Post # 1
Hi always helpful hive!
I’ve sort of got a dilemma and I figured I’d turn to you guys since you’ve all always offered such great insight and advice. Here’s some background.
I have an old high school friend who is getting married this summer on the 4th of July in Maine. Since high school (12 years ago) I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen her, but the couple of times I have seen her have been recently. Add to it the fact that she’s a lawyer who helped find my father a lawyer to represent him for some pretty heavy stuff that is going on (but that’s a whole different saga!). Because of the legal stuff that my father (and pretty much the whole family) is going through, my parents don’t have money to spare to help Fiance and I pay for our wedding in Sept, so we’ve been saving a lot and pretty much everything goes towards the wedding.
Since her wedding falls on a holiday weekend, airfare is pretty high (I just priced around $800 for two tickets) and the cost of staying in a hotel is an extra $250/night (at the hotels where she has blocks). Add to that the wedding gift and the cost of the one weekend is close to $1,000.00. If we weren’t saving so much for our own wedding a few months after I’d have no problem dropping this amount of money, but right now it’s not so easy.
I’m not sure what to do. We could always drive but again, considering it’s a major holiday weekend, I think the normally 5 hour drive might take 7-8 hours. One of my gfs (and a Bridesmaid or Best Man actually) still lives up there and we might be able to stay with her and her husband instead of a hotel, but it’s the whole dreaded drive that I know will totally turn Fiance off. I want to be there for my friend, but I’m afraid that logistically and financially it might not be completely practical. Oh, and I almost forgot to add that I will be at her bachelorette party in a couple weekends in the City so I will get to celebrate in at least one way…
So I guess my question is, what would you do? Should I talk to my friend and explain that as much as I want to be there, it might not be possible? I’m so torn on this one!
Post # 3
If you can’t afford it – you can’t afford it.
I’d politely decline, but follow up with a phone call expressing to her that you would have LOVED to go, but it just wasn’t fiscally possible at this time.
Of course I’d send a gift as well.
Post # 4
If I were you, I would drive (just leave earlier than you would have to get through the traffic) and stay with your Bridesmaid or Best Man if she’s okay with it. If not, I’m sure your friend will understand. Just send her a nice gift and your regrets.
Post # 5
I’d either do the drive and stay with the friend… or just politely decline the wedding invitation, and enclose a note explaining that you are truly sorry to miss the event and explain that it is a truly busy year for you. …and remember to send a gift anyways.
Post # 6
I’d drive and crash with the friend! Just time your driving so it’s not at the worst time of the day.
my parents live about 4.5 hours away and they live on a LAKE. Super tourist destination. We leave a little earlier and it doesn’t take us any longer than it normally would. We just avoid the worst times of the day to travel.
Otherwise, send a nice gift, a heartfelt card, and that’s all you can do. It’s a risk you run with holiday weddings.
Post # 7
i would reccomend writing a nice letter, and sending a nice gift(nothing too bag) and explain your situation. i promise that on her wedding day she won’t even think twice about it.. she will have so many other people there, and her main focus will be her husbad. so don’t feel guilty, if she holds it against you, you prob didn’t wanna go in the first place.. so stay home, save money and write a heartfelt note, wishing her the best.. it will be understood and appreciated!
Post # 8
I agree with the others that I would either drive and stay with a friend or decline. If you leave early, the travel probably won’t be that bad. A lot of people still aren’t driving because of the economy.
Post # 9
Are you afraid if you cant make it to hers that maybe she wont go to yours? There were a few friends of mine that cant make it to my wedding and I was kind of bummed but understand. One of them actually lives 30 mins away so I was very upset about her but the other just lost her mother, its ok the bride should understand
Post # 10
I’m in that situation now. We are 7 weeks from my wedding and leaving tonight to drive 17 hours to go to a friends wedding on the other side of the country. With the hotel (500 dollars) the gas (we are splitting it 5 ways) and parking (assuming about 200 for gas and parking) plus the 100 cash for the gift + food for the weekend, we are easily spending $1000, 52 days before our wedding!
We weren’t going to go.. I was ready to say no.. but all the other people from the area, including some that are unemployed are going down. EVERYONE was going – so I felt a little guilted into going. Plus my fiance really wanted to go… so we are going!
I’ll stress about the money later.. we are leaving tonight, so I’m going to try to enjoy it! New Orleans, here we come.
Post # 11
Thanks for the advice everyone! I’m definitely planning on sending a nice gift with a note if we can’t make it.
One thing I forgot to mention is that another one of my good friends (who I’m actually much closer to) is having her baby shower on the same day as the wedding – the shower is local. So I feel like either way if I go to one and not the other I’m not being a ‘good friend’. I know totally selfish to think that either would really be that devastated if I weren’t at one of their events! Do you think that since I’m going to HS friend’s bachelorette party, it would be ok if I can’t make it to the wedding (again sending a gift and a heartfelt note) so that I can go to my other gf’s baby shower? Sorry…it’s getting pretty convoluted!
Post # 12
I think that if you can’t afford to go, you shouldn’t feel obligated to go. It’s an out of town wedding for you, and I feel like a bride planning a Destination Wedding or semi-DW (especially on a holiday weekend) knows that those choices are going to make it very difficult for some guests to come. I would send a nice gift and heartfelt note, and then (if she lives somewhat locally to you) let your friend know that you would love to take her out to brunch/dinner/etc after her honeymoon to celebrate and hear all about her day.
Post # 13
Where in Maine is the wedding? There is a train station in Portland, I’ve taken the train from NYC, not sure if it also goes to NJ, but that’s something to consider too. I don’t mind driving, but the train is nicer than driving sometimes.
If the wedding is near Portland, feel free to PM me, I have a list of B&B’s in-town for some of my relatives, which might be less $$ than a hotel.
I don’t think you should feel obligated to go though, regardless of the reason.
Post # 14
Does your FH have to go with you? It seems like you could make it a cheap trip if you went alone and you could still support your friend. Either you could drive or fly and then stay with your Bridesmaid or Best Man. It would be easier for her too if your FH didn’t also stay over. It may not be ideal, but it’s a good compromise!
Post # 15
I think if you can’t afford to go then you can’t afford it. I think that when an out of town wedding is planned there must be some sort of realization that not everyone will be able to go due to financial reasons.
Post # 16
I would just send a gift from her registry. It’s a bit more thoughtful than just sending a check through the mail and you don’t have to spend $1000 on one weekend.