Thursday, August 11, 2011

Do I invite the Bat-shit crazy aunt??

Hello ESB,

I'm consulting a professional on this matter. You'll get why. My wedding is two months away. Hoping for only 100 guests, we sent out over 100 invitations, most of which are more than one person per. So, you see how my mother and grandmother went overboard. Mind you, my mother is not the "jump up and down I can't believe you're getting married" type. She has her moments, but majority of the time she's the "frugal, simple- you don't need your hair or makeup done professionally" type. Which doesn't fly with me -- I'm doing this Go Big or Go Vegas. Which brings me to my dilemma.

My family is extra large and extra close. We've had family businesses and family investments together. Think Gotti without the mob and murders, or Real Housewives (Danielle might be a good example of my aunt). So our family finally came to blows last year and we experienced a rift and drama. Aside from the money, there were words that shouldn't have been spoken between family members. But forgiveness is divine and my personal opinion is that everyone was at fault in the end. 

That being said, my aunt/ godmother -- invite or not invite? My other aunts have forbid me from doing so because of their own personal preference. My mother is just as torn as I am. For me I would have the opportunity to be the bigger person but risk a disaster. While if I don't my mom has the potential to get even more drama from her later on (and my cousins won't come). There are a lot of opinions and I'll admit, I'm actually tempted to let her come so that I do get to finally say something to her if the situation arose.

So far I've been told to keep my mouth shut because it's between the older generation. But it's family and isn't a wedding day about inviting family? I could really use some no nonsense do or do not. Considering her children are invited she is going to know about the details.

(Mind you, it's not a mere squabble either, between you and me, we're talking millions of dollars and years worth of issues.)


It sounds like you want to invite Ms. Bat-shit Crazy. I say DO IT.

p.s. The Real Housewives reference is totally lost on me, thank god. That's one of the few reality tv shows I can't stand to watch.

Photo: Astrid by Bo Brinkenfalk for Schön Magazine via Fashion Gone Rogue


  1. we have the same kinds of baggage and family issues.

    i invited the pariah and was glad i ignored the years of drama (i haven't seen this uncle since i was maybe 7) and extended the olive branch.

    your aunts can choose to act like civil adults for one day.

  2. We are presented with situations like this from time to time, and thing that we recommend the most is: as the bride, do what you feel is right.

    Your family should understand that this should not and cannot ruin your big day. They should act like adults and make this YOUR day. If your crazy Aunt comes or if she doesn't the celebration should be the same.

  3. I'd like to echo what Liz said. My mom and uncle were in knock-down-drag-out blows at the time of our wedding.

    I asked myself - in 20 years when they've decided to act like adults, who is going to feel like an asshole if he isn't invited?


    Think about the significance of having your aunt there with you. If it really matters, invite her. She's family. And as I've learned with my own big family, you can always point out that if the younger generation tried to pull this shit, they'd all whip your asses faster than you could blink.

    In the meantime, though *hugs*. This shit sucks.

  4. TOTALLY agree with La Bella Planners. The event should feel no different whether your aunt is there or not. But of course, their behavior is not up to you, is it ? I would proceed with caution. Consider how the relatives in question have acted at similar such events -- holidays, showers, reunions -- have they embarrassed themselves or others ? Are they heavy drinkers ? WILL THERE BE A TABLE FLIP ?

    A wedding is tricky because it's NOT JUST ABOUT YOU LOOKING FABULOUS ... it's also a time for two families to meet and get a little bit acquainted. Which is why we didn't have one. :-)

    Good luck & best wishes.

  5. just invite her. every family has a crazy-pants relative. even if your relatives are in the midst of squabbling, it's your day. hopefully they'll be able to set their issues aside to help you celebrate.

    good luck! xxo

  6. Invite her and if she really takes things on another level and gets crazy, kick her out.

  7. @17 beats !!! I love what you said. Isn't that refreshing! The idea that you don't have to have a bigass wedding if it just doesn't tickle your fancy.

    Coming from a large family full of all sorts of expectations, I wouldn't know what that freedom of choice feels like. In the end, I wouldn't have traded our big wedding for anything, but during the planning I would have DIED to be able to have a small little potluck gathering in someone's back yard instead.

    Bride who wrote in- I feel yah pain and I wish you luck planning your big day. Keeping all the homies happy while still trying to maintain that the day is really about you and your fiance is a delicate balance that basically EVERY couple is faced with. My advice is to carry on and pretend your fam doesn't have drama. ASSUME they will behave. These things work themselves out. If they don't behave you have the right to kick some ass.

  8. UMMM are you secretly me? Because I basically have the same issue (minus a feud involving millions of dollars--just a lot of crazy aunt + one bitchy Nana).

    I agree with what's been said, invite the woman. Maybe have a sit down beforehand with your aunts separately letting them know what's going down. It's disappointing that you have to tell grown woman to behave themselves and be civil, but sometimes it's necessary.

  9. someone has to point out that you'll DEFINITELY have more than 100 guests if you sent 100+ invites. better prepare yourself for that

    (but yeah, I'm in the invite-the-crazy-aunt camp. at least you won't look like someone who is perpetuating the drama)

  10. wait, why is she the crazy aunt? i get the pariah part, but where's the rest?

  11. invite her and just hope that the rest of your family can act like adults for one day for your sake, in order to celebrate on your day.

  12. If she was just "your aunt" I'd say you could get away with not inviting her. But she is also your godmother? You gotta invite her. Sorry. That's the good Catholic thing to do. (Not that I'm a good Catholic girl anymore, but I was once.... like, in 1st-12th grade.) xo.

  13. Invite her. She's your godmother. And maybe take the lesson and keep your money separate from your family?

  14. Is there something stopping you from picking up a phone and calling her to talk it out? Perhaps, you should just phone her and tell her why you are hesitating and if you really do want her there explain to her that you would like her there, but if she can't promise that she won't behave even if provoked, for the sake a happy memories of your wedding day, she is going to be excluded.
    -that bitch from Germany

  15. I'm going to be the crazypants aunt one day, so invite the poor slag.

  16. nikki--YES. I was thinking the same thing. We sent out 50-something invites (most of them to couples and families, many of them to people several states away) and ended up with 82 guests.

    I agree with TBFG. Call her up and talk it out. If you really want her there, let her know and make sure she agrees to behave like an adult. If she decides to come, let your other family members know that you expect them to suck it up and act like adults. If they can't do that, they shouldn't bother coming. I had some family drama going on at the time of my wedding (my uncle and aunt were divorcing after she found out he cheated on her), but I invited them both, they both came, and they both behaved. Hopefully you'll be equally lucky.

  17. @wool and misc. My nephew only has one aunt...and I think I'm already crazypants at 25. And that darn 5 year old loves it. I know I'll be invited to his wedding.

  18. you have to invite her. this shows that you are the bigger person and saves you from potential drama. it is her choice whether she should attend or not. but I highly recommend that you spread the word that absolutely no BS will be tolerated on YOUR day. (not just with her, but any other cackling hens)

  19. I'm so happy to have someone agree with me. My intention was to invite her and be the bigger person. I want my mother to have a good day without additional stress but I don't think she deserves to have her sisters being bitches on her only daughter's wedding day!

    Maybe I need to think about myself-- the bride huh? Do I tell them all ahead of time or let them duke it out on the day of?

  20. Ahead of time. My two cents. But Claire: This is YOUR day, not your mother's. She needs to put HER issues aside for YOU.

    My suggestion: Can you have somebody tell her FOR YOU? I had to be the "bad guy" (as the bride), involving some family matters and my wedding, and IT SUCKED. Tears, drama, etc. I felt sick for WEEKS leading up to the wedding (over my decision) when I shouldn't have been put in that position in the first place. Maybe your brother or dad or even your fiance can firmly tell your mom:

    "Claire doesn't want any drama, so this is how it is going... the godmother will be there... do NOT mention this to Claire, do not speak of it. You are her MOTHER, and she needs your support, more than ever right now. This is a once in a lifetime occasion, your daughter's wedding. You can bury the hatchet - for a day."

  21. it is your wedding, your godmother/aunt, and your day. DO WHAT YOU WANT. if you have to act like the adult you make the decisions. and as for the fallout, you could have someone else tell your mom but that decision is up to you, but she might also appreciate the gesture from you, but lay out that this is your decision and your making a statement NOT opening a discussion.

  22. I also had some family conflicts between my dad and his brother (more like his wife- Bat to the Shit to the Crazy). I didn't leave anyone out and invited everyone. They all behaved, partied and had a great time.
    Of course, they kept their space. I expected them to do that and all of them had enough class not to pull anything.
    If you have an inkling that your aunt my go there, then I suggest having a talk with her about the situation.

  23. claire, i'd let them know in advance. so they can pack a flask or whatever they need to do to behave themselves.

  24. Well, as an update friends, I invited her. My mother told me maybe we should so I jumped at that opening and sent the invitation.

    My father spilled the beans to one of my aunts that B-S-C aunt is coming and I received an email yesterday informing me that they are appalled and hurt by my behavior to invite her and apparently they view it as a slight against them personally that I would take her side. (A side of a story that I have no part of and it is not my battle.)

    and this situation, where I receive [essentially] hate mail 5 weeks before my wedding, is way worse by the way, that the situation with B-S-C Aunt would have been. because she will at least sit at the reception quietly at another table and not make a bitchy catty peep.

    Can you tell I'm livid. But I am being the bigger person and Ignoring the email. amiright?