Background: bride was a significant part of my own wedding 8+ years ago. We’ve drifted apart in the last few years or so...haven’t seen each other in person in probably 6 years…only speak here and there via Facebook messages (obviously I’m taking some of the blame here for not holding up my end of the friendship while moving around the world)
She wanted me to be in her wedding (and I’m invited to the bachelorette weekend), but I requested not to be included in the bridal party. I’ve been diagnosed with autoimmune diseases back to back over the last couple of years (so my health is a struggle sometimes) and I wasn’t sure how other logistics were going to work out.
My husband requested (and was granted) to use all his vacation time for her wedding time frame before we found out it was child-free…probably my bad for telling him those dates and not expecting it to be a child-free event.
She has made it clear over the years that she’s not a fan of kids and has hardly acknowledged my child since I had him (which I guess is fine, but he’s a huge part of my life obviously… **editing this point to clarify that this detail about lack of acknowledgement of my child just felt relevant to the state of our friendship).
The wedding is a rural destination event and the couple hotels within 30 min of the venue seem to be booked out for another event at the same time (she’s understandably worried and upset about this and I feel bad).
We haven’t been able to sort child care in addition to pet care with the family that does live near us for the dates of the wedding. Finally, and the part that makes me feel bad about myself /think I may in fact be the ahole: I frankly I don’t want spend what are our only given family vacation days of the year staying in a super 8 (at an incredibly marked up rate thanks to the other event going on in the area) only to go to the wedding alone (especially considering the only people I know are the bride and her parents).
NAH. It sounds like you got an invitation and it just doesn't fit in to your life right now. If you want to continue being friends with her you could let her know that your health and child care situation won't allow you to attend and really make a point of following up after her honeymoon.
NAH she is not an AH for wanting a childfree wedding and you are not an AH for not wanting to spend your limited vacation time on your husband staying home with your child while you go to a wedding instead of a family vacation. Rsvp no without a guilty conscience. If the bride gets upset, huffy, pushy etc in any way then and only then does she become an AH.
NAH. People are more than entitled to have a child free wedding. People who have children are more than entitled to decline attending. Remember it’s an invitation and not a summons. Politely decline and send a card congratulating the happy couple. If you’ve accepted but have to cancel say your sorry circumstances have changed making it impossible to attend IF you’re asked for a reason. Don’t go into details, it’s not needed.
You can attend any event you're invited to or not. You're literally never obligated. NTA.
NTA, send a lovely gift. Do think about this in advance, though: If you say you can't go because of child care, what will you then say if she replies "I'll make an exception for your kid because I really want you to be there!" I doubt she will, but you should think that through before you respond to her.
NTA. I'm very pro child free weddings, but I also understand it means some people may not be able to attend. I'd hope the bride is equally aware.