You've been friends for years. Maybe you lived together after college, or lived in the same dorm. You follow each other on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and know every detail of her love life thanks to social media. And then you get the text, or call, or message -- she's engaged! You're so excited for her; finally, after all these years! You start planning out the wedding weekend in your head. But then, the invite never comes. But, but, you've been invited to the bridal shower or bachelorette party, or maybe even both! Awkward? Yes. Tacky? Yes. So now what?
To Confront or Not Confront?
Cassie Piasecki, author of "BizEtiquette," says brides, especially younger ones, are so wrapped up in their own lives that they lose much of their common sense. You need to ask yourself, "Is this a friend that I will miss if we break up over her "temporary bridal insanity?" If your answer is, "yes" then you need to suck it up, let her behave poorly and when she comes to -- and she will -- she will see that you stood by her during that time. You can even bring it up, but only a long while after the wedding. If you answered, "No, I'm not going to miss this relationship", she still advises NOT to confront her about why you are declining the invitation to the bridal shower. You will look like a bad friend.
The Bride's POV
But it's not all tacky, right? Lucienne Papon explains her side. "We have family and friends all over the country and all over the world. For my husband's side, he had two friends who couldn't afford to travel out to LA twice in a year, but wanted to be a part of the celebration. Since they are childhood friends and I don't really know them that well, they opted to come to the bachelor party weekend in Vegas rather than the wedding. This led to them not being invited to the wedding, which was a help since we were paying for it ourselves and every guest counted! It was a discussed choice, and I think it's actually a great option in these economic times when you want to celebrate with your friends, but need to be financially prudent -- both us and them!"
The Friend's POV
Christine Kwok of Balanced Strength, Inc. has experienced being on the D-List -- twice! "A good friend texted me photos of her ring, venue, dress etc., but never acknowledged that she wasn't inviting me to the wedding. I found out through our mutual close friend that I hadn't received an invitation because we hadn't seen each other in the last year."
Another time she explains, "I was invited as a B-lister, but then when her family RSVPd at the last moment, she rescinded her invitation two days before I was planning to attend, but [said] I could stand and watch at the church."
Relationship expert Julie Spira, author of "The Rules of Netiquette," advises, "If you are having a large wedding and are excluding them from the invitation list, then do not invite them to a bridal shower or bachelorette party. Nothing is worse than feeling like you're on the "B" list. If a friend asks you where you're registered and decides that they want to send you a wedding gift, then it's their choice. Accept the gift and send a thank-you note."
Piasecki adds, "What is a great excuse to decline the invite? A gentle white lie, such as "I'm sorry but my father is accepting an award that night." The lesson is, never challenge someone during a highly emotional time. You might resent her for not inviting you. She might resent you for not attending [the bachelorette party or bridal shower] and for telling her the real reason why."
Brides who find themselves in this position should follow Spira's words, "Whether due to budget constraints or their personal preference, it shouldn't prevent someone from having a bachelorette party or bridal shower. The best thing the bride and groom can do is let their friends know that they aren't being excluded because they didn't make the wedding invitation list. Let them know that you've decided to have a small wedding with immediate family only, but would love to celebrate with them. Chances are they'll want to celebrate in your joy with you."
Carly Cylinder not only creates florals for weddings, she sometimes attends them too, when she's invited. Check out Flour LA, stay connected on Facebook, and follow @flourgal.