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Another overseas wedding dilemma
With a twist -- bride wants to pay our way there

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30 replies to this topic

#1 runnybabbit

Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:17 PM

Hello EBers.

We live in Queensland and have just moved interstate, so we're pretty short on cash. Hubs has a stable income but we are renting and I'm not working at the moment. In short, we're getting by, but just. I'm hoping to go back to work part time (baby is 11 months old) in a few months but we want to buy a house this year and need to save up.

My best friend in the whole wide world is getting married this August... in the UK. I love her and I am so happy for her and her fiance. And I really, really want to be there -- she wants me to be a bridesmaid.

We absolutely can't afford to make the trip, and she knows that. So she's offering to pay for half our flights (for me and my DH) from Singapore to London, we'd make our own way from QLD to Singapore, and then we'd stay with her fiance's parents while there (accommodation therefore being free). But they can only put us up for about a week, so that's about how long we'd be staying.

I have a huge problem with this. She has just started a business and so far it's been doing really well -- three months in and already turning a profit, but she has debts to pay and they've just bought a flat in London, so they now have a mortgage, too. She's the most generous person in the world and I personally think her family often takes advantage of her financially. I'm not willing to become one more person who takes money from her.

This is really upsetting her, though, the fact that we can't go because I won't take her money. To me it means she will be taking on debt so that I don't have to.

A selfish element of this -- our 11-month-old is a bad sleeper and a whirlwind trip from Queensland to the UK for one week is likely going to be awful, crabby toddler jetlagged the whole time we're there, and then having to readjust once we're back.

Truly, though, the main reason we don't want to go (as much as I WANT to be there) is because I don't want to take money from her. I just can't. It's not pride -- it's more like I would be compromising my values if I took her money.

Am I wrong? Is it selfish to say I can't be there, when, well, I technically CAN?

(We can't really afford to borrow the money from her and pay it back, either, so that's not an option.)

#2 ~Delilah~

Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:19 PM

How about just you go?

#3 ljl211

Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:23 PM

QUOTE (~Delilah~ @ 22/03/2012, 10:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How about just you go?

This was my suggestion too!

#4 bubblebear

Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:23 PM

QUOTE (~Delilah~ @ 22/03/2012, 10:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How about just you go?

I was thinking this too, if you would be covering half the fare for two of you then you should be able to afford it for yourself, and it would bypass any traveling issues with your child. You also could then fully focus on her and being a bridesmaid, rather than worrying about a jet lagged toddler.

#5 runnybabbit

Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:24 PM

I'd have to bring DS along, and deal with his jetlaggedness and all that on my own. sad.gif

#6 Duck-o-lah

Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:28 PM

In ten years, what will you remember, your DS being crabby and tired, or being a part of your best mates wedding on a whirlwind trip across the world. I don't think you'd ever regret it if you went original.gif

#7 Zanjabeel

Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:32 PM

Could you possibly take the money as a loan to repay in the future?

Or take it and then one day in the future do something really nice for her?

#8 2bellaboos

Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:39 PM

QUOTE (duck-o-lah @ 22/03/2012, 10:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In ten years, what will you remember, your DS being crabby and tired, or being a part of your best mates wedding on a whirlwind trip across the world. I don't think you'd ever regret it if you went original.gif


QUOTE (Turando @ 22/03/2012, 10:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Or take it and then one day in the future do something really nice for her?

and THIS!!!

#9 kez71

Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:39 PM

i understand your dilemma. You could hunt around for a good airfare..My DH is heading over in June and he found a $400 ticket to singapore with jetstar and then an $1100 one from singapore to manchester with one of the arab airlines (Can't remember which one)..so $1500 to UK return. its a super good price, just a matter of changing airlines. If your friend wants to help you pay, then let her. Its her wedding, she should be able to do what she likes

If you only went for a week, you could leave DS with DH or another family member.

#10 Julie3Girls

Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:45 PM

I'd go yourself.

If you have just moved interstate, you presumably don't have family nearby. Could you get a grandparent to come to you in QLD, stay for the week you are away?  They get to see your new place, spend time with your son. And you don't have to worry about your son while you are away for a week.  

That drops your costs to just the flights for you.
And honestly, if she really wants you there, I'd even consider letting her share the cost of getting your there. The only reason you are going is for her wedding, going on your own, just for a week - you are not taking advantage of her, you are going there for HER.

#11 BJBubbles

Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:47 PM

How is it "compromising your values" ??  

I've been the bride in this situation.... and it's really hard to describe the thought patterns and feeling behind it...  

To me, it wasn't about money. It was about doing a favour for someone I love. We never asked or expected the money to be paid back - and never want it to be. Instead we wanted our friends and family to enjoy a holiday and celebrate our wedding stress free.

I would have been really disappointed and struggled to understand why someone would not accept the gift we offered them - there were no string other than they come to the wedding and enjoy the holiday!

Thankfully, everyone we offered to help, accepted, and all of us (total of 21 guests) had an amazing holiday!  My best friend (whom we helped financially) actually got engaged the day after our wedding andher now DH was stoked to be able to propose in such an awesome environment and we were all able to celebrate.

OP, put whatever your concerns are aside - your friend WANTS you to be there and wouldn't offer if it wasn't important and viable for her to give you the gift.  I think accept it graciously and go and have a ball celebrating her wedding!

#12 ~Delilah~

Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:48 PM

Why do you have to bring DS? If your DH can take time off work to attend a wedding in the UK, he can take time off work to be a parent while you are having a carefree time with your bestie.

Your child will survive for a week without you and he will still remember you when you come back.

#13 runnybabbit

Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:02 PM

Wow, thanks everyone for the great responses... I'm looking into flights for just me. original.gif DH will have to take a week off. Not confirmed yet, but I think this solution will be best. Of course I wish DH and DS could be there, too, minus the fractious toddler part, but DH is also adamant about not taking her money, so I think this might be the happy medium.

#14 roses99

Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:13 PM

You should go! Just you. Unless your son is breastfed, leave him at home with your husband. It'll be tough to be away from him, but you'll be ok. And he'll be with his dad.

I know someone who looked after his baby of a similar age, under similar circumstances. And honestly, he feels that the couple of weeks he had solo with his son was the making of their current close relationship as adults. What a great bonding opportunity for them!

Also...my best friend came home from Austria to be at my wedding. It's twelve years on, and the fact that she did that for me still means so much to me.

If I was in your situation, I'd seriously just take out a personal loan for about 5k and pay it back within a year. It's worth it. It really is.

#15 baddmammajamma

Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:16 PM

QUOTE (runnybabbit @ 22/03/2012, 11:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow, thanks everyone for the great responses... I'm looking into flights for just me. original.gif DH will have to take a week off. Not confirmed yet, but I think this solution will be best. Of course I wish DH and DS could be there, too, minus the fractious toddler part, but DH is also adamant about not taking her money, so I think this might be the happy medium.

Perfect solution. Well done!

Enjoy, enjoy!

#16 Majeix

Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:29 PM

edited due to lack of relevency with new update. original.gif Hope you have fun.

Edited by Majeix, 22 March 2012 - 10:30 PM.

#17 KristyMum-

Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:11 PM

brilliant.  middle ground found.
Hope you go and your friend (and you as her bridesmaid), her husband and all involved have a fabulous time original.gif

#18 Bunsen the feral

Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:22 PM

We got married here (both from UK originally) so a lot of our guests had to travel - we actually had it in our budget to help out certain people who we really wanted to attend. It was more important to have them there than to have fancy cars or a photographer so thats what we used our money for.

If your friend has offered to pay for you it is because it is important for her to have you there - you shouldn't feel bad about accepting her generosity, it's as much for her benefit as it is for yours!

#19 CallMeFeral

Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:36 PM

We paid for someone to come from South Africa for our wedding, because it was really important to DH. We'd have been really sad if they hadn't felt close enough to be comfortable taking the money. And I guess also it was only offerred because it felt like something DH wanted to do for them - if they'd said no he'd have always had that feeling that he never gave them that, never said thank you for what they meant to him, etc etc.

I think you should go. And if you are worried about DS - just go for shorter. We had a couple at our wedding who only flew in for 3 days 4 nights and then went back to the UK... it was sad they couldn't come for longer, but I so appreciated the effort they took to be there.

#20 runnybabbit

Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:08 AM

QUOTE (roses99 @ 22/03/2012, 08:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You should go! Just you. Unless your son is breastfed, leave him at home with your husband. It'll be tough to be away from him, but you'll be ok. And he'll be with his dad.

He is BFed, though. Do you think being away from him for about a week will cause him to wean? I'm happy to pump to keep my supply up. I'm hoping that at 16 months he won't be on more than two feeds a day. I'll post this in the BFing forum, anyhoo. wink.gif

#21 MrsWright

Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:37 AM

I'm glad you're looking into going, I know it's hard to accept such a generous gift but truly your friend wouldn't have offered if it was going to be a problem. That's how much she wants you there! If I offered to help pay my best friend to come to my overseas wedding and she didn't come because of not wanting to accept the offer, I'd be devastated. So yes, very glad you're thinking of going even if it's just by yourself original.gif A week in the UK isn't very long but I think you'll be so glad you went.

#22 Charlies Angel

Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:41 AM

I think that it is great that you've decided to go. It seems a sensible compromise.

It will also be such an exciting adventure to look forward to for the next 5 months. Yes, it is quite decadent to head to England for just a week - but something that you will remember for years.

And just think of all the movies you will be able to catch up on whilst on the plane! 24 hours of uninterrupted 'me time'.

#23 opethmum

Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:43 AM

I paid for my sister and now husband's airfares to their own wedding in NZ. They were in a rough patch financially and I have never regretted paying their fare. For them it was their ultimate wedding present. I do not hold them in debt because they are family and I am sure you are just family to her. She would not offer the money if she did not think you were worth it.
I would also maybe encourage some one in your family/circle of friends to help you in the trip if you want to take DS with you so that he can be minded when the wedding happens. I hope you can come up with a solution that you are happy with.

#24 roses99

Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:48 AM

QUOTE (Ferdinand @ 23/03/2012, 10:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think a trip to England for a week is ridiculous, you'd spend most of it in transit.

Why? She's not going for the sightseeing. She's going to be at her best friend's wedding.

#25 Chalkie

Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:54 AM

QUOTE (Ferdinand @ 23/03/2012, 11:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think a trip to England for a week is ridiculous, you'd spend most of it in transit.

I have been to London for a week for a wedding - yes it is hectic, but perfectly doable.  Especially if travelling alone because then there is a good chance you will relax and rest on the plane.

OP I am sure you will regret it if you don't go - go and enjoy!

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