OPINION: When one of your best friends gets married there can be few things worse than not being invited to her wedding.
Except, perhaps, when you are invited and then uninvited because your ex-boyfriend has demanded it.
That happened to me once, and it hurt. A lot. It still does. So I feel for poor old Meghan Markle, girlfriend of Prince Harry, who has reportedly been banned from Pippa Middleton’s upcoming nuptials. The official line is Pippa has a “no ring, no bring” policy for guest – meaning only fiances or spouses of guests may attend – but rumour is Ms Middleton doesn’t want to be upstaged by her glamorous rival on the big day.
Pippa Middleton is due to get married in May, according to reports.
But while Pippa may be treating her seating plan as a game of thrones, moving key players around and ditching others, it’s worth remembering the decision to turf someone from the invite list can cause a very real pain.
* Pippa Middleton has set a wedding date: reports|
* Meghan Markle will attend Pippa’s wedding reception with Prince Harry
* Prince George, Princess Charlotte will have starring roles at Pippa’s wedding
It was the bride who uninvited me from her wedding. She was a mutual friend of both myself and my ex. She was friends with him first but she and I soon formed a strong and genuine friendship that continued after Mr Wedding Dictator broke up with me.
It was a traumatic breakup for me, and my friend was a tower of strength and shoulder to cry on. It’s often said it’s in the tough times that you come to rely on your girlfriends more than ever, and it was certainly true in my case.
And, despite his not-so-nice behaviour toward me it never really bothered me that she continued to be friends with my ex. We were all grown ups, I accepted that and I had hoped we could get along.
So when my dear friend became engaged to the love of her life, I, along with all her close friends, looked forward to the wedding.
Over a glass of wine one night I asked her if she had any worries about my ex and I both being at the wedding.
I still remember her answer like it was yesterday. “Don’t worry Ange,” she said, holding both my hands, “You will be at my wedding. I promise you that you will.”
Turns out I wasn’t. Soon after that conversation she phoned to tell me I was uninvited. Turns out her dear friend had given her an ultimatum: If she goes, I don’t go, so choose. She didn’t choose me.
It’s hard to describe the hurt I felt. Not only had I lost my partner, I had now lost one of my best friends.
“You don’t understand,” she told me. “I’ve been friends with him for ages. He says if you are there he won’t go and I can’t get married without him.”
I tried to reason with her that a true friend would never dictate who you could or couldn’t have at your wedding, but it fell on deaf ears.
I saw my dear friend only once after that phone call, and it was a strained meeting.
She went on to have a beautiful wedding, filled with love and laughter and from the photos I saw on Facebook she looked like the happiest woman on earth. I smiled when I saw all my other girlfriends at the wedding, drinking champagne and dancing on tables and making memories to last a lifetime.
I sometimes catch myself wondering if the bride ever thinks about her wedding and whether or not the loss of our friendship was worth the appeasement of my ex. She’s moved overseas now with her husband and their two daughters and I don’t know if her and Mr Wedding Dictator are still in contact.
Ultimately it’s up to the bride and groom to decide who to invite, or not invite, to their wedding. But the guest list can come at cost. In my heart I believe that real friends should be able to put aside any differences for one day for the sake of the happy couple.
And Pippa, if you are reading this, part of me hopes Meghan turns up to the reception wearing a knockout dress and looking like a million bucks and that’s the photo all the papers run the next day. Or just go ahead invite the poor girl. One more seat at the table will mean nothing much to you, but to her it will mean the whole world.