Post # 1
So my FI and I are looking into doing a DW wedding in Mexico or Puerto Rico (he’s Puerto Rican) and we are planning for October 2015. I’ve given my bridesmaids a heads up about this and so far out of 5 bridesmaids only one has said “yeah that’s doable” and that’s my sister (Maidof Honor). Here’s a little back story on why I’m upset about this. My best friend (matron of honor) got married a few years ago and I was a BM. During this time I had lost my job so I was only receiving unemployment, was raising a daughter and paying all my bills. Yet I didn’t think twice about being in her wedding still. I still bought the $160 dress, paid $40 in alterations, bought my shoes, paid for my daughters hair to be done, bought her flower girl dress, spent $200 some on attebiding her bachelorette party, bought a wedding gift etc. You get the idea. But now that it’s my turn to get married and it’s over a year away she’s already saying no we can’t go because of Molly (she just had a baby this march), medical bills, her going down to working only part time etc. her husband still works full time tho.
and it’s the same with my other BM’s. One has two kids and works so she doesnt think it’s doable even tho when she got married I was in it, paid for all my stuff (including daughters who was a FG, and I wasn’t working then either!!I’m just immensely sad and disappointed that none of my frienda are willing to plan ahead a little and save some money so they can stand up there with me like I did for them. I understand that it’s not a cheap trip but airfare I’ve found around $400 and the hotel is letting us block rooms at $150 a night.
I dunno. Anyone else deal with this?
Side note: 3 of my FI’s groomsmen have already said without a doubt they’d be there.
Post # 2
$400 rountrip + hotel on top of everything else it normally costs to be in a wedding is a lot of money… a lot more than a non- destination wedding. I understand that you paid a lot of money to be in your friends’ weddings but that was your choice and you did not have to pay for flights (I’m assuming) on top of everything else. I would definitely not compare your wedding to your friends’ wedding because it’s totally different circumstances.
Personally, if I were having a desintation wedding, I would not go into it expecting people to come. It’s asking a lot- money, vacation time, etc and holding it against your friends if they choose not to go just seems unfair.
Post # 3
Honestly, I completely side with your bridesmaids. That was very sweet that you put so much effort into being in their weddings, but when you are doing a destination wedding in another country it is a totally different story and you have to understand that it isn’t feasible for everyone. The flight is $400 dollars per person, and that is not considering the costs for their children and perhaps their partner. If 3 are traveling that costs 1200 (not even including childcare there). Going by themselves would still require them to figure out and pay for childcare, and many moms (especially new moms) wouldn’t be comfortable going to a different country and leaving their young child behind (it is far if something happens and communication is more challenging). Since it is quite far, a minimum of 3 nights would be required, and likely more. That is at least 450, but probably 600-1000 dollars in hotel costs alone. Then there is all the eating out expenses when they are away. And that isn’t even getting to the things you paid for to be in their wedding (dress, alterations, wedding gift, bachelorette party), which they would still have to do. That’s all on top of other expenses in their life.
If it were a local wedding, and we talking about $800 bucks (still a large sum of money), then perhaps they could save that far in advance. But we are talking more like 3 grand. Personally, even for my most close friend in the world, 3 grand would be completely not even remotely possible, even with 1.5 years to save. I would love to, but there would be no way unless my income changed significantly somehow in the meantime. It is fine that you are having a destination wedding, but you have to accept that it makes it much harder for guests (even close friends) to attend and have to accept when it just isn’t possible for them. If having most people there is more important to you than the exact wedding you pictured, then I would have a wedding more locally.
Post # 4
If you’re planning a DW, I think you kind of have to expect that your bridesmaids are not going to accept or start making plans right away. Airfares for October 2015 are not even on sale yet so no one knows what it’s going to cost to go there. No one knows their time-off-from-work situation yet. And no one knows if they can truly afford it yet.
It’s a whole lot different to stand up for someone locally than to have to get on a plane and stay in a hotel to do it, and it’s pretty unreasonable (and a little presumptious) of you to set expectations for how they will spend money they earn. It’s not fair on them. Especially when the event is a year and a half away.
My suggestion: drop it for now. You’ve told them when the wedding is, and ask them to stand up for you, and that’s enough for now. If they have any chance of making it work, they are already planning things and saving up. But they are also well within their rights to not want to commit yet, and to not want to discuss financial matters with friends.
And when some decline (which will happen; it’s just the nature of destination weddings), accept it graciously. it does not have to be a friendship-ending moment.
Post # 5
mgbser: Puerto Rico isn’t a different country. It’s a US territory. Yeah i know it is nit-picky. It’s still far away and it’s still far enough for many new moms to not feel comfortable going with a new baby, or leaving the baby behind. But it really upsets me to see the confusion of Puerto Rico being classed as a different country.
Post # 6
I have to agree with PP. It’s not quite the same as a non-DW wedding. Theres not only cost of standing up in a wedding, there’s a LOT more expenses incurred for attending a DW wedding (flights, hotel, vacation time, etc.), nevermind the regular expenses of being IN a DW wedding. I love my friends a hell of a lot, but there are only a few people in the world I could actaully see myself attending a DW wedding for (even if I was asked to be in the wedding party). DH and I get so few vacations, I really cant see giving one up to spend a week in a destination/resort of someone elses choosing, with someone elses friends/family. Especially with your friend just having a baby, whos to know if they’ll have the finances in place by then or if baby will even travel well. Sorry, but thats part of the deal when you choose a DW.
Post # 7
I don’t think there should be tit-for-tat where weddings are concerned, especially destination weddings. When you decide on a destination wedding you should expect people not to be able to make it and then be pleasantly surprised when they can.
I would not have, in your situation, spent anything over $100 to attend a friend’s wedding while trying to make it on unemployment. It is great that you did, but it doesn’t entitle you to anything when you get married. You chose to prioritize your money and time in that way, but when others choose differently, they are not wrong to do so – they simply are prioritizing things differently than you did.
$400 and $150 a night, on top of taking unpaid time off or using vacation time, plus all the other expenses that go along with being in a wedding, is in fact quite burdensome. It’s also over a year away, no one knows what their circumstances will be in October 2015. It’s a big commitment to make to say yes to your wedding this far ahead of the game.
Post # 8
It is great that it was your choice to participate in your friends weddings even though it put you in a money pinch. But at the same time, the money aspect doesn’t correlate as well as you want it to. First, a destination wedding is automatically going to cost more money. You are speaking of at least flights ($400 a piece) and then hotel rooms and food. That is more than just a dress and hair. Likely more than even two dresses and hair.
Then time off of at least two days longer than a traditional wedding because flying there and back is just going to take more time than staying locally. This means asking more time off. I have several co-workers with small children, and most of them don’t take vacations. Their time off is largely reserved for their children getting sick.
Also with children, they are going to increase the amount they will need to spend on the trip to add their children to travling, or they will need to find multi-day child care. It sounds like at least one child is not going to be more than 2 years old. Not many people want to take their 2 year-old on a plane, or leave their small child for multiple days in the care of someone else.
Having a destination wedding sounds like fun, but it is likely that you will need to scale down your attendence expecations.
Post # 9
- Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI
I agree that for a DW you need to have lower expectations about people attending. I mean if a BM has a husband and two children that’s a lot to plan around. If they all come and get $400 airfare you’re looking at an additional $1200 just for airfare, otherwise you’re just assuming she’s going to get childcare or her husband will be available to stay behind and watch the kids etc. Vacation time and their own personal plans also have to be taken into account. They might already be planning and saving up for a vacation etc. As for the groomsmen, I hope they really do attend as they’ve said but even for our wedding FI had groomsmen drop out because they moved away etc…once the time came they said they couldn’t afford it or something came up.
Our wedding is local to us but most of our declines were from family that lived further away/out of state. Sure I could complain that Aunt Jane came here for FSIL’s wedding but not for mine! But what’s the point? Just because she was able to come to someone else’s wedding here 4 years ago doesn’t mean she can now. We had a whole group of family members (aunts/uncles/cousins) decline our wedding because it is the same time as their annual family vacation to Hilton Head. Should I demand to them that my wedding is more important? Nope. It’s their choice what to do with their time and money. I wish they could be there to celebrate with us but it doesn’t always work out.
I’m grateful for the people who are attending and taking the time and money to do so. Your friends may not want to miss your wedding but under the circumstances are truly not able to comfortably attend. I missed my best friends wedding because she last minute planned to go get married in Vegas. I had just started a new job, had no vacation time, and could not fly across the country to be there with her no matter how much I truly wanted to!
Post # 10
SkinnyLatte17: Well her babies medical bills maybe a bit high, she may not have insurance. Considering my son was 7 weeks early and if we hadn’t had insurance the bill alone just for him was $145,000 so yeah. I wouldn’t judge her.
That is the price you pay for having a DW, not everyone will a.) be able to afford or b.) want to come to one
Post # 11
FWIW if I go out of town just for a weekend, it costs me almost $100 just to park at the airport. Going to a DW costs way more than just the price of the plane ticket and hotel.
Post # 12
- Wedding: July 2016 - Chateau
Im in the same boat except ours is 2016 in St.lucia. One bridesmaid keeps thinking of things that could get her out of it : vacation time, who will fly with her? Who else will be in the hotel with her? Will her parents be able to afford it? (Shes 30, has a well paying job, no SO, no children, doesnt go out, rents a small place, no car but she wouldnt dream about paying it herself! – shes FIs cousin – asking her to be a bridesmaid was kind of a bribe to get her to come, not working out as I planned). It sounds to me like she doesnt want to go, and I wish she would just say that instead of “I really want to go BUT…” so far only one bridesmaid has said yes, but its a destination wedding and Ive already accepted that I will be receiving many “declines” as the date approaches…
Post # 13
- Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI
Also, I’d keep in mind some people do not like to travel. I know people who would not go no matter what due to fear of flying or even fears of what they might encounter in a foreign country or unfamiliar location. Or just general dislike of traveling that far from home.
FI’s cousin had a small DW in Mexico and they practically had to force his father to attend for these reasons. He had never left the country before or been on a plane. He initially declined going to his son’s wedding. – So just another perspective. May not apply to the bridesmaids situation but other guests etc…you never know. He also had to pay to get a passport, since Mexico is a foreign country.
Post # 14
Besides the destination wedding factor, there is the timing factor. I don`t think it is unusual that friends who are already married with children are not going to priorize spending money on a destination wedding, or any wedding to which they have to travel.</p>
<p>Unfortunately, it`s one of the side effects of being the last in your group to marry.
Post # 15
SkinnyLatte17: I’m sorry but I agree with your BM’s here. Weddings are expensive, destinations ones even more so, and alot of the people invited are unable to make it. I wou;dn’t judge them on their financial situation and compare it to your own. They may have a ton of debt or bills you are not aware of. In the event DH was laid off despite me still working full time we would be barely paying our bills not even including rent- but I know lots of other couples without our amount of debt that it wouldn’t phase… We had a DW and ended up cutting it down to just 4 guests because we didn’t want to take up all our guests vacation $$, vacation time, etc…
It was very kind of you to attend their weddings even though you were hurting financially, but you can’t and shouldn’t expect them to make the same decision regarding their families and finances…