Friendship drama! Can’t afford to go to my friend’s wedding abroad

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  • #64414 Report


     So I was chosen to be a bridesmaid for my best friend’s wedding, who got engaged a couple of months ago. The wedding is abroad and the wedding is around 6 months away. My best friend and all her bridesmaid are all young and don’t have kids (28/29 years old). I’m the only with a child and also a single parent. She told all the bridesmaid that we would need about £1500 to cover costs (which would include the dress, flights, accommodation etc) and she said any additional costs will be covered by her and her fiancé. She also said that we would have to bring our own spending money too. I want to make a note that the weddings (its cultural traditions to have two weddings in African culture, the African wedding and then the white wedding) are in two locations abroad, one in west Africa and one in France.

    I had an honest conversation with her and explained that it’s looking like it’s not going to be feasible for me. When I spoke to her she kept trying to challenge me saying if you book flights early it should be a lot cheaper etc and kept going on and I felt like I constantly had to justify and explain my situation. It really hurt me as she’s been my friend for 15 years and I thought she would understand. After I spoke to her, I text her to say I will do my best to at least make the white wedding in France, but I wouldn’t be able to book anything until later as it will give me a bit more time to save. She then messaged me back saying I’m no longer a bridesmaid and I can just come as a guest as she thinks my financial situation will cause too much stress for her and for me. I was quite upset about this, as I thought it could of been handled better. I understand it’s her wedding and she should be able to do what she want regardless if people can afford it or not, but I just felt hurt and felt the way it was handled was unreasonable. I ended up leaving to the WhatsApp bridesmaid group, as it felt awkward and up setting for me to be there.

    The next day, I messaged her to confront her about the way it was handled and how it was a little hurtful. I confronted her about it and also brought up that, since I’ve known her, she’s liked to do a lot of expensive getaways and birthdays, which I wasn’t always able to afford and so didn’t always attend. I feel like we are on two different pages with different priorities.I am a young single mum, on a contract part time job (which finishes this month) and I’m on universal credit. She is a young woman with no children, works a well paid job, has lived at home for most of her 20s and also has a partner who has quite a bit of money. When I mentioned that my feelings were hurt, she said “ you act like you are the only one with financial responsibilities, I don’t know what you want from me and you are causing unnecessary drama”. I feel so hurt and kind of feel like I should call it quits on the friendship. I don’t know what to do. Has anyone else been in a similar situation? Would love some advice. Thanks xxx

    #64415 Report


    From what I have gathered African weddings are very much on a large scale with no expenses spared .

    I met someone at work who turned round and said that’s it quite the norm to have weddings abroad so that all the family can go to it . In the end after many weddings she said that she was no going to be brides maid as she was unable to afford to go abroad again.

    Everything is so expensive these days and personal ly I would prefer to spend that kind of money having a lovely holiday with My child  rather then trying to appease a friend who isn’t interested in whether I can afford to go and whether I can feed .y child and myself.

    She sounds quite dramatic friend rang me a week before her wedding and uninvite d me as it was just going to be parents and the sibling . So people behave quite strange ly and I bet your friend has an extravagant hen do too.




    #64425 Report

    Andrew uk

    Say no to one wedding and yes to the other? France not Africa?

    Or no to both and organise a party back in the uk.

    She’s being unreasonable.

    I bet you can find things cheaper but that’s not the point.

    If she’s prepared to cover your costs then maybe you could attend, but if that happened she might be reminding you of it forever.

    Dare i say that maybe you don’t need her as a friend?

    If that was me i would say no.

    As a not very good example,  my niece is getting married in Sweden in August. I am saving x amount each month into an account. Hotel is pay on arrival. Flights don’t know yet but i think mum is paying up-front. I am paying her back as much as i can. We had an honest conversation about the fact that money is tight for me atm and this is what i have to do.

    Just be aware that if you go to one and not the other you might spend all your time hearing about the wedding you missed!

    Life’s too short. I would say no I’m not attending.


    #64430 Report

    *deleted user*

    Especially with the current economic situation and trying not to be negative – food and energy prices going up, it is totally understandable to acknowledge that this is an awful lot of money for most people, not least most single parents. Lots of us have been reassessing our priorities in the face of changed circumstances/job losses/redundancies/benefit issues.

    It is okay to say no as previous poster says. As lovely as it might be to go to a wedding if it creates more stress for you and your immediate family as a single parent, ‘no’ would be getting your priorities right, in my view. Personally I’m grateful to have stable housing and be able to pay my gas bill, when so many are struggling with housing etc. You are certainly not alone in hesitating to shell out this much in uncertain times.

    Many of us have got used to operating with uncertainty in the pandemic. Whenever I make plans for myself or my daughter, yes, I hope things will work out and we can do what we plan to do, but I’ve also got a contingency plan in place – and a cancellation plan, in case it doesn’t. I feel this is a sensible approach and we have all had to be quite inventive in Covid to do anything, haven’t we?!

    I wish the person well with their wedding, however, even for a slot in France it is not set in stone that it will actually happen in six months time as the situation in Europe re Covid is so uncertain at the moment…flight delays…situation of hospitality industry etc. I wondered if your friend has factored that in? I hope she has a robust cancellation/refund policy in place…with the companies involved…

    #64473 Report

    Alys friend

    She sounds like a total bridezilla! She is of course able to behave however she chooses, but that doesn’t mean you have to provide her an audience.

    My mum has a saying about not all friendships last forever, but we can always be grateful for what good times we had.

    I’ve not had the destination wedding drama, but I have declined expensive hen-dos. The bride and BMs were entirely gracious about it and we all had a nice time when we next met up. That grace is what’s missing here.

    You don’t have to make a sweeping decision to end the friendship. You can just leave her to her planning, and focus your energy on finding your next contract and having some fun with other friends. Then send her a nice card before she goes away for the first wedding – maybe a gift if you’re so inclined.

    Relationships are never 50:50 equally all the time; there’s give and take. But if the giving and taking are both one-sided, then what is at the heart of your friendship?

    Good luck, whatever you decide!!

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