My boyfriend (let's call him Sam) and I were at the wedding reception of my oldest friend. He had met the bride a few weeks before but had never met the bride's family.
During the reception Sam was dancing on the dance floor and the bride's brother-in-law (her sister's husband of four months, let's call him Bill) slapped Sam on the butt and ducked behind another guest. Sam thought this was strange, but Bill had been drinking heavily, so Sam told him to stop and left it at that.
Ten minutes later, Sam was again dancing and was again slapped on the butt by Bill. Now keep in mind that Bill was a high school teacher in his mid-30s - theoretically mature enough to know better than to slap people he didn't know. Sam told Bill that he didn't like it and to please stop. Sam walked off the dance floor and over to me to tell me what was happening.
Later, Sam walked across the room to say hello to another guest, and on his way back to our table was accosted by Bill who pinched Sam's nipple. This was the last straw for Sam and he began to get upset. A few of the bride's cousins saw this and stepped in to avoid a physical confrontation. I saw the bride's cousin take Sam outside and I followed to see what was happening. Sam explained the whole situation to the cousin who replied that this was what Bill was like and to forget it.
As we were standing outside, Bill walked up to Sam and asked if he wanted to fight. Sam asked for an apology instead. Bill reluctantly and insincerely apologized with a mumbled "sorry".
Sam and I returned to the reception, a little offended. I felt that as I had known the bride's sister for 20 years, I could speak with her about her husband's behavior or at least inform her about it. I told her the scenario and she blamed Sam for starting a fight and said we were ruining her good time. She then told me that this is how Bill is. I said that his behavior was inappropriate and hostile and that she should know about it. She said she would take care of it, and angrily walked away.
A few minutes later, the groom took me aside and said that the bride's sister had informed him that Sam and I had said "derogatory things" about the military (the bride, groom and most of their friends were currently serving in the armed forces) to her. The groom said she didn't tell him what our exact words were. I pointed out to the groom that Sam and I had been talking to their friends all night and had been unfailingly respectful and polite. Sam and I also informed the groom that the only time we had spoken with the sister was to bring Bill's behavior to her attention. We told the groom the whole story. The groom said he didn't know whom to believe, and asked us not to tell the bride about this. He told us to avoid Bill, which we had been doing anyway.
Sam and I felt very uncomfortable and unwelcome, and left the reception. I was determined to make sure the bride knew what had happened. Sam did not deserve to be treated this way. If this was just an ordinary friend I would never have spoken to her again. However, she had been a good friend for most of our lives, so I wanted to give her a chance to react to this situation. After she got back from her honeymoon and was settled into her new home, I told her the story. She was very apologetic and said that if she had known at the time, she would have done something.
I'm torn on this one. Obviously Bill is a childish boor, but I don't really agree with telling the bride everything that happened, particularly after the groom asked them not to let the bride find out. I realize he was probably referring to not telling her _at the reception_, but what did she hope to gain by giving the bride a play-by-play afterwards? Excusing the fact that they left early? Creating problems between the bride and her BIL? I see all of these stories from brides about how fabulous their wedding was, how much fun everyone had, etc., and it seems mean to me to tell the bride afterwards, "You know how you thought everyone had a great time? We didn't. In fact, a big group of us got involved in an altercation with your BIL. Let me tell you what happened so that you can realize what a big part of your reception this was . . .