(Closed) Close friend decided not to join us… I'm really bummed.

posted 7 years ago in Emotional
Post # 31
573 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I think this entire situation is really, really unfortunate.

The one thing though is I can’t see is why you were “FLOORED.” I can see how wanting something to happen really badly might cloud anyone’s mind, but she clearly expressed many, many times that she was uncomfortable with what you wanted her to do.

It looks like there was a lack of communication on both sides. Yes, she should have told you sooner, instead of waiting until you asked. However you spent all of that money before receiving a clear, decisive, yes or no from her on whether or not she was coming (as evidenced by the fact that you reached out 5 wks before to finally get that clear answer, and how much she expressed her desire for a +1 to you.)

It’s a shame that she wasn’t gracious enough to make up her mind sooner, but you could also have saved yourself a great deal of hassle by requesting a firm commitment before spending the money, and expressing that to her (e.g. “before I finalize the payment on xyz, I wanted to check that you definitely plan to join us?”)

So now I guess you just ask for your money back, do whatever will make you happiest with the gifts and the friendship, and come to terms that your wedding will not be exactly what you wanted. Maybe you can clarify that you’d love if she would attend just for that day, but if that’s really inconvenient for her (is the ceremony on a weekday?) there’s nothing much you can do. 

In terms of whether she “should” have attended, I think a PP was right that you two wanted different things and no solution would have made you both happy. It sounds like, for whatever reason, attending this event as you envisioned it would have made her genuinely uncomfortable and unhappy and you just can’t expect that of a guest. 

Post # 32
627 posts
Busy bee

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Strawberryfarmer:  I wouldn’t want to be the only single person, an issue that she highlighted to you multiple times. What is the reasoning behind refusing your “sister” something that makes her more comfortable? Is it worth losing her attendance all together? 

She would have to take vacation time and travel, so why make her do it alone? If I expressed my concerns to a friend close enough to feel like a sister and she ignored them, then I’d probably make the same decision to avoid the event, too. It’s a small thing and if you’re hosting something, the comfort of your guests should be a consideration. 

Post # 34
627 posts
Busy bee

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Strawberryfarmer:  I understand that and the day is about you. However, if you choose to have guests rather than elope, it’s nice when you consider what they want. If you guys are so close, I’m sure she wouldn’t bring some jerk to your wedding. A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet. 

All I’m saying is, I think it would be worse to lose her attendance than accommodate her request. 

Post # 36
1589 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

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Strawberryfarmer:  I see where you’re coming from. I’m sorry this happened.

Post # 38
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

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Strawberryfarmer:  you really shoulve given her the plus 1– it’s as simple as that.  

Even if I was your good friend, I too would be very concerned about hanging out with a large group for an extended period of time alone. Perhaps if it was close and she was only expected to be at the wedding it would be a different expectation. If she really was a ‘best’ friend of that close to you, accomodations should have been made.

But you are still having a wedding with limited people, which is what you wanted in the first place. So now you have to understand that limitations will cause some ppl not to join you, and that’s okay too. Just enjoy your special day

Post # 39
9120 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

I would be really bummed.  I can’t imagine one of my closest friends doing everything you’ve done and me refusing to attend.  Even if I would be uncomfortable being “alone”, I would 100% suck it up because this is one of the most important weekends of my dear friend’s life.  Does she have some kind of anxiety disorder or anything??

I would absolutely request that she returns the $500, since it had a very specific purpose.  And I wouldn’t give her the various gifts you bought, either.

I’m really sorry, this is a pretty horrible situation.  I think some other bees are trying to see it from her perspective as much as possible, but really, in my mind this just boils down to her not being willing to sacrifice a single thing in order to be present at your wedding 🙁

Post # 41
2758 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

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Strawberryfarmer:  I have to admit I see both sides of the situation here. I can totally understand why you’re upset that someone whom you consider a sister won’t be at your wedding despite the fact that you went above and beyond the call of duty to try and incur the travel and wedding related costs. However…I have to admit I also see her side. Maybe because like a PP I’m also an introvert, maybe bc I went to many close friends’ weddings by myself, maybe because I can definitely remember the very distinct and acute pain of being the ONLY single woman at a wedding-related event (let alone a wedding! <shudder>). 

Im gonna get personal here and tell you that it’s not always easy when your (blood or heart) sisters get married when you don’t even have a BF. Or the option of a date (however much I sympathize with your private wedding this is still a truth). And I’m sure she WANTED to be there with and for you (hence her taking off of work, buying her dress, expressing interest, etc.). and then it was too much for her. So this IS about her and not about you.

I hope you’ve been in that difficult situation at some point (the boyfriendless, no SO) when your sister of the heart or by blood gets married. Or when activities get planned around you “to not remind you that you are uncoupled” (duh. Reminder.) or when you’ve had to travel alone to put yourself in a difficult headspace cuz you’ll be feeling vulnerable the entire trip knowing that you ARE alone. Not just lonely but alone. I say this not out of spite but because if you’ve ever been there i know you could be the better person and forgive her for not having been able to deal with the situation with the necessary aplomb or grace. She f***ed up. Big time. By not telling you earlier that it WAS too much for her. And you my dear OP are on the same boat by making this about you and your friendship instead of realizing she just couldn’t and feeling compassion for a friend who’s missing her best friend’s wedding because of her own emotional issues. 

I hope you can be the better person and feel compassion for her. With time you’ll have friends who get married at the same time as others get divorced, friends who never marry even though they really wanted to, and eventually you’ll realize that jealousy and insecurity are not reflections of your relationships with them but aspects of being human and present in all human relationships. Oh this’ll happen to you when you and your friends begin TTC and some can and some can’t and it strains friendships too…

Post # 42
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

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Strawberryfarmer:  I’m on your side OP. If the fact that she can’t bring a plus one is the real reason she pulled out, I think she needs to get over herself! The day is about you and your hubby-to-be! The fact that you have only extended an invite to those who are super close to you guys would make me feel really special if I was your friend. Even if I preferred to bring someone with me, I wouldn’t bring it up but would happily make the trip for you! Friendship is about being there for the other person…and a friend’s wedding is a biggggg moment!

Every couple should be able to have the wedding they want to have and if that doesn’t work for others, then fuck it. I know some PPs mentioned that the comfort level of guests is important and I totally agree but I think you have done as much as you can to make her comfy. So what if she can’t bring a plus one? She will know other ppl there. I feel as though she just needs to put her big girl panties on and go to your wedding as a show of support. Hell, I’d wear an ugly ass dress in a bridal party if that’s the bride’s vision, etc. I don’t believe you’ve been unreasonable at all. You’ve done a lot actually…shelled out money and such.

I know it hurts but hang in there and look at the bigger picture – your upcoming wedding!


Post # 43
69 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

It might not be as simple as a plus 1 situation, but you should really take some time before you try to contact her again. She’s made it clear she won’t be there, so now would be an appropriate time to take a break from confrontation. You said she doesn’t like to be confronted, yet mention how you keep trying to talk to her. You are planning a wedding, enjoy it. Do not let anyone else ruin these last few weeks before your day. Once things settle down, take the time to figure out a decent way to approach the refund. She knows you spent a lot of money on her, she helped you plan it… No need to keep reminding her. This is a very awkward time for her, too. Don’t burn bridges where mature actions will be just a beneficial. 

Post # 44
3679 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

The OP planned a wedding with the only guests being parents, siblings, and this one friend. She’s not even inviting her aunts, uncles, cousins, or any additional friends. This one friend is single and grew up with the OP’s parents and siblings. I understand that the plus one issue is a hot button topic around here, but the OP is not some kind of monster for not allowing this friend to bring a rando stranger to her intimate, ten person wedding.

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