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Advice please!!!

I am at a loss with my best friend.  He calls me today saying his fiance lost her job in December, and he has been out of work this past week due to truck/weather issues.  I completely understand that.  Anyway, he says him and fiance have been having to go to food banks to eat, and pretty much are destitute.  In the past I have helped such friend over and over, we are talking thousands of dollars worth of help, and he was of course wanting help this time too.

Normally I would of course help him, everyone falls on hard times.  The problem I have right now is in the SAME conversation as them eating at food banks, etc, he says "we have reserved the venue for the wedding, and your still coming right?" Uh WHAT?  You need money for food, rent etc, but you have money for a wedding in 6 months?  I asked how they are swinging a wedding with everything else and he said they aren't paying for all of it.  Now, I am just not understanding how a couple who is having so much financial problems are allowing family to assist with a wedding (NOT a necessity, 4th for my best friend, 3rd for fiance) when they do not have food to eat, and can't pay their rent, and he is coming to me for money?  But on the other hand, I feel bad if I don't help.  I don't know what to do here.  Advice?

Re: Advice please!!!

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    When all is said and done, it's not your business how he finances his wedding.

    But you might tell him, "You know, you'd come off as a lot more sympathetic if you wouldn't bring up your wedding plans right now.  Even if you don't have other money available to you now, wedding talk, such as reserving your venue, suggests that you do have money available to you.  If I were you, I'd cut back on wedding talk."
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_advice-please-15?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:f27f927c-be9c-41a9-ae21-de19372d96baPost:e5ee1ea2-55f3-46ae-b5bb-f23b5f2d2976">Advice please!!!</a>:
    [QUOTE]I am at a loss with my best friend.  He calls me today saying his fiance lost her job in December, and he has been out of work this past week due to truck/weather issues.  I completely understand that.  Anyway, he says him and fiance have been having to go to food banks to eat, and pretty much are destitute.  In the past I have helped such friend over and over, we are talking thousands of dollars worth of help, and he was of course wanting help this time too. Normally I would of course help him, everyone falls on hard times.  The problem I have right now is in the SAME conversation as them eating at food banks, etc, he says "we have reserved the venue for the wedding, and your still coming right?" Uh WHAT?  You need money for food, rent etc, but you have money for a wedding in 6 months?  I asked how they are swinging a wedding with everything else and he said they aren't paying for all of it.  Now, I am just not understanding how a couple who is having so much financial problems are allowing family to assist with a wedding (NOT a necessity, 4th for my best friend, 3rd for fiance) when they do not have food to eat, and can't pay their rent, and he is coming to me for money?  But on the other hand, I feel bad if I don't help.  I don't know what to do here.  Advice?
    Posted by antibride2013[/QUOTE]
    They need to change up their priorities.

    Of COURSE you feel bad, they're your friends, but they're looking to you AGAIN for help and it looks like you have been made their crutch.

    No big wedding is a necessity. If you want to be married you can go to JOP or talk to your religious leader. They're making choices that are going to hurt them and it's probably not in your best interest to enable them.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_advice-please-15?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:f27f927c-be9c-41a9-ae21-de19372d96baPost:9c86f58e-7da5-429c-a37e-3a9955abe377">Re: Advice please!!!</a>:
    [QUOTE]I would not loan them more money, but not becaue of the wedding. I also don't think it's really your place to ask them what they're doing having a wedding in the midst of financial times.  It comes across as though you're judging the urgency of their need.
    Posted by TXKristan[/QUOTE]

    I see where it could come as I am judging them, and that is not my intention at all. I unserstand the urgency, to a extent.  I live in Kentucky, they live in Colorado.  If it was that urgent, wouldn't they go to their families who are local?  I want them to get away from calling me, they are almost 40.  I love my friend dearly, been best friends since 15, but I do think their priorities are severly messed up.  I don't want them to eat at food banks, but I am torn here.  If I give them more money and help, it will never end.  I feel somewhat taken advantage of, because I think he knows I will cave.
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    s-aries8990s-aries8990 member
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    edited February 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_advice-please-15?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:f27f927c-be9c-41a9-ae21-de19372d96baPost:2397341e-9119-4932-a686-1437b288ae32">Re: Advice please!!!</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Advice please!!! : I see where it could come as I am judging them, and that is not my intention at all. I unserstand the urgency, to a extent.  I live in Kentucky, they live in Colorado.  If it was that urgent, wouldn't they go to their families who are local?  I want them to get away from calling me, they are almost 40.  I love my friend dearly, been best friends since 15, but I do think their priorities are severly messed up.  I don't want them to eat at food banks, but I am torn here. <strong> If I give them more money and help, it will never end.</strong>  I feel somewhat taken advantage of, because I think he knows I will cave.
    Posted by antibride2013[/QUOTE]

    You are correct; if you give them more money, it will never end. It's like a parent-child relationship, you need to push the baby birds out of the nest. Can you tell them that you've helped them a lot and you will do what you can to help (write references, etc) but you cannot help them out financially because it will place a burden on you. Aren't you planning your own wedding? (begrudginly, to boot, right? lol) You have YOUR own financial priorities and can't afford to give (especially to people who don't seem to use the money as a stepping stone, but as a bandaid). Send them food and clothes, but not money.
     Daisypath Anniversary tickers
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    I agree with all the PP - the way they spend their money is not your business.  However, the idea of loaning them money again and the wedding talk (and money to pay for it) raises your eyebrows now, I imagine it'll become a bigger thorn for you IF you do lend.  


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    This is a tough position to be in. It sounds like you think they keep coming to you because they know you won't say know. So they've learned who they can work when times get tough. They may not want to go to others for help, but it seems like you're done with this situation. It is absolutely ok for you to say "I hope everything works out for you both, but right now I can't help financially." You don't need to explain any further than that. Given your close relationship, it will be hard to stand your ground, but I think you know the alternative...Hope it all works out for everyone involved.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
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    I think its time to tell your friend that you cannot give them anymore money.  (Did they ever return your previous loans or is it more of a gift?)  If your concerned about your friend eating, then send him some gift cards to grocery stores in his area.  I agree that if I was having problems buying food, I wouldn't be planning any sort of wedding until I got back on my feet, but you cannot tell other people how to spend their money.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_advice-please-15?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:f27f927c-be9c-41a9-ae21-de19372d96baPost:2996d66c-2324-43f2-8353-a7499f7e6fb1">Re: Advice please!!!</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Advice please!!! : This is an extreme case, but that doesn't change the fact that how people spend their money is none of your business. (S ide note: How many times a person has been married before is also none of your business.  ) You are of course under no obligation to give them money. I probably wouldn't keep giving a friend money if I had already had already given thousands of dollars. 
    Posted by HoorayForSoup[/QUOTE]

    In my opinion, when someone is asking you for money, it is your business how they spend it.
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    I'm in the don't give any more money camp. If you feel moved to maybe make some food to fill their fridge, great but anything else is not being spent well. Honestly, I know how people say it's none of your business and I agree to an extent,  but if they're using money from your to finance their wedding, that's really shitty of them. 
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    This is a really tough decision, and there was a lot of good advice for you. I run into this problem too, with a friend almost 20 years older than me with family that can splurge $300 on eating out and then spend money taking her family to the movies every weekend, (yes, not my business) but has to ask me for lunch money (she makes $40k more than I do, and I just started this job) and gas money. I don't begrudge anyone a meal, but at some point people have to start doing for themselves.

    The hardest part to live with is the guilt of saying "No," but if you combine that with a grocery store gift card, I think it softens the blow. At the same time set up guidelines to say that you are going to help thiem out this last time, but you can't afford to help in the future because of your own financial troubles. Then suggest to them that they speak to their parents and ask their parents for help with groceries. Assuming the parents are helping out with the wedding expenses, they would hopefully welcome them home a few times a week for a meal, until they get back on their feet, right? Good luck!
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    Thank You all for your advice.  You all are right.  I need to just politely say I can't help.  It is very hard because everytime I have tried this approach it comes back to "you don't know what its like to struggle, your a doctor...etc etc."  That is when I give in.  He sometimes makes me feel guilty that I worked my butt off to get where I am.  But, you lovely ladies are so right, if I keep helping, it won't stop. 

    I may take the high road though, and have someone local go to the grocery store and buy them some food, if that is what they really need.  But you guys are right, no more cash.  It is hard to give people you love and care about tough love. 
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    And I'm sure you have some hefty student loans in addition to your standard living expenses!  Be strong, don't cave, it will be helpful to him in the long run.  Tell him you are sorry, you love him, but if you keep bailing him out he will never be able to stand on his own two feet.  Suggest that his FI go to unemployment and file for benefits, that should give them a small income to help along until they find employment again/your friends job picks up again.
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