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.
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.
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.
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.
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! ) 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.
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.
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!
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)
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.
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.
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.
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!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!
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.
As for travelling, you've given me an opening to bitch about my inlaws 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.
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.
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!"
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.
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.
“I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it.”
― Lee Maynard
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.
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.