Formal Attire Invite - UGH, can't afford

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Formal Attire Invite - UGH, can't afford
Thu, 10-23-2003 - 1:26pm
Hi IVillage Friends,

I'm a little bothered by a recent wedding invitation DH and I have received. Growing up, my mother had a good friend who was single without any family but a young daughter. She had asked if anything were to happen to her that my mother would take her in, we also used to baby sit her and travel with them. They are still good friends with us and the mother attended my recent wedding, her daughter wasn't able to. She has grown up now and is getting married in December. I've known for quite a while that the wedding is in December, was looking forward to it and planned on attending, but never heard a word of it being formal. The invitation came yesterday and it reads "formal attire". I really have a problem with this, as renting a tux is over $100.00, I would have to buy something formal, and besides the wedding is outside in a gazebo at 4:00. We were looking forward to going to the wedding, but this sudden expense of formalwear really gets me. Plus, it bothers me that it isn't even at the formal time (after 6) and it's outside, not even in a *nice* place. (Her mother, by the way, has recently been diagnosed with cancer).

My wedding was last year and the bride's mother attended my wedding along with her boyfriend. They, by the way, were the only ones not in semi-formal wear. The restaurant I had my reception at had a dresscode of jacket and tie for men. This wasn't imposed by myself, but rather the restaurant, which I informed everyone of ahead of time. It was a small wedding and everyone was asking me what everyone was wearing and all the women ended up wearing evening gowns and cocktail dresses, all the men were in suits and ties, except them. They didn't even send a gift.

But despite their lack of effort, I want to be more thoughtful, but the cost of getting formalwear isn't in my budget. (My DH has cancer and we have a lot of bills this year). So I don't know what to do. Not go? Go, but not dressed up? I think that would be awkward as she has said on her website, "I want everyone to look hot!" (OK, whatever)And she had told me she wanted men to rent tuxes (I thought she was joking). I don't want her and her friends snooting us for being so out of their loop and potentially embarrassing the bride. I really have other things to worry about right now rather than someone's wedding attire.

Please help! Thanks so much.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-22-2003
Thu, 10-23-2003 - 2:13pm

It's not fair for her to make you have to spend the extra $ to attend.

Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 10-23-2003 - 7:52pm
That they insulted your wedding for not following YOUR (RESTAURANT) DRESS CODE? To add that insult, no gift? What they're saying was: I'll show up, but she doesn't deserve my additional money, my showing up at the wedding, giving her support will be MY GIFT. Whatever!

You don't feel comfortable for going to the wedding. It's outside, and it's 4PM. You don't want to buy or rent an attire. You can't afford it. Your BF had cancer. Hey! In my book you've GOT PLENTY OF REASONS why you shouldn't go. I think you should just do what you want and stay home and not be pressured. I would avoid that if I were you. And you did asked. Just send her a card and wish them well. You don't need to explain.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2003
Sat, 10-25-2003 - 11:38am
The previous two posters have it right. You have more on your mind right now than spending money on formal attire. Just send a note saying that you can't attend. You don't have to explain.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Sat, 10-25-2003 - 2:28pm
Hi Lizwil98 and Everyone who has responded,

Thank you for your input. I know usually if you can't attend or don't want to attend, a reason isn't an issue. But I feel bad that they are good friends of ours and I kept telling the bride I was looking forward to going.

I did email her mother and said, Frankly, we aren't in a position to be able to afford to go. We have about $40,000.00 worth of medical bills coming up and DH isn't able to get fitted for a tux, all he does is sleep. And I'm not able to shop for formalwear at this time, my priorities are at home.

I don't know if they'll buy the part about money, she seemed to think people would go out and joyfully rent tuxes for her wedding (for the guests, that is). I think they're going to think we're just not wanting to go all of a sudden. She's going to wonder what changed our minds and I'm afraid end up disappointed. I feel bad that she doesn't have any family except her mother who has cancer.

Avatar for cl_2and1more
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Sat, 10-25-2003 - 3:35pm

It looks like you have already told them how it is.