We’ve all heard how costly it is to arrange a wedding. But what about being a wedding guest? That can be almost as dear!
Of course, it depends on expectations. If you’re invited to a destination wedding, how much money will you be asked to stump up? (Don’t forget that that would be in addition to the present.)
What if the wedding list the couple publish demands outlay approximating to the National Debt?
What if you’re genuinely struggling to make ends meet, but really want to support the couple?
A very simple solution is to (politely) refuse the invitation or explain you have a prior commitment. That is probably not all that satisfactory (especially if you want to attend, but prefer to avoid embarrassment). If you do decide to give it a miss, don’t leave your response till the last moment. Do give maximum warning (so the couple has the option of inviting someone else in your stead). And leaving it too late can mean that the couple are charged for a meal you had no intention of attending, which is really inexcusable.
A more comfortable solution
If you genuinely can’t afford the expense, you may have to come clean. Explain this to your friends/family. Perhaps you can attend the ceremony (after all, that is – or should be – the important bit) and then leave. You might still be able to offer a small gift.
If the couple really are your friends, they will understand and respect your decision.
[On another level, there might not be this dilemma, if the couple’s wedding list contains a few items that are, shall we say, more affordable anyway – but, of course, that is not something you can control.]
The best solution?
Another suggestion is to explain that your budget won’t stretch, but that you would like to take the couple out to a show/dinner/concert another time. That way you can have some valuable quality time together (which you can’t at the wedding, of course) and show that you value their friendship.
There’s nothing to stop you sending them a lovely, personal congratulatory good wishes card, which is a lovely touch.
Openness (and tact!) should allow you to suitably mark the occasion for your friends without breaking the bank or losing their friendship.