Dear Wedding Maven,
I will do my best to make this long story short! My friend and I got engaged close to the same time, and we each selected all of our wedding party members, asking each other to be Maid of Honor. My friend and her fiancé set a date for three years ahead, planning a gorgeous and extravagant garden party wedding, but the date kept changing. Finally she set a date for less than three months ahead. She still wanted all of the bells and whistles of a formal wedding ceremony.
She announced her plans to all of her bridesmaids, and over the course of the next few days, two of us politely expressed the concern that three months might not be enough to plan the kind of wedding she wanted. This culminated in a bit of a spat between the three of us.
We probably should never have said anything. But here's the problem: ever since then, she has completely cut the two of us out. She did not invite either of us to the bridal shower or bachelorette party, did not respond to our queries about our bridesmaid dresses or what we could do to help, left us both out of the wedding photos, and neglected to send any invitations to our significant others. She did end up compromising on a lot of elements for her wedding, and later complained that she didn't understand why people weren't more accommodating.
It has been two years now and neither of us has heard a word from her.
So here's my question: should she still be involved in my wedding? Due to financial setbacks, I will not be getting married for another two years. If she and I still have not spoken to each other in this time, should she still be my Maid of Honor since I already asked her? And should I invite her to my bridal shower and bachelorette party since I was not invited to hers? Should I invite her to the wedding? At this point I would be surprised if she showed up to any of these things, but I'm wondering if I should send an invitation as a sign of friendship, or at least politeness. It seems foolish that a fight about a wedding date has terminated the friendship, but I'm not sure how to go about repairing it, or if trying to get her involved in my wedding would anger her in some way. Any advice you could offer would be very welcome!
Let’s go with the question you asked first: No, you don’t have to ask someone you haven’t spoken to in two years to be in your wedding. You also do not need to invite them to your wedding or any other wedding-related event. If you have a fight and don’t speak to someone for two years, you are officially no longer friends.
Now, let’s get to some questions you didn’t ask. This happened two years ago, so why are you still obsessing over it? I had to edit out large chunks of this letter where you spent quite a lot of time justifying your behavior, explaining why you approached her, and how kind and considerate you were in telling her your concerns. All this leads me to believe that your former friend may have a very different view of your behavior.
But, whether you were right or wrong, this was TWO YEARS AGO! Given that your own wedding isn’t for another two years (and don’t worry readers, we’ll get to that in a minute), I don’t think you’re actually that concerned with planning the details of your wedding party. My guess is that you are actually looking for affirmation that you behaved correctly.
Well, I see two possiblities. Either, your description of the events is 100% accurate, in which case your former friend is a nut job and she’s holding a grudge. It’s painful to lose a friendship, but it is time to let this one go.
The other possibility is that you aren’t being 100% honest with either me or yourself. Perhaps you were a little mean in the things you said to your former friend. Perhaps you and your other friend did in fact gang up on her. Perhaps you feel a little bad about that now. If that’s the case, then try doing something simple, apologize.
You must have some way of contacting her (email, Facebook, passing a note during algebra class). Tell her that you’ve been thinking about her a lot and want to apologize for how you behaved before her wedding. Tell her you’d love to meet for coffee and catch up. Even if she doesn’t respond, you’ll have apologized and you’ll be able to put this event where it belongs, in the past.
Finally, let’s get to that second unasked question: Your four-year long engagement. I’m assuming from a variety of things that you are still pretty young. So, I think that putting off your wedding for another two years might be a great idea. But, don’t start planning it now, especially if there’s any chance that you’ll postpone it a second time.
By all means, cut pictures out of magazines, read blogs, find ideas you like and keep a “book.” But don’t book a venue, don’t hire a caterer, and don’t choose your bridal party. One year is plenty of time for all of that. So, wait a little, see how things are looking and then dive in.