My sister got married on Saturday, and we were all expecting it to be a total shit-show. That's partly because she gave everyone little bits of information and we had to puzzle it together, and partly because, well, my sister has neither class nor tact. There was surprisingly little shit-showery. I had been told that Mom and I were the only family members being invited, Dad having disowned us last year, and Sis still not talking to Bro over some MUD or other. Sis DID eventually invite Bro, but as it turned out he had a gig he couldn't turn down. Mom ended up not being able to go because of great-uncle's funeral. So, I was the only representation for the family. Which makes us sound like the mafia.
It was, as I had predicted, fucking freezing at 6pm on Saturday. We were inside at the restaurant with heaters and whatnots and it was STILL cold. I didn't take my coat and gloves off until we sat down at the table - almost an hour after we arrived. I was pleased to see that NO ONE was wearing cocktail wear as the invite requested, but that we were all wearing black and white. Mostly it was smart casual, with some of the guys in business casual. The bride wore blue.
On arrival we were given welcome drinks (which I think were berries, syrup, and champagne), and were implored by the waiter to please have an amuse-bouche (some sort of mushroom paté pastry tower served on a dumpling spoon) which we very politely declined. My sister is not a big fan of mushrooms, so I thought it was a little weird that they would have that. Turns out the chef did it of his own accord, just because he could, and because my sister and her H eat there at least twice a month.
The invite said 6pm, so FI and I, Sis's BFF and her FI, and the officiant and her H were all there promptly at 6pm - B&G didn't rock up until 6.30pm, and most of the guests didn't get there until 7pm. How rude is that?
Because of the stupid way South African marriage law works, you can't legally be married in a restaurant, so Sis and BIL did the "legal" bit (ie. signed the register) at home earlier in the day. Originally, we (the family) were told that they would do their exchange of vows and rings etc there with just the witnesses, and the invite we were getting would be just for the reception. They didn't do that. They signed the register at home, but exchanged vows and rings in front of their guests at the "reception".
They wrote their own vows, which were kinda cute but mostly just cheesy. The officiant came across as very nervous, but I think that's probably just because plans kept changing right up to the last second before the ceremony. Best man's speech was a clever concept (brought evidence against the groom, asking for a life sentence to be handed down - playing on the fact that my sister has a legal background and her MOH was an attorney) but poorly executed, and a lot of the jokes/info was just in poor taste. But that's BIL's family. They're kinda trashy.
And because BIL is Pagan, they jumped the broom after the rings were exchanged.
The food was excellent. The music got a little too loud for me at times, especially considering there wasn't a dance floor or anything. And the whole cash bar thing... There wasn't an actual bar, you just ordered through the waiters. Well, there was a bar tab for each table because the restaurant apparently can't do "split tabs", which meant that as guests left to go home, they had to total up what they had from the drinks menu (hoping that they'd kept an accurate track) and leave it with someone else at the table. So by the end of the night, I was sitting with a stack of cash in front of me, which never makes me very comfortable.
Anyway, overall it was a much more pleasant evening than I expected, and when all's said and done, I'm just happy that my sister is happy - even if he's not the guy I would've picked for her.
I feel like I've let TK down by not having major trainwreckiness to report!