Author Topic: Guest with intent to embarrass?  (Read 14126 times)

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TealDragon

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Guest with intent to embarrass?
« on: July 22, 2012, 07:10:03 PM »
I've cross posted this from the wedding forum, it doesn't look like there's a lot of traffic over there and I can't seem to stop worrying about this. I hope that's ok.

Anna has been a friend of my parents for 30 years and has been included in many family holidays and when my dad owned his own business, she worked for him for 10 years and I worked with her for 6 of those years. She babysat me frequently as a child and I have babysat for her children. I really adore her and consider her like a favorite aunt.

I called her today to catch up and she was reminiscing about when she used to babysit for me. In particular, she was telling a couple of stories which I find humiliating. They may be easily chalked up to silly things kids do, but regardless, I feel a great deal of shame due to endless teasing from family members and I very much would not like these stories repeated to anyone, especially not to everyone that I and my fiance hold dear on the happiest day of our lives. When I told Anna that I'd just as soon forget those old stories, she laughed and said I need to lighten up and she is planning on telling them at my wedding. I told her I really do not want her to do that because it was make me feel horrible, and she repeated that I need to lighten up. I said, again, that I do not want to be embarrassed at my wedding and changed the subject. The call ended shortly after that.

I don't want this happening. Short of not inviting her, which I do not want to do at all, I'm not sure how to prevent this. I know wedding magazines recommend enlisting a bridal party member as Toast Controller who can take the mic away from anyone who's had too much to drink or starts with inappropriate anecdotes, but until she actually got part of the stories out, there would be no reason to do that and having someone cut her off mid-speech would almost certainly cause a great deal more notice than her telling the stories. I know I'm such a worryer, but does anyone have any suggestions about how to deal with this gracefully?

lady_disdain

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2012, 07:20:38 PM »
Could you just not have an open mic at your wedding? Have a few people assigned to propose toasts and then take the mic away.

figee

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2012, 07:21:50 PM »
You can't control what she says to people on her table or whatever, but why does she need to make a speech or a toast?  Can't you keep her away from the microphone?  I know we were very strict about who got to make a speech (we had 4: my father, DH's father, Best Man and DH thanked everyone for coming) and told others that we would drink toasts with them individually.  We said it was because we wanted to make sure speeches didn't go on for too long so we could get the party started.  (And have something to eat.  :D )

lady_disdain is so much more succinct than I am. 

bloo

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2012, 07:24:27 PM »
Could you just not have an open mic at your wedding? Have a few people assigned to propose toasts and then take the mic away.

Yeah the above. I would try to block out her blathering about those stories at her assigned dinner table, but make the MC (or one person) keeps hold of the mike to a select few people who will be speaking and let him/her know to keep a death grip on it if anyone else requests it. No exceptions, not even for someone claiming to be a long-time family friend (cough, cough Anna).

You've made your feelings clear. She seems intent on disrespecting them so short on not inviting her, I think this is your best bet.

You and your fiance's wedding - you and fiance's rules.

portabella

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2012, 07:27:00 PM »
Anna is disrespecting you, and the fact that she has told you in advance what she is going to do regardless of you being humiliated makes it worse.  Id consider not inviting her.
The first time someone shows you who they really are, pay attention.

Giggity

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2012, 07:38:51 PM »
Perhaps an open mike isn't best at a wedding.
Words mean things.

MrsCrazyPete

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2012, 07:55:36 PM »
POD to not having the open mike. Have the people that you actually want to speak up front at a certain time so only they are ready when it's toast time. I'd also give your DJ a heads up that NO ONE except your designated toasters is supposed to have the mike, not even "for just a second".
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Venus193

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2012, 08:03:12 PM »
Are your parents potentially helpful here?

Whom will you be seating her with?  Can anyone at her table be the appointed wrangler?

gramma dishes

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2012, 08:14:21 PM »
...   Anna has been a friend of my parents for 30 years and has been included in many family holidays and when my dad owned his own business, she worked for him for 10 years and I worked with her for 6 of those years. She babysat me frequently as a child and I have babysat for her children. I really adore her and consider her like a favorite aunt.

...   I feel a great deal of shame due to endless teasing from family members ...

When I first started reading this I thought, well, just enlist your Mom and or Dad and let them sort of sit on her since she's really originally their friend, but then I remembered the part where your family members also teased you.

Do your parents still tease you about these things from your childhood and embarrass you publicly?  If so, I'd make sure that NO ONE other than a couple of people you can trust for certain be allowed anywhere near a microphone. 

If you thought your parents might understand and would hold her off, I'd go that route, but somehow I get the feeling they would probably see nothing wrong in what she's planning and might even just join in with her chorus of "lighten up". 

You may have to straighten up that backbone and make very VERY clear to your parents that this is your wedding and you will not tolerate having inappropriate stories told on that day, by Anna or by anyone else.  Anyone trying to do so will be removed (and be sure you have someone there who can and will do it).

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2012, 08:42:44 PM »
You may have to straighten up that backbone and make very VERY clear to your parents that this is your wedding and you will not tolerate having inappropriate stories told on that day, by Anna or by anyone else.  Anyone trying to do so will be removed (and be sure you have someone there who can and will do it).

I agree.  Or if there is something else you can threaten that you are willing to follow through on.
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Yankeegal77

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2012, 08:52:20 PM »
I find the whole 'lighten up' phrase offensive to the extreme. 99% of the time, it's used when person A has made person B uncomfortable, and instead of telling the offended person to lighten up, Person A really needs to apologize and make a note to self about sensitive subjects. We all have our sore points.

Let's put this in perspective:

Yes, she is a family friend and you like her a lot.
She has brought up embarrassing episodes from your life that you'd rather not discuss.
She not only told you to 'lighten up' when you expressed discomfort, but she intends to continue to tell these stories.
Your family enjoys teasing you, and given her status as friend, she could be part of a problem.

You are the bride/hostess, and you get to set the tone for you and DF's special day. I completely understand obligatory invites (kinda have that situation now) but IMHO, she needs to be left off of the guest list. If asked why, well, maybe being honest can make her an example that if you get teased and disrespected, you're simply not going to take it. (Obviously, I don't know you or the back story with your family, but this could be a great opportunity to set some boundaries.)

No one has the right to embarrass you or ruin your day. Just my two cents. I'd hate for you to look back on your wedding day with anything less than a genuine smile. :)




gramma dishes

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2012, 08:57:43 PM »
...   but IMHO, she needs to be left off of the guest list. If asked why, well, maybe being honest can make her an example that if you get teased and disrespected, you're simply not going to take it.  ...

Actually, I agree with this.  It may be the only way you're going to be able to change the status quo.  If your family sees that you're serious, they may straighten out their own acts too.

Dr. F.

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2012, 09:02:15 PM »
...   but IMHO, she needs to be left off of the guest list. If asked why, well, maybe being honest can make her an example that if you get teased and disrespected, you're simply not going to take it.  ...

Actually, I agree with this.  It may be the only way you're going to be able to change the status quo.  If your family sees that you're serious, they may straighten out their own acts too.

[threadjack]

You know, I'm incredibly happy to hear others say this. My mom is one who, for as long as I can remember, has liked to tell embarrassing anecdotes about me and told me to "lighten up" and "don't take yourself so seriously." It drives me insane. This is quite literally the first time in my forty-(mumble) years that it has occurred to me that I'm not just over-sensitive, and that others may find this kind of thing annoying.

Thank you.
[/threadjack]

johelenc1

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2012, 09:02:26 PM »
Why don't you just sit her down and have a serious conversation with her telling her that the stories are really embarrassing to you and you REALLY don't want her to share them - ever - but especially at your wedding.  Tell her you will be incredibly wounded if she were to embarrass you on purpose. 

If she loves you, and I'm sure she does, she won't do it.  She probably doesn't realize how much it bothers you.  If she still doesn't appear to respect your feelings, then you can ditch the open mike or have someone ready to shut her down.  I think, until she expresses direct intent to ruin your wedding with blatant disregard for your feeling (after the above conversation), not inviting her is over-reacting.

buvezdevin

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2012, 09:02:57 PM »
First, POD to everything gramma dishes said.

One thought/question to add - does your family know you are not "loving" the joking about these stories *and* would you feel comfortable sharing with them that you would prefer that "funny" stories about you which you find embarrassing not be shared in toasts or generally at your wedding and reception, and are you confident they would respect your feelings?  If so, I would speak with them to explain *your* feelings, and that while the stories may seem amusing to them, you do not find them amusing but embarrassing, then ask for their help in curbing Anna's enthusiasm.

If Anna, or anyone suggests you need to lighten up about their sharing stories you have clearly stated you'd find embarrassing - I think it would be polite but pointed to ask why they think your feelings of embarrassment are worthy of so little consideration, when the cause of such embarrassment is so easily avoided (don't tell these stories).  If their point is that you embarrass "too easily" - ask what they gain by sharing the stories, and is it worth more than having your respect and appreciation for them sharing the special event of your wedding celebration.
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