Thursday, October 20, 2011

My thoughts on destination weddings

If you read along, you know A & I recently went to a destination wedding.  We had planned and budgeted to take a vacation this year to celebrate my 50th birthday, the idea was some all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean or Mexico.  When this wedding in the Dominican Republic at an all-inclusive resort came up, it fit right into those plans and we went.  Would we have gone otherwise?  I don't know.  It's a lot of money.  We have another one coming up next year, this time in Italy.  If we both go, it will cost us between $3,000 and $4,000 to go - and that's for only four days!  I would say we don't have a lot of choose over whether or not to go - the groom is A's brother - but we may not be able to afford to both go.  We will do our best to insure that at least A goes, but for both of us - well - that's a big nut to swallow.  I think that weddings should be what the bride and groom want, but I hope they consider what all the implications are of that.  I'm hoping that, in making the decision to marry in Italy, they recognize that not many people will be able to attend.  I would say that it's a good bet that most of their cousins will be unable to attend and likely only one uncle.  That's okay - if they understand that.  As long as they don't get upset that people can't go - then that's fine, have the wedding the way you want.  It's your day.  I have to admit that I'm a bit resentful about this whole Italy wedding.  Neither the bride nor groom are Italian born.  I think it's just that it's pretty and different.  For us though - to spend that much money to go means other things won't be happening.  We are aggressively paying down our credit card debt and I don't want to change that.  We need new windows for the house.  We need to upgrade the service.  We just had a water leak in the pipe in the front yard that was partially insured, but still cost us $1,200 to fix.  Our garage needs to be rebuilt, we need to redo the bathroom.  There are a lot of things that $3-4k could go towards.  And we wouldn't even be getting a vacation out of it.  That only covers arriving two days before the wedding and leaving the day after.  Add several hundred dollars more - probably another grand actually - if we want to extend it.  We're not talking about an all-inclusive resort here, we're talking hotel, car rental, meals - all of it.  So, now the money I saved per month when I leased my new car is I guess going towards the wedding in Italy.  Not the house cleaning help I wanted to hire.  Not windows, not paying down debt, not the electric service upgrade.  Not the new furniture we could use in the living room.  (Don't by Raymour & Flanigan, it doesn't last.)  And you know what else - it's not the vacation I would have chose to take if we had planned to take a big one this year.  We have already decided we can't go to Vegas for a weekend with friends like we did last year.  We are hoping that if a miracle happens and UCONN becomes bowl eligible, it's the Pinstripe Bowl so it will only cost us a ticket and a train ride - otherwise our streak of bowl attendance is likely done.  So, going back to my previous statement - it's their day, it should be what they want, but I do wish they had considered the loved ones that will feel obligated to attend and what that will cost them.  And I hope that they are understanding of the other loved ones and the friends who will be unable to afford to attend.  And I hope that they get that someone who spends $3k or $4k just to be at the wedding - well their presence is the present.


Brenna said...

Which of these phrases can you picture yourself saying on your 70th birthday:

"Oh, A, remember that amazing new garage?"
"Oh, A, remember that wedding in Italy?"

Kate B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate B said...

Had to fix my previous comment! Unfortunately, the garage situation is a bad one to pick on as it's a case of the garage is going to fall down one of these days due to termite damage. so it could be "Oh A, remember when our garage fell down because we spent our money on that wedding in Italy?" We need to save up enough to do it because it really has to be done. It's already a little tilted. I'm really torn. A doesn't really want to go to Italy. I feel he must. Me? Well I really am torn over where to spend the money. But that's who I am. I still think back on our wedding and sometimes think we should have done something smaller and put the money into a downpayment on a house. Funny - my mother calls me her sentimental child! Not always so sentimental I guess.

loribeth said...

I'm with you, Kate. Destination weddings are nice if you can afford them, but you simply can't expect everyone will be able to be there. It's just not reasonable.

We've never taken a sunspot vacation -- I was thinking it would be nice for MY 50th last year... but dh was lukewarm & although I looked at brochures endlessly, I had to admit, it's a lot of money. Sigh. Time to buy another lottery ticket...!

Anonymous said...

I was told that destination wedding were planned by the bride and groom to keep their expenses down and family and friends away they really didn't want at the wedding anyway.

If you really want family and friends to be there on your big day you make it possible for them to be there. PERIOD.

Ten years from now, will I look back and wish I had gone? NO. I live within my means. Spending $4500.00 (plus) for four or five days is not the life style I live. The economics aren't there. Have not been on vacation for four years now.