Wedding and brother fight


Just married in the Church and had a reception. My brother and his family presented the gifts.

The family tradition is to give cash that would at least cover each person’s plate. Well, my brother, sil, niece and nephew gave an engraved jewelry box and card signed by sil with everyone’s name. I complained about it to mom and then brother (Iknow, very ungrateful of me). I also complained to my brother about his not making the time to come to the rehersal (him: “I had to work until 5” me"I had to work until 5:30 and i made it"); not coming to take pictures at 5 (him: “I had to work until 2:30” me: “I don’t have pictures from my wedding with you and I but you have pictures of your wedding with you and I”), and of course the gift (him “what was a nice gesture and gift was ruined, I was made to feel like I had to give you a grill like you gave me, I’ll give you the ******* $50 you gave me for my birthday to cover the cost of my plate” me “I don’t want your money, but I see you walk in with envelopes to everyone else’s wedding but mine” him “I only give $100 at those weddings” me: “when I bring my kids I give more than $100 to cover everyone’s plate” - by the way, the jewelry box I’ll never use was $85 and I’ll never use it b/c I DON"T wear jewelry).

What would you do if you were me? My brother is no longer talking to me and my mom (though my mom appologized to him and my sil many times over). Normally I wouldn’t care, but he has money and well we paid for it ourselves, a little monetary gift would have been more appreciated, selfish…maybe, but it’s the truth, we make waaaay less than my brother and sil)


I would pray for the humility to apologize for my behavior.


While I see why you would be offended by a pretty measly gift (I would be too) - I have to say that you really shouldn’t comment on it to anyone. I know, that’s hard to take probably.

At my wedding, my brother-in-law and his wife/kids gave us salt and pepper shakers from Walmart (which we saw online and it cost ten bucks or so) and a home-made coaster with a moose on it. We never said a word, just graciously accepted and had a chuckle to ourselves about it. Keep in mind, we had a very formal wedding and most guests gave us $300 cash. My husband’s brother was also the best man, which you would think might cause him to give a more meaningful gift. I should add my husband, even though we married right after college and he had barely been working, always gave generous gifts to his brother’s kids. But the lesson here for all of us is never go give with the intention of getting back and never invite someone with the intention of receiving something in exchange.


You cannot require anyone to give a gift for a wedding or even pay for their plate unless you charge for food. I would not let $15 (the difference between the cost of the jewlery box and the amount you had in your head) ruin my relationship with my brother and his family. Sell the box on ebay, recoup what you can if the money is necessary. More importnantly repair you’re relationship with your brother for your own sake and because it is affecting your mother’s relationship with him and his family also.


Just want to add - you are a newly wed, enjoy it!!! Do not let this fight interfere with the bliss you and your husband should be experiencing. Focus on your husband and his needs right now, not an inconsiderate brother. Make a fast mends with your brother, not because you feel you are wrong but because you know you are merciful :slight_smile:


That’s what I was thinking too. You don’t invite someone to your wedding and expect them to pay for their dinners! And you never complain about the gifts you get! We got things that I wouldn’t have picked out, but I never said one word and I didn’t expect my siblings to pay their way at our wedding! The day is a celebration of your marriage, not just a reason to get money and gifts.


I plan on apologizing for mentioning the gift…it’s the total disregard for my requests regarding the rehearsal and photos that I don’t know how or if i should address again. We use to be close but it seems as if his total disregard for the specialness of the event to me would just be ignored by him due to the gift conflict. He hurt me terribly and, like others, treated my wedding as more of a mandatory family event than the special occassion it was. i usually am good at apologizing when I’m wrong, this tie just doesn’t seem easy b/c the hurt seems too deep


RE addressing the rehearsal and photo thing…it’s over now:shrug: Hashing it out won’t change it…sounds like you already mentioned your unhappiness about it to him. If I were you, I’d move on. :blush: I understand it would be really frustrating for my family to be nonchalant about something as important to me as my wedding, but I can’t change what already happened, and I can’t change their attitude…KWIM?


I agree, I understand being upset, but the past cannot be changed. Is he Catholic? I think you had mentioned this was a convalidation? Maybe he didn’t know the importance of it and thought it was a formality? I am not saying this is a good reason for him to be late and/or disregard what you had asked of him, but it might help you not feel as hurt knowing he wasn’t as aware?

About the present, I second and third the apologizing, and then moving on… I know he might have given others more in the past, but no one is obligated to even give a present, and like I mentioned, maybe he didn’t understand the importance of this occasion for you… Guests are there to be with you on your special day and celebrate that you have just entered into this wonderful Sacrament, not to give you gifts or help you pay off the wedding.

BTW, Congratulations!!! And I second the poster that said, go focus on your dh now :). You mentioned you were going to apologize for the gift comments, and I think that is great :thumbsup:, and you can do what you can to mend the relationship, but don’t let that ruin your brand new start with dh!!!


I second all the advice here. You are the one who needs to apologize. A gift given is a gift, its very rude and ungrateful to tell anyone that their gift “wasn’t enough”. Are you sure that maybe he and his wife haven’t lost some income in this economy? I know my BIL just had to take a pay cut, but I didn’t learn that from him, he is too proud to say anything.

Guests at weddings are just that, guests. I would never imagine expecting anyone to pay for their meal at a wedding. Sorry, I was just raised that to expect gifts is tacky and rude, and if you are lucky enough to get one, you should be grateful. I especially hate the idea of “well my wedding costs $X so you “owe” me $X”. No, a wedding should be about celebrating your new life together with friends and family. While you should have the wedding you want, you should not feel that others are obligated to help you pay for it.

Maybe they thought the engraved jewelery box was a more personal and special gift. You can put other things in it ya know? And if its engraved with the wedding dates and your names, it could be a lovely keepsake to pass on.

As for the disrespect you felt he showed your wedding, I think you are probably justified. This was an important day for you and its sad that he chose to treat it in such an offhand manner. It’s probably best let go at this point. I can totally understand why you would feel slighted by his behavior, and am guessing you would probably have never mentioned the gift if he had behaved more appropriately during the wedding preparations. But in the big scheme of things, did it really effect the wedding? Are you still happy and with your life partner?

Please try to focus on the joy of uniting with your love, with God. Enjoy your newlywed period, and focus on building your own life together that can glorify God and each other.

But as Christians we are called to always look for the best in everyone, and always try to assume that people are trying their best.


Congratulations on getting married! So happy to hear the good news.

Hopefully writing about this has helped you gain a little perspective as well as get your venting out. I agree that an apology is in order. However your brother responds, I would just recommend letting it go and moving on.


I agree with all the advice given.

Gifts are GIFTS, not expectations!

You should not go to a wedding expecting to “pay” for your meals with a gift. That is not how it works!

Get over it and move on.



By the way, Congratulations!!!:extrahappy: I agrea with the PP who suggested perhaps he didn’t know how important it was for you. WHile I personally feel that weddings are always important, not everyone feels that way, especially men. When my aunt got married, they photoshopped myself & my sisters out of all of their wedding photos simply because we all take after our mother’s side and are a little on the chunky side. There’s not a single proffesional wedding portorate that has us in it. The only pictures that anyone has with us were snapshots at the reception so don’t feel bad we were intentionally erased.


Firstly congratulations!!! A great occasion indeed.

Secondly, everyone has given great advice. As for the pictures and rehearsal, let it go, you said your piece and move on. You never know, there could be things going on in your brothers life you’re unaware of that kept him form coming. Maybe not, maybe he had no good excuse. No matter, you can’t change it now. Don’t let it be a lasting rift in your relationship.

As for the apology, maybe a little written note just saying sorry and thanking him for the gift and mentioning that you would still like a picture with him would be a nice gesture.

As for the gift, my goodness, how much nicer of a gift is an engraved jewelry box than cash!! ( I know it’s customary but cash is quite an impersonal gift that I’d expect to get from a guest I didn’t know too well or a distant relative). Think of it, in 40 years, you will still have that and have memories of your brother and the circumstances under which he gave that to you. You’ll probably laugh about it then too:) I think it was a lovely gift and one I’d personally treasure. Believe me, you will find little items be they jewelry or not, to stick in there. I keep my childrens hospital wrist bands from when they were born in my jewelry box:)

. When my aunt got married, they photoshopped myself & my sisters out of all of their wedding photos simply because we all take after our mother’s side and are a little on the chunky side. There’s not a single proffesional wedding portorate that has us in it. The only pictures that anyone has with us were snapshots at the reception so don’t feel bad we were intentionally erased.

are you kidding?:eek::eek::eek:I hope so!:(:mad: that’s awful…


I’m going to take it a step further than everyone here.

You are the one who needs to apologize for everything. What part of “I had to work” did you not understand? Do you know his work schedule? How do you know that nothing else happened during those times? Was he just sitting at home sleeping during those times? And even if he was, would you rather he risk falling asleep behind the wheel? What if he had something else he had to do after work? What if something happened the night before and messed up his sleep? He does have a family, and he answers to his wife and kids, not to you.

If I were him, (and I have been treated like that by family before), I would send you the money once I got it and still not speak to you.

Unless you’re going to accuse him of lying, you are completely in the wrong. He will not speak to you until you are willing to admit that.

Now, is there anything else that you would like to mention that might change that picture? Feel free.


I do know all about his work since my uncle is his boss and my cousin’s are his coworkers and I’m the one who watches his children daily. And him saying no to the rehearsal wasn’t said the night before but two months before. And he managed to make time to fly out to my sil’s uncle’s wedding, go to the rehearsal of my step-brother’s wedding during terrible storms straight from work(both events in the past month and a half). And he didn’t buy the gift, my sil, he didn’t even know what the gift was. He didn’t even sign the card. And he didn’t congratulate my husband or anything along those lines


Is your husband the one that is the father of your daughter?

If so, is it possible that your brother still holds a resentment against him? Perhaps that possibility is what you are really upset about.


Okay. Yes, what he’s doing is over the line, since he is obviously planning ahead. I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but my gut is telling me that he does not approve of your husband. I’m willing to guess that is his motive. If that is true, let him know that it’s your family now, and leave it at that, but you will have no tolerance for overt disrespect of your husband, especially after you have children, as he will be their father.

Let the money go. How much he makes is between him and his wife.

As for the gift. Your mother shouldn’t be apologizing for it. That’s on you, and her intervention doesn’t reflect well on you, even if she did it on her own without telling you first. Drive over there in person, alone, say what you need to, and then, if you have to, just leave. He knows how to reach you. Don’t chase someone who doesn’t want to talk, even if they are family. Let him know that if he won’t speak to you, then you won’t bother trying to change that. The rest will be on him.

Good luck.


Oh my god, are we, like, 15 years old, like?

Grow up and then apologize profusely.

Not sure what your mother has to apologize for, other than perhaps failing to teach you any manners.

You have a lot of maturing to do.


That may be. I really don’t know my brother’s opinions or feelings b/c he never expresses them to anyone in the family. We’ve had a shallow relationship for many years (before I ever met my husband), we were once close, but now he’s about his family, which I 100% understand. The older he gets, the more he’s like our dad, puts up a wall, but my dad is generous with his time, my brother is not (walks out on or hangs up on anyone who even closely suggests that he should go to such and such event, or anyone who cries, etc.).

Thanks for letting me vent

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