Parent Told To Prioritize Teen Exams Over Family Wedding Abroad

A parent reluctant to attend a wedding abroad that will "cost a fortune" and is taking place during their child's exam period at school has received a wave of support from users on Mumsnet, the U.K.-based online forum.

In a post on Mumsnet's Am I Being Unreasonable (AIBU) subforum, user FamilyNightmares said the wedding is "going to cost a lot of money to go as it is far flung" and guests are required to stay a minimum number of nights.

"Literally, it is going to cost a fortune. We are expected to go and there will be nuclear fallout if we don't," the user said.

Explaining that they "don't have a close relationship with the bride and groom," the parent said: "I am massively put out that we have to spend this much money and cut back on other things to do so, but I accepted that we were going."

A wedding on a beach.
Guests pictured at a wedding ceremony taking place on beach. A Mumsnet post about a parent reluctant to attend a wedding abroad that will "cost a fortune" has gone viral on the U.K.-based online forum. iStock/Getty Images Plus

Following the earlier phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed back several wedding plans, 2022 has been a year of catching up on delayed nuptials.

According to a 2022 survey of 2,500 wedding guests conducted by the wedding planning website Zola, the average cost of attending by plane was around $1,314, and on average a guest will spend more than $550 for each wedding they attend.

A survey of 1,000 guests who attended at least one wedding in 2021 conducted by The Knot, another wedding planning website, the average spent by a guest who flew to attend a wedding was $1,270, and 68 percent of guests were willing to spend more on weddings, typically a gift for the bride and groom.

The user in the latest post said the wedding is also taking place during the school term and their child, who is also turning 18 that week, may be taking exams.

The parent said: "I know the B&G [bride and groom] can do what they like etc. and it is their wedding and they owe us no consideration. However, I now feel an adamant 'NO' and that their wedding is just costing me too much and I am not prepared to miss my DC's [dear child's] milestone to go to their wedding.

"All of the B&G's family and friends live within an hour of each other. Why the hell do we all have to congregate together in another country, and come back absolutely skint?," the user asked.

Several users on Mumsnet sided with the original poster, noting the user is "not obligated" to attend a wedding that is simply "not feasible."

User ImBoilingJackie said: "You're not obligated to accept any invitation to do anything. As it is in term time then a polite decline would be fine..."

BogdashinaO said: "They invited you knowing you had school-age children. They must therefore realize that you cannot go. Decline as quickly as you can. Don't mention the birthday, just important school time, just not feasible."

User Brented said: "It's term time, that's the only reason you need!"

ILikeHotWaterBottles wrote: "Decline. If they have issues, ask them if they can guarantee your children good grades by bribing people since they are determined that your kids miss their exams…"

LetsGoDoDoDo agreed, advising: "Just say it's simply not feasible for you to attend but you appreciate the invite. Send them a card. Job done!"

WaveyHair also said the original poster should decline, explaining: "Far as I am concerned people declining is the risk people take when they opt for a foreign wedding."

girlmom21 agreed, noting: "You can't have a destination wedding and expect people to spend thousands to attend."

GetOffTheRoof said: "F**k them. Let them go nuclear. You can't magic up the money for it, your kid has exams around then - revision sessions even if not they exams yet, and the cost of basic living is about to go mental. Just because other people can afford it doesn't mean you can."

In a later post, the original poster said: "I am now happy and secure in my decision that we are not going and when there is fallout, it's their problem as their decisions basically excluded us from attending. They can't justify any bad feeling."

Newsweek was not able to verify the details of this case.

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