Post # 1
I was thrilled when my oldest friend asked me to be her Maid/Matron of Honor. But the more I hear about her wedding plans, the more I’m worrying about being able to afford it.
Because her fiance’s family is mostly overseas, she is planning a destination wedding that is midway between her family and her fiance’s family. I agreed that this would be the best way to keep things fair for both families. I knew it would be somewhat expensive to attend and prepared to save up some money for it, but neither my friend’s family and friends nor her fiance’s family and friends have much money, so I assumed they would do their best to keep it inexpensive for everyone.
Then recently she mentioned that she and her fiance were no longer happy with the cheaper resort packages they were considering before. Now they are looking at places that would cost upwards of $1800 per guest, and she wants everyone to stay for a whole week.
I started doing the numbers in my head, and am now panicking at how much it will cost for me to stand up for her at her wedding. She has decided not to pick any bridesmaids, so I will be footing all the expenses for her shower and bachelorette myself. Then there’s going to be the cost of my dress, shoes, and any accessories she wants me to wear. Then there’s the fact that I’ll have to take a week off of work. I also want my fiance to come with me (we haven’t even been able to afford a real vacation for ourselves yet!) so add in the resort cost for him and a week’s worth of his salary. To participate in her wedding will easily cost more than we are spending on our own wedding!
What can I do? I can’t ask her to change her wedding venue for me, but I really can’t afford this! While I’m sure I’ll be able to come up with the money somehow, it won’t be easy… and to be honest, I feel like it’s a lot for her to ask. My fiance thinks it’s totally ridiculous and is refusing to come if it’s going to cost that much. I must admit I’m more than a little annoyed that she has paid no mind to what a financial burden it will be.
What makes this even trickier is that my fiance and I are actually more well off than she and her fiance are… which is really not saying much, because she and her fiance spent themselves into huge debt buying unnecessary luxuries. My fiance and have healither finances, but we also have student loans and a mortgage and would rather not go into more debt for unnecessary reasons. How could I possibly explain that going along with her very expensive wedding plan is not really a necessary reason without hurting her feelings?
Post # 3
Wow that’s tricky… I don’t think I’d expect any of my guests to pay $1800 simply to attend my wedding. You know your finances better than anyone, and I would say that you should be upfront about it. Tell her exactly what you can do. If that means not throwing her a bachelorette party and wedding shower. I think her putting that expectation of you being there and footing all the expenses yourself was a little unfair since she made those decisions after she asked you.
Post # 4
I would reword what you told us.
“I am so excited to be inyour wedding, but I am worried with your most recent changes that I wont be able to afford it, especially since there are not other BM’s to share costs with. To cut costs can I only stay a few days for both money and vacation day availability. Also would you mind if your shower and bachlorette were really low key? Or do you know if someone is willing to help me on these? (or some other suggestions). I would really like to participate so I was hoping we can work something out”
Post # 5
I agree with your Fiance. This is a bit ridiculous to ask of someone. I would NEVER ask someone to spend that kind of money on my behalf. Although when I was in a previous relationship, my Boyfriend or Best Friend was a groomsman in a wedding across the country. The bride convinced me to pay for him to go (and myself) to make her groom happy. 2 grand later, I was not a happy camper. I wasn’t even in the freaking wedding! Big mistake. Anyway, just saying, this is not fair of her to ask you. Maybe you can continue to be her Maid/Matron of Honor back home throwing her the shower, etc. But just tell her it is going to really hurt you financially to stand up for her at the wedding. If she is any sort of reasonable person she will understand.
Post # 6
I can’t imagine her family would be able to afford this. Maybe she will come to her senses when she gets some feedback from her family?
Post # 7
Do you think you would be able to attend her wedding, if you didn’t have all the other responsibilities that go along with being in her wedding? It doesn’t sound like it. And has no one said anything to her about her ideas being outrageous? People can’t afford to pay $1800 pp, and even if they could afford it, most people don’t want to spend that amount. I know if FH were going to spend that amount, we would want to choose when and where our vacation would be, you know?
So I would explain to her that you will not be able to afford to attend/ be in her wedding and that there is no way around it. I’m sure you’re not going to be the only person with this reaction, so maybe you could explain this to her? You agreed to be her Maid/Matron of Honor when you thought she was planning a more low key and less expensive wedding, but now the prices have gone up so dramatically, it’s just not feasible for you to attend/ be her Maid/Matron of Honor.
If she is planning such an expensive wedding, she should realize that it’s not possible for everyone to spend that, and she doesn’t really have a right to be upset.
Post # 8
Holy Moly! I feel guilty for wanting to have my girls buy $150 dresses and $70 shoes (ok, so I’m going to let them pick their shoes, but IF I picked their shoes, they would be $70).
I honestly can’t imagine ever paying that much to be in someones wedding when I was planning a wedding of my own. I’m stressing as it is because I’m in a friend’s wedding a month before mine and I’m going to have to shell out money for a Bridesmaid or Best Man dress when I would rather have the extra couple hundred to spend on my own wedding.
You really need to talk to your friend. Clearly she loves you or she wouldn’t have asked you to be Maid/Matron of Honor, and if you tell her honestly that you can’t afford to spend that much to go AND plan her shower AND her bachellorette, then I think she will appreciate you coming to her honestly and expressing your feelings.
Also, if their families don’t have a ton of money, you might not be the only person who is stressing about the $1800 per person price tag. It might be worth it to voice your opinions (nicely). Sometimes brides get carried away with their “dream wedding” and forget that there are other people who have to be considered.
Post # 9
Would approach it by starting with the things that seem the most out of control like the travel and hotel expenses. The shower and the other parties can be dealt with after you make the decision based on the travel and such. I think you need to talk to her and the more specific the conversation (ie focusing just on the travel expenses) gives her less wiggle room to say that you don’t “want” to do things or to get emotional.
Post # 10
$1800? that is ridiculous. Tell her that you cant afford it and ask if it is either possible for you to just come in the day before the wedding or if it is possible for her to find a more affordable way out.
Post # 11
@JenniMichele: No, you and the other bees are totally right… the main issue is the travel costs, and I can deal with the shower/bachelorette expenses later. Unless she goes back to the less expensive resorts or negotiates an optional package price for people who only want to stay maybe 3 or 4 days, I don’t think I could afford to go at all.
“And has no one said anything to her about her ideas being outrageous?…I know if FH were going to spend that amount, we would want to choose when and where our vacation would be, you know?” That’s exactly how my fiance and I feel about it. We’ve had to postpone our own honeymoon due to our budget, and neither of us have much interest in the place my friend has chosen. I’m sure we’d have fun, but still… we’re not going to have many more opportunities to go on extravagant holidays before we start TTC. Obviously I would not say this to my friend, because this is her wedding and it’s honestly not my intention to make it all about me.
I think @tinylittlebird: hit the nail on the head that she’s gotten a bit too carried away. She actually said to me before, “People get to come to our wedding, AND they get to go on a holiday!” as if it’s like a bonus she’s providing, that we should be grateful for… forgetting the part where the cost of the holiday has to come out of our pockets. I’ve just been too afraid to burst her bubble. That’s my own fault for being such a wimp.
Part of that has to do with the fact that no one has said anything. That’s because no one really knows. You know how I said my friend and her fiance had gotten into some financial trouble? Well it was bad enough that they had to call off their wedding for this year. They’re now planning to have the wedding in the coming year. She doesn’t like calling attention to her unfortunate situation, so while she’s been mentioning small things here and there to me, she hasn’t spoken about it to anyone else. I’ve been waiting for her to announce her plans to everyone so she can see their reactions, but it hasn’t happened yet. I was kind of hoping I wouldn’t have to say anything until then. What do you bees think?
@lefeymw: I think that says it perfectly. Thank you for taking my panicked rambling and turning it into something coherent and reasonable! When it’s time to talk to her about it I will definitely look back on your suggestion.
Post # 12
I think I would try to make the most of it if I were you. You said you and your fiance havent even been on a real vacation- why not make this your vacation? And look at it as more of a vacation? Is the destination somewhere you would never go if it werent for the wedding? If it’s a crappy destination, I would definitely not foot the bill for it but if it’s nice I would make the most of it.
“I will be footing all the expenses for her shower and bachelorette myself. Then there’s going to be the cost of my dress, shoes, and any accessories she wants me to wear.”
It sounds like you assume you would have to foot the bill for the shower/party…Ive never heard of the Maid/Matron of Honor paying for either. Doesnt the Maid/Matron of Honor just organize it and send invites!?? Why do you assume there will be a cost to you?
Overall from reading your posts, it sounds like you are making excuses to justify not going to this wedding. If it isn’t that mportant to you and you would rather spend your vacation time elsewhere, just decline for financial reasons.
Post # 13
oh and if you honestly want to go but cant afford the resort she has chosen….tell her you will make other more affordable arrangements. she cant argue with that if she wants you there.
Post # 14
I would honestly bring it up before she tells her family. Mention that you and many others will have a hard time footing that sort of bill. She might get stubborn if her family implies that she can’t afford it since shes’s embarassed about her finances.
Post # 15
No. This is completely insane. I understand that it is hard to tell your friend that she is being irresponsible and selfish, but you have to do so. You and your Fiance might be justifiably annoyed at blowing $4,000 and your vacation time to attend this wedding, but you would eventually be able to absorb the hit since you are fiscally responsible (you shouldn’t have to do this, but it wouldn’t be devastating to you in the long term.) But if she goes ahead with this wedding, she and her husband will be starting their married life in bankruptcy. If you are a true friend, you need to sit her down and tell her that she needs to talk to a financial planner to create a budget for the wedding, and for her general life expenses. In this economy, no one can afford to take out massive loans to pay for their wedding. I know it is hard to call out your friend, but if you really care about her well-being, you are going to need to do so.