- 3 years ago
- Wedding: September 2013
Looking for a little perspective here, since it’s a mutual friend and therefore a bit touchy to ask other friends…sorry so long…
My wedding was this past year and it wasn’t huge, but it was a “wedding” wedding, you know, with the usual trimmings and such. I have a friend that was pretty supportive of the process for me, but made it no secret that she would do it differently. And that part is ok. It would be dull if everyone did the same thing.
What did bother me is, starting during my engagement, was the way she would put this. It’s one thing to not be into weddings (that’s ok), but her comments about weddings were, and continue to be (she plans to get engaged soon), quite disparaging and dismissive- as if it’s ALL about attention and not, say, because you want to get this group of people together that realistically, you just aren’t otherwise ever going to see in the same room together. That was my reason, but when I tried to explain, she just wouldn’t listen, so I don’t even try to defend my choice anymore.
Anyway, the comments on repeat include how she would not be able to afford a wedding like mine, and how her and her boyfriend’s parents would never give them money anyway. That bit about the parents not giving money has been repeated over half a dozen times, and in a negative tone- I was a surprised to have that subject even coming up- it’s awkward. Whenever I tried to be positive by telling her that with some saving she could- only if she wants!- still have something nice even without parental help, she just throws back something like “Easy for you to say, your parents helped you out” (which she only knows because she asked way back if we paid for the whole thing on our own and I was honest)- as if that was the ONLY reason we had the wedding we did. Yes, they did, because they knew we wanted one badly enough to where we made any sacrifices we could to put as much money as possible towards it. I just bite my tongue about all the financial help her parents have given her throughout college and beyond- just in different ways than mine. I may have had the “dream wedding”, but she has had and will continue to have advantages I probably never will, due to their help. I’ve never begrudged her what they’ve given her over the years, so it feels crappy that she would- at least 3 times now- throw at me what mine recently did for me whenever the subject of her parents come up.
She could afford a wedding if it was a major priority, her boyfriend and her have plenty of disposable income- but it is evident that they spend this on other luxuries. Plus, she wants to be engaged for less than a year (ours was long because again, different priorities) and in the end, doesn’t seem keen on saving very much of her own money for it. Fine, but whenever she talks about the wedding she “won’t be able to afford”- she continues on with how stupid the wedding industry is anyway, it’s just a day and it’s ridiculous to spend so much money, etc. etc. After maybe the fifth time of hearing this, I pointed out that financial priorities are her business, but to disparage the choice of having a larger wedding is hurtful to me, because it is a choice I made. Plus, I’ve been in the business of coordinating other people’s weddings. She shuts me down by saying it isn’t about me, it’s just a choice she wouldn’t make, I should do what I want. I would not do this to her if she said my words (about her choices that have little bearing on me) hurt, and then expect that tacking on “But you do what you want to do, this isn’t about you, it’s just so not what I would do”, somehow neutralizes the insult. I mean, what, now I’m giving her permission to make her own choices? I’ve had other friends elope/have very low-budget receptions, and while they talked about why they wanted that, they were never so vehemently vocal on their disdain for weddings (at least, not to my knowledge).
One thing I tried to steer away from the sh*t talking was suggesting that if she receives monetary family gifts after all they could always elope and put it towards a home instead- something I know she’d like. She responded “That’s a surprise to hear, coming from YOU”. I am not so shallow that I universally feel that everyone under the sun should have a traditional wedding because I did. She’s also referred to the wedding party by stating “I’m not putting my friends through that sh*t”, at least twice. “That sh*t” is another choice I made- and she was in the wedding party.
I don’t know how else to ask to cool it with the belittling comments. I’ve heard it at least a dozen times, message received, I get it, not for her (or that’s the front, to feel better about parents not giving money/that they themselves are not wealthy enough to retain their luxuries AND have the big party).
I used to say that whatever she wanted, I’d be happy to help whenever that time came. For a while she was talking about having a wedding at her BF’s family beach house (she goes back and forth from dissing weddings entirely to talking about a “low key” 100 person cocktail party- so I can’t say how legit the wedding trashing is and how much of it is just about anti-wedding-industry street cred, and clearly there’s no getting to the heart of that through discussion- she’d never admit it if it was the latter). At one point, I was (casually, since there’s no ring yet) like “I’ll decorate my backyard, you could have it there!”, when she found the beach house wouldn’t work out. She just rolled her eyes and said “UGH. I don’t want to get married in a BACKYARD”. Now- though I’d outwardly support any decision- I’d probably not be as thrilled on the inside to help. Other brides have welcomed my help- why put myself out for someone who seems to find the work I’ve been doing- work that I finally enjoy after a decade of doing work I hated- a trivial joke?
This is not a bad person. She has done a lot for me and knows I appreciate that. The wedding talk just takes this turn and I’d get to the bottom of it all to help her work through the issues if I could, but I’ve tried and all that happens is I get cut off and my choices put down. The remarks about the parents make me uncomfortable and I’m anxious about this criticism for my personal interest in weddings happening in front of our friends, which would be humiliating. Would you try for another talk with this friend? Create space? If I just change the subject every time, does that then make me dismissive? With how it’s been brought up this many times before she even has a ring, I am dreading when she gets engaged (some time this year), this all becomes real for her, and the bashing becomes even more brazen if for whatever reason, she forgoes the traditional route and wants validation for it. Or going through with a wedding and then after the fact, pulling the jaded-bride-“I never wanted this party- I wish I eloped”-act.