You don't have to say yes to every wedding invitation, says Dante Jordan at The Awl. And while Jordan targets people who wish they could say no to every wedding, this is also good advice for those of us who like to occasionally witness two friends declare their love, then eat dinner.
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There are plenty of good reasons to say no to a wedding:
- It's too far away.
- They're old friends but you haven't spoken for years.
- They're relatives but you haven't spoken for years.
Basically, people invite too many friends and relatives to their weddings, because they're afraid of looking like losers, even though they will be happier surrounded only by close loved ones. By saying no, you're doing them a favour. You don't really even need to send a gift; it's not like they will remember that someone they didn't see at the wedding didn't get them a throw pillow.
When planning my own wedding, I was mildly disappointed that a few out-of-town friends declined. But I wasn't mad, because I'm not an arsehole. I didn't stop Gchatting them. I was glad for a sign that this is normal behaviour; I'd already missed the weddings of two friends (both since divorced) and two cousins (still not sure if I've ever met their partners).
Just send your regrets in a timely fashion, and pretend you're devastated to miss this world-altering event. Don't do what I did once in my early twenties, say yes and then not show up. It's a miracle those friends ever talked to me again.