Post # 1
- Wedding: August 2009 - St. Thomas of Villanova Church & the F.U.E.L. House
Seeking advice here…
Awhile back, I asked my good friends to be my bridesmaids. I was planning on four BMs, with my sister as Matron of Honor. However, one friend (in essence) rejected me. (I’ve known her since kindergarten, but she’s always been — sorry if this seeks snarky, but there’s no way to get the point across otherwise — cheap.) She was newly married at the time, and living in VA (I’m right outside Philly). Since I mailed my "will you be my…" card to her, she mailed BACK a letter explaining why she was declining the offer.
Unfortunately, it was a pretty harsh letter. In it, she made a few hurtful comments about how my black tie wedding is a far cry from the church hall marriage she had just had, and would likely be outside of her price range and time commitment.
She also included a paragraph informing me that she wouldn’t be in attendance at my shower or bachelorette because of the distance — though her immediate family lives just around the corner from me! Again, this stung, because I made a concerted effort to be there for her at HER pre-wedding parties.
Since this letter, she hasn’t reached out to me, and I certainly don’t want to be the first one to make a move.
What would you do, if you were in my shoes? I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t invite her to the pre-wedding functions to which she’s already RSVP-ed "no." But should I invite her and her husband to the wedding?
Feel free to offer advice, or ask any questions about the situation to help guide your counsel!
Post # 3
not so much!
she clearly doesnt want to be included so dont feel like you have to include her. if you are feeling super nice, send her a wedding invite – but dont be disappointed if she doesn’t show.
Post # 4
Sounds like you can’t expect much from her, and it is better to know that now than had she accepted, but put all kinds of limits on what she would and wouldn’t do for you. I guess it is better to know where she stands ahead of cruch time. I would only invite her to the things that you would want her to be at… if that includes showers or a bachelorette, then include her. If not, then don’t worry about it. You extended the invitation once and she declined. Not like you didn’t try.
Post # 5
Ouch, that’s quite hurtful! This may sound funny, but it sounds to me like she may be jealous of your wedding (since she mentioned her church-hall vs. your black-tie). I would give her some time to cool off. And no, I would not invite her to the things that she has already RSVP’s “no” to. But certainly invite her to the wedding if you would like her there! Hope it works out!
Post # 6
Is it possible that your friend is having financial difficulties post-wedding? Telling you she can’t participate in your black tie wedding or travel to attend your shower/bachelorette doesn’t necessarily say "personal insult" to me. She may genuinely not be able to afford it, and having just been a bride herself, she knows what things might cost and doesn’t want to saddle you with a bridesmaid who may not be able to pay for her dress on time.
Or this may just be another instance of her being cheap and deciding that being in your wedding isn’t "worth" the financial committment. I have a lot of relatives who are, um, frugal (think "bullying the waiter into letting them order a children’s entree and then complaining that it wasn’t very much food" frugal), so I sympathize — it’s a pretty annoying character trait. But you say she’s always been this way, so try to keep in mind that her cheapness towards your wedding is probably not about you, it’s just her being cheap again.
I agree with ready2bmrsd about inviting her to the parties — if you’d still love to see her there, send the invites, but if you’re uncomfortable with that, don’t bother. But if even a tiny part of you wants to still be friends with this woman, I would say go ahead and invite her and her husband to the wedding. Not inviting her to the shower and bachelorette when she’s preemptively declined is one thing; excluding her from the wedding guest list would be nailing the coffin shut on your friendship.
Post # 7
I think it all depends on the tone behind her letter back to you. If she is a TRUE friend, and she really can’t afford to be in your wedding (especially since you asked her right after her wedding- she was probably feeling like her own wedding had drained most of her funds, and she fully understood how much it costs to be a bridesmaid– all of the shower/parties, the dress, shoes, hair/makeup, travel, etc) then you should be grateful that she gave you an honest answer back and let you know up front that she could not be so involved in your wedding, instead of complaining the whole way through or bailing out later.
If this was the case, I’d either call her up and ask her about the shower/bach party… say, "I know you had mentioned you probably wouldn’t make it, but I’m thinking about doing things on xx date… I thought you might be in town at your parents, so I wanted to check up front before I crossed you off the list." Or go ahead and send the invite with a personal note saying, "I know you mentioned you wouldn’t be able to make it, but I wanted to let you know the actual date in case you will be in town. If you can’t make it, please know that you will be missed."
However, if you feel like her intention was not just to tell you that she can’t be in your wedding, but also to criticize you as a friend and a person, then perhaps she shouldn’t be invited to the shower/bach party. As for the wedding, you might want to be the bigger person. Not inviting a friend to the wedding can be a friendship-ending decision. If you think you’ll still be friends in the future, you might want to invite her & her husband. If they don’t want to (or can’t make it), then that is fine. But if they do come, you’ll probably have plenty of people around you, so you won’t really be focused on one particular couple.
Post # 8
I think hulafish hit it on the nose – your friend probably is a little jealous of your wedding. Perhaps it’s more like the wedding she dreamed of having herself. But I do think its really good that she was upfront in declining to be a bridesmaid. I know its not fun to hear no, but lots of girls do the opposite – they agree to be a maid and then complain the entire time about costs, or don’t pay you back, and end up causing a lot more grief! I’ve known some bridesmaids that have done that and have not only put more financial burden on the rest of the party, but also made the day and planning process awful for the bride.
Post # 9
I definitely agree with the other posters, I wouldn’t bother inviting her to the pre-wedding functions since she’s already responded "no". Its sad that she couldn’t call you and say "no thanks for reasons xyz". Personally I think as a true friend you would be understanding and sypmathetic with her financial difficulties (or whatever the situation may be) because you could have figured out another role for her if you still wanted her to be invovled in the wedding.
I was in a wedding where the bride didn’t want to invite a certain long-time friend to her wedding (b/c of a boyfriend), she did end up inviting her and allowing the boyfriend to come too but I’m certain she would have regretted not having that friend at her wedding as the boyfriend is now out of the picture and they have since made amends. I think you should still invite your friend and her husband to your wedding because she’s your friend. If she choses not to attend then you at least made an effort. If and when you do get past this issue then you don’t want to regret not having her to celebrate with.
Post # 10
I’d be wary of over-interpreting the tone of her letter in the direction of snarkiness. We all know how tone can get lost in writing. Could she have meant her words apologetically? Could the long-winded comparative statements have been meant as an explanation, not an accusation? It’s very likely that the valence of her response has really nothing to do with you and everything to do with herself (she’s feeling frazzled, or financially strapped, or jealous…).
I think the best way to respond when people act weird like this is to act as though they had done the classy thing, or else you risk getting sucked into their craziness. Instead of reacting to her (perceived) tone, take her at face value—she is unable to be your bridesmaid because of time and money constraints. That’s perfectly valid. She didn’t have to say it like she did, but can you overlook that for awhile? You could send her another note back in reply to say, thanks for letting me know, I hope you are well.
So if you’re still wanting to be friends with her, I would still invite her to pre-wedding events (but maybe with a personal note that says, "I know you are probably not going to be able to come, but I still wanted you to know that I would love to have you there if you are able") and of course to the wedding.
Post # 11
Wow-I would have been hurt. Sending back the card-giving a card is cutesy but sending it back like that is just hurtful.
I don’t know if you should give her the benefit of the doubt on this one. It sounds like she might be upset or jealous about the wedding she had versus the one she’s having. I’m assuming that the church hall wedding was not the one of her dreams. BUT that doesn’t mean that she has to put down your wedding or be rude about it.
She might return her invite to the wedding to be one asking for a gift. I would probably send one but I would expect to get a response saying "I already told you I couldn’t come and can’t afford a Waterford crystal vase."
Post # 12
- Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall
Personally, I would be really hurt by what she did. But I think you need to take a few steps back and think about her situation too. You said she’s newly married, and that she’s (to put it nicely) frugal. Perhaps she and her hubby have a lot of wedding or honeymoon bills to pay, and your card came in the mail, stuffed into a stack of those bills. She looked at it as "someone else wants MORE of my money!!!" and didn’t think before she sent back the harsh response.
What you need to consider is how good of a friend she is to you. How important is it that she’s at your wedding? Will you be sad if she isn’t, and do you think she’ll be hurt if she isn’t at least invited? I think maybe a phone call is in order. Don’t make it nasty, just call her, tell her you got her letter and wanted to talk to her about it. Even though it’s technically "her bad," you may want to apologize for upsetting her, tell her how important it is to you that she’s there, and then offer any assistance or concessions you think are appropriate in order to have her at your wedding.
If it’s not going to bother you that she’s not there, perhaps you two have drifted apart and it’s time to just move on. In that case, I still think you should send an invitation… since you DID invite her to be a bridesmaid… but don’t expect a "yes" RSVP in return.
Post # 13
I normally try to be open minded and see both sides when I comment on tough situations, but you should just give this girl her wish and not invite her. Yes, we are in a recession, yes lots of people are hurting, but it’s not as if a black-tie wedding is so extremely lavish that you are flaunting it – lots of weddings are black-tie! She could have simply declined, said she didn’t think she and the hubs could afford it right now, but wish you the best, but instead she attacked you and made you feel like you had to defend her choices. This is not a nice person, or a nice friend. I would wait for an apology, and if you don’t get one than she doesn’t get an invitation.
Post # 14
Sorry to hear about your situation with your friend. I am going to agree with some previous posters and not invite her. She rudely declined your other invites, why would anyone expect her to say yes to the wedding invite, especially when she was hurtful last time you communicated with her. Even if she is is having financial difficulties or is being jealous, whatever her reasoning, her behavior makes me say no invite.
Post # 15
I would take it with a grain of salt, she’s DEFINITELY jealous. As a recent budget bride myself, I can tell you that new brides can sometimes have a bit of the post-wedding blues, particularly when a lack of money keeps them from having the "wedding of their dreams".Just imagine how you would feel if you couldn’t afford any of the things you wanted, and here comes your friend wth all of those things and more.
It sounds to me like your friend is feeling bad, having all of her excitement and her "big day" over and done with, and knowing that you aren’t facing the same financial struggles and limitations that she did. Remember- money differences are usually just due to luck: one person has rich parents or a good job, one doesn’t, that kind of thing- so it can be really hard to watch your friend, someone who is supposed to be your equal, throw a wedding that will surely "top" your own.
If she’s been a good friend to you otherwise, I would tell her that, while you understand that your wedding styles will be different, she is so important to you that you would be willing to help her pay for travel costs, dress costs, etc (if that is true). And definitely invite her and her husband to the wedding. It sounds like she’s trying to get you (although in a surely backhanded and wrong way) to acknowledge her feelings.
Post # 16
First off, I’m sorry you’ve had to go through this. I have a friendship that just recently ended with someone for whom I was Maid/Matron of Honor and whom I had asked to be in my wedding party, so I will try not to let that overshadow my response, but I wanted to let you know I can sympathize with the pain of having friendships not live up to what we want them to be sometimes.
I actually have to disagree with the other comments I have read that suggest your friend’s comparative insults were related to her own, more simple wedding. If she has always been on the penny pinching side of life, then your weddings are probably just one more scenario for her financial values and judgements to be voiced. It sounds like she probably has some judgements about how other people spend their money, which is unfortunate for you as her friend, and for her. Think about it–she just potentially bowed herself out of any and all the events related to a good friend’s wedding because of differing financial values. It’s not declining being a bridesmaid that’s the big deal, in my opinion, its the tone of advanced rejection of all future opportunitites to be meaningfully involved that would hurt me.
If you have never had conflict with this friend before, and aren’t sure how to approach it, my suggestion would be to call her. It’s so obvious when people have chosen to write a letter or an e-mail because they couldn’t necessarily say what they have written to your face. It’s a lot easier to forget about the person reading it when you’re writing it from miles away.
I know you said you didn’t want to make the first move, but I personally think that kind of thinking can be friendship-ending. And that’s fine too, if that’s what you’re feeling ready for. But sometimes when I start thinking that, I step back and ask myself "Why not? What am I gaining by not addressing the situation? What is the big deal about being the one to come forward first?" If nothing else, you give her a call, and try to work it out, and if she rejects your sincere attempt to remedy the situation again, then I think you’ll have your answer about the future of her involvement in your wedding, and your friendship.