Wedding Woes

Break up with all these people because you're a monster.

Dear Prudence,

I have a very tight circle of friends. In the half-decade since we graduated, the seven of us have gotten together frequently but never all at once. One of us is the first to get married this summer, and it’s our first opportunity to all be in the same room. The idea that we wouldn’t finally be together for this wedding was at one point inconceivable. Unfortunately, our friend Carla, who works as an actor, was very recently offered a role in a show that goes up the day of the wedding. She accepted. Although the official save-the-date came out earlier this year, the bride, Keri, specifically asked the rest of us early last year to help her pick a date where we would all be available. This is going to be a small, unconventional wedding, but we were among the very few people to be invited, and Carla’s absence will be massively felt. My understanding is that Carla and Keri talked and that Keri is disappointed but not as upset as the rest of us anticipated.

By contrast, I find myself furious. I don’t envy Carla for having to have made the decision, but ultimately the one she made was hurtful. The role is a nice opportunity, but the show only runs four times before it closes. Meanwhile the rest of our collective friendship, for the rest of our lives, will always be tinged with the knowledge that Carla made this choice. She will be absent from photos and memories; stories told in her presence will reside in the shadow of “Well, you weren’t there, but … ” I feel betrayed not only on behalf of the bride but for all of us as a unit. There is the distinct sense that if she’s comfortable skipping this wedding, she’s liable to skip any party or trip we ever plan again.

I am afraid to talk to her about how I’m feeling. We live in the same place, and I don’t want to drive a wedge between us. From comments she made when she first was contacted by the show’s director (“I would NEVER begrudge Keri if she missed MY wedding for the sake of her career!”), I expect she would become self-righteous and defensive. I’m afraid if I bite my tongue for too long it might all come to a head later, during pre-wedding festivities. I also think that she just needs to know that I and at least one other of our friends are deeply upset by her decision. I don’t want to escalate the situation, especially since I seem to be angrier than Keri is. Is my anger still justified, knowing the bride’s stance? How can I talk to her earnestly—or should I at all?

—The Angriest Guest

Re: Break up with all these people because you're a monster.

  • This is bonkers and Prudie’s response wasn’t nearly strong enough. 
    mrsconn23
  • This sounds like that terrible Netflix series, Friends from College. (I had such high hopes). A toxic group of college friends makes the biggest deal of being together and being exclusive and they all just end up being dicks. I've never heard of another GUEST being so offended another friend wasn't attending a wedding. LW needs to get over herself and find new friends.
    mrsconn23short+sassy
  • banana468banana468
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    Oh for fuck's sake.

    The LW clearly hasn't been married yet.   If she was, she's look back and realize that it was ONE DAY.

    Goodness, people can commit to things and while they can feel bad about missing the wedding sometimes things happen.  

    The LW sounds so tightly wound I think s/he needs to stop the focus on the tight group and instead focus on the fact that the world keeps spinning even if people have different plans.  If you want to keep a friendship with people you need to be flexible.  
    mrsconn23charlotte989875ahoyweddingPrettyGirlLost
  • I don't see my friends from college much; maybe 1-2 times a year. They (mostly) all still live in NYC and I moved away a month after graduation. I try and plan trips every 6-12 months and most people try and leave the weekends I'm there open so we can all hang out. But it doesn't always work; life gets in the way, kids get sick, plans changed, etc. A few close friends missed my wedding, I've had to miss weddings and showers. You do what you can. 

    LW sounds immature to think that missing one event is going to mean missing all the events. 
    mrsconn23short+sassy
  • WTF is wrong with this LW!  Is he/she SERIOUSLY acting like it is the crime of the century that this person can't go to the wedding.  We've all heard what tough world acting is.  I'm assuming this is a major opportunity for the friend.

    LW, you're also hilarious that you're already envisioning decades of weddings and trips that this friend will agree to and then bail on.  It's just adorable you think this close-knit friend group of 7 people...who haven't been in the same room for the last 5 years...are going to stay BFF's for life.

    Get over it already.  You are ridiculous.

    Let me tell you what actually happens.  Most/all of you will get married.  Start families.  Have either your career or your SO's career move you around the country or even the world.  Your personalities, priorities, and goals will change over time.  Those friendships will fade and wane.  Maybe they will never disappear entirely.  Maybe some of you will stay tight with some of the others.  But it's super unlikely the entire group will stay close for all time.  That's life. 

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  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
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    I couldn't even read the whole letter. 

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs
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    I couldn't even read the whole letter. 
    this was me at first too.  I dropped it.  But then I got bored and went back to it and finished the letter.  Now, all I want to know is what show Carla is in.

    short+sassyernursej
  • I couldn't even read the whole letter. 
    this was me at first too.  I dropped it.  But then I got bored and went back to it and finished the letter.  Now, all I want to know is what show Carla is in.


    And since LW apparently lives in the same area as Carla, maybe he/she should be getting excited about buying tickets for a different weekend from the wedding.  And supporting Carla in a break for her acting career.

    Beeccaauussee, that was the whole point of the letter, right?  That this group of friends continue to remain strong and support each other's major life events?

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    banana468OliveOilsMomlevioosa
  • banana468 said:
    I wonder if the LW would feel the same if s/he was hit with a business trip that impacted the ability to attend the wedding that may have been scheduled for a Thursday.  

    In addition to the bullshit of attending the wedding, the other annoying part is that I get an overwhelming tone that the LW isn't valuing Carla's source of employment.    

    Clearly the people in this circle don't have kids and haven't found them immersed in a new schedule of dates and commitments.  I'm lucky if I get together with friends once a year.   Life happens.   But BECAUSE we are good friends we don't let that get in the way of a friendship.  LW seems to have the "if they're good friends then they figure out a way to make it" mentality vs. "If you're a good friend you understand that you can't control others" mentality.   One is less likely to alienate you - figure it out. 

    Or if one of the friends got pregnant and couldn't travel.  Or an SO/parent/themself was having major surgery.  (insert another dozen good reasons someone might miss a wedding).

    The bride asked everyone almost a year out.  Great idea!  But that doesn't mean other things with a higher priority aren't going to pop up for people.

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    charlotte989875
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
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    So these must all be middle school friends, because that's the only timeline that works with how childish LW is acting.  It's not even her wedding! 

    I haven't read Prudie's advice for this question but PGL - I, too, have not been happy with the new Prudie's advice since Emily left.  He misses the mark greatly.  I really wish Slate would get someone who actually can dissect and solve a problem.  Most of the time his advice only hits on half the problems in a letter.

    eileenrobcharlotte989875short+sassyPrettyGirlLost
  • banana468banana468
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    banana468 said:
    I wonder if the LW would feel the same if s/he was hit with a business trip that impacted the ability to attend the wedding that may have been scheduled for a Thursday.  

    In addition to the bullshit of attending the wedding, the other annoying part is that I get an overwhelming tone that the LW isn't valuing Carla's source of employment.    

    Clearly the people in this circle don't have kids and haven't found them immersed in a new schedule of dates and commitments.  I'm lucky if I get together with friends once a year.   Life happens.   But BECAUSE we are good friends we don't let that get in the way of a friendship.  LW seems to have the "if they're good friends then they figure out a way to make it" mentality vs. "If you're a good friend you understand that you can't control others" mentality.   One is less likely to alienate you - figure it out. 

    Or if one of the friends got pregnant and couldn't travel.  Or an SO/parent/themself was having major surgery.  (insert another dozen good reasons someone might miss a wedding).

    The bride asked everyone almost a year out.  Great idea!  But that doesn't mean other things with a higher priority aren't going to pop up for people.

    Exactly.

    LW isn't getting it.

    And while I don't think it's exclusively a 'those who've been married and now have kids' vs. ' those who don't' thing there's something that happens as you age where this stuff is just not the end all be all that you think. 

    I wonder if the LW thinks all get to be mad at her/him if the morning of the wedding a sudden case of explosive diarrhea hits. 
    charlotte989875
  • banana468 said:
    banana468 said:
    I wonder if the LW would feel the same if s/he was hit with a business trip that impacted the ability to attend the wedding that may have been scheduled for a Thursday.  

    In addition to the bullshit of attending the wedding, the other annoying part is that I get an overwhelming tone that the LW isn't valuing Carla's source of employment.    

    Clearly the people in this circle don't have kids and haven't found them immersed in a new schedule of dates and commitments.  I'm lucky if I get together with friends once a year.   Life happens.   But BECAUSE we are good friends we don't let that get in the way of a friendship.  LW seems to have the "if they're good friends then they figure out a way to make it" mentality vs. "If you're a good friend you understand that you can't control others" mentality.   One is less likely to alienate you - figure it out. 

    Or if one of the friends got pregnant and couldn't travel.  Or an SO/parent/themself was having major surgery.  (insert another dozen good reasons someone might miss a wedding).

    The bride asked everyone almost a year out.  Great idea!  But that doesn't mean other things with a higher priority aren't going to pop up for people.

    Exactly.

    LW isn't getting it.

    And while I don't think it's exclusively a 'those who've been married and now have kids' vs. ' those who don't' thing there's something that happens as you age where this stuff is just not the end all be all that you think. 

    I wonder if the LW thinks all get to be mad at her/him if the morning of the wedding a sudden case of explosive diarrhea hits. 

    I've told this story before.  I was a BM in a close friend's wedding.  I flew halfway across the country to be there.  And almost completely missed it because I was crazy sick that day.  Threw up for almost two hours straight that morning.  About 45 minutes before I needed to leave and get ready on time, I finally started feeling well enough to "risk" being more than 6' from the toilet.  I made it to the wedding.  But barely.  I didn't throw up during the ceremony.  Score!  That was my biggest fear, lol.  I felt lousy all day and left the reception shortly after the cake cutting.  My friend was understanding about all of it, but I felt bad to be so draggy and sick. 
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    MesmrEwe
  • VarunaTTVarunaTT
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    LW needs to chill TF out.  Seriously, why are they so invested and worked.up. about this?  It's not their wedding, it's a chance for their friend to further their career...does LW have some money tied up in something Carla related that'll not work now or something?
    charlotte989875MesmrEweInLoveInQueens
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe
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    I'm guessing LW chose a career that is has ZERO variety/variability and strictly 9-5 hence why she can't fathom why the friend took the role.  So they all haven't been in the same room at the same time even though they all frequently get together, life happens!  Bride has every reason for a cupcake and beverage to be bummed, but unless LW is pouring the glass, it's an overstep.  

    I've got several friends who are in all levels of TV/Movie production from Acting to Producing.  Their schedules have very little predictability, but they all love getting to do what they do and couldn't imagine it any other way for them! A friend is starting to make his move back into professional acting as a Character Actor and the adjustments there (usually you get a couple days notice for a shoot) and glad he's getting to do what he loves! 
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  • I understand being disappointed that Carla won't be at the wedding, but being as angry as LW is? It's unreasonable.  It's not like Carla RSVP'd then took this job at the last minute and just didn't show up on the wedding day. She let Keri know well in advance that she wouldn't be able to make it.  I really hope she's not going on about this to Keri, because it's likely to make Keri feel more upset about the situation than she is right now, and she seems to be handling it pretty well right now...and certainly better than LW!

    The way I see it, this isn't a huge betrayal or some sort of indictment of how Carla feels about the rest of the group. Yes, the timing on this is unfortunate, but a lot of professional actors can't afford to be choosy about the exact roles they take; work is not always consistent, and many of them are lucky if they are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Life happens, and it's not fair to expect someone to put their life/career on hold for a one-day event. LW needs to have a drink and a cupcake, stop looking for things to be angry about (because that's kind of what this feels like to me), and get on with her life.


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    short+sassy
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