faraway weddings



It’s always Wedding Season at AMT, and here’s a question of nuptuals from Jim from Tewkesbury

A couple of years ago a dear childhood friend of mine hooked up with an American broad working over here in the UK. They moved Stateside a few months ago to be near her family, and happily they are soon to be married. I have been asked to be Best Man, and while this is a great honour which I have accepted, I have recently been wondering if I should let him down.

The wedding is in New Jersey, and while researching flights and hotels I have discovered that holidaying in America is ferociously expensive. My girlfriend is currently out of work and we’re saving to buy a house, and although we have the money I don’t want to spend that much to go to a wedding at this time.

So answer me this; should we:
A. Carelessly splurge our savings now, miss out on the wedding and be a Very Bad Friend, or
B. Plan to go and visit them next year when my ladyfriend and I will hopefully be employed and solvent, and be able to spend some quality time with them?

I’m a bit confused by your options, Jim. If you’re missing the wedding in option A, on what are you splurging your savings? Why are neither of the options ‘Go to the wedding’? Because although we usually advise couples to be circumspect about the likelihood of friends from abroad making it to their weddings, if you’re such a good friend that you’ve been asked to be best man, you really should try to go. Even if your girlfriend has to stay home, and you’re couchsurfing while you’re over there.

Do talk it over with your friend, though. Perhaps he can suggest cunning money-savers, people you could stay with, and at the very least excuse you from expensive stag adventures or all the pricey pre-wedding jollies that the Americans have managed to invent.

In 2009 my haphazard income forced me to miss the California wedding of a pair of my favourite friends, and I still regret it. This may be skewing my response to this question, so readers, go to the comments and tell Jim where to go. As it were.

If you do decide not to go, Jim, suggest your friend replaces you with something even better than a best man, like this fellow did.


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5 Responses to “faraway weddings”

  1. Mat Moore (@moore_mat) Says:

    Jimbobbybob – I’d recommend going. My oldest friend got married in Spain slightly over a year ago (we are in the UK). My wife and I had a one year old daughter plus one on the way so we asked the grandparents to stay at our place and look after littleun’. It was hard but worth it and although we were ‘just’ a couple out of many friends and family I think it was appreciated, plus it gave us a bit of “us” time. As mmillmor said, you only need stay for the duration – possibly even with the family (kipping on the floor is no great shakes). Speak with the happy couple – they may well have arranged deals with local hotels and there’s no need to go overboard while you’re there – there’s plenty to see and do in the states without spending anything.

  2. Ashfae Says:

    It varies. I flew from Scotland to Colorado to be in two weddings (my friends very kindly scheduled theirs back to back so I could be in both), and it was absolutely worth the time and expense to be there for/with them on that important day. But I’ve also had the experience of saying “No, I can’t do it this time, can we come later on when we’ll actually get to *see* you?” Because it’s certainly true that we didn’t get to hang out much during all the chaos. Sorry Jim; you’ll have to decide what your own priorities are. (if I were you though, if it was a dear childhood friend who you’ve known a long time? I’d go)

  3. londonfieldslover Says:

    I travelled 5,000 miles to a friends wedding stateside last year because he had asked me to do a little speech. It cost a ton of money that I didn’t have but I haven’t regretted it for a second. There are just some things you should not miss. Your best friend’s wedding – no matter how much it costs – is one of them.

  4. mmillmor Says:

    Flights to the US aren’t too expensive if you book in advance and go on a crappy airline. Tell your friend that you can come, but you can’t afford to bring your partner because it costs too much, and ask if you can stay with him. You are doing him a massive favour, and he’ll be incredibly churlish not to let you. You don’t need to holiday while you are there – go for 4 nights and then come home. Total cost = 1 return flight and a few beers.

  5. Jimbobbybob Says:

    My bad. I was in a state of heightened emotion and didn’t convey the options I intended. The options are:
    A. Carelessly splurge our savings now and go to the wedding, not knowing when 2 x regular income will resume, or
    B. Miss out on the wedding and be a Very Bad Friend, and plan to go and visit them next year when my ladyfriend and I will hopefully be employed and solvent, and be able to spend some quality time with them?

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