Etiquette

How would you respond?


Knotties, I need your help on this as my husband has been most upset over the behaviour of his mother and brother and wants to confront them over their behaviour. I believe that we have a right to be upset, but feel that there may be a better way to address the problem other than calling them out.

He is at a loss for their behaviour because as far as he knew  - there were no problems / issues. He was also the best man at his brother's wedding a year earlier.

It was a destination wedding to Las Vegas from the UK. Both his mother and brother chose to use it as a holiday eschewing any (fully catered) wedding events such as the rehearsal dinner and stag do to 'do their own thing.'
His brother chose to lie to my husband claiming he 'fell asleep' as the reason he did not attend the stag do and 'forgot' about the rehearsal dinner. We later found out that he had been gambling.
His mother just chose to go on excursions and ignore any attempt made to reach out.

On the day of the wedding we heard nothing from them until the actual ceremony where they made an appearance. Both came to the reception party - once again fully catered / open bar etc. However, they failed to offer any congratulations, did not write in the guest book and sat in the corner of the balcony all evening with faces like thunder.
We received no congratulations, no card or gift from the brother and what I describe as a 'lack lustre' gift from his mother. (A printed piece of paper with the wrong date and time of the wedding and a set of co-ordinates of our wedding ceremony location.)

They did not make contact again despite having at least another 3 days in Vegas.

Obviously, I will be writing thank you notes but these will be particularly difficult.

How would you handle the situation?

KnotRileyKnottieee9687c52b77a202

Re: How would you respond?

  • Thanks for taking the time to reply - I've responded to some of your points for clarification. Respectfully, I think their behaviour is incredibly rude but would like to limit fallout as much as I can - hence asking the question.

    Fair enough, mea culpa,- I should have included that they did RSVP to all events.

    With regards to the gift - I think I would have appreciated it more if she had bothered to get the date and time correct. It is her eldest sons wedding - I would have thought she might have known when it took place.

    It's an interesting point you raise regarding their 'holiday'.
    Personally, I feel that when I've shelled out for them to be there - they should make more effort to attend events they have RSVP'd as attending and that I have had to give numbers to a caterer for. However, it is not an angle I had considered - so I will think on it. I do feel fiercely protective of my other half and know that he has taken this badly  - so it is useful to have objective input.

    He does want to address the issue - I just want to be able to offer objective options and go through ways he can address his concerns in a manner that will not inflame relations.




    Knottie047b98c10a65aa66
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited October 2016
    Yes, it's rude to RSVP yes and then no-show.

    That said, it should be up to your husband to discuss this with his mother and brother. Don't say anything to them yourself. And there should be no mention of the gift or their facial expressions. Bringing those things up would be like adding fuel to a fire 
    OurWildKingdom
  • I assume, since your H is so upset, that this is not normal behavior for MIL and BIL?  I ask because we often see brides and grooms on these boards hoping that their families and/or friends will magically change and become supportive during the wedding process, when they haven't had close or very good relationships with these people in the past.  Aside from Vegas, has H always been close to his mom and brother?
    SP29
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited October 2016

    Knotties, I need your help on this as my husband has been most upset over the behaviour of his mother and brother and wants to confront them over their behaviour. I believe that we have a right to be upset, but feel that there may be a better way to address the problem other than calling them out.

    He is at a loss for their behaviour because as far as he knew  - there were no problems / issues. He was also the best man at his brother's wedding a year earlier.

    It was a destination wedding to Las Vegas from the UK. Both his mother and brother chose to use it as a holiday eschewing any (fully catered) wedding events such as the rehearsal dinner and stag do to 'do their own thing.'
    His brother chose to lie to my husband claiming he 'fell asleep' as the reason he did not attend the stag do and 'forgot' about the rehearsal dinner. We later found out that he had been gambling.
    His mother just chose to go on excursions and ignore any attempt made to reach out.

    On the day of the wedding we heard nothing from them until the actual ceremony where they made an appearance. Both came to the reception party - once again fully catered / open bar etc. However, they failed to offer any congratulations, did not write in the guest book and sat in the corner of the balcony all evening with faces like thunder.
    We received no congratulations, no card or gift from the brother and what I describe as a 'lack lustre' gift from his mother. (A printed piece of paper with the wrong date and time of the wedding and a set of co-ordinates of our wedding ceremony location.)

    They did not make contact again despite having at least another 3 days in Vegas.

    Obviously, I will be writing thank you notes but these will be particularly difficult.

    How would you handle the situation?

    So they sound like morons, but there is nothing you can do. It was rude to miss the stag do and rehearsal, but otherwise they attended your wedding. Maybe they weren't the best guests, but it just sounds like you had high expectations of them. 

    You can't force people to be excited and want to spend time with you. They just sound flakey. Just make a note of it going forward and lower your expectations. 

    What is your Husband's end game here? Because I don't think airing these grievances are really going to change them. Whats done is done. Be married and get on with it. Just remember that they may do this in the future and not to take it personally. If your H wants to readjust their invites accordingly, then he can do so. But it should he his decision. 

    You can't change people, only your reaction to it. 

    I also agree with PP that complaining about a gift is tacky and crass. Also, just because you pay for something doesn't give you the right to dictate their behaviour. I assume that you paid for them to come because you wanted them there and as a gift. That should have been the end of the transaction. As soon as you attach strings  it is no longer a gift, but is manipulative.
    cowgirl8238SP29

  • Knotties, I need your help on this as my husband has been most upset over the behaviour of his mother and brother and wants to confront them over their behaviour. I believe that we have a right to be upset, but feel that there may be a better way to address the problem other than calling them out.

    He is at a loss for their behaviour because as far as he knew  - there were no problems / issues. He was also the best man at his brother's wedding a year earlier.

    It was a destination wedding to Las Vegas from the UK. Both his mother and brother chose to use it as a holiday eschewing any (fully catered) wedding events such as the rehearsal dinner and stag do to 'do their own thing.'
    His brother chose to lie to my husband claiming he 'fell asleep' as the reason he did not attend the stag do and 'forgot' about the rehearsal dinner. We later found out that he had been gambling.
    His mother just chose to go on excursions and ignore any attempt made to reach out.

    On the day of the wedding we heard nothing from them until the actual ceremony where they made an appearance. Both came to the reception party - once again fully catered / open bar etc. However, they failed to offer any congratulations, did not write in the guest book and sat in the corner of the balcony all evening with faces like thunder.
    We received no congratulations, no card or gift from the brother and what I describe as a 'lack lustre' gift from his mother. (A printed piece of paper with the wrong date and time of the wedding and a set of co-ordinates of our wedding ceremony location.)

    They did not make contact again despite having at least another 3 days in Vegas.

    Obviously, I will be writing thank you notes but these will be particularly difficult.

    How would you handle the situation?

    So they sound like morons, but there is nothing you can do. It was rude to miss the stag do and rehearsal, but otherwise they attended your wedding. Maybe they weren't the best guests, but it just sounds like you had high expectations of them. 

    You can't force people to be excited and want to spend time with you. They just sound flakey. Just make a note of it going forward and lower your expectations. 

    What is your Husband's end game here? Because I don't think airing these grievances are really going to change them. Whats done is done. Be married and get on with it. Just remember that they may do this in the future and not to take it personally. If your H wants to readjust their invites accordingly, then he can do so. But it should he his decision. 

    You can't change people, only your reaction to it. 

    I also agree with PP that complaining about a gift is tacky and crass. Also, just because you pay for something doesn't give you the right to dictate their behaviour. I assume that you paid for them to come because you wanted them there and as a gift. That should have been the end of the transaction. As soon as you attach strings  it is no longer a gift, but is manipulative.
    This.

    It's unfortunate that your husband's mom and brother weren't all that interested in being a major part of his wedding day.  I totally get why he feels hurt.  I would feel hurt if I were in his shoes, too.  

    But what exactly is a big confrontation going to accomplish?  How is it going to end the hurt or fix the relationship?  

    If these individuals are generally on the less warm/more self-involved side of the scale, then this isn't exactly surprising behavior.  Our loved ones and friends are the exact same people on our wedding day as they were the day before and as they will be the next day.  They don't magically become kind and thoughtful and selfless just because you are getting married.  If this was our of character, think deeply about what could have caused this sort of reaction.  In that case, it might be worth saying something like "Mom/Bro, you seemed a little distant at the wedding.  Did I unintentionally do something that hurt you?" No accusations.  No snark about the presents not being good enough.  Just a genuine desire to heal the relationship. 
    short+sassycharlotte989875OliveOilsMomPrettyGirlLost
  • Definitely sad, and rude about not attending at least the Rehearsal Dinner. Maybe the family isn't typically warm and close? I think it's okay to say you're disappointed, for sure, but probably won't change anything.
  • Your husband has every right to feel hurt that his family didn't show the enthusiasm for his wedding and wedding-related events that he was hoping they would. But there's really nothing to be done here. I suppose if he really wanted to have a heart-to-heart along the lines of telling them he's hurt they didn't participate more, but that's a matter for him to figure out in terms of if he think it would help his relationship or not. 

    We don't all get the family relationships we wish we had. There's nothing you can do about controlling other people. 
    short+sassySP29
  • If I'm reading this right - his MOM missed the ceremony - Your H has more than enough reasons to be disappointed, hurt, and sad if that's the situation and it's worth clearing the air about the elephant in the room in that regard.  Yes, Blood talks to blood here!  Your job is to be supportive of your husband, nothing more nothing less.  
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  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    @MesmrEwe mom made it to the ceremony and reception but apparently didn't speak to H.
    MesmrEwe
  • I follow a certain rule very closely:  if it's my family, I deal with it.  If it's his family, he deals with it.  Blood always responds to blood better.  Sorry they didn't live up to expectations, but I would politely thank your MIL for the "gift" and let your H speak with her privately.  
    Knottie8ae0dcf3011a12df
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I follow a certain rule very closely:  if it's my family, I deal with it.  If it's his family, he deals with it.  Blood always responds to blood better.  Sorry they didn't live up to expectations, but I would politely thank your MIL for the "gift" and let your H speak with her privately.  
    @Knottiea9d7afcdea1b39ec this post is over two months old. Please don't bump dead threads like this. 
    image
    DrillSergeantCatOliveOilsMomKnottieee9687c52b77a202
  • @climbingwife I love your dress. May I ask who's the designer and where did you get it. 
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    @Knottieee9687c52b77a202 I'm 99% sure is was Casablanca. I bought it at a local to me bridal salon in NY in 2013. 
    image
  • Closing as this thread is 6 months old. Knottie#s, please feel free to use the private message feature if further messages are needed. Thanks.
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    MesmrEwe
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