Post # 1
So ladies I need help!
Here is the situation:
My husband and I had a short engagement got married in a very small ceremony and planned to have a reception within a year. We were just so excited to marry each other and it just works out better this way! This was last December ’09, and it was immediate family and a few close friends.
We let everyone know our plans, set up a blog if anyone wanted to see how we were doing and our plans, and sent a link to all our extended friends and family. Everyone was excited for us wished us well and said they looked forward to our upcoming reception.
Our friends have been keeping up with us–until the time to send the replies back. Some can’t make it b/c its on a Friday/kids/work and that’s understandable. What I am concerned about, however, are 2 women who have asked me to be a bridesmaid in the past. One cannot attend b/c of her family. She says if it was just her it would be easier, but she has a family now. Understandable, again, but I drove to another state to be her bridesmaid, by myself , not knowing anyone, but still supporting her on her day. Another really good friend is not returning my calls. I understand her life may be hectic right now but mine was at the time I supported her for the many months of her bridal activities (her marriage lasted a year). Somehow I just found a way to be there for them.
Also, I am not asking them to buy a dress or support me in any other way than to attend our reception. I just feel like they should at least try to attend, after a year’s notice and what I have done for them. I think I am disappointed because there are friends who tell me they love me and remind me we are such good friends al the time. “Well,” i think, “here’s your chance to be a good friend!” I’ve done everything else myself, they just have to attend and celebrate with us!
Plus, I feel I shouldn’t have to chase someone down who is supposed to be so close to me to get a response!
Am I overreacting?
Sometimes I think I do more for people than I should. I feel like I’d do what it takes to be there for a friend. Are these people I don’t need in my life, I’m wondering?
If I had had a traditinal wedding and with attendants and asked them would they have said yes?
Others I have spoked to about this feel this is not okay.
Post # 3
I would feel the same way you do. I tend to feel like I do a lot for people and get very little in return. It frustrates me and makes me sad when they can’t manage to do the same!
Post # 4
hmmm. im sorry you are dealing with this.
honestly, i think you probably would have had an easier time if you hadnt actually been married a year ago. i know that i do not get as excited for vow renewals, etc. since people know that you are already married, they may just not be as willing to make huge concessions regarding time, money, vacation days, etc.
i understand that you feel cheated because you did all these things for them. and really, a good friend would go the extra mile. only you know whether this bothers you enough to end the friendships. but for me, unless we were BFFs, i wouldnt travel to a friday vow renewal.
Post # 5
well, we’re not having a vow renewal. Our vows are new and fresh in our minds!
This is just a delayed reception, and it can still be a reception since its one year within the wedding. I ‘ve looked up the ettiquette on this. However, we’ll have an introduction, some readings, but the mood will be more celebratory, less ceremonial.
I’ve always been a bit non-traditional, and this just felt more natural to separate the our marriage from the stresses of a big wedding day. (Still stressful, though). Don’t get me wrong, though, I LOVE weddings and all the details. I check wedding blogs daily. We just decided to to it this way.
However, I don’t our marriage is anything less to celebrate since its on a Friday. I’ve been to Monday weddings. People just have different budgets.
What bothers me is that one friends IS one of my BFFs! And she’s being super shady right now. (They too were s married before their “wedding” day, military obligations. We all kept that secret)!!!!
I just feel like this is the way we are doing it, and a “good” friend should accept that. Others, I unserstand if its inconvienent, if we’re not that close. It just saddens me that I may have to make my circle of trust a bit smaller!
Post # 6
I’m sorry your feeling are hurt, but weddings aren’t about payback. It was great that you were able and willing to make the effort to be a part of your friends event, but they don’t OWE you anything. That was what the thank you card and probably bridesmaid gift was for.
And, while this may be part of your wedding to you, most people are going to see this as a party, not a wedding. Your wedding already happened and they weren’t invited. I know this is not how you intend it to be, but to alot of people this might just look like an attempt to get presents, not a reception to a wedding.
I’m sorry if I sound harsh, because I don’t mean to, but I think your perspective might be very different from your guests.
Post # 7
Unfortunately, I have the feeling that your friends are flaking out beings this isn’t the real deal. If it’s not an actual wedding, it’s not seen as important to them. I know you made a lot of effort to be there for them and travel to their weddings…but that’s just it. You went to their wedding. And you are asking them to come to only a reception that is a considerable amount of time after the wedding. It’s almost like they are taking the attitude of, “Well, the actual wedding came and went…we weren’t invited…so, what’s the big deal?” I definitely don’t think that’s right, it just seems like that may be what’s going on.
I can sympathize with you kind of. I chose to be married in a religious ceremony where only a very small group (I think maybe 10ish?) were able to attend. Not even my husband’s family could attend (which they were 100% ok and understanding). In my religion, this is pretty typical, so receptions are a really big deal beings not everyone can attend the wedding ceremony. I wish people could give you the same courtesy that we were given…even though people weren’t able to attend the actual ceremony, they were still able to celebrate with us at the reception. However, our reception was two days after our wedding, so the wedding excitement was still lingering around.
Post # 8
I see your point ladies!
We’re having more of a “marriage celebration” and that concept is a bit foreign to some.
[Truthfully, I know some divorced people and that scared me. Wanted to downplay the wedding day to make sure its wasn’t about that for me. I ‘ve know so many who got in over their head, and are no longer with that person 🙁 But that’s just me, I understand most won’t see it this way]
I guess what I should have asked, is Should I mention this to her? Tell her how I feel? I understand she doesn’t owe me anything, but a response would be courteous, don’t you think?
Or should i just be less inclined to go out of my way for her in the future?
Wishing you happy marriages!
Post # 9
i would probably be less inclined. especially if this is a really good friend, she should be going the extra mile, just as you did. i would still be her friend, but i would be less likely to inconvienence myself for her. i know its shitty of me to feel that way, but its honest.
Post # 10
I still think you need to think of this event as a reception that is not as important as the ceremony. The reason wedding receptions are a big deal is the ceremony. I know that there are some unusual situations that cause the celebration to be delayed or for the ceremony to be more private than the reception but it’s normally a case of small ceremony for religious reasons with a party the next day or a destination ceremony with a reception upon returning to home. If the celebration is delayed significantly… the acceptable reasons would normally be the new spouse is in the army and has been shipped out or there was a significant family illness that caused the ceremony to be intimate…so that a VIP could be at the ceremony because they were not expected to survive until the originally planned celebration. It sounds like you wanted the small event and the big party and don’t understand why your friends aren’t willing to plan to attend the party. My guess is that they would have made arrangements to be at the ceremony, but may feel that they weren’t that important if you didn’t invite them to the event… even if it was small if the person is a very close friend they would have probably liked to attend… by not including them then… you communicated that they were not as important to you. And if they did go to that event…then you need to consider that they already participated in a special day with you. It doesn’t sound like your wedding and delayed celebration fits the normal reasons to delay a celebration… and while you may be viewing the party as a real wedding reception… most people are probably viewing it as you wanting a party… They aren’t going to be excited that you tied the knot 10 months ago… I don’t mean to offend you, but you need to know that it doesn’t seem like you have a good reason to complain. You had the wedding you wanted… small and intimate. You may have only had a small dinner out that night, but that was your choice in how to celebrate. A big party that is pretending to be a delayed wedding celebration seems a little like you want the big gifts, but you didn’t want them to be there from the beginning. Even if you asked them to save the date… 10 months is significantly beyond reasonable for a delayed celebration unless you or your spouse was literally out of the country the entire time.
Post # 11
I mean, to me, this would be “my big day” Since my wedding ceremony was private (and short notice, ha! imagine if I summoned a wedding party with 3 to 4 months ‘itll the date), and I thought she knew that. But as a friend, I guess I believe in forgiveness and chances. Just less likely to travel for her now. I guess she feels the same way you do. But i can’t helpto feel like she could be a little more supportive, since I have been there for her a lot.
Funny, I’ve talked to so many people who verify that they’ve had to end things with certain friends, or kick out a bmaid, etc. You really do know who cares about you during “wedding” season. This should be a topic on its own!
Life goes one. And we’ll have a FABULOUS time!
Post # 12
@Missbliss:WEll, I see some may have trouble comprehending this idea, but we told all our friends and family from the beginning that we were doing it this way. I don’t think its at all inappropriate, just HUGELY different. Everyone has been supportive and understanding. I don’t expect anything from anyone, just a little surprised when those seemingly closest to you don’t really support your decision, That is what it boils down to.
But, I get NOW that most people think this is backwards and kinda crazy, which is why I asked in the first place.
Trust me, though, we really want to celebrate with our family and friends, but i don’t think four months was enough notice to put together a wedding. I know some people do it, but I just didn’t want to inconvienence anyone like that. Whats more , We just didn’t to wait. I know it was our decision to make and I would not have done it anyother way. I don’t even know what to say about doing this for the gifts… I just want people to have a good time with us. And its not like we didn’t want certain people at the ceremony…we just wanted the most intimate ceremony. Our intentions are genuine!
Ok I know I shouldn’t be saying this on a wedding forum, but I feel in my heart that for me marriage isn’t about the wedding day but the day after that, and the day after that…
I am supportive of everyone’s decision to do what’s right for them
Does this make sense?
Post # 13
Okay, how I feel about this…
your reception is still a big deal. I don’t care if you got married in something private earlier. Its your reception where you are having friends and family still share on your special day. People do it all the time! So to me I would still be excited and hope that all my close friends and family came…or really tried to come.
Now if your friends or other people think its less of an event just because you and your man said I do with out them at a different time then I feel that is their issue. You want people there who want to be there for you, who are still excited and want to join you at your reception.
Remember what year it is…people do things in different ways all the time…we are still happy and excited for them no matter what order it comes in. Or at least I am 🙂
Post # 14
If, as you say, it’s the marriage that really matters and not the wedding ceremony or party, then live that sentiment. Send them a note that says that you are disappointed that they can’t make the ceremony, but you understand that sometimes things happen, and invite them to a brunch or other meal instead with you and your husband.
I really echo the other sentiments. I can almost hear the other side being posted on this forum: “I thought I was close friends with someone and even had them in my wedding party, but then they didn’t invite me to their wedding. Now she is making a huge deal out of a party a year later. I’ve got something else important going on that’s hard to get out of [insert comment about work, personal issues, illness etc.] I’m still hurt I wasn’t invited to the wedding. If it were a wedding, I would cancel my other plans but not for just a party. Oh, by the way, do I need to send a gift if I wasn’t actually invited to the wedding?”
Yes, most of your friends may have been willing to accept your version of the wedding, but that doesn’t mean everyone does. Also, just because you told them a year in advance that this was the plan, doesn’t mean that they might not still be hurt and offended. Of course, telling you this doesn’t make you feel better about what happened on their end so I see this friendship dying a natural death soon. Rather like when friends invited my then boyfriend to their wedding with me named only as “and guest” even though I had known them separately as friends well before I had even met my boyfriend (with whom I had been living together for over 2 years at that point).
Oh, and I had a friend pull off a large wedding in under 4 months. You would have never known it was such short timing. She had some great stories too, like when she asked one shop how long it would take to get a the wedding dress if she ordered from there, and it was too lengthy for her. With a bit of tunnel vision, the saleswoman said, “you’ll just have to change the date of your wedding!”
Post # 15
@kay01: After all this, I aked the friends if things had been different, I had had a traditional wedding with a bridal party and asked them to be bmaids, would that have been a factor. Luckily, they told me it wasn’t a factor. My oldest friend told me that no matter how I made it to the altar she was happy for me and she was almost in tears not to be here @ the upcoming party. That was a huge relief (not the tears part). Kids, work, maternity, moving, and life happens and I understand that better now. We’re not in our mid twenties anymore and don’t have the freedom we once had. It took guts of me to ask this, but I ‘m glad I did and glad I got other perspectives and feel SO much better. I have been the center of my universise lately. I think I was initially angry, and definately don’t want to be that way anymore. Feels better not to!
Don’t get me wrong, the ceremony was very important. I was so overcome with emotion I was sobbing the WHOLE time. The pics are awful, but its funny now. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever done, most important decision to date. I knew everyone couldn’t be there (father was out of the country) , so Ijust thought we’ll do the most simplest thing we can and celebrate later. This repection won’t be anything wedding like, nor do I want anything remotely bridal. There will be no first dance, bouquet, or anything like that. I just want everyone eat, drink, and dance!
The thing I have learned recently, though is to cherish the relationships I value. Some people have really stepped up and helped me out because they wanted to and we’ve had the best time crafting lately. I’m dropping my expectations, now, ’cause you never know what life will bring you.
Post # 16
@lrr1980: Awesome! Glad it worked out for you. Sometimes the hardest thing is just having that honest conversation and getting it all out there.