Author Topic: We've been invited to a destination wedding  (Read 2439 times)

zoochadookdook

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 515
  • Age: 27
We've been invited to a destination wedding
« on: October 16, 2018, 05:09:51 PM »
Hey all.

The girlfriend of 7 years was recently told she was to be a bridesmaid in one of her best friends weddings. It's a destination wedding in Jamaica and the friend has already booked it. Some background-I'm 26 she's 25; I make maybe 25k+a bit a year in my last semester of school and she makes 15 an hour working full time. Debt wise she owes 12k on her car, I owe 13k in student loans. I have 23k in a Roth, 120k at a variable rate mortgage loan (difficult to get refinanced fixed after write offs self employed -I drove 30k miles last year) on a house market valued at 200k, 65k cash/business inventory currently for sale. Needless to say we're not exactly rich and have cut a lot of costs in saving up to invest/possibly pay for our own wedding/some home repairs and a better car for me in the next year assuming I get a better paying job.

She made some valid points in that it would cost roughly 1500 apiece for a 4 day trip (the friend is NOT paying for any accomendations, etc which I thought was standard of destination weddings). We haven't taken a vacation/trip to ourselves in 2-3 years and have been saving for one. She mentioned while we could afford it-we should be able to take our own vacation but she feels like her friend will hate her if we turn it down. I know another married couple who was invited and they didn't even go on a honeymoon as they're saving for a house-I plan on talking to the husband and seeing his opinion.

I guess I'm asking for how to navigate this with tact. In my mind it's ridiculous to book it without talking to their friends and such but that's how it happened. Has anyone been in this situation?

ixtap

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1514
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2018, 05:30:34 PM »
What did she say when first approached? That will determine how to move forward.

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8011
  • Location: United States
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2018, 05:33:09 PM »
I'd either have her say "I'm so honored to be asked to be a bridesmaid, but I'm not able to afford a destination wedding. I'm so sorry, and I hope it is everything you dream it to be"

Or see if she can find someone to room with and have her go without you. At that age my husband and I often didn't travel to weddings together.

tomorrowsomewherenew

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 122
  • Location: Florida
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2018, 05:56:58 PM »
In your situation, I would sit this one out. I would tell the friend that it's nice for them to ask, but you can't afford to travel to Jamaica right now.

AMandM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2018, 06:32:47 PM »
You and the GF need a heart-to-heart.The question whether you can (choose to) afford this wedding is important, but so are others:

How close is GF to the bride?  Is it important to GF to be in her wedding party? Being a bridesmaid nowadays seems to cost significantly more than being a regular guest. I read awful stories of four-figure hen parties and professional hair and makeup fees. Is this something GF wants to do or something she feels pressure to do?

If the two of you were to go on vacation together, would Jamaica have been on the list of possible destinations? Don't get snookered by the "opportunity" to take a vacation you don't want.

Are there ways to cut the travel costs of being a bridesmaid--sharing a room with another, staying somehere cheaper like and AirBnB?  The answer may be no, practically speaking she may have to be at the wedding resort buying the resort's food and drink and doing the wedding excursions.

Personally, I would not go to a destination wedding for anyone except possibly a sibling. I agree it's ridiculous of the couple to plan it without consulting their closest friends (presuming the wedding party are their closest friends).  I do think it's pretty straightforward to say, "I'm honoured and touched to be asked to be a bridesmaid. I can't accept, but I love you and wish you all the best and I'll be thinking of you on the day" and then send a thoughtful present.

I am so glad to be 52 and to have gone through my own and my friends' weddings in a much simpler time.

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3015
  • Age: 81
  • Location: The laboratory
  • Typical Ghoul Next Door
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2018, 06:36:58 PM »
Hey all.

The girlfriend of 7 years was recently told she was to be a bridesmaid in one of her best friends weddings. It's a destination wedding in Jamaica and the friend has already booked it. Some background-I'm 26 she's 25; I make maybe 25k+a bit a year in my last semester of school and she makes 15 an hour working full time. Debt wise she owes 12k on her car, I owe 13k in student loans. I have 23k in a Roth, 120k at a variable rate mortgage loan (difficult to get refinanced fixed after write offs self employed -I drove 30k miles last year) on a house market valued at 200k, 65k cash/business inventory currently for sale. Needless to say we're not exactly rich and have cut a lot of costs in saving up to invest/possibly pay for our own wedding/some home repairs and a better car for me in the next year assuming I get a better paying job.

She made some valid points in that it would cost roughly 1500 apiece for a 4 day trip (the friend is NOT paying for any accomendations, etc which I thought was standard of destination weddings). We haven't taken a vacation/trip to ourselves in 2-3 years and have been saving for one. She mentioned while we could afford it-we should be able to take our own vacation but she feels like her friend will hate her if we turn it down. I know another married couple who was invited and they didn't even go on a honeymoon as they're saving for a house-I plan on talking to the husband and seeing his opinion.

I guess I'm asking for how to navigate this with tact. In my mind it's ridiculous to book it without talking to their friends and such but that's how it happened. Has anyone been in this situation?


If her friendship will not stand the test of "I love you, and I am so honored you asked me but I'm afraid I can't come out there because I can't afford to spend thousands of dollars I don't have. I am struggling with debt and I just can't." without the friend realizing the extremely ridiculous burden she's asking her friend to take on... then that's not a best friend... that's not a friend at all. That's a bridezilla.

If your GF truly is best friends with this woman, then what she might want to suggest is if she would consider a romantic small wedding in your area where all her friends and family likely would be able to attend, then going to Jamaica as her honeymoon (like any other reasonable person). She cares about her friend and wants to stay friends? Then this shouldn't be that terrible a conversation.

And the idea that you and your GF need to be tiptoeing around the supremely clueless and entitled bride so as to not anger and/or upset her? Fuck that noise. Be polite but for goodness sake realize: SHE IS THE ONE 100% IN THE WRONG. She doesn't get to dictate other people's money or vacations or time off from work or anything. If she's a true friend, then she won't get furious; she may be disappointed but maybe she'll change her plans. But if she does get furious... maybe that's a good thing? What on earth sort of friendship does your GF have with her that she feels she can't be honest and listened to without being bashed or whatever?

Destination weddings are stupid. Period. Unless the bride/groom is paying for travel and accommodations for everyone, then she doesn't have a leg to stand on. 

And gotta say if your GF was TOLD she was gonna be a bridesmaid... you don't order or draft people into being members of a wedding party. It's not like jury duty. You graciously REQUEST THE HONOR OF YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY and you deal with polite rejection like a freaking adult if they tell you "thank you, but no" due to circumstances like lots of debt and don't have hundreds let alone thousands of dollars available for the bride's wedding event.

ETA: I forgot... if the bride already booked it and then basically told many people that they were required to go with, then likely she's getting a break on her wedding/accommodations by drafting others to pay for their own stuff there. It's a racket some resorts pull to draw in the crappy people to fund their destination wedding garbage. So the bride may not just be a bridezilla, she may be a greedy and cheap bridezilla that believes her wedding party and guests owe her for her fancy wedding dreams instead of remembering that it is HER party, and the INVITED people are GUESTS and shouldn't be paying to attend her event, let alone funding/subsidizing it for her.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 07:56:15 PM by Frankies Girl »

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5739
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2018, 07:10:17 PM »
I am old so destination weddings were not a thing.  Ugh!  I would think many people couldnít afford to go.  We wouldnít have been able to at your ages. Hopefully the bride will understand. If not then no big loss. Frankieís girl is right on.

Megma

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 716
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2018, 08:22:57 PM »
In my opinion, you only have a destination wedding when you want it to be small and have very few people attend. That's why you do it faaaarrrrr away, so you shouldn't be sad when lots of people don't come. So don't feel bad if you can't really afford to go and decline.

Also, how many bridesmaids is she having? Some people seem to have a team of nine girls including everyone they know instead of just their closest friends. For me, this would be a consideration too. Are they besties or just someone she is in the same social group with?

Penn42

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 267
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2018, 09:27:37 PM »
This comment isn't going to be helpful and I am sorry for it, but...

Weddings suck.

Cranky

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1762
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2018, 05:15:25 AM »
I thought that the point of destination weddings was that you didnít have to have all your annoying relatives there?

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8011
  • Location: United States
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2018, 05:23:46 AM »
I thought that the point of destination weddings was that you didnít have to have all your annoying relatives there?
OPs girlfriend is brides friend, not relative.

Most people invited don't seem to go to destination weddings...

galliver

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1891
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2018, 05:37:03 AM »
Being with friends when they get married has always felt pretty important to me, although few of my friends did the bridesmaid thing and I've never been one. I've ended up going to 3 "destination" weddings. First was Florida, although bride and groom and most guests were from Chicago. Turned out they were accommodating beloved elderly relatives that couldn't travel, which I can respect. For us, flights and hotel were surprisingly expensive (400+300 ea?), but we got to see bf's grampa after the wedding (only time I met him). Total for 4 days was close to 1k per person... This made it easier to justify bf's good friends' wedding at a Mexican all inclusive resort at 1.2k ea for 6 days. Very relaxing vacation, I hadn't done that before. Last one was in India...friend's hometown and it was an awesome cultural experience. That was like 1-1.5k ea for a week with the bulk of that in airfare, because India is very inexpensive.

I've also turned down now 3 weddings of good college friends. All 3, by coincidence, were local to the couple but would involve travel for me because I had moved away. They also happened to fall near times I was actually moving so I could spare neither money nor time. Fortunately, my friends are adults and weren't offended, to the best of my knowledge. So that is an option...

I don't think anyone can tell you how much to value the friendship and being there at the wedding, or how comfortable/stable your finances seem to you (job security, making headway on debt, having small luxuries eg "pizza budget" you can scale back to afford this, etc.) I also don't think you can tell SO how much to value this, even if you don't find it worthwhile to go.

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4608
  • Location: Avalon
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2018, 06:59:27 AM »
If the bride wasn't close enough to your girlfriend to talk to her about having the wedding in Jamaica before it was booked then the bride isn't a close enough friend for your girlfriend to pay the money to go to her wedding.

PoutineLover

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1199
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2018, 07:10:23 AM »
Yeah this whole "told" she was a bridesmaid instead of asked, and the already decided booking and cost are not good signs. If this is a really close friend and she really wants to be a bridesmaid, before she accepts she should definitely have a frank conversation about what other costs are involved, like bachelorette, dress, excursions, etc. If she wants a polite way to decline, some suggestions above were nice but firm. Since it didn't start off well, I don't expect this to end well. I am in the midst of wedding frenzy among my friends, and I've already seen a 15 year friendship end. People get wacko about weddings.

Freedomin5

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2077
  • Location: China
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2018, 07:10:46 AM »
If you lose fiends along the way, they are people not worth being friends with long term.

Very appropriate Freudian slip. ;)

I agree with all the other posters, btw.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10881
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2018, 07:36:01 AM »
As is so often the case, @Frankies Girl's insightful comments win the sweepstakes. Grand runner-up prize goes to @Malkynn. Can't wait to hear more details from the OP.

Maenad

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 515
  • Location: Minneapolis 'burbs
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2018, 07:59:28 AM »
The Wedding Years are the beginning of adulthood - when you and all of your friends start having the difficult conversations:

I'm sorry, I just can't afford to go to your wedding right now.

I'm sorry, I can't go on this vacation with you, I don't have the available PTO.

I'm sorry, I can't make it to your party tonight, our kid has the stomach flu.

I'm sorry, I can't go on this cruise, I need to stay local for my sick parent.


Even if the bride freaks out, she may come around later, once she starts seeing how common it is for Real Life to interfere in our little fantasies. We've had friends drop out of our lives for years on end when their kids are young, then reappear. It's just... life.

FindingFI

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 134
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2018, 08:02:48 AM »
A couple years ago we were invited to two destination weddings in the same summer. 

The first was my husband's best friend getting married in Mexico, which sounds very similar to the one OP is contending with in Jamaica: airfare, 4 days at an all-inclusive resort, excursions, etc.  The bride's best friend who was asked to be maid of honor, however turned down the invitation.  The bride graciously accepted the response and they are still best friends.  This is how it should work.

A couple months later was one of my best friends getting married in France. In both cases, the couples had local mini-receptions near home afterwards for everyone that was not able to attend, because they knew that not everyone who was invited would be able to come.  Politely declining is a completely acceptable option.

AMandM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2018, 08:43:45 AM »
The Wedding Years are the beginning of adulthood - when you and all of your friends start having the difficult conversations:

I'm sorry, I just can't afford to go to your wedding right now.

I'm sorry, I can't go on this vacation with you, I don't have the available PTO.

I'm sorry, I can't make it to your party tonight, our kid has the stomach flu.

I'm sorry, I can't go on this cruise, I need to stay local for my sick parent.


Even if the bride freaks out, she may come around later, once she starts seeing how common it is for Real Life to interfere in our little fantasies. We've had friends drop out of our lives for years on end when their kids are young, then reappear. It's just... life.

FTFY.
You are allowed to turn down invitations, period. You do not have to justify your reply or enter into negotiations about it unless you want to.

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 580
  • Location: WNC
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2018, 09:02:10 AM »
The Wedding Years are the beginning of adulthood - when you and all of your friends start having the difficult conversations:

I'm sorry, I just can't afford to go to your wedding right now.

I'm sorry, I can't go on this vacation with you, I don't have the available PTO.

I'm sorry, I can't make it to your party tonight, our kid has the stomach flu.

I'm sorry, I can't go on this cruise, I need to stay local for my sick parent.


Even if the bride freaks out, she may come around later, once she starts seeing how common it is for Real Life to interfere in our little fantasies. We've had friends drop out of our lives for years on end when their kids are young, then reappear. It's just... life.

FTFY.
You are allowed to turn down invitations, period. You do not have to justify your reply or enter into negotiations about it unless you want to.

True, but if I invited someone to something special and they just said, "No, I'm not coming" without explanation, I probably would not invite them to anything else.  If its your goal to not hang out with that friend, then cool.  If you would otherwise do something with that friend but can't at that time, its better to include an explanation, otherwise you undermine the assumption that you enjoy spending time with each other. 

Awesomeness

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 175
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2018, 09:22:47 AM »
I am so glad to read this, I feel the same as what others wrote, but boy you donít share that  especially when you know others that went all out for their weddings.

Even before I divorced I was not a fan of weddings. Personally I got married at a JP and did a potluck. My divorce was 10 grand but should have been 1.  I wish it was the opposite.lol. 

I donít hate marriage or have anything against it in general, it just seems very selfish to expect people to spend so much money on you, I donít think like that.  My last one was family in another state. I was able to combine it w many other things so it worked out, otherwise I would not have gone.  There was one that was local but still cost us 400$ because we paid our own dinners and my ex had to rent a tux. It was suooosed to be a inexpensive event w just family and close friends but it was still 400$ for just us.  I wasnít happy.

Good luck, you got a lot of good advice here.

zygote

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 254
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2018, 09:47:49 AM »
I have a different perspective on all of this than many posters so far. I just don't think wedding location is that big of a deal?

Maybe I'm biased because my friends have scattered across the country over time. My family doesn't really live in one place either. I got married where I live, and probably 80% of the guests had to fly in. Does that count as a destination wedding? Does a destination wedding even have any meaning when none of your guests are in the same place? We did struggle a bit with our guests all having to pay for the trip, but didn't really have a choice. There was no good location. A few people couldn't make it, and that was totally fine.

I have also paid to travel to several of my friends' weddings (including a few in which I was a bridesmaid), but they were all great about it. No extra travel for showers or bachelorette parties, no crazy demands. I did have to pay for my bridesmaid dresses, but the only requirements were to get something of a specific color. I spent $6 at a thrift store to get the most recent one and have worn it again since. And if I hadn't been able to come for whatever reason (logistical, financial) they would have understood. We'd certainly still be friends.

I guess it all comes down to how your girlfriend feels about the wedding. Is it important to her to be there? If she really wants to make it work, I think she should find a way to go. If she doesn't think it's worth it, it's okay to say no. If her friend doesn't understand, then she's not a very good friend.

Jouer

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 391
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2018, 09:50:59 AM »
As someone who got married at a destination wedding in the Dominican Republic, I can offer the perspective of the other side.

For the most part, I agree with what everyone is saying. We decided to have our wedding down south for [reasons] so no one was under any obligation to attend if they couldn't afford to, or even if they just didn't want to. One of my best friends didn't attend because of money issues. Not only was I ok with it, I would have given him shit for attending given those money issues. I would never want someone to be put out because of my decisions.

Having said that, since it was our wedding, it was up to us what we wanted to do in terms of location, etc. This was our decision and it wasn't stupid. It was fucking awesome....and everyone who came would say the same.

Cranky

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1762
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2018, 10:21:16 AM »
I thought that the point of destination weddings was that you didnít have to have all your annoying relatives there?
OPs girlfriend is brides friend, not relative.

Most people invited don't seem to go to destination weddings...

Yeah, but the same thing applies - a destination wedding is about the destination, not the big staged wedding production. You donít expect people to actually come to it, even if you politely invite them.

If you want everybody to show up in Tahiti, you have to buy them tickets.

Pennycounter

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2018, 10:55:20 AM »
As someone who got married at a destination wedding in the Dominican Republic, I can offer the perspective of the other side.

For the most part, I agree with what everyone is saying. We decided to have our wedding down south for [reasons] so no one was under any obligation to attend if they couldn't afford to, or even if they just didn't want to. One of my best friends didn't attend because of money issues. Not only was I ok with it, I would have given him shit for attending given those money issues. I would never want someone to be put out because of my decisions.

Having said that, since it was our wedding, it was up to us what we wanted to do in terms of location, etc. This was our decision and it wasn't stupid. It was fucking awesome....and everyone who came would say the same.

Agree with this 100%. We had a destination wedding and hardly ANY of my really good friends could attend (new baby, no money, injuries, etc) and they are still my friends. You do the wedding for you and if they aren't okay with people being unable to attend, boo to them.  Sure, they will be bummed you cannot attend but when you book something like that you have to be ready for people to be unable to go. 

As a wedding guest, I did not go to one of my friends weddings because at the time we weren't feeling super financially stable (hint, we were but I didn't feel it) I totally regret being too conservative then and not attending. 

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6869
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2018, 11:20:31 AM »
I am old so destination weddings were not a thing.  Ugh!  I would think many people couldnít afford to go.  We wouldnít have been able to at your ages. Hopefully the bride will understand. If not then no big loss. Frankieís girl is right on.
Me too!

+1 for Frankie's girl.

I thought about a destination wedding back in the mid-90's, because I didn't want a big bash.  I figured that way we could just have our parents and our sisters and that's it!  I lost that battle.

A few thoughts, in random order:
- a destination wedding is like any wedding where you don't live.  I have attended a few weddings that are out of state, for very good friends who were in my own wedding (though I wasn't necessarily in theirs).  We had to make the choice of whether the trip was important enough.  And luckily for us, they were all before we had kids.  So dropping $1000-2000 for a long weekend was fine.

- Being asked to be in a wedding is important also, but you have to judge how close you are to that person. 

- Some people like to include vacation as part of attending a wedding - is jamaica somewhere you'd want to go?

- Ultimately, the bride and groom get to choose where they want to get married.  I got married where I was living (DC area), which meant every single family member had to travel.  Both sides.  They lived in different states and some out of the country.  It was no hard feelings to those who chose not to come.


Most people who have been married and have had to go through planning, cutting the guest list, etc., have learned to not take anything personally.  Invited or not, destination or not, whatever.

I don't miss being the wedding season age.  A few of my coworkers have gotten married in the last few years, including my office mate.  But I wasn't invited!  Because: we are just coworkers yay!

charis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1740
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2018, 11:30:22 AM »
As someone who got married at a destination wedding in the Dominican Republic, I can offer the perspective of the other side.

For the most part, I agree with what everyone is saying. We decided to have our wedding down south for [reasons] so no one was under any obligation to attend if they couldn't afford to, or even if they just didn't want to. One of my best friends didn't attend because of money issues. Not only was I ok with it, I would have given him shit for attending given those money issues. I would never want someone to be put out because of my decisions.

Having said that, since it was our wedding, it was up to us what we wanted to do in terms of location, etc. This was our decision and it wasn't stupid. It was fucking awesome....and everyone who came would say the same.

Agree with this 100%. We had a destination wedding and hardly ANY of my really good friends could attend (new baby, no money, injuries, etc) and they are still my friends. You do the wedding for you and if they aren't okay with people being unable to attend, boo to them.  Sure, they will be bummed you cannot attend but when you book something like that you have to be ready for people to be unable to go. 

As a wedding guest, I did not go to one of my friends weddings because at the time we weren't feeling super financially stable (hint, we were but I didn't feel it) I totally regret being too conservative then and not attending.

I agree that destination weddings are 100% ok and if you find someone else's wedding plans "stupid," it says more about you (needing everyone to adopt your wedding philosophy) than them. I say this as someone who turned down a destination wedding of a good friend when I was a poor grad student.  They were fine with it and we are still friends. 

In fact, I was just invited to a non-destination wedding that will be much more difficult to attend (8 hour drive, remote, no convenient airport).  I've never heard of anyone paying for wedding guests' accommodations, whether it's out of town, in town, or destination, and wouldn't expect that.

Noodle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1195
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2018, 11:37:38 AM »
What really matters here and what we don't know is what the GF wants, not what we all think of destination weddings. Wanting to spend money to attend a friend's wedding isn't a totally outrageous idea...the question is whether it's more important to her than working on all the other goals she has in front of her. (I wouldn't read too much into GF being "told" she was to be a bridesmaid...we're getting that conversation third-hand so who knows how it was actually phrased.)

She shouldn't feel that she "has" to attend, and any bride who would seriously hold a grudge over this isn't worth having as a friend. But it's not really clear here whether the GF wants to go, and is exaggerating her friend's feelings because she doesn't think her wishes will carry enough weight in the discussion, or if she doesn't want to go, and is feeling guilty, or would be fine going solo but is afraid it will look weird to leave OP home, or what.

OP wanted to know how to handle this with tact...I think that would be to keep talking with the GF until they're both clear about what's really important to her, and then sit down with the budget and see if there's any way to make it happen, and what trade-offs will have to be made, and if they're OK with that.

Milizard

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 686
  • Location: West Michigan
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2018, 11:45:43 AM »
I've been a bridesmaid enough in my life to know that it's not all that great.  Lots of expense, most of it is a complete waste.  I would enthusiastically go to a destination wedding if I wanted to go there on vacation anyway, had the time off of work and plenty of money to pay for it.  I would decline if it were too much of a burden.  A true friend would completely understand that.

frugaliknowit

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1671
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2018, 12:01:12 PM »
"...I guess I'm asking for how to navigate this with tact".

Here you go:  "Gee, I am honored to be asked to be in the wedding party and the invite!  I'm sorry, we're not in a position to attend a destination wedding.  Why don't we get together (before/after) for a celebratory
drink/dinner at xxxxx (classy bar or restaurant)".

Jouer

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 391
Re: We've been invited to a destination wedding
« Reply #30 on: October 17, 2018, 01:22:05 PM »
"...I guess I'm asking for how to navigate this with tact".

Here you go:  "Gee, I am honored to be asked to be in the wedding party and the invite!  I'm sorry, we're not in a position to attend a destination wedding.  Why don't we get together (before/after) for a celebratory
drink/dinner at xxxxx (classy bar or restaurant)".

This is perfect!