I know the aufruf is generally held the Shabbat before your wedding, which for us would mean the day before. We were hoping to do it the week before so as not to overwhelm ourselves and give us some breathing room over the weekend, but because of a prior function it didn't happen.
We initially told his mother's family over Passover about it but when we discussed the matter in detail this past weekend, it seems that the only folks going will be his grandmother, mother and sister. His step-father (they've been married just over a year) is agnostic to atheist and so it was surprising but didn't mean much. I was surprised when his grandmother said that his uncle, aunt and cousins wouldn't be there. Yes, it's a bit of a trek, which would have to be done two days in a row, and they'd have to be there early in the morning (9:30am), but it's not every day that there is a marriage. My thought was that if the kids (who are already mitzvahed) was having an early bar or bat mitzvah, he'd be there. Okay, so it's easier for one person to travel than all, but if the kids couldn't get ready say, the adults could and by doing so set an example for them for the future. He didn't seem bothered by it and it's hard to tell, but if it were me, and my family is already tiny, I'd be pretty upset that the return favor for an event I'm finally having isn't being returned.
On his dad's side, it's not yet known if his father and step-mother will come out; they are further in NJ (about an hour out) and I could see his dad not wanting to do the same trip two days in a row. And he's not the type that would then consider getting a room for the night, being in the city for the wedding the next day and then heading back. In regards to his dad's side, while I find it annoying, he's hasn't always been there for major things, so FI's expectations aren't as great there.
I dunno; I just am always told how his family does things here and there and it just seems to me that folks are really dropping the ball. His grandmother isn't happy we are doing a hora dance and to me what would make a reception Jewish without one? I wouldn't say it's been a struggle, but it's certain been challenging because we have made a life of observance for ourselves (far from as strict as it probably should, but still meaningful enough for us) and it can be difficult, especially for FI, to please his family but keep in mind that we are now doing things "our" way and we are now our own unit and they are just going to have to get over things...
Were there any aspects of your planning or wedding festivities that you were surprised certain folks didn't step up to the plate as you might have anticipated?