Distance wedding and elderly grandparents

posted 2 years ago in Guests
Post # 17
3514 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I also just wanted to add, we had a humanist ceremony (in Canada) and it was beautiful, I would highly recommend one 🙂 

View original reply
aleycat65 :  

Post # 18
14160 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I should have also said, with aging grandparents who are not well and may not be around in three years, an obvious consideration is to push the wedding up so that there is more of a chance that they can be there.  

If you have to save for three years for a wedding, it’s probably not the wisest use of your resources, anyway. While the responsibility for a wedding is on you, my opinion is that most young people starting out, can’t afford and really shouldn’t be spending the kind of money that an average wedding costs. If it was me I’d have the wedding I can afford sooner rather than later, and plan the Scotland trip for an honeymoon or anniversary. 

Post # 19
573 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

You will appreciate having your loved ones there more than any venue… I know its not perfect but venues never are… you can potentially have a vow renewal or honeymoon in Scotland.


I’ve been married 5 years when we had 5 of our grandparents attend, since that time 3 of our grandparents have died.
In addition, not a grandparent but my great uncle died less than two months after our wedding, he was old and losing some of his memory but was otherwise well. I’m so grateful that he was able to attend our wedding.

My grandad had parkinsons at the time of our wedding, it was a concerted effort to keep him in the correct places at the right time…. my mum missed the cake cutting because she was off finding him… but he was there. He was happy for me and enjoyed himself even if he didn’t exactly know what was going on or where he was all of the time.

Ask your parents/grandparents about the venues that you are considering… they will know what their limitations are and if the travel is reasonable. If they can manage it then your grandparents will want to please you

Post # 20
7976 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

This is a choice almost everyone has to make, and I tend to agree with the priorities of a PP: people>places>things. Dh and I discussed eloping, and he was all in until the reality hit him that his grandmum would not be there. We had the wedding closer to home so that she could attend, despite it not being my ideal.

I tend to agree that with their stages of health, the situation could easily change before your wedding. If you don’t book a venue for a year or more, you may be looking at a different situation, so I’d cross that bridge when you get there.

Post # 21
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

I think that posters are missing the fact that OP isn’t picking Scotland because it’s pretty…they literally cannot have a humanist wedding anywhere in England. 

Is it possible to do the court wedding on a Friday and a non-legal humanist ceremony on Saturday? That way you aren’t bound by the rules of what can be said. 

Post # 22
248 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2022

I know this is a tough situation and hard to think about, bee. I have to side with the last few posters who say you will treasure your grandparents’ presence more than anything else. But I’m not sure what I would have done in this situation, since my grandparents always lived far from me. Now that they’re both gone, I realize how lucky my sister was to have them both there and still relatively healthy at her wedding.

You have the rest of your lives to go to Scotland. You could have a vow renewal there somewhere down the road. Your grandparents don’t, and they probably don’t even have until winter 2021. If their presence is what’s most important to you, you will need both a closer date and location. That means a quick courthouse ceremony to make it legal right after the “big day.”

Post # 23
51 posts
Worker bee

I personally think that the wedding ceremony, the reason you have stated for wanting the wedding in Scottland, should be entirely about you and your partner. The rest of the wedding (reception etc), again I personally think, is very much about thanking the guests and including them in your day. But the ceremony should be exactly what you and your partner want, with very limited compromise. 

My FH family live in a different state than we live, or my family lives (US so most guests will have to fly no matter where we pick as the distance is so great between family). We have picked a location is the most central. However, his grandmother is turning 98 and we discussed at legnth having the wedding in his hometown and moving up our date as she may be unable to travel in 2 years. We decided that if her health begins to fail we will travel to his hometown and do a “commitment ceremony” that she can be a part of. I would wear a white dress not a wedding gown, and go to dinner with his family afterwards. Perhaps something like this would work for you? Wish you the best of luck and congratulations! 

Post # 24
926 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

For us, it was important that DH’s Gram was there (all of my grandparents have passed) which meant a wedding close to her and all of my side had extensive travel.

But it meant the world to her as her granddaughter had eloped and she was REALLY upset.

I would consider your civil ceremony quite soon so they can attend. and then you can do a renewal in Scotland when you have the resources.

I echo all the PPs: people>places>things

Post # 25
2053 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

SELFISH? No. I would never in a million years call you selfish. That’s an extreme word. I’m not sure about all these “humanist” restrictions in the UK, but you seem like you’re trying to do your best.

However, you NEED to understand something: destination weddings are inconvenient for literally everyone. You, your groom, the country of choice, and most of all, your family. No matter how much you dress it up, if your guests need to spend the night somewhere, it’s going to be some level of inconvenient – and the level of inconvenience increases exponentially with every mile further that you travel, and every year older that your guests are. 

If you accept this, and the fact that so few people will make this trip for you, then you’re totally fine. Just get married wherever you want. However, if this bothers you, you need to decide what’s more important to you: the presence of your guests, or the location of the wedding. 

This is your wedding. Get married in a swamp in Indonesia for all anyone cares, but if you want your family there, do not be offended if they gawk at destination wedding. That’s really all there is to say. 

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors