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Am I being a bridezilla? RSVP woes

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I am getting married in a little over 2 weeks to the love of my life.  I happen to also be a wedding planner and have seen a lot of the pitfalls that brides fall into. My experience as a wedding planner along with my mother’s influence about proper etiquette has rendered me particularly aware and overly vigilant about never, EVER being anything like the bridezillas I have worked for.

However, there is a constant battle that I have within and I need an unbiased opinion to help me see out of it.  I keep wondering if I am being too sensitive or even – dare I say it – a bridezilla.  Are my expectations too high? Am I being too hard on others?  If you could give me your insight, it would help me so much!

The groom and I are paying for the wedding ourselves. We thought long and hard about our budget and the kind of wedding we wanted. I am fully aware of the cost of weddings and came up with several estimates and guest counts for us to see what our best options were. We finally settled on an elegant, rather fancy, wedding of 120 guests. That sounds like a lot of guests, but when you consider that leaves only 60 guests for the bride and 60 for the groom, it really isn’t.  We both have large families and a very large portion of our guest count is accounted for just from our families alone. (and in the case of the groom, we were not able to invite a large portion of his family).

I have lived in my current city since college and have a close knit group of friends that I consider my family, as I have no family members that live anywhere close to me.  I sent out Save-the-date cards six months before the wedding and the wedding invites 8 weeks in advance.  I got the following email from my friend of 15 years that is invited to the wedding, along with her husband.

The subject line: NEWS

“I have some news that may not be good….  At this point it does not look like B and I can make it to the wedding on Friday night. “

I was concerned when I read this. This is someone that I have spent holidays with and gone on vacation with for years. The person who helped pick out the engagement ring, hosted my shower and who we asked to officiate the wedding (she declined because she was too shy). I replied with,

“Ok. What’s wrong??”

Her response was five words:

“Childcare doesn’t always come easy”

I was dumbfounded and rendered speechless when I read this.  My first few thoughts were:

1.        You have had a YEAR to obtain childcare for the wedding and you haven’t been able to do so?
2.       The delivery of this news was simply awful.  Something along the lines of, “Listen, we’ve been trying to find a babysitter and haven’t been successful as of yet. We are still working on it but I wanted to give you a heads up. Worst case scenario B can stay home and watch our child and I’ll come to the wedding. “…….would have been a lot more considerate.
I recognize that my wedding is not as important to other people as it is to me (obviously).  That applies even to my closest of closest friends. I get that.  However, am I being a bridezilla to think that this was an awful way to communicate to a close friend that you might not attend the wedding?
Per previous conversations we have had about event planning, I know that my friend feels that children should not be excluded from events.  Her child is my godson, so maybe she feels slighted because I have not included him in the wedding invite? Maybe she feels resentful that she has to find a babysitter and this is her passive aggressive way of handling it?
I have this internal battle and it rages on. Should I say something to her about my feelings or let it go like I usually do to make peace?
Here are other RSVP’s from close friends, verbatim:
-          “Yeah. I’m studying all the time now. I rarely leave the house.”
-          “I just  now realized that your wedding is on a Friday night. I don’t think I can make get off work”. (this received from a friend of 30 years, who I have discussed the wedding with DOZENS of times and who refused to make plans with other friends coming to the wedding from my home state, always saying – “we’ll plan it as it gets closer”.
-          “I was so bummed when I got your wedding invitation because I realized that I bought tickets to a concert that same night. I think I’ll just come to the ceremony and part of the cocktail hour and then leave the reception to go to the concert”. (this from a friend of 10 years, who has seen this band more times than I can count)
After a while, it’s hard to NOT be sensitive about these RSVP’s. I recognize that not everyone will be able to attend this wedding, but so often the delivery of the news is so terrible, along with (what I feel are) stupid excuses.   If they realized how PRECIOUS each and every invitation sent out was and how long I agonized over who I should invite and who I had to leave out, they might react differently, I don’t know.
I *have* had some very gracious RSVP’s that were No’s and for those I am appreciative.  They often were accompanied with a statement of how hard they tried to come and to make it work but they were unable to do so. They were so sorry they would miss it, they love me, they wish me the best, etc….
I am beginning to re-evaluate my friendships. Is this normal?  I kind of feel like, if you didn’t bother to secure a babysitter with a year’s notice and chose to tell me you might not come in such a careless way, maybe you aren’t as good of a friend as I think.  If you would rather go to a concert to see a band that you have seen a dozen times and miss my once-in-a-lifetime wedding, maybe we aren’t that close after all.  When I have these thoughts, I then feel disloyal and tell myself I’m being too hard on people.
Any insight you could provide would be MUCH appreciated.


Speaking as someone who had her own aunt not attend her wedding so she could go grade tests in another state (no, really) my suggestion is this; laugh it off and let it go. It's not easy right now with your totally awesome wedding day in a mere 2 weeks, but think of the celebration they're missing out on!

As for your friend who emailed you, I suggest emailing her back and saying simply; we're very sorry to hear that and will miss you at the wedding. It may be that her babysitter fell through, it may be she doesn't want to go without DH, it may even be that she is choosing not being able to bring her DS with her but this is YOUR wedding and she doesn't deserve the brain space right now.

Is it a terrible way for her to tell you? Yes, but for now you need to treat it as an RSVP change and move on.

As for whether or not you're still friends with everyone after the wedding, only time would tell, but I wouldn't make any decisions just yet. It is entirely possible that once the wedding stress is gone, life will go on as normal.

I would be hurt, too, if my very close friend did that to me. It seems you aren't as close as you thought you were. As for the others; well, it is true that other people aren't going to be as excited about your wedding as you are. Some of them are obvious cop outs (studying all the time? Lame).

I don't think it's bridezilla-ish to feel badly about it, but since there's nothing you can do, try to let it roll off your back. As for re-evaluating your friendships, that is entirely your prerogative.

Otherwise, please focus on what's important here-you are marrying your true love! That is fanstastic! Enjoy your day and don't dwell on those who chose not to attend.

Oh, and I insist you post pictures when you get them!

On the one that seems to bother you most (the first one) I completely agree that it was immature to notify you the way she did.  But in all candor, I think your response was just as bad.   "Ok, what's wrong?" comes across as pretty snarky, especially in the absence of even a little disappointment.  She's most to blame for starting it this way, but I would have picked up the phone and talked to her at that point.  The whole exchange might have gone differently.

On the rest, I agree some of the excuses are pretty borderline, but I also have a question.  Are you asking all of them why they can't come?  If so, again you may be contributing to this, depending on how it played out.   People can feel put on the spot if they're asked why they aren't coming, because the assumption is that, if they wanted to share this, they would.  IOW, it's nice when people send more thorough regrets, but it doesn't make people wrong if they check the box and return the card.

You're hardly a bridezilla!  And it also matters how large your wedding is.  If the majority is attending, then just be happy about that.  Remember, your wedding will never be as important to others as it is to you.

Cz. Burrito:
I don't think you're being a bridezilla, and I completely understand why you feel hurt! However, I would avoid voicing your thoughts on the RSVPs to the people in question, especially as it pertains to trying to guess at your friend's thought process.  Even if she is being passive-aggressive because she thinks you should have invited her child (and she very well may not be!), the best way to handle people who do things like that is to take them at their word.  Respond as though "I will not be able to make it" is all that she said.  I would respond along the lines of "I'm so sorry to hear that!  You will be missed."


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