It’s wedding-planning season, everyone! Read on:
The last time I saw her was a year ago, when my husband paid for her and another close friend to fly out for my 30th birthday. (Her then-boyfriend, now-fiance also came out with them, but my husband did not pay for his ticket.) She did some things over that weekend that made me angry, the worst of which was that she was rude to another woman I consider a close friend. I should have told her I was angry so that we could have discussed the situation and moved on, but I didn’t want to ruin the weekend, and I haven’t seen her since. I realize now that I should have just picked up the phone and had the discussion that way, but I didn’t, which was my mistake.
She just got engaged over the holidays, and I will be in her wedding. I find myself resentful about many things related to the wedding, and I think it is because I still harbor resentment from the last time I saw her. (One example: When I first asked if they had set a date, she said she wanted to talk to me about it first, to see what was convenient for me. She then never actually did so, and set the date for very close to Thanksgiving, which means that my husband and I will not be able to visit my parents for Thanksgiving as we had planned, since we can’t afford to take two cross-country trips in close succession. Now, I would never have expected her to “clear” her date with me first – when I got married, I certainly didn’t clear my date with anyone – but I find myself resentful that she said she would talk to me about it first if she had no actual intention of doing so.).
How can I get over all this and just be happy for her – and, hopefully, excited to be involved in her big day, rather than upset? It seems awkward to bring up what happened last year now that she’s in the middle of planning a wedding. — Don’t Want to Be a Bitter Bridesmaid
You’re not going to like my answer, but here it is: Pull up your big girl panties, stop being so petty, and if you cannot sincerely feel happiness for the friend who “has been there for you in many ways for which you can never repay,” then at least pretend to be genuinely happy. Because, you know what? You can repay Jane for being there for you … by being there for her now and not dragging a resentment you should have addressed when it happened a year ago into her wedding planning.
I’m not saying you don’t have a right or reason to be upset with Jane for being rude to a friend of yours, but now is not the time to address it. If you really can’t let it go, wait until after the wedding to air your grievances with her — you’ll probably have a few more to add to your list by then anyway. And being upset with her because she didn’t clear her wedding date with you — despite admitting you never would have cleared your wedding date for her is just ridonkulous. I don’t care if she made some vague reference to talking to you about it and then not doing so. It’s HER wedding. Maybe she meant to talk to you about dates and got so wrapped up in the million other little details one gets wrapped up in when planning a wedding that it slipped her mind. Maybe she wanted to, but her fiancé told her it was a decision between the two of them and not the two of them plus all their friends. And maybe she flat-out, bold-face lied to you, which doesn’t make that much sense but if you’re really considering it a legitimate possibility, perhaps you aren’t as fond of her now as you once were.
If that’s the case, you have a couple of options. You can either suck it up and be happy (or fake happiness) for Jane or you can bow out of her wedding now as graciously as you can by saying something like, “Oh dear, I didn’t realize your wedding would be so close to Thanksgiving and I’m afraid I won’t be able to make it after all as we always go to my parents and we can’t afford two cross-country trips so close together.” You could also start saving now — over nine months out — for those two trips. If you were prepared to fly cross-country at least twice in the next year anyway — once for her wedding and once for Thanksgiving — what difference does it make on your budget if those trips happen to be close together? Since they’re both late in the year, wouldn’t that give you more time to save than if Jane’s wedding were, say, this summer?
Here’s what it sounds like to me: You’ve drifted apart from Jane and now the the thought of making any sacrifices to “be there for her” on her wedding day seems … annoying. There’s the dress you’ll have buy, the wedding gift, perhaps a shower gift and a bachelorette party to help plan. There’s the expense of the day itself — travel and hotel costs, grooming, etc. etc. It’s a lot! Apparently, the average bridesmaid spends something like $1600 for the honor and I can certainly understand if you aren’t up for that kind of commitment to someone you don’t feel very close to anymore. But if that’s the case — if you’re just going to get more and more resentful with every penny you spend and every duty you have to take on — then seriously, bow out now. Yes, it will probably mean the end of the friendship, but I fear if you go through with it, you’ll be signing on for nine months of resentment-building that will not just end your friendship but blow it up into a spectacular explosion of glittery, glistening wedding confetti.
But, look, if you really don’t want to end your friendship — either now or after the wedding — there is one last option: You can focus on how much you care for Jane — how true she’s been to you, how much she’s done for you and how much you care for her. You can put aside your petty disappointments and consider your role as her bridesmaid payment for all she’s done for you over the years — the things you say you could never repay. You can accept her for her flaws, love her in spite of them as she loves you in spite of yours, and celebrate this milestone in her life, being grateful that you’ve had the good fortune to watch someone you care so much about grow from a high school girl into a woman who’s committing her life to another person. That’s a lovely thing — certainly worth putting aside a few minor resentments.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow me on Twitter.
Bossy Italian Wife February 17, 2012, 9:14 am
I have a close friend who can also be rude to my other close friends, and you know what? It grates my nerves. When my wedding rolled around, it happened a couple of times and I wanted to get mad about it, but it just wasn’t the time nor the place. I never addressed it because, in reality, it wasn’t really between me and either of my friends. But do I still think about it? I am sorry to say, I do.
Bottom line? These things happen in life, but they aren’t so big an issue that you need to be continually upset about it. Breathe in, breathe out, and like Wendy said, MOA!
This is a good friend of yours, and though she said she would clear her date with you, she didn’t. Let it go. This might really be a great chance for you to connect with your friend in a new way–even though you are feeling annoyed, even though she was a meanie to your friend when she came out to visit. Unfortunately the bottom line is that some of your complaints are simply petty not because they aren’t valid but because as an adult you just have to be able to overlook more things.
If it’s too much for you, just politely bow out, like Wendy said. I had to bow out of being a bridesmaid for my sister in law when she decided to move her wedding date a month before mine. It stung, but you gotta get over it.
Don't Want to Be a Bitter Bridesmaid February 17, 2012, 6:30 pm
Thanks for this 🙂
Taylor February 18, 2012, 10:57 am
I have a good friend who has never liked any of my other close female friends – she’s on the possessive side. It has made us less close over the years, but at some point I realized it was part of her personality and have planned things (get togethers etc) accordingly.
blarfengar February 17, 2012, 9:15 am
Wendy, Wendy, Wendy. I don’t think there has ever been any prose more perfect than that first paragraph of advice.
Ani February 17, 2012, 9:19 am
As a bride-to-be, this is my worst nightmare. I would never want my bridesmaids to feel resentful over being in my wedding. If you truly feel that way, I would do as Wendy suggests, and find some way to back out without hurting her feelings.
mf February 17, 2012, 10:13 am
Me too. I’m going out of my way to make sure my bridesmaids not spending a lot or having to plan a bunch of parties in my honor. I would be really hurt if my friends felt this way about my wedding.
septicidal February 17, 2012, 10:41 am
Same here! I had a super-huge panic moment when the dress one of my bridesmaids fell in love with wound up being more money that I wanted another bridesmaid (who is only working part-time at the moment) to spend… And so I had a talk with my fiance about it, and then talked with the bridesmaid I was worried about, and offered to pay for her dress if it winds up being too expensive for her.
It is just really difficult to accommodate everyone, all the time. 🙁
jlyfsh February 17, 2012, 10:44 am
one of my friends fixed this by picking a color and letting each bridesmaid pick their own style. i think everyone looked better because they were all comfortable in what they were wearing!
bethany February 17, 2012, 9:20 am
I think Wendy hit this one spot on- Especially with this line: “Here’s what it sounds like to me: You’ve drifted apart from Jane and now the the thought of making any sacrifices to “be there for her” on her wedding day seems … annoying”
I feel like we see a lot of this in letters- women are just flat out annoyed by being a bridesmaid. I was a bridesmaid this summer and got married 2 months after that- I WANTED to be in that wedding, and I wanted to be there for my friend on her wedding day. I offered to help her put together invitations, I offered help with the shower, and I planned the bachelorette party- Why? Because I wanted to. And my bridesmaids did the same for me. If you don’t WANT to be an active part in the wedding/shower/whatever, do NOT agree to be a bridesmaid!!!!
If one of my friends didn’t have the time, money or desire to be a part of my wedding day, I would have rather found out 10 months before the wedding, than to have to deal with a girl who was just dragging her feet the whole time.
I understand that a lot of brides go way overboard with their weddings and turn into monsters, and make crazy demands, but most of us aren’t like that. Most of us just want to include our closest friends on this very special day. If you don’t want to do that, just say no. seriously.
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 9:54 am
That exact line stood out to me too. If my friend felt this way, not only would I wish she would bow out, but I wish she’d just end the friendship and MOA from me. Seriously, you’re mad because she was rude to your friend a year ago?!?! Ugh.
I’m also curious what role this friend played in the LW’s own wedding.
Addie Pray February 17, 2012, 9:21 am
I cannot wait to fall in love with an available man who is also wise, funny, caring, and playful, who “gets me” and loves me to pieces, … and then BAM we elope and avoid all this crazy, expensive, bridesmaidsy drama, blah blah blah. Seriously why do people do this to themselves? To each other? To the world?!
Just Max February 17, 2012, 9:25 am
This x 1000000!
Addie Pray February 17, 2012, 9:29 am
I’m not looking forward to wedding-planning season. All these letters are going to give me an ulcer. (Confession: I don’t actually know what an ulcer is. Wait, we are no longer confessing.)
atlimbo February 17, 2012, 10:02 am
Ulcers are awful energy & soul sucking thingys that supposedly stem from your stomach.
Seriously though, they just soul suck, straight from your stomach. It’s amazing 😐
Ani February 17, 2012, 12:16 pm
“Ulcers are awful enrgy & soul sucking thingys”
That basically describes planning a wedding too.
Budj February 17, 2012, 9:30 am
But then the people that THOUGHT they’d be bridesmaids will be pissed at you.
Addie Pray February 17, 2012, 9:32 am
No way – because no one would “get” to be a bridesmaid. You can’t be pissed when there are no bridesmaids, right? Besides, anyone with friends who would get pissed at you for not having a wedding with bridesmaids needs to get new friends. My friends would worship me for sparing them. I mean, like, worship me even more than they already do.
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 9:52 am
What are you saying Addie? You don’t want me to be your maid of honor?!?!
Addie Pray February 17, 2012, 9:59 am
Maid of honor?! I was planning on you being my bride. We need to work on our communication.
FireStar February 17, 2012, 9:57 am
I told my friends I would elope and just tell them about after – so when I did get married and had an intimate wedding with no bride’s maids or maid of honour or anything – they were all just happy to be told about it and invited at all. Zero drama.
Wendy February 17, 2012, 9:33 am
No, no they won’t!
ktfran February 17, 2012, 9:35 am
Not to mention all those people who thought they would be invited to your wedding.
Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
jlyfsh February 17, 2012, 9:41 am
having eloped myself i’ll tell you this isn’t really true. sad that they weren’t there, a little. pissed that they didn’t have to buy a dress (and who ever really wears one of those dresses again, right?) and spend a ton of money on nails and hair? not really. honestly most people are just happy for you. i found the people who got the most mad about me not sharing my wedding day with everyone were not who i expected. like my coworkers (who weren’t friends outside of work) got the most heated. it was weird.
CatsMeow February 17, 2012, 10:16 am
My mom INSISTS that I have a wedding. I ask her who’s going to pay for it, and she says, “You’re your father’s only daughter!” They’re divorced and don’t communicate; she’s just assuming.
My girl friends are ALL married already and they said I *must* have bridesmaids because they actually WANT to be bridesmaids. Yeah, I don’t get it either.
Renee February 17, 2012, 10:26 am
britannia February 17, 2012, 12:12 pm
Hey, free and willing labor? That means you can have handmade invitations!
MsBorgia February 18, 2012, 11:26 am
My mom used to want me to get married and have kids. Then she got divorced. No more pressure! 😀
rainbow February 18, 2012, 1:41 am
About nails: are you sure people are looking at you so closely that you need to get them done instead of buying one nail polish in a color that matches the dresses and using it to paint everybody’s nails?
I have no idea about how your weddings work, but this only makes sense to me if closeup pictures of the bridesmaids’ nails are a big part of the ceremony.
jlyfsh February 18, 2012, 7:01 am
i think it depends on the wedding. some are fine with your example and other’s use the manicure/pedicure as a pre-wedding thing for the bride and her bridesmaids. all of the wedding i’ve been in though we’ve been asked to get them done. and they do take a lot of close-up pictures of the hands for the rings and flowers specifically….
bethany February 17, 2012, 9:42 am
I’d never be mad about not being included in a friend’s wedding! Actually, all of my 3 best friends have sisters they are really close with, so I know I’ll never be a maid of honor, and I”m cool with that!
MandaNoA February 17, 2012, 10:54 am
I thought I would be a bridesmaid in one friend’s wedding and thus far have not been asked and I couldn’t be happier. I have stood up in many weddings over the bast couple years, including 3 stints as maid-of-honor, so I am all bridesmaided out. She also lives in another state, so the thought of not having to drive 8 hours multiple times a year for all the wedding related goings on makes me happy.
savannah February 17, 2012, 9:38 am
While that would be a good way to avoid the drama *it doesn’t have to be this way* (we don’t have to live like this! haha). My friend got married last september and maybe because she was the first out of our friend group (just post-grads) there was basically no drama, even with 6 bridesmaids. We all wanted to be there and support her on that day and the only sticky thing we really had to do was convince her to not wear orange shoes and be supportive when her step mom was being irrational. She never got bridezillay and though the trappings of the wedding were quite traditional it really did end up just being a huge and beautiful party and we definitely did not spend 1600. You just have to surround yourself with less crazy and more calm. And of course everyone can get married the way they see fit, I’m just saying it can be done without losing your sanity.
evanscr05 February 17, 2012, 10:04 am
Why did you have to “onvince her to not wear orange shoes? Lots of brides wear crazy colored shoes – who cares?
savannah February 17, 2012, 10:10 am
Maybe convince is not the right word. She asked us what we thought and we all liked the purple ones better. So she cared.
evanscr05 February 17, 2012, 10:17 am
Ah, ok. Makes sense now.
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 10:20 am
I gotta ask-did you wear orange shoes at your wedding?
evanscr05 February 17, 2012, 10:30 am
No, mine were gold. I did actually consider orange, though, because it’s one of my favorite colors. But my wedding was fairly traditional, so I didn’t go wacky with anything (sometimes I wish I had). My sister-in-law wore these crazy blue shoes and I loved them. I think it’s cool when brides think outside the box.
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 10:39 am
I went to a wedding where everyone in the bridal party wore converse sneakers. I thought that was pretty cute.
evanscr05 February 17, 2012, 11:10 am
My brother had all of his groomsmen wear high-top, black patent, converse chucks with bright blue shoe strings. Ended up much cuter than I initially thought.
MsBorgia February 18, 2012, 11:27 am
Oh man, Chucks look SO good with suits, it’s ridiculous. (10th Doctor, anyone?)
Jillie z February 17, 2012, 11:34 am
My girlfriend wore bright red heels with her traditional dress- cute and sexy and fun!
MELH February 17, 2012, 11:37 am
One of my friends had us wear these beautiful pink dresses, and carry pink and orange flowers. For a while she wanted us to wear orange shoes, thank god her mom changed her mind! It wasn’t so much the color for me, but that we were going to have to buy dyeable shoes and have them dyed, which isn’t cheap, and I couldn’t forsee wearing orange shoes ever again.
evanscr05 February 17, 2012, 12:04 pm
I had my girls wear dyed shoes in my wedding. They were chocolate brown, to match their dresses, but I didn’t think it fair to ask them to pay for it, so I bought the shoes. I don’t even forsee them wearing these again, and the color is fairly neutral. Also, they KILLED their feet, which we didn’t realize until that day. They were so happy I also got them matching flip flops so they could take off the heels and be comfy at the reception.
MELH February 17, 2012, 1:00 pm
We had matching flip flops for that wedding too! We tried to get orange, but they didn’t have everyone’s size in orange, so we settled on a bright pink to match the dresses.
I just had my girls wear black shoes, because the dresses were purple, and by the time we got to discussing shoes I was burned out and was like I don’t care at all, how about black?
Jessibel5 February 17, 2012, 11:10 am
lets-be-honest-I have the shirt that is your avatar! I love it!
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 11:22 am
Really? That’s awesome!
Jessibel5 February 17, 2012, 11:42 am
Yeah, it’s either from Delia’s or Alloy, if you don’t already have one 🙂
Jessibel5 February 17, 2012, 10:25 am
I’m “eloping” at the end of the year with just immediate family, and I’ve already told my friends that that’s the deal. We’re going to have a party later on, so that seems to have alleviated any sadness at people not being at the wedding. I just don’t want to have to deal with planning something. Plus, the thought of everyone staring at me while I walk down the aisle, have an “entrance” at the reception, or our first dance gives me agita!!!
Meanwhile, on another note, I have a two girlfriends (*Erica and *Greta) who I spend time with virtually every single day, I thought we were all very close, but Erica has actually said to me “You’re not going to be my bridesmaid, but Greta is” and her boyfriend hasn’t even proposed yet. I didn’t think that was a particularly nice thing to say to someone, but I’m trying to look at the bright side of not having to pay to be in her wedding. I would rather have just my sister be my bridesmaid than hurt any of my friends feelings by telling them they don’t make the cut!
GatorGirl February 17, 2012, 10:36 am
We’re planning on having a wedding with no bridal party. It’s upset one of my friends- and confused all most everyone we’ve told BUT it’s our day and we’re getting married so who cares. I don’t need a gagle of girls/guys standing up there with us while we make this comitment.
Jessibel5 February 17, 2012, 11:09 am
The one thing I’ve learned from all of this is that everything should be between you and your spouse to be, not anyone else. You’re the ones that matter!
Vathena February 17, 2012, 12:39 pm
We did that too – no wedding party at all. My mom was like, “WHAT?! Is that even legal if No One Is Standing Up With You?!” and assumed it was my fiance-now-husband’s idea. No, it was MY idea, and the first thing I said after I said “yes”, and he said, “See, this is why I love you and we’re getting married.” And yeah, I’m guessing with 90+ people witnessing the ceremony, it was legal. Cheez.
Lindsay February 17, 2012, 9:39 am
Wendy’s right. Though if you do bow out of a wedding that far in the future, it’s going to be fairly obvious that it’s not because of the timing, at least in my opinion. A wedding is a (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime thing, and I think it would seem kind of silly to miss it because of an annual holiday. If you can’t save up money to travel twice in November, then presumably you won’t have the money to travel twice this year no matter when the wedding was.
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 9:59 am
mandalee February 17, 2012, 9:42 am
Wendy hit the nail on the head again! Beautifully said. From a former bride who had three of her childhood best friends drop out of my wedding two months prior to the wedding, ruined my shower and bachelorette party, please just bow out now if you’re going to hold onto resentment from the one trip. Its really not worth it for either of you. You don’t want to be there and she’s not going to want you there if its clear you don’t want to be. My friends could have saved me a lot of tears and stress during what should have been a happy time if they had just stepped down or said no when I asked.
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 10:00 am
Wow! That’s terrible.
mandalee February 17, 2012, 10:52 am
Yeah, and these were friends of 18 years! I was far from a bridezilla and asked for nothing from them. Needless to say, we are not friends at all and people got a pretty ugly look at how they could behave. LW, don’t be that friend!
Jessibel5 February 17, 2012, 12:06 pm
What were their reasons, if you don’t mind me asking? (Don’t answer if you don’t want to talk about it). I am so sorry that happened to you, it really sucks 🙁
This whole process of getting married shows you who your friends are sometimes. I had a few girlfriends start treating me horribly right after I got engaged, but I also kind of knew they would. There were some who I knew would be happy for me, and there were some that I knew wouldn’t be. With the latter group, when I got engaged I didn’t even mention it when I went somewhere with them. Someone noticed the ring and I was all like “oh, yeah, it hasn’t sunk in yet!” to play it off, because I knew they would react negatively (from jealousy, as far as I can tell. One of them even told another friend “why her, why not me? It’s my turn to get engaged, not hers! It’s not fair, why hasn’t my boyfriend asked yet!?”) I swear I never rubbed it in their faces or bragged or anything. I was in tears at points, because it just hurts.
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 12:08 pm
These people are not friends! What the hell. I’m getting really grateful for my few girlfriends right now after reading all these horror stories.
Jessibel5 February 17, 2012, 12:19 pm
Exactly! Like I said, it really shows true colors sometimes. I don’t make any efforts to get together with them anymore…and guess what, I haven’t seen them because they don’t make any effort either!
One of them is a girl who I introduced to her boyfriend. $100 bucks says I don’t get invited to their wedding, even though without me it wouldn’t be happening, lol! (Not that I think I’m owed that or anything!)
mandalee February 17, 2012, 12:30 pm
God, it was such a cluster of a mess, but it started off with me being the first one engaged out of our group, and two girls had been with their boyfriends longer. Then, my fiance got a promotion and allowed us to have a bigger wedding and invite more family and friends and that bothered them. Finally, I said I was sick of the drama and the fake friendships. I just couldn’t handle being under a microscope and getting picked at while they rallied against me for whatever reason.
One girl dropped and rallied the other two to drop out after they yelled and complained all day at my shower (which my mom threw and paid for) and bossed around the other bridesmaids and me. They threw a “bachelorette” party which involve buying me a sash, taking me to a bar where everyone sat with their boyfriends and family and completely ignored me and the other bridesmaids. They dropped out of the wedding the day after the party, called me a shitty friend, asked me to mail them their bridesmaid gifts after “all they’ve done for me” they deserved it.
And yes, my “best friends” of 18 years did this. Granted they were pretty similar in high school, so it was a classic case of MOA, friendship style.
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 12:56 pm
NO WAY! The gift thing is unbelievable!
Jessibel5 February 17, 2012, 1:18 pm
Holy. Moly. Wow. You sound like you’re better off without them! The gift thing is insane. I might be biased though because the concept of bridesmaid gifts boggles my mind already. This DEFINITELY sounds like a case of jealousy on their part! I’ve noticed that a lot of times, the girl(s) are angry with their life choices and are taking it out on you. My fiance’s been amazing and supportive throughout these friendship breakups, I hope yours was too! Nobody’s made any moves to throw me a bachelorette party (am I supposed to plan that myself? Everyone tells me I shouldn’t be, but I have no clue, and it seems silly not to plan it for myself if I want it…)
I try to keep myself less upset by telling myself that this is a part of life and friendships end organically, and someday I’ll have new mommy friends after having a baby, and then I’ll become friends with my kids’ classmates’ parents, and on and on. My best friend who is like a sister to me lives across the country, and is extremely happy for me and supportive, so I’m glad I’ll always have her!
mandalee February 17, 2012, 1:51 pm
Yeah, they were pretty insane. I can laugh now but at the time I was a mess. My fiance was really supportive, thank God, and so were the rest of my friends.
The bachelorette party etiquette, I have no idea how it goes. I didn’t even want one, and wish I could take mine back lol But ,I don’t see why you can’t at least reach out to someone about it.
Your last paragraph rings true from me too. I keep telling myself that now that I’ve moved to a new city, I can make new friends here and then mommy and me friends when I’m older. I
Jessibel5 February 17, 2012, 3:01 pm
I’m dying to know: Did you end up sending them the gifts?
mandalee February 17, 2012, 3:11 pm
LOL No I didn’t! Luckily, I was able to cancel an order on one gift. The other one was a personalized wine glass so I was stuck with them. I took them to the Salvation Army donation center and had the woman give me a strange look when I handed them over.
bethany February 17, 2012, 1:48 pm
HOLY HELL!!! You are better off without those bitches in your life!
FireStar February 17, 2012, 9:52 am
If the comment to your other friend was so rude you should have addressed it at the time – don’t try and backdate your outrage to account for why you don’t want to be there for a friend you say you can never repay for her support over the years. There are statutes of limitations on offensive behaviour. Even manslaughter has a cut off date. The time for addressing her rudeness has passed. If she is rude again in the future address it then. However if all you really want to do is back out of her wedding because it is inconvenient for you or because you weren’t given a promised say in the date (seriously?) – then you won’t have to worry – there likely won’t be a future.
Valerie February 17, 2012, 10:15 am
atlimbo February 17, 2012, 10:04 am
Possibly one of my favorite Wendy responses ever! Totally hit the nail on the head.
CatsMeow February 17, 2012, 10:09 am
My advice would have been, “Suck it up and deal with it,” but Wendy said it better (as usual).
BecBoo84 February 17, 2012, 10:09 am
Loved the response in general! My only addition would be that Thanksgiving does tend to be the most expensive time of the year to fly. If she’s really going cross country, flying at that time of year could add a couple of hundred dollars to the ticket. However, if they live somewhat near each other, you could just combine the trips.
LeahW. February 17, 2012, 10:23 am
It seems like a lot of the letters to DW lately have basically consisted of, “I have these feelings, I know that they’re wrong/inconvenient/might get me into trouble, so how can I stop feeling them?” But you CAN’T just turn off your feelings, even if you think you shouldn’t be having them! And why shouldn’t you! They’re just feelings and they belong to you and you alone!
The trick is to get to the bottom of what they’re really about and try to temper them with other, more positive thoughts and feelings so that the negative one might lose some of their weight. I agree with Wendy that it’s probably the royal pain and expense of being a bridesmaid that’s really bothering the LW. She puts a lot of effort into explaining all the things that she and Jane used to have, but it seems like justification. It’s perfectly fine to NOT want to be in this person’s wedding despite your former closeness and the fact that she was in yours! I would never ask someone to be my bridesmaid if I only saw them once a year for one weekend! I’d rather have someone who’s in my life stand next to me, someone who has actually spent time with both me and my fiance as a couple, or have no one at all rather than stack my wedding party with long-lost formerly close friends.
It sounds like the LW doesn’t want to admit to herself that she really doesn’t want to do this at all and that’s why the resentment over a long-ago slight is rearing its head. She probably didn’t deal with it a year ago because it just wasn’t that important, and it still isn’t! Getting upset over a real (though stale) slight probably feels safer than worrying that you’re a bad friend for not wanting to be in this wedding.
So, how do you stop obsessing? Just admit to what’s really bothering you! Seriously, the truth will set you free, even if you think it’s a slightly ugly truth. Because the bottom line is you ARE a good friend and a good person for agreeing to be in this wedding despite your feelings. You may not be there for a close friend, but you’re honoring a former friendship and helping out some that, even if you’re not really in each other’s lives anymore, you probably want good things for.
Don't Want to Be a Bitter Bridesmaid February 17, 2012, 6:31 pm
I know I mentioned you below but just wanted to specifically say thanks for this 🙂
evanscr05 February 17, 2012, 10:28 am
If you’re just going to resent her, then back right now. Otherwise, you’ve already committed to be a bridesmaid and you need to keep your yap shut and at least pretend to be happy for her sake (and your friendship’s sake, if you want to keep it). Either save up the money so you can make two cross-country trips, or bow out from Thanksgiving this year. Her wedding is once, Thanksgiving’s are annual. Your family will understand. Don’t bring up the anger about being rude to your friend ever. You’ve passed the window of opportunity. If she does it again, absolutely address the new incident when it occurs, but leave the past in the past.
As far as being a bridesmaid, you live far from her, she can’t expect you to be at everything or to be able to chip in $$ for all of the pre-wedding events. That stuff is worked out with the other bridesmaids, anyway. If you can’t afford it, just let them know that. If you can chip in financially, even if you can’t be there, then do what you can, and don’t feel pressure to chip in an equal amount. I was a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding, but couldn’t afford to go out for the shower or to help pay for a lot of stuff since I had my own wedding and pre-wedding events going on at the same time. The other girls kept me in the loop, and I chipped in what I could swing. No one seemed to care (or, at least, no one mentioned it to me). That sister-in-law was a bridesmaid in mine and wasn’t able to do much for me, either, for the same reasons. No biggie. One thing to consider, if you can’t be there physically for her shower, you could do what one of my bridesmaids did. She lives in Hawaii, I live in Virginia. She made it out for the wedding, but couldn’t afford to help pay for, or really participate in, the shower. No big deal. She ended up skyping in and played whatever games she could that way. It was so awesome to see her, even if she couldn’t be there physically. The fact that she came up with an alternative solution so that she could be a part of that event meant the world to me.
It’s time for you to evaluate this friendship. If you’re going to maintain it, you have to find ways to let go of your anger and resentment and allow your friend to enjoy this time in her life. If you can’t be happy for her, fake it. If you can’t fake it, then MOA and don’t worry about it any longer.
septicidal February 17, 2012, 10:34 am
One of the best things I learned (and try to keep at the forefront of my thought process) is the idea that your wedding is NOT an imposition.
On the flip side of that is that the people other than the couple getting married need to remember that the marriage and the ceremony/party to celebrate it are NOT all about them. Is it a good thing for the couple to be mindful and respectful of others? Yes. Are you allowed to bitch them out for choosing a slightly inconvenient wedding date? No.
Hint: if someone’s wedding FEELS like an imposition to you, you are not a person who should be going. Let alone be someone who is IN the wedding party!
GatorGirl February 17, 2012, 10:47 am
I couldn’t agree with you more. The wedding is not about the guests- it is about celebrating the union of two people. Of course the bride/groom need to be mindful of their guests while planning…but ultimately it is their day. If you are unhappy/irritated/inconvienced by the wedding then DON’T GO!
And if you’re invited to be in the bridal party, seriously consider the costs/time investment that requires. It will be different for every wedding. If you can’t afford it or don’t want to/can’t put the time in then respectfully decline.
bethany February 17, 2012, 10:48 am
I totally agree with you, and with this line in particular in the article you linked to:
“The people who love you and care about you will not feel like your wedding is a burden or an imposition. They will be thrilled that out of all of the people you could have invited, you want THEM.”
This is how I feel about every wedding I go to. If I’m not excited to be there/be invited, I don’t go, because what bride/groom wants someone at their wedding who’s not happy to be there? (for the record, I have only not gone to 1 wedding- The groom was a friend of my husband’s and he was unable to go because of work. I could have gone alone, but I didin’t like the bride and wasn’t that close to the groom, so I politely declined).
Jessibel5 February 17, 2012, 1:55 pm
I politely declined going to a wedding once because I found out that the groom had cheated on his bride and felt uncomfortable going.
sobriquet February 17, 2012, 10:48 am
You really can’t put aside your unbelievably petty resentment and be there for the person who has been your best friend for half your life for ONE DAY? I’m sorry, but sometimes these letters make me want to throw things. So she was rude to your friend a year ago and she probably doesn’t realize it. By not addressing this issue with her, you didn’t give her a chance to redeem herself. You’re secretly resenting her for something ridiculous. And face it, you’re not mad that she said she was going to talk to you about the date before setting it, you’re mad that it’s not convenient for you.
Seriously, everyone, can we stop being so SELFISH all the time?
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 10:51 am
Don't Want to Be a Bitter Bridesmaid February 17, 2012, 10:59 am
Hi, LW here. Thanks Wendy for the response and all the commenters too. First of all, I want to address the part of my letter that mentioned the wedding date. Wendy said the fact that I would be upset about that is “ridonkulous,” and a lot of commenters have also jumped on it, but I want to point out that the whole reason I included it in my letter was as an example – I TOTALLY REALIZE it’s not right for me to feel that way, which is exactly what I said in my letter, which is exactly why I WROTE the letter. I’m not trying to justify that feeling or get people to say that she should have asked me about her date – she shouldn’t have. All of which I clearly acknowledged in my letter.
In fact, I think I did a good job throughout my letter of acknowledging mistakes on my part (that I should have confronted her about the awful weekend at the time, not now, etc. etc. etc.) which is why commenter LeahW.’s response was the one that resonated with me the most, because she seemed to understand the most that my problem is that I have these feelings but I don’t think I SHOULD be having them. The main thing I wanted actual advice on is whether I should bring up my feelings from over a year ago now, and Wendy and the commenters seem to agree that I shouldn’t. I was already feeling that way – the last thing I want to do is ruin what should be the happiest time in her life (and which is also already stressful enough for her without me adding to it) – so I definitely will not bring it up with her after reading all this.
Also, many people (including Wendy) have commented that I need to at least fake being happy – DUH! Nowhere in my letter did I say that I’m actually acting like a bitter witch to her face. The letter was about my internal feelings and the fact that I’m having a hard time FEELING as happy as I should, but of course I am happy and enthusiastic in my conversations with her. Of course!
And yes, we could save up enough money to make two trips across the country within two weeks of each other (one of which would involve an expensive holiday weekend), but it is extremely difficult for me to get time off work, and it’s just not realistic. A detail that was not included in the letter due to space.
Last but not least, our friendship is a complicated one, and there have been betrayals on BOTH sides over the years that I didn’t want to crowd the letter with. But I just think it’s important to remember that, just because I focused on the great aspects of our friendship (the line about not being able to repay her for stuff has gotten a lot of pick-up), there have certainly been betrayals as well that have probably accumulated for various reasons on both sides. I’m sure that, as with all letters of this type, the real issues go a lot deeper than can be conveyed briefly. The bottom line is that she is important to me, I have NOT been dragging her down by acting unsupportive when we talk, and I DON’T want to make this time in her life difficult in any way. But, it’s also more complicated than any letter can convey and ultimately LeahW. is right and I need to get to the bottom of my feelings about the whole matter.
LeahW. February 17, 2012, 11:19 am
Really glad you found my comment helpful! Good luck getting to the bottom of things.
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 11:24 am
Nice of you to say DUH to the advice everyone, including Wendy, gave. Anyway, sounds like you have even deeper resentment issues toward this “friend” then you initally gave. Even more the reason to drop out now.
Don't Want to Be a Bitter Bridesmaid February 17, 2012, 11:42 am
Sorry, I really didn’t mean for that to come out as terribly as it came out. I was just shocked that everyone assumed I was being awful TO her, when the truth is I am doing EVERYTHING I can to be supportive, enthusiastic, etc. The letter was about how I feel internally and what I’m struggling with internally, and how I can KEEP that from manifesting itself externally (or, hopefully, just get over it). Anyway, I am sorry for offending!
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 11:47 am
I can usually tell when a friend is “faking it.” And gritting your teeth sucks for you too.
I don’t know how to tell you to stop feeling what you can’t seem to help feeling, but maybe make a list of all the great aspects of your friendship. I had a lifelong friend falling out once, and honestly, I couldn’t be happier now that its over. After it ended, I realized I was always forcing myself to see the bright side of things with her and really, she was a very selfish person who I learned only was my friend because I gave her all the attention she wanted. I’d really evaluate this and make the call from there. Maybe your feelings are warranted, maybe you’re blowing them out of proportion. (I have to assume there’s way more to this than just being rude once to your friend.) Pro-con list?
Don't Want to Be a Bitter Bridesmaid February 17, 2012, 12:05 pm
Thanks – I agree that making a list or doing some other form of really intensively thinking about this will be helpful. I wrote this in the immediate aftermath, heat of the moment type time – to be honest, I hadn’t even realized that the stupid incident from a year ago was still bothering me so much until all this wedding stuff came to the surface. And even that stupid incident was probably triggering something for me based on past feelings – so it would be good for me to address those, and a good way to get to the bottom of my own issues with regard to this… issue 🙂
Friend of Beagles February 17, 2012, 2:16 pm
Oh, boy, does this sound familiar, LBH. My best childhood friendship imploded, and I had many of the same postfriendship insights. But we haven’t separated 100%, which is, on some level, foolish. I think I would feel better if we could.
LW, I sympathize. Turning off the feelings is not easy. Distract yourself during the quiet moments prewedding when your thoughts start drifting to “man, I’m still hacked about X” and fake it ’til you make it when you’re with her. By the time the wedding rolls around, I suspect you’ll be ready to have a good time and be genuinely congratulatory.
Don't Want to Be a Bitter Bridesmaid February 17, 2012, 6:25 pm
Thank you for this 🙂
Don't Want to Be a Bitter Bridesmaid February 17, 2012, 6:37 pm
Thank you for posting this 🙂
britannia February 17, 2012, 11:55 am
When it comes to dealing with internal feelings that you think you shouldn’t be having, an advice columnist is not really going to be able to solve your problems with just one reply. Go see a therapist, or have some private conversations with a wise and trusted friend.
Don't Want to Be a Bitter Bridesmaid February 17, 2012, 12:07 pm
Thanks, and yep, I totally agree with you, and I have definitely been discussing this with the people you suggest in the time since I wrote the letter. The main thing an advice columnist can help with, I think, is the issue of whether or not to bring up my feelings about the incident from a year ago – would it make things better or worse in our friendship? – which Wendy and most of the commenters advised, probably very wisely, that I not do.
question February 17, 2012, 11:11 am
Why can’t the LW bring up her resentment about the bride being nasty to her friend before the wedding? Since when does having a disagreement with a friend ruin 9 months worth of wedding planning?
question February 17, 2012, 11:53 am
seriously – I just had a fight with a friend who just got engaged and asked me to be in her wedding. she was being a sucky friend during a really hard time in my life, and I called her on it. should I have waited until after her wedding in 2013 to say anything about it? does getting married turn into someone’s entire life, such that they wouldn’t care about knowing that they had acted badly?
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 11:57 am
The issue with the rudeness happened over a YEAR ago. Big difference between what you are saying and a year old minor problem.
britannia February 17, 2012, 11:57 am
It depends on whether you want to save the friendship or not. If she had been sucky during a very important time, I’m not sure the friendship would have been worth salvaging, from my perspective, so I wouldn’t have bothered to have that painful discussion with her. I would have just declined the offer and done a fade-out. To each his own!
question February 17, 2012, 12:11 pm
I’m not so much talking about this situation – just wondering why Wendy said “now is not the time to address it. If you really can’t let it go, wait until after the wedding to air your grievances with her…” Why is it that Wendy (and I guess a lot of other people, since nobody else mentioned it) think that the LW shouldn’t bring up her issues before the wedding. Two adults should be able to talk this small of an issue out without ruining their evening, let alone an entire wedding planning year.
britannia February 17, 2012, 12:16 pm
I agree with you, but a lot of brides like to use things to become drama mamas when they’re in such a stressful situation as throwing the biggest party (and also in the process becoming a united couple with another human being). It’s assumed that the bride is under a lot of stress, so it’s courteous to wait until after the wedding, lest she react unfavorably to the attempt at discussion of the issues.
*HmC* February 17, 2012, 2:00 pm
Good point! I agree with you.
*HmC* February 17, 2012, 1:48 pm
This was my first thought as I read the letter. I am definitely NOT in the camp that planning a wedding is such a sacred event that you aren’t allowed to be at all disagreeable with her. I mean for heaven’s sake, the damn thing isn’t even taking place for 9 months! If you can’t handle ANY static in your life during the whole year prior to your wedding, then you have some serous coping issues.
HOWEVER. I think Wendy’s advice in this context is entirely appropriate. The advice to either suck it up or get out now is appropriate because it’s been so long since the squabble, and sometimes in life and friendships you just have to let stuff go. Not because “oh no she’s a bride must not upset her in the slightest!”, or because it’s “HER DAY” (God that phrase just makes me cringe). If the friend is rude again, let her now. But let the past stay in the past.
CollegeCat February 17, 2012, 2:42 pm
its not about the wedding its about th fact that the incident happened a year ago. If the LW already waited this long to say something whats a few more months? Also most of us are advocating that she forget the whole thing altogether unless it happens again. It would just make the LW look really bad to wait all this time and then bring it up right before the wedding. If the incident happened a couple weeks/months before the wedding it would be a completely different situation
Pinky February 17, 2012, 11:14 am
I suggest that the LW graciously bow out of the wedding. It might save the relationship. Here’s what happened to me:
Several years ago, I was the maid of honor for a friend’s wedding. I was happy to do so. I didn’t mind spending the money. I spent hundreds of dollars on the shower. I bought a dress. I paid for a hotel room. The only thing I didn’t participate in was going to a male strip club because, well, I just find it kind of icky (unlike watching men do the freestyle event in the Summer Olympics, hubba hubba). She didn’t mention that she was peeved at me for not attending this event. She knows it’s not my cup of tea.
A couple of years later, I got married to Mr. Pinky. I had a *tiny* ceremony with no maid of honor. This friend offered to be the officiant as my wedding gift, which is great because she’s a registered minister. This was a mistake. She made it VERY clear to me how much money she was losing by performing my event for free. She criticized every last little decision I made, from my dress to my color scheme. This is the problem when a people-pleaser gets married. I chose her favorite color and a ridiculously low-cut dress to appease her (I have no business being in a low-cut dress, I’d put someone’s eye out). After the event, I realized that her offer was a terrible imposition for her and I *guess* was expected to insist on paying her, even though she offered.
Ultimately, she didn’t want to do the wedding. She resented it. Her attitude manifested itself in her behavior towards me and it ruined the friendship. A few months later, I stopped speaking to her. It just wasn’t worth it any more.
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 11:27 am
Seriously, what is wrong with people? Did everyone forget how friends act?
p.s. I wish I could poke someone’s eye out with my boobs.
bittergaymark February 17, 2012, 12:27 pm
Wendy totally nailed it. I have nothing to do but chime in saying that the LW definitely DOES seem bound and determined to be petty about this… If one instance of being rude to a friend of hers can wreck this much havoc on a friendship… well, I think that says far more about the LW than the friend. And as far as the whole rude to another friend incident… Did you personally witness it, LW? Or did you just later hear about it? You remain maddeningly vague about the incident in question. Details, details, details… It never ceases to amaze me the stuff the LWs choose to leave out.
Don't Want to Be a Bitter Bridesmaid February 17, 2012, 12:46 pm
Hey, LW here. I actually included a lot more about that incident in my letter, but Wendy cut it due to space. I was very long-winded, I’m surprised she didn’t have to cut more 🙂 In any case, suffice it to say that yes, I did actually witness the incidents in question.
Honestly, I don’t know where people are getting things like I am “bound and determined to be petty about this” from my letter. The whole point of my letter was, I KNOW I’m being ridiculous and I DON’T WANT to be… Do I bring this past incident up now or just suck it up and try to MOA? Which I think Wendy and the commenters have done a great job of answering. And, as you’ll see in my comment above, there are other, deeper issues at play here that I need to deal with (and that really had no place in the letter).
bittergaymark February 17, 2012, 12:58 pm
If you REALLY wanted to just drop it — you could. Trust me on this. I’d be very interested to hear what you friend has to say about the incident though. I mean, one never knows what your other friend said to her previously. This I also know from experience. A good friend of mine has a viper in his life who was CONSTANTLY being victimized by my friends other friends… Oh, they were so rude to him, oh, it was tragic. Woe was Daryl… Hah! The truth of the matter was poor innocent Daryl did EVERYTHING he could to start these battles… It just took my friend a long, long time to figure it out.
At any rate, I would love to know what your definition of really rude is. You say it doesn’t have any place in your letter… ( ?????) Um, okay. That’s an interesting thought on the subject because — really — this vague incident truly remains the only key bit of evidence that could actually give you a solid defense for your (otherwise) petty reaction to your best friend’s happiness…
Don't Want to Be a Bitter Bridesmaid February 17, 2012, 1:10 pm
I didn’t say that the “rudeness” incident had no place in my letter. I said that I did include more details about it in my original letter to Wendy, but she had to cut them for length. (My comment about OTHER things that have no place in the letter are also referenced in my longer comment above, you can read that thread if you’re interested.)
I appreciate your story, but that was not the case here. “Jane” has never liked my husband’s best friend. Not because he’s a bad person, just because their personalities clash and she finds him annoying. The woman she was rude to was that best friend’s significant other. It was the first (and only) time Jane had ever met her, and I was with them all night. The woman did not say or do anything to provoke Jane (this woman is extremely nice, friendly, and very concerned with manners), but Jane found her similarly annoying/grating, and because she rubbed Jane the wrong way, Jane made snide comments about her all evening, often within the woman’s hearing. Needless to say, it made me uncomfortable. At the end of the night Jane went so far as to make a rude comment directly to the woman’s face, but I was more upset about the ones she had made to other people within the woman’s hearing. I would have rather she come right out from the get-go and just tell the woman she didn’t like her, that wouldn’t have made me as uncomfortable.
Is it silly? Yes – I was the first to admit I should have just brought it up at the time and been done with it, but I didn’t, and that was my mistake. (Hence my letter: bring it up now or MOA?) But in the time that has passed since submitting the original letter, as I mentioned in my above comment, I think that incident was more like a trigger for me and that there are deeper issues here I need to resolve on my own. In any case, I’ll be the first to admit that I need to get over it.
bittergaymark February 17, 2012, 1:16 pm
You know, there is this amazing thing about just being able to speak up.
If a friend of mine is openly rude to another friend of mine, I call them on it. Right there on the spot. It’s really quite easy. You repeat what the person just said — verbatim — only you add a “What the fuck, _________ (enter friend’s name)! Why would you say that?”
Don't Want to Be a Bitter Bridesmaid February 17, 2012, 1:24 pm
Look, I explained the incident in greater detail because you asked, but there’s no way to change how I handled it – it’s already done. I didn’t want to make my small (10-person, including my husband and I) 30th birthday dinner party even more uncomfortable than it already was. Should I have handled it differently? I’m sure I could have, yes. But it’s over now. So is it really necessary to continue berating me? I have admitted over and over here that I have handled various aspects of this situation incorrectly. The question is what to do MOVING FORWARD. (Consensus seems to be, find a way to get over it, which I am going to sincerely try to do.)
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 1:27 pm
This is coming from the same person who wrote below that its amazing to him people don’t let things go, yet, his self-chosen nickname is bitter.
Realize the source.
I kind of snapped at you too, but then read your comments after the letter posted and think you obviously have a good handle on right and wrong.
Don't Want to Be a Bitter Bridesmaid February 17, 2012, 1:31 pm
Ha! Thanks for making me laugh 🙂
bittergaymark February 17, 2012, 3:57 pm
You’ve never gotten the “bitter” part of my name, have you? But then, I have never quite gotten the “honest” part of yours…
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 4:03 pm
Oh I do get that part of your name, but I always enjoy the silly ones you come up with for me! lets_be_[?]
In any event, I think my posts are always honest, maybe brutally so sometimes.
bittergaymark February 17, 2012, 4:08 pm
That said — hold your horses! — there is one thing that we do actually both agree on today… And that’s Wendy’s obnoxiously cool and fabulous bar cart.
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 4:11 pm
Leave it to booze (sorta, right?) to bring us together.
bittergaymark February 17, 2012, 4:14 pm
True that. But what do you drink? I’m partial to rum, whisky, and vodka. No gin.
bittergaymark February 17, 2012, 3:45 pm
Don’t take everything so personally. That last post was mainly intended for everyone else here that finds them in a similar situation. The fact remains, had you done what I suggested here from the start you wouldn’t be in this situation. That’s why I posted this. It’s too late for you to go back in time — clearly. It is not to late for others to not make a similar mistake.
That said, it’s hilarious you didn’t want to ruin YOUR weekend but have no problem whatsoever ruining her wedding by casting a real shadow over it.
The way you get over it — is you just get over it. Do as Wendy said and act like a grown up. Fake it if you have to.
Don't Want to Be a Bitter Bridesmaid February 17, 2012, 6:23 pm
Wow. Where are you getting that I “have no problem whatsoever ruining her wedding”???? Obviously I DO have a problem with that, which is why I wrote the letter in the first place. ???? I am honestly baffled by this. I am trying my hardest NOT to cast “a real shadow over it.”
june February 18, 2012, 2:40 am
You are soooooooooooo helpfulllllll, thank you for sharing your wisdom so that I don’t make a similar mistake. That was a close one. Your comments have changed my life for the better. Seriously, what would I have done in a similar situation if I hadn’t read this?????!!!!! I’m sure all the other DW readers are just like me and pretty much just read DW for your guidance; you are so superior.
bittergaymark February 18, 2012, 1:59 pm
Eh, fine. Fuck it. Why do I even bother? Fine. All of you can just keep on making the SAME mistakes over and over as that is clearly what the LWs do. PS — I don’t think my idea of posting to everyone is at all unique. I’d hazard a bet that almost everybody here who posts regularly here has the same exact thought….
lets_be_honest February 17, 2012, 1:24 pm
What the fuck, Mark! Why would you say “there is this amazing thing about being able to speak up” when she clearly said “I was the first to admit I should have just brought it up at the time and been done with it, but I didn’t, and that was my mistake.”
Thanks BGM. That was fun.
bittergaymark February 17, 2012, 3:48 pm
Well, she should have. I was agreeing with her in saying that not speaking up at the time was kinda of, well, stupid. More than that it was downright rude and disrespectful to the maligned friend. To sit there and watch one of your friend treat another one like shit and say nothing — nothing — simply because you don’t want to rock the boat proved to be a very poor decision. And the bottom line is she created this problem by being passive and hopefully she won’t do so again.
Sue February 17, 2012, 12:41 pm
Why would bowing out of the wedding because you can’t afford it mean the end of your friendship? Sounds like a logical reason to bow out, to me.
MsMisery February 17, 2012, 12:45 pm
Just another example of how weddings can make people who AREN’T EVEN THE BRIDE absolutely nusto.
bittergaymark February 17, 2012, 12:49 pm
Sidenote: One thing that simply amazes me on this site is how some people simply don’t or won’t ever let things go. Talk about sweating the small stuff… I mean, I can’t believe how LOOOOOOONNNNNNNGGGGGGG so many LWs seem bound and determined to remain bitter and resentful about incredibly small slights and grievances… I mean, I get angry. Oh, it takes a lot, but when I do I — Look out! If you are in my line of fire I blow right on up and let loose all about it. But then…it’s over. And I don’t mean the friendship is over. I mean the fight or whatever is over. People on here should try it sometime — as clearly all this sitting around and seething about things leaves much to be desired.
britannia February 17, 2012, 12:52 pm
I’ve found great results from applying a dose of Zen to the way I handle bad feelings. Holding onto shit like bitterness and grudges is just so, so toxic for you. I sound like a total hippie right now, but I really do think people need to be more Zen.
Chaotonic February 17, 2012, 1:54 pm
LW- just because she asked you to be in her wedding, doesn’t mean you have to be in her wedding. You have resentment towards her, you’ve both betrayed each other here and there during your friendship, and you have to fly out to her weddingness and probably not go home to your family / families for the holidays, if these are all problems you have towards your friend, then say “No. I’m really sorry but I just don’t think I’ll be able to be a bridesmaid.” But do it sooner rather than later, because I know personally from experience that when a bridesmaid drops out 3 days before the wedding it becomes a huge deal and will end the friendship permanently.
Holly February 17, 2012, 2:41 pm
I agree that in this case the bridesmaid should let things go until after the wedding – or back out. However, I feel like people who write in to DW with wedding questions should avoid the time/effort and see the following rule: if you are not the bride, you are wrong – deal with it. If you’re the bride – you’re right! Make sure other people know they’re cramping your day. It could be a FAQ answer or something.
Anna February 17, 2012, 4:12 pm
The previous disagreement and the wedding are two completely separate scenarios. It’s not fair to Jane to dig up old dirt that you never had the balls to talk to her about before during the happiest time of her life. If you can put it aside and share her special day with her, then do that. If not, spare both of you the misery and bow out of the wedding.
A side note – if I were invited to be a bridesmaid in a wedding but it was going to cost me $1600, I would say “Absolutely not!” That’s about how much $ I make in an entire month. When I was a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding, I spent about $350 – 200 for the dress and about 100 for food I made for the shower plus some cash in a card as the wedding gift.
6napkinburger February 17, 2012, 5:13 pm
I’m incapable of hiding my feels. So I’d call this girl up, say hi, there’s been something that’s been eating at me for a while and if I don’t say it now, its just going to fester. It really troubled me when you were mean to my friend last year, and it seemed out of character? What was up with that?
It will be an awkward conversation, but a cathartic one,a nd then you can be fully into it. And sh’es not going to be that upset; she’ll feel more confused/bad that you’ve been feeling bad about that. Pretending that you’re happy is just never going to work. Try doing the thing that will let you be happy. It’s just one 10 minute conversation. DO it.
Don't Want to Be a Bitter Bridesmaid February 17, 2012, 6:34 pm
Thank you 🙂
Don't Want to Be a Bitter Bridesmaid February 17, 2012, 6:38 pm
Hi again! LW here at the end of the day and I just wanted to say thanks again to Wendy for answering my letter and also to all of the commenters for contributing their thoughts, particularly the many who were honest but KIND at the same time. You can really never know everything there is to know about a person, a relationship, or a situation based on reading one letter. And while I am totally prepared to deal with honesty even when the honesty means that I have to face something *I’m* doing wrong, I don’t think it’s necessary to be, shall we say, less-than-kind in your comments. In any case, I really do appreciate the conversation!
iseeshiny February 17, 2012, 7:00 pm
I’ve been an LW before. It really does suck (like a punch in the gut) to get negative comments, especially when you think they’re unjustified or uncalled for. My advice? Take the good, ignore the bad. Getting worked up over strangers either misjudging you or beating a dead horse is exhausting and just makes you feel like shit. People can be assholes, even when they don’t really mean to. The downside of having lots of people giving you advice is that lots of people are giving you advice, you know? Be well.
Sue Jones February 17, 2012, 10:06 pm
SO glad my husband and I eloped 15 years ago and had a wedding party without the wedding with the whole family 4 months later! I wanted to be married and had NO desire to plan a wedding. My mom was a little upset, but she got over it and I think my dad was relieved that he did not/ was not expected to have to cough up any $$ for a wedding.
Herself February 19, 2012, 1:48 pm
Life is way to short to drag drama baggage around this long. If she was as good a friend as LW makes Jane sound then she should’ve been able to put Jane in check with the nasty comment the weekend it happened- not dwell on it for a year. DW once again hit the nail on the head with her advice!