Wedding Talk

'Your costs are hugely over-exaggerated' - woman told she's 'unreasonable' for not attending friend's wedding over expense

It's no secret that attending a wedding can be a costly endeavour, particularly these days when it's often a two-day affair in a distant location, whether that's the opposite end of the country, or abroad.

So, what do you do if you simply cannot afford to attend the wedding of a good friend, particularly if you have not had regular contact with that friend in the run up to the Big Day?  And is citing the expense as a reason why you cannot attend to your friend ever a good idea?

It seems perhaps not.

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One woman found out the hard way after she told the bride-to-be, via text, that she could not afford to attend her wedding but wished her a "wonderful day".

"I was invited to an old friend's wedding and at first I was excited to go. We don't see each other very often and as you get older you move on with your lives and work and seeing each other becomes more difficult and she moved away but we always remained friends," explained the woman on Mumsnet.

She said she was excited to attend the wedding and happy for her, but added, "However we are now nearly 2 months away from the wedding and I haven't seen her in over a year face to face. We barely text or talk anymore unless I text first. And then her wedding is very expensive."

The woman went on to list those expenses as being £50-£60 (€56-€67) for petrol, hotel with continental breakfast £70 (€79), partner's suit £150 (€170), new dress £80 (€90), drinks from 11am "at a bar that won't be cheap", all adding up to over £300 (€337), before they buy a gift, and which, she said, they cannot afford.

She told her friend she would "send a gift in the post" and wished her a wonderful day.  However, she said the bride "hit the roof and told me my priorities are off because I cannot afford to attend her wedding."

She said she told her they were on a limited budget and could understand why she is upset but it "can't be helped".

"And I got a little bit cross and said that my priority is to my family and not going into debt to attend a party," she said, adding that the bride blocked her on social media.

Some Mumsnet members were reassuring, with one stating, "At the end of the day, you are doing the best for your family, if you can't afford it, you can't afford it.  Some brides can only think of their view/feelings when planning their weddings and get so stressed they can be unreasonable."

However, the majority of members were not particularly sympathetic to the woman.

One responded, "I think you're both a but unreasonable sorry... you don't NEED brand new clothes, if you really haven't got anything try charity shops and ebay. Is there not a cheaper hotel nearby? But she was rude too..."

Slanetylor added, "Well it’s not news that a wedding is expensive so you shouldn’t have said you were going and then backed out. The wedding doesn't seem that expensive. You don’t need new clothes, you don’t need to drink much, you don’t need to bring your husband, it’s an hour away which is short, you don’t need to stay. I’ve turned down lots of weddings I couldn’t afford. I do regret it now but I do understand. But if she’s a good friend, I’d try and go. I don’t think you’ve handled it well."

Another added that the woman and the bride are "both being unreasonable", adding that the bride has "acted like an immature teenager having a strop" but that the woman has "blown the cost out of all proportion" and advised her not to drink and drive home after the reception.