(Closed) Am I really crazy for wanting a destination wedding?

posted 5 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 2
408 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

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Olivia Allan :  I live in SC, and my family lives in OK. My BFF lives in TX. My fiancé’s family lives in SC. 

He wanted a small wedding and wanted to go somewhere, so I was cool with that. So we are having a destination wedding in Santa Fe, NM. I don’t think it is ridiculous to ask family and a few close friends to go out of state, because realistically, somebody is going to have to go out of state. I still feel bad, though ultimately it will be easier for a majority of people to go to Santa Fe. I just plan on feeding them really well and being a good hostess. 

Post # 3
478 posts
Helper bee

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Olivia Allan :  No, you are not being selfish. You are entitled to the wedding you want, just as your guests are entitled not to attend. As long as you dont get upset if people cannot make it, you have every right to get married wheever and whenever you want! 

Some people want a giant celebration and some people dont! This is a personal decision and your friend just has a different opinion. No big deal! You can each have your own dreams!

Post # 4
9756 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

No, you aren’t being selfish. If you can afford it and are okay to travel with a small child and your immediate families will be able to come (or at least not be upset if they can’t) then I don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t. You’re a grown ass woman, you can do whatever you want!

Post # 5
30399 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

You can have the wedding the two of you want, but I would caution you to put your assumptions and expectations on hold.

As far as family, I know all of mine and my fiance’s immediate family would be able to attend.

You may hope for this, but things change-people’s health status can change making travel impossible, finances change, the ability to get time off work changes. Plan your destination wedding, but before you do, come to terms with the fact that everyone you want to attend will not be there.

Post # 6
619 posts
Busy bee

Your situation is SO similar to mine so I understand. I’m really at a loss for what to do, too. 

My situation is that both of our families and a lot of friends are scattered all over the country and live very far away from us, so no matter where we have it, it’s a “destination wedding” for 90% of those invited. 

I kinda thought that if people were having to travel, then at least the place they’re travelling to could be beautiful and interested and have lots to do. I’m still very undecided, though, because I’m scared that my friends who are in-town will be secretly pissed as the wedding draws nearer. They’ve all been very supportive and excited to travel so far, but it IS a lot to ask of people. 

I’m also concerned with cost. I don’t want to spend very much on a wedding at all, just not a priority. But if I’m going to have to spend a ton, then I would so rather spend it on the only thing I care about– location. I don’t want to spend $XX,000 on a party in my hometown, I really don’t care enough. But if it was in the destination of my dreams (which is still in the country and much easier for half the invite list), then hell yeah I’ll drop that cash. 


I hear people say, “Who can you NOT get married without? Those are the people on your invite list.” and that is not good advice for me because literally there is only ONE person I “can’t” get married without and that is my fiance. I would be sad if my parents weren’t there, but I’m not marrying them. So when I think about that piece advice in trying to plan a guest list, I end up just being like, dammit who cares, lets elope. Seems like the marriage is for us but the entire wedding is really about the guests anyway. 


So yeah. Very confusing. I’m right there with you. 

Post # 7
1227 posts
Bumble bee

Nope, it’s not selfish unless you expect every person you invite to attend. Just be prepared for reactions like your friend’s. We had a tiny, <25 person wedding. It was an hour from all invited guests, so that was not an issue, but a lot of people thought I was selfish for not inviting everyone. We had the day we wanted and could afford and I don’t regret it, even though some people (i.e. friends and my entire extended family) are still mad at me.

Post # 8
1449 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

She’s not wrong for saying that it’s hard on family and friends when someone has a destination wedding. As much as I might love to go to your wedding, it means spending money and vacation days on your wedding instead of the trip or the new car or the house down payment savings or whatever that I was hoping to spend it on instead. 

So as a guest, I’m left with two options 1) decline and be sad I’m missing it or 2) go but be a tad resentful that I had to choose to spend my money/vacation on this instead. If you are my brother or my best friend, I would go. Anyone else, I probably wouldn’t. 

This isn’t to say that choosing a destination wedding is wrong. That’s completely your choice. It’s also your friends choice to not like the idea because of how it impacts her. So chose whatever you want, but keep in mind that not everyone will be able to attend and not everyone will want to attend. 

Post # 9
2979 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Are there any mountain-ey lodges within driving distance? I’m not familiar with your area, but a drivable destination wedding might be easier to swallow for some people. For us, FIs family was pushing HARD for a full Destination Wedding,like mexico. I knew it wouldnt be feasible for most of my friends to attend, so I moved it to a local destination that is within driving distance. I know it will still be difficult for some guests to come, but we were expecting that either way.

Also, don’t count your eggs (RSVPs) before they hatch. Everyone says theyre excited now, but once budgets sink in, time off requirements come up, it could and likely will change.

Post # 11
8453 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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Olivia Allan :  DWs are hard on guests. I would probably attend a snowy Destination Wedding for my own children, but would not even consider it for anyone else. Not my siblings, not my parents, not any friends, literally not one other person. And even for my own kids, it’s not guaranteed. You can do whatever you want, but there are always consequences. If you decide on a Destination Wedding, some people might not be able to come, or some might come and resent you for making it hard on them. Like a PP says, you’re assuming both of your families will have not a problem with it. Asking people if they’d come to a Destination Wedding is like asking if they want one of the puppies your dog is expecting — everyone says “OF COURSE, how fun!!” until the time comes. If that’s what you want to do, you’re allowed to do it but be prepared for some declines and some people who would love to be there but can’t, to be disappointed.

Post # 12
40 posts
  • Wedding: March 2011

I’m from Ohio and we got married in the smoky mountains in TN.  It was far more affordable than having a wedding here. Plus all of our guest were willing to drive the 6 hours as opposed to having to fly somewhere. It would be a beautiful backdrop in the winter as well.

Post # 13
3885 posts
Honey bee

Keep in mind it can also be distressing to some guests. My brother in law, (my deceased sister’s husband who I’ve remained close to), is getting remarried and I really want to go, but the flight is $800 and the hotel is $300 per night, with no other options for a cheaper hotel. So when you add everything up, I’d spend close to $2,000. That does not include a gift. It is very upsetting to me that I can’t attend. 🙁

Post # 14
4798 posts
Honey bee

I think to some extent, all destination weddings that are done purely for the sake of the destination rather than logistics are selfish.  It’s the prioritization of a vision or a place over people.  It’s asking your loved ones to give up more time and money for a one day event than they might otherwise would have needed to spend and in some cases give up other vacations they might have had planned for the year depending on how much time they are alloted to take off from work each year.  It’s asking a lot of people.

That said, it doesn’t necessarily make you horrible person.  You’re allowed to prioritize things differently than other people.  Your friend prioritizes having all of her friends and family there.  It doesn’t make her better than you – it just means you have different priorities.  However, IT IS HOW YOU CHOOSE TO ACT in conjunction with the destination wedding that is key.  You have to be prepared that no one may come.  Really.  Even if you think they will, even if they say your plan sounds great.  Your loved ones don’t want to hurt your feelings by admitting it may be a hardship and things happen – when push comes to shove and it’s time to put their money where their mouth is and pay for flights and lodging, you may find not as many people are going to be agreeable or willing to go through with it.  As long as you don’t guilt trip people or act like you’re entitled to this and get upset with them for declining, then you’re fine because the reality is no one is entitled to any kind of wedding beyond what is legally required for two people to marry in your state/country.  Everything beyond a license, an officiant, and two willing people to get married is just fluff that it’s nice to be able to do for yourselves if you can afford it.  If that fluff happens to be a destination wedding, then have at it.

Post # 15
467 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I think destination eloping is lovely. But inviting 50 people means putting 50 people in an awkward situation where they have to decide if your relationship is worth precious time off work and lots of hard-earned cash. For many guests, your wedding might be the only vacation they can take that year.

It sounds like your friend could have been more tactful, but it also sounds like she might be expressing concern that she won’t be able to attend. 

Post # 15
6302 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I will never understand the hatred towards a destination wedding….no one is forced to attend. If you can’t, stay home. Even as someone who now lives in the town I grew up in, I still went away to college, and most of family lives all over. Likewise for my DH. Are all these people who hate DW’s the people who stayed home and didn’t meet people from other places? I guess I can understand if you’ve lived your whole life in the same small town and all your family and friends live there….but this is 2017 where rarely to people stay in the place they grew up and families are spread all over.

I think calling it a “destination wedding” is what gets people. If you just said, “We’re getting married in Vail, CO” people would just think you picked that location as opposed to saying “We’re having a destination wedding in the mountains”.

I say do what makes you happy and works for those who are *most important* to you. You just can’t be upset or offended if they can’t come. That being said I’m a desitnation wedding photographer – so I wouldn’t have a job if people didn’t get married in other places! 🙂 I think a mountain winter wedding is AMAZING!!!!

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