How to tell my friend I can't be a bridesmaid in her international wedding

posted 1 year ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 2
2541 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

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bubblegumsnickers :  your podcast is wrong, you can miss friends weddings and it not impact your friendship. I have missed lots of weddings – for a variety of circumstances – and if you are truly friends, life should go on unaffected by the absence.

When it comes to destination weddings, the bride and groom should have a level of expectation that many people, even the nearest and dearest, may not be able to attend. They cannot just expect friends and family to go on a lavish vacation, take time off work, the travel expenses… For someone else’s big day.  

I would tell your friend that you wish that you could be in her wedding party and attend her wedding, but the cost is just too high close to your own wedding date to be able to go on the trip.  You don’t technically need to give a reason to decline, but in this case I personally would. A true friend will understand. You should never be guilted into spending thousands of dollars for any reason.

Post # 3
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1995

You say, “Friend, I would love to be in your wedding and support you, but financially, I just can’t afford it.   I’m so sorry that I can’t be by your side on your big day. ”  

Post # 4
13785 posts
Honey Beekeeper

You say “Friend, I can’t be a bridesmaid in your international wedding.” 

Unless she is a terrible person she will understand. 

Post # 5
382 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 1985

Agree with PaperQueen!

Post # 9
130 posts
Blushing bee

I would just be honest and say how much you care about her and would love to, but just can’t afford to travel internationally at that time. Since it sounds like she’s a good friend I’d offer to help with any local things and tell her you’re always here for support and with planning ideas. It sounds like her wedding is basically on the other side of the world so she should definitely understand.

Post # 10
246 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2020

Unless she’s an unreasonable person in general, she’ll understand. Your wedding is too close to hers for you to be spending thousands of dollars and taking more time off of work to attend hers. You can be there for her in the lead up to the wedding without actually going. Higher decline rates come with the territory of destination weddings. She should be expecting many people to not be able to make it, especially with those high flight costs at her location of choice. 

Also, what podcasts are you listening to? You’re allowed to be a human being with your own priorities and limits. That doesn’t make you a crappy friend

Post # 11
5149 posts
Bee Keeper

A podcast is just one person’s opinion; you might as well walk down the street and ask the question to the first person you meet. It’s not the gospel truth and it’s ridiculously simplistic, as there are a lot of factors in play around some weddings. Time, distance and finances must be evaluated. So the hell with this podcast, do what’s right for you.

Post # 12
638 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

A good friend will understand. My DH and I are from different countries and we knew not all of our family and friends would be able to show up for our wedding. We wanted to invite them anyway so they knew the importance we placed on their place in our lives, but we absolutely didn’t want anyone to take on financial stress to share our day with us. I’m sure your friend just wanted to let you know how much she loved you.

Post # 13
155 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2021

View original reply
anev :    I agree.  She’ll love you no matter what.  I would suggest that you tell her the truth ASAP.  Also invite her and her hubs after honeymoon over and make a special dinner and give them a wedding gift card to their favorite department store.  This will make you feel better that you are celebrating with her in some way.  Do go to her shower and any shopping she may need help on.  Just because you can’t be her bridesmaid does not mean you can enjoy any process that takes place here in the states.

Post # 14
503 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
misslee3232 :  100% this! Graciously bow out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything locally for her. I couldn’t attend a former friend’s international wedding (and neither could most of her friends, but her family and his family wanted the wedding to be where they were from), so we hosted a bachelorette weekend for her. After their wedding, they also traveled to different cities hosting mini lunches/dinners for their friends who couldn’t attend, so we attended that and gave a gift certificate and card.

Post # 15
29 posts

I’m having a destination wedding and never expected anyone to actually come. Financially I understand this is a lot to ask so I fully understand. Your friend will understand too! It’s very sweet that you feel bad in the first place and the intention is what matters. 

I do get upset with those who are booking and going on other expensive trips and then saying they can’t afford to come to my wedding:) That just shows their priority’s and I’m not one of them-which is fine too but they’re not my priority anymore 🙂 

I have a lot of people who are saying they wish they could be there for me but are also not even able to make it to my bridal shower locally. 

THOSE are the people a bride gets upset with. NOT friends like you. You’re a great friend from what I’m reading! 🙂

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