Etiquette

Cancelling my Bridal Shower

Long story short: I live on one end of the country, my mom on another end, and my FI, most of our family and all our friends live smack dab in the middle. Because of this, we chose smack dab in the middle for our wedding location. I knew when I chose to move out here that FI and I would probably get engaged soon and that I'd end up planning my wedding without any family or close friends around, and I was fine with that - it's nobody else's deal but mine and FIs. Once we got engaged, I just assumed that because of logistics nobody would offer to throw me a shower or anything, and again, I was fine with that. That's part of the package when you move so far from home. 

Shortly after FI and I got engaged my mom talked to me and said that she'd been talking to my grandma and aunt about throwing me a shower a few weeks before the wedding. It would be held at my grandma's house, and the plan was that both  my mom and I would fly in for the weekend to have the shower and take care of a few other wedding things. Cool. I was really excited and so grateful my grandma wanted to host.

Two weeks ago the invitations were sent out. This week I started looking at plane tickets, and eesh. They are so high. Back when I accepted the shower, it was totally within my budget to fly out there. But two of my best friend's got married in July and I had to fly for both of them, and between the two weddings I easily spend $2,000. FI and I are also paying for the majority of our wedding ourselves (my parents kindly gave us some money to use how we wish) and are trying to save to buy a house, etc. With all of this taken into consideration, it's REALLY not in my budget to fly back there again for the shower. I realize I should have worked this out before the invitations were sent out - stupid me! (They were sent out during one of the other two wedding trips, so I was distracted and not really thinking). I talked to my mom a little bit and she was basically like "Do what you have to do but this is very embarrassing for your grandmother and aunt and what are you going to do if they've already been planning ..." 

My plan is to call my grandmother and aunt and apologize profusely, explain the situation, and offer to repay them for any items they've purchased for the shower that cannot be returned. I also will offer to contact each guest myself to tell them that it's MY fault and nobody else's. I know that FMIL especially is going to be bummed/pissed, and telling all of FI's family in general will be super awkward, but I'm prepared to do this because I know I have to deal with the consequences of my screw ups.

Any thoughts? Any thing I should be approaching differently? 
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Re: Cancelling my Bridal Shower

  • Oh man. This sucks. I think if you're set on cancelling, your plan sounds good. However, I would probably put the flight on a credit card if I were you. I would find somewhere in your weddings plans to maybe cut back somewhere and use that money to pay off the card, but I'm also a people pleaser and would feel terrible about cancelling. 
    This. I wouldn't want to disappoint my grandma, especially since (sorry for bringing this up but let's be real) grandparents aren't going to be around forever. I would suck it up and just spend the money on the plane ticket and cut the budget somewhere else. But if you're totally set on canceling, your plan sounds like the right way to go about it. 
    image
  • JaxInBlueJaxInBlue member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Name Dropper
    edited August 2014
    Is there any way that instead of cancelling the shower, your aunt and grandma would be willing to move the shower to closer to your wedding date?  If you are going to be in town ahead of the wedding, would it be possible for the shower to be then?  Even if it's recast as a non-shower shower and more of a celebration honoring you.  Then, I would just offer to pay the change of date announcement.  I understand that showers are typically in the 6-8ish weeks before a wedding, but I would be willing to bet your family would be understanding of the distance and be okay with something closer to your wedding date.

    If not, I make sure to exhaust every possible airline around you - I'd probably even look at the super discount ones before cancelling. I would also look at whether something like the train, bus or that Megabus thing would also get you there.  I would only cancel if you can't drastically reduce the cost of the ticket.
    image
    Anniversary


  • I should have mentioned in my OP that it's not just the cost of the plane ticket that's making it too expensive. I work on the weekends, and Saturdays especially are a huge part of my commission-based job. Every Saturday I take off work literally will cost me between $300-400. So it's the combination of the plane ticket, taking a Saturday off, etc. etc. Finding another method of transportation isn't an option because I literally cannot take anymore days off work for the getting there. 

    I really wish there was something, anything else I could cut from the budget but there really isn't. We've already paid almost everything in full, and what is left we're under contract to pay and can't be downgraded. Also, FI and I have no credit cards and are strongly against getting one (we both come from families where credit cards caused big issues). 

    I'm only flying in for the wedding the day before (that plane ticket I booked ages ago) so I don't think that rescheduling the shower will work. 

    Gah :( I feel like the poopiest granddaughter ever. 
  • One of my favorite sayings is "failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part." I realize none of this is an emergency, but you'll be seriously embarrassing, inconveniencing and hurting your family members by your own inability to plan. You should have taken this all into consideration before you partook in all those other plans/expenditures. Hindsight sucks, I know. I have to ask about the aversion to credit cards. Might this be revisited? They can really help build your credit history, which you'll need if you intend to buy a house soon. Your families issues are not necessarily your own, although I hate to say you may have picked up some less than stellar budgeting skills. I really think you need to make this work. There isn't a very nice way to cancel and you will offend people and hurt their feelings.
    Yeah, if you want to buy a house you need a credit history. I have a friend who didn't have credit cards and decided to pay her car off early because of how much she was spending on interest. No one would give her a mortgage because there was no proof that she was responsible enough handle monthly payments.  Just because you know people who had issues with them doesn't mean you will, learn from their mistakes. Get one that you can earn cash back or miles or whatever on and just use it to put gas in your car and then pay it off every month. 
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    theartistformerlyknownasCrazyCatLady3melbelleup
  • One of my favorite sayings is "failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part." I realize none of this is an emergency, but you'll be seriously embarrassing, inconveniencing and hurting your family members by your own inability to plan. You should have taken this all into consideration before you partook in all those other plans/expenditures. Hindsight sucks, I know. I have to ask about the aversion to credit cards. Might this be revisited? They can really help build your credit history, which you'll need if you intend to buy a house soon. Your families issues are not necessarily your own, although I hate to say you may have picked up some less than stellar budgeting skills. I really think you need to make this work. There isn't a very nice way to cancel and you will offend people and hurt their feelings.
    Yes. This. 

    aleighc3
  • Do you know if any other guests have made travel plans? If they have I wouldn't cancel. Also, my husband and I recently started to look into the practicalities of getting a mortgage as we'd like to buy soon and the bank told us that the only way to build a credit history was to have a credit card - I've had this confirmed from uninterested sources as well. My years of paying rent and utilities have done nothing to build a credit record for me. If you want to buy a house, you might want to start getting advice on how to get a mortgage so you can plan accordingly.
    mysticl
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Lolo put this so well: " I really think you need to make this work. There isn't a very nice way to cancel and you will offend people and hurt their feelings." There is no way you could cancel and not hurt your aunt and grandmother. It's up to you now to fix a problem that you made.
    melbelleup
  • That's so hideously rude. Don't do it. Take the money from your house savings, put it on a credit card, cancel cable and sell your stuff on eBay. You apparently just decided to go right ahead and spend all your money on friends weddings without a thought to your own family. Selfish and rude.

    Doing this will give you a reputation as an inconsiderate jerk who puts family last. Is that really what you want?
    MairePoppy
  • emmaboyle said:
    Do you know if any other guests have made travel plans? If they have I wouldn't cancel. Also, my husband and I recently started to look into the practicalities of getting a mortgage as we'd like to buy soon and the bank told us that the only way to build a credit history was to have a credit card - I've had this confirmed from uninterested sources as well. My years of paying rent and utilities have done nothing to build a credit record for me. If you want to buy a house, you might want to start getting advice on how to get a mortgage so you can plan accordingly.
    For those reading this is because those things do not show up on your credit report unless you fail to pay them.  So there is no proof that you have paid them over the years.  The mortgage company is not going to track down old landlords or utility companies to find out your payment history. They check your bank accounts and credit report, that's about it.  Some banks will work with you to "fix" things and maybe look at some other things (like a letter from your employer) but some look at that paperwork and approve or deny based solely on that.  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker

  • I should have mentioned in my OP that it's not just the cost of the plane ticket that's making it too expensive. I work on the weekends, and Saturdays especially are a huge part of my commission-based job. Every Saturday I take off work literally will cost me between $300-400. So it's the combination of the plane ticket, taking a Saturday off, etc. etc. Finding another method of transportation isn't an option because I literally cannot take anymore days off work for the getting there. 

    I really wish there was something, anything else I could cut from the budget but there really isn't. We've already paid almost everything in full, and what is left we're under contract to pay and can't be downgraded. Also, FI and I have no credit cards and are strongly against getting one (we both come from families where credit cards caused big issues). 

    I'm only flying in for the wedding the day before (that plane ticket I booked ages ago) so I don't think that rescheduling the shower will work. 

    Gah :( I feel like the poopiest granddaughter ever. 
    How did you not already plan for the weekend off from work? So you can't really add the lost income in because you were planning on attending. I know this isn't what you want to hear, but you screwed up and I think that you need to make it work now (meaning you need to be at the shower.)
    melbelleup
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I agree with PPs. You need to find a way to get to the shower, especially since invites have gone out.
  • pinkshorts27pinkshorts27 Oregon member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    Note to lurkers - plane tickets don't often decrease in price as your travel date gets closer. If you look them up to see if a trip is in your budget and see an acceptable price, BOOK IT THEN. Orbitz has a guarantee where if the same flight sells at a lower price, they refund the difference. Don't get caught in "oh no, now that I'm 2 weeks out the price has tripled and I can't afford it anymore since I spent all my money last month."
    Also if you buy southwest, you can "repurchase" the ticket and buy it cheaper and then use that money on plane tickets later. I do that all the time and since I fly a lot, I can use the money on my next trip.

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    theartistformerlyknownaslc07KatieinBkln
  • Well I don't want to pile it one, but have to agree with others here. You should have booked your travel as soon as you knew the date of the shower. If that meant you would not be able to travel for the other weddings well hey that's life. Also you knew from the start that you would have to take time off from work so using that as an excuse at this point isn't really acceptable. If you think you can't handle a credit card responsibly, then just use it for this trip and then cut the card up. Don't close the account because that could actually make your credit score drop a bit. I would do everything possible to get to the shower. If you don't there could still be some lingering hurt feelings on your wedding day. Good luck and hope everything works out for you.
  • I totally agree that you need to go.  You obviously knew you would be traveling to your friends' weddings when you accepted the shower.  I get money issues.  Really I do, but this is just so terribly rude to your grandmother. 
  • I think you should find a way to make it work. Taking money out of house savings is not the answer though. Like someone else said give up cable and a few amenities for awhile and cut back if possible on some of the wedding expenses.
    Planning a shower for someone takes a lot of effort and energy and love and to cancel last minute would be hurtful. Use a credit card if necessary...
    image
  • sarahuflsarahufl New York member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    This is a real question and is no way mocking you. But I don't understand how adults don't have at least 1 credit card. How do you make payments for things? Rent a car? Get a hotel? I have had credit cards for 15 years and I have never paid a penny of interest on them. Having credit cards doesn't mean you will go into debt. If you manage them responsibly, they are really great resources.

    Also, I agree with PP. Unfortunately, you really need to go to the shower and somehow figure out how to make it work. As a hostess, I would be furious. And as a guest, I would be let down. I know that for my shower, friends flew in, so if they had gotten airfare and then I cancelled it, they would have been left holding a plane ticket they couldn't use.
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    STARMOON44chibiyuirsbloom
  • Ok. I suck. I get it. I'll talk to FI and use some of our house money for the ticket. 
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited August 2014

    Lolo said it perfectly. Your friends and family members have budgeted time and money to attend your shower. The shower invitations have gone out, FFS. You should do what it takes to get there. Get a credit card, charge your plane fare and pay it off to build credit.

                       
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Ok. I suck. I get it. I'll talk to FI and use some of our house money for the ticket. 
    You're making the right choice.

    And I agree w/ everyone else.  Get a credit card.  Having one does not mean you will go into debt or have issues just because you've seen others do it.   In fact, it'd probably be quite the opposite since you're so aware.  

    But, you need one to build credit to buy big things in the future.  Not to mention the benefits that come with a credit card!  Depending on the card, you can accumulate points/miles for free stuff, get price protection (if something you buy goes down in price within 60 days, you'll get a credit), zero liability (if fraud occurs on your account), roadside assistance, travel insurance, and so on.  You don't get that when you pay with cash.
    chibiyui
  • I second the getting a credit card bit.  I just got married three weeks ago and my husband has never had a credit card.  Because of this, my credit score has actually gone DOWN because we, as a married couple don't have good history of paying debt.  My individual responsibility is not seen as enough.  Fortunately, we weren't planning on buying a house anytime soon, but if we were, I'd be furious.
  • Ok. I suck. I get it. I'll talk to FI and use some of our house money for the ticket. 
    You don't suck. I think in 30 years, you'll be glad you made this choice. :)

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    lc07steph861LabLove86erinlin25
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    sarahufl said:
    This is a real question and is no way mocking you. But I don't understand how adults don't have at least 1 credit card. How do you make payments for things? Rent a car? Get a hotel? I have had credit cards for 15 years and I have never paid a penny of interest on them. Having credit cards doesn't mean you will go into debt. If you manage them responsibly, they are really great resources.

    Also, I agree with PP. Unfortunately, you really need to go to the shower and somehow figure out how to make it work. As a hostess, I would be furious. And as a guest, I would be let down. I know that for my shower, friends flew in, so if they had gotten airfare and then I cancelled it, they would have been left holding a plane ticket they couldn't use.
    H and I do not have credit cards.  We've been planning to get one because we know we need to build credit history, and also, it'd be nice to build airline miles off them.

    We have done all those things you mentioned using our debit cards.  Never had a problem.

    KeptInStitches
  • Not for nothing, but offering to pay back your grandma and aunt for any shower expenses would probably equal the same as a plane ticket. Just saying...
    jerkyanneFran1985
  • Just for the record, you can actually get a mortgage without a credit score. It means you have to have 20% down for sure and you have to go to a bank that will privately underwrite it, but it is definitely possible and it is how people did things for a long long time. Check out Dave Ramsay's personal finance information if you're curious about it.

    Personally, I do have a CC that I just put gas on and pay off each month, but I do understand that if someone feels like they can't control their spending with that card burning a whole in their pocket, they might want to stay away from it completely.
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  • I should have mentioned in my OP that it's not just the cost of the plane ticket that's making it too expensive. I work on the weekends, and Saturdays especially are a huge part of my commission-based job. Every Saturday I take off work literally will cost me between $300-400. So it's the combination of the plane ticket, taking a Saturday off, etc. etc. Finding another method of transportation isn't an option because I literally cannot take anymore days off work for the getting there. 

    I really wish there was something, anything else I could cut from the budget but there really isn't. We've already paid almost everything in full, and what is left we're under contract to pay and can't be downgraded. Also, FI and I have no credit cards and are strongly against getting one (we both come from families where credit cards caused big issues). 

    I'm only flying in for the wedding the day before (that plane ticket I booked ages ago) so I don't think that rescheduling the shower will work. 

    Gah :( I feel like the poopiest granddaughter ever. 
    How did you not already plan for the weekend off from work? So you can't really add the lost income in because you were planning on attending. I know this isn't what you want to hear, but you screwed up and I think that you need to make it work now (meaning you need to be at the shower.)
    I think she was planning all along to bail on this shower.

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