So my crazy aunt's wedding was this past weekend. To be honest, even with all my mumbling and grumbling leading up to it, I thought I would come back here and say “It wasn’t that bad.” Nothing completely CRAZY happened, but there were just a lot of little things that made the whole weekend weird and a bit uncomfortable, but in a way my family could just roll our eyes and laugh about.
When I got to the hotel on Friday afternoon, there were a few minutes of panic because the front desk staff couldn’t find my reservation. Luckily, it just turned out that my aunt had made the reservation and had spelled my name incorrectly, as she did on my invitation. As I mentioned before, the rehearsal dinner was at a friend of my aunt’s house in the suburbs, thirty miles away. My parents, sister, and I, along with my uncle’s family, took a stretch limo out there, since no transportation was provided. It was kind of ridiculous, but was the easiest way to get our big group out there. Plus, we brought booze in the car.
My mom had been told it was a potluck, but luckily that ended up not being the case. It was actually pretty nice. There was a tent put up in the backyard and the food was catered. It was a little cramped, with about 60 guests, but much better than I anticipated. Aside from blood relatives, everyone there was from my aunt’s church. As soon as my family walked in, everyone stared at us and no one really talked to us. My mom, who has met many of them at my cousin’s football games, said they are always kind of cold and that my aunt has clearly complained to them about how awful we are. We may be godless heathens, but we are all pretty nice and friendly people….so that made things a bit uncomfortable.
Then things got a little weird. After dinner, the bride and groom each introduced themselves. Not just “Hi, I’m the bride!” but gave long speeches about their life stories, down to what they majored in during college. Then they went around and introduced every single person there. The blood relatives’ introductions were pretty short, but everyone else from the church got some gushing statements about how great they were and how much they mean to the bride and groom. That is fine, but there were 60 people there, so this took FOREVER. Then they gave gifts to the bridal party and the friends who were doing readings during the ceremony and it became clear that my cousins, the bride’s children, were not involved in the wedding at all.
The limo ride home to the hotel was the only time we really got to see the city, because the driver was nice enough to take a route through downtown since we were staying outside the city, pretty much isolated from anything.
The wedding was at a country club right on a lake and it was a gorgeous location. My mom went early with my grandpa, who was needed for pictures. Apparently when they arrived, my aunt was getting her hair done and was surrounded by her church lady friends, so they stayed out of the way. My aunt got all huffy and said “Dad, your daughter is over HERE. Aren’t you going to come over and say hello to her on her wedding day?” and a few minutes later had a mini-meltdown because the flowers weren’t right or something. When my mom introduced herself as the sister of the bride to the photographer, he said “Oh yes, you look just like her, but you smile a lot more!”
Meanwhile, we were all downstairs waiting for the wedding to start. While we waited there was a worship band, acoustic guitars and all, playing the same songs we sang in Vacation Bible School when I was seven. The program mentioned my grandpa, my aunt’s mentors, and even the wedding planner. There was nothing about her children. There ceremony was mostly fine, but was by far the most Jesus-y wedding I have ever been too, including the Catholic wedding I went to last month. The best/worst part was when the groom SANG A SONG to my aunt in the middle of it. He is not a good singer either. It was so awkward and cringe-inducing. Plus, there were plenty of bible readings about submitting to your husband, serving him, and obeying him.
After the ceremony, there was a cocktail hour. We were afraid it would be a dry wedding, but it was actually an open bar with beer and wine. THANK GOD. During this time they did more photos, and guess who they forgot to include at first…THE BRIDE’S CHILDREN. While we are talking about them, later during the reception we found out that they were unaware that their mother was even in a serious relationship until she went on a trip with this guy and came back engaged this past February. Despite my aunt being their mother, they have both turned out to be pretty great, normal human beings. The fact that they both brought a flask made me like them even more.
During the reception, I also discovered how awesome my grandpa is. He was rolling his eyes right along with the rest of us. During one speech, someone said something about my aunt’s life being full of grace like Christ’s or something and my grandpa muttered under his breath “I beg to differ.” We got to hear both their life stories again, and this time, they included how they met (you know, ten whole months ago). Then they had their first dance, which ended up not really being a dance because…THE GROOM SANG ANOTHER AWKWARD SONG.
Other highlights include when someone from another table came over and asked us to quiet down…sorry for having a good time! Also, my grandpa can’t hear very well, so we had to speak a little bit louder for his sake.
We also had an amazing waiter, who told us at the end of the night “There’s always a black sheep table at a wedding and I can tell you guys are it!” He was hilarious and kept our wine glasses filled all night and we gave him a huge tip.
The best exchange, which kind of sums up how insane my aunt is, came at the end of the night:
My 86 year old grandpa: Congrats [bride’s name], I hope you two have a good marriage.
My aunt: What is THAT supposed to mean?
Grandpa: I hope you have a good marriage. I wish you the best.
My aunt: Well, of course we are going to have a good marriage. It kind of sounds like you are attacking me.
PS- MY GRANDPARENTS PAID FOR IT.