But what do you do when there is a calculated effort to exlude your partner from the wedding, who also belongs to that group? A young man with exactly such a dilemma came to Reddit, asking if he had made the right choice.
My (28m) childhood best friend Brad (28m) is getting married in late May to Vicky (26f). A week ago, on Easter I received his wedding invite which only listed my name but not my gf, Mary (28f).
For context, Brad, Mary and I have known each other since high school . We were in the same friend group. Mary and I live around 2 hours away from Brad and Vicky. Because Mary is a nurse she doesn't always have the time to visit Brad and Vicky with me so I go alone most of the time but when she's able she'll join me.
Mary has met Vicky and seen her around 10 times in the past 4 years that Vicky is with Brad. Mary and I have been together for 6 years total and we do plan on getting engaged and married once we are more financially settled.
So I asked Brad if Mary is invited and they just forgot to mention her name, to which he replied that Vicky is very strict about some rules and in order to cut down costs she's enforcing a no ring no bring rule for the wedding. So since Mary is 'just a girlfriend' and doesn't have a ring to imply some formality then she's not invited.
I reminded Brad that Mary and I have been together longer than he's been with Vicky, and that Mary is also his friend, not just my partner.
He says he knows and tried to talk Vicky out of it but she's very strict with that.
I let it go, but I was in dilemma about whether I should go to the wedding or not. Mary told me she's not happy about the situation but I should go to avoid more drama. So I called them to tell them I'll attend.
Vicky picked up the phone and said she's sorry about making me uncomfortable by not inviting Mary but these are the rules. I said I respect the rules I'm not necessarily happy about it though.
She then for some reason started being harsh about how Mary and I are not in a serious enough relationship if after knowing each other for so long and being together for 6 years we are not engaged yet.
And she joked that after all, you never know what tomorrow brings and I could break up with Mary anytime, since we haven't shown any signs of true commitment.
I confronted her and told her that it's not her place to validate Mary and I's relationship, and that it's really low of her to use a dumb rule just to shame and micromanage long term couples who for whatever reason haven't gotten married yet.
I said I'll pass after all, and not attend the wedding.
She and Brad said I'm disrespecting them and their choices by choosing Mary over their wedding day, and I said I don't care. Keep your rules and I'll keep my relationship because it's more important than any exclusive rules that only exist in order to shame people.
I've been receiving a lot of backlash from other friends for that choice who said I'm an AH for being so bitter about something so small. But to me it's not small. They invalidated Mary and our relationship.
Reddit was all over the board with this one, all though many agreed that Vicky's rule is supremely stupid.
YTA (You're the a-hole). Their wedding, their choice. It’s literally impossible to invite everyone. One day away from your gf isn’t that big a deal. Your friend wants you there, while an invite isn’t a summons, you’re free to opt out of going, but do you really want to end a decades long friendship over a plus one in a wedding?
I respect their wedding and their choice. What I don't respect is the fact that Vicky used this as a way to disrespect my gf. And Mary is also Brad's friend not just my gf. So by extension Brad is choosing not to invite a close friend of his as well simply because she's now titled as my gf and because his fiancée for some reason doesn't deem our relationship valid enough.
NTA (Not the a-hole). What a stupid rule, and stupid in this instance for many specific reasons. First of all, Mary and Brad were in the same high school friend group, so it could easily be argued that she could be invited purely based on being his friend and totally independent of her relationship with you.
Second, using marriage as a barometer of commitment is inane. So by bride's logic if cousin Chad gets drunk in Vegas and marries the girl he's been dating for two weeks, she would get an invite, while your girlfriend of 6 years would not. That is so dumb.
To top all this off, you were initially willing to let it go and just come anyhow, but then bride had to double down and insult your relationship to your face. That just sucks. Groom needs to step up and be a good friend and tell bride she is being ridiculous.
I really tried to look past so much stuff and go to the wedding just to honor my friend. I was willing to let go of the fact that Brad didn't even invite Mary not as my gf. But as his friend. They're friends for God's sake. The fact that she's in a relationship with me now doesn't change the fact that we are friends.
But it's like Vicky wanted to rub it in my face about the no ring no bring thing and how insignificant my relationship with Mary is to her.
I'd bet 100 bucks that Vicky just doesn't like Mary and that's the real underlying issue here. When someone comes up with a BS rationale like this, it is usually hiding a darker reason.
NTA. 'No ring, no bring' is really stupid and outdated. It usually come from A) religion, or B) a feeling of superiority (usually rooted in self consciousness) that your relationship must be 'better' because of a title. Weddings are about celebrating love. A piece of metal or a piece of paper are not necessary for that.
And, honestly, how Brad deals with this will tell a lot. Because he just wants to placate his fiancee....and this won't be the first or the last time he doesn't stand up for himself in his relationship. He needs to realize there are consequences to his inaction. She's going to try ro force some 'norms' on kids if they have them, because she's worried about her image.
“No ring, no bring” is usually about avoiding randos at your wedding (someone who has been on the scene for all of three weeks and won’t last another month). Especially with capacity limits at venues and $100/plate costs, those plus-ones add up.
To the person bringing a date, it’s “just one person;” to the couple getting married, it’s ten more people and a lot of extra money. Now, sensible couples know when to make exceptions, and a couple who has been together for >6 months or so should get an invite for both.
ESH (Everyone sucks here) - I get where you're coming from, but if this is really your best friend, you'll respect that for one day you will need to attend an event without your girlfriend. It sounds like they have this expectation for everyone attending and they didn't single you or your gf out in any particular way.
I don't necessarily think it's fair for your friend's fiance to judge your relationship, and that's why I picked everyone sucks here. They should've said rules are rules and kept it that, but I'm sure they felt some pressure to justify the decision beyond a fiscal concern.
A lot of people in the world do view the ring as a big game changer for a relationship in terms of its permanance. Not saying it's right, but it is reality for many. I do think if you choose this hill to die on you'll be missing out on your bestie's once in a lifetime (hopefully) day and that will be a real shame.
I know there's a huge risk for our friendship to be ruined. But I bet he also knew that risk also existed after he settled with the fact that his fiancée disrespected my gf, who happens to also be his friend.
Excluding Mary from the wedding was mean, but forgivable. But once Vicky made is clear she disrespects you, and your commitment to your long term relationship, there is no way back. She thinks you are 'lower' than her and feels quite comfortable making that judgement out loud to your face.
How can you be friends with someone who has told you that you are less worthy of respect and politeness than them? She will always see you and Mary as her inferiors. Brad is willing to let her treat you that way. He might not like it, but he isn't going to defend you.
Once someone has made it clear that they do not see you as their equal, there can be no friendship. That is a status divide worse than master/servant or teacher/pupil. Vicky probably thinks she is being v gracious by allowing you a seat at the grown ups table instead of sending you out the back to eat with the kids.
Why would you want to support a marriage between two people who do not value you or treat you with dignity? This is not a minor issue. This is a serious misalignment of values.
Does Vicky really look down on OP and Mary, or is this just a wedding rule we should all respect should it be presented to us? Sound off in the comments!