Wedding etiquette, please help me find perspective in this matter.

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
5769 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

You’re reading way too much into things. Ending a friendship over this seems silly, especially when the friendship sounds otherwise lovely. Get over your resentment and forgive and forget. You’ll be happier for it. Major life events are not tit-for-tat and you shouldn’t keep score of who went where for what. Life happens. And sometimes it gets in the way.

Post # 3
189 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

The idea of traveling with a very young baby (it sounds like the baby is a couple of months old) was likely difficult at best.  It sounds like she would’ve had to fly to your wedding, which, with a newborn, would be torture for mom, baby, and likely everyone on the plane.  Driving would probably not have been much better, with stops to feed baby every few hours.  

Additionally, if she’s breastfeeding and babe doesn’t yet take a bottle, coming by herself without the little one wouldn’t have been an option.  Or perhaps her husband’s work schedule didn’t allow for him to watch the baby for her to be gone those days and she isn’t comfortable leaving the baby for a long period of time.  Or maybe she has post-partum depression and is having a hard time getting dressed every day because she feels so poorly.

I’m sure that by now, you see that there are so many “it’s possible thats” that it’s hard to say for sure what’s happened.  I don’t think that she was apathetic about you attending her wedding; this is unfortunately where she is in her life right now.  

Post # 4
3646 posts
Sugar bee

I had 2 C-sections and I wouldn’t have traveled far 4 months after major surgery. And going out dancing and celebrating anything, not even the most important day in my friend’s life, wouldn’t have been on my radar.


Post # 5
560 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

It’s normal to feel sad when a close guest can’t make it. I think if she was a true friend she would give you more of an explanation, but since the weddings are 4 years apart I don’t think you can do the “I went to yours so you have to come to mine” thing. Maybe her kid is driving her crazy right now and she can’t travel with them, or maybe her husband and her are having a really hard time financially. It could be ANYTHING.

Post # 6
1040 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Don’t assume that she didn’t come because she doesn’t care. There are so many reasons why she might not have come that have nothing to do with how she feels for you. Maybe she was feeling overwhelmed with the baby and couldn’t face travelling, maybe she couldn’t afford it. Maybe there were problems with getting time off work for her or her husband. I think you need to let it go and start focusing on what was good about your wedding day rather than letting this spoil it for you. 

Post # 7
2493 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I don’t think you are being a brat in feeling disappointed. I would feel disappointed too if someone i cared about were missing my wedding. 

First of all, I think weddings have a way of overdramatzing relationships, which isn’t helpful. Case in point: do you REALLY think it’s true, in the grand scheme of your friendship, that your friend values you less than you do her or that she doesn’t care? If so, then I think that sucks, but I would implore you to let the friendship go, quietly, and spend more time with others. But if you think that it’s the wedding that’s magnifying things, then be careful. You don’t want something silly like one wedding (yes, it’s an important life event, but it is still just one day) ruining a whole friendship. 

Second, you didn’t give a lot of details, but if she has a young baby, I think that it’s reasonable that she declined your invitation. For a lot of new mothers, traveling with a 4-month-old is intimidating enough, but there are other real-life complications. 4-month-olds have not received all of their vaccines and so some parents don’t want to travel because of that. Some babies have really difficult sleeping schedules and that can turn Mom into a zombie as well–the idea of having to take care of a sleepless newborn, while traveling, AND show up at a wedding and be social is truly an exhausting idea to a lot of new mothers. Breastfeeding can cause a lot of complications as well–I didn’t want to travel because I didn’t like the idea of lugging around the pump and I didn’t want to breastfeed in public (okay, I was a new mom and kind of screwy that way. but that was how I felt). Some mothers aren’t comfortable with the prospect of leaving babies so young with babysitters or other caretakers; some mothers may have medical complications from cesareans and occasionally, healing time CAN take up to 12-16 weeks. Don’t read too much into the curt response–honestly, during my kid’s first couple of months, I’d probably have better luck finding a unicorn than a pen to fill out a response card. 

One thing I noticed in your post though, is you haven’t really talked about her baby–did you acknowledge the birth and send a baby gift? Have you talked to her since the birth? I’m not being accusatory, but I am saying that if you care about this friendship and want to preserve it, your best bet is to try your best and support her in early motherhood and show an interest in her new baby. That’s what friends do.

If you still feel like she’s ungrateful or takes you for granted, then I’d let the friendship die and focus instead on the life that you’re building with another person now. 

Post # 9
7025 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

lildumpling:  Was the baby invited? (either by having his/her name on the invitation, or invitation wording such as “and family”)?

If not, the correct etiquette for her would have been to assume her baby was not invited. And getting a 4 month old babysat is almost impossible for many women, especially if travel is involved. (For a start there is the breastfeeding issue). If she didn’t feel bold enough to go against formal etiquette and ask if she could bring baby, then an immediate decline was her best option.

If baby was specifically invited, then it’s a pity she didn’t make the effort. I travelled with a newborn younger than that (and after a C-section). But it’s her decision and new motherhood can be overwhelming. There could also have been a vacation time issue, like her husband used up all his vacation time helping when the baby was a newborn.

Post # 12
1136 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

lildumpling:  It’s always sad when a close friend can’t make it to a wedding but I definitely wouldn’t take it personally, having a relatively new baby is a legitimate reason, particularly when its a destination wedding. Unless it was a best friend or immediate family member, i’d probably stay home with bubs too.

Aside from this, if you feel she’s not putting as much effort in to the friendship as you are, maybe just pull back a bit yourself and focus your energy elsewhere. She can still be a friend you catch up with from time to time, but you probably don’t need to end it altogether.

Post # 13
1981 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

lildumpling:  I don’t think you are being a brat and I can understand why you are disappointed. You could give her a call and send your well-wishes about her baby, catch up and chat. Maybe she will extend an apology or explanation about why she can’t make it. I would hope that she sends a card or something- seems like the least she could do and it would show she still cares. If she doesn’t bother doing anything- not a call, card, nothing- then you know that you are no longer a priority in your life and she’s not worth your time. Try to focus on the people in your life who are making an effort to be there for your big day. *hugs* 

Post # 14
1662 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

lildumpling:  I think it’s more a matter of each of you having different thoughts on how important it is to attend events like weddings. Not so that she doesn’t value your friendship. Possibly.

I have several VERY important people that I love very much, siblings and friends etc. I wouldn’t have cared too much if they couldn’t make it to my wedding… It’s not that I don’t value that they made the trip. It’s just that the only person I really needed there was DH. I would be upset if one of them held the fact that they came over my head at a later date.

If one of these people was getting married, I would very much like to be there… But I wouldn’t put myself out to attend. I would be very likely to decline if I had a baby. I know this about myself, so I tried to be very very clear that they should only attend if they wanted to and could afford it. I didn’t want anyone to put themselves out.

Just a thought from a sometimes aloof friend.

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