Destination Wedding in Bali. Too Far for Relatives?

posted 1 year ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 16
14947 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

If the key guests are on board, then sure, why not!  Some other invited guest may or may not want to visit Bali, or take time off to make it a proper vacation, or can afford it, but as long as you’re ok with people not being able to make it, then that’s your choice.  One of my best friends got married in Thailand and most people had to travel from the states, other than family that was already there.  Those who made the trip, myself included, were thrilled to do it and make a long 2-4 week vacation out of it. 

Post # 17
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

beeeyonce144444 :  The travel time alone would be prohibitive for me, even if I had the funds.  What about someplace in the middle like bermuda or ponta delgada?  

Post # 18
633 posts
Busy bee

No one knows how your nearest and dearest will actually respond to this.


For me personally, though, there is absolutely no way in hell I’d go to a a wedding in Bali unless it were for my sibling or my very best friend, and even then I’d be pretty annoyed by it.


Cost aside, the time commitment is astronomical. If you only stay for a short time there, then you are spending more than half your ‘away from home’ time in transit – and that’s just hell. The jet lag would be vicious, you wouldn’t even get acclimated to the time zone before hopping back on a series of torturous plane flights.

And if you stay for enough time to balance things out, then the overall time commitment becomes, what, a week or 10 days at a minimum (to have 4-7 days onsite)? So, if I have limited vacation time, that means I basically have to allocate all my days off for the year to your wedding and a few holidays. So, no vacation time of my own choosing.

If all your closest peeps are 100% cool with extensive travel, and have massive amounts of vacation time to play around with, or can set their own schedules entirely, then maybe you don’t have to worry about all the above concerns. But I wouldn’t assume that’s the case.


Post # 19
1851 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

Unless you were my sibling there’s no way I’d go. Cost aside, as others have mentioned it is a late amount of travel time plus jet lag. I can’t afford to spend days of travel getting to a wedding.

And I say this as someone who lives a 7 hour flight from her home country. I had 8 people travel from my home country to my wedding where I live now.

Post # 20
749 posts
Busy bee

I wouldn’t do this for anyone. Not even family. It’s not so much the cost, it’s the time involved. 

Make sure you are ok if no-one comes

Post # 21
2106 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

My husband and I are talking about where to take our vacation this year and he suggested Bali. We can afford it, I get tons of time off, but when I heard about how long the trip was? Nope, veto. I have zero desire to  spend 36 hours traveling to get ANYWHERE. Unless it was my sister getting married (and I’d fight her tooth and nail on that tbh) I wouldn’t go. I think your expectations are skewed. I would not expect anywhere near 50 people to attend. I generally don’t like destination weddings, but the amount of time and money involved in a trip like this is especially unrealistic, in my opinion. I’d also reconsider only helping some of your guests with cost. In my opinion, it should be all or nothing. Finally, I’d prepare myself for the possibility that while people may say now that they are excited and will definitely attend, be prepared for people to drop like flies as it gets closer. It’s a big ask and a lot easier to agree in theory than in execution. As long as you are TRULY ok with guests not attending, I’d say move forward. But, the absolute worst thing you can do is spend someone else’s time/money. It doesn’t matter how long you give someone to “save up”, it’s asking a lot for them to spend their hard earned money and time off on a trip of your choosing that they had no say in. 

Post # 22
1754 posts
Buzzing bee

I think you need to ask your family and friends if they are willing to go. My brother got married in India and I didn’t go specifically because of the travel time. I didn’t want to use so much of my vacation days on travel time.

Post # 23
2419 posts
Buzzing bee

I think for most of your guests, it may be difficult to justify the trip between cost, time spent traveling, and the amount of vacation time they have.  

Americans in particular do not get as much vacation time (especually compared to Europe) so you may have guests who would need to choose between your wedding and whatever other trips they had wanted to take that year.  

I enjoy destination weddings within reason, so long as it’s somewhere I actually have interest in going. But it’s not a vacation to me.  A vacation means I pick the destination, I pick the time, I pick the hotel, and I pick the activities/who I want to see. 

Post # 24
988 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

one more thing – a one night layover in Hawaii isn’t super enticing because by the time you get from the airport to the hotel to sleep and back, it’s basically just a few hour stop. No time to do anything except maybe grab a meal. If it was me, I’d prob just get a cheap hotel by the airport and not even bother with the town or beaches. 

Post # 25
9435 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

As long as the people most important to you are on board, go for it.

But I think 40 people out of 70 is a high estimate. Heck regular every day, local weddings sometimes have that many “No” rsvps.

Costs aside, you’re asking people to use what may be their ONLY vacation days for the year on your wedding. For me personally, Bali is not the place I would choose to spend my time.

The travel time alone is enough for me to say noooo thank you. An overnight in Hawaii is hardly beneficial, IMO.

Post # 26
46 posts

Why don’t you have the wedding in Hawaii and start your honeymoon in Bali.  You still get a paradise destination wedding, don’t exhaust your guests, and vacation in Bali.  I’m sure there’s a Ritz Carlton on at least one of the Hawaiian islands.

Post # 27
4499 posts
Honey bee

PPs have it covered.

I just want to say please change your mentality on this as you are GIVING them a year to save up for this.  You aren’t giving them jack, nor are you in the position to be the decider of how people should feel about saving and using their money.  Just because you notify people a year in advance doesn’t mean they have to be ok with the expense.  Just because they may be capable of saving that amount in a year doesn’t mean they have to or want to spend their money on a vacation of your choosing.  Please just keep that in mind and be humble about this – you are in no way doing them a favor here or giving them anything.  You are notifying them and you are requesting they make a considerable sacrifice of their time and money to witness your marriage.  It may be a sacrifice they are willing to make, but you need to make fewer assumptions and display a little humility about the whole thing when you are making such requests of people.

Post # 28
7413 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Personally I think this would be an incredible imposition, as people are very reluctant to decline a wedding invitation, even if it means they will need to spend a lot of time and money to attend. You seem to not really care if people show up or not, so perhaps a better approach would be to have a private ceremony in Bali with just you and your fiance, followed by a casual party-type reception in either the States or Paris or both.

If you do continue along with the Bali idea, consider somewhere that is not a corporate-owned chain hotel. Seems a bit pointless to make guests travel 18 hours in each direction to hang out in a Ritz Carlton when there’s a sister hotel in literally 100 other cities. Also, you mention wanting a simple ceremony in Bali, but you’re now thinking about layovers in Hawaii and such, and that’s anything but simple.

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