Post # 1
Just as the title asks – how would expenses play into your decision to be a bridesmaid for a good friend?
I’ve been struggling with these issues over the past few days, as one of my best friends recently got engaged and I just found out she’s planning her wedding across the country. My husband and I are expecting our first child in the spring, all our extra income right now is going toward nursery furniture and baby supplies, and there’s not a ton extra anyways because we just finished grad school and moved to start our careers. We’re working on figuring out our finances, but we know that between airfare, hotel, car rental, attire, gift, incidental expenses while there, and a babysitter for the wedding day, we’d be spending well over $2000 to be at this wedding. Even though we’re dying to be there (both the bride and groom are very close friends), we aren’t willing to go into debt for it.
So how about you? What would you do in this situation? Would you be there no matter what (even if it meant charging things you can’t afford), or would you bow out and miss a very close friend’s wedding?
Post # 2
I wouldn’t go in to debt over it. We missed my fiances best friends wedding – they got married shortly after he moved here [2000+ miles]. Between the moving expenses and all of the last minute things we need + him still finding work, we just didn’t have the money to attend. We did send him a larger gift than we normally bring to weddings, gift cards to restaurants so they didn’t need to cook the days leading up to the wedding, and we took them out to dinner the next time we seen them. We felt horrible, but sometimes it’s just not in the budget. I am not going to debt for my own wedding, I wouldn’t go into debt over someone elses.
Post # 3
If it’s a very close friend, we would do everything possible to save enough to attend. I would not go into debt over attending or being in a wedding.
Post # 4
SadieBee: Yes. I I couldn’t afford it, I would graciously decline the offer with that explanation. You can show your love and support as a wedding guest. Anyone who is truly your friend will understand.
Post # 5
Bridey77: Well, the issue for us is that we don’t even know if we can afford to attend – if we can be there, we’ll make it happen to be in the wedding party (we’ve both been asked), but the travel costs are so much that we don’t even know if we can be there as guests 🙁
Post # 6
SadieBee: That is something that a bride and groom need to be understanding about with long distance guests. I’d send a nice gift and sincere regrets.
I believe that not too far into the future, people will start live streaming their weddings. We have the technology for it now.
Post # 7
To spend two thousand dollars !!!! in your circumstances would be totally irresponsible. If a major part of the issue are the costs associated with being in the wedding party, then you need to tell your friend that it wil be financially impossible and offer to step down as BM. If the costs are too much, period, then you should tell her you simply can’t afford to attend rather than incur debt. Even if you had the money, it would be irresponsible to spend that kind of cash if it was earmarked for necessities or basics or if your finances are not secure.
Traditionally, she’s supposed to cover accommodations, and it would also be considerate of her to pay or provide for a sitter. If having you there is very important to her, she might also offer to cover the cost of the dress or even transportation. You are not obligated to pay for or host a pre-wedding event.
Post # 8
Huh I would do anything to be at my best friends wedding (I guess maybe it depends on how you are using “best friend” I have 4 girlfriends I am thinking of who are my best friends and who all spent a lot of money to be in my bridal party). But I guess its obviously so dependant on everyones unique financial situation. hopefully you can save enough by then to be there!
Post # 9
SadieBee: I would do my very best to be there. Work very hard at saving. But I wouldn’t go into debt to do it.
Post # 10
- Wedding: February 2015 - Mount Hermon
SadieBee: there is no option for my choice. I would not miss it, but I would not go into debt. I would speak to the bride and groom, and anyone else who could help, and find a way to be there.
Post # 11
SadieBee: There is no way I would go into debt over anyone’s wedding- including my own.
What a stressful thing to take on for a weekend of fun. Even though it’s a wedding- would you take any other vacation knowing it was going to put you in debt and potentially make for a stressful situation down the line?
Post # 12
- Wedding: September 2014 - Merritt Winery
SadieBee: Under normal curcumstances, I would do all I could (without going into debt, I wasn’t even willing to do that for my own) to attend a best friend’s wedding. However, if I had a child on the way, I would not spend that amount of money to attend, debt or no debt. I agree with PP that a good friend would totally understand your not being able to make it.
Post # 13
i missed a best friend’s wedding. my fiance and i had planned a 4 month trip to asia for months – and they decided to get married in jamaica during that time. it was going to be 4000.00 for us to attend, plus we would have to cancel our trip – because spending that money would have effectively cancelled our trip.
we opted for the four month long trip, missed their wedding and they were totally understanding, our friendship has never suffered because of it and she’s now my moh! as much as you want to be there, if they are the friends you say they are, they will understand! you’ll have a baby – that means college funds, emergency savings, etc. if i was going to scrimp and save for the next year – i’d put that 2000.00 somewhere permanent for my child, or throw that money at the mortgage – i don’t think i’d spend it to go to the wedding honestly. i guess it also depends on how much you make or how long is takes you to save it.
Post # 14
I would not go into debt to go to a wedding, no matter how close I was with the couple. My husband and I’s best friends got married in Jamaica last December, and at the time we simply could not afford the $4000 to go, the timing could not have been worse for us. I’d just used my savings to buy myself a condo in May, and then in July my husband (then boyfriend) had gone on a motorcycle trip with these same friends that cost him about $6500 altogether, and then in August we got engaged and started booking and putting deposits down on vendors for our wedding. They had always told us that they were going to get married in Vegas, but they hadn’t set a date, and Vegas is not overly expensive to visit for a few days, so we weren’t worried about saving too much for that. Then in September they suddenly announced that they were going to get married in Jamaica in December and that it would be $2000 per person. I guess we could have put it on a credit card, but my husband still owed a fair amount of money on his credit card from the trip he took with them in July, and neither of us were comfortable going deeper into debt when we knew we had our own wedding to pay for. So we didn’t go. We gave our friends a really nice gift, explained that we could not afford such an expensive trip at that time, and wished them all the best. They were actually pretty upset with us for a while, which made me upset with them. I think it’s fine to have a destination wedding if that’s what you want, but not everybody is in the financial position to be able to attend, and you have to understand that. I don’t think they considered that before planning their wedding, they just got really excited about the idea of Jamaica and went with it. After they’d been back for a few months we finally had a more in depth discussion about why we couldn’t afford to go, and once they realized that my husband was still in debt from their trip in the summer, and that I’d used most of my savings to buy my condo and the rest to put deposits down on wedding vendors before they’d even sent their invitations they stopped being upset and realized that it wasn’t that we didn’t want to spend the money, it was that we didn’t have the money. Once they had that lightbulb moment everything went back to normal, we were sad that we didn’t make it to their wedding, and they were sad we couldn’t be there, but nobody was upset anymore.
So anyway, the point of this long and slightly rambling story is that if I have to choose between going into debt to go to a wedding (regardless of who’s wedding) and not going, I will choose not to go. No matter how much I love the people getting married I can’t justify going into debt for a wedding, especially when you will have a new baby. You definitley want to keep your finances in good order in case any unexpected expenses come up! In your situation, since you have time, I would do my very best to scrimp and save enough to be there, but if I couldn’t save enough I wouldn’t go. I would let your friend know the situation now though, so that she has some advanced warning. She also might have some ideas on how you can cut down costs, or if she really wants you there she might even be willing to help out wiht a few things.
Post # 15
- Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California
I would do my very best to be there, but I certainly wouldn’t go into debt for it, especially with a child on the way! If you two were my friends, I would completely understand & be sympathetic given the circumstances ..I hope your friends would be too.