My sister's destination wedding is costing me so much money!!

posted 5 months ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 16
1216 posts
Bumble bee

worriedbeehere11 :  I would book the cheapest flight I could find and only stay for a few days at a cheap hotel or Airbnb. You don’t have to stay for two weeks. For some people, the cost of missing work for two weeks and paying for room and board it’s just too much. 

Shes your sister so I think you should go but realistically, if you found a good flight deal for $800, ate granola bars the whole time and stayed at a hotel for $100 a night then you could keep your expenses limited to $1,000. 

If that sounds awful, I think talking to your parents and working out a payment plan would be your next best option. 

Post # 17
1719 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

Can you afford to go for part of the time? Just go for 3-5 days or whatever you can afford. Definitely book your own flights, and stay just for a week or less. If you can find a cheaper AirBNB close, just stay there for the length of time you are comfortable with. Personally, I could not afford the vacation days to stay for two weeks! 

Post # 18
2361 posts
Buzzing bee

Your aunt sounds like the problem.  

You’re an adult; your aunt doesn’t get to make decisions about how much money you’ll spend or how you’ll spend your money.  Do not feel obligated to reimburse her for the expenses she’s incurred thus far.

“Sorry, Aunt Bossybutt, I’ve made my own flight arrangements. Hope the ticket you bought was refundable.”


Post # 19
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I’d take my parents’ money in this scenario. It’s not vacation, it’s a family obligation. Of course you want to be there for your sister, but this wasn’t your choice. I’m sure your parents would prefer to pay your way so you could be at the wedding than to have you miss it becuase you can’t afford it. Take their money and don’t feel bad! 

Post # 20
1295 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2021 - Kauai, HI

I feel ya bee.  My sister got married in Key West and it was 2 flights and a fancy resort we all stayed in.  Not only did I have to figure out what do to with our 4 kids with all my family going to the wedding but spend money I didn’t want to spend on a pricy vacation.  I couldn’t not go it was my sisters wedding!  We made it work and it was super fun but always overshadowed by the fact of everything being mandatory and over budget.  

Lots of good advice here.  Don’t miss your sisters wedding. 

Post # 21
1838 posts
Buzzing bee

Let your parents help. It’s normal to let them help. My parents gift me plane ticket home each year to visit them for my Christmas gift. Yes it’s weird as an adult to have your parents paying your daily expenses, but to have them help with a family vacation? Super normal. Just accept the help. 


worriedbeehere11 :  

Post # 22
419 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

We had a destination wedding in Mexico. It was very expensive for our guests to attend ($1800 CAD) but I had ZERO expectation of who would come and how long they would stay (one of my bridesmaids came for three days and I was thankful to have her there for that time!) My parents paid for my brother’s trip because he wasn’t in a situation to pay his own. Some people stayed at different hotels too. It did cost a lot, but years later everyone is still telling us what an amazingtrip they had and how they want to go back to that hotel. 

I think what others have suggested (shorter stay and/or accepting your parent’s help) are great options. Your aunt sure sounds like a joy to deal with …

PS – I just went to Croatia for the first time this summer and it was AMAZING. If you can take your parents help (and can stand your aunt for that long…), two weeks would be totally worth it. 

Post # 23
6361 posts
Bee Keeper

Personally I’d ask my parents to help me pay(even upfront costs for now for you to pay back), and stay only a few days and return home so that you are not racking up all these costs.

Post # 24
805 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

I agree with much that has been said.  A wedding in croatia is going to be expensive no matter what but it seems like what is really driving your issue is the decision for this to be a big family trip and your aunt’s insistence at making the decisions and booking now.  Personally, if my parents were willing to pay and it wasn’t an imposition to them, I would lay out the options of what is doable for you and what isn’t and then they can decide whether they want to help out.  IMO while I’m sure you’re aunt has good intentions – expecting everyone to stay for two weeks and commit to this lodging situation with each other seems like a bit much.  And her wanting to book flights for everyone — just why.  I don’t get it.  I’ve always booked flights myself and I see zero advantage to an extended family member doing it for me unless they have access to some kinds of F&F discount.

Post # 25
93 posts
Worker bee

Tell the aunt that you’ve made alternate plans and/or you just can’t stay for two weeks. That’s someone’s annual vacation! Is it two weeks before the wedding? Will the couple stay with all of you during their honeymoon? If the ceremony is at the end if week 1, I understand getting there early to prep the ceremony space. But I don’t understand not peacing out of there on Monday or Tuesday. The mission is over and you would have had plenty of time to take in the sights while keeping some precious paid time off. And those costs do not even include any missed work! I am all about paying down debt right now and there is NO ONE who can tell me how to allocate my money right now. Aunty is being sweetly overbearing. Speak up if it doesn’t work for you instead of being more broke and harboring resentment against her or your sis.

Post # 26
1439 posts
Bumble bee

I have a hard time believing you are the only one feeling this way in your family. Perhaps discuss it with your parents and see if they can run interference on toning down the expectations for the group.

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