I am the MOH at my cousin's wedding in Sept 2012. She is planning on having her wedding in Italy at a castle. Her fiance is more than 10 years older than her and they both have boat loads of money to spend on their big day, but also expect all of their guests to spend the same and get literally furious when people say they can't afford it/can't attend.
And it doesn't stop there. They also had a four-day long engagement party in February of this year in the mountains of Colorado (where all of the bride's friends live except me as I live in London, but none of the groom's friends live...they are from California) which was held in a villa where we all had to sleep AND share a room with at least two other people that we did not know...some people had to sleep in bunkbeds with eight people to a room. She also charged everyone $200 to come to their engagement party to help pay to rent the villa for the four days, not to mention the $800 plane ticket I spent to fly to Colorado. Let's just say that the groom's friends kept all of us up until 5 am blasting techno music, and then had the nerve to get mad when I told them to turn it off because some people were trying to sleep, including the bride's 85 year-old grandmother.
So anyway, I am writing here to ask for advice on what to do in this situation. The bride and groom are adamant about having their wedding in Italy in some castle that will sleep all of their guests a hotel is NOT an option), where we willl most likely have to share rooms again. Also they don't have castles to rent out in Rome that sleep guests so we will most likely be in the countryside at least an hour drive away from a major airport, requiring even more travel. And I must not forget that their wedding is to be a 5 day event and we will all be stuck in the same building with everyone in the countryside of Italy, with no tourist things to do and no way to get away to get some alone time if you need it. Also it's going to be at least $1200 to get a plane ticket to Rome. And that doesn't include food for everyday that isn't the wedding day, as well as transport from the airport and back.
So, at this time, 4 out of 8 of her bridesmaids have completely bailed out on the wedding and the bride has flipped her lid. She has completely stopped all contact with them and thinks that these people don't care about her if they can't afford to come for one reason or another. Also most members of her family have said they can't make the wedding either due to the cost or because they can't take that much time off work, etc., to which she also flipped out and told people they could start saving since it was over a year away. She also expects my 14 year-old sister to a week off of her first weeks of high school to come be a flower girl, to which my parents said no. And she expects our 85 year-old grandmother to make the 10 hour flight to Italy, to which her doctor specifically said no flying because of her health. When the bride heard this she said she would be fine because several of her fiance's groomsmen are doctors....and that she could fly first class. If you can believe that, when my grandmother went to the engagement party in the mountains, her legs swelled up and she couldn't walk for a week after returning because of a kidney issue. But the bride still can't get her head around her not being able to fly. What makes it worse is that her fiance has 10 groomsmen (!!!) and all of them are coming and none have bailed. This makes her feel really crappy like all of her friends don't care. The groom's friends are all 10 years older than us at least, and are all wealthy habitual frat boy partiers that don't have families and all have jobs that allow them to take many weeks off work at a time, as the groom is having a THREE WEEK LONG bachelor party touring around the Black Sea in September of this year.
As for the bride's idea of a bachelorette party, she let it slip that she wants to have it in Munich at Oktoberfest the weekend before her wedding in Italy!!!! So not only would everyone need to fly to Rome, they first have to make a stop in Munich, then fly to Rome, then fly back home! Not to mention paying for a hotel in Munich for the weekend and going out money and food! As I am planning on driving to Italy with my boyfriend to the wedding to make a nice little vacation out of it, I can't possibly make a stop in Munich and expect him to hang out alone all weekend whilst I throw a bachelorette party.
What is the best way to approach? I live in London like I said, but am travelling back to the States in a months' time and can speak with her in person then. Being that I live in London, most of the expensive plane trips from the States don't affect me, but she is expecting me to travel with her to Italy to look at venues with wedding planners in a few months for several days, as well as flying to Colorado to rent a limo all day and go look at wedding dresses with her mother and all the bridesmaids, and on top of that, I have to fly to New York in December to go to Kleinfeld's to look at dresses as well!!!.......................Since I am the MOH, I feel it is my responsibilty to let her know that all of the remaining bridesmaids have specifically told me that they are freaking out over being about to afford this wedding in Italy alone, let alone the bachelorette party and dress and shoes. I don't want more people to bail and don't want to see her wallow in her self-created misery anymore.
Also I feel it is important to mention that her fiance has made the decision that the wedding is to be in Italy because that is where he proposed to her and he is Catholic so he wants their marrage to be blessed by the Pope. It was never her idea but he is a VERY passionate person to say the least, and the bride has taken it on board 100%. She never used to be this way until she met her fiance. He has influenced her to think that everything must be a week-long extravagant party. Is there anyway to show them that she needs to have the wedding in the States if she wants her friends and family to be able to attend? So far my best guess is saying that when she looks back at the pictures and the memories and doesn't see hardly anyone she cares about there, maybe she will re-think alienating everyone she cares about and hold it closer to home.
Any advice would be helpful. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!