You get the wedding invitation. You check your calendar. You’re free to attend. But should you? Obviously, if the bride and groom are your close pals and they’re not getting married in the middle of a war zone, you’ll be there. What about that coworker, though? Or your old next-door neighbor? Or an ex? Here are 7 good reasons to decline that invite.
You’ve never met half the couple.
Sure, distance can keep you from meeting your far-flung pal’s new love. But if neither of you travel to see the other during the course of a relationship that leads to a marriage (as long as it’s not a major rush to the altar), then why should you make the effort to attend a party during which you’ll speak to your buddy for two minutes tops? And if you live in the same metro area and still haven’t gotten together since they got together, well, that’s even more reason not to commit to eating dry beef Wellington.
You dated half the couple.
Maybe you two are ancient history and you’re such good friends that you’re also buddies with the spouse-to-be. Then fine; go to the wedding. If, on the other hand, you felt anything but pure joy when you learned that your ex was getting hitched, then you’re not far removed enough from that relationship to support the marriage. Even if you’re so over the past, consider the half of the couple you didn’t date — would you want your partner’s exes around to internally roll their eyes during your vows?
You’ll know no one else and you didn’t get a plus-one.
Weddings can be a great place for singles to meet. They can also be four-plus hours of awkward small talk through a cloudy centerpiece vase. Everyone understands that brides and grooms have budgets, but if they’d rather you be alone for their reception than splurge for one more plate, you don’t owe them your presence.
Your invitation is addressed to you and the ex you broke up with a year ago.
While it’s kind that the couple invited you with a guest, they’re clearly out of touch with your life if they didn’t know your former flame is out of the picture. A good rule of thumb: You Attend the weddings of only those people who care as much about you as you do about them. Being utterly unaware of your relationship status isn’t very caring.
You didn’t know they were engaged.
Likewise, you should be in the know on their lives if you’re a good enough friend to be invited to the wedding. The invitation shouldn’t be the first you hear of their news (are you two not even Facebook friends?!). Odds are, if you don’t share big announcements like this with each other, you don’t need to celebrate milestones together.
You’ll go broke just to get there.
A wedding in the Maldives is amazing… in theory. Once you factor in the $1,500 flight (and that’s with two stops), it may not seem so fantastic after all. If your last name is Trump, go ahead and book. If you’re not part of the 1%, though, your friend will forgive you for not wanting to spend a whole paycheck on a few hours of eating and dancing.
Related: The 6 Types Of Wedding Dates
You got the invite a week before the big day…or over Facebook.
Hello, B-list guest. Or more likely, C-list guest. Although this doesn’t doom you to having a miserable time if you choose to attend the wedding, you’re clearly not in the couple’s inner circle. Do they deserve a ceremony’s worth of your undivided attention and $100 wedding gift from you? Probably not.
Meredith Bodgas is the blogger behind the wedding, marriage, and baby blog MeritalBliss.com. She’s written about weddings for Glamour.com, pregnancy and kids for WhatToExpect.com, and other sexy subjects for women’s publications like Redbook and WomansDay.com. She’s married to her junior high school sweetheart and lives in her native New York. Follow her on Twitter @mereditor.