What happened at a wedding that made you feel horrible for the bride?
Answered by: Anne Carol Mercado,lived through nearly 4 decades of life experiences
Nearly 90% of the 500 invited guests didn't attend the wedding.
This wedding was recent, just last Christmas. The bride and groom, let's call them Michelle and Paul, were married on December 24, of all dates.
Michelle is a goddaughter of my aunt and her mom has been friends with my aunt since high school. Paul is a third generation Filipino Chinese but his grandmother is very traditional. She insisted on consulting a feng shui expert, who claimed that December 24 was the best date for the couple to get married on. How he decided on this advice, I have no idea.
In Filipino culture, Christmas is the most important holiday of the year. During Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Filipinos will surely be home to celebrate these days with their families. How Filipino families will spend Christmas is always pre-planned, so don't think they'll give up being with their families on a very special occasion just so they can attend your wedding.
Michelle's mom lamented that her daughter and future son-in-law almost had no say on the details of their own wedding, and that everyone in Paul's family seemed to blindly obey their matriarch.
As soon as my aunt received the wedding invitation, she called Michelle and her mom right away to let them know that she won't be able to attend the wedding. To make it even less likely for guests to attend, the wedding was set at 6 PM, which is going to be followed by dinner at a hotel. Knowing how big weddings really go, the 6PM ceremony will last for an hour, then it's followed by endless picture taking in the church, which is followed by even more picture taking at the reception. When guests finish dinner, there's going to be a program and other traditional wedding stuff that will take hours. So, the guests will be essentially spending Christmas Eve at this wedding and not at home with their families.
So the wedding took place as planned, but only two or three members of the entourage made it. After pictures were taken in the church, the two bridesmaids and the best man, who is the only part of the groom's entourage who made it, left and rushed to get home.
The reception was really sad. Only family members were left in attendance that the program was nixed.
A few days after the wedding, my aunt had a chat with Michelle's mom and she was still disappointed. She had hoped that the wedding would be set on a different day so that most of the guests could attend. She said that the function hall was practically vacant with rows of empty tables. The servers who were hired to accommodate 500 guests ended up serving one guest each. She sent my aunt a picture that looked like this:
It really baffles me why this wedding still took place as planned and there didn't seem to be any adjustments made. It's truly bizarre and not something a bride would like to remember about what could have been the happiest day of her life.
Edit: First, thank you for the upvotes I never thought my answer would get this much attention since the question was answered many times before I did.
If I did not reply to your comment, it means I can't find it :( I don't get notifications on some comments.
I've been to many weddings and have heard of and seen some unpleasant things happen that I can add a few more to this answer. The reason why I chose this wedding for my answer is because of it being so bizarre, it's unbelievable.
Here are some information to help explain how the wedding went as it did and I learned this from my aunt after I posted this answer.
The grandmother paid for the bulk of the wedding expenses. She paid close to 90% of the costs and in a way it helped explain why she had the last say on the decisions. If the wedding was meant to be a gift (this is only a speculation), she should have just given the money to the couple so they can plan their wedding according to their choices.
I still can't get my head around this: Grandma booked the venue on the day the invitations were sent out. So there really was no point in waiting for RSVP. One of the wedding planners quit at this point— not surprising at all.
Before the invitations were sent out, the bride's family was advised by several friends that a Christmas Eve wedding is not a good idea. According to my aunt, one of the bride's uncles was heard saying, "I told Michelle not to expect us if she's having her wedding on Christmas Eve. We already made plans." Several friends also said basically the same. "If the wedding is on Christmas Eve, we won't make it. Count us out." So the family already knew that many of the guests won't make it. The groom informed his family of this. Clearly they were not able to convince grandma, who said, "We will proceed as planned." I'm pretty sure one can still cancel or make reductions on catering services at reasonable charges but grandma did not. Well, it's her money.
The few members of the entourage who made it apparently had an agreement with the couple. The best man and two bridesmaids, one of them turned maid of honor, promised the bride and groom that they will stand for them during the ceremony at 6PM, but also promised their families they will be home in time to spend Christmas Eve. This is why they appeared to have ditched the couple at the church when they did not. Because of this lack of a wedding party, certain parts of the ceremony were "altered." it got me asking this question, if there were only this few members of the entourage, couldn't members of the family take their place? It seems that the more details I got, the more questions I have.
The "RSVP" doesn't always work in my culture. Sadly, most people do not bother replying to an invitation. If they want to attend, they'll simply show up and sometimes they do so with extra guests in tow. If they don't or can't make it to the occasion, they will simply do not show up. I know this from experience. This also explains why in most gatherings, the host prepares food based on the number of people who were invited, not with the number of people who confirmed to attend. Paul's grandmother must have had the same thought, but it was definitely not a smart move to go ahead and have the caterers prepare according to the number of invited guests. Adjustments should have been made when several guests already expressed their regrets about not being able to attend in favor of spending Christmas Eve with families.
One guest told my aunt, "It is wrong of them to assume we'll give up Christmas Eve in favor of the wedding. If you invite me for any occasion on a Christmas Eve, it is understood that I will not attend." I'm assuming the other guests shared the same sentiment.
There was a compromise on the wedding date and the wedding ceremony. I was also curious about this and I learned that the families came to an agreement. The wedding ceremony was held by Catholic rites in deference to the bride's religion, but the date of the wedding will be decided by the groom's family, who are Chinese, thru a feng shui reading. It was probably an attempt at combining traditions for the merging of two families but it did not work.
There's definitely a lot of absurdity on this wedding that I still find it hard to believe the entire thing happened at all. I hope for the best for the couple.
Thank you for reading :)