Destination Wedding/Mother in Law

posted 3 months ago in Family
Post # 16
1496 posts
Bumble bee

So you are 100% allowed to have a DW, but you have to realize that not everyone will be able to come. We checked with our parents before finalizing anything, and made sure the date/location would work for them. If your FMIL wont fly, I think the driving location is a good compromise. Still, she is correct, and not everyone will want to drive 4h for a wedding. Also, you can’t compare to who travelled to another wedding. Their finances could be different now, new kids (or old kids going to college), job loss/change, etc. You really can’t count those chickens before they hatch!

Post # 17
816 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

handlecat :  I don’t think having a wedding in one persons home country is the same as randomly picking a destination far from the couple’s home and the majority of guests on both sides.

Post # 18
447 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

FutureMrsBex :  >> If a destination wedding is your absolute dream then I would elope and not invite anyone. Once you get back you can host a reception for family to celebrate. <<

That is an excellent compromise!

Post # 19
1630 posts
Bumble bee

afraser0911 :  ” I mentioned another idea of a wedding venue which is only a 3-4 hour drive and she said it was too far and no one would drive that far for a wedding. but she invited family to her daughters wedding that had to fly in or drive 6+ hours to get there.”

And is it possible then she’s speaking from experience?  That yes, people did do it when push came to shove, but maybe she heard people complaining about it before or after the fact.  People do lots of things for people they care about even if they don’t like it or it is a hardship and will never once complain to the bride and groom about it because they don’t want to hurt their feelings or ruin the experience for them?  You see stories like that all the time – brides (or grooms) proudly proclaiming that they asked their friends and family and they were all fine with paying $2000 to travel for a destination wedding, or a cash bar, or having to stand because their dream venue can’t fit enough chairs.  And then you see the guests of weddings like these come on boards and share that they are upset about having to spend so much to travel or the cash bar or standing in heels for over an hour, etc.  But they never shared those opinions with the bride and groom because no one wants to be the @sshole who knocks down plans that they clearly are excited about or diss their budget.

And as a PP pointed out, just because people did it for one doesn’t mean they will do it for another.  Circumstances (money, schedule, etc.) change.  I went out of town for a friend’s wedding because it fell during my slow season and I had enough vacation built up.  I declined my cousin’s wedding a few months later despite the cost and travel circumstances being almost identical because I had already booked a vacation of my own for two weeks after and didn’t want the added cost and to deplete my vacation balance further because I am saving it up for a future trip.  I declined another good friend’s wedding even though it was less travel (in theory I could do it as a same day trip but not ideal), but it fell during my busiest time at work and finals and trying to fit it in would have made a stessful time even more stressful.

That said, you and your FI should sit down first and determine what your priorities are first before vetting venues and discussing possible plans with others.  If a destination is important to you both to the exclusion of all others if they can’t afford it, then go for it.  If one or both of you feel it is most important to have at least a core of very important people present, then you figure out plans that work for them as well and compromise a bit.  And for everyone else, you have to be comfortable with the fact that you can’t please everyone and be 100% fine if that means they won’t come.  If that’s not something you can be ok with, then you’ll need to compromise even more.

Post # 20
605 posts
Busy bee

afraser0911 :  As a background I eloping to Hawaii w no guests. 

Why are you thinking about the venue 3-4 hours away? I am guessing bc your hometown is very expensive? Hmm. 

I would think about the “why” of the destination wedding. Is it the low cost plus you expect a smaller group of guests bc some people won’t make it? Or did you really find a place you like or is your hometown boring for weddings? Do you think it wouldn’t just be fun?

how legitimate is the MIL flying issue? Does she not want to be inconvenienced traveling for her sons wedding or is there a deep psychological issue that causes her to faint during takeoff or something? Can’t she take Xanax like everyone else does? I’m actually on a plane now. Everyone pops ambien!

Will it be a declaration of war if you go forth w the destination wedding? How much does your FI care about her being there? Do you think your FMIL cares about being at her sons wedding? Some people don’t care that much. Maybe she doesn’t care and won’t go and won’t be sore missing in. She seems negative in general 

and who is paying for the wedding? You? Then no one has a right to tell you what to do. That’s my situation. I’m the only one with money. No one else is in a position to pay. So we are eloping. TFB for everyone else it’s my day and my budget 

Post # 21
297 posts
Helper bee

Destination weddings from an etiquette standpoint are “rude” if you are trying to pass on your costs to your guests.  I’m having a destination wedding and off setting the cost by paying for 3 nights of hotel for all my guests and 5 nights for my wedding party.  We are also paying for a full day excursion for all the guests to off set their plane tickets.  

It is about priorities.  We really wanted to have a destination wedding but didn’t want it to become a financial burden to our guests.  We choose to do the destination wedding and the bulk of our budget is going to cover their accomedations.  We choose a smaller guest list and cut on decor/flowers/wedding dress/other wedding related things to be able to afford to cover the rooms.  

Since our bridal party is “Forced” to attend (ie unlike a normal guest, they can’t look at the plane ticket price and skip the event) we are making sure their costs are the lowest.  We are subsidising their airfare with our frequent flier points and paying for all wedding attire.  Compromised and had a tiny wedding party to be able to afford that.  


Post # 22
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

zzar45 :  I guess I actually don’t see it as being terribly different in the sense that I don’t feel someone needs to justify why they wish to have their wedding at a certain location. Knowing that someone had a destination wedding because they lived there in the past vs they love the spot wouldn’t make a huge impact on me, as a guest, in terms of whether or not I would go to that destination wedding. I definitely think couple needs to understand that it creates a large gap of people that will not come, but if I care about someone enough to consider going to their wedding, the reason why they chose their destination just wouldn’t be the determining factor of how hard I try to make that work.



Post # 23
8646 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Etiquette disapproves of most destination weddings. The only exception I can think of is when a wedding is being planned jointly by a very intimate group, for example immediate family. Otherwise, it’s not only an imposition of money, but of time. People may have very different ideas about how they would like to spend 3-7 days away from their jobs and with whom. 

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