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Report from the wedding I was dreading

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!
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Re: Report from the wedding I was dreading

  • Well, points for your sister for pulling it together! 

    I hate trashy speeches. Most of the time, I hate most speeches. I don't care how much your love the bride and have been friends for 18,927 years with no mention of the groom and I don't care how many times you've seen the groom do keg stands at a frat in college. 


    KytchynWitche
  • Glad it wasn't horrible after all!
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    KytchynWitche
  • Hahahaha I can soooooo relate to "the family" drama and thinking you sound like the mob. Lots of conversations last summer about my brother "going against The Family."

    Glad it turned out better than expected! I hope your table mates left you enough cash.

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    KytchynWitche
  • I'm glad it turned out to be okay!  And that you can be happy for your sister, that's important.

    I hate being the last person stuck with the bill at the end of the night like that.  People always add up their total and add tip, but they forget about tax.  Or they include tax but they are stingy tippers.  Or they forgot how many drinks they had.  then the last person always ends up paying more.  Blarg!
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    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

    KytchynWitche
  • Glad it wasn't terrible!

    I too hate being the last person stuck with the cash. Once at a friends bday dinner, her coworkers left super early and did not include tax OR tip. The place was expensive enough without us having to fork over extra money to cover their asses.
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    KytchynWitche
  • Having to pay for the drinks that like must have sucked. I would have been super uncomfortable. 
    KytchynWitche
  • I'm glad it turned out to be okay!  And that you can be happy for your sister, that's important.

    I hate being the last person stuck with the bill at the end of the night like that.  People always add up their total and add tip, but they forget about tax.  Or they include tax but they are stingy tippers.  Or they forgot how many drinks they had.  then the last person always ends up paying more.  Blarg!
    Or they just deliberately short you. 

    How did they keep track that each table paid? I can totally see people just "going to the restroom" or "running out to the car for something" and the next thing you know everyone is gone and there's no money on the table. 
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    KytchynWitche
  • or, as has happened to me as a server, money is left on the table, then the last person back from the washroom scoops it up on the way out.  Trust me, that sucks!
    KytchynWitche
  • Thankfully in SA all prices are tax inclusive - I can't imagine operating any other way. And because none of us (at least at my table) had small bills, almost everyone tipped at least 20%. At the end of the night, one of the guys took the cash and paid the whole amount plus a hefty tip on his card.

    @mysticl - It was a TINY wedding. There were only 4 tables of 8, plus the sweetheart table, and everyone at each table knew at least half of their table (as in sees them at least monthly), so it was sort of self-policing. On top of which, my sister eats at that restaurant very often (they're on first name terms with all the staff, including the chef) so if anything went hinky, you can believe that they would've followed up on it.
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  • Thankfully in SA all prices are tax inclusive - I can't imagine operating any other way. And because none of us (at least at my table) had small bills, almost everyone tipped at least 20%. At the end of the night, one of the guys took the cash and paid the whole amount plus a hefty tip on his card.

    @mysticl - It was a TINY wedding. There were only 4 tables of 8, plus the sweetheart table, and everyone at each table knew at least half of their table (as in sees them at least monthly), so it was sort of self-policing. On top of which, my sister eats at that restaurant very often (they're on first name terms with all the staff, including the chef) so if anything went hinky, you can believe that they would've followed up on it.
    I wish they did that here.  In the U.S. taxes are added at checkout.  Try explaining that to a kid who insists he can buy the item that costs $9.99 because he has $10.00 on him.  
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  • mysticl said:
    Thankfully in SA all prices are tax inclusive - I can't imagine operating any other way. And because none of us (at least at my table) had small bills, almost everyone tipped at least 20%. At the end of the night, one of the guys took the cash and paid the whole amount plus a hefty tip on his card.

    @mysticl - It was a TINY wedding. There were only 4 tables of 8, plus the sweetheart table, and everyone at each table knew at least half of their table (as in sees them at least monthly), so it was sort of self-policing. On top of which, my sister eats at that restaurant very often (they're on first name terms with all the staff, including the chef) so if anything went hinky, you can believe that they would've followed up on it.
    I wish they did that here.  In the U.S. taxes are added at checkout.  Try explaining that to a kid who insists he can buy the item that costs $9.99 because he has $10.00 on him.  
    Yeah, I could not handle that. I'm bad enough at staying on budget with tax included, I dunno how I would cope with still having to mentally add it on. I have been caught out at the till more than once, and it is no fun.

    I actually shouldn't say ALL prices are tax inclusive. Often wholesalers and distributors will list their prices exclusive, but retail and hospitality are always inclusive.
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