cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
Lucy ([personal profile] cereta) wrote in [community profile] agonyaunt2017-06-08 09:47 am

Dear Prudence: My husband’s best friend proposed to his girlfriend during our wedding ceremony


Q: My husband and I started dating, got pregnant, had a child, moved in together, bought a house, and got a dog in that order. Our friends and family have asked us for years why we weren’t married yet. We always pushed it off to build better lives. We’ve done really well for ourselves and finally reached a point where we could afford a huge blowout wedding to celebrate our lives with everyone we know and love. My husband’s best friend, “John,” was the best man/officiant. The setting was beautiful, everyone seemed happy, our families were overjoyed. My mom may have used the phrase hallelujah a few dozen times. The entire atmosphere felt moving. So moving in fact that John stopped mid ceremony to propose to his longtime girlfriend, “Jane,” and reveal her pregnancy. I couldn’t even hear the vows my husband wrote or the rest of the ceremony over the noise of Jane’s happy sobs, her very surprised family who were also guests, and people seated nearby congratulating her. Even the videographer cut to her frequently during the ceremony, and you can’t hear anything over the chatter. When John gave his toast, he apologized for being caught up in the moment, and then proceeded to talk about he and Jane’s future with nary a mention of us. During the reception John and Jane became the primary focus of our guests. John even went out of his way to ask the band for a special dance for just him and Jane on the dance floor. I’ve never been an attention hog, and I wouldn’t even have minded if he’d proposed after the ceremony, but weeks later I am still seething. I am so shocked and angry that I keep asking myself if this is real life. My husband hasn’t spoken to John since the wedding, and our mutual friends think what he did was rude but that my husband should just get over it. My husband has joked that he’ll resume his friendship when John and Jane give him a $40,000 check for “their half of the wedding.” Do you think John’s behavior warrants the end of a long-term friendship, or are we angry over nothing?

A: I think it merits a fight! In between “getting over it” and “never speaking to John again” is the happy medium of “having a difficult conversation with a longtime friend who did something selfish and self-absorbed on your wedding day.” He’s your husband’s best friend, so your husband should tell John just how upset his behavior during your wedding made him. Maybe John will apologize and the two of them can have a meaningful reconciliation and build a better friendship as a result. Maybe John will double down and dismiss your husband’s feelings, and things will naturally fall apart between them. Whatever the outcome, there is definitely at least one step in between “seething silently” and “cutting John loose forever,” especially since the two of them have been best friends for a long time.
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-06-08 03:09 pm (UTC)(link)
He was the officiant? And proposed in the middle of the ceremony? That's... I have no words. I wouldn't be quite so appalled by a private proposal between two guests sitting together during the ceremony (at that point, it's more of a talking while the show is going on thing). Maybe-- maybe-- announcing during the reception might be okay, but only after asking the bride and groom.

But, yes, there are steps between 'getting over it' because it's not important and cutting all ties because it's the most important thing ever.
jadelennox: Judith Martin/Miss Manners looking ladylike: it's not about forks  (judith martin:forks)

[personal profile] jadelennox 2017-06-08 10:43 pm (UTC)(link)
There are steps in between, but I wouldn't be horrified if the LW and husband couldn't be bothered. That is beyond the pale, and John's only possible excuses should be "I was using drugs," or "the devil made me do it." I mean, I guess there could be some form of neuroatypical which makes it tougher to know unspoken rules, combined with a particularly casual wedding ceremony? Making someone else's wedding about you when you're the officiant is just mind boggling.
the_future_modernes: (Default)

[personal profile] the_future_modernes 2017-06-08 03:42 pm (UTC)(link)
I would be fine with never speaking to both of them again, if this had happened to me. This was calculated. They didnt just get "carried away with emotion" in the church BY STOPPING THE CEREMONY TO PROPOSE; they then kept up wth their fuckshit at the reception? Nope. Nah. Hell No. And the friends saying they should get over it? i would be re evaluating those friendships too.
mommy: Bears; The Non-Adventures of Wonderella (Oooooooooh.)

[personal profile] mommy 2017-06-08 05:37 pm (UTC)(link)
I think the advice is spot-on, although I'd probably "demote" John down from best friend status for the insult. It's entirely inappropriate for the best man/officiant to stop a wedding mid-ceremony to publicly propose to their partner and reveal a pregnancy. Those actions moved the focus of the wedding off the couple who were actually in the process of getting married. LW has every right to be upset with that degree of attention-seeking behavior.
vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)

[personal profile] vass 2017-06-09 05:59 am (UTC)(link)
John's behaviour is unacceptable, and Jane and her family and the camera person were not behaving very well either. I can't decide which is more mind-boggling, the bit where he interrupted the ceremony he was officiating to propose to his girlfriend, or the part where during his toast to the bride and groom he forgot to mention the bride and the groom. That's... really something. Prudence's advice to have the argument is good advice.

That said, I'm having kind of a "what even are heterosexuals and/or rich people" moment here. This whole concept of their getting married needing to be a "huge blowout wedding to celebrate our lives". An $80,000 wedding with the focus entirely on two people and their material success relationship, and if anyone else shares the spotlight then it's ruined and someone owes them, and this is the default, this is what's expected, it's the mainstream, it's even aspirational. I don't get it. Also the "build better lives" and "done very well for ourselves" lines... I'm having a failure of empathy here.

What John did was awful, but I get the impression that LW is trying to convey that it was especially awful because they waited and saved up to have a deluxe wedding and deserve the very best, and I think it'd have been just as bad if it'd happened at a registry office wedding with a backyard reception that was all the couple could afford.
minoanmiss: A Minoan Harper, wearing a long robe, sitting on a rock (Minoan Harper)

[personal profile] minoanmiss 2017-06-09 06:47 am (UTC)(link)
... yeah, this. You said it very well.
lilysea: Serious (Default)

[personal profile] lilysea 2017-06-09 12:04 pm (UTC)(link)
And most of the people having $30,000 and up weddings are going into debt for it! :(

Which is no way to start a life together.

I read something once about how much stress wedding-related-debt puts on a relationship, and contributes to divorce rates.