A Self-Fulfilling Wedding Invitation Prophecy

by admin on June 8, 2011

The following baffling encounter happened while I was planning my upcoming wedding. The wedding was about seven months away, and I’d been trying to keep the planning process fairly low-key, just to avoid instances like this.

It was a popular holiday, and my fiancé and I went out to our local pub to meet our friends and celebrate. Immediately upon our arrival, I was pulled aside by one of the “regulars”, a lady my fiancé had known for a long time, but who he wasn’t particularly fond of. Up until this point, my interaction with her had been limited to parties and celebrations by mutual friends.

She, let’s call her C, dragged me away from greeting my friends, looking very upset. I’m naturally a bleeding heart, and I’m used to people asking me for advice, so I felt concerned and wondered what could be wrong. C then asked me if I knew “L”. Well, yes, I had gone to high school with her, and we’d been in the same group of friends, though we’d never been particularly close.

C then informed me that she had noticed L was on my friends list on a popular social networking website, and that L was now dating C’s most recent ex, D. They were even *gasp* engaged! C went on to let me know that if I was planning on inviting L and D to my wedding, that C would have to decline her invitation and “distance” herself from me and my fiancé.

I was dumbfounded. To reiterate, the wedding was seven months away. I hadn’t sent out anything even resembling wedding invitations. Even if I had, neither C nor L were on our guest list. C had totally caught me by surprise by assuming that she herself was invited, not to mention making demands about any other possible guests. It also struck me that “distancing” herself would be difficult, as she rarely saw us, anyway.

I managed to gather my wits about me and assured her that the guest list did not include L, or her fiancé D. I said that the guest list was still in the making, and that we would most likely be planning an intimate celebration with just family and close friends. I knew that C would be moving out of state before long, and I doubt that she’d miss an invitation.

C seemed to glaze over and not hear a word I said, but seemed satisfied that she had informed me of her demands and returned to the party. Thankfully, to this day that is the worst faux pas I’ve observed personally regarding my own wedding. Though the date has not yet arrived, and I can never be sure what’s in store for me! 0606-11

An encounter like this will pretty much guarantee that an invitation will not be forthcoming.   It would be exceptionally impolite to expose C to the horrors of being fellow guests with a former ex and his fiancee at a wedding.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda Kate June 8, 2011 at 3:15 am

I hate it when people put innocent parties in the middle of their feuds. It makes everything totally awkward for someone who has nothing to do with the issue at hand. I agree- lose the invitation.

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MeganAmy June 8, 2011 at 3:56 am

I’m always interested in the psychology and motivations of people like C. Was she fishing to find out if she was on the guest list? Did she just want to make herself important by bringing up the fact that she had dated D? Maybe he’s very attractive and she just wanted to put it down, for the record, that she had dated him. Did she want you to stop being friends with L and D for her sake and did she hope you’d take her side and show her what a good, supportive friend you are? Did she just want to have an excuse to call D and say “you and L have been uninvited because OP likes me most” to show how popular she is and what a mistake he made by ceasing to date her? Drama.

You handled it well. I don’t like to give information to people like C because I’m never sure of their motivations or who they plan to tell about anything I said to them. In these cases, I like to be very vague and not say that I’m not inviting C and not say that I’m not inviting L or D. I would have just said “Oh” or “the guest list is still in the making.”

Congrats on your upcoming wedding. Having been there, I say that now is the time to prepare your canned answer for people who try to RSVP with uninvited guests to the wedding. That could happen next. ;)

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jen a. June 8, 2011 at 4:34 am

I think MeganAmy is right on when she says that you were smart in not giving C any information. Who knows how she would have used it. People like her are dangerous! Personally, I think she was just trying to be dramatic and get a bit of attention.

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harry June 8, 2011 at 7:01 am

Basically it is none of C’s business who you invite to your wedding. If you had invited her as well as L and D it is then up to her to accept or politely decline. To try to drag you and your wedding into her feud is inexcusable.

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Shannon June 8, 2011 at 7:54 am

I just got married three months ago, and if I’d invited every single person who tried to worm their way in, I would have had to rent out the Convention Center. The answer of “We’re planning an intimate celebration with close friends and immediate family only” was said so many times I just wanted to tattoo it across my forehead and be done with it.

The weird thing about weddings is that even people who are only tangentially involved will barge in and make the event all about themselves. I’ve never understood it, but I learned to not take it personally.

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Just Laura June 8, 2011 at 8:11 am

OP, your invitation woes will likely only increase. Some people have no idea how much money and work it is to deal with everyone who feels entitled to come. Megan Amy is right – it’s just unnecessary drama.
My wedding was in March, and about 4 days before The Day, a couple better known by my husband started sending several texts to him wondering where the wedding was held as they hadn’t received an invitation (it was a family and few friends-only wedding). Being a push-over, he told them where the reception would be, then later asked if I could squeeze in two more. They said they’d come, then never showed. When I asked another friend where they were, and she replied, “They were angry that there weren’t formal invitations, so they didn’t come.” So they invited themselves, then didn’t come because I didn’t include them on the tiny formal guest list?

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H June 8, 2011 at 8:34 am

I had a friend email me to ask a favor, and at the same time asking when my wedding was because she’d love to come, if it wasn’t too exclusive (or something like that, I don’t remember her exact phrasing.)

I was so taken aback I had to ask another friend for help on how to phrase my “Um, no.” The wedding was maybe a month or two off, so either she was invited and would find out, or she wasn’t and was setting us both up for awkwardness.

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Xtina June 8, 2011 at 9:34 am

It infuriates me when someone tries to involve me in their personal (unrelated to me) dramas. Especially if they ask me to take sides–this is essentially what C has done, as well as presuming her place in the OP’s world. It is presumptuous of her to assume that she was even going to be invited to the wedding in the first place, or that her presence would be so important to the OP that she would ever be in a position to demand that other people be excluded. You do not get to make rules at someone’s else’s event.

OP handled it well–neither confirming nor denying who would be on the guest list was the way to go. C was probably fishing for information as well as trying to pull the OP into her drama.

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DGS June 8, 2011 at 9:34 am

C’s motivation? A love for drama and attention-seeking. The OP handled it perfectly.

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livvy June 8, 2011 at 10:00 am

Anyone past the age of 16 should be able to swallow whatever feelings they have about other people at a party or event, or have the maturity to know that their discomfort is their own responsibility, and their only acceptable option is to exempt themselves.

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karma June 8, 2011 at 10:17 am

A. She’s a psycho.
B. She actually wasn’t concerned, she just wanted to tell you about her “drama”.
C. Best reply for crazy folk: “Oh, okay.”

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karma June 8, 2011 at 10:30 am

@jen a.

I cannot begin to say how much I agree with you about giving info out to peopl. Once when I was about 24 and working a job at a fast food restaurant, a couple who looked like regular folks came into the dining area.
They struck up conversation with the server and mentioned that they were there to see “Susan” their SIL. The server replied that Susan wasn’t on shift. They inquired as to when she’d work again, but behind their backs I motioned to the server to forego giving that info out, so the server told them she didn’t know. (It was store policy not to tell stuff like that.)
The woman in the couple then suggested to the server that I, the cook on shift, might know how they could get in touch with her. They were in town for business and wanted to surprise her. I had a bad feeling about it. I said that I’d be happy to leave her a note, and I went in the back of the restaurant as if to get something to write on.
Using the employee phone list, I called Susan from the back room and described the couple to her. She panicked and begged me not to give them any info. Turns out they were her ex-in-laws who were hassling her about the custody decisions from her divorce–big, messy affair with husband having restricted visitation, etc. Susan had been forced to move and change her phone number due to their harassment in the past.
When I returned to the dining area, they became agitated that I wouldn’t provide them info on her. I finally said, “Look, I don’t know who you are, but if she wanted to see you, she’d probably have provided contact info considering you are her in-laws. It’s time for you to leave before we call the police.”
They left quickly, and we didn’t see them again. Needless to say, I learned a valuable life lesson that day about discussing other people’s affairs with outsiders. The minute someone ask about info that isn’t generally available, I become suspect.

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Ashley June 8, 2011 at 10:52 am

You should always act civil at a wedding, no matter who is invited. Whatever fight you have with someone else is NOT relevant to the wedding, so hold your tongue and whatever else you need to for ONE day. I don’t get why some people just don’t seem to understand that.

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--Lia June 8, 2011 at 11:23 am

I’m with MeganAmy when it comes to wondering what on earth these people are thinking. Here’s my completely non-professional guess as to psychology and motivation: I think people like C have no idea where one person starts and the next one ends. C thinks that because she’d want to know that D and L were dating, the OP must want to know also. If C is going to be uncomfortable, that must be of great concern to the OP too. If C broke up with D, then there must be something terribly wrong with L. Because C has no boundaries! She doesn’t get it that other people aren’t the same as she is.

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lkb June 8, 2011 at 11:30 am

@H
Is it possible that the friend meant the ceremony only. Long story, a coworker was getting married and I had arranged a special office gift — making a special effort to get a rather unusual item that she had mentioned wanting.) Long story, but we presented it to her at work on her last day.

I was not invited to her wedding (nor did I want to be) but she happened to be getting married at my church. I asked discretely if it would be all right if I attended the wedding Mass (I just wanted to get a glimpse of the happy couple because I knew she’d be a radiant bride). She was fine with that. I was fine with that. It was all good.

So, that’s why I wondered if that’s what your friend meant.

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springishere June 8, 2011 at 11:38 am

While this is totally wierd, I wouldn’t be too hard on folks who think they are invited.

Years ago, I was absolutely the best of friends with a gal who told me her son was getting married. I was so excited, and we talked over all the details–dresses, dates, etc. This son was like my own son, he had been over a lot, we had supported him in school and during unemployment and through some emotional issues, etc. So when I got the “blow off” invite (you know, the one that says ‘we’re getting married, but can’t invite everyone, but here is where we are registered’) I was very sad and disappointed.

So all I’m saying is, don’t think everyone who is ‘expecting’ an invite is a bad person.

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Enna June 8, 2011 at 11:48 am

If I was in OP’s position I would have pointed out that “distancing” herself from me would be easy as we hardly see each other anyway. Unless a relationship ended really really badly e.g. domestic violence there is no need to “distance” herself from the copule whose wedding it is.

Sometimes it is best to count the good time you’ve had so you don’t end up getting back together, splitting up and hating each other. Don’t know what made C and D break up or how long ago it was and how long D and L have been engaged but I’ve always done my best to 1) learn from the relationship 2) move on, 3) be nice to my ex – only had 2 and I keep in touch with one – the other is autstic and when he got a new gf we stopped contact, but that was because he didn’t want to meet up anymore as firends and I didn’t want to complicate matters.

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Louise June 8, 2011 at 12:31 pm

OP, you handled the bleatings of the drama llama very well. (Llamas do bleat, right?) May this be the only hiccup of your wedding!

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Rebecca June 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Wow, I would never assume I was invited to someone’s wedding. Maybe if it were my own sister, sure. Anyone else…no assumptions and no hard feelings.

Years ago a family friend got married. It was a second marriage for both of them and they planned to go on a road trip and get married in another part of the country while on vacation with only themselves and a couple of witnesses. And then they planned a small, intimate post-nuptial reception when they got back for family and close friends. She didn’t go around announcing her plans. But she had all kinds of people from work come up to her and say, “Wow, I’m really looking forward to your wedding!!”

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Jillybean June 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm

springishere…that’s appalling. And doesn’t strike me as nearly the same circumstance.

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ABF June 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm

@ Louise
“the bleatings of the drama llama” that is to funny! Thanks for the laugh.

@ Karma
Thanks for sharing your story. I had similar incident where I previously worked. People can be very sneaky. Luckily my boss walked in as I was being interrogated and reallized what was going on and put a stop to it.

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jen a. June 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm

@Karma

Holy cow, that’s a crazy story. Thank goodness you trusted your instincts! I’m not sure I would have thought to do the same – but your story is a good reminder of how powerful information can be.

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Twik June 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm

“(Llamas do bleat, right?) ”

Apparently, they hum. I guess they don’t remember the words.

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livvy June 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm

@sprigisphere – you actually got a piece of paper saying telling you that you were not invited, but that you were welcome to send a present??? I think that probably deserves its own entry here! wow.

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Shannon June 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Llamas also spit at random.

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June June 8, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Some tricky maneuvers by C.
“Do you know L?” She already knew the answer since she’d seen the social networking site friends list.

It would have been great if the OP had already known L and D were engaged, and told C that she was very happy for them before C could launch into the martyr talk.

*snort* drama llama.

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Tori June 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Wow…when i first started reading this i thought it was gonna be C asking why she hadnt recieved her invite yet or something like assuming she would be invited.

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starstruck June 8, 2011 at 10:54 pm

This is one of my peeves and all my friends know i never get in the middle or take sides when there is any kind of fight. i think your response was gracious , but i think i would of had to say something like, with all do respect, who you dated has nothing to do with me and my wedding.

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Jamesy June 8, 2011 at 11:05 pm

I think all the comments have been on-point and there seems to be a consensus about what happened that night.

This past year, after hearing numerous wedding details and updates from a very good friend’s fiance, I turned to my friend and made a joke along the lines of, “well, when I’m at the wedding…” Whoops! Even though this person was a long time friend, I knew I was being presumptuous. My friend immediately laughed and said, “Who says you’re invited?!” And we continued joking that I would have to sneak in with the caterers in order to attend. Being half-cruel to each other is our bag, so it worked out.

Their save-the-date now hangs on my fridge. I look forward to not having to carry any hors d’oeuvre trays that evening.

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Top Wedding Questions June 9, 2011 at 8:42 am

Pretty ballsy of her considering the invites hadn’t gone out yet. She assumed she’d be invited and then assumes she could dictate who gets invited. I swear I don’t know what’s happening, but we’ve got an epidemic of the overly-entitled, overly-self-centered on the rise. What gives?

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Margo June 10, 2011 at 10:49 am

Wow! C not only assumes she’s invited to your wedding, but aslo that she can dictate who else gets an invite, and tell you that if your don’t pick a side (her side) she doesn’t want to be friends any more. You seem to have handles it very graciously – I don’t think I would have told her whether the guest list included D or L – just stuck to the very vague ‘we haven’t finalised our guest list’ line (then gone home & made a note NOT to add her to it!

I think Ashley is right – when you are invited to a wedding you have a duty to your hosts to behave civilly to their other guests. If there is someone who you absolutely cannot bear to be in the same room with (abusive ex, maybe) then you can decline the invite.

I wish you all the best for your wedding and your marriage

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Pandora June 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm

When planning our wedding DH was moaning about a former neighbor “A” whose behavior at weddings was notorious. She got drunk, she was loud, she was obnoxious…and to top it off he didn’t like her! They hadn’t socialized since he had moved, although he was still friends with other folks living in the building. (He had lived in a condo building that was small and had been President of the Condo Association.) He similarly complained about another long time acquaintance, “B”. When it came time for the lists I put my foot down, he could invite anyone he wanted except these two women. We rehearsed his speech if either confronted him.

Right after the invites went out he got a call from “A”. She was “really looking forward to the wedding, heard the invites were beautiful, looking forward to receiving hers, wanted to throw a party for us” etc. As rehearsed he said “We had to make some hard decisions and limit the guest list.” She finally asked directly if she was invited and he said no, and repeated, hard decisions, limit the list. She never spoke to him again. He was delighted.

“B” was more polite. She just never called again. He was similarly delighted. The key seemed to be his having an answer planned in advance and sticking to it without any further elaboration. (Who was included and why, exactly how many etc.)

Good luck, I’m sure the wedding will be wonderful!

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Cat June 11, 2011 at 10:46 am

Your response was excellent. I keep it very short by saying, “Thank you for letting me know.”

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James June 16, 2011 at 8:41 am

*sigh* The whole “I’m not friends with X so you have to choose between us!” thing frustrates me no end. There’s people who I choose not to spend time with because we don’t have much in common, or because they’ve hurt me in the past, but I don’t go around telling other people who they can and can’t associate with.

I think the OP handled this situation brilliantly.

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Toya July 15, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Why is this girl so obsessed with her ex? He moved on so why can’t do the same? I wouldn’t invite her even if she was originally on the guest list after what she did. Elementary school should have ended years ago. You’re all adults. You are entitled to like and invite whomever you want. If she can’t handle it, she is obviously too immature to function in the outside world.

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Bela516 February 8, 2012 at 2:52 am

It is times like those where you would love to give a smart-mouth response such as “Oh don’t worry – I had no intention of inviting you anyway.” LOL. Though that would be terribly rude of course. I think the best course of action was the one you took. No invitation at all is the best response.

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