My husband is the Best Man in an upcoming destination wedding. The wedding was originally scheduled for a venue in the town where we (ourselves and the engaged couple) live. It was decided by the bride that the wedding would be moved across the county to a state they enjoy visiting. This would cut costs since only a select few guests would be invited, instead of the larger number of friends and family that would expect an invite to a local wedding.
We were told upfront that though my husband was a member of the wedding party, we were responsible for all of our own expenses. My husband felt obligated to accept this arrangement since he had already committed to be the Best Man. This was a mistake, but it’s moot for the purposes of this post.
The wedding will take place during the work week, so we have taken time off of work, booked our plane tickets and hotel, and generally feel that we have accommodated how the bride and groom want to celebrate their day. But my patience is running thin. It is now one week before the wedding and we have not received any kind of formal invitation. Though I know which small town we are traveling to, I have no idea what venue is hosting the wedding. Additionally, it’s not clear if we are we expected at both the ceremony and reception, if it will be inside or outside, or even what time it’s taking place!
I have now heard from my husband that the bride and groom are sending us an “events schedule” as we are expected to accompany them on various tours and activities the day after the wedding as well.
Finally, it seems that the bride and groom have changed their minds and do plan to have a local reception when they return from their honeymoon (I smell a gimme-pig). I feel that we are more than fulfilling my husband’s Best Man’s obligations by attending the Out-Of-State event. Would it be rude to decline attending the local reception? We have not yet heard when this is taking place, but I imagine we’ll be invited (probably via Facebook or some such). 0315-16
I’ve seen this a number of times. The bride and groom don’t send any invitations to their groomsmen, bridesmaids, the officiant and sometimes even parents. Are people supposed to be psychic and know the exact details of the wedding day just by the vibes emanating from the couple?
Your husband has fulfilled his Best Man duties by being a witness to the actual wedding ceremony. It’s your decision as to whether to attend the local reception.
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It could be gimmy pig but I’ve also witnessed a kind if “fear of missing out” when it comes to weddings. I have a friend of a friend who in 10 years has been married /renewed the vows 3 times because of FOMO. The original wedding was a small private affair at the grooms parents request due to an untimely pregnancy. The bride a few years later decided she wanted the big catholic wedding. Then 10 years later (due to the recent trend) wanted a destination wedding (that is costing several mutual friends a small fortune). Lord knows if this is the end of it.
But none of those events could take place if no one participates in them. It’s up to the “guests” to draw a line when “hosts” don’t. So, really, if each or any of these events is well-attended then at least some responsibility for creating the gimme pigs rests on those supporting them. It always takes two to tango.
Hmmmm…technically the OP’s husband will have fulfilled his duties by being at the actual wedding ceremony. However, as Best Man (typically the groom’s brother or closest friend), what would it say if he didn’t attend the reception where all the rest of the happy couple’s family and friends are celebrating?
Granted, the bridal couple are treating their attendants (again, typically their nearest and dearest) poorly. But the Best Man should really consider what kind of message his non-attendance would send.
I also notice the OPs tone. It’s clear she doesn’t care for the bride much (which is fine, noone is saying she has to), there are little digs at the couple all over the place. While the bride may be a gimme-pig. It could also be that she belatedly realized that many of her/their loved ones would miss celebrating the big day.
This really struck me: “Additionally, it’s not clear if we are we expected at both the ceremony and reception…” I have never, ever heard of a wedding celebration at which the Best Man (again, the groom’s brother/closest friend) is not expected to attend both. I’ve never seen it dictated in any announcements/invitations either: “All attendants are requested to attend the ceremony and the reception.”
Just points to consider.
You wrote “…technically the OP’s husband will have fulfilled his duties by being a the actual wedding ceremony. However, as Best Man, what would it say if he didn’t attend the reception where all the rest of the happy couple’s family and friends are celebrating?”. The OP and her husband have taken time off work, are paying for travel and lodging costs, wedding attire, wedding gift, possibly chipped in for bachelor/bachelorette party, possibly gave a gift for any pre-wedding parties/showers, and are expected to accompany them on tours and events the day after the wedding!! I think they could decline the local reception after the honeymoon and no one should think anything about it. The HC chose to move their wedding and cut the guest list but they still want to have a party where people will give them gifts even though they were not invited to the wedding? The HC should consider what this is saying about *them*.
I guess I wasn’t as clear as I could have been. I do understand what Michelle and others are saying but this is the Best Man, probably the groom’s brother or best friend. Would the OP and her husband be willing to through a grenade into a relationship that close? I don’t think I’d be that brave.
Yes, the bridal couple did not handle this well but a close attendant’s no-show at the event where most of their loved ones’ will be there has consequences. It’s something to think about…
It’s also just a bit tacky when the best man accepts the request that he be the best man when it’s a local function, to have the bride change it to an expensive location wedding after this acceptance with the bride informing him the expenses would be on his dime.
Having accepted, he felt obligated to deal with the expense and inconvenience to fulfill his promise and he may not have felt he could back out even if the expense caused a major problem to his finances.
I’m willing to bet the bridge has engaged in similar behavior before this. Hence the dislike.
I think you mean that the COUPLE changed it to an expensive location with the COUPLE informing him the expenses would be on his dime and the COUPLE has engaged in similar behaviour before this.
Yeah, the OP’s tone was throwing reg flags all over the place for me. Most of this post is BEC stuff, the only etiquette issue seems to be the missing invitation. Have you checked with your husband? For all you know they gave it directly to him and it’s sitting in his glove box or something.
Paying for your own travel to attend a wedding is normal. How is having a local reception after a destination ceremony being a gimme-pig? That seems like a standard thing to me. Being invited to tourist activities isn’t a summons, you’re allowed to say no thanks.
Why are you going to the wedding if you dislike the couple so much? Let your husband go alone.
“Treating people poorly” is an understatement. The couple has completely changed the expectations to the point where members of the wedding party are expected to spend much larger sums of money, and take time off from work in the middle of the week.
Besides the hotel and airline, will there be added costs for the “events schedule” activities? What about meals?
I would be bothered by someone thinking that I could spend large amounts of money on their wedding. I don’t think it is unreasonable of OP to be annoyed by all this. A lot of people don’t have a couple thousand dollars lying around to spend on someone else’s “big day”.
Having officiated weddings, you better darn sure tell who’s supposed to be holding the ceremony when and where. I am the local ‘will marry you if you get a license at the courthouse’ on call–that means I am sometimes shortly interrupted to grab a robe and stole and the Good Book and show up at the courthouse steps to do a ceremony, but. If you’re planning the event you better know when and where and tell those that need to know (such as the officiant and the witnesses-aka the attendants). And if it takes travel and time off of work, it better be in enough advance to allow those participating to be there. Even in weddings, unless you elope, it is “Lack of Planning on YOUR part does NOT constitute an Emergency on My part.”
You are mad that you are having to spend money on a trip and take time off from work. But I’d be just as irritated with your husband as you are with the couple. Did the OP know if any type of formal invitation was sent to anyone? Or is it being planned and arrange via phone calls, emails and text messages with those who will be in attendance? Honestly, if 10 people were invited to an out of state wedding and everyone had been making arrangements for travel and dates, I’d be surprised if a formal invitation was sent.
If you’ve not been getting the information that you need to feel prepared to attend this wedding, speak up and reach out to the bride or groom. There is no way I’d have waited a week before the wedding to find out the planned schedule. The couple probably believes they’ve already communicated it.
Your comment about “being expected to attend both the ceremony and reception” is just weird to me. Your DH is flying across country to be a best man in a wedding. Why wouldn’t his and the couple’s expectation be that he is invited to all wedding events.
As far as the in town reception. my recommendation is your DH attends alone. He obviously like’s this couple well enough to be a best man. You on the other hand don’t seem too interested focusing on the positive side. Most people do not jump to the conclusion that an in town reception for family and friends equates gimme pig.
What I take away from your letter is:
-You like order and control and your DH is much more of a go with the flow.
-You are upset your DH agreed to continue as best man after the change in location and you either weren’t consulted or your DH didn’t agree with you about him dropping out.
-Your DH has not passed on all the logistics information that you feel is needed to help you adequately plan.
-Instead of reaching out to the couple to get more information, you’ve waited till a week prior and assume a “formal invitation” will provide you with all the details you believe is needed. I personally would have needed venue and location weeks ago when I was selecting attire for the wedding.
-You were hoping to morph the wedding trip to a private vacation and are miffed that more of your time will be taken up with wedding focused events.
-You are resentful the couple is hosting an in town reception that could have been an “out” for your DH to drop out of the wedding. So you want to punish your DH and the couple by not attending or giving them any more of your time.
I think you making assumptions regarding the private vacation and in town reception being an out for the DH. The OP and her husband were going to attend the event when it was scheduled for the town they all live in. No where in the post did she say she and DH wanted to have a “private vacation” at the destination wedding. Even if they did, that is a very common thing for people to do when they are shelling out money to travel. Maybe they were planning on returning home the day after and rest a bit before returning to work but now they feel obligated to stay on to help entertain the couple. After pay for all the costs of attending the wedding and the day after activities, I wouldn’t want to commit to another day of celebrating the couple after they return home.
Also, I think you are being unkind to assume she is trying to punish her DH and the couple by not giving them any more of her time. They are attending the wedding and accompanying them the day after for tours and events; just how much time is she expected to give this couple? Most weddings & receptions are a day, not multiple days spread over weeks.
I do agree that the OP should reach out to the couple personally to get the info she needs.
This does seem a little scattered, but pretending that you don’t know if you are expected to attend both the ceremony and reception is bit disingenuous. Your husband is the best man.
Why can your husband not pick up the phone and call the groom to get the low down, if you don’t want to wait until they provide the events schedule?
I’ve been a wedding attendant many times and I always paid my own expenses, and never expected otherwise. Including for a destination wedding. Also, I think it is pretty common with destination weddings that, because it is usually an small group, those who attend do other activities together apart from the wedding itself, such a group tour or some other type of outing, depending on the locale. This doesn’t mean you are obligated to join the group, but having some other events on the schedule is not unusual.
I’ve been to a couple of destination weddings or traveled to weddings in the bride/grooms home city and the schedule of activities has always been something to make sure people know what options are available where they are staying. All of the destination weddings included fun group activities for those arriving early or staying late, basically making a wedding into mini vacations for everyone.
It sounds like this bride and groom may not be well organized, but since it’s DH best friend, he should really be the one reaching out to confirm information. Op is this some misdirected frustration that your DH wasnt more proactive in requesting needed details?
I don’t know that I would infer that they are gimme pigs; they could have just wanted to include friends and family in the big day, so organized a local reception on top of the destination nuptials. They are clearly amiss with sending out invitations; as I dimly recall from our own wedding 10 years ago, formal invitations are supposed to be sent out 6-8 weeks in advance, so that is an etiquette violation.
However, I am not seeing any other etiquette violations. Perhaps, the happy couple realized that a destination wedding would excluded many of their loved ones, so they decided to host a local reception. Why does that make them gimme pigs to want to celebrate with friends and family? Are they soliciting showers? Having a money dance? Begging for expensive gifts?
Clearly, the OP does not like the groom and the bride, and her aggrieved tone and annoyance are all over the submission. The mistake, however, is that OP and her DH did not communicate before agreeing to commit to OP’s DH agreeing to be the Best Man. The wedding party is expected to pay for their outfits, their travel expenses and accommodations, so if the OP and her husband were not comfortable with that, they should have regretfully abstained from attendant duty or from attending the wedding. Being in the wedding party can add up quickly, so it would certainly be understandable if they were not able to afford the expense. Once OP’s DH agreed, he is expected to be there, to attend both the ceremony and the reception (of course, he is the Best Man) and to attend the local reception as well. It would be a friendship-ending move to do otherwise.
The wedding couple is supposed to thank their wedding party (and their parents) with a thoughtful gift; it is nice, but not required to pay for the bridal party’s hair and make-up (I paid for my attendants to have their hair or make-up done if they were interested in having it done professionally, and most were, and we purchased presents for our wedding party and our parents to thank them for standing with us on our big day). The clothing, the transportation and lodging costs, etc. are on the attendants themselves. It can add up pretty quickly, so it is important to think about it both for the wedding couple (you won’t have a big wedding party if you are having a destination wedding in Bora Bora wearing designer gowns and tuxes because no one can afford that) and for the attendants (even if the wedding is low-cost, you might have to sleep somewhere, wear some nice dressy clothes and travel).
I think the OP was fine when DH agreed because the wedding was originally scheduled to be in the town they all live in. When the plans changed and become more expensive and they have to take time off work, travel, attend the wedding, accompany them the next day and are expected to attend yet another party to celebrate the couple after the honeymoon is when the OP started getting exasperated. Personally, I would call the couple, get the info and then if I didn’t want to attend the reception after the couple returns, I would decline but encourage DH to attend if he wanted.
This is a problem with destination weddings. The couple is asking their attendants and any guests to incur the expense of travel and accommodations and on top of all of that – take off work and use up their vacation time where somebody else dictates where and when. Sorry, it is a lot to ask.
It isn’t right that the bride and groom haven’t been more forthcoming with all of the information of the event. This is just basic stuff – are you getting married or not? Did you make arrangements or not? This shouldn’t be secret information.
I also do not at all understand the comment about attending both the ceremony and reception. Why is that even being questioned? Does the OP want to skip out early? It is just implied that they attend both. Doesn’t the best man give a speech? I don’t get that.
The OP definitely has an attitude about this – but based on how the bride and groom are going about this wedding I’d be a little put out. They do not sound like super great close friends with the bride and groom since the OP doesn’t want to attend the in town reception. This is the groom’s best man – I would expect them both to be invited. If he was a really good friend- he’d actually want to attend to show support. If you don’t want to give a gift then I say don’t but it shouldn’t be too much of an imposition to attend a nice party.
One other thing, in this day and age, unless the bride and groom are fabulously wealthy and it doesn’t sound like they are, who covers everybody’s plane fare and hotel costs? I know etiquette wise that it is the proper thing to do – but rarely does this happen anymore . If a wedding is out of town and you want to go – you pay.
What might be the issue with the in town after honeymoon reception is that are expected to attend yet another party for this couple, after a destination wedding and day after activities. Maybe OP should decline this particular event and DH can attend alone.
Back in the olden days before email and Facebook, I was a wedding attendant on multiple occasions. I don’t recall ever getting an actual invitation from the happy couple. What I DID get, in every case, was a letter or phone call with all the details on time, venue, etc. for the rehearsal dinner, wedding, reception, and any other activities the bride thought I might want to attend. I can’t imagine a bride or groom not providing basic information to a member of the wedding party!
People are dissing the OP for calling the wedding couple ‘gimme pigs’.
Is everyone missing the fact that the original wedding was to be local, moved to a destination wedding to cut costs (for the wedding couple, not the others in the wedding party), now a local reception is being planned? This reeks of “oh crap, we cut the guest list and now we won’t get gifts”.
The OP’s husband should have backed out if a destination wedding would tax their budget, but he agreed to the change and needs to honor it. But if he’s expected to rent ANOTHER tux, spring for more wedding gifts, etc for the local reception, I feel he has every right to decline.
I agree 100%.
I agree, Lori, and I think OP should explore the option of refunding those plane tickets. The whole thing is ridiculous, and I can understand how OP and her husband got caught up in it, like frogs slowly coming to a boil in a pot. The husband agreed to be Best Man at a local wedding. Then the location changed and husband and OP decided to honour that agreement with a hefty outlay of cash of time. Had those plans been on the table originally it’s not clear if husband would have agreed to be Best Man but now he feels somewhat obligated (is this what the bridal couple were hoping for?). And after all that investment it turns out OP and her husband are being scheduled for even more than the wedding day, seemingly without choice. And yet they do not know what it is they are participating in, a ceremony, a reception, what? – because the bridal couple has yet to divulge what’s entailed in this wedding, the Best Man duties, and the day(s) after the ceremony, as group tourists.
And now they find out there will be an event in their home town mirroring the one husband originally agreed to in the first place, without requirement of travel, expense and days off work? That’s a kick in the teeth.
OP, I would be looking into whether you can get a refund for those plane tickets. Your husband can do his duty just fine at the local after-wedding event. The bridal couple can’t complain since that’s what he agreed to in the first place, and here it is as an option again. I know you feel you’re already in too far to get out but if you think there isn’t more to come, gimme-pig-wise, then you’re not thinking hard enough. What happens if you say “no” to yet another demand? Will they oust your husband completely from the wedding party? From the guest list? Will there be untold drama and pressure? I rather think there could be a lot of grief coming.
You might feel scalded now but if you don’t jump out of the pot soon it will be too late. And I can guarantee these people will not be great friends after the wedding even if you sell your soul and firstborn to them, and the relationship will crumble regardless, so don’t feel bad for drawing a line now.
Changing the wedding to a destination wedding, but still having a reception in town, does not save any money. the vase majority of money in a wedding is the reception
I agree, Lori.
Maybe it reeks of “oh crap, we cut the guest list and now half our loved ones are sad that they don’t get to celebrate with us.”
I see the annoyances piling up and blowing up. You need to step back and let your husband do his job, he agreed to be best man, that means flanking his bestie/brother/cousin whatever for the event and surrounding events.
I think changing to a destination wedding was ridiculous enough but that was the time to backout if he wanted to. “I love you brother but I cannot afford time off and all the travel expenses.” But he didn’t.
You should stay home. You’re going to be so bored. He’s busy and “working”, you’ll see very little of him due to his duties.
My partner has been in his buddies ceremonies and I am not in attendance, there’s too much going on and I’ll just be sitting there awkwardly and he’ll feel like crud when he sees that he’s chest deep in socializing with everyone he has a connection with and I’m just lurking. He doesn’t need that extra hardship, as his partner I take it upon myself to respectfully remove myself and lessen his emotional burden.
This kind of nasty build up to his besties big event will only hurt your relationship and you don’t want that to sit inside boiling up.
I disagree with “flanking his bestie/brother/cousin whatever for the event and surrounding events”. I think he should honor his agreement to be the best man- be at the wedding and perform his best man duties- but anything after that, such as the day after activities and in town reception after the honeymoon, are not obligatory. Weddings, at least the weddings I have attended, are one day affairs.
Except best men and maid of honors are also responsible for showers, bachelor parties and rehearsals. Not just the one day in question. A wedding party goes much deeper than a ceremony and reception.
I recall that a wedding I was a groomsman in. It was in a very, very hot weekend in a southern town. The bride floated the idea of all of us family/wedding party going around the town, in our wedding attire that didn’t breathe very well, in this heat, to take pictures. We conveyed our reaction via glare, and the bride shelved that particular plan …
I agree with those who do see this as a gift grab. The couple was fine with cutting the guest list to save costs to themselves. I think at some point the realization hit them that they would miss out on tons of gifts if they go that route. We’ve seen this time after time on ehell.
Expecting the wedding party to pay for their own travel expenses seems normal to me in this day and age. It is usually undertaken with the time and money requirements known upfront, though, not a surprise change in plans after agreeing to a local wedding. I understand the sense of obligation to stay on as best man, but that would have been a perfectly reasonable time to say “I can’t afford the change of plans, I’ll have to bow out.”
I would have expected the same invitation that everyone else got, but why can’t your husband just give this friend a call and ask for the details? It shouldn’t be so hard to get that information.
As for the best man responsibilities, I do think it is more than standing at the wedding. The obligation of a witness is just the ceremony and signing some paperwork. I think the obligation of the best man does include attending the reception. Maybe I’m splitting hairs, but a best man not attending a reception seems like it should only happen in the case of unforeseen circumstances. Even if you question the gimme-pig or not gimme-pig motives.
Attending day trips with the couple the day after the destination wedding, though, should be optional in my opinion. As some others have said: these people are spending a lot of vacation time an money to be there, and if they want to see the sites on their own and get a bit of their own vacation out of it, I think that’s more than fair. Expecting the wedding into a multi-day event where all focus is on the HC is over the top.
There is nothing rude about having a destination wedding. If you didn’t want to pay to attend, your husband could have declined to be in the wedding party. He didn’t. Now, you’re pissed at the bride (but apparently not the groom) for going ahead with plans that are hers to make. Don’t go if you’re going to be miserable.
The husband agreed to be the best man at a local wedding, which was then changed to a destination wedding. At that point, I think OP’s husband feel obliged to stay on as best man.
I do agree that she should not go if she’s going to be miserable.
I can’t believe the dog pile on the OP.
First it was agreed the DH would be best man in hometown.
Then it was stated that wedding would be held in Small Town, Other State, during this week.
DH and Op agreed, took time off work, booked a hotel and transportation.
It’s a week out and the happy couple has yet to contact the wedding party with the venue and time of the wedding.
I get many people are saying that they would call and find out, but I think that’s OP’s point. They booked hotels, transportation and took time off work, and before being given the information of the venue and the time of the wedding, they are told they will get an event schedule which, one would assume would include the wedding, reception and the additional next day activities info.
Why wouldn’t the HC just send this schedule instead of saying they were going to send it, so here’s where and when the wedding and reception will take place and the next day we’ll be doing these activities at these times if you care to join us?!
Instead, without the infor of the venue and time of the wedding, and without even knowing if there is a reception at the destination, (which I assume there would be) they are told there will be next days of activities and an addition or maybe separate reception later in hometown.
And this makes OP seem to dislike the HC and her frustration seemingly unjustified?
OP, it’s time to get DH to call and find out the missing infor, although I suspect you were already going to do that and it wasn’t the point of your post.
But yes, going to the destination, taking time off work, laying for hotel and transportation and dress, possibly attending post wedding destination activities and having to suds out the time, location and wether there is a post wedding reception at the destination or not, is going above and beyond whether you like these people or not.
You are not obliged to go to the extra reception.
And DH can obviously do what he likes.
P3: during the work week, not during this week.
I should have left more spaces but I meant, with out the info…not without the infor…
Paying for the hotel, I certainly hope not “laying for the hotel”.
And having to “suss” out the time and location of the wedding…
Is suss not commonly used to mean figure out?
I’ve spoken English for years and can get weather, but wether always looks wrong… oh, bleeding hell, I looked it up for once, I meant whether.
I agree with you Zhaleh. The HC want an additional party to celebrate them after the return from the honeymoon and they have not given the details to the wedding party, in addition to moving the event out of state and springing the day after activities on them. After all that, I would decline the after reception as well.
Zhaleh – There are many posts that have poor/no punctuation, capitals, spelling, etc. that I don’t bother to read, because if the person who wrote it can’t give a hoot about their writing then they can’t have written anything worth reading. But yours? It’s so close to perfect I would have thought you were a native English speaker. I am humbled by your fluency, as by your explanation I am assuming English isn’t your first language. You’re doing great and far better than many who grew up with English as their language.
“It was decided by the bride that the wedding would be moved across the county to a state they enjoy visiting. ”
This was the time your husband should have gracefully backed out of the wedding. The bridal couple changed the terms, it was not your husband’s fault, and you don’t seem comfortable affording the costs. Either agree to the new terms and eat the costs or back out and be gracious about it. You don’t get to agree to the new terms, then whine and complain because there is an additional party that is convenient and cost effective to go to.
I don’t think “local reception” = “gimme pigs.” My husband and I live in a city that is a decent plane ride away from either of our hometowns. When we decided to have our wedding be in the city where we actually live, my parents got super mad that I wasn’t having it in my hometown, and to appease them I also had to plan wedding receptions in 1: The town where I grew up; 2. The country where my mom grew up, on the other side of an ocean; 3. The country where her family is originally from. (To be fair, my husband wanted to visit countries #2 and #3 because they are part of my cultural heritage, but it was a pain to bring the dresses, etc.) Then my husband’s family decided that if my family got so many receptions they deserved one in their hometown as well (#4). So we ended up having 1 wedding and 4 other receptions in 3 countries. Trust me that this was not about gifts, because we barely had anything on our registry (it sold out), and no volume of gifts would have made up for the expense of holding so many events. Also, honestly, I would have been happy with City Hall, or not getting married at all, so the wedding was really all for my mother anyway, and it would have been pointless to do things in a way that would make any of our parents mad.
My attendants only went to the real wedding. (Incidentally, they ended up getting gold from me and cash from my mother, so I think some of them ended up ahead.) But if you’re local, why not go to the local reception, if it’s at a time you’re free? At that point, you don’t have to give a gift, so it’s just free food.
I don’t understand what you have against going to the local party in itself. At this point it would just be a free party to enjoy. Is not like you have to cough up another wedding gift. He has already fulfilled all of his duties as best man at the wedding itself. Maybe he might do a toast at the reception but that is about it.