Destination Weddings Discussions

Anyone Else Getting A Hard Time From Family?!!?

Hey ladies- 

I'm wondering if anyone else is having the issues my fiance and I are having!? Our own immediate family is giving us a lot of grief about having a destination wedding! To the point where it's causing family fighting! I feel that it's very selfish of them to do this to us because this is what we want for our wedding and we're giving 2 years notice. I feel that 2 years is VERY fair, am I right? I understand that a destination wedding (either Mexico or Jamaica most likely) is expensive, and I know money doesn't grow on trees, but for our own immediate family to tell us NO right off the bat is really hurtful. Is anyone else experiencing this? What do you do to handle it? Its really putting a damper on our plans and our excitement. We want to book something within the next 6 months, but it's getting to the point where we're thinking about going all by ourselves to whatever destination we choose and having a small nothing wedding here in AZ but that's not what we want ultimately. Please someone out there tell me you're having this issue too!?

Re: Anyone Else Getting A Hard Time From Family?!!?

  • I can't completely relate. When I first got engaged I had my heart set on eloping. So when we changed it to a destination wedding to please the family we didn't get too much protesting considering the alternative. 

    However, I did get those rude comments from people that said, "I'm broke because I'm going to your destination wedding." We knew they meant well but it just got annoying to hear. I guess the most irritating thing were those who weren't happy about us not getting married in a church. Hubby and I both come from very religious families so it was an issue for some of them. Even hubby's mom had issues with it the day of the wedding. (In the wedding video you hear her asking why we  couldn't have anything even slightly religious in the ceremony.) We just ignored her and other people and when really pressed we just said, "You had your wedding. Let us have ours." Eventually most people came around. 

    Good luck. I really think that after the initial shock of hearing destination wedding, your family will come around. 
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  • We had some push back at the beginning - we were originally looking at Hawaii or Puerto Rico. A lot of folks said they couldn't or wouldn't go that far. We decided who was important for us to have there and ended up switching it up to Southern CA instead. Almost everyone we absolutely wanted there showed up and only a few made comments. 

    Once we framed it like "Our dream is to get married in XXX location and we would be so incredibly happy if you could join us but we understand if there are factors that make it impossible. We will still think of you on our special day" That seemed to stop most of the comments - I think if you let everyone know that it is truly what you want they will hopefully stop fighting about it.

    good luck!
  • My fiance and I are getting married in Mexico in December. We decided on a "weddingmoon" last year. We are having my fiance's best friend (and his girlfriend) and by best friend (plus boyfriend) come with us. We felt that the only fair way to approach the "destination wedding" was to say "we're going to get married in Mexico, and if you have been meaning to take a tropical vacation and this is good timing, we would love to have you there." I felt it was unfair to expect anyone to spend that kind of money on our wedding. The main reason that we decided to do a destination wedding was to avoid the hassle of getting our family (all spread out over the country) in one place. I think it is unrealistic, even with 2 years notice, to expect your family to invest that much into your wedding unless they are wealthy or you are paying.

  • We are, however, getting a lot of greif for not having a big formal wedding everyone can go to. Can't please anyone :) 
  • debralea said:
    We are, however, getting a lot of greif for not having a big formal wedding everyone can go to. Can't please anyone :) 
    It seems like no matter what choices you make, there are always going to be those dissenters. A wedding is always going to inconvenience people, and I'll bet if you did it in your backyard, you'd have an aunt complaining about driving 45 minutes on whatever Saturday you chose. Or maybe that's just me. 

    I think the only thing the OP should really think about is how important it is to her for these family members to be there. If you aren't going to have the best day of your life because some VIPs can't attend, then maybe a DW isn't for you. If you can shrug your shoulders and say you'll send them the pictures, then don't let it worry you. If you've made up your mind, and all they want to do is complain, buy yourself an engagement present of noise canceling headphones. It's your day. Not theirs.
  • I had some from my fiancés mother. I decided to please her and look at venues in my area. Who knows, maybe I'll fall in love with one?!


    To help with the you won't have your somewhat close family and friends at the wedding we are having a casual reception back in the States. Maybe this is an option?

    I couldn't agree more with icecreamcono, no matter what choices you make, there are always going to be those that don't like. But remember, it's you and your fiancés day, no one else's! Do what you feel most comfortable doing :)

  • We got married in Mexico and got a bit of push back, but I wouldn't change a thing.  But if you are going to have a DW, you HAVE to be okay with the idea that people aren't necessarily going to like it and/or go.  Like you said, it's a lot to ask of anyone, so you absolutely cannot expect anyone to be there. Just hope for the best and leave at that.

    It sucks and it's hard when others aren't as excited, but you have to be ready to deal with that and graciously get over it when people decide they can't or won't go.  Figure out who your must-haves are and then decide if you can truly be okay without them there. If so, plan away! If not, a DW isn't for you.

  • We had gotten mixed reactions.  We gave everyone over a year to plan but people still had issues.  It does suck.  The problem we had was some people not even family but close friends made a big deal about the timing and the cost etc.  I eventually had to tell them "It's not your day this is about Peadar and myself, I am sorry if you are upset but it was our decision and we could not afford to have a traditional wedding".  We were honest and it was just the truth.  
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  • We did receive a little push back from some people, but I agree with PPs on how to approach this. First off, did you and your FI discuss with your VIPs the possibility of a DW? If those closest to you can't make it, would you consider something different? Once my H and I had confirmation from our VIPs, we put the deposit down on our DW. I did have a family member call and yell at me for quite some time about it and told me straight up that his family would not be attending. That was the risk we took by having a DW. It was fine that they didn't attend - we didn't need that negativity on our wedding day.

    Also - two years notice is a lot (and I understand why you gave it - we gave 13 months notice). Airlines don't even show ticket prices 1 year out and many hotels don't show available dates more than 18 months out.   

    The best thing to reply to people when they are negative in anyway towards your DW is to simply say, "we understand it's a lot to ask and we understand if you're not able to make it. You'll be in our hearts that day." Wording it like that got a lot of the negative people to drop it!

    Good luck!
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  • Good luck with your family! I am pretty fortunate, it sounds like, to have both families that are OK with our decision to have a DW. Both sets of parents and all of the siblings have expressed that they will be attending and expressed gratitude in our early alert that we'd be going somewhere else.

    We did originally talk about going somewhere further away (Greece), but we ultimately settled on a closer destination (Alaska) because we would simply exclude a lot of people that we really did want to have at the wedding. It is your day, and you should do what you want to. However, if it is important for you to have certain people at your wedding, take their needs into consideration and "think outside the box" for a destination wedding location that might make it easier for them to attend.

    For comparison, the Greece trip would have cost around $1000 per person in airfare and around $1200 for the cruise (nothing else included). Alaska is costing around $300 per person in airfare and around $750 per person for the cruise. Both are a week long trip.

  • i've also gotten mixed reactions... we live in CA and are getting married in HI, when i'm originally from and where my parents still live. my fiance's parents are excited but immediately told us that the rest of his family will not be going... i'm going to invite them anyways. my fiance's mom said she's going to plan a reception for us locally for those who can't make it.... very generous of her to throw us a party! also my parents are paying for my HI wedding.... i'm getting mixed reviews from my friends (i.e. "i'll never make that, not cool" or "any excuse to go to HI!"). my fiance and i have decided just to invite everyone important to us and if they can't come, too bad for them! 

    also (dad's idea) there is a company that you can hire to webcast your wedding ... not the same, but for those who are nice and still not able to come, it may be an option.
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