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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wedding Invitations

I got married last year and the planning of it was very stressful. I know everyone says that planning a wedding is stressful, but this was one of the hardest times in my life and the wedding was nearly called off several times. A lot of sweet people helped get me through the 6 month long engagement, including my very good friend Jennifer who had one of three bridal showers for me. My office had one for me and my MIL's church, the same one we were married in, had one for us as well.

We got married in MIL's church because it was free. Most places are $2,000 to rent, including this church, for non-members. The church is old and beautiful and a hop, skip, and a jump away from one of Florida's most beautiful beaches. This was supposed to out-weigh all the bad that I knew was going to come from having my wedding on her turf. Even now, I think maybe it just barely balanced out.

As soon as we were engaged, I started working on an invitation list. Family first, close friends second, and work associates third. My husband didn't want to invite anyone and wanted to elope so he wasn't much help. His mother wanted EVERYONE in the town to come, but I politely asked her to send me a list of people she wanted to invite with their addresses and I would let my husband decide if it was someone he wanted to invite. She didn't understand why because "in my day we put a notice in the paper and everyone just came." She also didn't understand why we needed to plan a menu with the caterer because "at my wedding we served cake and punch." My mother was a breeze... no stress there. My husband went through his mother's list and nixed at least half of the people his mother wanted to invite but got on board by inviting some of his clients. MIL threw a fit. A few people came to the wedding that weren't invited, but they were from my husband's family and were lovely and caused no problems. In the end, I was really happy they came. SN: My parents paid for 75% of my wedding and MIL only paid for the rehearsal dinner.

My husband's aunt, MIL's sister, also thought she should have input on the guest list. She thought that I should invite some of her friends so she could have a good time partying with her friends at my parents' expense (her words, not mine). My husband's aunt specifically wanted me to invite her best friend, who I didn't know. The aunt invited this friend (BFF) to two of my bridal showers, and BFF came to one where they sat in a corner and talked between themselves the entire time. After that she called me 3 or 4 times asking if I'd sent her BFF an invitation yet and each time I told her I was not going to as I couldn't even invite all the people I wanted to invite due to the cost of food and space. She wouldn't back down. Each time it was an uncomfortable conversation. Each time she phoned me and I told her no, she'd call her sister (MIL) to complain about it, then MIL would call my husband and I'd have to hear about it again. It made me stand my ground even more. Her friend was not invited, period.

To make matters worse, my husband's cousin (crazy aunt's son) was supposed to be a groomsman in our wedding. He backed out, 6 weeks before the wedding, due to the cost of the tuxedo. We were able to have one of my husband's professors from college stand in his place. This caused SO MUCH DRAMA. Crazy aunt called MIL crying that "we kicked the poor baby out of our wedding" and "they should be paying for tuxedos for all the groomsmen." My husband started avoiding calls from his cousin because at this same time his cousin kept asking for my husband for do some unethical stuff which isn't appropriate for this blog. A few days before the wedding the cousin called my cell phone to let me know he wasn't coming to our wedding at all and he didn't care to have a relationship with us.

A little history.... my husband's aunt lives in my town, not too far from me, yet my husband and I almost never saw her in the 4 years we dated. She lives with her son in his house. Shortly after we started dating, I found out he had some family in town and as my family lives far away I made an effort to start a relationship with them. The relationship became very limited when on the 2nd visit she offered me a joint and on the 3rd visit she offered me cocaine.

Speed up to the day before my wedding. My family had a beach house rented for the week prior to the wedding and we were having a huge BBQ for all of the friends and family in town for the wedding. Some friends from Louisiana brought 70 lbs of crawfish and it was just a splendid day all around. My husband's aunt came, but I didn't see much of her because she was at the beach nearly the whole time. (A blessing) She came with my MIL who was actually really well behaved. It was really a great day until later that night when on facebook I saw that my husband's aunt had a post that said something like "with my BFF INSERT FRIEND'S NAME HERE in INSERT CITY IN FLORIDA for a wedding". I COULD NOT believe that she invited her when I had specifically told her she was NOT invited her 3 or 4 times. I couldn't let it go. I went to see my mom and my aunt in another room of the beach house and told them how mad I was that she just did whatever the hell she wanted to do and my mom said "take care of it, handle it however you need to so that you can be okay for tomorrow". So I texted my husband's aunt. I said something like "I saw that you and BFF are in town partying. You invited her even after I told you that she wasn't invited 4 times?" Then I went to sleep with my phone on silent.

I woke up at 1:00 AM (day of wedding) and had two voicemails from my husband's aunt. She was obviously drunk. Did I mention she's an alcoholic too? Her voicemails were almost identical so I wondered if she even remembering that she had called the first time. It was drunken jibberish but it was something like this... "Fuck you and my nephew - you are the rudest bitch I've ever met. BFF is my best friend and I need someone to party with. BFF is the nicest person ever and she gave you a gift and I gave you a gift at your shower and she won't eat much and fine I just won't come my son is so pissed off at the both of you my sister you're a rude bitch fuck both of you fuck you".

So I called my husband who was out at a bar with our friends doing a last minute bachelor party and told him about the messages to which he said "that's it, she's no longer welcome in our lives and if she comes to the wedding I'll tell her she has to leave."

That was it. The next day was wonderful. We had a kind of Steel Magnolias wedding party at the salon while we got our hair done and I had my make-up done. We got dressed at a beautiful B&B across the street from the church. My mom was late getting to the B&B and when she showed up she seemed very upset but I didn't know why and she blew it off. We took pictures and everything was wonderful. The ceremony was beautiful and the decorations and food were lovely. The flowers were amazing. Later that night, after some people had already left the reception my husband and I were dancing and he told me that his aunt had shown up just before the ceremony.

I was so shocked. I hadn't even thought of her. I guess I figured based on her voicemails that she just wouldn't show up. It turns out she did, with her friend, and she was asked to leave by my husband. Before she did leave though, she got in my mom's face and asked why she wasn't welcome to which my mom said "you were welcome, but now you're not. You've done too much to Kathryn and now you have to leave." Crazy aunt yelled for MIL who was nearby, but MIL ignored her. She caused a huge scene as other guests were arriving but eventually stormed out with her friend in tow.

After the reception, my husband and I went to our honeymoon suite. I checked my blackberry and had 4 text messages and 1 or 2 voice mails from his aunt. Then I got on facebook and found where she had left the rudest comment on my wall underneath all the nice comments from friends congratulating me on my wedding. The voicemail, texts, and facebook messages were mostly all the same. It went something like this "You're a fat bitch. I bet Omar the tent maker had to make your dress because you're so fat. You'll be divorced in a month because your husband didn't even want to marry you. He was spending a lot of free time with this neighbor of mine (picture inserted) while you two were broken up a few months ago. All you do is lay around and you're a fat cow. You're a self centered spiteful witch." Talk about a romantic wedding night, right? I immediately deleted her from facebook and eventually deleted the text and voice messages.

About a week after our honeymoon, we returned her and BFF's gift. We called it "Operation Gift Return". My husband drove, I sat in the back with a camera (just in case), and our friend and neighbor (who was also in our wedding) rode shotgun. We stopped in the street in front of her house and he brought a bag of stuff to her front door. After that she kept texting me and I responded for the first time telling her how I didn't appreciate her actions. She kept on and I finally told her if she didn't stop that I would file harassment charges against her. I've not talked to or heard from her since. We saw each other (and her son) at a festival last fall, but her son ignored us and she just glared at us. We were with my husband's two great aunts and I know she was jealous/hurt/angry to see us with her aunts.

When I returned the aunt's BFF's $20 gift, I sent a letter apologizing for the horrible embarrassment she endured while leaving the church and explained the entire situation. The poor woman never knew that she wasn't invited. I found out later that my MIL had told her sister to go ahead and invite her friend. She told my husband this, not me. She said she was tired of hearing her sister complain that her friend wasn't invited. MIL didn't have the right to tell her it was okay. Also, it turns out that my on my wedding day my husband's aunt and BFF spent the day with MIL at her house. I have no idea if his aunt said anything to MIL about the texts or voicemails. I have no idea where she was staying while she was in town but I know it wasn't at MIL's house because my husband was staying there. I do know that if MIL hadn't given in to her and said it was okay none of this would've happened. I'm glad she's no longer in my life, but I hate that this disaster happened on my wedding day and because of me.

Update: Crazy aunt left several rude messages on MIL's answering machine and other family members answer machines. No one ever called her back. No one in my husband's family speaks to crazy aunt anymore including MIL who hasn't spoken to her sister since the day of the wedding.

Update 2: My husband's crazy aunt has never texted, called, or emailed my husband since he asked her to leave our wedding. She only called and texted me. Lucky me.

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