Post # 1
Here is the background:
I’m orignally from PA (most of my family still lives here) and my fiance is from Ireland.
We were planning a small (60 person) Wedding in Boston but my fiance’s mother just was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. We are rethinking Boston and feel that it might be better to host the wedding in Ireland so she won’t have to travel.
I am okay with having a small intimate wedding however, I would love if a little more people than just my parents and brother could attend. I am feeling very guilty about the travel costs associated with having it in Ireland especially since most of my family haven’t travelled internationally before. Plus I am trying to figure out costs on our end to transport everyone around (it is in the country so no public transport.)
Does anyone have any suggestions of what we can do to keep the travel costs low? I would love to assit in putting money towards it but afraid it probably won’t be possible. Are there any sites or travel indivduals that are good resources to get great deals on flights/transportation?
Any help would be great!
Post # 3
I know it’s not exactly the same, but can you have a small reception in Boston (or wherever) for family members when you return? Regardless of what you do, airfare will still be expensive (at least $500 any time of year from pretty much any website). I don’t know whether that is reasonable for your family or not…You can occasionally I suppose get screaming deals, but not reliably. I’m sure you can probably find ways to minimize accomodations once people get there, though.
I travel a lot, and if I have certain dates of travel I find that I rarely do much better than the big travel sites (orbitz, expedia). You might try priceline if people’s plans are flexible, but I still think going much lower than $500 is unlikely.
Post # 4
One thing you may try is going to speak with a travel agent to see if she could get a group discount for your friends and family. I wouldn’t normally suggest an agent, but this is the kind of thing they are good at. Then you could all sit together and start the fun early. Airplane alcohol is entirely worth it, IMO.
Then, if you can cut that down look into a less expensive alternative for lodging. You may be able to find a house for rent, for example, where you can put the more genteel parents, and your close friends could stay in the three rooms for rent over a local pub (this kind of assumes you won’t be in Dublin, which is practically as expensive as London). This should be easier to handle with local contacts, as most of these kinds of options won’t be available over the internet.
Finally, you have a really good reason to do this. You are building a family with this marriage, and this is a good first move. I would, however, suggest having a party for your friends when you get back. Dinner at a restaurant for 20 and drinkng afterwards could easily be kept around $1000.
Post # 5
Thanks, fizicsGirl & monitajb foryour advice!
I may contact a travel agent to see if there is anything they can do with regards to group packaging and pricing.
I like the idea of having a small get together with my extended family or those who weren’t able to come.
Post # 6
I feel your pain. I am from Ireland & my guy is from MA so most of my family will have to travel to get here for our wedding. I generally find that Aer Lingus has the best prices to and from Ireland, and they also have direct flights which a lot of the other airlines do not. They do group rates for 7 or more people so it might be worth checking into that based on your wedding date. Rates are usually higher in the summer & lower in the Fall & Winter.
I don’t know what your honeymoon plans are, but one of my cousins who got married in Texas went to Ireland for their honeymoon (his wife had always wanted to go there) and they had a fun party in a restaurant there for our family members who weren’t able to travel to the wedding.
Post # 7
I’m in a similar situation…FI is French, having the wedding in Paris since we live here. My entire family is in Wisconsin. We have decided to send out save-the-dates a year in advance to allow the American side time to save up some money and find cheap tickets. We’ve also found that lots of my family and my parents friends are actually excited about coming and making a vacation out of it. You shouldn’t feel guilty about it though, no matter what one of your families will have to travel as unfortunately there is no island exactly mid-way in the Atlantic that everyone can travel an equal distance to (I looked).
Post # 8
I’m in the same dilemma, jut have two weddings. I am a US citizen, my FI is English; I am covering the wedding here but we cant afford to transport all his relatives, so I am keeping my party very small 50-60, just my immediate family and my NYC family and a few cousins and lifelong family friends.
We are planning a second wedding in England for all his family, second cousins, Australian cousins and friends from Europe.
Why not have two ceremonies, go to Ireland and with your immediate family and a second smaller one here so you can celebrate with people who have loved you all your lives.
Post # 9
First of all, I am sorry to hear about your future mother in law’s health. I think it is very sweet to hold the wedding in Ireland to help her out. If family or friends give you a hard time about it, just explain the situation. If they still don’t understand, then that’s just a shame.
As for travel, I recently heard that with this recession and all, airfare is the cheapest it has been in nearly a decade. I’m not saying that makes it super cheap, but it might help sway some guests.
I have a similar but smaller problem. My fiancee and I recently moved 300 miles from my family and half a country away from his, and he has family in the caribbean too. 95% of our guests will have to travel and not everyong can travel, so I’m feeling the pangs of guilt as well.
We’re also having a smallish wedding, so to appease my parents, they’re hosting a reception next summer for our family who is not invited/can’t attend.
Post # 10
Thank you everyone for your response! I really appreciate your input.
I think I’m finally getting over the guilt and onto the logistics now.
I am going to send out the save the dates right after we confirm the venue which should be soon then see what happens. Like I told my mom, whoever can make will and if they can’t, we understand.
@happilywaiting– have you ever heard of Fiona Brophy? I have contacted her regarding being our photographer and her portfolio looks great. I’m asking around about her!
I guess its true what they say, you can’t please everyone when planning a wedding!
Post # 11
aerlingus! way cheaper than expedia!!! good luck!
Post # 12
I have several best girlfriends who have married international men. Most of them do one of two things:
a) had two or three different ceremonies in their respective home towns and even the courthouse to make it legal earlier for immigration issues
b) picked an in between location so both families had to travel and one family didn’t feel put out more than the other.
These are just ideas, your situation is much different for health issues. Bottom line you and your FI do what is going to make you happy. I am having a destination wedding and the guilt really held us down for a while before we just had to say screw it and do what we wanted and if people want to be there they will. That was the first piece of advice I got and it took me months to start following it!
Best of Luck.
Post # 13
@Senonasun – I’ve never heard of her but I did find a review on her on one of the Irish wedding boards: http://www.weddingsonline.ie/discussion/viewtopic.php?t=154763&sid=6f05455a3959e7b1f26c26c7faaf9163
You could post a new thread there asking for any more reviews of her from Irish brides. Her website looks fantastic too, I just checked it out.
Post # 14
@happilywaiting: Thanks for the link! I might contact that person that used her to see how everything turned out.
Post # 15
B&Bs are unbelievably cheap and nice in Ireland and you can find them all over so at least lodging wouldn’t be too expensive for your family who make the trip. I totally agree with the Aer Lingus recommendation, and maybe you could look into renting a van to transport everyone around once they arrive. Or you could fly into Shannon or Dublin and book a second flight to smaller airport like Cork or Kerry depending on the town where they live. Good luck!