You have finally narrowed down your resort, you have picked your date and even blocked out group space. Figuring it would be the best time to share this exciting news with your friends and family as they all gathered together for the holidays, you put together a packet on pricing, estimated airfare and came prepared with resort brochures. You anxiously tell everyone your thrilling news but to your surprise their faces look blank. Some of your family members smile, your mother nervously grins and your dad seems to keep staring at the prices. Wait a minute, isn’t this your choice? Isn’t this your day?
For so many of our clients, their enthusiasm is diminished when they start to hear the rumblings of issues as to why YOUR choice isn’t the best choice for them. There is the obvious expense of traveling to a destination wedding that sometimes can be a burden on your attendees. There is also a feeling from an older generation that they should not have to pay for such an extravagance. In instances where we found very little complaints from families, their situation was that no matter where they had their wedding, one side and many friends would have to travel to their wedding regardless.
This made planning a destination wedding an obvious choice and sometimes even more affordable for guests than flying to a “hometown” location and staying a few nights, renting a car and ultimately paying for meals while there. Airfare alone to a destination wedding on a popular island can be less expensive than flying domestically across the U.S. Now that is the best scenario and that is not always the case for couples making the decision to plan a destination wedding. Another situation in which little complaints are raised, is that this is a 2nd marriage for the couple and they don’t want a repeat of the traditional. In this case, the list of invitees is smaller and many sympathize with this decision and are very less likely to complain. They also do not feel the obligatory pressure to attend. This is where the group tends to be about 10 rooms and the bride is perfectly happy with whomever can attend. Again, this may not be your situation.
So how do you deal with family and friends who feel it necessary to voice their opinions about your day? Being prepared for not everyone “being overjoyed” about your choice is the first reality you must brace yourself for. Tell yourself “I can’t be upset if my ____ can’t make it”. The second thing you should consider is, can I help ___________ financially so that they can attend and would this make them more comfortable with my decision. Let’s face it, attending a destination wedding is an expense that not everyone can afford. My husband and I knew the location choice we selected was not the cheapest. We looked over the numbers and I knew I would be devastated if certain people could not afford to come. We felt it was our responsibility to pay a portion of their resort expense. Remember, that sometimes group blocks give you certain free rooms, and if it is possible to use those “frees” to help lessen family/friends expenses, this is a way of lessening the verbal rumblings you might hear.
Many of the stresses destination wedding couples instantly face is the overtly negative opinions given to them when they announce their happy news. It is like someone took a pin and ran through your gorgeous bubble garden. If you have dreamed of a beach location since you were a little girl, and this is your fairytale wish, remember, it is YOUR day and it is YOUR dream. It is also comforting to be aware that couples planning a traditional church wedding at home, have “know it all’s” with “pins” too. So planning a wedding isn’t always cheery regardless of where you have it. Now, if this seems to be the only affordable way you can get married, because let’s face it, for the bride/groom, a destination wedding is far cheaper than a traditional wedding, then you might have to convince your invitees that this is the way it is going to be and you would prefer to not hear their complaints as your mind is made up. Taking the offense can be the best defense when you announce your news. One of our destination wedding couples shared this:
“Our wedding allowed some of our dear loved ones the opportunity to travel outside the US for the first time. They might not have ever experienced a trip like this in their lifetime and for that I am truly grateful.” [Dana & Anthony Petrucci]
Remember, a normal wedding is about 4-5 hours. A destination wedding is 4 days. These precious days shared with loved ones will make an indelible memory on everyone who attends. Hearing your dream isn’t your families dream can be devastating, but VIP is here to help talk you through things and having support while you plan your big day can work wonders!