Author Topic: Am I being a bridezilla? RSVP woes  (Read 2987 times)

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trichele21

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Am I being a bridezilla? RSVP woes
« on: April 21, 2014, 01:54:43 PM »
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.
 

 

lofty

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Re: Am I being a bridezilla? RSVP woes
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2014, 02:08:50 PM »
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.
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SamiHami

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Re: Am I being a bridezilla? RSVP woes
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2014, 02:13:28 PM »
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!

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Mikayla

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Re: Am I being a bridezilla? RSVP woes
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2014, 02:15:30 PM »
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

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Re: Am I being a bridezilla? RSVP woes
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2014, 02:17:38 PM »
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."

Harriet Jones

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Re: Am I being a bridezilla? RSVP woes
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2014, 02:20:12 PM »
You're perfectly justified in feeling hurt, you're only a bridezilla if it affects your behavior.  Perhaps you do need to reevaluate these relationships, but I'd wait a while until all the wedding stress is over.

jmarvellous

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Re: Am I being a bridezilla? RSVP woes
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2014, 02:20:38 PM »
I really feel for you. I had friends canceling with badly thought-out replies via text the day of! It hurts!

But please don't let this be a friendship ender! I'm a big believer in not making emotional decisions the middle of big life transitions. Focus on the important thing--making it the best possible day for those who do attend,  yourselves included. Getting it off your chest might feel good for a moment,  but the best revenge is wedding well.

And what it sincerely comes down to is this: Your wedding will never be as important to anyone else as it is to you. Please don't take people's carelessness as a sign of anything momentous.

Have a great day!

TootsNYC

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Re: Am I being a bridezilla? RSVP woes
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2014, 02:25:07 PM »
I don't think "OK, what's wrong?" is snarky--and I don't think sending you an email that she's having difficulty w/ child care is all that horrible either.

This is an emotionally charged time. Try not to read negative things into the things people say and do. And remember that it's WAY more emotionally charged for you than for then.

"Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity," right? Apply that here, would be my recommendation. So don't regard the email as "a horrible thing to do."

I mean, she was planning on coming, something went wrong w/ childcare. You don't even have any details. Maybe she didn't try hard enough to line up a reliable sitter--but you don't even know. Maybe she *did* have someone lined up, and they backed out on her.

I sort of want to say, "put down the email and back slowly away." Just don't let this stuff become a big deal.

But I also don't think it's completely -wrong- to reevaluate some of these friendships. People -are- sending you messages by their responses.

But at least in the case of this close friend, don't go immediately to a "we're having a fight!" point of view. Get info. Speak your hurt (gently). Say, "It matters a lot to me that you be there. If you can't get a sitter, can DH take baby duty? Can you keep trying to find someone? It's important to me to have you there."

And most of all, care about one another.

Then use this not as a friendship-ended, but as an eye-opener. And watch how your friendship goes.

Mikayla

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Re: Am I being a bridezilla? RSVP woes
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2014, 02:34:40 PM »
I don't think "OK, what's wrong?" is snarky--and I don't think sending you an email that she's having difficulty w/ child care is all that horrible either.


I had a feeling I should have clarified what I said, so thank you, Toots!  I do feel that it comes across snarky, mainly because of the context.  This woman is godmother to OPs child, she threw the bridal shower, helped shop for the ring, and they've vacationed together. 

Like I said, the friend's original communique was the worst, but I would not have responded that way to someone who had done so much for me.   And then I agree with OP that the next response was also not ok. 

I'm sure I'm the minority, but I just don't think close friends should communicate like this.  It's a breeding ground for bad assumptions and resentment. 

TootsNYC

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Re: Am I being a bridezilla? RSVP woes
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2014, 02:36:54 PM »
I agree with you that this is not a good way to communicate. But I think both of those are perfectly reasonable ways to begin the communication.

It's just really, really not effective communication to have these be all the communication.

And now is the time to pick up the phone and move this into the way true friends communicate with one another.


Hmmmmm

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Re: Am I being a bridezilla? RSVP woes
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2014, 02:38:33 PM »
I don't think your being a Bridezilla and I do understand why your hurt by some of these responses. Which is why it is always best to NOT give a reason when you are turning down an invitation in most cases.

The friend who sighted child care as an issue might have had something lined up and had the sitter back out. It could be that she's not comfortable going to a wedding solo if she's been in a relationship for a really long time. Or it could be that she's upset about her kid not being invited.

As your life changes, you will re-evaluate your relationships. And looking at the effort others make to be part of your life is a good benchmark for deciding who you still want to make a priority.

People goof. Sometimes they let they get their priorities messed up. My sister is mildly upset with her son right now because he chose to not attend a family function (he was the only one of his generation who chose to not attend. His sister flew in from Europe and his cousins flew in from across the US, he was only a 1 hour flight away) because he's in the midst of studying for his CFP (which has a passing rate of 50% so he's stressing). I do agree with her that in a year he'll look back and wish he'd taken the day and a half off from studying to attend but I get that he's stressed and probably not thinking about how he'll feel about it a year from now.

But your stressed too right now. So don't make your final decision about these relationships based on these single incidents.

LadyL

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Re: Am I being a bridezilla? RSVP woes
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2014, 02:43:02 PM »
I'm sorry, OP, that sounds frustrating.

One thought: you mention that all of these friends are close to you. In my case, most of my closest friends were in my bridal party. How many other  friends who you consider close are coming to/already heavily involved with the wedding? Do these 4-5 people constitute half your friend group, or is it more like 4 out of 15-20 people you consider close friends? What I'm getting it is that you may define "closeness" differently than these friends who are not coming because of concerts or studying. And my guess is that there are other people who probably HAVE stepped up to the plate (maybe who you didn't expect to) and at this point, they might be better people to focus your energies towards than these flaky friends.

camlan

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Re: Am I being a bridezilla? RSVP woes
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2014, 04:56:30 PM »
What I think is that your friends should not have told you why they were declining to attend your wedding. The reason you are feeling upset is that you now know where you rank with these people.

These really aren't RSVP woes. These people have responded. They just haven't responded in the way that you want them to.

Childcare can be an issue, and it is possible to have childcare lined up and then the childminder cancels on you. The one friend is willing to attend the ceremony before heading off to the concert. Friday nights can be an issue for people who have to work and then travel any distance to the wedding that night. Studying, if it is for an important degree or certification, can take over a person's life for months. Someone's job might hinge on passing a certification exam.

You said that you think of this group of friends as family. It is possible that while they consider you a close friend, they do not consider you as family. That doesn't make them bad people. It just means that they have a different interpretation of the relationship than you do.

One of my brothers got married with just a few weeks notice. I was unable to get vacation (the wedding site required travel on my part) and couldn't attend. I felt badly about that, but I couldn't risk my job to attend his wedding.

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aussie_chick

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Re: Am I being a bridezilla? RSVP woes
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2014, 06:19:45 PM »
I don't think "OK, what's wrong?" is snarky--and I don't think sending you an email that she's having difficulty w/ child care is all that horrible either.

This is an emotionally charged time. Try not to read negative things into the things people say and do. And remember that it's WAY more emotionally charged for you than for then.

"Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity," right? Apply that here, would be my recommendation. So don't regard the email as "a horrible thing to do."

I mean, she was planning on coming, something went wrong w/ childcare. You don't even have any details. Maybe she didn't try hard enough to line up a reliable sitter--but you don't even know. Maybe she *did* have someone lined up, and they backed out on her.

I sort of want to say, "put down the email and back slowly away." Just don't let this stuff become a big deal.

But I also don't think it's completely -wrong- to reevaluate some of these friendships. People -are- sending you messages by their responses.

But at least in the case of this close friend, don't go immediately to a "we're having a fight!" point of view. Get info. Speak your hurt (gently). Say, "It matters a lot to me that you be there. If you can't get a sitter, can DH take baby duty? Can you keep trying to find someone? It's important to me to have you there."

And most of all, care about one another.

Then use this not as a friendship-ended, but as an eye-opener. And watch how your friendship goes.

This.

When I first read your friend's response Op I thought "Are you kidding me? This is the best they can do?" then I read a few of the other posters responses and then went back and read it again. I wondered if your friend was trying to be wry or even that they are so disappointed or upset about the change in plans (assumes they had child care plans) that they can't say more. Or maybe even (and this might be a huge stretch. I don't know your friend) perhaps they don't want to bother you with details about them when it should be about your day.

Your friends may not be malicious. They may be clueless. Or perhaps as you suggested, they care less about your wedding than you do.

I do agree with Toots too about it not being wrong to re-evaluate the friendships. People do send messages by their responses. Just don't do it right now. Let the dust settle. Put them out of your mind. Enjoy your day with your soon to be DH, friends and family and then ask yourself down the track - "does that still bother me? Is it worth having a discussion about it? Should I just let it go? Maybe I should let friendship a or b die out"

katycoo

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Re: Am I being a bridezilla? RSVP woes
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2014, 07:18:30 PM »
Remember that your friends don't hate you.  You already said you realise that your wedding is not as important to others as it is to you, so try to turn your thinking around.

1. Childcare friends.  Don't assume they didn't try to arrange anything earlier.  Perhaps the people they appropached didn't want to commit to being available to babysit a long way in advance.  Maybe someone cancelled on them.  Maybe they're not cofortable leaving their kids with strangers.  Maybe you should propose that if they both cannot come you'd love one of them to.

2. Concert friends.  Tickets can be expensive and maybe she's not willing to throw it away.  Either way she's willing to come to part of your wedding - why not be happy they'll be there at all?  I had a friend who had to leave early in order to drive to another city as his brother was participating in a race the next day which he wanted to be at.  I was just glad he came.

There will still be others who you can't get past.  Like my uncle (and godfather) and aunt, who declined because they had a tiny farm with a few animals they 'couldn't leave'.  Except that they left them all the time in the care of neighbours to come to my city to visit their direct family.  That hurt.