Destination weddings are a blessing and a curse for those involved. For most couples getting married, a destination wedding is a perfect excuse to only invite immediate family and close friends. That eliminates the pressure to invite friends or distant relatives that the couple really doesn’t want to invite but would normally have to as a result of social courtesy. A destination wedding also creates the perfect segway from wedding to honeymoon for the happy couple.
On the other hand, destination weddings usually mean expensive travel, requesting extra time off work, and arranging child or pet care for guests. For many guests, it’s an excuse to take a vacation but there is one massive difference between attending a destination wedding and going on a vacation. Guests don’t get to decide who comes on this vacation with them. In most cases, they have absolutely no control over who else is invited. “Jon” learned the downfalls of being a guest at a destination wedding at the ripe age of fifteen.
It all started when Jon’s entire family in the United Kingdom was invited to a destination wedding in Italy for one of his second cousins.
Jon had never met that side of the family because his grandfather, “Luca,” had only reconnected with them after his grandmother had passed away and he was excited to meet his family members from across Europe. The only issue was that his aunt, “Rachel,” was invited to the wedding.
Going on vacation with Rachel was awful. She was rude to almost every single person she interacted with on trips and often embarrassed everyone she was with as a result of her antics. Unfortunately, her kids didn’t turn out much better. Growing up with Rachel as a role model had turned them into miniature versions of their mother. Rachel was basically the Karen to end all Karens.
Before the trip even started, Rachel had shamed Luca into covering the expenses for her family’s trip. Rachel and her husband made plenty to cover the expenses but she felt entitled to take the trip for free since she was going to meet her father’s family. Everyone in the family was rightfully furious but trying to get Rachel to accept her own wrongdoing was an impossible task.
Aside from that, Jon and his family shockingly landed in Italy incident-free but it didn’t take long for Rachel’s entitlement to erupt.
Family From Abroad
Rachel threw her first tantrum on the bus to the hotel. She didn’t want to share the bus with other groups going to the same hotel and complained that the air conditioner didn’t keep her cool enough. Apparently, she was expecting better conditions on the complimentary shuttle ride to the hotel.
As soon as they arrived at the hotel, Jon met family members from across the world. Most of them spoke limited English and some even spoke no English at all. That wasn’t an issue because Luca was thrilled to translate for them. Everyone seemed interested to learn about the different cultures of their family members from across Europe, except for Rachel.
Rachel looked irritated the entire time they were meeting new family members. She did her best to not converse with anyone outside of the United Kingdom group and look as uninviting as possible to other family members.
That night, Jon and his cousins agreed that they should stay on their best behavior throughout the trip. They viewed it as they were representing the United Kingdom to their family members abroad. Even Rachel’s kids agreed that it was the right thing to do.
The next morning at breakfast, Jon and his cousins decided to sit with some of their family members they had met the night before. All was going well until Rachel stormed into the dining hall and attempted to gather up all of the family members from the United Kingdom. Jon and his cousins hesitated but obliged and followed her to the buffet line.
In the buffet line, Rachel ranted about how no one there spoke English, how awful the food was, and how poorly their family had been treated by everyone present.
No one had any idea what she was talking about. Despite speaking different languages, they had been able to communicate remarkably well with their family members from abroad. Even though they were eating food prepared for such a large group, the Italian cuisine was still phenomenal. The hotel staff had been more than welcoming and the rest of the United Kingdom group had been having a great time with the other wedding guests.
Jon suggested that they go sit back with their family members from abroad and his cousins agreed.
Rachel made the same attempt at every meal but that was just the beginning.
On the other hand, the bride’s family was extremely kind. They upgraded every family present to all-inclusive and contributed to the airfare of families that needed extra assistance. Their plan was to give everyone a week to relax and get comfortable with each other before the wedding.
Jon and his family spent almost every day at the pool and doing different activities around the pool. They would usually only go inside for meals. Even the adults seemed content to spend their days outdoors doing activities with the other wedding guests.
The bride was present for all of the activities and seemed really invested in making sure that everyone had a good time. To her credit, it seemed like everyone was having a great time. Everyone except for Rachel.
Jon had barely seen Rachel since the morning after they had arrived. He knew it was strange because Rachel typically watched her kids like a hawk. Actually, the only place he had seen her was in the dining hall.
After about two days of fun, Jon heard a rumor that some lady was causing issues with the other wedding guests. He immediately felt a sense of dread.
“Rachel Had Been Busy”
It turned out that Rachel had been busy while everyone else was having fun. She had verbally abused most of the wedding guests outside of the United Kingdom group, complained to the hotel about noise from the guests of the same wedding she was attending, and managed to call the Italian police because one of the guests told her to shut up. No one knew how she even had the number for the Italian police. There must be a Book of Karen that includes the phone number for the police in every country.
Rachel made a special point to harass Luca’s other children and tried to forbid anyone from introducing Jon and the other kids to their half uncles. That was despite knowing that they had already been introduced by Luca on the very first night.
Best of all, Rachel had found a way to upset both the bride and her family. Apparently, Rachel had criticized the bride for taking part in activities with all of the wedding guests because that wasn’t behaving like a bride in her eyes. She asked for money for her family’s flights and asked for the bride’s family to move them to a better hotel because it was too noisy, despite not paying a penny for the trip. Rachel even had the nerve to get mad when she heard that the bride was moving to stay in another hotel the night before the wedding.
Things got so bad that other guests were openly complaining to Jon’s parents, his cousins, and even Rachel’s husband about her behavior. Jon’s dad and uncle were forced to do damage control to ensure that Rachel didn’t get them kicked out of the hotel before the wedding.
Things took a turn for the worst when the groom and his family came by the hotel to meet everyone.
“Shut Up About The Bride or Leave.”
The bride’s friends had been telling Jon and his cousins to throw the groom in the pool all week. When the groom arrived, they fulfilled that request. Everyone around the pool roared with laughter.
While the groom was having fun chasing Jon and his cousins around the pool, Rachel took it upon herself to make some of her complaints to his parents.
After hearing there was a commotion going on with the groom’s parents inside, most of the adults went to see what was going on. Everyone saw Rachel berating the groom’s parents but no one bothered to intervene until she turned her criticism toward the bride.
Finally one of the guests chimed in, “Shut up about the bride or leave.”
All of the adults present voiced their approval.
Rachel, not one to accept her own wrongdoing, responded by grabbing a bottle from one of the trays and throwing it into the crowd of people that had formed.
Both Jon’s dad and uncle had to drag Rachel out of the lobby. Not feeling the slightest bit of guilt for her actions, she tried to call the police as soon as they got back to the room.
The bride and her family moved to a different hotel shortly after. Several other guests opted to change hotels to get away from Rachel and her antics. Rachel started watching Jon and his cousins outside by the pool to limit interactions with their cousins from abroad. Shortly after, most guests stopped using the pool altogether.
Jon’s entire family was initially uninvited from the wedding; however, after some cooling off, everyone except for Rachel was invited again.
Rachel took it upon herself to host a family meeting and yell at everyone about how they would not be attending the wedding. That meeting ended with Luca shouting obscenities at Rachel in Italian.
Only a small portion of the United Kingdom group got to go to the wedding to avoid causing any distractions as word had fully gotten out about Rachel’s behavior. She was still furious that any members of the group attended the wedding.
The plane ride home was extremely awkward and Rachel didn’t talk to any members of the family for five years as a result of them going to the wedding that she had done nearly everything in her power to ruin.
The family wasn’t invited to any more weddings by the side of the family from abroad. No one could blame them.
Thoughts From The Author
On the topic of marriage, I’m extremely disappointed that Rachel’s husband hadn’t divorced her yet. Yes, they have kids but if they are showing signs of behaving like Rachel they might be a lost cause too. That story gave me secondhand anxiety for everyone that traveled to the wedding with Rachel. I couldn’t imagine knowingly taking that liability around innocent people.
It took some serious nerve to criticize the bride to her parents that, by all accounts, sound like amazing people. I didn’t know there were expectations as to how a bride should behave on her wedding week but apparently having fun with the guests that flew from all over to attend your wedding is completely out of line. I’m so thankful that the other guests finally put Rachel in her place before getting a bottle thrown at them. On behalf of the bride and groom, thanks for taking one for the team.
Aside from Rachel behaving like a psycho, this wedding sounds awesome. I would be completely thrilled if I found out that I have extended family from abroad and I had the opportunity to go to a wedding in Italy to meet them. I’m sure Jon and his family knew the amazing opportunity they had but in hindsight, they probably should have left Rachel at home.