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  • November 21, 2017, 11:53:34 PM

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Author Topic: What is "too much" to expect from guest for a destination wedding?  (Read 20653 times)

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sulygirl

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DF and I were invited to his best man's wedding to BM's longterm GF.  DF actually is the reason his best man is with this woman as he kind of was involved in them getting together.  So, he has ties to them. They got engaged a few months after we did (and after BM accepted the invite to stand up for DF) and consulted DF about standing up for him before they had any plans or a date.  We let the two of them know that due to our existing July wedding and honeymoon plans, 2015 was going to be a tough year for a destination wedding.  We basically said, due to our time off allowances, we could only do a wedding within 4-5 hours drive.  This seemed fair as our wedding was a 4 hour drive for them.  They agreed that seemed alright and pointed out some locations that may work.  We assured them we knew that this wasn't an easy decision and we'd support them in whatever their choice but that we couldn't really commit to more days off at this time.

Well, imagine our surprise when the date is announced on a FB group page and it's a month after our own wedding and taking place either a $600.00/person plane journey or 14 hour drive from our location.  Likewise, because it is a rather remote location, getting there made it a challenge.  We couldn't get flights in and out in a weekend (or even 3 days) for a reasonable price.  And, the resort we were basically told we HAD to stay at, required a 3 night minimum.  All told, for 3 days of a "vacation", we were looking at $2100.00.  That's basically what we planned to spend on our week in Europe.  We couldn't do both the honeymoon and their wedding and we'd committed to the honeymoon first.  Plus, after looking to see if we could just make this into a honeymoon, we were told it would be hard to allow me to eat anything at the resort as they don't cater to people with shellfish or peanut allergies (it's in the South).  So, DF made the executive decision to tell them, after asking his supervisor about time off, that there was no way he could get the days off work even if I could.

They never really said much about it afterwards.  Then, snarky status updates started and we got more info about this wedding.  Turns out, the wedding is all they are doing.  They aren't hosting any other events.  There will be no room block.  There is no reception - not even cocktails.  Just a 15 min ceremony.  It works out great for them because if 15 people book, their room is free and they get, basically, a free wedding.  When we (again) explained why we could not attend, we were told we could carpool with them the 28 hours round trip in the back seat of their small SUV with their small child.  We declined.  Again, re-asserting that this was a time commitment we could not swing.  2 more days off would just not be possible - even without our honeymoon plans taken out due to its close proximity to our wedding.

Now, it's become a thing we are both feeling bad about because BM's future wife is telling us we are asking the same thing for our wedding.  Except, our 4 hour drive and $100.00/night room block rooms don't seem t add up to the $2100.0 cost.  And, likewise, we are paying for everything else for our guests.  We let them know we understood if this meant they could now not attend our "destination" wedding but are we in the wrong?  Are we asking too much here?  I think we've done our best but this last weekend seems to make us feel terrible - especially since BM's religious family won't be in attendance and none of his other friends can afford to attend.


CakeEater

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Re: What is "too much" to expect from guest for a destination wedding?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2015, 03:53:56 PM »
How much is too much? What they're expecting is too much.

The fact that all their friends think so too, and aren't attending, doesn't mean you should feel bad for doing the same. When you choose an expensive destination wedding, you should do it expecting that many people who you would like to attend won't be able to.

MorgnsGrl

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Re: What is "too much" to expect from guest for a destination wedding?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2015, 04:01:11 PM »
Your plans seem reasonable. Theirs do not. If none of the BM's friends can afford to attend his wedding, that's a sign that the expectations and the cost are too high. If it were very important to them that their friends be able to attend, they could make different plans to accommodate people's financial restrictions. If they don't make different plans, I feel like it's safe to assume the location is more important to them than the attendance of their friends. It's just the way it is. You do NOT need to feel badly about this. Most people do not have unlimited financial resources and have to make decisions accordingly; you are no different.

sulygirl

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Re: What is "too much" to expect from guest for a destination wedding?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2015, 04:04:00 PM »
Thanks.

We keep hoping (for his sake) that they will choose to have it in a closer location and just change it.  All of us feel bad about it.  But we are the only ones who could reasonably afford the money to go.  No one has the time to go.  Why they chose to do this when they admitted they can't afford to fly themselves and their family down is really beyond me.  Why make things difficult and then expect people to attend?

gellchom

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Re: What is "too much" to expect from guest for a destination wedding?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2015, 04:09:33 PM »
I don't see what the problem is, and I don't think anyone has to feel bad.

You told them that you would only be able to come if the wedding were within a certain geographic and financial range  They heard you, and for whatever reason, they chose plans that were outside those limits.  You two then declined, and that is that.

If they are being rude or snarky about it, that's not okay, but it doesn't change anything.  They didn't do anything wrong with their plans, you didn't do anything wrong with your plans, and you didn't do anything wrong in declining to attend their wedding.  If they decide they cannot attend yours (even though it's less expense and trouble, it may still be inconvenient for them), take that at face value, not as tit-for-tat.

I do agree with you about their plans.  But maybe what feels to you like "expecting" people to attend feels to them like "hoping" people will be able to attend -- the same way you said you "keep hoping" that they will change their location; you aren't expecting it, just hoping.

I know it's hard to let stuff like this go and stop thinking about it.  But you know you'll be happier if you can!

Congratulations on your own upcoming marriage.

camlan

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Re: What is "too much" to expect from guest for a destination wedding?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2015, 04:15:43 PM »
So they want you to book the required three nights minimum? And the only hospitality they are providing is allowing you to attend the wedding ceremony? No reception, not even a bowl of mints afterwards?

Please tell me I read that wrong.

What on earth do they expect you to do for three days?

No, you are not rude to decline this "invitation" to give them a free room.

Just keep saying what you've already said. "We're sorry, but with our own wedding so close, there is just no way we can make your wedding. We're sorry."

No more explanations about time off, or money, or travel. Just sorry, you can't make it, you'd love to see the pictures when they get back home.

And if you can prevent yourselves from snarkily pointing out that their wedding would cost you as much as your planned honeymoon in Europe will, you have better self-control than I do.

(Could you clear something up? They will have to drive 4 hours to your wedding. If your wedding is being held where you live, or where your parents live, it is not a destination wedding. It may involve travel for some of your guests, but that's a different thing.)
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


MorgnsGrl

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Re: What is "too much" to expect from guest for a destination wedding?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2015, 04:51:45 PM »
(Could you clear something up? They will have to drive 4 hours to your wedding. If your wedding is being held where you live, or where your parents live, it is not a destination wedding. It may involve travel for some of your guests, but that's a different thing.)

I agree. In my mind a destination wedding is one in which EVERYONE has to travel to a location distant enough that staying overnight is practically a necessity. (I mean, if the wedding was a foreign country and one guest or couple flew in in the morning and out again that night to attend, I would still consider that a destination wedding.)

Luci

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Re: What is "too much" to expect from guest for a destination wedding?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2015, 05:06:27 PM »


What on earth do they expect you to do for three days?



They probably want OP to babysit for the three days.  :)

There is nothing for anyone to feel bad about. The first couple gave the second couple the parameters for their attending/participating. The second couple did not follow them. Done

It was made clear that if couple #2 decided to back out, fine. Couple #1 understands.

sulygirl

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Re: What is "too much" to expect from guest for a destination wedding?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2015, 05:15:32 PM »
Thanks.  Yeah, I think we just have to "let it go" and realize we can't do everything.  I honestly didn't think it was a big deal AT ALL but then with these recent episodes of snarky behavior, I just was like, "Are we in the wrong?"  I think it's bad behavior to ask for so much of people not as a "if you can attend we'd love you there" but a "I can't believe you're not attending despite all of these complications!".  It's hard to shake but we haven't responded to any of this and I guess we will continue taking the high road.  The significant issue is getting BM to still committ to being BM.  DF is having difficulty getting him to even get back to us about when they will be arriving, if they are staying two nights, etc.  It's frustrating but we have to just breathe.  We just wish that if they aren't going to attend, they would let us know.  We need to find another attendant for DF in that case (we are just having a MoH and BM) and that would be one of DF's brothers but they still need to be notified.  I am also always worried about offending people. Although, I'm starting to learn to get a spine (I think!).

Ours is a significant drive for about 2/3 of the people attending (including us).  We chose a mid-way location because of where my hometown was and where my fiance's hometown was.  Most of our family lives somewhere in the middle which is 1-3 hours from the location of the ceremony.  My parents and sister recently moved and are the only ones (that I know of) who are flying in (they moved unexpectedly very recently to a new state).  It was decided upon since very few venues in our price range here could accommodate my food allergies and having it in my hometown would have required a lot of his relatives to travel 6-8 hours to attend.  Both sets of parents agreed to have it "in the middle".  Most people who are staying, are only staying one night because we are deliberately having it late so they can check in, change, attend, and then leave the next morning.  We kept our guests in mind and opted not to invite kids because only one set of parents wanted to bring kids and everyone else preferred the one night in a hotel vs. two nights and an afternoon wedding.  With only 65 people invited, it's easy to get a read for what your guests want.

FoxPaws

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Re: What is "too much" to expect from guest for a destination wedding?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2015, 05:44:37 PM »
If your fiance can put one of his brothers on "standby" without causing hurt feelings, I think that would be a good idea.

Honestly, at this point, I would be calling up (former) BM and relieving him of his responsibilities toward your wedding, phrased in such a way that is seems like DF is doing him the favor by letting him off the hook. (I assume he'd like to preserve the friendship.) If he still wants BM to participate he can have him do something that's easily subbed or dropped at the last minute, like a reading or a toast.

BM and his GF are attempting to hold your wedding plans hostage in hopes that you'll concede to what they want - time to drop the rope.
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

JenJay

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Re: What is "too much" to expect from guest for a destination wedding?
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2015, 06:01:20 PM »
I wouldn't try to argue why your wedding should be cheaper for them, or how you're providing more for the cost, etc. I agree with you completely, but there's just no point in going there.

Bottom line, you can't afford to even attend, let alone participate in, their wedding. Don't feel bad. They get to make the decisions about their wedding and the guests get to decide whether or not they can afford to go. They're being silly to say "This is how it will go, and you will be there." I'm sure you won't be the only ones who can't make it.

Stick to what you said. "We are unable to attend your wedding due to finances. If you are no longer able to be in our wedding please let us know asap so we can make other arrangements."

sulygirl

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Re: What is "too much" to expect from guest for a destination wedding?
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2015, 06:31:09 PM »
I wouldn't try to argue why your wedding should be cheaper for them, or how you're providing more for the cost, etc. I agree with you completely, but there's just no point in going there.

Bottom line, you can't afford to even attend, let alone participate in, their wedding. Don't feel bad. They get to make the decisions about their wedding and the guests get to decide whether or not they can afford to go. They're being silly to say "This is how it will go, and you will be there." I'm sure you won't be the only ones who can't make it.

Stick to what you said. "We are unable to attend your wedding due to finances. If you are no longer able to be in our wedding please let us know asap so we can make other arrangements."

Thanks.  We are doing that right now.  About 10 minutes ago, we got a curt text back from the bride who explained to us "we haven't even thought about your wedding at all, I guess we should talk about that".  We explained we understand if they can't make it but we need to know if we need to find another attendant.  Hopefully we will hear something.

FoxPaws, totally agree - time to drop the rope.  And one of the bros is already on standby as of this afternoon when my sister encouraged us to reach out to him (she's my MoH, incredibly organized, and is trying to plan things for us but doesn't want to do it alone.  DF is closest to the brother 10 years older than he is (he is the youngest and this brother is the middle brother).  And, since he's so much younger, this really should not impact the dynamic of the family or offend anyone, quite honestly.

sammycat

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Re: What is "too much" to expect from guest for a destination wedding?
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2015, 06:37:53 PM »
Even without the aspect of your own wedding/honeymoon, I would not spend $2100+ and three days of my time for someone else's wedding. Other people's weddings just aren't that important to me. There are far more important (to me) things that I can spend that time and money on. The friends are being extremely unreasonable. And who the heck has a wedding without so much a providing some sort of reception afterward for their guests? Doubly so when they expect people to outlay a significant amount of time and money.

If I'm understanding correctly, they are now playing hardball about participating in (even attending?) your wedding? If so, it might be time to call their bluff, so to speak. Let friends know that you understand if they can't commit it being in your wedding now that they have their own wedding to worry about and that you'd love to have them attend as guests. Set a firm deadline that you need to know by. If they haven't gotten back to you by that time, ask the brother/someone else.

ETA:  Don't for one second feel guilty about not attending this wedding.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 06:39:35 PM by sammycat »

sulygirl

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Re: What is "too much" to expect from guest for a destination wedding?
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2015, 07:01:21 PM »
And who the heck has a wedding without so much a providing some sort of reception afterward for their guests? Doubly so when they expect people to outlay a significant amount of time and money.

If I'm understanding correctly, they are now playing hardball about participating in (even attending?) your wedding? If so, it might be time to call their bluff, so to speak. Let friends know that you understand if they can't commit it being in your wedding now that they have their own wedding to worry about and that you'd love to have them attend as guests. Set a firm deadline that you need to know by. If they haven't gotten back to you by that time, ask the brother/someone else.

ETA:  Don't for one second feel guilty about not attending this wedding.

That's just it.  I don't get it, either.  I've had to be really careful with our budget to really ensure our guests feel appreciated since we are asking them to travel.  If they can't come, neither of us are offended.  We tried or best to ensure we made MOST people happy.  I am glad I'm not the only person who thinks it's crazy.  We will stick to our guns, I guess.  We'll remain chipper and assertive.

And yeah, we've told them we need to know mid-week about this because I have to book rehearsal dinner stuff.  They said they will get back to us.  If they don't we've both decided we will let them know we will still welcome them as guests and we understand they are busy.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: What is "too much" to expect from guest for a destination wedding?
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2015, 08:51:17 PM »
Even without the aspect of your own wedding/honeymoon, I would not spend $2100+ and three days of my time for someone else's wedding. Other people's weddings just aren't that important to me. There are far more important (to me) things that I can spend that time and money on. The friends are being extremely unreasonable. And who the heck has a wedding without so much a providing some sort of reception afterward for their guests? Doubly so when they expect people to outlay a significant amount of time and money.

If I'm understanding correctly, they are now playing hardball about participating in (even attending?) your wedding? If so, it might be time to call their bluff, so to speak. Let friends know that you understand if they can't commit it being in your wedding now that they have their own wedding to worry about and that you'd love to have them attend as guests. Set a firm deadline that you need to know by. If they haven't gotten back to you by that time, ask the brother/someone else.

ETA:  Don't for one second feel guilty about not attending this wedding.

POD to this, and especially the bolded! I can't believe they are expecting their guests to spend thousands of dollars on flights and accommodation to attend their wedding, but they aren't providing any hospitality whatsoever! Not even a round of drinks? Not even a basic sheet cake? The only saving grace, is that they've made their intention not to provide any hospitality upfront, so invitees know what they're in for.

Also - side note - it's not rude or tacky to have an odd number of attendants. If your DF's brother can't / won't be a groomsman, it's absolutely ok for you to have two attendants, and for DF to have just the one.