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!!

MortifiedAdams Wed 19-Jun-13 00:54:11

Asking your friend to fly to the other side of the country just to go to a ceremony is rude. You are travelling to the other side of the world!

One.of DHs friends is from SA and we invited him to.it all even though other friends who we see.more.often were only invited to the evening - I wouldnt ask someone to travel all that way to attend a thord of the event.

PuggyMum Wed 19-Jun-13 00:54:26

I have to agree with your dh and even go one step further and probably not go. Although that would be a difficult subject to broach.

The fact you've travelled half way round the world you'd be guest of honour at my wedding.


MidniteScribbler Wed 19-Jun-13 00:56:37

Yanbu to be upset and ywnbu to decline.

Yabu to diss my home town.

InViennaWeWerePoetry Wed 19-Jun-13 00:56:45

If there are other children invited, what are their parents doing for childcare? How on earth can you have children at a wedding held partly at a venue with a child free policy? confused What does she expect everyone else to do while the wedding party are eating? Sounds bizarre.

Pancakeflipper Wed 19-Jun-13 00:59:58

Think I would just skip Brisbane and just get on planning the 5 weeks to suit you.

NatashaBee Wed 19-Jun-13 01:00:31

YANBU at all. If my friend was flying across the world to be present at my wedding then I'd hire Mary Poppins and a whole circus to entertain her kids if needed. I'm all for people having whatever type of wedding they choose, but if your guests are spending thousands of pounds to attend, you need to make an effort to accommodate them.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 19-Jun-13 01:04:13

Ooh, that's not great at all, and definitely you wouldn't be being unreasonable to skip a week in Brisbane catching up with her, given that that's the only reason you'd be there.

For perspective, my brother got married recently, in the States. The wedding wasn't explicitly non-child, but it was very child-unfriendly, because it was an evening cocktail thing on a boat. But I flew from Australia to be there, so not only was my four year old invited, but she was the flower girl, in an otherwise no-bridal-party wedding. I realise it's different, because it was my brother, but they took it for granted that you accommodate people who have travelled a long way to be there.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 19-Jun-13 01:05:24

I also think it's much more unusual, in Australia, to have a meal for only some guests and then a "b-list" evening reception, although I know that's regularly done in England. So it's ruder than you think.

Longdistance Wed 19-Jun-13 01:09:19

I had a friend invite me to her civil ceremony, all good except dd's weren't invited, and it was similar to your friends wedding as we were invited to the ceremony and then not invited to the dinner, but drinks in the evening.
Bearing in mind I'd have had to travel from Oz to the Uk for this, I kindly declined the offer even though I've known her 20 years.
So, yanbu to it even want to go, let alone to the hen do.

lisianthus Wed 19-Jun-13 01:29:50

YANBU. But there's another aspect to it which you won't have picked up on as you are from the UK.

Australian weddings have a few differences to UK weddings. From what I understand of UK weddings, they are usually three-part affairs, with the ceremony, then a meal (the "wedding breakfast"), then an evening party. Many guests aren't invited to all three parts, with some invited to just the "evening party". This isn't seen as rude, just a way of accommodating B list guests more cheaply.

This is not at all an Australian custom. Weddings are usually two-part affairs here- just the ceremony and a party, which may or may not involve a sit down meal. All guests are invited to both parts and anything else would be very rude indeed. Costs are kept down if necessary by having a cheaper party, an afternoon tea or drinks and snacks say, rather than a full meal. There is only a very small gap between both parts, in which the photos are taken.

What they are doing is very odd indeed. Usually, if you wanted to have a separate special meal with the wedding party only, you'd do it on a separate day (and would tend to invite people who had made a special effort to get to the wedding from overseas). With this and the no children cocktail venue, I'd be pretty insulted and not be going at all. Make it a family holiday instead and skip Brisvegas.

lisianthus Wed 19-Jun-13 01:30:51

Or whattortoise said more succinctly!

MidniteScribbler Wed 19-Jun-13 01:36:44

As others have said, this would be seen as the height of rudeness in Australia. Some people may skip the meal, but it would mean having the service then start the cocktail party straight away. None of this meal for some and not others malarky.

prissyenglisharriviste Wed 19-Jun-13 01:48:23

We turned down an invitation to fly our family of 5 back to the UK from Canada so that two of us could attend a child free wedding. I was slightly stunned that they expected us to schlep out five grand (conservative estimate) and then find a babysitter. They didn't mention it was child-free until a month before the ceremony. Fortunately, we were waiting for back-pay before we booked our flights. <sigh>. I would happily have flown us all back so the kids could see their godfather married. No way I was spending all that money for three kids to be completely banned.

I actually think people don't put themselves in other's shoes - it probably hasn't even crossed her mind what she's actually intending you to do. Same with the folk that invited us.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 02:33:27

How good a friend has she been over the years?

It all sounds a bit odd, however, if you would go along with it if you didn't have DD & DH then I think you should. It is your friends wedding, surely DH can look after DD for the parts she can't attend?

She wants to see you the week before the wedding and have you at her Hen party etc... it seems silly to miss out on being there just because the reception isn't child friendly and they aren't having a big sit down meal for everyone.

You were going to Aus anyway - so going at a different time isn't that big of a deal surely?

OR - why don't you go just for the wedding this year (for a week/10 days) and all go next Christmas?

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 19-Jun-13 02:40:24

Chipping, you want the OP to fly to AUSTRALIA, with a 16 month old, for a week? And then do it again in a few months? Do you know the sheer and absolute hell that flying that sort of distance with a 16 month old would entail? Not to mention the cost!

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 02:49:21

No - I don't want the OP to do anything. I was simply making a couple of suggestions... and if you had read my post properly you would have seen that I suggested she goes for her friends wedding this year and they go as a family next year.

... and yes. Having done the flight many times myself I am all too aware of what the flight is like smile

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 19-Jun-13 02:53:52

Right, so, leave a very young toddler for ten days in order to attend a wedding, when she's not even invited to the wedding meal. Yep, that's a fair balanced response.

(Have you done the flight with a young toddler?)

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 03:02:28

If the OP goes alone, she might be able to go to the meal. She will see her friend for a week and be at the Hen party, she will be there for the build up & for the wedding.

A lot of parents work away for 10 days - it's not the end of the world.

... and yes, I have done the flight with a toddler, but when I'm not suggesting that's what she does I fail to see why that's relevant?

I'm also a little unsure why you are getting so arsey about it?

Want2bSupermum Wed 19-Jun-13 03:06:38

Send her a gift and tell you can't come. I would make the gift a book on manners.

I don't get these people and their weddings. We put our guests up in hotels, fed them the night before, day of and the day after our wedding. We had two weddings too.

MidniteScribbler Wed 19-Jun-13 03:07:53

If the friend was such a great friend she would have sent aproper invitation to someone she is expecting to fly half way across the world. If she can't be arsed making an effort, why should th OP leave children behind, travel for 24 hours each way and spent several thosand dolars for the privilege of being treated like a second class guest?

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 03:15:53

It is either worth it to her to go or it isn't.

It is her choice.

One that those of us who have loved ones and friends both here & in Australia are familiar with having to make on a regular basis. Which events you are able and willing to make sacrifices and plans for and which you aren't.

I didn't say she should - I said she could.

GilmoursPillow Wed 19-Jun-13 03:27:45

I would decline politely on the grounds it is unworkable with your family situation, and if you haven't booked flights already I would book them for a family visit at Christmas instead.

Lavenderhoney Wed 19-Jun-13 03:37:39

Do you think you will ever see her again after the wedding? Because to stay for a week to get included in hen parties and then a frankly odd wedding arrangement will be expensive and she will be very caught up ( quite rightly) with her friends and family, with little time for you and yours. You might regret all that money and effort.

You have 3 options ( so far)

1. Change your plans and go at Christmas so your DD can meet her family in Australia. You could always invite your friend and her new dh for a weekend where you will be if you are there for a few weeks. Or fly to them.

2. Go and just you fly to the wedding the day before, stay for the wedding and fly back next day. Tell her you want your dd to spend her time with her family and dh has kindly offered to stay with her whist you go to the wedding.

3. Say you can't go. Send a lovely present instead. Tbh, its a long way, very expensive and impacts your life financially for a few years and emotionally nt being able to see family plus its spare cash you need.

I would pick 3. You don't live near each other, you hardly see each other and its a big ask- she isn't family and personally with how lives change
and you have already noticed a drop off off sharing and communication.

Quite normal, I am an expat and experience this. Things move on. You have to be practical and there is a recession on and you need the money for other things.

I'd cancel and go for Christmas instead.

I wouldn't go. No way. Can you cancel without losing loads of money?

lisianthus Wed 19-Jun-13 05:57:21

Given that the OP has said that this trip would mean she can't afford a trip at Christmas, i am with tortoise and midnite here. Shes treating you very rudely in Australian terms, even if you lived in Brisbane. As you live in the UK,this is pretty dreadful and I'd take this as a statement of how she values your friendship.

The trip from Sydney isn't negligible either. It is a 2000km round trip. You could do as Chipping says and decide it "is worth it to you", but the three Australians on the thread (not sure if Chipping is Australian or has family here) have made it pretty that in Australian eyes, she seems to be making a pretty clear statement that your friendship isn't "worth it" to her.sad

lisianthus Wed 19-Jun-13 05:58:50

Pretty clear, that should be.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 19-Jun-13 06:02:17

I'm personalyl not a fan of "A" and "B" lists at all, but in any event it's extremely rude of her not to invite international guests to the meal in recognition of the effort they've gone to to attend, and I certainly wouldn't spend a week in Brisbane helping her with her wedmin. If your flights are non-changeable, I would probably do 2. from Lavender's list- fly from Sydney on your own, go to the ceremony and the evening reception, and then head back the next day. If the flights are changeable, and you'd genuinely rather go at Christmas, then I'd go at Christmas

Thumbwitch Wed 19-Jun-13 06:14:54

I'd tell her to stick it, frankly. Perhaps as you are British she thinks she can get away with being that rude to you - but she didn't know about MN International, did she! grin

I am also in Australia (although British) and agree that bit-part invitations to weddings here are a real rarity - I have been invited to "come along to the church" without a formal wedding invitation, but that was only because the church was just down the road from my house! I didn't expect an invitation to the rest of the wedding either, she's just someone I know from playgroup.

So in your shoes, if you can't change the tickets (and you probably won't be able to without it costing you a lot of money) I'd just go when you planned to and skip Brisbane - your DD is a bit young for Australia Zoo yet, which is the only reason I could think of for going there if you don't attend the wedding. (I do quite like Brisbane, to be fair, but wouldn't go there unnecessarily).

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 06:17:01

lisianthus - I think the point the other posters were making is that the two tier inviting isn't common in Australia - but the way I see it, it isn't just the OP that hasn't been invited to the sit down meal, it's all the guests as only the wedding party is going for a meal. I'd find it very weird too - but not personal. I fail to see how if none of the guests are invited to the meal this singles out the OP and makes a clear statement about their friendship? It's a shame she didn't ask the OP to be a bridesmaid or matron of honour - then it would have been much easier grin

... and that aside, the OP said if it was just her she would just go along with it. It just seems to make sense to me for the OP to go alone if she wants to go to the wedding then all of them go next Christmas. Giving them one more year to save one adult fare.

I'm not saying she should or shouldn't go - just that this is an option worth exploring if she would like to go.

drinkyourmilk Wed 19-Jun-13 06:30:23

I wouldn't go. I would also tell her why. Id say that you planned your whole trip because of her wedding, but as realistically you are only invited to the ceremony you don't feel its fair on your family as a whole to attend. Then send a card and a nominal gift.
I would also see how much it is to change flights so you could be there over Xmas instead.

lisianthus Wed 19-Jun-13 06:36:32

Chipping, yes, that's the point they were making, that the two-tier thing is pretty unheard of. However, while it is rude to all the guests, it is particularly rude to the OP as her friend is asking her to go far further (financially and otherwise) to attend. We don't know how many other guests there are, either.

And even if it wasn't particularly rude to the OP, it still includes her in the general rudeness. I would imagine that the OP isn't the only friend the bride will be losing over this. Guests all over Brisbane will be shock and buying books of manners for the bride and groom.

And I'm not sure that the OP fully appreciated the ramifications when she said that. It's like when I first moved to the UK and heard about the two tier wedding, I thought it was very rude and it affected the way I thought about people who did that until I came to appreciate that in the UK it just isn't regarded as rude, and it is just a different cultural practice. The OP is going through this realisation the other way, IYSWIM.

exoticfruits Wed 19-Jun-13 06:40:52

YANBU and I would cancel for all the reasons already stated.

exoticfruits Wed 19-Jun-13 06:41:54

I think this might be a record- total agreement on an AIBU wedding thread!!

Inertia Wed 19-Jun-13 06:45:05

Don't worry about her noticing that you're upset.

Just tell her that the wedding plans make it logistically impossible for you to stay after the ceremony, but you will be there for that.

BalloonSlayer Wed 19-Jun-13 06:52:06

I'd skip the Brisbane leg of it too. The "in Australia anyway" doesn't count to me - Brisbane is 450 miles from Sydney, so it's like being asked to fly from London to Hamburg for a wedding ceremony and a half-reception your baby isn't allowed into.

But be aware that if you say: "Sorry we can't come as we need to feed/bring DD" she'll probably say "Oh you can all come to the whole thing anyway" which will make you feel awkward.

I'd suggest you say that something has come up and the itinerary won't work any more/you thought the internal flight was a free thrown-in one but it isn't and it's turned out to be too expensive/other family member has a wedding or similar on the same day "would you believe it?"

But end your excuse with the line that: "We hope you won't mind too much, but hopefully, as we were not coming to the whole day anyway, this won't affect your plans massively."

olympicsrock Wed 19-Jun-13 06:53:47

Actually i would go. Sounds like you have had a lot of fun over the years. Go the week before with, catch up with your friend at the hen do, attend the wedding and then get DH to babysit while you hit the dance floor with the girls.

meditrina Wed 19-Jun-13 07:02:06

"I also think it's much more unusual, in Australia, to have a meal for only some guests and then a "b-list" evening reception, although I know that's regularly done in England. So it's ruder than you think."

It's considered bloody rude by many people in UK too.

But the stiff upper lip tends to take over, and people rarely say how dreadful it seems. It's a strong sign that the "wedding industry" has taken over and duped another couple into having a wedding beyond their means. Usually accompanied by bleats from said couple of "but we couldn't afford it otherwise".

MumnGran Wed 19-Jun-13 07:05:57

You now have more investment in this relationship that your friends. Sad but true ...and very normal. Friendships just do move on.
Honesty is always the best policy!
Call the airline to see if you can change your tix to just Sydney, in December flights.....and do it if you can. Then just email her to say that, with regret you will not now be able to attend as it is simply too far to travel with a baby for whom you will not be able to organise effective childcare with which you will be happy.

If you can't change the tix, go anyway, but skip the Brisbane leg, and send email as above.

Yes, she will probably be ticked off. But she lives half a world away and the friendship obviously doesn't mean enough for her to make you a priority anymore.

Thumbwitch Wed 19-Jun-13 07:09:44

Or perhaps, Meditrina, they are constrained by how many people the registry office will allow in. Mine, for e.g., had 2 rooms for marriages - one contained a max of 12 people, the other a max of 50. I didn't have any choice over this (and that was one of the most roomy registry offices!) so I could only invite 50 people to the ceremony. Different for a church, I appreciate.

meditrina Wed 19-Jun-13 07:22:58

Size of registry office is a genuine limit. And irrelevant for OP, as she was invited to ceremony, then omitted from start of the reception, then asked to attend part-way through.

That is bloody rude.

If only some can fit into registry office, but everyone is invited to reception, that's utterly different from A and B list receptions.

(Unless of course you are Royal, and have several concurrent receptions divided according to international norms of protocol).

Thumbwitch Wed 19-Jun-13 07:27:07

Yes sorry, I was referring to the UK, not the OP's situation.

meditrina Wed 19-Jun-13 07:30:14

Yes, so was I - and I really didn't mean to criticise genuine logistic limits on the legal ceremony.

It's the assumption that A and B list receptions is OK is UK that is wrong (but tangential, so I'll wander off and stop diverting the thread).

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 19-Jun-13 07:34:12

Not the OP's situation but I don't think it's that bad to invite close family & friends to the ceremony & reception 'proper' then to invite work colleagues, team mates (footy/netball/darts/whatever), neighbours etc to the evening 'do' and extend the invitation to attend the ceremony if they wish (space permitted) but stress it's entirely up to them and no problem At All if they just want to come for the celebration in the evening.

Thumbwitch Wed 19-Jun-13 07:39:24

Yes meditrina - it's that thing that crops up again and again on MN - I think pretty much every wedding I have been to as an adult has had both receptions, with extra people being invited to the evening, and I never realised that anyone thought it could be considered rude until I came onto MN! It was normal for me and most people I know; but MN was a real eye-opener on that one.

ZillionChocolate Wed 19-Jun-13 07:46:01

I d

primallass Wed 19-Jun-13 07:49:29

I think it is rude towards guests who are flying thousands of miles to be there though.

ZillionChocolate Wed 19-Jun-13 07:52:06

I don't think you can say expensive honeymoon means money no option. They might well have prioritised that over the wedding. If it's a wedding for 40, seems mean not to feed everyone.

I think I'd see if she could commit to lunch with you the day before, then go alone to that and the wedding.

If you cancel, maybe find out if she's having a wedding video you can watch later. I think you can make the point that it will cost you X to attend the ceremony as you're not going to be able to attend the rest because of DD.

Blu Wed 19-Jun-13 08:18:15

I would guess she has 't (like many non parents) thought through the practicalities for you.

I would just go to Brisbane long enough to enjoy her 'Bachelotette' party ' possibly without your DH and Dd if that can be done. Enjoy it and celebrate in a way that is fun and then enjoy the rest of the trip in the way that suits you all best. I wouldn't spend a whole week in a city you don't enjoy in order to go to a v short event.

But then I think weddings are over done. You already maintain this friendship in a way that recognises distance, I don't think you need to observe the last detail of etiquette . Just celebrate her wedding in the way that you will most enjoy. Or just go alone, for one day, to the cocktail do. (I know it's a flight away , but hey. )

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 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

HooverFairy Wed 19-Jun-13 14:35:35

So, the people with children are local and will attend the ceremony and meal. Then they will take the children home so that they can either come back for the party or stay at home with their children? Why can't she make this arrangement for you? Your husband could look after your little one on the night, back at the hotel.

Your 'friend' sounds like a selfish cow tbh, I wouldn't go at all. She's expecting you to make all the effort and attend the ceremony only, she should have invited you to the meal if she cared that you were there. She knows you may not make the party on the night because it's not child friendly and she's still taking the risk of barely seeing you on the day. I don't think she cares at all, if you go for the week before I don't think your friendship will survive. She'll be too busy to see you and this will exacerbate the situation.

She has had zero thought, you sound like a great friend travelling all that way for her. Cut your losses, and tell her the truth about why you aren't going.

neunundneunzigluftballons Wed 19-Jun-13 16:51:46

She is a very selfish person. I would not go. Wish her luck, send her a present and enjoy your holiday.

expatinscotland Wed 19-Jun-13 18:41:34

'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'

Who cares? A real friend wouldn't treat another one like this, childfree or no.

Save your money, send her a card and move on.

expatinscotland Wed 19-Jun-13 18:43:49

I wouldn't leave my 16-month-old with relatives to travel 600 miles to anyone's wedding, much less for a ceremony and a fucking cocktail party 5 hours later.

Viviennemary Wed 19-Jun-13 18:54:08

I don't think I'd bother with the wedding. If you are invited to a wedding it's usual that there is a meal or buffet unless the invitation says evening only. I think it is usually assumed that people travelling a good distance (like Australia!!!) would be invited to the wedding meal.

expatinscotland Wed 19-Jun-13 19:08:17

And yeah, I'd go at Christmas as you planned. Get some sun and recharge whilst we slip and slide around here.

Change your tickets. NOW.

raisah Wed 19-Jun-13 19:12:24

How very rude, peöple have lost the skill of hospitality and good manners. aAs a host your duty is to care for your guests and this means providing food and drink. In certain cultures having an A and B guest liat, charging guests to pay for their own meals so couples can spend a few grand on dresses & cars. All for show but with little substance & no manners. I wouldnt spend any money to attend that wedding which would inconvenience me & my family. Spend the money having a fab holiday instead.

JassyRadlett Wed 19-Jun-13 20:15:28

Another Australian here who can't get over how rude their arrangements are. I'd think it was pretty rude in Australia, to be honest.

I married my (English) husband in London and my mother was aghast that it wasn't standard for guests to get a choice of meal, let alone the concept of evening guests. So we didn't have evening guests - being Australian, to me if you're important enough to me to be at my wedding you're important enough to be at the whole thing. If that meant affordability was an issue, we'd have scales back our plans to enable us to pay for it.

We had about 25 people come out from Australia for the wedding, which I was touched and thrilled about. We treated them like absolute royalty because they'd come so far and made sacrifices to be there. I can't believe how shabbily your friend is treating you.

ChasedByBees Wed 19-Jun-13 21:13:50

Totally with expat and others - I would absolutely cancel going. Yes, she might know you're upset, but you are, with good reason!

ThePinkOcelot Wed 19-Jun-13 22:12:05

I wouldn't go OP! Just tell her, on reflection it just doesn't work for you! I think she's being extremely thoughtless in all of this tbh. Its a hell of a lot of money to spend to go to 2/3 of a wedding! Change your flights and go visit family when you want to go visit family - at Christmas.

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