Extravagant Expenses: Is attendance irrelevant to contribution?

Q: I am one of 7 bridesmaids in a wedding one month away. The maid of honor is throwing a ‘Bridal Extravaganza’ this weekend that I am unable to attend. The event includes a shower that afternoon as well as a bachelorette party that evening and other events throughout the weekend. She is asking each bridesmaid to pay $70 whether they will be attending or not. Should I be expected to pay and what would an appropriate response be?

A: Unless you had agreed to be an ‘absentee’ hostess to any of the events, you should not be expected to contribute to the expenses of the ‘Bridal Extravaganza.’ How to respond may be a bit trickier. The important thing is to be tactful but honest. For example, if cost of an issue, it’s perfectly acceptable to say “This weekend is an expected expense that I simply can’t afford.”

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