Ask Shuli: Out-of-town Wedding Woes

wedding cakeDear Shuli:
A good friend of mine here in the Twin Cities has invited me to her wedding this spring on the West Coast. This trip is really not in my budget, although I had hoped to go. I’m afraid of hurting her feelings, and I’m not sure how to tell her. What should I say?
— Something Blue
Dear Something Blue:
In this day and age, we’re blessed to have friends and loved ones living all over the country and world—as well as pals who grew up in diverse locales. Sometimes, that translates into a heck of a lot of out-of-town smachot (celebrations). Weddings, bar mitzvahs, baby showers—and that’s to say nothing of the “destination weddings,” should you be so lucky to get an invite to a friend’s Maui nuptials.
This is all fine and dandy, if you can afford such trips. Your gracious friend most likely sent a thoughtful save-the-date announcement months in advance, to ease her guests’ travel planning. However, in this economy, it’s just not in your travel budget. I know you feel guilty—I’ve been there—but honesty is the best policy here. Tell her soon, and be real: Tell her how sad you are to miss her big day, but you just can’t afford to make the trip this year.
There are plenty of things you can do to celebrate with your friend and her fiancé, however. Offer to help host a shower, if you’re not already, or a bachelorette party. If that’s not her style (or yours), offer to host a girls’ night out that’s all about pampering her—and doesn’t involve 20 “buttery nipple” shots.
If you’re feeling like a real mensch, offer to help her assemble, address or sort invites, make programs, place cards or favors. A bride needs plenty of hands on deck, even if you can’t be there as she walks down the aisle.
Nu, readers? Do YOU have a question? Don’t be shy… Ask Shuli! Write to me at [email protected]
Photo: o’holysweet!