Post # 1
Ok, so 2 of my friends are having destination weddings within a year of each other and My FI and I just flipped out over the costs. Now I must give some background before I go on. My FI and I are getting married in 2 weeks, building a house and starting our savings etc for the house, to start a family and have done a lot traveling in our 3 years as a couple and are ready to settle down. Money is always an issue for us as we are very frugal and with these times would rather save and have a cushion instead of spending unwisely. And well while we dont make a huge amount, we make enough for us to be comfortable. Now with my 2 friends, money is never an issue and always talk about how they wish they could save like as thats probably a good idea, but they feel and have said they want to live their life. I never seen 2 people throw money around like they do.
My question is what is the reasonable price to ask a guest, not someone in the party, to attend your wedding? I love destination weddings! I just feel horrible though because I feel I am not going to be able to attend one if not both. The one is asking for us to pay almost $2000 to go. She is renting a huge house on the beach and she feels that $1200 per couple would be sufficent for the house and then the remaining amount to cover price of food and alcohol. And its somewhere we can drive. I was a little baffeled by this. I expressed concerned in a way where I am not trying to be rude but was snapped at by a friend that well its no different then a vacation and treat it like a vacation. My FI flipped out about that because its not a vacation for us, considering the company that will be involved but thats a whole different post! LOL!
What do you guys think and what do you expect of your guests?
Post # 3
That is ABSURD. I’ve never in my life paid $1,200 to stay anywhere – especially at some beach house I’d be sharing with a bunch of other people! And are you serious with the remaining $800 to cover food and alcohol? Um, HELLO – it’s THEIR job to cover your food and alcohol. It seems to me that this person is essentially having her guests pay for her wedding and that is just ridiculous. It’s beyond tacky. Not only would I not go, I would be offended. That or I would think I was being Punk’d or something.
Post # 4
Sadly, this reminds me why we decided not to have a destination wedding. We could not begin to justify asking even our closest family and friends to pay that much to come to our wedding. $2,000 is a lot of money.
Post # 5
I wouldn’t be able to afford it. I’d feel bad about not going, but $2,000 is a LOT to spend on transportation and accomodations…. plus a gift on top of that? No way.
Post # 6
It’s your decision about where to spend your money. When people choose to do destination weddings, they choose to risk that people won’t be willing or able to spend the money to go. It sounds, from what you say, that you don’t think this would be a wise use of your money. I would send a very nice card congratulating them, and perhaps a gift, and move on.
Post # 7
Ditto (Kittyachi). I would be offended that they’r asking for $ in exchange for attendance, let alone that amt of $.
Post # 8
No way. It’s not the guests responsibility to cover the wedding expenses…let alone to a locale that you can drive to. Guests usually pay for their own travel and accomodations when attending a destination wedding, but the bride makes every effort to get them good block rates if they’re OOT guests – and no one pays for their food or alcohol (unless it’s a cash bar). It sounds like the bride is telling you to consider her wedding a vacation as a way to justify her so rudely asking her guests to foot the bill. Yeah, okay. She can’t force you to take a vacation – and then put a price tag on it. If she really cared about you coming to the wedding, she would allow you to show up with the option of NOT paying for unnecessary overnight expenses. Otherwise, I might send her a gift, and skip the wedding altogether.
Post # 9
Wow I think thats a lot to ask of people, especially since you mentioned its close enough for you to drive to! Do you HAVE TO stay in this beach house? To the friend that snapped at you I would have responded "I dont have $$ for a vacation, let alone a $2000 wedding weekend!"
I’m having a "destination wedding" of sorts given that the location is 6 hours away from us/our guests.. and I feel bad asking them to spend $300 on gas and hotels for the weekend! I wouldnt imagine asking $2000!
Post # 10
I’m a little confused — you said it’s a destination wedding, but that you can also drive to this wedding. If that is true, I would call the bride and let her know that although you are very excited for her wedding, that right now money is tight and you and your fiance will be driving to and from the wedding for the day only. It makes the most sense for you two and spending $2000 is insane. My fiance and I travel a LOT for other people’s weddings (he went to school far away from where we live, so most of his friends still live there) and we have never spent that much. Do only what you can. Congrats on YOUR wedding – it’s so soon! 🙂
Post # 11
I agree with everyone else, thats way too much money!! I would have loved to have a destination wedding but I knew my friends couldn’t all afford it so I choose to stay close to home.
Is there a hotel nearby where you could get a room for 1-2 nights? If so, just tell her that you will come to the actual wedding but that you are finding your own accomodations.
I’ve rented a beach house and paid $1000+ per couple but that was for a week long vacation. It was great but it’s not something I would EVER ask my guests to do.
Post # 12
Yes its a destination wedding, we live in Ohio and its at a beach house in the Carolinas, about an 8 hr drive so same day is not an option. I thought about the option of looking for somewhere else to stay for a day or so but I guess I was just put off by this. I have awhile to decide. I also know I am not the only freind that feels this way so I feel awful if many people do not attend but dont think its my place.
I understand a comment from a PP that that is the risk people take when they plan a destination wedding but seriously where is the line in asking someone to attend your wedding?
Post # 13
Sigh…I’m planning on a destination wedding and this is exactly my biggest concern. My FI’s closest friends are very successful and would not question the cost for a vacation/DW. My closest friends, however, are successful but in a field where the success is not defined by monetary compensation…meaning, asking them to "vacation" with us will be difficult. Most of my friends also have children and this makes it even more difficult.
We haven’t decided on a venue or a date yet. Still trying to do the research to come up with best option.
We do intend on making it very clear that we do NOT want gifts (their presence is way~ more than enough); and I, at the least, started writing my closest friends letting them know that we do plan on destination wedding and that I’d be honored if they would consider vacationing with us (and that we have a FULL understanding that not everyone will be able to come).
Bear9206 – I think it is outrageous for anyone to snap at you. I also think it is immature for anyone to think that spending $2K is simply "living their life". (Sorry, don’t mean to offend your friends.) Especially if they both know each other and know that you are having to attend both weddings (double the cost). You and your FI are being financially responsible and you deserve all the respect. The way I see it is: they are being somewhat selfish when planning the DW (I know and understand that I am); well, you have every right to be "selfish" and plan and protect your future/family financially. Your friends should understand that.
My best to you in deciding what to do…and I’m sorry that you have to worry about all of this…
Post # 14
Firstly, $2k is TOO MUCH TO ASK of ANYONE. That includes the bridal party!! Even the parents! Too too too much!!
Secondly, you shouldn’t be snapped at or pressured just because you can’t afford to attend. It is your perogative, and as we all know, the only one who cares that much about the wedding is the bride and groom. Everyone else has their own lives to worry about.
Thirdly, a wedding is a party you host in your own honor (if you are paying for it) or that your parents host in your honor (if they are paying for it). The GUESTS do not pay for anything!! EVER! Hello! Asking the guests to pay is stupid. I hope they put a huge retainer on that beach house and that no one shows up and they lose their deposit. The whole thing REEKS of bad etiquette. Guests do not pay for the venue, food, or drinks. I would be humiliated to ask this of my guests! And even if I did do this, my own DW would only cost $500 per person in my estimation! I have no idea how two people planned such an extravagant wedding and then asked their guests to pay. It’s just sad.
Finally, my answer would be to not attend and send them whatever gift you would like. Just because you’re not going doesn’t mean you have to spend more money on a gift (or that you have to give a gift at all!). If you want to give them something, I would give them whatever it is, whether you are going or not.
Post # 15
- Wedding: April 2018 - The Grand Old House, Grand Cayman
That is absolutely crazy. When I had my DW I searched for and secured group rates for accomodations in both "budget" and "moderate" price points. I also scoured the internet for the best flight deals and helped my more frugal friends find deals. Aside from that, we told everyone that if they couldn’t make it, we would TOTALLY understand, because we know that attending a DW can be expensive. I would NEVER pressure my friends to help me fund the cost of a fancy a beach house. If you want to attend the wedding, I would find a nearby hotel to stay for a night or two. It’s not your obligation to help her cover the cost of the beach house!
Post # 16
I think you guys are being unreasonable. I vacation every year at all-inclusive resorts like Sandals and Grand Lido and there are always AT LEAST a dozen couples a day getting married, most of whom have guests. I am planning a destination wedding. We have about 50 guests who have chosen to attend, and the cost is about $1500 per couple for four days including airfare at an all-inclusive resort(this is a substantially discounted rate at the resort based on the number of attendees).
When I planned my wedding, initially I was concerned about the cost to the guests. However, the wedding isn’t for them. It’s for myself and my fiancee. If they can make it, wonderful. If they cannot afford it, no problem, they’ll get the DVD in the mail. (And no we did not register and will not be accepting gifts whether guests are able to attend or not.) Since 90% of our friends and family would have to fly in and stay for 2 nights, the cost is not that much more and at least they will get a vacation out of it.
My point is that no one is wrong here. Your friend has every right to do whatever she wants for her wedding wherever she wants to have it. Ultimately, its about the couple not the guests. And if guests cannot make it because its not in the budget or they have another conflict, that happens at every wedding regardless of location or cost and I am certain she will understand. What’s the big deal?