Q: Dear APW,
I have two sisters getting married within two weeks of each other. They live in two different states on opposite sides of the country. I cannot afford to go to either wedding and don’t know how to tell them. What can I say that will make this easier? I feel guilty not attending.
A: Dear Sad Sister,
Understanding that finances are what they are, (complicated and nuanced and not at all clear cut), define “afford” here.
Barring the extremes, being able to “afford” something is a matter of priority. And normally I’m wholly 100% in camp “there’s no obligation to prioritize someone else’s wedding” but woof. Again! Barring some extreme circumstances (which, if they are the case, are unmentioned in this email), I would encourage you to prioritize the weddings of your siblings.
Let me assume that these sisters are good to you, you have a nice relationship with each of them. Let me further assume that you’re totally right, no amount of fudging the numbers, paying a few bills late, dining on packaged ramen will allow room in the budget for two weddings.
If that’s all true, be honest with them. You don’t have the money, but you want to go to their weddings. Trust that your sisters also want you to come to their weddings! I’m hopeful that two sisters with two weddings happening two weeks apart on two different coasts, will be willing to help you get there.