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Friend declines to attend 'bombshell' destination wedding, 'she accused me of being selfish.' AITA?

Friend declines to attend 'bombshell' destination wedding, 'she accused me of being selfish.' AITA?

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"AITA for Declining to Attend My Friend's Destination Wedding?"

Hi I (20F) need some advice on a situation that has left me feeling conflicted and unsure if I'm in the wrong. Here's what happened: My friend, let's call her Sarah, recently announced that she's getting married to her long-term partner, (just call him Alex). I was thrilled for her and couldn't wait to celebrate their special day.

However, Sarah dropped a bombshell when she revealed that the wedding would be a destination affair, taking place at an exotic location halfway across the world. While I was excited for Sarah and Alex, I knew that attending their destination wedding would be a significant commitment, both financially and in terms of time off work.

As much as I wanted to be there for Sarah on her big day, I had to consider my own circumstances. I've been saving up for a down payment on a house, and the cost of attending the destination wedding would set me back significantly. Additionally, I had already used up most of my vacation days for the year and couldn't afford to take more time off work.

I struggled with the decision for weeks, torn between wanting to support Sarah and needing to prioritize my own financial and professional goals. Ultimately, I made the difficult decision to decline the invitation to the destination wedding.

I reached out to Sarah personally to explain my decision, emphasizing how much I valued our friendship and how I wished her and Alex all the happiness in the world. I apologized profusely for not being able to attend and offered to celebrate with them in person once they returned from their honeymoon.

However, Sarah didn't take my decision well. She accused me of being selfish and unsupportive, claiming that I was prioritizing material possessions over our friendship. She told me that she had expected more from me and that she felt hurt and betrayed by my choice.

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

owls_and_cardinals said:

The entitlement on friends to expect to be able to dictate thousands of dollars of expenses incurred by friends, and the judgment (!!) they apply when someone withdraws from that ridiculous expectation, it's all just crazy to me.

It seems like destination weddings used to be equivalent to an elopement... no one but the bride and groom were expected to go and anyone who did was going above and beyond. It was NOT expected.

I think you could spin Sarah's words back to her. She's the one questioning your friendship by basing it on your ability to invest financially. If this is her standard in a friendship, she should only be looking for whatever the friend equivalent of a sugar daddy is - all she cares about is having money spent on her (which is very materialistic), and doesn't care about the person's value otherwise, or the hardship and burden that her expectation is placing on her loved ones. It's a pretty gross testament to her character. NTA.

prettyinpinkleather said:

NTA if you have a destination wedding you HAVE to expect that, unless alllll your friends and family are wealthy, most people won’t make it. Sarah’s being a little b-word here. You’re good OP.

scrapples000 said:

NTA. Unless the bride and groom are paying for the guests, no couple can expect people to join them at a destination wedding. By choosing a destination wedding, they know they're going to make it unaffordable for a lot of potential guests.

roxywalker said:

NTA. People who plan destination weddings shouldn’t expect every single person they invite to be able to attend.

magicfluff said:

NTA - the whole point of a destination wedding is to limit the amount of people who will come. Unless they're footing the bill, they have to expect people won't make it. If you two are close enough maybe offer to help her plan a reception back in the city after the wedding where they can celebrate with all the friends who couldn't make it? Because unless you happen to be the one poor friend in her group, she's probably going to get a lot more apologies to her wedding invites...

pandora840 said:

NTA! She is though, and you were probably one of a long list of people who declined for exactly the same reasons as you did. I’d have replied with “it feels like you are the selfish and unsupportive one for expecting me to jeopardise both my career and stable housing goals for a single day halfway across the world.

I can see now how little our friendship means to you if appearances are more important than me having an actual job and a place to call home. I wish you both a happy life, but as I can no longer trust your motives, I cannot be a part of your future.”

Everyone was unanimously on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for these friends?

Sources: Reddit
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