(Closed) Attending a Wedding you don’t believe in?

posted 12 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
Member
146 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

i would agree with cheyenne. It’s not about shirking off explanations but seriously i wouldn’t want someone that thinks our marriage is going to fail at our wedding. The couple is not only paying for your meal, but they want people who support them around them. So I would decline, and honestly it’s not like their response card has a space for an explanation of why you can’t attend.

Post # 18
Member
80 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2009

This is a tough one. I actually had to give the speech at my friend’s wedding–and it was the same situation. We all knew that the wedding would fail (of course, we tried to be optimistic). In the end, we had to support our friend, not our friend’s decision. That was the most difficult part, but in the end, that’s what friends do; stick by you when the agree and disagree with your choices.

Good luck!

Post # 19
Member
168 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Your situation may be different, but I was invited to attend a wedding where I thought the marriage was the worst idea ever. It was my best friend too – she was marrying a really bad guy after only dating him for a few months. I initially expressed concern over the speed in which the relationship was moving, but told her she was an adult who could make her own decisions and knew what was best for her. Although I didn’t support the marriage, I supported my friend, and I felt that ultimately everything would work out. At the time, when I was wondering whether to attend or not, a coworker of mine gave me this advice: if you tell her you hate him and refuse to attend the wedding, the friendship is ruined and she no longer has you to rely on. If you let her make her own decision, at least you’ll be able to be there for her when it falls apart.

As it turns out, they didn’t get married because she made the decision that he was a rotten person. However, your friend in the situation (bride or groom) may not realize this until after the wedding, and if you’re close to this person, he or she will need a friend to be there when everything falls apart. If you ruin the friendship now by publicly declaring your disapproval, that’s one less friend he or she will have to help later on.

Post # 20
Member
469 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I am in agreeance with the other posters… go, have fun, and hope for the best.  Of course if you are strongly opposed to the relationship and are not worried about the ramifications of boycotting the wedding, do attend.  But know that you may not be able to repair your relationship with your friend if you do that.

Post # 21
Member
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Honestly I dont know how you can call yourself a friend if you just grin and bear it. Real friends are honest with one another, care and look out for each other. If she is a close friend I would make sure you have an open discussion with her. Not in an attacking way, but make sure you voice your concerns. A lot of couples know they have problems to begin with, but get married thinking a ring will magically change everything… Less than a year later they’re divorced. I wouldn’t try to talk them out of it, but if something is eating at you, you should definitely talk to your friend. Let her know that you’ll be there for her and support her in whatever way she needs, but your not sure if getting married is the best thing for her, then ask her how she genuinely feels about the situation. What if they do get married and get divorced down the road.. dont you think she’d ask you then why you didnt try to talk some sense into her. As long as your reasons are substantial and not superficial, I would def have a heart to heart with your friend.

Post # 22
Member
91 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2020

Tough one. I went to my 19 year old cousin’s wedding 2 years ago and that marriage failed after 3 months so I know where you’re coming from.  There were enough other people "questioning" the marriage that I didn’t feel like I needed to add fuel to the fire. They were going to do it anyway, and they were the ones who had to learn what marriage really meant the hard way.

Post # 23
Member
46 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Let’s be realistic – 50% of all marriages end in divorce. It’s not pretty, but it’s a true statistic. Sometimes people fall out of love, different things happen – people split up. Some people take marriage very seriously and treat it as a covenant – others do not (hello?  Liz Taylor!).  People have to make their own choices and their own mistakes too.  I think you should go, unless you want to bring this issue up with your friend and you might lose a friend. 

 

Post # 24
Member
2007 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I’m in the go and stand by them camp. 

Last November my FH was an usher in his buddy’s destination/Vegas wedding which ended 2 months later.  He knew it probably was going to fail from the start but he still went, supported his friend and did what he could to help them make things work.  (A while later he admitted to the bride that he had known all along that it wasn’t likely to work and recieved a "why the hell didn’t you tell me", but I think that’s probably unusual.) 

And just two weeks ago he was supposed be a groomsmen for a younger friend of his whose odds weren’t very good.  Fortunately, the wedding was called off (less than 2 weeks before the day), but we were still going to go and help as we could. 

Our fingers are still crossed for his little sister who just got married a month ago…

It depends on the person though.  For some people it would feel dishonest to stand up for the marriage when they believe it won’t work out.  You’ll just have to do what feels right to you. 

Post # 25
Member
211 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011 - in the woods

I have been thinking about the same thing lately. My sister is planning her wedding and I don’t approve of the marriage…at least not right now. It’s not that I’m against the guy, it’s just that there are some rather large issues that I think they should work through first, before getting married. I will not be standing up as a bridesmaid, but I will attend the wedding, to let her know that I will always be there for her no matter what.

Post # 26
Member
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I would try to talk to your friend prior to the wedding, but not in the way others have suggested. The point of your conversation would not be for you to voice your misgivings but rather for her to explore her relationship in more detail, for her benefit. You would want to ask her to address her expectations, the realities of her situation, and whether the realities live up to the expectations. You want her to sift through the evidence that everyone else can see and see if she comes to the same conclusions as many other have. She might not, but you will know that you have done all you can.

The key to getting her to do this is to focus on your support as a friend and whatever you do to not give her unsolicited advice. I’m sure she’s heard it all before and would react poorly; it might irreparably harm your friendship. If she doesn’t want to talk or gets skittish, back off and respect her boundaries, just as eventually you will probably have to respect her decision, even if it’s one you don’t agree with. Ultimately all you can do if offer yourself as a sounding board for any misgivings she may be having and suggest areas to discuss (i.e., ask her, have you talked about what are dealbreaker situations for you two? as in, under what circumstances would she contemplate divorce.). That keeps you minding your own business but involves you actively versus passively being her friend.  

Post # 27
Member
264 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I posted earlier saying I thought the OP should attend the wedding, but I just wanted to second chelseamorning’s excellent advice– give your friend the opportunity to talk about her upcoming marriage on her own terms. Let her know you’re there for her. And ask her how she’s feeling and what she’s thinking, but don’t be leading about it– let her do the talking!

Post # 28
Member
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

p.s. I wanted to add that I think after talking with your friend as I described above I think you should go to the wedding to support her too.

Post # 29
Member
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I think you can be there to support your friend even if you dont agree with the marriage. Afterall thats what friends do, and whatever the outcome you should be able to be there for her without the ‘told you so’ attitude. I think you will regret not going. You dont have to be false on the day, just think of it as being there for her.

hope that helps x

Post # 30
Member
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2005

Honestly, I couldn’t attend a wedding I didn’t believe in. Guest attendance means you’re supporting the marriage.

Post # 31
Member
1245 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I attended the wedding of one of my best friends, having voiced concerns (years before) about her choice of groom. A few weeks later, we both attended the wedding of another mutual friend, and friend #1 had a giant breakdown about how we were all so much happier for friend #2 than we’d been at her wedding. So — going isn’t always the best idea, I guess, if you can’t keep the smile on your face sincere enough.

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