Guest List Wedding Pains

SCENARIO

Your son or daughter has gotten engaged and you adore their choice in a future spouse. As you’ve always been invited to your friend’s children’s weddings, you’ve jumped the gun and told your closest friends to put aside that date. Then your son or daughter informs you that there is not enough room for you to invite your friends to the wedding. What do you do now?

CONSIDER THIS:

JILL:
One of the great things about being a little older is we are able to have the hindsight to be a wiser. So I am going to have you use your imagination for a minute and pretend it’s your son getting married.

It is May 2009 and you have sat down with a cup of tea to look at some photo albums from your son’s wedding. You come to the picture of you and your son. The two of you are standing side by side, he looks so handsome but he is a bit stiff and his smile is forced. You look a little tense but if you think back you feel that you were right, you told them everything that was bothering you and they let you invite your friends. Your son was caught in the middle, between his love for you and wanting to please his bride. It was a difficult time but they re-arranged things and you made your point.

Or………….

You come to the picture of your son and you. You are beaming and he has a happy grin on his face and his arm is lovingly around your shoulders. It had worked out alright in the long run; you had met quietly with the two of them. You didn’t make them feel guilty but instead asked if you could invite two friends to share the event with you. A month later you had invited your other friends over for wine and appetizers and bored them silly with the videos from the wedding; it had been a fun evening.

VICKI:
I have to admit that I am of two minds on this. I do believe that a parent being asked for their list would be the right thing to do, if it is affordable, However, I am aware that that is my idea of what’s right and no one else is obligated to live up to what I feel is right or wrong. On the other hand I also believe that it’s a mistake making an assumption and approaching friends as though they were invited. I’ve been in a different but similar situation and I was thoroughly embarrassed when I had to let my friends know that I erred.

This is a time to let right and wrong go. This is meant to a happy and joyous time. Don’t allow any idea of “shoulds” to ruin this. After all the groom or bride-to-be may be doing nothing more than carrying out her parent’s wishes or doing this the way they are traditionally done in his or her family. One thing is sure – that they are not doing anything with the intention of being hurtful.

In this situation sit down with your child and their fiancé and let them know how much your friends mean to you and that you would be very happy to pay them. Even if there will only be enough seating for two accept that and follow Jill’s advice in having your close friends over to your home for an evening. As the time draws nearer you may discover that there are enough people declining that there is room for all of your friends.

Should You Lend Family And Friends Money?

QUESTION

I’ve been dating a man for 3 months; he’s polite, considerate and generally very supportive. He was let go from his job a month ago and has no savings to fall back on. He has been looking hard for work, but in his field there’s not much just before the holidays.

He recently asked me if he could borrow $1,000 from me. I told him that I needed to think about it. I have savings and can spare the money right now. However, I’ve had bad experiences when it comes to lending money to men that I have dated. I swore I’d never to do it again. He is not at all like the men I have dated in the past and I do want to help him. Are there boundaries I can set or a way to protect myself in order to get the money back if I loan it to him?

ANSWER

VICKI:
When loaning or giving money, items, time or anything else of value, the rule is never loan what you cannot afford to lose. Keep in mind that you need to think for the future and not the present. If you lost this $1,000 would you still have enough in your savings for an emergency; for example would it make a difference if you lost your employment and couldn’t find work again for six months?

With that said, I stumbled upon a great article called, The Best Ways To Loan Money To Friends And Family from Geri Detweiler for credit.com. It covers all the important issues of setting a fair interest rate, getting an agreement in writing and setting up a formal payment arrangement.

If you do not choose to lend your boyfriend money you may think of employing him to do some odd jobs that you need done such as renovations including house painting. This way he has earned the money and there is nothing to be paid back.

No matter which you choose, remember that you must be true to yourself and make sure that you are taken care of. Your boyfriend’s present predicament is a great example of this.

JILL:
Even though you asked about boundaries and ways to protect yourself, I would like to address whether or not you should lend the money. So here are a few things to think about.

1. Why have you been able to accumulate savings but he hasn’t?
2. Would you ask a boyfriend of 3 months for $1,000-?
3. Pretend for a minute that he didn’t ask for any money, would you be perturbed by the other facts; that he is out of work, has no money to fall back on and cannot find work at this time of year?
4. What will you do if he doesn’t find work, cannot pay you back or asks for more?

I understand that everyone falls on difficult times and sometimes all they need is a helping hand. I just want to make sure that you have looked at the situation from all the angles. Things are currently unstable economically; you must make sure that you protect yourself first.