Post # 1
I have a close high school friend now a Ph.D. candidate in Europe. My wedding’s in USA, our local hometown. All our friends will be coming. When I asked her to be my bridesmaid she said no, but said she’d definitely attend. Now, 3 weeks before the wedding, she emailed me and said she can’t afford to. The cost of Europe airfare on that wedding week is $338 round trip. She could sleep in our cottage place for free (needs a sleeping bag though), or I could pay $200 for her hotel stay. Meals would be free at the cottage. Total of $600 estimated. However, she has a lot of pride and doesn’t feel comfortable with people paying for her–and was a scholarship student when we were kids. Can I offer to pay her way discreetly? Or would that be bad? I really wish she were coming ;((
Post # 2
Before you add more to your plate by booking travel for her and being very generous, I would try to make sure that she really does actually want to come and this isn’t just the excuse she is using because she has a big school project she’s behind on, has other plans, etc. I know everyone’s finances are different, but that airfare you mentioned is a steal and going to school out of the country she must be aware of what the fares usually are, upwards of $1000. Seems a little fishy to me that she is giving you this excuse mere weeks before the wedding.
I think you are being a very good friend and it is kind to offer to help her out, just be aware that she may not be giving you the full story, and it would really hurt my feelings if I made an effort and had even though about spending the money on her and then found out she was never planning to come anyway.
Post # 3
You can offer, just don’t be surprised if she says no. Many people do not look favorably on that sort of charity and do not like potentially feeling indebted to others.
Let her know how much it would mean to you and offer. But also know that sometimes when people say they can’t afford things there are also other incidental costs and they don’t always mean financial costs, like for instance time. In terms of incidentals, there is transportation to/from airports, meals while traveling, possibly attire if she feels she owns nothing suitable, a gift which she likely will feel awkward about giving if you are paying her costs. As for time, she may not be able to “afford” the time away from her program now – she could be at a critical point or maybe behind schedule. Or the opportunity cost of taking a few days break now might mean she doesn’t finish on time later and it eats into a future break meaning she has to cut another break shorter (like holidays with her family). The financial aspect may just be one piece of the affordability puzzle that just tipped her one way or another.
Post # 4
I had a destination wedding in Feb and one of my best friends couldn’t come for financial reasons also. I wanted here there, so I offered to pay her room for the 5 days we were there. She got a flight and accepted. I told her I didn’t care about the money, but we’re best friends and I want you there. If the only thing holding her back is money, and you can fix that, then try to explain to her that you’re not looking for anything in return.
Post # 5
I second PPs with making sure she is comfortable with you paying for it, and also making sure she really wants to come and isn’t making excuses.
I’m paying for airfare for one of my bridesmaids and having her sleep on my couch. It’ll come out to almost $800 because flights between Seattle and Florida are hella expensive. If you’re financially able to help out and she is comfortable accepting the offer, I say go for it! But don’t be surprised if she says no. I know it can be an issue for some people accepting what they see as handouts.
Post # 6
You can offer. If she declines, accept it graciously.
Be wary of the ultra low cost airlines. They nickel and dime you for everything including cabin baggage, and if money is tight for your friend, this could become an issue. You may prefer to spend a little more on a ticket that includes at least a checke bag, cabin bag and meal.
Post # 7
you said it yourself: she has a lot of pride and doesn’t feel comfortable with people paying for her. No matter how much you want her there, you need to respect that. The answer is no.
Post # 8
It’s very sweet of you to offer. If she takes you up on it, just make sure it stays between you two (your hubby can know, too).
Post # 9
What you may have forgotten are all the cost that are involved in traveling. There’s parking for her car at the airport. Meals out throughout her trip. Possible purchase for wardrobe. Those things can add up to hundreds of dollars. It may not just be the cost of travel, but the cost of actually taking a trip that is the defining piece here. And, I imagine it would be rather demeaning if you gave her spending money.
Post # 10
Like others said, there’s more to costs than just the flight. And I seriously doubt the $338 flight, unless its a 4am flight with an 18 hour layover in Siberia. Just let her be, I think paying for her would make her feel uncomfortable.
Post # 11
We actually had some family members in similar situations. My husband paid for hotel rooms for several and I offered to book airfare for another family member (I said I thought I had a ton of airline points (which I do) and left it at that. I had no actual plan to use the points- just knew she could not afford the airfare and did not want her to worry about the cost). I think if it means that much to you- offer. She may not take you up on it, as there are other costs involved in weddings (it may even be that she cannot afford to miss even one work shift). My husband and I have both had tough times in our lives and were fortunate enough to be able to help people out who needed it. If you can do it, I say go ahead and offer.
Post # 12
Yes I think you should offer if you can. It’s a really nice gesture. She might say no but can’t hurt to ask.
Post # 13
You can certainly offer but if she says no, just accept that she won’t be there. It’s very generous of you to offer, but people with a lot of pride aren’t going to want to take charity.
Post # 14
If she has too much pride to accept having her way paid. What about telling her how much she means to you and how much you want her there, and express that you’re sorry your wedding is now at a time when it’s hard to afford. And then instead of offering to pay, what if it was an offer to loan her the money for as long as she needs. She can pay you back in installments or whenever she wants to. Then maybe it’s less of a handout and easier for her pride to accept?
Post # 15
That is such a guilt trip. It may not be intentional but that’s all I’m seeing there – You can’t afford it, you won’t take the money as a gift so now I’m going to really ram home how much you need to be there and then try to make you take a loan and owe me later instead. No.
OP I repeat: respect her decisions as an adult, no matter how much you want her there. Don’t patronize, don’t offer. You already know she’s not comfortable with that. Tell her you’ll miss her, maybe offer to set up skype or facetime if she has the time for it and then let it go.