Post # 1
My best friend in the whole world is getting married next January. She is Indian, and wants to have an Indian wedding in India! I am so happy for her, and also thrilled that she asked me to be a bridesmaid. The problem is: India! The husband and I live in New England which causes issues with finances and time! It is a two-day adventure to even get there. The flights are at least 1600/person. Husband and I are both in grad school, and he isn’t even working full time. We are trying really hard not to go in any more debt because we are at the age where we really need to start thinking about the big picture, saving for a house, grad school, saving for a kid. We don’t have a lot saved right now, and we have a lot of school loans. I explained all of this to my best friend, and she just got really sad. I didn’t outright tell her no, and really I don’t know how. Should we just go into more debt and go to India, or is she being unreasonable by expecting us to go? I feel sooooo guilty. This is stressing me out so much.
Post # 3
I definitely think she will understand if you can’t go! That sounds very pricey, and I know we would not be able to do it! Sounds like an amazing adventure though… India is definitely on my bucket list. Are they going to help with any of the expenses at all? Maybe she will have a get together when she gets back for everyone else to celebrate with her. Don’t feel bad If you choose not to go… She should definitely understand!
Post # 4
If you can’t afford to go, you can’t afford to go. If I were your friend, I would feel horrible if you had to dig into your savings and live off of ramen and PB&J in order to attend my wedding. We tell brides not to go into debt for their weddings and I’m pretty sure we shoudn’t go into debt for other people’s wedding either!
I would be candid with her and see what happens. Perhaps she can help out with the cost and that way, you can still go.
Post # 5
@nantes14: It’s a destination wedding, and most brides will understand how much of a financial burden it is for their guests.
Post # 6
Where in India is it? Like, which major city are you flying into? If it would be financially doable if it’s less money, and since it’s 10 months away, I would tell her you’re going to put a fare alert on a few websites (like Kayak) and see if any deals pop up.
I went to India a few summers ago for vacation and it was SO AMAZING. And I got my fight for only about $1050, flying DFW-Chicago-Delhi and back. Edited to say…there are flights right now on Finnair from NYC to Delhi for 1069. So you just never know!
$2200 for two rt flights to India and back is still pricey….but could be totally worth it for a once-in-a lifetimes-experience!
Post # 7
I feel like going to India would be a once-in-a-lifetime thing that I would LOVE to experience. Personally, if I were in a position to put the trip on a credit card or whatnot, I would think a little extra debt is worth it. Of course, I don’t even have a credit card anymore, nor have I ever had one with that large of a limit, so I would swiftly and immediately say ‘Sorry, but no!’ But it does sound like it’s possible for you to go, but it will add on some debt. I TOTALLY get not wanting to get more debt…it’s the precise reason I avoid credit cards right now, BUT the opportunity to see your best friend get married in India? Seems worth it!
But it’s NOT worth it if it’s just going to stress you out. I don’t think her request (and subsequent disappointment) is unreasonable. She just really wants her best friend there for her wedding…of course she’s going to be sad if you don’t go! She will understand in the end.
Post # 8
She’ll understand for sure! After planning a big wedding in California (which meant we already had our groomsmen and bridesmaids lined up), my Fiance and I decided to get married in Paris instead. I totally understand that just the ticket itself is a huge expense and I wouldn’t expect any of them to pay it at all! I did want them to have some bridal fun with me though, so we’re all going to Vegas for the bachelorette party whether they’re going to Paris or not.
(But as a sidenote, I would love to go to India!!)
Post # 9
- Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island
@nantes14: If you told all this to Suze Orman, she would say don’t go! The reason being: if you have to go into debt for something other than school, a house, or a car, you’re probably doing something wrong. If you could save up for this to make it happen, then it might be doable. But if you have to go into debt, the answer is definitely no! How can she expect that of you? I’m sure she’s just sad because she loves you and wants you there. But you have to make smart financial decisions for yourself and your family. If you can’t afford it, then you can’t afford it. That’s the bottom line.
Post # 10
Sorry for your predicament. I’m planning my wedding in Jan in India too and one of my only 3 bridesmaids started talking as if she won’t be able to come. There aren’t many people I would expect to shell out 1600$ to go around the world for me but it may be really important to her to have u there.
That being said, I think with planning all of my BMs can afford it. There are costs associated with going to India even if ur accomodations are all home stays or w.e (for example, a visa). I would see how imp it is toher, how close u are to her and see if maybe you can make it (perhaps without Darling Husband, so it’s half the cost) for a few days. I second trying to find cheaper (900 – 1300$) tickets.
I think if you really cant afford it, the bride may offer to help (if she can afford it) or she may understand. Also, you can be really involved in the process to “make up” for not being able to attend, for example, help plan a special bridal shower for her or something.
Hope it works out, Indian weddings in India are a TON of fun!
Post # 11
If you cant afford it then say no. You won’t be the only person who won’t/can’t attend.
Post # 12
You can’t afford it, she will understand.
Post # 13
Meh I’d go. When are you getting there again? you’re young, I mean it’s not like your in your 50’s and can’t work your way out of a few more grand in debt.
Seriously when are you EVER going to INDIA again? GOOOO
Post # 15
Normally I’d say to not go into debt just to travel to a wedding, but an Indian wedding is a true cultural experience, completely unlike anything you’ll ever experience in the US. I’d jump at the chance! It’s probably going to be an amazing event with rich traditions that you might not ever get to experience again!
Post # 16
I just had my wedding in India and most of my friends did not attend due to the cost-I was totally cool with it. I knew when I agreed to have it over there that it would be an issue for most of my friends to attend.
One thing to consider is that many Indian couples have a religious engagement. If she was raised here at all or her parents are here she may have that in the US and it will likely be a pretty big party anyway. I know mine was.
I do want to let you know one thing though-which is that the bride’s family usually pays for the hotel and accomodations and meals during the wedding. It’s part of the culture. So the majority of your cost would be the plane fare over there. If she is having the wedding anywhere near touristy (I just had mine in Goa) it really will be an opportunity for you to have a once in a lifetime experience in a very rich culture.
If you travel on any of the middle eastern airlines it should be about $1000 and they are much nicer to boot -I had my wedding during peak holiday season (Feb 1) and while we paid shitloads more to fly direct on the United long haul out of Newark, most US attendees got their tickets in the $950 to $1100 range. When is her wedding? I feel like your airfare estimates should go way way done, esp. if her wedding is anywhere during North American summer, which is the cheapest time to go to India.
ETA: sorry, I read your post carefully and you are going during peak. Your $1600 estimate is really high unless you are looking at the long-haul flight on United. Realistically if you book in September-October-November you should be able to score for $1000. Definitely high but not sure if that’s still in the unaffordable range.