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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2008
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    Default Destination Weddings - Please help.

    So the youngest of my 5 brothers is getting married on Valentine's Day of 2014. They announced this a few months ago. YAY!! I love my little brother who has battled drug addiction and a bunch of other crap and came out the other side stronger and successful. I like his fiance, she is a sweet girl and will be a nice sister.

    However.

    They announced they are getting married in Jamaica. They are staying at and having the wedding at a Couples resort.

    ARgh.

    So, now if we want to go to the wedding we have to go to Jamaica. His bride comes from a very well-off family. Jetting off all the time wherever is something they do, and a destination wedding is not a big deal. WE are not well off, and none of the other brothers or my mom are well off in any way/shape/form. One of my other 4 brothers is single and has a great job, this won't kill his wallet. The rest of us are financially not able to afford to just head for Jamaica with no worries, mon.

    To be fair, the bride knows this and her family is paying for my mom's plane and room and resort package. She still has to figure out how to pay for the passport she needs to go to Jamaica, and get it done. She doesn't even have the $$ to get a passport. She lives on disability, HUD and foodstamps with augmentation from the food bank and church charities. She's disabled due to a panic disorder. She is trying to decide which piece of furniture to sell (no kidding) to pay for the passport. And even though it is almost a year away, she's already having panic attacks about flying there.

    The other 3 brothers and myself have no way of affording this. We've been saving a tiny pittance for over a year already just to afford a small trip somewhere or a party when DS graduates in June. I can't afford the money for passports for the four of us, let alone the whole thing with flights and hotel.

    Plus, having been to jamaica once a couple years ago when times were better and having seen the island I have no desire to go back at all. When we were there, the beggars were very aggressive and we had to hire a guide to drive us around just to keep us out of the bad areas of the island. You really need to be on a resort for Jamaica to be worry-free.

    The Couples resort charges a fee for us to come on the property and attend the wedding, and the under-21's cannot stay for the reception or even attend the rehearsal/dinner the night before. They can come on the resort for the length of time of the ceremony. Even if we can eek out plane fare, there is NO way we can afford to stay at that resort ourselves.

    If it was just US, I'd not have such a problem with this whole thing. I'd just apologize to brother for missing his big day and send a nice gift. But I know that to go to this wedding is putting a financial hurt on the majority of my siblings. Two of the brothers are married with young kids who also would only be allowed to attend the ceremony but not reception, and of course those brothers could not stay at this couples resort either. Having very young kids, they also don't have folks to just leave their little ones with for a week either.

    My littlest brother is a sweet guy. It's nice he landed a girl who comes from a nicer family, and in every way they are really nice people who have been friendly and kind to our family. It's great they are picking up the cost for my mom for the majority of the trip. I know when fiance said "hey, I want to get married in Jamaica," my brother never said a word about the fact that it really is OUT of reach for several of his siblings to make it to a wedding in Jamaica.

    To be fair, some of the other siblings "encouraged" them to consider other places that don't require everyone to have a passport, or to NOT have a destination wedding at all. Of course no one has flat out said hey, you suck and we aren't coming. None of us want to hurt feelings like that and of course it is THEIR wedding so they have the right to get married wherever and whenever they want. I just think that she is a little clueless having never had money be an issue in her lifetime, and he is not thinking about how many of us may not be able to come. The reality is I will be telling them we can't come, but I know that my brothers are tight and they will take out loans or whatever other financial position they have to get in to go to this wedding. I think the bride probably just thinks that the guys will figure out how to make it, and my brother the groom isn't thinking beyond the wedding night and keeping wife-to-be happy.

    As a group, how would you approach this with your family? I am already seeing strain eek out in conversations about attending this wedding from all sides of our family. Am I a bad person if I am the one who *tactfully* reminds my brother that his other brothers and I are basically poor, and that this is straining budgets and relationships? Or just keep my big mouth shut?
    Please give me advice. If you have no advice, your own stories of pickles like this in your family would make me feel better.
    Sorry to see xtranormal is gone
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  2. #2
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    Sep. 20, 2005
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    They have the right to have the wedding they want, and you have the right to politely decline if it is beyond your means to attend.

    That's the trade off of destination weddings - not everyone can afford to attend. Surely your brother will understand if you explain it to him. He can't really expect you (or the rest of your family) to beggar themselves for his wedding.

    Maybe offer to host a potluck get together celebration thingy when they get back instead?
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris


    7 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
    They have the right to have the wedding they want, and you have the right to politely decline if it is beyond your means to attend.

    That's the trade off of destination weddings - not everyone can afford to attend. Surely your brother will understand if you explain it to him. He can't really expect you (or the rest of your family) to beggar themselves for his wedding.

    Maybe offer to host a potluck get together celebration thingy when they get back instead?
    Yes, you are 100% correct.

    We are comfortable personally saying we cannot go. But what I guess is the problem is that the rest of the guys will feel like they have to be there, and will put themselves in bad financial positions in order to be there. The resentment is already being felt a little as the kids aren't welcome but the parents don't want to fly away without them, and if they do leave their kids behind do they fly back ASAP and essentially "waste" the airfare from Seattle to Jamaica? And my littlest brother really does expect at least the other brothers to be there and will be hurt if they don't go. I'm sure he's probably aware with my situation that I might not come, but he's probably planning on the other sibs figuring out how to show up.
    Sorry to see xtranormal is gone
    For funnies, search youtube for horseyninjawarrior!

    Www.caringbridge.org/visit/mysecretgarden



  4. #4
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    Aug. 15, 2008
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    Your other siblings are adults? If so, they need to tell your bother why they wont be attending. I like the idea of asking if it's possible to create a second reception of sorts when they return for the family to gather and celebrate in a location they can afford and is niece/nephew friendly.
    "Aye God, Woodrow..."


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
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    I agree with SNL. Two of my relatives did this. One got married in California, the other in Hawaii. The parents of the California couple flew out for the ceremony. A reception was held back east a few months later. The Hawaiian wedding only involved the bride and the groom. No one else was invited. No reception was held once they returned, either, despite an offer from the bride's parents to hold one.

    Let them get married in Jamaica, and offer have a reception for them after they have returned home. It makes no sense for anyone to put themselves in the position of going financially overboard over someone else's plans. JMO.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

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    3 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
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    Feb. 25, 2012
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    Montana
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    We were married in AZ where a lot of my family was, then came back up to Montana and had a "northern" Native celebration! Actually it was a lot of fun. i would not beggar myself to get there and seattle to jamaica is a long way. but maybe the sibs who couldn't get there could get to be in another celebration!



  7. #7
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    Apr. 2, 2003
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    4,613

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    We're having a destination wedding solely so that our families WON'T come and we won't have to deal with the drama.

    I don't think it's a good way to spend your time worrying about what other people will do. It's up to them whether they choose to put themselves in a bad position, either with this, or with buying a new car, or with eating out 6 nights a week.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
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    Sep. 18, 2005
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    New Jersey
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    Can just the brothers and you go, and leave spouses and kids behind for 2-3 days? You might be able to get cheap airfare and split one hotel room four ways for 2-3 nights? That would greatly reduce costs, all immediate family members could be there, and it would also eliminate the no kids at the reception problem.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
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    Mar. 9, 2005
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    I would respectfully decline and then suggest a local reception for the family members that can't travel to Jamaica. We did something like that although kind of in reverse, we did the city hall thing to make it legal for immigration and then had a vow-renewal with the fancy dress and parents a few weeks later. You could even pitch it as a whole second wedding if they wanted to get dressed up again and do pictures with your side of the family.
    Freedom is the ability not to care what the other person thinks...

    Got air?! Member of the Asthmatic Riders Clique



  10. #10
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    Your brothers can take care of themselves, I understand they might be feeling a little put upon at this time but they can say "no" on their own or not.

    It's up to your brothers to make the decision to go or stay and abide by it. Without complaining behind the bride and grooms backs. You all as a group might consider chipping in for mom's passport if you all stay home.

    I don't like that your brother is letting his new bride be so blind as to the finances of his side of the family - I don't see this going well over time.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible


    3 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 5, 2009
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    Where the blacktop ends-Maryland
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    Haven't read all posts so this may have already been mentioned. While it is up to them to have the kind of wedding they prefer it is unrealistic of any couple to expect a large turnout at their wedding. Those kind of things can be a great financial burden as you have indicated. Good on the new inlaws for footing the bill for Mom, and your single brother that can afford it can make arrangments to go with mom so she isn't so afraid, maybe all of you can pitch in a little to get the passport for mom if I recall they are around $100ish? As for you and your other siblings, why can't they set up a live feed or use skype, you obviously have a computer and you can virtually be there, and then have a party when they come home for those of you that couldn't afford to attend. You just need to be very upfront with brother and fiance that this is something that you can't afford to do at this time.
    "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

    "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
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    Feb. 13, 2009
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    Now, my point of view comes from a loud, bold, outspoken family - we love each other and we TALK to each other. We like each other, so that makes it easy.

    So in my family, something like this would happen;
    Little Bro and Sis-to-be, would be invited over for something (my family just hangs with each other any time we get the chance, in your family, you may do dinner invites) And when the wedding got brought up, I'd say;
    "Hey Bro, Jamaican weddings are cool and all, but I'm pretty sure I won't be able to go, because <kids, expenses, non-family friendly venue, blah>. Big Bro and Other Bro might have problems with it too, for the same reasons. Now, yeah, it's YOUR wedding and I want you to be happy, but I'm your family and I'd like to be involved. So do you want me to throw you guys a backyard reception when you get back, or what do you want to do?"
    "Oh, and she's not going to say anything, but Mom's getting antsy about it, so maybe you can talk to her. Since I can't come, I'm going to chip in some money for her passport so it doesn't stress her out so much."

    And then I'd see what he wanted to do, now that he KNEW that this was a problem and why and that I loved him. Because he is probably just floating around on a big fluffy cloud of dream-come-true, blissfully oblivious to all this, while you guys are starting to stew in resentment.

    Funnily enough, I just had something similar happen. My baby sister - and we are pretty tight - got married last week. 1100 miles away. And, she's having twins in Oct (yay!!) And I had to say "Sis, I love you and I'm SOOO happy for you!! But I can only leave the farm for one or the other, I can't afford both."
    And she said "Then I want you here when the babies come!"
    And so it shall be! We talked more, and instead of wedding presents - they already have a house and all - they're getting all baby gifts from me.

    It was no big deal, no building resentment - just TALK to each other! You're family!
    Last edited by Riverotter; Mar. 30, 2013 at 11:49 AM. Reason: spelling


    2 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
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    Sep. 30, 2007
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    Folks I have known who have had destination weddings usually have some sort of local reception so those who couldn't make it to the wedding can have a formal opportunity to celebrate. Hope it all works out for everyone.


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  14. #14
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    Having been in sort of similar situations (not a wedding, but other occasions) I felt that it was important to keep celebrations accessible to the whole family - meaning both sides. While it is their wedding, it really is tacky to plan something that is likely to exclude most of one family. If they were to get married with neither family there, that would be one thing, but the way they have it planned it just points out the economic differences between the sides and either consciously or not, is likely to cause resentment in the future. The whole point should be about the joining of two into one, not setting one family above the other.


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  15. #15
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    Oct. 12, 2009
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    I love Kelly's suggestion in post #8, if finances allow.

    I just think it is really thoughtless for the young couple to do this (given the family circumstances which they must know of), but it is really their choice. I sincerely hope that they have not one word to say in regards to the folks that cannot/ choose not to attend. I also am amazed that they expect people to come all that way and then not allow the children to attend the reception.

    I totally also agree with the idea of holding them a nice pot luck when they get back, and the idea of sending your Mom and your single brother to attend.

    My best friend from high school entered the military and got married and had her first child in Germany. I was a wicked poor college kid and I always felt really bad I couldn't attend, IIRC only her Mom went. One of my husband's cousins got married in Texas and as a just starting out young couple in the early 90's, even though we both had great jobs, we had just bought our first house and the $1300 total it costed to fly there, rent tux, have a hotel, feed ourselves, rent car, buy gift, pet sitter at home..... etc, etc was really really a strain (note it was an issue as I apparently still remember the cost?!). That situation was a bit different as the bride was from Texas, though. They did hold a grudge for years against the family members that did not attend, which I thought was wrong, JMHO.



  16. #16
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    I just hate this. The brothers who can't afford to go are "expected" to go?!?!? I agree, it does not bode well for the future that Miss Bride is taking this stance. Sounds fairly clueless. I'd speak up.
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!



  17. #17
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    A good friend of mine just suffered through a destination wedding when her son married. My friend was so upset about the whole thing because so many of her family were excluded. She herself was, is, on a small fixed income and it was a tremendous hardship for her to pay for that trip. Only she and her mother, the groom's grandmother, attended from that side of the family. The bride's family were all hosted by the bride's father, so money wasn't an issue for them.

    The thing is, my friend pointed out that it wasn't just about money. Some of her son's cousins, who were close to him, had families and just couldn't spare the time away with two people working and limited vacation time each year. I mean, if you had two weeks a year would you and your spouse spend half of that on a cousin's wedding? How about the wedding of a friend? And leave the kids home, because the resort really caters to adults more than families?

    Maybe that's the point. The bride and groom know full well if they have half a brain between them that many friends and family will not be able to attend. I had never given this topic much thought, but I can see her point: Destination weddings are about exclusion.


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  18. #18
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    Forgot to add: as other posters have suggested, my friend hosted a reception for her son and daughter-in-law after the wedding, so that friends of the bride and groom and the groom's family could attend.

    Also, my friend did tell her son what she thought, and how his family would be unable to attend but it didn't make any difference. Oh, and it also impacted her family more, because the bride's family lived on the East Coast and the destination wedding was some island accessible by air through Florida. The bride, the groom, and the groom's family all lived on the West Coast, so it was farther, took more time, and was more expensive for them.

    Who was it who said something like, "A wedding is an opportunity to make enemies for the rest of your life," or some such thing?


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  19. #19
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    Oct. 9, 2010
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    I personally friend destination weddings selfish. Yes the wedding is THEIR wedding, but it doesn't mean you can't think about your guests. Did I have my absolute dream wedding? No, but more family and friends could come because of the venue I chose. You should think about family. Maybe your brother will realize how selfish this is when several of his key family isn't there to enjoy this day with him. I enjoyed spending time and celebrating with my family. If I didn't want that as part of my day than you should just elope and have no one there.



  20. #20
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    I agree with ^ . IMHO unless your family and friends are all wealthy with lots of time on their hands, a destination wedding is just pretending you want people at your wedding when you know full well most won't be able to come.
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