150

You need to say "no" to Anne while minimizing damage to the friendship. That's hard, but you can convey that you care, gently let her down, and look for alternatives. In this particular case it might even be a little easier, because you're probably not the only invitee who can't afford to make the trip. I recommend something like this: Anne, I'm really ...


136

It sounds like you've been drawn into quite a mess and the timing couldn't have been worse, but to be blunt this probably isn't a problem you should have been tasked with solving. You've got enough on your plate right now with the wedding plans and all. This guy is a piece of work, but the situation could probably be resolved by Mary simply responding to ...


86

I would be straight-forward and direct about it. Simply state the facts: I am very happy for you and I am honored that you've asked me to be a bridesmaid, but I don't have the financial resources nor the vacation days available to allow me to attend. Please accept my regrets. NOTE: in the world of manners, you do not owe your friend anything for ...


82

I was wondering if it is rude (or expected) to wear a sari to the wedding. Being from India, I'd say there is no such thing that only Indian women must wear a sari. You can always wear it if you feel comfortable. Also, it is not compulsory for every girl to wear a sari. I attended a wedding once where two or three foreign girls were wearing sari (I guess ...


70

First of all, it's not your father's decision - it's yours. Your father made a demand of you, but the choice rests with you. You organize the wedding, you're paying for it, you get to decide. From what you describe, you cannot acquiesce to his request. Every further point you've listed strengthens this fact. This means you need to find a way to bring this ...


69

Talk with your (soon-to-be) wife. It's her close friend, not yours. She'll know better what Lucy would want you guys to do and whether or not you should do that. Presumably, the person you are marrying is not-a-jerk enough to take the needs of your immediate family into account, which in this case means Sam definitely can't end up going to the wedding. ...


64

Let me tell you a story that happened at my friend's wedding (say John) a few months ago. John's an Indian who works in Sweden. The wedding was in India and John had invited a few of his Swedish friends to his wedding. Indian weddings typically last from a day to about a week. John's wedding spanned 5 days. There are various functions/ceremonies like ...


36

Most of this is not your problem. The situation with Sam texting Mary affects Sam, Mary, and their respective partners. While your intentions are good, Mary and your brother are already uncomfortable, and it is not within your power to make that discomfort go away. Mary and your brother can decide between them how Mary will respond to Sam. You are not Sam'...


34

While the other advice given here on the Indian culture and how to respect it are wonderful, I am going to try a different approach that involves people. In my mind this part of your question is the most relevant here: I was invited through my sister-in-law (friend of the bride) so I do not have the ability to contact the bride directly, and whenever I ...


27

I got a message from my father telling me that it's my wedding, but he feels I must invite that branch of the family anyway, because it's just 2 more people. [...] It's totally unfair for her, and I've spoken to her about this before. No. This is not unfair only for your girlfriend, this is totally unfair especially for you. As he said, it's your wedding. ...


27

The best way to start a potentially conflict-creating talk is to agree on common goals and problems first. So, you don't start with a "How about we get married in DC". You tell her it is about planning the wedding and start by asking what is most important for her in the ceremony. Then you share what is most important for you. The important thing here is ...


26

I'd like to pose a slight frame challenge: why not go to the wedding. You say you don't feel like going because, despite a good faith effort on your side to keep in touch, they never responded and you feel abandoned. It seems to me like you care about this person, and not going will only hurt your situation by enforcing the distance that you previously ...


25

You're over-thinking it. People who send out invitations want you to respond in a timely manner. Not responding is literally the worst thing you can do. Respond with a simple "Best Wishes" and state that you can't make it. You don't need to give them a reason. ** Note: Got married last year. It was a giant pain when over 25% of invites was not ...


24

This isn't just any old decision, like what we're having for dinner tonight or should I get a haircut. This is a once-in-a-lifetime public thing. Every single wedding guest will see that her father isn't walking her down the aisle and will draw conclusions from that, like that maybe he is absent or abusive or otherwise not really her father. Not a single ...


19

I am South Indian. There are many good answers to this question that may unfortunately be generalizations to the whole sub-continent. Saris themselves vary across regions in terms of motifs, borders, style of wearing, etc. Wearing a North Indian style Saree to a South Indian wedding will be appreciated, albeit awkwardly. And vice versa. If you are ...


15

It is traditional for a wedding to take place in a bride's hometown. But times are changing. Communication has made the world a smaller place, more people get together from further apart, and for one thing it is impractical to expect half the guests to make a 1000+mile journey. Obviously it is IMPOSSIBLE to give your fiancé everything she wants AND get what ...


14

It's not really going to be possible to come out of this unscathed. You already asked, the boyfriend already said he has something planned. So now you've decided in full knowledge that your girlfriend's best friend likely won't be able to attend. This is virtually guaranteed to cause at least some ruffled feathers. I'd advise you to tell them as soon as ...


14

Making last minute changes to a wedding can be stressful but by no means impossible. I would suggest if you can't see the bride and groom in person then the next best alternative is to call. Calling allows you to feel out the situation a bit and get out of the it if you need to. A few pointers for the call: Try to call when both of them are together as ...


13

India is not like Persia or similar places where clothing is closely linked to religious or cultural beliefs. There are modern styles of traditional clothing in India which might be found to be more "acceptable" to all while still showing an appreciate and respect of the local culture. They key is to choose a style that will be recognized as appropriate to ...


13

You seem very concerned that you will appear to be a trouble to your friend, so one could not say you are using the opportunity to force your ethics on anyone or make a point. It is your friend's wedding, so obviously, you want him to enjoy the day and to enjoy celebrating it with him. You have explained in your post that on a couple of occasions you have ...


12

Being a brit I know there's no obligation in UK culture for you to bring a gift, it's more to be polite. It can be considered rude if you were invited to the ceremony and didn't bring a gift. The London Economic echoes this: If you’re invited to the evening reception, or a party after the actual ceremony has occurred, you may or may not wish to give a ...


12

First of all, happy marriage! You should have a talk with your soon to be wife. As Lucy is invited by her, and is a respect to notify her about the incident. After all, your problem is her problem. Let her know about your concern, even though this might give her stress. Sharing your concern to your wife will do, as is not really your part to interfere ...


12

Indian here. It all depends on you! You can wear absolutely anything you want. If you want to wear a sari, please go ahead. People will understand and don't worry. However, as someone suggested, refrain from black or white sarees. Normally for a wedding, Silk sarees (Kanchivaram, Mysore silk saris, Paithan, etc) are worn but these are expensive (can cost as ...


11

Weddings always seem to have a lot of drama associated with them. People get worried about others causing a scene, uninvited guests showing up, and other things happening. Most of the time, these scenarios never materialize. Your friend has most likely changed, as have you. I think you are judging her by what you remember of her and not what she might be ...


11

I see just a problem here, once it's solved your life as a couple will be much better in general. From what you have described, it looks like your mother in law will probably decide a lot of details regarding the wedding, since she will use the excuse that you are far away and she will be on location. Probably your soon to be wife will not have the strength ...


10

This answer is based on my experience attending weddings in the US (if there's something different about French weddings that invalidates this, please let me know!). I was in a similar position when my high-school and college friends started getting married. Since we'd graduated, I had to go on a gluten-free diet, but I hadn't told any of them yet. I know ...


9

Most Indians, when they see westerners, especially blond caucasians, wearing Indian clothes, are gratified due to that patriotic spirit which they are indoctrinated in from a young age. However, there are some people who would see you wearing a sari as a disrespect to Indian culture. These women are generally the old evil mother-in-laws of the typical ...


9

If she is your friend and you tell her the truth, she will attempt to help you be there for her. She will develop a solution instead of blaming you or holding it against you. If not, then she is not a true friend or you are simply her emotional crutch. Friendship is based on trust. Being able to tell each other the truth is a test of that trust. You'...


9

A key part to your potential answer is something you brought up yourself: I am more mature and want to handle the situation appropriately. No doubt that your friend will most likely be the same - true they could be just as they were before however you shouldn't necessarily be thinking of the worst case scenario. They might not turn up, they might avoid ...


8

I will be attending a wedding in India in January. Take note of the climate of the place. If it is North India, it would be chilling cold to wear a saree. If it is South India, the weather would be pleasant and just fine for saree. Also, get in touch with others who are attending because you might want to avoid wearing if no one else is wearing. I was ...


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