My daughter was married 2 weeks ago and since then I have had many people approach me apologizing for not attending. Many come equipped with an excuse. The most dramatic: "A few days before the wedding I was in a car accident and almost died. The car was totaled but I am alive B"H."
Just a concussion.
The most original: "We had a tefilla at the kotel for a relative who was arrested for something he didn't do."
And many others. I want to start saying "Unless you bring me a note from your mother I can't let you back into class".
The truth is that I wasn't offended so people didn't have to placate me. Why should I be offended? There are countless weddings that take place every night and people can't go to every one. I see invitations hung up in shul and almost never attend. If I did, I would never get any learning done. People attend weddings of people with whom they are close. But I guess coming up to me and saying "I would have come but I don't feel close to you so I didn't consider it worth my while" would have been less than tactful.
My point is that I had a simcha so people shouldn't ruin it by feeling guilty [although the sensitivity is appreciated]. Feel guilty about speaking lashon hara or during davening but about not attending my daughter's wedding. In general it is good advice to leave simchas "simcha-dik" and not to spoil them with negative feelings of guilt or regret or otherwise.
Feel good. Or as I was saying as I was circulating around the hall before the chosson and kallah came out "תן חיוך - הכל לטובה"- Smile - everything is for the best!
And to those who DID make the effort and come - your efforts didn't go unnoticed and were appreciated and I hope להשיב לכם כגמולכם הטוב!