1. Kids & Family

Tell Me About It: Friend won't make her wedding a priority

Q: My best friend informed me she won't be attending my wedding due to financial constraints. My wedding is across the country in my fiance's hometown, so I completely understood.

Lately, she's brought up larger purchases she's been making and it's really starting to grate on me. I'm starting to feel like it's less financial and more, "I don't want to come." She's my closest friend; we lived together for years and constantly talked about being at each other's weddings. I told her about the wedding location over a year ago, and that we chose to not have bridesmaids or any other wedding events to keep costs low for friends.

I don't know how to express my hurt feelings without sounding like a crazed bridezilla trying to control every dime she spends. Can I say anything to her?


A: Sure. That's what best friends are for. If you include what you've included here, particularly the crazed-bridezilla concern, then a nondefensive friend will give you an honest answer.

I feel the need to inoculate myself here: This is for true, best, we-tell-each-other-anything friendships. Mere pals do not get to ask why their weddings aren't others' financial priority.

Anonymous 2: It's not your place to tell your friends how they should spend their money. Is she supposed to deny herself for a year to attend a wedding?

Carolyn: It's not, "I'm telling you how to spend your money," it's, "I thought we were the friends who'd hold bake sales if that's what it took to fly to each other's weddings." It's one person who would deny herself for a year for an out-of-state wedding, asking the other whether those feelings are mutual.

If the feelings aren't mutual, then that discrepancy is there whether the bride asks the question or not — so, no harm, in asking — whereas if the feeling is mutual, then the friend gets important information and a chance to change her mind.