On wedding season.

Dear Coquette,

I’m preparing for my wedding this fall. I’m not inviting someone in my group of friends because he is a severe alcoholic and I don’t want to deal with that at my bachelor party or reception. He’s been a part of my group of friends for the past 5 years or so, and everyone in the group has been spending less and less time around him because of his drinking problem. We’ve all approached him about it with concern, but we haven’t been able to make any progress because he’s a trust fund kid that sees no problem with his drinking (he’s 45 if that matters). The other members of the group say that I should invite him to both the bachelor party and the wedding and that they’ll “take care of him.” Do you think I’m OK not inviting him?

It’s your party. You can invite (or not invite) whomever you want.

If there is already a conspiracy afoot to “take care of him” because of his inevitable drunkenness, then that’s a pretty good indication this guy doesn’t need to be there. Your friends shouldn’t have to babysit him, and you shouldn’t have to worry about his behavior.

Remember, he brought this on himself. Drinking problems have consequences, and not being invited to your wedding is one of them. If he suffers enough consequences, he might eventually recognize he’s got a problem.

Fair warning, though. This will all but end your friendship. If he’s in denial about his alcoholism, he will only see this as an insult. He will not take it well, and he will blame everyone but himself. Try not to take his reaction personally.

A quick question on wedding shower gifts. What’s a good gift for a girlfriend and her guy that says, I love you, glad we’re friends, thanks for inviting me, but no, I didn’t have the money to buy you something major nor did I want to just buy you the one set of BBQ tongs from the registry because it was the cheapest thing. She keeps telling me not to worry about buying them anything but I feel silly showing up without SOMEthing. She’s a good friend but we’re not super close. I want to show I’m really grateful to have been invited to the wedding and thrilled for her and her guy without breaking the bank (hellooo, I have to buy a dress for the wedding too!). Gift ideas? Something I can make?

This is pretty much the reason why Etsy was invented. Take what you know about this couple and go find something reasonably priced and one-of-a-kind from a crafty little artist with an Etsy shop. You can use your friend’s gift registry as a jumping-off point, or just wing it.

While you’re at it, get a really nice letterpress card and spend more than five minutes writing in it. Include all that good stuff about how thrilled you are and how much you love them.

A friend with expensive taste has asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, and I know I won’t be able to afford the dress, or the trip to Vegas for the bachelorette party, or the wedding in Cancun. How do I politely decline?

Just tell her you can’t afford it. Do it privately and in person. Be straightforward about your financial limitations, and don’t let her guilt you into spending money you don’t have.

A destination wedding like hers will cost you well over $2,000 before it’s all said and done, and you’re under no obligation to go into debt just because she’s getting married.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *