Reader D. G. writes:

My sister got married this weekend. I made the absolute worst drunken wedding speech in the universe. I told stories no bride should ever have told about her and I think I embarrassed her big time… long story short: I need to apologize. What’s the best way to do so?

Dear D.G..:

Ha, you really screwed that up, didn’t you! On the supposed biggest day of your sister’s life, you got drunk, took the microphone, and just ruined everything! That’s hilarious!

I’m sure your sister doesn’t think so.

If she does, she is by far the coolest woman in the world.

God my brother's a dick.

God, my brother is such a dick. Image: Timeless Photography / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But let’s remember that it is, actually, hilarious. Probably everyone else who was at the wedding has forgiven you because you stepped up and took the embarrassment out of the situation, so they didn’t have to. There is always at least one person at any large social event who embarrasses himself and everyone around him; this time, it just happened to be you, and not Uncle Sergio. Good job.

Now what I would suggest is a hand-written apology note, tagged onto one of the nicest gifts on her registry. If you can’t afford that, try a bouquet of flowers from the grocery store (sunflowers are, like, $6 right now), or homemade cookies. Or something she really, really likes. Maybe a picture of the two of you from when you were kids. Make the note simple but sincere. In fact, it may be more touching if you just write “I’m Sorry” than if you try to explain yourself. She knows what you did. You know what you did. Time to get it over with. Your sister is probably on her honeymoon right now anyway, and by the time she gets back, she may be ready to laugh at you, give you a hug, and move on. The wedding is over, and no matter how terrible you were there, her marriage happened anyway.

The thing is: you’re family. Most of us are far more willing to forgive our family members of gross trespasses than we are ready to forgive, say, that groomsman who was just on the soccer team with the groom in college. And in fifteen years, everyone will either have forgotten, or will be telling it as a joke to whoever will listen (probably the grandkids!).

I don’t think you need to sign up for community service or go into a rehab program to show your sincerity in this situation. She may still be mad at you, but at weddings where alcohol flows freely, someone is bound to get drunk. Also, wedding speeches are really, really difficult sometimes. You mean to be funny, but you’re not; you start blubbering and crying in the middle; you wrote it all down on notecards and you’re reading it rote and it’s terrible. These are normal wedding speeches. You’re not the first one to tell bad stories about the bride or groom. Have you seen “Wedding Crashers” or “Rachael Getting Married”? People make movies about this stuff. It’s normal. It’s par for the course. Weddings = extreme embarrassment more than 50% of the time. Keep that in mind.

The point here is that you understand you made a mistake, and you’re willing to acknowledge it because you love your sister. That’s awesome. There are some guys who would just pretend it never happened. You are therefore an awesome brother.

However, be prepared for her to do something to you on your wedding day. Payback’s a bitch!


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