Wicked Wedding Wednesday – Can A Wedding Get Worse Than This?

by admin on November 16, 2017

It’s Wedding Wednesday…one day late.

A year ago (it has taken me that much time to compose myself) I was informed that my then boyfriend’s step brother was getting married to a girl who he had been living with for a year.

She was perfectly lovely but knowing the mother of the groom (gimme pig) we had some reservations. The two “congratulations” dinners were lovely (pay for yourself and bring a gift for each one) and the engagement party (paid for by the bride’s parents, bring gifts) was lovely, (I and my boyfriend’s sister were not invited to the
bachelorette party despite 25 other people attending but were were expected to send a gift) and we all expected to receive our invites for the wedding.

Lo and behold, it was now going to be a ‘destination’ wedding. Well, alright. The bride indicated there would be a modest party when they got back and no presents. This “destination wedding” location was changed to 45 minutes away at a very exclusive venue with lush gardens and so on. Full traditional wedding took place including bridesmaids in expensive outfits, and fully catered event etc…only no guests other than the bridal party. Only the parents, blood siblings and best friends were invited. The bride sent out postal notices that they were to be married and a Facebook page and many many notices about this on her own page which mentioned that the couple would “love it if you would share in our special day by remembering it with a gift”, however no registry as they only wanted cash. The “modest” party was then changed to a “bridal reception” with invitations requesting another gift: cash, despite the fact that it was a month in between nuptials and the “reception”. We were told in confidence by the groom’s mother that the “reception” was to help pay for the cost of the honeymoon! The groom literally threw a hissy fit because he was worried about only being able to afford a week away at his international destination of choice and not the several weeks he wished to go for.

The reception night arrives and it is held in the local hall. There are six trays of finger food all total and a cash bar.The music is loud and we literally had to shout to be heard- even up the back because the bride and groom wanted a dance party atmosphere. It is stand up (there were 10 stools the older relatives were escorted too) and a lot of the people (over 150) attending said to us and to the other guests they were surprised that they were invited but went because they felt like the couple must have really valued them. It is packed like sardines.

The wedding “wishing well” was incredibly prominent and we then had a slideshow of the actual wedding “for all those who were not invited”. The bride’s best friend and close relatives who HAD been to the ceremony gave speeches as if they were AT the real ceremony whilst all pointing out the people that had been invited, repeatedly.

The groom’s mother made many announcements about how kind and generous we should be to young couples making their way in the world etc, despite the parents and the couple being much better off financially than most people in the room.

The bride and groom did not ingratiate themselves well with their guests. The bride (in full wedding regalia along with the bridal party) danced with her friends in a corner and literally barely acknowledged anyone else. The groom was hanging over a rail outside for several hours as his friends poured alcohol into his mouth and was so drunk he
forgot who we were when we tried to congratulate him at the end of the evening.

The groom’s mother still was not happy, I never got a thank-you note for my cash donation and they did get an extra week of honeymoon paid for, but not the two weeks they were hoping for.

I felt like I did my part. I showed up with the cash, looked good, make polite chit chat and left.

Thank you for letting me get it out of my system! 1116-13

Someone should conduct a sociological study as to why people voluntarily attend a wedding function in which it is obvious that they are being duped into parting with their hard-earned cash. It’s as if it’s a con game that people get naively sucked into only to realize afterwards that they were the victims of a con artist.

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Miss B November 16, 2017 at 8:02 am

well now you know to send polite regrets to any future “party” invites you get from this horrid couple.

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Ripple November 16, 2017 at 8:30 am

I agree with Miss Jeanne. Why on earth did you go to both “congratulations” dinners and the “engagement” dinner? (What is the difference between these events, anyway? I would think a congratulations dinner was the same as an engagement dinner.) And then send a gift for an event you weren’t invited to (bachelorette party, wedding itself, and “bridal reception”) and the wishing well. The phrase used often on this site would have been perfect – “I’m sorry but that won’t be possible.” You say the bride is perfectly lovely but the groom’s mother is a gimme pig but it seems to me that all parties are gimme pigs, including the bride. Expect to be invited to various baby showers, children’s birthdays, etc. when the time comes – cash only, please, no actual gifts.

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Michelle November 16, 2017 at 9:02 am

So let me get this straight (please correct me if I am wrong). There were:
*2 congratulations dinners
* engagement party
* bachelorette party (most likely bachelor party, too)
* wedding that many people were not invited to, but their cash donations were
* “bridal reception” weeks after the wedding

So 6 events for one couple and all were gift/cash grabs *and* people just went along with it? 1 gift and card would have been all I would have done. An invitation is just that- you are invited but if you decline to attend, you RSVP no and be done with it. You don’t have to give multiple gifts to greedy people who want the world to pay for their preferences.

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essie November 17, 2017 at 7:18 am

What? No wedding showers? How did they possibly miss that opportunity?

One congratulates the groom, one gives the bride their felicitations. Ah, if they had only known that, there could have been several felicitations brunches, as well!

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Zhaleh November 16, 2017 at 9:05 am

A con game is an apt description.
I would really like to know, perhaps someone who has experienced this could tell me, how one who is not invited to a bachelorette still somehow has an expectation laid upon them to give a gift.
I also didn’t realize that bachelorette parties were gift giving events.
I know it’s early in the post but I just can’t understand how one can not be invited but be asked to send a gift unless you were sent a card/message stating “Lisa and friends will be throwing a bachelorette party on the 12th of month, we cannot invite all of our dear friends, but of course Bride still wants your well intentioned gifts. Please send give to this address”
Admin is right, those sending gifts are being conned in a very obvious way.
As for the rest of it, six food trays for 150 guests? At the fake reception?
I feel no qualms in saying I would have walked out, with my wallet full and bought myself/partner/family a nice meal elsewhere.

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NostalgicGal November 16, 2017 at 7:47 pm

Even hitting the drive thru, still wouldn’t have left a penny in the venue…

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Miriam November 16, 2017 at 9:18 am

Hi Miss Jeanne,
I am getting an error when I try to access the forum, and cannot send a message to you that way. The error message says:
“Database Error
“Please try again. If you come back to this error screen, report the error to an administrator.”
I’m sure loads have people have reported this already, but I’m doing so just in case they haven’t.
Kind regards,
Miriam

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admin November 16, 2017 at 10:58 am

Thanks for letting me know. I’ll get the tech guy on it asap.

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Lindee November 16, 2017 at 4:21 pm

“Please try again. If you come back to this error screen, report the error to an administrator.”
me too

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admin November 16, 2017 at 8:44 pm

It’s fixed.

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gramma dishes November 16, 2017 at 4:25 pm

I am also having this same problem. I thought I might be the only one.
I haven’t been able to access the forum at all today and couldn’t figure out how to report the problem. You were much quicker to find a way.

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gellchom November 16, 2017 at 4:50 pm

I’m having the same issue.

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LadyV November 16, 2017 at 9:19 am

Ms. Jeanne, so glad to see you back! I was getting pretty worried about you!

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AS November 17, 2017 at 10:38 am

True that- I was starting to get worried too. Glad you are back, admin.

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Shoegal November 16, 2017 at 9:35 am

I don’t care what was expected – I agree with Admin – How was the OP duped into giving all these gifts?

I might of consented to attend one of the “Congratulations” dinners (what is that, anyway?) but not two and I certainly wouldn’t have given a gift. I believe this was simply to go out – and have an nice time – wish them well – but I wouldn’t have even thought of bringing a gift – a card maybe – might of thought of buying them a drink but that’s it. This can’t be considered a gift giving event and it can’t be considered a hosted party.

I believe engagement parties (at this point – after 2 dinners) is definitely overstepping it and I wouldn’t have given anything except maybe a card.

I would have been delighted not to be invited to the bachelorette party – and again – I never would have given anything for that. So you aren’t invited – how did they make it known that you are “expected” to send a gift along and who sends a gift for a bachelorette party anyway??? How does one do that? I don’t envision the OP had a close relationship with this girl – and that would have been the only time (had I been invited) I might have sent something if I couldn’t go.

It is really bad to ask to be remembered with a gift for a wedding you weren’t invited to – I don’t see a problem with announcing it on Facebook – but that’s it. It is up to the person if they would like to acknowledge the wedding with a present. Not knowing that they were going to have a “party” later – I would have expected the boyfriend to send something and put your name to it. Then I probably would have attended the reception and would have given nothing (maybe a card). The gift was given for the occasion and I wouldn’t have felt the need to give anything more – I would have counseled the boyfriend not to give either. It was quite obvious what this party was for – very obvious – it certainly wasn’t so they could see everyone that wasn’t at their wedding – it was definitely for gifts. I don’t doubt that some people would have wanted to come and wish them well and give a gift but only if they hadn’t already. I would have felt my presence there was enough and I might have given a small little cute gift (a bottle of champagne or a bottle of wine with a personalized label) but nothing more.

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LadyV November 16, 2017 at 9:35 am

No. Just – NO. OP should have known going in just how bad this was going to be, since she states the groom’s mother is a gimme pig. Even if she wasn’t aware of that, the red flags should have gone up when she found out that there were going to be TWO “congratulation dinners” (whatever that is) in addition to the engagement party – especially since invitees were expected to both pay for their meal AND bring a gift. The fact that the HC (and the groom’s mother) expected people to provide gifts for events they weren’t invited to just increases the outrageousness factor of the whole situation. I decided long ago that two gifts were sufficient for any wedding – one for the shower and one for the wedding. Anything more is just overkill.

Side note: maybe I’m just lucky in my friends, but I have NEVER been to a bachelorette party where the bride expected gifts. The brides-to-be have understood that the guests are already expending money both on themselves and on their share of the bride’s food, drink, etc.

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Ashley November 16, 2017 at 9:55 am

Three separate gifts BEFORE the actual wedding? PLUS a gift for a bachelorette? I’ve never heard of that before! I don’t even give a gift at the bachelorettes I’ve attended, aside from kicking in for the bride’s food/drinks. I would have thanked my lucky stars I wasn’t invited to the wedding ceremony, and definitely would not have attended the gift grab of a reception. Yikes!

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Aleko November 16, 2017 at 10:07 am

I’m just baffled that you went along with this right to the end.

If I understood you right, you and your boyfriend had already paid your way at two congratulatory dinners (why two? How on earth was it necessary to congratulate them twice?) and attended an engagement party, bringing a gift to each one. So far, unpleasantly penny-pinching but not outrageous.

Then you were told you weren’t invited to the bachelorette party (in itself, fair enough, if you weren’t that close to her) but were expected to send a gift for it anyway: which *is* outrageous. At that point you should have simply ignored the bride’s (or the MOG’s) demand – but you imply that you meekly ponied up.

Then you watched on Facebook as the bride repeatedly informed everybody she knew that their sole function in her special day was to send her cash, even though she didn’t care enough about them to invite them to said special day; and the MOG actually told you in clear that the purpose of the party/wedding reception was to make money. I don’t understand why you even turned up; my response to the MOG would have been ‘oh well, in that case I’ll save you the cost of my meal by declining’. And why you made that ‘cash donation’, having been stung three times already by these people who clearly care nothing for you, is beyond me.

I also have trouble understanding how you can consider the bride ‘perfectly lovely’ after all this Facebook money-grubbing and her behaviour at the reception. The MOG may have been driving this but you say the bride and groom had been together for a year; they didn’t have to let her take their wedding over.

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PJ November 16, 2017 at 10:29 am

I think Admin’s comments sum it up very well. As it’s all happening, it is just one thing on top of another and not until you look back at the sum total do you realize how greedy and self-centered some people are.

I have to wonder how generous the happy couple or their parents are with other weddings– how much do they fork over, and would they complain about being treated this way?

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Harry November 16, 2017 at 11:22 am

I respectively disagree; this is not just one thing on top of another. Dates, times, places, getting ready, transportation, the required shopping for gifts or writing of checks; how can someone ‘not realize’ that they have not already done this before? Really, it’s all ‘just happening’?

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Dyan November 16, 2017 at 10:46 am

As I read this I think of all the people who could say SORRY I am not going, like the people packed in like sardines …no food can not even sit down and not a invite to the ‘real wedding’ first I would not have gone…and NO gift from me, second I would have left if I had been treated that way, and taken my gift with me. I just don’t understand when I read some of these stories how people don’t walk out…

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Dee November 16, 2017 at 10:56 am

OP, you paid to attend how many parties and gave how many gifts?!? At what point did you not question how much you were being suckered?!? Here’s the thing: When invited to a wedding, you give just one – ONE – gift. That’s it. When you are invited to an event, you do NOT pay for attendance at that event. When you are requested to be at an event that you have to pay for it is NOT an invitation! It is a solicitation for you to purchase a ticket. You don’t need to buy that ticket. You also don’t need to RSVP that you will not be purchasing that ticket. You aren’t required to give a gift to attend a party! You are most certainly not required to give a gift to attend a party that YOU ALREADY PAID FOR WITH A TICKET.

I fear for the future when I hear stories like this. That people simply accept the status quo as if it’s okay, even when it is so obviously, outrageously, jaw-droppingly NOT okay. The world will not end if you don’t buy gifts and pay for events every time someone demands you do it. In fact, the world might just be a better place if people simply stopped giving in to greed.

If you give this couple one, single, solitary thing more ever again then it is all on you, OP. If you won’t say “no”, then why should the couple stop demanding? You fed the beast. Of course it now thinks you are its slave. The wonder is why you thought things wouldn’t turn out this way.

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Aleko November 17, 2017 at 1:56 am

I totally agree. OP and everyone else who went along with this were simply colluding with *and validating* rampant greed and rudeness.

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Harry November 16, 2017 at 11:16 am

WHY? That was what kept running through my mind as I read this post. WHY do you keep going back for more? At some point, you HAD to realize the ridiculousness of this situation; what propelled you to keep going back for more?

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pyes November 16, 2017 at 11:27 am

I so agree with Admin and was happy to read her response. Sorry, there is no way you would ever get me to take a gift to a “congratulations” party let alone two of them. And in my world, engagement parties are thankfully non-gift giving occasions.

I also question how far in advance the bachelor parties were if they were thrown before everyone knew where the wedding would be. And anyway, why would the OP and the step brother expect an invitation to those when it doesn’t sound like they were close to either members of the couple. But I’m really curious how it was made known that a gift was expected for those. I wonder how much of this communication came through the boyfriend.

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lakey November 16, 2017 at 11:30 am

Greedy people behave like this because they can. The real problem is the “victims” who cave in to ridiculous demands. Also, the reason we’re all so shocked by these posts is because this kind of behavior doesn’t happen much in our own lives. I’ve never once had anyone request cash instead of a gift. I’ve never been told to give gifts for bachelorettes, engagement parties, congratulations parties (whatever that is), or even weddings. It was kind of assumed that you’d give a gift for the wedding, but no one was crass enough to say it. I was raised by a mother who, if these kinds of things had happened, would have been more than capable of saying “no thanks”.

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WMK November 18, 2017 at 8:38 am

“I’ve never once had anyone request cash instead of a gift. ”

My husband’s cousin did in one of the inserts of her wedding invitation. Can’t remember the exact wording (this was 15 years ago), but I do remember it was something like, “we have everything we need but are hoping to buy a house.” We would have given a cash gift had they not felt the need to write this.

Instead, they received a very generous Home Depot gift card from us for that new house they planned to buy.

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Erin T. Aardvark November 16, 2017 at 11:31 am

I’d wind up only sending them one dollar (my parents are fans of the movie “Trading Places,” and often say “one dollah!” as a joke when it comes to giving money). Seriously, though, why would someone go to a reception if they weren’t invited to the wedding ceremony? What is this, like an A-list, B-list, C-list caste system or something? “You weren’t important enough to be invited to the ceremony. But if you bring a nice gift, come on to the reception!” Sheesh.

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Aleko November 17, 2017 at 2:27 am

There is sometimes a valid reason for a separate ceremony and the bulk of the guests only being invited to the reception. Sometimes the venues are too far apart for everyone to trek between the two*; sometimes they aren’t both available on the same day; sometimes a religious ceremony is felt appropriate only for guests of the same faith; and so on. (My own nephew got married two days ago at a registry office with just parents and grandparents present, and the reception for all other family and friends is at the bride’s parents’ home tomorrow. I don’t feel snubbed by that, and I very much doubt that anybody else does.)

What really is unforgivable is to invite people to the wedding – a place in a church pew not costing the HC anything – and not the reception, which I have heard of.

*In a similar fashion I was recently invited to a funeral service and reception but not the funeral proper. The family naturally wanted the service at their own church where they were regular worshippers, but the crematorium was many miles and a complicated cross-city journey away. They decided to have the cremation early in the day, attended by the close family only, and hired a minibus to take them first to the crematorium and then to the church where everyone else met them for the service. A hotel nearby had been booked for the reception. It was the first time I had ever been to a funeral-without-a-funeral, so to speak, but it was about the only viable solution.

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staceyizme November 16, 2017 at 11:47 am

This is just a case of “let your yes be yes, and your no, no…”. You agreed to attend these events and you knew the general character traits of those involved. You can either consign your time and cash over to their control, consider it the admission price of civil relations and move on or decline to attend. I’m not sure that you can attend, knowing that it will be awful, and then be shocked and angry to find that your fully well-founded suspicions were confirmed in spades. You might spare a bit of chagrin for yourself because truthfully, no one can ill use you repeatedly without your consent.

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JD November 16, 2017 at 12:16 pm

I am amazed that by the so called reception anyone bothered to come. I agree with admin; this could not have been much greedier. Why did people go along with this?

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Kate 2 November 16, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Admin, I think I know why people go to all these events. They think they have to in order to be polite. A lot of people don’t realize, etiquette doesn’t mean being a doormat. You are expected to be civil in the face of rudeness, but not to tolerate. Just because someone (even family) invites you it doesn’t mean you have to go. If you are hosting a party and someone (a guest or an uninvited person) is being rude to you or to your guests, you shouldn’t tolerate it.

Actually etiquette requires that you don’t! As a host, you are required to ensure the polite treatment of your guests. If that means quietly telling the rude person to leave, or even getting two other guests to throw him out, that’s what you need to do. Even if that person makes a loud embarrassing scene, it is still the right, polite thing to do. Just keep smiling, apologize for the interruption, and keep the party going.

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staceyizme November 16, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Kate 2:
I agree that it is surprising that people don’t stand up for themselves in the face of circumstances like those described by OP, but I’m not sure that it’s just a misunderstanding of etiquette. It seems to me that people are often loath to do anything to “rock the boat” for fear of being the one to draw attention to oneself and perhaps become open to ridicule or censure. It seems like a kind of “group think” where those in close proximity emotionally and socially are given the benefit of the doubt far past any reasonable evidence of having deserved it. Perhaps it is because being angry or uncomfortable is often accompanied by shame and those who push past normal boundaries take gross advantage of our culture’s tendency to shun those who seem to correct others even by indirect methods such as social distance and disengagement. I can only suppose that uncivil and uncharitable acts will always abound where they are tolerated by a seeming majority. Those in a position of power (even temporary power, such as is often accorded those celebrating a wedding, birth or other special occasion) will doubtless abuse it whenever their initial encroachment on the bounds of civility and decency are left unchecked. Some extreme examples of privileged positions affording cover for bad acts are in the current media with Al Franken, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, the former CEO of Uber Travis Kalanick and others. Bad acts that are left unchecked seem to encourage much more of the same whether we are dealing with etiquette, ethics or law.

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Anonymous November 16, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Yeah, this is definitely an Assertiveness Heck story (as well as being an Etiquette Hell story, because gimme pig behaviour is definitely an offence worthy of Etiquette Hell). I would have just told the couple that I couldn’t give multiple cash donations for events I wasn’t invited to, because money is tight, but I’d love to meet up with them later for something like dinner at my house, or another activity, after the wedding and honeymoon. Chances are, they’d say no, because they were looking more for (cash) presents, than their friends’ presence, at the wedding festivities, but I’d still ask. If the gimme-piggery was really the work of the bride’s mother (in which case, the bride might be bound for Assertiveness Heck herself), then Bride and Groom might be back to normal by that time, and if they’re not, then that’s your answer–they were the greedy ones, and “bride’s mother” was just a convenient excuse.

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LadyV November 17, 2017 at 11:25 am

Just because I hate to see blame attached to the wrong person – it was actually the GROOM’S mother that was the gimme pig.

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NoviceGardener November 16, 2017 at 2:40 pm

The two “congratulations” dinners were lovely (pay for yourself and bring a gift for each one)… Hmmm, doesn’t sound too lovely to me. Pay for yourselves AND bring a gift? That would’ve been warning enough for me. I think I would’ve conveniently found myself unable to attend both those, and all subsequent events, linked to this “lovely” wedding. Sounds like an unpleasant and expensive waste of time.

If I had attended the reception, and as the bride ignored most of the guests and the groom was too drunk to remember them, I’d be inclined to leave with my cash gift in hand, if possible. If questioned later, I’d blithely say: “Oh no, did it get lost? We handed two hundred smackeroos to Groom while he was on the balcony! Glad to see he was having such a jolly time!” (Okay, I wouldn’t actually do that, but the evil imaginary version of me would).

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Shoegal November 17, 2017 at 8:30 am

I like how you think.

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Ashley November 16, 2017 at 7:14 pm

I have been on a bit of a hiatus from this site because of some major life changes (all for the better thankfully) and I come back to this doosy. Oof.

I would have given them monopoly money and left when I saw there was no food. But then again I’m feeling extra spiteful today…

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Aleko November 17, 2017 at 2:34 am

If I had seen this bride repeatedly demanding cash on Facebook during the run-up to this ‘reception’, I would have been strongly tempted to cross-stitch a text, such as ‘Thou Lord seest me’ in clashing colours, mount it in a cheesy frame, wrap it nicely, and drop it into their wishing well.

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NostalgicGal November 16, 2017 at 7:54 pm

I wouldn’t have even gotten on this ride. Even if it was my dearly beloved twin sister (I am an only) I wouldn’t have participated in the whole string of GIMMES.

The groom couldn’t afford the honeymoon? Tough toenails. I never did get one when I got married. I’m still just as married.

When I got married we were both broke college students with debt. The more I looked into the fiasco my mother had planned out when I was four, the more I got disgusted with the costs AND the fact that she was off by a factor of 15 on what it was going to cost and nothing could dissuade her–even during one of the fights where I said ‘if Dad’s going to borrow all that money (the 1/15 of what it’d take–and it was glaringly obvious by then that wasn’t going to begin to cover anything) why not just give it to us so we can pay bills with it?’ One of the times she hung up on me. Did we go beg everyone to pay for it? No. I’m still just as married as if I’d had the blowout.

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PM November 16, 2017 at 10:49 pm

The music was loud so the guests couldn’t compare notes about who was invited to the ceremony and how many gift-based events this yahoos had thrown for themselves.

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Claire November 16, 2017 at 11:06 pm

Did no one have the gumption to say no to these gimme pigs? As in “no” to their faces?

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Rebecca November 16, 2017 at 11:59 pm

If I hadn’t had the foresight to decline this after-party in the first place, I’m pretty sure I’d have left by the time the mother of the groom started in on the ‘helping young couples starting out” spiel.

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Daisy November 17, 2017 at 12:18 am

OP, all I can assume after reading this is that you’re the kind of person who likes hitting herself in the head with a hammer because it feels so good when you stop. Just to summarize what others have already said: an invitation is not an invoice. You don’t have to give a present for ANY event you don’t attend. As soon as this started heading south, your automatic response should have been a nicely written note stating “Miss OP regrets that she is unable to attend.” You aren’t even obliged to make up an excuse. Just decline and move along. You might want to practice it in advance, because I can assure you that wasn’t the last “invitation” you can expect from Mr. and Mrs. Entitled and their greedy band of henchmen.

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Just4Kicks November 17, 2017 at 4:38 am

I would love to know how much cash the Groom’s mother ponied up as a gift since it seems like she was more than happy asking (demanding) money from the guests!
My mom wanted to do a “dollar dance” at my wedding….I put a stop to that idea REAL quick.

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essie November 17, 2017 at 7:10 am

“Can a wedding get worse than this?” Actually, when you think about it, the wedding itself wasn’t bad: small and private isn’t a bad thing. The problems lie in all the fundraisers AROUND the wedding, the intentions that the same contributors would be invited to each and every one of them, and the (undisguised? conspicuous?) aloofness and lack of gratitude shown to the donors.

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Emmy November 17, 2017 at 9:52 am

I think I lost track of how many gifts the OP said were expected. For the bachlorette party, I also wonder how one goes about not inviting a person, but making it clear that a gift is expected. A tacky invite asking/pleading/demanding cash is something that can be ignored and thrown in the trash. I’m surprised any of the second tier guests would show up to a party to watch the wedding they were not invited to and get yet another shake down for cash.

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Anon November 17, 2017 at 10:48 am

Here is what my response to each one of those invitations would be.

“Ha ha, no.” Of course, in these cases I’m not one for etiquette but that’s because I’m a jerk.

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Barbara Foster November 17, 2017 at 11:07 am

I’m wondering how the letter writer knew a gift was expected for each event, even those she was not invited to. If she were told, that’s dreadful. If, however, she just assumed party=gift, that’s at least partially on her. She would have been perfectly polite to ignore hinting.

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Tatdaisy November 17, 2017 at 11:41 am

These threads always interest me because I had a somewhat similar wedding, in that we had a very small, private ceremony and a larger party afterwards. My “circle” is very small while my husband’s is quite large and neither of us enjoy big weddings or being the centre of attention. Our wedding was attended by less than 20 people nearly all of whom were immediate family. My husband wanted to include his friends and extended family in the celebration so we rented out a mini golf/arcade place (a place we went to for more dates than I can remember). We paid for the mini golf and arcade games and ordered a bunch of pizza and cupcakes, and tried to make it clear that it was a ‘no gifts’ kind of deal. Of course, most of my husband’s invitees brought us gifts. We did get our thank-you notes out right away for those who brought gifts but I still feel rather guilty about it, given that none of those people had been invited to the ceremony.

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Queen of the Weezils November 17, 2017 at 12:35 pm

“Someone should conduct a sociological study as to why people voluntarily attend a wedding function in which it is obvious that they are being duped into parting with their hard-earned cash.”

I can only assume that since the writer was the girlfriend of the groom’s step-brother, it was to preserve the family peace.

Oh, the things we do to preserve the family peace. I get it – I do – because I’ve gone along with a few things and bitten my tongue for that goal, but at some point you have to turn off the spigot. And if that means you catch hell from family, then maybe you might want to consider that friends are the family you can pick.

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Gabriele November 17, 2017 at 7:45 pm

I am wicked, I know it. I might have passed on the earlier parties but shown up for the ‘reception’ and if it was good, give a small gift. If not…and with only token refreshments, I would have called a pizza delivery, ordered a small one, had it delivered, and eaten it in front of everyone. If there were comments I would have said: “We were hungry”. When the pizza was eaten (and no sharing), would have left and gone hope to unfriend the woman on Facebook.
The ‘bride’ might have had nasty things to say about the couple with the pizza but who cares? Everyone there who was hungry and smelled the pizza would have been aware that at least two guests felt insulted, and so insulted the bride and groom in return.

Given the groom’s friends’ conduct (and his) I wonder if the ‘gimme-pig’ mother will soon be
throwing a ‘divorce party’ for her poor daughter to help pay for her divorce.
Since it’s your boyfriend’s stepbrother, I think you need to make the stepbrother your boyfriend’s responsibility. You don’t need that kind of craziness in your life, and the guy’s not even a blood relative.
I’m thinking you went along because the boyfriend was all in favor of this, and his mother/father (whoever is the parent of the stepchild) was all in favor of all the indulgences.
If you’ve married….establish your boundaries now. If you haven’t, start planning them. The ‘gimme-pig’ started the three ring circus, but the stepbrother’s family went along with it.
What other delusions of self-entitlement do they harbor?

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Lady Phoenix November 18, 2017 at 4:47 pm

Now we know how these people got so rich: scamming from people that oughta know better.

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Vidalia November 21, 2017 at 12:36 pm

“Someone should conduct a sociological study as to why people voluntarily attend a wedding function in which it is obvious that they are being duped into parting with their hard-earned cash.”

I’ve never been invited to a wedding function that was THAT egregious. If I had, I’d like to say I wouldn’t have gone along with it–but when I was younger, I very well may have. I didn’t have the courage to set limits and abide by them, while refusing to care too much about “what others think.”
I also wasn’t even aware there was a problem. “Everybody did it,” and it never occurred to me to question the status quo until I began reading this site. Now I try to live by two principles I’ve learned here: 1) I cannot control what other do, but I can control how I react to it; and 2) An invitation is not a summons.
I decline either the invitation itself; or I do attend, but decline to “obey” the included “task list of demands” and instead purchase a gift that fits my time and budget. Nobody notices anyway—it’s not as if there’s a doorkeeper who checks to see that you’ve brought all the goodies (hope I didn’t just give them a new idea). So far, it’s been received well, but then, I’ve never had to deal with the type of people this story features!

Many thanks for an entertaining and informative website!

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