Alternate title: Am I crazy or is my aunt being crazy?

I don't have much experience with second weddings. The only person I know that has been remarried is my cousin. It was both he and his wife's second marriage and they did it in Vegas. She wore a fancy bridal gown and they had nice photos taken, but only their parents and siblings were present. A few months later my aunt had an informal party at her house to celebrate with family and friends.

I thought the way my cousin did it was very classy and well-done. It made sense to me. So, I'm not sure if I am unfairly comparing my aunt (on the other side of the family from the previously mentioned cousin) and her second wedding to that, or if she is actually being crazy about the whole thing.


My aunt is in her fifties and has two adult children. She has been divorced for at least 15 years. Her fiance is also in his fifties with adult children. I don't know much else about him, mostly because they started dating in September. Everything about this wedding has been strange so far. We first heard about their impending nuptials at the end of March. Their wedding is in July. It seemed like pretty late notice, especially for an out of state wedding (to compare, I am going to an in-town wedding two weeks after hers and received a save the date in January). At this time, we didn't know anything about the wedding or who would even be invited, so I didn't feel comfortable booking a flight until we got a save the date a few weeks later (in April). Flights were already pretty expensive, but luckily my parents offered to pay for my flight because I am a broke graduate student and would not attend otherwise.

Next, my mother received an invitation to her lingerie shower with my aunt's bra and underpants sizes included. I'm not saying that you can't rock some lingerie once you are in your fifties, but this is very bizarre knowing my aunt, who happens to be extremely religious (to the point her kids were not allowed to read Harry Potter....because reading a book with imaginary magic is the first stop on your way to hell...or something).

This whole event is not a small, intimate affair, but a full-on big fancy wedding. When I received my invitation in the mail, my last name was spelled incorrectly. Not just a two letters in the wrong order or something, but very wrong. So wrong, I would almost be comfortable posting a picture of it here online. This is just weird because she sent the save the date to me via email, and my email address includes my married name spelled correctly. Also, she got my address from my mother, who sent my contact info from her iPhone, where my name is also spelled correctly. My aunt was also at my wedding, three years ago, when my name was changed. I could definitely understand not remembering how to spell it exactly. I had similar issues when I was doing my own invitations. However, when I came across such a problem, I simply asked someone who did know the answer. It really wasn't that hard.

Also included in the invitation was a card that said "In lieu of gifts, the bride and groom request gift cards from the following...." First of all, since when is a gift card not a gift? It says GIFT right in the name. Second, this seems very tacky, as it is essentially saying "Don't give us any presents! Give us your MONEY!" Third, my aunt has a good job, owns a nice home, and has all the things. I'm assuming this adult man she is marrying has at least some things. They probably will have two of many things. WHY DO THEY NEED MORE THINGS?


And to top it all off, my aunt is currently mad at my mother because she told my grandfather that bringing my grandmother (who has severe dementia, incontinence problems, and has an aide 24 hours a day) on a 4-hour roadtrip to this wedding was a terrible idea and he agreed.

Okay, so I know on that last issue she is definitely being crazy, but am I overreacting on all the other things? The name thing REALLY pissed me off. If I hadn't already bought a flight, I probably would have decided not to go. Is it really weird to have such a big wedding when you are getting remarried in your fifties? Should I actually buy her a gift card or can I skip that?


That was longer than I thought it would be. Here is a cute wedding-related puppy gif: