My BFF1 (32F) recently got engaged to her boyfriend (36M.) My other BFF2 and I (33F) were first to find out. I currently live in abroad and I don't always get to go back to where I am from for money reasons. Among other reasons, I'm a single mom.
When I got the call, I was so happy for BFF. This is something she has always wanted. Marriage is a huge deal to her and BFF2. But I, however, am fairly bitter and absolutely hate the idea of marriage for myself. The last wedding I was a part of, I was 20 and I planned a lot for it.
I was MOH/witness and I even did the wedding cake as it was a really small budge and I wanted to help as much as possible. The day was OK but I was treated really poorly and genuinely wasn't thanked once for anything.
Since splitting with my kid's dad (we were engaged) I've not met anyone and, due to emotional damage, I have NO desire to get married. I find absolutely no benefit to getting married. I don't like the idea of becoming 'property' to a man. Yes, I know it's not like that now but it's still how I see it.
And I don't understand the need at all to spend the amount of money that people do on weddings when it could go to funding something far more beneficial and useful. I struggle with money and sometimes find it very hard to just get food for my kid, myself and my two pets.
A few months ago, I told my BFFs that i didn't want to be in their wedding parties as it's not my thing and I think it's very backwards for someone who doesn't support the idea of marriage to be in them. I love my BFF and I'm happy for her and her fiancé. They deserve to be happy. I just don't think that a marriage should have anything to do with that.
At first, I was running on her excitement about it all. But, sadly, the more that things are getting planned, the less and less I feel into this. I don't really care about venues I don't understand the reasons for choosing one place over another. I don't understand the pressure for invites. If you don't want them there, don't invite them.
I knew I would have to pay for my own dress, shoes etc and have offered to do her make up for free. But my finances are going to be very, very strained from being abroad and needing to save up for outfits. It also requires AT LEAST 3 flights for me and my child, supplies, make up, etc.
These are all things I feel like I can't do right now due to how things are (kid, car problems, travel to work, cost of living in general). The last time I spoke to BBF1 about a hen party she wanted something quiet at home and now she wants to go abroad for a long weekend away. To another European country. In a damn villa with a hot tub and a pool!
Since when has it been a thing to have such big hen parties?! I have to now plan for THIS hen party, which I'll likely have to pay for extra travel for or find a way to travel cheaper on my own, which I hate. The whole cost for this wedding could be over 3000€ as a rough idea! I just don't have that kind of money.
I feel sick about this and I've had panic attacks too. I want to go back on what I said and just be a guest but I know it could affect our 22 year friendship. WIBTA if I told her I don't want to be a bridesmaid anymore? I'm scared to hurt her.
NTA I wouldn't say anything about your beliefs in marriage and trauma because could sour things. Financial stress is a serious reason not to attend wedding activities. Just tell them you are happy for them but you can't afford to be part of this at the moment. Feeding your child is your priority.
NTA But you need to have this conversation now, and you need to tell her it’s for financial reasons and leave your own feelings about marriage out of it.
NTA - but sort of being an AH about it
If you cant afford this stuff, that's that. There’s no need to rail on the concept of marriage.
Trust me, I absolutely feel like one.
NTA. Tell her NOW, so she can start changing plans for her bridal party. But don't make it about your beliefs about marriage, simply say your financial situation has changed, and you simply don't have the money to spend on a hen party, dress, travel, etc. That's perfectly understandable. Again, don't make it about your beliefs. That's not necessary to say here. Focus on the finances.
NTA. Putting aside your personal feelings about marriage, it seems the issue here is how it would impact you financially. Explain your financial situation and explain that although they mean the world to you and you would love to be there to support them, your finances simply don't allow for it.
But I think to go into detail about your personal feelings regarding marriage, lack of excitement at their choice of venue, etc, then YTA. If you'd like to help, you could still offer to support from afar. E.g. assist with some of the planning, video call while dress shopping etc.
They do both know how I feel about weddings which is why I think they'll be upset for me backing out. They were really happy I said yes.
I can understand why they'll be hurt, but they're your friends and I'm sure they'd be mortified to know that all of these wedding-related events would impact your finances. If the situation was reversed, I'm sure you wouldn't want to put your friends in that situation. I hope it all goes smoothly for you!