The bride didn't introduce the groom to her parents until the wedding shower

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family member who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

I recently learned that my aunt didn't introduce her fiancé to my grandparents until the day of her wedding shower. According to my mother, my aunt proudly wore her diamond ring throughout her engagement, and her wedding plans weren't a surprise to my grandparents. In fact, my grandparents paid for all the wedding preparations.

Then why didn't my aunt introduce her fiancé to my grandparents sooner?

My mother said my aunt was uncomfortable introducing her beau to her parents because they were old-fashioned, and she was afraid they wouldn't approve of him.

That didn't stop her from letting her parents pay for everything related to the upcoming nuptials. Yet she kept the identity of her groom-to-be secret until not long before the wedding itself.

My grandparents paid for my aunt's wedding dress, and they paid for her entire wedding reception. As for her wedding shower, my grandparents paid for that, too.

It was a tremendous financial burden for them, but they did it anyway. It was their gift to their oldest daughter, who was marrying a man whom they had never met or even glimpsed until the day of the wedding shower.

Paying for my aunt's wedding was a leap of faith. My grandparents didn't even know whether they would like the groom until it was almost too late.

My mother, who was a teenager when her older sister got married, wondered when the family would get to meet the mysterious young man who was about to become her brother-in-law, but she didn't ask. Her sister was the first of the four siblings to get married, and that made it especially exciting. However, her older sister could be a little intimidating. So she was afraid to press the issue.

Maybe that's why my grandparents didn't ask to meet their future son-in-law, either. They knew their daughter well enough to leave it alone until she was ready.

When the day of the wedding shower finally arrived, it disappointed my mother to learn that her future brother-in-law was quite ordinary. Meeting him didn't seem to be worth the wait.

My mother said the entire family wore their Sunday best for the occasion. They arrived at the wedding shower, eager to meet this stranger, a stranger who would soon become family, but he wasn't there.

They wondered whether my aunt was ashamed of them. Could that be the problem? When he finally arrived, the party started. My mother, her younger sister, her brother, and her parents picked at their food and waited for a formal introduction to the groom, but it was not forthcoming. They would have to wait a little longer.

Halfway through the event, my aunt and her betrothed strolled over to the table where the rest of the family sat picking morosely at the dinner for which my grandparents had paid. Introductions were made all-around at last.

The happy couple smiled from ear to ear and held hands throughout the introductions. "These are my parents," my aunt said. "This is my brother and my two sisters."

Her fiancé used his free hand to wave at his new family.

"No hugs. No kisses," my mother told me. "No shaking of hands. This is how my family and I met my sister's future husband. Three months later, they were married. That was the second time we ever saw him," my mother said.

"We didn't see him for the third time until after the honeymoon. Your aunt popped her head into our childhood home and said, 'Can my husband come inside?' Your grandmother replied, 'Of course, he can. He is your husband now. He is welcome to come inside this house anytime.'"

It was during this third meeting that he exchanged hugs and kisses with his new mother-in-law and sisters-in-law. Plus he exchanged handshakes with the men of the family: my grandfather, my uncle, and my aunt's new husband.

In time, he proved himself to be a wonderful husband and in-law. The family loved him; it just took a while to get there. As they say, better late than never.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

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