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Bride-To-Be Upset After Best Friend Says She Can’t Afford To Come To Her Destination Wedding

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Weddings in the best of times are tough to plan.

But make it a destination wedding and add in a pandemic, and there are guaranteed to be some headaches.

An arrangement like this will likely mean some important loved ones won’t be able to come, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

But a Redditor, who has since deleted her account, was not ready to hear such negative news from her best friend.

When her friend insisted she couldn’t make it happen, the Original Poster (OP) still wouldn’t budge.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for expecting my best friend to save money over 2 to 3 years to come to my destination wedding?” 

The OP planned ahead to have a destination wedding.

“I met my fiancé on vacation and now live abroad. Despite this, my friend and I have kept up regularly and are still best friends.”

“3 to 6 months before I was engaged, my partner and I started planning a destination wedding.”

“We didn’t want a wedding in either of our home countries and wanted for all of our closest friends and family to get to know one another and celebrate our relationship since it will be nearly impossible to ever have everyone together again.”

The OP and her fiancé tried to accommodate potential guests.

“We chose a destination that is notoriously cheap and we hoped to pay for as much as we can for our guests so that their biggest expense would just be flights.”

“We understand that most people can’t afford an international flight with only 6 to 12 months’ notice. So before we were even engaged, we told our closest friends and family our plan to give them time to save.”

“My friend was very excited for the wedding and seemed to be fine with making the destination work.”

But then the OP received some bad news.

“But the pandemic happened and our wedding that we planned for the end of 2021 or mid-2022 had to be postponed to 2023.”

“When I was first engaged, my friend was single. Just over a year later (today) she tells me that she and her boyfriend are getting engaged and having their wedding in 2023.”

“I mentioned how crazy 2023 will be with so many weddings, not complaining about her date at all, because I knew I would make it work for her.”

“She informed me that she will likely not come to my wedding if it’s a destination wedding anymore.”

“She said she doesn’t have enough vacation days. She explained that she had 3 weeks off, one for their honeymoon, one to visit her family who lives a few hours away, and a whole week off for wedding planning.”

“I mentioned that she probably didn’t need to take a full week off for wedding planning.”

“She said that everyone takes off time to meet with vendors.”

“I mentioned that a lot of people get married while having full-time jobs and that most vendors are able to have weekend meetings for that reason.”

“But she dismissed me and said that I don’t understand how weddings work in her area.”

The friend insisted the plans had changed.

“She then said that even though she will have had 3 years’ notice, that the US inflation had increased 5%, so she could not afford the flight in addition to paying for her wedding in 2023 and buying a house in 2022.”

“She also told me that she could not afford her partner’s flight and he can’t either since he doesn’t make a lot of money.”

“I asked if she would be willing to come without him.”

“She said no because she didn’t want to travel alone.”

“Even after I mentioned that she could travel with one of our mutual friends, she still said no.”

“She said that because we didn’t have a set date, that I couldn’t have expected her to put money aside for the wedding and that life goes on and she has other expenses.”

“I felt like she was putting me in a position to choose between the wedding I’ve been dreaming of for the past 2 years and having my best friend there.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some said the OP would be wrong to keep arguing with her friend.

“YWBTA (you would be the a**hole) if you keep pushing this, I think. She’s saying ‘no’ in many different ways here.”

“Essentially, it’s not within her budget.”

“Unfortunately, this is the downside of destination weddings, you end up with even close people dropping out.” – firefly232

“The friend has said it’s not happening. She’s given several reasons, but ‘No’ is a complete sentence.”

“OP rolled the dice with a destination wedding in the first place, and I’m almost on the YTA side for the way she dismissed the friend’s time-off concerns for her own wedding planning.” – AcrylicTooth

“On top of that, OP says the destination was ‘notoriously cheap.’ If people need to save up that much for your destination wedding, it isn’t that cheap.”

“Also, OP is based in Australia and her friend is US-based, so wherever they’re going, it’s a hella long flight for OP’s friend.”

“YTA for expecting her to save up for a wedding that isn’t within her means, and expecting her to give up her time off for your wedding.”

“Also, wedding planners in the US are booked to hell and back, and weekends might not be an option for her for wedding planning, or maybe just maybe she doesn’t wanna cram planning into her free time on weekends.”

“She’s using her time off to make planning, her wedding, honeymoon, and visit with her family as stress-free as possible, and here you are, adding to stress for her.”

“Take a step back, look at this from someone else’s point of view, and be better.”

“If you care about this friendship, you need to recognize you’re being a lowkey bridezilla for expecting her to put her life on hold for you, especially since you wouldn’t do the same for her.”

“If you’re gonna feel put out by something, maybe don’t make it something you’re just as guilty of doing.” – lilmxfi

Others agreed and said the OP should be more sensitive to others’ needs.

“Anyone who acknowledges that their friends and family will need more than 6 months to save up money just to travel to their wedding yet isn’t prepared for guests to decline the invitation because of tight finances and time constraints is an a**hole.” – thistleandpeony

“In all seriousness, I’m not saving up 6-12 months for someone else’s wedding. I don’t care if we’ve known each other a decade. A year or half-year of savings is a ton of my money that can be used on a lot of things that aren’t one big party.”

“People really need to realize. No one cares about your wedding. We’re happy for you. But it’s a checkbox that affects literally no one outside of the relationship.”

“I will be happy for you, I will get you a gift and cry but I don’t care if it’s in a backyard or the Eiffel tower. It’s still your wedding.” – Kcinic

“Some of this wedding culture irritates me. It’s narcissistic to think your wedding is important enough to other people that they’ll spend money on it.”

“In general, don’t expect anything of the guests, bridesmaids, or family other than that they exhibit good manners during the event.” – eleveneels

Though the OP was adamant that her best friend attend her wedding, the subReddit pointed out how big of an ask that actually was. Not only did her friend have her own life and wedding to attend to, but going to destination weddings typically is anything but cheap.

Her friend might have been able to attend at the originally scheduled time, but the OP unfortunately needs to accept that changed plans can lead to new RSVPs as well.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.