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Etiquette For Missing a Friend's Wedding

Group Therapy: Miss a Good Friend's Wedding For Vacation?

This question comes from Group Therapy in our TrèsSugar Community. Feel free to add your advice in the comments!

So I am in a very awkward position. Every year I go to Hawaii with my family over Labor Day weekend. In December, I made the travel arrangements and booked my flight. I also made a commitment to run a marathon while there, so I am very excited about the trip. However, I just found out that a good friend (who I've known for over 10 years) has decided to get married on Sunday, September 5, right in the middle of Labor Day. She's a little slow to the planning and hasn't even sent her save the dates, but she has booked the location for that day.

I don't know what to do. I can't get the money refunded for the marathon and keep trying to change my flight and come back early for her wedding, but since it's a holiday weekend, there are literally no flights. I'm getting very upset about this because I don't want it to jeopardize our friendship, but I know she will be hurt if I don't go to her wedding. Should I cancel my entire vacation? I will be losing money. Any advice is appreciated!

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Source: Flickr User Verstyl

Join The Conversation
canadianbacon canadianbacon 7 years
My grandmother had plans for a trip to the Greek Islands and was not able to attend my wedding. She took the trip as planned, with our blessing. Had my fiancee and I been better planners, the "problem" would not have arisen. For us, there was no question: "Grandma, TAKE THE TRIP!"
snarkypants snarkypants 7 years
i agree jazzy...i forgot to put that in my previous post :OOPS: the bride has no right to get mad when people have legitimate reasons to miss the wedding. no matter when it is. for religious reasons, i will probably have to be married over a holiday weekend, since friday and saturday weddings are out. i'd hate to think people think i'm rude for having a wedding over a holiday weekend...especially since i'd be trying to make it more convenient for them. good thing i don't know anybody who does anything over labor day.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 7 years
Although it may not be "rude" to plan a wedding over a holiday weekend, and "the wedding is about the couple, not the guests", a bride still has to accept the fact that many people may have other plans for a holiday weekend. I think Labor Day is not a great time, because folks are getting back from summer vacations, getting their kids ready to go back to school, etc. It is just a busy time for so many people, and many probably don't have extra disposable income to travel with. Yes, you can have the attitude that the wedding is all about the couple, it's your day to be selfish, fine, just don't feel too bad if there aren't many people there to help you celebrate.
luisamapacha luisamapacha 7 years
There's nothing complicated about this. You say, "Jenny, I am SO sorry, but I've already purchased plane tickets and registered for a marathon out of state that weekend. I wish I had known earlier about your wedding! I promise we'll celebrate just the two of us once I'm back and you're settled with your new husband." Then send a thoughtful card and gift to the wedding and don't worry about it anymore. People know that when they plan weddings late and over a holiday weekend, their best friends sometimes won't be able to make it.
snarkypants snarkypants 7 years
go on vacation. you had those plans first. the bride really shouldn't get mad, as somebody else said, an invitation is not a requirement that you go. anon #29, it's your wedding, so schedule it when YOU want. i don't think it's rude at all to plan a wedding over a holiday weekend. the wedding is about the couple, not the guests.
Haethre Haethre 7 years
I don't know about this "tell you earlier" stuff, because it seems that she told you at least six months ahead of the wedding date. That being said, keep your trip!! true friends are very understanding, and if she whines about this then a) she doesn't know you well enough (because you do this every year) and b) she's not worth canceling a trip for, even if you are feeling generous! Have fun in Hawaii and maybe throw her a wedding shower or take her out for an awesome lunch to de-stress before the wedding!
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
I agree with the majority.
Choco-cat Choco-cat 7 years
i'd say keep your trip...but there's a good chance she'll be mad at you (even though you're totally in the right).
GregS GregS 7 years
No, you go on vaca. You have to be considerate of others when you plan these things out, and know that some people just won't be able to make it because of __whatever__. Get a post-wedding party together of close friends of her and wish them good luck. I had a similar situation in that the man I wanted for best man couldn't make it. Something about needing to stay home with his pregnant wife - some excuse, eh? ;) The wedding was out of state by 1000 miles or so as that's where we were living at the time, so there was another party back "home" for friends and family from that corner of the world. Worked for us.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I'm with Zivanod.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I'm with the others who have said not to cancel and just do your best to attend earlier events. It's not your fault at all and a friend should be understanding. Plus, that's a lot of money to lose when you factor in nonrefundable costs and change fees.
medenginer medenginer 7 years
I wouldn't cancel the trip because she's procrastinating on wedding planning and your not even in the wedding. I would try to get into as of the experience as I could then send a nice gift. Things like this will happen when planning takes place on short notice and during summer time. She has known you long enough that this is your routine and people do have a life.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 7 years
Tell her about your previous commitment asap. If she's a good friend of yours, chances are, she's known about your previous commitment and won't pressure you. If I were the bride, I'd have understood that it's a holiday weekend and most people have already had plan. And I won't turn bridezilla just because a good friend of mine can't make it. Totally understandable, people have their own lives too :) Like the others have suggested, get involved in other things (planning the bachelorette, accompany her on some pre-wedding trip) and if you can't get away still from your previous obligation, just send her a heartfelt card and a nice gift from the gift registry. Good luck.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
also? invitations to weddings are not binding -- just because you receive an invitation doesn't mean you are required to go.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
I honestly loathe people who get married over a holiday weekend for this reason alone -- its time for VACATIONS, not weddings. Miss Manners (aka my mom) would say that the polite thing to do is explain you have plans already. that is all you owe her.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
You'll still be able to take part in pre wedding parties, such as the shower and the bachelorette. I wouldn't cancel your vacation.
jessicaeden jessicaeden 7 years
I also had a similar problem -- I committed to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and then found out it was the same weekend as my friend's wedding. As soon as I realized there was a conflict, I let her know. She was very understanding and suggested that I come to her bachelorette instead. Just got baack from the bachelorette -- it was a great weekend and I got to spend more time with the bride than I would have at her wedding (since she'll be so busy then). Good luck!
ShaynaLeah ShaynaLeah 7 years
She should have told you sooner - so if you choose to continue with your plans, you are in the clear technically, but we all know that right and wrong are hazy when it comes to high emotion events like weddings, and complicated relationships - like friendships. She may end the friendship if you decide to continue with your vacation - so regardless of what's right and wrong, you have to ask yourself how upset this will make her, or ask her --- and then, regardless of whether you agree with her response, if its negative, ask yourself, would you rather be right in Hawaii without a friend or let the money go and attend the wedding ---
imLissy imLissy 7 years
I agree with the others. She should have told you earlier. This is the sort of thing you have to learn to expect if you have your wedding on a holiday weekend.
bangsugar bangsugar 7 years
I found myself in a similar situation recently as well. I understand about the flights being limited especially if you are using miles to purchase or change the ticket. Airlines don't make it easy to change dates! Holiday weekends are always difficult to get flights around and change fees are pricey if you booked your flight a few months back. I agree with most of the comments, try and attend the other bridal events and just hope your friend will understand. I'm sure she knows that you would be there if you could!
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