Etiquette Hell

Wedding Bliss and Blues => Wedding Peeps => The Wedding Party => Topic started by: Alli8098 on February 04, 2014, 02:37:27 PM

Title: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? RCVD The Invite Post 75
Post by: Alli8098 on February 04, 2014, 02:37:27 PM
I hope I'm putting this in the right place, if not moderators please let me know where it should go. Here is some background on the situation.

I have a friend "E" I've know for the last 4 years that is a few years younger then me (I'm in my early 30's, she's in her mid 20's).  We were more like friendly acquaintances then friends until maybe a year ago.  That is about when her boyfriend left the service and moved in with her and her young daughter.  "E" and I belong to the same faith, my husband is not a member and neither is her boyfriend.  I only mention this because when her boyfriend found out he wanted to get to know us more since the dynamics were similar. Moving on, they've invited us over for dinners and have even helped us out with transportation issues when my husband's car crapped out (we gave them gas money).  Basically the relationship progressed from acquaintances to friends. 

Well long before they officially got engaged (4 days ago) she started wedding planning.  She asked me early on if I would help and MIGHT have asked me about being a bridesmaid, I can't really remember the bridesmaid part.  In November we hit some financial difficulties when I had to leave my job, and my husband got injured at work, and more difficult situations kept arising. (we are still waiting for the claim on that).  I told some close friends that we were not going to make our December rent as I just needed a shoulder.  The next thing I know I get a message from "E" who told me she wanted to help with giving us some of the extra money that she gets from her tips (she's a massage therapist).  I should have said no, she handed me some cash when she had invited me over for a spa party.  I used it for some groceries and to pay our electric bill so we wouldn't get shut off.  To help her out in a way I could I baked special cookies for her spa parties (she can't bake, her words), and helped her sell her products at a Christmas fair.  When she found out we were being evicted she suddenly starts sending me these angry messages.  She can't believe we are still getting evicted even though she have given us money and accused us of using it to pay for a gym membership.  I haven't stepped foot in a gym in 5+ years, we have a fitness center at our apartment complex.  We are still trying to figure out where the gym thing came from.  Either way I should have never taken any money from her and I normally don't take money from anybody, I admit I was desperate when I couldn't even buy peanut butter.  I should have known she would do something like this.  She has "gone off" on other friends of hers over nothing before.  I even consoled her when she told me that a friends husband gave her the cut direct telling her that she was a bully and not to contact his wife anymore. 

To not make this too much longer at the end of these messages when I finally remind her of why we don't have the money for Dec's rent.  And convince her that we don't have a gym membership and that the apartment management won't take partial payments on the rent she apologizes (by a miracle we avoided eviction and are slowly getting back on our feet).  However my husband and I have a sour taste in our mouths over the whole fiasco, and yes we will be paying her back as we planned to anyway.  End Background

Yesterday I am included on a group message on her Facebook for bridesmaid dresses.  All I can think is "Dear God I'm not getting involved in this wedding!".  How do I tell her that while I wish her and her fiance the best I can't be involved with her anymore, nor be involved in this wedding?  She has shown that at a moment's notice she be quite irrational and a bully.  I am currently pregnant and just had my gall-bladder out after being super sick for 3 months.  We had to wait until I was in my second trimester for the surgery to be safe for the baby.  Right now I have no patience and no time for her drama.  I'm trying to find a new job, new daycare for my 4 year old, and plan a move in the summer just before I'm due.  I can't emotionally vest myself with her wedding, not when she's so unpredictable.  And yes I understand that I shouldn't have taken any money from her, that lesson is learned and won't happen again with anyone.  I just need advice on how to tell her I'm not interested in being a bridesmaid or involved with her wedding.
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: Really? on February 04, 2014, 02:48:21 PM
Hi

Wow, you're plate is full. Congrats on the baby.

Can you respond something like "dresses look nice, hope the bridesmaids enjoy them". Although I am betting there is a better suggestion from someone else :). I do believe you should make sure that something is said so that you figure out if you were supposed to be a bridesmaid or not.

Onlyme
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: Eeep! on February 04, 2014, 02:49:05 PM
I hope I'm putting this in the right place, if not moderators please let me know where it should go. Here is some background on the situation.

I have a friend "E" I've know for the last 4 years that is a few years younger then me (I'm in my early 30's, she's in her mid 20's).  We were more like friendly acquaintances then friends until maybe a year ago.  That is about when her boyfriend left the service and moved in with her and her young daughter.  "E" and I belong to the same faith, my husband is not a member and neither is her boyfriend.  I only mention this because when her boyfriend found out he wanted to get to know us more since the dynamics were similar. Moving on, they've invited us over for dinners and have even helped us out with transportation issues when my husband's car crapped out (we gave them gas money).  Basically the relationship progressed from acquaintances to friends. 

Well long before they officially got engaged (4 days ago) she started wedding planning.  She asked me early on if I would help and MIGHT have asked me about being a bridesmaid, I can't really remember the bridesmaid part.  In November we hit some financial difficulties when I had to leave my job, and my husband got injured at work, and more difficult situations kept arising. (we are still waiting for the claim on that).  I told some close friends that we were not going to make our December rent as I just needed a shoulder.  The next thing I know I get a message from "E" who told me she wanted to help with giving us some of the extra money that she gets from her tips (she's a massage therapist).  I should have said no, she handed me some cash when she had invited me over for a spa party.  I used it for some groceries and to pay our electric bill so we wouldn't get shut off.  To help her out in a way I could I baked special cookies for her spa parties (she can't bake, her words), and helped her sell her products at a Christmas fair.  When she found out we were being evicted she suddenly starts sending me these angry messages.  She can't believe we are still getting evicted even though she have given us money and accused us of using it to pay for a gym membership.  I haven't stepped foot in a gym in 5+ years, we have a fitness center at our apartment complex.  We are still trying to figure out where the gym thing came from.  Either way I should have never taken any money from her and I normally don't take money from anybody, I admit I was desperate when I couldn't even buy peanut butter.  I should have known she would do something like this.  She has "gone off" on other friends of hers over nothing before.  I even consoled her when she told me that a friends husband gave her the cut direct telling her that she was a bully and not to contact his wife anymore. 

To not make this too much longer at the end of these messages when I finally remind her of why we don't have the money for Dec's rent.  And convince her that we don't have a gym membership and that the apartment management won't take partial payments on the rent she apologizes (by a miracle we avoided eviction and are slowly getting back on our feet).  However my husband and I have a sour taste in our mouths over the whole fiasco, and yes we will be paying her back as we planned to anyway.  End Background

Yesterday I am included on a group message on her Facebook for bridesmaid dresses.  All I can think is "Dear God I'm not getting involved in this wedding!".  How do I tell her that while I wish her and her fiance the best I can't be involved with her anymore, nor be involved in this wedding?  She has shown that at a moment's notice she be quite irrational and a bully.  I am currently pregnant and just had my gall-bladder out after being super sick for 3 months.  We had to wait until I was in my second trimester for the surgery to be safe for the baby.  Right now I have no patience and no time for her drama.  I'm trying to find a new job, new daycare for my 4 year old, and plan a move in the summer just before I'm due.  I can't emotionally vest myself with her wedding, not when she's so unpredictable.  And yes I understand that I shouldn't have taken any money from her, that lesson is learned and won't happen again with anyone.  I just need advice on how to tell her I'm not interested in being a bridesmaid or involved with her wedding.

I think you need to stop beating yourself up over taking the money.  While money can make things tricky, sometimes it can be a lifesaver and helping friends out in a bind really isn't outside the realm of what friends do.  Now you know THIS person isn't a real giver.  But there are plenty of people who would do that exact same thing to help out their friend and it would never come up again.  (You explanation made it sound like this was offered as a gift, not a loan, right?) I think it sounds like your "friend" had set herself up in her head as your Savior.  And when life intervened with that picture she got pissed.  And exactly for that reason I totally agree to completely avoid the whole wedding as she will likely set herself up as "The Bride" and woe betide anyone who screws that up.
As far as what to do, I would just tell her briefly thank you for the offer but you just can't make that type of commitment right now.  If she gets mad, oh well. It was bound to happen anyway, right?

As an aside, I'm so sorry you are going through all of this. :(
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: TurtleDove on February 04, 2014, 02:51:44 PM
I think you repay the money and then tell her that you cannot be in her wedding and then stay away from her and block her numbers if you have decided to do a cut direct.  Borrow the money from someone else if you have to, but I think you have to pay back the money (possibly with interest) and then be done.
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 04, 2014, 02:55:15 PM
You didn't ask for any, but hugs for all you are going through right now. It does sound like putting distance between yourself and this woman is the wisest solution.

I'd email or PM her with the following.

Friendsname, I know we had discussed my helping out with the wedding planning but that was before circumstances in our lives changed. I wish you and fiance'sname well and hope the best for your marriage. But this is not a good time for me to participate in a wedding. I know you will understand.
Alli
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: padua on February 04, 2014, 02:56:40 PM
maybe i'm not getting it, but i don't think it would be fair of you to back out of the wedding. in fact, i'm not sure how you're not sure whether or not you said yes to being her bridesmaid. this person seems to have been pretty supportive of you (helping with transportation issues, giving you money which you accepted) so you've received her help and support. now that she would like your help and support by being present at her wedding you don't want to be there? the relationship seems one-sided and i think it would be unfair to back out at this point.
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: JeanFromBNA on February 04, 2014, 02:57:44 PM
I second doing what you can to pay her back as soon as possible.  In order to avoid more drama, I would reply that you're going to have to decline the honor of being a bridesmaid, because your current commitments wouldn't allow you to do it justice. 

You can decide privately what the words "honor" and "justice" mean. 
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: Alli8098 on February 04, 2014, 03:03:37 PM
TurtleDove we definitely plan on giving her all the money, and yes EEEP! she implied it was a gift but we planned on paying her back anyway.  And Padua and I don't recall being directly asked to be a bridesmaid.  "E" has a habit of harassing and abusing anyone who makes her mad.  A while back she tried to pull me into the middle of a conflict with another friend of ours that I had no involvement with.  I was informed by another mutual friend that "E" was borderline stalking this other friend when she found out the friend was getting married, "E" was extremely jealous.  This was after "E" went through a nasty divorce where she has to share custody with her drug-addicted ex (that's a whole other story).  This is why I want to give her the "cut direct", I've witnessed firsthand how bad she can get when you make her mad.
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: TurtleDove on February 04, 2014, 03:05:23 PM
maybe i'm not getting it, but i don't think it would be fair of you to back out of the wedding. in fact, i'm not sure how you're not sure whether or not you said yes to being her bridesmaid. this person seems to have been pretty supportive of you (helping with transportation issues, giving you money which you accepted) so you've received her help and support. now that she would like your help and support by being present at her wedding you don't want to be there? the relationship seems one-sided and i think it would be unfair to back out at this point.

I admit I feel this way as well.  My earlier response was based on my understanding that the OP has decided to give this person the cut direct.  But taking that out of the equation, yes, I feel the OP is being unfair.  I would not take money from a friend and expect it to not affect the friendship.  In my experience, it always does, and not in a good way.  Since the OP did take the money, I think she needs to pay it back ASAP especially if she intends to now block this person from her life.
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 04, 2014, 03:06:53 PM
Your circumstances have vastly changed from the time this subject was first broached until now, which give you valid reasons for not wanting to take part in this wedding.

Even if you are getting back on your feet, being a bridesmaid is expensive!  If you can meet her in person and pay her back when you tell her you are going to have to pull out, it might take some of the sting out.  And if she doesn't understand that you are broke, sick and pregnant, then she isn't much of a friend.  Any chance the wedding is close to your due date, either before or after?  That would be the perfect excuse, if you want to give her an excuse.

I wouldn't, at this point, tell her that you are pulling out of the friendship as well as the wedding.  I think that would be a double whammy.  You can just quietly get together less and less often and let the relationship peter out for a bit.  With wedding planning to do, she may not have much time for you, anyway.
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: Two Ravens on February 04, 2014, 03:07:49 PM
A "cut direct" is when you basically pretend someone doesn't exist, to the point of pointedly not speaking to them when you meet socially. Is that really what you want to do?

That said, you are perfectly within your rights to back away from the friendship and decline being in the wedding. It sounds like you have plenty of reasons to give for doing so.
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: Alli8098 on February 04, 2014, 03:14:11 PM
To reiterate everyone, she is getting her money back.  And to me the "cut direct" involves letting her know I can't be apart of her wedding and I can't be involved in a friendship with her.  I will not act like she doesn't exist and just block her out of my life.  So it is possible I have just been using the wrong term and should refer to it another way.  And yes I accepted help from her and have helped her in other ways even though it was not monetarily (including giving her rides when she did not have a car) so the friendship has not been one-sided.  Again, we planned on paying her back anyway, it's what I do, I don't take without giving back.

This is a sensitive issue because I know as soon as I give her her money and let her know that I can't be involved with her she is going to stir up a storm with our other mutual friends as she has done in the past when someone has broke off a friendship with her before.  So I could potentially lose other friends in this whole process, possibly.  I'm trying to let her down easy, WITH her money in hand.
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: TootsNYC on February 04, 2014, 03:23:35 PM
So don't announce that you won't want anything to do with her.

Get her the money back, and then say, "as you know, money is so tight for us. I'm not sure if you were thinking of asking me to be a bridesmaid, since you sent that email about the dresses but just in case, I wanted to be sure you knew that I just cannot afford it."

And then fade out. Don't respond to emails much, don't make plans to get together, etc. Be vague and pleasant.
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: Two Ravens on February 04, 2014, 03:24:46 PM
This is a sensitive issue because I know as soon as I give her her money and let her know that I can't be involved with her she is going to stir up a storm with our other mutual friends as she has done in the past when someone has broke off a friendship with her before.  So I could potentially lose other friends in this whole process, possibly.  I'm trying to let her down easy, WITH her money in hand.

I'm having a hard time reconciling "I want to let her down easy" with "I want to tell her point blank I don't want to be her friend."

Can't you just quietly fade out without making a huge statement? Especially since you are worried it will affect your other friendships. You're pregnant and have been sick, why not just continually decline invitations when you know you might see her? Stop accepting favors?
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 04, 2014, 03:25:52 PM
To reiterate everyone, she is getting her money back.  And to me the "cut direct" involves letting her know I can't be apart of her wedding and I can't be involved in a friendship with her.  I will not act like she doesn't exist and just block her out of my life.  And yes I accepted help from her and have helped her in other ways even though it was not monetarily (including giving her rides when she did not have a car) so the friendship has not been one-sided.  Again, we planned on paying her back anyway, it's what I do, I don't take without giving back.

This is a sensitive issue because I know as soon as I give her her money and let her know that I can't be involved with her she is going to stir up a storm with our other mutual friends as she has done in the past when someone has broke off a friendship with her before.  So I could potentially lose other friends in this whole process, possibly.  I'm trying to let her down easy, WITH her money in hand.

Alli, Cut Direct is a very specific term. It doesn't mean to cut contact with someone. Cut Direct is an action. It means that if you were to meet this woman and she said "Hi, Alli" you would look past her as if she didn't exist. As you can imagine, it is a very extreme stance to take.

So what you are really indicating is that you want to end your friendship with her. And I believe if you are at the point of wanting to end your friendship then it is imperative that you do not participate in her wedding. I am of the belief that most brides and grooms would only want friends and family as wedding party participants.

If after you make her aware that you can not participate she tries to stir up trouble with other friends all you need to do is say "I'm sorry she is upset but I can't participate in her wedding." or "I know she is upset, but I am not in a position to participate in her wedding".
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: kckgirl on February 04, 2014, 03:28:17 PM
I agree with Toots (as I usually do). Return the money and tell her you cannot participate in the wedding due to your current circumstances. Don't tell her you're not going to be friends anymore. Just do it by being unavailable.
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: Alli8098 on February 04, 2014, 03:31:15 PM
TwoRavens and Hmmmm, that's why I edited my last post to include that it looks like I've been using the wrong term for what I want to do.  I have now learned what the cut direct really is, and this is not what I want to do.  As some probably already think I might be I'm not a cold callous person, nor want to be towards her.  I just don't think it is healthy for me to be involved with her anymore.
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: Margo on February 04, 2014, 03:50:17 PM
I posted a reply, but my computer ate it :-(

Are you sure that she now intends you to be a bridesmaid?

If so, I would speak to her (directly if you can, bit by e-mail if you have to) Explain that it is a little awkward, that it seems there has been a mis-communication, as until she sent the mail about the dresses you had not realised that she was considering you as a possible bridesmaid. Explain that unfortunately, due to your health and other family and personal issues, you are not in a position to be part of her wedding party.
I think the tone to take is to be clear that this is about *you* being *unable* to participate (if pushed, don't go into details, reiterate that it isn't possible, and if you have to, say it is for reasons of health (which it is; you don't need stress related illnesses on top of a pregnancy and recent surgery, and prevention is better than cure!)

The money she gave/lent you is a completely separate issue.

I hope that she won't try to link the two or to try to pressure you into being a bridesmaid after you have turned her down. If she does, it might work to appeal to her generosity ("We are so grateful for the help you gave us when we needed it. We really appreciated your support, and I know that you are far too generous and considerate a person to try to talk me into being in your wedding party now that I have explained that it won't be possible. I really appreciate your understanding that this is not something I can do"   This makes it harder for her to turn round and say that actually, she isn't considerate or understanding enough to accept your decline, and gives her a graceful way out - if she likes the idea of being seen as generou and helping you out, you've given her a way to see herself in the same light by accepting your refusal.

When is the wedding? A "How kind of you to ask me, but I can't possibly accept - I would not want to take the risk that I'd have to drop out at the last minute due to my pregnancy / birth of the baby / recurrance of any health problems"

Good luck!
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: Fleur on February 04, 2014, 03:55:07 PM
maybe i'm not getting it, but i don't think it would be fair of you to back out of the wedding. in fact, i'm not sure how you're not sure whether or not you said yes to being her bridesmaid. this person seems to have been pretty supportive of you (helping with transportation issues, giving you money which you accepted) so you've received her help and support. now that she would like your help and support by being present at her wedding you don't want to be there? the relationship seems one-sided and i think it would be unfair to back out at this point.

I admit I feel this way as well.  My earlier response was based on my understanding that the OP has decided to give this person the cut direct.  But taking that out of the equation, yes, I feel the OP is being unfair.  I would not take money from a friend and expect it to not affect the friendship.  In my experience, it always does, and not in a good way.  Since the OP did take the money, I think she needs to pay it back ASAP especially if she intends to now block this person from her life.

Normally I totally agree with your practical stance on issues, but this time I'm not so sure. I think that a gift is a gift, and should not come with strings. The OP was reluctant to accept it in the first place, and is keen to admit her mistake. I don't see how she is being unfair to the Bride at all. Bride seems like an SS to me.
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: Alli8098 on February 04, 2014, 03:56:38 PM
Thank you Margo, at one time the wedding was set for this September.  But then she was sending me messages this last October that it might be postponed for a year because her boyfriend was still not working so they didn't have money to put deposits down.  He is working now but I have no idea when this wedding will be, and she hasn't even mentioned anything to me about it for months now.  This group message just came out of the blue.  She found a very specific bridesmaid dress and listed the message as something to her bridesmaids.
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: Sharnita on February 04, 2014, 03:57:55 PM
I definitely think it is reasonable to tell her you can not be in her wedding.  Even if she hadn't made strange accusations/implications it would be reasonable to tell her that you need to prioritize survival over bridal participation.  Any rational person should understand that. 
I would let her know that you will be contacting her with a schedule in regards to a repayment plan. Even if she tells you it is/was a gift, the cost of being interrogated seems a bit too high so I would stick with the decision to repay her.
Best wishes as you work this out. I'm sorry she couldn't be a supportive friend when you needed it.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? (Was "Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?")
Post by: Alli8098 on February 04, 2014, 04:25:48 PM
Thank you all, I had to change the name of the thread.  Again I was definitely using the wrong term and I think therefore giving the wrong impression of my intentions.
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: TurtleDove on February 04, 2014, 04:28:14 PM
maybe i'm not getting it, but i don't think it would be fair of you to back out of the wedding. in fact, i'm not sure how you're not sure whether or not you said yes to being her bridesmaid. this person seems to have been pretty supportive of you (helping with transportation issues, giving you money which you accepted) so you've received her help and support. now that she would like your help and support by being present at her wedding you don't want to be there? the relationship seems one-sided and i think it would be unfair to back out at this point.

I admit I feel this way as well.  My earlier response was based on my understanding that the OP has decided to give this person the cut direct.  But taking that out of the equation, yes, I feel the OP is being unfair.  I would not take money from a friend and expect it to not affect the friendship.  In my experience, it always does, and not in a good way.  Since the OP did take the money, I think she needs to pay it back ASAP especially if she intends to now block this person from her life.

Normally I totally agree with your practical stance on issues, but this time I'm not so sure. I think that a gift is a gift, and should not come with strings. The OP was reluctant to accept it in the first place, and is keen to admit her mistake. I don't see how she is being unfair to the Bride at all. Bride seems like an SS to me.

With the updates, I agree with you!  I was basing my "unfair" statement on an actual cut direct, which to me seemed over the top for the situation.  The OP clarified and her stance makes sense now, in my opinion.  :)
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: JenJay on February 04, 2014, 04:55:00 PM
So don't announce that you won't want anything to do with her.

Get her the money back, and then say, "as you know, money is so tight for us. I'm not sure if you were thinking of asking me to be a bridesmaid, since you sent that email about the dresses but just in case, I wanted to be sure you knew that I just cannot afford it."

And then fade out. Don't respond to emails much, don't make plans to get together, etc. Be vague and pleasant.

I agree. Tell her how happy you are for her but sadly you can't afford to be in the wedding.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? (Was "Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?")
Post by: Alli8098 on February 04, 2014, 05:05:55 PM
I think I will have to be completely honest with her about money.  I have to save for move, and baby furniture.  My daughter's baby furniture did not survive our last move unfortunately.  I am due July 19th and hopefully won't have complications like I did with our daughter.  She was taken via c-section two-weeks early due to my blood pressure.  So we will be moving around July 1st and I'm trying to do everything I can now to prepare for that and keep my health under control to try to get to my due date this time.  So basically I must save for this move, and getting stuff for the baby.  We managed to hold on to a lot of expensive baby items but will need a crib and changing table/dresser.  The funds for a bridesmaid dress and accessories will just not be there.  And hopefully I can find a new job soon before I really start showing.  I had applied to and was hired at the Post Office as a carrier before I found out I was pregnant.  I got so sick due to my gall bladder that I was not able to take the job and now I can't meet the physical demands of that job.  So I'll fall back on my years of customer service experience and try to find something there.  I really do hope she has a great wedding and happy life.  But right now my focus is on my family.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? (Was "Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?")
Post by: TootsNYC on February 04, 2014, 05:11:33 PM
I think I will have to be completely honest with her about money.  I have to save for move, and baby furniture.  My daughter's baby furniture did not survive our last move unfortunately.  I am due July 19th and hopefully won't have complications like I did with our daughter.  She was taken via c-section two-weeks early due to my blood pressure.  So we will be moving around July 1st and I'm trying to do everything I can now to prepare for that and keep my health under control to try to get to my due date this time.  So basically I must save for this move, and getting stuff for the baby.  We managed to hold on to a lot of expensive baby items but will need a crib and changing table/dresser.  The funds for a bridesmaid dress and accessories will just not be there.  And hopefully I can find a new job soon before I really start showing.  I had applied to and was hired at the Post Office as a carrier before I found out I was pregnant.  I got so sick due to my gall bladder that I was not able to take the job and now I can't meet the physical demands of that job.  So I'll fall back on my years of customer service experience and try to find something there.  I really do hope she has a great wedding and happy life.  But right now my focus is on my family.


Don't give her this much detail. Don't give her any detail. It somehow implies that you think you have to justify your decision to her.

Just say, "Money's tight for us, you know that better than anyone." Stop right there.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? (Was "Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?")
Post by: Alli8098 on February 04, 2014, 05:18:15 PM
TootNYC, I wasn't planning on giving her all that info.  All she needs to know is that financially I have to take care of my family so a wedding is out of my budget.  And not necessarily in those words, just short and sweet.  I'll giver her her money and thank her for her graciousness when I was struggling.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? (Was "Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?")
Post by: Kaypeep on February 04, 2014, 05:18:55 PM
I agree with the others that you need to make it clear that you can't participate. But I would not say you can't afford it, or at least, not say that alone.  Usually we advise not to JADE (justify, argue, defend,explain) but  think this case warrants it. If you say you can't afford it she may offer to cover the costs. Then you're back to square one.  I would tell her that with money being tight, a baby on the way and still recovering from medical issues, you have way too much on your plate to be an active member of any bridal parties.  Tell her you and your DH would look forward to attending the wedding as guests if that's a possibility, but it's simply not possible to be a bridesmaid at this time.
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: padua on February 04, 2014, 06:15:30 PM
maybe i'm not getting it, but i don't think it would be fair of you to back out of the wedding. in fact, i'm not sure how you're not sure whether or not you said yes to being her bridesmaid. this person seems to have been pretty supportive of you (helping with transportation issues, giving you money which you accepted) so you've received her help and support. now that she would like your help and support by being present at her wedding you don't want to be there? the relationship seems one-sided and i think it would be unfair to back out at this point.

I admit I feel this way as well.  My earlier response was based on my understanding that the OP has decided to give this person the cut direct.  But taking that out of the equation, yes, I feel the OP is being unfair.  I would not take money from a friend and expect it to not affect the friendship.  In my experience, it always does, and not in a good way.  Since the OP did take the money, I think she needs to pay it back ASAP especially if she intends to now block this person from her life.

Normally I totally agree with your practical stance on issues, but this time I'm not so sure. I think that a gift is a gift, and should not come with strings. The OP was reluctant to accept it in the first place, and is keen to admit her mistake. I don't see how she is being unfair to the Bride at all. Bride seems like an SS to me.

With the updates, I agree with you!  I was basing my "unfair" statement on an actual cut direct, which to me seemed over the top for the situation.  The OP clarified and her stance makes sense now, in my opinion.  :)

ditto, ditto, ditto. the additional information put a much better light on things.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? (Was "Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?")
Post by: BarensMom on February 04, 2014, 06:43:52 PM
Alli, wait until she contacts you directly about being a bridesmaid, then simply say that your health and finances preclude you participating in her wedding preparations.  Something like, "I'm sorry (friend's name), but I can't afford it and, health wise, I just can't do it."  Repeat as needed to both her and any mutual friends.

As far as backing away from the friendship, just be unavailable and vague, as in:  you're not feeling well, in the middle of packing, on the way to the doctor, on bed rest, etc. etc.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? (Was "Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?")
Post by: lakey on February 04, 2014, 10:42:10 PM
Alli8098,
Sorry to hear about your string of bad luck, and I just know things will pick up.
Between the pregnancy, gall bladder surgery, and trying to find a job and day care with a new baby on the way, you have perfect  reasons for not being a bridesmaid. If you tell her that your pregnancy and gall bladder issues prevent you from participating, and she overreacts to it, then you will simply be even more convinced to avoid her.

A real friend, knowing what all you're going through, would have diplomatically talked to you about whether you could handle being a bridesmaid. Pay her back as soon as you can and lessen contact.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? (Was "Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?")
Post by: lakey on February 04, 2014, 10:51:11 PM
If she reacts badly about your not participating in the wedding, I wouldn't worry too much about what others that she talks to think.
If she has the kind of bullying, overreactive behaviors that you describe, then most people are going to understand what is going on.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? (Was "Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?")
Post by: Deetee on February 05, 2014, 01:02:41 AM
It would be best if you talked to her. People have given you good suggestions for wording.

But if it was me, I would delay saying I couldn't be a bridesmaid. The lack of actual asking ( and a link to a dress doesn't count) and the lack of a date or venue or any concrete plans plus the bride's flakiness and volatility would mean that I would just fade away, hint at money and health issues, talk about how nice the wedding will be for yourself as a guest and let the bride save face.

If I got other indications that the bride thought I was a bridesmaid then I would turn her down. But I would make it about how I couldn't do what she deserved. Not that she was crazy.
Title: Re: Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?
Post by: aussie_chick on February 05, 2014, 01:03:54 AM
So don't announce that you won't want anything to do with her.

Get her the money back, and then say, "as you know, money is so tight for us. I'm not sure if you were thinking of asking me to be a bridesmaid, since you sent that email about the dresses but just in case, I wanted to be sure you knew that I just cannot afford it."

And then fade out. Don't respond to emails much, don't make plans to get together, etc. Be vague and pleasant.

POD to this. The only thing I would add is that if you tell her you cannot afford it, she may offer to pay for you. At this point you need to firmly say "no, I would prefer not to borrow money from anyone again." and then rinse, lather and repeat as necessary. Sometimes telling people money is an issue can lead to them offering to help you out, which only starts the cycle again of borrowing and repaying. Or she may offer it as a gift - and clearly that worked so well last time! I would then reply to that with "no thank you". No further info or reasoning required
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? (Was "Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?")
Post by: TootsNYC on February 05, 2014, 01:25:54 AM
Alli, wait until she contacts you directly about being a bridesmaid, then simply say that your health and finances preclude you participating in her wedding preparations.  Something like, "I'm sorry (friend's name), but I can't afford it and, health wise, I just can't do it."  Repeat as needed to both her and any mutual friends.

As far as backing away from the friendship, just be unavailable and vague, as in:  you're not feeling well, in the middle of packing, on the way to the doctor, on bed rest, etc. etc.


Actually, I agree here.  She hasn't been definite, and you may look a little pushy (only a problem since she can complain to other people you both know) if you assume too much.

So just fade out starting now. Plot the fastest return of the money that you can, but you can start the fade.

And remember this line, to use on anyone who tells you she's complaining about you: "we just aren't as close anymore."
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? (Was "Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?")
Post by: cicero on February 05, 2014, 04:39:00 AM
lots of hugs, you've been through a lot lately.

I agree with the general sentiment here - make sure she still wants you to be a bridesmaid and tell you can't. no need to go into details. I don't see this so much as "bowing out of the wedding" because I don't see that she actually asked you to be in the wedding. and when you  do tell her - make it about her; keep it along the lines of "i won't be able to do the job justice as my plate is overflowing with stuff right now".

and you know what? if she throws a hissy fit and stirs up trouble? so what. stop giving her power. stop letting her bully you into doing thing you don't want/shouldn't/can't do.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? (Was "Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?")
Post by: Mikayla on February 05, 2014, 11:33:06 AM
I think I will have to be completely honest with her about money. I have to save for move, and baby furniture.  My daughter's baby furniture did not survive our last move unfortunately.  I am due July 19th and hopefully won't have complications like I did with our daughter.  She was taken via c-section two-weeks early due to my blood pressure.  So we will be moving around July 1st and I'm trying to do everything I can now to prepare for that and keep my health under control to try to get to my due date this time.  So basically I must save for this move, and getting stuff for the baby.  We managed to hold on to a lot of expensive baby items but will need a crib and changing table/dresser.  The funds for a bridesmaid dress and accessories will just not be there.  And hopefully I can find a new job soon before I really start showing.  I had applied to and was hired at the Post Office as a carrier before I found out I was pregnant.  I got so sick due to my gall bladder that I was not able to take the job and now I can't meet the physical demands of that job.  So I'll fall back on my years of customer service experience and try to find something there.  I really do hope she has a great wedding and happy life.  But right now my focus is on my family.

On the bolded....no, you don't.  Reading through all this, you're adding a lot of stress to your life by making a perfectly rational decision to end a friendship, and then setting up roadblocks in your mind.  You also did it when you mentioned her dragging mutual friends into the drama.  None of this matters because you know what you need to do.

You're ending a friendship, so there's no upside to going into details of your finances.   As for the mutual friends, the way you've portrayed her, if they're willing to feed her drama rather than see you as you are, they aren't friends to begin with.

I liked Toot's wording and also Hmmmmm's at the very beginning.  Write it and send it.  And then get her out of your head.   You've got a lot on your plate (including some very good news!).  So focus on what matters, not what doesn't.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? (Was "Give a Bride the "Cut Direct"?")
Post by: Alli8098 on February 06, 2014, 12:26:34 AM
Small update: So I am expected to be bridesmaid.  Here is the message I received from here tonight on Facebook. (I left the "conversation" she started on Monday on Facebook)

"E": Have you decided not to a bridesmaid since you left the conversation?
"Me": I left the conversation because my phone kept buzzing every time someone responded. (True, I really hate it if my phone is constantly going off.). When is the wedding?  With our finances, moving, and a new baby I'm not sure I can be the bridesmaid you deserve.  You are such a sweet person that you deserve someone who can be fully focused on helping you get everything fully prepared.

She sent me the message sometime after 8, I didn't check my Facebook messages until after 11.  So we'll see how she responds.  I hope I said the right thing.  If not that teaches me to respond to messages when it's late and I'm tired.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Updates posts 37 & 38
Post by: Alli8098 on February 06, 2014, 12:00:40 PM
So I've gotten my response and I don't know how to respond. "T" is the fiance and "C" is my husband, my husband likes "T" but considers him more an acquaintance.

"E": "The wedding is August 16th, "T" wanted "C" to be a groomsmen.. I think all I wanted you guys to do is stand up there with us for the ceremony and for pics. Oh and have you bring all the gifts to our place.."

By August 16th I'll be one month postpartum and no idea what size I'll be, and I plan on nursing.  My husband will not have any vacation time to take for the wedding.  It is on a Saturday but he's and Assistant Carrier with post office and works Saturdays (sometimes until 9PM).  His one year anniversary is June 1st which starts the clock over on his vacation days.  In his position you "use" or "lose them" when your anniversary comes up.  So it will be tricky enough having him available for our move in July, and then home with me later that month when the baby is born.  Plus because my husband had a hospitalization last July, his back injury in November, and taking time off last week when I had my surgery he's on notice about attendance.  So him missing work is a huge deal for us.  He's working hard to become what they call a "Career Carrier" which has higher pay and they typically work 5 instead of 6 days a week. 

And I just can't figure out what we'll do with the baby and our 4 year old daughter if we are both in the wedding.  We don't have family in-state to drop them off with.  When I had my surgery last week we had to find a church member to watch our daughter.  I can say we did agree to help transport gifts back to their apartment.  That was talked about last summer/fall time frame before she had her temper tantrum and when she had no official wedding date.

We haven't gotten together with them since, and I've spoken to her maybe 4 times since December.  I feel like she is trying to make me feel bad and do what she wants me to do.  I'm not her only friend and hardly think I'm her closest friend.  I just don't know what to say, I don't think this wedding will be possible for us.  I really can't afford a move, baby items, a bridesmaid dress, and tux rental.  It's just not going to work, what do I tell her?

Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: z_squared82 on February 06, 2014, 12:11:09 PM
This looks like one of those instances in which, "I'm sorry, that just won't be possible," is appropriate.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

No other justification or excuses, just "I'm sorry, that won't be possible."
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 06, 2014, 12:18:44 PM
This looks like one of those instances in which, "I'm sorry, that just won't be possible," is appropriate.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

No other justification or excuses, just "I'm sorry, that won't be possible."

I agree.

'I'm sorry, there is no possible way we can swing this.'
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Updates posts 37 & 38
Post by: Seraphia on February 06, 2014, 12:25:35 PM
Snip

Tell her the bolded --> It's just not going to work, what do I tell her?

You don't need to go into all the reasons - just say you're sorry, but it's just not going to be possible for you and C to be in the party, and you hope she has a beautiful wedding.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: Two Ravens on February 06, 2014, 12:28:09 PM
So it sounds like you are not even planning to go to the wedding as a guest? I think you definitely need to make that clear to her now.

"I'm sorry, it does not look like we will be able to attend." Be firm and brief.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Updates posts 37 & 38
Post by: BarensMom on February 06, 2014, 12:35:56 PM
So I've gotten my response and I don't know how to respond. "T" is the fiance and "C" is my husband, my husband likes "T" but considers him more an acquaintance.

"E": "The wedding is August 16th, "T" wanted "C" to be a groomsmen.. I think all I wanted you guys to do is stand up there with us for the ceremony and for pics. Oh and have you bring all the gifts to our place.."

By August 16th I'll be one month postpartum and no idea what size I'll be, and I plan on nursing.  My husband will not have any vacation time to take for the wedding.  It is on a Saturday but he's and Assistant Carrier with post office and works Saturdays (sometimes until 9PM).  His one year anniversary is June 1st which starts the clock over on his vacation days.  In his position you "use" or "lose them" when your anniversary comes up.  So it will be tricky enough having him available for our move in July, and then home with me later that month when the baby is born.  Plus because my husband had a hospitalization last July, his back injury in November, and taking time off last week when I had my surgery he's on notice about attendance.  So him missing work is a huge deal for us.  He's working hard to become what they call a "Career Carrier" which has higher pay and they typically work 5 instead of 6 days a week. 

And I just can't figure out what we'll do with the baby and our 4 year old daughter if we are both in the wedding.  We don't have family in-state to drop them off with.  When I had my surgery last week we had to find a church member to watch our daughter.  I can say we did agree to help transport gifts back to their apartment.  That was talked about last summer/fall time frame before she had her temper tantrum and when she had no official wedding date.

We haven't gotten together with them since, and I've spoken to her maybe 4 times since December.  I feel like she is trying to make me feel bad and do what she wants me to do.  I'm not her only friend and hardly think I'm her closest friend.  I just don't know what to say, I don't think this wedding will be possible for us.  I really can't afford a move, baby items, a bridesmaid dress, and tux rental.  It's just not going to work, what do I tell her?

I bolded what I think your response should be.  You'll be one month postpartum, nursing, with two small children, not to mention if you have to have a caesarian or postpartum complications.

Not only can you not afford to move, buy baby items, tux, and a dress, but you'll have the headache of trying to figure out and pay for childcare.  Then, on top of all that, you have to take responsibility for her gifts?

Rip off this bandaid and tell her you and DH cannot be in her wedding.  As I said before, tell her, "Friend, due to my health and our finances, we just cannot do it.  It just won't be possible."  If she howls, let her howl.  You're backing off from the friendship anyway.  Your mutual friends already have her number, and if they don't now, they will by the time of the wedding.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: Alli8098 on February 06, 2014, 12:36:13 PM
So it sounds like you are not even planning to go to the wedding as a guest? I think you definitely need to make that clear to her now.

"I'm sorry, it does not look like we will be able to attend." Be firm and brief.

I honestly had no idea of the date until this morning.  Originally she was talking about September this year, and then moving it to next year.  Because I know my husband won't have vacation time by August 16th I don't think we'll even be able to attend as guests.  Plus my husband and I are not feeling comfortable continuing a friendship with them after she spewed her venom at us.  That would be another reason we don't feel comfortable standing up for them at their wedding.  "E" has put a very sour tastes in our mouths in regards to friendship.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: Two Ravens on February 06, 2014, 12:50:34 PM
So it sounds like you are not even planning to go to the wedding as a guest? I think you definitely need to make that clear to her now.

"I'm sorry, it does not look like we will be able to attend." Be firm and brief.

I honestly had no idea of the date until this morning.  Originally she was talking about September this year, and then moving it to next year.  Because I know my husband won't have vacation time by August 16th I don't think we'll even be able to attend as guests.  Plus my husband and I are not feeling comfortable continuing a friendship with them after she spewed her venom at us.  That would be another reason we don't feel comfortable standing up for them at their wedding.  "E" has put a very sour tastes in our mouths in regards to friendship.

That's fine. You don't need to justify your reasons to us. I'm just saying you shouldn't string her along. Make it a clear "no" now with no more prevaricating.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: Alli8098 on February 06, 2014, 01:19:46 PM
So it sounds like you are not even planning to go to the wedding as a guest? I think you definitely need to make that clear to her now.

"I'm sorry, it does not look like we will be able to attend." Be firm and brief.

I honestly had no idea of the date until this morning.  Originally she was talking about September this year, and then moving it to next year.  Because I know my husband won't have vacation time by August 16th I don't think we'll even be able to attend as guests.  Plus my husband and I are not feeling comfortable continuing a friendship with them after she spewed her venom at us.  That would be another reason we don't feel comfortable standing up for them at their wedding.  "E" has put a very sour tastes in our mouths in regards to friendship.

That's fine. You don't need to justify your reasons to us. I'm just saying you shouldn't string her along. Make it a clear "no" now with no more prevaricating.

I definitely don't want to string her along.  I'll reply to her today, I'm just trying to pull head together a thoughtful response.  Nothing droning one, I just can't respond right now because I'm honestly feeling too groggy and grumpy too.  I don't want to give a snarky rude response  ;)
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: Kaypeep on February 06, 2014, 01:25:04 PM
Agreed. Let her know now, and don't stress too much that she's trying to make you feel guilty.  I think you can apologize about having to go back on the plan to help with the gifts, but don't feel that badly about it since the promise was made a while ago and without specific details of what the actual plan was.

Dear Friendzilla:
DH and I are both honored that you'd want us in the wedding, but it's simply not possible.  I'll be one month post-partum with full plate of kids and recuperating, and a still empty wallet.  TBH, with the date now set on Saturday, 8/16 it's likely DH won't even be able to attend because he won't have any available days off at work at that time, and we can't afford a day off without pay.  I'm sorry it's working out this way, and I feel terrible going back on our plan that DH and I would help transport the gifts, etc. but I wanted to let you know now that we can't commit to that after all, so you can find someone else who can help out instead.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: Alli8098 on February 06, 2014, 01:34:21 PM
Agreed. Let her know now, and don't stress too much that she's trying to make you feel guilty.  I think you can apologize about having to go back on the plan to help with the gifts, but don't feel that badly about it since the promise was made a while ago and without specific details of what the actual plan was.

Dear Friendzilla:
DH and I are both honored that you'd want us in the wedding, but it's simply not possible.  I'll be one month post-partum with full plate of kids and recuperating, and a still empty wallet.  TBH, with the date now set on Saturday, 8/16 it's likely DH won't even be able to attend because he won't have any available days off at work at that time, and we can't afford a day off without pay.  I'm sorry it's working out this way, and I feel terrible going back on our plan that DH and I would help transport the gifts, etc. but I wanted to let you know now that we can't commit to that after all, so you can find someone else who can help out instead.

I really like your wording, I think I'll say something like that.  I'm to the point, polite, and apologetic.  I had a good male friend who was getting married in August 2009 just under two weeks before my due date when I was pregnant with our daughter.  We were invited just as guests but my friend asked if we could help transport some items to the wedding site.  We agreed and were happy to help out.  Then my blood pressure went haywire and I was induced the Wednesday before the wedding (wedding would be that Saturday).  Our daughter was born just after midnight on Thursday via c-section after 12 hours of labor.  I felt really bad because now it would be impossible for us to attend the wedding and help with the transport of anything.  My friend and his fiance were understanding and completely understood.  They even visited us in the hospital the day before their wedding.  If only "E" was made from the same ilk and could understand that "life happens".
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 06, 2014, 01:35:17 PM
Agreed. Let her know now, and don't stress too much that she's trying to make you feel guilty.  I think you can apologize about having to go back on the plan to help with the gifts, but don't feel that badly about it since the promise was made a while ago and without specific details of what the actual plan was.

Dear Friendzilla:
DH and I are both honored that you'd want us in the wedding, but it's simply not possible.  I'll be one month post-partum with full plate of kids and recuperating, and a still empty wallet.  TBH, with the date now set on Saturday, 8/16 it's likely DH won't even be able to attend because he won't have any available days off at work at that time, and we can't afford a day off without pay.  I'm sorry it's working out this way, and I feel terrible going back on our plan that DH and I would help transport the gifts, etc. but I wanted to let you know now that we can't commit to that after all, so you can find someone else who can help out instead.

I think this is far too much information for the situation.  I would just say, 'There is no way we can make that work, between family, money and time off.  I'm sorrry, we won't be able to stand up for you guys.'  And leave it at that.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: gellchom on February 06, 2014, 01:55:11 PM
I like Kaypeep's wording, although Outdoor Girl's point about saying less detail makes sense, too.  But I wouldn't leave it at a terse "I'm sorry, that won't be possible."  That's unnecessarily curt, in my opinion. 

But the main thing is, you need to be more CLEAR than you have been in your communications to her.  "When is the wedding?  With our finances, moving, and a new baby I'm not sure I can be the bridesmaid you deserve.  You are such a sweet person that you deserve someone who can be fully focused on helping you get everything fully prepared" sounds like you are still trying to swing it or that you just don't want to quite say "no" and want her to take the hint instead.  Kaypeep's wording is just as nice but crystal clear.

This is making  me think of the "askers" vs. "guessers" string.  I'm guessing you are a "guesser" who hates to say "no."  But there's nothing wrong with saying no, and that's what you need to do now.  It's not rude to decline to be a bridesmaid, but it is inconsiderate not to be clear about your decision just to spare yourself having to say no.

And I would add somewhere in there that you and your husband are disappointed that you must decline, because you know it's going to be lovely.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: Mikayla on February 06, 2014, 02:16:31 PM
So it sounds like you are not even planning to go to the wedding as a guest? I think you definitely need to make that clear to her now.

"I'm sorry, it does not look like we will be able to attend." Be firm and brief.

I honestly had no idea of the date until this morning.  Originally she was talking about September this year, and then moving it to next year.  Because I know my husband won't have vacation time by August 16th I don't think we'll even be able to attend as guests.  Plus my husband and I are not feeling comfortable continuing a friendship with them after she spewed her venom at us.  That would be another reason we don't feel comfortable standing up for them at their wedding.  "E" has put a very sour tastes in our mouths in regards to friendship.

Honest, I'm not trying to dump on you.  I'm recognizing some things because I used to be the same way!  I still think you're tossing up roadblocks for some reason.  Based on your title and also what you've said, you don't even like this person, you don't want to stand up for her, and you don't care to continue the friendship. 

So what was the point in asking when the wedding is?  It's just a pointless diversion, because if the above is true, it doesn't matter.

Unless you're backtracking on some of your original comments (which might be happening), you're prolonging your own agony by pretending you're considering doing this or thinking through the details.

Normally, I'd agree with gellchom that "I'm sorry, that won't be possible" is a bit curt.   But you're not sending this to a valued friend.  You're sending it to someone you want out of your life.  And I definitely would not say anything related to the Aug 16 date.  That just traps you if it changes yet again. 
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: Alli8098 on February 06, 2014, 02:23:22 PM
I like Kaypeep's wording, although Outdoor Girl's point about saying less detail makes sense, too.  But I wouldn't leave it at a terse "I'm sorry, that won't be possible."  That's unnecessarily curt, in my opinion. 

But the main thing is, you need to be more CLEAR than you have been in your communications to her.  "When is the wedding?  With our finances, moving, and a new baby I'm not sure I can be the bridesmaid you deserve.  You are such a sweet person that you deserve someone who can be fully focused on helping you get everything fully prepared" sounds like you are still trying to swing it or that you just don't want to quite say "no" and want her to take the hint instead.  Kaypeep's wording is just as nice but crystal clear.

This is making  me think of the "askers" vs. "guessers" string.  I'm guessing you are a "guesser" who hates to say "no."  But there's nothing wrong with saying no, and that's what you need to do now.  It's not rude to decline to be a bridesmaid, but it is inconsiderate not to be clear about your decision just to spare yourself having to say no.

And I would add somewhere in there that you and your husband are disappointed that you must decline, because you know it's going to be lovely.

Last night's reply to her was to also get information, but I admit I should not be talking to her if it's late and I've only had 2 hours of sleep the night before.  I can say no, and have before even with her.  And admittedly I have not been quite myself since surgery last week.  I've had a lot sleepless nights, and the other fun things that come with recovery. :P  But I will respond today letting her know it's just not going to be possible.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 06, 2014, 02:30:34 PM
If this was a friend you wanted to keep, I'd go with Kaypeep's wording.  But since you aren't interested in maintaining the friendship, which is what I meant when I said it was too much information for the situation, I wouldn't give her all that explanation.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: Margo on February 06, 2014, 02:52:17 PM
I'd keep it very brief. I like the idea of saying
Quote
DH and I are both honored that you'd want us in the wedding, but it's simply not possible.

But you don't need to go into all of the reasons - in fact, if you do, you may open yourself up to her arguing with her over it - with her trying to persaude you or convince you that you could get a sitter / she will help cover the costs of your dress / you are bound to have recovered from the birth / it won't require a lot of your time / whatever

For that reason, even if she pushes, I'd try to keep it pretty general "With my health, and all our other circumstances, it really isn't possible. "
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: JenJay on February 06, 2014, 02:55:44 PM
I would say something like "I misunderstood at some point and thought the wedding was to be later in the fall. Unfortunately on the 16th the baby will only be a few weeks old and DH won't be able to get a Saturday off. I'm so sorry we won't be able to stand up with you and T."

Don't say "I doubt" or "I think" or "probably", etc. You don't want to leave an opening for her to say "It's okay, just try your best!" State the fact that you will not be able to participate in her wedding. Period.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: JeanFromBNA on February 06, 2014, 03:14:45 PM
I'd keep it very brief. I like the idea of saying
Quote
DH and I are both honored that you'd want us in the wedding, but it's simply not possible.

But you don't need to go into all of the reasons - in fact, if you do, you may open yourself up to her arguing with her over it - with her trying to persaude you or convince you that you could get a sitter / she will help cover the costs of your dress / you are bound to have recovered from the birth / it won't require a lot of your time / whatever

For that reason, even if she pushes, I'd try to keep it pretty general "With my health, and all our other circumstances, it really isn't possible. "

I agree with all of this.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: Alli8098 on February 06, 2014, 06:01:16 PM
It's funny when DH called me this afternoon to see how I was doing I told him that apparently he's supposed to be a groomsmen in this wedding.  His response: "Why didn't "T" call or message me asking me to do that?"  I told him I had no idea why since he and "T" have each others phone numbers.

In other news I just got back from having a specialized ultrasound and amnio and it looks like we are most likely having a boy.  My daughter just looked at me when I told her and asked "why?".  She's been determined that she's getting a baby sister.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: Deetee on February 06, 2014, 08:54:16 PM
You don't ask someone to be a groomsman through email conversations between the wives (or wives to be). I mean maybe, if the friendship is super close and the asking is just a formality you might do that and it would be OK, but not for someone who is surprised to find out they are asked.

Bow out and don't apologize.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Posts 37 & 38
Post by: Alli8098 on February 06, 2014, 09:48:33 PM
You don't ask someone to be a groomsman through email conversations between the wives (or wives to be). I mean maybe, if the friendship is super close and the asking is just a formality you might do that and it would be OK, but not for someone who is surprised to find out they are asked.

Bow out and don't apologize.

I felt the same way, this is something that "might" have been mentioned at a dinner a while back.  But even then DH was not formally asked by "T" to be a groomsman.  He had no idea the expectation was even there.  The only time I was not asked formally by a bride to her bridesmaid was when I was 15 and my sister got engaged.  I was "informed" I was going to be a bridesmaid, but that's how my sister functioned then.  She has grown and changed a lot in the last 18 years.  But I've replied to her short and sweet that life circumstances will not allow us to participate but that I hope her wedding turns out to be a beautiful one.  Not my exact words, but they convey that message.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Post 60
Post by: Alli8098 on February 07, 2014, 11:42:08 AM
So I sent the Bride my message last night.  It was polite, and to the point that we are honored but can't fulfill the obligation of being in the bridal party or helping transport gifts.  I can tell she's seen the message but she hasn't responded.  She could be giving me the cold shoulder but I'm not bothered by it.  I told DH that if "E" or "T" contact him directly about my response that he is to repeat it.  He has not problem standing firm and backing me up. 

Thank you everyone for your help and advice, I'll get her paid back and just let the friendship fizzle out.  I do hope she has a great wedding and happy life but I just can't be a part of it.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Post 60
Post by: Eeep! on February 07, 2014, 01:36:41 PM
So I sent the Bride my message last night.  It was polite, and to the point that we are honored but can't fulfill the obligation of being in the bridal party or helping transport gifts.  I can tell she's seen the message but she hasn't responded.  She could be giving me the cold shoulder but I'm not bothered by it.  I told DH that if "E" or "T" contact him directly about my response that he is to repeat it.  He has not problem standing firm and backing me up. 

Thank you everyone for your help and advice, I'll get her paid back and just let the friendship fizzle out.  I do hope she has a great wedding and happy life but I just can't be a part of it.

Good for you! Out of curiosity, did you tell her you wouldn't be able to attend the wedding at all?
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Post 60
Post by: Alli8098 on February 07, 2014, 02:46:43 PM
So I sent the Bride my message last night.  It was polite, and to the point that we are honored but can't fulfill the obligation of being in the bridal party or helping transport gifts.  I can tell she's seen the message but she hasn't responded.  She could be giving me the cold shoulder but I'm not bothered by it.  I told DH that if "E" or "T" contact him directly about my response that he is to repeat it.  He has not problem standing firm and backing me up. 

Thank you everyone for your help and advice, I'll get her paid back and just let the friendship fizzle out.  I do hope she has a great wedding and happy life but I just can't be a part of it.

Good for you! Out of curiosity, did you tell her you wouldn't be able to attend the wedding at all?

I did let her know that we wouldn't be able to attend the wedding.  There definitely should be no confusion on her part where we stand with that.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Post 60
Post by: Eeep! on February 07, 2014, 06:18:27 PM
So I sent the Bride my message last night.  It was polite, and to the point that we are honored but can't fulfill the obligation of being in the bridal party or helping transport gifts.  I can tell she's seen the message but she hasn't responded.  She could be giving me the cold shoulder but I'm not bothered by it.  I told DH that if "E" or "T" contact him directly about my response that he is to repeat it.  He has not problem standing firm and backing me up. 

Thank you everyone for your help and advice, I'll get her paid back and just let the friendship fizzle out.  I do hope she has a great wedding and happy life but I just can't be a part of it.

Good for you! Out of curiosity, did you tell her you wouldn't be able to attend the wedding at all?

I did let her know that we wouldn't be able to attend the wedding.  There definitely should be no confusion on her part where we stand with that.

Well good. Glad you got that all straightened out.  Must be a bit of a relief, huh?  I hope that things keep looking up for you!  :)
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Post 60
Post by: JeanFromBNA on February 08, 2014, 05:34:10 PM
So I sent the Bride my message last night.  It was polite, and to the point that we are honored but can't fulfill the obligation of being in the bridal party or helping transport gifts.  I can tell she's seen the message but she hasn't responded.  She could be giving me the cold shoulder but I'm not bothered by it.  I told DH that if "E" or "T" contact him directly about my response that he is to repeat it.  He has not problem standing firm and backing me up. 

Thank you everyone for your help and advice, I'll get her paid back and just let the friendship fizzle out.  I do hope she has a great wedding and happy life but I just can't be a part of it.

Good for you, and congratulations on the upcoming birth of your son!  Love your daughter's response!
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? New Update #65
Post by: Alli8098 on March 06, 2014, 09:16:20 AM
So DH comes home from work on Tuesday with our mail in hand and says "you're not going to believe this".  He hands me what looks like an invite from the bride and groom.  I open it up and it's not an invite but a save the date card.  We found it amusing since I know I did tell the bride in my message that we will not be able to attend the wedding at all.  She never did respond to my message but that has not stopped her from inviting me to "like" her business page on Facebook and inviting me to her MLM parties also through Facebook.  DH and speculate that in regards to the Facebook invites she may be sending them out to everyone on her "friends" list.  But the save the date card was an intentional communication.  Since it's a save the date and not an invite with RSVP instructions we are ignoring it.  Again, we just found it interesting and amusing.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Post 60
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 06, 2014, 04:44:16 PM
With a save the date, your not supposed to do anything.

I'm sure they will still send you an invite even though you have said you can't come. With good intentioned people it would be because your situation could have changed and they want you to know your attendance is desired if it is at all possible for you.

With people with questionable motives it would be because they mistakenly believe that a gift MUST be sent for all wedding invitations received.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Post 60
Post by: Alli8098 on March 06, 2014, 05:30:41 PM
With a save the date, your not supposed to do anything.

I'm sure they will still send you an invite even though you have said you can't come. With good intentioned people it would be because your situation could have changed and they want you to know your attendance is desired if it is at all possible for you.

With people with questionable motives it would be because they mistakenly believe that a gift MUST be sent for all wedding invitations received.

The bride is someone that you never really know what the motives are with her.  She is the type of person who can turn on you in a second and will bite the hand that feeds.  But yeah I pretty much figured we didn't need to respond to the save the date.  We are trying to let the friendship fizzle out, so we will decline attendance if we get an invite.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Post 60
Post by: Sharpie on April 03, 2014, 12:54:43 AM
Any update on this?
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Post 60
Post by: Alli8098 on April 05, 2014, 01:37:31 PM
She knows we won't be in the wedding, and though I've already told her we also won't be attending she has it in her head that she wants us "as involved as possible", not sure what that means.  She's criticized me for not wanting a baby shower for DS, but he's our second child so no shower will be happening.  Her reasoning is that DD is almost five so it's a been a while since we had a baby in the house and that we are having a boy this time.  That's not good enough reasoning for me to throw myself into e-hell.  But she insists she will still bring something by for the baby.  I am hoping she doesn't, I don't want anything from her.

We'll see as we get closer to the wedding if we get and invite and if she expects us to show up.  Not happening, we already DH will be working that day.  And I'm not lugging a five year old and an infant to the mountains by myself to attend the wedding.  I did get after DH a couple of weeks ago when I realized he wished her a happy birthday on Facebook.  It may seem harmless but I told him that if we both want to distance ourselves from them (and I confirmed with him we both do) that he needs not to communicate with her or her fiance at all.

I was going to get her her money this month (I just started working again) but she's insisting that she doesn't want it.  She's back to it being a gift and says she doesn't care about it at all.  But I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with that after her tantrums and my wanting to cool the relationship, any thoughts?
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Post 60
Post by: Chickadee on April 05, 2014, 02:02:30 PM
Mail her a check and be done with it. Be sure, though, to make it clear you are repaying her loan. You don't want her to think it is a wedding gift.

From what you have said about her whether it is a  gift or a loan will change with her whims, and she will always hold that over your head.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Post 60
Post by: sammycat on April 05, 2014, 05:05:37 PM
I agree with sending her the money and making it clear it's the loan repayment, not a wedding present. I'd also send it either registered mail so she can't deny getting it, or doing it online direct into her account from yours so that there's a clear paper (electronic) trail.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Post 60
Post by: cicero on April 07, 2014, 05:42:20 AM
I agree with sending her the money and making it clear it's the loan repayment, not a wedding present. I'd also send it either registered mail so she can't deny getting it, or doing it online direct into her account from yours so that there's a clear paper (electronic) trail.
exactly this.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Post 60
Post by: kudeebee on April 07, 2014, 02:39:13 PM
Is there a reason you don't just unfriend her or block her on Facebook?  Then you wouldn't know what was going on with her or have any communication with her.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? Update Post 60
Post by: Alli8098 on April 21, 2014, 01:16:52 PM
Because she's such a drama queen and we know a lot of the same people and there are many more factors that would take too much time to explain DH and I decided a quiet fade out is best. 

On Friday though her wedding invitation arrived with a couple of interesting inserts.  I'll post what they are shortly, right now it's time to get DD her lunch.  And sorry I haven't responded sooner I've been busy with work but today I'm home sick.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? RCVD The Invite Post 75
Post by: Alli8098 on April 26, 2014, 04:37:44 PM
So last Friday I checked the mail when I got home from work.  And low and behold we have received an invite for the wedding that we've made it clear we won't be attending.  Fine, I'm thinking "E" is hoping we'll change our minds and attend.  Here is where the shock came for me and DH.  Inside the invite is a little insert that states, and I quote..

"In liue of gifts, we have chosen to register for gift cards through the (name of ceremony/reception venue here).  We would love for you to help us make our Wedding and Reception the most special day of our lives."

And then it lists the contact info for the venue.  We thought that was pretty tacky, but wait I find another insert stating "The Happy Couple is registered at (store name and website here)."

So they are asking guests to help fund their wedding and to buy gifts.  I'm actually really not surprised and I don't know if it makes a difference but this is a second marriage for both the bride and groom.  Either way we won't be attending the wedding, we won't help fund the wedding, and we won't be buying any gifts.  I did go look at their wedding website listed on the invitation to see if they have the same info listed for the venue gift cards and gift registry, they do.  And I was bad and had to see what was on the registry.  I found some pretty benign items and then some items ranging to $700.00.

I think I am more firm then ever to keep slowly backing away from this couple.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? RCVD The Invite Post 75
Post by: greencat on April 26, 2014, 06:10:04 PM
So last Friday I checked the mail when I got home from work.  And low and behold we have received an invite for the wedding that we've made it clear we won't be attending.  Fine, I'm thinking "E" is hoping we'll change our minds and attend.  Here is where the shock came for me and DH.  Inside the invite is a little insert that states, and I quote..

"In liue of gifts, we have chosen to register for gift cards through the (name of ceremony/reception venue here).  We would love for you to help us make our Wedding and Reception the most special day of our lives."

And then it lists the contact info for the venue.  We thought that was pretty tacky, but wait I find another insert stating "The Happy Couple is registered at (store name and website here)."

So they are asking guests to help fund their wedding and to buy gifts.  I'm actually really not surprised and I don't know if it makes a difference but this is a second marriage for both the bride and groom.  Either way we won't be attending the wedding, we won't help fund the wedding, and we won't be buying any gifts.  I did go look at their wedding website listed on the invitation to see if they have the same info listed for the venue gift cards and gift registry, they do.  And I was bad and had to see what was on the registry.  I found some pretty benign items and then some items ranging to $700.00.

I think I am more firm then ever to keep slowly backing away from this couple.

I definitely think you should return the loaned money as fast as possible.  Clearly they need it...  ::)
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? RCVD The Invite Post 75
Post by: Carotte on April 26, 2014, 06:59:03 PM
So last Friday I checked the mail when I got home from work.  And low and behold we have received an invite for the wedding that we've made it clear we won't be attending.  Fine, I'm thinking "E" is hoping we'll change our minds and attend.  Here is where the shock came for me and DH.  Inside the invite is a little insert that states, and I quote..

"In liue of gifts, we have chosen to register for gift cards through the (name of ceremony/reception venue here).  We would love for you to help us make our Wedding and Reception the most special day of our lives."

And then it lists the contact info for the venue.  We thought that was pretty tacky, but wait I find another insert stating "The Happy Couple is registered at (store name and website here)."

So they are asking guests to help fund their wedding and to buy gifts.  I'm actually really not surprised and I don't know if it makes a difference but this is a second marriage for both the bride and groom.  Either way we won't be attending the wedding, we won't help fund the wedding, and we won't be buying any gifts.  I did go look at their wedding website listed on the invitation to see if they have the same info listed for the venue gift cards and gift registry, they do.  And I was bad and had to see what was on the registry.  I found some pretty benign items and then some items ranging to $700.00.

I think I am more firm then ever to keep slowly backing away from this couple.

I definitely think you should return the loaned money as fast as possible.  Clearly they need it...  ::)

And you might have thought it already, but make absolutly sure it is clearly a repayment of the loan and not a wedding gift.
I'd go as far a taking a picture of the check labelled "For repaiment of loan" or something.

You just never know...
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? RCVD The Invite Post 75
Post by: Alli8098 on April 26, 2014, 07:10:19 PM
The money was actually a gift, it's DH and I who have treated it as a loan.  She's repeatedly stated it's a gift and she doesn't want me to "worry about it".  But after I get the rent paid and we get our next paychecks (I'm finally working again yay!) she's getting her money.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? RCVD The Invite Post 75
Post by: Nornster on April 27, 2014, 11:18:19 AM

"In liue of gifts, we have chosen to register for gift cards through the (name of ceremony/reception venue here).  We would love for you to help us make our Wedding and Reception the most special day of our lives."

And then it lists the contact info for the venue.  We thought that was pretty tacky, but wait I find another insert stating "The Happy Couple is registered at (store name and website here)."

So they are asking guests to help fund their wedding and to buy gifts.

I don`t think this couple knows what "in lieu of" means ...
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? RCVD The Invite Post 75
Post by: LtPowers on April 30, 2014, 12:30:06 PM
I don`t think this couple knows what "in lieu of" means ...

Maybe "in liue of" wasn't a typo.  Maybe "in liue of" means "in addition to".


Powers  &8^]
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? RCVD The Invite Post 75
Post by: Alli8098 on May 01, 2014, 03:11:10 PM
I don`t think this couple knows what "in lieu of" means ...

Maybe "in liue of" wasn't a typo.  Maybe "in liue of" means "in addition to".


Powers  &8^]

That might be what's going through their warped minds.  When I told DH what I saw on their registry his jaw was on the floor.  They are basically asking for a whole new households stuff worth of items.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? RCVD The Invite Post 75
Post by: omjulie on May 05, 2014, 05:46:23 PM
Quote
They are basically asking for a whole new households stuff worth of items.

To be fair, that's more or less what you're encouraged to do with a wedding registry. Remember, a registry is not a compulsory list of items that guests MUST buy you; they're ideas for guests who would like some direction from you in choosing gifts (for example, colors or patterns for plates and linens, etc.). Couples are routinely advised to register for a wide variety of things so that all guests who want to buy from the registry can, and so that guests who don't want to buy from one category still have an idea for another. Traditionally, wedding gifts are given for the purpose of helping the couple set up their new home - so, yes, you can easily end up registering for a "whole new household" worth of items. It doesn't necessarily indicate that the couple feels entitled to that from their guests.

I'm not saying this couple hasn't been incredibly rude, and including both a registry insert and a "please give us money" note is incredibly tacky. Just don't get carried away because you're upset with them - it's better to confine your outrage to things they've actually done wrong rather than letting it spill over into everything else.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? RCVD The Invite Post 75
Post by: TootsNYC on May 05, 2014, 06:13:59 PM
Also, the including of both gift ideas (help defray wedding costs; help set up their new household) is not automatically an indicator that they expect people to give -both- things.

And the $700 item may be the sort of thing that they think a few people will go in on together. Or that they'll try to get with the 10% completion discount.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? RCVD The Invite Post 75
Post by: katycoo on May 05, 2014, 06:23:58 PM
And the $700 item may be the sort of thing that they think a few people will go in on together. Or that they'll try to get with the 10% completion discount.

This exactly.  I wouldn't judge this unless the whole registry was around this price mark.

Asking people to contribute towards the reception costs - just no.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? RCVD The Invite Post 75
Post by: Sophia on June 25, 2014, 10:52:26 AM
I think the wedding invite was just a reminder that you need to send her a wedding present.  Same with the fuss about a baby shower for you and a baby gift.  In her mind you owe her a present.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? RCVD The Invite Post 75
Post by: gellchom on June 25, 2014, 12:19:36 PM
I'm not saying this couple hasn't been incredibly rude, and including both a registry insert and a "please give us money" note is incredibly tacky. Just don't get carried away because you're upset with them - it's better to confine your outrage to things they've actually done wrong rather than letting it spill over into everything else.

This is very, very wise.  The bolded is a great mantra for many situations!  Thanks for sharing this great advice, julie.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? RCVD The Invite Post 75
Post by: SamiHami on June 25, 2014, 02:02:12 PM
The money was actually a gift, it's DH and I who have treated it as a loan.  She's repeatedly stated it's a gift and she doesn't want me to "worry about it".  But after I get the rent paid and we get our next paychecks (I'm finally working again yay!) she's getting her money.

I suggest that you buy a money order for the amount you owe her. That way she can't decide to just not cash the check "because it was a gift." I would also send it certified (not registered; registered isn't what most people think it is) so she has to sign for it.
Title: Re: Bow out of Wedding and Friendship? RCVD The Invite Post 75
Post by: lakey on June 25, 2014, 08:29:39 PM
OP,
even your friend is calling the money a gift rather than a loan, I would pay it back. I just don't like the idea of taking money from people or loaning money to people. Too often there is judgement or expectations attached to it.