While we know that planning a wedding is incredibly expensive, we sometimes forget or don’t know how expensive it can become for the guests.
To attend a destination wedding, for example, some guests might have to take out a small loan just to be able to afford the flight and lodging expenses, stressed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Assistant-babes was concerned about being able to attend her childhood best friend’s wedding because of how much it would eat into her savings just to attend.
But when her friend questioned how good of a friend she was, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was wrong to hesitate over the cost.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to attend my friend’s destination wedding?”
The OP’s childhood best friend would be getting married soon.
“My (23 Female) friend, Sarah (25 Female), and I have been close since childhood. We’ve shared many memories and experiences, and I consider her like a sister.”
“Recently, Sarah got engaged to her long-term partner, Mark (28 Male), and they began planning a destination wedding at a luxurious resort in a tropical paradise.”
The OP became increasingly concerned about the cost of attending the wedding.
“When Sarah first announced the destination, I was excited for her and congratulated her wholeheartedly.”
“However, as the wedding details unfolded, I realized attending the wedding would be a significant financial burden for me.”
“The cost of travel, accommodation, and other expenses would eat into my savings and disrupt my budget for the foreseeable future.”
“I work a stable job and can afford my everyday expenses comfortably, but splurging on an extravagant destination wedding just isn’t feasible for me at this point in my life.”
“Moreover, I have other financial goals, such as saving for a down payment on a house, that I need to prioritize.”
The OP tried to explain the situation to the bride.
“When Sarah asked if I would be attending, I expressed my genuine happiness for her but explained my financial constraints and regretfully declined.”
“I assured her that I would be there in spirit and would celebrate with them during their reception back home.”
“Sarah didn’t take my refusal well and accused me of not caring enough about our friendship to make an effort.”
“She argued that if I truly valued our friendship, I would find a way to be present on her special day.”
“She pointed out that other friends were making sacrifices to attend, and it hurt her that I wasn’t doing the same.”
The OP felt increasingly conflicted over what she should do.
“I tried to explain my position, emphasizing that it wasn’t about not caring, but rather about being responsible with my finances.”
“However, Sarah remained upset and distant, making me feel like a terrible friend.”
“Now I’m conflicted, wondering if I made the right decision. I don’t want to lose our friendship, but I also don’t want to put myself in a difficult financial situation for a one-day event.”
“Reddit, AITA for refusing to attend my friend’s destination wedding?”
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 empathized with the OP and found the blame game to be manipulative.
“Friends don’t push other friends to extend themselves beyond financial boundaries. NTA.” – apexintelligence
“NTA. Ironic that she accused you of not caring about her when she obviously doesn’t care about you and what a financial burden she’s trying to saddle you with.”
“It’s been said many times, but AN INVITATION IS NOT A SUBPOENA!” – Ok_Conversation9750
“NTA. If you plan a wedding with a big financial burden on your guests, you have to live with most of them not coming.”
“You don’t even have to not have enough money. Even if you have enough and can pay it easily, you cannot expect that. Especially because people have to use their vacation days too… which is not really a matter of financial standing.” – Both-Fudge1866
“NTA. One of the downsides of a destination wedding is that a good chunk of people will not be able to attend due to budget and time constraints. If it were that important to her that you be able to attend, she’d have a local ceremony. As we get older, we outgrow some friends, and it’s okay.” – Prom_queen52
“NTA. This destination wedding trend is ludicrous. It can put financial burdens on guests and wedding party members, plus people, not the bride and groom, paying for it.”
“Remind Sarah this is the 21st century and she should set up a live stream so people who can’t easily afford to attend can share her day.” – PeanutGallery10
“It always floors me that people like Sarah epically fail to take into account the reality that others live in, and insist that their wedding day is the most important day in the universe. Yes, it’s important to the bride and groom, but your attendance is not a measure of the value you place on the friendship.”
“It’s not difficult to understand that you have personal goals and that spending a ton of money on a one-day event doesn’t mesh with those goals. Her other friends have their own financial situations to deal with, but their finances have nothing to do with yours.”
“NTA.” – baka-tari
“The audacity of these id**ts to think everyone should make extreme financial sacrifices so they have their dream wedding. My obligation ends when you start putting your hands in my pocket to count the loose change.”
“So, you’re not supposed to save for your own house and should spend that money on them? Ridiculously self-centered. Ask her if she’ll pay for your down payment because she needs to sacrifice for you, as well.”
“NTA. She’s not your friend.” – babcock27
“NTA. She’s as much as putting a price on your friendship: the cost of your going to the wedding. A true friend would at least pretend to understand that not everyone can afford their high-cost parties.”
“I’d send her a wedding gift and be done with it. Sooner or later, if she’s a real friend, she’ll contact you.” – Individual_Ad_9213
Others thought that friendship should be worth the financial sacrifice.
“YTA, but just a little. You have an excuse to go on vacation and celebrate a close friend’s best day of their life.” – mightnothavehands
“I’m sure you’re gonna get a lot of not the a**hole ratings from no friend Redditors, but YTA.”
“Most people don’t want to spend money on going to weddings, but you do it to keep the friend. I would think, ‘Wow, what a cheap a**hole,’ and if you were my best friend, you would no longer be.” – weebayfish
“YTA, if this one-time splurge will literally ruin your financial future that bad, you are either not doing as well as you say, or you are being a giant penny pincher.” – Master_Engineering_9
“ESH. It is wrong of her to make you feel bad that you’re too poor to attend.”
“But you make it seem like she is a sister to you and has made sacrifices to help you in the past.”
“Almost anywhere can be budgeted properly with enough time and planning. Maybe if you added hard numbers around your savings versus the cheapest way to attend the wedding, the NTA would be clear. But if she really is such a ‘best’ friend, I’m surprised it’s so expensive you can’t possibly make it work.” – jazzy3113
“It is a balance of the value of a friendship and how much it is affecting your goals. I know some people who, if it disrupts their finances a few dollars, they nope out. I know others who are the opposite.”
“Is the disruption to your financial plans over in a few months? Then, YTA.”
“Is the disruption going to cause a rift for six to eight months or more? Then, NTA.”
“Only you can answer if you are YTA, based on the actual info you have.” – Toihva
“ESH. Technically, you DO have the money; you just don’t want to ‘waste’ it on your friend’s wedding. She isn’t wrong; you don’t care enough about her to attend.”
“That isn’t wrong, though; it’s okay to put yourself first. Just understand that not showing up for people who care about you will be returned in kind.”
“You live one time. Hopefully, all the money you’re saving makes it worthwhile. From what I see, people who obsess with money have less financial stress and less overall happiness, so maybe it’s worth the trade-off.” – HookahandT
“My best friend of 20 years is getting married at a destination wedding next year, and it’s costing me $3500 to attend (but I will get a week on the island for that, so it’s a full vacation for us).”
“It’s a lot of money for me. I’m going to have to sacrifice a lot. But I’m okay doing it.”
“I am absolutely 100% sure, though, that if I said that the financial burden was too high, he would be okay with that. He would be sad but totally understanding, and I know he would put any hurt he felt over me not being able to make it to one side because he knows I would be there if I could.”
“That is something people have to take into consideration when booking a destination wedding.” – AdrenalineAnxiety
The topic of destination weddings left the subReddit as divided as this friendship seemed to be becoming.
Some sided with the OP and empathized with her financial needs, citing that a friendship should mean more than being able to attend a wedding. But others argued that the OP needed to show up for her friend and make a sacrifice like we all have to make at some point during our most important relationships.
It seemed the OP needed to decide what the friendship was financially worth, and the bride needed to decide whether the friendship was worth ending over a potentially empty seat at her wedding.