Post # 1
I need some help. I hope by appealing to you I can get some clarity on this issue. My Fiance and I come from different backgrounds. He is French Canadian and I am American. We both live in toronto but our families live in or around our home towns. Due to immigration issues we eloped a year ago and are now finally starting to plan our wedding for our families to attend. My mother has generously offered (but really more like insisted without us being able to decline) to pay for our entire wedding. During the planning process we have considered many locations and basically realized the best bang for our buck is closer to my hometown in florida then in canada. So I started researching in south and central florida. I found a place and told my Fiance about it and he thought it was awesome but wanted to see it for himself before making a decision. While on a trip we were able to go see the venue and it was awesome and we both agreed to put a deposit down on the space. About 3 weeks after we put the money down my guy came up with a little issue … what if his family memebers were not able to attend due to the cost of flying to florida? I agreed that it might be a bit of a gamble but they would have close too a year and a half to save or just decline the invite and we would just have to be ok with that. He understood but said that I wasn’t giving his family enough thought. And here I agreed and disagreed with him. I would feel horrible that his family would choose not to attend if that were to happen but I do feel that we are giving them a huge heads up… we are getting them a huge discount on hotels (FI works for a hotel chain and gets an employee discount) And we are inviting only his closes family and friends who I feel would want to make the sacrafice to see him but he still thinks that that is not enough to be sure. I also feel with my parents paying for the wedding that I would want to make the cost to them for travel as low as possible. He tells me that it is not the norm in his culture to travel large distances for a wedding and it is too much to ask people to be out that much money. After telling me all this I just dont know how to feel. We were on the same page and now after talking to his mom he is not sure we made the best decision. I dont feel that canceling the venue and photographer is an option. So what do I do? Is this just a case of different cultures having to understand that things may be different or am I being an unreasonable bride?
Post # 3
I thought the norm was to have the wedding in the brides hometown. Does he realise someones family is going to have to travel for the wedding?
Post # 4
@LadyPeace: I think he should have thought of all this before agreeing to put a deposit down. I suggest two things:
1) Have an engagement party close to his hometown so that folks that may not be able to travel for the wedding itself can at least celebrate with you in this manner. I grew up in New York but had my wedding in California, where I live now and where my husband is from, and we had an engagement party in NY for my family. It was a decent compromise, and a good portion of the family also came out to California for the wedding itself.
2) Make the trip for the wedding all the more attractive. People might take advantage of the opportunity to not only be there for your special day, but also to make more of a well-rounded vacation out of it for themselves. Those that have never been to Florida might like to visit A, B, and C. Make a brochure of local attractions for your guests’ convenience and send it with your invitations. We had guests from NY travel for our wedding and spend an extra day or two to go see the redwoods, the Pacific coast, and enjoy wine tasting here in wine country. It *can* work out well.
Post # 5
If his family isn’t inconvenienced then yours will be. Does he understand that? Unfortunately, these are the issues you run into when families live far away from each other. There’s no way to make everyone happy so I think the fact that your parents are paying for the wedding should trump his family not wanting to travel. You’re not forcing these people to attend your wedding, you’re just inviting them to. If you really do all that you can to make their trip as inexpensive as possible (which you already seem to be doing), then they just need to suck it up or not attend.
Post # 6
You guys have basically echoed what I have thought or what my mom has brought up. My mom mentioned that the tradition is that the wedding is held in the brides home town and I am trying to have the wedding be more of a vaction for the people attending. It wil be very close to Disney and other Orlando attractions and I felt that was cause enough for them to have a small warm weather vacation during the fall and upcoming winter months. I just feel that american traditions are a little hard for them to understand. From my understanding French canadian culture many people dont move away from family. I feel bad telling my Fiance to just suck it up if they dont come.
Post # 7
My Darling Husband and I had this problem a bit, but luckily the distance between our two families was much smaller (6 hour drive between Toronto and Montreal). We ended up having our wedding near Montreal, even though a big chunk of our guests were from Ontario. My Darling Husband was disappinted that some people couldn’t make it, but everyone who really mattered to us was there.
If your Fiance was so concerned about this, he should have spoke up before you put a down payment on the venue. I don’t think he’ll need to worry much, I’m sure all his nearest and dearest will find a way to be there. I also think since your parents are paying for the wedding, they should be catered to a bit more.
One of the PPs tips of making the trip feel as awesome, easy and comfortable as possible is also a good idea. We set up a website that had information about sights to see, things to do, events going on and restaurants for our travelling guests, and we made it simple to find directions, maps, travel information, ect.
Post # 8
If he’d come up with these concerns before putting down a deposit, maybe you could have discussed it with some family members to see of they could make it. Now, I’d just tell him he is too late because you can’t lose your moms deposit. Anyway, its only normal for the wedding to be closer to the family that’s paying for it. If you had it near his family, yours would still have to travel so there really isnt a win win solution. Also, Florida is popular vacation destination, so his family may enjoy the trip and a lot of airlines run sales on flights to Florida, so the flight would be cheaper.
Post # 9
If you were to have it be in Canada then your family would have to travel so either way a side is going to have to travel. Also, since you live there his family gets the opportunity to spend more time with the both of you. Therefore I think you should get to have the wedding at your home!
Post # 10
Someone would have to travel… Is Florida the location where the LEAST amount of people have to travel? That’s how I’d pick it.
Post # 11
If your family is paying for the wedding, then his should be able to pay for travel. You shouldn’t expect your family to pay for the wedding and travel.
Post # 12
Well…. someone is going to have to travel. If your mom is paying, I think she might get the privilage of having it in her home town.
Post # 13
Honestly? *HE’S* being unreasonable. The time to object was before you decided *together* on this venue and put the money down. I also agree with pp’s in that your family is paying and they shouldn’t have to pay for travel on top of that.
My husband and I also dealt with immigration issues and also had 2 ceremonies. My husbands family is 6000 miles away from where we got married, so what we did was have an engagement party/pre-wedding reception where we could spend some time with the family and friends that we knew would be unlikely to travel for our wedding. As it turns out, we still had 12 people travel from the Netherlands to California!
One family or the other is going to have to travel and in this case, I think the one paying for it should get the bigger consideration by not making them pay for travel as well.
Post # 14
I agree with what everyone else’s is saying that if his family doesn’t travel then it’ll end up being yours. Especially that your mom is paying for the wedding, I think it definitely should be in your hometown and I don’t think you should have to lose your deposit.
Besides your wedding is in October and the weather in Canada isn’t exactly nice outside that time of year. The weather will be much better in Florida and would make for a better vacation then Canada.
If the budget allows, you can have reception in Canada afterwards. It doesn’t need to be a sit down meal or anything like that. Receptions I’ve been to for destination weddings at home have been at cheaper rental facilities and food was just sandwiches, fruit and veggie platters.
Post # 15
I agree that your family shouldn’t have to travel, especially since they are footing the bill. But you can always tell you Fiance that after the wedding and honeymoon that you guys can host a second reception so his family can celebrate if they couldnt’ attend the “real” wedding. That is what my Fiance and I are doing for his family. Many are excited. We are also having our weding filmed and then show it at our second reception in FI’s home town.
Post # 16
Thank you bees! I have talked to him more about it and we have decided to continue with the florida plans and his mother has decided to throw us a party in his home town. Thank you all again for your sage advice!