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Just Said Yes August 2020

How to handle a groomsman breakup right before the wedding

Lena, on July 13, 2021 at 10:30 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 14
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Hi everyone!!! Stick with me here, because I reallllllly need advice on how to handle this situation. My wedding is on 7/31/21.

So one of my fiance's best friends and groomsman (referred to as GM for the sake of this explanation) has been dating a girl (GF) for a few years that I have gotten pretty close with. I had heard through other friends that they have been having some issues the last couple of weeks (we live out of the country currently, and though we still talk frequently with the couple they hadn't mentioned anything). My fiance's best man, who is also a close friend, told us last week that he thinks they unfortunately broke up two weeks ago and she left town for a bit, but that they are keeping it on the down-low because they are still living with each other and trying to sort through everything.

Before I had heard that they were possibly broken up, but in the timeframe after their supposed breakup, I had a conversation with GF about how excited I was to see her and she mentioned how excited she is for the wedding. Based on this conversation, I am assuming she still is coming (the invitation was addressed to both of them, not her as a plus one). However, our best man said feelings are really tense right now and he's not sure he would count on either of them being in the same room together happily.

Here is where I need advice on what to do. One, I'm not sure if she's coming, or if they've even broken up since no one has told us anything directly. How do I approach this subject with the couple without seeming insensitive or like I've been listening to gossip? Obviously, my fiance and I care about both GF and GM as friends and want to be there for them regardless of what is happening with the wedding. We are also on a tight budget and guest count and I don't really want to be paying for a plate that won't be used and we are running out of time to figure it all out. Also, as of right now I have them next to each other in the seating chart, but if they are broken up, obviously that won't do. Just in case they aren't broken up though, it would be so awkward if I moved her without confirming first. I was hoping one of them would mention it without prompting, however we have had normal conversations with both of them since and neither has said anything.

I need to ask one of them what their plan is without seeming too focused on the wedding, not empathetic of what they are going through, and hopefully pull this off without exposing that there has been some talk about their situation by others. I feel comfortable reaching out to her, and my fiance said he would talk to his groomsman, however what do we even say? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

14 Comments

Latest activity by Melody, on July 15, 2021 at 5:44 PM
  • Cool
    Super July 2020
    Cool ·
    • Flag
    Let them come to you. Everything you’ve heard is only from a third party, not either of them directly. If you bring it up, it’s just obvious people have been gossiping about it. Maybe they are trying to work through things and still plan attending the wedding together and don’t want everyone knowing all of their business. Maybe they’ll formally break up and let you know that GF isn’t coming anymore, or maybe they break up and still both want to celebrate you and are fine with each other. At the end of the day, until they tell you directly you have no idea the true status of their relationship and it’d be inappropriate to ask. Your friend could have mentioned it when you spoke but she didn’t for a reason. Just let them work it out and plan for them both coming unless you hear from them otherwise.
    • Reply
  • Nicole
    Master September 2020
    Nicole ·
    • Flag

    I completely agree with the above advice. I can clearly tell that your sole worry is not about the wedding, but your friends' well-being and can also understand the disappointment it would cause to pay for a plate that is ultimately not used. However, I don't think there's any way of asking about it that wouldn't come off as insensitive, especially when it's so new and they're still figuring it out themselves. I would continue to plan as if nothing changed and just eat the plate cost (and leave the seating chart) if they end up not coming (or notifying you too late to make guest list changes).

    • Reply
  • Nisha
    Expert May 2022
    Nisha ·
    • Flag

    I would ask her a seemingly innocent question hoping to illicit a response. Something like " We're getting there at 2 pm... do you know what time y'all are gonna get there?". He's a groomsman, so he's expected to be there earlier than ceremony start time.

    • Reply
  • A
    Super December 2020
    Anais ·
    • Flag
    Have they already sent back an RSVP with both of them coming? If so, how long ago did you receive that?
    • Reply
  • L
    Just Said Yes August 2020
    Lena ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Both RSVPd yes, but that was over a month ago

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  • L
    Just Said Yes August 2020
    Lena ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Thank you for this! I agree, I don't think there is a way of asking without coming off as insensitive. I'm still a little worried about the seating chart, because I do want it to be a fun day for both of them (assuming they both show up) and don't want to ruin that by having them sit next to each other if they don't want to be or having an empty seat that is a reminder of a breakup next to the groomsmen. But I think you're right and that can be a last minute change whenever they decide to open up to us about what is going on

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  • L
    Just Said Yes August 2020
    Lena ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    This is a really good idea, especially if we get under 10 days and I still haven't heard anything from them

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  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    • Flag
    I agree to leave it be.
    From all the details, to be honest, it doesn’t sound like there’s even an answer yet to give. Presume they’re both coming until they’re not. I truly would recommend absolutely NOT approaching them because then your wedding might become a central point of contention for them. I wouldn’t want to start a fight between them over the cost of a plate. You’ve already presumed to pay it, so don’t dwell on if it doesn’t get eaten. Maybe GM gets to eat 2 dinners Smiley winking . Maybe eye the seating chart to have a back up plan as to where you could move her (but again don’t actually move her until that moment comes). It’s likely there’s a reason they haven’t brought it up to you yet— and that reason is likely that they haven’t solved that problem yet. Understand that that bridge may not even be passed until the morning of the wedding, so the best advice is to leave it be and not put any more pressure on the situation. It’s a bummer , but it’s just one of those twists of life that there’s nothing you can do about it.
    • Reply
  • M
    VIP January 2019
    Maggie ·
    • Flag

    The easiest answer is also the best one: do nothing until you hear from either one of them directly. Don't assume anything and don't take on the responsibility of fixing this for them (including worrying about seating charts).

    • Reply
  • Katie
    Expert August 2021
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    I would wait until they come to you about it. Act as if you are unaware since they haven't told you anything. And go about your wedding plans as you were before the info. Right now what you heard can only be looked at as just gossip. If they are uncomfortable being around each other or anything else for that matter on sure they will bring it up to you.
    • Reply
  • E
    Super July 2023
    Eniale ·
    • Flag

    Maybe they haven't told anyone because they aren't officially split yet.

    It isn't unusual for a couple that has been together for a long time to take some time to decide if they really want to separate or not. If they are living together, this is even more likely - they may be taking their time deciding if they really want to go their separate ways, or if they can work through this.

    That's why there really isn't a way for you to ask.

    I agree with an above commenter who suggested, once the day is closer ask when "they" plan to get there. Operate as if you know nothing. Because you don't. Currently, it's hear-say and gossip that they aren't together anymore. To your knowledge, they are still a social unit, so approach it as such.

    • Reply
  • E
    Dedicated October 2021
    Elise ·
    • Flag
    Agree with above, just do nothing. Just adding to the comments, I’ve been in a similar spot a long time ago, and we still attended a major event together bc we didn’t want to draw attention to the breakup or steal the spotlight. Assume if they are living together that they can manage dinner next to each other, or swap seats with other people that day since they are part of your larger friend group. Not to crush your good intentions, but attending a wedding after you went through a very serious breakup is unlikely to be enjoyable for them -regardless that you are trying to be super considerate as the bride 😢
    • Reply
  • B
    Beginner May 2022
    Beckie ·
    • Flag
    Maybe they have already talked about the wedding and agreed they both would still be there. It sounds like they mean a lot to you and FH and you guys mean a lot to them. If they are being mature enough to handle things privately on their own it seems to me from the outside looking in and assuming they are as great of people as you sound that they just don’t want to worry the bride and groom over it. As far as the BM saying he doesn’t think they could happily be in a room together it seem more of a blanket comment making some assumptions it may seem like that to him but I have a gut feeling if that was true they would have reached out to you guys already about it. I would also ask BM if they mentioned anything to him about relaying the information to you guys to test the waters on how you would react because sometimes that can happen too. Overall it sounds like it shouldn’t be a worry and they are choosing to keep their commitment to their RSVP. If it comes out that she won’t be in attendance I’m sure there is someone that even last minute would love to share your day with you that had to be passed up due to guest list cuts (we all have at least one person that is so understanding of guest lists and would love to share the day with us even if it was because of a last minute fiasco) keep your head up and try not to worry to much about it!
    • Reply
  • Melody
    Expert April 2021
    Melody ·
    • Flag

    I agree with others on waiting to see how things play out and if they are going to say anything to you. People handle things in their own ways and asking about it - especially if they actually ARE still together - is often seen as rude and an invasion of privacy. Personally, I greatly appreciate your heart in this matter and that it's for the welfare of your friends. From my perspective it seems like (assuming they've broken up) they're mature enough to figure out how to celebrate you guys and put their own stuff aside for the day.

    • Reply

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