They may ostensibly be occasions for celebrating the love and commitment between two people, but weddings do have a tendency to bring out the worst in people, with control-freakery galore and long-bubbling familial rifts rearing their ugly heads.
But this example of bad wedding etiquette really takes the biscuit: a woman excluded one of her best friends from her wedding because she was "overweight" and "wouldn’t look good in the bridesmaid dress she had selected". We're struggling to work out how people like that have friends in the first place.
Writing to Slate’s advice column, Dear Prudence, the rejected woman told of her hurt at being shunned as a bridesmaid by Jane, her friend of 20 years. In the letter, read out on the column's podcast, she admitted she was "devastated" and wasn't sure what to do.
"I’ve been best friends with Jane since we were in middle school. Jane got married a few months ago and told me she was only planning to have her sisters as part of her wedding party. I was hurt, since she was in my wedding, but I understood her desire to keep the party small," she wrote.
"On her wedding day, I discovered she actually had four bridesmaids, her sisters and two of her college friends. I didn’t want to ruin her day, so I didn’t say anything about it at the time. About a month later, she texted me to get together, and I told her I was hurt about my exclusion from the wedding party and asked if I’d done something to upset her," the author continued.
And here's the kicker: "She then admitted she hadn’t asked me because I’m overweight and she thought I wouldn’t look good in the bridesmaid dress she had selected."
The woman said she "had no idea what to say [in response], and told her [she] felt hurt and didn't think [she] could see her again any time soon," she wrote. "I'm not so sure what to do. I feel pretty devastated about this, especially since my weight has always been an issue for me and I thought Jane understood.
"Jane told me she was sorry but I don't know if I can get over this. At the same time I don't know if I should throw away a nearly 20-year friendship."
Dear Prudence columnist Mallory Ortberg's take was as no-nonsense as you'd hope, with her calling Jane's actions “cruel and shallow and unkind and fat-phobic”. "I cannot imagine having the kind of mindset where you think, ‘I want my wedding day to reflect my thinnest friendships’? What the actual hell?" an incredulous Ortberg pondered.
"And that she would say that to you, she wouldn’t think, ‘Wow, I’ve done something petty and small and terrible to a person I’ve known for 20 years who had me in her wedding because I thought she was too fat to stand up with me as I got married?’ But that she just said it to you, instead of being so profoundly ashamed at what she’d done."
The agony aunt's conclusion was brutal – but nowhere near as harsh as Jane's behaviour towards her long-time friend. "I don’t think that you should get over this, I don’t think you’d be the one throwing away a 20-year friendship." We couldn't agree more.