He May Be A “Fine Young Man” But His Connections Are Tacky Beyond Belief

by admin on March 25, 2010

My youngest daughter ( who is the apple of our eye) recently got married to a fine young man from South Africa. We could not ask for a better husband for her so I guess I will just have to get over these things that happened, although I still shudder when I remember them. We really went all out for this wedding since this was our baby and our last one. Her older sisters helped, too. We tried  to make it her dream wedding and spent a small fortune on it although we are not wealthy people. Everything was great . People came from all over the US, plus Africa, Australia and Sweden for the wedding . The wedding rehearsal dinner ( which we paid for most of that, since the Groom’s Mom is a widow ) and all the parties were beautiful and went off without a hitch.

Then came the wedding day. I spent most of the day at the site making sure the caters and wedding planner got everything right and it was beautiful. Then the wedding party started to arrive at the site. First of all the Groom’s Mother was smashed when she got there and proceeded to get worse as the evening wore on. She would not listen to anything the wedding planner told her. When the wedding was suppose to start and they started to escort her in we could not find her, then discovered she was stumbling around in the wedding venue talking to the seated quests.  Then she told the wedding planner her friend had to be seated up front with her and her “friend” was a young girl that she had met in the bar and she took her down the aisle with her and they were carrying glasses of wine. I found all this out after the ceremony. She then proceeded to the reception where she hit on every young guy there. Then my new son-in-law’s ‘s best man stood up and gave a speech and started to talk about all the great sex they were going to have. My husband was livid and wanted to hit him. Then one of the guys later on during rehearsal took off his pants and shirt and started walking around and we found this out when our photographer sent us our $3000 PICTURES AND HE HAD SHOOT ABOUT 5 PICTURES OF HIM.

To top it all off all of my family was there ( they are all very religious) and they just started leaving. I don’t blame them since I wanted to leave myself. I realize these people are from another country and have different customs, but come on . Show some class. Anyway you can bet it was an occasion I will never forget, but for the wrong reasons.   0822-08

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Amava March 25, 2010 at 6:52 am

I don’t think this has anything to do with culture… rather with lack thereof!


Maria March 25, 2010 at 8:11 am

Excuse me? This has nothing to do with these people being South African and everything to do with these people. It is beyond irrelevant that you drag in the ‘other country and different customs’, because people getting drunk is not a national custom – anymore than being obnoxious & morbidly obese would be an American ‘custom’. There are rude, ill-mannered people world-wide, as there are polite people too.

By the way? Looking at the “fine young man’s” mother & his best man leads me to believe that he may NOT be such a fine young man.


Mary-Anne March 25, 2010 at 8:21 am

I’m South African. Please, this is NOT a cultural issue, or “different customs”. There is no custom in South Africa (nor I suspect, anywhere else) for anyone to behave like this. It is a question of class, that’s all.


PinkPenguin March 25, 2010 at 8:44 am

While I wouldn’t hold the guests’ actions against the Groom (I’m assuming they’re all adults and can make their own decisions, bad as they were), I do hope he took his Mother to task for her appalling behavior.


Chocobo March 25, 2010 at 8:45 am

I don’t think this has much to do with culture either. I’m sure many South Africans?/Swedish?/Australians?/Americans? it’s unclear who was doing what, would be mortified to hear about the behavior of some of these people as representative of their country.


MouseyMouse March 25, 2010 at 10:33 am

Honestly I think it could have been worse. The groom’s mother carrying wine down the aisle is pretty ridiculous, but it only makes her look bad, not anyone else. As for the guy who took off his pants, again, ridiculous, but kind of hilarious and anyway, much worse has happened at weddings when guests get drunk. Frankly if I paid 3,000 for photographs and the photographer did NOT get pictures of this, I’d be annoyed. And it’s not like you have to frame those pictures, you know.

The problem here is that the bride’s family sounds rather reserved/religious/stuffy while the groom’s side seems a little wild and ready to cut loose at the party. It’s an age-old issue at weddings. If everything else went off well, and your daughter is happy and the groom is good to her, then just laugh it off. Really, it’s not the end of the world.

In closing, I have to admit there is a possibility that I’d rather hang out with the groom’s side at this wedding. I can’t condone being drunk at the ceremony or acting outrageous, but I bet overall the groom’s side (minus his mother) wasn’t that bad.


AS March 25, 2010 at 10:57 am

Sorry to hear that the beautifully planned for wedding was spoilt by tackiness of the guests. Hopefully your son-in-law turned out to be a fine man, which is good. He cannot help if he has tacky relatives.

I agree with others that it has nothing to their nationalities. There might be some etiquette differences between different cultures and it bothers me when I read stories about people going to a wedding of different culture, but bashes the hosts ’cause it did not fit the parameters set by the guest’s culture. But the behavior of your guest’s is simply unacceptable by anyone – maybe even the old cavemen would have condemned it!


Voice of Reason March 25, 2010 at 11:09 am

You’ll probably want to invoice your $3,000 photographer for those unwanted photos. Or your pantsless guest. You probably got about 1,000 photos — that works out to $3 per photo. With five photos of the guest, gee, you stand to make $15 off the deal!


Grape March 25, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I would NOT hold this against the groom. How many horror stories have we seen about the poster’s own family members. especially a parent? It would be very difficult not to invite a parent to one’s wedding, even when we know how horrible they will act.


Kelly March 25, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I can understand that the brides mother put a lot of money into this wedding so it irked her that it was not perfect. So, all you young people out there, if you want the wedding of your dreams and don’t want to annoy your parents, pay for it yourself and within your budget. The old traditions of parents paying for their children’s weddings is out dated and unneccesary in this day of age.


Annie March 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Beyond tacky of YOU to even mention the fact that the groom and his family came from a “different culture”. If they had behaved impeccably, would it have been worthy of mention that they were not from your culture? I can imagine that whatever your son-in-law does in the future, this incident will always highlight his “difference” to you.


Andrea March 25, 2010 at 6:30 pm

I really think this just sounds like extreme conservatism on the bride’s side. Sure some of that sounds a little outrageous but nothing that is out of the ordinary for events with an open bar!

There was no mention about how the bride or groom felt about it so it seems more like the mother’s issue and though her family is very religious doesn’t religion preach tolerance and forgiveness?


LeeLee88 March 25, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Annie, hold on now. I think the OP was just trying to ascertain whether or not there were certain things in other cultures that pertained to weddings that maybe she wasn’t aware of or some such. In some cultures drinking at all at the time of a wedding at all is verboten, and in others, booze flowing freely is simply how it’s done, along with the repercussions of said booze flowing freely.

Now it’s obvious to the rest of us that no, this has nothing to do with being a part of another culture, but as one poster put it, not having any culture at all. But the OP wasn’t aware, and she loves her son-in-law. Simply stating that someone is from a different country/culture is not rude, it’s a fact. For example, my husband is from Mexico. I say this frequently because I’m pretty proud of it, and it’s a statement of fact, nothing more. It comes across as though you are projecting your own feelings onto the OP’s post, and reading thoughts/feelings/assumptions that were not the OP’s in the first place.


Careen March 26, 2010 at 12:33 am

The more I read this story the more it sounds like this was the mother’s wedding. She planned a perfect wedding for her last daughter (who by the way, is “the apple of her eye”), mother ropes in other sisters to help (who were probably annoyed at finding out they had to help cater to the favourite daughter), mother organised every last detail of the wedding…….no, the bride and groom’s feelings aren’t mentioned anywhere. It’s not cultural, it about class – and mother showed zero of it with her intolerant attitude.


DanaF March 26, 2010 at 5:37 am

I agree with everyone here, as a South African, I can say with absolute certainty that it is NOT a culture thing. I got married last year, and we had a wonderfully classy affair, with no one getting drunk, pulling their pants down etc. And no one I know would behave like that at someone else’s wedding (and certainly not their own).

So I hope that you will not hold their behaviour against all South Africans and that you will not hold them against the groom either. The poor man was probably just as mortified as you were, and if not, then you’ll find out soon enough, but that’s a reflection on their family, not on our culture.


Anonymous March 26, 2010 at 10:04 am

All I can say is, I feel sorry for the older sisters. Mom definitely made it clear in this situation that Youngest Daughter was “the apple of [her] eye”, and obviously older daughters were just born to cater to Youngest Daughter’s wedding whims.


Pixie March 26, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Maria, I sincerely hope no one ever looks at my mother and thinks I am exactly like her. You can’t choose your family, and unfortunately, you are stuck with them.


phoenix March 26, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I find it odd the bride and groom aren’t part of this story. Were they embarrassed? Was the groom making faces during the speeches? Did the bride look upset? Were either of them surprised by the family’s behavior? It just seems odd that the groom, the reason the tacky guests were there, isn’t even mentioned. And that the bride who the day was ostensibly *for* wasn’t referred to for information about customs or guests. You get the impression the mother here didn’t even notice the couple on their wedding day or consider how they thought *their* wedding was going.

I also agree that putting this to culture is a bit weird, but if the conservative family is truly not used to any other cultures they could be excused. Heck, our redneck weddings around here would be culture shock to them, as public drunkenness IS expected (not proud, I hate it, but it’s true). At least she’s trying to get over an unpleasant turn of events and will hopefully grow to know the groom and his culture a bit better, to avoid mis-attributing tackyness in the future. Heck, maybe they’ll bond over his tacky mother!


Penguin March 27, 2010 at 4:40 am

All the groom’s mother’s behaviour is clearly due to being drunk, but who knows what pressures drove her to drink that day? Perhaps there are family problems. Perhaps she is an alcoholic, or on medication, or has a medical problem. Perhaps someone was pressing it on her and she wasn’t strong enough to resist. Perhaps getting smashed was the only way this widow, faced with a formal wedding full of international strangers, could get through the day.

Did any of these “very religious” people try to understand what was going on? Did any of them try to help?


Other Perspective March 27, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Is it my imagination, or is declaring oneself “very religious” rather like filling one’s pockets with raw meat before scuba diving?

For instance, if the LW hadn’t said that of her family, would Penguin be demanding to know whether the LW’s family tried to stage an intervention for the MOG? Or would Andrea be making comments about how you can’t expect adults to behave with any measure of decorum when you have an open bar?

In short, if the LW had not mentioned her family’s religious predilections, would her letter undergo the kind of dissection here, complete with almost everyone commenting trying to find an excuse to call the LW a Wicked Witch of the Wedding?

Think about that, please.


Joanne March 27, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Again, Other Perspective, I don’t think the issue is that the poster is religious or not but that she seems to have confused “culture” with “class”. I find it interesting that the mother of the bride has taken affront at how things went at “her” wedding – has she discussed this issue with her daughter, the self-confessed apple of her eye? What perhaps should be asked – and has indeed been asked here – if the guests had behaved impeccably and not put a foot wrong, would it have been put down to their cultural pedigree? I don’t think so, and I think the poster has insulted many people with her assumptions.


Maureen March 28, 2010 at 4:35 am

I would just like to say that you should not judge someone by their family. My father is an abusive, foul-mouthed annoyance that cannot leave young women alone. My mother was a stoic, extremely judgmental woman. My brother and I are nothing like that. If anything our parents taught us how NOT to behave.


amy March 28, 2010 at 5:45 am

Lets face the facts that MANY people that come and go to weddings are trashed….it just so happens that the MOG was trashed……and many of the other family members were too……maybe that’s the way it always is…..some families have raging alcohol problems…..not just 2-3, but the whole family. Sad, but true. I am thinking that is why this was not a problem for the groom…..as this family is always trashed at events like this……..”par for the course”


Other Perspective March 28, 2010 at 6:07 pm

No possibility that some of the Groom’s family told MOB that this was, in fact, the way things were done back home? It just seems odd to me that she would speak with such certainty about this being a “cultural” thing.

Also, isn’t the bride an adult? Why should, in fact, her mother be responsible for conveying an adult daughter’s impressions and feelings on the matter?

She specifies that she was trying to give her youngest the wedding of the YOUNGEST’S dreams, by the way.

Cut the woman some slack. The things she reports are, in fact, etiquette faux pas. It’s obvious that she thinks her new son-in-law is a fine young man, and just wishes that the set of in-laws that came with him were a little less obnoxious and/or self-absorbed.


Andrea March 28, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Now hold on Other Perspective, I didn’t say you ‘can’t expect adults to behave with any measure of decorum when you have an open bar’ I just said it’s ‘nothing that is out of the ordinary for events with an open bar.’ Some adults can handle it, some can’t. If the family was unable to handle the consequences of such behaviour they should have had a dry wedding.

I find religion completely inoffensive if people don’t use it to judge others as this lady has.


PrincessSimmi March 28, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Let’s get some perspective here.

Weddings are meant to be fun. There is always something that goes wrong. If the biggest thing that went wrong on the day is a few people getting drunk and one bad speech, count yourself lucky.

I’m a bridesmaid next year, and my brother is a groomsman. He is two years younger and completely irresponsible, and also an alcoholic (and I love him regardless, he’s my baby brother). When I found out we were both in the wedding party, I told him if he got drunk and made an arse out of himself on the day, he’d lost his favourite appendage. He’s been on his absolute best behaviour since, got a job, etc… although I have to say threatening people is NOT the way to go normally, this time it made it through his thick skull.


Other Perspective March 29, 2010 at 9:54 am

Andrea, you are still arguing that adults shouldn’t be expected to control themselves when booze enters the room; you’re asserting, in fact, that some adults are simply not going to, so treat them all like children.

Ah, but there’s the catch: This treatment would necessarily arise out of a religious prejudice that drunkenness and its attendant misconduct are undesirable–so they’re still judging, aren’t they? (Especially the already-drunk MOG, who would’ve been drunk even with a dry wedding.) And thus, they would still fall afoul of your personal demands that their religious beliefs be kept irrelevant (“extreme conservatism”; “though her family is very religious doesn’t religion preach tolerance and forgiveness?”), wouldn’t they?

Why do you think you can dictate to others what they have a right to find offensive, Andrea? Why do you think you can tell other people what they’re allowed to judge and what they’re not? Aren’t YOU imposing YOUR beliefs on others when you do that?

What I am saying here–and have been–is that it seems like the Can of Judgment was opened on a lady who mentioned that her family is “very religious”, in ways that it hasn’t been on those who omitted that detail in their contributions. I’m trying to get people to ask themselves honestly why they’re judging the MOB so harshly. Those who have a knee-jerk reaction to the word “religious” should not speak of “tolerance”.


Elizabeth Bunting March 29, 2010 at 1:27 pm

I don’t think the contributor meant to say it was a case of race or culture, so was just trying to make an allowance for perhaps a different custom, though she really did not think so.

It had nothing to do with culture or race, just proper behaviour that is expected of everyone. These people sound like the horrible exception, not the rule.

Just my opinion.



Andrea March 29, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Nope, still just saying some adults can handle it and some can’t. And as I said if the MOB and her family didn’t want to deal with the consequences of adults in a room drinking they should have had a dry wedding. Many people do it nowadays and it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

Seeing as the MOB said that her and her family’s distaste for the behaviour came from their religious beliefs I thought it only fair to point out the basic tenets of religion (I’ll make them irrelevant when the poster does). I’m not imposing my beliefs on them, just being realistic about what is going to happen if you put alcohol in a room with people (especially a room full of adults they didn’t know and therefore couldn’t assess their drinking/social habits), seeing as they weren’t.

With a little forethought and yes, perhaps a little more understanding they could have enjoyed the occasion a lot more and ignored the undesirable parts.


YertleTurtle March 30, 2010 at 11:24 pm

It seems ridiculous to me that a couple “should have a dry wedding” just in case some guests are rude enough to drink to excess and behave badly. Limiting the types and amount of alcohol might be more reasonable, but ultimately, each individual is responsible for how much they drink and how they behave. Besides, in this case, MOG arrived drunk. A dry wedding couldn’t have changed that. I also don’t think it’s just ‘religious’ people who would find the behaviour described to be very rude.


Mechtilde March 31, 2010 at 4:59 am

It should be possible to have a wedding where alcohol is served without having to worry about guests getting drunk. Getting obviously drunk is very rude indeed.

Even if the wedding under discussion had been dry, it would have been entirely possible for the MOG and other guests to get drunk beforehand, or during the ceremony and reception by smuggling alcohol in.

The organisers are not responsible for the bad behaviour of the guests because they served alcohol- it is entirely the fault of the guests for failing to moderate their consumption.


TheUnlikelyBallerina April 3, 2010 at 1:30 pm

It is so very “classy” to start out a story by stating that one of your children is “the apple of your eye”. Way to play favourite, mom!


BeenThereDoneThat May 26, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Sorry, Mom. You sound a little heavy handed with the wedding. Offer to pay for none, some, most or all of the wedding, but then please step back and let the couple do the planning.


Lady_Lazarus October 8, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Maybe the mother of the groom was drinking because she missed her husband at this event, since the OP just had to make it known for whatever irrelevant reason that she paid for most of the wedding since she was a widow. I think the OP comes off as rather offensive, and strictly conservative … a few funny wedding photos are nothing to get upset about, it is, after all, a celebration!


CapeGrace July 13, 2011 at 8:48 am

I find that what this mother has said, in very poor taste. This was not a cultural thing, but rather bad behaviour. Just because this group of people acted in such a way does not mean that they do not have culture! I’m South African and am very offended. In response to your comment: “I realize these people are from another country and have different customs, but come on . Show some class.” No – YOU show some class!


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