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Trying to Afford a Wedding

Ask Savvy: I Can't Afford My Friend's Wedding

Have you ever been asked to be part of a bridal party that you can't afford? If so, offer up your advice to a reader who's stuck in the same predicament. And if you have any questions of your own, ask them in the Ask Savvy group!

I have been asked to participate in my friend's wedding as a bridesmaid. Unfortunately, I cannot afford the extravagant wedding and celebrations leading up to the wedding. At the moment, a conservative estimate for what I'll have to pay is $1,500. I'm worried my friend will kick me out of her wedding or, worse, stop being my friend altogether. I need advice on how to politely explain to her that all of this is way out of my price range. I feel like a bad friend for not being able to "do it all," but I can't afford to go into debt.

Ask anything budget-, etiquette-, or planning-related — well, almost anything — by posting your questions in the Ask Savvy group, and I'll find the right expert to help you out.

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countchocula countchocula 4 years
I think you should tell your friend what you've written here. I can't imagine that a good friend would rather see you get into financial hardship to be a part of her wedding stead of just being honest with her. I could see myself saying something like "I'm honored that you asked me to be a bridesmaid but, since money is really tight right now, I can't afford the costs that come with being in a wedding. However, I still want to do whatever I can to make this time special for you." It's a tricky situation and I hope you find a good outcome!
mznatural mznatural 4 years
I must admit this is one touchy topic. Do you think she'll stop being your friend if you decide you cannot participate? I ask this because if this is the case, then she's not your true friend anyway. I once had to withdraw myself from my friend's wedding and honestly it was the best decision I ever made. I explained to her that I have quite a few financial commitments that year and simply would not be able to afford being in her wedding, but can assist in anything that she needed help with. If you can afford to- maybe you can take part in some of the festivities that fit into your budget. So if you can afford 600 or whatever the amount - I would take part in things up until that amount. Weddings can be costly and to be honest its her wedding not yours. Being a supportive friend is what should matter most and if she's your real friend she'll appreciate your honesty and appreciate whatever you can do to help. Hope this helps.
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