- 6 years ago
- Wedding: September 2012
One of my bridesmaids backed out with a month to go before the wedding. I’m really disappointed and upset. I know that the wedding will still be amazing, and I have enough time that I can stop thinking about it by the wedding. But, I’m really not sure how to handle the friendship.
The friend who just dropped out (I’ll call her Kate) has been a close friend for 20 years, and I was the Maid/Matron of Honor at her wedding a few years ago. (She divorced shortly after and is talking to her new boyfriend about marriage in the next few years.) Kate and I live in different cities, so we don’t see each other a lot. However, we talk regularly and hung out last year when I spent some time in her city for work. When I first invited her to be a bridesmaid, she was very excited. Although she was going to need to fly to attend the wedding, she loved the location. She told me she was planning to come with her boyfriend.
I knew that Kate was having some financial issues. Although she works full time, her job doesn’t pay very well. I’ve tried to be really accommodating and not put pressure on her to pay for anything extravagant. I suggested we have the bachelorette party in the city where she lives, so she wouldn’t have to pay to travel. I decided that I would give the bridesmaids their dresses as a gift and let them wear shoes that they already own, so there weren’t going to be any extra costs for being in the bridal party.
A few days before the bachelorette, Kate told me (over e-mail!) that she didn’t think she could afford to come to the wedding. I was really hurt at the time and called her to find out what was going on. She said that because of her recent surgery, she had huge medical bills and couldn’t afford the plane ticket ($300) and the additional costs of the hotel and car rental to attend. Her boyfriend couldn’t afford to come either, and she was reluctant to ask her parents for help because they had alreday given her a lot of money. I was really distraught and trying to think of ways to help her. My Mother-In-Law offered her a place to stay at ther house for free, and our friends agreed to pick her up and drop her off at the airport. My parents even offered to pay for her flight if it would make the difference. I told her that we had found a way to make it basically free for her to attend.
After that, she got involved in the planning again, talking about where to get our hair done, what to wear, etc. She wrote to find out if the hotel discount was still available because she didn’t want to stay with my Mother-In-Law, which was fine although a little odd to turn down a free room if she was really broke. Then a few days ago the bridesmaid dresses arrived, so I asked her when she was going to buy the flight so that I could send her the dress knowing that she would be there.
She replied that it just wasn’t in her interest to go to the wedding, so she wouldn’t be there. Even though we had found ways to make it affordable for her, she didn’t like the idea of going by herself (since her boyfriend was out), she was having trouble walking because of her surgery, and she didn’t really want to take a day off of work (one day). At this point, I was more angry than sad. I feel like the money issue was never the real problem. She just didn’t want to go, and she had so many excuses that I shouldn’t have even tried to make it easier for her to go. I know it can be difficult to go to a wedding where you don’t know a lot of people, and it is a sacrifice to spend money and take time off of work. But, I would totally do that for a close friend, and I had done exactly that for her wedding! I’m just really disappointed. I don’t know what it means to be friends if you aren’t going to make every effort to be there for the other person on an important day. She wasn’t very apologetic either. She said “I’m sorry I can’t be there, but it’s just not in my best interest.” She wasn’t really thinking about how it would affect me at all.
I think the whole thing might have been different if she had told me no when I first asked. Then I wouldn’t have been counting on her. At this point, I can ask someone else to be in the wedding (or not), and I’m not so worried about that. But I really don’t know if I should still be friends with Kate. She might even ask me to be in her wedding, and I don’t think I could do it. I don’t even want to talk to her right now.
Did anyone else have a similar situation? What did you do? Or, what would you do if this happened to you?