Okay ladies, I need your help/advice. I apologize in advance because this will be long.
When FI and I started wedding planning, we chose not to have a wedding party or flower girl/ring bearer. In part, we wanted everyone able to come to enjoy the celebration and not have to worry about taking part, buying things, etc. I also would not have been able to pick a MOH from the friends I would have wanted as bridesmaids.
One of my closest friends from college told me last night that she was not going to be able to come. Not because she didn't want to, but because she simply didn't have the funds. She has a full-time job, but it has not seemed substantial enough to cover her expenses, help with her family's expenses, and then have enough leftover for her to save for the trip down here. She is one the people I have been most excited about seeing.
I had already mentioned to her a couple of weeks ago that if she needed help to get down here, we would discuss it and I would like to help if I could. I was thinking more of paying for just the hotel room or car rental. But now it would have to be everything - flights, car rental, and hotel. Looking last night, it doesn't seem like it would be terrible... $500 or less for all of those things. So I told her that I would discuss it with FI and get back with her.
Here is where I am stuck. FI does not think I should help her at all. His reasoning is that it's:
a) a lot of money - if something happens to our house in the next month before the wedding, we would be "out" that money to help with the cost
b) a lot of money to give or "loan" to a friend - I'm not expecting repayment, but she has offered (I asked him also if I had chosen her as a bridesmaid if that would be a different scenario, and he said no)
c) unfair to pay for her to come and not other friends we invited who are equally spread out about the country, who have all known about the date for over a year to be able to save up, and just can make it primarily due to cost.
After I talked to FI, I looked at our remaining costs and what we are expecting, and it will be kind of tight regardless. Either we'll have $500 leftover, or closer to $1k. I feel like FI is right primarily just because of the amount to get her here. But I was so excited last night before talking to FI, that I think I have gotten my friend's hopes up. This is the one person from our friends across the USA that I really wanted to be there on our wedding day.
So how should I handle this now? Tell her I'm sorry, but I won't be able to help after all? Try to see if she can come up with at least enough to pay for either hotel/car or flights? Offer to help her fly down later in the year when we would actually have more time to hang out?