Sibling's destination wedding?

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Former Usher
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Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by Former Usher » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:18 am

My sibling is choosing to have a destination wedding (outside the continental US), inviting only parents, siblings, and siblings' children. Total cost is looking to be on the order of 10% of our take home pay, or well over twice what we have ever spent on a family vacation before.

As I see it, there are only three choices: none of us attend, I attend alone, or I attend with my wife and children.

Of those have been in a similar situation, which option did you choose? If you chose not to attend or chose to attend alone, what were the "consequences"? Any other options I should be considering?

As always, I appreciate the collective wisdom on this forum.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:23 am

I've never been in that situation, but there may be a fourth choice... Sibling pays for part (or all) of invited family's travel and lodging expenses since (s)he chose the wedding location.
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nordsteve
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by nordsteve » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:26 am

One thing I'd do soon is let my sibling know that, for financial reasons, it's not clear whether anyone in your family will be able to attend.

wvmtnbkr
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by wvmtnbkr » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:27 am

Former Usher,

I think it depends upon how close you are to the sibling. Personally, I'd skip it (unless the destination was a location that fit in with one of the dream-type vacations my wife/family are already planning/saving for, then I'd reconsider but probably still skip it) and purchase the happy couple a nicer wedding gift. Just because a family member wants to spend a large amount of money on a wedding doesn't mean invited guests should spend a bunch of money for the "privilege" of attending...

Stephen

corysold
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by corysold » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:28 am

Could they stream it live if you aren't able to attend in person?

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rob
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by rob » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:29 am

I just attended without the family...... Seemed the best compromise for us.
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maroon
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by maroon » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:30 am

Could you attend with your wife and leave the kids at home?

Seems to me you have more than "only" three choices...

mouses
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by mouses » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:36 am

I would first of all tell the sibling that you can't afford this, but are trying to work something out so that only you or you and spouse attend, and that it isn't intended as a slight on sib and sib's future spouse. Then it becomes up to them if they want to choose a less expensive location, help with the expenses, or just accept that your twig on the family tree may not be there. If you choose the latter, I would let your parents know also, so they don't misunderstand.

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goingup
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by goingup » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:39 am

I wonder why people choose to have expensive far-flung wedding destinations? Is it to allow the couple to deeply cull the guest list? Seems like such an imposition on those invited. Seriously, why not tie the knot state-side and honeymoon exotically?

OP- I feel your angst. I've three siblings, now all long-married. If they had sprung a destination wedding on me that would have cost 10% of my annual salary, I'm not sure what I would have done. Tough call. Good luck!

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by soupcxan » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:39 am

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stoptothink
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:43 am

Never been in this situation with a sibling, but was in it with a good friend of my ex-wife's. My ex ended up going without me, but I wasn't too happy about it. IMO, it is unbelievably selfish on the part of the bride and groom - if you want an expensive destination wedding, don't expect others to attend unless you are covering the cost.

FoolStreet
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by FoolStreet » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:47 am

We were in a similar situation. It was during th economic downturn a few years ago and we just couldn't budget it. It was financially risky for us, and conflicts slightly with school. The destination was not a family destination. I hemmed and hawed but did not go. Fast forward, the economy is better and we are much better off financially. I would have liked to go for family connectedness (we live far from the famil), but given financial pressures at the time, would have been hard pressed. I would have liked to spent more time perhaps in other ways. Definitely a conflict.

Having said all that, I think that they recognize not everyone can attend and it's about them and their day, not yours, specially under this situation. So they are ok. Just let them know so they can adjust their reservations and stuff. I wish I would have been more upfront, if only to explain that it wasn't out of love that we didn't attend.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by Call_Me_Op » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:56 am

I would be rather irritated if a sibling put me in this position.
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Kosmo
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by Kosmo » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:59 am

My wife and I attended my cousin's wedding in Italy 2 years ago. Our kids remained home with other family. A lot of family members and friends couldn't attend for financial reasons or other family/work obligations. It was certainly recognized that not everyone could attend, and there was no ill will for not attending. Those that went made a vacation out of it.

A destination wedding in Italy was a compromise: The bride is from Boston, but the groom is from Melbourne, Australia.

altadoc
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by altadoc » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:03 am

My wife and I married in Hawaii with just immediate family. My sister had 2 kids at the time and my brother had 3. My wife and I paid for the compound we stayed at and bought my youngest brothers ticket.

My sister came with her husband and two kids, while my other brother came alone. We weren't hurt or upset. Getting tickets for 5 was crazy expensive and getting babysitting for a week for 3 young young kids was impossible. We were happy and thrilled to celebrate with everyone and got to spend a week in Hawaii with both families before we got married (and run a half marathon as well, but that's another story!)

We both wanted to get married on the beach with just our families. It was an amazing time and we are grateful for everyone's time. we were happy to cover as much of the costs as we needed to in order to get people there. It's the time that is harder to come by. Having the entire family together for that long is such a treat and a blessing.

And to everyone complaining about it, it's not about you, it's their wedding. If you can't make it because of time or finances, say so. It's not that big of a deal. I didn't complain when my sibling "put me in that position" where I couldn't attend the wedding because they are Mormon and got married in a Mormon temple.

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tyrion
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by tyrion » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:08 am

We went from California to England on a destination wedding for my brother, dragging two young kids along. While the cost was significant (somewhere around 10% of our salary), it was a great memorable experience. The major downside for us (at the time) was that the time change was really difficult for my son. He just couldn't manage and was exhausted for the first week.

I can't imagine not going at all to a sibling's wedding, but that is really a family dynamics question.

If your location is kid friendly, and if your kids have a relationship with the person getting married, it will make for a memorable trip.



For another destination wedding (a niece who we are close to) we went and left the kids behind. That was a lot of fun, as we generally don't get much time together without the kids.

Finally, we skipped going to a cousin's destination wedding. The kids were a little younger, we didn't want to take them to Mexico at that age, and we didn't have anyone to watch them. But for a sibling, I would have found a way to make that trip happen.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by randomguy » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:09 am

goingup wrote:I wonder why people choose to have expensive far-flung wedding destinations? Is it to allow the couple to deeply cull the guest list? Seems like such an imposition on those invited. Seriously, why not tie the knot state-side and honeymoon exotically?

OP- I feel your angst. I've three siblings, now all long-married. If they had sprung a destination wedding on me that would have cost 10% of my annual salary, I'm not sure what I would have done. Tough call. Good luck!
My wife and I lived in WA. my mom's family is in Canada, my wife's family is in Texas, my dads family is in VA, and my parents live in NY, and I have a ton of friends from college in the midwest. Can you think of anywhere that isn't an imposition for half the guest list? We couldn't and mexico wasn't any more expensive than the rest of the US. The turn out was pretty impressive. I am sure if we picked Bora Bora we would have had a much smaller guest list.

And it isn't 10% of annual salary. It is 10% of take home pay (you know after paying taxes, contributing 36k to the 401(k), 6k to the HSA,....). Thats a much smaller number.

The obvious problem of not going is that someone gets upset (sister or mom) and you hear about it for the next 40 years. Especially in cases where it is a choice (i.e. you have the 4k, you just want to spend it elsewhere) rather than just a financial impossibility. You need to know your family to figure out if that is an issue and if so how to resolve it.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:22 am

altadoc wrote: I didn't complain when my sibling "put me in that position" where I couldn't attend the wedding because they are Mormon and got married in a Mormon temple.
Completely different. You simply can't be inside the sealing room for the 10 minutes the temple ceremony takes place. I am Mormon, none of my siblings are, they all "attended" my wedding and thought nothing of it. In fact, the large majority of those at my wedding were not Mormon.
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by JV » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:23 am

I was in this very situation, and am now going on 2 years that my brother has not spoken to me because my wife and I chose not to attend. But I wouldn't change a thing and would make the same decision again, regardless of the consequences. That's how comfortable you have to feel about this decision, to picture the worst happening and still making the same choice.

My brother (his wife, actually) decided to marry in Cancun on Thanksgiving weekend. After A LOT of VERY CAREFUL consideration (hours of discussion with the wifey), we decided it was not a fit for us due to cost, the kids, the timing, our in-laws health and lack of sitters if we left my kids home, and a few other reasons. Unfortunately there was an expectation that we'd be there, and when I told him we weren't coming...let's just say that harsh words were yelled and that was the end of it.

My advice to you is simple: make the decision that is best for you and your family. There should be ZERO expectation that you attend this wedding. If it doesn't work for you and your family, be it because of cost, timing, whatever, then do not go. And most important of all: don't feel the need to explain yourself. When I called my brother I took it so seriously and wanted him to understand our POV so much that I typed out a page of bullet points I wanted to cover. I got through one point and the yelling started. Be honest with your sibling, but don't feel the need to overly explain. If your sibling can't handle it, then it is your sibling's problem, not yours.

If you want more detail or more personal advice, you're welcome to PM me.

johnubc
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by johnubc » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:43 am

I would explain to your sibling that the cost and logistics are too great for you to afford right now, but that you will host a local party during the ceremony so that others that could not travel can be part of the celebration. And the sibling could arrange to have the wedding broadcast.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by oxothuk » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:45 am

Call_Me_Op wrote:I would be rather irritated if a sibling put me in this position.
+1
One of my siblings considered doing this (for my niece) but fortunately thought better of it in the end.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by kaudrey » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:07 pm

You should do what is best for your family. Your sibling is entitled to get married where he/she wants, but is NOT entitled to expect you to show up if you can't.

I have been to one destination wedding (Greece), and it was awesome. The bride was Greek, so it was a Greek wedding. I do remember there was way too much Ouzo involved...

A few years ago, we opted NOT to go to a friend's destination wedding in Jamaica. We had already taken our vacation that year, and just didn't have the time/funds to do it. A bunch of people did go, but we didn't feel bad about not going. We met up with them when they returned and saw pictures/heard all about it.

Globalviewer58
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by Globalviewer58 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:10 pm

A relative that lives a subsidized life did this and my reaction when we received the invitation was, what a knucklehead! His new in-laws paid for their entire wedding. My wife attended but I did not. The far flung destination weddings seem to be for the benefit of the newlyweds and most understand this sentiment if you decide not to attend. If they wanted more friends and family to share the launch of their lives together they would hold the event where the family lives and then take the honeymoon in the destination of their choice.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by joebh » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:18 pm

goingup wrote:I wonder why people choose to have expensive far-flung wedding destinations? Is it to allow the couple to deeply cull the guest list? Seems like such an imposition on those invited. Seriously, why not tie the knot state-side and honeymoon exotically?
Sadly, weddings have become a "competition" in recent years, to hold the biggest, flashiest, and most exotic "event". In many cases, little to no consideration is given to those expected to attend. It's all about the bride (mostly) and the groom (sometimes).

While I agree that the wedding should be "their day", I feel that things have unfortunately gotten out of hand. I shudder when I think of the young couples spending what could have been a great financial start, or a down payment on a home, for a 1-day event. Keeping up with the Jones seems to be going strong in some circles.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by psteinx » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:25 pm

1) If in doubt, make the effort for you to go (blood sibling), but not with the whole family. This will help preserve family harmony, while reducing cost.

2) There is an egotistical aspect to some destination weddings, perhaps mirroring the general increase of weddings as "look at me" occasions. Of course, some of that is to be expected - it's a big day for the couple. But there's been a trend to take this too far, IMO.

I've been (as a groomsman) to one quasi-destination wedding - in Florida when the bride and groom and their families were from the Midwest. But there was a personal connection there - the specific location was on the beach in front of the father of the bride's vacation home. And Florida (for a Midwesterner) is not as exotic, expensive, or hard to reach as most international locales.
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by YttriumNitrate » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:28 pm

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NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:34 pm

How much drama is there in your family, or in your future in-law's family? Sometimes destination weddings are planned specifically so that the drunk uncle or the disruptive cousin can be not invited, without actually being dis-invited.

hardrain
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by hardrain » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:36 pm

Lot of self righteousness here so far, which I understand and used to feel but no longer do. My memory from getting married is that it's stressful and you can't make everyone happy -- we threw a shoestring wedding focused almost entirely on the latter without anywhere near 100% success, and so that shouldn't be the objective...it's something I've never held anyone to since my wedding and I think it makes sense. Sometimes you're not part of the convenient majority and that's life.

Destination weddingers understand not everyone can make it happen. I've been invited to three so far, attended none mostly because of financial and logistical concerns, and regret not going to at least two of them. So while I agree completely you should do what's best for you and your family, I'd suggest being open minded about the value of going. Maybe you save the money and buy more VTSMX and go to an even fancier vacation with your brother and his family 30 years from now, or maybe it'll be more fun to just go to the wedding and have that memory instead.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by Rupert » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:37 pm

If you want to maintain a relationship with your sibling, you should go. Perhaps alone or perhaps just with your spouse (if that's possibility). One great thing about having kids is that they provide you with a million excuses to get out of going to things you don't want to go to, e.g., "Sorry we can't come. Little Jimmy has stomach flu again," etc. My family is confronted with a similar sibling destination wedding this year. Fortunately, the sibling chose a destination inside the United States, and we can drive to it. But the hotel costs, clothing costs (our kids have been asked to be in the wedding), etc., are still much higher than what we would normally spend on a family weekend getaway. We decided to just suck it up and go, and we're hell bent and determined to have a great time. We cancelled another trip that we had tentatively planned in order to stay within our annual vacation budget. Whatever you decide to do, just decide. Don't hem and haw about it. And don't spend the whole trip complaining about the cost if you do decide to go.

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climber2020
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by climber2020 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:42 pm

I'm currently the prospective groom in a future destination wedding, so I can provide some insight on why we chose to go this route.
Former Usher wrote:
As I see it, there are only three choices: none of us attend, I attend alone, or I attend with my wife and children.
Go by yourself, or if it's a huge money issue then don't go.
cheese_breath wrote:I've never been in that situation, but there may be a fourth choice... Sibling pays for part (or all) of invited family's travel and lodging expenses since (s)he chose the wedding location.
This is what I'm doing. I have 2 groomsmen and my fiance has a few family members who would under normal circumstances not be able to attend due to financial constraints, so I'm paying for all their flights and hotel rooms. The overall price of the wedding still ends up being cheaper than had we done it locally.
goingup wrote: I wonder why people choose to have expensive far-flung wedding destinations? Is it to allow the couple to deeply cull the guest list? Seems like such an imposition on those invited. Seriously, why not tie the knot state-side and honeymoon exotically?
Yes. In our case, we wanted a small wedding, and having it in a remote place was the only way to do it without either 1) offending a lot of people by not inviting them or 2) having over 200 people attend, which we agreed would be a miserable experience for both of us.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by EddyB » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:43 pm

stoptothink wrote:Never been in this situation with a sibling, but was in it with a good friend of my ex-wife's. My ex ended up going without me, but I wasn't too happy about it. IMO, it is unbelievably selfish on the part of the bride and groom - if you want an expensive destination wedding, don't expect others to attend unless you are covering the cost.
Selfish on their wedding. Obviously it should be about stoptothink!

When my wife and I were married, we'd both been living in one locale for several years, all of our close friends were there, our "lives" were there; our families were exclusively located thousands of miles away. We didn't have any interest in or around the adjacent states where we'd grown up, where our families were (we'd both been gone from the place for a decade), although it was clear my wife's family thought we "should" have done so. We decided we wanted to have our wedding in a place we'd travelled to before that was "special" to us (closer to, but not close to, our families), understanding that only close friends and family were likely to attend. We couldn't have been happier with how it turned out, notwithstanding that different options may have been more convenient for some of our guests or some who didn't attend. We absolutely understood that some couldn't understand and were incredibly appreciative of the effort by those who did. Most family members seemed to have understood. Some thought it was very selfish, but it was clear that we'd have had to maximize the convenience of those people for them to conclude anything else.

stoptothink
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:53 pm

EddyB wrote:
stoptothink wrote:Never been in this situation with a sibling, but was in it with a good friend of my ex-wife's. My ex ended up going without me, but I wasn't too happy about it. IMO, it is unbelievably selfish on the part of the bride and groom - if you want an expensive destination wedding, don't expect others to attend unless you are covering the cost.
Selfish on their wedding. Obviously it should be about stoptothink!

When my wife and I were married, we'd both been living in one locale for several years, all of our close friends were there, our "lives" were there; our families were exclusively located thousands of miles away. We didn't have any interest in or around the adjacent states where we'd grown up, where our families were (we'd both been gone from the place for a decade), although it was clear my wife's family thought we "should" have done so. We decided we wanted to have our wedding in a place we'd travelled to before that was "special" to us (closer to, but not close to, our families), understanding that only close friends and family were likely to attend. We couldn't have been happier with how it turned out, notwithstanding that different options may have been more convenient for some of our guests or some who didn't attend. We absolutely understood that some couldn't understand and were incredibly appreciative of the effort by those who did. Most family members seemed to have understood. Some thought it was very selfish, but it was clear that we'd have had to maximize the convenience of those people for them to conclude anything else.
Your statement has nothing to do with my post. As others in this thread have also alluded; your wedding is your day, but asking others to spend very large sums on travel and then get offended if they can't, is indeed selfish. Either don't plan a wedding which puts your loved ones in that precarious situation or don't get offended when they can't attend. It's your choice.

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leonidas
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by leonidas » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:59 pm

I have been invited to multiple destination weddings over the years. I never attended any of them except for one in Vegas which is where they moved too. I had my in-laws watch my kids and the flight was pretty cheap so it was no hardship so the wife and I made an extended trip out it. The other was on an Island in Greece which would have been upwards of 10K total for the whole family plus kenneling my dogs. I loved those relatives, just not that much! :D

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by denovo » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:01 pm

Former Usher wrote:.

As I see it, there are only three choices: none of us attend, I attend alone, or I attend with my wife and children.

Of those have been in a similar situation, which option did you choose? If you chose not to attend or chose to attend alone, what were the "consequences"? Any other options I should be considering?

.

Every family is different. So their consequences may be different from yours. But ultimately you're an adult and you don't spend this kind of money on a vacation, and it looks like it would be imprudent. I would just be honest and tell siblings and parents that this is something you can't afford. Maybe they will assist you financially (if that is something you are willing to accept). I wouldn't create strain in your own family because someone else made a decision to have an expensive wedding. Half-jokingly, are you sure it would go well with your wife if you leave her with the kids while you take a trip alone?
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celia
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by celia » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:06 pm

I would let not only the sibling getting married know that you can't afford it financially, but also let your parents and other siblings know. They could easily be in the same situation, but afraid to say something.

Seems like the engaged couple should go to the destination for the honeymoon and not expect others to go along! It is not just airfare and hotel, but also more costly meals than you would pay at home, passports, immunizations(??), more time off of work, and probably would cancel out the vacation you would usually take with your spouse and kids.
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Former Usher
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by Former Usher » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:07 pm

maroon wrote:Could you attend with your wife and leave the kids at home?

Seems to me you have more than "only" three choices...
That's a fair point. I should have been more precise and said I'm only considering three options. My children are young and would share a hotel room with us. The marginal cost of their attendance isn't that high when weighed against the difficulty of arranging a week of child care (during a holiday, no less).

If I were to attend alone, it would only be for a couple of nights.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by joebh » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:10 pm

EddyB wrote:We decided we wanted to have our wedding in a place we'd travelled to before that was "special" to us (closer to, but not close to, our families), understanding that only close friends and family were likely to attend. We couldn't have been happier with how it turned out, notwithstanding that different options may have been more convenient for some of our guests or some who didn't attend. We absolutely understood that some couldn't understand and were incredibly appreciative of the effort by those who did. Most family members seemed to have understood. Some thought it was very selfish, but it was clear that we'd have had to maximize the convenience of those people for them to conclude anything else.
So you basically did what made you happy, while knowing it wouldn't please others.

The key here is that you understood that this would be a burden for some, and (I assume) you don't hold it against those who chose not to bear the expense of attending.

You cannot control how others feel, but you can control your expectations and how you feel.

Glad it worked out well for you.

Former Usher
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by Former Usher » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:10 pm

Rupert wrote:Whatever you decide to do, just decide. Don't hem and haw about it. And don't spend the whole trip complaining about the cost if you do decide to go.
Thanks for your thoughts, especially the excerpt quoted above.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by KyleAAA » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:11 pm

I'd definitely sit them down and explain that I couldn't afford to attend unless they are able to defray the costs a bit. People who choose destination weddings know most people won't be able to attend. That's part of the attraction.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:15 pm

celia wrote:I would let not only the sibling getting married know that you can't afford it financially, but also let your parents and other siblings know. They could easily be in the same situation, but afraid to say something.
That is a very good point. Very thankful this isn't an issue in my family. Our family dynamics are complicated but we don't intentionally put each other in these situations. My younger sister was married in England, where she was living at the time. She called to tell us about it, but was also very quick to let us know that we were invited but our presence was not at all expected. She paid for my mother to attend, but none of my siblings went and I have never once heard a comment made about it.

The selfish part is not in planning or even inviting others to a destination wedding, it's in expecting others to attend regardless of the hardship it may cause them.

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celia
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by celia » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:17 pm

Former Usher wrote:The marginal cost of their attendance isn't that high when weighed against the difficulty of arranging a week of child care (during a holiday, no less).
Holiday week means higher costs for everything (compared to if it was held off-season)!!!
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by Former Usher » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:17 pm

celia wrote:I would let not only the sibling getting married know that you can't afford it financially, but also let your parents and other siblings know. They could easily be in the same situation, but afraid to say something.
No, everyone else is on board, and I've already been identified as the who would be most reluctant to go along with it.
celia wrote:...probably would cancel out the vacation you would usually take with your spouse and kids.
That's certainly part of the issue, at least for me. Strictly speaking, we could afford this trip, but it would represent a significant opportunity cost in terms of other plans for travel, home maintenance, and savings. We would not need to borrow money in order to attend.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by Toons » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:22 pm

I probably wouldn't attend.
I recall my niece getting married many years ago and My family was expected to travel and pay for hotel rooms.
We decided not to.
At the time it caused quite a bit of "family noise".
With the passage of time,,,,it has been long forgotten, :happy
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prudent
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by prudent » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:29 pm

No-win situation. If you go to please everyone else, you'll be miserable about the cost, forfeited vacation opportunities, etc. If you don't go, and other family members do, then you're the cheap-a** who wouldn't break open the wallet for your own sibling's wedding.

I wouldn't go but not cite cost as the reason up front. I would just say I can't make it work. If pressed for details, then I would say I cannot spend $X. To me, "can't" spend it means it's not in my budget. And I would be fully aware of likely family drama and repercussions for my choice especially if I'm the only one not going. And especially since everyone in the family, including all my siblings, already owes me money! :)

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goingup
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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by goingup » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:35 pm

climber2020 wrote:I'm currently the prospective groom in a future destination wedding, so I can provide some insight on why we chose to go this route.
Former Usher wrote:
As I see it, there are only three choices: none of us attend, I attend alone, or I attend with my wife and children.
Go by yourself, or if it's a huge money issue then don't go.
cheese_breath wrote:I've never been in that situation, but there may be a fourth choice... Sibling pays for part (or all) of invited family's travel and lodging expenses since (s)he chose the wedding location.
This is what I'm doing. I have 2 groomsmen and my fiance has a few family members who would under normal circumstances not be able to attend due to financial constraints, so I'm paying for all their flights and hotel rooms. The overall price of the wedding still ends up being cheaper than had we done it locally.
goingup wrote: I wonder why people choose to have expensive far-flung wedding destinations? Is it to allow the couple to deeply cull the guest list? Seems like such an imposition on those invited. Seriously, why not tie the knot state-side and honeymoon exotically?
Yes. In our case, we wanted a small wedding, and having it in a remote place was the only way to do it without either 1) offending a lot of people by not inviting them or 2) having over 200 people attend, which we agreed would be a miserable experience for both of us.
climber2020-
Paying for flights and rooms for family that could not afford to go otherwise is a wonderful way to do it. I understand your reasoning for a destination wedding. Makes a lot of sense in your situation.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by EddyB » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:38 pm

stoptothink wrote:
EddyB wrote:
stoptothink wrote:Never been in this situation with a sibling, but was in it with a good friend of my ex-wife's. My ex ended up going without me, but I wasn't too happy about it. IMO, it is unbelievably selfish on the part of the bride and groom - if you want an expensive destination wedding, don't expect others to attend unless you are covering the cost.
Selfish on their wedding. Obviously it should be about stoptothink!

When my wife and I were married, we'd both been living in one locale for several years, all of our close friends were there, our "lives" were there; our families were exclusively located thousands of miles away. We didn't have any interest in or around the adjacent states where we'd grown up, where our families were (we'd both been gone from the place for a decade), although it was clear my wife's family thought we "should" have done so. We decided we wanted to have our wedding in a place we'd travelled to before that was "special" to us (closer to, but not close to, our families), understanding that only close friends and family were likely to attend. We couldn't have been happier with how it turned out, notwithstanding that different options may have been more convenient for some of our guests or some who didn't attend. We absolutely understood that some couldn't understand and were incredibly appreciative of the effort by those who did. Most family members seemed to have understood. Some thought it was very selfish, but it was clear that we'd have had to maximize the convenience of those people for them to conclude anything else.
Your statement has nothing to do with my post. As others in this thread have also alluded; your wedding is your day, but asking others to spend very large sums on travel and then get offended if they can't, is indeed selfish. Either don't plan a wedding which puts your loved ones in that precarious situation or don't get offended when they can't attend. It's your choice.
It had everything to do with your implication that the sibling of the OP (or anyone else who may choose a destination wedding, if perhaps not the good friend of your ex-wife) was somehow unaware of the increased difficulty for others to attend or would "expect" others to attend. People balance multiple concerns. They make choices. Your assertion that choosing to have the destination wedding is "selfish," when it more likely reflects such a balancing of multiple concerns to which you may not be privy, is exactly what I responded to.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by letsgobobby » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:41 pm

There's a lot going on here.

As others have pointed out, modern American families are often very far-flung and no one destination is obvious. In our case we had first degree relatives and very close friends in Michigan, Utah, Texas, California, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, DC, New York, and North Carolina. Maybe I missed a few spots. We got married in Texas, not as a destination wedding but because it was most convenient for the largest number of people. It was still inconvenient for many of them. Some came, some didn't, that's life. Would Mexico have seemed farther or been a little more work? Yes, but not significantly more so for those in Michigan, Utah, California, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, DC, New York, or North Carolina.

We attended a friend's destination wedding 10 years ago in Zihua, Mexico. This was pre-kids. The bride/groom of course did not pay for any travel expenses, nor would I have expected them to. However, they did host us very generously, provided a massage to every guest, and a large villa where folks could come and go and have chips and snacks and beer for the weekend. I thought that was a very reasonable approach. If we could not have afforded to go, we would not have gone, and I think the bride and groom were prepared that some people would not come, just as some would not come even if it were down the street. On the other hand, I probably would not have gone if it were in small town Texas. So maybe more guests came to the destination wedding, for the destination. I certainly remember how beautiful Zihua was, how friendly the people were, how much I enjoyed practicing my Spanish and walking on the beach and eating Mexican food. That was the beginning of a 12 month period in which we traveled to Argentina, Spain, and then Mexico twice. My Spanish got considerably better. Our first child was conceived on one of those trips. A lot of wonderful memories that began with that destination wedding. So I would not discount that the destination aspect is actually quite attractive and quite worthwhile to many potential guests.

In the OP's case, I would have a frank talk with sibling that the destination wedding is very expensive and is likely not affordable for the entire family. That may mean no one or only the OP can go. Gauge sister's reaction. Is she understanding? Is she shocked? Is she naïve or is she realistic? You'll have to measure your next steps based on her reaction. At the end of the day, in my family, we are very close and the relationships mean more than money, so at the least I would find a way to go myself, even if it meant staying with other family members or staying in a hostel to save money. The real tension would come if I could afford to go myself, but could not afford to bring the family, and the family balked at that solution. Hopefully that will not be the case.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by EddyB » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:43 pm

joebh wrote:
So you basically did what made you happy, while knowing it wouldn't please others.
Yes, but given that nearly all of our friends from our adult lives were in one place, and nearly all of our family in a different place, it was clear there wasn't going to be any single option that wouldn't displease someone. Maybe that made it easier for us to decide to just have it where we wanted it.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by campy2010 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:54 pm

My sibling's wedding was a destination wedding for me. At the time I didn't have much money as a I had just graduate college but I'm glad I made the effort to attend, despite the expense. If I were in your shoes, I would make an effort to attend with the family. It would be a different story if it was a distant relative or a friend. As your parents get older, these moments where your family come together become important memories for your kids.

Sign up for a couple of frequent flyer rewards credit cards to defray the expense of airfare and/or hotel. Between a husband and wife, it is easy to accumulate 100,000 airline miles in a couple of months. Do some research on how to travel where you are going frugally.

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Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:56 pm

EddyB wrote:
stoptothink wrote:
EddyB wrote:
stoptothink wrote:Never been in this situation with a sibling, but was in it with a good friend of my ex-wife's. My ex ended up going without me, but I wasn't too happy about it. IMO, it is unbelievably selfish on the part of the bride and groom - if you want an expensive destination wedding, don't expect others to attend unless you are covering the cost.
Selfish on their wedding. Obviously it should be about stoptothink!

When my wife and I were married, we'd both been living in one locale for several years, all of our close friends were there, our "lives" were there; our families were exclusively located thousands of miles away. We didn't have any interest in or around the adjacent states where we'd grown up, where our families were (we'd both been gone from the place for a decade), although it was clear my wife's family thought we "should" have done so. We decided we wanted to have our wedding in a place we'd travelled to before that was "special" to us (closer to, but not close to, our families), understanding that only close friends and family were likely to attend. We couldn't have been happier with how it turned out, notwithstanding that different options may have been more convenient for some of our guests or some who didn't attend. We absolutely understood that some couldn't understand and were incredibly appreciative of the effort by those who did. Most family members seemed to have understood. Some thought it was very selfish, but it was clear that we'd have had to maximize the convenience of those people for them to conclude anything else.
Your statement has nothing to do with my post. As others in this thread have also alluded; your wedding is your day, but asking others to spend very large sums on travel and then get offended if they can't, is indeed selfish. Either don't plan a wedding which puts your loved ones in that precarious situation or don't get offended when they can't attend. It's your choice.
It had everything to do with your implication that the sibling of the OP (or anyone else who may choose a destination wedding, if perhaps not the good friend of your ex-wife) was somehow unaware of the increased difficulty for others to attend or would "expect" others to attend. People balance multiple concerns. They make choices. Your assertion that choosing to have the destination wedding is "selfish," when it more likely reflects such a balancing of multiple concerns to which you may not be privy, is exactly what I responded to.
Nope, reread my post..." if you want an expensive destination wedding, don't expect others to attend..."I never said choosing to have a destination wedding is selfish, I said expecting people to attend your destination wedding regardless of the possible hardship is. It is your choice to place expectations on others and whether or not to get offended if they can not come; that is the selfish part. I have several friends and a sister who have had "destination weddings", they were not selfish as they did not get hurt and cause drama when others could not go. Get married wherever you want, that is for you and your spouse.

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