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Wedding Wednesday: “Temporary Wedding Insanity”

I had a friend of mine “N” cut me out of her wedding, despite the fact I was one of her 3 good friends about 15 years ago. She was stressed out and sensitive, and she got very upset that she saw me talking to someone in a restaurant that I used to be friends with. This person had spotted me and sat down briefly to chat. She happened to be the ex girlfriend of “N’s” fiancé. We were both young, in our early 20’s, and it was drama drama drama! “N” sat me down soon after, told me I had betrayed her, not believing my story, and told me I was out of the wedding, because she didn’t want me to “report back to the ex”. I was crushed. We had been talking about her wedding for an entire year, and I was looking forward to the event. We both went away angry, but my children’s grandmother advised me to keep my mouth shut, that “the best revenge, is indifference”.

Fast forward to “N’s” actual wedding, and 3 days before the wedding she called me and asked if my daughter (who was 3) could be her flower girl. Remember, I wasn’t invited. I mentioned this to her and she said, “Of course you are invited, just not in the wedding party! I chose my sister, cousin and best friend, we kept it small!” This might have been plausible, but I had never received an invitation, and had been excluded from her wedding shower and her bachelorette party.

We were both popular in our large friend group, and I knew that it was a strain on everyone for us to be angry… and truthfully since we completely ignored each other after she told me I was out of the wedding and why, we only had that incident to be upset about, so I was mostly hurt at being excluded, but relieved that she didn’t reveal all my secrets to everyone we knew, as we had been quite close. “N” was, by nature, not a mean person so her fit of jealously was really out of character. I also knew through mutual friends that “N” had made her previous flower girl an expensive dress for the occasion, and the poor kid had come down with pink eye and my daughter would fit the dress.

I decided to suck it up and pass off all the drama as her being a Bridezilla, and that 3 months of being a jerk didn’t over write 5 years of friendship.

“N’s” true nature shined through at the wedding. After months of hurt feelings, and strain, she was gracious, friendly, and I was included as much as she could include me, she even sat me and my daughter with her relatives at one of the head tables. I know that a lot of people would have written off that friendship, but everyone messes up sometimes. It did help that she never discussed with anyone why I wasn’t in the wedding. We were able to repair our friendship, because neither of us were hate mongers, and she saw that I did support her at that wedding. She did eventually apologize. 15 years later we are still friends, and she is helping me get through a sad divorce. She is still as closed mouthed about our business as she always has been… and if I get sad seeing myself missing from her wedding party photos because of a stupid misunderstanding, my daughter is there, looking like a little angel in a truly amazing dress that my friend made.  1207-16

{ 45 comments… add one }
  • Marie January 4, 2017, 4:57 am

    Wow. I can only applaud your kind nature and how gracious you went about it all. You are really an awesome person to your friends if you let this happen and still agreed to join in at the last moment.

    The bride here was very much in the wrong. She apparently had plenty of time to talk to you (as you didn’t have an invitation yet at the time of the incident, I’m assuming it happened at least 6 weeks before the wedding), and refused to do so until she had a problem only you could fix. I think that by the way you acted, she may have realized what a good friend you actually are, and that’s what caused her to try and mend things as best she could.
    To be honest, if I was put in this position, I would have politely declined, citing “I’m sorry, I cannot accomodate to your request. I hope you find another flower girl in time and wish you a wonderful wedding.” Thank you for sharing that there are other options, so I can work on improving myself.

    • Dee January 4, 2017, 12:34 pm

      I, too, would have declined the “invitation”, as it wasn’t for the OP’s benefit but for the bride’s, so that she had a body to fill the flower girl’s dress. Seems odd, to me, that the original flower girl was not allowed to continue in her role. She had pink eye three days before the wedding; treatment should have cleared that up well enough by the wedding day. I think the bride just did not want a flawed flower girl at her wedding and so went shopping for a replacement. But did either N or OP consider the feelings of the “fired” flower girl and her parents before choosing to replace her?

      “It did help that she never discussed with anyone why I wasn’t in the wedding” – that statement is really out-of-whack, OP. N wouldn’t have discussed it with others if she didn’t want to make herself look bad, because there’s no way to spin it to make YOU look bad. It concerns me that you are willing to be so grateful for crumbs. N included you in the head tables at the wedding – of course she did! Your daughter was in the wedding party! And “I was included as much as she could include me” isn’t anything more than any other guest and member of the wedding party should expect. And where was your husband in all this? He doesn’t seem to be have been at the wedding – did N not invite him?

      N had plenty of time to ruminate over her initial bad behaviour towards you but chose to wait until the eleventh hour and only then because she needed your daughter. She deliberately chose to cut you out while she was addressing each and every one of those invitations and when plans were being made for her shower and bachelorette. You were very clearly NOT forgiven and NOT wanted at the wedding. She was a jerk to you for three months! And in your words, it was “drama drama drama” so it seems this is not the first indication that N is quite selfish and mean.

      It’s nice that you feel your friendship with N is a good one but from what you describe it sounds as if you don’t value yourself much, as you feel you only deserve little considerations in return for your ample generosity. You did absolutely nothing wrong by talking to your former friend and if N (or anybody else) seeks to dictate who you spend your time with, well, that’s a big red flag. And it is only right to expect a friend to not spill your secrets to all and sundry. That N did not tattle to others during the time you were on the “outs” is not a wonderful gesture on her part. You participated and supported her willingly after she so deliberately, and without cause, hurt you but you didn’t ask for an apology and acknowledgment of what she did, and were so happy that N apologized EVENTUALLY. That’s not right or healthy.

      It makes me sad that it seems you don’t consider yourself worth common courtesy. I think you need to expect more from your relationships or run the risk of being used badly again. A good friend does not act like N did.

      • oregonbird January 4, 2017, 1:44 pm

        I would urge you to reread the story. You appear to have missed the entire point!

      • padua January 4, 2017, 4:08 pm

        wow. a lot of sweeping generalizations in this reply. how do you know the first flower girl’s mother didn’t pull her from the wedding? how do you know the bride was stirring up trouble by being a jerk for three months? it sounds as if they ‘ignored’ each other for the three months. and most brides are in a flurry of wedding preparations and not necessarily stewing about pulling someone from the wedding party. i don’t think the OP did anything wrong in continuing this relationship and in graciously extending an olive branch. many relationships are worth saving especially if the negatives are not the norm.

  • Princess Buttercup January 4, 2017, 5:09 am

    Wedding stress can bring out the worst in people. Good on you for not letting a lapse in judgement be an unforgivable offense.
    I used to do wedding photography and had agreed to do the photography for a friend’s wedding for free. The couple kept being unable to set a date and when they finally did it was just a few weeks out on a weekend I was fully booked with stuff planned for many months in advance. The bride to be got angry and chewed me out for saying I would do it but now saying I couldn’t. I told her “I’m sorry but that weekend has been fully booked for many months and there is absolutely no way I can get out of it or squeeze you in. I would love to be there and take your pictures but I just can not on that weekend.” Later when the wedding crazy settled down she apologized for going off on me and said that there were so many things causing issues with setting the date that she took her frustrations out on me because I was on the end of a build up of stress. I told her I completely understood and had figured that was the case.

  • Just4Kicks January 4, 2017, 5:43 am

    Bravo to you!!!
    I’m glad your post had a happy ending and you’ve remained friends.
    Also, even though it was a last minute thing to ask your daughter to be flower girl, that is very nice you looked past very hurt feelings to let your little girl be in the wedding, something she will remember for the rest of her life.
    Given the same situation, I’m not sure I could’ve let the hurt go…Good for you!

  • Just4Kicks January 4, 2017, 5:54 am

    Also, my daughter is now in middle school, and her group of friends before the holidays were freezing out one of the girls for something or another.
    My daughter was upset and didn’t know what to do, and asked me for help.
    I asked if the girl the group was mad at did anything wrong to my daughter, she said no.
    Well, if YOU want to still speak to this girl, then you do it, forget what the others are doing.
    Eventually it all blew over, as these things do, and I was very proud of my girl for using her own mind in deciding who was her friend and who was creating drama.
    I told her when I was her age, I was a cheerleader, and at Christmas time our coach took us to a nursing home to sing carols for the elderly.
    I don’t remember why, but I was on the outs with the girls, and NO ONE was speaking to me.
    I begged my mom to let me skip the outing, but she made me go.
    After the outing, our coach had us back to her house for cookies and cocoa.
    I can still remember all the other girls huddled together, holding hands and singing and whispering about me while I sat by myself in the corner holding back tears praying my dad would get there soon to take me home.
    My daughter just looked at me and said “Oh my God, Mom….you’re KILLING me!!! Please stop, I’m so sad for you!!! How awful!!!”

    • ketchup January 4, 2017, 6:44 am

      Omg that is horrible.

    • Susan. Haverland January 4, 2017, 6:17 pm

      How. Sad . The coach should have made sure was included. A thought less coach .

    • NostalgicGal January 5, 2017, 11:58 pm

      The Thanksgiving where all of DH’s side got together, and the second oldest had divorced and had the woman he’d left his wife for at the event. The women were not giving her the time of day and I finally did ‘the hallibut’ and talked to her. She was massively grateful, it just gushed out of her, and the others gave me cold shoulder h*** and I said right back to them, it’s already happened, how come you’re not giving HIM the heck? She didn’t do this by herself.

      They married not much longer after that and the family had to get used to the idea….

      • Dee January 7, 2017, 11:53 am

        But it’s an awful betrayal of the ex-wife for other family members (who ostensibly accepted her as a daughter/sister during her marriage) to simply cast her aside and accept the woman who helped betray her. Maybe some day the new woman would be accepted by everyone but I don’t think I’d ever trust someone like that, who could have an affair with a married man. Yuck.

        • NostalgicGal January 9, 2017, 6:55 pm

          In the end she turned out to be a lovely woman despite it all (remember it takes two) and she died a few years ago of cancer. I don’t and won’t ever get all the back story on it but nobody smelled good on that one as it all played out. I wasn’t over the top, just talked to her because it looked like she was going to be added to the family no matter what or how bad the others treated her. The kids were all grown and they actually took to her quite well in the new arrangement.

          My reasons still stand. He was part of it and nobody gave him the cold shoulder. She was brave to face everyone. Considering I still have one SIL that hasn’t liked me since I started dating her brother (my current DH of 35 years) and still hasn’t coped with that one (we’re the only ones that didn’t have a divorce in the proceedings for either of us and are still married) this group isn’t perfect.

          • Just4Kicks January 11, 2017, 5:08 am

            While my husband’s ex wife and I have a nice relationship now, (their daughter is a lovely 23 year old young woman but was 3 when we married), the first Halloween I was living with my then fiancee we had a little party for her and her pals.
            In the spirit of “we are all adults here, lets get along for “Susie’ s” sake” I invited her mom and other parents in my step daughter’s class to the party.
            The ex wife stood in a corner with her mom pals and whispered about me the whole party, laughing about how I redecorated HER HOUSE (she left my husband, I had nothing to do with the divorce), and just being spiteful and mean.
            I never invited her to anything again, my feelings were so hurt and I was trying to be the bigger person and take the high road where our shared little girl was concerned.

  • ketchup January 4, 2017, 6:41 am

    You’re a better person than I am. I’d never have done that.

  • Cleosia January 4, 2017, 8:18 am

    I think you were more gracious than I may have been. Kudos to you !

    I have to wonder if the Groom-To-Be’s mother kept going on about the ex because she absolutely loved the her and had expected her son to eventually marry her. Future MIL might have kept winding your friend up going on and on about how great the ex was and how she always thought she’d be her DIL, etc., etc., etc. If that’s the case, I can understand how the Bride might have become so super sensitive to the anything ex related even if she was usually a very nice person.

  • AMC January 4, 2017, 8:56 am

    You are a much bigger person than I would have been, OP. I’m glad your friend’s abhorrent behavior toward you was just a temporary lapse in character and that your friendship has since recovered. Good for you for being so patient and forgiving.

  • matk January 4, 2017, 9:02 am

    On a side note, I think this demonstrates how crazy weddings can be. I think a lot of first time brides go “temporarily insane”. If someone does this just check back in a year later and see if they are “cured”.

    • Dee January 4, 2017, 2:49 pm

      For a bride to go “temporarily insane” over planning a wedding there has to be some significant dysfunction there to begin with. If a person is so absorbed in planning a day in their life that they forget everyone else has a life to live, too, and problems of their own, then they are a selfish, egotistical person, and it will show up again in other stressful times of their life. Healthy people plan weddings all the time and do not behave badly while doing it.

      • matk January 4, 2017, 7:42 pm

        Perhaps, I just think that some brides have watched a few too many Disney princess movies, and shows like “Say Yes To The Dress” and model their behavior on it. Reading stories here and other sites, you read many stories of good friends going off the deep end once engaged.

        • Dee January 5, 2017, 12:42 am

          A person who tries to emulate cartoon characters’ lives is too immature to get married. If getting engaged makes you “go off the deep end” then you haven’t got a very good character in the first place. Just because there are a few people who do go crazy when planning their wedding doesn’t mean it’s okay, normal or acceptable. Trouble is, when excuses are given for such behaviour it teaches little girls that they can get away with behaving like brats. Good friends don’t do that. Good friends behave like adults.

      • Anonymous January 5, 2017, 2:53 pm

        Yeah, I was going to say. Also, there’s a good chance that the Bridezilla behaviour might repeat itself if this woman gets pregnant.

    • Anonymous January 4, 2017, 4:38 pm

      Except, if you check back in a year, you might find that Bridezilla has gotten pregnant, and morphed into Mom-To-Be-Zilla.

    • ALM January 5, 2017, 6:50 pm

      My sister and I were looking through her Facebook photos at her friend’s wedding and I mentioned how I didn’t like being in wedding parties. She then asked me ‘well, aren’t you going to be me MY maid of honor?’ and I responded back quietly bluntly, ‘no, I’m sure one of your friends will enjoy it much more.’

      She was quite upset that I dared refuse to be her MOH. Mind you, she did not even have a boyfriend, much less a fiancé at this time.

      Every time I read Brides Gone Wild stories, I am so grateful that I went with my first thought instead of thinking it through because honestly her hurt feelings are worth dodging that bullet.

  • stacey January 4, 2017, 9:41 am

    Not buying it, sorry. By your own account, your friend was guilty of disloyalty and drama. You say that you found solace in repairing the friendship, but her lack of sincerity is appalling and makes a much stronger case for distance than for closeness. How many friends you each have or the size of your friend group shouldn’t come into the decision at all. It’s a case of white-washing that time cannot make better.

    • oregonbird January 4, 2017, 1:57 pm

      It’s always a good idea to leave room for the idea that there are other ways to see the world than our own. The excellent outcome of events that came from a decision you can’t understand did change the OP’s world for the better. If in the past you’ve made decisions to hold onto hurt rather than let go, and it all turned out horribly — well, me too!

      Given the complete denial you bring to the idea of reconciliation — and your rather awful rewriting of the OP’s history and insinuations of dishonesty, I mean really! — I can see why you might never have encountered a situation in which strained friendship strengthened by a simple act of forgiveness.

      It does happen, and when someone brings a more positive viewpoint to interactions with other people, it can happen to them.

      • stacey January 4, 2017, 9:54 pm

        I can see where you’re coming from, I think. But reconciliation can be with distance (forgiven but no longer close) or with continued intimacy. The second option requires integrity on both sides. To me, minimizing poor treatment is self-destructive for the perpetrator and the recipient of the rudeness. How can you go forward without basic honesty? (Now, I fully own that this is my own view and others may think differently.)

      • padua January 6, 2017, 12:38 pm


        • oregonbird January 6, 2017, 10:08 pm

          I suspect you thought this was a clever response. Moderator?

          e.g. anus = bung pod, ass = rimpod.
          Urban dictionary

          • admin January 7, 2017, 1:17 am

            POD is a word used on Ehell to mean “agreement”, as in “we are like two peas in a pod”. Readers have been using it like this on Ehell for at least a decade.

    • Anon January 4, 2017, 2:47 pm

      Yeah got to admit, I don’t get it.

      I’ll admit that I once blew up at two of my friends and did something (in my eyes) that was completely unforgivable. I made as much amends as I could, but I realized I screwed up badly. Ever since, I’ve felt so guilty about it that I refuse to even try to contact either of these two friends (though I have talked with relatives of theirs since, which I also felt guilty of doing).

      It sounds like bridezilla isn’t sorry for her actions at all and really only apologized once she knew OP wouldn’t do anything about it.

  • Shalamar January 4, 2017, 9:48 am

    Gotta say, OP – you’re a nicer person than I am. If I’d thought that N was asking my daughter to be a flower girl because she really liked my daughter, that would be one thing – but a last minute request because the original flower girl got pinkeye and the dress fit? Nuh-uh.

  • Lacey January 4, 2017, 11:29 am

    That is really a great story! Good reminder that sometimes people deserve the benefit of the doubt.

  • Lara January 4, 2017, 11:35 am

    That was absolutely the right decision on your part. Sometimes I must admit, when I read the comments on this board I’m appalled at how quickly people with advocate throwing over a long-standing friendship because of a single act of rudeness. There may have been other things that went into her feeling especially jealous and vulnerable at that time, besides the stress of the wedding, and I think it’s clear that she was trying to offer you an olive branch when she called and asked your daughter to be in the wedding. By that time she was probably regretting her extreme actions and trying to figure out a way to gracefully undo what she had done, and this gave her the opportunity. And you have the satisfaction of knowing that you did the right thing and saved your friendship.

    • Dee January 4, 2017, 2:47 pm

      It’s not a single act of rudeness, it’s a complete cutting out of OP for no good reason. No apology, no making up, no asking for forgiveness, just N wanting OP back in her life, at least temporarily, because she needed a kid to fit the dress. OP had nothing she could do but let things be, as it was, really, all in N’s court. Even now, though, I would caution OP to remember the “fool me once” adage, even as I suspect the wedding drama was not the first sign of trouble from N.

    • Anon January 4, 2017, 2:48 pm

      Single act?

      No, there were quite a few moments of “rudeness” in that period of time, and OP admits that this isn’t really a new thing.

  • Lomita Momcat January 4, 2017, 12:05 pm

    My first reaction on reading this was to think, “Wow, everyone involved in this tempest in a teapot drama would benefit from doing something like volunteering at a program for homeless people, or at a children’s hospital, or assisting elderly people.”

    The drama here is all about little, tiny, insignificant self-absorbed things. I read it through twice, and I couldn’t believe that the people’s lives could be so closed-off from REAL problems. I mean, truly, if on the bride’s side, the worst thing that’s happened to her is she saw a friend talking to someone who used to date her fiancé, and on OP’s side, the worst thing was getting pitched from the wedding party for this transgression, these people need to understand what REAL problems are.

    • ally January 4, 2017, 3:04 pm

      That is unfairly harsh, and please keep in mind, you are commenting on an etiquette site. This site is all about rudeness, faux pas, and standing up to boorish behavior. It’s REALLY not polite to come here and criticize the whole point of the page. Are people not allowed to discuss hobbies like cooking, for example, because somewhere, someone in the world is starving? No. Rudeness – no, life – is not a zero-sum game, and one person’s story of hurt feelings and a happy ending does not detract from larger world events.

    • Anonymous January 4, 2017, 4:50 pm

      That’s not fair. By that logic, nobody except the single worst-off person in the whole world would be allowed to be upset, because “someone else has it worse.” We don’t know the OP and her friend–for all we know, they do, in fact, do volunteer work in the community, or donate to charity. I’ve done a lot of that through the years–YMCA, Christmas Cheer, community theatre, several private day camps (including one for kids who’ve had a death or serious illness in their family), a big brothers/big sisters type program through my university, two different cancer charities, and several “one-off” events. I knew I was privileged, I knew that other people had it worse than me, but guess what? If someone said or did did something hurtful to me, I’d still be hurt, and I don’t think that qualifies as being self-absorbed, because the experience of being hurt by someone you care about, who you thought cared about you in return, has nothing to do with money or health or other standard indicators of “privilege.”

  • NostalgicGal January 4, 2017, 2:32 pm

    You did what I call ‘living well’, OP. You kept your way, and in the end it sorted out on the other end. It was very gracious to let your daughter be in the wedding at the last minute, and if you feel it’s sorted out, then everything is fine.

    Bridezilla-itis did rear it’s head, at least you seen through it. I’m sure there was a lot of backstory that never did see light but in the end, you lived well.

  • Annon January 4, 2017, 2:53 pm

    You definitely are a better person than most of us it seems. I am not so sure I would have done the same in the situation.
    The fact you didn’t receive an invitation – and the bride said she sent it? If you were such good friends and she had a “lapse” in behavior, she would have called to see if you were coming, and apologize before asking for your daughter to be in the wedding, not after?
    I don’t think we can give brides a pass because they “freak out during wedding planning.” There are a million stresses in life, this is just one of them, and I think it is an excuse that shouldn’t be used for bad behavior. If the bride acts the way she does, I think that is in their personality, and they just hide it well. They may show their true colors under stress, and if those true colors are nasty like she was to you, I wouldn’t be so willing to forgive. Everyone has their moments…….but if she couldn’t apologize in three months, and only after the wedding because your daughter helped her out, serious red flags.
    Good for you if it makes you feel better, I myself would have to seriously question the relationship if someone flipped out on me the way she did to you over talking to another woman – even if it was the ex of the groom to be. She was an ex for a reason and he was marrying the bride to be, shouldn’t that be enough?

  • ally January 4, 2017, 3:07 pm

    I, personally, might not have joined the wedding at the 11th hour, but I won’t criticize this OP for doing so. She made a choice, and decided that years of friendship was worth it. Other posters make good points about the very low bar OP set for her friend, but it’s possible OP used this as a learning experience to be more careful of future interactions. If I have the timeline right, OP continued to be friends with the bride for 10 years after this incident, and she does point out that friend was there for her during a divorce.

  • Iris January 4, 2017, 9:51 pm

    It was kind of you to recognise that your friend was not herself at that time. I’m sure she appreciates it.

    Once upon a time while preparing for my beloved Grandmother’s funeral I said some unkind, untrue and unnecessary things to my brother. I had, in the past week, driven 600km to say goodbye to her, driven home again, and then back a few days later when she passed, and I had just written her eulogy. There’s no excuse for my words, however, because the sad truth is that I dumped all of my own emotional and physical exhaustion onto someone else’s head. To this day, many years later, I genuinely appreciate the kindness and understanding that led to my brother not reacting in kind and forgiving me in my time of weakness. I’m sure your friend similarly appreciates your forbearance.

  • Semperviren January 5, 2017, 10:09 am

    You were the bigger person, good for you. I admit I probably could not have done the same. I have a difficult time forgiving stuff like this and I never, ever forget it. I can’t say it’s my favorite thing about myself or that it’s made my life happier.

  • Cherry91 January 5, 2017, 1:50 pm

    Wow, OP was very gracious. I feel like my response to that phone call would have been a lot shorter and sharper.

  • LizaJane January 6, 2017, 5:38 pm

    I can’t believe how many people are critcising the OP for her decision. Maybe that friendship meant enough to her to let go of the past.

    I hope this was a one time mistake for the bride and they have many years of friendship.

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