Wedding Location? The State of Denial

by admin on March 24, 2010

When my husband and I were trying to figure out where to get married (we already had the date and time) a “friend” offered us her house and backyard. She said she would be “thrilled” for us to get married in her backyard and host the reception in her home. Since we were on a shoe-string budget, we were glad for the offer. We rented chairs and tables for outside, and located a tent. Every time I got an updated headcount I informed our “friend” so she would know how many people would be in her home. I asked every time I gave her a headcount, “Are you sure you’re still OK with this many people in your house?” and her answer was always, “Oh, yes, I’m so glad to help out!”.

A month before the wedding I got a hysterical phone call from the couple who was making our cake. They said our “friend” had called them all upset to say she was sorry she had ever agreed to let us get married at her house and she was having second thoughts about it, and they wanted to know why I hadn’t informed them of the change in location. I immediately called our “friend” and asked what the hell was going on and why hadn’t she said anything in the *5* months before now? She denied eveything and said she had no idea what they were talking about; she’d never said such a thing. About 3 days later I got an email from another guest, telling me the same thing – our “friend” had called the guest, all upset over agreeing to let us get married in her house, etc. and the guest wanted to know what was going on. I called our “friend” again, and she denied it all again. We couldn’t move the location at the 11th hour. Invitations had already gone out, tables and chairs had been paid for, tent was being delivered in 3 weeks. Up until the day of the wedding our “friend” kept declaring to our faces she was thrilled to help and glad we were getting married there. For weeks after the ceremony several other guests called or emailed their concerns over what our “friend” had said to them in the weeks before the wedding. That was almost 5 years ago and I still don’t speak to her. 0912-08

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

AS March 24, 2010 at 10:14 am

That is very weird. Are you sure someone else wasn’t playing a prank impersonating your friend and calling up people? Did your friend look genuinely happy on the day of your wedding? Or was she sour? Also, did she tell any of the people who told you that “she” told them about having second thoughts actually hear it from her face to face or have caller ids that matched her phone number(s)? If I were you, and this incident happened to me, I wouldn’t have stopped talking with my friend for the above reasons because none of the people who told you about her calling up can tell with 100% certainty that she was the one who called up. On the other hand, she apparently seemed thrilled to have your wedding in her backyard. You did not mention her complaining on your wedding day, which probably means she was actually fine with it. She is probably wondering now what she has done that you don’t talk to her anymore – after she helped you by offering her backyard.
In my opinion, even if you suspect she said such things to your wedding guests/merchants but are not sure beyond doubts that your friend was the one calling up, it might be better to give her the advantage of doubt. After all, she did you and your husband a huge favor. It is an etiquette breach on your part to cut contacts with her after she helped you out. Some malicious person who actually made the phone calls is probably even having a laugh because you stopped talking with her, and that is a bad thing too.

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Cady March 24, 2010 at 11:04 am

What a weirdo.

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Jayne March 24, 2010 at 1:05 pm

There have actually been instances where malicious people (usually jealous ex’s) have impersonated the bride and called off the wedding. Bride shows up at her wedding and nobody is there.

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Brenda March 24, 2010 at 1:36 pm

It is possible that someone who was unhappy with your marriage plans was making the calls, pretending to be your friend. Or your friend could be crazy or psycho-manipulative. You should not have cut contact without some firm confirmation, such as caller ID or a witness to the calls. If she continued to be friendly and treat you as she did before the wedding, then you should have reciprocated.

My suggestion is to go to her and apologize for cutting her. Explain the situation. Perhaps she will admit she did it, or perhaps she may have some idea who was being so cruel. If you feel uncomfortable, slowly move away from her.

I do hope you at least gave her some gift in return for her kindness in the use of her home.

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Claddagh Lass March 24, 2010 at 2:10 pm

I’m wondering if it really was the writer’s friend who was going around saying these things? It could’ve been someone else pretending to be the friend.

There was something similar that happened in grade school. This girl, A, had angered her friend B. B went around impersonating A saying that “A didn’t want her friends attending her birthday party and that it had been cancelled.” B then “befriended” A’s friends and they didn’t want to have anything to do with A again.

I’m really wondering if this is something in a similar vein.

If it is not then shame on the “friend” for doing such a thing!

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Mom March 24, 2010 at 2:46 pm

It sounds to me like she was looking for a little acknowledgement/support (and I’m not saying you weren’t giving it to her). Some folk complain of all they are put through/dealing with so that others will tell them that they are WONDERFUL for doing so – it is their way of getting validation and attention. She denied it to your face because she was complaining/gossiping publicly – and didn’t like getting caught at it. So, basically, she did a nice thing for you by allowing you to marry at her home – and it would have been even nicer if she’d been gracious about it and had avoided stressing out the bride.
And, to look at her side (because I always try to play fair), you did say “every time I gave her a headcount” – perhaps she was stressed by an ever-changing number?

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Fox March 24, 2010 at 5:34 pm

I agree with Mom – I’ve personally witnessed a woman *volunteering* to do X, Y and Z for a mutual friend’s wedding and then playing the martyr card behind the bride’s back, acting like she’s SO stressed with SO much to do so that other friends will tell her what an amazingly good friend she is for “putting up” with the bride’s “demands.” It wouldn’t surprise me if this woman was the same. She probably didn’t mean for it to get back to the bride at all and probably was pleased to host the wedding (especially since it got her so much attention/sympathy/brownie points).

I’m a little skeptical that it could have been someone else impersonating this woman (and that you’d never find out about it in five years), but anything is possible, I suppose.

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Margaret March 24, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Or maybe she really did regret agreeing to it, but is the kind of person who wouldn’t be able to rescind the offer knowing that it would put you in a bind, so she was nice to you, but cranky to everyone else. I tend to agree to do things that I later regret, but feel I have a responsibility to carry on because people are counting on me, so I say I don’t mind, but really I do. If she was having doubts but didn’t tell you the first time you asked, “are you sure”, then every time she said yes despite her misgivings, it would make it harder for her to finally admit that she didn’t want to host your wedding. That maybe isn’t the mature approach, but that could be the case. I know you said you kept checking with her if it was still okay, but there’s a way of asking if it’s okay that says “don’t worry, we’ll be fine if you’ve changed your mind” and a way of asking if it’s okay that says “please say that you are still going to do it because if you say no, I’m totatlly screwed and I don’t know what I’ll do!!!” I notice in your story, you said you called her to ask “what the hell was going on and why hadn’t she said anything in the *5* months before now.” Maybe you called her up and were polite and inquiring, but it sure sounds like you called her up and were an ass to her, which is pretty nasty considering she was offering her HOME for your wedding. Some people would react to that by saying, fine, get another venue, but some people would not be open in the face of an attack like that.

Also, were you helping her to prepare her home for YOUR wedding? Maybe it was just a lot more work than she anticipated or she had assumed that you would be doing a lot of the preparation work and she just got stressed out about it and dealt with her stress by venting to OTHER people instead of to you. Would you really have felt better if she had started telling you a month out that she was overwhelmed and regretted her decision? Would you have been able to use her home if she had told you to your face that she didn’t want to host it, even if she said that you still could because it was too late for you to change? Would that really have been less stressful?

Obviously, if she didn’t want to do it, it would have been better not to offer in the first place, but since she went through with it, that was a HUGE H U G E favour to you. Sure hope you cleaned up her place after your wedding.

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Margaret March 25, 2010 at 11:55 am

Agreed. She was most likely venting about the stress of hosting it (not helped by your increasing headcounts) and trying not to add to yours. Think about how you acted before the wedding, worrying about details; well, she did too. It’s a pity she wasn’t more forthright about it, but not something you should take offense at. IMO, you owe her a major apology.

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NotCinderell March 25, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Margaret, we learn on Etiquette Hell that no is a complete sentence. It is not polite to say yes when you mean no, and then complain that the person asked in the first place because they should have known better. When someone asks you to do something that you are not prepared to do, tell them that you can’t do it. It’s much more polite simply to say no.

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Xtina March 25, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I’ll never, ever understand how come people are so two-faced like this. Or maybe bi-polar? haha.

At any rate, if the friend hosting everything really didn’t want the hosting duties, then she should have been big enough to rescind her offer months ahead of time, or just bit the bullet and went with it without complaint….or perhaps offered to help the bride find an alternate venue in lieu of her home. Although I can agree with “Margaret” above my post that the hostess may have simply been venting about changes and perhaps the bride was a bit demanding, she should have set some limits beforehand on what she was equipped to offer in hosting the event/expected the bride to do, instead of just complain about it behind the bride’s back. It’s things like this that can ruin a relationship.

If it was someone else impersonating the friend, I feel sorry that they had to act that way, and in the process, ruin a friendship.

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Elizabeth Bunting March 26, 2010 at 12:10 am

I am wondering about the people who were snitching on the proposed hostess to the bride. It is likely that the proposed hostess was talking to them in confidence and was not expecting them to repeat it. I personally NEVER repeat anything negative about anyone that was told me by another party. I would question the informants. Why would they even tell this to the bride. They should mind their own business. If the proposed hostess wanted the bride to know this, she would have told her herself. Just my thoughts.

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phoenix March 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Elizabeth- this wasn’t a case of the people “snitching” or repeating bad gossip. If you are preparing a large cake for an event and the site host shows serious signs of canceling you HAVE to check with the bride. They were getting the impression the event was either canceled or suffering from severe miscommunication that needed to be resolved. There are cases of caterers who hear from a site that “oh, we canceled that event” and contact the bride only to find out SHE was never told. Would you prefer that the caterer kept their mouth shut to avoid repeating bad news?

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jenna March 30, 2010 at 6:05 am

I have no idea if this was the actual friend or a malicious impersonator.

But since you don’t know either (how can you?), the thing to do now is to call the people who told you those things about this friend and ask how they heard – was it a phone call? An email? In person?

If they had talked in person to this friend, then by all means keep her out of your life. That’s just whacked. I can understand her getting stressed or unburdening some negative emotions on others, but to say things like that to multiple people – she had to *want* you to hear it, which is beyond passive aggressive; it’s scary.

But if all of them received a phone call or email, then that’s more suspicious. In that case, write your friend a letter (or give her a call to meet face to face) and explain exactly what you know. That X number of people came forward and told you that she’d said such things, but it was not clear if it was really her or some horrible wretch hell-bent on hurting you. Explain that if it *was* her, you are disappointed that she felt she had to act that way, especially as you had taken care to check with her several times as you were sensitive to her stress from allowing you to use her property, and would have reacted with grace if presented with honesty.

Then say that if it was not her, that you are terribly sorry for cutting her off all these years, but that you’d felt you had no choice given what you thought she’d said, and if it is in fact true that there was a prankster doing this, that you will do some digging to find out who it was.

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Judy in SATX April 29, 2010 at 7:59 am

To those who said that the increasing head count might have been stressing out the hostess -to-be, of course the head count was increasing! It’s not like everyone who RSVPs does so on the exact same day. Keeping her up-to-date on the numbers coming was a perfectly reasonable thing for the BTB to do.

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sassygirl73 June 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I have done what the hostess seems to have done. Said yes to something, without thinking through to what will be involved. And once I say yes, it is really not in my nature to rescind unless an emergency comes up. However, luckily for me, my mom is truly my best friend, and would NEVER blab to anyone about my private feelings, so when things like this happens,, I can vent to her and/or strategize how to make something I overcommited to , bearable. Plus it is kind of her doing, lol, she taught me never to go back on something I’ve committed too., lol. I would never tell mutual friends of the friend I’m frustrated with. (unless it is something REALLY henious they had done.)

However, I think just cutting out the hostess is really harsh. Even if she was grumbling, she did hold the wedding at her house. Also I can see her more putting it on herself, thinking she had overextended herself. Not thinking the OP had done everything wrong, just that she overstretched herself. I think the OP should have a heart to heart with the hostess. Because if she even offered her house, obviously you were pretty close. I live in a small apartment, but even if I had a bigger place, there would be VERY few people I would lend my house to for a wedding.

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Dazee September 19, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Well, unfortunetly, since the OP didn’t hear the conversations take place and since her friend still did have the wedding at her house, she obviouly had no intention of backing out. It doesn’t appear that the friend was calling these people and saying there was a change in plans, she may have stated something as simply as, “Yeah, I’m having second thoughts now, I didn’t realize how much work it would be.” that would cause concern in these other people, but again, who knows what was said except those people that took part in the conversation. Just because you state you’re having second thoughts and are doubting your decision, doesn’t mean you’re saying you’re going to back out or are changing plans. You can regret something and still go through with it.

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