Destination Weddings

Destination Disaster!! ADVICE PLEASE !!

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Re: Destination Disaster!! ADVICE PLEASE !!

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    5000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    I'm going to start with some back story! My fiancé and I got engaged September of 2016 . We quickly realized that local wedding was not for us. I'm not big on details and he isn't either. We decided by the beginning of October 2016 we were doing a destination wedding. We decided on doing a cruise and getting married on the island of St. Thomas, our sailing date was September 9th 2017. We knew when we chose this option that there were going to be people that were not able to make it for various reasons. We ended up having a guest list of about 18 people mostly family which was perfectly fine with us. We had our Bon Voyage Reception August 26th  ( like a home reception, but we did it prior to leaving for simplicity, worked out great!! Would totally suggest it!). We found out September 5th that our cruise was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. We were completely devastated.We threw around several ideas of other options vegas, court house, ECT. But I decided that I had my heart set on a destination wedding and I wasn't going to settle on something that I had been planning for over a year!  The cruise line told us that we would be receiving their money back and also 50% off of our next Cruise, I thought this was great because now everyone gets to go and it's half the price. We tentatively decided on booking a cruise that left December 10th. My fiance and I had decided that instead of getting married on st. Thomas, we would get married in Miami (half the price and same effect). We would get married and go on the cruise as a celebration for his family and my family. Everyone was okay with that, the date worked out and everyone was ready to book. I wanted to wait until everyone got their refunds on the original fare before rebooking. Everyone was okay with that and agreed that was the smartest choice. We finally got our refunds back today and so I sent out a group message to everybody that was originally going to let them know we should all have our money back and I was going to go ahead and book and have the travel agent go ahead and book them too! Well I swiftly got a response from the majority of his family saying they are not going anymore. His parents then asked if we could change the date of the cruise because his dad had the opportunity to take a job to make big money. The original Cruise date was picked because that worked for his family, my family is extremely flexible. We picked the second date due to his family's schedule again, and then today we decide to book they are no longer okay with that date. I don't really want to plan the wedding another year out! But don't know what to do anymore. Any ideas, suggestions, or thoughts would be greatly appreciated! 
    To the first bolded.....I would absolutely NOT recommend a pre-reception of any kind.  You hosted a party for an event that has yet to take place.  Talk about putting the cart before the horse!

    To the second bolded.....Make a choice as to the date and wedding you and your FI want.  Invite guests that you can properly host.  The guest(s) choose whether or not they can attend. 

    You cannot/should not delay this wedding since you have already hosted a reception, which was inappropriate in the first place.


    InLoveInQueensahoyweddingSP29
  • We hosted it as a Bon Voyage Reception/Shower. We didn't have any other wedding events besides that one. We did it as a send off and it worked out well, but I do see where you are coming from. Again it is a very small wedding pretty much my parents and his parents and his sister. So I would feel awful doing it without his parents present. 
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited September 19
    You made a terrible mistake by having a wedding reception before you were actually married, and your post shows the reason WHY this is such a bad idea.  Thank you for posting this here.  Other future brides will benefit from reading about your mistake.

    I'm going to start with some back story! My fiancé and I got engaged September of 2016 . We quickly realized that local wedding was not for us. I'm not big on details and he isn't either. We decided by the beginning of October 2016 we were doing a destination wedding. We decided on doing a cruise and getting married on the island of St. Thomas, our sailing date was September 9th 2017. We knew when we chose this option that there were going to be people that were not able to make it for various reasons. We ended up having a guest list of about 18 people mostly family which was perfectly fine with us. We had our Bon Voyage Reception August 26th  ( like a home reception, but we did it prior to leaving for simplicity, worked out great!! Would totally suggest it!). We found out September 5th that our cruise was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. We were completely devastated.We threw around several ideas of other options vegas, court house, ECT. But I decided that I had my heart set on a destination wedding and I wasn't going to settle on something that I had been planning for over a year!  The cruise line told us that we would be receiving their money back and also 50% off of our next Cruise, I thought this was great because now everyone gets to go and it's half the price. We tentatively decided on booking a cruise that left December 10th. My fiance and I had decided that instead of getting married on st. Thomas, we would get married in Miami (half the price and same effect). We would get married and go on the cruise as a celebration for his family and my family. Everyone was okay with that, the date worked out and everyone was ready to book. I wanted to wait until everyone got their refunds on the original fare before rebooking. Everyone was okay with that and agreed that was the smartest choice. We finally got our refunds back today and so I sent out a group message to everybody that was originally going to let them know we should all have our money back and I was going to go ahead and book and have the travel agent go ahead and book them too! Well I swiftly got a response from the majority of his family saying they are not going anymore. His parents then asked if we could change the date of the cruise because his dad had the opportunity to take a job to make big money. The original Cruise date was picked because that worked for his family, my family is extremely flexible. We picked the second date due to his family's schedule again, and then today we decide to book they are no longer okay with that date. I don't really want to plan the wedding another year out! But don't know what to do anymore. Any ideas, suggestions, or thoughts would be greatly appreciated! 
    Let me explain the etiquette of being married ON a cruise ship.  You cannot "INVITE" anyone on your cruise unless you, yourself, pay for their cruise.  You cannot charge money to people to attend your wedding.  I don't care what the cruise agent told you.  He is only interested in profit.  He doesn't care about good manners.  (I have been on 23 cruises, and I have heard the complaining by the so-called "guests" at the at-sea weddings.)

    Your Bon Voyage party was improper.  You could have held it AFTER the cruise, but not before it, and your post tells us why not.  Stuff happens.  You violated a basic etiquette rule by doing this, and I am not surprised at the response you are getting, especially after the hurricane cancelled your plans.

    If you want to have a lovely wedding, plan a simple ceremony at home that is convenient for guests, and then go on your honeymoon.  Nothing fancy.  A daytime simple ceremony with sandwiches and cake would be nice, and many people wouldn't mind taking a few hours out of their Sunday to attend.  After all, they have already taken time out of their schedule to attend your first non-reception.  Your guests probably feel that they have spent enough time celebrating a wedding that hasn't happened yet.  I'm not at all surprised at their responses.

    If you do decide to get married in Florida, remember that this state has a three day waiting period for you to get a marriage license.  The marriage license you would have used in St. Thomas is not valid anywhere else except St. Thomas.

    I am sorry that your wedding plans didn't fly, but you now have the chance to have a simple, proper ceremony followed by a quiet reception.  I am guessing you will get more acceptances with this idea, but maybe not.  I hope so.  Good luck to you.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    InLoveInQueens
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited September 19
    We hosted it as a Bon Voyage Reception/Shower. We didn't have any other wedding events besides that one. We did it as a send off and it worked out well, but I do see where you are coming from. Again it is a very small wedding pretty much my parents and his parents and his sister. So I would feel awful doing it without his parents present. 
    SHOWER??  YOU HOSTED YOUR OWN SHOWER?  You accepted shower gifts and opened them?  It gets worse and worse.

    I am so sorry.  You have made so many huge etiquette mistakes, and without realizing it, you have probably offended most of your guests.  They love you and won't want to tell you this, but it is the plain truth.  Where did you get the idea to do these things?

    I would advise you to apologize to all of your relatives for the trouble you caused them.  Then plan a simple wedding ceremony and small reception.  After 23 cruises, I can assure you that it is no small matter to block a week or two out of your busy schedule and then pay a large amount of money to attend a wedding.  I'm glad they got their refunds, but I can really understand why they don't want to go through something like this again.

    You can still have a lovely wedding.  There are other brides on this board who have had worse experiences with weather that made their wedding day quite different than they had planned.  It is being fixated on your cruise dream wedding that gives me pause.  The important thing is that you get legally married to your FI, and that the two of you start living the rest of your life together.  This is what is really important.


    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    InLoveInQueensSP29short+sassy
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    We hosted it as a Bon Voyage Reception/Shower. We didn't have any other wedding events besides that one. We did it as a send off and it worked out well, but I do see where you are coming from. Again it is a very small wedding pretty much my parents and his parents and his sister. So I would feel awful doing it without his parents present. 
    So you invited people to give you gifts that weren't invited to the wedding? I don't even know where to start with this one. 

    Go on your DW. Invite EVERYONE that you invited to your own-hosted shower. Move your date or go without your H's family. 

    Or skip the cruise and just fly to st Thomas for the weekend and get married so people don't have to take a week off. 
    InLoveInQueensahoyweddingshort+sassy
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    We hosted it as a Bon Voyage Reception/Shower. We didn't have any other wedding events besides that one. We did it as a send off and it worked out well, but I do see where you are coming from. Again it is a very small wedding pretty much my parents and his parents and his sister. So I would feel awful doing it without his parents present. 
    This is so tacky, I can't believe it. So, you invited guests that were not even attending your wedding to bring you gifts. WOW. For the record, you NEVER do something like this. When you decide to have a DW with just your family, you give up getting to have a shower with people you didn't invite. That's so rude. And you NEVER throw yourself a shower! 

    Either go on the cruise in December without his family, or pick a new date. Those are their options. 

    InLoveInQueensahoyweddingViczaesar
  • I would like to clarify a couple things we did not throw our own shower!!!! It was thrown by my maid of honor, because of the number of people our families helped fund it. Everyone that was invited to the shower was invited to the wedding. No one is upset about the bon voyage at all everyone loved it! Destination wedding etiquette is a lot different than a traditional wedding. The current problem is that his whole family agreed to the new date said it worked for everyone, but when it came time to book that date they then decided they wanted me to change the date. At this point I am at a loss of what to do, if I should keep the same date and if they can't go they can't go which would break my heart.  No one is upset of how things are being done at all so I think I may have miscommunicated that in the original post. I'm just mainly looking for advice as to if I should continue with the date that everybody agreed on and then decided was no longer good or if I should try to re coordinate another date with his family, or other options. But our families have already spent a lot of money on our shower (like more than alot of people do on a traditional wedding reception) I could never ask them to pretty much do it all over again and host another 300 people for a local wedding and reception. 
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    I would like to clarify a couple things we did not throw our own shower!!!! It was thrown by my maid of honor, because of the number of people our families helped fund it. Everyone that was invited to the shower was invited to the wedding. No one is upset about the bon voyage at all everyone loved it! Destination wedding etiquette is a lot different than a traditional wedding. The current problem is that his whole family agreed to the new date said it worked for everyone, but when it came time to book that date they then decided they wanted me to change the date. At this point I am at a loss of what to do, if I should keep the same date and if they can't go they can't go which would break my heart.  No one is upset of how things are being done at all so I think I may have miscommunicated that in the original post. I'm just mainly looking for advice as to if I should continue with the date that everybody agreed on and then decided was no longer good or if I should try to re coordinate another date with his family, or other options. But our families have already spent a lot of money on our shower (like more than alot of people do on a traditional wedding reception) I could never ask them to pretty much do it all over again and host another 300 people for a local wedding and reception. 
    DW does not mean a whole different set of etiquette rules. You are absolutely wrong. 

    No one can make this decision for you. Either have it in December without his family, or pick a new date that works for them. 

    levioosaCMGragainInLoveInQueensshort+sassy
  • I would like to clarify a couple things we did not throw our own shower!!!! It was thrown by my maid of honor, because of the number of people our families helped fund it. Everyone that was invited to the shower was invited to the wedding. No one is upset about the bon voyage at all everyone loved it! Destination wedding etiquette is a lot different than a traditional wedding. The current problem is that his whole family agreed to the new date said it worked for everyone, but when it came time to book that date they then decided they wanted me to change the date. At this point I am at a loss of what to do, if I should keep the same date and if they can't go they can't go which would break my heart.  No one is upset of how things are being done at all so I think I may have miscommunicated that in the original post. I'm just mainly looking for advice as to if I should continue with the date that everybody agreed on and then decided was no longer good or if I should try to re coordinate another date with his family, or other options. But our families have already spent a lot of money on our shower (like more than alot of people do on a traditional wedding reception) I could never ask them to pretty much do it all over again and host another 300 people for a local wedding and reception. 
    a) No, etiquette is not different. I went to a lovely, well-hosted destination wedding a few weeks ago. Everything was done with proper etiquette, regardless of the fact that nobody lived in the location where the wedding was held. 

    b) Pay for it yourself. 
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    InLoveInQueensCMGragainSP29
  • I would like to clarify a couple things we did not throw our own shower!!!! It was thrown by my maid of honor, because of the number of people our families helped fund it. Everyone that was invited to the shower was invited to the wedding. No one is upset about the bon voyage at all everyone loved it! Destination wedding etiquette is a lot different than a traditional wedding. The current problem is that his whole family agreed to the new date said it worked for everyone, but when it came time to book that date they then decided they wanted me to change the date. At this point I am at a loss of what to do, if I should keep the same date and if they can't go they can't go which would break my heart.  No one is upset of how things are being done at all so I think I may have miscommunicated that in the original post. I'm just mainly looking for advice as to if I should continue with the date that everybody agreed on and then decided was no longer good or if I should try to re coordinate another date with his family, or other options. But our families have already spent a lot of money on our shower (like more than alot of people do on a traditional wedding reception) I could never ask them to pretty much do it all over again and host another 300 people for a local wedding and reception. 
    Regarding the date: This would depend on a lot of things for me. 1) why it doesn't work anymore (e.g. crappy planning on their part or an actual good reason) 2) How many people's schedules you're trying to accommodate (the more people, the more complicated) and 3) who is paying (these people and their schedules take priority). 

    Regarding the last sentence, the good part is that you should never, ever, like not ever do this! Asking people for money for a party is ridiculous. You're an adult. If you want a 300 person local wedding, pay for it yourself. 
    *********************************************************************************

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    CMGragainSP29
  • I am confused.  How many people did you invite to your cancelled wedding?
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  • This math is not adding up.  If your parents hosted a party for 300 people, and you invited everyone at said party to the wedding, how is the answer you just gave only 16??
    OliveOilsMom
  • = gift grab

    sorry
    ahoyweddingTrixieJess
  • Oh dear, we are back to that unfortunate party that never should have been held.  It really complicates helping you.  Etiquette says that EVERYONE who is invited to any pre-wedding party must also be invited to the wedding.  This was such a mistake!  You had a pre-wedding party for 300, but only invited 16 guests to your actual wedding, which did not take place.

     I suggest that you plan a small ceremony with immediate family only as soon as possible.  This should be easy to arrange, and you already have a dress.  Afterwards, you can take the parents out to lunch.  This will be your wedding reception.

    You should return the shower gifts immediately, since the wedding did not take place as planned. Some people may likely insist that you keep the gift.  Unless you can invite everyone who came to the Bon Voyage/Shower party to your new wedding (and you say that you cannot afford this now), this is what you should do.  Otherwise, you will appear as a greedy, gift grabby bride, and I don't think this is what you want, is it?

    After you are married, you can send out marriage announcements to any friends and family.  This is a personal way of telling them that you are now married.
     
    There is always Las Vegas for an elopement, but you still need to return shower and wedding gifts.. 

    These are the only solutions I can think of for you after everything.  This is all quite a mess.  I really wish you had asked us before going ahead with that pre-wedding party.  This is what makes it so difficult to find a polite solution for you.

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    kwiksilverInLoveInQueens
  • We actually invited the same number to the shower as well as the wedding. But for all of you to know we are actually replanning the wedding for January on the cruise again. But I'm sorry I can't help weather, so what I have done is not incorrect at all. And telling me I sound gift grabby or that I should return the gifts is ridiculous, our wedding was postponed due to weather not because we aren't getting married. But to be truthful I probably will never post on this website ever again for advice. We are already having a tough time with our wedding being cancelled due to weather, and most of you made it harder on us. These boards are suppose to be helpful and uplifting , and bringing up things that are already done and over with and can't be changed doesn't help anyone. And to clarify I am still extremely happy with how my shower turned out, everyone had a great time and all of our guest at the shower feel extremely bad for us and are heart broken for us ! And someone said that it's about your guest?!?! Excuse me? Weddings are not for the guests. But thank you for the people who actually tried to help rather than criticize what is already done. I'm going to stick to asking for advice from a strictly destination wedding only website.  
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited September 20
    We actually invited the same number to the shower as well as the wedding. But for all of you to know we are actually replanning the wedding for January on the cruise again. But I'm sorry I can't help weather, so what I have done is not incorrect at all. And telling me I sound gift grabby or that I should return the gifts is ridiculous, our wedding was postponed due to weather not because we aren't getting married. But to be truthful I probably will never post on this website ever again for advice. We are already having a tough time with our wedding being cancelled due to weather, and most of you made it harder on us. These boards are suppose to be helpful and uplifting , and bringing up things that are already done and over with and can't be changed doesn't help anyone. And to clarify I am still extremely happy with how my shower turned out, everyone had a great time and all of our guest at the shower feel extremely bad for us and are heart broken for us ! And someone said that it's about your guest?!?! Excuse me? Weddings are not for the guests. But thank you for the people who actually tried to help rather than criticize what is already done. I'm going to stick to asking for advice from a strictly destination wedding only website.  
    Yes, weddings are for the guests!  If you want your wedding to be all about YOU, then you should elope and get married without any guests.  I did suggest this as a solution to your problem.

    I am so sorry you are rejecting the good advice given to you by so many knowledgeable people who are trying to help you.  Not ONE PERSON on this site has told you that what you did and are planning to do is OK.  It is not.  Check any standard wedding etiquette book.

    I am sincerely sorry that your original wedding plans did not turn out as you had hoped.  Everyone on this board tried to help you with suggestions of how to solve your dilemma.  You won't listen.  You reject everything we have told you which has been the absolute truth.

    For what it's worth, I shared your story with my long time travel agent when he called this morning.  His reaction was "What?  They are expecting their guests to pay for their own cruise at a cruise wedding?  Where did they get that idea?"  This is from someone who has been in the travel business for more than 20 years.

    There are plenty of websites (sponsored by the crui$e industry) that will tell you that you can do anything you want because you are "THE BRIDE".  This is not true, but they will happily take your guests money, anyway.  Do not expect your guests to be happy about it.
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    InLoveInQueensSP29short+sassy
  • We hosted it as a Bon Voyage Reception/Shower. We didn't have any other wedding events besides that one. We did it as a send off and it worked out well, but I do see where you are coming from. Again it is a very small wedding pretty much my parents and his parents and his sister. So I would feel awful doing it without his parents present. 
    We actually invited the same number to the shower as well as the wedding. But for all of you to know we are actually replanning the wedding for January on the cruise again. But I'm sorry I can't help weather, so what I have done is not incorrect at all. And telling me I sound gift grabby or that I should return the gifts is ridiculous, our wedding was postponed due to weather not because we aren't getting married. But to be truthful I probably will never post on this website ever again for advice. We are already having a tough time with our wedding being cancelled due to weather, and most of you made it harder on us. These boards are suppose to be helpful and uplifting , and bringing up things that are already done and over with and can't be changed doesn't help anyone. And to clarify I am still extremely happy with how my shower turned out, everyone had a great time and all of our guest at the shower feel extremely bad for us and are heart broken for us ! And someone said that it's about your guest?!?! Excuse me? Weddings are not for the guests. But thank you for the people who actually tried to help rather than criticize what is already done. I'm going to stick to asking for advice from a strictly destination wedding only website.  
    Look, math isn't my strong suit but this isn't adding up. Either you invited 16 to the shower and the wedding or you invited 300 to the shower and the wedding OR you invited 300 to the shower and 16 to the wedding. 
    image
    eileenrob
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    OP, did you have two separate events before the originally planned wedding? If so, people are conflating the 300 person party with the 16 person shower because of the "/" you put between them in your original post. The 300 person pre-wedding party was still totally inappropriate (that could have been done after you actually got married, though), but in that case the shower would be fine.

    Anniversary

  • We actually invited the same number to the shower as well as the wedding. But for all of you to know we are actually replanning the wedding for January on the cruise again. But I'm sorry I can't help weather, so what I have done is not incorrect at all. And telling me I sound gift grabby or that I should return the gifts is ridiculous, our wedding was postponed due to weather not because we aren't getting married. But to be truthful I probably will never post on this website ever again for advice. We are already having a tough time with our wedding being cancelled due to weather, and most of you made it harder on us. These boards are suppose to be helpful and uplifting , and bringing up things that are already done and over with and can't be changed doesn't help anyone. And to clarify I am still extremely happy with how my shower turned out, everyone had a great time and all of our guest at the shower feel extremely bad for us and are heart broken for us ! And someone said that it's about your guest?!?! Excuse me? Weddings are not for the guests. But thank you for the people who actually tried to help rather than criticize what is already done. I'm going to stick to asking for advice from a strictly destination wedding only website.  
    Okay so did you have two pre-wedding events? The shower (with a small number of guests) and the "bon voyage" party (with the 300 guests)? If that's the case, then the shower is fine. The party before the wedding still isn't etiquette-appropriate, but that ship has sailed. 

    It really sucks that your wedding was cancelled because of the weather. I'm sure there were tons of other people whose vacation plans had to be cancelled or changed, not to mention the lives that were destroyed. What's the reason your FI's family gave for not being able to attend in December? It can be hard for a lot of people to take extra time off close to the holidays; maybe they agreed to the date and then found out their work wouldn't allow it or something. I don't see if you mentioned it, but do your families live in the same state, or at least nearby? Could you just throw a wedding locally, on a date that works for both of your families? Then you guys could plan a family trip at a later date, if you all still want to travel together. If just you and your FI want to take the cruise, that would make planning easier. 

    And to the bolded sentence. You don't NEED guests at a wedding; all you need is an officiant, a license & the two of you. Once you invite guests (to anything, really), yes, the event should focus guests' comfort, etc. The same goes for dinner parties, etc etc. 
    InLoveInQueensCMGragainsparklepants41
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