(Closed) What to do about a friend who flaked on my wedding?

posted 7 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
2104 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

It’s difficult when you never truly know someone’s financial status.  FI and I had a good friend get married a couple weeks ago.  We couldn’t afford to fly across the country with the increasing cost of flights, so we gave them as generous of a gift as we could and we ended up taking a road trip that weekend instead.  It looks like we went on vacation when we could have gone to their wedding, but honestly is was less than half the cost.

How old are your friends?  Age and maturity may have a role in this also.

Post # 4
3569 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I don’t know it would take more then that for me to end my relationship with someone. If you are truly upset with her and don’t think you can be friends after this then perhaps it best to not drag it out. The only thing I would say is when you have a destination wedding even if your Fi is from there, it lowers the chances people will come. People have limited vacation time, and who knows she could have planning this Bali trip for a while. We can’t dictate how or why someone would choose to spend their money and unfotunately for you your friend prefered saving some money and going to Bali instead and that is her right. As for the cards I don’t know that I’ve always sent them when I haven’t been able to make a wedding, but its a nice thought and who knows they might be coming after, or a week or two before the wedding.

Post # 5
1880 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@maggierose:  Hugs!  I can imagine how hurt you must feel by your friends lack of interest or effort to attend your wedding.  However, this is the “side-effect” of having a Destination Wedding.  Not everyone is going to want to spend their hard earned money on a destination and time that they did not get to choose.  I know for me, choosing the destination is part of the fun of traveling and saving up for a big trip.  So, you cannot be upset with her for choosing to spend her money on a trip to Bali.  Maybe it was significantly cheaper.  Even if it wasn’t, you really do not have a right to dictate how your friends spend their money.  Sure, it would be nice for them to come out and support you, but they should not be punished should they choose not to. 

As for the congratulatory cards, I’m TOTALLY with you on this one.  I got ONE from a family friend and that was it!  I think that can be hurtful especially if you are the type of person to celebrate other people’s events.  All you can do is keep this on file for the future and not feel obligated to go out of your way (unless you want to) for these people going forward.

Good luck and don’t worry, I’m sure your wedding will be wonderful.

Post # 6
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I think when you have a Destination Wedding or have friends scattered all over the world you just have to manage expectations and accept that some people will not be able to make it. Period. In your other post, you said that not only was the flight to Bali cheaper, but she didn’t have to pay for lodging because she stayed with a friend. So that trip could easily have cost her only a few hundred dollars, compared to upwards of a thousand for your wedding. That is a big difference.

Post # 7
8882 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I would be really upset too. A trip to Bali is not cheap at all. Honestly, I would talk to her and tell her exactly how you feel. Bottling up your feelings and not saying anything will only make you feel worse. I had a semi-similar experience with one of my BM’s recently and I opened up and talked to her and worked things out. Now I feel a whole lot better.

Post # 8
3571 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Honestly, I mean this in the nicest way possible but I really see your friend’s point. I guarantee you that Bali is a cheaper flight from Paris. I’m also almost certain that it involves  A LOT less travel time. 

She probably was pretty upset about not being able to come. I completely get that you are hurt, and I completely do understand why. But I don’t think that this is really worth ruining your friendship over. If you are this upset, you obviously care about it a lot. 

Maybe my recent experience will illuminate your friend’s position. I’m in Afghanistan right now, everyone thinks I make a ton of money but Darling Husband and I really do not. In addition, we are planning our own anniversary party/reception this summer and have significant student loans every month. 

I have a group of 3 other BFFs back in the states. One of them FINALLY got engaged around christmas this year after having been together for 8 years. In Vegas (much further away). In 3 months. I went. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time, but the wedding was all people that I knew so it didn’t matter that I barely got to see the bride. Even though it was a “small wedding” with about 40 people, the bride was so busy trying to squeeze everyone in that I really did barely see her. The rest of the time it was just hanging out with old friends. 

For a 5 day vacation, I had to take 7 days off work, spend around 30 hours on an airplane/transit time EACH WAY, and when all was said and done – it cost about 3k. Again, it was a great time (because other friends were there) but I really am feeling the -3k. Frankly, I wouldn’t have done it for anyone other than her and my 2 other long-time BFFs (who all know that I cannot do it again this year!). If it were a college friend, even my college best friend, I would have sent a nice gift and still been excited.

Come to think of it, my college BFF *is getting married this year. I am so thrilled for him and love his fianace. But I just can’t drop another 2k (4k if Darling Husband comes) on an additional trip to the US this year. 

Anyway, i know this is long, but what I’m trying to say is that your friend obviously DOES value your friendship. She does make an effort to keep in contact, and is excited for you. I think you would both get more “friend time for your dollar” if you planned a fun, inexpensive, middle ground girls trip after the wedding (next year?).

Good luck!

Post # 10
8730 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

You can be upset but I personally don’t think it is a friendship ending move. When you choose to have a Destination Wedding that is one of things that you have to be prepared for (and I had a Destination Wedding so I know from personal experience). You need to manage your disappointment. You can say I am really sorry to hear that you can’t amke it we will miss you and leave it at that.

As others have said the prices are a lot different between DR and Bali. I just expedia searched both trips for 4 days for your wedding weekend and it was (budget airline and 2.5 star hotel) approx $2200 for DR compared to $1600 for Bali. Also to be fair to her maybe her circumstances have changed or she was so excited by you getting married that she promised something that she later relaised she couldn’t manage. That happens all the time in life. I am sure you have even done it- said you would go somewhere and have to back out at a later date (for whatever reason). It doesn’t mean that you didn’t want to be there just that it didn’t fir in with life!

As for cards well if I am not attending the wedding I don’t normally send a card until closer to the date of the actual wedding. So maybe your friends are waiting until May to send their cards.

Post # 11
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@maggierose:  “Why not just tell me from the get go she didn’t want to come and preferred to make other trips a priority?”

I think you are reading too much into the situation. It doesn’t sound like she didn’t want to come, but for whatever reason she couldn’t manage it. Maybe she underestimated how much it would cost or how much time she would have to take off. Or circumstances came up and she could no longer afford to save. (We are in a global financial crisis.) And it doesn’t sound like the Bali trip was a priority in the sense that, she could choose either your wedding or Bali, but she chose Bali. Instead she could only afford Bali, so it was either that or nothing.

 @SutSip made a really good point that you can think you know a friend’s situation, but be totally off. By all means Skype her and tell her your feelings, but be open to the possibility that she really couldn’t find a way to make it to your wedding.

Post # 13
1231 posts
Bumble bee

I wouldn’t send a card before the wedding even happened. Maybe they are waiting until the wedding occurs to send you a card. I would understand being upset if they never sent one a year after your wedding, but they have plenty of time in the ettiquette world to send them.

Desitination weddings are tough.Unfortunately not everyone can make them. You are being very hard on your college friends.

Post # 14
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

Wanting to travel and being able to travel are two completely different things. If she hasn’t told you that she had the means to go to your wedding but just doesn’t want to, then you’re jumping to conclusions and putting words in her mouth.

She clearly did not realize that you would be so upset that she took a vacation to somewhere other than your wedding. Call her and talk to her.

Post # 15
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

@Over the Moon:  I think you are reading too much into the situation. It doesn’t sound like she didn’t wantto come, but for whatever reason she couldn’t manage it. Maybe she underestimated how much it would cost or how much time she would have to take off. Or circumstances came up and she could no longer afford to save.

I agree, especially that you’re “reading too much into this”– you’re analyzing her every word because you’re upset with her? She can’t be excited about her trip, she can’t love traveling, all because she couldn’t afford to go to your wedding? 

I don’t think you’ll get over it until you tell her, because you seem too upset to just drop it.  Say, “the trip sounds amazing but I’m a little hurt to hear you taking a huge trip and talking about how much you love traveling when you can’t come to my wedding.”  and then leave it at that.  I think it’s ridiculous and if my best friends couldn’t come to my wedding (which is even in our hometown) I wouldn’t care, even if they were just at home in their PJs! But you do care, and it doesn’t sound like you’ll get over it without expressing your feelings.

Post # 16
103 posts
Blushing bee

I think one of the hardest things is coming to terms with friendships changing over time… I’ve gone through this a bit myself with a bridesmaid (we were really really close a few years ago, circumstances have meant we haven’t spent a lot of time together recently but I still considered her one of my closest friends. Since accepting being a bridesmaid she has caused nothing but trouble… Everything was too expensive, she was always broke, we always had to fit in around her, she never offered her time or energy to help with wedding stuff etc). What I’ve learnt is that while I don’t want to give up on the friendship completely, I just now know not to rely on her when it comes to anything financial.

It sounds like you did everything you could to enable this friend to come to the wedding – gave her plenty of notice, etc. If she wasn’t going to be able to make it she definitely should have been clear abut that in the beginning. And she’s a bit clueless if she didn’t realise that spending a large amount of money on a holiday to Bali instead of saving that little bit extra to go to your wedding was going to hurt your feelings.

All of that said, I don’t think it’s worth abandoning your friendship over this. Just don’t expect her to be there for any big events. Embrace her friendship for what it is, and just try and keep your expectations low when it comes to visits and anything that costs money… It sounds awful, but it saves a lot of sadness in the long term.

I’m sure your day will be amazing with the people who love you and have made the effort to come 🙂

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