I was at a wedding recently, as mother of the groom. We were really kept out of the planning and participation loop despite numerous inquiries.
The brother of the bride was the master of ceremonies at the reception. Speeches went on for one and a half hours ” all about the bride” ( her childhood , her teenage rebellion , her aggressive personality). Then at the very end of the reception, the master of ceremonies says, “Well , enough about the bride . Does anyone in the groom’s family have anything to say?” We were all caught unawares. My husband was able to have the wit to get up and say a 30 second speech and then the rest of us just sat there , stunned by the tastelessness of the whole affair and not really wanting the thing to go on any longer.
The reception was pronounced over by the master of ceremonies and you never saw a crowd leave so quickly. 0819-08
My best friend, Sara, was getting married to Mike who was about to leave for the military. They decided to get married right away because the military pays more to married soldiers and offers better benefits. I knew this because Sara is my best friend; everyone else just assumed but had the tact not to mention it. At the reception Sara’s father gave the toast and thanked everyone for coming on such short notice. He then continued “I know it was all planned pretty quickly but Sara and Mike had to get married or Sara wouldn’t have gotten health insurance.” I thought I was going to die on their behalf and only felt more appalled when they didn’t seem to even notice how completely distasteful his comment was. An update, the health insurance wasn’t enough to maintain the marriage and Sara and Mike are currently getting a divorce. 0802-08
My father is a fun, family-oriented man, and he was bursting with excitement to give a toast at my sister’s wedding. He’d written and re-written several times,and had been practicing for weeks before the big day. During the toast, he gave a list of emotions that my sister had inspired in him – all of them rhymed (inspiration, anticipation etc.) He then added, “And this is for [me – bride’s sister]..” and added a list of unpleasant emotions, (aggravation, irritation, constipation – yes, he said “constipation”). He meant to say it in a way that meant jokingly that my sister was a bit of a pain as a child. Instead, it appeared as if he was insulting me horribly for no apparent reason. My sister (quite the Bridezilla), beamed, and leaned over to laugh in my ear. 0405-09
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At my friends’ wedding, the toasts were all great, and then the toast to the groom’s parents came. It was certainly funny, entertaining, lovely, they brought a guitar and sang funny songs — it would have been perfect for the main entertainment at a local comedy club where everybody knew the subjects or for a roast to the parents. But for a wedding? From when I started timing it lasted 45 minutes. And that was after it had gone on and on and they had said something that sounded like the end so my whole table stood up and said “To the parents” and toasted, assuming that it was the end (15 or 20 minutes in). The MC was supposed to announce that people should go for seconds for the dinner, but about halfway through the toast, the staff started clearing the dinner and it was completely gone by the time they were finished. The next toast was to the parents of the bride, and it was short, sweet, and he made a really funny comment about how they had been told to keep it under two minutes. On the other hand, it was, as far as I know, the only thing that went “wrong” at the wedding, and at least the speakers were funny.
At my daughter’s wedding, all the parents were invited to give a toast. My ex-husband got up and gave a tasteful toast of less than a minute. I got up and gave a tasteful toast of less than a minute. The father of the groom (well, you get the idea). Then the mother of the groom stood up to give her toast. First she threw a box of tissues at her table, calling “you’ll need these.” They did — she hit an elderly aunt on the head. Then she pulled out several pages and started to read. As she turned the pages, some of them caught fire on the candles at the table. She didn’t notice, but the other people at the table put them out and moved all flame away. She went on for at least 15 minutes. It was a sweet gesture, and wouldn’t have been so bad, but the first thing she said was “What is as beautiful as young love?” And my father (83) replied “puppies!” and our table had to bite our lips to keep from laughing out loud.
I attended a wedding a few years back, where the bride’s father stood up to speak. He had pre-written the speach, and brought the papers up to the podium to read from. It seemed the things he said were ment to seem endearing & nostalgic … but once said out loud, had a completely different effect.
After commenting how lovely his daughter looked today, he spoke of the first time he saw her, when the nurse showed him his daughter in the bassinette. He said he was surprised how large she was, so enormous she was spilling out of the basinette. He said he promptly left to check on the condition of his wife, as she was such a tiny person … having given birth to such a large baby, made him fear for the worst (about his wife’s health).
Then he went on to talk about her athletic achievements, and recounted some of her early days at softball. As he watched one of her early little league games, he was appalled to learn his daughter was too nervous to swing for the ball, so her strategy was to hope for 4 balls so she could walk to first base. He said as soon as the game finished, he took her home and they paracticed together day & night until her next game. Then he was proud when she stepped up to bat and swung a great hit.
Lastly he spoke of how she had chosen a lovely guy to spend the rest of her life with. He tried to finish off with a lightheated joke about the length of her new lastname (9 letters) … by saying how it was quite a mouthfull, and poor (future) kids – it would be really challenging to fit it across the back of a hockey jersey. Funny, her husband has never had any problem making it fit on his hockey jerseies?
This speach has always left me thinking – with a father like that, who needs enemies!
My family has a long-held toasting tradition. We stand on chairs, we wax poetic, we spend hours writing lyrics and rhymes. It has occurred to me over the years that not all families do this – during various family events, where in-laws are present, I’ve noticed that we do tend to monopolize the room. And yes, we can run over-long, what with everyone feeling the need to pop up and say something. However, with the possible exception of one or two best-forgotten toasts over the last 30 years, I do think it’s a lovely tradition – it’s done with love and humor, and we try to include everyone. Occasionally, it’s slightly more roast-y than toast-y (but NEVER at a wedding) – I stick by our tradition, and leave you with our favorite:
Here’s to ya,
and for ya,
and to ya again.
If I hadn’t a met ya,
this wouldn’t a been.
But I met ya,
and I love ya,
and I’ll bet ya,
we do it again.
(When spoken by my exceedingly proper 96 year old grandmother, it’s a hoot!)
My favourite speech will always be the one from the wedding in ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’:
Gus Portokalos: You know, the root of the word Miller is a Greek word. Miller come from the Greek word “milo,” which is mean “apple,” so there you go. As many of you know, our name, Portokalos, is come from the Greek word “portokali,” which mean “orange.” So, okay? Here tonight, we have, ah, apple and orange. We all different, but in the end, we all fruit.
Why did the letter writer feel ‘more appalled’ when Sara and Mike didn’t notice how distasteful Sara’s father’s comment was. It sounds like she was appalled at the HC for not reacting to the comment when I think that is the only thing to do in that situation. They could have been feeling very embarrassed, but making a fuss at the reception would only draw more attention and awkwardness to it. I mean what did the LW really expect them to do? They did the right thing by ignoring it and continuing to enjoy their day.
Okay, i wasn’t at this wedding but I knew the groom and the best man so I heard it through the grapevine. I was friends with the mother of the groom’s children so I recieved no invite but would’ve paid money to be there lol.
During the speeches BM stands up for his speech and toasts to “John and Jessica” when the brides name was Mindy. Bad enough but then the FOG stood up and also toasted to John and Jessica. Who’s Jessica you might ask? The mother of his two daughters.
“Puppies!” That’s too funny.
Pretending not to notice a gaffe is the proper thing to do.
I realize this is an old thread, but I just had to tell this story:
I am friends with a very lovely woman I will call Angie. Angie is a sweet, sensitive, and above all SHY person. A few years ago, two of her friends, Beth and Mike, got married. Angie was the MOH and was very nervous about making her speech. She wrote it out and read it to everyone for approval a few weeks before the wedding. It was a perfect mix of humor and sentimentality, as she talked about what wrong impressions she and the bride had of the groom when they first met, the importance of forgiveness, how things work out the way they are meant to, etc. The first line of the speech said, “many people will be surprised to learn that Mike and I were not always friends” (this is important later). Since the speech was only about 2 minutes, Angie decided to memorize it so that she could look upon the bride and groom as she toasted them and not at her notes. Everything seemed fine.
The wedding day came and Angie was beyond nervous. Between all eyes being on her as she walked down the aisle and stood in the front and having to make a speech in front of 200+ guests, she was nearly hyperventilating. In the bridal room where the girls were getting ready, champagne was served. Everyone encouraged Angie to have a glass or two to calm her nerves. She was by no means intoxicated. She performed admirably during the ceremony, walking calmly down the aisle and smiling. Then came the reception. Angie says she only remembers having a few sips of red wine, and I trust her. I suppose there must have been something about the combination of the champagne and the red wine that hit her very hard.
Angie’s turn came to make her speech. She stood a bit unsteadily and said, “you know, Mike and I weren’t always JUST FRIENDS” with enough accidental emphasis to sound suggestive. In fact, Angie and Mike NEVER had a romantic relationship and neither EVER desired one with the other. She turned 8 shades of red and covered her face. One of the BMs quickly stood up and toasted “to friendship and love” and the ladies hastened Angie from the room. To this day, we gently tease Angie (who has rallied enough to appreciate it) that she won’t be making speeches at our weddings. Luckily, the bride and groom were good sports.