How To Tactfully Say No To Your Friend's Destination Wedding

Your BFF is getting married, which, like, mazel. However, she’s decided that hosting her wedding out of the country/on an island/seven states away is the best option for some f*cking reason. It’s everyone’s worst nightmare: she’s having a destination wedding.

Destination weddings may seem like an amazing choice for her and her S.O., but for you, a betch on a budget, the whole notion of buying plane tickets (or driving 10+ hours to get somewhere), paying for a hotel, potentially buying a bridesmaid’s (or expensive guest) dress, and just generally throwing money into a flaming garbage can for a weekend doesn’t seem like the wisest investment.

If you’re trying to get out of the whole thing, here are a few ways to tactfully do so:

1. Be Honest

Maybe you’re saving up for a house, or an adoption (dog or child, doesn’t matter), or already went to seven weddings this year. Don’t feel obligated to over-explain your reasons, but tell your friend that while you love her and will, of course, send a gift, it just isn’t in your budget to attend a destination wedding. Anyone getting married in a destination that requires travel will (and should) understand that it’s a huge expense for people, so being upfront and honest about budgeting isn’t really something they should argue with you about. And, if they do, f*ck em.

2. Tell Them Right Away

Don’t wait until two weeks before to tell the bride you’re not coming. If you receive an invitation to a destination wedding and you know in your heart that there’s only a 20 percent chance you’ll attend, then tell the bride that. Waiting until the last minute will get her hopes up that she’ll see you AND she’ll need to add you to seating arrangements, head counts for booze, etc. Be polite and send your regards.

3. Send A Gift

This kind of goes without saying, but if you aren’t planning on going to the destination wedding of the century, send a really nice gift, either from the happy couple’s registry OR for their stay at the said destination. A couples’ massage, candlelit dinner, or scuba diving adventure could be amazing for the newlyweds. It won’t necessarily make up for you not being there, but it will communicate that you aren’t being a total jerk.

4. Don’t Make Excuses

If the reason you aren’t coming is money, then say it’s money. Don’t be all, “Oh, we aren’t going to your wedding because we’re saving for an in-ground pool and also we don’t consider Costa Rica safe because Overlord Trump said so.” Stick to your main (and honest) answer. The second you start throwing out other issues, you make it seem like you wouldn’t come regardless of the situation.

5. Offer To Help With Other Festivities

If the bride (or groom) is a close friend and was expecting you to be in the wedding, offer to help with other pieces of the whole affair. For example, if the bride was counting on you being a bridesmaid and your crippling student debt simply won’t allow for a trip to the Amalfi Coast for the wedding, offer to help with the bridal shower or bachelorette party. Sure, it isn’t the big day, but it’s a kind gesture that says “I still care about and love you as my friend even though you’re a dope for getting married overseas.”

Images: Unsplash (1); Giphy (3)

Sarah Nowicki
Sarah Nowicki
Sarah Nowicki aka Betchy Crocker writes about food, fashion, and whatever else she's in the mood to complain about for Betches and like, some other people. She resides in Asheville, NC, where she spends her time judging hipsters and holding on to her Jersey heritage and superiority. Yell at her on Instagram @sarahnowicholson