My best friends want money for a wedding invitation. Can I tell them to get lost?

dear moral money,

My best friends of 10 years are getting married next spring and planning is underway.

The couple originally intended the ceremony to take place a few years ago, but Covid put a stop to their plans. They told me that because of the wait, they now expect to pay thousands more.

Both the bride and groom have jobs but are having to downsize due to the livelihood crisis.

That’s why they came up with a thoroughly modern way to pay for their wedding: they crowdfund the ceremony by invitation.

They are asking friends and family to donate in advance towards the cost of the wedding in lieu of a gift. I don’t mind, but there’s a catch. They use a “tiered” system where those who donate more have a larger role in the ceremony.

For example, £150 gets an invite, £300 gets a seat at the main table, £500 lets you be a bridesmaid, and anyone willing to spend £1,000 can attend as best man. They are also considering having a guest officiate the ceremony for a donation of £1,500.

I don’t have a lot of money myself, and while I’d love to buy them a wedding present, I resent being expected to pay more just to be a part of their big day. They want me to be a bridesmaid, but I can’t afford it.

After a decade of close friendship, I feel I should be able to get more involved no matter how much I “donate.” I want to tell them to fuck off. am i a bad friend

-SL, via email

The average cost of a wedding has increased by 15 percent in a year, and many couples will look to either scale back their big days or fund them creatively like their friends are doing.

The average wedding in the UK cost £17,300 last year. Since then, the prices of transportation, groceries, florists, venues, cakes and drinks have skyrocketed.

Rather than invite fewer guests, cut back on catering, or switch to a cheaper venue, your friends have instead opted to let their invitees foot the bill.

You’re probably not the only ones upset about this. You might consider just asking her to make an exception based on your years of friendship. You could offer to donate what you can and hope they have the sense to let you be a bridesmaid anyway.

Alternatively, you could just pay what you can and be less involved in the proceedings. If you can’t afford the £150 and they don’t invite you over, you may not be as close friends as you thought. My best friends want money for a wedding invitation. Can I tell them to get lost?

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