Does this seem reasonable for what we're asking guests? (Destination wedding)

posted 2 years ago in Guests
Post # 16
12275 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I would honestly love it (more so pre baby, maybe not so much now with my 1 yr old)!  But I love(d) to travel and would definitely take the opportunity to go to Italy and make an extended vacation out of it if I didn’t already have plans for the year pending how close you are to me.  One of my closest friends got married in Thailand and a bunch of her friends (about 15?), myself included, went for the weeks wedding and planned touring activities and stayed for another week or two.  I think it was about $6k, but that was inline with what I would typically spend on an internationl vacation anyways.

Post # 17
20 posts
  • Wedding: June 2014

I’ll chime in, as someone who is attending a similar sort of destination wedding next year.

FH is very good friends with the groom, so I am somewhat-unhappily dragging myself to this wedding that will be 12+ hours in flights each way, counting layovers. (The time bothers me more than the cost.) I’m not thrilled that I have to take several days of vacation, though I’m trying to make the most of the situation by lumping in the trip with a few days of traveling on our own around that area.

I think your idea benefits from it being Italy (who doesn’t love Italy?), but considering the super long flight times (unless you’re all doing the NYC-FCO nonstop, I imagine you and your guests will have to connect at least once) and inevitable jetlag, I personally wouldn’t seriously consider attending unless (1) we were extremely good friends and (2) I wanted to use it as an excuse to do some other Italy/Europe travel. Regarding the pre-wedding events, while I’d appreciate the sentiment, I honestly would not be thrilled to spend a whole week on wedding-related activities with wedding-related people. I’d rather use it to travel on my own.

Best of luck Bee, you’ll find what is best for you and your FH! We’re in the pre-wedding planning stages too (and likely doing a DW) so I feel the struggle, and have been grappling with the same concerns. I’ve found that my feelings towards other people’s DWs are colouring how I approach ours.

Post # 18
151 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I think this comes very much down to who your guests are. If this was my friends and family then it would be pretty well attended. Myself and my husband have our friends and family scattered all over the world because we’ve both lived internationally for years. Plus we’re in Australia now so we have (minimum) four weeks holiday a year which I don’t think Americans get (?). Most of our family and friends are comfortably well off so our own destination wedding was well attended-with enough lead time(which it sounds like you’ve got) most will treat it like an opportunity for an interesting holiday. I certainly would – it sounds wonderful and VERY reasonably priced.  But not everyone is in those circumstances so if you’ve got a lot of relatives from Tinytown Ohio who wouldn’t leave their porch for a nuclear war then you won’t get a lot of them to come along. I say go for it – just don’t worry too much about who can’t come – everyone has their own stuff going on…

Post # 19
5891 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

I wouldn’t go unless it was my best friend or a sibling. 1usd=.90euro right now and who knows how it’ll stand in 2 years. $1000-1200+ per person just for flights and hotel is just too much. Add on all the lunches , dinners, late night food and cost of sightseeing and you’re spending 4k+++ at least. I’d just elope there and host a small reception back home for my nearest and dearest. But you know your group of people and if they’re likely to go for this plan. Congrats on your engagement too!

Post # 20
673 posts
Busy bee

If I knew early enough and could request days off work I would go 

Post # 21
6537 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Personally I would not attend a wedding in Italy thrown by two jet setting Americans. I would find it over-the-top and excessive. I don’t think it’s fair to impose your ideal vacation on other people. I feel it puts the potential guests in an awkward position because people are reluctant to decline a wedding invite, regardless of expense or practicality.

Post # 22
607 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

It sounds fun, bee, and sounds like a great excuse to travel to Italy (!), but I would only attend such a destination wedding for family and best friend. I would not want to spend an entire week for a wedding so would most likely rent another accommodation so I could spend the free time exploring Italy, and just attend the actual wedding/reception on XY day. Italy is one spot I would love to go, and would probably make this trip more of my own vacation. It’s not cheap vacationing in Italy; meals, transportation, sightseeing, etc.

Good luck with wedding planning and congrats!

Post # 23
3157 posts
Sugar bee

Didn’t you already post this, then get mad when you didn’t like the answers? I still don’t understand the jump from not wanting to go to the Caribbean because of the cost to deciding on Italy which is even more expensive?!!?!

Anyway, I wouldn’t go unless it was one of my siblings. 

Post # 24
3539 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I wouldn’t go. It would be too much money and time to spend on a vacation that is not my choosing. With my job, I have a hard time getting time off anyway. 

Post # 25
948 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I wouldn’t go, even for family, and I regularly travel outside the US.  If I’m going to a different country I want to be within walking distance of 75% of the stuff I want to see or within a 20 minute cab ride.  No way do I want to spend a week in a small town with family and/or friends just for a party for that amount of money.

 If you’re paying for my accommodations in this quaint little town in Italy then I’d probably say yes, leave every morning at the crack of dawn to explore, and only show up for a couple of dinners and the wedding.

Post # 26
79 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

Our destination wedding in Italy was just a month ago, although we are both from Italy but live in Asia and haven’t lived in Italy for 10 years. However a lot of people traveled from the US, a number of places in Europe, Asia and Australia (a 24 hours trip!).

If it’s your dream wedding, just do it. Who can/wants will attend. For those who didn’t attend our wedding we did separate catch ups over lunch/dinner and no one was disappointed/sad. 

Pretty much everyone took the occasion for an extended stay. And even if they don’t want to stay in Italy they are a 2-hour flight away from pretty much any destination in Europe.

Also, about the pre-post wedding events: I was advised in this forum that all I had planned was too much – well, it turns out it was the right choice, because people who don’t speak the language/know the place are not necessarily thrilled to be spending time on their own, having to plan activities themselves. ALL of our guests told us they wanted to spend time with us (after all that’s the reason why the traveled so far!), and we had a 90% turnout for ALL the wedding events (minus the older people for a few events). I don’t see why planning stuff should be a problem, you’re not forcing them!

If I knew at least 1 or 1.5 years in advance, I would definitely travel that far for a friend’s wedding. I understand yours is a smallish wedding (75 people) too, it means all the guests are somehow close to you so it’s not like you’re asking this to your childhood teacher’s niece or something.

I also think that providing breakfast/groceries in the apartment it’s a very nice gesture!

Post # 27
2949 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

This sounds awesome! 

And honestly, you need to base your decision more on what the people you actually know, love and are inviting have to say about it than a bunch of randos on the internet. 

The Bee, by and large, despises destination weddings. You’re simply not going to get a lot of positive feedback on your ideas for it here. 

Personally, I would be a big hell yeah on this wedding! However, I do agree with the first poster here that it sounds like too many planned events during the short time there. If I’m spending a week in Europe, I’d want to go do my own thing for the bulk of the time there. Chilling with the group back at the villas in the evenings would be awesome but I’d probably want to be out and about exploring most days and into dinner time. 

Post # 29
3157 posts
Sugar bee

Pretty funny you and the “other poster” have such identical lives. 

Post # 30
276 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

So if your villa can hold 50 people at $400+ each, its over 20k for the villa. Do they want to be paid with a cash deposit and then again with cash at the end? Have you seen the villa? How far is it from an airport- what kind of travel do your guests have to do to get there on top of a 12 hour flight? 

Does that include all the extras? Catering, set up, staffing, chairs, tables, silverware, plates, flowers, lighting, anything else. Or is that another 5 to 10k possibly?

 And then of course your flights, your suits//dresses/hair makeup/ photographer?

I think the math wouldn’t make sense for any of my extended family which was why we didn’t do a destination wedding- my 90 year old grandma isn’t going to get on a plane for 12 hours.

But I’m more worried at the weird math for you. 

If 75 people say they want to come and of those, only 20 want to stay at the villa now its an extra cost for you for the empty rooms, due around the time you’re paying for rings and dresess and hair and flowers and catering and a week’s worth of booze for 50 people, and still the same food costs. If only 10 people say they want to go, then suddenly you have  a bill for 16,000 for the villa. 

I think if your wedding budget is like 50k, maybe this makes sense. I dunno. Planning a wedding is hard and ultimately whatever works for you, but you’re already compromising a lot to make this work- you’re going to get married on a thursday or friday and spend the week beforehand shuttling around yogurts and beers to your loved ones, but only the ones that can take a whole week off for your wedding and can handle a flight. Also don’t underestimate how much a whole villa of people can drink if they’re just chilling for a week. 

If I were you I would keep the Italy piece if that’s what matters, but keep looking- find a place that holds like 20 people, or a hotel that has room blocks, and is available over the weekend, is close to an airport, near a city people want to see. Some arrangement you can easily cover if very few people book.

OR if the everyone in the villa concept is what matters to you, then I’d look up the hudson, or out in vermont or new hampshire for a summer camp you can rent right before or after the summer camp season ends. Or some kind of great hotel on the Cape. 

Thats my take. I mean if you can afford to cover the whole villa yourself, you do you. But if its going to be a stretch if not enough people come, then I think there are still so many options I wouldn’t lock in. 

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