My Smug Married Friends Refuse to Get Excited about My Wedding


They say I “need to realize” priorities change in your 30s

by Amy March

Confetti and streamers strewn across the floor

Q:DEAR AMY,

As the last of my friends (seriously, I think I have two single friends left) to consider heading down the aisle, I’ve been a bridesmaid many times, attended a dozen bachelorette parties, baby showers, etc. Now that my significant other and I are starting to talk about getting engaged my friends have “jokingly” urged me to elope, citing wedding and baby party burnout. They make jokes about promising to send lavish gifts if I promise not to have “yet another” massive wedding. They regale me with how they all supposedly wish they’d saved the time and money and just run away.

I partly believe them, and I also realize that because I’m pretty low-key and laid-back (and took my sweet time deciding to get married at all) they probably don’t think I want all the pomp and circumstance of a wedding. The thing is… I kind of do. Not a huge over-the-top and budget-breaking spectacle, but yes, I’d like them to put on their adult-friend pants and show up for me the way I have for them countless times, at a large party in my hometown, with an open bar and everyone in formal wear. I hear them that they’ve had more than enough bouquet tosses and expensive weekend trips to last them a lifetime, but I’m a little resentful that I feel like I have to pay the price because I didn’t get married earlier, when apparently it wasn’t so passé.

I’ve tried to express these thoughts, but the most sincere response I get is that I “need to realize” that in our mid-thirties everyone is sort of “over” weddings and their related shindigs, and that mortgages and college savings accounts now take priority. I know a wedding isn’t an imposition, but having heard this sentiment from multiple friends from various friend groups, I’m starting to get the impression that news of my wedding is going to be met with a weary sigh and a forced smile.

I know my friends love me, but I know they’re hoping that as the designated “chill” friend, they’ll get to escape finding a babysitter for a weekend so they can shake it to ’80s hits in a hotel ballroom. (Okay, that’s not exactly the vision I have for my wedding, but it’s not going to be a completely alternative and super original event.) My partner wants to throw the traditional party too but is having doubts that anyone will muster the enthusiasm to attend, which just makes it all seem… deflating. I’m frustrated, and we’re not even formally engaged just yet.

—Last to Marry

A:DEAR last to marry,

I’ll come! I’ll even wear whatever sequin jumpsuit Maddie wants to pick out for me. I mean, seriously.

But let’s start with the positive take on things. People tend to have an easier time being excited when there is really something to be excited about! You’re not engaged yet—I really do think (hope?) the levels of excitement will increase once things actually happen.

Being last really hurts sometimes. In part, because often it wasn’t really something you set out to do. Choosing to wait until later in life to marry is a great decision. Having circumstances force you into it is not so awesome. In part, it hurts because there’s a sense that you should be sympathetic to the Very Adult And Important concerns of those who went before you.

And look, up to a point, I am sympathetic. It’s just an unpleasant reality of life that you might have spent your twenties flying to a dozen different out-of-town bachelorette parties, but now, when you’re getting married five years later, most of those friends are going to have babies, and they’re just not going to do the same for you. Even if they’d really, really like to, getting drunk in Vegas at 3 a.m. might just not be realistic for them anymore. People may choose to prioritize their finances differently as they get older, which means that while you scrimped and saved to attend their weddings, they may not be willing to do the same for you. And at the end of the day, there is nothing you can do about that.

But. But. COME ON FRIENDS. Okay, so you can’t show up in exactly the same way. Fine. Maybe three days of girl time in NOLA isn’t going to work, because you have twin newborns. Sure, fine. But figure out some way to do it! Maybe you can be the friend who sends flowers for the engagement, and creates a secret pre-engagement Pinterest board just for fun ideas, and sends a copy of the world’s best wedding book, A Practical Wedding, and offers to help in meaningful ways like, “I think you probably need me to help you stuff envelopes so you don’t get overwhelmed with paper cuts, so I’m planning to be over next Thursday and I’ll bring the takeout.” If someone really showed up for you, and you still consider yourself friends, you owe that friendship figuring out a way to show up for her.

To be frank, your friends are really being awful right now. And I think it’s worth it to have a real serious conversation about this with one or two close friends. They should at least hear that you do want a wedding, you are excited about it, and you really want them to be excited as well! They also need to hear that if they aren’t excited, and they just don’t really care, well that’s something they need to stop sharing with you, because it’s rude and hurtful. Sometimes people fall into the habit of complaining about everything to make conversation, and letting them know it’s actually not a funny joke for you but painful will hopefully be enough to stop.

And if they won’t? My offer to be there with bells sequins on stands. And (because sometimes being petty helps), remember: your taste is generally way better in your thirties than your twenties, so I bet your wedding is going to be prettier than theirs!

—Amy March

HAVE A WEDDING QUESTION?
EMAIL ME: AMYMARCH [AT] APRACTICALWEDDING [DOT] COM.

Amy March

Amy has loved weddings at least since the second grade when she made an epic diorama of Charles and Diana’s wedding for “important historical event” day. She has purchased every issue of Martha Stewart Weddings ever published and will happily talk to you for an hour about the relative merits of blush and bashful. Her happy place is poolside with a glass of rosé and a good book. 

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  • penguin

    I’m imagining a horde of APW readers showing up for this LW at her wedding to make up for her friends who are being lame. APW glitter and sequin wedding for the win!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Yesssssssss.

    • Sign me up for that!

    • Zoya

      Sign me up!

    • Lawyerette510

      Yep, I’m in too!

    • Ashweck

      I’ll go!

    • Jess

      I’m in!!! Also here for any and all “I’m planning this wedding and I need somebody to be thrilled for me” HH posts.

    • Pickle

      So there.

    • louise danger

      i’m envisioning the most excellent reception ever, with a dance floor full of all of us APW commenters in our various-vintages wedding dresses

    • Shawna

      I’m in! I only discovered the wonders of sequins and glitter in the past year or so and need to make up for never wearing them in my 20s! Also, always happy for APW people celebrating love and life transitions!

  • LindseyM

    I’m so sorry! But you are not alone. When we got married, all my friends we very excited, but my husband’s friends could not seem to force themselves to care even to be polite. It was really sad. Not one of them made it to our wedding, out of about 15 people invited. Sometimes you just can’t win, and it sucks. I think some of it has to do with stages in life, but mostly it has to do with who your friends are as people. They may just not be people that want to go to a wedding when it isn’t theirs and they have “wedding fatigue.” Selfish, and I can’t understand because I LOVE weddings, but you can’t do much about it. I would try to surround yourself with whoever you can that is excited, and feed off of that. Sometimes it is new friends you make at the last minute even, that you weren’t close to before the wedding.

    • penguin

      Was your husband still friends with them after that? I can understand people not making it to a wedding, but none of them going and none of them even being excited sounds like a friendship killer to me.

      • JLily

        Similar thing happened with my husband’s friends (he’s 5 years older so many of them were married 5-10 years earlier). I do not consider them friends really and I definitely do not go out of my way to see them. He’s more forgiving but I just feel like if you love someone and you can swing it, you go to their wedding.

  • Laura C

    The point that people might get more in the spirit once you’re actually engaged seems spot on.

    Beyond that, two things: My husband and his friends, all in their 30s and most married, regularly text each other about how they can’t wait for the last couple guys to get married because weddings are when they all make the effort to be in the same place now and it’s so much fun.

    My best friend had been married 11 years and been to (and in) countless weddings by the time I got married AND she literally did have twins who she was still breastfeeding at the time of my bachelorette and wedding. She went back to her hotel room between the mani-pedis and dinner at the bachelorette to pump. Similar at the wedding. And I mean, that’s my MOH and that was going way above and beyond, but she did it.

    So I hope it turns out that this is not a “you need better friends” scenario, but I did want to say that these people should not believe themselves to be speaking a universal truth about how people in their 30s who have been married a while see their friends’ weddings.

    • e.e.hersh

      Yes to being excited for a friend reunion! And same for family… it seems like as we get older and people continue to move around, weddings serve as one of the only times everyone can gather (well, weddings and funerals – and I’d much rather gather for the pretty and joyful wedding party!)

    • Joanna Nadeau

      Yup, I’m guessing when they get the invite/save the date/email/text about you getting engaged, they’ll be excited. This feels like how you should also never talk to people about baby names before your kids are born, because they will tell you all manner of impolite things about their opinions on baby names UNTIL their kid is actually named that, in which case they will say one of a few variations of – how LOVELY!

  • Alexandra

    Whaaat? I LOVE it when friends have weddings. I am 38. I have three single friends. And a newly-divorced brother. I am already saving up for said brother’s second wedding, should he ever meet another nice girl. I am constantly trying to set up my three single friends purely so I can attend their weddings.

    AND I have an 11 month old and a 3 year old.

    Weddings are never passe! Weddings are wonderful! Plus…are you gonna invite any of your family to the wedding? I bet THEY’LL be into it!

    What kind of scrooge McDuck isn’t into going to a friend’s wedding? I mean, as long as it isn’t the crazy APW $25k bridesmaid dress wedding.

    • GCDC

      I’m with you. Also, I think I love weddings MORE now that I’m in my mid thirties with a kid and mostly married friends. When we were going to six or seven weddings per year, I loved it and I was super happy for my friends, but they all sort of blended together. We have one wedding to attend next year and I am so freaking pumped for it because I get to see all my friends and dance and wear a nice dress and I have so many fewer opportunities to do that now.

      • kris10

        I completely agree. I was really sad at a recent wedding with friends from university when I looked around and realized that it was likely the last wedding (at least for a long while) in that friend group. We live all over the place and now we don’t really have a reason to all get together.

        Also, with 2 young kids, a wedding is such a great reason for a night out (or weekend away). It takes a lot of planning to figure out, but luckily (most) weddings are planned months in advance. Can I come to your spur-of-the-moment birthday party tomorrow night? Probably not. But, your wedding in 2018? Let me line up the grandparents as babysitters now!

      • L.

        As of now, we have Z-E-R-O weddings to attend next year, and I’m so excited, haha. We didn’t attend any in 2016 either, I don’t think, but we were invited to one (sort of last-minute, and although it was a cousin, it was too expensive for a last-minute flight halfway across the country).

        I’ve always been happy for all of my friends/family, even when we’ve had multiple weddings to attend in one year, but they are just so much more enjoyable when it’s not a bajillion in a short period of time.

        • Anne

          As a wedding lover who just experienced a bajillion in a short period of time – SO TRUE.

      • Alexandra

        It is true that I am an introvert and have only been to about eight weddings in my whole life, because I just don’t have that many friends who are close enough to invite me to their weddings. But I have absolutely loved every wedding I’ve ever gone to, possibly because I have never had the opportunity to have wedding fatigue.

        It occurred to me that the readership of APW might be somewhat biased on this question. I mean, I love weddings so much I’m still reading this website almost every day. And I got married in 2013.

        Cough. That’s kind of embarrassing.

        I also LOVE bat/bar mitzvahs, children’s birthday parties, graduation parties, adult friend birthday parties, Christmas parties, “Friends”giving parties, dinner parties, 4th of July barbeques….I am an enormous fan of parties of all kinds. I can actually even get fairly enthusiastic about funerals. Free food, an excuse to wear a pretty dress and do my hair and makeup nicely and maybe even dance with my husband…sign me up!

        In fact, the only wedding I didn’t enjoy that much was my own! I hate parties where I’m the common denominator of everyone there. Very stressful for an introvert.

    • Eenie

      Yes! This! I sometimes hate the travel, but I love celebrating the start of a marriage of friends!!

    • Lawyerette510

      Yes! I’m 34 and I am so bummed there are no weddings on the horizon. Who the f**k is “over” weddings? I get if you never were into them, but that’s such crap attitude to say “oh well, now that I’ve had one, they aren’t important.”

      Also, what if LW turned around to these same friends and said “well I’m so over marking the births, birthdays and accomplishments of your children.” I bet those friends would loose it.

      • Colleen

        I was JUST complaining to a friend that it seems we’ve hit that period of life where the weddings dry up for a while. Sob! I’d love a few weddings on the horizon.

        Weddings are about love and joy and bringing people together…And very often about open bars! If you’ve got friends who can’t get excited about those things, UGH.

    • Right? Weddings are freaking great. I live in fear of hitting a point when all my friend’s are married & there are no more weddings to go to… But I’m also optimistic that won’t actually happen, because people get married at life stages other than your 20’s all the dang time? LW’s friends need to get a grip.

      • JLily

        Right?! I actually know very few people that got married in their twenties. I feel like 30s is common and many happen in 40s, 50s, and beyond too!

    • Leah

      This is what I came here to say. And actually now that I’m in my mid 30s I am MORE psyched about weddings because there aren’t as many of them. When I was 28 and went to 6 weddings in one summer, I would have had a little more trouble working up the enthusiasm. Now I have one or maybe two a year and I look forward to them so much!

    • Jan

      I freaking LOVE weddings. I mean, who complains about putting on a nice outfit and going out for the night with their spouse? Like, what?

      Being like, “God, I wish we’d just put the money in savings and eloped” is one thing; responding to your friend’s news that an engagement is imminent with, “Everyone is so over weddings, omg” is level-10 dick behavior.

    • i’m in my 30s and i have a kid and i can’t wait for more of my friends to get married because i am so excited to dress her up for the next wedding we are invited to. tiny human + tiny fancy clothes ❤

  • Evanizzy

    “And (because sometimes being petty helps), remember: your taste is generally way better in your thirties than your twenties, so I bet your wedding is going to be prettier than theirs!”

    TRUTH. I just went to two weddings this summer: My 24 year old cousin whose wedding was essentially college themed (complete with orange and purple everything and the mascot showing up) and then my 31 year old best friend whose wedding was gorgeous and lovely and she was so damn happy and sure.

    • sofar

      I am SO GLAD I didn’t get married in my early 20s. Oh, the tacky monstrosity I would have planned …

      My taste has … uh… matured. And I think my priorities have matured, too. In my early 20s, I may have obsessed over my bridesmaids wearing matching headbands or something. In my 30s, I obsessed about the DESSERT.

    • penguin

      Fair enough and I hope this helped the LW feel better, but this doesn’t mean that every wedding of mid-twenties people is a tacky monstrosity.

      • Amy March

        Of course not.

      • Ashweck

        My friends got married mid twenties and had a perfectly lovely wedding! My cousin got married at 21 and people had to pay admission/it was on a regular old Monday morning/long story… obviously there’s a range but in general we get better with age.

        • penguin

          People had to pay admission at a wedding on a Monday morning? That’s the kind of thing where at least you get a good story out of it if nothing else.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            That’s the kind of thing where OH DAMN, I can’t get off work.

      • Also things can go both ways… When I got married in my mid-20’s I had the energy to like, do the ultra-lowkey/mis-matched/IDGF-but-actually-still-pretty thing. If I got married today? I’d would probably go *actual* IDGF or actual tacky monstrosity (so it’s probably good that I got married then not now, because I do in fact like pretty ;)).

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      When we were younger, we…flailed. We got the job done, but we were figuring it out as we went. The people getting married, the attendants, the guests…none of us knew what we were doing. Over time, many of us found more financial stability. We became more confident dressing for formal events. We figured out what all the forks at the place setting we for. We started to understand the gravity of the vows being exchanged. The earliest weddings, they were sincere, and we gave them our all, and they represent who we were then. Our wedding styles have matured with us.

      • ssha

        The more weddings I go to the more I know about etiquette and what to wear and how to buy gifts, and the more I knew what I did and DIDN’T want at my own.

      • Eenie

        The first wedding post knowing a person getting divorced is an experience. We attended the wedding of a friend who is now divorced, and after her divorce the wedding and especially the ceremony mean so much more. It’s hard to explain.

    • Sarah

      Ha, I think plenty of not so young people would have Clemson themed weddings. Tacky knows no bounds when it comes to college football in the South.

      • Savannah

        guilty: planned my wedding date around my SEC alma mater’s football schedule.

    • Elizabeth

      Another thing to add to this is that generally when you get married older, your guests know how to behave at events with alcohol.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        And also drink less because the hangovers are worse. Ha.

      • NolaJael

        This is crucial.

  • e.e.hersh

    Ooh, that’s tough. As an older bride, I got this too… feeling hurt because both my husband and I had traveled to earth’s end to be in friends’ weddings, only to have one or two of them not even RSVP to ours a few years later? Shitty!

    But it’s kind of just part of the evolution of life and friendship, you know? This will be a good test to see who shows up for LW – who makes the time and effort for her now. Those people will be friends moving forward, and maybe some of the others will flake out of her life a bit. Painful, but this time can serve as a turning point. From here on out you build your life with and around the friends that show up for you in whatever way they can.

    Also – Amy’s right on about better taste as you get older ;)

  • Katharine Parker

    “They regale me with how they all supposedly wish they’d saved the time and money and just run away.”

    So, yes, there are people who wish they had just eloped (and that is a legit way to feel), but there is also a cool factor to being over weddings that conveniently occurs some time after having thrown a wedding. I find it hard to believe all of your friends regret their weddings. They’re being jerks. You’re allowed to want a wedding! It is basically the only socially-sanctioned time to celebrate your relationship with a wide group of friends and family and a dance party and booze and cake!

    I would have the serious convo with one or two of your closest friends, but I’d also work on some responses to use if these comments come up from wider corners of your crowd. Laughing and saying, “come on, of course we’re having a wedding! We’d never forgive ourselves for missing out on a chance to inflict my brother’s dancing on the world!” or “our wedding is going to be the exception! We’re going to have cat face cutouts!” or whatever. Then change the subject. You can push back on their negativity gently if you don’t want to get into it more deeply.

    • penguin

      You could also respond seriously to their belly-aching about how they wish they had just eloped – “I’m sorry you regret your wedding, that must suck. I’m looking forward to mine though!”

      • AP

        This is really smart. Take what they’re saying at face value and let them hear their actual words reflected back at them.

      • Nicole

        I love your sass.

    • Her Lindsayship

      “there is also a cool factor to being over weddings that conveniently occurs some time after having thrown a wedding” <— I HATE THIS. Weddings are such important events, culturally, emotionally, sometimes politically. People who act like that's not the case just because their wedding moment is over just look super selfish to me. And it fucking hurts to be in that big important moment and have people wave it off like that. Hard agree with your whole comment.

      • Zoya

        This.

      • Amy March

        Yup. Oh, weddings don’t really matter? Awesome. I’ll take my gift back and here’s an itemized bill for everything I spent on yours. It’s rude and ungrateful.

      • Ashweck

        I feel like I will appreciate weddings so much more now that I’ve thrown one because I know what labors of love they are.

        • Eenie

          You do! More importantly, my partner does. He RSVPs to things now without being told to.

      • Daisy6564

        Agreed. I also really bristle at the “it’s just a piece of paper” line about marriage. No its not. Why do you think queer people have fought so hard for it? Marriage is flipping important from a legal and societal standpoint and a major personal commitment. It is a big deal.

    • rebecca

      Oooh this made me think…I’m one of the regretters. I obviously don’t think weddings are wrong for everybody (or I wouldn’t hang out here) but it was supersuper wrong for me. And I do wish people talked about that more. I made a decision that went 100% against everything I know about myself because I thought I’d somehow be “missing out” in a way that as someone who hadn’t had a wedding, I couldn’t possibly understand. And if you are a low key person who kinda avoids the spotlight, maybe your friends are just trying to create space for you to be yourself in the face of the WIC/families/tradition? Maybe the charitable read on this is that your friends are trying to give you other options when it seems like the rest of the world is pressuring you so hard the other way? In that case, just saying a “I know, it’s super out of character for me, but I really want to have a big silly wedding” should put a stop to most of that.

      • Amy March

        I think that’s a great perspective to share if someone asks for it. “Hey was it all worth it?” “I’m super stressed and I wish there were more options.” “Would you do it again?” If not, zip it.

      • Katharine Parker

        If a close friend were saying, “you know, you don’t need to have a big wedding. Often I wish I’d just eloped!” I would give a charitable read on this. But that doesn’t sound like what the LW is describing. LW’s friends are telling her to elope because it would inconvenience them, not out of concern for the LW.

      • I think wedding regret is one of the places where focusing commentary on yourself is super helpful… I think expressing regret about your own wedding is obviously fair game, and saying something along the lines of wishing that more people realized eloping was an option could be supportive. But LW’s friends saying she should elope because they have party burnout? Nooope.

      • Nicole

        I think that’s different. It’s fine to tell an engaged friend about what you personally regret about your own wedding. I think what this letter writer and commenter are getting at though is people who have their own cheesy romantic wedding and then deride other people for wanting the same for themselves, without acknowledging that they too once wanted and had the same thing. To me the whole “weddings are so passe and cliche and corny!” thing is a subset of the “cool girl” mentality – women and girls who deride other women for being “high maintenance” and go out of their way to let everyone know how little they care what people think of them.

  • rqued

    I bet (hope) that this is just people being grumpy and tired and making off-hand comments. I’d think most decent people who you consider friends will change their attitude and be happy for you and show up when/if you do decide to get married.

  • AmandaBee

    I find that people like to do a lot of b*tching about weddings in general, but once there is actually a wedding being planned, and it’s someone you love who is also really excited about it, even the most cynical people can at least KIND OF get into it. So, yeah, your friends might suck less once there is an actual wedding being planned.

    But also, I’m sorry they’re being crappy right now nonetheless. Maybe they had bad wedding experiences that they don’t want to relive, but that’s their problem. I think it’s fine to avoid the topic of weddings with them for now since it’s clearly going nowhere. Once you’re planning a wedding, share details in a way that makes it clear that you aren’t asking for their advice (“we’re so happy about the venue we picked!”). Hopefully they get the hint that you aren’t looking for their unsolicited opinions about the costs of attending. Also, maybe make some new friends who are a liiiiittle less self-absorbed.

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    Damn, I really hope what they say about a hypothetical is wildly different from their actions in real life when the engagement happens.

    • Ashweck

      But will it matter? I know it seems petty and like holding onto grudges but I, personally, would always wonder if they were just trying to placate me and in fact the pre-engagement feelings were sincere. Which is why I think saying it in the first place is really selfish and thoughtless.

      • Amy March

        Yeah I don’t fully disagree but I also think it’s on you to decide not to hold that grudge if they actually do show up for you when it’s real. Life is too short to be forever annoyed and wondering about these comments if they actually do the excitement when it’s time.

        • Ashweck

          Yeah, that’s definitely easier said than done for some people. I have been working on feeling like a burden who should apologize for being audacious enough to exist for years in therapy and cannot imagine if my friends had tried to talk me out of having a big wedding because it would have been inconvenient for them. I don’t think I would have dropped them as friends but I probably wouldn’t have had the wedding I wanted.

          I know it’s an extreme case but you never know what core beliefs people have about themselves, and it’s just so much better to err on the side of kindness.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        They are being selfish and thoughtless! People also say dumb things sometimes, but come through for you anyway. Obviously it’s preferable to skip the say-dumb-things step, but it’s a bit late for that.

      • Nicole

        I’m a petty person, so if something like this happened to me I would just dedicate myself to finding new friends and having the best Instagram-worthy bachelorette and engagement parties solely as an FU to my old friends. Fortunately I’m not into pre-wedding stuff and won’t have a bridal party, so I can avoid this issue altogether.

  • Lily

    I think this extends way past the 30s- it’s a change in our mentality. I’m 26, I’m the first to get married out of my college friends, but in a lot of my other friend groups (childhood, grad school), I am mostly the last one. Even though our bachelorette/ shower craze has only been going on for a year or two, people are already making jokes about avoiding the rest of the group bachelorettes because maybe they’ll be pregnant (never funny to joke about- insensitive- but I digress). I also have seen a lot of friends say that they can’t afford the trip or can’t take an extra day off of work because they have plans to travel with their SO. I attended a bachelorette party in New Orleans over the summer for one of my closest friends and shelled out an insane amount of money, and then a few weeks ago she told me that I should do something low-key, since no one wants to travel again. While I think it’s selfish, I also get it. I’m also exhausted.

    The point being- tell your friends they are being insensitive. Maybe they don’t realize it bothers you. Remind them that you were there for their formal wedding and their weekend trip to Vegas. Just because they are done with the wedding process doesn’t mean they get input on yours. It minimizes your celebration and it’s not what a friend does. You should plan whatever you want (while being considerate- if half your friends are pregnant, don’t plan a destination wedding to zika territory) and they will get on board.

  • sofar

    I *get* where your friends are coming from, but they need to shut up about it.

    I am in my 30s and have SIX out-of-town weddings to attend next year. To those friends, I am excited and supportive because they were that way for ME. To my husband, I’m like, “AUGGHHHHH another save-the-date for the fridge! Hey, did you hear Dan and Jake eloped? Let’s send them a thank-you gift. No, not a wedding gift — a THANK-YOU-for-eloping gift.” But my friends never hear those comments.

    • ssha

      I know this has been referenced before, but Comfort In, Dump Out.

    • Aubry

      Exactly! I love weddings but will admit to being wedding-ed out last year. But you can bet your cotton socks when my last hold-out unmarried friend gets engaged I will be 120% excited for her. Even if it requires a Vegas bachleorette trip and Hawaiian wedding I cant afford (looking likely). People like my mom and husband will here me whining but never her,

  • Rose_C

    I really feel this letter. I am planning a wedding at 34 and often feel self conscious and immature talking about wedding things with my Ladies when the conversation is usually just babies and skin care (those things are also very important to me and I’m participating!). But they have been great about showing enthusiasm for planning woes and dress selection. I have definitely felt though that a couple of people in my life who I have been really close haven’t been enthusiastic about the planning. And that might be our age and wedding fatigue and it might be that they are just more self-absorbed than I realized. But it’s been a bittersweet aspect of planning for sure.

  • Your friends are being dicks about this. I could not IMAGINE telling my friend, “jokingly” or not, that we’re over the big parties and that they missed their chance. What actual friend does this????

    Would my husband get a “man, we could make a mortgage payment with this money!” comment, sure. But to the bride? It’s hurtful and I’d be livid.

    Also please invite Maddie to your wedding so she can wear an awesome jumpsuit, kthxbye

    • Her Lindsayship

      Does APW receive wedding invites from readers, and if so does the reader get a congratulations note like from the White House, except it includes a link to an outfit Maddie would’ve worn to the wedding??

      • Zoya

        PLEASE let this be what actually happens.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Related, what’s APW’s PO Box?

      • DYING.

      • penguin

        Now I wish I would have thought to invite APW to my wedding!

      • This is a genius idea and I think Maddie should make this happen.

    • Y’all kill me. <3

    • YummieYummie

      Seriously. My friends are excited for me, but it’s my family that’s been killing my whole wedding vibe. My extended family on both sides have been lukewarm at best since we got engaged, and I got the “Why don’t y’all just elope?” from both my dad AND my mom. That really hurt my feelings, especially my mom saying that.

      When we first got engaged, I was so excited to share my ideas with my family and see them rally around me like they did for all of my cousins (most recently, my mom and I staying up till 4am the night before one cousin’s wedding to make 150 programmes and menus). Now that it’s my turn, all I get is a mix of disinterest and exasperation, like no one has the energy to even come to my wedding, let alone help in any capacity. I know I shouldn’t want fuss, but a little excitement from the people closest to me would be nice.

      Is there anything I can do about this? If no one wants to actually see us get married (which is weird considering how much my family absolutely LOVES my fiance), should we elope? We’re still pretty early in wedding planning and haven’t dropped any cash yet, with the exception being rings and matching t-shirts for our honeymoon.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Awwww, that sucks. My family’s excitement level rose when I started making concrete plans, like putting a deposit down on the venue for a specific date. Maybe the same will be true with your folks! And for what it’s worth, I think you’re totally allowed to want fuss.

        • YummieYummie

          Thanks for that. We’re about to put a deposit on the venue, so hopefully things will change after that. At least now we know this isn’t just an age thing. I’m mid-20’s and dealing with a lack of enthusiasm.

      • penguin

        That’s really rough, I’m sorry. I saw the same thing as PAJane – a lot of our people didn’t seem to really know what to do before we had some final details. We also saw the crazy ramp way up at that point, so fair warning haha. I think you should have the wedding you want to have, so only elope if it’s what YOU guys want to do. I’d find a friend or two you can talk to about this and vent, and tell them explicitly that you need some people cheering for you.

      • PCS2017

        Did you ask your parents why they want you to elope? It’d be interesting to find out what their thoughts are on weddings. Maybe they didn’t enjoy all the work for your cousins’ weddings as much as you did, or maybe they’re worried about having to contribute financially to yours? Or it could be something totally random reason you never would’ve guessed. I think asking them about it is a good place to start.

    • Nicole

      The mortgage thing just makes no sense. Are we to assume that the letter writer didn’t have to pay rent in her 20s when she was attending her friends’ weddings? Maybe she would be able to afford the down payment on a house with her new spouse if she hadn’t spent thousands of dollars attending bachelorette parties and weddings in her 20s, and had saved that money instead. Of course, everyone is free to spend or save their money as they wish, but expecting your friend to elope simply because you chose to buy a house you can’t really afford or have more kids than you can afford is not okay. It’s fine to politely decline an invitation, but it’s quite another to bash the person inviting you for holding the event in the first place, ESPECIALLY when you invited them to a similar event for yourself.

  • Pterodactyl111

    Throw the wedding you want. You can’t make everyone happy.

  • Her Lindsayship

    Ok so I haven’t exactly been to dozens of weddings, but I’ve been to a handful and all I can say is: if I reach a point where I’m complaining that somebody wants to invite me to celebrate their love with free food and dancing and booze, please hit me with something. This is SO GROSS. Shut up friends, this is not a good look!

    I had several family members ask me why we weren’t just going to elope or have a small destination wedding. At first I shrugged it off as an odd thing to say and figured folks were trying to let me know it wouldn’t be a scandal if we wanted to do that. After four different family members said something to this effect, I found myself in tears on the phone with my sister, whining “doesn’t anybody want to come to my regular-ass wedding??”

    We had an awesome regular-ass wedding, people who could get there were there and they were celebrating hard, and everything turned out fine. But I will say, as someone who didn’t have a bunch of (any?) friends around me who were excited about planning, I get that this sucks. Hopefully it doesn’t indicate anything about how pumped people will get for the actual wedding, and I bet you can find at least one person to get excited with you about the table decorations or the playlist or the bridesmaid dresses!

    • Elizabeth

      Aww, my FH is dealing with this. He has the most boring, homebody, stick-in-the-mud parents on the planet, and after they found out we were engaged the first thing his mother said was “I hope you aren’t planning a destination wedding!” Like that was seriously the first thing out of her mouth. They haven’t travelled anywhere in almost 40 years (no joke), and they live about 40 minutes north of the metro area where we are getting married and are already complaining about how far away it is.

    • AP

      Ugh, I’m sorry. My husband’s family kind of acted like this too, like they were so over family weddings that why couldn’t we just do it in the backyard or elope? Like it was such a hassle or something. That attitude is the worst. But! It’s definitely not indicative of how fun and happy the wedding will be! Just because a few people are bummers, it doesn’t mean there aren’t a ton of others who are super thrilled to be there.

    • Not Sarah

      My sister asked if she really had to come and put off buying her plane tickets FOREVER. She also said that her RSVP was dependent on whether it was an open bar. Family solidarity!

  • AtHomeInWA

    One of our Early Wedding friends told one of our Middle Wedding friends “You’ve been together 10 years, it’s not like getting married really counts for you.”

    They met at 17.

    I’m going to be one of the Late Wedding friends. I’m deciding between the light-hearted, half-joking “in that case I’ll give your seats to someone who thinks it does” and the dead serious “say something like that one more time and you’re no longer welcome in my house.”

    • LindseyM

      On that same note, if I have one more couple who is married but only been together like three years try to give me some sort of relationship advice, I might strangle them. I’ve started thinking about just responding back, “oh, well when you’ve been together a decade like we have …..”

      • AtHomeInWA

        Preach.

        That is much more polite than the other come back that popped into my head after finishing my comment… Yeah. Let’s use yours.

      • Eenie

        Still slightly pissed my now husband was excluded from all pictures at my brothers wedding when we’d been together almost a year longer than them. He even bought a suit as requested so he’d be dressed appropriately (I wrongly assumed this was for pictures).

        • K.K.

          It’s funny because I actually had the exact opposite situation. Fiance’s sister got married a few years ago. We’d been together about 5 years and the family treated me like family which I partially appreciated – but I put my foot down at being in *all* the family photos. Like, if my boyfriend and I wanted to make each other family, we would get married. It felt like our choices were not considered.

          • Eenie

            He wasn’t even asked if he wanted to be in photos though! We were living together. We were serious. He bought a suit for said pictures that he thought he was going to be in. I wouldn’t be as pissed except for the suit part.

            This 100% drove how I handled our wedding photos. My other brother had a serious SO (now fiancée). I asked him – “hey do you want her in the family photos? Can you make sure she’s ok with being in the family photos?” Yeses all around. Problem solved.

          • K.K.

            That works! It’s amazing how much drama can be avoided by just…talking to people.

    • Nicole

      Your early wedding friends suck. Well, maybe they’re decent people who are just behaving badly due to jealousy, because their party is over and now they have to celebrate other people instead of just themselves. Try to take it in stride and just remember that your friends are merely deflecting their own insecurities and projecting them onto you.

      I’m getting married soon, and my partner and I will have been together for 7 years by then. We already own our home together, have joint credit cards, have spent holidays with each other’s families, etc. Us getting married doesn’t really have much to do with us as a couple as it does our families coming together. Our parents have never met, our grandparents have never met, and our cousins sure as hell have never met, and my and his friends have never met any of those people. Weddings are not just about the couple deciding to be together.

      You could also troll your friends by hosting a 10-year anniversary party instead. Anniversary parties are basically just like wedding receptions. Would your friends tell a couple hosting a 50th wedding anniversary party that their celebration didn’t matter because they’ve been together for 50 years?

  • Marie Tachouet

    +1 “Being last really hurts sometimes. In part, because often it wasn’t really something you set out to do.”

    I have no sympathy for your friends. Logical yes, obvious understanding if they can’t attend, etc. As a recently married 33 year old, I understand your pain. Several of my parent friends couldn’t attend, and they were lovely about it. No matter how much you love your friends, it stings to be single/looking/lonely and watch other people’s life events pass by. People should be rejoicing that you’ve found your person and celebrate your relationship! Maybe things will totally get better when you actually get engaged, I agree with Amy about that. In the meantime…pre-congratulations from surely every reader at APW!

  • Zoya

    To respond to the elopement pressure: we ran off to City Hall AND had a big wedding. Both entirely by choice. Each experience was stressful in its own way and wonderful in its own way. They were also completely different, and there’s no way one could have stood in for the other. To suggest to someone who wants a wedding that an elopement would do just fine–particularly if you yourself didn’t make that choice–is skating on thin friend-ice as far as I’m concerned.

    Also, as a recently-married person, I am PSYCHED to get to go to tons more weddings that I don’t have to lift a finger to plan. Wedding planning sucked; being a wedding guest is awesome.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      The first wedding I attended after being married was f&*%ing awesome. I just had to show up.

  • Ashweck

    Not only is your taste better in your thirties, presumably your budget is bigger. I wonder if people realize that when you’re in your twenties, the time in your life when you should be saving the MOST, spending the money on awful bridesmaid dresses and rental cars and hotels and buses and whatnot is actually harder?

    I know kids are expensive and as Frank Turner says “all my friends are getting married, mortgages, and pension plans,” but guess what: you did it for them and probably with minimal complaints. You deserve to have the wedding you want without being made to feel shitty about it. If they wish they had run away, that’s their problem and not at all relevant to what you want. My blood is boiling on your behalf…. will stop now

    • Zoya

      TRUTH. My sister is four years younger than I am, and has already been a bridesmaid five or six times. I mentioned at one point what our wedding budget was, and she got a little goggle-eyed and said it was by far the highest of any wedding she’d been involved in.

      We paid for the entire wedding ourselves, and spent every penny we had set aside for it, and a whole lot of what we paid for was outsourcing wedding work to vendors rather than burdening our already-busy friends and family. Not that I’d begrudge being asked to pitch in for a wedding, or felt like our loved ones would. But because of where we are in our lives, we were able to spend a bit more to make sure folks didn’t feel obligated to do anything except show up and have a great time.

    • Her Lindsayship

      My blood is also boiling like maybe I had too much caffeine but DAMN. Especially this: “I’ve tried to express these thoughts, but the most sincere response I get is that I “need to realize” that in our mid-thirties everyone is sort of “over” weddings and their related shindigs, and that mortgages and college savings accounts now take priority.” Raaaaage. Whoever said that is fired.

      • Zoya

        Also, do these folks not realize that a wedding invitation is not a subpoena? If you don’t have the money to attend a wedding, don’t attend the wedding. Send your regrets early, be gracious, and fake a bit of extra excitement if you have to.

      • ManderGimlet

        She’s not even engaged though. I’ll be honest, if my friend is ALREADY talking wedding planning and she isn’t even engaged? I’m not here for it. Let me know when you got a ring (or the concept of the metaphor) and a date, and then you can blab about your Pinterest boards all day.

        • Her Lindsayship

          That may be so, but LW’s friends aren’t telling her to slow her roll until she’s engaged. They’re telling her not to have a wedding because they are “over” the whole concept, because apparently in their advanced life stages they have ‘matured’ beyond the need for other people’s weddings. That is rude and selfish, regardless of LW’s relationship status. I hope if you do have pre-engaged friends you’ll be more civil. If I’d started to talk with a married friend about wedding ideas before I got engaged and they’d rolled their eyes at me the way your comment implies, that would seriously sting.

          • ManderGimlet

            I am the bride whose friends rolled their eyes! And then I sent invitations and now everyone is excited and trading outfit ideas. What I’m saying is, adjust perspective. When you’re the last to get married (as is my case as well), things are just different, and if you have a snarky friend who has said rude, outrageous things the entire time you’ve known that person, you can’t expect that to change because you are thinking about having a wedding.

  • Sarah

    My friend’s brother got married this summer and she’s been telling them “no, no don’t have kids”. Like, right after her second kid, after suffering infertility/miscarriages. I would find that highly annoying if I were the brother and wife…and hope she won’t do this if/when they get pregnant. Reminds me of this situation.

  • Mrrpaderp

    I find LW’s friends’ attitude so perplexing. Now that we’re in our 30s, we have real jobs (an actual income! paid vacation time! not living paycheck-to-paycheck!) AND fewer people are getting married per year. It’s a lot easier to make room in the schedule and budget for 1 wedding than 6.

    I was waayyyyy grumpier about weddings back in my 20s when I was still in school (aka broke) and had many out of town weddings a year, plus folks hadn’t yet realized that weddings are super expensive for guests too, and no, a credit card is not a magic solution to your budget problems. I had a lot of hard conversations with friends whose weddings I just couldn’t attend. Idk if wedding fatigue comes from overextending yourself for so many years you’re just over it? Because maybe don’t do that?

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Same. In hindsight I feel a little bad about how much stress and resentment I swallowed while we were planning the first friend’s wedding. I had no money and no idea what was expected of me or how I should go about doing and of it, and I wish I could have enjoyed the whole process with the comfort level I have now.

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  • Violet

    I don’t understand these friends at ALL. Having our own wedding made me appreciate and enjoy weddings more, not less. Regardless of how they feel though, sharing those thoughts–even jokingly–is pretty mean.

  • emilyg25

    Ugh, your friends are assholes. Here’s the thing. Weddings don’t stop. Yeah, a lot of times there’s a big rush in your 20s/early 30s, but after that, you still have your cousins and nieces and nephews and family friends and then folks start having second marriages and then your kids get married. And yeah, the 30s house/job/kids/marriage thing is taxing, but it’s good to pull your head out of your own experience for a while and take a breath. Show up for the people you love. That’s all there is to it.

  • Unpopular opinions.

    Unpopular opinion on this site… but I’m way less excited about weddings than I was in my early 20’s. Most of the weddings we get invites too now are further away than they were when friends first started marrying each other, and truth is we don’t go to them much anymore. We also had a super small wedding by choice because not everyone thinks weddings are super fun… and that does seem to be amplified when you are among the last to do it. This is going to come up again with kids too. I think of the number of shower gifts I bought that probably won’t be reciprocated – in part because when friends have kids 10 years before you a lot of time those friendships change dramatically … and in part because people just really aren’t as excited about the 20th baby as they were about the first. It’s kinda life? My friends aren’t as interested in my promotions and I’m not as interested in their kids milestones. Neither of us are bad people we are just in really different places and eras.

    • Amy March

      That’s nice! But it’s not nice to share that opinion with your one friend who’s really excited to be finally getting engaged. It’s the telling your friends that you don’t care that brings it into bad person status.

    • I agree to a certain extent it’s just human nature to get a little jaded to things that aren’t “new” and of course not being that into weddings at any point doesn’t make you a bad person as long as you’re not sharing that opinion with someone getting married.

      But I will say that for me, finding ways to get excited about friends’ milestones – even if I don’t totally relate to said milestone- has been clutch for keeping close to friends who are in different life-stages than me.

      • Zoya

        To your second paragraph–I would go a bit farther. I think that’s part of the emotional labor balance of a friendship (or any relationship), to expend a little extra energy every now and then to get excited about big moments in their lives. If you’re in a close, loving, mutually supportive friendship with someone, then part of the bargain is that you say “yay for you!!” when they hit an exciting milestone.

    • ManderGimlet

      To me, the #1 thing is: LW is not engaged. She is not planning a wedding. She and her partner have discussed the possibility of getting engaged. It would be a lot different to me if she sent out her save the dates and her friends were like “SNORE! Been there!”

    • NotMotherTheresa

      This is both true and untrue.

      I am definitely 10000% less excited about weddings than I was in my early 20’s. Realistically, I’m also a way better bridesmaid now. College senior me thought weddings were AMAZING, but college senior me ~also~ had $20 in her bank account, an inability to plan more than three days ahead, a love for Jell-O shots, and a belief that the world centered around my finals schedule. What 30 year old me lacks in enthusiasm, she makes up for in the form of a savings account and a bit of wisdom regarding the work that goes into planning a wedding.

      Same with the baby shower gifts. Ten years ago, I went to every shower I was invited to, but I brought a $6 box of diapers went straight from the shower to a party at the Sigma Nu house. Now, I’m probably only going to show up if we’re really close, but I’m ALSO going to spend more than $6 on the gift, because I understand that having a baby is a TOTALLY BIG DEAL (and also super expensive), so I want to do all that I can to show my love and support.

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  • flashphase

    Smile and nod cause half of them will be divorced in the next few years and then expecting you to attend their second wedding.

    • Ha, I was so thinking this… Saying you are “over” weddings after your 20’s strikes me as being jinx-y AF.

      (Worth saying, like getting married in one’s 30’s, second weddings are totally rad)

  • Emma

    This makes me so mad. There’s something so patronizing about acting like weddings are passe just because you’ve had yours.
    Also, I feel like this is somehow part of the narrative that you’re only an adult if you have kids / anything else you do isn’t really as important as having kids (I may be projecting here, but I sense a bit of that). Yes, if you want to have kids, that’s important and life changing. But that doesn’t mean nothing else counts anymore.

    • Antonia

      “I feel like this is somehow part of the narrative that you’re only an adult if you have kids / anything else you do isn’t really as important as having kids.” I have a kid, and I absolutely believe what you’re saying is true.

    • NotMotherTheresa

      The one thing I will say is that for the most part, the people who preach that narrative are usually the same people who were just as big of self-centered idiots BEFORE they had kids.

      At least in my experience, people constantly spouting off “You just can’t understand unless you’re a parent” are usually the same ones who ten years ago insisted “You just can’t understand unless you’ve travelled” or “You just can’t understand unless you’ve been a waitress” or “You just can’t understand unless you played the saxophone in junior high”.

      • Emma

        Yeah, definitely… I guess they probably just get a bit more societal support for this viewpoint than the others you mentioned.

  • ManderGimlet

    Perspective from an almost-40 year old who is the last to get married and in the throes of wedding planning: adjust your expectations now and be prepared to do a lot of things on your own.
    Your friends are being dickish (maybe? Or is this how they have always been but you never realized it as the “chill” friend until now, when you actually have something important going on?) but like Amy said, you aren’t even engaged yet. Hypotheticals are a lot different than engagement pics up on social media and an actual invitation in the mail. Your friends likely have no idea you are taking their comments that seriously because, again, you are not engaged or planning a wedding. So I would let the jokes go and give them the benefit of the doubt.
    Second, even more important thing: adjust your expectations. If the most important things to you are truly just spending time with your friends, make concessions. Your breast-feeding friend is not gonna be able to go on a 7-hour Goodwill search for tableware. But you can go to her house with stamps and postcards and catch up while you address your Save the Dates. You will probably not get the weekend-long rager bachelorette, but I bet your friend with the big yard may host a BBQ. Also, if there are aspects of the wedding planning process that are significant to you, TELL THEM. No one will guess what you want, no one will offer to throw you a party they are not sure you even want (call it the “Curse of Being Chill”). Yes, people’s priorities have changed. That doesn’t mean that what is important to you doesn’t matter to them, but if someone is going through sleep training of twins or finishing their Master’s degree, it is doubtful that it will occur to them to, say, spontaneously plan a weekend in Vegas for your bachelorette.

    While your wedding and the lead up to it is very important, it’s the life you’ll lead in your marriage that is more important. Figure out how to shore up your friendships now so that they are lasting, meaningful, and fulfilling in your married future. That married friend who isn’t as enthusiastic as you’d like about wedding dress shopping could be the person to provide invaluable insight into married life later, or may support you and your spouse when you face the myriad hardships life throws at you. Friends who are always ready to party are great, but friends who stick by you when life is hard, when the memory of your wedding seems so distant, who show up to help when you are too beaten to even reach out, those are the keepers.

  • what?

    These friends don’t sound that nice =/ I hope they come around and support you!!

  • NotMotherTheresa

    Seconding that your friends sound like they’re being kind of horrible right now.

    In some ways, I lucked out. As far as my cohort went, I was right around the middle of the pack regarding getting married–quite a few had already walked down the aisle, but quite a few hadn’t. On one hand, it was awkward that we were at that stage where every person was in a completely different phase of life, but on the other hand, it meant that I got to draw from a lot of different perspectives.

    I will say that the two groups were there for me in very different ways. The friends who weren’t already married? Those were definitely the most enthusiastic. But…they were also the most clueless. They were the ones who waited until the last second to buy bridesmaid dresses, and who asked all sorts of well meaning questions that accidentally made me feel super inadequate and stressed, like “Have you picked out an ice sculpture?” or “Don’t you think it would be fun to have a giant sushi bar during cocktail hour?”. They were a ton of fun, but they were also kind of a headache at times, because they just didn’t understand the boring, non-Pinterest-y realities of wedding planning.

    My married friends? They skipped the four day bachelorette party at the beach. They sent exactly zero texts swooning over the theme or gushing about how great the dresses would look in pictures. BUT, they were also the ones who helped keep the logistics on track–it turns out that managing a household with three kids is actually excellent practice for making sure a bunch of bridesmaids get everywhere on time! They were the ones who understood what I was talking about when I needed to vent, and who offered to help with boring tasks, and who gave PRACTICAL advice on planning, and who gave some really generous gifts to assuage their guilt over not being able to participate in all of the fun festivities.

    It is true that your friends may not be there for you now in quite the way they would have been 5 or 10 or 15 years ago. Life isn’t the same at 35 as it is at 22. But, if they’re decent friends, they’ll still find their own ways to contribute, and those ways can be just as wonderful. (And, if it turns out that they are shitty friends, odds are, things would have only been worse ten years ago! Hell hath no fury like a bunch of crappy, immature 22 year old bridesmaids…)

    • RNLindsay

      I love everything about this comment! Especially the not understanding the boring aspects of wedding plan until you’ve been there. And also Lol-ed at the fury of 22 yo bridesmaids haha

  • Samantha

    Oh, LW, I feel you. I wouldn’t say I’m the “chill friend,” but I’m definitely along the lines of “low maintenance friend,” and I’m not the *very* last of the friend group to get married, but I started dating my fiancé before most of my married friends even met their significant others. I showed up for them – and twice, I was a bridesmaid. I got the initial “Yay! You’re engaged!” but that’s pretty much it. Granted, I’m not having a bridal party, so it’s not like they need to be heavily involved with my wedding, but it’d just be nice to have them reach out to me and see how things are going and/or just listen to me without judging my wedding plans or acting like they are superior to me because they got married first.

    But in case of some of these friendships, it’s like they completely dropped off the face of the earth. I sent a group text to two of them a month ago that has still gone unanswered. It wasn’t even wedding-related, I just wanted to schedule time to spend with them.

    So…I’m not the best for giving advice here, I can just commiserate. Hell, it’s hard for me to muster the enthusiasm to plan my own wedding when I’ve been to so many in the past two years. However, it sounds like some of these responses, namely that your friend group is “over” weddings, that’s just crappy and patronizing. You deserve to have a happy celebration of love, just as they got to have, though they might not be able to be involved the way you might have been in theirs (what with kids and all). Hopefully, when you’re “officially” engaged, they surprise you with their support.

  • EE

    If you’re not actually engaged I don’t really see the issue with how your friends have reacted. Hypothetically stating something, even about something important, is bound to get different reactions then when something is actually happening. Take, for example, getting a doctorate. Anytime I mention that I would like to get my doctorate in the future everyone has reactions such as “you’re crazy?” “why would you want to put yourself through that?” “what will you even do with it?” However, I know that when I actually go to get my doctorate I will be supported. Talking about a potential big life event, is different then actually beginning the process and doing the big life event, and people’s reactions are going to be different based on what could happen, and what is actually happening.

    Basically, give your friends some slack. I’m sure they’ll be happy for you when you actually get engaged and actually begin planning your wedding. Until then though, just shrug off any negativity and go back to planning your potential wedding in all its perfection.

  • Abs

    I mean…obviously weddings are wonderful and people who complain about them have no sense of joy.

    Also, when people act like they’re over something that is so obviously delightful, they might be trying to convince themselves. They might be feeling like they’re not as hot and in love anymore as they were when they got married, and they don’t have time for themselves, and they don’t have any recent pictures gazing into their partner’s eyes. And they might be telling themselves that all of that is fine because they’re so much more grown-up now and that makes them better.

    It is NOT okay to rain on someone else’s joy because you’re feeling insecure about your own shit. But people do it all the time, sometimes without even realizing it. So yes–talk to a couple of close friends about this, and if they’re good people they’ll take a look at what they’re doing and get over themselves.

  • anonymous

    My friends didn’t come out and say this, but I definitely got the gist. Neither of my best friends helped host my bridal shower when I had done that and multiple baby showers for them. My college best friend was great besides that, but my other best friend…was not. I don’t want to add too many details, but I was already planning a trip for my sister’s big birthday, and bff suggested we do a joint birthday/bachelorette. I wasn’t all about it because I felt it was a lot to ask and didn’t want to shortchange my sister, but my other bestie, sister, and cousin were on board, so we planned. And then high school bff ghosted me. We were ready to book the trip, and we couldn’t get a response from her. We waited and waited, and she finally backed out saying she was trying to get pregnant and was worried about Zika. Which…ok, but you could have just told me that. The trip ended up costing the rest of us extra money because of that.

    She also didn’t host my shower, but she didn’t come either. Yes, she lives a few hours away, but I’ve literally driven in town for her showers and back out of it for her wedding and several babies. And the fact that she didn’t even call on the day of when I was really nervous hurt me badly. There’s a lot about our wedding I regret, but I wish I would have had more support from her. I needed it. My mom and my future MIL were pushy. We ended up with a wedding we didn’t want (my fault), but it would have been nice to talk to her about it as opposed to feeling like she was avoiding me for something silly.

    The day of she was great. She was there; she was focused and helpful, but it didn’t undo the hurt from the few months leading up to the wedding (we were only engaged four months prior to). While I get that we were/are in very different places, our friendship started to suffer from that point on.

    So LW, I get it. It sucks to have been genuinely excited and joyful about milestones in your friends’ lives and had them not return it. And I can’t say it won’t hurt if you experience something similar. I still have very complicated emotions about it all.

  • TheHungryGhost

    I find there’s a high correlation with people who were maddeningly unreasonable in the first place with their hen parties/wedding demands, and being ‘over’ weddings later. NEWS FLASH – you’re the reason people are ‘over’ weddings!

    I’ve reined in my feelings for a few years with one of my bridesmaids, because she was responsible for two ridiculous hen weekends, and is now somewhat shocked that I’ve instructed my MOH sister to keep to a strict budget that’s 1/4 of what she asked people to pay for other events. Even so, I know people who expected me to go big for them (and except when I had budget problems, I’ve never failed to!), will brush it off.

    There has been no correlation whatsoever between fun times and money spent, but definitely between the people who are fun and the times that are fun.

  • Kyle Hutchinson

    The friends, as described, definitely sound like they’re being kind of dickish, but a charitable interpretation (which they may or may not deserve) might be that they are clumsily trying to manage expectations.

    As an Old, I wouldn’t want to perceived as bashing someone for wanting or planning, say, a weekend-long bachelorette, but if a friend was talking like, “We will have so much fun on my bachelorette weekend in CITY” I might gently mention that I don’t really do that kind of thing anymore (even though I have no kids and I’m still renting – I just got old and cheap).

    As a reassurance to the OP, I just got married at the ripe old age of 39, and I had major anxiety that no one would come to my wedding because I never really had that tight “wedding crew” and some of the people I invited aren’t people I’m good at staying in touch with, though they’re all people who are important to me for various reasons! But almost every friend I invited came, even from out of state and across the country, with the exception of a couple of work friends and some spouses who stayed home because of other commitments and/or to take care of the kids while the other spouse came out to party.

    So fear not, people will come through.