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Old 03-28-2013, 12:46 AM   #1
elaine amj
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Destination Wedding - how much is too much? *UPDATE page 11*

Our nephew is planning a destination wedding at an all-inclusive in Mexico over New Year's. (prob around Dec 30th). I just want to get some perspective and ideas on how people feel about destination weddings and just how much sacrifice should be "expected" on the guests' part to be there. (and I'm also partly just venting!)

He hasn't set a date or an exact resort yet. We asked him today and they are waiting for prices to drop. About 6 months ago his mom gave us the heads up about his plans for a destination wedding. I agreed to work that into my plans. We can afford to go (with sacrifices), no matter how much it costs.

I've just decided to downsize our California (goodbye DLR!!) trip this summer to a roadtrip to save a bit more. For the wedding, I can comfortably (and extremely happily) afford about $3K , including flights for my family of 4 to go. I've been doing some preliminary price checking - and that's looking impossible. It's more likely to be about $5-$7K. (YIKES!!! I had absolutely NO idea when I first agreed to make plans to be there). Thinking abt it, I should have known - but I wasn't even thinking costs.

My biggest problem is - I'm having a hard time justifying that much money for a trip! Yes, we'll have fun (and I've been wanting to try an AI) - but I could have 2 trips somewhere I like more (like WDW ) for the same money! We travel a LOT - by following the deals. (like free dining at a value )

I'm starting to feel slightly resentful that it's very possible I'll have to give up most of the trips I really want to do next year. Unless we get a super deal, we'll be blowing all next year's vacation budget on this trip. I know DH will say just take it out of our retirement savings - but it's going to drive me bonkers to deviate from our savings plans like that. Plus, I hate how irresponsible that makes me feel. BUT...both DH and I will be pretty upset to give up 3 weeks of trips next year to vacation for just 1 week. We adore our trips, so its a lot to give up.

On top of that, we're not hugely close to this nephew. Plus, his father (DH's brother) likely won't be able to go and his sister (who he's close to) definitely can't go. My other SIL has the money but really doesn't want to spend it in Mexico. Another BIL won't be going because of $$. DH's mom and dad won't be going. Although I don't want what others do or don't do to dictate our actions, my DH is upset that so many family members won't be at this family wedding (from our side, we will likely be the only ones there). I feel like, "If he doesn't mind that his dad and his sister may not be there, why should he mind if we don't show up?!"

I feel guilted into going because his mother will be furious with us. (Especially if we do WDW or a cruise or something soon after!).

We don't know what we'll do yet. At first we were completely committed to going. We want to be there for our nephew but now the financial reality is settling in and I'm not liking the looks of it but feeling a lot of family pressure. It's unlikely they will "understand" and I can see grudges being held for a long time to come.

Some perspective will be VERY welcome!
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Last edited by elaine amj; 07-04-2013 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:33 AM   #2
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I love destination weddings. I've been to three, two of which I was a hired vendor by the couple. I booked my own travel though and was reimbursed so I do know what I spent.

My 4-day trip to Puerto Rico was about $2000 and that included my assistant.

My 7-day trip to Cancun, Mexico (isla mujeres) was about $4000 for myself and my husband (we did a combined working vacation and I paid for our extended stay outside the perimeters of working). Nothing was skimped on that vacation (luxury resort, activities, fancy dinners) since it was the first time we had been away from kids in 5 years.

Then my husbands sister got married on the Big Island of Hawaii. We really couldn't afford that trip, but had to, since it was his sister. We only took our oldest dd with us (she was the flower girl). My fil paid for the entire wedding and was extremely generous in helping us with expenses (such as bringing our child along, lots of meals out, some activities). All in all we spent $3000 for 5 days there.

I do not regret a single one. I absolutely love the family atmosphere at each of them, the love of the couple, and the fun that we had. The memories are so dear to me! (And I'm talking about memories with families I didn't even know and were paying to have me there! To this day I'm still Facebook friends with all of them!)

If you can afford it I highly suggest going. It's a great extended family bonding experience.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:45 AM   #3
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I assume you are pricing for you and your spouse and two children? If so, can the kids stay with someone while you and your spouse go? Or, if your husband wants to go so badly, just send him.

I would never take money from my retirement account to go to anyone's wedding. Never, ever, ever.

It sounds to me that you don't want to go and that maybe your husband is on the fence. Given the situation you have described, I would send my regrets.

I think when one chooses to have a destination wedding they need to accept the fact that many (most or all) potential guests won't be able to come, won't be able to afford to come, or won't want to travel. If people get their panties in a bunch, oh well. If they want people to attend, then have the wedding at home.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuLuO View Post
I assume you are pricing for you and your spouse and two children? If so, can the kids stay with someone while you and your spouse go? Or, if your husband wants to go so badly, just send him.

I would never take money from my retirement account to go to anyone's wedding. Never, ever, ever.

It sounds to me that you don't want to go and that maybe your husband is on the fence. Given the situation you have described, I would send my regrets.

I think when one chooses to have a destination wedding they need to accept the fact that many (most or all) potential guests won't be able to come, won't be able to afford to come, or won't want to travel. If people get their panties in a bunch, oh well. If they want people to attend, then have the wedding at home.
Agree with this 100%!
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:13 AM   #5
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I wouldn't take the kids, and if it's still expensive for just the two of you, I would send dh and he can share a hotel room with someone else hopefully. The one plane ticket and a shared room for a couple of nights won't be too bad. At most it would affect one of your three planned trips. Your dh wants to go it sounds like, and I would support him with wanting to do so.
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:37 AM   #6
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If you can comfortably afford $3k for the trip how does the extra $2k cause you to lose your other two vacations next year?

I had a destination wedding and have been invited to a few. No one can answer how this will affect your family relationship but I have never thought twice about people who chose not to come to my wedding. I have never felt guilt for not going to the ones invited. Depending on how close I was to my nephew I wouldn't think twice and not going if it was not a way I wanted to spend my vacation dollars. In my family that would be ok though. My own kids, siblings and parents would be the only ones I'd figure out a way and sacrifice to be there for.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elaine amj View Post
Our nephew is planning a destination wedding at an all-inclusive in Mexico over New Year's. (prob around Dec 30th). I just want to get some perspective and ideas on how people feel about destination weddings and just how much sacrifice should be "expected" on the guests' part to be there. (and I'm also partly just venting!)

He hasn't set a date or an exact resort yet. We asked him today and they are waiting for prices to drop. About 6 months ago his mom gave us the heads up about his plans for a destination wedding. I agreed to work that into my plans. We can afford to go (with sacrifices), no matter how much it costs.

I've just decided to downsize our California (goodbye DLR!!) trip this summer to a roadtrip to save a bit more. For the wedding, I can comfortably (and extremely happily) afford about $3K , including flights for my family of 4 to go. I've been doing some preliminary price checking - and that's looking impossible. It's more likely to be about $5-$7K. (YIKES!!! I had absolutely NO idea when I first agreed to make plans to be there). Thinking abt it, I should have known - but I wasn't even thinking costs.

My biggest problem is - I'm having a hard time justifying that much money for a trip! Yes, we'll have fun (and I've been wanting to try an AI) - but I could have 2 trips somewhere I like more (like WDW ) for the same money! We travel a LOT - by following the deals. (like free dining at a value )

I'm starting to feel slightly resentful that it's very possible I'll have to give up most of the trips I really want to do next year. Unless we get a super deal, we'll be blowing all next year's vacation budget on this trip. I know DH will say just take it out of our retirement savings - but it's going to drive me bonkers to deviate from our savings plans like that. Plus, I hate how irresponsible that makes me feel. BUT...both DH and I will be pretty upset to give up 3 weeks of trips next year to vacation for just 1 week. We adore our trips, so its a lot to give up.

On top of that, we're not hugely close to this nephew. Plus, his father (DH's brother) likely won't be able to go and his sister (who he's close to) definitely can't go. My other SIL has the money but really doesn't want to spend it in Mexico. Another BIL won't be going because of $$. DH's mom and dad won't be going. Although I don't want what others do or don't do to dictate our actions, my DH is upset that so many family members won't be at this family wedding (from our side, we will likely be the only ones there). I feel like, "If he doesn't mind that his dad and his sister may not be there, why should he mind if we don't show up?!"

I feel guilted into going because his mother will be furious with us. (Especially if we do WDW or a cruise or something soon after!).

We don't know what we'll do yet. At first we were completely committed to going. We want to be there for our nephew but now the financial reality is settling in and I'm not liking the looks of it but feeling a lot of family pressure. It's unlikely they will "understand" and I can see grudges being held for a long time to come.

Some perspective will be VERY welcome!
Sorry but a nephew expecting a relative to spend that amount on his "special day" is an entitled brat that is way too much and if he wants you there he should factor that into his wedding cost. This destination wedding lark is an attempt to put most of the cost on guests to be cheap and is rude and selfish!
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuLuO View Post
.......I think when one chooses to have a destination wedding they need to accept the fact that many (most or all) potential guests won't be able to come, won't be able to afford to come, or won't want to travel. If people get their panties in a bunch, oh well. If they want people to attend, then have the wedding at home.


Gotta love it when other people spend your money for their pleasure.....NOT IN MY CASE!
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:25 AM   #9
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Where are they getting the idea that prices are going to go down?
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:36 AM   #10
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Ok, if your nephew is getting married around New Year's this is one of the most expensive times of the year to go. Prices most likely will not be going down, but up. Airfare is always higher during this week, as well as accomodations. It would be like going to WDW during the week between Christmas and New Year's.

We've been invited to several destination weddings. We've done some and not others. It all depended on our relationship with the bride/groom and where it was being held. An invitation is not a command performance. If you don't want to go, send your regrets.

If your sister is mad I would let her know that if she wants to cover the cost of your trip you'll be happy to attend.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:09 AM   #11
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I love destination weddings but I think in your case you've got other money issues to work through (note: they are not bad just issues) some suggestion:

1) spending money IMO should never make you feel guilty or resentful. It sounds like you guys have your financial life pretty well in order so what's the guilt.

2) Try and stop comparing it to disney. some things have intrinsic value. Being with your family, sharing in a very special time with the rest of your family. So what you can do some thing else cheaper. You can always make an argument like that. How close are you to your siblings and nephews.

3) you will have to deal with the family fall out. the mom is basically right, what you are saying is that you don't want to give up other things for this. Now that is totally your right to do, it's your money but be honest and own up to it, that's the choice you make.

4) also is nephew demanding people come? eveyone's calling this kid selfish? how is that selfish? he is having the wedding he wants. "Oh the horror" Sorry but I planned the wedding I wanted, not the wedding "based on my familys financial situation". It was pretty simple I planned my wedding those who could come "cool", those who could not, love ya see you after the honeymoon.

Personally for me, my family time is precious especially since my family is getting older and I'm losing many of my elders. My sons don't see their cousins as often as I did when I grew up so imo Disney comes in a distant second.

No one likes to sacrifice fun, that's totally understandable, I love my vaca time also so basically you have to decide whats the most important thing.

Last edited by eliza61; 03-28-2013 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:10 AM   #12
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It seems to me that your nephew is being incredibly selfish asking his loved ones to spend that sort of money on the vacation of his choice.

Sorry, there's no way on earth I would dip into my retirement savings for a vacation I didn't want to take.

Continue to do your homework, and wait until the numbers come in from your nephew. Perhaps call your sister in law, tell her you've been doing your homework, and that the price of this wedding is looking to be way over your budget.

I'm a big believer in famly time. But that doesn't mean that one member of the family gets to dictate to all the others. I'm guessing that if your nephew had a traditional wedding, there would be a whole lot more people enjoying that family time at his wedding.

Once the numbers do come in, if they're above the $3000 cap you've sent, then you send your regrets and a gift.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:19 AM   #13
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In your post, OP, you *finally* got to the point I was looking for:

Quote:
On top of that, we're not hugely close to this nephew.
If I am not incredibly wealthy, then I would not be spending even the $3,000 to attend a wedding of someone I am not close to. Period. End of story. This is not your child's wedding, this is not your close sibling's wedding. This is a nephew that you are not close to. On top of that, the father of the groom likely won't be going. I would totally take it off the table unless it is something you want to do without any reserveration.

I am all for destination weddings but I think that the couple who plans them must be prepared to be almost the only ones there save for their parents and those in the wedding party that they are extremely close to. After that, they should have absolutely no expectations whatsoever of attendance.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:19 AM   #14
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Question: people keep saying the nephew is "selfish". I'm not getting it. call me crazy but aren't you supposed to plan your wedding they way you want it?

Op, is nephew making every one go?

I had the wedding I wanted. I damn sure didn't sit down and say "well can't do that, Aunt sally can't afford it". Seriously?
I sent out invitations, those who could afford to come showed up. those who could not, hey no worries, see you at Christmas.

How is planning YOUR wedding they way YOU envision it, selfish?
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza61 View Post
Question: people keep saying the nephew is "selfish". I'm not getting it. call me crazy but aren't you supposed to plan your wedding they way you want it?

Op, is nephew making every one go?

I had the wedding I wanted. I damn sure didn't sit down and say "well can't do that, Aunt sally can't afford it". Seriously?
I sent out invitations, those who could afford to come showed up. those who could not, hey no worries, see you at Christmas.

How is planning YOUR wedding they way YOU envision it, selfish?

I agree, I don't think the nephew is being selfish by planning a destination wedding. I only hope he isn't guilting people who cannot attend. That's selfish. You either want to get married in a paradise resort OR you want to get married with Aunt Sally there. Most times you can't have it both ways. The nephew needs to make that choice and be okay when Aunt Sally can't show up.
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