Post # 1
I’ve been engaged for a month and a half and we haven’t completely booked anything yet so there’s time to change our minds.
FI is from another country where their weddings are typically a little more low-key. He doesn’t like the “pomp and circumstance” of American-style weddings and there are a lot of traditions he doesn’t really care for (most of which, when he asks “why we need to do it?” my answer would simply be “because that’s just what everyone else does and expects of you.”) He also doesn’t like the idea of being around a lot of people (we’re both pretty introverted people). Long story short, we came up with the idea of a destination wedding.
His family and some friends are in Europe and would have to fly out to the wedding anyway–whether it be in the US or elsewhere. We’re considering having it in Bali, Indonesia. He’s a surfer and loves the water and tropicalness, etc. We had just went there half a year ago and we both loved it. We also thought we could get away with having a nicer wedding there than in the states and it would reduce the number of guests. We are planning on inviting 50, but “hope” (expect) that only 20 people show up.
Anyway, I received mixed reviews from our friends and most of our family wasn’t really enthusiastic about it. My mom even tried to give me a guilt trip about not having my wedding more accessible for my friends even if it meant the expense of having a “nice wedding.”
We still have our hearts on Bali because it has special meaning to us and the idea of “getting married in Bali” seems so romantic. But, how can we justify making our friends and family pay $1200 roundtrip? There are friends who I know will not make the voyage (due to finances) who I’d like to have at my wedding.
I’m curious as to how you dealt with the rationality or praticallity of having a destination wedding. Did you consider the cost of travel for your guests in picking a location? Did you pick a location and just say, “who ever could come could come?” How did you deal with any guilt you might have received from less-than-enthusiastic friends/family?
Post # 3
@suhseal: Our wedding isn’t going to cost as much for our guests, but we have still been having problems. My family isn’t financially stable, while his is. His family and friends were all on board, while mine were arguing and saying they weren’t coming. We decided it’s what we are going to do anyway, and my mom and one set of grandparents gave in and are now excited.
Pricing for our guests was definately a factor in deciding our location and hotel. We originally wanted it in the Bahamas, but are now having it in Mexico. I don’t miss the idea of the Bahamas at all, because more of the people we love will be there.
If it’s what you really want to do, go for it! It’s your day, and you deserve exactly what you want! Be selfish! The people who love you the most will make you happy about your decision, even if they can’t make it there!
Post # 4
I live in Georgia, and our wedding will be in Tennessee. We are renting a cabin large enough for our family members to stay in, and hoping that friends will stay in a cabin next door. Some family members and all of our friends have expressed nothing but excitement about getting to spend a couple of days in the mountains and seeing us get married. Other family members have complained about the distance, which is understandable. We are trying to make it easy for everyone, with tons of advance notice and paying for their lodging so that they don’t have to rent a hotel, but I’m sure there will still be some people who can’t make it, and that’s okay.
Post # 5
I think if you give them sufficient time to save up for the expenses, then you should feel guilty. Now, that may mean you have to delay your wedding for a year or two.
Post # 6
I know exactly how you feel. Coming from an Asian American background, destination wedding is almost unheard because supposedly its disrespectful. But with that said, FI and I decided that it’s our wedding and years from now we want to look back on it as something that reflected us and our love for each other.
We also talked to a lot of our close friends and family about wanting a destination wedding and got mixed reviews. Its hard but at the end of the day its YOUR wedding and it should represent you and your FI.
Good Luck and Congrats!!
Post # 7
Not at all. Almost every single person I’m inviting goes on a vacation yearly and they just need to hold out for April and go to Mexico this way.
Post # 8
i felt some guilt because certain people couldnt come. most of my closest friends came as well as our parents and my sister. however, FIs sister and her kids who were supposed to be in the wedding party couldn’t come. so i felt really bad about that. but the thing was, when i first told people, everyone was excited and insisted they were coming! only after we booked, people started backing out, so i don’t think i could have done anything different.
one thing you could do is tell people who say they for sure cannot come that you are planning to do a small recpetion back home after the wedding. it doesnt have to be expensive or lavish – mine will be a BBQ – but it might help those who feel bad for not being able to go.
Post # 9
This August we are getting married in Mexico and we gave our guests a year notice. Never have I felt guilty once about doing our wedding our way. The cost ended up being about ~900 for a five night trip at an allinclusive resort(air included in 900). Everyone that wanted to be there made it work.
Post # 10
I know EXACTLY what you mean by everyone being excited at first and then as it gets closer, those same people back out…it sucks! If anything they should get more excited as it gets closer…I had a really hard time dealing with people who seemed truely genuine in coming, and then us finding out from other people that they werent coming.
My FI and Mom keep reminding me, whoever really wants to be there, will find a way be there! That thought keeps me on track bigtime and makes me happy and glad I went the destination route.
Post # 11
- Wedding: December 2010 - Al Cielo / La Laguna
What we found out is that those people who really want to be there will find a way. We had a couple people come in for only 3 days total but were so happy to do it because they trully wanted to be there. And to be honest those are the type of guests you want.
Up until about 2 months before the wedding we were pretty sure Mr. M.s grandparents were not going to come because they were M-A-D that we were not having a catholic ceremony back home. They not only came but after the ceremony I got the biggest hug from her and she told me how much she loved the wedding and that we had made the right choice. She is still telling people it was like a fairytale.
So I guess what I am saying is don’t feel guilty. This wedding is for you and those who love you will be there.
Post # 12
We want to have a destination wedding in Sri Lanka, where my husband is from, since he has a lot of family there who wouldn’t be able to travel as easily as my American family, and also it’s just a more lush and dramatic backdrop. But, understandably, a lot of my relatives and friend’s can’t afford the plane ticket easily. So we are having the actual wedding there, and then we are having a commitment ceremony in the States as well. I think you have to compromise and do this when there is more than one location in question. It’s either that, or remove a whole section of guests from the wedding based on what they can’t afford, and to me, it’s more important to have them included.
Post # 13
Thanks for the responses, Bees! I would very much like to consider the cost of that our guests would endure, but at the same time, I do want our wedding to be our wedding and not hi-jacked because guilt.
@Oneeleven: Awesome! You’re so lucky!
futureMrsDonnelly and RoRoRo and others: Thanks for the reassurance–“do what you want and others who really care will follow.” I will just have to plow through the guilt because I’m sure I’d also regretful if I had a wedding I didn’t want. And RoRoRo, my family is Asian American, too and I think that the idea of going to Indonesia probably wasn’t as exotic and exciting since my family came from that region.
PurpleUnicorn: We considered doing an at-home reception, but FI sort of ruled it out because of logistics. We recently moved so our friends and family are scattered throughout California and his family is from Europe so, in a way, people would still have to go out of their way to travel and I wouldn’t want to ask them for something so casual. Also, we’re having it in Bali because we wanted to keep the cost low, and throwing a party, even a super casual one, is just another expense and another thing to plan for.
Post # 14
My SIL is having a DW in Jamaica. The resort is all-inclusive and for 3 nights runs at about $700 per person. That’s not bad if you ask me. Including air-far we’re looking at about $1,300 per person total and I’ve always been looking for an excuse to go!
Would I have to spend close to $3,000 for my husband and I to go to her wedding if it wasn’t a DW? No. But she flew out for our wedding, and if it’s what she wants I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Post # 15
@tkvogel:We’re going to Mexico June 23-30 to scout out places. Where are you having yours?! $900 for 5 nights is amazing!!
Post # 16
Don’t feel bad at all about having a destination wedding. Those who are able to come will. Just please don’t write off friends and family members who can’t afford the expense or can’t get the time away. 🙂