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'My BFF and his wife made me the unpaid help at their wedding and it cost me $600.' UPDATED + CONCLUDED

'My BFF and his wife made me the unpaid help at their wedding and it cost me $600.' UPDATED + CONCLUDED


"I'm out $600 after my(29m) best friend(31m) and his wife(29f) made me the door mat at their wedding."

Groom and I had been friends since middle school and best friends since high school. I'm one of the only people he talks to about his emotions, which is particularly important because I've been his go-to for advice, especially in relationships. In fact, since knowing him, I've talked him through each of his break ups.

We've mutually called each other brothers, he helped me move, I helped him plan and throw his mom's birthday party. I'm close with his family, his mom actively asks about me. I've also been close to each of his significant others, save for his now wife.

A month after his engagement, Groomsman Invitational Boxes went out. We have a very tight knit group of friends that have been together since high school, supplemented by college and work friends. Of the original high school group, I was the only one not asked to be a groomsman.

This obviously stung, but I maintained a jovial demeanor towards everyone while acid flowed in my veins. It triggered my depression for a solid month where I questioned so much (do any of my friends even care about me? am i not groomsman material? is it because they thought i was too fat?) until the Groom and I had a talk.

He said it was a very hard decision choosing groomsmen, which I'm sure it was. He told me that I was in the original roster of groomsmen (only 6 out of 7 had received invitations) but that the Bride would not sign off on my involvement. Apparently, I had said something off-color about their relationship as it was beginning and she held it against me ever since.

She'd apparently never brought it up until now, years later, and never gave me any indication of being uncomfortable with me (her family even loves me). I'm generally a very positive, well-received person, so this was news to me. He said it was tearing him up inside, and I believed him at the time, and he asked me to try and talk to her, see if we could make amends. He said that he'd let her know that I knew about how

she felt towards me and that I'd be reaching out to talk about it. So I messaged the Bride through text and DM, saying (paraphrased), "Hey! I'm so sorry if anything I've said has upset you. Can we meet sometime and talk? I'd love to clear it up, or hear your side at least." The Bride leaves me on read, and a month later, the final Groomsmen Invitation Box goes out to another friend.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, the Bride, Groom, and I are hanging out. Groom and I are talking, and I'd since been able to process the reality of not being involved in my best friends wedding, so I ask how he's doing, and how all the prep is going. The conversation leads us here...

Groom: Hey man, I wanted to know if you could help me out with something?

Me: Sure. What's up?

Groom: I was wondering if you would want to usher for me? It's no big deal if you can't, but I want you to be there for me if you can, you know? Like, be a part of the wedding."

Me (very touched): Yeah! Of course I can, dude. Anything for you two.

Groom: Thank you so much. You know, we also have the rehearsal dinner next week. I know it's late notice, but if you can make it...

Me: I'll have to see if I can leave work early, but I'm already there, man. Thanks for thinking of me!

A week goes by with no updates or details on ushering or the rehearsal dinner, so I shoot him a text saying, "Hey man! Big day's this weekend. Just wanted to reach out and see if you still needed help with ushering, or if you'd still like me at the dinner. I got the time off with my boss, so I can definitely make it. Just let me know." He returns my text a few hours later with a call saying (paraphrased),

"Yeah man, we would still like you to usher. I'll text you details later today, but we actually don't need any help at the rehearsal dinner, we kind of want it to just be the bridal party and stuff, but yeah. Thanks for helping us out!" I'm a little put out, but I persevere. At least he asked me to be an usher. That's something, right?

Morning of the wedding comes around and I'd still not received any details on what ushering is going to be like, or what time I should show up to the reception to start helping. Then Bride messages me asking for a favor. These messages were juxtaposed perfectly against the unanswered messages I had previously sent the bride to olive-branch our relationship.

Bride says they forgot about the appetizers & need someone to pick them up. Can I do this for a bride, on her wedding day? Sure. Oh, one more thing, the order hasn't been paid, but they'll give me money at the ceremony, or pay me back at the reception. Sure.

At this point I should have stopped and asked myself, "Why am I helping so much? Why didn't I ask for their money up front? Should being a good friend really cost you so much emotionally, physically, or monetarily?" Hindsight. 20/20. With the ceremony ended, my group of friends who weren't in the wedding party spend the hour and a half before the reception pre-gaming while I go pick up the appetizers.

Thank God I played as much Tetris as I have, because fitting all that in my car in such a way that they wouldn't otherwise topple and ruin the wedding was an all-time high score achievement. I text the Bride to let her know we've got everything together and I'd see them at the reception. Once again, left on read. I get to the reception venue expecting a bustling crew of event organizers and family to receive

me and help bring the food in. I find no leadership at the venue, no planners, no family who weren't already seated at their tables and otherwise willing to help the newlyweds get things ready. The venue does have staff, but they are all preoccupied with in-venue needs. So I have to carry all the appetizers inside by myself.

Since guests were already seating themselves, I immediately moved from placing the last appetizer box in the back to working usher duties at the front. It was a mess. At one point, I was so down about the situation that I literally googled, "is it an insult if someone asks you to usher their wedding?" To start, the place cards were in no discernible order.

They were also written in intricate cursive that was sometimes unclear. I should mention, too, that because of the cultural heritages of our newlyweds, we had some very interesting, hard to spell, and hard-to-read-in-cursive names. We weren't given a table map, or a master list, or any direction at all. The best part is, I say "we" because at this point I met my ushering-peers;

they were the Grooms youngest adult cousins, aged 18 and 19 (I'm 29), and they were really good at finding names and seating people. When I asked why they were so good, they said, "they always make us do this because no one else wants to. We did this at the wedding last year."

After finding out that, to the Groom, I was about as equal as the lowest-rung of his family, my group of not-in-the-wedding-party friends shows up. They ask me to stay for a drink, but I can't because I'm still ushering. As I step back behind the name card table, I take a look out the door to my left and see the groomsmen laughing and taking a selfie.

To my right, I see all of my other friends at a table without me, taking a shot. I look down at the random, nonsensically ordered name cards and I wonder, how did I get here?

Wedding kicks off & in the rare instance I can speak to Bride & Groom they don't say thank you or bring up the money. I also don't talk money because it's their wedding reception, but what should I do, pluck $500 from her wedding dress during the money dance?

I'm sure it's true of other weddings, but it seems like the bride and groom don't really engage or reply when I walk up to them with my hugs and congratulations. I can understand this. Maybe they're burned out. Maybe they're trying to hold back things from boiling to the surface.

Now the last song is playing, and the lights are on, and everyone's getting ready to go home and the Groom approaches me.

Groom: Hey, thanks again for your help. I was wondering if I could borrow you again?

Me: What's up?

Groom: Did you drive here? We have stuff we need to get back to the hotel... it could really help us out.

Me: ... how far is the hotel?

Groom: 10 minutes away.

Me (for a Groom, my best friend, on his wedding day: .... Sure.

Get to hotel, unpack everything, it's 12:30am, I'm hungry. Groom says to stick around, we'll hang out, drink more. He goes to get changed, I say I'm gonna grab food & come back. Groom asks for food for he & Bride. I say sure. Bride's cousin overhears & asks me to buy her food too. Sure.

Then she asks the room at large who'd like food. Now I'm buying food for almost the whole after party. Cousin says she'll venmo me when I get back, & she'll pay for everyone elses stuff. Sure.

Come back, cousin is passed out. Drunken guests grab whatever food they see. Groom walks up to me, burger in hand, & says he's actually really tired so he's gonna go pass out, but thanks for the food and help, and then leaves. I grab my food, take the elevator to the first floor hotel cafeteria, & eat alone, upset, in silence.

At this point, I'm out $500 for the appetizers, $80 for the late night food run, and am pretty sure that I never really had a best friend to begin with. I feel used, humiliated, upset, and incredulous. I went from, "being a groomsmen," to being a guest, to being an usher, to being an unpaid wedding coordinator.

This was the first wedding in my close knit friends circle and it turned out nothing like how I thought it would. I've never worked so hard for such little gratitude and I'm left wondering how I could have been such a chump, and how many other times I'd been taken advantage of for being helpful.

The advice I'm hoping for is, how can I go about expressing how terrible a time I had at his wedding without insulting him, if I should do that at all, how can I develop myself to not be put in situations like this, and when would it be appropriate to ask for the appetizer money back? Also, I feel like the missing puzzle piece is the Bride's side of the story,

but she still hasn't given me any indication of what I did to her. I know she read my texts about wanting to clear the air, she had to have when she asked me to get the appetizers. How can I start a dialogue with her and sort this out if she won't even acknowledge it? Should I just step away from this relationship all together (after getting back my money)?

tl;dr "Best Friend" couldn't make me groomsmen cause of now-wife, who had no problem asking huge favors of me on the day of the wedding, little to no thanks, out $$$, ended up doing the most out of whole friend group (groomsmen / bridesmaids included), ended the night feeling defeated and losing even more money.

Update: Wow. Thank you for your overwhelming response to this. I want to thank everyone who took the time to share with me, be it positive or negative. I really feel like I need to hear it all before I make a next move, and I'm especially grateful for those of you who have extended friendship to me and those of you have been very critical of me. I'll take it all.


Hey folks. In proper internetiquette, I'd like to first say thank you to the community for your incredible response to what was a really bad day. I received so much support, constructive criticism, advice, and just genuine human connection. Your concern, discernment, thoughtfulness... this is one of the best reasons for the internet to exist.

Even your scorn, some of you. I'm a big believer in ripping off the band-aid, and ya'll really let me have it. But when I said before that I wanted to take all of it in, I meant it. I intend to walk away from this situation a better person than before. tl;dr at bottom.

To the meat and potatoes: I got my money back. It wasn't as difficult as some of you feared. It was a simple text exchange yesterday, no heavy words. I also got a thank you from the newlyweds separately. I was surprised by the Bride, but I welcomed it. You should welcome all positivity. I said my congratulations again and moved on with my life.

I feel like, thanks to you all, I explored every thread in the tapestry of how I should feel and what I could say. It brought a well-measuredness to my thinking that otherwise would have taken maybe months to come by. You saved me from miles of tortured internal dialogue during my daily commute. You saved me from rash actions and words I wouldn't have been able to take back.

I know some of you will wish I went off. But I want peace, and what's the metaphor? Bombing for peace is like screwing for virginity? I just don't need that kind of negativity in my life and what I'm trying to say is, I know now that I was just as responsible for how terrible an experience I had. This isn't a self-blame thing, I'm not being low-self esteem.

The fact of the matter is, I could have said no, and I could have established a pattern of saying "no" to things prior to this that would not have led me to being treated the way I was treated. From so many of you I've learned that this is called self-worth. Self-worth would not have seen me say endlessly, "sure."

Don't get me wrong. I still 100% believe that if someone asks you to do something on their wedding day that you can do without undue burden to yourself, you should do that thing. It's their wedding day. And this goes double for people you're very close to. But you should also know your own limits, and you should teach those limits to others in how you allow yourself to be treated.

And yeah, I accept that some of the things asked of me that day, in the context of being very close friends, seemed really shitty, and it felt that way. But from the moment the last groomsmen invitation went out, I should have reassessed the relationship. Measured my value without the context of Groom's friendship and focused on that.

I think part of the reason why I took so much on was to prove that, even in the face of being called unworthy, I could stand tall as the good friend and person I know I am. Maybe some small part of me thought I could prove to the Bride that I was someone she should have always counted on. Show the Groom how a groomsmen should be.

This was foolish in a lot of ways, and it ended up costing me all of this torment. You should do good things not to prove a point, but because it adds value to the world. This can be done in a way that doesn't eat you from the inside. I know this now.

So what's the plan from here vis-a-vis my relationship with my friend? I think he made that clear. If I was so important to Groom, I'd have been by his side that day, but I'm not so important, and so I wasn't. This is fine. It was his decision, and I told him myself the day he told me I was originally on the roster, "no matter what anyone says, you need to choose the people who will get you down that aisle."

It's not the place of anyone else to judge his choices. Certainly not me. Not anymore. Ultimately, this means I maintain a respectful distance, but will emphasize the distance. I have no intention of chasing after others to be in my life. When you find the right people, there is no chase. And one day, I'll let him know why he's the usher at my wedding. I don't think that's vindictive more than it is reciprocation.

We won't have hella cursive name cards. I want to impress upon you, if you are still reading this, that you have been part of my evolution. I was already in a place of growth and recovery and building, and god damn if this experience and your input wasn't a hell of a step towards becoming a better me. I'm not going to be a doormat, but I'm also not going to be heartless.

If people need help and I can help, I will. I'll just love myself better by knowing when to stop. I know that I'm a good friend, and a great person, and I'm not going to let my mistakes, or anyone else's, change that. I know that I still have my problems and I'm working through them, and if, when reading my experience, you felt a bit of yourself in me, I want to encourage you:

I used to be so self-conscious about myself, I'd sit down with my knees pressed inward and and my arms crossed tight because I didn't want anyone to notice how much space my fatness took up. I used to think that the only reason women smiled at me was because they were politely hoping I'd go away.

I used to think that, to have friends and be accepted, you had to give them every bit of value you possess. I'm not that guy anymore, even if the wedding proved that I still have old tendencies, and if you're going through something like this, you can change, too.

I mentioned I was always an overweight person, but I should also say that I've lost 122lbs to date and I'm going to keep going (my goal is another 50lbs). At my average weekly rate, I'll hit my goal in less than six months. If you're struggling similarly, I want you to know that you can do it (DM for emotional weight loss support, please no essential oil pitches).

Also, this was supposed to be a thing where I counterpoint each of the previously stated insecurities in the above paragraph with some stark successes, but tbh women I'm in to still don't seem romantically interested in me, or I can't tell if they are (DM your relationship tips on how to figure this mystery out), but I'm not so insecure about it anymore. I know that when women smile at me,

it's because I made a really bad pun and their better senses betrayed the smile. Finally, and this is key, I know who my friends are, and I know that I never had to do anything but be my self and they'd gravitate towards me (you might be thinking of a fat joke here, don't). I know that my real friends asked why I was working the wedding. They asked not why, but how in the hell wasn't I the best man, let alone

not be in the wedding party. They tried to get me to stand up and dance when they noticed I was down. They invited me in to pictures. They said they wished I'd had a better time. They commiserated with me the morning after the wedding. They told me, in no uncertain words, that they appreciated how I go above and beyond for people.

They told me that, at some point, I have to ask myself if doing this was worth overspending myself. Focus on these kinds of people in your life. You'll have your lingering questions about this. I'm sorry that this post became more of a introspective reflection rather than going in to more details about the wedding drama, of which, naturally, there was no shortage.

If you have more questions, ask them and I'll answer. If you have more advice, I'm all ears. I just want to close with this: so many of you offered to be my friend, and I want to live up to that. The heaviness I felt was lifted, message by message, in your every positive thought and shared painful experience. You helped me feel not alone. I want this to be the standard for everyone moving forward.

Please, treat each other like good friends. If you are ever down, if you ever want advice, if you need to hear an embarrassing life story to bring levity to your situation (my life story is filled with movie-level embarrassment) please DM this account. I'm here for you. tl;dr I got my money back, I learned a thing or two, I'm your friend.

OOP made an update in comments 2.5 years later:

didn’t think i’d rehash this on the internet, but i did work on myself, and am still doing so. therapy has been foundational to building boundaries, and really, self-respect/self-esteem. wish i could say i’m 100% not this person anymore, but 85% is good progress and i’m really happy i’m not depressed over this

said this in a now deleted update, but i got the money back like 5 days later, so that’s fine. i don’t keep up w the guy anymore, though he’s tried reaching out a few times. lol still can’t believe i let myself be treated this way. but good lessons aren’t free

Sources: Reddit
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