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Do I Need A Good Reason To Skip A Wedding?

I guess I could attend, but...

Q: Dear APW,

Is it okay to RSVP “no” to a wedding you could actually attend? Two good friends in my grad program are getting married out of state, and the RSVP deadline is fast approaching. I don’t have One Big Really Good Reason for declining, I just… can’t muster the enthusiasm. All I have are little reasons:

  • The flight and hotel will be a chunk of change, but my budget could probably take it.
  • It’s not a city I planned to see before I die, but it’s not the deepest circle of Hell.
  • They will probably invite the Fascist in the Friendgroup©, but that’s not a given, and we’d never end up at the same table.
  • My own relationship is on the rocks, but I’m not hissing at people on tandem bikes or anything. 

Should I do my best to rally and buy the damn plane tickets? I am touched to be invited! I don’t want to damage the friendship irrevocably by not attending. If I RSVP “no” how do I keep any excuse from ringing hollow? I got a save the date, so it’ll be tough to fake a convenient conflict.

—Party Pooper

A: Dear Party Pooper,

You really don’t have to go to the wedding. If you’re not feeling it, don’t go. You don’t need to be more specific in your reasoning than, “regretfully decline.” I’m sure they would love for you to be there (they invited you, after all!), but they’ll be surrounded by plenty of other enthusiastic loved ones (and forking out the cost for each of them to have dinner). Stay home.

You know how we say that a wedding is not an imposition? This is what we mean by that.

—Liz Moorhead

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