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'AITA for refusing to wear my friend’s old wedding dress from her first wedding to her second one?'

'AITA for refusing to wear my friend’s old wedding dress from her first wedding to her second one?'

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"AITA for refusing to wear my friend’s old wedding dress from her first wedding to her second one?"

My (32F) friend (32F) from college is getting married later this year. The save the date sent last year didn’t mention where the wedding would be. My friend and I live in neighboring states.

However, when my husband (33M) and I were sent the wedding invitations three weeks ago, it turned out that it was going to be a destination wedding. After looking into it, it would cost over $4000 for the both of us.

My husband and I can’t afford to spend that much money without going into credit card debt. So last week, I told my friend on the phone that we couldn’t attend but conveyed our best wishes and said that we would send them a wedding gift off the registry. She asked me why we couldn’t come and I said that it wasn’t in our budget, mentioning the costs of plane tickets, the resort (3 nights), and wedding outfits.

She offered to lend me a dress to wear so I wouldn’t have to spend money to buy one. I told her that it was really kind of her to offer but the main costs for attending her wedding were the plane tickets and the resort.

Then, she followed up by offering for me to wear her old wedding dress from her first wedding. And she added that she didn’t care about other people wearing white to her wedding.

Context: My friend got married in 2017 and divorced in 2020. My then-boyfriend (now husband) and I attended that wedding and it was held locally. The wedding dress she wore was beautiful and minimalist/simple in design. I don’t have any details into their divorce though I do know that it was not amicable.

I was pretty shocked by her offer, I didn’t (and still don’t) understand the logic behind it. I basically repeated what I said in respond to her first offer to loan me a dress.

She got a bit upset at my rejection and said that she was trying to do everything she could to help us attend. Again, I thanked her for being so generous with her offers to help but at this point, I was trying to end the phone call as quickly as possible.

Tbh there’s something very off-putting to me about the idea of wearing the bride’s wedding dress from her previous wedding to her current one. And a lot of people who attended her first wedding will be at this one so I think at least some will recognize the dress.

I would just feel so embarrassed the entire time. So even if we could afford to go to the wedding, I would have turned down this offer anyways. But I didn’t tell my friend any of this on the phone.

Just yesterday, my friend sent me a long text which basically said that she thought my husband and I were being inconsiderate and ungrateful and that we should have made a bigger effort to attend her wedding considering we had been friends for almost 15 years.

And that clearly I didn’t value our friendship as much as she did. I haven’t responded to this message yet and I’ve only discussed the situation with my husband who is on my side. AITA did I do something wrong or should I have responded differently?

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

ReviewOk929 said:

NTA. That’s weird. She’s missing the point that you can’t afford it and by having a destination wedding this is what happens. She should have been prepared for this going into it. Really what a weird thing…

NotCreativeAtAll16 said:

NTA. The dress was $200 of the $4k cost to attend. I don't know why anyone would be tacky enough to think someone would wear their prior wedding dress to attend their next wedding, but I still wouldn't do it.

The problem isn't the dress so much, it's that it costs so much to get to her wedding. She's making a big deal about the dress to hide the fact she can't really do anything about the cost of her destination wedding.

Stand firm! This isn't about the dress, but the demand that you travel and stay in expensive accommodations for her wedding.

OGBrewSwayne said:

Your friend is coo-coo for cocoa puffs. She's offering to provide you with the least expensive part of this trip. A dress to wear to a wedding can be had for $200 or less.

If you can't afford $4k, you almost certainly can't afford $3800. And you'd be foolish to go into debt over a destination wedding. I can't even begin to say how tacky it is that she offered to let you wear her old wedding dress. It still doesn't change the fact that this trip is going to cost you more than you can afford.

When you choose to have a destination wedding, you need to accept the fact that you're going to get a lot of declined invitations. If she wants you there that badly, she can pay for your travel. NTA.

AgnarCrackenhammer said:

NTA. People have to understand when you do a destination wedding you're going to get a much higher number of "No" responses when the invitations go out. Going in to debt to attend a friend's wedding is a terrible idea. Offering her wedding dress is weird. I have no idea what that has to do with anything.

Apart-Ad-6518 said:

NTA. It's totally reasonable not to want to wear her old wedding dress. "After looking into it, it would cost over $4,000 for the both of us." It's also fair enough not to want to rack up that much credit card debt. And not to share that information with your friend if you don't want.

"So last week, I told my friend on the phone that we couldn’t attend but conveyed our best wishes and said that we would send them a wedding gift off the registry." You've been as nice & reasonable as you can be over the whole thing. Your friend needs to accept your decision & stop giving you grief over it.

RoyallyOakie said:

NTA...she missed the point entirely. She then made it worse with a puzzlingly weird offer. Destination weddings are great when you just want to get married with a tiny group, but are a ridiculous choice if you're expecting people to spend thousands just to see you get married. It's SHE who doesn't value your friendship, or she'd listen to what you're actually telling her.

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