Wedding/showers..advice, ettiquette, and general bitching!

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Smiley0884, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I spend hundreds of dollars to attend weddings inside the US! (The last wedding I went to we spent $500 on a hotel- 3 nights, and $200 on travel, because we drove- 15 hours a day round trip to save on hotels- flying was $450 per person). It would be thousands of dollars to go to these destination weddings! So another $50 for a gift is kind of nothing...
  2. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I've never been to a "destination" wedding (although really, what's the definition? Nobody lives at my venue city either, although it's driving distance from most of our relatives), but if you have to spend thousands just on airfare to attend such a wedding, I don't think I'd expect a gift. Besides, the wedded couple will only have to lug that gift back home. :p
  3. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I've never brought a gift to a wedding- always mailed it to the home.

    To me a destination is one that the bride and groom have to travel to also (or at least they have no ties to. My husband had to travel to our wedding because he no longer lived in our hometown, but we got married at home.) So since none of my long time friends or any of my family live in Iowa, I always have to travel to weddings, I am generally traveling to the bride or grooms hometown or current home, I don't consider that to be "destination".

    But when they get married internationally with no tie to the location other than "it's so pretty here"- to me that is destination. So is the Texas couple who got married in Florida just because they wanted a pretty beach wedding. It wasn't local to anyone going. So a destination wedding is one held at a place just to be held at the place- normally you go to a place because that is where the wedding is. In these cases the wedding is held at that location because of a desirable place.
  4. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    A friend of mine had three college friends have destination weddings in one year. She was expected to attend and they also were demanding that everyone stay at the pricey resort venues. She spent all of her discretionary income on two of them in the spring and when the third was announced for the following fall, she said no and it pretty much ruined the friendship.

    I think if you are going to do that, you have to be at peace with the fact that not all of your friends and family are going to be there.
  5. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

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    If you order your gift off a bridal registry you can have it delivered to whatever address the bride & groom put on the registry. You can even personalize the gift card. I would not take a gift to a destination wedding unless I was giving cash.
  6. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I thought that'd be common sense! I guess not. :slinkaway:

    I mean, unless your entire social circle is made up of rich heiresses and Wall St fat cats, I certainly wouldn't EXPECT my friends or family to make it to a pricey resort wedding. (Good excuse for elopement though! :saint: ) If I wanted all my friends at the wedding, I was limited to Northern or Southern California, because they are not made of money and SoCal would be local, while NorCal would be "staying with friends or family for free." We chose NorCal because both sets of our parents are up there. :p
  7. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

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    If you tell a friend that you can't afford something & you end up losing the friendship because of it, they weren't much of a friend in the first place. Years ago I didn't go to my brother's wedding in St Thomas because I couldn't afford it. He had no problem with me not coming.
  8. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree with you and that is what I told the girl when she was upset by all of it. My impression was that the bride was from a pretty wealthy family and a bit used to getting her way. It also seemed though, that the bride felt a little cheated by being the last of the group to do the destination wedding that year because several of their friends had spent their budget on the first two. But those are the breaks. Life is not always fair.

    As for money and friends...that gets complicated. If you don't know that, you've never been the one without the money. There was a Friends episode that addressed it once and I totally get that episode lately. My personal friends and our couple friends are all people with a lot more money than us at the moment and it definitely causes problems when people are used to socializing in ways that cost money.
  9. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Well-Known Member

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    When I see people at destination weddings (we saw some on plane to Mexico for instance, pretty obvious when you are hand carrying the dress onboard), I always assume that it is only the closest friends and family.

    We did talk briefly about travelling somewhere to get married, in which case we would have invited parents, sister/brother and a couple of close friends each. I think it is odd to have a huge destination wedding, but then again I think it is odd how far people travel for weddings. I guess it is different in Denmark where the country is smaller and people are rarely mobile anyway.

    The whole who to invite thing sound so complicated... I don't know if times have changed or if it is different in Denmark. We just invited family we knew, family friends we knew and had a relationship with and our friends. No drama. Good luck to you all, may you have drama less invites!
  10. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    A destination wedding is when the bride and groom admit to themselves that they live somewhere sucky that nobody wants to visit, so they change their wedding venue to somewhere far away, expensive, and somewhat less sucky.
  11. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Not all destination weddings are people who live in sucky places. I would have gone to the weddings if they were in Austin, St. Louis, or San Antonio (the most recent ones)
  12. madm

    madm Active Member

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    My daughter's best friend from college got married last June in her home town of Fairbanks, Alaska. For the 7 bridesmaids and 7 groomsmen from the lower 48 states, this would be considered a destination wedding. Everyone knew this would be the location when they accepted (because the bride who went to college in Oregon grew up in Alaska). No one complained because they were all so excited to be going to Alaska and to spend time afterwards traveling around. It cost a lot of money to fly there, but everyone shared cabins at a local rustic hotel and ate cheaply. This was not a case of everyone being wealthy just because they went to a far away place for the wedding. Fortunately we knew about the event a year ahead of time and were able to snag a frequent flyer airline ticket.
  13. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I don't consider having to travel to the bride's or groom's home town for a wedding a destination wedding. Even though (as above) it might be a pretty exciting destination for those who did not grow up there. My daughter talked about a destination wedding. We sat down and discussed the fact that she had to decide if they wanted family and friends to be there, or would they be happy with just immediate family and a few friends there. They decided that celebrating with people who are important in their lives was more important than the destination. They won't be able to go on a honeymoon right away. They both are in master's programs. So, they will use money they get as gifts and save to go somewhere special in the spring/early summer.
  14. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    I don't get the destination wedding thing at all. Why make it difficult and expensive for your friends and family to attend? Is this a bridezilla thing or some cultural thing I'm not getting? Obviously there will be travel involved for some guests, but there's a difference between that and travelling to some pricey location that nobody has any ties to. Really, save it for the honeymoon.

    The closest thing in Israel, I guess, is when the couple wants a civil wedding; you have to go abroad for these, but it's customary to then have a reception after you're married, not to make everyone go with you to Prague or Cyprus or wherever.

    Me too. Maybe it really is the small country thing ;) My friends who got married in Prague last year went on their own, then had a lovely reception two months later. I also know a couple who got married in Cyprus on only their immediate families were at the "official" wedding.

    Weddings in Israel tend to be big, and since it's customary to bring money, a lot of people forego the whole +1 thing and attend solo, because you're expected to pay less that way. No anxiety about how to find a wedding date!

    I'm going to a wedding next week and trying to do the math as to how much money I should give this time... it can feel a bit tacky, I must say.
  15. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    If we can make a weekend/vacation out of it, that certainly factors into the decision to attend. My sister's second wedding was overseas, so we took the opportunity to travel around the country, then afterward we went on our own "honeymoon" to Greece.

    As for travelling, you've given me an opening to bitch about my inlaws :lol: A couple of years ago, we found out that husband's brother had been at a cousin's wedding in another city that we were not invited to. We wondered out loud how that could have happened, and the inlaws said "oh we told them that we wouldn't be making the trip and you wouldn't want to either, so not to bother sending invitations." Seriously, I'm still pissed about that.

    We've been married a long time and so we are often asked what's the "secret." One thing we have always said is TAKE THE HONEYMOON IMMEDIATELY. I think it's really important to take the opportunity for some couple time after all the family/friends/everyone but us time leading up to the wedding. Just going back to your everyday lives (especially for couples who already live together) isn't the same, and then taking a vacation later is just that - a vacation, not a honeymoon.

    If one can't afford the expenditure or time (aside from that I'd hold off on the wedding in that case), at least take a day or two somewhere special to start the marriage off on the right foot.
  16. Habs

    Habs Well-Known Member

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    THIS. Mr. Habs and I debated a delayed honeymoon but in the end left for Hawaii two days after our wedding. It was the best thing we could have done. We were away from wedding stress, family and friends, and could just spend time together. Actually, the closer our wedding day got, the more we counted down the days to the honeymoon. Instead of "three days until our wedding!", our conversation became, "five days until we're already married and in Hawaii!"
  17. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Our families are just spread really far apart. Three of my aunts/uncles live about 1,750 miles from us- I basically grew up going to their weddings, we did try to make vacations of it. When my wedding came around the family sent a 'representative'- it was too expensive to fly the whole family, so just my Dad's direct sibling came. Even though we only saw these members of the family once every year or every other year, I consider my cousins to be very important to me, so as they start getting married, I do my best to go to their weddings (we traveled to one this summer). The family that used to be 'close' (4 hour drive) is now far away from me, but that is my fault, since I was the one who moved.

    My sister-in-law's college graduation is next month. They live about 1,000 miles away from us (our former hometown): just my husband will be going, we couldn't afford to both fly and didn't have the time off work to make a drive of it. Then we'll drive down again in the summer to celebrate my parent's "big" birthdays and a milestone anniversary.
  18. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, destination weddings are often a way to get out of a big wedding that would cost so much money there would be nothing left for the honeymoon. Basically it is going on a honeymoon and getting married all in one. It is also a great solution to difficult family situations. Simply choosing a far away and or expensive destination limits the number of people attending and therefore can limit the family issues.
    This is certainly not always the reason for a destination wedding, I suspect it comes into play quite often.
  19. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I think destination weddings have been plugged so hard by the wedding and travel industries that brides and grooms have now been convinced this is something they need to aspire to, like it's the ultimate wedding or something.
  20. JasperBoy

    JasperBoy Well-Known Member

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    Really, folks, when you come right down to it, all that is needed for a wedding is a bride, a groom and an officiator. City Hall or equivalent is a suitable venue. The deed is done, legalities are met, and expenses are minimal.
    Anything else is just for show.:scream:
  21. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

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    We went to St. Croix in December for the destination wedding of a couple in their 50s, second marriage for both who is the president of our scuba diving club. About 20 people came, some divers, some nondivers, but a group who loved dive travel and could afford the trip without problem. Once back in the States, the bride and groom held a semi-formal reception with dinner for those who traveled and many other friends who couldn't come. A lovely way to have a second wedding.

    I had to laugh remembering my late mother and one particular wedding gift my husband and I received at our wedding almost 28 years ago. It was my "mother's wedding," we just let her run with the planning for the sake of our sanity. She had gone to the wedding of a woman whose family was from our church who married in her late 30s, and my mother loved her wedding reception, so my parents booked the same venue, had the same meal, etc., which was fine, nothing was really objectional about it, it was a nice reception. My mom gushed about this woman, she was "dream bride" in Mom's eyes for her "exquisite taste." Being older, (Mom had me at age 45), my parents loved old Eastern European traditions like the bridal dance, where everyone pays a few dollars to down a shot and dance with the bride. My mom ordered these ugly shot glasses with sort of Aztec looking striped tape on them, which the guests kept as souvenirs, because, of course, "dream bride" had them at her wedding. Okay, liveable, and my Dad's boss's wife turned it into a "groomal" dance also and it was fun.

    Now, dream bride showed up at our wedding in a perfect navy blue and white ensemble, including tasteful shoes and hat. When we opened the gifts after the honeymoon, my mother kept insisting we had to call her when we opened dream bride's gift, she was dying to know what it was. Well, guess what? The beeyotch gave us a cheap ceramic vase that matched the Aztec-striped shot glasses. The decorative tape on one side was even off kilter. When we opened the gifts, we were half loaded on wine, and we collapsed laughing when we saw this. We presume she probably used it at her own wedding, and dumped it on us in lieu of buying a gift. I would have loved to have seen the expression on my mother's face when we told her by phone. She just got very quiet. We used the vase once; it cracked when we poured water in it. Our standing joke was that we'd save it for our first really, really BIG fight to throw. Proud to say the ugly piece of crap is still in our basement, unharmed. And my mother pretty much ignored dream bride when she visited our hometown after that...
  22. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Disagree. Many people want to share important moments with those that matter to them, and certainly many people, especially parents, want to be part of important occasions for those they love. Many also consider a wedding to be a cause of celebration, symbolizing many things.

    Sure, for some it's just a legal act, but I think for most, it's much more than that.
  23. Habs

    Habs Well-Known Member

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    Disagree completely.

    The most important part of my wedding was having family and friends there to celebrate with us. Yes, technically Mr. Habs and I could have tied the knot at city hall by ourselves, saved a lot of money and been done with it, but what we wanted were people around us to share our day. To show our appreciation, we treated them to a lovely sit-down dinner and a fun party afterwards. Excessive? Not at all. We stuck to a budget, had a wonderful time and NONE of it was just for show. :rolleyes:

    Some people go overboard, sure. But to suggest that anything at a wedding other than the couple and an officiant is just for show is unfair. YMMV.
  24. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I dont know that immediate Honeymoon translates to a long, happy marriage. I know plenty of people who went on Honeymoons right after the wedding, they are miserable or divorced. And I know people who waited, who are perfectly happy. In my daughter's situation, they can afford to go away. But, they both have school. They didn't want to wait another 2 years to finish (they are 28 & 30). They wanted a September wedding, the week after school begins. They will probably take 2 days and go somewhere, but the plan is to go to Europe when they are done with next spring's semester.
  25. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the middle of the final weeks of classes, not to mention work (with a very understanding boss) with 2.5 more weeks until the wedding, and I CANNOT imagine planning a honeymoon on top of it! It would break me. :fragile:

    My aunt donated her numerous Marriott points for us to take a honeymoon at the end of the summer to Kauai. :) IIRC my best friend hasn't take a honeymoon yet, and they've been married a year. :p

    Alf did say we could do a short mini-honeymoon after my classes are done. We'll probably rent a small RV and go to Joshua Tree or something. It still wouldn't be an immediate trip, because I still have 2 weeks of classes after the wedding, but it's still sooner than August. :p
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  26. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Also, honestly the only reason why I DIDN'T elope (considering both Alf and I are introverted hermits and have never thrown a party before), was because I wanted to make stuff for it. :shuffle: It was the perfect excuse to make what I never would have otherwise! :lol: When would I be 100% in charge of fancy invitations or cake topper or table centerpieces? :rofl:

    My mom agrees, she's enjoying the crafting much more than the seeing of family. :p Or rather, the organizing of seeing said family...
  27. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I think you've both missed my point about honeymoons, but whatever, to each his own.
  28. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I think we're taking offense that you're saying we'll get divorced or at least be in an unhappy marriage if I don't unselfishly skip my last weeks of classes in probably my last semester ever, to take a vacation. ;)

    I mean, we could have waited until next year to get married, but after I finish up these classes, we have no idea where we plan to be. The wedding coinciding with the beginning of the next stage of my life seemed to match.
  29. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    You're taking offense at something I didn't say, and certainly didn't intend.
  30. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    I don't see how going on a honeymoon immediately after the wedding has anything to do with the quality and duration of marriage. :confused:
  31. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

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    ITA, I'm sure it has nothing to do with it either way. Just like celebrating or not celebrating Valentine's Day or wedding anniversaries is in no way related to the the happiness of a marriage. For some people that stuff is important. Just like for some a wedding with family and friends is important while others choose to go to City Hall.

    There really is no right or wrong way. Just different tastes and expectations. As long as both the groom and bride are happy, then all is well. Suggesting that a honeymoon right after the wedding somehow gives the marriage a better chance is, IMHO, just silly.
  32. elka_sk8

    elka_sk8 Well-Known Member

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    When my best friend got married, I gave them a ride home from the reception at midnight. They had a 7am flight the next morning to take a cruise and hadn't even packed yet! I vowed then and there not to do that.....

    We got married last fall and took the honeymoon 6 weeks after the wedding. We were using frequent flyer miles for our tickets so had to be flexible on dates anyway, but it worked out really well. Out honeymoon was a 3 week trip to SE Asia, and although I definitely did a lot of research and planning before the wedding (mainly because I love planning travel) once crunch time hit I could drop it and focus on wedding details. Like you I don't know how I would have managed with everything else! Our families were also out of town and we did most of the wedding planning ourselves. I was a bit stressed. ;)

    Hang in there! And Kauai sounds awesome!
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  33. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Oh for heaven's sake. Try to offer some positive encouraging advice, and all you get are people taking the point far too literally or getting defensive about it. Sheesh.

    It's not the honeymoon per se, or Valentine's or anniversaries in and of themselves. It's the choice you make to commit to another person and to the relationship between each other; to say "this matters" to me and to us; and to prioritize that person and the relationship, along with and among your other priorities.

    And of course there are other ways of expressing that commitment to the relationship and expressing it and love for one another. I just think that if you are new to it all, that choosing to take time that's just about your relationship - not families and friends and school and work and everything else - is a very good way to start what will hopefully be a long and happy marriage in which you will not only celebrate all those other occasions, but every single day of your life together.
  34. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    At least destination weddings tend to drop most of the religious pretense. I've always thought it was weird when a couple would get married in their hometown, but at a religious facility to which they had no connection. Most of these couples had to call around to get a facility that would host them, and eventually used a relative's church, synagogue or whatever. Then the couple never attends that facility ever again. If it was so important to have a religious wedding, maybe they should have joined that religion?
    mag and (deleted member) like this.
  35. JasperBoy

    JasperBoy Well-Known Member

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    Just for the record, I totally agree about marriages being wonderful family occasions. People have a chance to get together under happy circumstances, and the generations party together. Better than meeting only at funerals, IMHO.

    What bothers me is people (no one here) who say they can't afford to get married. Or who think that a wedding has to be an extravagant affair with hundreds of unknown guests. No, it really just needs three people, and maybe a couple of witnesses.

    BTW I was married 48 years ago with about fifty close friends and family in attendance. I am currently planning a 70th birthday party and family reunion which will include as many as those same people as possible, plus others. Another good reason to celebrate.
  36. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    We left for our honeymoon the day after our wedding- at 2 in the morning (our reception went until about 1:30), my new in-laws were in our room getting my dress and my husband's uniform to take home with them. We woke up at 8ish, ate breakfast with the family that happened to be down at the hotel lobby and were off.

    My only regret was that a) we missed the big brunch with the family (and getting to eat the leftover wedding cake- our cake was SO good. I keep wanting to go to the bakery just to get a slice or a mini cake, but it's way too expensive) and b) it turned out to be the day the national championship football game was played and DH's team was in it. He got to watch like 15 minutes of it between one of our flights and just heard snippets of people talking about who won after another, a major bummer.

    We packed weeks before the wedding though!

    I also think we probably set a record for time spent apart on our honeymoon- we went skiing and he's a great skier and I'm a mediocre one, so we only skied together a run or two a day, then he'd meet me for lunch. So my secret to a happy marriage is to be yourself and not try to be something else. We are pretty independent, and even our honeymoon started that way. It's been 9 years and things still seem to be good though.


    My Mom planned 90% of my wedding. Not necessarily what I would have chosen on all accounts, but I loved the 'just show up and get married' aspect of it. The ceremony and reception wasn't the important part to me, the family was.


    heckles I was adamant about getting married in the church I grew up in. My parents recommended another that would be prettier for pictures, but it wasn't what I wanted. What is funny is I don't really attend church, and they go 'religiously'. But for me, I wanted to get married in the same place I got my first communion and baptism, for my Dad, a Catholic church is a Catholic church. My sister had to church shop because she needed to find a priest that would allow her father-in-law to co-officiate, they ended up finding a priest who said he only needed to say like one part of the ceremony for it to be official, so they got married there.
  37. JasperBoy

    JasperBoy Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely. Well said.
  38. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

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    ITA - the honeymoon itself, leaving for a vacation after the wedding does not indicate a success or failure of a marriage.

    Jenny - the way that you described it in this last post (emphasis is mine), I can understand what you mean. I do think that you can do this without the dream honeymoon or leaving the area or being totally out of contact with the world. There could be situations where the disconnect from the world allows for the minor things that may or may not have happened during the ceremony/reception/other family celebrations to blow up into big things because you have no other perspective to help you.

    In the end, a marriage is more than the wedding, reception, showers, gifts and honeymoon. My mom and dad have been married for 61 years. Their wedding was small (about 25 or so in attendance), their honeymoon was a one day stay at a local hotel because both had to be at work on Monday morning. My niece had a wedding that included 7 attendants, a reception that had 200+ family members and friends, they left for a honeymoon in Jamaica the next morning for a 10 day stay. That marriage ended 3 years later with a mountain of debt. Difference? my parents committed to each other despite the lack of a real honeymoon. my niece and her husband did not commit to each other even with the 10 day get away.

    regarding destination weddings - 3 of my nieces have had destination weddings, 2 of my nieces had weddings that I have had to travel 3 or more hours for, 1 niece and 1 nephew had weddings that were planned in 2 weeks because of deployment of the grooms and then had wedding renewal ceremonies upon their return to the states, in the end it was what they wanted. 3 destination weddings had a reception upon their return. They could afford to do the weddings and had no expectations that others attend.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  39. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

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    We waited about a year to go on a major trip - it didn't feel like a honeymoon in any way. We both went to work the day after our wedding. So I feel like we never had a honeymoon. None of our trips together have ever had the type of romance that I imagine a honeymoon has. Obviously it hasn't affected our actual marriage but it is something that is missing & will always be missing. Not a major big deal in the scheme of things but a trip right then was doable & we put it off, which I regret.
  40. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Your original post came across rather negative. I had mentioned that my daughter and her fiancee were waiting to take their honeymoon. You said this:
    That would certainly imply that people who don't take a honeymoon right after their wedding are not headed for a happy marriage. You may not have meant that, but that is how it came across. Not going on a honeymoon immediately after the wedding hardly means that the relationship doesn't matter. I simply means that the two people, who make up the couple, have decided that it will work better for their needs to wait. That is respecting each other.