Sunday Chat: The Price of Friendship


The price of friendship
Hey Sweeties,

We all experience times within our friendship groups where gradually each of us reaches a new chapter of life that are a cause of huge celebration and as friends you are only but willing to congratulate but above all, share in the experience of the celebrations. When your friends buy their first house together, you gather with food and champagne and admire the bricks they have purchased, toasting them many happy years in their new abode. When they have babies you (silently) gather around the crib bearing gifts and coos and queue for the first of many cuddles. When they get engaged you are thrilled, marking the date in the diary as soon as the eagerly anticipated invitation lands on the door mat. So what happens then when you find out the stag or hen do, however fantastic and fun it sounds, is something you can’t afford to participate in but the rest of the group can? What happens when the wedding is not just a simple Saturday afternoon that ends in the small hours of the next morning but is actually abroad or is maybe longer than a weekend requiring annual leave and again, costs more than you can afford? How heart-breaking can it be to see people you have been friends with for years celebrate their next chapter without you there with them, forever in the knowledge that you missed out? Fancy not being able relive the embarrassing horrors of the hen/stag do or remember fondly experiences from the day itself because you missed it all?

When a couple choose to get married, they can do it wherever and whatever they like, it’s their big day and how they choose to celebrate it is absolutely down to them. These days, nothing is impossible providing the budget supports it and for the most part the couple do take on all the costs themselves. For those that get to attend the wedding(s) it’s both a privilege and a brilliant memory maker, something friends and family will remember forever. Lush!

Lately however, I am witnessing friends and colleagues (myself included) being priced out of celebrations or, in most cases, putting themselves in debt so that they don’t miss out and this mainly applies to the stag/hen do rather than the wedding itself. If you have seen the film, Bridesmaids, you can see how certain things can cause huge rifts between friends because they simply feel priced out of the occasion. This not only causes arguments, it changes and tests even the strongest of friendships. It feels like it’s more important to have a whole weekend (or week) filled with several (expensive) activities in order to feel like you are adequately being sent into married life, than having simple day/night out somewhere, albeit with a overnight stay attached onto the end of it. I just do not understand why people think it’s ok to expect friends to fork out so much money for these things. You fundamentally end up surrounding yourself with those that can afford to join in rather than perhaps your closest buddies, those you actually want there.

I am not trying to put a dampener upon something I myself will sooner or later experience for myself and I of course will only want to surround myself with people that want to share in my excitement and planning for the big day. But no way will I expect people to spend a large amount of their well earned cash on me just for the sake of a hen do. I do think it is important to have that time for yourself and your closest friends (& family) to honour that you will soon be married, I also can see how some people want to celebrate getting married by having a decent send off, there is nothing wrong with that but there is when the cost of it splits up a friendship group.

We are in a time where unfortunately, attending a wedding/hen/stag do no longer simply requires a new outfit and a strong stomach; it requires a much bigger sacrifice of time and money. Family and friends don’t need an excuse to attend a wedding of a loved one; they are there because they are your nearest and dearest and they will be there whatever the cost, but why put them in a financial disposition when you don’t need to, it’s unfair.

Unfortunately Sweeties, I am sad to report that I will no longer be Maid of Honour at my best friend’s wedding. We’re no longer even friends as I was simply priced out of the friendship. Nine years gone over words shared that I am sure are now regretted but without solid foundations of equal proportion, even the strongest of looking houses eventually collapse.

Until next time x

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