“My Friends Are Already Bailing on My Non-Traditional Wedding Celebration”

wedding rings

My fiancé and I are getting married on May 17th in a very intimate immediate-family-only ceremony. We are celebrating with small dinner afterwards but no formal reception or anything. We decided to do it this way because we don’t really have the money for a big wedding. Over the last year I have been in three close friends’ weddings as a bridesmaid. These weddings involved travel, vacation time, expensive dresses, bachelorette party weekends, etc. I was happy to do all of these things because I love my friends and wanted to support them. So when I chose to do such a small wedding, I called all of my close friends and asked if they would be offended or feel left out if we went the family-only route. Everyone was super supportive and there were no complaints.

Since I still wanted to celebrate our wedding with all of our close friends I suggested we do something non-traditional and throw a wedding party over a weekend where everyone could get time off in August. We called this “the wedding weekend without a ceremony.” We would do all of the fun things that usually happen on a wedding weekend (going out, nice dinner, cake, field trip to the lake for some sun and relaxing) but no white dress and no chicken dance or DJ. Everyone sounded excited. They were happy that we would all get to see each other (we all live on opposite ends of the country) and that we would still get to celebrate. Or, so I thought…

Yesterday, I’m texting with one of my friends and ask about summer plans and she says that she is booked solid through the summer. I ask about August — I had polled everyone about dates and they said that August would be best so I told them that we would nail down a specific date after the wedding — and she says that she’s booked. I was a little disappointed, but I contacted my other friend and asked her opinion about whether we should postpone or just go ahead with the date in August and whoever can make it comes. She responded by saying that she doesn’t want to come if my other friend isn’t coming and that it’s pretty inconvenient to get out here at all. She then suggests we meet in an alternate city for a “girls’ weekend” instead.

I’m beyond irritated and I can’t decide if I’m being irrational or if this is just a giant slap in the face. I know it’s not a formal wedding, but this is the way that my fiancé and I wanted to celebrate our marriage with our friends. We couldn’t afford thousands of dollars on a big reception, but we still hoped that they would be excited to come out and celebrate without all of the formalities. None of these friends is struggling financially; they are lawyers and private educators. If they were so put off by the idea of coming to celebrate my wedding, why even agree to it in the first place and make me hold off until August? These are girls that I have been friends with for 15+ years. I feel like all of the effort that I made to be an accommodating friend at their weddings is being thrown in my face because I’m not being “traditional.”

I don’t want to stir up drama with these girls, but I’m legitimately offended at the way that they are treating this whole thing. Should I just go ahead and cancel the wedding weekend? Or should I plan and say whoever makes it, great (with the genuine possibility that none of them will show and I’ll be bitter about their lack of effort). — Nontraditional Bride

Let’s be honest, at this point, you’re going to be bitter about your friends’ lack of effort whether you host a wedding weekend or not. You’ve already decided that the amount of effort you’ve devoted to their weddings deserves some sort of reciprocation and if you get nothing in return — despite getting married! — then you’re going to be bitter. And I understand that bitterness … to an extent. Your friend suggesting a “girls’ weekend” to celebrate your wedding was rude. And I can appreciate how it was hurtful that two of the friends whom you spoke to about their availability in August suddenly were unavailable — well, one was unavailable while the other simply said she wouldn’t come without Friend A, which makes me wonder how close you two are in the first place.

But let’s put this all in perspective. You’re expecting people to put effort into celebrating your wedding because you put effort into celebrating theirs, but you have to understand that your friends who got married most likely think a reciprocation has already been met. They put effort into planning their wedding; you put effort into supporting them. Equal reciprocation in their eyes. You’re asking them to put effort into celebrating your wedding, but you haven’t even planned so much as a date. Unequal reciprocation in their eyes. You are essentially asking your friends to put effort into something you yourself have invested zero effort into. You’re asking them to budget for travel and to set aside vacation time for, and most of all save the date of, a date that hasn’t even been confirmed yet. I mean, you really can’t get too mad about people failing to keep a weekend open “some time in August” when that weekend has not been determined and their summer social obligations — other people’s weddings, bachelorette parties, baby showers, family reunions, etc. — begin to pile up. Just because you’re getting married doesn’t mean you get a placeholder over an entire month of weekends in your friends’ summers!

If you truly want people put some effort into celebrating your wedding, whether it’s immediately following the actual ceremony or a few months after the fact, you need to put some effort into planning it, starting with solidifying a date. So, nail down a date. Then, send out an invitation — email, paper, whatever — with words that convey the importance of the occasion — even it isn’t “formal,” it’s still meaningful and you want to make that distinction clear — whatever details you know for sure, a general idea of the weekends’ events, and some indication of what will be paid for by you (and, if none of it will be paid for by you, you need to make sure your friends understand what the expected expenses will be and that they are responsible for their own costs). Also, if you don’t plan to foot the bill for anything, you have to understand that, unlike a traditional wedding party or reception, your friends are not your “guests” and certain expectations that you would have if they were — like, for example, them RSVPing by a certain time and showing up when and where they’re supposed to — may be different.

Here’s an example of what you could write in an invitation once you have a date nailed down:

As most of you know, “Mike” and I will be tying the knot in a small ceremony with our immediate families on May 17th. Because all of you play such important roles in our lives, we want to mark the milestone occasion of our marriage and the joining of our lives together with all of you, too. It would mean the world if you would join us in belatedly celebrating our nuptials during the weekend of [whatever date you select] in [whatever town you’ll be celebrating].

Also, since this is a whole weekend, and not just a ceremony and a reception, you might want to consider creating a website or a Facebook event page where you can outline a general itinerary of the weekend, along with links to whatever restaurants you have in mind, lodging where people can stay, and suggestions of things to do.

One more piece of advice: an entire weekend is a long time to expect people to devote solely to celebrating you (especially if they’re responsible for all of their own expenses; and no, this isn’t like a bachelorette weekend in Vegas — an example you used in the forums — because, instead of a maid-of-honor or bridesmaids organizing it, YOU are hosting it, and there’s a difference between someone else organizing a party for you and you organizing your own celebration in which you expect your guests to fork over what could be hundreds of dollars). If you’re expecting people to be available to you the entire time, adjust your expectations right now so you aren’t disappointed. Remember that these are adults on a summer weekend getaway and, whether they’re celebrating your wedding or not, couples will likely want a little alone time, people may break off into smaller groups, and there may be disagreement over what to do and where to go at certain times.

It’s fine to celebrate your wedding in a non-traditional, informal way. But in doing so, you have to accept that “informal is as informal does.”

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. lets_be_honest says:

    Did everyone see Wendy name dropped me? Anyone?

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      This was my forum reply…
      2nd friend sounds like an asshole. She only wants to celebrate your wedding if others are there too? I’m sorry you spent any time or money on her wedding.

      Have you made it clear that you are putting this together for YOUR WEDDING? Not just to see people and have a get together? Maybe that is the reason for the girls weekend suggestion??

      I think your only fault here was not firming up a date in August. You can’t expect people to keep their calenders open for a whole summer month while you decide when is good. I don’t blame you for being offended. I would be very offended. What you should do now is pick a date or two that work and send an email saying we’re preparing invites to our wedding celebration and since you guys are people are really, really want to celebrate our wedding with, let me know if these days work for you. OR, just send a formalish invite to your wedding celebration. If they can’t make it for some BS reason (and let’s be honest, I would bend over backwards to make it to my close friend’s wedding celebration), then F them and tell them why you are so hurt.

      The only thing I’d add to this is that I disagree about the equal reciprocation part in Wendy’s answer. I don’t think throwing a wedding/attending said wedding makes you equal. Doing the same thing for your friends as they do for you is equal.

      1. you’re famous 8) <–(this is emoticon with cool sunglasses if it doesn't show up)

      2. sarolabelle says:

        I definitely agree with Wendy on the equality part.

      3. I think what Wendy meant and Addie Pray said better below is that the equality equation is actually : You throw party, I attend. I throw party, you attend. And here there was no party just the “Attend” part. But I think her friends should have been nicer about it

      4. I can kind of see where the friend is coming from (and I sort of mentioned this below). It’s one thing to travel and shell out money to go to a wedding where you may not have friends, but I may not be so inclined to do that for a party. And you have to assume at these things that you’ll spend basically no time with the bride and groom, so I’m not sure I’d want to go through all that just to mingle with strangers.

    2. I thought I totally missed it, then realized you’re hilarious!

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        hehe 🙂

  2. kerrycontrary says:

    Yay I love Wendy’s response. I think it is better written and better expressed than a lot of our responses in the forum.

    1. I just read your response in the forum and I was thinking the exact some thing about the weekend getaway. It isn’t set in stone until someone plans it.

      I also liked LBH saying to call it a reception. My friend got married in Jamaica. A few went. I went because she’s my bff. Then, a month or so later, she had a reception back home for those who couldn’t make it. It was at Dave and Busters. They payed for everything. Totally nontradtional, but hey, that’s them.

      Anyway, LW, have a lowkey reception like a BBQ or something. Pay for it. You can grill hotdogs and have cake and it could be super cheap. And if you call it a wedding reception, people will treat it as thus.

  3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    Goodness Wendy your response is so lovely I can’t even say anything snarky!

    1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      But I do have a few “points” (all general “you” not specifically to the LW)

      -No one cares about your wedding as much as you do.
      -But people prioritize attending a wedding (over say a bachelorette or a “wedding celebration weekend”) since you chose not to invite your friends to the wedding ceremony, your priority drops.
      -You can’t invite people to an event celebrating YOU and ask them to pay for it. Well, I mean you can but expect the priority to be low.

      -You get one wedding day, the day you are married. How you chose to spend that day (big wedding, church, courthouse, small dinner, etc) is completely up to you BUT you have to live with the consiquences of your choices. People will have opinions on your wedding day, regardless of what “route” you chose so pick what is best for you and your fiance.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Aside from obviously the actual reception costs (dinner, drinks, whatever), don’t the guests usually pay for everything else anyway, like travel costs, etc.? From how I read it, those regular costs would be the only ones the guests are paying for.

      2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        “We couldn’t afford thousands of dollars on a big reception, but we still hoped that they would be excited to come out and celebrate without all of the formalities. None of these friends is struggling financially; they are lawyers and private educators.”

        This lead me to beleive that everyone would pay their own, but spend the weekend “celebrating” the couple. Not a hosted event, but I could be wrong.

      3. kerrycontrary says:

        Just because someone has money doesn’t mean you should expect it to spend them on you with no worries. I think it’s really rude for the LW to make assumptions about peoples financial situations and dictate how they spend their money.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, but if they can afford to fly out for a girls weekend (and were happy to have the LW spend her money on their wedding events) it sounds like they can afford it just fine.

      5. artsygirl says:

        Well it sounds like they have to fly no matter what and flights to tourist places like Vegas are dirt cheap because they want to attract visitors.

      6. artsygirl says:

        My husband and I run into this a lot with friends. We are a bit more financially secure than many people but not as well off as some think. While we both have good paying jobs (ok he has a good paying job, I am an art historian) we also have bills. There is the mortgage, two car payments, and a lot of student debt (damn the siren’s call of the humanities!). But because we bought a house and have two newish cars, a lot of our friends think they we can give them loans, pick up bar tabs, host EVERY sporting event and/or birthday party, etc. The LW’s friends most likely carry a TON of school debt and likely have other financial burdens she likely doesn’t know about. Even if they didn’t, there is absolutely no obligation for them to spend a lot of money on her. I feel bad because she thinks her friends are blowing her off, but at some points in the letter she sounded really entitled which is off putting. After all, even her friends who had the big traditional weddings had people who could not attend – that is the nature of hosting.

      7. Yeah. This. We’re in a similar situation and my husband has to regularly point out to a couple of our friends that while yes we have more “stuff” and better jobs (paywise) the fact is they are actually in better financial situations than we are in many cases, even the unemployed one, because WE HAVE EIGHTY FREAKING GRAND OF DEBT. Hork. And OVER HALF of our monthly income goes to aggressive debt repayment. GUESS WHAT? Even at that rate, we won’t have it paid off for another 5-6 years. FML.

      8. You are right. But I am guessing, it is hard to explain to the husbands of the friends why they are flying across the country to sit at a lake.

      9. haha that’s a good point. Maybe that’s why they wanted a girls’ weekend instead? Since the husbands likely wouldn’t want to attend something that seems like a reunion

      10. Exactly, reunion is the word. I feel like this sounds like that.

      11. Great response, GG! I agree. If LW wanted these girls to attend her wedding, then she should have invited them – to her wedding!

    2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      Also, OP, if we’re talking 3 friends, why couldn’t you just invite them to the event next month? We’re not talking about 10 or 20 or 30 people….3!!

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I assume its if you invite them, then you gotta invite Tom, Dick and Sally too, then what if the cousins find out, etc…

      2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Totally a possible senario. In reality it is more like 6 people (friends and spouses) plus husbands friends so maybe we are talking 15 or 20 people…but if you want to plan a whole other event to celebrate with them because they are SOOOOOO important, figure out how to have them at your ceremony…the whole reason for celebrating. Don’t plan a B list event.

      3. Skyblossom says:

        I don’t understand how she can afford to host them with a BBQ a few months later but not after the wedding. She could have the same BBQ as the wedding reception and they would probably all be there. One of my uncles had a backyard BBQ for his wedding reception and everyone loved it.

  4. I didn’t read the forum. But I did read this letter. And while reading it, I had the exact same thoughts as Wendy. No thought has been put into this weekend celebration. There have been times that friends and I have talked about fun actvivities or getaways, but until the date is set and someone actually plans the event, it’s really just talk. And you can’t ben mad at your friends for talking about something but then not actually planning it.

    I like Wendy’s invitation idea and her wording was perfect.

  5. WWS. I especially like the way she re-routed this LW’s definition of reciprocity.

  6. I think Wendy is spot on about the date thing. You can’t expect someone to hold an entire month for you, especially this close to the summer. People make summer plans months and months in advance sometimes. If you had run a date by them previously and everyone said they could come already, it would be a different story.

  7. lets_be_honest says:

    I’m curious how you guys would feel if the LW actually had sent a real invite with a real date on it and the friends reacted this way.

    1. I would think the friends are super crappy and I would write most of them off.

    2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      I think it’s a shitty move (by the friends) regardless. But an event like this would be a very low priority to me, since I didn’t make the cut to attend the ceremony and I’d have to pay my own way to an event that should be hosted.

      1. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I don’t understand the pay your own way thing though. What are the friends expected to pay for that’s different from a wedding? If the LW is hosting the event, the only thing they have is travel and lodging which they would have had for the wedding itself.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        I could obviously be wrong, but I assumed bride & groom would be paying for the dinner or whatever they are hosting, just not paying for their friends to get there, which is the norm.

      3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        You guys could be right, but I took it as more of a joint vacation with the focus on the couple (everyone paying for their own stuff but fawning over the newlyweds)…not a hosted event.

      4. SweetPeaG says:

        That’s how I read it too, GG!

      5. kerrycontrary says:

        I was confused by this as well. And if the bride/groom were paying for their friends during this weekend, why didn’t they just have a bigger wedding? The cost will probably be equal or maybe even less. 1 wedding dinner and drinks is less expensive than breakfast/lunch/dinner over the course of a weekend.

      6. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        Because her parents were paying for the wedding. Read her update below.

      7. I think you’re right. They way I read it, it was a weekend of togetherness celebrating the marriage, but I don’t think this LW was actually hosting anything.

        Really, she can host a brunch or a picnic at the park or a backyard barbecue or any number of small events for probably no more than $500. $1,000 tops. Which she should totally do if she’s expecting people to travel to celebrate her.

        When you travel for someone’s traditional wedding, even though it’s supposed to be to celebrate the couple, you’re getting something out of the deal. Some kind of party or dinner or something. I know that shouldn’t matter and maybe I sound like an asshole, but it really does.

      8. lets_be_honest says:

        re your last paragraph, it might be my turn to sound like an asshole, but I’ve never really felt like I’ve gotten something out of the deal (aside from making my friends happy). Even the nicest of receptions are not worth the cost of my attending a wedding. Obviously, that’s just my personal opinion.

      9. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        But LBH, in theory what you are getting is the honor of watch the couple wed and the thank you of a wedding reception (with food, drink, music typically). So while you might end up spending MORE money than the couple did on you, you’re still “getting something” in that you are witness to their wedding and typicaly at the minimum get a free dinner/drinks.

      10. Yeah, this is the logic I have trouble understanding. You get the “honor” of watching the couple say their vows and also get a reception as a “thank you” while the couple expects nothing in return? They’re hosting you as a thanks for your attendance? Except, oh wait, they do get something in return. Conventionally a gift is like the entrance ticket to a reception. A gift that the couple selects and posts on a registry for everyone to see. And then they aren’t allowed to specify “no gifts” because somehow that’s rude, and if they don’t make a registry then they get cash. And before all that, many of the guests have already thrown them parties and provided gifts for showers and other various wedding related activities.

        And this is accepted because it’s traditional. I agree that the LW should host something for her guests, even if it’s a small informal get-together, but I don’t see how what she’s asking of her guests is in any way worse than what “traditional” brides and grooms ask of their guests.

      11. lets_be_honest says:

        wCMs! I’m getting that yucky gift grab taste in my mouth again.

      12. Liquid Luck says:

        This is the opposite of what I was always taught. The couple is being honored by your presence, not the other way around. That’s why you thank them by hosting a reception for them.

        I’m also not a fan of registries, but I can at least see how they can be helpful to guests who want to buy a physical gift. But no one HAS to buy from the registry if they want to pick something out themselves, it’s just a guideline. And the couple should never give out the registry information unsolicited (that means no including it in the invitation, either), which is why they’re considered to be ok by etiquette standards. It should only be mentioned if somebody asks you what you might want as a gift (like when your mom asks what you want for Christmas, so you tell her).

        Also gifts are not required as an “entrance fee” to a wedding. Anyone who thinks that is greedy. Same goes for people who throw their own showers.

      13. lets_be_honest says:

        I have never thought of a reception as a thank you, only as a Yay, We’re Married, Celebrate That With Us.
        I’ve also never known someone to go to a wedding without a gift.

      14. I’m with you LBH! Weddings nowadays are a hassle. When the reception is in the town you live, then no problem attending but when it’s out of town or you are a bridesmaid – it’s expensive! Not only for the bride/groom but also for the guests. My friend is getting married out of town and her bachelorette is being hosted out of town. I am a bridesmaid and I told her of course I will attend the wedding but I cannot make it to a bachelorette that is out of town. And she was cool with that. I just don’t see why anyone would need me there to “support” her and cheer her on for all the parties that take place over the 1.5 year engagement. I’m happy to do it if it’s not a cost or inconvenience but there’s a point when all these parties just get too expensive and really not worth it – particularly if you are already paying a lot to attend the wedding. This is just a rant on weddings in general not on this LW or my friend or whatever.

      15. lets_be_honest says:

        I’m lucky in that by the time my friends starting getting married, I was able to afford all of the stuff that goes with it. I can’t imagine what I would’ve done if I didn’t have the money for it.

      16. All of my weddings in the past two years have been the most expensive, because they were all my closest friends, and I have had the bachelor parties as well as the regular wedding stuff. This past one in Montreal really killed my wallet, but it was still a ton of fun acting like I was 18 again in a place where I was pretty much bigger than everyone (Centre Bell) and even though they hated that I was a Bruins fan there was nothing they could do about it hahaha, though that $15.00 for a beer kind hurt, and you had to get a search party to find their hot dogs in the buns(what are they irish)!

      17. LOL! $15 for a beer! You got jacked, it’s $11!!! 😀 😉

      18. Either way, it probably isn’t that much more than if you were traveling to a different state for a wedding, and the fact that the guests probably don’t have to provide a gift in this situation, it probably is closer to the same price anyways. I know whenever we go out of state for a wedding we make a weekend out of it, and that comes with expenses.
        I think the difference here is that normally you know that you are doing this because the bride and groom are hosting a very expensive party for you to attend, this is just turning into a weekend vacation to celebrate somebody, with them not really putting in the effort or money themsleves. I mean who would want to feel like they are putting more money into somebodies wedding then they are? I think this would be a much better idea if they just hosted a one day backyard BBQ, and if people want to make a weekend out of it, and have a vacation to themselves they can, rather than a weekend getway where the whole weekend is dedicated to the couple.

      19. lets_be_honest says:

        I mean who would want to feel like they are putting more money into somebodies wedding then they are?

        Lol, I pretty much always feel that way. Most of the weddings I’ve attended, the parents have paid for all or a huge chunk of it.

      20. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I can guarantee you the few hundred dollars you spend on a wedding doesn’t come close to what the couple spends on it. Not that I even think this conversation is relevant, but still.

      21. Avatar photo theattack says:

        That sounded a lot bitchier than how I meant it. Sorry, I haven’t found my caffeine yet.

        Overall I think that friends should do certain things for each other, and one of those things is attend major events like weddings or wedding celebrations. I don’t care who spent what or why. You go to your friend’s wedding celebration. It’s just part of the cost of keeping friends.

      22. lets_be_honest says:

        But yea, I agree 100% with your last paragraph.

      23. I think a big part of this problem (and yes I know she cancelled it but I’m just SAYIN) is that *her buds aren’t seeing this as a wedding “celebration”*. They’re seeing it as a house party where we all say “woot! y’all got married!” and not a reception or whatever. She planned nothing. She sent no invites. Now she’s pissed. I wouldn’t go either.

      24. lets_be_honest says:

        Oh, I meant I assume I’ve spent more when I know their parents are paying for it, not the couple.

      25. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I still don’t think so though. Unless the parents are paying for absolutely everything, little things add up fast. I’ve spent most of my money on the wedding even though our parents are technically paying for it. Most of the families attending our wedding are probably spending about $200 to come which pales in comparison to the thousands we’ve spent on our own, separate from what my parents have spent. God I need coffee.

      26. lets_be_honest says:

        Again, if someone tells me their parents are paying for their wedding, I would assume that they are telling me the truth. If someone said their parents are just helping, then I would assume the bride and groom are spending their own $ too.

      27. Yeah it does make you feel that way with how much it actually does cost to attend a wedding, especially out of state. I should have worded it better anways, because I think it is more of an effort thing, but I also think money is effort to some people.

      28. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Do you know for sure the parents paid? Because it’s really not always the case. And even if the parents chip in, you have no idea how much money anyone is paying for anything.

        And it typically costs the two of us like $500 or more each wedding we go to (travel, accomodations, gifts, dry cleaned clothes) but that irrelevant because we are excited and happy and thankful that we get to be a part of such a momentous occasion in someone’s life (watching them marry). I would spend $1000 to go watch a close friend or family member wed, even if it was reciprocated with a McDonalds cheeseburger. I’m not liking this line of thinking/where this conversation is going.

      29. lets_be_honest says:

        Obviously I’m only speaking to the times that I know for a fact that the parents paid, because the couple has told me. I wouldn’t just willy nilly assume that.

      30. lets_be_honest says:

        I was just making a point. I’m not saying I’d tell my friends to F off if they weren’t supplying me with the exact amount of money I spent by giving me food or whatever. I too would gladly spend thousands, and have, and have gotten nothing in return and been very, very happy I was able to spend the money on them. I don’t know where you got the idea that I wouldn’t.

      31. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        It’s just a shitty path to even go down. I know you didn’t bring it up, but still. A wedding isn’t tit of tat, it’s not about how much money is spent or how awesome your steak is. It’s an honor to be invited to someone’s wedding and thinking about “what you got out of it” turns my stomach.

        Not really direct towards you…I just know some people who do think for real like that and I think it’s gross.

      32. lets_be_honest says:

        I agree that its gross. Its equally gross when the couple tallies what they will make off their wedding, which I think happens just as often or more.

      33. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        You’re probably right. I’m actually pretty uncomfortable with the amount of gifts we’re getting. People’s generosity is amazing but holy moly it’s a lot of stuff/money. I mean do we “deserve” all of this just for getting married? You know what I mean?

      34. lets_be_honest says:

        Yes, exactly. Which is why I think its BS you shouldn’t say ‘no gifts’ on the invite!

        I promise I’m not trying to get you riled up 🙂

      35. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        At this point I almost want to break the rules and say no more gifts because I have no more space for them!!

      36. lets_be_honest says:

        Ha, I like this side of you!
        We got a ton of gifts for Peter’s sister when she got married, and then she decided to move into her parents’ so all their gifts are sitting in storage, probably will be for years.

      37. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Start deleting stuff from your registries, and maybe you’ll stop getting as many gifts! You always have room in your bank account for cash, but you might not have enough room in your apartment. (That sounded tacky, but I really don’t mean it that way. People will always give you something, gift or cash).

      38. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I know what you mean theattack. We’re not using anything until the wedding happens, which is the real reason why we have a problem. Boxes of dishes and pots and pans just sitting waiting to replace the ones in our cabinets. Once we unpack we’ll have tons of space for everything.

      39. Avatar photo theattack says:

        We started out taking your advice to do that, but we’ve had the same problem. Most of the stuff we’ve left unpacked in a pile in our dining room, but we’ve broken down and used some of the stuff that was taking up too much room or that we really needed. Our apartment is such a disaster right now.

      40. Yeah our stuff is just going to sit in our basement until we can buy a house where we can use everything. It does make you feel uncomfortable with all the parties leading up to the wedding, it just seems like people are required to do to much, when you really just want them to attend your wedding, and that is it. My cousin said he wasn’t going to be able to attend my wedding because he was in another wedding that same night, but when we saw that he and his wife found time to be able to make it to the church, we thought that was great, and that is really the part we would have wanted someone to attend.

      41. I brought it up. I don’t believe in tit for tat either. I gladly celebrate friends and families weddings and always have a good time. I like being part of the special day and participating in the celebration.

        I do believe in this case though, if the LW wants people to spend an entire weekend celebrating her wedding – one where they weren’t invited to the actual event – she should plan some kind of small event during the weekend and pay for it. I think her friends would be more receptive to the celebration part of the LW’s plans. Because otherwise, it’s really just a weekend to see your friends and getaway.

        And this is coming from someone who shelled out a couple grand to celebrate with her best friend at said friend’s destination wedding. Then a few hundred more to attend her reception several weeks later.

      42. Can we agree it’s just as gross to expect your friends to spend a grand to come to your “party to celebrate the fact you got married several months/years ago” where it’s basically just the same kind of house party you always had in college and get pissy when um no they aren’t interested?

      43. I agree with you, GG. I don’t mind spending money when it’s a close friend or a family member. I’m happy to go out of town or do whatever to support them. That’s why when I got married I only invited CLOSE friends and family. If going to my wedding was a “hassle”, then I didn’t want you there, simple as that.

      44. lets_be_honest says:

        Do people really not feel that way? Jeez!

      45. Yes. TONS of people feel that way. They don’t want to “waste” a Saturday, they’re only going because of the open bar, they’d rather be golfing or sitting at home on the couch. They don’t want to get dressed up or half to drive an hour to get there.

        That’s why I don’t go to every wedding/shower/bachelorette I’m invited to. If you’re my friend and I care about you, then I go. If I can tell that you’re just inviting me to gift grub or make it look like you have tons of friends, I don’t go.

      46. FWIW, I see where you’re coming from, LBH. None of my close friends have gotten married at all yet, so the weddings I’ve been to ~did~ feel a bit like hassles (since they’ve been friends of my S/O’s, you know? People I don’t really know, & that even he hasn’t even seen in months/years, sometimes)

        With that said, once I’m there, I usually have fun. But I don’t think it’s horrible to think, “Oh right, my weekend is booked” & feel bummed.

      47. lets_be_honest says:

        I didn’t mean to come across as saying they are hassles at all. I’ve never attending a wedding that made me feel that way. I’m not upset by any means about the $ I’ve chosen to spend, just that when I know the parents are paying for it, the fact is I am spending more on their wedding then they are.

      48. bagge, cost of the wedding aside, I like your idea of a one day BBQ. The couple would actually hosting their friends and would be feeding them at least one meal. And as you said, this would give the friends more flexibility as to whether they want to make it a weekend getaway.

      49. “I didn’t make the cut to attend the ceremony”

        It’s not like she invited some friends to her actual wedding. It’s family only, so it has nothing to do with “making the cut”. Plus they would probably have to put more money if it was an actual wedding they were attending.

      50. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        I’d be thankful that I didn’t have to go to the ceremony, I’d much rather have a fun, low key weekend with friends.

  8. LW, I think you are out of line here. So you have told your friends that they are not close enough to be part of the day but want them to shell out tons of money so they can celebrate you on a second date. I had a friend that this happened to. One of her bridesmaids got married a year later and said it was only going to be a small event then had a party later close to home. The thing is, there were 50 people at the small event. So she didn’t make her top 50 list. I also had a cousin who eloped but expected the gifts from elopement. If you want something “non traditional” then you don;t get all the perks that come with tradition.

  9. SweetPeaG says:

    I understand & endorse non-traditional wedding celebrations. It was my plan for years to elope to somewhere tropical and then have a backyard cook-out for close friends & family when we got home. Of course, now I am having the whole traditional wedding shin-dig in a few months… but that’s another story 🙂

    However, you can’t “host” something without actually being a host. You can do something inexpensive for your guests while still treating them as actual guests! People rarely respond well to up in the air plans. I think you need to solidify all of the details, send some type of a formal invitation, and then you actually do have to shell out some (minimal) money to make your guests feel welcomed. Even if it is a cookout with DIY’ed decorations and a home-made cake. I’m sorry… that is just how it goes, in my humble opinion.

    1. Liquid Luck says:

      “However, you can’t “host” something without actually being a host.”

      ^This. It read to me like the LW wanted them to come out and celebrate her, without actually hosting anything for them. I assumed that they were expected to not only pay for travel, but for the dinners and activities over the weekend as well. If the LW was planning to host something, why not roll that money over into the wedding budget and actually invite them to the ceremony? it wouldn’t make sense to me to do two hosted events, so I assumed the “wedding weekend” was all on the “guest’s” dime.

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yes. Yes. Yes. This is the whole basis for my stance.

  10. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    I have so many deep thoughts to share. Here are a few:

    1. Isn’t it funny how more critical we are here in the comment section, than in the forums? I mean, we kind of are, aren’t we? Anna may disagree.

    2. I think Wendy’s point about reciprocation was a good one, and I hadn’t thought about it like that. Equal reciprocation is not I fly to your wedding so you fly to mine. Equal reciprocation is you plan something and I come. Then I plan something, and you come.

    3. I am wearing my hair up today, and there is a THICK, SPARKLING WHITE strand of hair that is visible from yards away! What the hell?! What am I supposed to do? Pluck it was my first guess. But there will just be more, probably. Odds are there will be more. I have dark brown hair. What the hell do people with dark brown hair do when the grays start coming? I can’t hide it under highlights like my blonde friends. This is so unfair. FML. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?!

    1. SweetPeaG says:

      It is awful, isn’t it? I also have dark brown hair and those sparkly whites have been popping up. They suck because they seem to be thicker than normal hairs. I started plucking them here & there, but then I noticed when they grow back, they are short (obviously!) and then just stick straight up, which is not cute. So… I am home-coloring my hair in a shade that is close-ish to the shade I was born with.

      1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Exactly 1 month shy of my 34.5 birthday, and now this. I am so blue. I had the prettiest brown hair ever. And now this.


      2. SweetPeaG says:

        It started for me when I hit 30. I am 31 now and I bet I have more white hairs than you do. So, you should be sad for me.

      3. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Alrighty, you win. I have older twin sisters, which kind of sucks because when shit happens to them, I can see what’s in store for my future, making living in denial impossible. One started going gray at 20! The other at 30. So I knew it was a matter of time. There are probably more I just haven’t examined closely.

      4. I do the same thing. I got my first gray hair at 8 years old. yes, 8. in college I had a bunch and I started with home coloring around 27. I have a HUGE streak right in the front of my hair. Think Bonnie Raite, Rouge from Xmen, or Stacy from What not to wear. I use nice and easy Dark Auburn. It gives a good color and costs like $6. I am now 32 and just realize that this is what the rest of my life will be like.

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        I would totally rock the white strip!

      6. stickelet says:

        I started getting gray in middle school/early high school. I have a streak in the front of my hair too, on both sides, but more prominent on one side. I love it. I have brown hair and when I color my hair, I actually pull my streak out so it doesn’t dye. I get called Rogue a lot, and most people actually think it’s blonde highlights. I think my streak makes me (somewhat) unique and I don’t plan on dying it anytime soon.

      7. lets_be_honest says:

        I think I would dye a strip white just so people would call me Rogue. That’s awesome.

        Funny story – I once was complaining that I’ll never get to rock white hair because my mom, whose in her mid 50s, doesn’t have any greys yet. She laughed her head off…apparently has been box dying for years.

      8. that is awesome. I have found that it doesn’t work on my face at all.

      9. see, you say that. but it does age you. so people would think I was in my 40s then my 30s. It also makes you feel REALLY old.

      10. I want a white streak so badly! Like a sorceress, or yeah, like Bonnie Raitt. Unfortunately my hair is light enough that I think it will just get lighter until one day it’s all white. If I want a streak, it’ll have to be artificially created!

      11. I agree with LBH, you should totally rock that stripe.

    2. kerrycontrary says:

      I’m 25 and I have 4 white hairs. FML. I’m going to go grey in my 30s like my mom, and then have to start coloring my hair every 6 weeks.

      1. Do you have dark brown hair? It seems that the majority of my friends with dark hair went grey early. Two of my last boyfriends who have dark hair went grey and a couple of my friends with brown hair have grey strands and we are all in our early-mid twenties too. I’m lucky my mom hasn’t even gone grey yet and she’s 52 -I mean I’m sure she has a couple of grey strands but her roots grow in her natural colour. Everyone on her side is like that. I hope I inherited those genes!

      2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        I swear it’s because it’s more noticeable on brunettes! A gray among blond just doesn’t show. Plus, every single blonde I know colors/highlights her hair. Really, every single blonde. So it gets dyed! Brunettes are really fucked here. Woe is me.

      3. My hairdresser found my first gray last time I was . . . you guessed it . . . . getting my hair colored. I’m blonde. I color my hair. Otherwise it looks like dishwater. Your rule holds.

        Oh, and he was super excited to find it and laughed. Jerk. Kidding. I love him. Too bad he’s gay.

      4. I haven’t found a grey yet, BUT I’m blonde(ish) and I highlight it. Still, I haven’t colored it in months so I think if there were a few greys hiding in there somewhere I would see them by now, right?

      5. I think it happens to people with dark hair earlier, ya— my theory is that their melanin is tired or something 🙂

        And eek, I have medium/dark brown hair—but I also hope I inherited my mom’s genes, haha. She’s 62 and just has some silver threaded through (but the overall impression is still dark brown)

        My boyfriend has black hair (& at 29) has about 5 or 6 grays, his first one coming in at maybe 24?

    3. AP you are hilarious with point number one! And regarding the pluck a grey hair and six will grow in – that’s a myth. There is one hair for each hair follicle. So go ahead and pluck it out.

      Go see a hairdresser about your grey hair – they can put in dye that covers it and then you can buy those root touch up kits that are for grey hair. There are plenty of women with dark hair who don’t show any grey and the real reason is a good dye job. I’d invest in one if I were you!

    4. Use semi-permanent dark blonde dye to cover the grey. Instant highlights. My hair started going grey when I was in my early twenties. I now look like I have $500 highlights from an $8 box of colour.

    5. Y’all I’m so excited for when I finally get more grey in my hair. I can’t wait. I think grey hair and greying hair is so attractive. Seriously. I was so proud of my mom when she finally stopped coloring her hair.

      1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        I’ve decided to let this gray fucker be, for now.

      2. I like it too!

    6. Celebrate them, I love my slowly creeping greys. Most of them hang out on the back of my head, having a party, but some of them are moving forward to colonise. I say ‘HELLO!’ and smile, secure in the knowledge the day they start taking over is the day I start dying my hair. Their days are numbered.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Can you convince me to feel the same way about wrinkles?

    7. Highlights!!! You don’t have to be blonde to get them. You’d probably need a stylist to do it right, though. But just have them put in some lighter ones and some darker ones and it tends to help blend the grays in. For a bit, anyway. I actually had to go back to being blonde after an effort to go darker again because of all the gray. (I’m not even in my mid-30s and this was a couple of years ago, so I feel you! The WORST is when your roots start showing gray. Ugh.) Alternatively, I knew a girl in school who would use a black permanent marker on her individual gray strands. Not kidding. She had dark hair, obviously.

    8. jpkrueger says:

      Addie, I have dark brown hair too and started seeing a few grays (which as you have noticed, JUMP out at you…no hiding!) in my early 30s. So I started highlighting my hair with some other colors like auburn, a little blond – sounds tacky but really it all blended very nicely together and was so pretty. Somehow it made the grays disappear or not be noticeable, I guess because there were other colors going on. I only had to get the highlights every 3 months or so. Now I’m 47 (ancient! can I still play with you guys???) and there’s definitely more gray and my roots start showing more dramatically than before, so I have to get the highlights every 6-8 weeks (ugh, $$$$$). But – I am still getting away with getting just the highlights and not doing a full hair color (which I don’t think would look great on me). A full hair color can be cheaper b/c you can do it yourself at home, but I love my highlights and the maintenance is a little less frequent. /end ramble

    9. Just my two cents on item #3: A brown Sharpie Permanent Marker is handy for the infrequent occasion where one may wish to hide a single grey hair. I got mine at Office Depot.

  11. I felt bad for the LW. I really think you meant no harm and you feel like you’ve been ditched or left out now. I think you should tell your friends how you felt when that happened. That being said I think if you want this event to happen as a wedding event and not just as a girls’ weekend, you should send out formal invites and be prepared to host. You cover the cost of dinners and excursions etc.. That being said, if they want to do something nice for you like take you out to dinner to celebrate accept that graciously. Weddings are expensive for people and asking them to also pay their own way completely just adds to the cost. I think when your friend suggested a girls’ weekend instead she did that because she thought you were just wanting a get together with the friends. That being said, it was stupid that she said she wouldn’t go if Carly couldn’t go – I mean what is she 13? But if you want the event to still happen send out formal invites and be prepared to host something like they hosted you when you had your wedding.

    1. I agree with this totally. WMS.

  12. sarolabelle says:

    Truthfully if I got an invite, I would choose not to go too. Its not that I don’t support my friend or that I am busy in August….it is because I don’t have the money. I am thinking about skipping out on another wedding that is traditional in October because of finances. Times are hard.

  13. I do feel bad for the LW also. I could see this happening to me one day, just because I’m probably going to be the last of my friends to get married and because I am not necessarily into planning a wedding. I’d say that if she really has participated in all these weddings, there’s a good chance that people are being flaky because everybody’s already married. Not that married people are flaky, but I’ve heard of this happening a lot where friends are suddenly less interested in weddings now that they’ve gone down the path.

    Anyway, I think that it’s also that it’s a “party” and not a “wedding.” Weddings usually give people like a year to hold open a weekend. So, asking in April if someone is free would be a long shot for a wedding, not to mention a party. I didn’t read that closely and am feeling lazy, but I gather that some people are having to come from out of town. I had a friend who considered doing this as well, and I had to step back and wonder if I’d be willing to spend hundreds of dollars to fly in for a glorified party where I might not know many people. (She actually decided on a traditional ceremony, which I will be attending this weekend.)

    So, look, you can’t change that people are busy. And acting like you were only in their weddings so they’d come to yours is not going to be a good tactic. I’d go with Wendy’s letter idea and make it formal and either deal with who will be there or won’t, OR plan slightly farther out so that people might actually be free (summer is notoriously awful for planning). I think you just have to realize that by not having a wedding ceremony where everyone is invited, you take a chance of not being able to celebrate your wedding with everyone.

  14. Liquid Luck says:

    Re-reading the original post, I still just get the sense that the LW is saying, “I don’t want to invite my friends to the important, meaningful part, but I still want them to celebrate ME!” It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I mentioned this in the forum, but wedding receptions aren’t supposed to be parties for the couple. They’re meant to be a thank you to the guests for honoring the couple by attending their wedding. If you invite people to an event, you host them properly for the time of day. That’s the whole point of wedding receptions.

    Also, I totally side-eye anyone who throws a party in their own honor.

    1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      Gah, Liquid Luck where have you been during all these other reception/wedding conversations!!?? I completely agree with everything you’re saying (and said in the forums…it was my bachelorette party this weekend so I’m finally resurfacing which is why I wasn’t backing you up in the forum)!!

      1. Liquid Luck says:

        I’ve had a shit-ton of work since the new year started, so usually by the time I got around to commenting it was at night and everything had died down. But I agreed with pretty much every single one of your posts about etiquette.

      2. Liquid Luck says:

        And I was wondering where you were! Was your party awesome?

      3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yes! I think I was drunk for a solid 12 hours (which was my idea of a good time, at the time). I’m just barely recovered now. And I’m still missing out on some serious sleep.

        We went on a 3 stop brewery tour thing which was amazing!

      4. Liquid Luck says:

        That sounds awesome. Sometimes I get irrationally angry that my boyfriend doesn’t drink. I just want someone to share a pitcher with me when we go out, dammit! Did you do a coed thing with your fiance or just your friends?

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        Whaaat?! I love that mine usually doesn’t. Means more for me, and a DD!

      6. Liquid Luck says:

        I do love the DD thing, but sometimes I just don’t want to be drinking alone, you know?

      7. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Our problem is we both love to drink craft beer- so I usually get stuck driving since he tends to like beers with a high ABV.

        Technically it was a ladies only party but he was in town and ended up being our DD at one point because my soon to be SIL accidentally got day drunk and we needed a ride home to change for dinner. And then we saw him late night too. But it was awesome, we went to some crappy undergrad bar and danced to bad 90’s and early 00’s music.

        I did almost puke on the 8 hour car ride home though. My 28 yr old body can’t handle drinking like a 21 yr old anymore.

      8. Liquid Luck says:

        Yeah, I know what you mean. I stopped drinking after college, and now if I have like one or two beers, I’m done for the night. Any more than that, and I’m hungover for days. I used to be able to drink two pitchers a night (because when Yuengling pitchers are $2.75, you get two). What gives?

    2. lets_be_honest says:

      So you side eye everyone who throws their own wedding reception? Because that’s basically throwing a party in your own honor. I don’t see it as a thank you for coming party for the guests, but I know others do.

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Nope, two different things. A reception is a thank you to guests for witnessing your marraige ceremony. “Thowing a party in your honor” is talking about say thowing your own bridal shower or baby shower or a second reception for people who don’t make the cut to witness the ceremony.

        A wedding reception isn’t a party in your honor, it’s a party in your guests honor.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        …where the guests have to honor the couple.

        I know you don’t agree with this, which is why I added that I know others don’t agree. To me, that’s how I see it.

      3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I mean it’s two schools of thought. Which is fine. But wouldn’t you side eye a person hosting their own baby or bridal shower?

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        I’d feel sorry for them that no one threw it for them.

      5. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I agree, I would feel bad. And I would go and I would give a gift. But traditionally, in the etiquette world it’s not okay to throw your own shower. (In old school etiquette it isn’t even okay for the mother/sister’s to throw showers because it’s seen as “gift grabby” for a family member.)

        Obivously we see the “purpose” of receptions differently, which is fine, but I also think it’s just widely accepted that a couple will chip in for their wedding…it’s not widely accepted that a person will host another kind of party in their honor (showers are the biggest example).

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        Frankly, everything related to weddings come off as gift grabby to me lately.

      7. Avatar photo theattack says:

        That makes me really sad.

      8. lets_be_honest says:

        Me too!

      9. Avatar photo theattack says:

        What is it that comes off as gift grabby exactly? Just the general culture of it or something specific?

      10. lets_be_honest says:

        Honestly, I never used to feel that way before DW. (not that any of you specifically made me feel that way, just from general discussions on here). But a few people I know have made me feel that way too.

      11. lets_be_honest says:

        Specifically, the fact that people expect gifts, which they do.

      12. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Who has said they expect wedding gifts? I can assure you it was not me or theattack.

      13. lets_be_honest says:

        GG, I said not any of you specifically, just general discussion on here. But you can’t with a straight face tell me you aren’t expecting gifts. I’m 100% sure neither of you are only getting married to get gifts, but you are expecting them.

      14. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I mean of course to a degree you “expect” gifts, which is why you make a registry and stock up on gift cards. But I would not be disappointed at all if we didn’t receive a single thing. (I said above I’m actually semi-uncomfortable with the quanities of gifts we’re getting.)

      15. lets_be_honest says:

        Well you asked who has said they expect wedding gifts. I really wasn’t applying my gift grabby comment to either of you. I promse.

      16. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I definitely “expect” gifts. Like you said, not that I have to have them or want people to spend their money on us. Really I feel horribly awkward getting gifts. It makes me feel guilty and indebted. But I do know that people will give us gifts, so I “expect” them in the sense that I know they’re coming. I don’t expect them like thinking everyone should give us something.

      17. But what if it’s a non-gifting event? For example, my husband throws himself a wine-and-cheese birthday party every year. We provide all the wine and cheese, and our friends know they don’t need to bring gifts. Or what if this LW threw her own second reception but paid for her guests dinner and told them not to bring gifts? Where exactly do we draw the line with this “throwing a party in your honor”?

      18. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Well, it’s not really following the “rules” to say don’t bring a gift 🙂

      19. lets_be_honest says:

        Such nonsense. That is the one rule that I will never agree with, nor even be able to try to understand how it makes sense.

      20. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Well, I stand corrected. Apparently in situations OTHER than weddings, it’s okay to say “no gifts”. But it’s still a no no for weddings.

      21. lets_be_honest says:

        Well that makes it even that much dumber then.

      22. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

        Yup…it’s reasons like this that I find etiquette rules generally ridiculous.

      23. Liquid Luck says:

        I know this is an unpopular opinion, but any party you throw where you are the guest of honor bugs me. Birthday party, graduation party, whatever it is. In my social circle, you don’t throw yourself a party, ever. You’re welcome to have one if someone else offers to throw it for you, though (I used to throw my best friend a birthday party every year, and she threw me a going-away party when I moved, for example).

      24. The only issue I have with this is it’s my birthday so I don’t want someone else’s house trashed for it.

      25. I tend to agree with you. I don’t find separate parties rude or anything, but I think that the key is that you need to actually THROW A PARTY, unlike what the LW seems to want to do. Like make your goal for the guests to have a good time, not solely for you to feel loved and congratulated.

    3. Avatar photo theattack says:

      So basically it’s impossible to have a separate reception (where, btw, you’re providing things for your guests) without coming off as selfish? I really do not get your last sentence at all. Who the hell else is supposed to host the celebration?

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I beleive she is talking more about people who host their own baby shower or wedding shower. Not the reception (which is thanking your guests for being witness to your ceremony and/or travel/gifts/etc.)

      2. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Well I do think it’s wrong to host your own shower, but clearly that’s not what she’s talking about when she’s saying it’s wrong for this couple to throw a late reception.

      3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I am not a fan of “late receptions” regardless, but I don’t think that’s what this is. It’s a “pay you’re own way but fawn over me” party IMO.

        Like I said above, IMO you get one wedding day. How you choose to celebrate it is your choice, but you don’t get a do-over later. Or a B list party (which IMO is what this is).

      4. Oh, please. This is not a “B list party.” If someone wants to have a private ceremony, that is their choice. I don’t understand this idea that you can’t celebrate your wedding/marriage with anyone that doesn’t witness the ceremony. Lots of people want private ceremonies for various reasons but still want to celebrate with their friends.

      5. Avatar photo theattack says:

        For real. And what about destination weddings, or eloping because of family drama, or getting married at the courthouse, or having to get married far away from one of the families because they live far away (like GG’s situation)? All of those are legitimate ways to get married, and presumably people still have family and friends that want to celebrate with them.

      6. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        They are all legitament ways to get married. I agree. But you have to host your guests when you invite them to celebrate, regardless of if it’s the same day as the wedding or 6 months later. Inviting people to celebrate with you and then asking them to pay for it is not okay. And that is exactly what I read this situation to be.

      7. painted_lady says:

        Well, and also, I think with destination weddings, you have one with the knowledge that not everyone will be able to come, or if you really want them there, you have to be willing to pay for it. I mean, part of the reason couples from different parts of the country/world either agonize over where to have the wedding or compromise and have two ceremonies because you just can’t expect everyone you know to pay their way to fly or drive significant distances. And sometimes when the wedding is held where a large portion of the people you would like there can’t make it, you throw a reception in a central location. Operative words being “you throw” and “central location.” My cousin and his ex wife did something really similar – eloped, and then threw a party at a bar that was within an hour drive from the majority of the family. But then they had a wedding cake and paid for pitchers for everyone and I think had snacks even. Also, it was very, “Come if you can, if not, hey, it’s our fault for doing this in an unusual way.”

      8. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I think it’s perfectly fine to have a private ceremony and a reception at a later date. But you have to host your guests. This situation here, it doesn’t sound like the guests are being hosted- to me it reads that people will be traveling, spending the weekend paying for events the couple dictates they do, and celebrating a couple’s marraige when they aren’t even invited. And that is not okay in my book. (unless the friends offered, that’s a different story)

        Why isn’t it a B list? If you don’t make the cut to witness the ceremony…you’re clearly not on the A list.

      9. lets_be_honest says:

        When you can only afford to have 5 people there, that doesn’t mean the rest are B List.

      10. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        But you can’t invite people to an event you’re hosting and ask them to pay either. If you can only afford to host 5, then host them.

      11. lets_be_honest says:


      12. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        If you want to invite people to celebrate your wedding/marraige/cat’s birthday/whatever- you host them. You pay for food/drink/entertainment during the event. You invite the number of people you can host. (5 or 500)

        As I’ve said 45 times, IMO she is wanting these guests to travel and foot the bill for a second celebration. That’s not okay, IMO.

      13. lets_be_honest says:

        But my point was about your B List comment, not about anything else.

      14. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        But if you don’t make the “A list” for what ever reason, even if it is that the couple can’t afford to host that many people, you’re B list. I mean what else are you? The A Part 2 list?

      15. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        So what you’re saying is that if she had invited them to her wedding, it would have been okay for her friends to spend the same amount of money that it would take to have a weekend get together in August? Ok.

        I sometimes wonder if we all read the same letter because the LW seemed like a down to earth person who puts effort into her friendships and spent a considerable amount of money and time into celebrating their weddings. She wasn’t asking to be princess for the weekend, she wanted to get together with friends and have a good time and celebrate. I don’t see how that is being selfish.

      16. lets_be_honest says:

        Idk, you’re probably just poor and wish you could have your friends there.

      17. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I don’t think there is a list at that point. The actual ceremony only has the couple and immediate family. Immediate family doesn’t even count on the list. The list starts with the celebration.

      18. I think most people in that situation don’t think of it as being on a list, they know that it is only immediate family because the LW called and told them that.

      19. Totally agree with LandyGirl. I feel so badly for LW. I think there is SO much discussion about etiquette and reciprocity that the point is being missed. Her friends are blowing off her wedding reception. Let’s forget all the dos and donts. Isn’t that just shitty?

      20. Liquid Luck says:

        But it’s NOT her wedding reception.

      21. lets_be_honest says:

        It is if she wants to call it that.

      22. True! I think people definitely understand that. I’m not against people having a reception of some sort at a later date, I just think that the LW needs to put more effort into it if they want people to take is seriously. I think they need to pick a date, send invites, and at least host a BBQ, or some other cheaper party where she, and her family do all of the cooking at least. To me it just sounds like she wants her friends to go on a vaction to celebrate her. It seems like it is being treated more like a joint bachelor/bachelorette party, which people do skip if they don’t have the time or money. Basically if she did this in a more formal way, people would feel better about coming.

      23. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        She polled them and said they would firm things up after the wedding. That would give them 3 months for the friends to plan on traveling. That doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

      24. Yeah a facebook poll make it seem very important.

      25. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        Where did you get Facebook poll?

      26. Liquid Luck says:

        Just pretend that GG is me, because she’s got this covered. Everything she’s said so far is what I’ve been thinking.

        (Thanks for covering for me while I was working, GG)

      27. Liquid Luck says:

        This. I view the wedding reception as being for the guests. I think it’s weird to make it all about the couple, honestly.

      28. lets_be_honest says:

        Its weird to me that anyone would think its anything other than a celebration of the couple and nothing else.

    4. YES. That’s why it’s called a RECEPTION. It’s the first time a couple RECEIVES GUESTS. It’s not a damned “party”.

  15. lets_be_honest says:

    Barely related – I purchased a very nice gift that was on someone’s registry. I recently found out that they returned it, and used the refund money to purchase a gift for someone else. This made me sad that they didn’t even use the refund $ for themselves.

    1. Avatar photo theattack says:

      That sucks… Maybe someone bought them a duplicate or something? Or maybe they just really couldn’t afford something for their friend and felt they had to do it? I don’t know, that’s sad.

    2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      Need non-etiquette opinions. (Thank you cards have been sent for everything received already FYI.)
      So I checked our registry yesterday, and there are like 10 things on there, marked as purchased that we didn’t buy. Specifically a table cloth…for a rectangle table when we have a round one. Would I be a totaly butthead if I returned it? (Also we were already gifted an off registry table cloth for a rectangle table that is not returnable…so I’m up one unuseable table cloth so I don’t reallly need two.)

      Also we were gifted a crock pot off registry…and then the crock pot from our registry. Can I re-gift the off registry one?

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I don’t like the regifting, but sure return the tablecloth.

      2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        What should I do with the crock pot? Donate it?

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Just return it.

      4. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I can’t. No gift receipt, and it’s a “generic” brand they sell like everywhere. And I think I might have opened it…I’m not sure. It’s 900 miles away at my parents house right now.

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        Idk. I just hate re-gifting. I think its as unclassy as you can be.
        But I have weird issues with this stuff. I’ve never returned a gift that I didn’t like.

      6. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Do you think it’s unclassy to the receiver or the giver?

      7. lets_be_honest says:

        Whoever is regifting I would think is lacking in a bit of class.

      8. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Sorry, I didn’t phrase my question well. I mean, do you think it’s rude to the person you’re giving it to, rude to the person who gave it to you, or both?

      9. lets_be_honest says:

        Oh, haha. I think its rude to the person who gave you the gift initially.

      10. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        So what do you do with gifts you don’t like?

      11. lets_be_honest says:

        This is so dumb, but I just keep them. For example, I have a sweater that I got, that is the ugliest thing ever, but every time I see it in my closet, I think how sweet that person was to give it to me. So I guess it serves some purpose?

      12. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Alright. That’s crazy. Also, I don’t have room for 3 crock pots. So at least one of them has got to go. You don’t do massive purges of your belongings like twice a year? I can’t stand having stuff around that I never use.

      13. lets_be_honest says:

        I purge a lot, but just never those damned gifts. The guilt just eats away at me. I know its so stupid.
        Maybe donate?

      14. painted_lady says:

        SEND ME A CROCKPOT, GG! My dog broke mine about a year ago.

      15. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        PL, are we FB friends? I’ll gladly send the off registry one to you if you send me your address! But I won’t be able to do that until early June.

      16. lets_be_honest says:

        Lookie here! Problemo Solvedo!

      17. painted_lady says:

        Are you for real?!?! I will absolutely pay for shipping – I believe we are, I’ll check.

      18. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yup, I’m for real. I have no need for 3 THREEEEEE crock pots. I’ll post on the FB group so you can make sure to find me.

      19. No. That’s called clutter.
        Regifting is awesome. But I am super pro recycling/upcycling too.

      20. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Of course you can return the tablecloth! What in the world are you supposed to do with that? We had the exact same issue actually, and it’s going to be exchanged whenever we receive it. The person will understand. It was probably just a mistake on their part. You can re-gift that crock pot as long as no one ever finds out about it. How close are you to the person who gave it to you? Are they ever coming to your house? We’re having the same predicament with a knife block right now.

      21. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        They are never coming to my house. It’s a great aunt who lives over 900 miles away. I wrote a lovely thank you note, and we had planned on keeping it…but I forgot to delete the other crock pot off our registry and it was purchased. Honsety the on registry one has some extra features (and we already own a travel crock pot which is the off registry kind). So yeah. Blah wedding problems.

      22. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Oh, OR you could twist the crock pot thing around and just tell the person: “Hey Aunt Shirley, We actually received two crock pots as wedding gifts. We can’t really use both, and I didn’t know what to do. I think I had better err on the side of keeping the other person’s because they’re not as sweet and understanding as you are. I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be _______ing the lovely crock pot you gave us.”

      23. Liquid Luck says:

        Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t do that. The proper thing to do is send a lovely thank you note for the gift. Then it’s yours to do what you want with it. GG, I also think re-gifting is rude, so if you can’t return it, then donate it if you don’t want to keep it. For the tablecloth, it could be exchanged for another tablecloth that will fit your table if you feel bad simply returning it for money/credit.

      24. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Thank you was mailed back in March after the shower. I’m just trying to figure out what to do after the wedding when we sort through all the gifts we got and donate all of our old stuff. Maybe I’ll see if there is a shelter or charity I can donate it to, for battered women or something. Then I’ll at least have a lovely answer if she ever happened to ask what happened to it.

      25. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Why wouldn’t you do that? You can pay a compliment to the person while simultaneously dealing with the situation. I’ve done this sort of thing plenty of times, and it always works out well. The person feels like they helped you, and they feel close enough to you that you trust them.

      26. lets_be_honest says:

        I wouldn’t either. I can’t put my finger on why, it just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do. If I got a letter like that, at the very least I would be like Huh? Wtf is this?

      27. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Not a letter. A phone call or in-person only. Guess it’s just my family then, because we all do things like this with each other and no one is offended.

      28. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, actually I guess I could see myself saying that in person.

      29. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I would do what your descibing with close family, but not this person in particular. She is older and very old school and very traditional. Since the odds are she will never ever be in my house, I feel okay just donating or giving it away.

      30. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Sounds good!

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Her mom said she had a return at west elm, and I said Oh I hope not the X that I gave them. I didn’t mean to put her on the spot, but she said they just didn’t like it once they had it so she returned it and is using the refund at the store towards a gift for a party we were going to together.

      2. Liquid Luck says:

        That’s pretty awful. Doing it was bad enough, but then letting you find out about it was really shitty.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        I think it was a total slip up, really. I think I shouldn’t have asked, but I just said it because I knew they had really liked it, so I was disappointed it didn’t work out.

  16. Avatar photo findingtheearth says:

    I have brown hair and no grays. But I dye it pretty regularly (it’s a naturally mousy color, so I dye it richer browns). I was born with blondish hair and it naturally darkened as I aged. Maybe that is why, but 26 and no greys (even after having a kidlet).

    Back to topic- I would be annoyed that no one could make the effort, but I do have to agree with Wendy- you have no date set, these people you love to death allegedly aren’t cool enough to hang at a “family” event (my bestest friends are family to me), and you definitely cannot judge people’s finances based off their job positions. The jobs they have require education, education = $$$$.

    1. Regarding your education = $$$ comment…. I totally agree. I know this guy, he’s a big important accountant with the government and you’d think he has a ton of money, but his student loan payments are costing him $800 a month and rents a room in somebody’s basement. I’ve also been finding that as I work my way up the ladder, the more money I make the less disposable income I have. I got a new, well paying job this year yet I’m still broke because getting paid well means I have to take responsibility for my own car insurance, try to increase my student loan payments to get that debt out of the way, contribute to my retirement fund since I won’t have a pension and try to save for a down payment on a house. Sometimes I think being an adult SUCKS.

      1. Liquid Luck says:

        I know what you mean. My partner landed an awesome job (with an equally awesome starting salary) right out of college, but we are definitely not rolling in money because his student loan payments are crazy. Most are calculated by your salary, so he’s paying a lot because he makes a lot, which brings down the take-home pay significantly. I know some of my friends think we’re really well off, but I can assure you that, while we’re comfortable, we can’t afford to fly across the country a few times a year.

      2. kerrycontrary says:

        Agreed. I have 3 lawyers in my family and they all have to live frugally because of student loans. Plus, just because you get paid a lot doesn’t mean you want to spend a lot. Even if I get a raise it means I increase my 401K contributions, savings, and try to keep up with cost of living (rent gets raised every year hooray).

      3. Yep, plus you don’t know what goes on in people’s personal lives. My student loan payments aren’t too bad, but my mom is going through a divorce right now and I’m supporting her financially. People who don’t know me may think, oh what the hell is she doing with all her money? she lives at home with her mom! Well guess what, my money goes to paying the bills while my mom tries to get back on her feet. So, you really just can’t assume.

        PS, increasing your savings is great! Next time we go through a recession, it won’t be as devastating.

      4. kerrycontrary says:

        Ugh, my savings still feel menial though. Why did no one tell me to start a savings account when I was 10 and have people put money in it every birthday/holiday instead of gifts?

      5. Avatar photo findingtheearth says:

        I have a 17 year old cousin who is constantly buying stuff for his cool truck. I keep telling him to start a saving account now so he won’t be like me! He doesn’t listen.

      6. Liquid Luck says:

        Ugh, I did have a savings account that I started when I was younger with my babysitting money. But it wasn’t very big, and I blew it all in college so that I could backpack across Europe for a month (when the Euro was worth nearly twice as much as the dollar). Totally worth it, but now my savings is way smaller than I’m comfortable with. Most of my “extra” money goes into it now, so I never have much spending money.

    2. SweetPeaG says:

      Agreed! My good friends are family to me as well… sometimes more so. So, I can’t understand not having 4 to 8 good friends come to the family celebration. I think those people would be more understanding if they had a concrete event to attend.

  17. Avatar photo landygirl says:

    I have to disagree with most of you and say that the LW has a right to be upset, I would be too if I put effort into my friends milestones and they didn’t return the gesture. How is it bad they they aren’t going into debt by having a small wedding that they can afford? If they went into debt to have the traditional wedding, we’d be commenting that she should have had a wedding she could afford.

    1. But these are people not important enough to invite to the wedding. So then to ask them to fly to a lake for the weekend to celebrate her is kind of weak.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Did you miss the part about them not being able to afford to have them at the wedding? Has nothing to do with importance.

      2. Liquid Luck says:

        If you can afford to take ten people out to dinner at a restaurant, you can afford to host an afternoon cake and punch reception for at least double that amount of people. She’s CHOOSING to have a small reception because she wants a sit-down meal, when there are other option that would be less fancy, but would allow her to invite her friends. That suggests that having her ideal reception is more important that inviting her friends.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        I;m just going to believe what she says, which is that she couldn’t afford to have them. But we’ve been down this road LL and we can only agree that we totally disagree on this one 🙂

      4. Liquid Luck says:

        Can I disagree that we agree to disagree? I feel like we’re on the same side so often that we need to get as much disagreeing out while we can.

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        Haha, love it.

      6. Liquid Luck says:

        Well I hate it 🙂

    2. Agree! I wrote it all out in the forums and don’t have the battle it out again here.

  18. Bittergaymark says:

    If you want people to drop everything in their lives to celebrate your marriage… Throw a fucking wedding. You can’t NOT have your cake and then eat it, too. The bitchiness contained in this letter, coupled by the absurd vagueness of the date has certainly brought the LW a bit of notoriety… She is the world’s first NonBridezilla!! 😉

    1. Avatar photo landygirl says:

      What bitchiness? Your short post is bitchier than her whole letter.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I didn’t see any bitchiness either. Or selfishness.

      2. Agree. I think people have so many of their own wedding “baggage” that they read selfishness where it isn’t.

    2. Liquid Luck says:

      I agree. Seriously, she’s “beyond irritated” that her friends don’t want to celebrate an event they AREN’T EVEN INVITED TO? That’s crazy.

  19. Just a couple clarifications, even though it’s no longer important because I cancelled the event:
    1- we were planning on hosting a bbq for Saturday evening and paying for the costs.
    2 Formal invitations would have been sent, but the date needed to be finalized first
    3- These 3 friends were travelling the furthest, so that is why I was waiting for their input on dates- there are other guests invited, however they will have to make much less effort to get out for a weekend.
    4- It was made clear from the get go that the whole weekend would have a planned itinerary, but no one was obligated to come to all events. I framed it as, I’ll have lots of fun things planned, but come to what you want, I just want you to have a nice time, take alone time with your sig. other if you need it.
    5- I have another friend that stated off the bat that she couldn’t make it in August due to a previously planned vacation. No hard feelings at all! I appreciated that she was upfront and told her I would make the effort to see her during the year sometime.
    6- 50-100 dollars for a bbq is quite a bit less expensive than 20-30 dollars a plate for dinner. We are very lucky that my family offered to cover the cost of our wedding dinner. I could not justify asking them to pay for our friends as well.
    7- the most hurtful part of my friends comments where that she didn’t want to come unless friend x was there (we’ve been close friends for ages outside of our friendship to x), and that she didn’t want to come if I invited other people outside of our 4 person friend group (why???).
    7- we opted to cancel the event. We don’t want to be seen as selfish and I don’t want to ruin any friendships. I’m still hurt that they didn’t see this event as a priority, but after reading all of the commentary I can understand how they may have interpreted it differently. Since these are close friends, I doubt that they saw my suggestion as a selfish attention mongering “celebrate me!” event. It’s just not my personality and I don’t like being the center of attention.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Curious how people will respond to this now that you said you were planning on hosting.

      Also, if its only April and you aren’t having it til August, I think you have plenty of time to send invites.

      Also, also, I think you sound super nice and reasonable. I’d nicely voice this upsetness to your friends so resentment doesn’t grow.

      1. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        I concur.

    2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      See, now 1 to 4 make my opinion completely different. You weren’t being selfish as you were hosting an event for your guests, with the option of them joining you for other activities. Your friends are buttheads. (I told you my comments today wouldn’t really be towards YOU you. After your further explinations I really think you were trying to be nice and overly accomodating!)

      Where are you going on your minimoon?

      1. You’re super nice GG but I’m sorry I’m evil maybe but no I’m just not interested in flying in for hundreds for a goddamn 4 person bbq. No. This makes it all the more ridiculous they weren’t invited to the wedding. Tho yes Miss “I don’t want to come if X and Y” is a bitch.

    3. kerrycontrary says:

      Ugh. I feel bad that you canceled your event or you feel like we all think your selfish or something. I think a lot of us on the forum were trying to suggest ways to make this work out, or how this could be framed better for your friends. Or maybe explain why they didn’t take it as seriously.

    4. I just want to say that while I agree with others that this was poorly conceived & I’m actually pretty sympathetic towards your friends (like, I don’t think they were assholes), I could TOTALLY see myself doing something similar if in the same situation.

      I’m a terrible planner & always paranoid that nobody will come—so I get why you wanted to wait for input. But unfortunately, that urge does tend to result in people feeling less obligated to your event (if that makes sense).

      As for your 3rd friend (2nd? 3rd?), I think she sounds a bit introverted/control freak-y, but I don’t think she was purposely an ass. There are times when I don’t want to attend things unless certain people are coming, I admit. And there are times when I wish certain people weren’t invited—not because I don’t like them, but because their presence is overwhelming.

      Of course, in my adult life I don’t SAY these things & I also try not to let them affect my attendance (as your friend has). But I guess I’m just saying I get where she’s coming from, kinda?

    5. I think this sounds awesome and reasonable and I, for one, would prefer it over all the traditional wedding hubbub. I’m sorry your friends were dicks and I wish you hadn’t felt the need to cancel. 🙁

    6. I think you should provide this information up front, but I guess this was pulled from the forums so that is harder to do. Since you were hosting a party I think what you did was totally exceptable, but I think you made too big of a deal out of two people not being able to make it. I agree that the one friend sounds like a D-bag, and you found that out early on, so why not continue the party with your real friends? I do think that you should have made this a formal invitation a lot sooner though, and tried not to think to much about who could make what date.

    7. ele4phant says:

      I’m sorry you had to cancel the event because three people couldn’t make it. I personally felt your only fault was being too wishy washy on the date (although I could also understand that given the nature of the event some of your friends may have opted out still).

      Someone suggested you throw together something for your one anniversary, and personally I think that sounds really nice. That would give you plenty of time to do it right (ie pick a date well in advance, send save the dates and invitations, and reiterate over and over again how important this party is to you) and maybe over the course of the year maybe you could save a bit to “host” your guests and stave off the appearance of you wanting a self centered celebration. Which btw I didn’t think you were doing, but I could see how your friends may have interpreted it as such.

      Think about it.

    8. I would tell the friends how they hurt you and then drop them.

    9. It’s funny how different my reply would have been with this extra information.

      You tried to plan a lovely get together to celebrate your wedding. One that you could afford. I think your friends aren’t really true friends.

      I say still plan the weekend and have a good time with those who truly care about you.

      Sorry this happened!

    10. kriskros,

      1. I am so sorry for how many people tore this apart. I defended you tooth and nail in the forums and your added explanations confirm how I understood it. I don’t usually gloat but your situation got under my skin and it’s really bothered me how people were calling you selfish. I love my DW community but, hey, I told you so, people! It’s BS!

      2. I am SO sorry you cancelled. I don’t think you will be seen as selfish by ANYONE outside this site. Go forth and plan it with those that can come. My earlier (disputed) advice about evaluating those friendships still stands.

      3. Congratulations on your wedding. Try to rise above the BS and enjoy this incredible time in your life. Treasure those who make it special and surround yourself with those people.

    11. Liquid Luck says:

      I’m glad you clarified that you would have hosted something. But I still don’t understand why you’re so hung up on these two people that can’t make it. It makes even less sense now that you’ve mentioned they aren’t the only ones being invited. It’s nice that you want to have a party and get your friends together, but this still isn’t part of your wedding, and feeling that your friends should be giving it the same importance as a wedding is unfair to them.

      1. So much for encouraging people to do what they can afford… not everyone can have a wedding with everyone invited. I can’t understand why wanting to have a BBQ at your house to celebrate BEING MARRIED is so damn hard for people to understand and somehow doesn’t count or something. I would be honored if a friend invited me to a celebration.

        We negatively judge people for extending themselves beyond what they can afford or want, and we negatively judge people for doing the small, family only thing they can afford with a party after. People can’t win. I’m so glad I’m already married.

      2. Liquid Luck says:

        I just don’t think anyone needs TWO celebrations for ONE wedding. I don’t see how that’s in “can’t win” territory.

      3. One celebration is a dinner with her close family the day of, the other one is with other random friends and family that weren’t involved in the first one. They are doing a small dinner and a BBQ… not sure where that leapfrogs into crazy territory, or being bridezilla and having multiple parties celebrating “ME” especially since they aren’t having any of the showers or bachelorette functions. sounds all very minimalistic and fun to me.

    12. First off, let me say I’m SO GLAD I had my wedding before DW went wedding crazy. I committed a million etiquette errors that would have ruffled so many feathers (got courthouse married for legitimate shitty life reasons and had a wedding a year later- THE HORROR!)

      Anyway, kriskros, I’m so sorry your friends are so…shitty, for lack of a better word. Sure, you could have nailed down an actual date, but it seems like you were going overboard to accommodate said shitty friends, and well that sucks. I’m really sorry! I get what it’s like to have people make you feel crappy at such an important and special time in your life! I don’t think you were being selfish at all and seem really down to earth. I hope you and your husband have a wonderful marriage and life together, and you can maybe re-evaluate your friends to see if they deserve such a prominent place in your life?

  20. one final note! We offered our house to our guests that had to fly in and to pick them up from the airport to cut down on lodging costs because we know flights are expensive and didn’t want to create a big financial burden.

    1. You sound very down to earth and I just want to give you some internet hugs because planning a wedding can suck and it can be very disappointing to realize that people that are very important to you might not be willing to put in the effort to see you… that being said I think you should plan something — either for this August or your 1year anniversary, send out the invites and just have fun. If your friends have to have something special for them, they can plan a girls weekend and invite you to participate instead of trying to co-op your celebration and the extremely reasonable accomodations you are making for folks. Best of luck 🙂

  21. Bittergaymark says:

    But you failed to MAKE it a priority. This event should have been given a DATE months ago… You can’t as a hist treat something so casually and then be surprised people are treating it as such… August is THE busiest month of the summer…

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      See this I don’t get. Its April. Event is in August. How early do you get invitations? Like a year in advance???

      1. kerrycontrary says:

        I think thats why you send out save the dates for weddings. Or spread the word verbally that an event is taking place on such and such date and X location.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        Do all weddings even have save the dates though? I feel like that’s only very recent.

      3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        They don’t typically unless there are a lot of out of town guests, then its a super nice cuertosy, but still not required. We sent out invtes 2 months before.

      4. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Nope. Ours didn’t. I sent out facebook messages to all of my out-of-town people and just verbally told everyone else whenever I saw them. Works just as well and costs about $300 less at least.

      5. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        She did make an informal save the date with details to follow.

      6. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        But there wasn’t a date 🙂 rather a month.

      7. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        And they still would have had 3 months to plan for it. You don’t send wedding invitations out 6 months in advance, you send them about 3 months in advance.

      8. lets_be_honest says:


      9. ele4phant says:

        Eh if there’s not an actual date I don’t think we can consider it a save the date. “Hey what’s your month of August looking like?” Is not the same as “Hey I am having a thing the weeken of August 4th so keep that free.”

      10. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        I don’t understand why people are getting hung up on tiny details like this. So what that there wasn’t a specific date, there was more than enough time to solidify one at a later time given that it still would have given guests 3 months to plan for it. Also, she was waiting to hear from certain people about what worked for them who then blew her off.

      11. lets_be_honest says:

        100% agree.

      12. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        If there wasn’t a specific date set and I had other offers with specific dates, I would take them. I can’t hold an entire month open for anyone.

        I mean really…”hey I’d like to have a get together to celebrate husband and I get married in August, is there anything that works for you?” is exponenitally different than “I am hosting a wedding celebration on August 6th and would like you and you bf to come. Please save the date!”

      13. But if it was a close friend, I bet you anything that you’d reach out and say, “hey, I just got an invitation to something on August 15th. Before I reply, did you pick a date for your wedding weekend yet?”

        Also, it sounds like she was waiting on the friends to identify their availability –which was probably a foolish move –but she was waiting on them, they weren’t waiting on her. That’s my understanding.

      14. ele4phant says:

        I don’t know, maybe. It sounds like she was just asking about people’s availability and waited a while to follow up. My friends and I talk in vague terms about doing stuff in the future all the time to have it never come together.

        Perhaps she failed to impress on them that she’s not just fishing for people’s availability to maybe do something in August, but maybe not.

        It’s unfortunate, but perhaps she didn’t make it clear that YES she really intends to make something happen.

      15. Liquid Luck says:

        That’s not how things work in my family. If someone mentioned possibly getting together sometime in August, I wouldn’t check in with them every time someone else wanted to make plans with me that month. We assume that when something important is going on, then the person organizing it is responsible for getting the date out. If they wait and other people already have plans, it’s on them to move the event or choose to miss out on those people coming. Not every person can come to every event all the time. That’s just not how life works.

      16. lets_be_honest says:

        I’d check with my close friend or family if they mentioned a future wedding plan, or any plan really.

      17. Well it’s not every event. It’s her wedding event. And she was asking them to give her their availability. Hosting their meal, and offering them a place to stay. It sounds like she gave these friends extra priority because they have to travel the furthest. She didn’t just want to send them a “save the date” –she was trying to select date based on their availability. I’m sure if you were on the receiving end of that kind of request, you would not proceed to plan other things before you’d given your friend an answer.

      18. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yeah, I would check. But I’m not a shitty friend! I also make “plans” too see friends that consist of “dinner the week of May X” if I have to schedule other things that week too I don’t clear each on with the friend. Scheduling with multiple people and multiple schedules is hard.

      19. Exactly! I think that’s where the hurt comes in. Imagine asking one of your best friends to tell you when she is available in August for your wedding celebration. You actually wait on her to choose a date because she is a priority and because she has to travel. You offer to host the event and even offer a place for her to stay. Time goes by, she doesn’t update you, and then when you are pushing for a final date –you get the flaky response outlined above. I think anyone would feel hurt.

      20. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        But, on the flip side I wouldn’t (and did not) plan my wedding around anyone’s schedules other than my fiance and mine and our parents. We even have a step-sibling who is going to another person’s wedding rather than ours. You can’t get all hurt when people have other obligations in life (friends, family, whomever). It sucks but people have lives of their own- your wedding isn’t as important to anyone else other than you. (Or me, my wedding isn’t as important to anyone else other than me and my fiance.)

      21. I wouldn’t be hurt if they had other obligations, no. I have plenty of friends who cannot attend my wedding and I am not hurt. In this case, it sounds like they DIDN’T have obligations but made plans after she’d already asked for their availability. It’s the fact that they are blowing it off as unimportant that would cause me hurt.

      22. but it’s NOT her wedding!

      23. ele4phant says:

        Maybe it’s different for you, but three months is not enough time for me to pull together an out of town thing when I have to factor in my other commitments that may come up (and it’s not reasonable to not plan ANYTHING for a month while you wait for a date), my vacation time, and my coworkers vacation time.

        It’s also possible that her friends weren’t aware that this thing was actually happening. I know my friends talk about doing stuff all the time at some point in the future, but it never comes to fruition. Maybe given the vagueness of her request with a delayed follow up they assumed it wasn’t coming together after all.

        Long story short, a date is not an insignificant detail.

      24. lets_be_honest says:

        I guess I can try to understand this, BUT her friends didn’t say they couldn’t go because of other plans. They just tried to turn it into a girls weekend.

      25. ele4phant says:

        Yes that is true their dismissiveness is shitty.

        But to play the devils advocate, maybe because she treated it so casually they didn’t even realize the importance of this event to her, they just thought she was trying to get people together?

      26. lets_be_honest says:

        Very possible

      27. I’d make an effort to be ready, but I usually have to take vacation time off for the summer well in advance or else it’s all going to be taken. And if I get an invite to another wedding or something, I’m not going to turn it down because I might have something that month. I don’t think it’s a huge deal, but I also couldn’t promise not to make any plans (like vacations, other weddings) for all the weekends in a certain month.

      28. I think if you want other people to treat it like a wedding, then you have to treat it like one. Otherwise, people just see it as another party and you’re going to get “party turnout” versus “wedding turnout.” I have plenty of friends who have booked almost every weekend this summer so far.

      29. ele4phant says:

        For me personally, hearing the actual date for something in August by April is not enough time if I have to coordinate vacation time, buy a plane ticket, and think about lodging. If it were a local event where it was a BBQ or something on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, well then that would be plenty of time. But even if I have the vacation time, money, and availability that weekend, I work in a small office so I have to worry about my coworkers schedules too. And summer vacation times get set way in advance here, so if you don’t take it soon there is likely to be a conflict with someone else’s plan.

    2. Avatar photo landygirl says:

      You need 6 months to plan for a weekend in August? You’re high maintenance.

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        That is a ridiculous statement. Our summer is booked out until August 15th already, mostly due to my fiance’s research trips for his Phd. It’s not ridiculous to plan 3 months in advance, it’s something most people do. It is not high maintenance to plan things.

      2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Also, I have to plan my vacation time and work travel time against another co-workers vacation time…so I often can’t avoid planning months in advance. Some people can’t willy nilly change/creat plans.

      3. But GG… not changing plans or not being able to make something that is being planned by a supposed dear friend is a lot different than demanding that the weekend become girls only. One is a moment of sending regrets and congratulations, the other is taking someone’s event and trying to make it about you. That in my mind is why the LW’s friends suck.

        Also, FWIW, while I was really mindful of the save the dates and giving notice, I went to a wedding this past Spring where the actual invites weren’t received until 8 weeks prior. Wasn’t the end of the world 😉

      4. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Oh yes, the friends suck. I agree.

        But that still doesn’t mean that I’m high maintence by planning 3 months in advance!

      5. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        I said it was high maintenance to plan for 6 months in advance, not 3 months. Also, she has been friends with these people for 15 years and she did mention about planning something in August and was waiting for these people to tell her what weekend worked for them. Honestly, I don’t understand why the LW is being lambasted for considering others when previously, posters have chastised people for planning a wedding on a date that they knew someone couldn’t attend.

      6. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        The letter that I was annoyed about someone planning a wedding on a date they knew someone couldn’t attend- the someone was HER SISTER!! Sorry but that is different than a friend.

        And yes in February our summer was already booked. It’s been booked since Christmas.

      7. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        Yes, but you’re booked which is different from not going because someone else isn’t going. All of the friends she contacted agreed upon August when she suggested it so it isn’t like it came out of left field. These are friends for whom she spent money on plane tickets, shower and bridal gifts and most likely accommodations.

      8. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        You’re original arguement didn’t have anything to do with the friend thing…just that it’s high maintenence to plan 6 months out.

        The friends suck, there is no question there. BUT they also don’t “owe” her anything just because she spent her time and money on their weddings (which is what I think you’re hinting at). Sorry but they don’t. When you give a gift or travel far for someone, they don’t owe you anything in return…being generous doesn’t equal reciprocation.

      9. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        This was one of many posts which was directed towards BGM.

        The LW put time and effort into her friends’ weddings and it sure would have been nice if they would have given her the same courtesy. I don’t think the LW was out of line at all for being disappointed that her friends didn’t make an effort for her the way she did for them.

      10. Liquid Luck says:

        Yeah, we planned our summer trips in December and requested vacation time in January. If we were invited to an out-of-state wedding for August right now, we wouldn’t be able to go.

      11. Liquid Luck says:

        It’s not that (in the other letter) the wedding was planned when the sister couldn’t come. It’s that the bride was trying to guilt the sister into ditching her other wedding to attend. If the sister getting married had said, “I know you’re already busy, but this is the day that works best for us. I’m sorry, and I understand if you can’t make it.” I would see that differently. It’s not about them not being able to attend, it’s about the expectation that the wedding is more important than any other plans any invited guest may have. If the bride in that scenario (or this one) was gracious about them not being able to come, there wouldn’t be an issue.

      12. That sister letter still pisses me off.

      13. ele4phant says:

        For August, yes probably. At the very least I need to know the specific date by then. For a non summer month maybe less time, but August is peak vacation time in my office, and peak season for other people in my personal life to want to be wanting to put together things as well.

        If you have more flexibility, I envy you, but for me I have to consider how much time I have accumulated, what my bf may want to do with what little shared time off we can muster, what other friends and family may want of my time, when my coworkers may want time off so our work isn’t interrupted. There’s always a chance to pull something off last minute, but if you want to be assured I’ll be there for your celebration across the country in August, I need a specific date more than three months in advance.

      14. lets_be_honest says:

        I loved Jess’ reply to this.
        Wouldn’t you ask your close friend if she chose a date before replying to another event? I know I would.

      15. ele4phant says:

        Well it depends whether or not she successfully impressed upon me that something was actually going to be happening, not that she had this idea and was fishing for availability to determine whether I was feasible or not. If she really had clarified that yes this IS going to happen, then I’d make sure to consider that a other obligations came up. But unfortunately it sounds like it was more vague and he friends didn’t get that she truly intended to make this happen.

        And also, when it comes to vacation time an coordinating with Coworkers late April is cutting it close to be given a specific date in August. It’s one thing to ask me to try to keep my August free until you decide on a date, another to ask my coworkers to hold off on taking their vacation time until I can put in my request.

      16. Looking at Kriskros’s update about halfway down the comments, you can see that she was pretty explicit about the arrangements, timeline, and even offered a place to stay!

      17. ele4phant says:

        No I am sorry, she was not. I don’t think, without a date firmed up so late in the game, I would have realized this was actually happening yet.

        Look it sounds like her friends were rude in their dismissiveness, and suggesting a girls weekend instead was odd. I’m with you on those points.

        But I think she bears a big chunk of responsibility for not selling this as an important event to her friends. I don’t think she was being selfish, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for her to e disappointed in her friends, but next time she needs to do more to get people to be aware of the importance of the event by giving them dates and reminders about that date leading up to a formal invitation. If this was really important to her she needed to treat it like it was really important, not assume her friends would just get that.

      18. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        The people…who agreed upon August in the first place, are the same ones who blew her off afterwards.

      19. She was waiting on THEM for their availability.

      20. ele4phant says:

        I guess it all depends on who long she waited to find out their availability and when she tried to set a firm date.

        In another post she said they had started talking about this in January. That’s four months ago! That actually would have been perfect timing, everybody was free and she could’ve picked out a date then and nobody would’ve flaked out due to scheduling conflicts. But she didn’t set a date then, she set in now.

        If a friend asked me about my availability in August and I hadn’t heard anything about a specific date by now, I would’ve assumed it was off.

        Her friends are being bratty, but her attempts to be so accommodating backfired on her and are partly responsible or this situation as well.

      21. Thanks!

      22. Yes to everything you said Jess!

  22. painted_lady says:

    Kriskros, let me preface by saying how sorry I am that this is happening. No matter the reasons, it always sucks when you’re excited about something that doesn’t seem to matter to other people. It’s worse when that thing puts you at the forefront in any way. It feels like a personal rejection. And that one friend of yours who said she won’t come if the other one doesn’t kind of sucks. I have a couple of points to make, though, that may help you not feel so hurt and pissed (again, except for that one flake. Be as pissed as you want at her).

    First off, by asking everyone to take the time and money to do this, you’re essentially saying, “Hey, I want you to go to the same – or similar – trouble and expense you would have to if you were coming to my actual wedding, but I don’t want you there. Wait, why isn’t this important to you?!?!” I know it’s not that these people are not important to you – I trust that, you can’t invite everyone and weddings are hella expensive. But then if your not-guests were gracious enough to accept that they were not going to be at your wedding and that it wasn’t about your feelings for them, you should be gracious enough to accept that your not-guests can’t make it to what is going to be, however fun, an expense and an inconvenience.

    Second, this is how social events work for me and my friends, even the best ones: someone suggests something at a general time (August, for example), and everybody goes, yeah, great, just let me know when. If they don’t, and someone else invites you to something or you’re trying to plan something for yourself and you get to the point that you have to make a decision, you go with the plans that have the former date and keep your fingers crossed that the plan with the foggier date will be on one of the other weekends. But I’ve made plans before based on a general date, and then that ends up falling through (usually because no one could make up their mind on a date and people made other plans), and I’m left sitting at home because I turned down other offers because I thought I had plans. So I learned a few years ago to quit doing that.

    Thirdly, and this is related to the last paragraph, if your friends are teachers, when they said, “Yeah, August! Great!” it was before school calendars came out. And most of the calendar dates have been released in the last few weeks, and schools – even private ones – keep adding more and more to the beginning of the school year, gradually chipping away at what used to be the end of summer. This required workshop, that required workshop, this picnic, that not-required-but-we-judge-you-if-you-miss-it meeting – last year I started prepping my classroom in JULY. Why? Because I had to be at a conference the first week of August, and I had seminars intermittently through the next week, and then it was in service time! Um, also, where’d you get the idea private school teachers have a lot of disposable income? Many of them make less than public school teachers, and the ones that make more, don’t make much more. And like others have said, just because someone earns a lot doesn’t mean they have a lot to spare. You have no idea what their expenses are.

    1. Just wanting to clear up this last point! I know I shouldn’t have made any commentary on money, people are free to spend on what they want and of course there are many things that factor into how much money you can spend on something. The educator is a private educator that does not work at a school. She’s more like a very high end tutor. Her position pays much better than a traditional teacher and doesn’t involve typical pre school activities like inservices, ect. She actually works through the summer. She also has said repeatedly that getting away for a weekend in August wouldn’t be a problem. I was especially sensitive to her schedule knowing she had limited vacation hours. We’ve all talked about this event multiple times since January and she’s never expressed that getting time off would be problematic. If someone couldn’t come due to finances I would be completely understanding. I’ve been in school forever and know what it’s like to live on a limited budget. I just didn’t get the impression that this was a money related topic or that anyone would have a problem saying, “hey, this is out of my price range right now, I’m sorry it’s just not feasible.”

      1. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        I for one am on your side. I hope you have a wonderful wedding day.

      2. painted_lady says:

        It just sucks. It really does. Whether your friends are justified or not in not going (and I’m sure there’s a thousand mitigating circumstances), the point is, you of course have the right to be disappointed. Whether you were crystal clear that this was IMPORTANT or you just hoped people would pick up on it, whether it’s about money or people saying things that sounded good at the time and then putting together the logistics and realizing they can’t or they just flat-out don’t wanna and are too chickenshit to tell you, you have every right to be disappointed. I could dissect all day long and be like, well, what about this? Or this? Or this? But the bottom line is, your friends aren’t doing what you hoped and were under the impression that they would do. And that is really, really disappointing.

        For my 29th birthday, which is so minor in comparison, no one did a damn thing. My mom, who normally is the one who plans a lot of birthday stuff, had just had gallbladder surgery, and she tried to do something, but she wasn’t recuperated enough yet, and rather than telling me that, she treated it like I was throwing a fit (wasn’t!) and asking her to do things she had offered to do and I said sounded great. None of my friends did anything, my boyfriend was still living four hours away and didn’t make much of an effort to get into town, my roommate, who is one of my best friends, made dinner plans with someone else that night. And no, I didn’t specifically say, “Hey guys, I would REALLY like to do something for my birthday! Which is Thursday! I would like to go here and do this and eat that!” And maybe that’s silly, because people aren’t psychic. But sometimes you want to be important enough to people that you don’t have to be specific about “I want you to acknowledge my birthday/wedding/bris, WHATEVER!” And finding out that you have to spell that out stings a little. So, FWIW, I’m really sorry your friends disappointed you.

  23. Liquid Luck says:

    I don’t understand why your attendance at someone’s wedding has any relation to how important they are to you. Yes, your wedding is an important event for you, and your friends are probably happy for you when you get married. But them not being able to come to your wedding doesn’t mean they don’t love you or don’t support your marriage.

    I’m getting the vibe from a lot of people here that these friends are “bad” because they aren’t making LW’s wedding a priority, when they don’t have to, because it isn’t. I would be sad if my best friends couldn’t come to my wedding, but that wouldn’t diminish our friendship in any way. Sometimes things don’t work out and people can travel when you want them to. I’m just shocked at how many people are saying they’d write off a friend of 15 years for not attending their wedding.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      My best friends weddings are a priority to me! If those types of things aren’t, I really can’t imagine what your priorities are that aren’t centered around selfishness.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Like the saying “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

      2. Liquid Luck says:

        They’re a priority to me too, but they aren’t to everybody. I don’t impose my priorities on my friends, so if it’s more important to them to be able to visit me when we could spend quality time together instead of coming to an event where I’m surrounded by a ton of other people that also need my attention, then I don’t think that makes them bad friends. My friends and I don’t see every situation the same way, so I wouldn’t try to force my viewpoint on them and then judge them by it.

    2. Avatar photo theattack says:

      I wouldn’t be upset if a friend couldn’t come to my wedding, but I would be upset if they could but chose not to. A friend is someone who is there to support you during big things, celebrate with you during happy things, and bring you wine during sad things. A friend skipping out on a wedding is stepping out on two of those major friend duties. If it’s out of their control it’s one thing, but these friends had the opportunity to give their input on dates, and they’re still copping out. Sounds more like an acquaintance of 15 years to me.

      1. It’s the lack of regret. Not coming due to finances, short notice, etc would be fine. Not coming for any sort of reason could be fine. It’s the dismissive vibe and the fact that friends didn’t bother to even reply with their availability when she originally asked them (presumably much earlier).

        I never said to “write those friendships off.” But I did say that I would re-evaluate them if this seemed to be part of a larger pattern. Not because they can’t come but because they don’t seem to think it matters at all in spite of LW setting pretty clear expectations and details about the event. And in spite of the fact that she made those efforts for their weddings.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        Jess is ON A ROLL!

      3. I’m fired up!

      4. WORD 🙂

      5. Avatar photo theattack says:


      6. It’s not her wedding. I don’t get how people aren’t getting this. If I say I am getting married and want you to come to Wedding Event and then tell you it’s a freaking four person BBQ weeks later, and then say “but but but I came to YOUR wedding!” I hope you’d be like “say what?” I mean she’s NOT inviting them to a wedding. She’s inviting them to a regular weekend event (and yes I read the “itinerary” spiel above and it still sounds ridiculous for an already married couple) and expecting them to pay hundreds for flights to… go to a fucking BBQ? Are you kidding me? No. I’ll come to your wedding but no I’m not going to a BBQ I’ll be in Barbados. And don’t even trip with “but but but I came to your wedding!” because AGAIN if this was a WEDDING I would go but hey let’s face it, it’s NOT. It’s like those nuts who celebrate their Christmas birthdays in freaking July. Just so not the same. Not interested. And my husband sure as hell would most definitely not be interested in spending what would likely be our only summer weekend together alone going to my friend’s freaking BBQ. WTF.

      7. Is a wedding the only thing that would get you to spend a weekend with some long distance friends? Maybe not such good friends then?

    3. I get the sense that kriskros’s friends just don’t feel like making the trip to see her (even when she tried to choose a date that was good for them). I had a few friends who couldn’t make it to my wedding, and I was fine with that. But there’s a difference between not being able to attend an event due to time/money and blowing it off because so-and-so won’t be there, or not going just because it’s too much of a bother.

      I might not go to a friend’s wedding because I can’t get time off work or because I can’t afraid. But I wouldn’t not go just because I didn’t feel like it. That would be like telling my friend that his/her wedding doesn’t matter to me.

      1. Exactly.

      2. Even if I was being a selfish beatch and didn’t want to go without my other bff there… I would still have the common sense and decency to at least make up a reasonable excuse that wasn’t “let’s plan something else for a different day” — I mean how hard is it to say, “I’m so sorry I can’t make that date after all… but I look forward to seeing you and husband soon!”

      3. Liquid Luck says:

        I agree about the one friend who said she wouldn’t go without the other, but she also seems angry at the first friend who is no longer available. She has a legitimate reason for why she can’t come (the date doesn’t work for her!), but the LW thinks her “wedding” party should be more important than her other plans, which comes across as self-centered to me.

      4. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        I’m under the impression that the first friend initially agreed to August when she suggested it in the first place. It wasn’t until she revisited the dates with her that the friend blew it off.

      5. Liquid Luck says:

        Also, it seems like everyone is assuming this friend could easily go to this party, but that may not be the case. Maybe she or her husband have already used all their vacation days, or are saving the rest to see their families over Christmas. Maybe they’re trying to have kids and need to save for a baby. Maybe one has a sick relative and they’re saving their money/airline miles/time off in case they need to travel for a funeral. There are a thousand scenarios that could be preventing them from coming other than just not feeling like it, even if they technically have the money to attend. I would never ask a friend to take money from her savings (or time off she might need for something more important) just to come to a party that doesn’t even really have anything to do with my wedding.

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        Because they didn’t say they can’t go. They said let’s change it to a girls weekend. Imagine if you were planning say, a Christmas party, and someone was like “well LL, let’s just make it a hannakuh party”

      7. Okay, I think I finally pinpointed the reason I don’t find their girls’ weekend suggestion offensive, so I’m just gonna post it here.

        Kriskos was ~kind of~ including the friends in on her planning process, in my opinion, by asking what dates they’d be available…if this was an event they’d like to come to…etc. So maybe they felt that they were all planning it together? or at least, together *enough* that it wouldn’t be rude to suggest other ideas for the party?

      8. Liquid Luck says:

        I agree, Fabelle. If one of my friends was actively asking me about dates to get together and it didn’t work for everyone, I would likely suggest an alternate plan so that we could all be together at the same time. We could celebrate her getting married over a girls’ weekend, and our SOs wouldn’t have to spend their own vacation time on a trip with our friends. It seems like a win-win. I doubt the girl suggested it to be malicious or because she doesn’t give a shit about LW’s marriage.

      9. lets_be_honest says:

        I was hoping you would give me some reason to think this wasn’t an asshole move, but I still think it is. If you are invited to X, you don’t suggest Y, even if you are helping plan X.

      10. Oh I wouldn’t bat an eye over any of these reasons. I’ve had to turn weddings down over money, work schedules, etc. And I’ve had friends decline my wedding for similar reasons and there isn’t a glimmer of hurt. But none of those were mentioned here. They said August was fine, would get back to her about a date, and never did. Now she’s reapproached them in the interest of nailing a date down and they’ve blown it off.

        Maybe I am wrong to assume but I think if there was a reason like any you listed, it would have been mentioned. But again, to me, the kicker not the inability to come, it’s the lack of regret/consideration.

      11. LL – this isn’t about a thousand of reasonable scenarios though, this is a situation as has now been even further clarified above, where a bunch of supposedly really good close friends were making arrangements to celebrate one of their important milestones… and then at some point in time it went pass the “regretfully we can’t make it because of X Y Z” stage to “we don’t wanna do what you wanna do and want you to change your plans that involved more people than us… so eliminate all those other people and apparently your husband since he isn’t a girl so that can enjoy a girls weekend” I mean WTF – even if they didn’t get the seriousness of it or didn’t think it was important because the ceremony wasn’t happening at the same time — how can you celebrate someone’s marriage without one of the spouses!?!

      12. “to come to a party that doesn’t even really have anything to do with my wedding.”

        we are also going to have to seriously agree to disagree on that one. there have been plenty of moments and events in my life that I celebrated with people after the fact, and none of them were meant to make people feel bad or not important enough. What if it wasn’t a wedding… Was I not allowed to have a law school graduation party in my hometown since only my close family travelled the 1000 miles to the actual graduation? Does it not “count” because people didn’t see me in the full morterboard and gown!?! No… my friends wanted to share and celebrate with me. I don’t see why this situation is any different than that, or instances where some people can’t actually attend the wedding ceremony because of religious reasons (for ex. if you are not a mormon, can’t go into the temple!) but still want to gather at some point afterwards for some cake.

        Why can’t we all just look for the opportunity for more cake as a good thing!?!

      13. Liquid Luck says:

        I already shared my thoughts about throwing parties in one’s own honor, so there’s no need for me to rehash that. And if her friends wanted to host a party for her to celebrate the wedding, I’d be all for that. It’s mostly the throwing a party for herself (and her husband) and being pissed when it’s not as important to other people that gets me. I understand that some people don’t agree with that stance, but it’s how I feel and how things operate in my social circle.

      14. Congrats. I’m glad I’m not a part of your social circle, since apparently none of you would have shown up for my wedding since I partially paid for and hosted it myself… It’s almost like in your world if you don’t have family and friends to fete you then you don’t get to celebrate anything, but what if you don’t have close family or friends, or you do but they don’t have the means or opportunity to do something!?!

      15. Liquid Luck says:

        I said earlier that wedding receptions are fine to host, because they are a thank you to your guests for attending your ceremony. That makes them fine to host yourself, since they aren’t really about you. If people (of their own accord) want to give a toast to honor you at a gathering, that’s fine, but not much else should really be about you if you’re the host. I think a lot of weddings these days are really over-done.

        And if you don’t have family and friends, then who are you even inviting to celebrate with you? And if everyone you know is so destitute that they can’t pool together $100 to buy you a cake, then go ahead and buy your own cake. But if the people who are apparently so important to you are really that tight for money, then I would totally side-eye throwing a huge bash and inviting them anyway. If you want to have a get-together with people you love, that’s great! But it doesn’t have to be about you, it can just be about spending time together.

        Also, my social circle is awesome. We genuinely care about each other and WANT to host these types of events for each other. Nobody gets left out, and nobody gets offended by any one person being greedy or centering everything around themselves. It works out really well, and I’m grateful to have people who love me enough to throw me a party when I accomplish something. But I don’t feel entitled to any of them.

      16. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        I wonder if we even read the same letter. It seems as if everyone is personalizing this rather than looking at the facts, which is that her friends agreed to an August weekend, they spoke about it more than a few times, and then one backed out and the other followed suit. If you would be okay with that that’s fine but the LW doesn’t have to be.

      17. I would make up these excuses to avoid telling her “I’m not spending minimum $1K to come to a 4 person bbq.”

  24. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I’m sorry things didn’t work out as you had planned for the weekend in August. It was probably a good call to cancel it before it caused you any more stress.

  25. A La Mode says:

    Kriskros, I am one of those people who isn’t going to mark something on my calendar and carve out a weekend unless I have an explicit invitation where it is positively, absolutely happening. You say that these friends of yours are lawyers and educators. That means that they have to make sure their workload is handled, that they can be unavailable for their jobs, and that none of their immediate family requires their time or energy on that weekend. I’m not necessarily a “professional” like a lawyer, but I have family and work obligations that I am not going to deprioritize for the *possibility* of a ‘weekend celebration’. From the way you’ve described the way you want the weekend to go, and if I were on the other end of the phone call, I’d be thinking “Uh… okay… Sounds great but seriously, I’m way too busy for all that”. Personally, I wouldn’t want to devote a whole weekend to a wedding celebration unless it were my sibling or if I were in the wedding party. I know you said that you don’t expect people to come for every event, but until you send out such details on paper in the form of a formal invitation, it’s going to be hard for your guests to get on board since they can’t see the plans in material form right in front of them. I say: plan your wedding celebration. Figure absolutely everything out. Stop trying to work around everyone else’s life… Doing that not only makes it difficult to ever get a hard date in place, but would make me, as a guest, think that this weekend is never really going to happen. Just choose the date, plan everything, and send out formal invites. People will come if they can.

    1. findingtheearth says:

      Just thinking about this- I work for a lawyer. His schedule is very difficult sometimes and always super full. He needs to exact dates and times for things, or they simply won’t happen. He can’t tell a judge “sorry, don’t book this in august, because of a vague event I may have to attend.”

  26. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

    If you look at this from your friend’s point of view they are probably thinking that they valued you so much that they had you in their wedding and then you won’t even invite them to attend your wedding but still want them to have all of the expense of traveling for a wedding without the wedding. When you were in their wedding it did cost you money but it also cost them money. You paid for all the things you attended but they probably gave you a gift/gifts and paid for dinner and a party and probably got you a discounted price on a block or rooms. So you would like them to pay to see you but what are you doing for them? Will you try to reserve a block of rooms with a discounted price or a rental house (try homeaway.com) where everyone could stay? Will you provide a dinner even if there isn’t a party or a casual BBQ with music?

    The other thing that has already been pointed out is that you can’t expect people to save a date when a date hasn’t been chosen. They don’t even know if you’re serious until you’ve chosen a date. Even if they have the money for the trip they don’t necessarily have a large number of vacation days and probably have to ration them. If I had to choose between using a vacation day for a party or for an actual wedding I’d choose the wedding.

    Your attitude is that they owe you a weekend but they don’t owe you anything. Even when you pick a date six months in advance you can assume at least 1/3 of the people can’t attend. When you are picking the date this late you can assume at least 1/2 can’t attend due to prior commitments. This is real life and your friends are real people with real schedules and commitments that they can’t change just for you.

    1. Avatar photo landygirl says:

      She said her friends were fine with it.

      1. Exactly… they are fine with travel and spending money. Just if it’s what they want to do with the specific people they want to be there. Which is fine, but plan that shit separately, don’t try to convert something into an event it isn’t. No is saying that people have to go, it’s the complete lack of tact involved that is hurtful for the LW and I can understand that.

        I still can’t get past the suggestions of a girls weekend to celebrate someone’s marriage… maybe they just don’t really like the future husband and are using this all as a BS shield.

    2. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

      Now I’ve seen that you were hosting a BBQ and providing a place to stay. Did they know that?

      Why not choose a date sometime next summer and send out an email announcement about it now. That way everyone can put the date on their calendar and save it. Then send a formal invitation closer to the actual date. Not everyone will be able to make it but most will and you’ll have fun. I personally would be less likely to go if there was a detailed itinerary. I know that when my extended family gets together everyone tends to get together for an evening meal and to hang out talking during the evening and into the night but the rest of the time everyone goes their own way. One of my aunts loves to go shoe shopping and she does that every trip she makes. I hate shopping for shoes and can do that anywhere. I would much rather do something while on a trip that I can’t do anywhere else. I choose to see a local museum or site or national park. A cousin and an uncle love to golf so they try to make it to various local courses and will schedule a round at the best course within driving range, especially a PGA course. An aunt loves flea markets and some relatives would prefer to sit by a pool, sip drinks and talk during the day. People have such diverse interests that it is almost impossible to put together an itinerary that will please all of them or even most of them.

  27. Avatar photo findingtheearth says:

    With the new info- I still think a firm date would have been a good idea, but in reality, your friends should have been better about telling you. I would have just said “This is the date we are doing it, you can come or not.”

    I had to plan a baby shower recently and it was frighteningly horrible. No one RSVPS anymore and someone who was suppose to help me plan it for our friend called me three days before and wanted to move it because they wanted to do some drinking event in another town. I said no, and if they were mad, they could discuss it with the person it was being held for. Ugh.

    And reading through all these comments kind of made me feel weird in that I basically had to plan my own baby shower. No one stepped forward, no one asked, etc – one friend even told me that since I was a single mom, she did not feel like promoting that kind of lifestyle. I did all the invites, sent them out, etc., and my mom made the food and did the decorating. Once again, no one RSVP, and more people came than I had planned on. Frustrating. Frustrating.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Can I applaud you for throwing your own? Because I think that is great. People are assholes. New moms, especially single ones, need baby stuff. I wish I had thrown one for myself honestly, because I had nothing and no money to buy it all with and since my mom and stepmom hate each other, no one planned one for me. But sure, go ahead and plan one for someone who truly needs nothing! Grrr.

    2. Avatar photo theattack says:

      RSVPs sucks. I went through the same thing in January with a baby shower for my cousin. We had no idea how many people were showing up until the day of. We kind of just prayed we had enough food. Not to mention our lack of wedding RSVPs that’s costing us hundreds of dollars, but I won’t even get into that.

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Oh wedding RSVPs. Why is it so f-ing hard for people to say yes or no??? like 50% of our list hasn’t RSVPed yet. Just calculated it, 55% haven’t replied. What is that?

        And some people have told other people they can or can not come (like my MIL) but haven’t told us. It doesn’t count to tell people other than the people hosting!!

      2. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Oh lord, you too, huh? I was hoping you would have better luck since half of your family is in the North. When is your deadline for responding?

        We just got an RSVP in the mail last night three weeks after the deadline saying they were coming after telling my FMIL they weren’t coming. Good thing we ordered extra plates. I’m certain that we have about thirty extra plates of food that we ordered because we had so many “I’ll decide that morning if we’re coming or not” kind of responses. It’s a real waste of money, and I can’t stand people who can’t RSVP.

      3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Who says that? “I’ll decide that morning?” UGH. Seriousyl that will not be an option. I have no problem tell the banquet staff to turn people away who couldn’t follow a simple RSVP request (most likely those people will be my idoit aunts and uncles who all live with in 5 minutes of the wedding.) We are doing assigned seating in a tent, remote from any building, so there will be no option of adding chairs. It’s super important to be to be poliet to our guests, but as a guest there is a certain expectation of politeness too.

        May 1st is the final date. I figure we’ll be calling at least 40% of the 227.

      4. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Agreed, agreed, agreed! People wonder why Southern weddings never have seating charts, but this is why! I had to call and/or text for 157 people, so I know your pain. The only reason that I’m erring on the side of ordering extra food is because our caterer is willing to pack it up and send the extra home with us. Otherwise I would so not be that nice to people. Would your caterer be willing to do that? Some are weird about it.

        Let me know if there’s anything I can help you with. Our stuff is finally starting to wind down. The only big things we have left are vows, first dance, and cleaning the apartment for the cat-sitter.

      5. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        My parents own the caterer so yes 🙂 we get left overs. But I’m still not playing games with people who don’t RSVP. If you can’t answer me, you don’t get to come in. Sorry.

        I’ll definitely let you know if we need anything! I have to make the programs this weekend…and do other stuff that I don’t know what it is! Savannah still for honeymoon? Definitely hit up Moon River and walk down River Street while drinking a beer. It’s the best.

      6. Sorry GG, but in the south I think that does count as RSVPing… at least that is what I have told myself based on past experience. Just wait till the week of when more people change their plans at the last minute. Bet you $$$ 🙂

      7. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        What? Ugh. MIL keeps saying well so and so told me…and I’m like well they didn’t tell ME. And all of his friends invited have been asking about hotels etc, have bought plane tickets…but no rsvp. I know saying “I bought a plane ticket to your wedding” should be “enough” but can’t they just go to the website and hit the yes button?

    3. Findingtheearth, I hope you’re not still friends with the person who told you they couldn’t support single motherhood. That is downright shitty. 🙁

  28. tbrucemom says:

    It sounds like it’s just two friends that she’s included in the August get together. I could be wrong but if that’s the case I’m not sure why she doesn’t just invite them to her small wedding. Would 2 (or 4 if they’re seriously involved) really make that big of a difference?

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