How to decline invitation to be a groomsman

A friend of mine recently asked me to be a groomsman in his wedding party. I had not planned on attending the wedding at all for 2 reasons, 1) It’s a great distance to travel (1500mi) and 2) I have planned a vacation around the same time and the return date falls the day prior to the wedding day. Now that he has asked me to be in the wedding, and not just attend as a guest, I kinda feel obligated. How can I decline without offending him or hurting his feelings? Obviously I would be unable to attend the rehearsal which would likely fall on the day or 2 prior to the wedding.

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc

Honesty + sensitivity is your answer. Tell the groom that you are flattered but, you’ll be on previously planned vacation until the day before the wedding and will therefore be unable to attend the wedding or the responsibilities that go along with the role. Thank him and don’t leave room for argument. Quickly move on to asking him to share photos by email to show interest and then ultimately on to another subject. Please be sure to do this, at least, by telephone, not email. First choice would be in peron, if possible.