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Not invited to a friends wedding but everyone else is
September 27, 2008 6:18 AM   Subscribe

A good friend is getting married. All of our mutual friends (and acquaintances) are invited, but me. How do deal with the social awkwardness?

A and I have been friends for 5 years. We instantly became best buds and have had some great times hiking and doing outdoorsy things. We see each other every other week, like to drink socially and frequently go dancing. We talk a lot, rant about our bosses, share personal issues etc.

Fast forward to present day and she is getting married. A and I also have a ton of mutual friends. I am very close with her maid of honor and two bridesmaids.

Two months ago, both bridesmaids asked me if I would like to share a cabin with them for the wedding. I said I don't know yet but keep me posted. The wedding is a month away and I didn't get invited so I assumed it's really close friends only. So far so good. However, thanks to facebook, I have been seeing a lot of wall posts from other friends who are planning to attend the wedding. Hmm ok.
But today, a guy that the two of us have known for under 6 months asked if we could carpool. Now I'm totally confused.

All of my experiences I've had in my twenties have made me fairly thick skinned so I am not hurt very much by this but the whole thing is getting akward because of our mutual friends. Bridesmaid called again and left a message asking if I still wanted in on the cabin. I don't want to make a big deal and say but hey A didn't invite me. Also, given how facebook shoves everything into my newsfeed, this whole thing is constantly in my face. I am not upset with her, more like puzzled because we have had no falling out of any sort (she came to visit me a week ago and we had an awesome time).
Also, It would be hard to lie and say but I'm really busy at work because she and all of friends know that I am in between projects with plenty of free time on my hands. Should I lie anyway and say that I have something more important that weekend?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (38 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Asking the obvious, but is it at all possible that your invite got lost in the mail or you otherwise didn't receive it?
posted by bumblebeat at 6:26 AM on September 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


We see each other every other week, like to drink socially and frequently go dancing. We talk a lot, rant about our bosses, share personal issues etc. ...and she never mentions her upcoming wedding?

If she does, then, seconding bumblebeat.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 6:29 AM on September 27, 2008


Say to the bridesmaid point blank, "I wasn't invited to the wedding."

Upon hearing this the bridesmaid will get back to the bride. At this point the bride will clear up a misunderstanding and send you an invitation. Or, you will remain uninvited.

If you remain univited, drop this "friend" like a bad habit.
posted by Fairchild at 6:34 AM on September 27, 2008 [37 favorites]


The mailing list for wedding invites is a huge pain to organize. We left off a couple of people by mistake. Other friends/relatives alerted us. Definitely ask one of the bridesmaids what's up.
posted by selfmedicating at 6:34 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


What Fairchild said. Either it's a misunderstanding or you're not as good friends as you thought.
posted by languagehat at 6:37 AM on September 27, 2008


OK, whether you were left off or not, it's important to deal here with the possibility that you intentionally weren't invited, for whatever reason. It sounds like you're being a great sport about it. I do not endorse Fairchild's advice at all.

You probably should make sure it was intentional, so you might bring it up with the bride-friend by just enduring a moment of awkwardness and saying something to her like [I'm sure you can do better, or someone else in this thread can]:

"I completely understand that putting together a wedding guest list is very very difficult, but since a couple of people have asked me about carpooling and such, I just want to make sure thet..." - OK, I can't think of a good way to ask this at all. NEW PLAN.

Get a trusted friend to act as intermediary and have him or her ask the bride _for you_ to confirm that you're not invited. BONUS is that this intermediary can then maybe help disseminate the info if you're _not_ invited.
posted by amtho at 6:49 AM on September 27, 2008


This is awful. I'd be really upset. Do as Fairchild said and tell the bridesmaid or go to her directly. If she's intentionally leaving you out, then fuck her, you're not friends.

(And at that point I'd start a very slow, very subtle whispering campaign, aimed at ruining her reputation. But that's just me.)
posted by The Monkey at 7:02 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Tell the bridesmaid. Whenever someone asks you about plans for the wedding, just tell them that you didn't get an invite. It should get back to the bride pretty fast, especially if you're telling bridesmaids.
posted by fructose at 7:10 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Say to the bridesmaid point blank, "I wasn't invited to the wedding."

This. It's not drama, it's fact. You received no invitation, put off your plans to allow extra time for the delivery of an invitation to sort itself out, and still received no invitation. If other people treat the statement as being drama, that is their problem. You are not "making a big deal" by stating a fact.

It's totally reasonable to state to this person that no, you won't be going in on accommodations with them because you received no invitation.
posted by majick at 7:16 AM on September 27, 2008 [13 favorites]


One of my close friends never sent an RSVP to my wedding. I called him a month before and asked if he was coming. "Coming? I never got an invite. I thought you didn't like me."

So yeah, things get lost in the mail.
posted by muddgirl at 7:21 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


There's no reason not to tell people that you weren't invited in a matter-of-fact way. Just don't let the emotional context slip through, and no one will think badly of you.

That said, I try never to take it personally when I am not invited to a wedding. They can be expensive dos, and after required family, many couples are under a lot of pressure to reduce the number of guests.
posted by grouse at 7:23 AM on September 27, 2008


I was in the exact same situation a couple of years ago. A friend of mine, A, was getting married. I knew her well, we saw each other regularly at social things, spent Christmas together one year, we went to the same scuba club and she and I went on a diving holiday (where we shared a room). I know her mother, G, really well too, and when an apartment in my street came up for sale a couple of years ago G snapped it up. So I saw them both regularly and considered them to be good friends.

So, A and her boyfriend decided to get married, about 80 miles from where we live (her fiancé was from that part of the country) and people in our circle started making plans for sharing cars and hotels, discussing what to wear, etc. It was going to be Friday night for an informal get together, Saturday for the wedding and a barbecue party on the Sunday, so a long weekend.

Many of the guests' acquaintance with the family was far more casual than mine and I wondered whether my invitation had been lost in the post. But I lived across the street, and other people had had theirs hand-delivered. I had to say to someone in the end "well, I haven't been invited" and the person I said it to asked G about it.

It turned out to be deliberate because G needed me to feed her cats while she was away for the wedding. If I was at the wedding, there'd be nobody to feed them.

It hurt and sucked, but it made me realise that what I thought was friendship they probably saw as expediency.

I fed the cats (and still do when G goes away, because, well, it's not the cats' fault) but I have definitely kept a distance since then.

Oh, and I was sent the wedding list, in the expectation that I would buy a gift. I sent a card, but no gift. I heard on the grapevine that the bride was 'hurt'.
posted by essexjan at 7:45 AM on September 27, 2008 [17 favorites]


Recently, an out of town friend came into town to meet up with a bunch of her friends for her birthday. Though two girlfriends of mine got invites to the party, I was notably excluded. Both girls offered to intervene, and I declined the offer. Mostly, I didn't feel like forcing the issue. I couldn't figure a way the subject could be brought up without making the friend feel obligated to invite me.
And I really didn't buy the possibility that it was just an oversight.

So, I didn't go, the girls went and had a good time. And all is fine. I found out I didn't have the friend I thought I did, but... *shrug* There are much worse ways to find out something like that. I'd rather know now than later.
posted by browse at 8:08 AM on September 27, 2008


nthing telling the bridesmaids, or the next person to ask you about the wedding. It'll save some awkwardness b/c you won't have to talk to the bride herself.

Also, just because I have no will power, if I wasn't invited, I'd *HAVE* to ask the girl why I wasn't invited. And then yea, I'd probably distance myself.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 8:13 AM on September 27, 2008


In relationships, one should ask for what they want or need.

Shoot her an email, asking "hey, didn't get an invite, should I not attend?" Doing it be email avoids direct awkwardness while still getting to the heart of the matter. If it was a mistake, she'll apologize profusely and get you an invite. If it was deliberate then she's put you in an messed up position and you have every right to call her on it.

Either way, you question will be answered and you'll be able to decide how you want to react.

If you don't mind, post back about what happened.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:38 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Shoot [the bride] an email, asking "hey, didn't get an invite, should I not attend?"

Heavens no. When you are asked about the wedding by others, it is perfectly within your rights to say that you weren't invited, but you certainly cannot call the bride and ask if you "should not" attend. Like grouse said, weddings get crazy and expensive and just because you weren't invited doesn't mean they don't like you. Try not to let it ruin your friendship. I know, easier said than done.

This is why people should keep discussion of weddings and other exclusive social events off of Facebook!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:07 AM on September 27, 2008 [6 favorites]


Ugh -- how terrible! Yes, call up one of the bridesmaids who is asking about accommodations and be frank. Say, "Look, I'd love to come to the wedding but, sadly, I was not invited. It would be great if you could find out if this was just a mistake or if she and he just had to limit the guest list. I would love to be there to support the two of them getting married but as of yet have received no invitation. Let me know what you find out."
posted by amanda at 9:36 AM on September 27, 2008


You were not invited. You could be as toneless as the Borg and as neutral as a dairy lodging in stating it, someone else could still interpret your statement as a whiny "Why wasn't I inviiiited?" even if you were merely trying to clarify the situation.

If you wish to be more face-saving than stating a fact (no matter what, you probably have an emotional context for this, and you have no certain control over the emotional reactions of others) such as "I wasn't invited," consider casually bringing up that trip you have planned. You know, that one weekend (which happens to coincide with the wedding). Maybe throw it on your Facebook somehow, if there's a calendar widget.

Should the scheduling conflict be brought up, say with as little visible guile as you can manage, "I had this trip planned some time back and wasn't really 'in' on the wedding plans until later, so I didn't think about moving it. I figured everyone was on board since I didn't get an invitation to the wedding that weekend."

It's passive-aggressive as all get out (you never asked me to get out, so I didn't do anything), but it's probably less embarrassing and a bit safer, as emotions will be running high due to wedding drama, stress, etc.
posted by adipocere at 9:57 AM on September 27, 2008


I fed the cats (and still do when G goes away, because, well, it's not the cats' fault) but I have definitely kept a distance since then.

Boy, you are far more generous than I am. I hope she is paying you to cat-sit. If she isn't, then start charging her for your services.
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 10:00 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Heavens no. When you are asked about the wedding by others, it is perfectly within your rights to say that you weren't invited, but you certainly cannot call the bride and ask if you "should not" attend.

Seconding TPS as forcefully as I can. DO NOT put the question on the bride this way -- in the event that you really weren't invited, you will appear to be angling for an invite; she'll either feel that her arm's been been twisted into inviting you at the last minute, or be forced to say directly "no, you shouldn't attend." Not being invited to a wedding doesn't have to be the end of a friendship, but creating that situation could very well be.

As others have said, simply tell the bridesmaid that you received no invitation. Do not be dramatic. Do not be passive-aggressive. Be adult and state the fact -- period. If it really was an oversight or lost invitation (and yes, these things do happen), the problem will be solved very quickly. If not, and you really weren't invited (and yes, these things happen too) you'll know where you stand, and you decide where you want to go with your friendship from there.
posted by scody at 10:03 AM on September 27, 2008


I don't like the suggestions to claim you had a scheduling conflict. Here's why:
  1. It's not true.
  2. It unreasonably makes you into the bad guy in the eyes of others.
  3. If this is just a misunderstanding, then you are making it a permanent one. If your friend meant to invite you to the wedding and somehow you didn't get the invitation, it will be your fault forever more.

posted by grouse at 10:08 AM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


I missed a friend's wedding because she mailed it to the wrong address (got the apartment number wrong). It is quite possible that your invite got lost/misdirected in the mail. I agree with the folks who say to tell the bridesmaid that you were not invited. Give the bride a chance to correct an oversight or mistake.
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 10:21 AM on September 27, 2008


but you certainly cannot call the bride and ask if you "should not" attend.

That's why I said to "shoot her an email," to take the pressure off the face to face conversation. If need be, explain that you're doing it in email it order t avoid that.

DO NOT put the question on the bride this way -- in the event that you really weren't invited, you will appear to be angling for an invite;

Nah, just emphasize you're not angling for an invite and you're more wondering about the status of ya'll's relationship. Unless, of course, you are angling for invite, to which I would say 'skip it, it's not worth begging for.'

Look, OP, you believe you have a certain relationship with the bride and you're wondering why you suddenly don't seem to have that relationship. You might as well cut to the heart of the matter and deal with her directly as opposed going through others and dragging them, even indirectly, into things. If you and the bride are having some sort of relationship problem or aren't on the same page, it's between you two, not everyone else.

As to the "weddings are crazy, things happen" excuse, yeah whatever. If I had forgotten a friend at my wedding, i would have wanted them to call me up and say "Hey, what's up?" as opposed to them having hurt feelings for days and being in awkward situations due to my mistake.

Life's too short for that crap.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:44 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I agree with Fairchild's advice. When the bridesmaid asks about the cabin, just smile awkwardly and say, "I can't, I wasn't invited." Since you're not upset about it, it shouldn't come across dramatically at all. Don't ask the bridesmaid to talk to her about it or anything, you're just being honest about what happened.

Any bridesmaid would then ask the bride, surprised, "You didn't invite X?" At which point the bride will most likely say, "Whaaat? I invited X! Did he/she not get the invitation?" Or, if she really did mean to snub you -- and it doesn't sound like it at all -- she'll either tell the bridesmaid it's intentional, and maybe supply details. If it was intentional, the bridesmaid may or may not confirm that to you.

And yeah, wedding invitations do get lost in the mail. A couple years ago my cousin got married, and my mom never got the invitation intended for our family. Our aunt called a week before because we hadn't RSVP'd, and my mom was shocked because we hadn't even known he was getting married.
posted by Nattie at 10:47 AM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nah, just emphasize you're not angling for an invite and you're more wondering about the status of ya'll's relationship. [...] If I had forgotten a friend at my wedding, i would have wanted them to call me up and say "Hey, what's up?" as opposed to them having hurt feelings for days and being in awkward situations due to my mistake.

Sorry, brandon, I still think this is a bad idea. I'm all for dealing with people directly (and I also happen to be very much in the "big dramatic high-emotional-stakes weddings are bullshit" camp). Even so, I can say that this is almost certainly not a good time or good way for Anon to ask the bride to comment on the state of their friendship.

If it's truly a case of an invitation that got lost in the mail, it's actually the attendants' job to be the ones to work it out at this point. But it's profoundly unwise to open the can of worms labeled Where Do I Stand With You As A Friend at this moment with the bride, no matter how breezily the email might be worded or how much you and I agree that it shouldn't have to be a Big Deal. (Also, please understand that as a guy, your friendships with your male friends may not allow you to understand how the emotional complexities that are often present in friendships among women, and therefore how charged a situation like this may in fact be.)

Because if it is, in fact, a case of the bride not wanting Anon at the wedding, a direct confrontation has the potential to turn very hurtful for one or the both of them. That's the real gamble here, and its payoff could be quite unpleasant -- which is why it's the safer bet in these circumstances to simply inform one of the bridesmaids that the OP didn't receive an invitation.
posted by scody at 12:00 PM on September 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh, hey, brandon: I apologize in case my parenthetical aside sounded condescending. I should clarify: I don't mean that men don't have really close friendships like women. Just that in my experience (both as a woman with a lot of male friends, and having observed friendships among men), a "hey, what's up" between guys in these circumstances will almost certainly function differently than a "hey, what's up" between women under the same circumstances. The difference, I think, is that men tend to assume very little (if any) emotional subtext in these exchanges, while women are more inclined to assume (and respond to) much greater levels of emotional subtext.
posted by scody at 12:08 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


consider casually bringing up that trip you have planned. You know, that one weekend (which happens to coincide with the wedding). Maybe throw it on your Facebook somehow, if there's a calendar widget.

Sorry, but that's terrible advice. Passive-aggressive behavior is, to me at least, always offensive, with the bonus of being the least effective way of dealing with a situation.

Nthing the advice to say directly and flatly to the bridesmaid, "Sorry, but I wasn't invited." If other people are asking you about plans, your friendship with the bride is clearly perceived in your wider social circle to be close, or close enough that several people have assumed you're invited. So something is up, either there's been a mix-up or your friendship with A is not what you thought.

Either way, I think you're right to wonder what's up, and these things are most healthily addressed head-on--not in a confrontation (which directly asking the bride, via email or any other medium would be) but by letting someone close to the bride--like the bridesmaid--know the simple facts of the situation.

(Most of the time, I would advise talking with A directly, but not in a wedding situation, which of course is an incredibly stressful, busy, mind-numbing time for anyone.)
posted by LooseFilter at 12:38 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


(on non-preview, seconding scody above.)

(and as a man, I agree with this: while women are more inclined to assume (and respond to) much greater levels of emotional subtext. with the additional qualifier of "emotional subtexts real or imagined." Because my women friends do invent a lot of feelings sometimes, that have a lot more to do with how they feel about themselves than anything I may have said or done.)
posted by LooseFilter at 12:43 PM on September 27, 2008


Nthing to check and see if it was intended that you be invited. Don´t try to go through a third party assuming that they will repeat things you have said, ask someone who can get you an answer (depeding on how duties have been divided, this could be the bride, a bridesmaid, or a relative of the bride).

anonymous, you don´t mention your gender. Is it possible that the groom feels jealous of your friendship with the bride and would be uncomfortable with you attending? Or perhaps the other guests know both members of the couple, and you only associate with one of them.
posted by yohko at 12:45 PM on September 27, 2008


Less awkward to say to the maid of honor or the bride's Mom, "I feel weird asking this, but I didn't get an invite, and wanted to be sure." than to tell the bride after it's all over "I assumed I wasn't invited, so I missed the wedding, and never asked."
posted by theora55 at 1:19 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm breaking AskMetafilter rule #1 by not answering the question, only to say that this thread is really a great resource. I had this happen several times this summer, and clumsy me just called up and went, "Yo, I'm not invited?" The Facebook newsfeeds and wall posts only served to remind me that everyone else was going and that I, certainly, was not. I talked to the groom and in a rather honest, straight forward manner he explained the costs were crazy per head and beyond family, the budget for friends was small, further reduced by being forced to invite friends who invited him to their weddings and so forth and if you're a friend in which no formal obligation is owed, you have better chances with the lottery. Blame technology for ever widening social circles and our culture for making lavish $200/head weddings de riguer. Something's gotta give.
posted by geoff. at 2:38 PM on September 27, 2008


Don't lie. There's no reason for it and you should not be put on the defensive for something someone else did.

I would also second all those would who say, when asked, "I wasn't invited." Not "She didn't invite me" just "I wasn't invited." If asked why, just stick to variations of "I don't know." and "It's a mystery to me," without emotion. After all, it's the truth.

As far as talking to the bride. I would disagree with all those with think that the fragile little flower can't be disturbed before the wedding. Please. If she's as good a friend as you describe her to be, I think she owes you an explanation.

There's a big caveat to talking to the bride. WAIT UNTIL SHE CALLS YOU. Do not contact her about this. Next time she calls you, which apparently is frequently, ask her, in a non-confrontational way, why she didn't invite you.

If she has time to call or visit you during all that hectic wedding planning, then she has time to answer your question.
posted by cjets at 5:55 PM on September 27, 2008


anonymous, you don´t mention your gender. Is it possible that the groom feels jealous of your friendship with the bride and would be uncomfortable with you attending?

This was also my thought.
posted by Jahaza at 10:13 PM on September 27, 2008


ask her. is she your friend?
ask her!
posted by edtut at 11:45 PM on September 27, 2008


Scody,
As male in a female dominated family, with a couple of decades long female friendships, I understand what you're saying. My advice was rooted in the idea of "there are other ways of handling this besides the 'traditional' route." Naturally it's up the OP to decide if it fits.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:24 AM on September 28, 2008


Just another person chiming in to say this has happened to me, twice, this year (gee, a girl could get a complex), and both times it was due to fate/mishaps/crap postmen.

In one the invitation got lost in the mail. We found out when the Bride emailed me to find out if I was coming or not, because I hadn't RSVP'ed.

In the other I got the reception-only invitation, when I should have got the whole-shebang invite. We only found out when I texted the Bride on the eve of the wedding to find out who I could share a lift to the reception, and she texted back, with Why aren't you coming to the ceremony? Don't you like us that much? Are you only in it for the free food? (Big disclaimer, that was an incredibly informal, as far from a traditional wedding as you can probably get, event. I don't recommend texting most Brides on the eve of their wedding asking about lifts. They really wouldn't appreciate it). We later established that I'd ended up on the wrong invitation list.

Other's here have good advice on how to handle this and find out what's going on. You'll have to figure out what'll work best in your situation.
posted by Helga-woo at 11:43 AM on September 28, 2008


Bridesmaid called again and left a message asking if I still wanted in on the cabin

If a bridesmaid assumes/thinks you're invited, I'm guessing you ARE and that the invite got lost.

(she came to visit me a week ago and we had an awesome time).

If she did not ONCE mention her wedding while you were hanging out, I'd question your being invited.

If she was, like many brides, rambling on about the wedding and the caterer and the flowers, etc etc etc....she would likely only do that if you were invited. Who would go on about their wedding to a a good friend who wasn't invited? Too weird.
posted by tristeza at 3:15 PM on September 28, 2008


I would also second all those would who say, when asked, "I wasn't invited." Not "She didn't invite me" just "I wasn't invited." If asked why, just stick to variations of "I don't know." and "It's a mystery to me," without emotion. After all, it's the truth.

This, but: say "I didn't get an invitation" rather than "I wasn't invited". It's even more unemotionally truthful.
posted by shiny blue object at 6:07 PM on September 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


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