- 3 years ago
- Wedding: July 2012 - My parents' back yard
Sorry everyone, this might be really long. But I can’t shake this and I’m still so sad, angry, confused and upset.
I asked my best friend Kate (not her real name) to be one of my three bridesmaids. We’d known each other for 12 years prior. I was cautious about pressuring her, and added that there would be a little money and time involved and that I would understand if she would enjoy coming as a guest as well. She was delighted and accepted right away. She said she would be on holiday from May-September (she is a College teacher) and would have heaps of time. Yay!
I live in Australia (my husband is an Aussie), but grew up in Canada and that’s where the wedding was being held, at my parents’ house. My fiance and I flew to Canada a few months before the wedding (we were planning to stay and work but ended up moving back to Oz a year later). Kate had come to visit me in Australia the year before, which was pretty incredible. However, her visit seemed to make her believe that she was automatically my maid of honor.
The trouble started when we were considering bridesmaid dresses. When I said I liked yellow for the bridesmaids’ dresses, Kate said she didn’t want to wear that colour and got quite snappy. She suggested that I go to a hardware store and get a paint sample of the colour I wanted the bridesmaids’ dresses to be so the bridesmaids could do their own shopping and get any dress in that colour. I said I wasn’t comfortable with that and she said I was being hard to deal with. She didn’t show up to go shopping for the bridesmaids’ dresses (they ended up being coral) – I had to find them with my Mom and Melanie, my remarkably loyal other bridesmaid. I remember we had a really long day shopping in the cold and rain. Kate had said she couldn’t make it at the last minute. When I talked to her at the end of the day, she said she had been inside eating comfort food and watching TV, leaving me confused.
More drama as time went on – Kate started badmouthing me to the other two bridesmaids, the bridesmaids to each other and to me. It caused tension all the way up to the wedding day. She said I was being difficult because I wasn’t using her ideas for my wedding. It was frustrating because I was doing everything I could to make my bridesmaids happy. I was understanding every time Kate couldn’t make it to something, I was viligent about keeping the cost down, I wasn’t asking for any help until a few days before the wedding (I made all my invites, place cards, linen, etc. I didn’t want to put anyone out) and said the girls could pick their own shoes/makeup/hair. I paid for lunches and drinks when we went anywhere and when they came over for anything.
We started having issues over hens’ night details, which was really aggravating. Kate wouldn’t let anyone interfere with the hens’ night planning even though the other bridesmaids wanted to help. She wouldn’t answer their calls or respond to their messages and emails. I wanted to have some pre-drinks at a friend’s loft, a casual dinner and then go out for a party to some bars. Kate insisted that she plan the dinner and bar locations and I thought that was nice of her. I thanked her, told her I trusted her but I told her that the only thing I didn’t want was anything too fancy or expensive, in consideration for all the girls coming from Australia and for my other bridesmaid, whose husband is out of work. She kept on suggesting really pricy, stuffy places to the point where I had to make a list of possibilities and insist on a price cap. Finally, she told be she booked a great place with an affordable set meal. The problem was, she planned it on the only night my other bridesmaid couln’t go. There was more arguing about changing the date. Kate said it didn’t matter that Melanie couldn’t come on that days because she wasn’t as good a friends because she didn’t visit me in Australia. I insisted on including Melanie. She also ‘forgot’ to invite a really good friend of mine who I had reconnected with.
My hens’ night was exactly what I asked not to have: a really expensive, stuffy sit down meal. Kate wasn’t truthful about the dinner price to me on the phone and I had told all my Aussie friends the wrong price. Kate is a foodie, and that’s what she wanted to do, not me. Everyone was broke after that, and no one really partied afterwards (except, ironically, Kate, who was too hung over to show up to the rehearsal dinner on time the next evening). Since I had a lot of budget-conscious travellers at the party, I had to apologize to everyone. I still thanked Kate for a lovely evening, as she did try.
Kate started having issues with my Mom. I don’t think it was acceptable that my Mom was engaging in the fighting as well, but Kate said some awful things to her and she was in tears on a few occasions after talking with Kate. This is the one time her daughter was getting married, and she was working her butt off for me. Still, I hated that they put me in the middle by fighting like children and then complaining to me about each other. Things like this made me feel guilty about the whole wedding, and that just was not fair.
I know that a wedding means more to the bride, the groom and their family than anybody else, and no one expects everyone’s world to stop for their wedding. Some of this could have been a simple case of Kate saying she would do things and then realizing she was not able to. But her lack of communication made it hard to decipher.
Kate promised to help Melanie and I with setting up the day of the rehearsal dinner, but she was hung over from the hens night and didn’t show up or even call until evening. As a result Melissa and I were still working the night before the wedding until late. She agreed to help with the dessert table and then withdrew at the last minute, saying she wouldn’t be in the area that day (then called me to say she was right in front of my parents’ house that day but wouldn’t be helping as she was having too much fun). I asked Kate to come see my wedding dress and she said she didn’t have time. She told me more than once that she couldn’t wait for my wedding to be over. She invited her ex to my wedding without telling me. She invited her friends to our engagement shoot (thankfully they couldn’t come). On the day of the wedding she announced she “wouldn’t be lifting a finger” and expected my Mom to pick up everyone’s food and minutes before the ceremony. She decided to make a fuss about the corsages. Kate didn’t even so much as tell me I looked nice on my wedding day. I found it strange that as a wedding present Kate gave us a voucher from Living Social. I spent so much time before my wedding biting my tongue and smoothing things out between the bridesmaids, my Mom and trying to keep Kate from losing her temper with me.
I was quite upset and hurt after the wedding, and I needed space. Kate went on a holiday to Israel after the wedding, and after that things were strange. She deleted my mother and sister on Facebook and shut them out. Very awkward, since for the last six years she was like one of the family. Even when I moved to Australia Kate would still spend time with my family.
I wish I had confronted her sooner, but I was overwhelmed. In between planning a wedding, finding work, finding somewhere to live, my sister is an addict and that was incredibly hard and painful. It affected the whole family and the wedding. I know it’s no excuse, but I had a lot on my plate.
My husband and I ended up moving back to Australia. I wrote Kate a message, letting her know about our decision. She wrote back, basically telling me to have a nice life and that she didn’t think we should be a part of each others’ lives anymore. It hurt.
I didn’t feel right about it when I got back to Oz. I wrote her a letter, saying I was sorry for what had happened between us, that I was hurt about her behaviour around the wedding, but also that in all the wedding commotion maybe I could have been there for her more as well.
She wrote back a very angry message, saying she was upset that I did not try to fix things when she wanted me to, and that she needed space. She also told me she was very angry that I didn’t take her side in the situations concering my Mom. It really angered me that she took no responsibility for her behaviour/actions. I gave her space. After the summer I tried to call her but didn’t get through. So I wrote to her again. I told her I missed her and that I hoped we could put everything behind us. I apologised (again) for not being ready to talk before and I explained that her behaviour was really confusing and hurtful around the wedding. I carefully told her that there was a point where I could no longer take her side/defentd her around the wedding because of this behaviour, even though I tried. I suggested we talk. I said I was ready to put it behind us.
Again, Kate wrote back a very aggressive message. She said I still had a shirt of hers and she wanted it back. She was angry that I didn’t go with her ideas for my wedding and complined that the wedding cost her a lot of money. She called me ungrateful and again said she was angry that I didn’t defend her when she was fighting with my mother. She said she didn’t try to curb her anger around the wedding and that I wasn’t getting an apoloy. She was upset that I couldn’t deal with the situation right away “as adults” and said this was “too little too late”. She said she valued the years we were friends, not letting the wedding tarnish the quality of the past relationship, we had great experiences, it was fun, and she looks back fondly at our friendship.
I don’t know how to deal with it. I am not the kind of person who can just cut people off. I agree that I should have sorted things out earlier. but why is it ok when she needs pace and not ok when I need it? I wish I could understand her. In my dealings with her I was trying to be the bigger person. I did not get petty, did not list things that had hurt me. I simply told her that I was hurt and confused by the way she acted. Sometimes I think that I should write all this to her – she has no interest in being my friend anymore anyway. I just can’t comprehend such a change in behaviour, and a friendhip ending after over a decade.
I keep wanting to let it go, but I can’t seem to do it. Any thoughts, suggestions, stories would really help me. I am still in tears quite a bit about this and unsure of what I can do, if anything.
Sorry again for the length of this post. I really had to get it off my chest.