Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

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wrongfunds
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by wrongfunds » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:41 am

Who pays for the hotel room for the invited guests? Who pays for the airfare for the invited guests? I understand the couple may have reserved a block of rooms but is there any expectation that the couple is going to pick up the hotel tab?

How is the destination wedding is that much different than say a wedding in New York when one party is in Boston? We have invitation to attend a wedding in NYC. I presume all the expenses related to showing up and being in NYC will be our own responsibility even if the host has reserved rooms in specific hotel. Obviously, destination wedding would be much more expensive from the guests' perspective but it is not much different in principle if the wedding were on the West Coast and we were on the East Coast. I do see how all inclusive resort makes it even more favorable from the couple's perspective as the entire food+drink is really coming out from the attendees' pockets. I would presume that if one attends destination weddings, the obligation to give presents to newly wed is minimized but I do not know what is the general etiquette on that. The invitation should say "Absolutely NO PRESENTS including flowers will be ACCEPTED" in bold letters.

fposte
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by fposte » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:43 am

DaftInvestor wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:33 am
As you can see from the debate that has started above different people view weddings in different ways.
Some view it as "I want to share our marriage celebration with all our close family and close friends and will do what I can to be inclusive".
While others seem to view it as "Its our wedding day, we want to have it our way, if people can't afford to come its not our problem".
Many in the family will view it the former way while the couple probably views it the latter way. The former way is likely more traditional (some might say old-fashioned - its the camp I am clearly in from my responses above) while the latter way seems to be growing trend with millennial's (adding some credibility to the self-serving reputation they seem to be getting). We can continue to debate which way might be correct - but do you want to be doing this between the couple and the family members?
There's also a risk that interference will make the couple more, not less, distant from a family that wants things done their way.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:48 am

wrongfunds wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:41 am

How is the destination wedding is that much different than say a wedding in New York when one party is in Boston?
Transportation cost is one difference:
Bus Ticket from Boston to New York: $25 ($7 if you take a sketchy one).
Airline fare to destination wedding: In the $400 to $1500 range.

wrongfunds
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by wrongfunds » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:56 am

Once again, I asked about West Coast vs East Coast which you conveniently ignored! Many couples who meet at school might come from different coasts. May be it was rare to have such scenario in the past but it should no longer be that uncommon any more.

Bottom line is that the marriage is for the couple. Unfortunately, the wedding is for the in-laws. I do agree that weddings have become a complete racket but I blame parents for it because I do not believe a typical couple throws a $100K wedding from their own money. On the other hand, for ethnic immigrant parents, $100K wedding is a "cheap wedding".

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:00 am

wrongfunds wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:56 am
Once again, I asked about West Coast vs East Coast which you conveniently ignored! Many couples who meet at school might come from different coasts. May be it was rare to have such scenario in the past but it should no longer be that uncommon any more.

Bottom line is that the marriage is for the couple. Unfortunately, the wedding is for the in-laws. I do agree that weddings have become a complete racket but I blame parents for it because I do not believe a typical couple throws a $100K wedding from their own money. On the other hand, for ethnic immigrant parents, $100K wedding is a "cheap wedding".
You actually asked about a NY wedding when one couple is in Boston. You then commented on east coast / west coast. :D

In any case - a lot of couples look at where the majority of family is and plan accordingly. Often times if a lot of the family is lower-income - they all happen to live in the communities near where they grew up making a local wedding much more appealing (probably the case for the OP based upon the way he posed the question).

Tal-
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by Tal- » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:01 am

Pair the destination wedding with a "reception" in the hometown, after the honeymoon. This makes it easy for people who can't join the wedding to feel welcomed, gives people who can't go an "out", and lets everyone control costs.

Make the reception at home super informal - Costco sandwiches at someone's house. The couple will have had their fancy wedding and they don't need to redo that. This is just an informal get together to celebrate.
Debt is to personal finance as a knife is to cooking.

dziuniek
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by dziuniek » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:08 am

I think we paid something between 40-45k for our wedding.
Two big polish families, no way around that. (ok, fine, sure there are - it's a choice).

A destination wedding would be infinitely cheaper.

Some of our costs:

Hall (dinner and alcohol) - $19,000
Photos - $5,500
Video - $1,200
Big Limo - $1,000 approx.
Wedding Dress - $ 2,500 I think? (approx.)
Wedding Band - $3,400

And a bout a million things in between I can't remember now.

If you cut out the hall (dinner and booze) that saves almost a HALF... - since the guests pay for their stay.

dbr
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by dbr » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:12 am

dziuniek wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:08 am

Photos - $5,500
Video - $1,200
Big Limo - $1,000 approx.
Wedding Dress - $ 2,500 I think? (approx.)
Wedding Band - $3,400

These items can also be cut by more than half or completely eliminated, especially the last two, which are pure discretionary luxuries. The third item I don't even understand.

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HomerJ
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by HomerJ » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:13 am

FlyAF wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:20 pm
Weddings in the USA are the biggest racket on the planet. Absolutely financially stupid for young couples to participate in.
There's no law that says you have to spend too much on a wedding inside the borders of the United States.

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FlyAF
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by FlyAF » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:16 am

HomerJ wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:13 am
FlyAF wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:20 pm
Weddings in the USA are the biggest racket on the planet. Absolutely financially stupid for young couples to participate in.
There's no law that says you have to spend too much on a wedding inside the borders of the United States.
You're right, you can certainly go to Costco and buy a cake. But try going to a nice bakery and ordering a fancy birthday cake versus the exact same thing, but for a wedding and report back the price difference.

The couple could also skip it all and go down to the justice of the peace and get it done for less than 100 bucks, but somehow I think the OP wouldn't care for that option either.

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HomerJ
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by HomerJ » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:22 am

FlyAF wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:16 am
HomerJ wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:13 am
FlyAF wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:20 pm
Weddings in the USA are the biggest racket on the planet. Absolutely financially stupid for young couples to participate in.
There's no law that says you have to spend too much on a wedding inside the borders of the United States.
You're right, you can certainly go to Costco and buy a cake. But try going to a nice bakery and ordering a fancy birthday cake versus the exact same thing, but for a wedding and report back the price difference.

The couple could also skip it all and go down to the justice of the peace and get it done for less than 100 bucks, but somehow I think the OP wouldn't care for that option either.
It's a not a binary choice between a $50,000 wedding and a $100 courthouse visit.

wrongfunds
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by wrongfunds » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:23 am

HomerJ wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:13 am
FlyAF wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:20 pm
Weddings in the USA are the biggest racket on the planet. Absolutely financially stupid for young couples to participate in.
There's no law that says you have to spend too much on a wedding inside the borders of the United States.
May be both you should attend a wedding abroad (how does Mumbai or Banglore sounds to you?) to understand what an extravagant wedding really looks like!

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wander
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by wander » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:31 am

Don't volunteer for this task. It's their wedding, let them decide on the plan. :sharebeer

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by LiterallyIronic » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:42 am

dziuniek wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:08 am
I think we paid something between 40-45k for our wedding.
Two big polish families, no way around that. (ok, fine, sure there are - it's a choice).

A destination wedding would be infinitely cheaper.

Some of our costs:

Hall (dinner and alcohol) - $19,000
Photos - $5,500
Video - $1,200
Big Limo - $1,000 approx.
Wedding Dress - $ 2,500 I think? (approx.)
Wedding Band - $3,400

And a bout a million things in between I can't remember now.

If you cut out the hall (dinner and booze) that saves almost a HALF... - since the guests pay for their stay.
Some of our costs (we had somewhere between 75 - 100 people):

Location: Relative's large house and yard - free
Dinner: not provided - free
Alcohol: not provided - free
Pies: whatever fifty pies cost (we had no wedding cake)
Photos: professional photographer relative - free
Video: none
Big Limo: none
Wedding Dress: $800
Wedding Ring: $80 on Overstock
Provided attire for groomsmen and bridesmaids: This one was actually kind of pricey
Decorations: A few hundred dollars
Honeymoon: none

Don't know what the point of spending $40k would be, since I spent 90% of the time just standing and talking to different people. I remember the actual "getting married" portion (which took all of ten or fifteen minutes) and pretty much nothing else.

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:54 am

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:42 am
dziuniek wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:08 am
I think we paid something between 40-45k for our wedding.
Two big polish families, no way around that. (ok, fine, sure there are - it's a choice).

A destination wedding would be infinitely cheaper.

Some of our costs:

Hall (dinner and alcohol) - $19,000
Photos - $5,500
Video - $1,200
Big Limo - $1,000 approx.
Wedding Dress - $ 2,500 I think? (approx.)
Wedding Band - $3,400

And a bout a million things in between I can't remember now.

If you cut out the hall (dinner and booze) that saves almost a HALF... - since the guests pay for their stay.
Some of our costs (we had somewhere between 75 - 100 people):

Location: Relative's large house and yard - free
Dinner: not provided - free
Alcohol: not provided - free
Pies: whatever fifty pies cost (we had no wedding cake)
Photos: professional photographer relative - free
Video: none
Big Limo: none
Wedding Dress: $800
Wedding Ring: $80 on Overstock
Provided attire for groomsmen and bridesmaids: This one was actually kind of pricey
Decorations: A few hundred dollars
Honeymoon: none

Don't know what the point of spending $40k would be, since I spent 90% of the time just standing and talking to different people. I remember the actual "getting married" portion (which took all of ten or fifteen minutes) and pretty much nothing else.
Thats great. Our wedding cost about $55,000. It was a wonderful day.

mptfan
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by mptfan » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:58 am

wrongfunds wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:41 am
How is the destination wedding is that much different than say a wedding in New York when one party is in Boston?
It should be obvious, but I'll state it anyway... if one party lives in New York and the other party is from Boston, and the wedding is in New York, then the wedding is in a location where one of the parties (and presumably the parties' family and friends) and about half of the attendees live. This is in contrast to a destination wedding where the location is far away from both parties in a location where none of the attendees live.
Last edited by mptfan on Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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8foot7
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by 8foot7 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:00 am

over45 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:21 pm
Many in the family really want to see them get married and be part of their special day, and have asked if I can talk with them about an alternative arrangement. Something close to family and not so expensive to attend. I want to take the right approach to this and am looking for advice on if I should be direct with them -- or what to say.
You should be direct...with the people who are asking you to ask a couple getting married to change the way their wedding would work for the convenience of guests. Tell them to mind their own business.

Many folks choose destination weddings so that they can have a wedding without a bunch of drama.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by LiterallyIronic » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:14 am

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:54 am
Thats great. Our wedding cost about $55,000. It was a wonderful day.
Not to sound too cynical, since we got married as an unemployed university student and a recent graduate making $9.50/hour, what did you do that made it a wonderful day, if you don't mind me asking?

Ours, I found, barring the actual ceremony proper, was pretty much exactly like any other family reunion except that everybody wanted to talk to my wife and me and brought us a gift. And I have no idea what we could've done differently to make it more special and less like a family reunion. The day we had our first (and so far only) baby blew away our wedding day, in my mind.

stoptothink
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by stoptothink » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:26 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:12 pm
FlyAF wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:20 pm
Destination weddings are WAY cheaper on the couple than traditional weddings. What they're doing is smart if they're as broke as you say they are. It is obviously way more expensive on guests. We paid less than 5k for our Mexico wedding and the guests got to go for less than 2k if they wanted. We had about 50 people show up. A lot of family wasn't able to make it. Oh well, it wasn't their wedding. If anyone in my family had suggested that I change my plans to accommodate them and spend 5x the money, I'd have told them to go piss up a rope.

Weddings in the USA are the biggest racket on the planet. Absolutely financially stupid for young couples to participate in.
Don’t you think it is a racket to expect your guests to pay for the wedding? They get to spend 2k! In order to be at wedding.

If you can’t afford a big wedding, don’t have one.
This. At my first wedding, my (ex) wife's shoes costed more than the entirety of my 2nd wedding (including current wife's ring). :shock: that my first marriage ultimately fell apart because we had divergent feelings about financial responsibility and lifestyle expectations. FWIW, although we had close to 200 attendees, the value of the gifts at said first wedding didn't even come close to covering the cost of the wedding dress. It's just not common in my culture to give crazy wedding gifts. Threads on this forum about weddings are total bizarro world for me; the numbers thrown around and expectations for gift giving and receiving are so far from my experiences that it's difficult for me to even compute.

I absolutely would not even consider discussing it with the bride or groom. It is their day and they should ultimately make the all the decisions. That being said, my personal feelings regarding destination weddings is that if you plan to have one, don't expect anybody to show up unless you plan on paying for them. I think it is extremely rude to expect others to foot huge bills because you decided to throw some expensive out-of-town party. My first wedding was halfway across the country so I only sent invitations to my direct family members and did not expect a single one to show up; I was overjoyed that my mother and one of my brothers was gracious enough to do so.
Last edited by stoptothink on Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

mptfan
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by mptfan » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:27 am

DaftInvestor wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:33 am
As you can see from the debate that has started above different people view weddings in different ways.
Some view it as "I want to share our marriage celebration with all our close family and close friends and will do what I can to be inclusive".
While others seem to view it as "Its our wedding day, we want to have it our way, if people can't afford to come its not our problem".
Many in the family will view it the former way while the couple probably views it the latter way. The former way is likely more traditional (some might say old-fashioned - its the camp I am clearly in from my responses above) while the latter way seems to be growing trend with millennial's (adding some credibility to the self-serving reputation they seem to be getting).
I agree with this. It does seem like the younger generation has a more selfish way of looking at things and is more concerned with doing things their way regardless of how it affects others, including family members, whereas it is more traditional (and I think less selfish) to consider how the choice of location affects family members and friends and how much of a burden it places on them to attend.

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eye.surgeon
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by eye.surgeon » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:32 am

Expensive elaborate weddings are a terrible way to begin a life together. Both my and my wife's parents are well-off and when we got married 25 years ago it was in her parent's back yard and probably cost $5,000 all-in, including her dress.

Doesn't answer your question but it felt good getting that off my chest.
"I would rather be certain of a good return than hopeful of a great one" | Warren Buffett

SpaceMonkey
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by SpaceMonkey » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:39 am

I have been told privately by at least 50% of close relatives that they can't afford the cost and won't go. I am guessing another 25% or more also won't go due to distance and cost. Family should really be present IMHO. A wedding date was announced but formal invitations have not been sent - though the venue was chosen.

Many in the family really want to see them get married and be part of their special day, and have asked if I can talk with them about an alternative arrangement. Something close to family and not so expensive to attend. I want to take the right approach to this and am looking for advice on if I should be direct with them -- or what to say.
Is someone in this circle offering to help (i.e. host and/or pay for) this alternative arrangement as a supplement (not a replacement) to the destination wedding? If so, you could say something like:

"Hey, Tom/Jane. Thank you for the Save The Date. I'm so excited about your wedding! I hope I can be there but I'm not sure right now if it's going to be within my budget to attend. I'm sure other folks will be in the same situation. Would you be interested if Aunt Rose hosted an informal reception sometime before your big day?"

Otherwise, telling them how to proceed with their wedding crosses the line, I think.

dziuniek
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by dziuniek » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:42 am

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:42 am
dziuniek wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:08 am
I think we paid something between 40-45k for our wedding.
Two big polish families, no way around that. (ok, fine, sure there are - it's a choice).

A destination wedding would be infinitely cheaper.

Some of our costs:

Hall (dinner and alcohol) - $19,000
Photos - $5,500
Video - $1,200
Big Limo - $1,000 approx.
Wedding Dress - $ 2,500 I think? (approx.)
Wedding Band - $3,400

And a bout a million things in between I can't remember now.

If you cut out the hall (dinner and booze) that saves almost a HALF... - since the guests pay for their stay.
Some of our costs (we had somewhere between 75 - 100 people):

Location: Relative's large house and yard - free
Dinner: not provided - free
Alcohol: not provided - free
Pies: whatever fifty pies cost (we had no wedding cake)
Photos: professional photographer relative - free
Video: none
Big Limo: none
Wedding Dress: $800
Wedding Ring: $80 on Overstock
Provided attire for groomsmen and bridesmaids: This one was actually kind of pricey
Decorations: A few hundred dollars
Honeymoon: none

Don't know what the point of spending $40k would be, since I spent 90% of the time just standing and talking to different people. I remember the actual "getting married" portion (which took all of ten or fifteen minutes) and pretty much nothing else.
To each their own.

What you described wouldn't fly here. I'm not knocking your wedding, but I prefer my own to yours. (doesn't everyone? :twisted: )

I'm not complaining, just giving some folks an idea of what it can cost.

alfaspider
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by alfaspider » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:47 am

I have to admit I groan every time I get a destination wedding invitation. It feels more like getting a large unexpected bill than being invited to a party. Sometimes, it's an easy choice not to go, but if it is a very close friend or relative it can be quite tricky to decline. It's certainly a cultural trend I would love to see go away.

As a guest, I will say that I've never been upset because the venue wasn't fancy enough or the food wasn't good enough. I've only been disappointed when people who I wanted to see weren't there. If a couple wants to save money, there are far better options than a destination wedding at a resort somewhere. However, we are often a slave to cultural expectations- and I think that's a lot of the driver behind the wedding industrial complex.

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Pajamas
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by Pajamas » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:56 am

wrongfunds wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:41 am
I do not know what is the general etiquette on that. The invitation should say "Absolutely NO PRESENTS including flowers will be ACCEPTED" in bold letters.
The general etiquette would be not to mention gifts on the invitation at all or in any other way in writing and only to talk about them at all if asked about them directly.

There is no obligation for anyone to give the bride and groom a present. That is true whether or not they attend the wedding or the reception or any other event.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:06 am

My problem with a destination wedding would be having the guests stick around for the honeymoon.

But whatever choice you make for a wedding people will judge. You spent to much, went too cheap, invited too many people to show off, left too many people off the invitation list, held it in the wrong place at the wrong weekend, married the wrong person........

Not me. I don't judge. Other people will.
Last edited by NotWhoYouThink on Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

ThatGuy
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by ThatGuy » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:12 am

mptfan wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:27 am
I agree with this. It does seem like the younger generation has a more selfish way of looking at things and is more concerned with doing things their way regardless of how it affects others, including family members, whereas it is more traditional (and I think less selfish) to consider how the choice of location affects family members and friends and how much of a burden it places on them to attend.
Different ways of looking at things. Some of us younger folk find it incredibly selfish when the expectations of others increase the costs for us, ESPECIALLY when the item in question is allegedly a celebration around us.

Maybe it's the circles I run in, but the most common thing I've seen is a small wedding with a request on the invitation for a donation to a charity in lieu of gifts.

Virtue signaling works in many different ways.


For the OP, I suggest not addressing the cost of the destination wedding at all. Simply remark to the bridge & groom that several family members would like to take them to dinner after the wedding, and would they be amenable?
Last edited by ThatGuy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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stoptothink
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by stoptothink » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:13 am

dziuniek wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:42 am
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:42 am
dziuniek wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:08 am
I think we paid something between 40-45k for our wedding.
Two big polish families, no way around that. (ok, fine, sure there are - it's a choice).

A destination wedding would be infinitely cheaper.

Some of our costs:

Hall (dinner and alcohol) - $19,000
Photos - $5,500
Video - $1,200
Big Limo - $1,000 approx.
Wedding Dress - $ 2,500 I think? (approx.)
Wedding Band - $3,400

And a bout a million things in between I can't remember now.

If you cut out the hall (dinner and booze) that saves almost a HALF... - since the guests pay for their stay.
Some of our costs (we had somewhere between 75 - 100 people):

Location: Relative's large house and yard - free
Dinner: not provided - free
Alcohol: not provided - free
Pies: whatever fifty pies cost (we had no wedding cake)
Photos: professional photographer relative - free
Video: none
Big Limo: none
Wedding Dress: $800
Wedding Ring: $80 on Overstock
Provided attire for groomsmen and bridesmaids: This one was actually kind of pricey
Decorations: A few hundred dollars
Honeymoon: none

Don't know what the point of spending $40k would be, since I spent 90% of the time just standing and talking to different people. I remember the actual "getting married" portion (which took all of ten or fifteen minutes) and pretty much nothing else.
To each their own.

What you described wouldn't fly here. I'm not knocking your wedding, but I prefer my own to yours. (doesn't everyone? :twisted: )

I'm not complaining, just giving some folks an idea of what it can cost.
FWIW, I am in the same culture and live in the same area as LiterallyIronic. His wedding is actually pretty "spendy" for our area/culture. Just as you, I much prefer our way as opposed to yours, which is what makes threads like this so difficult and nuanced. Most of the opinions and anecdotes aren't necessarily helpful because it all depends on the OP's own culture.

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by boglegirl » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:17 am

OP, I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you on how to approach this. The whole destination wedding trend makes me sad. The weddings I've attended over the years have been joyous occasions where the bride and groom are surrounded by those who love them. They don't have to be super-expensive!
I attended one at a VFW hall. Another at the county fairgrounds during off season. In contrast, we were at a hotel in Hawaii a couple of years ago and saw a very small wedding/reception that took place in the common area. About 30 people total. It made me wonder how many friends and relatives would have loved to attend their celebration but couldn't afford to be there.

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steve50
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by steve50 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:18 am

mptfan wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:27 am
DaftInvestor wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:33 am
As you can see from the debate that has started above different people view weddings in different ways.
Some view it as "I want to share our marriage celebration with all our close family and close friends and will do what I can to be inclusive".
While others seem to view it as "Its our wedding day, we want to have it our way, if people can't afford to come its not our problem".
Many in the family will view it the former way while the couple probably views it the latter way. The former way is likely more traditional (some might say old-fashioned - its the camp I am clearly in from my responses above) while the latter way seems to be growing trend with millennial's (adding some credibility to the self-serving reputation they seem to be getting).
I agree with this. It does seem like the younger generation has a more selfish way of looking at things and is more concerned with doing things their way regardless of how it affects others, including family members, whereas it is more traditional (and I think less selfish) to consider how the choice of location affects family members and friends and how much of a burden it places on them to attend.

+1

Lot of these type destination weddings, the financial burden is NOT on the couple but is shifted on to the attendees!! The couples are offered almost free wedding packages and rooms, assuming they bring in so many guests (or rooms they sell).
Last edited by steve50 on Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

boglegirl
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by boglegirl » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:19 am

SpaceMonkey wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:39 am
...
Is someone in this circle offering to help (i.e. host and/or pay for) this alternative arrangement as a supplement (not a replacement) to the destination wedding? If so, you could say something like:

"Hey, Tom/Jane. Thank you for the Save The Date. I'm so excited about your wedding! I hope I can be there but I'm not sure right now if it's going to be within my budget to attend. I'm sure other folks will be in the same situation. Would you be interested if Aunt Rose hosted an informal reception sometime before your big day?"

Otherwise, telling them how to proceed with their wedding crosses the line, I think.
I like this idea, except that i think Aunt Rose should host a reception AFTER the big day.

wrongfunds
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by wrongfunds » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:21 am

My advice to all those desi parents always have been "Vehemently oppose the choice made by your child so that they will elope and get married saving you tons of money" :-) Unfortunately, even today's Bollywood has gone away from that kind of melodrama but if you watch any older tear jerker, the not to be missed line from it used to be - Yeh Shaadi Kabhi Nahi Hogi (aka "this marriage will never happen" )

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by LiterallyIronic » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:25 am

stoptothink wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:13 am
FWIW, I am in the same culture and live in the same area as LiterallyIronic. His wedding is actually pretty "spendy" for our area/culture. Just as you, I much prefer our way as opposed to yours, which is what makes threads like this so difficult and nuanced. Most of the opinions and anecdotes aren't necessarily helpful because it all depends on the OP's own culture.
Indeed. I've been to many a wedding in our culture/area and I doubt any of them topped $5,000. I've been to one that served chicken fingers (and I ate at least 20 :D ) and I've been to one that served slushies and cotton candy. But a full-blown dinner? Never.

It varies too much from place to place to really give OP great advice. If it were me, though, I'd refrain from giving the couple any wedding advice.

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FlyAF
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by FlyAF » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:28 am

I'm not a millennial nor a boomer, stuck somewhere in the middle. I love how the older generation is calling the younger generation selfish for trying not to go into debt over a silly party that nobody will remember in a year. Boomers were w/o a doubt the most selfish generation to date and have damn near left the planet inhabitable in their wake.

wrongfunds
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by wrongfunds » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:29 am

We already agreed that it is possible for half the people to be financially burdened if the wedding is not local assuming they are on the opposite coast. If they decide to meet in the middle, then all of them will be financially burdened. It is only fair that it should be done that way. Consider destination wedding to be just a logical follow on to that concept.

If couple saves money, that is even better! Obviously if couple does not understand that many guests will NOT be able to attend, then they are only deluding themselves. As we already inferred, they most likely do not even want lots of guests to show up but they are obligated to invite. The other side of the coin is that the guests are not obligated to attend either. Guests certainly are out of line if they expect that wedding should be arranged for their convenience. It is not *their* day. End of discussion.

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by SrGrumpy » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:38 am

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:06 am
My problem with a destination wedding would be having the guests stick around for the honeymoon.
I was invited to a destination wedding in Italy, at some butt-ugly, boxy church that had a papal connection. The couple flew in the day before, left the day after. The guests were left to their own devices. Obviously I didn't go. Fortunately I've been to 4.5 weddings in my life.

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by mptfan » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:10 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:38 am
Fortunately I've been to 4.5 weddings in my life.
How did you go to half a wedding?

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by ssquared87 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:11 pm

renue74 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:33 pm
We eloped to Hawaii in 1999. Dropped the "wedding announcements" at the Post Office the day we left and everybody got their announcement the day we got married.

You can certainly suggest the couple have a wedding closer to home, especially if they really, really wanted family with them on their big day.

But, the alternative we found was that family had a separate, smaller reception for us when we got back from our wedding. Everybody came to a local church and we had lunch. It was nice and memorable. I think the family felt included enough with that.

BTW, our eloped wedding cost us about $5,000 total. Wedding, secluded B&B on the Northshore of Oahu, justice of the peace, photographer, and 2 weeks of Hawaii honeymoon. Best $ ever spent.
This sound like such a great experience!

I'm not a fan of these huge elaborate weddings which seem more like dog and pony shows than a special family event. You're experience having a family/friends lunch gathering to celebrate just seems like the right spirit.

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by SrGrumpy » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:14 pm

mptfan wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:10 pm
SrGrumpy wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:38 am
Fortunately I've been to 4.5 weddings in my life.
How did you go to half a wedding?
Showed up, everything delayed, didn't know anyone. Got bored, left. It was a Sunday and I had taken time off work, at time and a half. Went back to work.

dziuniek
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by dziuniek » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:31 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:13 am
dziuniek wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:42 am
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:42 am
dziuniek wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:08 am
I think we paid something between 40-45k for our wedding.
Two big polish families, no way around that. (ok, fine, sure there are - it's a choice).

A destination wedding would be infinitely cheaper.

Some of our costs:

Hall (dinner and alcohol) - $19,000
Photos - $5,500
Video - $1,200
Big Limo - $1,000 approx.
Wedding Dress - $ 2,500 I think? (approx.)
Wedding Band - $3,400

And a bout a million things in between I can't remember now.

If you cut out the hall (dinner and booze) that saves almost a HALF... - since the guests pay for their stay.
Some of our costs (we had somewhere between 75 - 100 people):

Location: Relative's large house and yard - free
Dinner: not provided - free
Alcohol: not provided - free
Pies: whatever fifty pies cost (we had no wedding cake)
Photos: professional photographer relative - free
Video: none
Big Limo: none
Wedding Dress: $800
Wedding Ring: $80 on Overstock
Provided attire for groomsmen and bridesmaids: This one was actually kind of pricey
Decorations: A few hundred dollars
Honeymoon: none

Don't know what the point of spending $40k would be, since I spent 90% of the time just standing and talking to different people. I remember the actual "getting married" portion (which took all of ten or fifteen minutes) and pretty much nothing else.
To each their own.

What you described wouldn't fly here. I'm not knocking your wedding, but I prefer my own to yours. (doesn't everyone? :twisted: )

I'm not complaining, just giving some folks an idea of what it can cost.
FWIW, I am in the same culture and live in the same area as LiterallyIronic. His wedding is actually pretty "spendy" for our area/culture. Just as you, I much prefer our way as opposed to yours, which is what makes threads like this so difficult and nuanced. Most of the opinions and anecdotes aren't necessarily helpful because it all depends on the OP's own culture.
Agreed. At best it's just anecdotal.

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by dziuniek » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:34 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:14 pm
mptfan wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:10 pm
SrGrumpy wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:38 am
Fortunately I've been to 4.5 weddings in my life.
How did you go to half a wedding?
Showed up, everything delayed, didn't know anyone. Got bored, left. It was a Sunday and I had taken time off work, at time and a half. Went back to work.
Username fits :)

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:35 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:26 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:12 pm
FlyAF wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:20 pm
Destination weddings are WAY cheaper on the couple than traditional weddings. What they're doing is smart if they're as broke as you say they are. It is obviously way more expensive on guests. We paid less than 5k for our Mexico wedding and the guests got to go for less than 2k if they wanted. We had about 50 people show up. A lot of family wasn't able to make it. Oh well, it wasn't their wedding. If anyone in my family had suggested that I change my plans to accommodate them and spend 5x the money, I'd have told them to go piss up a rope.

Weddings in the USA are the biggest racket on the planet. Absolutely financially stupid for young couples to participate in.
Don’t you think it is a racket to expect your guests to pay for the wedding? They get to spend 2k! In order to be at wedding.

If you can’t afford a big wedding, don’t have one.
This. At my first wedding, my (ex) wife's shoes costed more than the entirety of my 2nd wedding (including current wife's ring). :shock: that my first marriage ultimately fell apart because we had divergent feelings about financial responsibility and lifestyle expectations. FWIW, although we had close to 200 attendees, the value of the gifts at said first wedding didn't even come close to covering the cost of the wedding dress. It's just not common in my culture to give crazy wedding gifts. Threads on this forum about weddings are total bizarro world for me; the numbers thrown around and expectations for gift giving and receiving are so far from my experiences that it's difficult for me to even compute.

I absolutely would not even consider discussing it with the bride or groom. It is their day and they should ultimately make the all the decisions. That being said, my personal feelings regarding destination weddings is that if you plan to have one, don't expect anybody to show up unless you plan on paying for them. I think it is extremely rude to expect others to foot huge bills because you decided to throw some expensive out-of-town party. My first wedding was halfway across the country so I only sent invitations to my direct family members and did not expect a single one to show up; I was overjoyed that my mother and one of my brothers was gracious enough to do so.

My idea of a wedding ( out of step with the times ) is guests with most being family and very close friends at my church. The purpose being to promise love and fidelity until death before those I most love. Then a nice lunch or dinner at a very nice restaurant. A nice wedding trip afterwards. I think preparation for the marriage is more important than anything else.

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:40 pm

alfaspider wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:47 am
I have to admit I groan every time I get a destination wedding invitation. It feels more like getting a large unexpected bill than being invited to a party. Sometimes, it's an easy choice not to go, but if it is a very close friend or relative it can be quite tricky to decline. It's certainly a cultural trend I would love to see go away.
My wife's and my combined family and friends are spread all over the country and beyond (at this time, two continents, but that changes). So any wedding invitation from family members pretty much has a 90% chance of involving air travel and hotel stays for guests. The one true "exotic" destination we got "invited" to was Hawaii, but the event wasn't at a resort because a family member owned a large house on the island. So everyone (and many family members from all over the place made the trip) stayed at a resort/hotel or AirBnB of their choosing nearby. And everyone had a great time. Thinking back, we have crossed oceans four times now for weddings.

For our own wedding, we went on a nice trip first, then upon return (relaxed and tanned) went to the court house and got married. No invitations were sent out except to the required witnesses (who lived close-by). Our family had zero expenses, we had minimal expenses, and it seems to have worked out okay for us.

If I was the OP, I would decline the job of family spokesperson/mediator.

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by EddyB » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:56 pm

mptfan wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:27 am
DaftInvestor wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:33 am
As you can see from the debate that has started above different people view weddings in different ways.
Some view it as "I want to share our marriage celebration with all our close family and close friends and will do what I can to be inclusive".
While others seem to view it as "Its our wedding day, we want to have it our way, if people can't afford to come its not our problem".
Many in the family will view it the former way while the couple probably views it the latter way. The former way is likely more traditional (some might say old-fashioned - its the camp I am clearly in from my responses above) while the latter way seems to be growing trend with millennial's (adding some credibility to the self-serving reputation they seem to be getting).
I agree with this. It does seem like the younger generation has a more selfish way of looking at things and is more concerned with doing things their way regardless of how it affects others, including family members, whereas it is more traditional (and I think less selfish) to consider how the choice of location affects family members and friends and how much of a burden it places on them to attend.
My future in-laws saw it that way fifteen years ago, even though they weren't paying, my family didn't live near theirs and my wife and I had been living thousands of miles away for several years (that is "our lives" were, and have continued to be, based very far away). It was hard for me to get my head around how their perspective failed to consider all these other factors (that we were keenly aware of and trying to balance); I guess I should have just attributed it to them being in "the older generation" rather than it being my first real reckoning with how self absorbed they are.

likegarden
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by likegarden » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:08 pm

A wedding should not be a burden on anybody!
We got married in 1971, and nobody would have come to our wedding at a resort in Mexico. Nobody would have spent these huge amount of money the poster quotes. At our wedding we planned to spend nothing, that is the expenditures we had should be equal all money presents received, and that actually happened. The 110 guests gave us $500 cash and we spent around $500. That is my wife's dress was on sale for $85, and that was extra. We celebrated in the Mansion of a NY state park in a beautiful setting. Actually my wife has an MA in music education and was a teacher, and I have a MSME, later also MBA, and both of us were employed then. Our families simply are frugal. We still love each other and are still married, which many of the expensively married couples are not.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by SrGrumpy » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:16 pm

likegarden wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:08 pm

We got married in 1971,
It's not 1971 anymore.
likegarden wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:08 pm
We still love each other and are still married, which many of the expensively married couples are not.
I'd like to agree with you about the expensively married couples - although it is a little mean - but I don't know if there are studies on this subject, or if there is any way to show causality, i.e. expensive weddings more likely to lead to divorce than frugal weddings.
Last edited by SrGrumpy on Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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8foot7
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by 8foot7 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:19 pm

likegarden wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:08 pm
We got married in 1971... The 110 guests gave us $500 cash and we spent around $500. That is my wife's dress was on sale for $85, and that was extra.
$585 in 1971 equals $3,623.53 in 2018.
https://www.saving.org/inflation/inflat ... &year=1971

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by fposte » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:19 pm

I think wedding threads are like car and house threads. No matter what the actual question is, the thread turns into divvying up sides between those who believe that frugality is the key to satisfaction and take pleasure in contemplating theirs and those who found it worth spending money. (I'm on different sides depending on whether we're talking wedding, car, or house.)

Doroghazi
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by Doroghazi » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:26 pm

This is the problem with destination weddings. People have only so much money. Basically, do I spend everything on travel and give a small gift, or give a larger gift and don't attend. You can't win.

rob65
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by rob65 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:12 pm

A pretty big generational divide here. Frankly if younger people prefer a destination wedding with a smaller number of guests, it’s their life. I suspect their friends will enjoy it. I also suspect that the couple may prefer a small wedding with a few friends over a big family wedding. Not selfish, just a different approach. Frankly, it sounds like more fun to me and I would be fine if my kids decided to go that route.

OP, someone already said it, but it bears repeating. Not your circus, not your monkeys.

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