Sandra’s bridal shower is coming up (a big shower with lots of girls) and I RSVPed that I was going, but my husband made plans with his family (whom we do not see much, but I love my in-laws to death!) for the day of her bridal shower without checking my plans, and his parents are super excited for the time together, especially with the baby on the way. His mom has gone all out, planning a day for us together, with shopping, massages, the whole nine yards. This is likely the only time I will see my in-laws before the baby is born, and, even though the timing was a surprise, family is forever and a huge priority to me.
I feel bad, but I told Sandra I cannot make her shower because of the scheduling error, and I don’t want to punish my in-laws for my husband’s mistake. I gave her my regrets, told her I was sorry, and told her that I still had a gift to give her when we could get together next. She kind of flipped out on me. She turned it around on me, telling me that, if I really wanted to be at her shower, I would tell my in-laws I already had plans since her shower is a “once-in-a-lifetime event.”
She made me feel awful, and I told her that and that I was just trying to make a tough call in an awkward situation. The conversation did not end well. Now I do not know what to do; seeing this un-empathetic, ungracious side of her really makes me not want to be friends with her. But is my reaction too harsh? I do not even want to give her the gift I got her. Am I overreacting? — Not Even Invited to the Wedding
This woman sounds horrible and you should consider yourself lucky that you’ve only invested a few months into this friendship. Give her the gift, erase her number from your phone, and be done with it. Or, if you really want to drive home the point, tell her that your baby shower will be the day after her wedding and, if she really wanted to be there for your once-in-a-lifetime event, she would cancel her honeymoon and fly home immediately following her nuptials.
Congratulations on your pregnancy, by the way. Once your baby arrives, you will quickly learn — if you haven’t already — that time is incredibly precious and the people we decide to spend some of ours with should be people who have proven to be worthy of it. This woman has just proven she is not.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at email@example.com.
GatorGirl April 28, 2014, 9:02 am
Ahhhhhh so many no’s are going on here.
Miss MJ April 28, 2014, 9:06 am
Where to start….
GatorGirl April 28, 2014, 9:22 am
-It’s so not cool to have a gigantic bridal shower if people aren’t invited to the wedding!
-5 months isn’t that long to be friends with someone…so this seems totally gift grabby to me.
-Who gets pissed at a pregnant lady? Or a person with an honest scheduling mistake? Or someone who is still going to give you the gift!!??
-Usually I would say the first commitment needs to be upheld, but F this crazy bride.
LW, I wouldn’t give her the gift, and just cut her out of your life. She sounds very unpleasant.
No Pants April 28, 2014, 9:43 am
You win comment of the week!
bethany April 28, 2014, 9:45 am
Isn’t it a little premature to give that title out?!
No Pants April 28, 2014, 9:52 am
I know, but this made me laugh! “Who gets pissed at a pregnant lady?”
lemongrass April 28, 2014, 10:06 am
I am so going to ride that out for the next 7 months.
ktfran April 28, 2014, 9:43 am
So, I was a little torn, maybe trying to give this bride the benefit of the doubt and that she was just disappointed and a little hurt and has crazy wedding brain. So I, like the LW, still would have called off going to the bridal shower, but was leaning towards cutting the bride some slack.
However, when it’s broken down like this, umm, yeah, just no. LW, cut your losses and walk nicely away with your head held high knowing you’re the better person. I mean, you for sure sound so polite and trying to make the best out of an awkward situation. Just know that you were.
GatorGirl April 28, 2014, 10:00 am
Yeah, I mean I get being disappointed and hurt, heck GGuys one sister didn’t even come to our wedding, BUT I don’t think ever excuses making someone feel awful. IDK, people think their wedding is like the event of the century, and it’s really not.
ktfran April 28, 2014, 10:17 am
Oh, I totally agree. I did originally want to say cut the bride a little slack because you don’t know what’s really going on with her and maybe she’s acting crazy because of the wedding. BUT, with all the other stuff, like not inviting the LW to the wedding but to the shower, and then blowing things up, etc., I agree with everyone else.
Christy April 28, 2014, 9:03 am
Happy Wedding Week, everybody! (I love Wedding Week.)
rainbow April 28, 2014, 9:37 am
Happy Wedding Week Christy! I’m microwaving popcorn and getting ready for the cultural shock.
LlamaPajamas April 28, 2014, 9:05 am
Wahoo for Wedding Week! LW, you’re not overreacting and your “friend” is insane. Have fun with your husband’s family and don’t give this woman a second thought.
call-me-hobo April 28, 2014, 9:10 am
Ugh. LW you’ve totally dodged a bullet friendship-wise. This lady is in her THIRTIES and acting this blindingly selfish over petty wedding stuff; it speaks more to her overall character then wedding stress. Maybe you should let her know that being friendly with your inlaws is a big part of being married, so buttercup better buckle up and realize that she’ll be dealing with those kind of scenario soon enough.
Christy April 28, 2014, 9:14 am
I wonder if the LW’s friend is someone who has really built up the idea of her wedding in her head. Like, I can imagine there might be some jealousy from the 30+ someone who is just getting married towards the 30+ someone who is starting to have kids. I can imagine that LW’s friend would resent not getting to come first for her wedding when many of her friends have moved on towards children.
Or maybe I’m just being catty. I agree with Kerry that it’s rude to invite to a bridal shower and not to a wedding. I can’t imagine only inviting someone to a bridal shower and then being upset they couldn’t come! Clearly, LW wasn’t important enough to invite to the wedding.
(Oh, and LW, ditch this friend.)
Banana April 28, 2014, 9:32 am
I wondered the same thing. No, not every bride at “the back of the pack” is going to act like this, but I could imagine that feeling of being left behind exacerbating the selfishness of someone who was already inclined to be really self-centered.
call-me-hobo April 28, 2014, 9:32 am
Oh man, I didn’t even catch that the LW wasn’t invited to the ceremony!
kerrycontrary April 28, 2014, 9:44 am
Interesting observation. Maybe she feels like everyone is “over” weddings and has moved onto baby showers. And she’s like “It’s finally my turn! Pay attention to me!!”. Like she’s had to go to everyone’s showers over the years so she wants her day.
Banana April 28, 2014, 11:00 am
Yeah, I think that’s similar to some past letters we’ve seen about people who are resentful that, after going to all their friends’ wedding and baby events, many of those friends don’t make it to her own. People should stop going to things thinking that it somehow earns them a token they can cash in for that person’s attendance at a future event.
kerrycontrary April 28, 2014, 11:53 am
So I’ll admit that I have been to SO many bridal and baby showers for my female cousins and their wives. I’m the youngest out of 10 cousins. So if people don’t make it to my bridal shower I’ll be *slightly* miffed. Like I’ll think about it for 2 seconds. Considering the amount of time I’ve spent going to their things and their kids birthday parties and communions and all that crap. But I’d never vocalize those feelings hahaha.
GatorGirl April 28, 2014, 11:58 am
Kerry, I actually totally agree with you and understand where you’re coming from. We go to EVERYTHING. Showers, weddings, holidays…everything and we live between 400 and 900 miles from the family members. When a lot of people didn’t attend our wedding, it did sting some. But I’ve let it go and moved on, but there was definitely an initial sting. (but I would never dream of saying so to the people, or really anyone other then GGuy. His parents actually expressed how disappointed they where too.)
kerrycontrary April 28, 2014, 12:31 pm
Yup I think it’s ok to have the feelings, just keep them inside haha! I mean I totally understand when it’s a legitimate reason, but sometimes it’s like “really?”. Especially when you make it easy on them by having your wedding or shower in THEIR hometown, not yours.
AmyP April 28, 2014, 12:28 pm
Yeah–go because it’s fun and you want to give a gift.
That’s why I go to baby showers.
kerrycontrary April 28, 2014, 9:11 am
What a crazypants! Cut this see you next tuesday out of your life. BTW—it’s super tacky for her to invite you to the bridal shower if you aren’t invited to the wedding. And I bet a LOT of people coming to the shower (since it’s so big) are in the same position. Sounds gift grabby to me.
Banana April 28, 2014, 9:32 am
It took me a couple of reads to figure out what “see you next Tuesday” meant. Now I’m going to use that all the time.
kerrycontrary April 28, 2014, 9:45 am
hhaha I actually refrain from using the c-word 99% of the time (along with twat), but it really applies here.
AmyP April 28, 2014, 9:13 am
And the LW isn’t even being invited to the wedding…
It seems like such a gift-grab to invite people to a big wedding shower who aren’t invited to the wedding.
bethany April 28, 2014, 9:31 am
Bitch be crazy. You’ve only been friends for 5 months and she’s freaking out because you can’t come to her shower? Consider yourself lucky that you’re finding out her true character now and not after you’ve invested years in this friendship.
But also, your husband should really check with you before he invites your in laws to visit (I’m assuming they’re coming from out of town?) so maybe have a little chat with him about that.
bethany April 28, 2014, 9:43 am
Also, just because the invites were sent out before you met doesn’t mean that she can’t invite you. My best friend and I had a big falling out for a few years. We ended up “getting back together” right before her wedding. Even though Save the Dates had already been sent out, she still invited me. If this woman really cared about you as a friend she would have still invited you. The fact that she didn’t just screams gift grabbing to me.
Painted_lady April 28, 2014, 10:33 am
Well, and even if she can’t for whatever reason, I feel like this is one of those situations where, yeah, I suppose people are “allowed” to have showers when the wedding invitations list is small by design – in situations like destination weddings and such. I think it’s a little tacky, but it’s one way to include people you might have invited in the case of a traditional wedding (though, IMO, it’s the lamest way). HOWEVER, if you don’t make it a priority to invite people to the wedding, you really absolutely need to be understanding if they don’t make it a priority to attend your shower, or whatever event you have in its place. There are definitely advantages to a destination wedding, but you also have to give up some stuff, including gifts. Just like with a traditional wedding, you tolerate a certain amount of BS but with the implicit social expectation that you receive gifts (not saying that every couple who has a traditional wedding is just after gifts, or that there aren’t exceptions to the rule) and showers and other stuff like that. And you gotta figure out what’s worth it to you – not hassling with place settings and favors and such, while knowing there will be fewer people celebrating, vs having most of the people you want present able to be there but having to deal with the headache of having a relatively extravagant affair (in comparison, anyway). But you can’t whine that you didn’t get all that you wanted without having to put out a certain brand of effort in exchange.
lemongrass April 28, 2014, 10:44 am
Um no. You don’t ask for gifts from people you didn’t invite to your wedding even if it is a wedding that costs guests a lot of money. Sure, a lot of people won’t be able to make it to a destination wedding and that is okay to invite them to your wedding shower but you first have to give an invite and let them choose for themselves whether they can make it or not.
Painted_lady April 28, 2014, 10:57 am
Oh definitely. I think it’s crazy and out of the realm of appropriate behavior, but I could see where someone – not even the bride, maybe an aunt or a sister or something – might see that as one way people could feel more included. I disagree, especially considering that the overwhelming majority of showers I’ve attended are craaaaazy lame (I really don’t give a shit what kind of white powder is in the baggie, and if you make me wear a TP veil, someone’s gonna bleed), but I could see how some pushy but well-meaning relative might really, really want that to happen. HOWEVER, this c-word has lost her damn mind if she thinks it’s okay to get angry at ANYONE for an honest mistake in scheduling (or a flat-out “can’t go”) under ANY circumstances, much less in a situation where the guest isn’t even invited to the wedding.
lemongrass April 28, 2014, 11:14 am
White powder in baggies? Those aren’t the kind of wedding shower’s I go to!
Painted_lady April 28, 2014, 11:24 am
Hahaha! Oh, it’s this awful, completely sexist shower game I’ve played at like four different showers. Maybe it’s a southern thing? It’s like, “Bride wants to bake Groom a cake because she’s a good little wifey blah blah blah. However, when she goes to the kitchen, she discovers all the labels have fallen off all the ingredients, and she doesn’t know what’s what! Help her bake that cake by identifying everything white in her kitchen.” The first time I played that at a shower, I just stared at the MOH in horror and said, “You have got to be kidding me.”
rainbow April 28, 2014, 11:33 am
OMG “Bake the groom a coke cake”! I WANT TO PLAY THAT.
rainbow April 28, 2014, 11:38 am
PS I want to be the groom
Painted_lady April 28, 2014, 11:39 am
Yeah, *that* would be cool. But sadly, it was just proving how awesome a woman you are because you can tell flour from cornstarch or some shit.
These are also the kinds of showers where no one serves booze.
rainbow April 28, 2014, 11:41 am
Next week in “awesome bridal showers”: Help the bride select a second dude for her honeymoon threesome.
lemongrass April 28, 2014, 11:46 am
I had booze at my wedding shower. Hell, I had booze at E’s first birthday party.
GatorGirl April 28, 2014, 11:48 am
I had a kegger for our couples shower! best party ever!
And that cake thing is weirrrrrrrd. (also I think I would be really good at it, telling the baking stuff apart. IDK what that says about me.)
Painted_lady April 28, 2014, 11:50 am
We should totally go into wedding planning together. Can you imagine the kind of hot messes we could create????
Painted_lady April 28, 2014, 12:00 pm
I would attend any shower/wedding/child’s bday party any of you would throw. You all have your priorities in line.
Breezy AM April 28, 2014, 12:20 pm
This is the kind of shower for which I would most need booze.
SpaceySteph April 28, 2014, 1:28 pm
I kinda wish we played this game at my wedding shower (which I didn’t even have, but whatever) because I’m really good at baking and can totally tell flour from cornstarch from baking soda… and I love to win.
lets_be_honest April 28, 2014, 11:47 am
Omg I’ve never heard of this. Yikes.
lets_be_honest April 28, 2014, 12:02 pm
This would be a lot more fun if the end was the groom being forced to eat the cake to show he trusts his wife’s kitchen skills. And then the groom is all coked out of his mind because his wife accidentally made a coke cake and snorted baking powder.
LlamaPajamas April 28, 2014, 12:08 pm
I’m taking notes because now I want a bridal shower…
Painted_lady April 28, 2014, 11:19 am
Like, for anyone who read my post last week about my cousin with no social skills posting shit about family emergencies on FB? She would TOTALLY insist on throwing a shower for her daughter if she had a destination wedding and really not understand why it’s completely rude and tacky to invite people not on the guest list. She would probably try to do the same for me if we lived closer. Well, probably not now, but six months ago. And I don’t know how I’d react, but since her intentions would be really good, I would be at least hesitant to say something, and I’m pretty outspoken. Someone like my mom would probably not say a word and just burn up in humiliation the entire time. But all this girl’s benefit-of-the-doubt went out the window when she acted like an asshole.
lets_be_honest April 28, 2014, 10:51 am
Put up with BS because you’ll probably get gifts? Lol.
Painted_lady April 28, 2014, 11:04 am
I know, I couldn’t come up with a better way to say it than that. I don’t mean that *all* brides want attention lavished on them, but as long as you aren’t an entitled bitch about it, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the center of attention on a day like this (or for graduation, or a baby, or some other major personal milestone). But I think there’s a certain amount of reciprocity that’s required. It would be sort of like buying a new house, not throwing a housewarming party, but then getting pissed that only one or two friends thought to buy a housewarming present. You shouldn’t *expect* gifts anyway, but you definitely have no right to hope for them if you’re not going to put yourself out a little as well.
Kate B. April 28, 2014, 10:34 am
I’m glad someone else picked up on the husband thing.
SpaceySteph April 28, 2014, 10:05 am
Super tacky to be invited to the shower but not the wedding. Also, who sends invites out to their wedding so far in advance that a friend they’ve had for 5 months and is invited to other wedding shit doesn’t make it in before the deadline. Even for a destination wedding, sending your invites out 6+ months before the wedding seems absurd. That’s what save the dates are for. (if you don’t want to pay for them there’s always e-Save the dates!)
These alone are so ludicrous that I would put myself as far away from this wedding as humanly possible.
lemongrass April 28, 2014, 10:12 am
This was a good thing. Now you don’t have to find out what a huge bitch she is several years down the line when she tells your 5 year old some horrific thing while babysitting and you have to deal with the issues stemming from that for life.
rainbow April 28, 2014, 10:28 am
lemon, you’re in Canada, right? Are weddings there similar to the ones in the US?
lemongrass April 28, 2014, 10:38 am
Um, I think. I mean, none of my friend’s are crazy bitches but I’m sure some Canadian brides are. But as for ceremony, reception, getting drunk and dancing, yes.
LadyinPurpleNotRed April 28, 2014, 10:40 am
I’ve seen some Canadian Four Weddings…there are definitely some crazy bitches out there. But I’m glad none of your friends are!
lemongrass April 28, 2014, 10:41 am
They wouldn’t be my friends if they were.
Banana April 28, 2014, 11:04 am
This, precisely! I know I’ve said it tons of times, but whenever I hear people complaining about their friends being insufferable brides, I think, “Well, you’re the one who chose to have insufferable friends.” I know everyone tends to get a little wacky under pressure, but I don’t believe anyone makes a full Jekyll & Hyde transformation — if someone is THAT bad as a bride, they were probably none too pleasant to be friends with before being a bride, either.
Not a Princess April 28, 2014, 9:14 am
Holy Guano Batman!
WWS, and for what it’s worth, any woman this emotionally unhealthy is likely to have more than one bridal shower as she tears through partners.
I don’t know how it is in all cultures, but where I come from, pregnant ladies are wrapped in a bubble of kindness.
And OF COURSE she’s having a massive destination wedding.
Kate B. April 28, 2014, 10:32 am
Yeah, really. For this lady to day that her bridal shower is “once in a lifetime” is pretty optimistic. There will be other opportunities for her to get all wedding-crazy.
Kate B. April 28, 2014, 10:33 am
lets_be_honest April 28, 2014, 10:49 am
LW should’ve countered with ‘isn’t the wedding the once in a lifetime day…that I wasn’t invited to?”
Kate B. April 28, 2014, 12:08 pm
“That you made no effort to invite me to even though I’m SUCH a good friend that you invited me to your bridal shower?”
katie April 28, 2014, 10:15 am
oh how appropriate that wedding week is the week after i was just the maid of honor!! haha.
my advice? only be friends with people who arent crazypants about weddings. its much better.
shanshantastic April 28, 2014, 10:42 am
Good advice, but it may be tough to follow – while you can usually suss out a Bridezilla-in-the-making, sometimes they’re totally normal until the engagement ring unlocks the wedding crazy buried deep inside. 🙂
veritek33 April 28, 2014, 10:35 am
Entitled people suck. She’s just gonna breed more entitled people. LW, just focus on not raising an asshole. Youre off to a good start by not being an asshole.
No Pants April 28, 2014, 10:37 am
What do you guys think of not being able to go to a destination wedding because it’s just not in your budget? I can’t make a friend’s destination wedding this spring and I told her I couldn’t go a long time ago (I was able to make it to her shower and bachelorette), but I’m hearing rumours that she’s pissed.
LadyinPurpleNotRed April 28, 2014, 10:39 am
She’s being ENTIRELY unreasonable. You told her you couldn’t go. That’s the end of it. It’s too expensive. She made her choice to have a destination wedding (which is totally fine), but she has to own the fact that it can and will cause people to be unable to attend!
lets_be_honest April 28, 2014, 10:40 am
If someone’s pissed you can’t afford something, then go right ahead and ask them to pay for you. Ugh. People!
shanshantastic April 28, 2014, 10:44 am
I agree – if she confirms to you that she’s pissed, ask for a plane ticket. If not, her problem for not growing a ladypair.
No Pants April 28, 2014, 10:45 am
Ok, I’m glad I’m not crazy. I think she’s a little upset with me because I was really sick the weekend of her shower/bachelorette party. I made it to the shower and the bachelorette dinner, but did not join everyone for bar hopping because I thought my head was going to explode and I had a long drive back home the next day. And she knows my husband is unemployed right now. I get being disappointed; I just wish people would recognize that you can be disappointed without being angry.
kerrycontrary April 28, 2014, 10:49 am
I’d just advise you to find out directly from the bride if she even is upset. You’re hearing this second-hand, so this could just be miscommunication or someone else stirring up drama.
No Pants April 28, 2014, 10:54 am
You do raise a really good point and I did consider the source when I heard. I plan on calling the bride to wish her well and send my love (the wedding is in a few weeks), so I will be sure to handle it if she does bring it up. It’s just been a wonky year with a ton of close friends’ weddings and tons of feelings and yelling.
rieux April 28, 2014, 11:09 am
You sound like a great friend… if I was your friend and lucky enough to have you attend two pre-wedding events, including a shower (which are almost always horrifically boring, IMO) and a bachelorette dinner, while ill no less, and then I found out you couldn’t afford to go to the wedding, *I’d* be the one feeling guilty. You have been a trooper. I hope your friend appreciates it!
Banana April 28, 2014, 11:09 am
I, too, have had friends who have difficulty realizing when a situation calls for disappointment, but not anger. And it’s possible that she just felt a little angry, but chose not to tell you because she realized that anger was unfair and she wanted a little time to blow off steam so she didn’t take it out on you. I’m with the others who say just talk to her. You’re right that it’s completely unreasonable for someone to be mad that you can’t afford a destination wedding (or that you were sick during her other parties), but maybe — even if she IS mad — she already recognizes she’s being unfair and she wants to calm down so she doesn’t act poorly toward you.
No Pants April 28, 2014, 11:48 am
It’s so important to recognize the difference between being “sad at someone” vs. being mad at them.
ktfran April 28, 2014, 10:45 am
Personally, I think any kind of good friend would be understanding if someone can’t make a destination wedding. You can’t expect someone to go into debt for a decision you made about how you want to spend your wedding.
I say do what you can / want and if you’re friend is an ass hole about it, that’s on her and she’s not a very good / understanding friend to begin with.
kerrycontrary April 28, 2014, 10:45 am
It’s completely reasonable to not be able to attend any sort of wedding (destination or not) because of your budget or financial situation. And don’t give too much stock into rumors. If it gets really bad, ask her directly, but it’s unfair to her to say that she’s pissed if you’re hearing the information 2nd or third hand. She could’ve said “I’m really said No Pants can’t come to the wedding” and one of your mutual friends who likes to stir up drama turned this into “OMG the bride is so pissed that no pants isn’t coming”.
No Pants April 28, 2014, 11:12 am
I don’t understand why Kerry’s comment got a downvote. She raises a very valid point.
GatorGirl April 28, 2014, 10:46 am
She sucks. I assume you where honest and let her know by the RSVP date…it’s a bitch move to be pissed about someone’s financial restrictions.
lemongrass April 28, 2014, 10:47 am
If she is pissed that is her problem. I can’t make it to my friend’s destination wedding because I can’t afford it, and then I got pregnant and due right around it so there’s no way I can go now but there is no good reason to be upset that your friend can’t afford a destination wedding (unless say, the destination is 2 hours from their home). But even still an invitation is not an obligation to say yes.
lets_be_honest April 28, 2014, 10:53 am
So giving birth is more important than attending a good friend’s wedding? What’s next lemon? Could you be more selfish?
lemongrass April 28, 2014, 11:17 am
Oh god, I know. I also missed her baby shower this weekend because I didn’t want to drive 3 hours several days after a 12 hour round-trip Easter weekend and also give her newborn a cold. She may as well just cut me out.
othy April 28, 2014, 12:09 pm
SpaceySteph April 28, 2014, 10:54 am
Before I can answer your question, I need to know which is more likely:
A. She’s secretly pissed and being passive-aggressive about it by telling everyone except you that she’s pissed.
B. Other people are stirring the shit.
Because this rumor could be unsubstantiated. I know that when I had a “destination wedding” (I use quotes because I had the wedding where I lived, which is a different state from nearly all of both our families and non-work friends) I totally understood anyone who couldn’t make it. At the same time though, I was overwhelmingly grateful to people who did make the trip… which may have come off to certain shit-stirrers like I was mad at those who didn’t come when in fact that was nowhere near the truth.
You know your friend… is she a crazy drama queen likely to be pissed about this? Or are the people you are hearing the rumors from just causing trouble?
bethany April 28, 2014, 11:05 am
I had a quasi-destination wedding, and 100% understood that some people couldn’t come. Also, when I asked my MOH to be in the wedding I let her know there was a chance it might be in NC, and if she couldn’t make it, I totally understood.
When you have a destination wedding, you do so knowing that some people can’t make it. Even if you have a “regular” wedding, I think you should expect that not everyone can be there. I mean, most people don’t live in the same towns as all their family and friends (and fiance’s family and friends!). I’d say that a lot of people end up traveling for weddings, even if they’re not “destination” per se.
Banana April 28, 2014, 11:15 am
Also — I think it’s polite to give some kind of excuse for not being able to attend a wedding, but I don’t think you’re ever obligated to go into details or have to defend your decision. In other words, don’t feel pressure to have to spell out exactly WHY you can’t afford it or what other events you have to make time/money for this year or anything. It’s not her business. I had a friend who was invited to a wedding I was also invited to this spring. We both had to decline. In both our cases, it was because we were just EXTREMELY busy during that time, and it was someone we had both somewhat lost touch with (we were all old college friends). I said I had previous commitments (which was true — they weren’t exactly on the wedding weekend, but they were enough to make me feel I couldn’t carve out a weekend to head to the wedding), and my other friend said she couldn’t do something so close to her graduation from med school and her move to the city where her residency will be, even though she, too, didn’t have anything on her calendar for exactly that weekend. So I guess what I’m saying is, don’t ride yourself too hard on your reasons for not going, or let anyone else ride you, question your reasons, or ask for more details. It’s no one’s business (or decision) but your own.
No Pants April 28, 2014, 11:40 am
Thank you for this. I had a lot of problems with another friend who got married around the same tme I did last year, and it’s made me super paranoid.
Banana April 28, 2014, 11:56 am
Anyone who pressures you to defend your decision to not attend their wedding is the one who’s being rude. I think the only people you have to offer a more in-depth explanation to are immediate family (if you’re not estranged) and — MAYBE, if you feel in your gut it’s appropriate — one or two extremely close friends whom you’ve been extremely close with for a loooooooooooooooong time. Like, the kind of friend who’s practically a sibling.
LlamaPajamas April 28, 2014, 11:17 am
Don’t feel bad, Pantsy! I agree with everyone else that she might not actually be pissy but other people are trying to create drama. But if she really is pissy, that’s stupid. Our wedding is technically going to be a destination wedding for my friends/family but I made it clear from the time I sent out save the dates that I completely understand if people can’t make it because of the distance, cost, etc. I’d be disappointed if my BFF decided she couldn’t make it at the last minute, but she has a 2-year old and lives like a 10 hour drive away from where we’re getting married so I really wouldn’t hold it against her.
AmyP April 28, 2014, 12:41 pm
A wedding invitation is an invitation, not a subpoena or a warrant for your arrest.
If it’s an invitation, you have the right to say no.
SpaceySteph April 28, 2014, 1:13 pm
I wish I could like this multiple times. It’s like people have forgotten that your big special amazing day is just another day for the rest of the world… even your friends.
Bittergaymark April 28, 2014, 10:42 am
Bridezilla is all too often really just Cuntzilla in a ghastly, tacky, hilariously overpriced mess of a dress…
lets_be_honest April 28, 2014, 11:12 am
I bailed out on almost every plan I had this weekend and felt like a jerk for it. Luckily not one person guilted me about it and all said they totally understand even though I didn’t really even provide a reason for bailing. You need friends like this LW.
iwannatalktosampson April 28, 2014, 11:14 am
Were you hungover? Antisocial? Did you have better plans come up? Did you want to stay in and bang? Dish.
lets_be_honest April 28, 2014, 11:18 am
I was just meh all weekend. I kept trying to pull myself out of it and then at the last minute deciding I was still meh, so it made bailing out even worse since it was mostly at the last minute/me flip-flopping on committing. So now today I’m even more meh because I had a boring weekend.
lemongrass April 28, 2014, 11:23 am
I had the same weekend. I’ve had this cold for a week now and I am so over it. I did practically nothing all weekend except for drive into the city to look at an “excellent condition!” used chair which was definitely not excellent. Then I didn’t want to make the drive a waste so we went out for sushi. Which now that I think about it, it wasn’t a waste at all. PS E loves tempura.
lets_be_honest April 28, 2014, 11:40 am
That’s annoying! E is too cute.
lemongrass April 28, 2014, 11:49 am
E was flirting with the waitress, she walked by like a dozen times just to smile at him. I felt a bit bad though because she said “he thinks I look funny and that’s why he’s smiling at me.” She was a very beautiful Japanese woman. Can you be racist towards yourself? I’m sure that was not why he was smiling, he’s just friendly and loves attention.
Banana April 28, 2014, 11:29 am
This is why I think it’s fair to cut some slack for people who flake just because they’re feeling “meh.” I’ve been there too, and when a friend bails on something because they’re down in the dumps or just not feeling it (especially if they’re the kind of person who normally doesn’t flake) I just figure it’s not worth pushing it, and I try to understand that they likely realllllly need the down time. After all, pressuring a friend in that position to come out anyway is probably not going to result in a really fun companion anyway.
lets_be_honest April 28, 2014, 11:40 am
Yea, if there’s one thing I’m good at is not making my friends feel bad about bailing, so I was glad they were understanding.
Banana April 28, 2014, 11:58 am
Be kind to yourself the way you’d be kind to them. You deserve down time too!
No Pants April 28, 2014, 1:01 pm
You’re the best, Banana.
iwannatalktosampson April 28, 2014, 11:41 am
Yeah I had a really relaxing weekend and I’m glad I didn’t have plans that I would have had to cancel, haha. I think the guilt from cancelling – at least for me – comes from knowing how long it took us to get a date on the calendar. So I know when I cancel it’ll probably be at least two weeks until we can reschedule. But still, re-charging is highly underrated.
lets_be_honest April 28, 2014, 11:45 am
Yea I felt guilty. My one gf is going back to work after maternity leave this week so it was her last weekend without work and didn’t mention that til after I canceled 🙁 I’m just ugh lately about everything and tired from, well, everything. Feel like all my time is given to help other people who are getting under my skin lately. Idk. I’m whining and threadjacking now. Sorry!
iwannatalktosampson April 28, 2014, 12:22 pm
I have nothing to contribute to this thread because it’s weird how people think their friend getting married someone alters the level of acceptable behavior. So that’s my only comment.
Who’s annoying you and why?
lets_be_honest April 28, 2014, 12:26 pm
Mostly everyone and cyclical conversations 🙂
Plus I think I’ve turned into one of those ‘yessers’ that says yes to help with things and is then taken advantage of. And then I feel bad for thinking that and help again. So, cycles again.
iwannatalktosampson April 28, 2014, 12:27 pm
Those were some really lame juicy details. Family? Friends? Peter? What are you helping with?
rieux April 28, 2014, 11:50 am
“Once in a lifetime event”? Uh, I’m guessing this isn’t even her only pre-wedding party. People are legitimately insane if they think their present-opening parties (which are seriously the worst, in my opinion as I’ve already said, and I will only go to showers in the future that are for people I love like siblings) are anything even approaching once in a lifetime.
va-in-ny April 28, 2014, 11:57 am
PSA: IF SOMEONE IS NOT INVITED TO THE WEDDING, IT IS EXTREMELY RUDE TO INVITE THEM TO WEDDING RELATED PARTIES AND EVENTS!
Of course, there are exceptions, but if there is an event where a gift is expected, DO NOT invite people that are not going to be invited to the wedding.
csp April 28, 2014, 12:32 pm
OK, so I think it is tacky for you to get invited to the shower and not to the wedding. But, I would give the bride some slack. Depending on the way you phrased this, I could see getting annoyed. If she yelled, that is ridiculous. However, she didn’t lie in her quote. You are making a choice between your friend’s shower and your inlaws. Right or wrong, you didn’t choose her. You are saying to her that a massage is more important than her shower. And, I am not sure how much travel is involved but if a shower is 3 hours, you could do both. Go to the shower and have dinner with the inlaws. I am simply saying that you need to own your choice and realize that she is just realizing that she is valuing your new friendship way more than you do.
GatorGirl April 28, 2014, 12:43 pm
IDK, it sounds like the in-laws are coming for the weekend and don’t live close. I personally would feel slighted if I was the MIL and LW prioritized this friend of a few months over events I had planned. I think it’s really harsh to say “You are saying to her that a massage is more important than her shower.” because it’s not actually the massage, it’s the time with the MIL.
csp April 28, 2014, 12:57 pm
you might be right. But if she told the friend that they are scheduling a massage, I can see how the friend would feel slighted as well.
SpaceySteph April 28, 2014, 1:16 pm
But its a massage with her out-of-town MIL. I think that the friend who is about to be married has quite a bit to learn about having in-laws (which she very soon will!) if she doesn’t understand the importance of spending the day with the MIL.
csp April 28, 2014, 1:27 pm
I am simply stating that the way you decline an invitation matters. If you give too many details, it often backfires. Also, there are times in most friendships that you find out how much you mean to someone. I am thinking that this bride thought they were much closer than they are. Like, I had a coworker back out of attending my wedding at the last minute. No big deal because we weren’t that close. I am guessing that the friend is realizing that this is a no big deal friendship and it hurt.
lets_be_honest April 28, 2014, 1:29 pm
If the bride thought they were so super close, then why didn’t the bride invite her to the wedding, ya know?
LadyinPurpleNotRed April 28, 2014, 1:30 pm
You mean such a close friendship of 5 months where she’s invited to one gift giving event and not the main event?
csp April 28, 2014, 1:44 pm
But the girl was still mad even after being told that she was getting a gift. so it isn’t the gift that is the problem.
LadyinPurpleNotRed April 28, 2014, 1:47 pm
So then why isn’t she invited to the wedding if their friendship is *so* important?
csp April 28, 2014, 2:24 pm
Maybe only close family was invited to the wedding or she knows because of the pregnancy, the friend can’t go. Why would someone freak out about a friend missing a shower unless she is genuinely hurt by the person missing it.
LadyinPurpleNotRed April 28, 2014, 2:27 pm
Because they are drama-seekers. Because it’s something to freak out about. I would assume if that were the case, the LW would know that and would have mentioned that in the letter because that would change things.
lets_be_honest April 28, 2014, 2:32 pm
I get you are trying to explain WHY someone would behave this way, but just because you can find a reason to explain it doesn’t make it normal or acceptable.
GatorGirl April 28, 2014, 2:32 pm
1- it’s not nice to assume someone can’t attend (Pregnancy or otherwise) before extending an invitation. 2- it’s pretty not cool to invite people to just the shower and not the wedding. At minimum the wedding reception (if there is some compelling reason for a private ceremony or something).
lets_be_honest April 28, 2014, 2:33 pm
Like murdering someone for example. I’m sure all murderers had a reason in their heads of why they are murdering someone.
GatorGirl April 28, 2014, 1:32 pm
I mean it’s only a 5 month long friendship! I really can’t logically see how it is a big deal friendship. And, if it IS a big deal friendship, then Miss Bride shouldn’t be rude to people who are so important to her. Even if they do give a crappy excuse and “pick a massage” over the shower. It’s a shower for pete’s sake!
SpaceySteph April 28, 2014, 1:38 pm
I have always been the type to form friendships with certain people quickly, such that I consider among my best friends people I have only known for a short time or people that I have only seen in person a handful of times because they live in other states. (One of my bridesmaids was my husband’s cousin who I met only twice, at his siblings weddings a couple years before we were engaged. But when I picked a bridal party, she was high on the list.)
So I can buy that Sandra is like that, but… she should really invite this new BFF to her wedding. Didn’t some Great Aunt Mildred decline and leave an extra couple seats at a table?
GatorGirl April 28, 2014, 1:45 pm
You’re right, it’s possible she really did value the friendship THAT much. But then she should have figured out how to get her invited to the wedding. It just seems so dramatic to me.
csp April 28, 2014, 1:50 pm
It is dramatic. That is why I was looking at why someone would feel that way. What if the bride has talked to her mom about how great her new friend is and can’t wait to have them meet. Then she gets a decline because something better came along. I think the bride is way more invested in the friendship then the LW and that is why the LW is surprised by the reaction.
GatorGirl April 28, 2014, 1:56 pm
I can’t imagine getting all bent out of shape over something like this. It is so f-ing trivial in the scheme of life.
SpaceySteph April 28, 2014, 1:34 pm
That makes sense. I’m sure the LW thought she had a reasonable reason and that a reasonable person would understand this being a reasonable reason, which is why she provided some details. Your explanation of her suddenly realizing that they value the friendship differently does explain the over-the-top reaction by the friend.
I guess I am only suggesting that deciding to spend the day with MIL over going to the shower might not actually indicate that the LW values the friendship less than “Sandra” does, only that she recognizes that visting out of state family comes above even close friends.
csp April 28, 2014, 1:47 pm
Addie Pray April 28, 2014, 1:18 pm
This week is scaring me already. I’m not sure I’ll be able to survive this week.
GatorGirl April 28, 2014, 1:47 pm
Ugh, AP I’m with you this go around. It all seemed so much more important this time last year (4 weeks before my own wedding). Now, I just think “don’t be a dick!” and all will work out.
SpaceySteph April 28, 2014, 1:19 pm
I know I posted already, but sidetrack…
I want to commend the LW on being very mature about not wanting to punish her inlaws for her husband being really bad at planning stuff. Good on you, LW!
I actually get a rage blackout on your behalf at the idea of my husband inviting his parents from out of town without checking the date with me first, so I’m not sure I could be the bigger person like you are.
rachel April 28, 2014, 1:19 pm
Hey guys – Ross and I set a date. So none of you are invited (sorry) but what do you think about a huge DW wedding shower? You all MUST come, and provide me with presents. Now, I’m not totally unreasonable, I realize many of you live far away, and planes/shipping can be expensive, and so in that case you can just write me a check and we’ll skype you into the shower. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity amirite??
Addie Pray April 28, 2014, 1:32 pm
I would love to but I’m washing my hair that day. Also a once-in-a-lifetime thing soooooo
Jenn April 29, 2014, 1:37 pm
Sorry Emily, I won’t be able to make it. Thanks for invite anyway.
Jenn April 29, 2014, 1:35 pm
LW, as you are realizing.. “outgoing with a big personality” is not equal to ” a good person”. That’s a hard lesson, and one you’ll be grateful to have learned relatively early on in life. Cut your losses, stay friendly from the margins (of whatever circle you know her from) and don’t let yourself be bullied.