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Bridesmaid lies about her reason for dropping out of the wedding, 'it will ruin our friendship.' AITA?

Bridesmaid lies about her reason for dropping out of the wedding, 'it will ruin our friendship.' AITA?

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"WIBTA for lying about why I don’t want to be a bridesmaid?"

Kayla and I (both 32F) have been friends since elementary school. When she got engaged this Christmas she didn’t ask me to be a bridesmaid because it was an automatic given. I love Kayla, but the problem is that her wedding is taking place overseas and would cost more than I think is reasonable.

Kayla’s fiancé is from a tiny, far-north Scandinavian town, it is where their wedding is happening. A couple weeks ago due to some family pressures they changed the date from Midsommar next year to Midsommar THIS year, about 4 months away.

Between flights, the hotel (most everything in town has already been booked for Midsommar including every spare room and couch at his families home so the rooms at the final available stays are around $300 p/n for the 7 days of wedding events), the rental car, the bridesmaid dress, the full traditional outfit required to be worn for some the the events, pet boarding, as well as general incidentals and we are looking at a minimum $8,000.

Kayla was very apologetic about the change when she announced it but has not acknowledged just how big of an impact this is. My husband and I have good jobs and are lucky that we don’t have to worry about the day to day expenses of life, but we do still have to be thoughtful and save for any larger purchases or travel.

For the last 4 years we have been saving for our tenth anniversary trip, a 3 week tour around Japan, and had just booked flights when the date change was announced. Kayla didn’t know I had just booked flights and when she broke the news she actually said “you’re so lucky, you’ve been saving all that money for a vacation anyway!”

Here is where I might be the ahole. I also had a destination wedding. My husband and I got married in Alaska right out of college when most of our friends, including Kayla, didn’t have particularly good or secure jobs. We know now this wasn’t exactly fair of us but we split the rental of a big house with all our friends and flights to Alaska aren’t anywhere near the $2k each it would cost us to fly to Kayla’s wedding.

I’m scared that if I tell her the truth of why we can’t go, it’s too damn expensive, it will ruin our friendship. I could see why it would. She was a bridesmaid for me while far less financially secure than we are now and she knows we have a lot of money saved for travel. I fear she would question if our friendship is not worth canceling our Japan plans and flights. Our friendship means a lot to me but I don’t think it’s fair to plan a wedding this expensive to attend and expect me to cancel our dream trip to accommodate it.

I don’t want to risk it so my idea was to lie and say we have to do a major home repair (fixing the foundation maybe) that will cost all of what we have saved plus more, then when it did come time for the Asia trip say we were gifted the trip by my husbands parents. I know that there is a risk she would find out the truth and be even angrier, is that risk worth it to avoid telling her the truth?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Miserable_Dentist_70 said:

8K is an outlandish amount to ask anyone to pay to come to a wedding. Ever. Full stop. The answer is we just can't afford that. We cannot spend that kind of money on this. I'm so sorry, we can't. We booked our Japan vacation already, not knowing that you were going to change the date, and we can't do this. Your actual reason is sufficient. Making something up would just make it dodgy. Tell her the truth. YWBTA.

AgnarCrackenhammer said:

NTA for not wanting to spend $8K to go to a wedding. But YTA for trying to come up with a complicated lie. Just be honest and talk to your friend. If the friendship can survive this, then something else would've broken it in the future.

RB1327 said:

YWBTA. If you can't afford it you can't afford it. The change in the timing is explanation enough. The idea that you would prefer to come up with multiple lies to tell a close friend...I don't even know what to say.

DadOfKingOfWombats said:

SIGH. On the one hand, I appreciate that folks are so worried about disappointing their friends that they'll make shit up, and risk getting caught and ruining the friendship THAT way instead of just being honest that it's too expensive. It keeps the sub more entertaining.

But for the sake of being a grown up and handling things like grown ups do, I'm begging you and everyone here to please learn to communicate with those important to you. YTA for making up lies instead of just saying "hey, not in the budget right now, but here's a great gift and I want to celebrate you when you get back. What works for you?" NTA for not being able to go. Just don't lie about it.

CollynMalkin said:

You would not be the asshole for canceling but you would be the asshole for lying about it. Be honest, you’ve had the Japan trip planned for a long time, it’s an important milestone in your own relationship. And also, you were planning for this wedding to be a year and a half away, not half a year away.

You just can’t make it given the sudden and drastic schedule change. But you wish her the best on her wedding day anyway. Because here’s the deal: you might’ve had a destination wedding a while ago when you were all worse off, but did you drop a change like that so close to the new date?

Did you guilt trip people into going? If the answer to both of those is no then you’re not obligated to do anything. If the answer to either of those is yes, well, kind of a dick move but you’re still not obligated. You’ve been saving for this trip for FOUR YEARS. You can’t just drop that for a last minute whim to move the date.

Stride101r said:

YWBTA. Lying about it is probably going to bite you in the ass later. If it was a white lie, then I would probably say yes, but that is a pretty big lie to have to keep up for the rest of the time you are friends. And someone is going to accidentally slip up and say something and then she's gonna be real pissed.

However, if your friend was your friend, she would completely understand that finance is a perfectly good reason as to why you can't go. It's not a 'I went to your destination wedding so now you HAVE to come to mine' situation, that's just silly.

Also, the fact that she rescheduled for Midsommer this year is ridiculous, that's just around the corner! She had to have known that upping the timeline by a year would put some people in a tough spot. If you have to lie about something, say the flights to Japan are non-refundable.

The opinions were fairly divided for this one, but most people felt that OP would be in the wrong if she follows through with a lie. What's your advice for these friends?

Sources: Reddit
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