How Wedding Invitations Weed Out The Consistent Friends From The Flaky Ones

May 9, 2019  |  

Groomsman

Source: Tomas Rodriguez / Getty

Weddings are a time to celebrate the end of one life and the beginning of a new one. A time when friends and family can celebrate the union of two people starting a new adventure together. I’ve realized as I have entered my 30s that this life change is happening more often than before. It also means that dynamics in friendships are shifting. I experienced this firsthand when I attended a homegirl’s wedding a few weeks back. Months prior, we had been talking casually about which guests had RSVP’d.

When a particular guest was brought up, my friend told me, “Oh, she wasn’t invited.” This surprised me for several reasons. We all were in the same friend group, we all had known each other for years; I felt it safe to assume that we all would be a part of the special day. Her logic behind not extending the invitation made sense though. They had drifted apart, and this was a big milestone she wanted to share with people who had been consistent in her life. It started to get me thinking about my own friendships, the shifts that had transpired, and the significance of the wedding invite.

Now I’m speaking from the perspective of an attendee. I get it; weddings are expensive. There’s a lot of details that go into the big day, a lot of expenses, a lot to consider. Hell, it’s expensive sometimes for us to even show up! But as far as crafting the perfect wedding list, to me, weddings are an easier way to weed out stagnant friendships. Think about it: you haven’t talked to a person in a long time. They weren’t a part of your “love story.” They weren’t there to witness you start life with your significant other; they haven’t kept up with milestones in your life. Your lives have been disjointed, and now it’s time to decide: do I want this person to be a part of my next chapter?

I don’t think I ever thought about this idea until my friends started getting married. There were some invites that were expected, there were some that never came. I had to reconcile with that and started having honest conversations with myself. Who in my life did I really value? Who did I want in the next chapter of my life? If I get married, who did I want there to bear witness? In reality, we know which friendships we value. We know who we don’t wanna do life with. I think what makes life hard is realizing when things change, friendships fizzle or fade, it can be uncomfortable, and nobody wants to admit it. It’s easier to fake it than to just say that things won’t be the same, and this milestone is just one of many they won’t witness now or in the future.

In the past few months, this has been more sobering than I ever imagined. Realizing that relationships have changed can be very painful. It stings to come to grips with the idea that growth happens, and you can’t take everyone with you. I think we should appreciate the people who make efforts to keep us in their lives and are consistently showing up in ours. If someone wants you to be part of their next life chapter, don’t take that for granted. It means a lot. Being an adult is hard, and is only bearable with the people you get to do life with.

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