Quickie: “No One Is Coming to My Destination Wedding!!”

I feel upset about something regarding my destination wedding. I just found out that people who are special to me, and who I thought would feel happy to be part of our lives, aren’t going. I told them a year in advance to be prepare for the event, and now, just two months from the wedding, most of them have declined. My cousin who introduced me to my future husband sent a reply to her invitation saying she was so excited and honored to be there, but then two weeks later I found out she and her husband got an invitation over to Hawaii for a real bargain. She called and lied to me, saying it was a business trip for her husband’s job and they had no choice but to go. My fiancé spoke to her husband before she called to tell me the bad news, and the husband had a totally different story.

So my question is: should I just shake it off and act like nothing happened? I feel they are being inconsiderate and selfish, and I have no desire in talking to them or including them in any future plans in my family. I am being immature?! — Bride’s Destiny

Destination weddings can be very, very expensive for guests to attend. When you decide to go the destination wedding route, you have to accept that even people who love you may not be able to afford it or may decide to spend their limited vacation budget and vacation time from work … on a real vacation rather than someone else’s wedding. So, yes, you’re being a little immature–although in your defense it IS rude to RSVP yes to a wedding and then change your mind two weeks later. But as I said, with a destination wedding you have to accept that cost is going to be prohibitive for many of the people you’d love to have attend. I certainly wouldn’t let this be the cause for never talking to a family member again — especially one who introduced you to your husband!


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  1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    IDK, I’m getting a different vibe here. It sounds like cousin got a better offer and backed out of the wedding. Which I would be pissed about too. It’s not like their vacation was already planned and conflicted, they are actively choosing to back out of a commitment because something better came up. That’s no good, IMO.
    But LW, I don’t think there is anything you can do about it, so I’d shake it off and be excited about the people who can celebrate with you. As for how to proceed with them in the future, I’d wait until a few months post wedding to decide how you feel about them. Lets some of this initial frustration die down.

    1. well, yes, BUT at least it was only two weeks after she got the invite? like that might not have even been after the resort needed a final count. like at least it wasnt two weeks before the wedding or something! i also had little panics of that fear when i sent out the RSVPs for the weddings i am attending this year, like oh shit did i think about EVERYTHING and make sure im ok to go??
      i think a lot of this stems from her feelings about everyone (“people who are special to me, and who I thought would feel happy to be part of our lives, aren’t going”) and this couple is just the scapegoat right now.

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yeah, I mean I just think it’s shitty to back out of a commitment, regardless of the time frame.
        But I do agree that the disappointment that is felt when you get a lot of “no” RSVPs can be a real thing. I was very disappointed and felt a little slighted when we got a lot of no’s to our semi-destination wedding. And I was even more annoyed when people “officially” rsvped yes and then backed out. I guess I’ve been there an can understand the frustration. But I don’t really think there is anything LW can do.

      2. Yeah, it’s totally ok to be disappointed/frustrated, but other than feeling that for a moment, then letting it go, I don’t think there’s anything to do in this situation other than move on.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Disappointment doesn’t have to also mean anger. (someone said that on here the other day and I liked it.)

      4. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yes. Exactly this. Saying “I’m disappointed” doesn’t always equal mad or harboring negative feelings, or anything other than a momentary sense of sadness and/or frustration.

      5. Yes! to both GG and bethany. As I mentioned earlier, I would 100% be disappointed if certain people chose not to come. Would I hold that against them? Not at all. I would allow myself to be a little hurt then let it go.

      6. Is the save the date the same as an invite? I got a text message save the date from a friend about her wedding (in September, in Alabama- I’m in IL and she asked in Feb). I said yes at the time, but by the time the actual paper save the date card came in the mail, I wasn’t able to take the time off at work. So now I feel bad.

      7. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        No, I don’t think a save the date is the same.

      8. Save the date cards don’t require a response, it’s just a heads up. The invite is when you RSVP.

  2. “spend their limited vacation budget and vacation time from work … on a real vacation rather than someone else’s wedding” – i think this is the kicker, and something that most people planning weddings dont really get..? like, a destination wedding is not something you (as a guest) pick, its something that is picked for you. it can be the wrong type of vacation, the wrong place, the wrong resort, the wrong price range, ect, ect, ect and so i get why someone would want to spend their time and money somewhere that they picked, that worked for them, that they were comfortable paying for, ect.

    1. Dude. My husband and I live 1000+ miles from both sets of parents and all of our old friends (our hometowns are about 1200 miles apart, too). We basically never go on “vacation.” It’s always home to visit family, home for friend’s/relative’s wedding, other place for friend’s wedding, etc.

      It’s really sucky to have to save all your vacation time and budget to go home and visit family, and sometimes I just want to be like “screw grandma’s 80th birthday party, I want to go to Disneyland!” So even if all the LW’s cousin is doing is choosing a real vacation over someone else’s party, I am kind of on her side. (I’m only kinda not, because RSVPing and taking it back is super tacky.)

      1. yep, this just happened to me last week! we went to visit jakes family before the wedding on saturday, and i was so looking forward to a relaxing vacation, when really we had to get up early to get to x place on time to see x person, bla bla bla, and it wasnt an actual vacation at all, really. i was the maid of honor so of course the whole day before and the day of the wedding was hard.
        i miss mexico.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        Same! I actually don’t mind it though because my family is all in cool places at least. But ALL our bigger vacations consist of visiting my siblings where they live.

      3. I do always tell myself how lucky I am that our parents live in places other people would vacation (His parents just outside Washington DC, mine in Fort Lauderdale, FL) but its still not like going to visit my family in Florida is the same as a beach vacation.
        It’s mostly getting up early to have breakfast with grandpa (who gets up at 5am and is already on second breakfast by the time we meet at 9) and then run errands with mom and then go off to meet other grandparents for lunch and so on. I see that pool, but I don’t get to sit in it.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Aww that stinks! I’m pretty good about still feeling like its a real vacation.

      5. Well there was the time I went home for my friend’s bridal shower (I was a bridesmaid) and I had to cram dress shopping, bridal shower, bachelorette party, Thanksgiving, and all my relatives wanting to spend time with me into a 3-day weekend. But my husband (fiance at the time) got to spent all Saturday laid out by the pool. So I guess it was a vacation for him.

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        Oh see my “vacations” to family have mostly been just visits, not for weddings or stuff. I guess that’s why I have time to relax.

      7. Yep, sounds just like my ‘vacations’. Mostly, my vacations have been for weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries in my family. It doesn’t help that my parents live in Florida, my brother lives in Oregon, my grandparents live in Connecticut, Othello’s grandma lives in Alberta, and we live in Utah. I haven’t been on a ‘real’ vacation in 3 years. And that was just a short weekend trip to San Francisco. I’d love to go to Hawaii again.

      8. Oh, and my only cousin who lives in the same state as me got married in Massachusetts. Luckily, I stayed in a hotel suite with my parents and brothers, so that trip wasn’t too spendy, but still.

      9. Agreed. I get pressured to visit my brother a lot by my mother. I don’t get a lot of vacation time in a year, and my brother and I are not particularly close and he lives 3000 miles away in a place I don’t particularly like. So, I’d rather use my time and money on a vacation I will enjoy. (I also agree that it is tacky to undo an RSVP.)

      10. I absolutely agree!! As of a year ago I moved from 3000 miles away from my hometown to an ocean away. I’ve gone to friends’ weddings and family functions (on a graduate student’s salary!) and didn’t get a chance to go on a vacation of my own choosing. It was so awesome to see friends and family, and to celebrate with them, but there were times that I wanted to go on a vacation of my own. Or just to save some money.

        That being said it’s not cool to RSVP and back out, but the LW really seems to be disappointed in many of her guests (I saw it as listing one particular example but was upset that there were many who declined). To me that’s a little unfair.

      11. Agreed. It’s a wedding, not an obligation. I do think that RSVPing and backing out wasn’t a great move, but overall I can understand how most people would not be able to attend. That’s pretty par for the course for destination weddings.

      12. Oh actually speaking of “real” vacations I paid for the Cali bachelorette party last night! I so hope that will be like a real vacation. And there is always my uncles lake house, that is always relaxing and awesome.
        I also ordered my dress last night for the same wedding, and were renting them which is cool. They are sending me two sizes! And then I was bitching about having to put the dresses in the mail the exact next day (which is a Sunday, no mail on that day anyway dummies), and jake told me it’s the same for guys renting tuxes! That’s crazy.

      13. I’m headed to California in three days for my real, 10-day vacation. I haven’t done that in ages. Santa Monida, Laguna Niguel and San Diego. Is it Friday yet?????

  3. I think Wendy has a reasonable point. However, RSVPing 2 months before a wedding, destination or not, is RUDE. She gave them a year to know in advance if the destination wedding would be in their family/personal budget. I don’t know about other DW commenters, but my vacations/budgets are planned about a year in advance. Isn’t that just proper finances? At best, if you aren’t sure, convey that to the bride. Be honest. But RSVPing two months before to a destination wedding is tacky, imho. I don’t know if I personally would cut these people out of my life per se, but honestly I think it would colour my view of them a bit…maybe a bit romantic of me but I think if someone is REALLY important to you, you would find a way-or at least be open and honest about not being able to afford it. The cousin choosing a hawaii vacation over the wedding is so rude! I am sorry that you have to deal with this and I can see how it would hurt. Try to keep in mind in the grand scheme of life there is going to be so much more that comes your way, the good and bad, so please don’t let this break you down. In the end the wedding is about you and your fiance marrying eachother in love and happiness-try to focus on that 🙂 have fun!

    1. kerrycontrary says:

      Wedding invitations normally don’t go out until 2-3 months before the wedding. And even if someone says “I probably won’t be able to make it”, a lot of brides/grooms still invite them just in case they can. So…it sounds like this cousin sent in her RSVP in the appropriate time frame. There was no way she could RSVP earlier if she didn’t have the invitation or RSVP card…

      1. Agree, when she says “let them know a year ahead” I have to assume that she means either mentioned it to people, or that she sent save the dates. Wedding invites usually do go out ~2 months in advance with the RSVP by date only 3-4 weeks before the wedding, although it seems like this bride sent invites out much earlier than that which may be kind of the problem. While some people can plan well for stuff 6 or 12 months in advance, if she had tightened the window between receiving invite/due date/actual wedding she wouldn’t be as likely to have this problem with people backing out.

      2. I don’t know, was I the only person who read it as, “I told you a year in advance so that means I expect you to go. Absolutely. End of story.” Even if you give people advance notice, that doesn’t mean that it’s a contract for them to attend. Sure it’s nice to give them a heads up but you have no idea what is going on in their lives that may prevent them from putting money towards traveling for the wedding, or from being able to attend.

      3. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

        That’s exactly how I read it. “I told them a year in advance to be prepare [sic] for the event” – yikes.

      4. Oh I agree the bride seems to be going off the deep end on that.
        My comment was defending the cousin’s actions against the OP in the thread. She says it was exceptionally rude to RSVP yes and then changing her mind 2 months before the wedding, when per standard wedding timeline the invites should JUST be going out now and the cousin wouldn’t have to respond for a couple weeks.

        I still think its rude to RSVP yes and back out, but replying 2 months out is not anywhere close to late notice.

      5. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

        I totally agree.

    2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      I disagree, it’s typical to send invitations 6 to 10 weeks pre-wedding. So a lot of people would reply after the 2 month mark.

    3. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

      I agree with Kerry and GG. My vacations and budget aren’t planned a year in advance and I’d be quite annoyed if someone gave me a year’s notice to plan ahead and save for their destination wedding. I mean, I’d keep it in mind, but it’s not something I’d specifically save for because that’s a long ways out to know what else I might be doing at that time. My wedding is going to involve a lot of travel for my family and I sent save the dates a year in advance so people could reserve hotel rooms before they sold out (we’re getting married during peak foliage time in New England). But I told everyone that the reservations could be canceled without penalty so they should reserve a room right away and then just cancel if it turns out they can’t make it this fall. I want my family to be there but I would hate for them to use their only vacation time and/or a lot of money on ME rather than a vacation of their choosing. So I get that it hurts but I think the LW is being unreasonable.

      1. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

        Ugh, I realize I’m always “my wedding, my wedding, my wedding” on here. What I’m trying to say is that I generally don’t like going to weddings – no matter how much I love the bride and groom and want to celebrate with them – because they’re generally expensive and I have a limited budget and vacation days. It’s nothing against the bride and groom, it’s just cold hard logistics. And I’m trying to keep this in mind for my own wedding. Weddings are ONE DAY and your marriage is forever (if you’re lucky), so if people can’t celebrate with us on our wedding day they can still support our marriage and be happy with us for the rest of our lives.

      2. That’s okay, you’re allowed to be all ‘my wedding, my wedding, my wedding,’ but just for a bit longer. After the event, sorry, but you can’t do that anymore. Then you have to make the transition to being all, ‘my husband, my husband, my husband.’

      3. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        Having a year’s notice to plan and save for a destination is crucial to some people. It was the only was I was able to save for my friend’s wedding in Mexico. 2 months to save $3500? Yeah I don’t have that kind of income. A years notice? Well that’s only $135 off a pay check, totally doable.

      4. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

        Oh yes, if I wanted to go to a destination wedding I would need time to save for it. What I was trying to get at is that if I had a few thousand dollars saved up for a friend’s wedding but was unexpectedly in need of that money before I officially RSVP’d, then there’s a chance I’d have to use the money and skip the wedding. For example, the AC in my car broke earlier this month and it turned out to be an expensive fix, and I discovered that I desperately needed new brakes and an alignment at the same time. So that was over $1000 that I unexpectedly had to spend at once. A year is a good amount of notice to save money for a vacation, but it’s difficult to know for sure that you can definitely be somewhere a year in advance.

      5. It’s not that I think its a bad idea to give them a years notice. I gave my own wedding guests 9 months notice (as quick as I could sign the papers on a venue and then get the postcards ordered, addressed, and sent) because I know that the only way most people can travel for something like this is advance notice.
        However, just because I told them that far in advance… hell, even if they said at that point that they were able to come, doesn’t mean I can hold them to it. Like Llama said, maybe some big expense comes along. Or maybe you/loved one gets sick. Or maybe you just flat out don’t feel like taking the time/money once you really looked at your budget and all the other trips you need/want to take that year.
        It’s great to give people advanced notice but doesn’t mean everyone will actually be able to “save the date” no matter how far in advance you tell them.

      6. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

        And I should have added that I take very few vacations now that don’t involve travel to visit a family member or friend. I have a good job and I’m relatively financially comfortable, but vacations that involve airfare, hotels, and rental cars are way out of my budget. I’m already stressed about saving for my honeymoon this fall, which is my only vacation this year. I don’t resent couples who have “destination” weddings because I agree with everyone else that almost every wedding involves travel for a least some of the guests anymore, but it’s often just not something that I can make work.

      7. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        My comment was in regards to LP saying that she would be “quite annoyed if someone gave me a year’s notice to plan ahead and save for their destination wedding”

      8. I think that’s about tone of it, right? Like the idea that by having a years notice you have no excuses not to attend. Which is how this LW is coming across when she says “I told them a year in advance to be prepare for the event” like that means they have to go.

      9. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

        Sorry, Lemongrass! SpaceySteph is right – I wasn’t annoyed about the 1 year’s notice, I think that’s very considerate. It was the LW’s tone and implication that the cousin had a year to plan for this so they should be there that I didn’t like.

    4. “I think if someone is REALLY important to you, you would find a way-or at least be open and honest about not being able to afford it.” One could also say that if their family and friends were REALLY important to them, the bride and groom would plan a local wedding that everyone could attend without worrying about vacation time or the finances to attend.

    5. Anonymous says:

      It depends on when the RSVPs are due. And no, I don’t plan vacations a year in advance. Even if you do, a lot can happen in that time.

  4. LW, I had a destination wedding, and when I planned it that way, I knew some people couldn’t make it. That’s just the way it is. And actually, with ANY wedding anywhere, sometimes people can’t come, and that’s just how life is. Even if every person who is invited lives within a 5 mile radius from where the wedding takes place, some people will still not make it. That’s how life goes and you need to accept that.

    Also, you mentioned that you told people when the wedding was a year in advance, but did you ever actually ask people if they’d be able to attend (or want to for that matter?) Some people don’t fly. Some don’t do boats (My wedding and a friend’s both required a ferry ride, which some people aren’t ok with), some people have medical issues that make travel difficult, and others just don’t like to leave their town, or their house for that matter.

    It’s fine and normal to be disappointed. You don’t need to pretend that nothing happened, because obviously something did happen. When your cousin or whoever asks about how the wedding was tell them it was great, and you wish they could have been there. And then leave it at that. Just let it go.

    1. That’s an important, point, I think, bethany. If there are certain people you for sure want at your wedding, I think the polite thing to do – especially if it’s a destination wedding – is to check around before you make plans. Like, check on dates and consider financial standings. People might be more willing to go to a destination wedding if they feel like they contributed, or were thought of, instead of just hey, we’re doing this be there or else.

      1. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

        Llama Guy and I consulted with our siblings before setting our wedding date because they both work out of state and we don’t want to get married without them. My sister is a professor so I asked her when her conferences are this fall, and we made sure LG’s brother would be able to get vacation time.

      2. That’s the way to do it, I think!
        My sis is getting married this year and she told me a few dates they were thinking about. One of them, I had already signed up for my first half marathon, which I’m super excited about. I told her that I would prefer her not to have it then, but I would not run if she decided choose the date. They’re having it later. I don’t think because of me. But still, I was happy.

      3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        We did this too, check with the close family about dates, and we still had conflicts with the “cleared” dates and last minute back-outs.

    2. Ugh all my wedding PTSD is about those local people who flat out don’t show up. I can’t even talk about it, it’ll just be a rant.

    3. Somehow I glossed over the end where the LW says she doesn’t want to talk to them or include them in any future family plans– Yes, LW, you are being immature about that. To cut them out for not attending your wedding (regardless of how tacky/rude the RSVP-take-back was) is really shortsighted and a gross overreaction.

      1. yea, no wedding -no ones wedding, anywhere, ever- is that important.

      2. Except your own. If the person you intend on marrying doesn’t show up for that, you should probably cut contact 🙂

      3. I had a roommate once whose long distance fiancé RSVP’s no a few months before the wedding. By not returning her calls anymore. When he found out he got a teenager in his hometown pregnant.

      4. RSVPed

      5. Wait, like your roommate and her fiancé were invited to a friend’s wedding and he didn’t go because of the girl in his hometown? Or like he “RSVPed no” to his own wedding (as in stopped returning calls and then didn’t show)?

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        HA! I guess RSVPing no to your own wedding is nicer than leaving someone at the altar.

      7. Yeah, imagine getting THAT one in the mail! Yikes.

      8. To his own wedding!

      9. She never truly got over it.

      10. Woah. That stings.

        Just… woah.

      11. And the way she found out about all of this was him first disappearing and then telling her sister (his would have been SIL) “oh btw Nadia I’m going to be a dad!” over ICQ. And she asked “wait… is my sister pregnant? Why didn’t she tell me?!” and he said “No… no we haven’t talked, but I don’t think she is”.

      12. I’m only laughing about this because she was horribly mean to me.

      13. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        It sounded like maybe she was hinting that they had been heading down this “selfish” path for a while and she is wondering if it’s the last straw?

      14. I’m iffy on that one. The cousin flat out lied to her and gave her a yarn to get out of going after she had already accepted the invitation. All while gushing over how “honored” she was to attend. Is a trip to Hawaii, which she can always take pretty much at any time in her life worth being disrespectful to her cousin? Everyone is jumping on the blame-the-bride bandwagon but I think this was more than tacky. I think it’s downright mean. I wouldn’t retaliate or badmouth the cousin, but yes, I’d slowly distance from her, since she obviously has no problem with lying to get her way. No use being angry, though, that only affects your mental health.

  5. kerrycontrary says:

    WWS. I do think what the cousin did is rude, but not rude enough to completely cut her out of your life. Life is short, do you really want to cut out someone who is important to you over 1 day? You’re over-reacting. I don’t know why people are surprised when their guests don’t want to spend the time or money to go to a destination wedding. In fact, a lot of people do destination weddings so that a lot of guests *don’t* come and they keep the event small and intimate. Frankly, if I had a destination wedding the only people I would really expect to come are my immediate family (siblings and spouses), parents, and maybe like 2 friends.

    1. I don’t think that someone who flatly lies to you and spins you a yarn to make herself look better it’s just being tacky. Honestly, she’s been disrespectful. How would you ever trust someone like that? No need to get angry I agree, but yes I would hold it against her character.

  6. I had a destination-ish wedding, and I know that it stings when someone you thought would come declines. Definitely some close friends and family members that I would have loved to see at my wedding weren’t able to make the trip (which in all cases required a plane ticket, hotel stay, and rental car) and I was bummed about it. But as Wendy says, that’s the price you pay for a destination wedding and overall you need to accept that your wedding is not priority number one for everyone. That doesn’t mean they didn’t want to go, but like all adults they have to make hard choices about how to spend their time and money. Accept that some people, even people who love you very much, will have to skip your big day for reasons that are not for you to judge.

    It is tacky that she RSVPd yes and then went back on that because something better came along. But this is not worth cutting your cousin out of your life or creating a big family feud. Your wedding really is one day out of your whole life.

    1. Simonthegrey says:

      It wasn’t a destination wedding, but my husband and I got married in our home state which is about 12 hours away from where his extended family lived. When we were there at Christmas visiting, most of his cousins swore they were coming. By the time the invites went out, only one cousin and her family were. It stung a little, since we did give extensive notice and we only go back to see them every other Christmas (his parents are retiring there, and we will go more often in the future, but still….) however, we always knew that was a possibility since the distance was so far.

  7. IDK, I get that destination weddings are costly and can be a total time suck. But here is the thing, I would try my hardest to make a destination wedding work if it were someone I truly cared about. And honestly, I would hope for the same in return. Unless there was a super good reason, I would be really upset if someone decided to take a different vacation.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Couldn’t you turn this whole guilt thing around onto the LW too though? If these cousins and other family that can’t come are sooo important, why does the LW care so little about them that she’s having a destination wedding to begin with? 🙂

      1. Yes. You’re right. I just responded to bethany and kind of did turn it around to that. So, upon further reflection, if it were me, I would make sure I was planning something that would allow the people I want to celebrate with to be there.

        I’m not sure how the LW went about this, so I can’t comment.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        I don’t disagree with you per se. I’d try my hardest to attend too and obviously would hope, if able to, my friends/family would too. I just don’t think its horrible if they don’t/can’t/won’t. I’m also not quick to cut family off ever, so its weird to me that LW would even consider that.

      3. Dude, I’m agreeing with you and changed my stance!

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Haha, I know I was just saying I do get your initial comment too. Sorry 🙂

      5. Sorry! I’m so not with it this morning. In fact, I haven’t been with it all week. I think I have vacation brain.

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, just pay no attention to me haha. I’m not with it either.

  8. Are you getting anxious because you might get a low guest count at your wedding, LW? Kind of seems like it, because you mention that other guests have also declined, not just your cousin. If it’s that, remind yourself that you will have a good time at your wedding even if you don’t have as many guests as you expected. It’s your wedding, you’ll be in a beautiful place! So it’s going to be fun anyway. And yeah, this sort of comes with doing a destination wedding.

      1. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

        I love A Practical Wedding!

  9. lets_be_honest says:

    If you are willing to cut these people out of your life over this, maybe they made the right move in not bothering to attend?

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      “people who are special to me, and who I thought would feel happy to be part of our lives, aren’t going”

      I’d also try to remember that just because they aren’t going to your wedding doesn’t mean they aren’t still happy to be a part of your life.

  10. Look, what your cousin did: saying they could make it, backing out, and then lying about why, sucks, and was actually super rude. But I also think SasLinna hit the nail on the head with the cousin getting the brunt of your frustration about the number of people RSVPing no. And I’m sure that’s hard. I’m not sure where you and your groom live relative to your friends and family, but for some couples a wedding is going to be destination no matter what. If your family lives in one state, his in another, and your friends concentrated in a couple of different places, no matter where you pick is going to be destination for half the guests, so may as well make it a nice destination, right?. If that’s your situation, I really feel for you, because it is hard when the people you love are all spread out. All you can do is hope as many can make it as possible, and remember that it is a lot to ask people to travel, especially if you’re in that time of your life where they have 6 other weddings this year. If your entire world lives in the same 50 mile radius and you’re making them all fly 600 miles, I have a little less sympathy, but I’m sure it’s still frustrating.

  11. Even if you don’t have a destination wedding, you have to understand that not everyone will be able to afford it and some people will lie or make excuses why they can’t go. Especially with extended family. Don’t take it too personally. That’s even more true for a destination wedding. I didn’t have a destination wedding, but the majority of my friends/family live all over the country/world. I honestly wasn’t sure how many people would make it. I was worried there were going to be only 20 people there total, but that didn’t happen. And even if it did, that’s not going to ruin your wedding. Its rude she backed out after RSVPing, but things happen. It’s not worth cutting someone out of your life as revenge for not showing up to your wedding.

  12. So yeah, WWS about destination weddings. And it’s silly you would cut these people out of your life over missing an event. Yes–it’s your wedding–but it’s one event, in the sceme of things. I think your reaction is based on built-up disappoint, like others said.

    BUT I do think it’s wack that your cousin said yes… & then took it back. And lied about it, while not even getting her husband in on the same lie?? Like, as a couple, they should have coordinated that shit.

    1. Off topic, but if I hadn’t already met you in person I’d swear you were my friend Kat. You talk/type just like her.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Weird. I have a friend named Kat who has a friend named bethany who types just like you!

  13. lets_be_honest says:

    The opposite of this happened to me really recently. Our really good friend is getting married on an island and invited only us and another couple friend to attend and spend the weekend down there. As I was booking everything, I called to confirm the resort name and he got all weird and admitted his fiance wants it to be just the two of them after all. Haha.

  14. “people who are special to me, and who I thought would feel happy to be part of our lives, aren’t going.”
    (wedding = our lives)
    “I told them a year in advance to be prepare for the event”
    (expecting people to spend a year saving and moving commitments around to be able to attend your party)
    “just two months from the wedding, most of them have declined.”
    (people who was at first interested now consistently declining to participate)

    I smell bridezilla. I bet she’s annoyed/alienated them all.

  15. Speaking as someone who has had a wedding (not mine, my half sister’s), cause irreparable family damage, do NOT cut them out. Seriously. It’ not worth it.

  16. Laura Hope says:

    If you can afford airfare and accommodations for all your guests, great. Have a destination wedding. Otherwise, make it a “destination” honeymoon. I think it’s selfish to expect people to spend a fortune, take time off from work, and give you a wedding gift.

    1. Comments like this really annoy me, because even if you don’t have a “destination” wedding, chances are high that your wedding is a destination for someone. My all of my extended family is 5+ hours away by car (my parents are the only ones who left town after they grew up). I had 4 cousins get married in the last 3 years and 2 are currently expecting babies. I went to every shower and 3 out of 4 of those weddings (would have gone to all 4, but I was IN a wedding the same day as one cousin’s), and plan on going to the baby showers and then visiting after the babies are born. My point is, that even people who have weddings that are local to THEM have guests who travel and take time off work to get there. And some of us are actually happy to do so. So to label a destination wedding as selfish is pretty offensive to me.

      1. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I agree, bethany. What’s selfish is to expect people to come, like it’s a requirement for your love.

      2. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        Exactly. I have gone to a destination and it was awesome. Mexico with 30 of my friend’s? Just what I needed before I got pregnant. If you don’t expect people to make it or give you gifts then you’re good.

      3. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        The rant below is not directed at anyone in particular. But Bethany I agree, I think it is selfish that people think that way about going to a friend or family members wedding. All of the comments in that vein just rub me the wrong way. If you love and care about someone you should want to be there at their wedding and excited to go. I think especially people who do destination weddings go in to it with the mindset that a lot of people won’t be able to make it, but those who really want to and ca afford it will be there. I mean I think people can be crazy whack about their weddings being these special unique snowflake days, but people can be so selfish about attending them too. If you don’t want to go-don’t. But don’t bitch about how someone planned a wedding that inconveniences your vacation. I have to take off time and get a hotel to go to my boyfriend’s brother’s wedding in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania but I am actually excited, even though it is also somewhat inconvenient and gasp uses my vacation time. But if someone I love has something important going on you can bet I will do everything in my power to be there Including giving up vacation time (it still is a vacation, being surrounded by friends and family) and spend money to get there because that is what is important to me-and it is not incumbent upon them to plan it so that I can attend (unless they make that choice). Also if you do agree to go to a wedding-that is your choice, don’t bitch about having to give up vacation and spend money, because no one is holding a gun to your head to go. If it really irks you that much to give up time and money to attend a loved ones wedding (and they aren’t being a big dick about pressuring you to go or threatening to cut you out) not going is probably the best thing you can do for the both of you.

      4. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yes, I totally agree with all of this. I love going to wedding because I love the people, and the time spent with them. The “negative” parts aren’t that big of a deal to me (vacation lost, money, travel, uncomfortable shoes) and if they where, I wouldn’t go.


    2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      It is selfish to expect that everyone can come, but it’s often impossible to avoid a wedding being a destination for every single guest invited. I have family all over the east coast, from SC to PA (to NV to Mexico). There was literally NO WAY I could have a wedding that wasn’t a destination for someone (or all of them!)

      1. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        Yes! All of my dad’s family lives in Sweden and I invited them, my uncle came (he has come to visit a few times) and my dad’s sister, her daughter and two granddaughters couldn’t make it to the wedding but they came a couple months earlier. They had never been to Canada and my dad hadn’t seen them in 25 years. It sparked a renewal in their relationship, they are coming again next month! If I didn’t bother to invite them because I couldn’t afford their airfare this never would of happened.

    3. If my bf and I got married tomorrow, in the city where we currently live (my hometown), his entire family would have to fly in, some of my family would have to fly in, and all of our friends minus about 5-10 local people would have to travel as well. Not everyone goes to an in state school, meets someone from relatively the same region of the state as them, and moves either to that state’s biggest city or their hometown and gets married. People move, people leave, people have roots and networks in multiple places. Just because it’s a destination wedding doesn’t mean its all people leaving from the same place. Some couples have a destination wedding because everyone is going to have to travel no matter where they have it. Now, are there places you can pick for a destination wedding that make more sense than others? Of course. If all your guests are spread across the eastern half of the United States, Hawaii doesn’t make a ton of sense. Likewise, if most of your guests are west coast to mid west, an island in the atlantic isn’t really going to be cost effective for most of them, compared to locations in your half of the country. But for some couples, a wedding is going to have to be a “destination” anyway, and I don’t think it’s fair to say unless you can pay for their airfare you don’t get to invite people. Of course, it also isn’t fair to be angry when they can’t come, given the travel. I’m not going to pitch a fit when my family in Scotland can’t make it, but I’m not going to not invite them because I can’t afford their airfare.

      I dunno, when my friend who moved to Idaho for grad school gets married (which I hope she doesn’t, he’s an emotionally abusive, cheating asshole, but I think they’re about 6 months to a year away from getting engaged), I’d rather she have a destination wedding in Cabo, if we’re all going to have to travel anyway. (No offense to Idaho intended).

  17. Lily in NYC says:

    An invitation is neither an obligation nor a summons. So, yes, you are being a bit immature in expecting people to use vacation time to go to your wedding. But I can understand being annoyed with your cousin – it’s not cool to back out of an accepted invitation for a better offer. It’s always good to remember that no one cares as much as you do about your wedding – I’ve noticed that some brides get so wrapped up in planning “their special day” (barf) that they lose all perspective.

  18. Avatar photo theattack says:

    Wow. No one is obligated to come to your wedding. People should be coming because they WANT to come, not because you commanded them to come with your invitation. Frankly, it’s not likely that I would spend my vacation time and money on a wedding for hardly anyone. My best friend, yes. My cousin? No. Unless they were super into your destination wedding beforehand, and if you based your decision to have a destination wedding on their promise to come, you dont’ have a reason to be mad.

    Your wedding is about marrying your fiance and starting a new life together. It’s not about making your family and friends shell out big bucks to prove how much they love you.

    1. I love this comment!!!!!

    2. Your comment about being “commanded” gave me flashbacks to a wedding I went to. The bride told me how much fun it was because she could say things like, “The bride commands you dance” and people would.
      For me, it was NOT a fun wedding. LW – don’t be that bride.

    3. Avatar photo theattack says:

      And I just want to add that taking a trip is a big deal for a lot of families financially and physically. In my entire extended family, my immediate family has always been considered very privileged because we went on maybe three modest vacations when I was growing up. And I’m talking sandwiches out of a cooler for most meals, doing mostly free things, and either camping, staying with someone we knew, or staying at Motel 8. The only trips that any of my extended family members have ever taken to my knowledge either put them in extreme debt, or they just came to visit us for free. One of my uncles has been trying to save to come visit us for EIGHT YEARS now. He’s finally getting to come out this May….. because he lost his house and now needs a place to stay.

      My point is that not everyone gets to take a vacation every year. A year in advance doesn’t necessarily mean that someone still gets to come. It doesn’t sound like money is necessarily a barrier for your cousin, but it is still a limited resource that they should get to use in the way that’s best for them. It just really really REALLY irks me that anyone would ever be upset over something so privileged as this. Disappointed, sure. But you want to alienate yourself from your family because of it? You clearly need a priority adjustment.

      1. Painted_lady says:

        God, YES. I have gotten to go on a lot of trips in the past couple of years, but it’s because, with the exception of plane tickets for one and hotel (we drove) for another, someone else paid – the school district, my mom (late late LATE graduation present). If not, I might have taken two road trips, but I wouldn’t have been able to visit the western half of the country three times and traveled over an ocean twice. No way. And those were my first vacations in YEARS. When I flew to Europe three summers ago, it was the first time I’d been on a plane since 2005. Partly it was that I didn’t have the money in the first place, and partly it was because I worked an hourly job, and if I took vacation time, there would be no pay (and in one case, I’d have been fired). I recognize how lucky I am because of those years, and also because Walter can’t go on vacation because of working an hourly job with no vacation time. He hasn’t been on a plane since 2005. And my parents are fairly wealthy now (we were less so when I was growing up), so my mom was stunned a few months ago when he and I talked about it to her.

        His job is likely going to change in a couple of months so that soon we will have the luxury of taking vacations together, and while it probably is tacky, if we had planned to attend a destination wedding because where we really wanted to go wasn’t in our budget, and then we found a deal that did put the destination we wanted within our budget, I’d drop the wedding in a heartbeat. Maybe it’s tacky. It is tacky, but if we could afford to get to, say, Tahiti right now and all of a sudden, you bet your ass I’d be gone in a flash.

      2. Painted_lady says:

        Oh, to clarify, we were talking about vacations with my mom, and Walter said his last vacation was 2005. My mom’s brain kind of exploded, and then I was like, “Mom, no. That was me till Paris.” It sounds like we were asking her for vacation money the way I worded it.

        Also, the reason my graduation present was six years late? I was working nonstop. Like I said, no vacation days.

      3. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Yes!! That is completely understandable, PL! I would always want my family members to take an amazing opportunity over coming to something I’m doing. That just seems logical to me, because I’m always going to be around to love them. The cheap vacation/cool opportunity won’t wait around.
        That said, I understand being disappointed about it, and I understand being upset if she already had to pay a lot of money for them to come. At two months out, that’s probably not the case though.

      4. Painted_lady says:

        Yeah, true. If I ditched a wedding to go on the first vacation I’d gotten *with* my boyfriend of 3 1/2 years, I’d probably send them a SUPER nice present just in case I’d put them out, and then have them over for a celebration dinner when they got back.

  19. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

    Take a deep breath and remind yourself that your wedding is only the most important day to you and your fiancé. Now really think about that- this is your wedding, it is a huge moment in your life. It’s not really that big of a deal for other people. Your parents, yes. Siblings, it’s important but not as important. Cousins, friends, etc? I’m sure they’re happy for you but it isn’t a huge life-changing event for them. Yes, it is rude that she RSVP’d yes and then changed her mind. It happens at all weddings, sometimes people get sick or sometimes they don’t feel like putting on heels and makeup that day. Especially with destination weddings- weddings that are a huge cost and time commitment, people are going to change their mind. Frankly if a cheap Hawaiian vacation came into my lap I would have a hard time passing it up for a vacation somewhere I didn’t pick to hang out with people I don’t really know/care for all that well. Would you have rather your cousin tell you straight up that she got an awesome vacation deal and that’s why she won’t make it? Would that have made you feel better? I think she was just trying to spare your feelings. So take a deep breath, remind yourself that your wedding is only the most important day to you and your fiancé and move on.

  20. I think there are two separate issues here – the number of guests responding no, and the cousin’s fake story. Regarding the former, yeah, destination weddings are expensive and some people just won’t be able to swing it. That’s the gamble you take in choosing a destination wedding.

    As far as the cousin goes, it doesn’t sound like she’s in the same boat – if she were really that hard up for money, maybe don’t go anywhere at all? It sounds like she simply would rather go to Hawaii, and I get how that is upsetting to you, LW.

    I understand that people go overboard about their weddings, and it tends to bring out some hard-core narcissism. But, weddings are, for many, very special, and when the stakes are that high, not everyone is as rational and graceful as they’d like. And people do want those closest to them to be with them. So I get how the lying about Hawaii – especially after she said she would come to your wedding – would really get you. I wouldn’t go so far as to cut her out of your life, but a conversation about how it hurt you is not unwarranted.

    And if you wanted a lot of people to come to your wedding, it probably would have been best to go somewhere local, where most of the guests could drive to. But what’s done is done – don’t let the memory of the day be tarnished by that!

    1. Yes, I agree with on the two separate issues thing. Obviously, for a destination wedding not everyone can come, totally understandable. That the LW does need to just accept as part of the territory as a destination bride. Someone backing out to go a better vacation? I totally get that stinging a little. Honestly, I just saw a friend do this to another friend. Bought her flight and hotels months in advance to the wedding and was all in for going, then her boyfriend got offered a cool trip to go on for work, which wasn’t mandatory, more of like a bonus thank you, and less than two weeks before the wedding they decided they’re not going. Hell, I’m not even the bride and I was a little miffed. I think the LW definitely has every right to be disappointed and a little offended. Not saying that gives her ground to cut off her cousin or stop inviting her to events, but I think communicating to the cousin that’s she disappointed about the last minute change of plans is fine, as long as it doesn’t come off as combative or angry.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        “she and her husband got an invitation over to Hawaii for a real bargain”

        But she didn’t pick a “better” vacation, she picked one she could afford more easily. Plus, maybe this cousin didn’t even consider the wedding as a vacation at all.

      2. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I agree, LBH. And this cousin changed her mind two months before the wedding. It’s not like the LW paid for her stuff already and is now eating the cost of it. She’s likely still getting RSVPs back. I could understand being upset if they did this as the last minute when the LW already paid for them, but that’s not the case. Disappointed, sure. But not angry.
        A cheap trip to Hawaii is a great deal. I would have wanted my family members to take that opportunity no questions asked. You can always have a dinner party to celebrate with them later.

      3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        IDK, we don’t know that going to the wedding was a financial strain for the cousin. It doesn’t say that any where. It’s just as possible that they could easily afford the destination wedding, but not afford a trip to Hawaii at full price.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        I’m not saying the wedding trip was a financial strain. Just that Hawaii was cheaper. Most people I know like cheaper even if they can afford more expensive. Example: Sure, I could afford a fancy lunch today, but sandwiches are on sale at Subway, so I’ll go with those.
        So if you then add in that not only is Hawaii cheaper, its a “real” vacation with no obligated events to attend, or gifts to give, then I get why it was more enticing to the cousin.
        And who knows, maybe the cousin can’t stand the LW. I have cousins whose weddings I would never miss and others that I totally would miss.

      5. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Well, we also don’t know the Hawaii trip was cheaper than the wedding trip. She said it was a “real bargain” that could mean a lot of things.
        And no matter what, I still think it’s shitty to make a commitment and back out because something “more appealing” comes up. (If you have to back out for illness, job loss, etc totes fine.)

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        Haha, can “real bargain” really mean a lot of things?

      7. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I think so. If you (general) get a “real bargain” on like a Prada purse for 50% it could still be $500 and you could still buy a Coach bag for $200…so the Prada at a “real bargain” could still be more than a similar item.

      8. I get the affordability thing. No problem that it’s more affordable. I think where I come from is that she already said yes to the wedding – a day that’s important to a member of her family. If money is such an issue, she should not have said she would come to the wedding at all. Just because it’s more affordable doesn’t mean that it’s a decent thing to do to tell someone you’re coming, and then bail because you’ll save some money going on vacation elsewhere.

      9. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I agree that it’s not the best thing to do. It’s certainly considered rude by traditional standards. BUT… HAWAII!!!!! I feel like this is one of those times when the host should have the good grace to recognize how cool that is and to free that person from any sort of traditional rules.

      10. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Haha, I love that you’re all “HAWAII!!!!!” and how it’s this incredible thing…and to me it’s more like “meh Hawaii, whatever”. I don’t think it’s a universally appealing place.

      11. Avatar photo theattack says:

        haha, yeah, not everyone loves Hawaii. But either way, if it’s a great opportunity for the cousin, that’s what matters here.

      12. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I never thought we’d disagree on a wedding topic! Because yeah, I don’t care if it’s a “great opportunity” she made a commitment, baring certain negative things, I think it’s not cool to back out. I wouldn’t stop associating with a cousin who did this to me, but I would be a little disappointed/annoyed.

      13. lets_be_honest says:

        I guess the only time I’d be pissed about a commitment was if someone backing out of it affected my plans. Her going to Hawaii doesn’t mean the wedding can’t happen or there will be no witness or whatever.

      14. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        It is possible it could affect the plans. There are often minimum guest requirements. Like we had to have 10 rooms booked at the hotel to get the wedding discount rate, if one person backed out all the other people would have had to pay more. And if the banquet room minimum was 50, and this change in rsvp made it 48 (or heck even like 45 if they have kids) then you could have to move to a different (perhaps less desirable) banquet room. But like I said, I wouldn’t be **MAD** at the cousin, but I can see an annoyance.

      15. lets_be_honest says:

        I don’t think its anyone’s job to ensure other people’s discounts/room preferences though. I would understand all this huffing and puffing a bit more if the cousin just didn’t show, or backed out a week before. 2 months though? (not your huffing and puffing, LW’s)

      16. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Look at me not arguing with anyone!!!!!!!!!!

      17. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        GG, LBH was picking on YOUR huffing and puffing. Fight!

      18. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Well yeah, I do agree it’s not any quests “job” persay. But if they made the reservations/arrangements because of the cousin RSVPing yes…than I can understand being disappointed or hurt or frustrated that they backed out. Wedding “stuff” often gets booked months (like 6) or a year in advance. IDK, I’m just saying LW feeling slighted is OK. But I definitely don’t condone acting on it, or calling the cousin out or the like.

      19. Avatar photo theattack says:

        @GG, I added a caveat about some of that in my original comment above. I agree that she has reason to be upset if she made her wedding plans based on the cousin promising to go, and if the cousin was aware of that. Like if the LW had said “I’m not getting married until my favorite cousin can be there! Are you sure you can make it?” then the cousin is definitely on the hook.

      20. Yeah, I think it’s all a matter of perception – for some people it probably would be totally cool with them if someone got a chance to go to Hawaii, but for others – like the LW – she wants her cousin at her wedding, which is important to her. And I guess I just personally would respect that, especially if I had already committed to going to her wedding.

      21. haha I totally get the HAWAII!!! mindset, I mean of course it’s an awesome trip. I’m just a stickler for sticking to my original commitment unless something shitty comes up that prevents me from attending.. One of my best friends from college is getting married the same day my alma mater and favorite football team ever is playing in Ireland of all places. A place I have been DYING to go visit and well FOOTBALL. I said I would go to her wedding first so I would feel bad not going.

        So, I totally get the position the cousin is in, but maybe if she handled it more gracefully and didn’t lie about it, LW might have been less disappointed and more excited for the cousin to experience Hawaii.

      22. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        The lie is more or less what would piss me off. Like making a commitment and breaking it-not something I am a fan of doing but some people don’t have an issue with it, so whatever that is on them, not the person making the plans they are breaking- but lying about it is shitty. I mean I hate being lied to about things, especially if I *know* I am being lied to. If I were the LW I would call them out for the lie, if anything, and leave the wedding stuff out of it.

      23. Yeah, the lying is the worst part of all it. Come or don’t come to the wedding, it’s fine, but making up a story to feel better about it is annoying.

      24. Yeah, I guess better was the wrong word. I actually don’t consider a destination wedding vacation either, which is why it’s apples to oranges I guess. I can understand LW being disappointed that the cousin decided to go on vacation instead of come to her wedding, since that was the original “plan” (which I don’t really know if it was or the cousin just said it but just going with the LW said). I agree that she doesn’t have a right to be angry, but her cousin lying about the trip and changing her mind is obviously upsetting to the LW since she really wanted her cousin there. Her cousin is free to go wherever she wants, but the LW can also be disappointed.

      25. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea I agree. Hopefully LW realizes that you can be disappointed without being angry.

  21. I think it’s kinda funny how many people are like “family, yes. Cousins, no.” As if they’re not relatives? I guess I’m the only one here who’s close with her cousins. That’s kind of sad. The writer doesn’t indicate how close she is with the cousin. If it was my grandparents, whom I barely know, I wouldn’t care. But my cousins not coming would be heart breaking. Fortunately, they are coming, and the grandparents aren’t, so I don’t need to worry about that! Seriously though, why all the cousin demotions to friend status? Lame.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Some people are close with cousins and some people barely know them. I don’t think that’s a bad thing – just a fact of life. I’m not gonna tell you you’re lame because you aren’t close with your grandparents, ya know?

    2. Avatar photo theattack says:

      Probably the same reason you don’t care that your grandparents aren’t coming? Not everyone is close to their cousins.

      I have 25 (I think?) first cousins. I can’t set a precedent like a destination wedding or I would have to do that for all of them.

      1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        I hardly know my cousins. I really really hope all my nephews/nieces become close with each other because I love the idea of cousins! Wish I had close ones.

    3. I’m very close with some of my cousins who live in NY, but I have one cousin that I’ve only met like 3 times. He lives in AZ, and I live in PA. I’ve been out there twice with my family to visit and we were both at my grandparents in NY at the same time once. He’s like a literal stranger to me! He didn’t come to my wedding and I didn’t come to his. It was no big deal.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        That is FUCKED UP bethany. Almost as bad as wearing rainbows and not sharing your scooter.

      2. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        ew, rainbows.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Comment of the week!

    4. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

      I have 30+ cousins and none of them grew up in the same town as I did. So yeah, while they are nice and all, I only saw them a few times a year growing up so I didn’t get too close to any of them.

  22. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    WWS for sure. Happy Hump Day! Only two more days of bridezillas. That’s right, I said BRIDEZILLIAS – B R I D E Z I L L A S …. It’s a real thing, brides!

  23. Skyblossom says:

    You need to let this go, be disappointed but don’t go ballistic and don’t cut anyone out of your life over it. You never know everything about another couple and their financial situation. You do mention that you gave them a years notice so that they could save the money to go so it sounds like they aren’t rich enough to go without some sacrifice. Maybe they’ve realized that if they spend this years savings on your wedding it will put off a major purchase in their lives like a house, or a better house, or a baby or a retirement account or want to save to start a business. Maybe they have other friends or relatives that are now talking about destination weddings and they realized that if they went to one there would be an expectation that they would go to lots of them and then they could see themselves never meeting their own personal goals. You can’t force your own personal decisions on others and you can’t decide for them how they will spend their money or their time or how they should spend their money or time. You may have picked the perfect location for yourself but it may be pushing the limits financially and/or timewise for your relatives and friends and so they are declining to go or maybe they don’t care for the location and spending a large sum of money on a location you don’t like isn’t appealing, even if you love the bride and groom and even if you are happy for them.

    I also don’t think you’re as close to the cousin as you say because if you were you would have asked her to be in the wedding. So let it go, enjoy your day knowing that you are having the wedding you want in the location you want with the man you love and want to spend your life with. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

    1. Yes, all of this! I hate the idea that if you give somebody enough notice, they are then obligated to save their money and spend it as directed. Also, I probably wouldn’t save for a year then blow it all on a destination wedding if I didn’t like the location because honestly, you don’t really get to see your friend/relative/whoever is getting married anyway. I was in my friend’s wedding and I did not see her at all during the reception (our friend group did tell her that if she was super busy, she did not have to make the social rounds to us since we all live in the same city and she had a LOT of out of town guests). Also, I think that as long as she changed her RSVP before the cutoff date, she’s fine. Sucks, but life happens, and it doesn’t usually happen around the bride.

  24. Bittergaymark says:

    Hawaii is hard to beat. Seriously. That is ALL I have to say…

    1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      True. Hawaii is pure heaven. Who wants to hear that story again where I got stranded there alone when I was… how old was I? 12? 13? Anyone? Anyone? Fine, I have an appointment that starts in a few minutes anyway. Hmph.

  25. Laura Hope says:

    Those of you who think you’re not obligated to attend a wedding—-what if it’s your niece or cousin or close friend? You kind of are.

    1. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

      No. No you’re not. It would be nice. But you’re not obligated to go.

    2. Avatar photo theattack says:

      Mmm, nope. I’m not OBLIGATED to do anything besides pay taxes. There’s a difference between something being expected of you and what you’re actually obligated to do. I would be expected to go to the weddings of people close to me, and it would disappoint people if I didn’t go, but it’s still my choice.

      1. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        Wait…. we’re obligated to pay taxes? Fuck.

    3. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

      Nope. You don’t have to do anything just because someone is getting married.

    4. If that were true, then anyone who elopes has deprived their relatives/friends of the ability to fulfill their obligation to attend their wedding.

      That’s just absurd. Two people are required to go to a wedding: the bride and the groom. (And I guess those people aren’t obligated to show, but if they don’t then it’s no longer a wedding…) Technically you also need officiant and wtiness (in most places) but since you have multiple options there, no single person is obligated to fulfill that role.

      I agree that in some families it is basically considered an obligation in that “but we’re faaaaamily” sort of way, but actually, no, not obligated.

      1. Which is not to say that I won’t try damn hard to go to weddings of my close friends and relatives. But I’m not obligated to go, I’m INVITED. Huge difference.

      2. Oh, I think that if there’s a military wedding or some other circumstance, they occasionally have a proxy for one or both of the people getting married and it still counts. So, technically, not even the bride and groom themselves have to be there.

    5. Yeah, I don’t think you’re ever obligated to go to a wedding. Ever. My sister and one other cousin didn’t make it to my cousin’s wedding, but there’s no bad blood there. I think my aunt might have gotten a little miffed, but she can be kind of a miserable person in general and I’m sure she would have been put in her place by her siblings. Another uncle got remarried within the same year and one of the cousins couldn’t make it either. Life happens, no one owes you their presence at your wedding.

      1. Another example: my boyfriend’s cousin got married (halfway around the world) and my boyfriend was pretty much the only person from his family (cousins, siblings, etc.) at the wedding. He was practically a guest of honor and had an amazing time, but the cousin honestly didn’t expect anyone to be able to make it out because of the distance. And the main reasons he went were because he had reconnected with her a little while ago (she lived near us for a few years) and he wanted a reason to take an awesome vacation, not because he felt obligated.

    6. No, you’re not.
      I would do anything necessary to get to the weddings of my 3 best friends or my brother, because I would want to be there regardless of where it was. I would fly to Russia if that’s where they were getting married. But other than that, yes, I’d love to go to other friends or families weddings, but if I don’t go it’s not the end of the world.

  26. Laura Hope says:

    If I didn’t attend my nieces’ or nephew’s weddings, there would be serious hurt feelings. I think the damage would be irreparable. You guys must have pretty cool families.

    1. Avatar photo theattack says:

      To me that means that your nieces and nephews are being selfish. I get it in some cases. I would be hurt if my wedding was in the same town as my aunt, and she chose not to come barring some other major thing going on. But to be mad that someone isn’t taking a trip is ridiculous.

      1. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

        But even if there’s not travel involved there can still be good reasons not to make a family member’s wedding. Illness, work, childcare issues, lack of transportation, etc. I think it’s incredibly rude and presumptuous to assume that every family member you’re close to has to drop everything on a specific day because you’re having a celebration.

    2. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

      You must have a small, close-knit family. I have 9 nephews and nieces and my siblings aren’t done having kids. My mom has 30+ nieces and nephews. 30+! It’s a destination wedding too, say it costs $3000 to go. If all of my cousins did that, according to your rule my parents would have to shell out $90,000 on going to the weddings alone not counting gifts. Personally, I think if you are having a destination wedding you are taking the risk that not everyone will be able to afford or want to go and the onus is on you to accept that.

    3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      Being unable to attend a wedding would cause irreparable damage within your family? I mean really?? It’s one thing to be sad or disappointed someone can’t attend (or chooses not to attend) your wedding, but ending a relationship over it is just plain silly.

    4. My nephews are both still little, so I can’t speak about their weddings, but I’m missing the baby’s Christening to attend an out of state baby shower. I’m pretty sure no one cares. And even if they did, they’d have to get over it.

      I had 1 aunt, 2 uncles and 6 cousins miss my wedding. I’m totally fine with it.

    5. “I think the damage would be irreparable” — i mean that is incredibly dramatic. honestly, “irreparable”? i mean sure be sad or whatever -i think everyone who has ever been married in the “party with people we love” way wants every single person they love to be there and i also think that no person has ever had every person they love there- but “irreparable damage”? thats insane.

      1. In defense of Laura, some people have family members who hold really do hold grudges over extremely trivial crap. When you’re dealing with people like that AND have a close-knit family, you sometimes have to bend into the pettiness a little in order to keep the peace. For awhile, I rebelled against that idea and wouldn’t put up with it, but later on I realized that those people will get the message that their being immature from elsewhere in their lives. E.g. If someone misses a relatives wedding, and that relative holds a grudge, it can create tension for YEARS afterward. For something like a wedding, I’d rather just scrape up the money and attend than deal with the aftermath of not going.

      2. ug, clearly I am tired. I meant they’re, not their.

  27. I don’t know why, but whenever I think Destination Wedding, I think beaches. (Judging by the photo Wendy picked, I’m not the only one.) I hate going to the beach because within 10 minutes I have a sunburn. And I’m super serious about sunscreen and all that, but it really only goes so far, so spending any extended period in the sun is just aggravating and not fun. Something I tried to explain to my in-laws when they wanted me to go out on the boat with them every damn week. So I think I might be the kind of jackass who declines a wedding invite that involves a beach just because I hate beaches. Unless it’s under a tent or canopy, I guess. But still. Ugh, beaches.
    That’s all I have to contribute. If you want me to come to your destination wedding, destine yourself for the nice, shady woods.

  28. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

    You know what? Reading about wedding drama is so much more fun than planning an actual wedding. I’d rather just sit here and hit “refresh” all day than research our cake options.

    1. Agreed. Unless “researching your cake options” only involves eating lots of cake. Then maybe I could be convinced.

  29. I think it’s irrelevant here that the LW’s wedding is a destination wedding. The guests RSVPed yes, then changed their RSVP AND lied about the reason, when they got a cheap vacation deal. That is extremely uncool. I wouldn’t never speak to them again, but it would certainly cast a pall over the relationship going forward. It’s too bad some people don’t seem to realize that if you have to lie about what you’re doing, or why you’re doing it, it’s probably something you should rethink doing.

  30. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

    Eh that’s the risk you take when you have a destination wedding. HOWEVER, the fact that she lied to you, essentially saying that you’re not mature enough to handle the information (not saying you ARE mature enough to handle the rejection, maybe you’re not…) is pretty insulting. She should have at least given you the opportunity to be the bigger person about it. Also, fuck liars. Just in general. So for your own peace of mind you should pretend she was honest to you about it and silently have hurt feelings about her not making it and don’t say a fucking thing to anyone about it. If you have hurt feelings that’s the type of shit you bring up in therapy. Don’t put that on her. Your wedding day isn’t about her – so her lack of attendance should only hurt your feelings for a small amount of time. Trust me on the day you won’t even notice her absence.

  31. My brother and sister in law have never included my daughter and I over 20 years to as much as a BBQ. We get together mainly for birthdays and holidays. They bought a vacation home and have never invited us to stay. But their son sent me a invite to his wedding in Costa Rica. My daughter has no relationship with him and neither do I. They live out of state.
    So we declined the invite and sent a $350 gift. I just got a really nasty letter from my sister in law. Angry that we didn’t go. It would’ve have cost over $2000. I thought it was really nervy to expect that a guest should be obligated to give what is essentially a very expensive gift.
    Am I wrong for not going? Am I right to be upset at getting a hostile letter?

    1. F*ck that, I wouldn’t go either. Bro and sis in law can’t be bothered to include you in anything for 20 years and are now pissed you didn’t give their kid more money for a wedding gift? GTFOH.

  32. Everyone is talking about how they have to spend their vacation time going to visit family. Don’t families ever come to visit them? Granted that still might not be much of a vacation, but they wouldn’t have the expenses incurred by having to travel to family members’ homes. I understand that with certain family members, like grandparents, it might not be practical for them to travel somewhere, but for younger people I would say, “You visit me this year!”

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