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A girlfriend and I pretty much ended a friendship this week. And I’m still not really sure why. We started having big communication problems while she was planning her wedding this past spring and things between us just spiraled as her wedding date neared, both of us feeling a little more misunderstood and a little more hurt every time we spoke.

I don’t know what it is about weddings that makes everyone crazy. And I mean everyone. If you weren’t crazy when this friend got married then you will be with that one. Families get upset, girlfriends feud, sons and daughters argue with their parents, fiances disagree with their fiancees, and almost everyone cries.

I’ve been a terrible friend on at least one occasion during a friend’s wedding — simply not being in a place in my life that allowed me to be happy for her. Her wedding and pregnancy making me feel left out and abandoned, when really everything was making me feel that way and she didn’t need to take the blame for it. I’ve disapproved of boyfriends and husbands, moves, babies and weddings, and I’ve hurt friends and myself through the process.

And all of it has happened right back to me, each time only serving to emphasize how terrible I must have made someone feel because it just feels awful when it happens to you.

I continue to be amazed by how much stuff we project onto the idea of a marriage. It’s truly remarkable. The expectations that people have for this one event — a 4 to 8 hour wedding — really take on a life of their own.

As I near the day of my own wedding, I’ve become increasingly grateful that we’ve chosen such a small affair. As much as I thought I might have wanted a grand, swirling day filled with everyone I know, I think that doing it this way will allow for a lot more peace and simplicity, a lot more space and intimacy. And will hopefully cut down my chances of losing any more friends! For all our sakes, I think this is going to be a good thing.

Greg and I have the rest of our lives to share our marriage with those we love. July 19th will be a day just for us.


  1. Your small and elegant affair on the East Coast also allows for a small and sunny celebration on the West Coast once we get you out here.

    Comment by Zora on July 11, 2008 at 9:18 am

  2. I think for so many people they get caught up in all the details. Trying to make the wedding as perfect as the picture you see in your head. The pressure of that is enough to make anyone crazy. It becomes more about the wedding, that one day, rather than the marriage. To me a wedding is about celebrating and sharing the love and commitment you have made to another person with your friends and family. I can relate to losing a friend while planning a wedding, my dearest friend (at the time) and I were planning our weddings at the same time. When we decided to forgo a big wedding and pushed up the date of ours, she was hurt, I was hurt, words were exchanged, and somewhere along the way our friendship ended. That being said, I would never change the way we chose to marry, it was lovely and memorable, small and intimate, it was in essence a perfect beginning,

    Comment by Wendy on July 11, 2008 at 12:12 pm

  3. I’m sorry for the loss of that friendship, Claire (although I do suspect you have a few others up your sleeve with which to fill the gap) Certainly not surprised about the circumstances though. (just deleted impossibly-long comment about estrangement from my only attendant, the roommate in whose home we were married) For sure you are making a wise decision on this one. And (eeeeek!) July 19th….that’s ALMOST HERE!!!!!
    Let the happy flurry (modest & manageable though it is) continue :-)

    Comment by Carroll on July 11, 2008 at 12:38 pm

  4. Wow, well glad to hear that I’m not the only one!
    It really just amazes me how caught up people get in their own feelings about someone else’s wedding.
    Well, we’re almost through it!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on July 14, 2008 at 8:53 am

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