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Wedding Wednesday – High Fever Results in Frigid Relationship

Love your blog. I was just going through some old posts and it made me think of a story to share.

About a year after my husband (L) and I were married, a friend of L’s from college was getting married. His fiance had also gone to our college but was a few years behind us, so I knew the groom somewhat but not really the bride. She seemed like a nice girl, though! We RSVP’ed as soon as we got the invitation (knowing how frustrating it is when people don’t) and were really excited to go. The wedding was at a nice hotel in our area, and L’s former roommate was a groomsman, so we knew we would have a lovely time.

The day before their wedding my husband got a bad flu! Like, 102 degree fever flu. He hoped he would feel better the next day but he woke up just as sick. I guess this is where I went astray but having just been married myself I used my own experience as a guide: I didn’t contact the bride or groom to say we wouldn’t be coming because I knew at that point the venue wouldn’t “subtract” two people from the cost, and I didn’t want to burden them on their wedding day to have to stop and reply to a text from people that they didn’t even see very much. (Really, in the three years L and I had been married at that point we had seen them maybe twice, including the time at our own wedding.) And, frankly, I didn’t think they would notice we weren’t there since we weren’t close and their wedding was about 125 people.

Well, the groomsman who was the old roommate texted shortly after the reception started to ask where we were and to say the bride and groom were looking for us. I replied that L had a high fever so we hadn’t made it but we would be sending a gift right away.

Tthe next day when we got a nasty text from the bride. She couldn’t believe we didn’t show up since we had just gotten married ourselves and we KNEW how much a wedding costs and how could we not have told them we weren’t coming. My reply was very terse along the lines of, “L came down suddenly with a high fever, thank you for your concern.” I don’t remember now her reply but it just doubled down on what she’d already said, no concern, no “hope you feel better.” (At that point, we decided no gift.)

So maybe six months later we were at a party at the old roommate’s place and this couple was there. They were being very nice and I’d had a few drinks, so I felt magnanimous. I said to the (now) wife, “You know, I’m ready to let bygones be bygones.” I was thinking, “Weddings are stressful, sometimes people freak out. I know L misses his friend. I can totally let this go.” And she looked me dead in my eye and said (sincerely!), “Oh, I’m not mad about that anymore!”

Like I said, I guess I was wrong for not texting them to say we weren’t coming but her tone right off the bat was hostile (if you care enough about us to notice we weren’t there, don’t you care enough to ask if we’re okay?) and even after I explained L was sick she kept on. We didn’t frivolously decide not to go and we didn’t know far enough ahead of time for it to make a difference in their expenses. I can accept my share of “wrongness” but I will not accept that her response was proportionate or appropriate. (Needless to say, that party is the last time we spoke to or saw them.)  0627-18


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  • Jinx September 5, 2018, 5:58 am

    I don’t know what the etiquette thing is, but did you mean it when you said you understand that weddings can make people stressed out? It seems that is literally what happened.

    Then the bride says she’s not mad about it anymore, but it seems like you and your husband are? I think you should probably let the bygones be bygones.

    I’m confused with your husband’s relationship with the groom this whole time. They stopped talking because your hubby didn’t come to the wedding? Are you sure they talked often before that? You say he misses his friend, but it sounds like they don’t talk to each other anyway, like you even had to text the bride on rather than your husband texting the person you both knew (L)?

    I stand by let it go, this doesn’t even really involve you per se. if your hubby and L want to talk, I’m sure they would be

    • Miss-E September 5, 2018, 7:42 am

      I guess the OP was waiting for an apology. And it seems like she was hanging onto this incident for awhile so to hear the bride brush it off as something she’s got over a long time ago ultimately made her angrier (because she, the OP, had been the innocent person wronged in her mind). Here she thought she was being magnimous in forgiving the bride, and the bride didn’t even care! So rude.

      I really can see this story from two sides: the OP who doesn’t feel she did anything wrong and was unjustly bawled out and the bride who had two guests who didn’t show without any word. Both saw the other as the villain but the bride moved on the OP didn’t…

  • Charliesmum September 5, 2018, 6:28 am

    I had a couple no-show my wedding at the last minute due to illness. They didn’t send me a message, but they did let a mutual friend know, so she could tell me, so I didn’t waste any time wondering where they were, and worrying that they were okay. So I do think it would’ve been polite to let your mutual friend the groomsman know you couldn’t make it and why so he could pass on the information. For all the bride knew you’d decided weeks ago not to show up, and just didn’t bother to let them know. I am sorry she didn’t listen to your reason and believe you, but perception is everything in this sort of thing.

    • keloe September 5, 2018, 6:47 am

      I was going to say the same thing. The bride and groom are probably very busy and it might be a good idea not to bother them, but it would seem to me the best solution would be letting someone else know (ahead of the time) and asking them to pass on the information at a suitable moment.
      Also, it’s not like poeple not showing up and not getting in touch about it is the less stressful option. Especially when stressed, people tend to imagine the worst.

    • Miss-E September 5, 2018, 7:32 am

      Yeah, I was wondering why the OP didn’t just text the mutual groomsman friend. Her instinct was right not to text the bride or groom but you should let someone know rather than just no-show with no word. Giving the excuse after you’ve been called out for missing something sometimes gives the idea that it’s made up (not that I’m saying the OP did that, just that from the POV of the bride a couple didn’t show up and then when someone actively sought them out claimed one of them was very ill).

      Also, why didn’t the OP at least go on her own? She didn’t have to stay long if she was worried about her husband but she could have at least shown her face for the ceremony and cocktails and made her apologies then.

      • Heather September 5, 2018, 8:34 am

        I was thinking the same thing. OP could have gone and put in an appearance, let people know when appropriate what was up and no one would have thought that the couple had blown off the wedding.

      • ladyv21454 September 5, 2018, 9:12 am

        OP says she knows the groom “somewhat” and the bride pretty much not at all. She might not have felt comfortable being at the wedding of two people she barely knows.

        • AM September 5, 2018, 5:01 pm

          True, but sometimes etiquette demands we make ourselves just a little uncomfortable in service of others. Putting in a quick appearance to wish the couple well and deliver your husband’s regrets seems to fit that bill.

        • gramma dishes September 5, 2018, 7:05 pm

          She might also have been concerned that perhaps she had picked up the bug from her husband and didn’t wish to carry it to the wedding and spread it around there!

      • Outdoor Girl September 5, 2018, 12:43 pm

        If a member of my household had a high temperature, potentially the flu, there is no way I would go to a large function that likely has a lot of older folks there who would be more susceptible to illness. I’d be concerned that I was already contagious, if not symptomatic, and wouldn’t risk passing it on.

        That said, I would have texted *someone* to let them know we wouldn’t be there. I’d call the venue and ask them to pass on a message to someone in the bridal party (not the bride or groom), if I had to. I had 22 no shows at my wedding, out of 150. Only 2 of those let me know ahead of time that they wouldn’t be coming. There was one couple where the husband came and the wife stayed home because the babysitter fell through so he let us know at the time.
        None of the others notified us. I was pretty damn annoyed the next day when I realized it; it didn’t bother me the day of.

        The bride definitely erred on chewing out the OP but in the stress of the day, I can see it, though I wouldn’t have done it.

        And the OP erred in not sending the gift, IMO.

  • Val September 5, 2018, 8:34 am

    Sorry OP, but I can’t get behind you on this. It would have taken 3 minutes to send a quick text to the groom and then to the groomsman as an added precaution, just in case groom didn’t get a chance to see it. It’s just the polite thing to do- you RSVP yes, and if that changes you let the host know and send your regrets. OF COURSE they noticed that in their sea of 8 tops there was a glaring hole with two empty chairs. Your rudeness cost them actual money, bride’s rudeness cost you a little offense. Not on the same level at all. Even if they couldn’t have changed their final bill, they could have had someone reshuffle the seats to take away your place settings so it wasn’t so obvious that 2 guests were missing. And your husband had the FLU- it’s not like he was in a coma. How much sympathy do you expect?

    • CarlisleWeeps September 6, 2018, 6:23 am

      I totally agree. Some years ago my boyfried at the time and I were due to attend the wedding of one of his old school friends. We were supposed to travel down the Friday evening before for the wedding on the Saturday.

      Unfortunately on his ride home from work (he was on a motorcycle) the Friday afternoon, my boyfriend was in a serious accident and had to be airlifted to hospital. He was brain damaged and was in a coma.

      I spent the next few days with him at the hospital, but do you know what I did on the morning of the wedding??? I left a message for the bride and groom to let them know we wouldn’t be attending due to the accident (I didn’t let them know how serious it was as I didn’t want them to be too worried on their big day), however I thought it was the polite thing do do – even though ex-bf was lying in a hospital bed comatose.

      I can certainly understand the bride being upset at not being told OP was not attending, even though they may not have been able to recover any money, they may have been looking forward to seeing them both. Although chewing OP out was probably a bit much once OP had explained the situation, I still would side with the bride – particularly as OP then stewed over the fact for HALF A YEAR!

  • ladyv21454 September 5, 2018, 9:11 am

    Since the OP’s husband first became ill the day before the wedding, couldn’t she have contacted either the bride or the groom then and explained the situation? She could have just said, “H has come down with the flu and is running a high fever. He is hoping to be well enough to come to the wedding, but doesn’t want to run the risk of getting someone else sick. So if you don’t see us tomorrow, that’s why.”

    • AM September 5, 2018, 5:13 pm

      Or, as someone else suggested, the couple might have invited someone else in their place. It’s tricky, of course; you don’t want to communicate to a friend or family member that they’re just a runner-up. But if you have a neighbor or coworker or friendly acquaintance who’s close with an already-invited guest, who is free or flexible that day and would enjoy dinner and dancing, those non-refundable meals don’t have to go to waste.
      I invited some co-workers to my wedding when relatives couldn’t make it. I had just started this job when I got engaged, so none of them really expected an invite, and they were happy to come. They mingled well with my other friends, and it was a good situation all around.
      I was a friend’s plus-one stand-in at a college acquaintance’s wedding (with the the bride’s enthusiastic endorsement; she was very anti-bias-against-single-women) and had a wonderful time with all our mutual friends. Done right, these last-minute substitute invites are a great thing!

  • Annon September 5, 2018, 9:26 am

    The day of my wedding my inlaws friend (who was invited and about 7 months pregnant) became ill, or her daughter became ill. They let them know they couldn’t attend. We already paid, we asked my parents neighbor who I was friendly with, but not close enough to ask to a wedding. They were thrilled, as they had a sitter anyway for the night, and knew another couple that was going. They made a night of it……and enjoyed food, drink and dancing. And they were literally asked that morning.
    I, however, had another person and guest not show……but the kicker on this one, the person ASKED ME to invite her to my wedding. She was a co-worker who I wasn’t close to, and she point blank asked me where her invite was…..I was flabbergasted. I invited her though – and she never showed up. She was apparently moving out of her house (divorce) and knew way in advance the date of my wedding, and chose that day to do it. Thankfully I’m still married and don’t see another wedding in my future, but people can just be rude.
    OP – you should have tried to contact someone about your inability to come to the wedding, even if it wasn’t the bride or groom. Someone could have forwarded your message. And apparently weddings do bring out stress in people, and seems to be more so in today’s society, but it still would have been the right thing to do, and your choice in not sending a gift after her text (and non-apology for husbands illness) was wrong IMO.

    • AJ September 5, 2018, 9:39 pm

      Someone demanded to be invited to your wedding so you invited them???!?!?

      • Marozia November 11, 2018, 6:32 pm

        AND they didn’t turn up!!!!!

  • Livvy17 September 5, 2018, 9:27 am

    I understand the OP’s viewpoint, but I think I side with the Bride a bit more, at least in the aftermath. As a bride, I was very aware at my own 100 person wedding who didn’t show up. While I will fault her for texting to complain, I fault OP more for not letting anyone know as soon as possible that they weren’t going to show. While they had a good reason for not going, it’s not like taking care of hubby was so time intensive that a quick, apologetic text couldn’t have been managed sometime the night before, the day of, or morning after the wedding. That’s the beauty of texts, they wait patiently to be read, regardless of what a person is busy doing when they arrive. I was always taught that if I accepted an RSVP, nothing short of the hospital would do for an excuse (this counts) but I should bend over backwards in my apology to my would-be hosts. I don’t see that here – OP didn’t let anyone know, much less apologize for not being able to attend. Afterward, OP says that she’s sympathetic about how crazy weddings are, but takes such offense at the Bride’s upset (who may have been telegraphing new hubby’s sadness), that OP doesn’t sent a gift. Sounds like retaliation to me. Then, later, knowing that couple has paid for their uneaten meals, not received any communications, gift (did OP even send a card?) they run into the Bride and the OP feels “magnanimous” at being open to accepting an apology?? I think the Bride was the more forgiving of the two in this scenario.

    • Queen of Putrescence September 5, 2018, 9:52 am

      I understand also. We were supposed to have approximately 230 people at our wedding. A grand total of 27 not show up. This was in 1997 so way back before text messages, etc. We had to pay for everyone of those meals (sit down dinner) and state law stated that no food could leave the premises with us. ( We were warned about that by every venue we looked at)

      I never expected that these people would contact us the day of the wedding to let us know they couldn’t make it. However, I never heard one word of explanation from any of the no shows. No phone call, letter or card. That is what made me upset. Many of them were couples who just didn’t show up. Some were couples where only one half showed up and others were some college age cousins on hubby’s side who did not come with the rest of their families. I don’t know if all of these people (most came from small towns) were used to buffet only weddings where the venue only charged by how many plates were used and therefore didn’t even think that we would be charged for the missing guest. I only hope that the staff were able to eat the meals.

      I didn’t know about most of this until the next day. My Dad came up and told me to spread the word that there were “a few” extra meals so if anyone was still hungry they could get a second plate. I appreciate him not telling the truth during the wedding dinner.

      • Lisa September 5, 2018, 2:15 pm

        Queen – I love your screen name! That’s my favorite movie of all time.

        We had three no-shows at my wedding. One was half of a couple who came down with the flu, the hubby showed and explained why wifey was not there. Totally understandable, and we were fine with that, obviously. But the other two were my cousin and his wife who are notorious for responding yes, and then not showing (no reason given, no follow-up contact). I had some (benign) words for him the next time I saw him, and I told him that he would not have been too pleased had I done that at his wedding. To his credit, he was quite contrite and apologized! I agree with other commenters that the OP could have contacted the mutual groomsman friend or at least gone herself for a short time.

        • Queen of Putrescence September 6, 2018, 10:46 am

          Also my favorite movie of all time! Thanks!

      • Gina tonic September 5, 2018, 3:41 pm

        27???!!!! I would have been FUMING

        • Queen of Putrescence September 6, 2018, 10:46 am

          Gina tonic – I can still name each of those 27 people that did not show and we were married almost 21 years ago!

        • Livvy17 September 7, 2018, 1:55 pm

          I would have been crying. A cousin of my husband had that happen – a full THIRD of their guests didn’t show up, and naturally, it was glaringly obvious. She was in tears. I felt so bad hearing the story. (we started going out after that wedding, which he did attend) I think that’s probably another reason Brides notice (and remember) Unless you have an absolutely gigantic wedding, you have carefully selected each attendee, with honest hopes of seeing them there, in most cases, and it feels like a horrible slight when they don’t show.

  • MusicWithRocksInIt September 5, 2018, 9:33 am

    Every single person who didn’t show at my wedding was at the same table, which left three poor people sitting alone at a table for ten. I felt so bad for them, but there was no place else to move them too at that point. One of the people had food poising, and let one of my bridesmaids know, who mentioned it to me so I was prepared for it. The other people didn’t send any kind of word – so I was totally unprepared for that table to be so empty. They were close to a groomsman, so could have let him know but didn’t. If I had known ahead of time I could have moved the tables around a bit.

    Honestly I think it was a little tacky to bring up again like that. You should have just been polite and left it in the past. It seems you wanted credit for ‘forgiving’ them, but really you just made things awkward again.

  • Bernadette September 5, 2018, 9:45 am

    We had a few no-shows at our wedding. One couple both ended up sick. They were so upset to cancel – but luckily their niece & nephew filled in for them (and my niece and nephew got to hang out w/their cousins at the mostly adult reception) – that worked out great.
    Another couple (old friends of my husband’s that he had recently reconnected with) added a little note to their response card “can’t wait to be there” – and then didn’t show up, and never contacted him again. An entire family of long-time family friends of mine were invited, and one brother who replied for 2 didn’t bother to show up, never got an explanation for that one. Also had a friend reply for 2, but his girlfriend found out that an ex of hers was going to be there and didn’t come.
    I can say that it would have been NICE to hear something from the no-shows after the wedding – but we got over it and moved on – even after paying over $70/plate for those who said they’d be there and ghosted on us! I would never have confronted them though – figure it was up to them to reach out if they felt the need. Obviously they didn’t.
    We didn’t let it put a damper on our lovely wedding though, saw it as their loss because it was a great time. 🙂

  • Margo September 5, 2018, 9:46 am

    I think that you should have let someone know. A text to the groom, maybe, as he was the one you knew best, or a text to the groomsman to ask him to let the Bride and Groom know, and to pass on your apologies. (yes, people are busy on their wedding day, but he might well have seen it at some point, and if not, at least they would have seen i t later and known that you had tried to get the message to them)

    I think that in most circumstances it is polite to let someone know if you can’t make it, whether it’s a wedding or a less formal occasion. And had you sent a text to say “I’m really sorry, L & I won’t be able to be at the wedding as L has come down with flu and is really unwell. We’re so disappointed to be missing it, but hope you have a wonderful day!” then it may well have averted the whole falling out. As it was, you were rude and so was the bride.
    Since you were not ill, there was no excuse for you not sending a message.

    Also, while you were right that it would be too late to change catering numbers,had they known, they might have had time to take your places off the table so that other guests were not sitting with obvious gaps at the table, for instance.

  • JD September 5, 2018, 9:46 am

    I’m afraid I have to agree that someone, OP or L, should have sent a text saying L got very sick the day before, that L and OP were going to miss the wedding, but wish them a gorgeous day and hope to see them very soon. In fact, I would have texted them the day he got sick and warned them that it wasn’t looking good for our attendance. If he was okay by himself for a while, I would have gone on without him. If L and the groom were good friends as stated, of course the groom would be looking for L at the reception at least.
    Yes, the bride was wrong to do what she did, but I think this is not worth ruining an old friendship over, myself.
    And I would have sent that gift.

  • Mary Sgree September 5, 2018, 9:59 am

    Funny, I had no idea who was at my wedding and who was not, with the exception of the wedding party or very, very close family members. And thusly, it would never dawn on me to bother a wedding couple on their day to tell them I wouldn’t be there ( altho I would let them know afterwards what had happened)

    • AM September 5, 2018, 8:57 pm

      How many guests did you have? I’m curious; I invited 80 and did eventually notice the one guy who no-showed, during the reception. Not his fault; he got in a car accident on the way over, and he thoughtfully texted a mutual friend who let me know what happened, once I noticed his absence, and let me know that he wasn’t hurt. I forget whether this missing guest reached out to me or I to him afterward, but we touched base and are still friends.
      I recently learned from the wedding thread here last week or the week before that I’m a monster for not diligently going around to greet every guest individually during my wedding, but do I get some credit for not being oblivious?

    • Ange September 5, 2018, 10:57 pm

      Well obviously this couple noticed, the groom was probably looking for his friend and very hurt at the no-show and no explanation. It takes two seconds to send a message to someone who is attending so they can pass the word on.

  • Hanna September 5, 2018, 10:22 am

    Yes, I would echo the polite thing to do would be to let the bride and groom know. This happened to DH and I just last year when we came down with a stomach bug the day before the wedding. DH sent his friend a quick Facebook message (seems less in your face than a text) apologizing that we wouldn’t be there. She was super nice about it and said she hoped we got better. And this too was someone I had never met and DH hadn’t seen in ages.

    I don’t know if you should have thrown out the gift idea. I understand she was rude but you sort of put her in that position. I also don’t think her comment at the party was rude either. It sounds like OP was the only one holding onto that situation.

  • Kay_L September 5, 2018, 10:26 am

    You were so wrong! I cannot believe that you didn’t let someone know that you were not coming.

    Just because someone has invited over a 100 people doesn’t mean that they did not invite every single person with deliberation and care. You were rude to be a no-show.

    For one thing, you were 2 people who were now not seated at a table where other people were sitting and probably wondering why there were two empty seats.

    You essentially insulted the Bride when you decided that she “probably wouldn’t notice you weren’t there.”

    Whether a vendor subtracts meals or not and your experience with that is none of your business! It’s not just the meals–they have a space for you and you didn’t care enough about them to give them a heads up, or think enough of them that they would actually miss you.

    And then you’re peeved that she didn’t enquire as to your husband’s health? Really?

    When did you give them the opportunity? And then at a party later you act as if you were also a “wronged party?”

    You insulted them. You didn’t even apologize when someone texted you–just explained and said you were going to send a gift.

    The right thing to do would have been to call and leave a message. To explain briefly that you couldn’t attend but then wish them a very happy day and express sorrow at not being able to share it.

    You owe them a heartfelt apology.

    • Sarah September 6, 2018, 1:23 pm

      I agree totally with you on this. The OP wA all kinds of wrong and has the temerity to act like she’s somehow the wronged party. The bride had to eat the cost of those two dinners and OP should have given her the courtesy of a text. And then she withheld the gift? She owes the bride both an apology AND a gift

  • bopper September 5, 2018, 10:37 am

    “I am so sorry I totally should have texted you to let you know DH came down with the flu! I thought at the time I was doing you a favor by not bothering you, but I realize now that was totally the wrong way to handle it.”

    • AM September 5, 2018, 9:00 pm

      This. Not “I’m willing to let bygones be bygones,” which is basically “I still think you’re wrong but don’t even have the courage to tell you I’m upset.”

  • Vermin8 September 5, 2018, 1:03 pm

    It would have been more considerate for the bride if LW sent a text. However, the bride didn’t need to go on the tirade.
    IMO, however, the big etiquette transgression was LW telling the bride (now former bride) that she thought it was time to let bygones be bygones as a prompt to get an apology out of the bride. She didn’t get the answer she wanted and now she’s angry. So I guess LW isn’t really letting bygones be bygones.

    • Rose September 6, 2018, 1:08 pm

      ^^ I agree 100% with this! Both parties made mistakes. OP, you’re mad at the bride for essentially thinking exactly like you – “yes I might’ve made a mistake but she shouldn’t have done that!!” Difference is bride was actually willing to let it go

  • staceyizme September 5, 2018, 1:09 pm

    I’m pretty sure that the original was all you/ your spouse and not the bride at all. Her response wasn’t gracious, but your whole “we didn’t let them know and they got mad, so no gift but oh, by the way, I expect an apology” is just a bit over the top. Why are you excusing yourself from the simple courtesy of letting someone (anyone?) know that your plans have changed and that you deeply regret that you won’t be attending? Even if the late notice made no difference to the costs incurred by your hosts, it would have been considerate. It’s also possible that you could have attended without your spouse. It’s probably not strictly necessary, but it would have shown grace and a genuine good will. You seem to have cut off communication with the wrong party in that your own lack of consideration and good judgement precipitated the debacle and your own grudge holding after the fact caused you to revisit an issue where you were most to blame in search of an apology. It doesn’t appear to have worked out very well and I hope you’ll take to heart the idea that your chief responsibility is to your own values and the practice of consideration in all of your dealings, not to dancing attendance upon your own wounded sensibilities when you’ve “put your foot in it”, so to speak.

  • Ultrapongo September 5, 2018, 2:53 pm

    I agree with many others, you should have let someone know, maybe the groom and the groomsman. They could invite someone they would like to come but did not have room for, someone who could come with short notice.

  • Huh September 5, 2018, 3:07 pm

    I wrote long ago that my then-boyfriend was to be a groomsman at a wedding, woke up the morning of the wedding with some kind of food poisoning or something, called the bride and groom to tell them he couldn’t come, and the bride flipped out and said he HAD to come. He then drove to wedding, stopping to throw up every so often. Got to the wedding, still throwing up, made it through most of the ceremony and had to leave during it to throw up. The bride was furious, and even more so when he didn’t stay for the reception. Neither bride nor groom spoke to him again. If someone is sick, DO NOT MAKE THEM GO TO YOUR WEDDING.

    I had to bail on two weddings I had RSVP’d yes to – one the morning of, I woke up with a fever of 102 (ended up having strep throat). It was at a time when cell phones weren’t so prevalent, so I ended up apologizing and giving the couple the gift when they got back from their honeymoon. The other, there was a death in the family and the funeral ended up being the exact same time as an aquaintance’s wedding. I sent the bride and groom a note with my apologies and a gift after.

    Life happens.

  • DGS September 5, 2018, 3:10 pm

    This is a great example of the importance of communication. I think that OP was ruder than the bride – a quick text or phone call to a mutual friend (the groomsman etc.), would have sufficed. We had a groomsman who had been in a car accident the morning of the wedding (!!!), and his then-fiancee managed to call us on the way to the hospital (thankfully, he made a full recovery, and he is doing wonderfully, and they are both still dear good friends). We called them after the ceremony and before the reception to check in with them and see how they were doing, and we mentioned them and asked for prayers on their behalf during our reception hour. I think the OP owes the bride an apology.

  • Marie September 5, 2018, 3:37 pm

    If you miss the wedding due to the flu, you send a text, e-mail, something. Doesn’t have to be to the bride/groom, send it to the MOC. They can also make sure that the table arrangements are being altered properly (it would be awkward if you had tables of 6, and two couples seated at the same table wouldn’t show up).

    • Rubies September 7, 2018, 3:10 am

      What is an MOC?

  • Dee Crabtree September 5, 2018, 7:08 pm

    I was once in a similar situation but it was a family wedding. My then husband’s sister got married on a day when we both came down with a horrible case of the flu. Neither of us had the strength to even get up to brush our teeth, nor did we think it would be right to expose the rest of the wedding attendees to the nasty bug we shared. However, the bride late had a major hissy-fit and insisted that we could have come and sat at the back of the church, even though we would have been coughing, sneezing and wheezing through the whole thing. It was my impression that she thought it more important that we be there to witness her in all her second wedding glory than that we protect her and her other guests from our germs or stay home to take care of ourselves. She didn’t speak to us for six months after that. I enjoyed her silence.

    • staceyizme September 6, 2018, 9:41 pm

      This bride sounds like she is a little “high maintenance”. I’m just curious- did you let her know (or someone in the chain of communication/ responsibility know) that you were ill and could not attend? I’m just wondering, anecdotally, if early notice helps to stave off twenty versions of “where were you”?/ “but you should STILL have been there!”…

  • Catherine St. Clair September 5, 2018, 7:43 pm

    I can see the bride’s side. Once you accept an invitation, you are expected to attend. Flu is very contagious and, if you had texted or emailed her when hubby started running the fever, she would likely have been understanding. I’d have written something like, “We are so sorry, but “Fred” has a fever of 102 and it looks like he may have the flu. Knowing how contagious it is in the early stages, we will stay home if he doesn’t improve by tomorrow. The last thing you need on your honeymoon is to have the flu! We hate to miss your wedding, but making you both sick would be a nasty wedding gift to give you.” If you then got a nasty email from her, she would clearly be in the wrong. You should have sent a gift. Not doing so make you appear vindictive, even if that was not your intention.

  • AS September 5, 2018, 8:07 pm

    IMHO, if you can’t make it to the wedding, you should communicate to the host, or someone else affiliated, like any other party. And also apologized to the couple for not being able to make it! Granted that it was inappropriate for the bride to berate you the next day. But did you never think of sending an honest apology for not being able to attend the wedding?

    I had someone who had to move to a different city the weekend we got married, and knew it only 2 weeks before the wedding. He didn’t let us know, because in his mind, he was doing us a favor by not adding to the stress. The thing is that out catering list wasn’t due until a week before the wedding, and we could have easily taken him out of the head-count. (Out photographer took a close-up of his name in the seating chart, because he had an exotic name; and that meant that we have a photograph of a name card of a person who didn’t show up! That’s not his fault, but and a very minor frustration). We also had a woman who was pregnant, and she and her husband couldn’t make it for the reception (they very sweetly came all the way for the wedding though). It was awkward because we happened to put all three all of them on the same table, and hence there was a half-empty table at the wedding! I think the others in the table drank off their share of the champagne that was poured for the toasts, so all’s good that ends well 😉 .

    Also on the importance of communication – we had a friend, let’s call him Travis, who had said that he couldn’t make it because his sister’s fiancé’s bachelor party was planned for the same weekend as our wedding. Then the bachelor party venue moved, which meant that Travis could be back to our town before out wedding. He asked me, very skeptically, by email if he could still attend the wedding. We had not yet given the final head-count to the caterers, and were happy to add him, and I am so glad that he had asked! (My husband’s grandmother really wanted to dance at the reception, but wasn’t quite sure if she should join or not with all the youngsters. She was standing at the corner of the dance floor, and moving her legs. Travis noticed it, and invited her to dance with him; he is that kind of sweet! She remembered him quite well after that, and told us the story later.)

  • Lara September 5, 2018, 8:53 pm

    It seems your willingness to “let bygones be bygones” depended on her being suitably penitent. Since she wasn’t, you’re prepared to hold a grudge forever.

    IMO, you were wrong not to text, she was more wrong to respond the way she did, and you were wrong again not to send a gift. So both of you were wrong, but only one of you got over it.

  • Skaramouche September 5, 2018, 11:59 pm

    OP, I had a feeling as I read this that you were going to be lambasted and I was right. I’m going to add my two bits to that. Doesn’t seem as if you really believe your “weddings are stressful” spiel. If you did, you would have acknowledged your part in all this and truly forgiven the bride for her rude message to you the day after the wedding. Even if the rudeness was over the top, you started it and you deserved it. Who doesn’t let someone know they are going to miss something as important as a wedding? Who doesn’t apologise when caught wrong-footed? Who decides to vengefully withhhold a gift? Who holds a grudge for 6 months and then “magnanimously” offers to let it go while expecting an apology from the other party? Apparently, you :P.

  • Bea September 6, 2018, 12:10 pm

    If an event requires RSVP of course you need to alert the hosts. It’s so simple.

    Then to be so smarmy as to bring it up months later. Wowzah.

  • CMK121212 September 6, 2018, 1:47 pm

    Whoa…am I alone in thinking the bride has every right to be mad because OP is seriously out of line. You couldn’t be bothered to text either of them, or anyone. In fact you waited until someone else texted to see where you were. Plus, you never apologized to the couple. Honestly, you EARNED that reaming from the bride. And now you are generously willing to forgive HER? I’m just glad that the bride and her spouse have dodged having to deal with having a pretty toxic “friend” in their lives. You owe them an apology for the wedding but an even bigger one for dismissing and patronizing them for your “sin.”

    • bellini September 9, 2018, 12:12 pm

      You are not alone. OP is in the wrong. You don’t blow off a social engagement, because you think the hosts “won’t notice.”

  • A Person September 6, 2018, 4:22 pm

    Honestly, I would have sent the bride or someone who can contact her a quick text saying “Hubby is sick, sorry we can’t be there.”

    At least anyone expecting us to show won’t think we died in a car wreck on the way or something.

  • Rebecca September 7, 2018, 1:13 am

    Wow, totally rude of the OP not to contact anyone to say “Sorry we can’t be there due to flu.” And I am genuinely baffled as to why she’s upset that the bride later said “Oh, I’m not mad about that anymore.” I mean, that’s cool, right? Any rational person would think, “You’re not mad anymore, I’m not mad, it’s all good. “

  • Jane September 7, 2018, 3:20 pm

    I’m confused as to how you think if the bride cared about you she should have asked if husband was okay, but you didn’t care enough about the bride to let her know you wouldn’t be attending, or to send the couple well wishes on their happy day. Friendship is a two way street and it sounds like you expect a lot more from the other couple than you are willing to give. Honestly, you come across extremely selfish in this scenario. Not sending a gift was petty, and expecting an apology when you weren’t willing to give one yourself was rude. Yes, the bride was out of line for sending a rude text, but you yourself know what weddings cause people to stress out, and if you were truly willing to let bygones be bygones you would have apologized, sent a gift, and moved on.

  • Aprobe September 9, 2018, 7:18 am

    We had a close friend who didn’t come to a wedding because she was in the hospital. I texted from the wedding- apparently her husband was supposed to let one of us know and forgot. The bride sent them flowers from the wedding.
    Around a year later the bride was saying how they fell out of touch and I asked if this person had ever been in contact to wish her congratulations later. She hadnt, but at the same time was wondering why people weren’t contacting her about her son’s birth or for visiting. It’s one thing to miss a wedding a very logical reason, but another to go no contact for a year but still want people to celebrate your gains. Basically what I took was if you’re going to miss something that big, a phone call late when your well to explain it further helps.

  • bellini September 9, 2018, 12:10 pm

    I’ve been married for nineteen years and I can still tell you the name of the old coworker who no-showed to my wedding after RSVP’ing yes. I don’t think about it, but I still have no idea why she didn’t come.

    If you can’t show up to something, don’t blow it off. That’s just rude. I knew who came to my own wedding – we only invited people we wanted to share the day with.

  • Kitty September 9, 2018, 2:56 pm

    Hindsight, you should have sent them a message on the day of the wedding or the day before, stating that your husband was sick and both of you might not be able to be there for the wedding.