I have been busy helping DD, who is 8.5 months pregnant, with our DGS and the plans for his third bday and came back to find eight pages. I am amazed.
I've only read the first two pages and will attempt to clarify a few things as I read the rest.
The first thing is that I am not offended nor did I say that I was. Disappointed, yes. At least in my world, weddings serve as mini-reunions (so much better than those at funerals), and it would have been the first time all of the newest generation of cousins would have had a chance to meet since most were not born at his DS's wedding four years ago. I know I'd love to meet all the new little ones and that the parents would love to show them off. However, life is full of disappointments. I don't think being disappointed equates to being offended. And I do not feel singled out for some reason. We are retired and can easily spend the time and money to attend. (The accommodation story is another matter, but it also impacts most of the other guests.) There are many teachers and professors in the family, as well as families with school-aged children, all of whom will have to travel a great distance and miss school shortly after it begins. However, that does not pertain to me directly, but it is one of the things that led me to think that they do not want a large wedding.
One of the people who will probably attend but will find it exceedingly difficult to do so is his DB, for whom he stood as best man at his wedding. It is this DB's wife who teaches at a university and who will have to take his children out of school to attend. So this is not a case of "extended" family not being able to attend. He is making it exceedingly difficult for his closest relatives too.
The choice of September is not a cost-cutting measure as this is the most desirable month for this location, which would, I assume, make it the most expensive. All of the weekend nights were already booked, more than the year in advance that they started planning, hence the Thursday night.
On their STD they included a link to their wedding web page, which, in turn, had the link to the B&Bs, so AFAICS, they have provided all of the information they intend to provde. Since this is the high season, I would think that we should make our reservations soon. They said that they planned to spend the week before at the camp and invited everyone to do the same. I think they will be disappointed at the number who do.
This is the fourth sibling to be married from this family. Additionally, he's attended weddings for other family members. All of the weddings have involved at least overnight travel. All of the other weddings were on a weekend. For all of the others the hosts either provided hotel information or blocked rooms or did both. This is not a new concept for him.
I do know that there were no other factors like someone's chemo in choosing a Thursday in September because I spoke with his DM yesterday, who also told me his siblings were unhappy with the date. There is no special significance to the date or venue, as it was one on a list of several they were considering.
The bride did not address the STD's. I know my nephew's handwriting. And even if she had, it is customary to include a last name to ensure delivery. Neither DD or his DA's invitation had a last name, so it was not an inadvertent omission.
The cabins are not significantly less expensive than a moderate hotel room would be unless you squeeze several people in a room. Additionally, the DB's family is also from another state, and having the wedding at this location means that everyone must rent cars for several days and cannot use mass transit or taxis. Theirs is an urban lifestyle so they and most of their friends do not have a car, so they can't provide transportation for many people.
I never said that I viewed this as a slight or that I was offended. I never felt their plans were rude. My question was do all of these choices send the message that having many of their friends and relatives at the wedding was not a priority for them and that they would prefer to keep it small and intimate and it was better for family relationships to achieve that by making it difficult for many people to attend and so they will decline rather than not inviting them.
I apologize to those on this thread who felt that they were being criticized because the location/setting/timing of their wedding was more important to them than having family members there. It is/was your wedding, and there is nothing wrong in making that your priority.