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Overseas wedding, considering cancelling - AIBU??

(85 Posts)
bonbonpixie Wed 19-Jun-13 00:46:41

So DH, DD and I are off to Australia for 5 weeks later this year. We made the decision to go to coincide with a really good (ha!) and old friends of mine wedding. As it happens my father lives in Melbourne and DH has many friends in Sydney but the wedding is being held in Brisbane, a city which I'm sorry to say I've never warmed too- so we'd not be going anywhere near it, if not for this wedding. The Bride and I have been friends for 15 years, since meeting at school and even although she moved back to Australia 5 years into the friendship we made a huge effort to see each other over the years. We went traveling together, and holidayed all over the place together. So pretty close. She was a bridesmaid at my own wedding. However in the last few years life has understandably taken over. Career, mortgages, babies (me) so I don't have the time to go galavanting off like we used to. I haven't physically seen her for three years, but we still chat, text etc. Her fiancé and I have never met. Also DD will be 16 months when we arrive.

Anyway so as the wedding date approaches we receive our invite. So......the ceremony doesn't begin until afternoon 2:30 and then.... It's a cocktail reception at a hotel bar from 7. No meal. No food being served of any kind. I must admit when I read this I was a bit disappointed. As we would have to find a restaurant nearby to feed DD (and ourselves) as the hotel they are using doesn't have one!?
Today however she told me they are having a meal but its only for the wedding party and if this wasn't insulting enough she has texted me that the hotel cocktail bar, where there reception is being held, has a no child policy!!!

I am so angry with her. Essentially we are only invited for an hour and half ceremony. I am stunned. In her text she said that she still wants us to spend a week before the wedding in Brisbane so I can attend her bachelorette party and generally catch up. But DH thinks that if she doesn't want us at the meal and as its impossible really to go to the cocktail reception then we should fly from Sydney in the morning and leave the next day? Would doing this make me a terrible person?
I know it's her wedding and she can do whatever she chooses but she knows that if it wasn't for her wedding we would be doing this trip at Christmas so DD could spend it with my family. As it stands we have just taken on a huge restoration property and will not have the money to do a Christmas trip for a few years.

Also it isn't a child free wedding at all. As I understand it, lots of children will be in attendance. She will be having 2 flower girls under the age of 3 (not family). The wedding is a small one 40 people maybe. It's not a money issue as their honeymoon is lavish.

I guess I'm really upset because I thought out friendship meant more to her, and if it was just me going I would do it her way. But I have DH and DD to consider and it's their holiday too. If we do just fly in for the ceremony I have no idea how to tell her without making it very obvious that I'm upset- help!!

OhTheConfusion Wed 19-Jun-13 08:53:51

What a terribly big ask. YANBU to decline.

The week before a wedding is manic, full of final fittings, beauticians, hairdressers, final app with venue, confirming payments etc... I would be concerned you arrive and she dosn't even have time for much of a catch up other than her hen party.

Any friend who has paid so much and come so far deserves to bring their DC and surely she would be desperate to meet the newest member of your family. She could have told you it was child free when she invited you (asked you to come ages ago) and most certainly not post invitation by text!

Have you booked your flight? Could you re arrange for christmas instead?

bugsybill Wed 19-Jun-13 08:56:36

If you can change your flights to Christmas do that.

If you can't, phone her up and tell her you hadn't realised it was a child free event and that you will have to decline.

Maybe you could catch up in Brisbane well before the wedding, (I wouldn't want to go to her hens if I wasn't going to the wedding, but maybe her calendar won't be completely full of wedding stuff). Or maybe she could fly down to meet you in Sydney, or you could organise a weekend away somewhere different altogether. It would depend on when the wedding is during your 5 weeks.

FriedSprout Wed 19-Jun-13 08:57:52

Tis does not seem like anyway to treat an old friend, even if you have gone a bit Bridezilla!
Personally, I would write her a note, explaining why what she is offering does not make financial or practical sense, especially when you wanted to go at Christmas.
Perhaps you could re-arrange tickets, and factor in cost of seeing her then?

expatinscotland Wed 19-Jun-13 08:58:06

Just decline, politely. If she asks why, tell her you have no childcare out there and it is too costly to attend.

FriedSprout Wed 19-Jun-13 08:59:43

Sorry for incoherent post, spellings and cock-ups - not had coffee yet grin

expatinscotland Wed 19-Jun-13 09:02:30

Glad to hear that two-tier crap is considered rude there, too.

TheCraicDealer Wed 19-Jun-13 09:08:24

This is happening to DP and I, but with a good friend of his from Uni/home in England. We've been invited to the ceremony and evening reception, but have to entertain ourselves for five hours in between. Considering we're coming from 350 miles away I thought the least they could do was feed us, but your situation is about a million times worse.

It's crap when you realise someone doesn't think as much of you as you do them [pats back]

megsmouse Wed 19-Jun-13 09:22:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FreudiansSlipper Wed 19-Jun-13 09:34:56

ds and i went to a friends wedding in australia, she did everything she could to make us feel welcome and apologised for not being able to spend more time with us (never expected her too) and of course we were invited for the whole day and she very much appreciated the effort we and a few others had made so much so she gave a little speach smile

as much as she is caught up in arrangements for her wedding surely you do not forget how to appreciate your friends

squeaver Wed 19-Jun-13 09:48:14

First of all it IS rude for people to not acknowledge that you've traveled all that distance. I've been to two weddings in Australia and, each time, we were adopted into the wedding party BECAUSE we'd traveled so far. But, also both weddings had a full reception and evening do, no b-list (which I understood was the norm there).

Secondly, this is a classic example of someone without children not thinking things through.

I agree with chipping - I think you should go yourself and save the big family trip for later. But I would call/email her and ask: if we do all come, what do you suggest we do for the x hours in the middle of the day, when you're all at the meal? What do you suggest we do with dd in the evening as she can't come to the reception? Are laying on babysitters? What are other people doing? If I come on my own, will I be coming to the meal or will I have to sort something out for myself? She's not going to realise that she's caused a problem until you point it out to her.

expatinscotland Wed 19-Jun-13 09:54:03

Go yourself? All that way for a fucking cocktail? Are you koo koo? Save your money and just decline all together.

Bearbehind Wed 19-Jun-13 09:58:49

If I were you I'd just decline the whole thing. If you wouldn't go to Brisbane as part of your holiday it seems madness to pay for your internal flights just to attend the ceremony.

Your friend clearly doesn't value your friendship otherwise she wouldn't have done this so I think it's time to move on.

Bearbehind Wed 19-Jun-13 10:04:30

chipping are you seriously suggesting that the OP flies all the way to Australia on her own to attend a wedding ceremony and evening reception then flies home after having to make her own entertainment in the afternoon? Then saves up so she can go again on the holiday she has already planned with her family? Bonkers!

NutellaNutter Wed 19-Jun-13 10:24:55

I agree with the others that the friendship has moved on, and it's time to call time. If she is already treating you like this, do you really think she's going to make the least effort to keep in touch with you/see you once she starts popping out kids herself? Please save your money, and make some new friends.

znaika Wed 19-Jun-13 10:30:34

Did you discuss this at length with her before? I only ask because I live in a different country to a lot of my friends and the unspoken rule was/is that they always invite me to their weddings on the understanding that I won't attend. They don;t want to exclude me and so invite me, but know it's unrealistic to travel so far/get visas etc so I just send my apologies and a gift. Maybe she was inviting you because she loves you and of course you were on her list of nearest and dearest but at no point did she actually expect you to book the tickets and come!

DeepRedBetty Wed 19-Jun-13 10:38:38

znaika third para down of OP makes it clear bride wants OP to spend the week before the wedding doing stuff like hen party etc.

JulesJules Netherlands Wed 19-Jun-13 10:49:46

It's 1000 km from Sydney to Brisbane - 600+ miles! Even if you are in Australia at the time, this would still be a very long way to go for a child free cocktail...

If it's possible to change your flights, I think you should decline, and tell her you have had to change your plans - you could say your family in Australia are away then or whatever if you want to give an excuse.

ChasedByBees Wed 19-Jun-13 10:55:42

I would decline the entire thing. You don't want to go to Brisbane and its going to be hugely expensive for a short ceremony. Who cares if she thinks you're upset? What she's proposing is huge cost and inconvenience to you for a couple of hours in her company when you're not prioritised in any way. No way would I go.

bonbonpixie Wed 19-Jun-13 11:30:11

Thank you all so much. I feel a bit more confident to accept DH compromise.
Most of the guests are child free and are still in their partying years, so according to bride are going home to change into cocktail wear. The couples with children are locals so I imagine will have family or friends doing the childcare.

I did think we could leave DD with my family in Melbourne but they are relative strangers. She has only met my father once. Plus I want to show her off! smile and right now (small voice) she still feeds to sleep. Hopefully that will not be the case at 16 months but who knows!

I just don't know how she is going to take it. I love her but she does have a tendency to be a bit shallow and self centred - I just know that she will think that she is the wronged party. Argh wedding politics are the worst!

We have already booked and paid for all of the flights, hotels etc

As someone said I am now wondering if I will see her at all if we make the effort to keep plans as they are. I remember my own wedding, and I found it difficult to prioritise overseas guests, but we did as they were making such a massive effort to be there. But I just don't know if I trust her not to be very busy whilst we are there.

InViennaWeWerePoetry Wed 19-Jun-13 11:58:57

The fact is, there has to be some compromise when you have children. Friends have to accept that you aren't free to meet up whenever anymore, you can only do what you can work around your child. If she wants you at her wedding, she has to make sure it's possible for you to make it work as a mother, especially given how far you're travelling to be there.

If she starts making out that she's the wronged party, ask her what she suggests you do with your baby while you're at the reception!

margaery Wed 19-Jun-13 12:03:11

OP, she probably isn't intending to be rude to you. She just hasn't thought about it properly from your perspective.

I have been the bride of the childless wedding and one of my rels wasn't happy with so didn't attend. It wasn't anything against her, but she prob took it personally.

And i have been the guest at very close friends wedding reception. She let me to organise her hen do abroad, and then proceeded to not invite me to her wedding ceremony, just the reception meal on a different day.

But YANBU. It's long way for you to fly and very expensive for just a week, to only go to half hour ceremony. If it was in this country then i'd say go, if you think it will mean alot to her and you want to continue the friendship. But the other side of the world is a huge ask with a toddler, and i really don't think you should have to fly to other side of the world on your own, spending thousands of £.

DIYapprentice Wed 19-Jun-13 12:06:16

A very special friend of both myself and DH got married in Oz - we have DC. DH was a grooms man - they moved the wedding by a month, to minimise school disruption for my DS (started Reception that year). We could only go for 2 weeks, but made the effort because of how much effort they made to make sure we were able to go. We saw them almost every day for the week before their wedding, as both they and we really wanted to spend time together.

THAT is what a good friends do - not what your friend has done.

largeginandtonic Wed 19-Jun-13 12:26:11

I would decline the invite. I thinks it's bloody rude. Shame you have booked and paid for the flights and hotels already.

I am bit stunned really. Maybe email her your thoughts?

shewhowines Wed 19-Jun-13 12:28:28

i wouldn't bother going at all. Tell her that it's too expensive for one and a half hours. It's too much travelling for your DC too.

I wouldn't go for a week either. She will be too busy with the wedding to spend quality time with you and you'll end up resenting her, as you hang around.

If she gets upset with you, then be honest and say that you are pretty upset to have changed your plans from christmas just for one and a half hours - even then you won't talk to her as she is obviously otherwise engaged.

I am sure your DH won't mind taking the balme for not going, if you really don't want to permently damage your relationship.

Hell would freeze over before I went anywhere near Brisbane though, if you don't want to visit there on its own merits.

kelly14 Wed 19-Jun-13 14:15:30

My brother, Sil and their 2 children just came home to UK from Dubai for nearly a month for my brothers friends wedding, having not been to the UK in 6 years.

My brother and Groom were childhood friends and my brother was Bestman. My brother barely new his wife to be and my SIL doesn't really know either them as she met my brother in Dubai.

My brother and SIL found out a few weeks before wedding (by which time flights had been booked for them and kids (niece 3 years and nephew 1 year) for months) that it was a child free wedding.

My niece was taken out of school for this and missed a theatre production she was going to be. And brother used most of his holiday for the year on the trip.

The wedding was small followed by pub lunch and the reception was held 2 days later up London just for 'friends'

The Groom did however come to my brothers wedding in Dubai 5 years ago, has come to both the childrens christenings in Dubai and is Godfather to my niece so think that's a level friendship and so they really didn't mind.

When I lived in Oz (Sydney) my parents always fly to Perth and Brisbane to see Friends they went to school with over 30 years ago. We Went to oz in March/April for a month and stayed with my parents friends in Perth for about 5 nights, they took as around everywhere, had constant beer on tap lol
When we got to Gold coast we met up with my mums friend and took her out for meal as we always do.
Both of the Friends have visited and stayed at my parents in Dubai also.

I would go, its only an 1 hour flight from Sydney, just go to ceremony and then go out for nice meal with your husband and child. Or if your not great friends and have equal friendship then don't bother lol

Enjoy your trip anyway x

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