Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

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over45
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Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by over45 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:21 pm

I am looking for some advice as to how to address a situation with an upcoming wedding for a close relative. They are getting married and have decided to have a "destination wedding" at a resort in Mexico. The couple is getting by financially (with some loans and credit cards) but they will go into large debt to have this wedding and I get the sense they are feeling pressure to hold a "event" because many of their friends have had large nice weddings in the past couple of years. They can do what they want but I just know the pain and agony that comes after the fact with having to pay large bills. Brides family has limited resources to chip in. Both their cars have in excess of 150k on them.

To make matters worse - the average cost for lodging and airfare for attendees is going to be north of $2,000 per couple. Two thousand dollars plus. 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.

Help...

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:27 pm

Not sure what you should say, but many couples plan destination weddings with the intent of limiting attendance. They can invite lots of people so everyone feels included, but know that not many will show up. If they are expecting a big turnout that's a different story.

Thesaints
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by Thesaints » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:30 pm

300k debt on credit cards ??
Reads like a (financial) horror story and perhaps the best outcome for them would be not getting married.

stats99
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by stats99 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:32 pm

My view on destination weddings is that you should be willing to pay for the cost of the guests you invite to attend. That should limit the issue.

Jags4186
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:33 pm

Depending on the elaborateness of the event, destinations weddings can be much cheaper than a traditional wedding for the bride and groom. Plus this will likely be their honeymoon as well. Perhaps they don't wish for 200 people to come, maybe only 20 or 30. This is a way of inviting everyone and saving face without actually having that happen.

That said, unless someone else is paying the bill, it's not anyones business how another couple plans to get married. They invite guests, guests decide whether or not to attend. If a friend or family member, other than my sister (who luckily is already married), told me they were getting married in Mexico and it would cost me $2000 to attend I would say congratulations, send a small gift, and decline the invitation.
Last edited by Jags4186 on Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

renue74
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by renue74 » 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.

deltaneutral83
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by deltaneutral83 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:35 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:30 pm
300k debt on credit cards ??
Reads like a (financial) horror story and perhaps the best outcome for them would be not getting married.
"150k on each car" means 150,000 miles on each car

over45
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by over45 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:36 pm

150k on each of the cars - not credit cards. they will need replacement cars soon and one is ready to die.

I think part of the destination wedding idea was to limit some attendees (they have a lot of friends), but it impacts close family which is the major concern.
Depending on the elaborateness of the event, destinations weddings can be much cheaper than a traditional wedding for the bride and groom.
How so ?

Thesaints
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by Thesaints » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:39 pm

over45 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:36 pm
150k on each of the cars - not credit cards. they will need replacement cars soon and one is ready to die.
Oh, I see ! :)

One can get a used car for cheap. That should not be a concern unless a few thou expense is a major outlay for them.

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tyrion
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by tyrion » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:40 pm

My understanding of destination weddings is they're pretty inexpensive for the couple getting married. The resort makes money on all the guests, so they comp some or all of the traditional wedding costs. Usually it depends on how many people show up. More guests = more money for the resort = lower cost for the bride and groom.

Edited to add-
I've been to a destination wedding for a relative (niece). It was fun, but kind of pricey (for us!). It saved the bride and groom a ton of money - they got some sort of package based on how many people were attending.

I've also been to a few 'wedding celebrations', held after a destination wedding or small family-only ceremony. Basically it's a party where people can come to congratulate the couple, spend some time with them in a relaxed manner. That might be an option for your friends.

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greg24
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by greg24 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:47 pm

I would not approach the couple about changing their wedding plans.

But, you could float the idea for a local, casual reception a couple weeks later.

over45
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by over45 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:52 pm

The wedding isn't cheap by any means - but I really don't know how it compares to other venues they considered. I think a followup reception is a good idea -- but if that is planned than I am 100% sure 95% of the family won't attend the actual wedding.

I know it is up to them and they can do what they want - but in my minds eye it would be better to make Mexico the honeymoon/afterparty for those that wanted to go and instead do the wedding in a closer venue for those that want to attend. That is what has been suggested to me by quite a few relatives.

I appreciate the responses and viewpoints.

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Pajamas
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by Pajamas » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:03 pm

over45 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:52 pm

I know it is up to them and they can do what they want - but in my minds eye it would be better to make Mexico the honeymoon/afterparty for those that wanted to go and instead do the wedding in a closer venue for those that want to attend. That is what has been suggested to me by quite a few relatives.
It's their wedding, they are paying for it themselves, and they didn't ask for anyone's opinions about it. The wedding doesn't sound out of the ordinary for their normal behavior or compared to their friends' weddings.

When you get an invitation, you can decline or accept depending on whether you want to attend or not. That's your total obligation.

WillRetire
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by WillRetire » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:10 pm

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.

Help...
Are you saying that others in the family are asking you to intervene with this couple and talk them out of an expensive destination wedding? They want YOU to intervene for them?! Do you want to intervene? Do you want to speak just for yourself? Or others too?

Intervening in someone's wedding plans could damage your relationship with the couple. If you mention that others asked you to speak out, it may damage many relationships with this couple.

Unless you are the parent of the bride and footing the bill, I wouldn't say anything more than drop some hints & anecdotes about how the best weddings you've been to were the least fancy, least expensive, or something along those lines.

People make bad financial decisions all the time. Unfortunately, expensive weddings (expensive = more than they can afford) are at or near the top of the list.

FlyAF
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by FlyAF » 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.

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Watty
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by Watty » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:26 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:27 pm
Not sure what you should say, but many couples plan destination weddings with the intent of limiting attendance. They can invite lots of people so everyone feels included, but know that not many will show up. If they are expecting a big turnout that's a different story.
+1

I have also heard of people with a destination wedding that freaked out when more people than expected actually came to it and they had to pay more than expected for things expensive hotel food and drinks.
over45 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:21 pm
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.
There might not be a "right" approach unless you have an unusually close relationship with them.

The big question is if you can give them more affordable alternatives that they might not have thought of. Just telling them what they already know would likely cause problems.

It was totally his choice and I was surprised when he suggested it but my son asked if they could get married in our back yard. I never heard the details but the brides family could have afforded to pay got a big wedding but what they did was to just give the couple a budget that they could do anything they wanted with. With the wedding in our back yard they were able to use the rest of the money for part of a down-payment on a house about six months later. The brides family seemed very happy that they did that with the money.

The wedding turned out really nice and was more like a big BBQ picnic than a formal wedding and people seemed to enjoy it and they were told to expect a very informal time on the invitation. I never saw the total since we were not paying for it but the main costs were rental of tables and chairs and having a nice BBQ that caterers bring in trays of food so the total cost was probably just a few thousand dollars. Using a normal caterer is a lot less expensive than one that specializes in weddings. It is not as fancy as it sounds but our subdivision has a clubhouse at the pool and that was the backup location in case of rain but we did not need it. We did have the rehearsal diner there and just had food brought in.

We have a pretty average house but we do have a large lot that is almost an acre so there was plenty of room for that many people.

You might consider if you, or one of the close relatives, has a house with a large yard where they could get married like that. They could also rent a pavilion in a park to have a similar get together.

Its funny but to many people if you only spend a few thousand dollars on a wedding that is "cheap" but if just threw a random party and spend a few thousand dollars on it that would be real extravagant.

A lot of the costs of the wedding is for the diner and party afterwards. When we got married years ago we just rented a historic church that had a reception hall and we had an early afternoon wedding with just cake and refreshments for the reception that lasted maybe two hours at most. Afterwards the various family members got into groups and went out to diner or to people homes to visit with each other and that was fine too since that is what they were expecting to do.

over45
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by over45 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:29 pm

Are you saying that others in the family are asking you to intervene with this couple and talk them out of an expensive destination wedding? They want YOU to intervene for them?! Do you want to intervene? Do you want to speak just for yourself? Or others too?

Intervening in someone's wedding plans could damage your relationship with the couple. If you mention that others asked you to speak out, it may damage many relationships with this couple.
I think I was pretty clear on the situation. What is going to happen is that at most - 15% of family members are going to attend the wedding. Others want to but can't - simple as that. I am the closest relative in terms of communication so have been asked to let them know how others are reacting to the cost/distance requirement. Not an adversarial thing. Some here say "it's none of your business" - but that's not the way it works in this family.

I can see everyone's point of view. Tks.

over45
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by over45 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:32 pm

Weddings in the USA are the biggest racket on the planet. Absolutely financially stupid for young couples to participate in.
Got that right.

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cfs
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by cfs » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:37 pm

Expensive? Yes (I know, I paid for one six years ago and if I had to do it all over I would not change a thing) but it is their wedding and I would not recommend doing anything different. Good luck with this wedding, y gracias por leer ~cfs~
~ Member of the Active Retired Force since 2014 ~

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Meg77
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by Meg77 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:42 pm

over45 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:36 pm
Depending on the elaborateness of the event, destinations weddings can be much cheaper than a traditional wedding for the bride and groom.
How so ?
This is true. I've had several friends to destination weddings in Mexico because of this. If the resort is all inclusive then food and alcohol is included the whole time, for every event - rehearsal dinner, wedding reception, even a welcome reception the night before. Same with bridesmaids breakfasts or a brunch following the wedding day for guests. Food/booze is the most expensive part of most weddings. Effectively the guests pay for the reception with all inclusive room rates.

Wedding packages usually include the honeymoon suite (often for free), basic decorations, and the help of a "wedding planner" to coordinate choosing a local officiant, photographer and band/DJ. Easy way to fill up the hotel. Usually you just have to pay some small extra fees for a photographer and band/DJ as well as possibly added fees for a few extra bartenders or staff people. It's not completely free, but it's nothing compared to throwing a whole wedding from scratch in the states.

And any wedding planner will tell you you're likely to have MORE people come than you'd otherwise expect, precisely because it's an excuse for a vacation. Everyone always grumbles about the cost, but inevitably 80% or so of invitees will show up. They are fun experiences too since it's nice to be at a hotel with all your family and friends for a few days, running into people you know at the pool and bar.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by LiterallyIronic » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:43 pm

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.
Only if you're crazy. Ours was in the US and it was under $5,000, including my wife's $800 dress.

hudson
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by hudson » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:52 pm

over45 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:29 pm
Are you saying that others in the family are asking you to intervene with this couple and talk them out of an expensive destination wedding? They want YOU to intervene for them?! Do you want to intervene? Do you want to speak just for yourself? Or others too?

Intervening in someone's wedding plans could damage your relationship with the couple. If you mention that others asked you to speak out, it may damage many relationships with this couple.
I think I was pretty clear on the situation. What is going to happen is that at most - 15% of family members are going to attend the wedding. Others want to but can't - simple as that. I am the closest relative in terms of communication so have been asked to let them know how others are reacting to the cost/distance requirement. Not an adversarial thing. Some here say "it's none of your business" - but that's not the way it works in this family.

I can see everyone's point of view. Tks.
If I was in your shoes, and if I was asked, I would politely decline. I have no problem with you going forward with your plan. I would like to know how it comes out....if possible and appropriate.
I've paid for at least my share of three weddings. I communicated to my kids that we don't have to break the bank for you to get married. I said that we were on a budget, because we were. We discussed what I was willing to pay for; thing went well....no debt on any of the weddings.

VaR
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by VaR » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:03 pm

over45 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:21 pm
The couple is getting by financially (with some loans and credit cards) but they will go into large debt to have this wedding and I get the sense they are feeling pressure to hold a "event" because many of their friends have had large nice weddings in the past couple of years.
It's good to be concerned about the financial burden on the new soon-to-be-married couple. If you do talk to them, I would focus on this.
To make matters worse - the average cost for lodging and airfare for attendees is going to be north of $2,000 per couple. Two thousand dollars plus. 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.
That's good reason for having the separate small reception. Is there someone in the family who is willing to help host this in their backyard?
Family should really be present IMHO.
Everyone in my family who actually helped me growing up was at my wedding. That was one person and she was there. I paid for all her expenses.
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.

Help...
Are you the person in the family closest to the couple? What about the parents? Make sure you're not just being manipulated by the rest of the family to try to "talk sense" to a couple who are actually being berated into doing what the extended family wants instead of what is best for them.

Tread carefully. Soliciting advice from a lot of different parties is the right thing to do before acting. Your relationship with the couple is most important thing (after their happiness and financial well-being).

Also, make sure to consider what is often repeated here about unsolicited advice (and thank you Dale Carnegie!).

mrsbetsy
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by mrsbetsy » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:18 pm

Of course people would like YOU to talk to them...anyone but themselves. I wouldn't talk to them if my life depended on it. Not my place and definitely not my business. Let "those people" fight their own battle. Perhaps if they individually shared with the couple that they can't afford to go, the couple would make a different choice. If not, perhaps it's their strategy to pare down the list of people they "should" invite.

If you can go, go. If not, send a generous gift.

I solve these dilemmas by projecting myself about a few years in the future. If I look back over that period of time in my life, would I be proud of my decisions or would I be saddened that I didn't participate in the union of two young people. If 2K is that important to you, then don't go. For us, we would go and extend the trip so we could have even more fun.

They certainly know not everyone they ask will attend.

delamer
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by delamer » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:20 pm

over45 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:29 pm
Are you saying that others in the family are asking you to intervene with this couple and talk them out of an expensive destination wedding? They want YOU to intervene for them?! Do you want to intervene? Do you want to speak just for yourself? Or others too?

Intervening in someone's wedding plans could damage your relationship with the couple. If you mention that others asked you to speak out, it may damage many relationships with this couple.
I think I was pretty clear on the situation. What is going to happen is that at most - 15% of family members are going to attend the wedding. Others want to but can't - simple as that. I am the closest relative in terms of communication so have been asked to let them know how others are reacting to the cost/distance requirement. Not an adversarial thing. Some here say "it's none of your business" - but that's not the way it works in this family.

I can see everyone's point of view. Tks.
If you are the closest relative, then there is nothing wrong with telling the couple that you’ve heard from other family members that they won’t be able to afford to attend. But I don’t think you get to try to change their minds; you just get to state the facts.

One question — presumably you are only related to one of the engaged couple. Is there any chance that your family is being disadvantaged, compared to your relative’s fiancee’s family, by the location? If it is clear that the “other side” is going to be able to attend when “your side” can’t, then you can point that out privately to your reiative.

VaR
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by VaR » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:28 pm

delamer wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:20 pm
One question — presumably you are only related to one of the engaged couple. Is there any chance that your family is being disadvantaged, compared to your relative’s fiancee’s family, by the location? If it is clear that the “other side” is going to be able to attend when “your side” can’t, then you can point that out privately to your reiative.
Oh my. I didn't even think of this. So it could be that this could actually spark a big disagreement between the married couple themselves. The could even cancel the wedding and break up due to your raising the issue.

Don't do it! You'd never forgive yourself!

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bottlecap
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by bottlecap » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:08 pm

Say you can’t get the time off from work. Offer to throw them a party for family and friends when they return.

Thanks what I’d do unless this was the vacation I wanted to take this year.

JT

EddyB
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by EddyB » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:14 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:08 pm
Say you can’t get the time off from work. Offer to throw them a party for family and friends when they return.

Thanks what I’d do unless this was the vacation I wanted to take this year.

JT
And don’t be offended if they say “so sad, but thanks for letting us know,” and they carry on.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by Nearly A Moose » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:15 pm

Tread lightly here, even if you're close to the relative and your family tends to be pretty open with these things. Weddings just tend to be ... different. A whole lot of emotion and attention gets wrapped up in weddings.

If you're the closest to the couple, and you're interested/willing to do so, then make sure your relative knows that a number of family members are concerned they won't be able to come because of the cost and are disappointed they won't be able to be there. Your relative likely understands that on some level anyway, so you're likely not sharing anything new, but telling them makes sure they're on notice and can adjust if the want. My guess is that they're somewhere between thinking having a destination wedding will cut down on the number of people attending and thinking that lots of people they want to attend will also want to attend because the wedding couple gets incredibly wrapped up in the importance of their own wedding and that the wedding ultimately will be held in Mexico. I wouldn't be inclined to push them once you've made it clear how others in the family feel. And it's not fair for others in the family to expect you to do more than convey the basic fact that it's hard to attend (and really, they shouldn't expect you to have to do that, either).

But you could also suggest that you're hearing family would be interested in attending an informal celebration when they're back. But this is a double-edged sword. Unless someone in the family (you?) is willing to foot the bill, you're essentially asking the apparently cash-strapped couple to host a second event because the family wants to (feels entitled?) to attend some sort of celebration. Don't get me wrong, I'd want to be able to celebrate a family member's wedding too, but recognize the potential financial issues.

Ultimately, it sounds like the couple is going to do what they want to do, which is (probably) fine. They're adults, and they get to make their decisions. If you're close enough that you can actually talk finances with them, I guess it's fine to talk about how they're going to afford this thing, but that seems like hazardous territory (and as others have explained, apparently resort destination weddings are cheap - who knew?). You could point out that weddings always seem extremely important when you're planning one because it's the most important thing to the couple at that moment, but they quickly fade into the background as life overtakes. But you also don't want to rain on their parade.

Short version: tread lightly.

(For what it's worth, I would not go out of my way to attend a destination wedding for anyone but a sibling, unless it happened to coincide with a place I wanted to visit at a time I wanted to visit on a budget I could afford. Vacation time is entirely too precious in America today to spent on significant obligation travel.)
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by Pigeon » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:50 pm

I wouldn't try to meddle. Not your circus, not your monkeys. If people are old enough to get married they are old enough to decide how.

That said, I think if you decide to have a destination wedding, you should be fully prepared to have no one show up. And you should be mature enough to harbor no ill will about it. It's an invitation, not a command performance.

I wouldn't attend anyone's destination wedding and have just sent regrets. Your wedding isn't my vacation and I am not going to be coerced into spending precious vacation time and many thousands of dollars on it. But if that's what you would like to do, go for it. There shouldn't be hard feelings either way.

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by Dottie57 » 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.

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by EddyB » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:26 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:12 pm
They get to spend 2k! In order to be at wedding.
Or they can choose not to go. Sounds like FlyAF was ok with that too.

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:13 pm

EddyB wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:26 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:12 pm
They get to spend 2k! In order to be at wedding.
Or they can choose not to go. Sounds like FlyAF was ok with that too.
It is the younger crowd (mostly) who feels it is ok. I am from an older generation where having family present is important.

quantAndHold
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:18 am

delamer wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:20 pm
One question — presumably you are only related to one of the engaged couple. Is there any chance that your family is being disadvantaged, compared to your relative’s fiancee’s family, by the location? If it is clear that the “other side” is going to be able to attend when “your side” can’t, then you can point that out privately to your reiative.
I know one couple who did this intentionally. They didn’t want her family to come, so they had the wedding at a resort in Hawaii. His family could afford to come. Their friends could afford it. Her family, not so much. It worked perfectly.

Anyway, whatever the situation. It’s their wedding. Not yours or the rest of the family’s. Presumably they’ve already thought about the different options, and chose this one. I don’t know what trying to get them to change their plans is going to accomplish.

denovo
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by denovo » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:00 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.
Help...
Don't become the focal point of drama. Stay out of it. They want you to be the bad guy.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

SDLinguist
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by SDLinguist » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:17 am

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:43 pm
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.
Only if you're crazy. Ours was in the US and it was under $5,000, including my wife's $800 dress.
The issue I have with weddings in the US is that there is an entire industry pushing young couples (the brides really) or their parents (the mothers) to spend a ton of money on a party.

My in-laws payed for our wedding 3 years ago. They spent over 40k. It was a lot of drama for what really turned into my mother in law's 3rd wedding because her only child NEEDED a big wedding.

Her mom actually drove her so crazy that day constantly telling her how much money they had spent and how everything had to be perfect and how they had to dig into their retirement savings and pay penalties just to afford such a nice party that after the ceremony my wife got so upset she just hid in the bridal suite for the entire reception. When she finally felt like coming out again we were winding things down and she didn't really get to see anybody.

It still bothers me that what should have been a great day for her turned into such a fiasco because people are led to believe that you need to spend huge sums of money on a wedding.

It brought us closer for all the wrong reasons. The only bright side is that this is the one of the few things my wife says I am allowed to say I was right about :D

We are planning to have a redo at our 5 year anniversary, this time the way we wanted it the first time round: just a couple of really good friends and a good time. And all for less than 1/40th of the previous train wreck.

Back to the OP:
The couple probably realize exactly what they are doing and if they don't it's a happy accident. It's their wedding and their family can either pony up to see it or not. I wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole if I were you.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:29 am

I thought the point to a wedding was that the couple and perhaps their family (parents of bride was tradition) of the couple "host" the guests. Sounds like a destination wedding is a underhanded way of getting the guests to host the couple.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:40 am

over45 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:32 pm
Weddings in the USA are the biggest racket on the planet. Absolutely financially stupid for young couples to participate in.
Got that right.
You can have a pretty nice wedding reception in the US for $200 per couple. Compared to $2K per couple it seems cheaper to me. I guess the difference is who is footing the bill.

JoeRetire
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:07 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.

Help...
Why you?
Unless you are one of the parents or are otherwise the matriarch/patriarch of the family, then you should say nothing.

pennywise
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by pennywise » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:15 am

mrsbetsy wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:18 pm
Of course people would like YOU to talk to them...anyone but themselves. I wouldn't talk to them if my life depended on it. Not my place and definitely not my business. Let "those people" fight their own battle. Perhaps if they individually shared with the couple that they can't afford to go, the couple would make a different choice. If not, perhaps it's their strategy to pare down the list of people they "should" invite.

If you can go, go. If not, send a generous gift.
Exactly. OP, you are taking on a role of spokesperson/judge/arbiter on others' behalf, for a decision that is solely that of two people planning their wedding. There's just no reason at all that you should be involved as some kind of one-man/woman Greek chorus.

Whether or not that's how it works in your family, the advice is the same: stay out of this. If you want to express your personal reservations, have at it. But becoming the conduit for family muttering and judgy-ness, nope. Don't do it.

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by Katietsu » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:33 am

I would not dissuade them. I would make sure they realized the limited number of family members likely to attend. Maybe they already know this and are OK with it. On the other hand, if they are surprised, they have time to change plans.

We have had a few weddings in the family over the years at a distant location. In one case, the family hosted a full out second reception back near the family. In the other cases, it was a backyard event with a set up like a high school graduation party. I think most preferred the latter. Having a wedding reception three weeks after you knew there had been a full reception was a little uncomfortable.

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by FIREmeup » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:46 am

To be honest they are probably doing the more financially prudent thing here. My wife had a friend who got married in a Jamaican resort. The girl had a ton of friends and a large family. A wedding for 200 would have probably come in at least at 30k in NY area, at least and probably much more. So they decided on a destination wedding.

They just needed their reservation and I believe it was an extra 2k for the ceremony and tent set up for the party. My wife's friend commented several times how much cheaper this option was for them. These comments showed her lack of self awareness that she is instead shifting what would be a $400 dollar cost on the guest to several thousand.

Cost me and my wife $3k but it was a fantastic vacation and celebration and we spent 5 days with about 30 of their closest friends and relatives and really getting to hang out, have fun and get to know all of the people.

You should not step in. They understand clearly many won't be able to make the trip. If these people feel bitterness then probably better off not in their lives. If the happy couple can't come up with having a little bbq gathering of their own closer to home afterwards then why force it?

If you can afford it, go, it will be a great time.

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by BeneIRA » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:48 am

OP,
I had a destination wedding. I knew what the downsides were, but my now spouse and I liked that much better than the alternative. We knew people wouldn’t be able to come and we were fine with that. We also had it on a weekday to further cut the cost. It ended up being, all/in, around $5,000. If we had a non-destination wedding, tons more people would have come and the cost would have been exorbitant. It is a cost cutting move. From what I have seen, for an average wedding, you basically pay $100 a head. Having less people come lowers the cost substantially. It also weeds out people who we were obligated to invite but who we didn’t care if they came. We paid for it all by ourselves, so no one had a right to say anything.

If I were you, I am leaving this one alone. The people who really want to get to the wedding will get there and the couple has almost definitely assumed most won’t be able to make it, which they are fine with if they make this choice.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:52 am

BeneIRA wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:48 am
OP,
I had a destination wedding. I knew what the downsides were, but my now spouse and I liked that much better than the alternative. We knew people wouldn’t be able to come and we were fine with that. We also had it on a weekday to further cut the cost. It ended up being, all/in, around $5,000. If we had a non-destination wedding, tons more people would have come and the cost would have been exorbitant. It is a cost cutting move. From what I have seen, for an average wedding, you basically pay $100 a head. Having less people come lowers the cost substantially. It also weeds out people who we were obligated to invite but who we didn’t care if they came. We paid for it all by ourselves, so no one had a right to say anything.

If I were you, I am leaving this one alone. The people who really want to get to the wedding will get there and the couple has almost definitely assumed most won’t be able to make it, which they are fine with if they make this choice.
You mean it was $5,000 all in for you? This didn't include all the guests rooms and transportation did it?

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by bob60014 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:43 am

over45 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:32 pm
Weddings in the USA are the biggest racket on the planet. Absolutely financially stupid for young couples to participate in.
Got that right.
This.....plus "keeping up with the Joneses" , plays a part.

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dm200
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by dm200 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:51 am

We were married nearly 40 years ago - had a modest cost wedding - with about 100 guests - church hall, mother-in-law made most of the buffet food, etc.

For a while, as I recall, couples tended to opt for modest cost weddings, but that now seems to be going to very expensive ones. No expert on marriage, but seems to me the focus should be on the marriage and not the wedding.

Our son is engaged and they (his wife to be) wants and is planning an expensive wedding. :(

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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by mmmodem » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:20 am

I'd just talk to them but leave the judgement on their finances out of it.

My eldest sister had a destination wedding. Their motive was to keep the guest list small and get a honey moon out of it. My brother had an destination wedding. Their motive was to avoid having his in-laws attend.

My wife had a destination wedding as her family lived 400 miles from us. I was neither offended not upset when her family asked us to have two weddings or hold a local reception for them. We politely declined and said it wasn't in our budget.

My other sister got married at a courthouse. Both families were upset that she did not have a wedding. Thus, she had a small banquet dinner in two locations to accommodate family. No wedding dress or cake, just dinner.

Is my family atypical? I don't know. It wasn't a touchy subject to us as far as I know. Contrary to what people see on TV, not all brides and grooms are monsters. I was just going to fly in for the reception for my sister and go home as I was in school at the time. But my sister moved her wedding to spring break so that I could go on the vacation as well. Similarly, my wife planned our wedding during winter break so her family could more easily make it.
Last edited by mmmodem on Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

FlyAF
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by FlyAF » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:25 am

dm200 wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:51 am
Our son is engaged and they (his wife to be) wants and is planning an expensive wedding. :(
I bet you wish you could get out of that mess for 2 grand and a week at a Caribbean resort!

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MnyGrl
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by MnyGrl » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:28 am

mmmodem wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:20 am
I'd just talk to them but leave the judgement on their finances out of it.

My eldest sister had a destination wedding. Their motive was to keep the guest list small and get a honey moon or if it. My brother had an destination wedding. Their motive was to avoid having his in-laws attend.

My wife had a destination wedding as her family lived 400 miles from us. I was neither offended not upset when her family asked us to have two weddings or hold a storage reception for them. We politely declined and said it wasn't in our budget.

My other sister got married at a courthouse. Both families were upset that she did not have a wedding. Thus she had a small banquet dinner in two locations to accommodate family. No wedding dress or cake, just dinner.

Is my family atypical? I don't know. It wasn't a touchy subject to us as far as I know. Contrary to what people see on TV, not all brides and grooms are monsters. I was just going to fly in for the reception for my sister and go home as I was in school at the time. But my sister moved her wedding to spring break so that I could go on the vacation as well. Similarly, my wife planned our wedding during winter break so her family could more easily make it.
+1. I would go a step further and try to get someone to throw an at-home reception for them so that all those unable to go could celebrate with them.

"Your wedding plans sound amazing! We are unfortunately not going to be able to make it. I was talking to ______ and _______ and they won't be able to make it either. How do you feel about having a party when you two return?"

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:33 am

OP: I realized I answered 3 times and yet never addressed your question.
I would stay out of it unless you are somehow a Patriarch of the family.
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?

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