July 31, 2023

one, two, three strikes you're out at the old wed-ding

Not my favorite wedding.

A 'kid', 'Matt', who worked for Coach for years (starting as an aid in high school and still worked one weekend a month up until a few years ago) got married mid March. We had never met his fiance, but he was happy so we were happy. This kid, now in his 30's, literally grew up right before our eyes. He hit a rough patch as a teen and Coach had a very positive influence on him. He really looks up to Coach. Back in the day, we often hosted Coach's work parties at our house. Our kids were crazy about Matt. He used to get our kids all riled up, wrestle with them, tease them, etc.

I was rambling on about what I was gonna wear to the wedding, but I've decided to save that for another time, as that tale feels like its own post. Get excited. It's another Mini story, plus a glimpse into Ed's longtime girlfriend. 

Anyway, the wedding mass was in a church in a northern suburb. The invitations and the save the date had all arrived with a clear sports theme. 

Um, OK. She's a gym teacher and he's a gym rat. He's actually a really big guy and my kids grew up calling the groom 'Big ____", as in Big + his first name. Everyone called him that, not just my kids. 

They'd created their own logo and it was on everything. She likes donuts and he likes pizza or burgers, maybe. So the logo was the first letter of their soon to be last name and some sport balls and icons of their favorite foods. 

The mass booklets for the wedding carried on the theme with the logo front and center. I found it a little irreverent, as did Coach. Their wasn't an 'introductory rite' or 'liturgy of the word'. Instead it was an inning, or half time, etc. Each part of the mass was assigned a sport themed title. 

On the altar, as they were about to say their vows, the bride thought she was gonna hold the microphone, but the priest made it clear he was gonna hold it for her. She leaned into the microphone, "Sorry, it's my first time." Then she spun around to see if her bridesmaids were laughing. It felt a little 'off'. I'm sure plenty of people have a ceremony that includes a lot of playfulness and such, but this was a mass in a church and it didn't seem as though they were taking ANY PART OF IT SERIOUSLY. It was their day, so whatever. It was just a little distracting and it felt sort of flippant. 

I got my hair cut the next morning and my hairdresser said she was taking a break from doing hair and makeup at weddings for a similar reason. She feels like everything was for show and the people getting married were putting on a production not making a committment. 

The appetizers at the reception:  all food one would eat at a sporting event, like nacho chips and cheese. Gluten abounded. At first when I picked up my table place assignment I was blown away that they had 54 tables. Then I realized that we were assigned to sit at table 54 because it was a famous Bears' football players number. Cute. The center pieces were empty popcorn containers and miniature balls.

All the food was brought in, prepared off site. It was freakishly cold for the end of March. Like it was in the 30's. They propped a door open down a hall behind our table and I was a popsicle.  

The dinner was a buffet of all game day foods. This was not a place for a person who was STARVING, but needed to avoid gluten. There was pizza, sliders, nachos, nuggets, fries, and Italian Beef. I literally could only eat Italian Beef. I hoped no one dipped their bun in the beef to soak up the juices before I put a few pieces of meat on my plate. 

I was hungry as one is after not having eaten anything since lunch. I can tell you that my amoretto stone sours were going right to my head. So, when the bride's sister got up to give a toast and she ended with:  "to the happy couple, I think you guys are a homerun" - I threw my napkin on my table and leaned towards a few of our friends at the table and was like SERIOUSLY? THIS IS TOO MUCH. I might've slurred my words, a tad. 

The dessert table didn 't include a single chocolate covered strawberry. There were donuts though. 

In the middle of dancing, the couple went upstairs and instead of tossing a bouquet - they threw t-shirts, just like cheerleaders do at a basketball game. Guess who caught one? Yep. I sure did. I tried to give it to a 10 year old, but he didn't want it. 

Oops - I just realized I never added the photo
 - I drafted this post while in a hotel in Ohio
 and needed to didn't have a photo of my
 prize winning t-shirt in my google photos. 

The t-shirt says:  I SURVIVED THE "NAME OF COUPLE" WEDDING. I told Coach I was gonna write under it in sharpie. BARELY

The food bit was just so surprising. It's the year 2023. How did the caterer not suggest a tossed salad to avoid having anyone feel as thought they were gonna strike out? See what I did there? It's catchy. I guess.

Wedding odditties aside, we are so happy for Big Matt. He deserves all the happiness life has to offer and he seems to have met his soulmate. 

Anyone else attend an odd wedding? Ever go home from a wedding hangry? 


Nicole said...

That sounds like a fun wedding, to be honest. Although I understand about the food, my cousin's wedding was catered by a BBQ place and the only thing I could actually eat that didn't contain meat was the bun. So I had buns and wine. Of course, my not eating meat isn't an allergy like yours with gluten, so I could see it would be hard.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh my gosh. I don't think I would have enjoyed this so much either; the food sounds terrible, even for someone who can eat gluten.
I don't love a 'take it to the matt' theme. (see what I did there?)

We've gone to a few not-so-great weddings before. Generally, they were employees who invited us, and we felt like we had to attend. The worse might be the one where Coach catered the entire affair (not the one we did last year), and I couldn't stand the bride...she was so rude and not very thankful that we spent our NYE feeding her family and friends.

Ally Bean said...

Anyone else attend an odd wedding? Yes, in fact most of them have been odd in their own ways, there's probably a blog post to be had for that question.

Ever go home from a wedding hangry? Almost always. I rarely find anything I want to eat, although there was one that had a sit-down dinner of filet mignon with all the trimmings + chocolate cake. That was a great reception... wonder what became of that couple?

Nance said...

I'm sure it's just me, but I don't understand how weddings got to be a huge carnival-esque thing. Everything is so overblown. Photo booths, candy buffets--I mean, it's a Wedding. Guests aren't supposed to be there to be entertained. At least that's not why *I* go.

I agree that there should have at least been a salad there or something. The menu is fun for the bride and groom, and it definitely fits the theme, but for a great many people, it's just bad food.

Kara said...

If you really wanted a sports themed wedding why hold the ceremony in a church at all? Go all in and hold it at a sports stadium.

For sure. A couple years ago when it was pretty obvious that they had not catered for enough people, by a LOT. We wound up getting a pizza on the way home. Or not provided food at all, because the bride's family didn't like the grooms, and this was their way of being complete dicks.

Colleen said...

I love a fun reception, but I like the wedding part to be reverent for sure. It's such a big commitment to feel like they're not being serious. I wouldn't have chosen that theme, but hey to each their own. The worst wedding I ever went to was for my sister-in-law who got married in a church (that part was nice) but the groom wore JEANS and then the reception was back at her parent's house OUTSIDE IN 100 DEGREE HEAT. I wouldn't let my kids eat the food because it was sitting in the heat, and there was no music, no dancing just people standing around sweating.

Pat Birnie said...

It does sound entertaining but a bit of solemnity at key moments are important - to me anyway. I cannot believe there was not a salad or a vegetable of any kind! Even when we host a party or a shower I always have GF and vegetarian options (I even have little signs that I bought so guests can know that what they are eating is ok). There are so many gluten free & vegetarian or vegan people; it’s just common sense and courtesy.

mbmom11 said...

I was maid of honor to a college friend, and flew out 2 days before the wedding. It was a double wedding with her sister, and it was done in an RC church. (I think one of the grooms was nominally Catholic.) The ceremony was mildly chaotic - cant remmer why- but the priest became flustered and forgot to do the vows for 2 of the 4 people. He had them do it really quick after the Mass in the back!
This was also a wedding where the bride made the bridesmaids dresses (2 of us for her side); when she had me try it on, she cut the hem way too short in the front. So we spent the day before the wedding frantically buying material and ripping seams.
I'm a picky eater,and do not eat much out. At my niece's recent wedding, I even told my sister that I would be happy to come but don't count me as a meal. And another sister needed to leave before the main course was served, so I went with her home and we ordered a pizza.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

What a terrible food lineup for someone who can't eat gluten! Sounds kind of like a cute theme though!

Beth Cotell said...

I think the theme is cute. But perhaps more for an engagement party than the actual wedding and reception. To each his own though. I hope they were happy with how everything turned out. I am with you on the wedding. If you are going to include the actual ceremony in the theme, then the wedding probably shouldn't be in a church.

I'm sorry you were hungry. I'm shocked that there wasn't at least one gluten free option!

joymariecooks said...

It sort of sounds like they really wanted a non-denominational or non-religious ceremony but also wanted or felt obligated to have a mass and it all sorted got weird. Oh dear.
I can’t think of any truly bizarre weddings I’ve been too but there was that time neighbours we didn’t know we’ll invited us to their family birthday party and it quickly became apparent we were there strictly to keep a lot of weirdness from happening by being non-family so the old people would feel obliged to hold their tongues. It was special

Ernie said...

Nicole - I enjoyed seeing some of the people Coach used to work with and some that he works with currently, but even the toasts came off as flippant as they tried to stick with the sport theme. There just wasn't a lot of depth. Being really cold and watching everyone else dive into huge plates of food isn't my idea of a night out. I am very happy for the groom as he was bummed for a long time that he didn't have a significant other.

Ernie said...

Suz - The food really was not something I would've eaten even if I could eat gluten. It seemed a bit odd not to have a few choices that were somewhat healthy like a salad.

That bride sounds so ungrateful. And you gave up your NYE for that? I've had some nice bosses but never a boss that went to those lengths for me. You guys are the best.

Ernie said...

Ally - I am here for that blog post - if you choose to write it.

I've enjoyed a very nice meal at most of the weddings I have attended, but this one really stunk in the eating department. We haven't been to many weddings lately, so maybe the theme things is the new trend. We have SO many nieces and nephews that are in their mid 20s. I suspect that there will be a helluva lot of weddings for us to attend in the coming years.

Ernie said...

Nance - Yes - I felt it was very much carnival-ish. Maybe I'm just out of the loop. A marriage is a big commitment and I was taken aback at how silly they were during the actual ceremony. I guess whatever floats your boat. I felt like if we wanted to eat food from a ball game, then maybe we would've just attended a ball game. I am a light weight when it comes to drinking, but man - the few drinks I had went right to my head with nothing else in my belly.

Ernie said...

Kara - That would've rounded out the theme for sure. I didn't get the sense that the church part was important to them. Maybe they did a church wedding to please their parents.

Those two examples really stand out as being fails. Not enough food? No food at all? Because of a grudge against one of the families? How totally strange.

Ernie said...

Colleen - Agreed - 100%. A fun reception is the bomb, but a church wedding shouldn't be silly. Goodness.

I am dying picturing all of you dressed up and fancy and dripping in sweat - while you shoot a dirty look at any of your kids who reach for the food. So funny/not funny.

Ernie said...

Pat - I'm glad I'm not alone in that thought process. Let's be serious for a moment here while you take your vows. I've come to expect that at the very least I can eat a salad. Nope. Nada. I was blown away, . . . and hungry. I do feel like in today's world it really does make sense and show courtesy to guests to offer an option that most evreyone can eat.

Ernie said...

mbmom11 - A double wedding? Like, what on earth? And the priest forgot to have one of the couples say their vows. Stop it. This is too funny. It sounds like something that would happen on Brady Bunch.

I was a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding. I was pregnant. I had to get extra fabric and have panels put into the dress. It was a circus. I was trying not to spend a lot on this dress but that was not the way it turned out. I can't believe they messed up your dress. Measure twice, people - before you cut the fabric. Sheesh.

Mini has a bestie at college who is the pickiest eater I've ever met. She actually starts to gag when trying new foods. Her folks own a restaurant/pub so she and her brothers often had to make their own food at home and she made herself chicken nuggets all the time. Now that's all she eats. She's so embarrassed by it. You two should meet. ;)

Ernie said...

Suzanne- It was the worst possible scenario. Although I suppose not realizing there was gluten in something could've ended worse.

Ernie said...

Beth - I agree - this had engagement party or couples shower written all over it. I feel old, but I do think there should be some reverence at a wedding. Call my crazy.

Oh, gosh. The food. I used to bring a lunchbox with food and leave it in the car, but there are ALWAYS options nowadays. Why were there no options? It was mind blowing.

Ernie said...

joymarie - I agree with you 100% - this felt like they weren't interested in the church service, but they did it, maybe to please someone else. so silly.

We've been to a nutty b-day party once too. It was so bizarre. It was one of the families that I babysat for - the aunt was dressed as Bo Peep and was trying to get a sing a long going from the piano and there weren't very many people there. I'd brought my kids and we were cringing and making eyes at each other like GOTTA GET OUT OF HERE. That b-day party sounds like a real treat too.

Bibliomama said...

I loved the baseball-themed wedding we went to. It was for the coach who had brought us to the Little League World Series and baseball was so important to him he coached in his early twenties and would ride his bike to practice with the team gear on his back, so the theme seemed appropriate. I grew up going to church regularly but a few things have rendered me pretty disenchanted with organized religion, so I thought of our wedding as a celebration with all our family and friends, even though we did it in the church my mom still belonged to.
Food is always a crapshoot for a wedding. It would probably have been helpful if they'd had cards to send in with dietary restrictions.

Anonymous said...

We attended a wedding that wasn't odd, but we ended up being unfortunate guests. My husband was unhappy about the whole thing from the day we received the invitation--it was for a member of his extended family. He was having issues with his mom and knew she was going to be there. He complained throughout planning, getting to where it was, the whole thing. And then he conjured up an excuse for why we Absolutely Had to Leave before dessert or dancing. So we did. It sucked.

I still wish we had stayed. It was a nice wedding, and I like the couple. And my husband barely had to see his mom! It could have been a good time if he'd just gotten out of his head and let himself and us enjoy it.

Bijoux said...

Well . . . my oldest daughter and son-in-law had a baseball themed wedding, but only the reception! Nothing in the church service had anything to do with the sport. I worked soooo hard on all the details. The seating cards were tickets (which I designed on the computer) and the tables all had pennants with different baseball teams in milk bottles with peanuts in shells. The cake was white with the red laces and they had a custom topper with the bride pitching (my daughter was a well-known fast pitch pitcher in our area) to the groom. We had miniature mitts with flowers that were designed to look like baseballs. I could go on and on with the details. People LOVED it. But I have to say, I think besides a few appetizers, nothing else was baseball themed with the food. They had roasted turkey and other sliced meats with appropriate sides like vegetables and salads. I think it's rude to serve a bunch of junk food.

But as you said, you survived (barely!) LOL

Christie Hawkes said...

I agree with what a few others have said, the reception is a great place for the couple to express their fun and quirky sides, but perhaps the ceremony should be more serious...or if not, choose someplace other than a church. That said, to each their own! As for the food, I guess we've probably all gone home hungry from at least one wedding reception. I'm glad you survived though, even if barely!

I found your blog through a question you posed to Ally of The Spectacled Bean. Nice to "meet" you!

Ernie said...

Ali - I think a baseball themed wedding CAN be cute, but if you only offer hot dogs and peanuts and beer - well, that's sort of off-putting, in my humble opinion. We once went to a wedding for a guy who was a huge Chicago Cubs fan. They recreated a wall out of fake ivy and stuck all the place setting cards in it. But we were well fed.

I totally get that not everyone includes church as part of their day, but I do think there is a time and place for everything. I've been at plenty of weddings where the homily included a lot of humor, but this was pretty strange. Coach is not all that detail oriented as I tend to be and even he was like WHAT WAS GOING ON THERE?

Ernie said...

Anonymous - That sounds like such a bummer. I'm sorry your hubby couldn't put the issue on the back burner and enjoy the day, especially if he ended up being able to create distance between himself and his mom. Ugh.

Ernie said...

Bijoux - Wow - all those extra special touches sound so fun. I'm sure it was really awesome. I love special touches. The one thing I failed to mention was that this couple had TVs behind the bar with old Chicago sport games playing. That was funny. I babysat for a guy on the Super bowl team in '85. I texted he and his wife to let them know I was catching a few plays of the game.

I think a theme can make the whole wedding so personal and fun. This was a little bit much to me - and to the other people at our table, especially because of the food and then when the people giving the toasts went out of their way to incorporate sport related catch phrases - it just felt so canned and lacked any personal touches.

Ernie said...

Christie - Welcome! Thanks for stopping by. I so appreciate how Ally Bean encourages all of her readers to check out each other's blogs. I'm glad you decided to visit.

I agree. Some of the 'showy' parts of the ceremony felt misplaced. I love that this couple like to kick back and have fun. Time and place is what comes to my mind. I have a hard time when my family orders pizza - which honestly we rarely do anymore, holy crap has it gotten pricey. Anyway, it is tough to sit around and smell pizza and not be able to eat it. We have never been to a wedding or an event in recent years where I really had no food options. I doubt it will ever happen again. It's the year 2023, for goodness sake.

Anne said...

Late to the party, as usual, but... What the WHAT? I am not religious. I am not Catholic. And this STILL struck me as wrong on so many levels. Also, who serves only junk food fit for a 10 year old at a wedding? I am not celiac and I would not have eaten anything. Nicole and I would have been in the wine, clearly.

Finally - my cousin's first wedding (that should tell you something) was a Catholic affair. I was a "junior bridesmaid". During the pre-ceremony stuff (pictures, I think?) the groom and groomsmen were drinking beer out of a cooler that they had stashed behind a column so the Monsignor would not see it. Yeah. It didn't last. Shocked I was not (and I was only 17 at the time...).

Ernie said...

Anne - Just now seeing your comment, which made me chuckle. Yep, junk food at a wedding as the only option . . . well, that struck me as odd. They were very proud of what defined them, but not sure why they felt like everyone else would enjoy what they enjoy, especially when it comes to food.

Hidden beer in the church? Oh my.