKE! But I never got to eat any of it because my “I am a cranky younger child” always kicked in before it was cut and someone would have to leave to put me to bed. I didn’t realize it signaled the end and that’s why it wasn’t the first thing the couple did (because CAKE!).

  • joanna b.n.

    Yes, yes, yes to all the advice here. And also, I just wanted to say that I’m appalled on your behalf that you ended up feeling RUSHED through your wedding reception. UGH. That is because your people were behaving really badly, and it’s ok to be mad about that. I wish that you could have a do-over where you got to just dawdle through (or even just lose track of time), because it goes fast enough! Why shouldn’t you get to luxuriate and, I don’t know, have those moments with your dad on the dance floor and sunset pictures and not be bothered!? It’s a once in a lifetime moment for you, and shame on them for taking that away.

    But as has been said, the problem with weddings is that real people who maybe have lost (or haven’t yet had) the connection to what that day feels like for the bride and groom can really damper the fun and joy. And when they are your people, you have to face that they kind of messed up. But, as Liz said, that happens in any relationship. Eighty year olds get tired and impatient and say inappropriate things. Dads capitulate to their mothers instead of thinking clearly about their daughters. Friends say mean things about your style. And it’s ok to be mad, and then decide where that leaves your relationship. Hopefully more of your people turn out to be better than their worst moments at your wedding… and hopefully you can allow yourself to feel your feelings and then take with you the positive memories of the day.

    • JDrives

      YES to the dawdling!! We were basking in the glow of awesomeness at our sweetheart table, fielding all sorts of love and hugs from people coming up to us, and just surveying our family and friends having a grand time winding down from dinner, chatting with each other, photoboothing, lining up at the bar, etc. It was a perfect moment! Then my MIL comes up all flustered and is like “Hurry up to the next part! People want to start dancing!” I was so on Cloud Nine that I just looked at her and laughed! Like, really? Everyone is doing just fine. We got the dancing started not too long after that, but I wish I could have just stayed another few minutes in that precious space.

  • Lauren from NH

    Though it’s just my interpretation of the letter, it sounds to me like rude and rather unkind comments from a few guests got under the LW skin and made her paranoid that people were looking down upon and not enjoying her wedding. I would guess most people did not feel this way at all. Like Liz said there may have been some little discomforts here and there, but most adults can take a little of that and still be polite guests. Some people are just a little tactless, or self absorbed or see the world no matter what as glass half empty and want everyone to hear about it. My late grandmother had this personality and while she likely wouldn’t have gotten up to berate me, she would have epically pouted and told everyone about it.

    And you know what I say? Fuck ’em! Sour grapes you know? That said, you totally get to feel the hurt, but eventually I hope you can get to a place where you say “Not everything was perfect at my wedding, and a few people let that ruin their time, which is too bad, but I had an amazing day!”

    • joanna b.n.

      Yes, and don’t be afraid to seek a debrief with other guests to get some additional (hopefully positive!) feedback about their experience. That was half the fun for us – reliving the wedding for a few months with everyone… and finding out good things we didn’t know had happened.

      • Jenny

        Agreed, and I think LW should go to some friends and say, I’ve heard some complaints about xy and z and it’s making me feel bad/sad about our wedding. Would you mind sharing some of the things you liked and enjoyed?

        • JDrives

          I’m willing to bet that might be happening already, and if so, I really hope the LW can hear that right now. I know there exists a culture of demurring to compliments sometimes, but it’s OK to soak in all the “Your wedding was AWESOME! I cried through the whole ceremony!” or “The food truck hand pies were SO GOOD I snuck half a dozen into my purse for the ride home!” (true story!)

  • Sarah

    I’m still annoyed my cousin and her 2-month boyfriend (who we invited so she would have someone to hang with) didn’t wait in our short (70 guests) receiving line to greet us after the ceremony. But I’m reframing this….she’s very socially awkward, was in her early 20s so didn’t really get wedding etiquette, etc. It sounds trite, but time helps you forget these things and remember the good.

    • tr

      Yup. The reality is, 99% of people don’t mean to be rude. It’s just that not everyone is working from the same rule book, so to speak. I probably skipped one or two receiving lines when I was younger, because I always thought of them as being for the guests’ benefit. Similarly, I’ve gotten wedding invitations that included the registry information, because the bride just didn’t know any better. Those things happen. They aren’t a reflection of the person’s feelings about you, or even the person’s character. Mostly, they’re just a reflection of that person’s experience (or lack thereof).

  • MABie

    I have definitely complained about aspects of my friends’ weddings (though of course, never to their faces — that is some rough shit). That is because I, like most people, complain about lots of things, even when I am absolutely thrilled to be there! LW, I bet 99% of your guests — even the ones who complained about the taco truck — had a truly fantastic time at your wedding. And even if they didn’t have a fantastic time, it does not mean that they didn’t have a GOOD time, and it definitely doesn’t mean you failed.

    It means you had a wedding, in all its weird, awkward glory.

    I have been to ONE “perfect” wedding, and the sad fact was that the bride and groom were completely miserable in their relationship, and they had devoted a year to planning a flawless wedding to, I think, mask the issues in their relationship. Everything was gorgeous, delicious, perfectly timed, etc. But to be honest with you, it felt really empty to me.

    Every other wedding I have been to was kind of fucked up in some ways. At one wedding, it was 40-50* in the reception hall throughout the entire dinner, the food was inedible, and the speakers broke before dancing even started (which ended up being a blessing because the bride had gotten bullied into allowing her 16-year-old cousin’s band to play at her reception). At another wedding, they had one bartender for 400 people, and they didn’t serve food for more than 5 hours after the bar opened, so everyone was kind of drunk and miserable when food was served. The food was also nearly inedible at that wedding. Did I make some not-so-nice comments to the people I was there with — comments that, now that I have planned a wedding, I would no longer make? Yes.

    But I love my friends. They looked radiant and happy, and I was so thrilled to be invited and so thrilled to be there for them. I feel genuine joy when I go to their houses and look at their wedding pictures now.

    LW, your wedding isn’t supposed to be perfect. Relationships aren’t perfect. Life isn’t perfect. So take heart! It sounds like it was a great day overall. (Though I just need to go on the record as saying that Flower Friend was WAY HARSH.)

  • macrain

    I actually experienced a good deal of stress AFTER my wedding was over, and I think a lot of people do. It’s hard to let go of all the “should haves,” particularly with people in your ear insisting that everyone was annoyed.
    I have witnessed and experienced some of what you are describing. With one friend in particular, I could never figure out if she was intentionally trying to be mean or if she was really straight up clueless that her comments were hurtful. (I think it actually falls somewhere in the middle.)
    It’s so hard to let go of and I’m still struggling with it, months and months afterward. I’ve ended up needing some space from certain people, which is 100% okay if that’s what you need. I just want to give you a big hug, I know how much this sucks. With some time and perspective, you will feel better about all of it, I promise.

  • Green

    Oh gaaaawwd… wtf people? This shit hurts- no way around it. I definitely spent some time after my wedding trying to figure out how to forgive some people I thought should have acted better. And then, for a while, I said “Fuck it,” and let myself rage on to a a few select, close people who could help me process because, you know, it’s important to feel the feelings, I think. And then, after simmering down, there was a discussion with the offending parties, followed by several weeks of awkward. And now, one year later, I’ve made some conscious decisions to forgive and recognize that there were a few major life events all colliding in one day (which doesn’t lend to calm and thoughtful behavior). I also recognize now, that people are who they are and just because I’m getting married (got married) doesn’t meant they are going to change. And then, and I think this was the best thing I did, for our one year anniversary, I wrote my husband a letter detailing the best parts, the most beautiful details, the most tender moments. Because I’ll be damned if I’m going to let the poor behavior of a couple individuals ruin the memories of the first day of my marriage. Let the history books show, it was a gorgeous day.

    And also, the very fact that you are trying to figure out how to forgive bad behavior is going to get you there. Forgiveness is a difficult road, but you are choosing it, which means you’ll get there. I’m so sorry about the crappy behavior. We had paper flowers from Mexico, too, and I thought there were so beautiful. Big internet hugs to you.

    • Sarah E

      I love your strategy of writing out all the good things. What helps me gloss over some of the aspects of my own wedding I didn’t love was going back to find the good stuff and chatting about it. So maybe the LW could write down all her favorite things, like you did, or find those pictures that really capture the joy of the celebration and just revisit them really often, building stronger memories around them. Maybe as the LW crafts a wedding album or chooses what photos/keepsakes to print or frame or display, she can craft some stronger associations than the complainers.

      And then some day, a younger relative or friend’s kid will be getting married and be really stressed about how to make everyone happy, and you can laugh and regale them with all the examples of how you can never please everyone

  • Laura

    My MIL got it in her head that their side of the family was going to look minuscule and ridiculous next to my side of the family. No matter how many times we told her that most of my family couldn’t make it and that my husband actually had more guests coming from “his” people, she just couldn’t/wouldn’t believe us. So, on the morning of the wedding, unbeknownst to us, she told my brother and sister-in-law (our ushers) to not seat people the traditional way of bride’s people on the left, groom’s on the right. She was so concerned that the sides would be uneven that, instead of talking to us about it, she went behind our backs to have it her preferred way.

    One of the things I was looking forward to the most was seeing “my” people on one side of the church and my husband’s people on the other side, all joining together to wish us well. It was one of those little things that I was really excited about. Instead, I spent some valuable aisle-walking time/energy being puzzled as to why our ushers didn’t follow the traditional arrangement as discussed at the rehearsal.

    Is this a big thing in the scheme of my life? Absolutely not. Does it still bug me? Yes, it does. Have I figured a way to bring it up with my MIL without seeming like a lunatic? I have not.

    Sometimes, when it’s an isolated event, it’s just a matter of making the conscious decision to let it go. But when it’s a repeated pattern of behavior in which a person disregards your feelings, is emotionally manipulative, or acts plain old cruel to you, letting it go just isn’t that easy. I KNOW that holding on to a grudge about where people were seated at my wedding ceremony is ridiculous. But to me, it’s not really about the seating arrangements. It’s about someone letting her own anxieties cause her to act in a manipulative and sneaky way but then acts totally oblivious as to why we would be upset as a consequence of her actions. In the case of my MIL, this is a repeated behavior.

    So, if you can, separate the behavior itself from the intention behind the behavior. And give it time. It’s easier to forgive a one-off incident than a pattern in which a person behaves callously toward you or disregards your feelings.

  • Eenie

    First of all, you enjoyed your wedding! There’s a lot of people who didn’t enjoy their wedding day, so you have that in your favor. I second Liz’s advice to reevaluate the friendships of those who made these comments.

    Second, you should just have a quick response to any future criticisms about your wedding. “Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind for my next wedding.” *Glare*

  • CJ

    I think every bride goes through some of this. I was married in March and I’m still nursing some grudges, so I totally understand. My FIL left BEFORE DINNER because HE DID NOT LIKE WHERE HE WAS SEATED. No joke. He and his wife just left. No telling us why, no goodbye, no nothing. We noticed they were missing and it was the caterer who told us why they left, walking out after bitching about their table. (Bitterly divorced parents, husband didn’t want them seated together, which he thought his father would understand. But no, he did not.)

    And it was my MIL who was rushing us to cut the cake right after dinner because she wanted to go home. She had a 2-hour drive, and wanted to hit the road. No way was she getting a hotel room, even though we had offered to pay for one. Our wedding was only four hours, ended at 9:30 pm, and even then, half the guests left right after the cake. Not just old people, plenty of people I thought would stick around for dancing, but no. I was happy to have some people there to say goodbye at the end. I’m grateful they stayed with us. So I try to focus on the good, not the people who disappointed us. Frankly, those people tend to disappoint a lot, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise.

  • Maggie

    Along the lines of it only having been a month, the letter writer is very generously asking how she can forgive and move on from people saying unhelpful and hurtful things, but it’s kind of hard to do so when the hurtful things are still happening! It might not be possible to even start getting over this until people stop bringing it up (or until you ask them to stop focusing on negative things that you can’t change – as Liz said, they might be legitimate, but it’s still not useful to hear about) and you’ve had a chance to get some space from both the event itself *and* (what feels like) the comment aftermath. You might have an easier time separating peoples’ (dumb, unhelpful, misplaced) “feedback” from the awesome parts of the wedding, and the generally-good people themselves, with more time.

  • DM

    Sometimes you just have to accept that people can be a pain in the ass, and when their family members, they can be even worse since (in many cases) you’re not going to cut them out of your life until the behavior is really atrocious.

    One of my aunts called my sister a few days before my baby shower and announced that she was bringing an uninvited guest that I had only met once. They showed up, took prominent seats (ones that would have been best for those handing me gifts and recording what I received), and bossed my sister around – “go get us drinks, food, etc”. Ms. Uninvited does have a disability, so some of this was semi-understandable (only certain seats could accommodate her, she couldn’t easily serve herself). They then proceeded to complain that the game was taking to long, and pushed that I had to cut the cake as soon as I finished opening gifts so they could have some and leave (I think they took their slices with them).

    Only six months earlier, we had to seat this aunt away from my small immediate family at my sister’s wedding due to toxic behavior towards me (though she had managed to finagle invitations for a whole table of her friends, so she didn’t seem to mind).

    Point of all this: Family members who have any inclination to feel entitled to events going their way are going to be the worst offenders at complaining and ignoring basic rules of etiquette. Accepting this from those family members and deciding how much effort to put into your response to and relationship with them is how you deal. They’re the ones with the problems, so don’t take it personally (as hurtful as they can be).

  • laddibugg

    I think it’s rude for people to mention, after the fact, that there were things they hated, especially if they weren’t close to you.

    But–I do wonder how many people complained about the same thing. After a point, there could be some validity in their complaints. You know the ins and outs and whys of what you’re doing and when but your guests do not. That being said,no matter how many people complained, it’s water under the bridge now. Unlike say, a dinner party, you’re never gonna get the hang of hosting your own wedding. Unless you’re Elizabeth Taylor.

  • Annie

    Dude, I will stand in line in grass in line for tacos for a long-ass time. Because FREE TACOS.

    Some people are just rude and negative no matter what. I’ve never been to a wedding where everything is perfectly timed and everyone is the happiest ever, but that doesn’t mean I still didn’t have a fantastic time.

  • Angela

    Sounds like your grandma is rude and you have two friends without filters. BUT…you had a wonderful wedding and most people had a wonderful time. (Toys and cake aren’t a reflection of that…I’d probably skip both at a wedding but still have an incredible time.) So, I think how you get over it is to stop telling yourself the story of your rude grandma and friends over and over and start telling yourself the story of how wonderful it was.

  • Jessica

    My mom complained about stuff that we had no control over for 6 months following the wedding. Most people followed the cardinal rule of not letting the bride and groom know what was going wrong, so I had no idea for most of the evening there issues, but WOW did I hear about them later. I had asked my mom to let it go, stop complaining, write a letter to the restaurant, etc, etc… And she never listened to me. It was finally when one of her closest friends said “You have got to let this go and just focus on the good parts of the day!” that she finally stopped talking shit about the wedding.

    I honestly hope she remembers the good parts of the day when she thinks of it now.

  • SarahG

    It was interesting to read this letter, because superficially at least, our weddings are similar. We had paper flowers, way too much cake (I think some of it didn’t get put out, which kinda pissed me off at the time, though leftovers YUM), one super critical relative (always reliably complaining) and I am fairly sure nobody noticed or read the table name descriptions (after local historic landmarks) (no favors, but I’m quite sure they would have been left behind). One of my friends spent the entire time crying in the bathroom (not about the wedding). Not everything went smoothly. And to be honest, my critical aunt — it still bugs me that she can’t just STFU and take one for the team. But I look back on that day with just an overwhelming sense of joy. People are complex, disappointing, and always coming from their own particular moment in time. They are also supportive, loving, and will surprise you in the best ways if you let them (not all the people, not all the time, but still). What I remember most now is feeling surrounded by love. Maybe they wanted more cake than they got; maybe they thought the paper flowers were tacky. They also love me and my partner, and they want us to make it work — that I do believe. Anyway, I hope that ends up being true for you as well. Big hugs, fellow paper flower bride!

    • Green

      Love this!

    • Jess

      I have a whole family of “can’t STFU and take one for the team.” Mentally preparing myself to just say, “You know what, SUCK IT.” is tough, but I’m glad to hear you got through it.

    • Sarah

      How funny. This Sarah had an aunt who did several annoying things at our wedding, capping off with her saying the pictures “weren’t that good” (though this was to my mom who felt the need to tell me…). But she also had nice things to say and seemed happy for us and had to manage my senile-ish grandma in a wheelchair so I let it go. But it took time!

  • NatalieN

    Maybe playing a bit of devil’s advocate here, but maybe the guests who complained had a completely justifiable reason to complain – and that’s okay! Just, you know, they probably shouldn’t complain to you… We talk a lot on APW about choosing what your priorities are in your wedding and going after those. Because you won’t be able to have a laid back boho woodland affair on the beach, with a sequins dripped ballroom reception, every single friend and family member there with full dinner and dancing and only spend $2,000. (though if someone has done that I WANT TO KNOW YOUR WAYS).

    My point is, it seems like the LW chose laid back and budget friendly as priorities. Those are great priorities! But maybe guest comfort wasn’t as high on the priority list. That doesn’t mean that you don’t care about your friends or family. My husband and I were at a wedding just recently that was probably 100 degrees, and because of the reception set up, only half of the 150 guests got to sit inside in the AC. The other half of us were sat outside on the patio… with the cheap tables, and the cheap seats, with the door to the reception hall closed (because they had the AC). The buffet, dinner and dancing were all inside, and there was no sound system outside. It was kind of an awful set up, and we joked with a couple of the “outside guests”, asking “so, what did you do to get here? He turned in his RSVP late…”. I would never EVER complain to the bride or groom about it, because I know what it takes to plan a wedding. I know that you have to pick your priorities. But if I hadn’t just planned a wedding of my own, I would probably feel a lot like this couple didn’t care about their people a whole lot, and be pretty upset/offended.

    Basically long winded way to say – no event is perfect for everyone, but yours was perfect for you. Hold on to that, and have a little grace for everyone else.

    • Greta

      YES to this. No event is perfect for everyone! Seriously. If the complainers planned the wedding the way they wanted it, then you probably wouldn’t have enjoyed your wedding. It was perfect for you, and your guests are adults. I think we can all agree, they should not have complained to you.

    • enfp

      Just to emphasize how you really can’t win sometimes, we chose to squeeze everyone in the same room to avoid this problem, as we’d heard relatives complaining about being seated in a separate room at my cousin’s wedding. But people probably just complained about how it was too hot and crowded in there instead. If people want to complain, they’ll find something! We’re all just trying to make the best decisions we can with the info we have, and most people understand that.

      • Yeah, AND most of us are not full-time professional event planners. We don’t get engaged and magically know how to set up a room and feed a large group of people. No. We learn this sh*t as we go along, and some of it is gonna be messed up. If I planned large corporate events for a living I would probably have planned a much different event than what I have currently planned for my wedding.

        But even then, some of those large, professionally planned events are too cold, in icy-AC hotel conference rooms, the food isn’t great, and mics are too loud, etc.

        Planning a large event is HARD. Full stop.

  • Anontoday

    I think this is pretty good advice for both the host and guests. As a many-times-over guest I have definitely complained about the way things have gone at some weddings – but typically only to my partner, close friends and NOT the couple who just got married. My partner and I have funnelled these into a general category of Things Not To Do At Our Wedding, like “do not ask a sibling to write and print programs and name cards 20 minutes before the ceremony” or “do not encourage the DJ to play a bunch of songs with choreographed dances” or “do not leave for honeymoon at 4 am the day after without giving your friends/family detailed information about items have to go back to vendors”. I think it’s ok, whether you’ve already had a wedding or are going to plan one in the future, to have the reaction “hey, I wouldn’t have done it that way”. As long as you’re not seeking out the couple who got married to tell them everything that went wrong, well, who cares.

    But. I also had an experience where my partner and I ultimately shared our complaints with the couple. The bride had invited a few of the girlfriends/wives of the groomsmen to come get ready with her and her bridesmaids, but didn’t tell her parents she had invited us over and didn’t say hello or acknowledge us at all when we arrived. As a result her parents thought we were just rudely inviting ourselves over/crashing the brides’/bridesmaids getting ready together time, and they kicked us out of the house (and locked the doors behind us) as soon as the ladies left to do photos about an hour and a half before the ceremony, before we were done getting ready. My guy was really upset by this, and a couple days later he said something to the groom, who is his best friend. The couple ended up apologizing to the ladies involved.

    What I’m trying to say is that there are always going to be run of the mill wedding things that don’t go as planned, or maybe get under the skin of certain people, and that’s ok. You can have your feelings about it and probably should keep them from the married couple. BUT – and I think this is rare, particulary amongst APWers – sometimes people behave badly at weddings, and sometimes those people are the people getting married. I’m not saying that’s what happened here for LW, but I think it’s worth keeping in mind.

    • VKD_Vee

      It’s extraordinarily difficult, very likely impossible, to carry off a wedding smoothly when you’ve got a low budget and no professional planner. People might think “Why on earth did the brother write out name cards 20 mins before the ceremony!?” and the answer might just be – they couldn’t afford a planner, and something fell through the cracks. It wasn’t until I planned my own wedding that I realized a 200 point checklist (centrepieces, bouquets, placecards, dress, speech, ceremony, programs, bla bla bla) was involved. Easy in hindsight to go, ‘Why on earth weren’t they more organized?’ but it’s also good to remember that there is just *so much* to organize so it’s no wonder that it might seem a little disorganized on the day for some couples!

      I’m a very organized person and you’d be surprised at the amount of stuff I was not fully prepared for! (I made my step-FIL iron my tablerunners, 20 mins before aisle-walking, b/c I was busy writing our vows out on notecards…)

  • Would you believe that after the ceremony, while my wife and I were greeting guests before the food was put out, one of my guests said this to me, “You’re so much nicer now that Michelle is in your life. You’re so much xxx. I just can’t believe what a better person you are. I’ve been telling everyone.” Wow. Just wow. I’m having the best day of my life and you’re telling people I used to be what? mean and rude? And you’re telling me this now? All I could do at that moment is say, “Um. Thanks.”

    • Anon

      Reminds me of a friend, who was marrying a man everyone perceived to be a great catch – personable, exceptionally courteous, successful young professional, etc. During the entire year they were engaged, she fielded about a thousand compliments like “You are so lucky to be marrying/have a partner like/have found S!” She made it ’til about a month out from the wedding before finally losing it and yelling “Hey, HE’S pretty lucky too!!”

  • Kate

    As another bride who did a lot of DIY for her self-funded wedding, my heart goes out to you. Your wedding sounds LOVELY and PERSONAL to me, and I am sure that it was beautiful. Cherish your memories with your husband, and as for the rest, (and trust me, I know how very hard this is to do), take Taylor’s advice and Shake It Off. Sounds like you had a badass wedding, and it’s too bad if some haters cannot appreciate that.

    • Greta

      And the haters gonna hate hate hate hate
      Baby I’m just gonna shake shake shake shake
      shake it off


    • yes. DIY = a lot a lot a lot of thought, time and passion (because if you didn’t care that much you wouldn’t have made it yourself), so it’s really hurtful when it’s not appreciated. you feel like you’ve failed and it reflects on you.

      my (usually very sweet) MIL was the complainer at our wedding. she said, at the wedding (not before when we could’ve done something about it), that our paperless invitations weren’t “real.” she complained about how we served brussel sprouts when she hates them, though we had most of the food catered to her dietary requirements, sacrificing some of the other things we would’ve liked, because we didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable. i did a lot of things per her request that were stressful for me to take on, and in the end she still wasn’t happy. at one point during the wedding i realized that there was nothing i could do to make her happy, and i was spending more time stressing over her happiness than focusing on my own, so i had to stop worrying about her.

      the thing is:
      a) it could have nothing to do with you, really. my MIL was unhappy about some other events in her life, and although she really wanted to be at our wedding, she was very cranky.
      b) some people can’t make conversation without complaining. i’ve been in situations (eg. foreign exchange student) where people bond over complaints. maybe the guests at the taco truck had nothing to say to each other, and complaining was their icebreaker.
      c) in addition to b), some people like to gang up and harp on one thing. one brussel sprout hater brings out a whole chorus of brussel sprout haters. it’s a haters club.

      i don’t think you have to push yourself to forgive, yet. it’s okay that you feel hurt. this reminds me of maddie’s editor’s letter yesterday, when she had a flat and michael didn’t pick up his phone… it’s shitty, it’s valid to be upset, but… i mean, hopefully your friends will grow up and not ever be this rude again. let it go.

      also! this is what i kept telling my husband throughout our wedding planning and the wedding: the only people who are going to remember our wedding forever are us, so it’s most important that we’re happy with it. for everyone else, it will be one of many weddings they’ve attended/will attend/tell stories about.

  • Jules

    This is how it went for me.

    1) My identity as a host/woman/bride/planner/person is NOT built on my wedding’s successes and failures.
    2) People can be tactless and narcissistic sometimes. That is hurtful to me, but not necessarily my problem.
    3) Every wedding I have ever been to has been flawed in some way. People will pick on weddings no matter what, even the super beautiful well-coordinated ones where your glass and your stomach are never empty. There is so much personal preference that goes into weddings that it’s impossible. Somethings will be inconveniently located, the food not inclusive of all guests’ tastes, the bride’s dress too sexy/conservative/expensive/overdone/cheap. There is always something! Once I let go of the idea that I COULD have pleased everyone, things got easier. Also, many wedding guests don’t walk into a wedding expecting that it will meet their every taste/need. The ones who do? Screw them. (I mean, we can stay friends maybe, but I see no reason to beat myself up over it.)

    After that I sat back and thought, “dang, it sucked that my brother left right after dinner and my SIL was so up in people’s faces recording video that two people complained to me about it”. Then…I dunno. I just moved on. The hurt is still there, but a lot of the above helped absolve me of my “guilt” about it.

  • Alexandra

    I have just read every glorious comment and am now feeling very encouraged that it seems everyone’s wedding has at least a few snafus. Everybody at my wedding was freakin’ awesome, to be honest. Thankfully, my husband’s family is just badass wonderful about not complaining and being good sports. HOWEVER, they are teetotalling Baptists from Mississippi, and my family are boozy atheists from New England, so I kind of wondered how things would go down.

    We had a beer/wine open bar, and then I paid a couple hundred dollars to have free iced tea/lemonade/soft drinks for the sweet Baptists. I didn’t think about it during the wedding, but when I looked at the pictures, I was like…um…how come all the Baptists just have water? I asked around and found out the dang country club never put out the soft drinks we paid for. Arg. It was kind of scandalous for hubby’s family to be at a wedding with booze, and my mitigating thing got ruined. I’m still bummed about it. But they all just glow when they talk about our wedding, and they’re the best in-laws I could ask for, so I guess it didn’t ruin everything.

    • Ashlah

      Aw man, what a bummer that your thoughtful move didn’t get executed! But I’m glad everything went well anyway!

  • Ann

    As Miss Manners always says: All brides, babies, engagement rings, and weddings are by definition beautiful. (Mosty in response to people who claim it would be “dishonest” not to say things like “actually your baby’s kind of weird looking!”) If it’s your MOH or mom or someone and before the wedding you really ask for advice, then sure, they can let you know if there’s an element of your wedding they’re not sure about. But afterward? No excuse. Even if they hated your dress, overheated, and were served inedible food after an hourslong wait, the only proper comment (at least when addressing the bride/groom) is “It was beautiful”. Because they saw two people become married, and that’s beautiful enough as it is.

  • Mags

    We spent a lot of time and money before our wedding taking dancing lessons so that we could have a choreographed first dance. I loved it and loved the time we put into our lessons, but soon after my father-in-law told my husband (in earshot of me, so he basically told both of us) that we looked ridiculous and stiff during the dance and we should try to dance normal. I was heartbroken and, three years later, have not forgiven my FIL (of course he is just one of those difficult people, maybe like your grandma, that gives me plenty of other reasons to not like him). But like you, I loved my wedding overall and just have to trust that his opinion was not shared by the majority of guests. And when I think of the wedding day I don’t think about that dance anymore or the hurtful comment, I just think of all the other wonderful parts. So yes, pain remains but it becomes much less thought about as time goes on.

  • MABie

    I just need to say that the comments here have helped me chill out about our upcoming wedding! (Even my OWN comment about all of the weddings I have attended where things went wrong made me be like, “wait a minute…”) Our wedding is about three months away, and I’ve reached the point where I am obsessing about everything being perfect. But everything WON’T be perfect! People will hate our invitations! My mom already thinks we are serving too much food (apparently it’s not okay to have a six-course dinner, wtf), and a lot of other people seem annoyed that we aren’t having dancing! And that is okay. I am doing my best to make people happy and comfortable while having a wedding that feels true to us. That is all any of us can do.

    I LOVE APW!!!

    • Ali

      We had a six course meal – a little fancy but not stuffy. Mostly everyone loved it – apart from one or two people who would’ve preferred to eat chicken nuggets and chips – and it’s much better to have too much food than not enough, especially when there’s a bit of alcohol.

      • MABie

        Thanks, Ali. :O) My mom says it’s too much food, so people will be stuffed and miserable. Okay…thanks…

        • Ali

          I’ve also been to big Italian weddings where there is a lot of food, but everyone knows that there’ll be lots of food and either enjoys feasting, or takes it a little easy! Plus having lots of courses means that if someone doesn’t like an appetiser, there’s bound to be a few more courses that they enjoy! Have a fantastic wedding. :)

        • MDBethann

          One of my cousins married into an Italian family from New Jersey. The food was insane – in a good way. There was a HUGE appetizer buffet as I recall, plus pretty much all-you-could-eat pasta. I think we were in a food coma for several days. No complaints from me, so feed away. And as is often said on APW, your guests are grown-ass adults (most of them anyway) and they are grown-up enough to make their own decision about when to stop eating and whether too much food is too much.

        • Liz

          “Too much food” are three words that do not make sense together to me…?

          • MABie

            Yeah, that’s what I thought, too!!

        • Jules

          …I think this just goes to show what an impossible battle it is. You’re just expected to find the perfect area between “cheap” and “showy”, between “underfed” and “overfed”, between “too unconventional” and “stuffy / traditional”….I mean, it’s bullshit.

          Trust me: your wedding will be *awesome*.

        • AP

          Also, I think this falls under “you can trust adults to take care of themselves” and *stop eating* when they’re full. I’m three months out, too, and haven’t even figured out food yet! So you’re ahead of the game as far as I’m concerned:)

    • CMT

      There’s no such thing as too much food!

    • This is also helping me calm down about our upcoming wedding (6 weeks, ugh). I’m stressed about how everything is going to come together, as we are fairly laid back but also inexperienced at event planning, and I don’t want things to suck.

      It’s especially difficult planning an event like a wedding that is rich with emotions, meaning and lots of interested parties. Sometimes (like every day) I just want to elope or go to the courthouse.

      You’re right, it won’t be perfect. Lots of people have opinions and preferences, many of which are quite different from my own. “I am doing my best to make people happy and comfortable while having a wedding that feels true to us. That is all any of us can do.” What a great mantra :)

  • BDubs

    Dear Letter Writer,
    I hope you are reading all these comments. We have assembled such a supportive community here and I hope you are able to enjoy the comfort in that.
    I would venture to say that weddings fall into two broad camps:
    My mother/grandma/other relative’s dream wedding, which Bride or Groom actually kind of hated because it wasn’t FOR them, it was Relative’s dream.
    My DREAM wedding which was not traditional and certain people got a bug in their behind about it.
    My bridesmaids never said a bad word to me, but when I first whipped out my DREAM flowers, silk lotus stalks, I saw at least two wrinkled noses for a fraction of a second.
    Nope, they were not what these ladies would have picked. But I really liked them, and I went forward with creating bouquets that I really thought were cool.
    Everyone goes to a wedding as a guest looking to receive a certain je-ne-se-quois (forgive my lack of French language spelling knowledge).
    If you don’t provide it, they bitch.
    I think you could consider telling any further complainers “I’m very sorry my wedding day was a disappointment to you.” and then waiting silently.
    All but the truest assholes should get the hint.
    Much love from all corners of the internet.
    PS If you feel inclined to post photos or videos of your wonderful union, I’m certain a few of us would love to weigh in <3

  • Ashlah

    My caterer took the only non-alcoholic beverages we had with him when he left, long before the reception was over. (He also took all the leftover food that we paid for, but I digress). It was an outdoor summer wedding with lots of kids and adults dancing and playing volleyball, and we suddenly had only beer and wine to drink. But I didn’t hear a peep about it until after the wedding, and my family, fortunately, is tactful enough to bring it up in a kind way. It was a “that crazy caterer, but what a great wedding” kind of way, not a “your wedding was awful and you should feel awful” kind of way.

    Your friends and family are way out of line for bringing their complaints to you, and I hope you find a way to focus on all the wonderful aspects of your wedding day.

  • ArmandoARogers

    …..All time hit the apracticalwedding Find Here

  • Sarah

    I don’t have any advice to offer you. It’s been almost three years and I am still a little bitter about the way it went down. My in-laws called our wedding “white trash,” my cousin cancelled because she didn’t want to drive, everyone left super early, the dancing was a train wreck, etc. So, I try just to ignore the parts that sucked and focus on the parts that were good. It doesn’t always work, but moaning about the shitty parts doesn’t do anything but make you feel bad (believe me, I know), sooo you just try to move on and focus on the “yay! We’re married” thing

  • Raissomat

    I’m very sorry about the rude guests.
    That’s one of my fears. (2 weeks to go).
    My sister candidly informed me that she wants ice cream at our wedding (she knows we ordered 4 different cakes, including one GF vegan one). I laughed at her, but she insisted. Wen I told her She could go get it in the shop nearby for herself, she was all shocked. This is our wedding and we aren’t big event types. We invited 21 people and did our best to keep it minimal. Stuff always Adds up.
    I personally am very excited about the food we’ll have. My dad (who pays for some of the food) asked me if there would be something he’d like, a little worried. That bothered me less. He is a creature of habit and never eats out, while we eat..very healthy. He was reassured when I said there would also be regular leaf salad, and a main course option involving meat and rice. The entertaining/games part could be tricky and it is possible that people will go home after cake, in the afternoon. We wouldn’t be offended either.
    Also, just for reference: last year at my other sisters wedding the officiant was boring, (I still cried like a baby and was about to explode from joy) the weather was way to hot and we were melting (whatever) I was sat beside a very complainy person at lunch and had to go out to calm down (who cares) the whole reception was a little boring (more time to collect myself) and the balloons didn’t fly. At all.. But my sister and her husband where beautiful and radiant, I was so happy to be with them, and it was magnificent.

  • MaryKSpring

    …..All time hit the apracticalwedding Find Here

  • JoyWill
  • JoannaStephenson
  • tr

    As someone who has occasionally been a less than ideal wedding guest (though I never said anything to the bride’s face), I would like to point out that negative comments almost always have more to do with the person making them than they do with the wedding itself.
    Weddings bring up a lot of personal issues for guests–their own relationships, their own finances, etc. Guests who are themselves having a hard time in one of those areas tend to be extra judgey and selfish. They don’t generally mean to be, the negativity sometimes just creeps in without their realizing it. Just realize that those comments aren’t REALLY about you or your wedding.
    Also, I’m going to be honest: Your wedding is a super important day for you. For most of guests, it’s really just another day. Sure, they adore you, and they’re thrilled for you, but still, it’s just another Saturday for them. A more exciting Saturday than average, but still not even 1/100th of the huge deal that it is for you. That absolutely means that cake will be left uneaten, favors will be forgotten, special touches will be overlooked, complaints will be made, etc. You could literally plan the greatest wedding in the history of weddings and those things would still happen.

  • MargaretSBrewer

    Last 30 year Best Home Income with apracticalwedding. < Find Here

  • Bethany

    Is everything okay on the APW end? It looks like there are a lot more spam comments than usual :(

  • Sarah

    I have two points to mkae about this 1, lots of cake left over is not a bad thing, maybe people filled up so much on the tacos they didn’t have room for cake or shared a slice with someone else. Maybe they just don’t have a sweet tooth.
    2, lots of people might make a throw away comment about queueing for food about how hungry they are and how they wish the queue would move faster. This is partly just small talk for most people rather than complaining and I wonder why anyone would mention it to you? As a lot of people siad it’s not like you’ll be doing this again.
    At the end of the day there’s always a delay in having food shared at large events, whether it’s a sit down silver service meal or a queue and self service job. As for the other tactless comments it seems like these people didn’t think before they spoke. Again Liz said think about how they are normally this sounds like it’s an issue with them more than you. I’m sorry that everyone did not give you the 100% feedback you’re hard work deserved but I would suggest looking at your wedding photo’s. Are people smiling and laughing? Yes? Then that’s all the feedback you need.

  • EdgarJCassady

    Last Few Days To Get Smart Deal with apracticalwedding < Find Here

  • OhNoThereGoesTokyo

    So glad I stopped being a people pleaser years before I go engaged.

  • Tasha Cat

    Hi I just found your post and wanted to give you a huge hug and tell you not to worry about things like that. People are bizarre beings who find fault in small things instead of looking at the big picture. A wedding is a blessing before God and people and they should see it exactly as that. There are millions of people that cant afford an after wedding party at all and the guests go home right after the ceremony. In my case we hardly have any cash for our wedding so we are going to DIY the entire thing. So Im going to post some very colourful and funny stories for you to read because I know its going to be so much worse than your wedding that will make you laugh

  • Sarah Shinyhelmet Stovetop

    Okay so I’m commenting on this way late because I just got engaged and I’m binge-reading APW. I hope the letter-writer reads it.

    *sigh* I used to be a snarky wedding guest. OKAY so I never said anything directly to a bride’s face, but I would make side-comments about how the dresses were stupid or how ridiculous the decor was or decide to myself that these people were insane for spending so much money on details like centerpieces. This came almost entirely out of my own insecurities. I said the dresses were stupid because I felt stupid in my outfit. I thought the decor was “ridiculous” because no way would I be that creative. I very rudely speculated wedding costs because I was worried I’d never be able to afford a wedding.

    But also I think there’s this WEIRD cultural thing right now that it’s just the way wedding guests break the ice: standing around shitting on the wedding. Wedding snark has become wedding smalltalk. And especially when people have had a drink or two…they let things escape out of their mouths before thinking.

    That being said, SCREW PAPER FLOWER LADY. I wouldn’t say that to a stranger, let alone a close friend.

  • G.Elizabteh

    So I have a question. My brother is getting married. His ceremony and reception are at the same venue. The ceremony starts at 6pm on a Friday in late August. My six year old is the flower girl. My 12 year old Niece is a Jr. Bridesmaid. We have been instructed to be ready ( Hair, Make up, dresses, heels) at 12 noon at the brides house for getting ready pictures. Then they plan to drive to a park (not venue) for outdoors first look pictures at 2:30 pm (remember it’s August, Hot Humid). Then we will drive back to the venue at some point. I think this is insane! Who asks their family to get ready 7/8 hours before the actual wedding? There’s no way my 6 year old can last thru that long day. Not to mention we are all going to be a tired, sweaty mess by 6pm. Am I being unreasonable by thinking this is a huge imposition? Who needs to take pictures for 3 hours before the wedding? HELP!