Thursday, March 24, 2011

My wedding is not a popularity contest

Dear East Side Bride,

Honestly, I NEVER ever thought I would be the one to write you.... I love your blog, don't get me wrong, but I just never thought I would be in the middle of any wedding related drama.

We are getting married in the fall in a really small wedding (45 people) on the east coast, which is halfway between my current home (and my man's homeland) in Europe, and my home state of California. When we started doing the guest list, it was really easy for me to be cut-throat and decide who I want to celebrate with, it will be a long weekend together and more like a vacation with a party rather than a wedding. So obviously only people I would want to spend a fair amount of time with. I came up with some arbitrary rule of "if they haven't spoken with me in the last six months, they ain't coming." I thought that seemed fair. and still do.

I live halfway across the world from my family and friends and most of my very tight knit group of girlfriends make an effort to stay in contact and updated on my life. There was one girl who I was very close with at different points in my life, but in the last 8 years have only seen on occasion, and are not really involved in each other's lives. She is the type of girl who constantly has a boyfriend and ditched my group of girls in high school when the first cute boy came calling and has really only made appearances when she is between relationships. I resent that.

ANYWAY, She was not included in the first list, and quickly after I got engaged she wrote me a facebook message with congratulations... but I still think that doesn't really count for my six month rule. I made this clear to my friends who talk to her, and was told she was crying after she heard the news because she was so happy... it seems really fake to me. None of my family or friends were emotional, and neither was I, so that seems like a heap of nonsense. We were home in California for the holidays and she accosted me and asked why she had not received an invite to the engagement party we were having, and I told her she was welcome to come if she wanted, and she did. She wasn't exactly nice to me, nor did she even say hello to my boyfriend at the party until the end. It was awkward.

Now she writes me a facebook message again asking when the date is because she needs to request the time off and buy her plane ticket. I was horrified. That seems wildly inappropriate to me, but maybe I am the bitch? I realize it is ONE person as I assume she would come alone, and it should not be a big deal. But i feel like she only cares because she wants to feel included, like it is some weird high school popularity contest. I am at a total loss and my friends are split on her being a crazy drama queen and her being genuinely happy for me. I am at a total loss here and could REALLY use some advice from you and your readers!!

A girl who HATES drama

p.s. we haven't even sent out invites yet. only save the dates, and I didn't mail her one. Because, I don't have her email, phone number or address.

I know this probably seems clear, I don't know if it is worth losing a friend over. or causing drama since we aren't close, but i kind of just think she is a bitch and will make this a much bigger problem than it is. I also heard she was upset that SHE is not the one getting married... since she has had so many boyfriends, and I have not, that she figured she would be the first.

HELP! I need perspective.


I almost put this up on mmohiac, what with the facebook messages and the crying and the friends taking sides, but you really don't need a thousand crazypantses weighing in. And anyway, I couldn't justify it. You know, since this girl is not your maid of honor.


Don't invite her. Period. Done. End of story.

(Freja Beha Erichsen by Rafael Stahelin for Vogue Korea September 2010 via Paper Mode via Blushless)


  1. my god, she sounds obnoxious. you guys aren't friends. cut her out of your life NOW. she will survive.

  2. Gooooodbye. No invite for crazy.

  3. I am having similar high-school style drama. My crew from hs is still pretty close (6 of us) and I am inviting them to my wedding. This other girl we went to school with (closer to 1 member of the crew) has started coming to our little gatherings.

    At the last one she had the nerve to say: I really want to come to your wedding! I told her sorry, I was having a small wedding and I couldn't include her. THEN she argued with me and said that she could be another single girl's plus one! WTF? I don't even like this person.

    So I am not inviting her. She can feel unpopular that day, she'll live. She is the one who should feel awkward, not you.

  4. Mmm, love sofia.romps' comment. For real: at our age, if she's still acting like this, you gotta shake that girl off. Maybe I lack sentiment, but I say hang onto the memories and cut that girl off -- our sanity and time is worth a whole lot more than what we value it at, sometimes, and certainly worth more than niceness.

  5. she absolutely does NOT get an invite. i was cutthroat too and i hate drama so much also that i didn't even bother inviting my dramatic aunt. so pffft, "friends" definitely shouldn't think they're automatically invited.

    random note: esb, when did you make mmohiac? i am sooo out of the loop.

  6. I agree that you don't owe her an invite whatsoever. You are having a small wedding for close friends and family and are under no obligation to invite her.

    However, it sounds like a lot of the information that is upsetting you is coming from outsides sources, such as your friends. You've heard she is upset she's not getting married first, you've heard she was crying over your wedding... The only first-hand experience you have with her is her messages via Facebook and her (rather rude) demand to come to your engagement party.

    You have every right to let her know she won't be invited, but it might be good to remember that the only information you can count on is what you've seen with your own eyes. I wouldn't let your frustration over the rumors you've heard influence your reply to her. It's better to remain calm and direct in your reply than to let your annoyance show through, because THAT is the thing that builds drama, in weddings and in friendships. And it sounds like that the thing you really want is to stop dealing with the drama.

  7. ok, I was going to write, "cut that bitch" but then i reminded myself that i invited a few friends that i barely kept in touch with anymore, mainly because i didn't want any bad feelings. luckily, my wedding was kind of far for them and they didn't end up coming, so it worked out, but this bitch already wants to book a ticket before you even send out the invites!
    how about sending her a long email explaining that you're having a very small wedding and that the two of you have not really kept in touch over the last few years, as evidenced by the fact that you don't even have her phone number or address. tell her there are other people you and your fiance left out for the same reason - because you wanted a small, intimate wedding - and it wouldn't be fair to invite her. maybe even leave your phone number and tell her she can call you if she wants to talk further. maybe.

  8. No email, no phone call, maybe if you're feeling nice, one facebook response : 'Unfortunately, we are having a very small wedding and cannot include everyone' That is IT. She messages you again, ignore it. Also please ask whoever is feeding you all these rumours about this girl to stop it. Don't engage with her AT ALL. She sounds like she just wants to create drama. You aren't inviting her, end of. Don

  9. agreed cici, sending her a long email is just an opportunity for her to respond...with a long email.

    nip that shit in the bud!

  10. hate to say this buuuuuut....i kind of feel like anyone who is invited to your engagement party should be invited to your wedding. that's just me.

  11. I wouldn't invite her. It's obvious you don't want her there, and quite frankly, I don't blame you. And it really grates on my nerves when people invite themselves to events.

    That being said, if you don't invite her, I imagine she'll probably have a hissy fit and will no longer be your friend.

  12. Ha! I could have written this Ask ESB. I got engaged on vacation in NYC and had already planned an old friend meet-up with all my high school friends that were living there. A girlfriend I hadn't spoken to for a couple years had just moved there and was included in the open invitation and when I said "I got engaged!" she responded with an almost annoyed "I know." Then she proceeded to ignore me the rest of the night and skip out early to go play beer pong. A few days later, she was also included in an open invitation goodbye brunch, and when my fiance and I were talking about wanting to have the wedding in our friend's backyard with a bocce court and pizza she said "Man, I want to go to THAT wedding!"

    Same thing, I told our mutual friends that are invited that she is not and she can't be someone's plus one. Since, she's been kissing my ass and fishing for an invite. Not. Happening. I don't need her Debbie Downer, attention craving bullshit on that day. Lady, neither do you. Eff her.

  13. Don't invite her. I had one I had to make this choice about, and now I'm glad as hell. She sucks at life. And, um, she'd make the whole thing about her. She did this recently at a friend's dad's funeral. Why wouldn't she do so at a wedding?

    Fuck it. You aren't in high school anymore. It's not like you have to see her everyday. Let friends choose sides if they must, but stick to your guns. They'll likely see through her bullshit.

  14. Be polite but leave no room for error tell her you appreciate her good wishes but you are having a small wedding and she is not invited. A friend of mine had a small wedding last summer and I was not invited, I didn't mind and wished her the best, if your friend cannot be graceful about it tell her to bugger off. She is not worth the time or energy to even pretend to deal with her drama.

  15. exactly. don't invite her.

    i don't care if it's my fucking sister (which I don't have anyway...gah), if anyone ASKS for an invite to the wedding, it's done. no soup for them.

    honestly..i think the rude, ballsy, socially inept that ask for invitations to weddings are just DIFFERENT...fundamentally different...from those of us who would never do that. do you really care if you never talk to her again anyway? the cool thing is..friends who side with her (if they are so immature to choose sides) likely have that fundamental difference from you fuck'em.

    all it would take is her getting to the point in the story where she says, "so i asked her where my invitation was on facebook..." and they would either go, [insert twilight zone music] or "yeah, totally...that's perfectly normal."

  16. I now understand that much of the sorrow in my life can be directly linked to the fact that I would have invited her. Probably still would. Do they offer cut-throat training courses?

  17. With these "do I have to invite x,y,z?" questions, I feel like the longer and more detailed the question is, the more likely the answer is just no. She isn't married to someone you must have there, she isn't family that would cause a giant rift if she isn't invited. Just tell her it's a small wedding and let it be. She can cry on her own time.

  18. Double ditto on Rachel. Though, you can even expand on that and say if you have to debate it, the answer most usually would be "no."

  19. Love this advice...I totally need it right now as well. Thanks for posting :)

  20. @camilla, normally I would agree with you, but she really wasn't invited to the engagement party. She invited herself. That's bad enough, but now she's inviting herself to the wedding.

    Cici's advice was perfect.

  21. Don't invite her, not worth it.
    Also? Not one, but two of my friends got conned into bringing people I didn't originally invite to my wedding as their "plus ones". One of those plus ones who didn't make the cut would up getting wildly drunk, accidentally wounding another guest (stiletto heel on dance floor), and puking at the venue. Classsy. And kind of why she wasn't invited in the first place. Avoid the drama.

  22. also...
    i thought mmohiac was a it going to be updated for realz?

  23. Haha @ LPC. Right?

    I like what Anon 8:24 said - everyone else has good advice, too, but sometimes it's easy to invest in what your friends say without having actually dealt with it yourself, and then you get an odd picture.

  24. Yes, I agree with anon. By all means don't invite her, but it sounds like you're being angry about gossip from other people. You have no idea if she is being fake or not and for some reason you've decided she's a bitch. That's really harsh.

    It's perfectly fine to decide not to invite her, but you don't have to turn her into a monster in your mind first to give you a good reason.

    You know, some friendships last the decades on very little contact, because every time people do finally meet they remember how much they love each other, and that is enough.

    Sounds like the drama is with you, not her.

  25. Whether or not you have a sixth month rule is moot. You clearly don't like her. You're having a small wedding. It's the perfect excuse not to invite her. Done.

  26. Also...if the ONLY way you can communicate with her is via facebook you are not real friends.

  27. we had the "if both of us don't know you and/or haven't spoken often/seen you in a year you aren't invited" rule.

    In the 2 years before we were married I had NEVER met this one HS friend. EVER. And he and my now husband never talked so he obviously wasn't invited.

    I ending up meeting him at a group thing 2 months after we were married and his first (pretty angry) words to me were "WHY WASN'T I INVITED TO THE WEDDING?!"

    My response? "Because that was how you thought you should introduce yourself to me."

    Stick to your rule, party with your friends and family, and try to be fully present during the weekend. It goes by way too fast to spend time worrying about this!

  28. If you don't see someone being in you and your husband's life in the future, as one of the friends that was cheering you on at the wedding, then don't invite. People who are actually happy for you, and who adore the couple that you two are, should make the cut. If she showed up at the engagement party by her own invite and did not make an effort to get to know your fiance or even to really speak to you, then she's out. It would seem really silly to invite someone who couldn't even make the effort at an engagement party - and who invited herself! Besides, you already have a lot to work on having the wedding away from home and with friends and family coming from all around to be there for you - and they actually want to be there for you and future husband! Focus on them, not on the people who just want to be there for the party.

  29. There was another Anon posting about friends sustaining throughout a number of years based on the fact that when you reunite with those people, you feel a sort of instant re-bond, and remember why you craved that person's company in the first place.

    I still have good friends from HS who I have not seen in a long time, mostly due to geographic distance and personal distraction (between work stress, wedding planning, and duh, being a grown-up, which sucks), and I am inviting them because I love them and whenever I end up in that part of the country, I make an effort to see them.

    If you reunion with this person was not happy and healthy, then cut her out. I have a girl who was on my first draft, yes m'am invite list, but my last few interactions with her have been not happy and thus she's getting cut out. there are other people I want there instead of her, and so she gets the boot for others whose presence I crave.

    If you don't want someone around you at your wedding, don't invite them.

  30. She thinks YOUR wedding is about HER. That's a no in my book...

  31. You're like an evil club of mean hipster brides. Get over yourselves with your vicious comments. The fact the anti-drama queen sent this ridiculous drama-filled letter to ESB is an indication that she's in denial about who she really is. This could've been easily handled by saying, "My wedding's super small. Sorry."