The COVID-19 pandemic silenced wedding bells for thousands of Americans over the last few years.
Now, with wedding bells finally ringing again, the costs associated with the special day once again have some invitees weighing their options — and even declining to attend.
A Reddit user sought advice after he was asked to be best man at his friend’s wedding … in Italy.
The Reddit user took to the “Am I the A—hole” (AITA) subreddit page on Feb. 1 asking if he was in the wrong for not wanting to pay thousands of dollars to be in and attend his friend’s wedding.
“I tell him I’d be more than happy to, then he hits me with this one: It’s a destination wedding in Italy and none of the costs are covered,” the user wrote.
He went on to explain that he, as best man, would have to pay for his flight, train, hotel, meals and a boat tour, all on his own.
In total, the Redditor believes it would have cost over $2,000 — something he said he wasn’t willing to spend, as he has a wife and two young children at home.
Lifestyle and etiquette expert Elaine Swann shared thoughts with Fox News Digital about the situation — saying it is perfectly OK to tell the groom “no.”
“If the costs were not disclosed up front, then it’s perfectly fine for an individual to rescind the involvement in the wedding,” she said.
Swann said those in similar situations should not feel pressure to say “yes,” as it may cause resentment in the future.
“Be honest and tell the person, ‘This just is not a good fit for me and my family budget right now’ — and leave it at that,” she said.
Swann, the founder of the Swann School of Protocol in California, said this conversation should be verbal — either by phone or in person.
One woman who lives in the Washington, D.C., area said she’s encountered this situation as she, too, had to decline a destination wedding invitation.
“It was hard to say ‘no’ because it was a family member’s wedding,” she told Fox News Digital.
“Luckily,” she continued, “the family was more than understanding, and expected to get a fair amount of ‘no’s’ to their invitation. But the couple prioritized the beautiful destination over the size of the wedding — and I felt it was their right to do so.”
A woman in the New York area also revealed that she was forced to decline attending a close family member’s wedding because the travel costs connected with the destination site were too prohibitive.
“I really wanted to be there. It broke my heart not to attend,” she said.
“But with two young children in the house at that time, plus holding down a full-time job, there was no way I could afford the travel, hotel and other costs involved — not to mention the time.”
She added, “I felt badly about my decision to miss the wedding, but I had to make peace with it because that was my situation at the time.”
She also said, “If people choose to have destination weddings, they have to understand that not everyone in their close circles will be able to get there to celebrate with them.”
Redditors had varied opinions on the post — with many believing that if someone couldn’t afford to attend the wedding, then they simply needed to bow out.
“It sounds like you have your priorities right to me,” one user responded to the original Reddit poster who was asked to be best man.
Others blamed the man’s frustration on the bride and groom — claiming they could not have expected all of their invited guests to travel to their destination wedding.
“The point is that the friend decided to have an expensive destination wedding — but he doesn’t get to decide who will accept the invitation,” another user wrote.
This article was originally posted by The New York Post.