Unrealistic Expectations Of An Invitation?

by admin on October 23, 2012

Dear e-Hell, I wonder if you could offer me some advice.

Over the course of a year, I became close with a co-worker who was my superior. She had acquired a reputation of being a bit cold prior to her arrival at our office but I quickly took a liking to her, and discovered she was quite shy. We became fast “office friends” and spent breaks together, gossiping and chatting through the day. We saw each other outside of work too – rarely, but it was always fun when we did. Neither of us is very social, so I was under the impression we’d become genuinely close. I’d also met her partner and he had told me how glad she was for our friendship as she had so few friends.

When she left for a better position we stayed in touch by email weekly. She became engaged, and I attended the engagement party, bringing a luxurious gift.

She was soon planning her wedding, although she did not disclose a date. She routinely sought my advice on the fashion elements – she asked for my help in sourcing a particular kind of dress and lingerie online, which I did at length. She would also discuss in detail the ins and outs of her choice of dress, shoes, underwear, etc, asking for my opinion each time, sending me photos and asking me for advice and alternatives. I felt very involved in this process, and although I did not expect an invitation to her wedding, I assumed she planned to invite me as she’d openly asked for my help with her dress.

Some time passed, work got busy for both of us, and I began to hear from her less. Then tragedy struck her family. I immediately made a date to see her, have a drink and lend a shoulder.

It was during the course of this evening that I learned that the date of her wedding had in fact, passed.

Although I never “expected” an invitation, I was very hurt to learn that she had not only not invited me, but failed to even mention the whole wedding!

It was clear to me then why she had so few friends, but I said nothing, and carried on being a shoulder at what was a very sad time for her.  I did not see or hear from her for a very long time after that.

Was I wrong to assume the bride would invite me in exchange for help in sourcing a dress and other items? Perhaps I was.

Recently I learned that she has been dealt a second blow to her already difficult family situation. I sent her a message sending my condolences and asking for a good time to visit. I never heard back.   0829-12

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Girlie October 23, 2012 at 10:08 am

If you were invited to the engagement party, then I think you should have been invited to the wedding. I hope you at least got a thank-you card for that “luxurious present” you brought! One time I was invited to a bridal shower but not to the wedding.. I was definitely not pleased! Gimme pigs..

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Stacey Frith-Smith October 23, 2012 at 10:37 am

I could not agree more!

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Kimstu October 23, 2012 at 11:40 am

Technically, a present is not required for an engagement party, although I’m sure there are many engaged couples who would howl in outrage to learn that. But as @Girlie says, since you did give an engagement present the bride better have thanked you properly for it.

The only officially expected presents related to weddings (in traditional American etiquette, at least) are a small gift if you attend a bridal shower and a more substantial gift if you attend a wedding. (Of course, you can give a wedding present even if you don’t attend or aren’t invited to the wedding, if you are close enough to the couple that you would like to do so.)

Generally, people who are close enough to the bridal couple to be invited to their engagement party are also invited to their wedding, but that’s not an ironclad rule (for instance, if a couple has a very small/family-only wedding). It IS an ironclad rule (although greedy rude people like @Girlie’s acquaintance often ignore it) that anyone invited to a bridal shower should be invited to the wedding.

Doing favors for a bride, such as helping her in planning her wedding outfit, does not automatically entitle the helper to a wedding invitation. Yes, that sort of shared activity is often a sign of close friendship and naturally close friends expect to be invited to each other’s weddings, but it’s not an implied contract.

OP, I’m afraid that your friend and you had different expectations about the closeness of your friendship, which is too bad. Your friend may have been a bit clueless in her social relationships, but she didn’t actually violate any etiquette rule in not inviting you to her wedding if she never actually told you that she was going to invite you. You sort of set yourself up for disappointment in making the assumption that she would.

And if she wasn’t going to invite you to the wedding, then it wasn’t rude of her not to tell you details about the wedding: on the contrary, you’re not supposed to bring it to people’s attention that you had a celebration that you didn’t invite them to.

It IS rude of her, however, not to respond to your kind message of condolences, and I hope it’s just a temporary lapse due to the family crisis and that she will get back to you soon with properly appreciative thanks. Maybe she feels guilty because she could tell you were disappointed about not attending the wedding and has dropped you in consequence, which would be a pity but is not your problem.

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Snarkastic October 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Yeah, except she DID tell her about the details of her wedding – Dress, shoes, UNDERGARMENTS, etc. This is exceptionally hurtful and rude of the friend and the fact that she is so clueless about it is astonishing. Ask a relative or someone you plan on inviting for help, if nothing else.

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Kimstu October 23, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Well, no, the bride told the OP about the details of her wedding OUTFIT, without even indicating any specific date for the wedding.

That could be interpreted in one of two ways: either
(1) “You’re one of my best friends so of course I like to talk about my wedding dress with you and of course I want you to attend the wedding!”, or
(2) “You’re a much-valued office buddy of mine and you seem to enjoy my consulting you on all the fun frou-frou of my wedding outfit, so it’s great we can chat about that!”

Situation #2 should not automatically be assumed to imply situation #1. It is not necessarily tactless or rude to girl-talk your wedding dress plans with an office buddy whom you’re not inviting to your wedding, unless you’re aware that she’s EXPECTING to be invited to your wedding.

I repeat: It’s safest never to assume that somebody is going to invite you to their wedding (or any other event they’re hosting) unless they actually tell you they are. Wedding guest lists are subject to a lot of constraints in a variety of ways, and last year’s office buddies and other “friendquaintances” who just take it for granted that they’ll make the cut are setting themselves up to feel snubbed.

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June October 24, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Yes, this.
I had told former coworkers they would be invited. “Oh, yes! We’d love to have you at our wedding!” Five months, a new job and unexpected distant relatives later…We had to narrow it down to people we regularly spent time with outside of work. Sorry, former coworkers/distant facebook friends. You didn’t get an official invite, but it wasn’t personal.

Snarkastic October 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. You can go ahead and think that sharing “frou frou” details is not rude and I will continue to not insult people.

Hanna October 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Why would the bride be obligated to invite someone to her wedding just because they were invited to an engagment party or bridal shower, of which she may or may not have had any input into the invitations?

If a friend gives a wedding shower and invites other friends, why would the bride/groom have to then make sure they invited all of those people to the wedding as well?

If someone from work held a shower for other coworkers, the bride/groom wouldn’t have any obligation to have to extend an invitation to those people to the wedding would they?

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clairedelune October 24, 2012 at 9:20 am

Extending an invitation to any event surrounding a wedding obligates the couple to then invite those people to the “main event”. Work showers are one of the few exceptions to this rule, because they’re generally completely separate from the wedding planning and more or less an excuse for supervisors to encourage office socializing and “team-building” or whatever. As far as other showers, they’re of course not meant to be given BY the bride for herself, but she should have guest list input, and not suggest any guests to whom she doesn’t plan to give a wedding invitations.

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Audra October 24, 2012 at 9:29 am

I agree with you, Hanna. If you are a guest of honor at an event like a bridal shower, you do not always have control over the guest list. You might have been consulted or asked for a few addressed but that does not mean that everyone invited to the shower has been invited to the wedding also.

I understand OP was hurt not to be invited to the wedding, especially since the coworker sought out advice from her, but I would allow myself a little time to be upset, then move on and let it go.

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Kimstu October 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm

No, a bridal shower is supposed to be for the bride’s close friends and relatives. The shower hosts should not be inviting people who aren’t also invited to the wedding. Miss Manners is quite definite on this:
http://forums.weddingchannel.com/main.aspx/general-wedding-planning-topics_general-wedding-etiquette_miss-manners

As @Hanna noted, this could be awkward if a shower host takes the bit between her teeth and goes around inviting shower guests whom the bride doesn’t know or like well enough to invite to the wedding. This is why shower guest lists should always be cleared with the bride, and why workplace bridal showers in general are a bad idea. You can choose your friends but not your co-workers, and a polite bride is not comfortable with the prospect of being fussed over and showered with gifts by people she may not know or like very well. (A greedy gimme-pig bride, of course, is eager to be fussed over and showered with gifts no matter who’s doing it, which is why office showers loom so large in the current trend of “shower inflation.”)

An engagement party, as I said, isn’t quite so ironclad, partly because an engagement party traditionally doesn’t require a gift (although a lot of engaged couples apparently don’t know that or prefer to ignore it). It’s not really contrary to etiquette to have a big engagement party and a small wedding, for example, especially if the wedding date isn’t even set at the time of the engagement party.

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NotCinderell October 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Can I lend an exception to this rule? In Orthodox Jewish circles, people will announce a wedding with a party or maybe even more than one, often in the bride’s or groom’s parents’ hometown. The entire local community of congregations is invited, ample cake and snacks are provided, and no gifts are expected. People drift in and out, snacking, making conversation, and offering congratulations and blessings to the couple and their parents. There is no expectation of an invitation to the wedding, because the invitation is sent out via large communal announcements from the pulpits of the synagogues, and now, increasingly, through e-mail lists that reach hundreds or thousands of people.

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Snarkastic October 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

That sounds like every Jewish holiday I’ve ever celebrated: people bringing food, drifting in and out…I like it!

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KiKi October 23, 2012 at 10:20 am

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this was a case of mismatched importance being placed on the friendship. You saw her as a friend and, therefore, had a different level of expectation in the relationship. I suspect that she considered you a work friend and was not as interested in developing a true friendship outside of work. Unfortunately, she made a few mistakes. She shouldn’t have invited you to the engagement party if you weren’t someone she would consider inviting to the wedding. She also shouldn’t have talked about her wedding to someone that was obviously not on her invite list. I would chalk this one up to a lesson learned. Never put in so much more than you get out of a relationship that your friendship bank becomes overdrawn.

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Cat October 23, 2012 at 10:23 am

It’s always a bit of a blow when a relationship is not what you thought it was. If you were invited to the engagement party, it would have been logical to expect an invitation to the wedding as well. You went over what is expected when you brought a nice gift to the engagement party. Gifts are usually only for bridal showers and for the wedding itself.
There’s no way to tell what she was thinking when she dropped your friendship with no reason you can ascertain. It’s one of life’s mysteries that these things happen. I have relatives that refuse to see me although I have never seen or spoken to them in my life. It’s just a weird world sometimes. I’d move on and forget her.

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Wendy October 23, 2012 at 10:46 am

I’m sorry this happened too you. I think you’re right…there is a very good reason why this woman has so few friends. I’d dare call her a user, though I suspect it’s unintentional on her part. It seems to me that at some point she missed some fundamental truths in life about being a friend.

As it is, you now have a choice…continue to try and contact her periodically, or assume she has moved on, mourn the loss, and move on yourself.

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Beth F October 23, 2012 at 10:47 am

I’d say I would expect an invitation after all of that as well. When I was planning my wedding, I only talked of wedding things around people who were invited (so not much at the office, only briefly if someone else brought it up and I’d quickly change the subject). If it came up in a group setting with people who would not be invited (not close friends) I’d change the subject.

I was once sent a “save the date” email from a friend who was getting married. She lived four hours away and we weren’t that close, but I kept in mind that her wedding was set for x month. As the date approached, I kept that weekend open, but never heard anything after the save the date email. I wasn’t hurt, but I realized how bad mass email save the dates were.

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Jay October 23, 2012 at 10:52 am

Yes, if you went to the engagement party, you should be able to expect an invitation to the wedding, unless circumstances were such that there was an obvious reason, like it was a 30-person destination wedding or something. And certainly if you were helping with wedding dress shopping!

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Bint October 23, 2012 at 10:57 am

Very bad manners on the part of the bride. This is akin to discussing a party in front of someone who was not invited. It is fine to be friends and not invite someone, but not to blab on about the wedding to them!

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AMC October 23, 2012 at 11:20 am

I can see how you’d be hurt and confused. You’re right that you can’t “expect” and invitation, but if she knew you weren’t going to be invited, she should have been upfront with you about it or at least kept the wedding chatter to a minimum.

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S.C. Schell October 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I really don’t know the etiquette on this, but if I were in your situation, I would’ve had a moderate expectation of an invite to the wedding. I don’t think she was obligated to invite you but it would’ve been a nice gesture on her part. At the very least, I would’ve expected a “Thank You” card from her for all the advice and help you gave her while she planned for her wedding. The fact that you didn’t even get that and then experienced a serious lapse in communication afterward tells me she used you. That’s probably why she didn’t (and probably still doesn’t) have a lot of friends. Or she’s just plain inconsiderate and was never taught how to be a gracious person and show gratitude toward those who pay her a kindness.

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Fran October 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Do you happen to know how many people she invited to her wedding? I am currently planning my wedding, and due to the overwhelming size of my fiance’s family, we’re having a small wedding with only family and a few very close friends. Perhaps she had a very small wedding? I’ve been speaking with friends who I feel close to who are not invited to let them know the situation, but I know from experience that it’s an awkward conversation to have.

That said, I would never invite someone to an engagement party, bridal shower, or other wedding celebration that was not invited to the actual wedding. Still, maybe she didn’t have the good fortune to stumble upon this blog prior to her marriage to help her with the ins and outs of wedding etiquette!

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Lo October 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm

I was about to say just this about how many people were actually invited. It’s bad to have you at the engagement party and not the wedding and it’s bizarre to consult you on bridal choices when you weren’t going to be invited to the wedding. However, isn’t there a chance it was only a few friends and family there at the wedding?

Our wedding was family only, no friends except those in the wedding party. So none of my friends got to go to my wedding. Some were hurt but I hope they understood that in cutting costs we had to draw the line somewhere and I felt it was better to invite none than to pick and choose.

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Rae October 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm

I agree with what Girlie wrote. If you were invited to the engagement party, then you should have been invited to the wedding as well.

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Hanna October 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I don’t see why. Perhaps the wedding was very small or a destination wedding. Or perhaps the bride did not have ALL control over the invitations to the engagement party? Or perhaps she wanted to celebrate a little with a friend–from her past–because she knew she couldn’t invite her to the wedding because she had to keep the number low because of her budget and OP and the bride were no longer close friends?

Just because someone is having a good time chatting about what is currently going on in her life (wedding dress, etc.) doesn’t mean she’s actually asking for help.

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Meegs October 24, 2012 at 10:16 am

Because that’s the etiqutte rule, that’s why. And it makes perfect sense. You don’t invite someone to a pre-wedding festivity if they are not invited to the wedding itself. It’s one of the most basic rules of wedding etiquette. Its fine to have a small wedding, but then you don’t have elaborate showers or engagement parties where people bring gifts. In most cases the HC have some or almost all input on who is invited to these parties, usually the host would have to get a list of names and addresses, etc, would they not?

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Girlie October 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

That’s what I’m saying. How can a host throw a party for a bride without getting a list of names/addresses from the bride? Everyone is saying that the bride can’t control who is invited to what, but I’m pretty sure she had control over who was invited to the engagement party at least.

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DowagerDutchess October 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm

If you really want a tiny wedding, then sorry- you don’t get to have a large engagement party.

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Enna November 10, 2012 at 5:16 am

With showers though the bride and groom aren’t hosting so they don’t have contorl of the guest list.

I think it is a matter of tact – it’s not tactful to have a big shower but then a small wedding, however if someone has offered to host a shower and they invite loads of people then what can the bride and groom do? If it’s a destination wedding not everyone may not be able to come – I think the catch is here is if someone is not invited to the actual wedding but invited to a reception or party afterwards the couple can’t expect a gift.

Case in point: my friend is very shy so she is going to have a small wedding but she is going to have a party at a later date to celebrate and invite others.

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Enna November 10, 2012 at 5:17 am

P.S a party at her own home where she is going to be more confident.

Audra October 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm

OP- you said you did not except to be invited to the wedding, but you assumed you would be in exchange for helping with the dress and other items. Sorry, but your whole letter sounds like you really did expect to be invited.

I think anyone who helped as much as you did would be invited, but you never know the reason why your were not- maybe venue limits or any other various and assorted reasons. I think you are right about the reasons she has so few friends- she asked for your help and opinion on the wedding and accepted you offer of support during a difficult time but it seems she takes more than she gives and that pretty much dooms any relationship. I also think the fact that you were invited to the engagement party but not the wedding is a sign that she either wanted as many presents as possible (gimmie pig) or she does not consider you as close a friend as you thought, event with all the help and support during the wedding planning and difficult times. I hope you at least got a thank you note!

I had a friend who married and moved to Canada. We emailed, texted and chatted online for awhile but since we were really not a part of each other’s daily lives, we eventually lost touch. It is sad but it happens. I would try to get over it and move on. Your friend not responding to your message seems to indicate she has moved on. Don’t dwell on it and let it get you down!

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Library Diva October 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I don’t think it was unreasonable at all for OP to be taken aback by not being invited. I think OP’s friend seems like the type who has trouble sustaining friendships. Once friend got a different job, OP became more and more “out of sight, out of mind” to her friend. OP’s friend could follow through on plans the OP set up for them to get together, but when the ball’s in her court, sounds like she doesn’t even see it drop there. I don’t think it was a deliberate slight, but I could see why it would sting OP anyway.

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Mascara October 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm

It seems to me that she considered you more of a “work friend” as opposed to a real friend. Sometimes when we don’t see someone every day, the relationship doesn’t have enough steam to continue without the common work concerns. That said, what she did was completely rude. Discussing the wedding in detail with someone one doesn’t intend to invite is wrong and just kind of mean. I think I would consider that this friendship has run its course and not attempt any more contact.

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AIP October 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Please stop being a masochist. She does not want to be friends. Sending condolences is fine, but I would leave out the “we must meet up”. Although technically nobody has a right to be invited, but in the case I think you have a good case to be offended, as you did offer some assistance in its organisation and spent a lot of time dealing with nonsense that she should’ve been able to mange herself (opinions on underwear, really? Just buy spanx for pity’s sake!)

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LJ Briar October 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm

If you were invited to any pre-wedding parties (engagement, shower, bachelorette, whatever) I would certainly consider it the height of rudeness on the bride’s part to not invite you to the wedding.

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Angel October 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Yes, your work friend was rude. I can’t believe she invited you to her engagement party and did not invite you to her wedding. That is ridiculous. I wouldn’t let her take up any more space in your head. Chalk it up to a lesson learned and move on.

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Elizabeth October 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I had a friend that I knew through a college club, and had been reasonably close to for years. When he got engaged, he and his fiancee took me and my husband to dinner to pump us for wedding ideas, which was absolutely fine. I had no real expectation one way or the other about being invited to his wedding – I thought that he might ask us if they ended up having a wedding of a size that friends of our level of closeness were invited, or he might not if they ended up with a smaller event. Either way, I went in with some others from the college club to make them a very nice, custom-made gift of a type that I thought they would really enjoy (my husband designed it, and I located a place where we could get it made).

He thanked us profusely for the gift, but did not invite us to the wedding. No biggie – I assumed that they had a smaller event, and that was totally fine.

Then I discovered that every other person in the college club where we met had been invited, except me and my husband. At that point, I did feel incredibly slighted, and I still haven’t really forgiven him for it.

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Diera October 25, 2012 at 11:00 am

Are you sure you really weren’t invited or is there any chance your invitation got lost or something? I always wonder when I hear stories like that if there could have been some sort of miscommunication.

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Elizabeth October 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm

I have wondered about that from time to time, but even if it’s true, what are you supposed to do about it? I’m not going to call him up and say, “Hey, Dave, did you intentionally not invite us to your wedding when you invited everyone else in the club? Or did it just get lost in the mail?”

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Erin October 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I don’t think it’s necessarily rude, because we don’t know the circumstances of the wedding. I have some friends who didn’t even tell their parents when they got married, and only had the officiant and attendants at the wedding (no guests at all) and no reception. They didn’t tell anyone, including family, that they were married for about a year. Now, that’s something of an extreme example, but her wedding might have been family-only or just very small. She may have invited you to the engagement party instead because of that. And, being awkward, she might not have known how to tell you politely that she couldn’t invite you to the wedding so she just avoided the topic altogether.

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Hanna October 23, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Since engagement parties and showers are held by people outside of your family, why do you all expect that if you got an invite for either of those parties, you should automatically get an invite to the wedding?

If a coworker decides to give a party, for example, and invites other co workers, why would the bride/groom be obligated in anyway to include those party goers to their wedding?

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Girlie October 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

But, as far as I’ve done, when someone is hosting a party for a bride, don’t they consult the bride on who they would like invited? At least that’s how I’ve known to do it— I’d always ask for a list from the bride, but I’ve never been involved in a work shower, so I don’t know how that goes.

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DowagerDutchess October 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm

No. Coworker showers are the exception to this rule. If your family proposes the big engagement party small wedding idea, you veto it. And if it is a surprise, you do your best to tell everyone- oh it was so lovely to see so many people, especially as it will be a very small wedding.

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nannerdoman October 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm

It sounds to me as though the OP was not only just a “work friend”, but a “supervisor work friend”. She kept in touch to get ideas and to give the OP research assignments for the best deals, etc. This sounds more like a boss/personal assistant relationship than a friend/friend relationship.

Anyone who’s invited to the engagement party should be invited to the ceremony itself. But I think OP’s “friend” was thinking of the OP more as an unpaid vendor. And you usually don’t invite the help.

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Hemi October 24, 2012 at 10:48 am

I think you hit the nail on the head.

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Enna November 10, 2012 at 5:19 am

I agree too.

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Lacey October 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm

To me, this woman just sounds really socially clueless. I actually don’t think she’s sending you a message that she doesn’t want to be friends, she may just be emotionally and socially ignorant. If she didn’t consider you a friend, I doubt she would have wanted your opinion on dresses or wanted to see you the night you met up with her after the family tragedy. Some people are just really self-absorbed and don’t have an awareness of how friendships work. Like you said, she doesn’t have many friends, so I wouldn’t take this personally.

As for the wedding invite, it’s possible that she only had family (again, most people would spell this out, and yes, inviting you to the engagement party and accepting a gift when you weren’t invited to the wedding was a faux pas). When one of my cousins got married a few years ago, she and her husband only invited their immediate families plus grandparents. A lot of my family and a couple of her friends thought it was weird, but it does happen. But yes, you definitely had a reasonable expectation of being invited to the wedding.

Anyways, I would just consider this woman an extremely socially awkward, possibly self-absorbed person and not read anything personal into it.

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--Lia October 23, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Ask yourself this question. Pretend that you had been invited to the wedding, that you had attended, and that you had a reasonably good time. Now imagine that the friendship dwindled off in the same way. You learn of a family tragedy, send condolences, suggest that the two of you get together, and that you drift apart anyway. Wouldn’t you still feel sad? I believe this has little to do with the etiquette of who gets wedding invitations and more to do with the way relationships come and go. She treated you like an intimate friend, then stopped treating you like an intimate friend. That bites. Remember that this is someone you knew to be socially awkward in the first place. It might take some of the sting out.

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OP October 23, 2012 at 11:36 pm

To answer a few questions, I am not sure if she had a bridal shower but I don’t believe she did as it’s not tradition where we live. Either way I was not invited to anything but the engagement party. I did not receive a thank you note, and my expensive gift was standing in disused room in her home, still half-wrapped, when I visited her last. She explained she, “just didn’t have room for it in the kitchen”. I have since pictures of the wedding via a mutual friend – it did involve an overnight stay in a picturesque nearby location, however it was not overly small.

In a twist, she invited me to her birthday party – via mass email – in the weeks since I wrote this letter. I did not attend.

I was hurt not to be invited to the wedding after helping her with her dress and other items, especially as she obviously kept it from me so as not to invite me. I understand now that she does not have much energy for other unless it explicitly suits her. She’s not a bad person, she’s just not a great friend.

I’m happy for the friendship to dissolve at this stage.

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Kimstu October 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Not sending a thank-you for your engagement present, like not responding to your message of condolences—even though she was apparently functional enough to include you in a mass email birthday party invitation in the meantime!—is enough to consign this ex-friend firmly to the flames of Ehell. You’re better off without her in your life, OP.

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Enna November 10, 2012 at 5:21 am

I think she saw you as a colleague rather than a firend – but I do think she was rude by not sending a thank-you note.

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June October 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm

I’m apparently in the minority on this one. OP, you mention several times the time and expense you went to for this former friend, even though you say you didn’t spend much time socializing with her anymore.

You write:
Was I wrong to assume the bride would invite me in exchange for help in sourcing a dress and other items? Perhaps I was.

A wedding invite isn’t a form of payment. You invite your friends to your wedding, and you do those kinds of favors for friends. If you perform those tasks expecting to be paid, you need a contract.
Regardless, she should have sent a thank you note for the “luxurious” engagement gift. Once you give a gift, it’s not nice to comment on how it’s being used.

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Bint October 25, 2012 at 5:25 am

Yes, and by the same token one does not exploit one’s friends by using them the way this one did. If there is a contract then it cuts both ways, but this is not about expecting ‘payment’. It’s about expecting one is invited to an event which for good cause and ‘expecting’ here is more accurate when rendered as ‘thought it likely’ rather than expecting as in ‘felt I was owed’.

I am not surprised the OP thought it very likely she would be invited to the wedding. She was much involved, sought for advice and invited to the engagement party.

The bride was a user who should never have done this. Her actions later on only serve to confirm this.

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Fizzychip October 24, 2012 at 11:05 pm

OP – you said it yourself, “It was clear to me then why she had so few friends”. Your friend lacks some of the nicities of accepted friendship etiquette as most people WOULD extend an invitation to someone so heavily involved in assisting the bride, and she has probably in the past lost friendships because of this lack of understanding.

Having said that, her non-response to your latest overture & her “mass bithrday invite” tells you that she has probably moved on and that you have been relegated to “some-time friend”. Sometimes that happens and can be very hurtful for the party left behind. You had a reasonable expectation of your friendship, but her perspective differed, you need to chalk it up to experience and find a more reciprical friend.

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starstruck October 25, 2012 at 1:33 am

iam convinced some people just dont want friends. i knew a girl like that. we were friends for years but it was always me making the effort. finally i just stop calling and never heard from her again. i found out through a mutual friend that pretty much all her friends had stopped calling for the same reason i did. you coworker, (and i say that instead of friend) should have invited you to the wedding, and iam gonna go as far as to say that is was insensitive to not invite you after talking about it with you for so long only to completely exclude you. plus after inviting you to the shower! no . i would’ve had to ask her, why didnt you invite me? there are some things you just gotta know.

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Katie October 25, 2012 at 9:29 am

I do think that it was amiss of the bride not to invite the OP- or at least, given the help she had given her, not to address this (e.g. ‘we’re having a really small family-only wedding, so I hope that you will understand why we can’t include you’ or suchlike).

I don’t think that the OP ‘expected’ to be invited as a kind of demand (or to be ‘paid back’ for the help she had given), rather than she *anticipated* being invited on the basis of the friendship that had developed. To me, they are totally different things. I don’t think that she was saying that she was *owed* an invite, just that, given the situation, she might have expected to receive one.

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