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Destination wedding question

stepcutnut

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Was just wondering how PS'rs feel about destination weddings where the guests are essentially paying for the entire ceremony(including food and drink) and the couples entire stay at the resort due to the fact that they(the guests) collectively booked a certain number of nights at this resort for the wedding and thus the couple gets everything comped for them?

Tacky or Not?
 

ame

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I am not a big fan of destination weddings anyway, unless I am like the brides sister. But knowing I was paying for everything would eliminate any desire to go.
 

Clairitek

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Do the guests know about this? Are you choosing this resort because you think you can get a free wedding out of it?

Honestly, even if the answer to the second question was "yes" I wouldn't care if I were a guest at your wedding. I guess just don't be too pushy to get people to stay there. I know people who go to destination weddings and will stay elsewhere if the resort where the wedding is being hosted it too pricey or not their taste. I just wouldn't tell your guests that you got a free wedding, or any portion of it comped.
 

slg47

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attending weddings is expensive enough without it being a destination wedding...but that's just my take. I definitely wouldn't mention that you are getting stuff for free since your guests are staying at the resort!
 

stepcutnut

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Haha-not my wedding, been happily married for 11 years :)

We were just invited as guests and were checking out the website for the resort. Came across the info under the wedding section and had an almost visceral reaction to it-seems really tacky and tasteless to me. So, we began looking at resorts that were close by to stay at instead and found out we will have to pay $90 each to get onto the property for the wedding if we stay elsewhere!!! Just was wondering if I overreacted or not and how others felt!
 

suchende

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I hate destination weddings. I don't even care what perks they are finagling out of the resort. Why on earth would I want to make your wedding my vacation (and chew up my vacation days & budget in the process)?!

If both bride and groom are local to your area, it seems pretty egregious. I know some people (including me!) travel far from home to find work and so, to them, a destination wedding seems to make sense. They do seem to overestimate how much their nearest and dearest want to spend attending though.

A friend of mine moved to a resort town and married someone from Canada. My friend new's new home was thousands of miles from where we grew up. So basically, the new location was only convenient for them. But, I would have gone, had the wedding not been on a mid-week weekday :roll:
 

Aoife

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I like destination weddings, although I would have the same reaction that you did to the "wedding is free because the resort is making a bundle off the guests" thing. In that case, I would probably make a point of not going, and, if I was feeling really crabby, would probably let the happy couple know why. It's more considerate for the bridal couple to arrange for discounted room rates than for them to count on soaking their guests. The thought occurs to me, though: if they don't get a certain number of guests to attend, do they then have to pay for the full cost of the wedding? I hope so.

One of the reasons I like destination weddings is that if I am close to the couple, and would attend no matter what, I get an extra vacation. If I'm not close to them, I have a guilt-free excuse for not attending.
 

mrscushion

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stepcutnut|1316449632|3020686 said:
Haha-not my wedding, been happily married for 11 years :)

We were just invited as guests and were checking out the website for the resort. Came across the info under the wedding section and had an almost visceral reaction to it-seems really tacky and tasteless to me. So, we began looking at resorts that were close by to stay at instead and found out we will have to pay $90 each to get onto the property for the wedding if we stay elsewhere!!! Just was wondering if I overreacted or not and how others felt!
Uh...yeah, I would have the same reaction. The $90 attendance charge is ludicrous. I would not attend the wedding. Gosh, I would be so embarrassed to be that couple and know their guests realize they're comping my wedding.

Without that $90 charge, I might think about attending the wedding if it were a really great resort and fun vacation and I could easily afford it. But that resort just seems to be the worst.
 

slg47

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umm...a $90 attendance charge??

the bride and groom should cover this.
 

MissStepcut

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Maybe this is less polite than you're comfortable with, but I would be seriously tempted to contact the bride and say, "Oh my! The resort says they're charging $90 to attend your ceremony! Have you talked to them about waiving the fee for off-site wedding guests? It might be worth trying, since you're paying to have your whole event on their premises!"
 

sonnyjane

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MissStepcut|1316465597|3020901 said:
Maybe this is less polite than you're comfortable with, but I would be seriously tempted to contact the bride and say, "Oh my! The resort says they're charging $90 to attend your ceremony! Have you talked to them about waiving the fee for off-site wedding guests? It might be worth trying, since you're paying to have your whole event on their premises!"
I have done this hehe. My husband and I were invited to a wedding here in our town and the resort at which they had their reception charged a mandatory $50 valet fee. $50 on top of the wedding gift for a couple that was not more than a casual work friendship didn't sit well with me so I emailed the bride "out of curiosity" to see if maybe they had some type of deal with the hotel to waive that fee. About a week later I got an email saying that the fee would be waived. Now, I'm not sure if the bride negotiated that with the hotel, or if they just ended up paying the costs to the hotel or what, but it saved me $50 :)
 

iLander

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I can't stand destination weddings. When we got married hubby and I tried to make it easy for everyone and even paid for a couple of people's hotel/ air fare/ whatever.

I think guests even showing up is a HUGE favor and I would never put them out.

I don't understand the world today . . . :nono:
 

sillyberry

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iLander|1316469091|3020942 said:
I can't stand destination weddings. When we got married hubby and I tried to make it easy for everyone and even paid for a couple of people's hotel/ air fare/ whatever.

I think guests even showing up is a HUGE favor and I would never put them out.

I don't understand the world today . . . :nono:
Forgive the threadjack, but I'm always curious -- what do people consider a destination wedding?

I grew up in Texas, moved to Massachusetts for college, DC for work, Chicago for grad school, and am moving back to DC. My friends live all over the country (and a few around the world). I think the biggest concentration of my invited guests came from DC at 12. DH grew up in the Chicago area and the bulk of his guests were still in the area.

Knowing we would have put out at least half of our guests no matter where we got married...where should we have chosen? My hometown? His? Would it have been terrible to choose a neutral location where everyone had to travel? What do you do if you have no choice but to put people out? Feel like a selfish monster?

Sometimes destination weddings seem a bit silly (everyone still lives in our hometown, but lets invite 200 people to go to Cancun!), some seem like a way to have the small wedding they've always dreamed of without offending all the relatives who would assume they're invited to the local wedding, some seem like a compromise when there really isn't any logical place to get married. Or sometimes they're in a place that isn't really a "destination" except for the fact that people have to travel because they're spread out.

As far as not understanding the world today, it seems like a reality of the current times where people have dramatically increased their geographic mobility. If you can't go, or simply don't want to go, just decline! It's only when guests are made to feel bullied to attend that it's really a problem in my view.

For what it's worth, we ended up getting married in Chicago. That really only put out my guests, and the bulk of them would have had to travel regardless of where we held the wedding, so it seemed like the best solution. Funnily enough, the Best Man's wife couldn't believe we didn't get married in my hometown (and then got mad at the groom!), so it seems you really can't win.
 

Kunzite

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I would be a little annoyed in the OP's situation, but I honestly don't understand all of the negative attitudes towards destination weddings (calling them egregious?)! You don't have to attend! We had a destination wedding but only after we had serious conversations with the four or five people that we really couldn't imagine leaving out. If any of them had said they'd rather not travel or couldn't swing it then we wouldn't have done it (or if money was the issue we would have paid their way), but the rest of the people we invited? If they couldn't come, no big deal. Nobody felt obligated to come to our wedding. I just find it so strange to act like you're being forced to go to a DW!
 

MissGotRocks

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I agree - a destination wedding is just another option and it truly is up to the bride and groom. My son and his wife had one and it was fabulous from start to finish. There were some perks to be had depending on the number of guests booked but it in no way paid for their whole trip or the whole wedding and reception. They were out much more than their guests because of the cost of the wedding but they knew that upfront. We all had a week's vacation in a beautiful, tropical, adult only all-inclusive resort in one of our winter months so it was quite the getaway. They discussed it with all family and friends that were important to them before they made their final decision. Had the reception not been so glowing, they probably would have considered a venue stateside. In fact, we all had such a fabulous time that many of us from the wedding group have planned another all inclusive trip this fall - sans the wedding of course. It is always your choice to go or not and I think anyone planning such a wedding knows and accepts your decision graciously.

Weddings can be very stressful even in the best of families. It sometimes seems to bring out the worst in folks and this quite frankly left all the Negative Nellies home and brought with it only those that really wanted to be there. We've all felt put upon at times to attend events that if given the choice, we would have foregone. Time and money provide the perfect out if you don't want to or can't attend. There are pictures and videos galore for those that wanted to see it - we had quite the 'movie night' over the Christmas holidays for those that didn't attend.

Times and geographics are changing - there are precious few weddings for anyone that find all of their family and friends in one location. Flexibility and understanding are key - on everyone's part. Don't knock it till you've tried it - you might be very pleasantly surprised!
 

amc80

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We are doing a destination wedding. Very few of our friends are local, and even less of our family lives in town. We are getting married in Florida (we are on the west coast) and then boarding a cruise, to which our guests are also invited. We haven't sent out the invitations yet (going out tomorrow!), but based on the save the dates, we have about 40 people attending the wedding and 24 cruising. Our guests are coming from about 8 different states. So regardless of where we would have had the wedding, a lot of people would have had to travel. We've gotten great feedback- believe it or not, some people need an excuse to travel. We also have guests who are taking advantage of Florida and attending the wedding and then going to theme parks.

As far as your situation- Honestly, it really wouldn't phase me. I wouldn't feel like I was paying for the couple's wedding- I'm paying for a vacation and to attend the wedding.
 

MissStepcut

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Kunzite|1316471668|3020965 said:
I would be a little annoyed in the OP's situation, but I honestly don't understand all of the negative attitudes towards destination weddings (calling them egregious?)! You don't have to attend! We had a destination wedding but only after we had serious conversations with the four or five people that we really couldn't imagine leaving out. If any of them had said they'd rather not travel or couldn't swing it then we wouldn't have done it (or if money was the issue we would have paid their way), but the rest of the people we invited? If they couldn't come, no big deal. Nobody felt obligated to come to our wedding. I just find it so strange to act like you're being forced to go to a DW!
Bolded is certainly one element of it. Getting an invitation to a destination wedding, without this phone call, is akin to say, "we don't really care if you make it or not." Some people also find it gift-grubby (save on the meal, often still get the gifts from people you invite).

Sillyberry's situation is more understandable, and one I see very often. Still, a "compromise" of a neutral location isn't that helpful; instead of inconveniencing some people, it just inconveniences everyone. My situation is very similar to hers, actually. We go to law school in Chicago, both worked in DC, both lived other places, he went to undergrad in Atlanta, I went to undergrad in Iowa, my family lives on the west coast, his lives all over the world. So it's true, no where will be convenient for everyone. You still should do what you can to make people feel like you want them to be there, and to make it as easy as possible for them to attend, IMO. Or, just don't invite them and elope/just invite family and family-like friends.

That's my opinion, anyway.
 

Aoife

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An invitation to a wedding is just that: an invitation. It doesn't matter if it's a destination wedding or not, the invitees are under no obligation to a) attend or b) send a gift. Really.

When each of our daughters got married, we went to a lot of trouble and put a lot of thought into making sure that we really, really wanted everyone who was invited to attend. We also negotiated discounted hotel rates, arranged for transportation, and planned activities. We were thrilled that the people who had to travel cared enough to come, and we understood when people were not able to attend whether they were local or not. A destination wedding, IMO, is no more inconsiderate or egregious than any other wedding. Go if you want to/can afford to, and send regrets and best wishes if you don't. That's it. I don't think an invitation to a destination wedding, without a phone call from the wedding couple checking to make sure the location meets with my approval, is akin to saying that my presence is not desired or required. Because, you know, if they felt that way, they probably just wouldn't send me an invitation to begin with. :lol:
 

iLander

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sillyberry|1316471352|3020962 said:
iLander|1316469091|3020942 said:
I can't stand destination weddings. When we got married hubby and I tried to make it easy for everyone and even paid for a couple of people's hotel/ air fare/ whatever.

I think guests even showing up is a HUGE favor and I would never put them out.

I don't understand the world today . . . :nono:
Forgive the threadjack, but I'm always curious -- what do people consider a destination wedding?

Sometimes destination weddings seem a bit silly (everyone still lives in our hometown, but lets invite 200 people to go to Cancun!), some seem like a way to have the small wedding they've always dreamed of without offending all the relatives who would assume they're invited to the local wedding, some seem like a compromise when there really isn't any logical place to get married. Or sometimes they're in a place that isn't really a "destination" except for the fact that people have to travel because they're spread out.
That's what I think is a destination wedding; another country.

I think staying in the US, near at least some of your guests, is normal today. I think another country is ridiculous. Remember that Seinfeld episode where Elaine's friend got married in India, but everyone lived in NYC? That's a bit much. :rolleyes:
 

mrscushion

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sillyberry|1316471352|3020962 said:
iLander|1316469091|3020942 said:
I can't stand destination weddings. When we got married hubby and I tried to make it easy for everyone and even paid for a couple of people's hotel/ air fare/ whatever.

I think guests even showing up is a HUGE favor and I would never put them out.

I don't understand the world today . . . :nono:
As far as not understanding the world today, it seems like a reality of the current times where people have dramatically increased their geographic mobility. If you can't go, or simply don't want to go, just decline! It's only when guests are made to feel bullied to attend that it's really a problem in my view.
Ditto. I think it is the new reality that people from very different places decide to get married. He's from France, she's from San Francisco; she's from India, he's from Vancouver. Should they always have two weddings, just to accommodate people? Kind of defeats the purpose of celebrating that two families are coming together, IMO. Point being, like sillyberry says, if you can't attend or feel like the vacations people organize for you under the cover of a wedding are an imposition, then don't attend.
 

Rhea

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mscushion|1316503742|3021217 said:
sillyberry|1316471352|3020962 said:
iLander|1316469091|3020942 said:
I can't stand destination weddings. When we got married hubby and I tried to make it easy for everyone and even paid for a couple of people's hotel/ air fare/ whatever.

I think guests even showing up is a HUGE favor and I would never put them out.

I don't understand the world today . . . :nono:
As far as not understanding the world today, it seems like a reality of the current times where people have dramatically increased their geographic mobility. If you can't go, or simply don't want to go, just decline! It's only when guests are made to feel bullied to attend that it's really a problem in my view.
Ditto. I think it is the new reality that people from very different places decide to get married. He's from France, she's from San Francisco; she's from India, he's from Vancouver. Should they always have two weddings, just to accommodate people? Kind of defeats the purpose of celebrating that two families are coming together, IMO. Point being, like sillyberry says, if you can't attend or feel like the vacations people organize for you under the cover of a wedding are an imposition, then don't attend.
We did have two just because we knew people who we really wanted wouldn't be able to make it for health (grandparents) or money (friends) reasons. My parents are from OH, born in TX with friends there, finished school in GA with friends there, and chose to get legally married in London (where DH is from) with a reception in rural GA where I went to college and lived because it was much less expensive than closer to Atlanta. Even with two weddings we didn't please everyone. Friends and family spread out everywhere and some people complaining because the legal wedding was in London. It had to be somewhere! I don't consider either of mine destination - we both lived in the two places we got married. Our legal wedding was an hours drive from his house, and our Stateside reception was 7 houses down from the house I lived in at the time. But they would've been a destination wedding to some people - though we did basically just did one wedding for each side and invited some cross-overs.

I love the idea of eloping, wish we could've done it - and might have had one of us not been moving to another country.

I don't like the idea of destination weddings. Generally they are expensive and don't fit the idea of what I want in a holiday. I have limited money and chose to spend it on myself, doing things I enjoy, rather than on holidays I didn't plan and that aren't to my taste. So I just don't attend. I've never quite understood why people get upset or feel put out. I wonder, is it just a change in lifestyles as times change? What is expected from a host as well as those attending is different now. My older relatives always seem to feel the need to be polite and attend something they are invited to even if they don't seem to really want to. I can't say that I feel that need. I also don't think it necessary to send more than a card with well wishes.
 

zoebartlett

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I'm surprised at some of the replies regarding destination weddings in general. If I was invited to one, I'd love to go, provided I could cover the cost of travel, a hotel, etc. I was invited to a DW in Bermuda that I couldn't attend. I was really sad about not being able to go, but I never saw it as something to get upset (mad) over.

I think some weddings are considered DWs that might not truly fit the typical mold. For instance, our wedding was on the Maine coast. My family and my husband's live in the next state over, but it was 1-2 hours away for most people, and a plane ride away for many others. Some of our guests considered our wedding a DW because because of the distance and they took extra vacation time to see the sights.
 

stepcutnut

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It seems as if many have strong feelings about destination weddings in general-didn't want to 'stir the pot' was just curious what others thought about our situation.

I kind of had to chuckle when I read so many times over and over, just not to attend the wedding and forget about the invite-well in our case it is an immediate family member. One who didn't seem to give an out of country wedding(when 98% of their guests live within 45min. of one another-and we are not even one of those) a second thought, just assumed that all would happily attend. If, we chose not to attend the wedding it would cause a huge riff between us and the rest of the family-probably forever! So, we really feel kind of trapped by their decision!!! Then to find out that they are essentially getting a 'free ride' due to their guests overpaying for everything really made me angry!
 

blacksand

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To me a destination wedding is when the couple and guests all travel to a location where none of them live just for the sake of the wedding. It isn't a destination wedding if it's where the couple currently lives, the bride or groom's hometown, or where many of the guests live. My cousin is marrying a girl from Georgia. She grew up in Georgia and the couple is moving to Georgia after the wedding. So of course the wedding is in Georgia, even though half of the guests are in NJ. That's not a destination wedding, even though I have to travel for it (and I'm going to try to make it!). My best friend and her husband live in Boston, but they got married in Venezuela (at Christmastime, no less!). They both grew up in Venezuela and their families live there. So that was the logical place for them to be married. In that case, I did take the vacation time, spend the money, and spend Christmas away from my own family that year. It was hard, but that was my best friend's wedding. And it wasn't as though she was asking everyone to travel just for the fun of it; there was a reason to have it there.

A destination wedding is like when FI was invited to Aruba (by a couple who had never been to Aruba before) for a wedding on Valentine's Day and was not allowed to bring a date. HAhahaha. They wanted my fiance to spend his money and vacation time to go to Aruba. On Valentine's Day. Without me. Yeah. No. That one didn't go over so well. None of the invited guests showed up except for the bride and groom's immediate families. They were disappointed. They ended up improvising an informal reception a few weeks later, in NJ, where all their guests live, and more than 100 people came. They said over and over how they should have just had the wedding in NJ in the first place, and then honeymooned in Aruba. Yep.
 

JewelFreak

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stepcutnut|1316449632|3020686 said:
found out we will have to pay $90 each to get onto the property for the wedding if we stay elsewhere!!!
Whaaaat?? Wow, what a ripoff. Would I feel completely taken advantage of? You bet. As if I'd been invited simply to puff up the numbers ($$). No way would I go to this wedding!

My niece & FI are determined to have a destination wedding. My sister, her mom, is really really mad about it -- because most of my niece's family & many friends will not be able to attend. His family & their mutual friends have plenty of money, so love the idea. Guess it'll be a one-sided deal.

Miss Manners puts it the best: A destination wedding makes it clear the location is more important to the couple than sharing their happiness with family and friends.

Even if they pay for everything (who does?): travel, lodging, meals, booze, etc., lots of folks can't take time off to go. If that doesn't matter, ok.

--- Laurie
 

MissStepcut

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JewelFreak|1316539297|3021458 said:
Miss Manners puts it the best: A destination wedding makes it clear the location is more important to the couple than sharing their happiness with family and friends.
I totally agree with this. Great quote.

It's true that we all have the option of not attending destination weddings, but it doesn't mean we have to be happy about it, especially when you get the sense the host wasn't too concerned about whether you would be able to come or how difficult it would be for you to do so.
 

amc80

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JewelFreak|1316539297|3021458 said:
Miss Manners puts it the best: A destination wedding makes it clear the location is more important to the couple than sharing their happiness with family and friends.
I don't agree with this at all. Even if we got married where we live, 95% of our guests would have to fly to get here, take time off work, etc.
 

CaprineSun

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JewelFreak|1316539297|3021458 said:
Miss Manners puts it the best: A destination wedding makes it clear the location is more important to the couple than sharing their happiness with family and friends.

--- Laurie
I totally disagree.
 

Pandora II

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stepcutnut|1316521237|3021251 said:
It seems as if many have strong feelings about destination weddings in general-didn't want to 'stir the pot' was just curious what others thought about our situation.

I kind of had to chuckle when I read so many times over and over, just not to attend the wedding and forget about the invite-well in our case it is an immediate family member. One who didn't seem to give an out of country wedding(when 98% of their guests live within 45min. of one another-and we are not even one of those) a second thought, just assumed that all would happily attend. If, we chose not to attend the wedding it would cause a huge riff between us and the rest of the family-probably forever! So, we really feel kind of trapped by their decision!!! Then to find out that they are essentially getting a 'free ride' due to their guests overpaying for everything really made me angry!

If it's immediate family then I would probably send an email - copying in the rest of the family - asking if they knew about the $90 charge if you don't stay at the resort, and include a link to the page which shows how everything is covered by all the guests paying. All worded extremely innocently - and 'worried that they might not know about this - so you wanted to warn everyone'.

But then things like this bring my inner bitch to the fore in a big way! If it was MY immediate family - ie a sibling - I would have it out with them over the phone, and make DH do the same if it was his. If it was a cousin or similar then I would send regrets... could you have a pregnant dog or exams or schedule some minor surgery (do nail extensions count?) at the appropriate time!
 

MissGotRocks

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stepcutnut|1316521237|3021251 said:
It seems as if many have strong feelings about destination weddings in general-didn't want to 'stir the pot' was just curious what others thought about our situation.

I kind of had to chuckle when I read so many times over and over, just not to attend the wedding and forget about the invite-well in our case it is an immediate family member. One who didn't seem to give an out of country wedding(when 98% of their guests live within 45min. of one another-and we are not even one of those) a second thought, just assumed that all would happily attend. If, we chose not to attend the wedding it would cause a huge riff between us and the rest of the family-probably forever! So, we really feel kind of trapped by their decision!!! Then to find out that they are essentially getting a 'free ride' due to their guests overpaying for everything really made me angry!
I don't know anyone that ever planned a destination wedding that just ASSUMED that all family and close friends would attend. It is an expensive proposition for anyone to attend and quite galling IMO to assume and/or be angry if someone either wouldn't or couldn't attend the wedding. I think most people would at least float the idea out there with their families to see if there was interest or if it would just be downright impossible for most to attend.

I also don't know where this DW is to occur but I know of no one that has ever had their entire trip and wedding comped - even with a rather large showing of guests. It might sound like that or it might be possible if hundreds of guests came but the couple has to pay for their trip just like everyone else. The wedding itself is cheaper than if you were at home arranging for ceremony and reception venues (with a DW it is all done on premise of course - most weddings by the ocean or water) but there is still cost involved. In our situation, there were upgrades to flowers or champagne for everyone and not just the couple - things like that depending on the number of guests registered with the wedding - but certainly not completely covered by the guests attending. For the all inclusive resorts, the reason for charging outsiders a fee is that all resort guests meals and such are covered by their trip payment and those not staying there are obviously not covered. However, in all fairness, all of this was covered by the travel agent and by the resort before any of the plans were set. The couple should be well aware of all of this and perhaps it would have been on them to explain these things to all family members in particular before the invites went out. These things were certainly well shared with our family before the commitment was made.

This type of wedding was the bride and groom's choice and in all fairness, every couple has the right to decide which kind and where they want their wedding to be. How considerate they are of family involved is up to them. I know of a couple that decided to be married on a mountain in Colorado in the snow at a rather expensive resort. Believe it or not, it was a fairly formal wedding but due to the venue, many of their friends and family didn't attend. They accepted this of course and while disappointed, their greatest wish was to be married where they chose to be married. Most people were thrilled for them that they were able to make their own dream come true. In these instances, my deference is always to the couple. However, letting people off the proverbial hook for mandatory attendance is just good form.
 
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