Post # 1
First time poster but long time lurker! Sorry this is long!!! My Fiance have been together four years and got engaged in Florida in November 2013. We live in the UK. We’ve been back to Florida since our engagement and stayed at the same hotel where we got engaged. We absolutely love it there and would love to get married there.
My FI’s family is large and scattered all over the world with the majority in Florida, his mum is in the UK, some in Australia, Canada and a handful of others in the UK. I have a tiny family all UK based (10 including partners). Our aim regardless of venue is predominantly family based guest list of around 75 (with approx 50 of these being overseas and flying in if in UK – if abroad the guest list likely to be slightly lower).
keeping in mind that most people would have to fly into the UK for our wedding we looked around London (thinking it would be easier for guests flying in and also I’m originally from there) but nothing has matched up to the venue in Florida, partly in terms of what we like and what means something to us but also value and cost.
Wherever we have our wedding, it’s a “destination” for a good percentage of our guests. This have proved to be a total nightmare for dates because of school and college holidays all over the world being different!
We first floated the idea of a Florida wedding in September to our families and everyone was super keen. We have now narrowed it down to two dates that technically suit everyone but two of my relatives (aunt and uncle) now say they can’t afford to attend. I am not sure that this is true. They have three adult children, all working, all good jobs, all my only cousins – who are in the wedding as bridesmaids or ushers. I fully accept that this is their choice and a problem with destination weddings generally. However, we have chosen Florida partly due to sentiment but also practically speaking that is where the bulk of our guests are. Our mums are really happy with the idea, and essentially everyone else we want at our wedding is on board with it. The plan is to have a real family reunion feel with (paid for) pre and post wedding events over a few days.
we are struggling with the idea of asking 50+ people to fly in for a more expensive wedding which isn’t necessarily where we want to be for the sake of two not feeling financially able, but I don’t have the biggest of families and I would be upset if they didn’t attend. We have already budgeted to fly out and pay for our mums and my grandmother. Of course if we can find any spare room in the budget I’d love to be able to help out but I just cant guarantee at the moment that this is going to be possible – we put off our wedding to buy a house so we are just getting back on our feet financially. I don’t want to seem selfish by asking this of them, but equally where ever we get married its unfortunately going to involve travel.
The hotel in Florida is holding the date for now, but it’s getting to crunch time to confirm it and feel so mixed about it. It’s not what I thought I wanted from my wedding right up until I started planning but it just feels the right place for us.
Anyone been in similar situations or have any pearls of wisdom?? We’re starting to think running away and doing it quietly is a good idea!
Post # 2
Is it more important for you to have the picturesque location or to have your closest family there? How close are you to FI’s family in Florida? If your priority if having your closest UK family there, I think I would want to have a small wedding in the UK, especially since that’s where you live. It’s really nice that you’re paying to fly out your mothers to the wedding, but I too would feel bad about not flying out other important people. You can always honeymoon in Florida if that place has sentimental value to you.
That said, the wedding belongs to you and your Fiance. Do what you feel is right for you two even if it doesn’t jive with all your guests.
Post # 3
Thanks – we did think about honeymoon in Florida instead. It’s where we tend to go on holidays mostly because of FI’s family being there and using it as a base to explore. Inevitably I do know his UK family better than the US side, but I get on better with the the US side despite spending less time with them – more common interests and similar personalities etc.
I suppose what I am struggling is the fact that I think I “should” feel something more about the fact that they feel it’s not affordable. Family dynamics are such that despite being small in size I am not the closest to them – my cousins yes (who would come) and I always knew, regardless of where the wedding was would draw negativity – whether it be too big or too small or too this or whatever. It’s always been a bit like that and I kind of accept it. I’m the first of the “kids” (only four of us – me and my three cousins) to get married. I wasn’t even that surprised when they told me. Just not sure what the done thing is. It would be strange to think they wouldn’t be at my wedding, and it would be sad – to me and to my mum (her only sister). I suppose I’m more worried about the fall out if I don’t find a more workable solution. But finding dates when all the overseas lot can fly in is harder than flying the UK lot out!
My Fiance just rolled his eyes when I told him, he knows the dynamics too well. We agreed early on who are our deal breakers which are our mums and my grandmother. If they couldn’t make it to our wedding we’d struggle.
We’d get married in our pj’s tomorrow in the field by our house if it was even vaguely legal in UK. The wedding is nice and all but all that matters is that we get married.. Just trying to do it by annoying the least amount of people!!
Post # 4
Have you considered eloping or having an intimate wedding somewhere with just parents, grandparents and siblings and then having a celebration party in Florida and the UK? Because it will just be a celebration party rather than a reception it should be cheaper and could be more casual.
Post # 5
The best advice I got on the bee when planning my destination wedding was when I read someone else’s story which went something like this. ( sorry, wasn’t able to find the original post!)
A bee and her Fiance had their heart set on this adult only property somewhere in the Caribean. Problem was, her relatives had kids and she felt bad that they would not be able to bring their kids. They compromised to a lesser hotel, which allowed kids, especially for that family. Well after everything was said and done, they had the wedding at that hotel, didn’t like it as much and regreting having made this choice, especially because the family didn’t even show up in the end! Her group was comprised of strictly adults so they could have gone where they wanted originally.
Moral of the story is that destination weddings are always going to be an inconvenience for some of your group. I just had to accept that, pick what WE really wanted, and deal with the consequences! I didn’t want to make any special concessions for people who may not even end up coming. This is always a risk with destination weddings so you may as well go with the place you want!
That’s what we ended up doing and I haven’t looked back since : )