A Toasty Battle Over A Toast

by admin on November 9, 2010

I don’t know who’s at fault in this story. I hope it’s not me, but it very well might be. Hopefully you and your readers can shed some light on it.

I was married to a wonderful man earlier this month, and my maid of honor was my beloved little sister, “Nina,” age 19. I’m older by nearly eight years, and we are the only two children in our family, so it may go without saying that I’ve always been a little protective of her. Along with Nina, I had asked my three college roommates and best friends to be bridesmaids. They are all older than me by one year, putting nearly a decade between them and Nina. Of the four of us, “Carly” has always been the ringleader and mouthpiece.

Nina has always been shy, so I went out of my way to make sure she was comfortable with everything leading up to the wedding and with the older girls. I asked my bridesmaids to do the same. Throughout the process, Carly insisted I was being overprotective, and that Nina could speak up for herself. Thinking of myself at that age, and realizing that Nina and I are of a similar temperament, I agreed that this was probably the case and left them to it. The one thing I did insist on was discussing the maid of honor’s toast with Nina. It was the first wedding she’d been to, so she didn’t know this was something that was done, and I didn’t want it sprung on her. After discussing it, Nina and I agreed that all the bridesmaids would give the toast together, so that she could be a part of it but wouldn’t have to stand up by herself. The other girls thought this was a fine idea – they would have done whatever I asked in this regard.

For whatever reason, the toast was not yet written on the day of the wedding. Carly took her usual leadership role and organized something while we were at the hairdresser’s. Unfortunately, Nina was having her hair done during this time (the others were finished) and was not involved in the conversation. However, Nina had elected to go running the night before during the time Carly had set aside for them all to work on the toast. Of course, it was disorganization on the part of all four of them that led to this being done so late in the game, so I see no point in isolating one person to blame. Carly left room in the toast she crafted for whatever Nina might want to say, gave her the notes to look over, and asked her to add her ideas. Meanwhile, the rest of us went on a drug store run for caffeine, leaving Nina with a friend of hers.

When we returned, Nina was in tears and being hovered over by my parents, who immediately pulled Carly aside to dress her down for “excluding” Nina from the toast. From what I gathered, Carly had written stories of our college years for herself and the other two to tell, and for obvious reasons Nina did not have a similar story and was having trouble coming up with something to say. I asked to be left alone with Nina, who immediately calmed herself (she is an emotive person, as am I, but we both recognize it) and began to apologize for her overreaction. I was also crying at this point – it was my wedding day, and I’d been weepy for hours already, so this just pushed me over the edge – and apologizing to HER because I felt badly that she was upset. At this point, my aunt (mother’s brother’s wife) arrived, took all four bridesmaids into a separate room (leaving me completely alone in the dressing room hours before my wedding) and began to rewrite their toast “for” them, the implication being that they couldn’t be trusted to handle it. These are three women in their late 20s and Nina, who although young is very smart and capable and an editor at her college newspaper. At one point my aunt she had to step out to help my mother, and Carly apologized to Nina, discussed some toast ideas with her, and began writing them up, but then “Aunt Toastmaster” returned, disregarded this interaction, and began rewriting again.

So, what do you think? Was Nina overreacting? Was Carly excluding her? Were my parents and aunt right to get involved? Should I have done more?

The toast turned out nicely, by the way. And I bear no ill feelings toward anyone in this story. My concern is that now my family dislikes Carly (they were gossiping at the airport about how “mean” she is) and Carly and our other two friends think my family members are “crazy.” They do acknowledge that weddings make everyone crazy, and much to my relief, no one seems to blame Nina for anything…although maybe they just know better than to say so to me. 1029-10

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Hal November 9, 2010 at 6:53 am

Don’t worry about this at all. It’s over. The toast went well. You are on your way in life with the man you love. Do not become involved in a “rehash” of what happened. That is gossip. No good will come of it. Best wishes to you both.

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QueenofAllThings November 9, 2010 at 6:56 am

Well, weddings DO make people crazy. I imagine each person was trying to do what she thought right, and each was trying to make you happy. Auntie sounds like a take-charge kind of gal and I’m sure she thought she was helping.

As you say, it all turned out right in the end – and if this is the worst thing that happened leading up to your big day, count your blessings! I don’t think anyone did anything wrong per se – just lots of emotionally charged moments, which is pretty typical.

Time will fix your family’s attitude towards Carly – this too shall pass.

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Katie November 9, 2010 at 7:50 am

Your bridesmads including Carly were doing Nina a favour as she didn’t want to do the Matron of Honour toast by herself and yet she decided to go running when they set aside the time to draft it?/! And what were they supposed to write – of ocurse they were going to write about their own memories with you – they weren’t writing a family toast FOR Nina.
And your parents then told off Carly??If anyone was rude here, they were to her. carly had no need to apologise to Nina and I feel sorry for her, trying to keep the peace bewteen your rather domineering family members. – your parents and aunt shouldn’t have got involved and Nina should have just written in her stories to the toast rather than crying. It does sound like your aunt was just trying to help though in a situation that had got way out of control – for no reason.
So, to sum up, Nina needs to grow up, you parents should not have got involved and Carly behaved just fine, in my opinon. Which of course is worth what you paid for it.

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Princesssimmi November 9, 2010 at 7:58 am

Sounds to me like it was just miscommunication and too many cooks spoiling the broth.

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Bint November 9, 2010 at 8:19 am

I fel really sorry for Carly. She finally got everyone organised, explained it all to Nina (who chooses to go out when the toast is being written), leaves room for Nina’s story then *still* gets baracked by your parents, aunt and family!

I don’t think Nina was over-reacting – I think she was being very silly and reacting to nothing at all. She’s your sister – of course her stories won’t be like your friends’. That’s what makes it interesting. Maybe she was emotional on your wedding day, but really, she is an adult. Why her being upset at being unable to think of anything turned into an accusation that they had left her out, I don’t understand at all. Especially since they had all discussed it previously.

How awful of your parents to scold Carly – and your sister should have stopped them or spoken for herself, at her age. How very rude of your aunt, and how horrible of your family to call Carly mean. She did her job, Nina chose to get upset about nothing at all (from your story), and suddenly SHE is the bad guy! I’m sorry, but Nina *is* quite a lot to blame for starting the drama by crying, going running instead of working on the wedding toast (!!) and not making it plain to your parents that she wasn’t being excluded/assuming she was.

I don’t think you should have to do more on your wedding day, but I do think you should make it very clear to your family that your friend was not mean in the slightest. I would also apologise profusely to Carly. Your parents and aunt treated her very badly, and if I were her I wouldn’t be very impressed with Nina either. Yes, I would think your family members were crazy for acting like that too (Nina is a grown woman!), but I suspect Carly was also very hurt.

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AMC November 9, 2010 at 8:43 am

This reminds me a lot of my own wedding. Temporary insanity during a wedding spreads faster than a seasonal flu. I think your aunt overstepped her bounds and Nina overreacted for no reason. The bridesmaids also probably shouldn’t have waited so late to write the speech. But this sort of thing happens at all weddings. I remember my younger sister, who was also my MOH, feeling left out by my friends/bridesmaids, but they had more experience with wedding planning than she did. There are always little feuds and tiffs. I agree with the other posters that it’s best to let it go. However, if your family ever badmouthes Carly again, you should not hesitate to stand up for her and let them know she is still a good friend of yours who worked hard to make sure you had a nice wedding day.

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SHOEGAL November 9, 2010 at 8:50 am

This is a story about pure drama – time will indeed temper all the over reacting until it is viewed as just silly & stupid. I actually think Nina could have stepped up to the plate and done her part – but I kind of feel like she has had her hand held by the OP and her own parents her entire life. They enabled her to be an emotional wimp. That is the way it looks at any rate.

The Aunt took charge and felt like she saved the day which will be the way she will remember it for years to come. Carly is only guilty of assuming that Nina was mature enough to do her part – she didn’t realize she needed to hold her hand her through the entire process like everyone else does.

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Chocobo November 9, 2010 at 9:00 am

Definitely too many cooks. Everyone here had good intentions — trying to “save” the wedding day by writing the last-minute toast. Carly might have wanted to prod Nina to organize the toast instead of organizing it herself, since Nina is the Maid of Honor. She is young and doesn’t know how these things work, but she is old enough to feel like her special position is being usurped.

I don’t blame Carly for putting this all together, because it really had to be done, but during sensitive events like this, I know it is easy for people’s feelings to get hurt. Perhaps Nina went on a run because she felt like she wasn’t needed, as her position of Maid of Honor seemed rather diminished.

I don’t personally think it was a good idea to change your mind and “leave them to it” — especially when Nina is so much younger, the other three girls all know each other and have done this before. That sounds like a recipe for exclusion, and even if it wasn’t on purpose. I know that if I were 19, and the Maid of Honor, and timid, being in a situation where the other bridesmaids were much older and closer to each other, and were my sister’s best friends, I would be extremely intimidated and uncomfortable already. I would not feel comfortable speaking up.

That said, Auntie coming in and trying to save the day was in good intentions, but poor taste. She was just trying to help you out by organizing your very unorganized bridesmaids, and at that point I might have done the same thing. Clearly the whole thing was upsetting you and not something you wanted or should have had to deal with on your wedding day (from your bridesmaids, your sister, your parents, or otherwise). Honestly if it were my parents I think they would have told my sister to suck it up for now and just write her part of the speech, instead of making a big deal out of her and putting stress on you, the bride.

All-in-all, it came out okay so I wouldn’t worry. It sounds like everyone here shares some of the blame for this, but they all had your interests at heart, and that’s what counts.

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L. November 9, 2010 at 9:03 am

There doesn’t need to be a maid of honor toast. My MOH didn’t want to do one, so we skipped it. None of the guests complained about not having to sit through another toast :)

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Katie November 9, 2010 at 9:11 am

Bint, you and I are of one mind!

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Giles November 9, 2010 at 9:14 am

At one of my niece’s wedding, her maid of honour got under-the-table drunk before her speech and my then sixteen-year-old daughter ended up giving an off the cuff speech that was funny and sweet. It was probably the smoothest part of that wedding (which in an eHell story in itself).

I’d say Nina was the main offender here. She might be shy, but was is a grown woman and should have been about to insert herself into the writing. She either blew them off or avoided them. At nineteen, you shouldn’t have to have family members butt in for you. But then, it was a hectic time and I’m sure everyone was on the edge. At least it worked out.

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winter November 9, 2010 at 9:15 am

These are the sorts of stories that frankly are boring. Who cares about a toast? And why in the world do we upset so many people and include so many faces in something that is not that important? I have been to hundreds of weddings and I can count on ONE hand the number of maid-of-honor/bridesmaids toasts there even were. It may be tradition, but a minute thing to upset people over, for people to blame others for, and for people to get their feelings hurt over. Good lord people, there are real tragedies out there and this ain’t one of them!

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Patti Purcell November 9, 2010 at 9:18 am

If this was the only bad thing count your blessings. I do think It was wrong of Nina to leave the night before, when they were working on the toast. No, Carly was not wrong, all Nina had to do, was add some wonderful comments about her sister and somthing they had shared. What is all the fuss about.
Hope the rest of your day was wonderful.

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jenna November 9, 2010 at 9:31 am

I feel bad for Carly and Nina, but slightly worse for Carly who tried to step up and get things done. Nina also got a bad deal but she did decide to go running at a poorly chosen time. In the real world if you have a group project due, which a communal toast arguably is, you don’t go off and do your own thing when time has been scheduled to work on it. That’s the easiest way to get poor performance reviews and “picked last” for team projects in the working world.

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etimodnar November 9, 2010 at 9:33 am

“So, what do you think? Was Nina overreacting? Was Carly excluding her? Were my parents and aunt right to get involved? Should I have done more?”

Yes, Nina was overreacting. Wedding days are BUSY (having just been involved in one and planning my own in 2 months) and stressful, so it’s understandable. But it is overreacting.

No, Carly was not excluding her. Where is the bit in the story that involved Carly excluding her? I cannot see it.

Maybe, your parents dressing down Carly didn’t seem fair to her at all! What on earth did she do to actually deserve that? Carly did not make Nina cry. Your Aunt seemed to be helping out as best as she saw fit. They hadn’t come up with a proper speech by that point, she probably thought (as I would have thought) that they needed serious help.

I don’t think you should have sheltered Nina so much. Sure, she’s your little sister. I have a 7-yrs-my-junior sister too, but by 19 she can take care of herself and is responsible for herself and her decisions. Going jogging when the time to write the speech had been set was foolish. Overreacting when she couldn’t think of a lifetime’s worth of potential stories was melodramatic. It was sweet of you to look out for her, and I would have done the same in the beginning. But then I would have let her go a bit more once her role was established.

My advice is not to dwell on it. You’ve said the day went successfully. There will always be things you could have done better. But focus on all the good things that happened rather than marring them with a less-than-perfect memory.

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Just Laura November 9, 2010 at 9:37 am

I agree wholeheartedly with Bint and Katie. At 19, Nina is 100% adult and should act like it. It doesn’t take two brain cells to figure out that her toast would be different from the other ladies’ toasts – yet that’s what makes it special.

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Jillybean November 9, 2010 at 9:49 am

Interesting – I think I’m going to take a different position than the others who have posted so far. The thing that struck me first in this post was this:

The one thing I did insist on was discussing the maid of honor’s toast with Nina. It was the first wedding she’d been to, so she didn’t know this was something that was done, and I didn’t want it sprung on her.

There is no hard and fast rule that the MOH HAS to make a toast. In fact, at least were I live, it seems to be a recent tradition, and 9 times out of 10 only the BM speaks. At my own wedding my mom was actually the one to make the toast.

Perhaps all of this could have been avoided had the OP (who, indeed is likely being overprotective) had simply ASKED her sister if she would LIKE to make a toast. Now, perhaps she did, but that is not apparent in the story. The story makes it sound more like the OP “told” her sister she was expected/required to make a toast and then further arranged the terms of the toast. I wonder how much smoother it would have gone had she simply asked her sister and then based on response left her to it. Seems like Nina skipping the toast planning (which was rude btw), might have been her passive aggressive way of showing that she wasn’t actually interested in the toast.

Anyway – sure there were a lot of busy-bodies and miscommunications in the process, but as others would say, it went smoothly, and it’s over. But if you are really concerned that any of the parties think ill of the other, simply have an answer at the ready whenever the subject might come up. For example, “Oh, don’t say that about Carly. She was actually trying to help but it just got a bit miscommunicated in the confusion of the big day.”

Congratulations on your marriage.

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Chicalola November 9, 2010 at 10:14 am

I think it’s unfair to down on Nina in this story, she was barely an adult, and from the OP’s statement, a sensitive shy person. She may have overreacted……but that type of person, and being a little immature would play in to that. The poor friend who actually took charge and seemed to help quite a bit did not deserve the treatment she received from the rest of the family. Over all, miscommunication is to blame…

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gramma dishes November 9, 2010 at 10:15 am

I think you should explain once and for all to your family that Carly was not “mean” in any way and was, in fact, doing a great job in her role. Make that very clear!

Next you should sincerely apologize to Carly for your sister’s, your aunt’s and your parents’ behavior in all this mess. A nice Thank You note, acknowledging what a difficult situation your family produced for her and expressing your gratitude for her skillful handling of it.

Then you should forget it. The wedding toast fiasco is over. The toast turned out fine after all and the wedding was wonderful and you are now beginning a new life with the man you love. That should be your focus from this point forward.

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Allie November 9, 2010 at 11:11 am

If I were in this spot, I would have told parents and aunt to butt out and asked Carly and sister to work it out, which they were clearly capable of doing. Of course, I wouldn’t have been in this spot since I eloped (thank goodness – best decision I ever made). BTW, a question mark and exclamation mark together (?!) are a perfectly legit form of punctuation that actually has a name – interrobang. No need to divide them with a slash. (Sorry, but those of us who enjoy etiquette sites also tend to be a wee bit pedantic).

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Louise November 9, 2010 at 11:25 am

The whole point of a toast is that it’s personalized. It makes no sense for the college friends to try to write Nina’s, and it makes even less sense for the aunt to write anyone’s, especially as three-quarters of the toasts were done and Nina was working on hers. I can sort of understand why Nina cried if she felt stressed out about producing the perfect toast because her sister doesn’t deserve anything less. I don’t understand why she picked that time to go running though.

I agree with a previous poster who said it’s a case of too many cooks spoil the broth. It sounds to me like Carly recognized the disorganization and took control. I’m glad the toasts turned out well in spite of it all, OP.

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Rattus November 9, 2010 at 11:25 am

Is Nina a simpering fool because she’s overprotected, or is she overprotected because she’s a simpering fool? If the first, her family needs to push her out of the nest in order to teach her to fend for herself. At nineteen, she is of an age where she could marry herself – that makes her a woman, not a child, and she should behave like one. If the second, well, I guess you do need to look out for her to some extend.

Carly should be commended for taking on such a task and is in no way at fault in this matter.

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AS November 9, 2010 at 11:33 am

When you have four of your friends for bridesmaids, and your kid-sister who is about a decade younger than you, then the stories are obviously going to be different. If you want your bridesmaids to give you a toast, I think it would be pretty awful to expect them to exclude all the times that they are related to you, just to fit in your sister. As Katie said, they are not going to write the toast for MOH!

Nina’s story with your would be different. But that is expected. There was no reason for her to be upset. And sorry to say, but I think it is awful of your parents to corner Carly! She NEVER excluded Nina. In fact, she kept Nina’s portion blank AND she also apologized to Nina when she realized Nina was upset. So, instead talking to Nina and maybe help start her thought process, your parents tried to “dress her (Carly) down” for upsetting their beloved princess! And not only that, your family gossiped about Carly – the girl who finally organized the other wedding party members to write the toast so that YOU get a beautiful toast – the whole time after that. (By the way, if you had 4BMs + 1MOH, all five of them and not just four are to be blamed for the delay to write the toast). I’d be very upset if I were Carly. Some people can take leadership better than others. So, I don’t see anything wrong in her starting the group to write (she didn’t seem to be dominating) – especially as your MOH was unable to do so. Kudos to Carly and your other BMs for giving a wonderful toast despite everything that happened just before the wedding.

Nina might be the “baby” for you and your parents. But to the world she is an adult. You might be protective about kid-sister, but it is not fair to expect everyone to do that. One of my pet peeves is when people tell me to be nice to their “adult” kid brother/sister, because they are the “baby” in their family! Why should I do that? They are YOUR baby sibling, not mine! In fact, the world is full of people who have been the MOH when they are 19, and taken full responsibility for the position. If you are going to be overprotective about her for being shy, she’ll never grow up!

Unfortunately, you (OP) seem to be caught in a delicate situation. You obviously like your family and Nina, and also like your friends; but both seem to be blaming each other. Maybe you’ll have to think about the things to yourself without being protective about your sister, and find out who was actually at fault – Nina or Carly.

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AS November 9, 2010 at 11:36 am

PS… I might be mistakened about the sentence “(By the way, if you had 4BMs + 1MOH, all five of them and not just four are to be blamed for the delay to write the toast)”. I read 3 of your roommates and best friend, thus making it 4 – but maybe you meant that they were your college roommates as well as best friends; in which case my statement is void, and I apologise.

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The Cat Whisperer November 9, 2010 at 11:39 am

Let it all go.

It’s over. You acknowledge that it ended up okay. You also acknowledge, correctly, that although a happy occasion, a wedding is a stressful occasion for those in the wedding party.

Over-analyzing a situation can be as conducive to bad feelings as not thinking about a situation can be. What is also true is that to a very large extent, what you and the others make of this situation is what you and they choose to make of it, and that speaks of the kinds of people you are.

At the end of the day, you get to choose: are you and the others the kind of people who file this story away as something to laugh about as the years go by (“Gosh! Weren’t we all making a lot of stew out of such a little oyster, and it all worked out! How funny!”), or are you and the others the kind of people who brood over every little thing that happened and search for reasons to be angry/upset/resentful/sad?

FWIW, nobody ever went to their grave regretting that they took the high road and let the little stuff go. That should be all you need to know.

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Typo Tat November 9, 2010 at 11:42 am

I think Aunt Toastmaster did the right thing. The girls really were not to be trusted writing the toast on their own, seeing as they still didn’t have it figured out on the wedding day.

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livvy November 9, 2010 at 11:45 am

I’m with Katie and Bint. Nina chose to go running instead of participating, knowing that it was already quite late in the game, then went crying to the bride on her wedding day when she felt excluded, even though she wasn’t. She’s 19, not 9, and as you said, an editor at her college newspaper. Surely she understands deadlines? Does she cry to her publisher when she goes running instead of editing copy on time?

Your family also should not have scolded your friend, and I agree with the others who say you should let them know very clearly that Carly was only trying to do her best by you. I’d also apologize to Carly.
Then, after all of that, I’d start making jokes about how wound up everyone gets at weddings, where the most minor details seem to be blown up into full-scale catastrophes.

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Genevieve November 9, 2010 at 12:14 pm

The past is the past but I feel the author of the story is laying a lot of blame at the feet of Carly and the aunt. Everyone had some way in which they could have acted better, but this is how I see it:

Carly:
Cons:
* Made disparaging comments about sister (that she’s being overprotected) that should not have been voiced, but then again, you are close friends and so she may have genuinely felt that she was bringing in a valid concern – it’s hard to say when you can’t hear the tone or know how the actual conversations took place.
Pros:
* Participated in the toast – a responsibility that should have been Nina’s.
* Organized the bridesmaids to put together a toast – a responsibility that, again, should have been Nina’s.
* Gave Nina the opportunity to participate in the creation of the toast, which Nina chose not to do (by going jogging instead).
* Actually wrote part of the toast along with the other bridesmaids. Yet again, Nina’s responsibility.
* Tried to structure said toast in such a way that Nina could still participate and have originality by simply writing her own story.

Nina:
Pros:
* Eventually did participate in the actual giving of the toast.
Cons:
* Did not participate in organizing the other girls to put the toast together.
* Chose not to come when the other bridesmaids wanted to work on the toast the night before.
* When it came time to actually work on her part of the toast, broke down in tears and claimed that she couldn’t do it because the other girls were being mean to her.

Auntie:
Cons:
* Overbearing, possibly bossy.
* Rewrote the toast the girls came up with on her own.
Pros:
* Saw a group of young women on the brink of collapse on a day of great importance to the bride and took control of them, ensuring the creation of an acceptable toast and thus making sure that something that already caused poster, the bride, great distress was a) Taken care of and b) No longer a source of distress.

My Personal Verdict:

Carly may have been a little overbearing (honestly, it’s hard to tell when one can’t witness behavior directly) but when you boil things down to the facts, she went above and beyond by stepping up to fulfill the duties that Nina either couldn’t or didn’t want to. In return, she was bullied and chastised by the author’s family. This woman, in my opinion, could very well be submitting her side of the story next week.

Nina chose not to participate despite being given several opportunities. Could it be that Carly in fact picked a time (twice) that Nina was going to be unavailable? Possibly, yes, and I have seen “mean girls” do this in the past. However, Nina could still have easily thwarted Carly in this by being assertive and *doing her duty as maid of honor* by organizing the creation of the toast herself. So even if Carly did deliberately leave Nina out, Nina is not blameless because if Nina had organized this herself she would have never been left out. Nina also broke down in to tears when it came time to actually try and fulfill the one small part of her duty. She may “only” be 19, but 19 is an adult and old enough to see that she had responsibilities to fulfill and that the day was not about her. But she broke down, essentially making sure that all attention was on *her*, and making sure everyone had to take care of *her* and that *she* was the one who deserved special consideration. Despite the bride’s kind words about her sister, I would be interested in this girl’s true motives and how the family dynamic works. At the least, Nina showed a great deal of immaturity and a selfish streak.

Auntie? Should probably have let the girls have more control over the creation of the toast, but since we can’t see what the toast was, who knows what state it was in before she got to it. Maybe it was a lot better, but it could also have been inappropriate. At any rate, it seems like her intentions were good and since the toast turned out well, I think she gets a pass.

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Amp2140 November 9, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I think everyone should have written a shorter piece. The college friends would have mostly had college stories, and Nina would have had sister things.

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Oh Joy November 9, 2010 at 1:18 pm

The way I see it, the biggest misstep was involving the bride in this matter on the wedding day. The bride and groom’s job on their wedding day is to focus on the vows they’re making to each other and the enjoyment of the celebration.

The toast is only a few moments of the day, and this should have been handled like any other hiccup in food/decor/guest logistics – quickly and quietly and with limited knowledge or involvement by the bride or groom (sometimes a quick consultation on their preference is appropriate, but the best family members will shield those two from any drama).

To answer your specific questions, Nina and Carly both could have handled it better or worse both in preparation and day-of, and Mom and Aunt could have limited their involvement to having ONE of them help Nina choose some things to say.

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Amazed November 9, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Stuff happens. Let it go.

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Amanda November 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm

It seems to me as you should not have put such an emphasis on the toast. You chose your sister as the MOH and you should have asked her if she wanted to make a toast. Instead you decided to have all of your bridesmaids do it, probably making your sister fell as if you did not trust her or did not want her to do it. A toast is supposed to be about how the toaster feels about the person. This should have been left to the MOH to handle, if she so chose.

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Sharon November 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Princessimmi nailed it… too many people involved.
“Much ado about nothing.”
Nina should have not gone running when she did… hopefully she now knows that Carly and the others were trying to help her.
Carly sonds like a good friend to not have taken everything personal and ruined the day for you.
I do agree with Carly, though… some folks sound like they were a little crazy. But, crazy is what keeps life from being boring sometimes.

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OP November 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm

To clarify, Nina was upset not at being “excluded” (this was my parents’ interpretation of events) but because she couldn’t think of anything to say for the toast. It’s a silly thing to cry about, but understandable given her shyness, I feel. When I talked to her about it, she was embarrassed and begged me not to bring it up with Carly, not knowing that our parents were already doing so.

I will fully admit to being an overprotective big sister, though I’m trying to break myself of the habit. :-)

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Skoffin November 9, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I agree with Bint.

I am going to disagree with other posters on the ‘let it go’ front, however. If people were bad mouthing a friend of mine who did nothing wrong then I am not going to stand back and let them do so. You don’t need to make it a heated argument, but pointing out that Carly was in no way mean would not be out of place. I know we like to not get involved and let thing blow over, but human nature does not work like that. Over time people may forget this incident, but people tend to hold onto feelings. At the moment they think Carly is mean because of this, but after time they will only remember that ‘there was something she did, but she’s bad news’. If you intend on keeping someone in your life and they may overlap with other people you know, it’s generally best to keep things good or neutral between them. You don’t want to let bad blood form between them.
And, frankly, I don’t think I would be much of a friend if I didn’t stand up for injustices against them.

Carly went to great strides to make Nina feel comfortable, and Nina did absolutely nothing towards getting others to lay off Carly. Nina needs to act her age. If she didn’t feel up to writing a speech on her own then she should have been there for the organised planning session, or have at least backed out of the speech altogether. You don’t cry because you don’t have a college story and then let your family ambush another bridesmaid. The parents were rude, and I don’t have sympathy for Nina.

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Abby November 9, 2010 at 3:09 pm

I feel so sorry for Carly. Whether or not Nina should have stepped up to the plate or whether she overreacted is not as glaringly wrong to me as the parents chewing out another adult over something so silly. Mom and Dad were so far out of line from what I can tell I can’t believe the OP did not apologize on their behalf to Carly, or that she would even consider what they did okay.

Let’s review: Nina doesn’t want to or know how to write a speech. Carly writes a portion for her that does not relate to her, with the suggestion she write in her own ideas. Nina has a meltdown, runs crying to her parents, who take it upon themselves to SCOLD their daughter’s friend??? I am sorry OP, but if I witnessed that I really wouldn’t think too highly of your family, and I think “crazy” is probably one of the nicer adjectives I’d apply to them. Please tell your parents Carly is not mean(based on the story you have told us anyways), and they really owe her an apology.

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Simone November 9, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Wow, what a storm in a teacup.

Add me to the chain of posters agreeing with Bint.

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Bint November 9, 2010 at 3:26 pm

For everyone telling the OP to move on and forget it, she did specifically say that her concern is about her family disliking Carly *now* because of this. She isn’t holding grudges towards anyone and is happy about the toast, but she is asking about a current situation.

OP, when you say at the end “much to my relief, no one seems to blame Nina for anything…although maybe they just know better than to say so to me”, I’d think it’s very likely that people *do* blame Nina, and with good cause, but they aren’t going to say so to you because a) that would be very rude, b)it’s over and c) witnessing how your parents behaved would make this risky. When Carly suggested she was over-protected, I think she was spot-on from everything else you wrote. What kind of sister cries on the bride on her wedding day? I have two older sisters of my own…good grief!

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--Lia November 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm

The villain here is the expectation that there must be a set number of toasts given by particular people. The saving grace here is the knowledge that everyone goes a little crazy and gets over emotional at weddings. If Nina was uncomfortable writing a pre-prepared speech, “here’s to the happy bride and groom” would have been enough. Since others felt like there should have been more, they stepped in. No harm done, and all’s well that ends well.

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OP November 9, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Abby – you’re right not to believe I didn’t apologize to Carly, because I did. I agree with everyone who’s suggesting she was the victim here. I didn’t go so far as to demand that my parents apologize – that’s not in my nature, and I can’t force anyone to apologize anyway – but I did tell them I thought they’d misread the situation.

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Goldie November 9, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Can we maybe lay off Nina? A 19 year old has to speak before a crowd of adults on her sister’s wedding day and she feels overwhelmed and intimidated…. my, how rude of her. Since I did not see it in OP’s story that Nina ran crying and complaining to their parents or aunt, I am going to assume none of it happened and give poor Nina a much deserved break. The parents and aunt, on the other hand, were out of line. They should have stayed out of the whole thing. It’s a wedding toast, not the State of The Union. Even if it doesn’t come out in an exactly perfect way, everyone will still have a good time. I have heard some horrendous, rude and oversharing toasts and guess what? none of them has ever ruined a wedding. Auntie, being a mature adult, should have known that and refrained from stepping in. My two cents, and congratulations to the OP on her recent wedding!

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AS November 9, 2010 at 6:08 pm

OP – based on your updates, it seems that you already apologized to Carly, which is good. Now maybe if you family brings up the topic again, you can stand up for your friend in the same lines (unless you have already done so). And eventually hope that the matter is cleared off. There is no use of letting this shadowing what otherwise seems like beautiful ceremony.

We don’t have to give any toasts in our culture. But when I was 19 and kept stressing about not getting ideas for something (speech, essay, letters, CVs, etc.), my parents would sit with me and brainstorm. This helped coming up with ideas. Maybe brainstorming with Nina would be a good option in such situations. As it seems, Nina could not come up with ideas and was getting stressed; then read what your friends wrote hoping to get some ideas and realized that she did not have any such stories, and broke down. Your parents came and found that she was upset probably because she did not have the moments you shared with your friends and hence could not come up with ideas yet, and mistook that she was being left out and started scolding your friend. I suppose emotions were high at that time, and they were stressed about the wedding too (apparently you were their first child getting married), and jumped into the protective mode rather than helping Nina come up with ideas. All that was needed was to have a 15 to 30 mins of brainstorming with Nina to help her refresh her memories, and she’d have a wonderful toast written on her own, a lot less tears, bad-mouthing and stress and a lot more fun (at least you’d have had your other BMs with you before your wedding). All the best.

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Fnp November 9, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Nina wasn’t too shy to cause a scene. I’m a shy woman myself and my number one rule to never take on a responsibility that I can’t fulfill. I would sooner cut off a finger than give a speech. Nina may be shy but she isn’t stupid and knows her limitations.

You’re lucky Carly didn’t throw up her hands and walk out. I might have. She didn’t ask for the extra responsibilities and she did her best to help your sister out. For her trouble she was humiliated and accused of being a jerk. I don’t know OP, if that happened to me and I didn’t receive some sort of apology or acknowledgement that I wasn’t totally in the wrong I would assume OP agreed with her folks. In that case I would reevaluate our friendship.

I suggest smoothing over any hard feelings with everyone involved and then letting it go. Ignoring it completely can cause some bad feelings to fester.

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Fnp November 9, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Sorry OP, just realised you updated us. I stand by the rest though

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Patty November 9, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Parents were rude to Carly. Nina was 19 not 10, they should have stayed out of it. Auntie was not rude the first time she met with the girls, but when she stepped out and then came back and they were working it out fine she should have stepped back. That she refused to give control back the the BMs and MOH was rude. Since the OP apologised to Carly and said something to the parents It is time to forget it. Unless, of course anyone in the family bad mouths Carly again, as the OP I would not tolerate that or let it go unchallenged.

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Alice November 9, 2010 at 11:58 pm

It sounds like just a little bit of wedding day drama, as people have said. Emotions are running high and it is super easy to get overwhelmed – and hey, I think it’s nice that the sister was crying because she wanted to do well. Even if it’s a little silly, who hasn’t cried over silly things in their life? Especially if you’re a nineteen-year-old girl and your big sister who you’re so close to is getting married? ;-) I agree with everyone who has been saying that it’s not even a hiccup in the grand scheme of things.

MOH toasts though – when my cousin (who’s like a sister to me) got married, it was my first wedding I’d ever been in, and I had no idea I had to make one either! The thought made (and still, even thinking about it, makes) me ill. She even said I didn’t have to do one if I didn’t want to, but it was another “grand scheme of things” situations. I knew I’d regret not doing it, and wanted to publicly express my best wishes to the couple, even though the thought of ACTUALLY doing it made me feel faint! I still to this day even feel a bit embarrassed that the best man’s speech was much longer than mine, as if I’d cheated her out of a good toast. But then, just as many commenters have posted about this story, did anyone ever, that day or now two years later, come up to me and imply that my speech was terrible because it was too short or that the best man was funnier/more sensitive/more interesting than me? Of course not. Big days cause big emotions, and it’s BECAUSE people care so much. It seems many, many people cared very much for this bride, and the whole story is a testament to the love she has around her.

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The Voice of Reason November 11, 2010 at 10:18 am

You probably should have just written your own toast and given it to them to read–merely asking them to toast you just isn’t enough!

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Leslie November 11, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I have to say I’m in violent agreement with The Voice of Reason, though I suspect heartily that the bride who reads her comment won’t hear the tone in which is was presumably written.

What’s crazy here is the amount of time and energy spent on a toast, and that the bride felt it appropriate to be worried about it. A toast is meant to be a few brief, heartfelt words to wish someone well. It is intended to be a spontaneous offering, not a carefully scripted and rehearsed scene in the drama of your wedding screenplay.

The bride’s attitude about the entire thing, as though its something owed to her and that all these other people were somehow being difficult about doing it to her satisfaction, is shocking.

The sheer number of people involved in this story is equally shocking and it underscores that an overwhelming number of people clearly see a wedding as an event, not a marriage. How sad.

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OP November 11, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Voice of Reason – I see how my story could be read this way, and I do want to clarify. I was very clear with my bridesmaids that nothing at all was “expected” of them. The idea of a group toast actually came from (surprise!) Carly.

The reason I raised the subject with Nina was that I knew, knowing my friends, that if I did not bring it up someone else would, and I wanted to make sure she was clear that this was an OPTIONAL exercise. I did not want one of my older, bossier bridesmaids telling her she “had” to do anything.

Leslie – nothing is more tiresome than an entitled bride, except perhaps eyewitnesses who assume that just because a woman is getting married she expects special treatment. My concern, as I believe I’ve made clear, was not over the toast, but rather the comfort level of everyone involved.

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Ali November 11, 2010 at 7:57 pm

I’m sorry, but my 15 year old sister would not have cried over something so trivial.
As a girl with a much older sister not much older than 19, I bet I can come up with something right now that would generically work:
Dear X, I’ve always looked up to you. I know the years between us have meant that you were in college before I hit puberty. But for all the calls, for putting up with toddler me messing up your room, and for giving me a great example – thanks. I love you and I hope you and Y have a long and happy life together! You’re still setting a great example for me.

See, it wasn’t hard. She had nothing to cry over.

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