Is it rude to ask guests to attend/pay for a destination wedding?

Would you be irritated by being invited to attend a cruise wedding and having to pay your own way?


  • Total voters
    73
  • Poll closed .

Dug720

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
We are considering a Disney Cruise wedding. One of our concerns is that our guests may be angry at us for requesting their presence at something costly and time consuming. We fully understand that many people may not be able to attend and have no ill will towards them. Would you be irritated at receiving an invitation that asked you to travel to a destination wedding and pay for your own trip?
I have friends who just got married in St Augustine and knew that pretty much everyone was having to travel. They had a note on the invitation that they understood most people would be traveling to the wedding, and they considered our presence the only present they needed. I liked that touch. Showed empathy.
 

Tialeigh

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 10, 2013
When I first started telling people I was getting married in Disney I had one person ask me why I would do that to people. I get that it's a big ask, but I told everyone if they cant, then there's no hard feelings and that I wanted to extend the invite because I would be happy if they could attend. I personally would love to be invited to a destination wedding.
 

smadath

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 7, 2014
I didn't vote in the poll because my answer doesn't fit. I wouldn't be offended by being invited to a destination wedding, but I also wouldn't go. DH has a job where they can (and often do) cancel vacations at the last minute. I won't travel alone. And it's difficult to coordinate vacation time. So, as long as you're not offended by my Decline, I'm not offended at being invited!
 
  • XSeabiscuitX

    Duffy's Biggest Fan
    Joined
    Mar 3, 2012
    In my experience, this is the reason that many people do "destination" weddings--it's simply a way to defray much of the cost by essentially asking guests to pay for their own admission. While I don't necessarily consider it rude (unless you pressure or expect guests to attend), I wouldn't assume that guests are oblivious to why it's being done. You don't need a destination wedding to cut down the guest list and the cost, you just need to cut down the guest list and the cost.

    My wife and I had our wedding at a church to which we belonged (facility was free, minister and musicians were not), and had the reception there as well, and as I recall the price tag was somewhere around $4,000 for 100 people (all costs for ceremony + reception dinner, which was catered and excellent). There was no alcohol, which wasn't permitted in the church facility but also was not necessary for the event. We did have some guests from out of town, including some who traveled cross-country on flights, but they were here and gone in a couple days over the weekend for less than the cost of a cruise ticket. We covered all the costs of the event, which we only thought to be proper since we invited them to the event as our guests.
    Well, when your options are having a 18 guest wedding for $3,000+, or a 20+ guest count for $12,000+, it's a matter of making the choice you need to make. I'm happy you had your wedding for so little money, but that doesn't work for our situation or what we want out of a wedding. My point still stands. If you want a Disney wedding, the cruise is the most affordable option, and no one should feel bad for inviting people to that.
     

    Eeyore daily

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2019
    To me it depends on the closeness of your family and friends. If you all live within the same state/city then to me it's rude to go on a destination wedding to like the Caribbean.
    However my family is all over the country as is my DBF so I came to the realization that he and I could have a wedding wherever as it would require travel for most of our family members, which in that case I wouldn't worry if people were offended. If that's what it's like for you then don't worry about it.
     

    elaine amj

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2012
    I wouldn't be offended, but I would be (and have been disappointed). It's a tough one. Of course you are entitled to the wedding you want. But I would also seriously consider the people who might or might not be able to make it.

    My nephew had a destination wedding and to this day we are a bit disappointed we couldn't attend a local wedding.

    The struggle for us was that we could afford it, but it simply wasn't the right fit for our vacation budget and our vacation plans for that year. Yes, it was a destination we would have loved to visit but the costs were double our usual vacation cost and we would have had to give up other travel plans that year. And then there was the tremendous guilt when I would browse on wedding forums where people constantly repeated, "the people who care about you the most will find a way to be there". Ack! So now my choice not to attend means we don't care enough about our nephew?!

    Finally we decided not to strain our budget. Plus, there was a strong possibility his father would not be able to go as he was recovering from a major heart attack (at the last minute, he was healthy enough to go) and one of his sisters absolutely did not have the funds to go with her young family.

    I finally decided that if it didn't matter enough to him that a sister and father could not go, he wouldn't care that an uncle and aunt decided not to go. I did feel like his mother was a little offended as she gave us notice a year out and assumed we would go. I did attend the bridal shower and gave a gift.

    Personally I feel wedding are a time for family and friends and the honeymoon a time to celebrate together so I am not a big fan of destination weddings. But others view it differently.

    Of course I got married in three different countries to ensure we could celebrate with all our family and friends without putting a strain on them. It ended up meaning a LOT to us and our closest friends and family to have those memories and I am sooo glad we did it. Then again, folks on the Dis have said that made me a bridal diva. So my opinion may mean a whole lot less than 2 cents.

    At the end of the day, it is your wedding and your decision.
     

    Rach3975

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2018
    I chose "It depends how close we are." But I'm not sure if my answer goes in the direction that you expected or counter it. If a distant friend or family member invited me, I could say no and not be bothered at all. But depending who was getting married I might feel obligated to attend and resentful about the constraints that put on our time and budget. (Not so much the 3 days, but the possible need to take our kids out of school, miss work during busy periods when we wouldn't schedule a vacation, etc.) Honestly, I would have been pretty steamed if one of my siblings had decided on a cruise for their wedding and I had to find a way to make that work for our budget, schedule, DD's motion sickness, etc. If you're set on doing a cruise and are fine with people not coming because of it, then I'd have that conversation with close friends and family members who might feel obligated to come. And if you're still at the planning stage and have enough lead time, I'd talk about the schedule and budget with the people you expect to attend (parents, siblings, wedding party, etc.) before you set a date.
     
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  • Macprincess

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2011
    One of my sibling had a destination wedding in Cancun, Mexico. At the time I was pregnant with baby number three. To be honest the very last thing we needed was to shell out money for was a vacation we had not intended on going to, but it was my brother so my husband and I sucked it up and never said anything negative about how we truly felt about this and went. Did I resent it? Yep! It was indeed a financial burden and I was in a situation where I really couldn't say no. It also was a destination we would have never picked for our vacation and a resort that was out of our price range. To top it off we had not been on a vacation in several years and had been hoping the two of us could get at least a weekend away before the newest of our three children arrived. That was no longer a possibility and we had to acquire a bit of debt to allow us the opportunity to attend his wedding.

    Even more annoying to me was the fact that my parents paid for two of my other siblings airfare and room. They assumed that because my husband and I were responsible adults who lived comfortably that this was an added expense we could easily afford. Like many young couples who had just acquired a mortgage and had young children we lived on a strict budget to maintain our "comfortable life." Because this was my brother's wedding I really wasn't asked to attend, it was assumed that we would be there.

    I'm bringing this up because odds are there are some people who you are close to who will find a way to make it to your wedding no matter what, but it is very likely that they will not tell you that it is a financial burden to them.

    In the end it's your day and you should have it the way you want. Yet, you asked if it was rude to ask people to attend a destination wedding. I wouldn't call it rude, but it is for some people an added stress. One that they more than likely will not address with you. Just keeping it real.
     

    HopperFan

    "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2003
    We are considering a Disney Cruise wedding. One of our concerns is that our guests may be angry at us for requesting their presence at something costly and time consuming. We fully understand that many people may not be able to attend and have no ill will towards them. Would you be irritated at receiving an invitation that asked you to travel to a destination wedding and pay for your own trip?
    It is your wedding and if a Disney Cruise is your dream then go for it.

    I voted for the first one because that would be my result if I were one who felt that I should be invited to certain people's weddings (which I think is the majority). I am one who feels most no one owes me an invite. It is not presumptuous to host an expensive wedding but it is presumptuous to expect any guest to spend large amounts of money to attend. Anything more than driving and maybe one night hotel stay is more than I want to spend. And ironically the last time we did that .... we didn't get a thank you for coming, the spending for our family of five ... let alone a thank you for the nice gift we gave on top of that.

    My response if invited ...
    I am not paying or using DH vacation time to go to a destination wedding.
    I especially wouldn't pay for a cruise, especially cost of Disney cruise.
    When I cruise, it's to go where I pick, with who I pick.
    And because of cost it's planned out years in advance.

    There will be zero hard feelings if someone chose this, I would just send regrets and congrats!

    You will have to be prepared for many not going, and sadly guests who think it's about them and get upset. Honestly except for my own kids, I don't feel anyone owes me an invitation .... I want them to do their wedding how and where they want .... and if it means I'm not invited or can't go ......... that is perfectly okay.

    On the flip side, you shouldn't be upset when someone says no. Expecting someone to take a large amount of their money and extended vacation days (as opposed to single day or long weekend) to attend is unreasonable as well. I don't think it's rude it's just making it clear that the cruise is more important than them being there for your special day .... again, I'm fine with that because it is your special day but .......... I would rather not be invited at all then an expectation be put on me to spend that kind of money to "be there for you." While I won't feel guilty about not going, others will and put themselves in tight finances rather than speak up. That makes me sad.


    Two examples:

    - Had relative start the plans for a cruise wedding. Had a large list of people he wanted there. Put info out there. When virtually everyone but his sister and Dad said they would not attend ... he changed it to a "destination" for him to next state but a location that was easy and reasonable for many to enjoy together. He could have still cruised but he wanted all the relatives with him.

    - DD once talked of a cruise for a wedding with ceremony on cruise line's beach. BUT the invite list was going to be extremely small ... aka immediate family only with lots of advance notice. Then the idea was to have a big BBQ style party with others after home to celebrate because she would never ask people to spend that much by inviting them to an expensive destination.
     
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    MickeyMouseCD524

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2010
    To me every wedding is a destination wedding. Almost everyone I've seen get married has done so on the other coast or somewhere I have to fly to. We had two that got married internationally and couldn't make the one because there wasn't enough notice for us to try and find an affordable flight. (We only got about 3 months heads up).
     

    Erzengel

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2014
    We got married at WDW and we weren't expecting people to come or to give money, but we were disappointed when people came and didn't even give a card.
     
  • aristocatz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2009
    We got married in WDW a week before Christmas .Aside from a few of my parents' friends, most of our guests lived between a 3-6 hour plane ride away. We invited around 50 guests and were very surprised that almost 40 ended up coming-way more than we expected.

    We got married on a Sunday and hosted some dinners and gatherings on Friday and Saturday (welcome dinner, rehearsal dinner, Fireworks dessert party...). Most guests arrived Friday and turned it into a mini vacation, touring the parks, holiday festivities, etc...

    Aside from my mother-in-law, we didn't pay for anyone's airfare or trip.
     

    WDWLover75

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2013
    We had a destination wedding (at WDW) and I researched wedding etiquette before planning; guests are expected to pay their own way. Honestly, half the people who attended the wedding would have needed to travel and pay for a hotel anyhow so it was really no more expensive for them to attend the wedding at WDW than in our home town. Several chose to make a vacation of it and spent extra time, but to just attend the wedding, it even might have cost less since Orlando is a relatively inexpensive place to fly to and one of the hotels we had in our room block was ~$100 a night, can't really get that around here. Plus, no one needed to rent a car or pay for transportation once in Orlando. We did treat those who attended really well (I think) - they received a very nice welcome bag which probably had ~$75 worth of stuff including booze, snacks, drinks and souvenirs. We also included a $20 gift card to help them with meals we weren't paying for or whatever else they wanted to use it on. What we did provide - for my closest female friends & relatives, we had a Bridal Tea at the Grand Floridian. Our Welcome Dinner (no rehearsal/dinner as I had an Escape wedding) was the Luau at the Polynesian (included booze). Our wedding was at 10 in the morning followed by a huge brunch, including booze, and that night, we had a dessert party. The next morning, we had a farewell breakfast. We gave out party favors at each of these events as well. So, for some, who were in Orlando for the bare minimum to attend the wedding events, they only had to pay for their dinner the day of our wedding. Of our 18 guests, there were 3 who only stayed the minimum 2 nights needed - all would have had to travel anyhow. They selected the least expensive lodging option and just enjoyed the 'free' stuff at Disney - the resorts, the Boardwalk, etc and did not pay for park tickets. One of these people did complain about the cost, at length. I think she believed that if the wedding was in our home town, we would be having her stay in our house for our wedding (we would not have). Conversely, another group made a family vacation out of it. They stayed for a week and a half, took advantage of the discounted room price at the Boardwalk and seemed incredibly excited to be there.

    We also made our schedule known for several events in the 6 nights we were at WDW and invited people to join us, we were very clear on the estimated cost to participate and that they would need to pay. For example, the day after our wedding (after the farewell breakfast), we went to EPCOT and had dinner at Biergarten. Quite a few people chose to join us, on their own dime.

    My brother also had a destination wedding (which is where I got the idea). His wedding was in Bali. For those who aren't familiar, that is literally on the other side of the world. The plane tickets were $2,000, there were 2 locations we visited and everyone had to stay at the designated hotel. The hotels selected were luxury, such as the Ritz Carlton. Ironically, the Ritz Carlton was about half the cost of the Boardwalk! My flights + hotels were ~$4,000. Plus there were some other expenses. Anyhow, they did offer to help their guests if needed. I was given $1000. For guests who totally paid their own way, they were gifted with either a really nice spa package at the Ritz or a round of course on a fancy course.

    I hope you have a magical wedding that is exactly what YOU want, that is a great way to kick-off your life with your spouse.
     

    robinb

    DIS veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 1999
    Destination weddings are a pet peeve of mine. I think they act as de facto method of culling the guest list and inconvenience the guests that do attend. So yes, I would be irritated to receive an invitation to a destination wedding.
     

    AnnaS

    DIS Sponsoor/Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 7, 2001
    It's an invite only.........it is up to the guest if they can/cannot attend.

    What is important to you? Is your immediate family important to you? If you really want your parents, siblings, maybe grandparents to come and most of them cannot make it......I would not have a destination wedding.

    Just don't be disappointed if anyone outside of your immediate family cannot attend.

    Good luck!!
     

    sethschroeder

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 24, 2013
    Best way to lower the number of attendees is to have a destination wedding. Just make sure you outline you understand that people can't attend in some fashion to give them an out without them feeling bad.
     

    elaine amj

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2012
    Maybe a more graceful invite is to say we are getting married in XX location. If there is any chance you can join us, we would love to have you. But no pressure, we totally understand if it doesn't work out for you.

    I think what I get frustrated with is when the couple says things like, "the people who really cared about us found a way to be there". So the ones who didn't choose to go don't care? Or something else I read a lot in wedding forums, "I gave them 1-2 years to save. That should be enough time". So now guests are expected to save like crazy in order to have privilege of attending your wedding?
     

    Toolulu22

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2015
    We are specifically having a DCL wedding to cut down the guest list and our own costs. I went with the three night cruise because I wanted to ask my friends and family to spend as little as possible. So far, we have had very few "no"s. Honestly, I thought this would get me out of my future in-laws attending because I've never seen anyone so opposed to spending money in my life. (Would literally rather leave a theme park and drive home for the day than pay for in park or fast food.) To my shock, they put their deposit down last week. So your guests may surprise you!
    This.
    We had a Disney Wedding BECAUSE we only wanted our closest friends and family with us. If we had a hometown wedding, we would have offended people if we didn’t invite them. With a destination wedding, those who end up coming are usually your inner circle. However, you will be surprised by some people who just love the opportunity to take off from work for a vacation!!

    I don’t know about DCL, but at WDW there are some room discounts if you book a certain number of total nights for all your guests. You also get a free night after meeting a threshold of room reservations. Wonder if DCL offers any kind of packages for wedding reservations?
     
    Joined
    Apr 27, 2016
    Very interesting question. I voted, it depends. If a not super close friend invited me, I would have no problem saying thanks but we can’t. The problem comes in with family that either can’t afford to go or family that can but don’t want to “waste” a good chunk of change and vacation time on a wedding they are obligated to go to.
    We were in a similar situation a few years ago. My boyfriends nephew was getting married in south Carolina (we live in Connecticut) my bf is not very close with his nephew but he would have gotten so much flack from his sister if we didn’t attend. It is one thing to spend a Saturday at a wedding locally out of family obligation but it was a whole other ballgame to Fly down to SC, use 5 vacation days and spend $2,500 after the gift and travel expenses. We were a little bitter about it.
     

    XSeabiscuitX

    Duffy's Biggest Fan
    Joined
    Mar 3, 2012
    This.
    We had a Disney Wedding BECAUSE we only wanted our closest friends and family with us. If we had a hometown wedding, we would have offended people if we didn’t invite them. With a destination wedding, those who end up coming are usually your inner circle. However, you will be surprised by some people who just love the opportunity to take off from work for a vacation!!

    I don’t know about DCL, but at WDW there are some room discounts if you book a certain number of total nights for all your guests. You also get a free night after meeting a threshold of room reservations. Wonder if DCL offers any kind of packages for wedding reservations?
    As far as I know, and I'm pretty far in the booking process, there is no package for making a certain number of rooms. However, we had to book through a third party travel site and not Disney directly so I don't know if that would have changed anything. However, we have gotten pretty good at combining groups of our friends so they could save on their staterooms. It also helps that the vast majority of us live in Orlando, or within a one day's drive. We only have two people flying in from cross country. Also, one of those two is bringing her parents on the cruise but not to the wedding because they thought it was a great chance for a family vacation.
     

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