Post # 1
One of my best friends from college is getting married. We were very close in college (we are probably two of the closest in our group), and I’ve worked hard to stay in touch. Although I live far away, I try to meet up with her whenever I’m in her region (1-3 times a year). And I’ve sent gifts since the engagement when I can’t attend the parties.
I recently found out I’m the only person from our group of friends who is not in the bridal party. I have a very long, expensive trip to attend the wedding. I was looking forward to a weekend to catch up with all of my friends, which I discussed with the bride prior to booking.
Two months before the wedding, I was in touch with the bride about booking my flight. She knows financially things are tough for me as it’s been a very difficult few years for me. I’ve missed the weddings of most of my friends as I can’t afford such a long trip for one day. I always make sure to send gifts in my absence as well as a letter wishing them the best.
I completely understand not being in the bridal party especially as I’m living far away. However, I recently found out others in our friend group who live far away are in the party. The bridal party has something like a dozen bridesmaids I’m told.
I am upset at the moment as I was confirming my plans with her. She told me to no longer “bother” coming the day before the wedding (the plan when I booked was to have a reunion weekend) as all of my friends in the bridal party won’t have time to see me. I understand I won’t be at the rehearsal dinner, but it’s been made clear that anyone in the party (aka all of my friends) won’t have time to see me for days leading up.
I was given the impression the wedding would be a weekend with friends. Now that my long and expensive trip is booked, it feels like it’s a bait and switch. The bride knows that as I live abroad, I can’t travel for one-day events. I’ve only been informed of the developments a month after booking the flights (I confirmed with bride before booking) and have been told to cancel coming up early.
What should I do? I don’t want to upset my friend a month from her wedding. However, she doesn’t seem to have a problem asking for nice gifts. She even lied at one point about the situation. I’m quite sad realizing that one of my best friends has misled me.
Post # 2
I’m sorry, but your friend has made it clear you don’t share the level of friendship you thought you did. I’ve been there, and it sucks. But it seems like if it’s a month out til her wedding, you’d have known you weren’t a part of her bridal party, right? Was it just the fact that she invited others from your group that is throwing you off? If you’re financially strapped and have been told you’re no longer welcome to partake in pre-wedding festivities, I’d likely cancel my trip. Not because I wasn’t part of the bridal party, but because at the 11th hour I was getting purposely excluded when an expensive trip had already been planned and I’d been lied to about the circumstances.
Post # 3
Hmmmm…. I think it could be too things.
1. She realizes your financial situation is rough, and she does not want you to feel like you have to spend a fortune to be in and attend her wedding. She is just using the wrong delivery/choice of words to convey this to you.
2. She is sending you a signal that maybe your friendship is not what you thought or hoped it to be.
Have you reached out to anyone else in your friend group? Do you have someone you can trust to talk openly about this with and get their thoughts on the situation?
Post # 4
It seems like she doesn’t want to be your friend really. That totally sucks, and I’m so sorry 😞. I totally know how that feels, went through a similar situation (though not as costly!!) last year with a friend’s wedding that I ended up not even being invited to. It must feel really crappy right now, I hope you feel better soon!! If I were you, I would cancel my trip and not attend…and not waste much more energy on the relationship.
Post # 5
Thank for your replies.
I was sad that I’m not in the bridal party, but I didn’t say anything as it’s her big day. I’m surprised to learn that people she hadn’t seen in years from our group are in the bridal party and that it’s such a large party.
The major costs for me are the flights, transport and hotels. She has also told me she wants some expensive gift and encouraged me to attend (though we’ve discussed in the past how I can’t attend most wedding), so I don’t think my financial situation is at the heart if it sadly.
I find it odd that she misled me about the weekend festivities when I was talking with her about booking the flights. I’m only being told now that they’ll be too busy when I can’t cancel my flights.
I tried talking to a close friend who is in the bridal party. She said she’d ask her husband to keep me company, which is a nice offer. She didn’t offer any more advise. I’m also friends with the bride’s fiancé, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to talk to him.
I don’t know if I should say anything to the bride. Maybe it is best to politely attend then distance myself from her or to skip it all together? I don’t even know if I have a +1 (a friend offered to go to make it a fun girls’ weekend) as I’ve only received the email invite to date.
I know she’d confront me if the roles were reversed, leaving only one person out of the group. She knows I’ll bite my tongue. However, if she’d be honest with me all along, she knows I would have respectfully declined the invitation.
Post # 6
If you can cancel, I would. Probably won’t get your money back for the flights but you’ll get the miles. This bride is behaving terribly, and I wouldn’t spend my time or money on her.
Post # 7
If you really think it was a bait and switch, don’t go. She tricked you just to have you there to fill seats at the wedding. What kind of friend would do that? You probably can’t get refunds on the flights, but sometimes the airline will give the some of the money back as a voucher for a future flight.
Post # 8
Unfortunately, I’m traveling from abroad. The flights are not refundable or transferable 24 hours after booking. The carrier doesn’t utilize a conventional miles program. The fees for changing dates are exorbitant, so essentially, the flights can’t be rescheduled.
On top of it, many of my friends in the group know I booked to attend so I’m worried about potential strain on other relationships if I cancel a month out.
Post # 9
This sucks so much. I’m sorry. Have you contacted your other friends directly to organise catch ups? Surely they can’t be booked up 24/7. If the flights can’t be cancelled I’d go and do my best to have a fun weekend, but would be reevaluating the friendship. Also don’t be pressured into an expensive gift. Get what you can afford (you’re already flying long distance!) and if she gets upset that it’s not good enough then honestly you’ll know that she is not the kind of person you want to be friends with any more.
Post # 10
I’d still attend the wedding seeing as you have already made a significant outlay for flights and hotel, however I would skip on the expensive gift.
Your bride-friend may have some sort of bridal party activities planned eg nails pre-wedding (that she could’ve asked you to join if she was considerate enough) but it would be worthwhile seeing if you could catch up with your other friends the day after the wedding.
Post-wedding, I would be keeping my distance.
Post # 11
marie1818 : Is there anything in the county you’re visiting that would be nice to see? Such as anything for sightseeing? Since you’ll be out the money since no refunds maybe make it a relaxing trip for yourself? I know it sucks the way you’ve been treated. Perhaps go to the wedding itself leave after cake and then get up early the next day and make a nice trip out if it?
I used to travel alone and it’s nice if you plan ahead.
Post # 12
Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate it.
I’d hope I’d be included in some things like mani-pedis, but it doesn’t seem like I will be. I never would put my friend in a spot like this, and I would have appreciated a heads up to decide with all the facts.
I’m actually traveling to the country (and region) where I grew up. The wedding is unfortunately the week that my parents are away and is taking place in the middle of nowhere (not scenic).
I know the realities of living on another continent. However, I would have chosen a different time of year to visit my friends and family. The wedding is far enough away from where I grew up and takes up my weekend traveling there that seeing friends and family would involve skipping the wedding unless I get a +1 (which I presume I’m not getting at this point, though I’m in the awkward spot of not having the official invite only an electronic one).
To be honest, I’m mourning a friendship now I’ve worked hard to maintain and not sure how to handle the Bride.
I’ve had tons of wedding invites the last few years. This is the only one I felt pressured to attend.
Post # 13
I would probably give the bride one last chance by straight up telling her that no I can’t cancel coming early or at all, and you’re a little disappointed that you have to spend the weekend essentially alone after she had told you that there would be a chance to meet up with friends.
Although I suspect mourning the friendship might be the only thing to do in this case
Post # 14
My suggestion would probably be to give the friendship one last chance – in case there’s been some kind of miscommunication either end – by laying out the facts to the bride as you see them in a non-accusatory manner: “I booked thinking that I would get to hang out with the gang but now everyone will be busy, which makes this a bit awkward for me” / “I’m a bit hurt that I wasn’t made part of the bridal party when everyone else was, is there a reason?” or whichever issue feels most important.
If her reply suggests that she hadn’t realised you’d be hurt or that she had some non-mean reason for neglecting you, I would try and work it out (and see if you could come along to the pre-wedding festivities). If her reply indicates that she genuinely doesn’t care about the friendship, I’d probably skip out on the wedding and make the trip into a brief solo vacation, or attend courteously but not bother with a gift. The friendship with her would obviously be over after that day.
Post # 15
I’d skip it and use the time to catch-up with family and friends not involved with the wedding.
She’s expecting an expensive gift even after she knows you’ve spent heaps on flights and accommodation as well as the fact she purposely deceived you? Lol b*tch please. Tell the selfish brat to take a hike.