Author Topic: Guest with intent to embarrass?  (Read 14504 times)

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Ceallach

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2012, 10:09:54 PM »
She is being incredibly rude and thoughtless.  I would try to have one more serious conversation with her about it.  I'd also ensure that your family are aware that you find those stories upsetting and that you are concerned by her insistence on telling them.  Don't downplay it, and don't let anybody minimize your feelings.

I concur with previous posters - don't have any kind of open mic at the wedding!   In my experience, open mic is typically a disaster waiting to happen, plus tends to lead to very loooong speech time and boredom for the guests.   I don't see any reason why "family friend" = "speech giver" at the wedding, particularly when she has already indicated a desire to tell inappropriate and embarassing stories about you.    Basically, the MC/DJ should have the microphone, and only hand it to those who are invited to speak, e.g. announce the speech and give them the microphone.  After speeches, microphone goes away.   It's not hard to control.     Unfortunately there is no way to stop her being a boor and loudly telling her table stories that you don't want told, but most people will see right through that and she will come off looking the worse for it. 
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kudeebee

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2012, 10:19:50 PM »
Definetely do not have an open mike at the wedding.

Honestly, i would not invite her and if my parents ask why i would tell tbem the truth.

Specky

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2012, 10:39:35 PM »
Why not limit toasts to the best man/MOH or equivalent?  Request something short and sweet and quickly move on to the next thing.

demarco

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2012, 10:41:26 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.

This, except I wouldn't even have to consider it.  She would not be invited.

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. 

How much more serious a conversation does the OP have to have with this person?  I think she's already been pretty clear during the phone call. If the woman doesn't realize how much it bothers the OP by now, I don't see how any more talk will do the trick.


Ceallach

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2012, 10:57:17 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.

This, except I wouldn't even have to consider it.  She would not be invited.

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. 

How much more serious a conversation does the OP have to have with this person?  I think she's already been pretty clear during the phone call. If the woman doesn't realize how much it bothers the OP by now, I don't see how any more talk will do the trick.

Because the OP has already expressed that she still wants to invite her.  Which means that she really needs to have another shot at addressing this, and make it 100% clear that the woman's position is unacceptable.   It's possible that conversation will change OP's mind about inviting the woman, but it needs to be put out there.   Sometimes a person dismisses a concern in passing, but when it's addressed head on as "this is upsetting to me and is unacceptable" they take it more seriously.
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VorFemme

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2012, 11:20:51 PM »
Is there a story about *her* that can be mentioned by the BTB/OP?  As in, if old family friend tells funny story that embarrasses Th bride, the bride reminds the old family friend that it would only be fair for the bride  to tell a funny story about old family friend?

Tit for tat might be slightly rude, but what old family friend is doing could easily be seen as bullying or harassment.  I might go so far as to say toxic, belittling a grown woman on her wedding day seems hardly an example of friendly behavior.
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Raintree

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2012, 01:06:45 AM »
I think a second conversation addressing only this subject is warranted. They had this conversation amongst other topics, and the subject was changed without resolution. I think the OP could try calling specifically to say, "There is something that concerns me that we touched on the other day on the phone, and that is your intent to tell everyone at my wedding stories I really do not want shared. I know you think I need to "lighten up" but this is something that really upsets me and I don't wish to be embarrassed and upset on my wedding day. I want you to respect this." Unless you get a heartfelt, "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize it bothers you THAT much, and I promise not to tell these stories at the wedding" then yeah, I'd have someone with a good solid spine policing that microphone. Kind of sounds like not inviting her isn't an option, as in all other respects she is (from the OP's description) like a favourite aunt.

TealDragon

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2012, 02:05:30 AM »
Wow, it turns out that posting this topic has been very helpful and enlightening! My parents are also big on the public embarrassment game. Everyone in my family is very loud and boisterous and thinks everything is funny all the time, but I've always been shy and quiet and kind of weird, so we have always tended to see certain subjects very differently. I will definitely be using some of these wordings with a couple of people in my life. I foresee most of these conversations going well and not being a big deal, but a couple are probably going to be tougher. Hopefully laying it all out very clearly with no possible room for any other interpretation and making them consciously choose between getting a few chuckles and really hurting my feelings will put things into perspective and maybe even change things for the long run!

Thanks, I really appreciate these responses.  :)

Regarding why it didn't occur to me in the first place not to have an open mic...well, I've just never seen a closed mic thing go as planned, so I guess it just didn't even occur to me that that is a thing that people do. Most memorably, at my cousin's wedding a few years ago, she gave the DJ a strict list of toasters, but when her 4 year old niece wanted to say something, she gave the DJ the one-time okay for an exception. When the little girl started to get (adorably) emotional, her father took the mic away. As he went to pass it back to the DJ, my cousin's husband's very intoxicated and very not politically correct grandfather defied the laws of physics to make it across the room and wrangle that mic away and start complaining about how the service was not a traditional religious ceremony and the bride is a prostitute. He even managed to get the more offensive half of a racist song in there before someone was able to get the mic away. However, he was so angry about being silenced that he got very loud and when people tried to quiet him, he threw a champagne glass on the ground and ended up having to be escorted out early and the head couple, and their mothers, were all in tears.

TheVapors

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2012, 02:30:51 AM »
[...]

Regarding why it didn't occur to me in the first place not to have an open mic...well, I've just never seen a closed mic thing go as planned, so I guess it just didn't even occur to me that that is a thing that people do.

[...]

I just wanted to pop in here and say really quickly that every closed mic reception I've ever been to has gone as planned. I'm not saying that to invalidate your experiences with closed mics. I'm saying this only to encourage you to try the closed mic, and to promise you that there are plenty of times when it does go as planned. (A DJ with a spine, and a talk with the people who you've asked to speak at the reception will help. They won't accidentally hand over the mic to someone who doesn't need it, and the DJ can gently tell other guests who offer to "say a few words" that it won't be possible.)

My brother's wedding was most recent, and there were no problems. The two MOH gave short speeches, and then I gave a quick toast. And that was it. No issues with drunken, or entitled (or drunken and entitled) guests grabbing the mic or anything of that nature.

So, it is possible for the situation to go smoothly. At the very least, a closed mic might help in conjunction with some of the other strategies for keeping embarrassing stories away from the wedding.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 02:34:17 AM by TheVapors »

TealDragon

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2012, 03:33:07 AM »
I guess "every time" is an exaggeration, I should have phrased it differently. Rarely have I seen what I know to be a closed mic wedding go as smoothly as I would hope it was planned. Or maybe people I know just happen to be poor planners.  :P There have been some though, that went smoothly and quickly and nicely. We don't have a DJ selected, we're still a long while out from our wedding, but this definitely will go on our list of must ask questions when it comes time to choosing someone.

chibichan

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2012, 08:37:13 AM »
Since you are a long way out from the wedding , you have time to bring this topic up with the family , including friend .

You need to make yourself clear . You WILL NOT be humiliated at your own wedding . These " funny " stories are not funny to you . There are plenty of things they can say at your wedding .

Maybe you could phrase it like this :

 Would you like it if I took the mike at my wedding , started spewing stuff that embarassed you in front of all of the family , then told you to " lighten up " when you felt disrespected and humiliated ? Is my pain and discomfort funny to you ? Is there any reason why I would want to willingly invite someone to my wedding who would do that to me after I asked them not to ?

Your family needs a Come to Jesus meeting . Threaten elopement if you must . This is your wedding and for me , it would be a hill to die on .
The key to avoiding trouble is to learn to recognize it from a distance.

sevenday

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2012, 08:55:55 AM »
Re: the closed mic.  Find someone - a friend or family member - who is on board with your idea of embarrassment, and seriously discuss with them who you do and do not want to speak at your wedding.  Entrust them, and them alone, with the mic.  Tell your chosen people "Because of time constraints and such, I've decided to choose a few people to talk a bit at the wedding.  The time limit is 2-3 minutes. I'd be honored if you would write something nice to read at the wedding."  Your trusted friend is the only one allowed to have the mic, no exceptions - hand it over, wait the 2-3 minutes, politely reclaim the mic (and tell the DJ to cut off the mic at a prearranged signal if someone starts reciting an inappropriate story or goes over the time limit.  Any DJ worth their money will do this.  If they agree and don't - you could go into legal territory.)

The other thing you should consider is... with so many people who are wont to embarrass you with "funny" stories, do you REALLY want people to recite toasts at your wedding?  My sister never had the "traditional" thing of people saying things at her wedding.  She had my dad stand up and recite grace before the meal, then he spoke briefly (about 2 minutes) about how he was so happy that she had found someone she could spend her life with, offering blessings for their life together, etc.   My BIL's mother also had a couple minutes along the same vein, and that was all.  Nobody else spoke, and nobody seemed to be put out that they could not, because it was the bride and groom's choice!    If you can only find one person that you can trust, just give it to them or no one at all.  I get that it's "traditional" to have people speak, but with the potential for embarrassment, it might be worth it to buck tradition this time.

Tia2

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2012, 08:59:17 AM »
Regarding why it didn't occur to me in the first place not to have an open mic...well, I've just never seen a closed mic thing go as planned, so I guess it just didn't even occur to me that that is a thing that people do. Most memorably, at my cousin's wedding a few years ago, she gave the DJ a strict list of toasters, but when her 4 year old niece wanted to say something, she gave the DJ the one-time okay for an exception. When the little girl started to get (adorably) emotional, her father took the mic away. As he went to pass it back to the DJ, my cousin's husband's very intoxicated and very not politically correct grandfather defied the laws of physics to make it across the room and wrangle that mic away and start complaining about how the service was not a traditional religious ceremony and the bride is a prostitute. He even managed to get the more offensive half of a racist song in there before someone was able to get the mic away. However, he was so angry about being silenced that he got very loud and when people tried to quiet him, he threw a champagne glass on the ground and ended up having to be escorted out early and the head couple, and their mothers, were all in tears.

But with an open mic, it sounds as though he would still have done all of this.  The only difference would be that people wouldn't have been as prepared to get the microphone off him as they were when they knew he shouldn't be making a speech and he'd have probably managed to make more of a scene.

Venus193

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2012, 09:06:07 AM »
Quote
Threaten elopement if you must .


Good idea.  This situation is a perfect motive for a destination wedding.

lowspark

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Re: Guest with intent to embarrass?
« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2012, 10:06:41 AM »
I agree with the closed mike. When you are interviewing DJs, make sure to ask about how much experience they have with weddings and controlling this sort of thing. I don't think I've ever been to an open mike wedding. It's always a predetermined set of folks who make their toast and hand the mike back to the DJ who is standing close by ready to take the mike back and call up the next toast giver. A good DJ with experience should be able to handle this well.

I also agree with sitting down and telling Anna your feelings.
Anna, I know you think this is funny and you think I should lighten up. But regardless of whether you understand or agree with me, it's my wedding, my once in a lifetime event and I must ask you to respect my wishes on this. Do you think you can do that?

If she doesn't give a satisfactory reply, I'd seriously reconsider inviting her at all. Because even if it is a closed mike, if she's hell-bent on telling these stories, she'll manage to tell them to whatever audience she can muster at the wedding.