- 7 years ago
- Wedding: October 2011
I usually always know what to do, but the ins-and-outs of this one have me stumped.
A little background: My wedding is to be Oct or Nov of 2011. It will be very small – not just out of budget concerns, but emotional ones as well. I am a complete anti-bride. It’s not because I think I’m better than anyone else, but because I’m incredibly shy. The idea of being looked at by lots of people, some strangers no less, makes me turn to jelly. I dreamed of elopement in a far off land, but my fiance wants the wedding and reception. I’m also newly orphaned, and no matter what kind of spin anyone puts on it, privately the day will be bittersweet. After lots of back and forth – which my friends (including the one I’m about to mention) were privy to – I finally caved and agreed to a wedding and reception IF they are very small, informal, and intimate. Over and over and over again my friends and fiance worked on me to get me to agree; my shyness and raw emotional feeling about the wedding is well-known to all.
Now, for the friend: She needs a little background, too. She’s a childhood friend since we were babies. If we met as adults, we’ve never have become friends, but that’s life. Her family in inextricably linked to mine, and her help after my father’s death was heroic. Somewhat uncomfortably, her parents still administer the money my father left me in trust (which is everything I have), so there’s a weird power dynamic. At times, I think she pushes me around because she knows I can never really create a rift between us. I do feel very fondly for her, though, and I asked her to be my bridesmaid, one of three.
Her romantic life never seems to work out (and this will all be relevant, I promise). She dates guys, rushes things, and they break up with her. For years and years this has happened over and over. I don’t look down on that at all, mind you – I’m there for her. Three weeks ago, she met a man. Now every time I talk to her, she talks very gravely about the serious discussions she has with him about when they will move in together, when they will get married, the children they’re going to have. She told me that she had a “very serious” discussion with her mother trying to “make [her mother] accept the fact” that she’s going to have children with this man. I don’t even know what to say, because she only met him three weeks ago. It’s so off-the-map that I can only just try to support her, and I say without snarkiness that I really do believe she might have a serious emotional problem, having done this repeatedly for a decade, and so I want to tread gently instead of being upset or indignant.
She also has invited this three-week-old-boyfriend to my wedding. As my bridesmaid, she and I previously discussed by very small guest list, my total emotional reluctance to have people looking at me, etc. She knew full well that the concept of +1s that my fiance and I have is married, engaged, or living together. But three times in recent conversations she’s used the same line on me about her boyfriend coming. She just says simply, “John is excited to come to the wedding. He said he’ll wear his traditional kilt.” I’ve managed to not say anything back but, “Oh, he owns a kilt?” and move the conversation elsewhere, but this isn’t going to work forever.
Here’s my dilemma. I WISH I could just wait to see how the relationship pans out, but I see this girl all the time, every week. She’s going to bring up the issue of this man at my wedding constantly – I’ve known her since before we could walk, trust me. Worse yet, I’m going to have dinner with both of them next week, and if she brings it up in front of him (and she would), that’s absolutely not the right time to say, “Oh, honey, I’m so sorry, but need to tell you something difficult about my guest list – he can’t come.” I’ll obviously cave and verbally consent in that event.
The obvious answer would be to call her or see her for coffee or something before the dinner next week to try to discuss it. And I wish that would work, too, but her delusions make it tough here too. In most situations, I know you all would advise saying, “I’m so sorry to tell you that right now I’m only inviting people who live together or are engaged.” This won’t work here, though, because she has no grip on reality. I know her and her patterns, and she’s going to say, indignantly, “We are VERY serious. We are TALKING about MARRIAGE,” even though – let me just state it one more time – she met him three weeks ago.
One more thing: from my brief experiences with him, he is loudly anti-religion. My wedding is an extremely Catholic one. Hymns-only in the ceremony, my dress up to my neck, considering carrying a Bible and rosary instead of flowers: very, very religious – as am I. Don’t get me wrong: I have a lot of friends who have real problems with religion, and they are more than welcome in the church and in my life. But I know them. I have known them for forever. They are putting aside their dislike of organized religion out of love for me. This guy has no love for me, and it makes me nervous. Is he one of those gracious people who knows how to attend a religious ceremony without making commentary? Maybe. But I don’t know for sure. Vitriol against Catholics seems socially acceptable to a lot of people (this bridesmaid herself said to me “Now, what can I do to convince you not to have a long boring Mass like you people always have?”)
I’m also upset that the bridesmaid went ahead and started inviting people without asking. I feel bullied, and there is a little bit of a history of quiet bullying between us, as I mentioned above with the power her parents hold over my finances and future. I want to be a gracious, big, and Christian person, but my budget is extremely slender and my nerves are frayed. I can’t invite everyone that everyone wants to have there, so no matter how big my heart, I need to draw a line, right? Isn’t it more fair to draw a line universal to everyone?
I need to think of something to say, some way to fix this, fast. Any clues? Any experience with anything like this, anyone?