Two years ago, when Mr. Butterfly and I were planning our wedding, I called my dad to make sure he would be able to attend. This is my second marriage, but my ex-husband and I eloped. No one was involved. This time, I wanted the whole sha-bang. My dad told me he already had his plane tickets bought.
See, Mr. Butterfly and I decided to get married in Las Vegas partly because a lot of his relatives live there and because if we were going to invite other friends from all across the country to our wedding, Las Vegas seemed like a much better destination than the podunk town we actually live in.
So, over the course of the next few months before the wedding, I talked to my dad off and on. Our conversations always ended with a “see you in Vegas!” send-off.
Fast-forward to the day of the wedding: I was getting ready for the limo from the chapel to come pick me up early so I could have my hair done and makeup applied. At exactly four hours before the ceremony was scheduled to take place, my cell phone rang. It was my dad.
He told me that he had arrived at his local airport to catch his flight. At the ticket counter, the agent noticed that his ticket was bought for a flight that wasn’t scheduled until the next day. He told me he went on standby for any flight to Vegas and even offered money to fellow standby passengers, but to no avail. Finally, he gave up and left the airport. It was at that point he decided to call me. In the same phone call, he broke the news to me that my two younger half-sisters would be unable to attend because they “got into some trouble” and their mother took the plane tickets back and refused to let them go.
After the phone call, I just let the phone fall out of my hands to the floor, crawled into bed, and sobbed for about an hour. My brother had arrived in Vegas a couple hours earlier, so I called him to ask if he would walk me down the aisle in place of our dad. Without hesitation, he said he would. Finally, I pulled myself together, got dressed, and went to the lobby of the hotel to meet the limousine. I nearly threw up in the limo, and once I got to the chapel, I was shaking.
The wedding ceremony and the reception turned out to be great. Everyone who flew into Vegas had a wonderful time. The next morning, my husband’s cousin hosted a fabulous brunch for everyone from the guest list who could make it.
The problem is, as wonderful as everything was, I can’t help remembering how horrible it felt that my dad and my sisters weren’t going to be there. I love my brother to death for stepping in like he did, but that doesn’t erase the void left by my dad’s and my sisters’ absence.
To this day, he and I have never spoken of it. My sisters have never offered any kind of explanation as to what “trouble” they got into with their mother. No one has apologized. My ex-stepmother has never said a word to justify how she would allow my sisters to renege on a valid RSVP when all my life, I was taught by her that I was obligated to follow through with commitments no matter what the circumstances. I remember getting in trouble once when I was younger. I was to be grounded for two weeks, but I had already been invited to some birthday party or something and had RSVP’d for it. I had to go to that party because I had already said I would, then I had to continue with the punishment of being grounded!
Anyway, the point is, I can’t seem to forgive my dad, sisters, and stepmother for any of this. My dad could’ve looked at the itinerary to make sure everything was fine. My sisters could’ve stayed out of trouble for a couple months. My stepmother could’ve decided that attending my wedding was more important to me than any sort of punishment was for her two adult daughters.
Does anyone have any wedding day gone bad stories? I would love to commiserate with someone…