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Best man backs out of wedding after learning guests must pay huge cover charge. AITA?

Best man backs out of wedding after learning guests must pay huge cover charge. AITA?


"AITA for refusing to go to my friend's wedding as the best man?"


A good friend (M29) of mine (M28) is getting married in 5 months and asked me to be his best man. Where we are from it is common to ask the best man to buy the wedding rings out of his pocket (not the engagement ring that is usually pricier, that's done by the groom). This is usually done instead of another present.

I was up for it. However, from what I understood, the bride wanted a wedding way out of their league (financially speaking) and instead wanted a huge wedding where instead of the presents, each invited person pays an entry fee. I am honestly against this kind of things but whether or not I consider it a good idea is not the point of this post. After all it's not my wedding.

The entry fee is of 500 euros, per person. This is justified by them to make up for the Michelin star chef, the location, the live music, the cathedral for the ceremony, and from what I understood the bride wants to arrive to the place on a white coach with god knows how many horses.

This information was handed out only after people confirmed that they were going to attend. The justified this by saying that the more people there are, the less it's going to cost per person, so they wanted to know the number prior to that.

This is causing quite a few people to withdraw from the wedding, since most people aren't willing to spend 1k per couple for a meal. This in turn is causing the price per person to go up, causing even more people to decline. Basically, bride and groom are arguing with a lot of people saying that they "abandoned her" and that they are about to "ruin her special day."

I thought that, since I had to buy the rings, I was kind of excluded from this "entry fee" thing. Apparently, I was wrong and now both my partner and I are expected to pay up another 1K euros total.

I already live abroad. Therefore, to get to the wedding, I had to get plane tickets on top of the rings that I already ordered but I don't think that my partner and I can afford another 1k euros on top of that.

I told my friend that I am willing to leave him the rings but I can't afford to come to the wedding if that's the price of it. I already booked the holiday and the flight though. So, I told him I would still be up for a drink before the wedding, to hand him the rings etc.

Also I told him that I am still up for the stag stuff and if he wanted to find another best man and keep the rings I already ordered, it would be completely okay for me. He was understanding.

However, the bride was quite angry and she called me back saying that I am an AH because I am abandoning my friend at the altar just like everybody else. She told me that I am a terrible best man and that despite what he said, I devastated him and ruined his day.

The wedding is 5 months away but apparently it's too late for them to cancel. They says that everyone, including me, agreeing to attend and then changing our minds is causing them to spend more money, on top of having fewer people. So what is it, AITAH for not going?

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


NTA. I think the tradition of the best man buying the rings is bananas because you're essentially going to ask someone rich to pay or you're going to bleed a friend dry. I don't understand the tradition and I do wonder if it causes tension and/or financial ruin for some people who are trying to show up for their close friend and feel honored they got asked.

Not only are you shelling out money on the rings, you have to pay to attend a wedding. Wow. No one would expect that you have to buy the rings and pay this admission fee. I think if they can't afford to pay for an amazing wedding, cut the list down, change the venue etc.

But they don't want to compromise. Other people are also backing out and I don't blame those guests. Absolutely NTA but the bride and groom are 100000% AHs.

The OP responded here:


I get your reasoning for the ring thing, I know people that pulled out of it for financial reasons. Plain simple rings (basically golden bands) can cost around 100 euros each or maybe even less (which is kind of expected as a present from close friends/relatives.)

But often people avoid cheap ones for the sake of making a good impression on their friend and appearing as the "right choice" for a best man. I don't really appreciate it as a tradition, not trying to defend it, just explain it.


They made their bed. People rsvpd based on the information in the invite. There was nothing about paying thousands of euro. Are they mad out of their minds expecting guests to pay for their over the top wedding? Blaming them for backing out when they can’t afford it? They themes can’t afford their own wedding.

At this point they need to make a stop/loss and cancel this idiocy before they are completely ruined. Talk to your friend and try to help him solve this shit show. Seriously, ask him what happened?


They are mad that ppl backed out from this scam.


WHAT did I just read!!! As a totally non involved and non affected person I’m somehow personally offended by this post on behalf of you and the entire guest list. NTA. Their request is so unreasonable I’m dumbfounded. You cannot afford it, you are absolutely not the AH for backing out. You actually sound incredibly reasonable under the circumstances.

So, do you think the OP is being a bad friend by not attending or is this couple making unreasonable demands?

Sources: Reddit
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