A wedding guest has shared her personal dilemma over whether to attend the wedding of her sister-in-law, after being expected to shell out around £4,000 ($5,479) for the destination wedding.
The wedding is set to be her second “very remote” destination wedding, after guests apparently paid around £3,000 ($4,109) 10 years ago to attend her first wedding abroad.
An anonymous mom shared her dilemma to the British forum Mumsnet, where she asked users if she was being unreasonable in not wanting to attend due to multiple reasons—primarily the costs, after already paying similar amounts for the first wedding, which ultimately failed shortly after.
Destination weddings have grown in popularity over the years, with data from a 2019 survey of over 27,000 couples that 21 percent got married at what they consider a destination wedding. They don’t come cheap either— the same study by The Knot found the average destination wedding cost to be $32,000 and $38,500 including the price of the engagement ring.
“[My] sister-in-law got married about 10 years ago and it was overseas. DH [husband] and I, along with two small DC [children] spent about 3,000 on the week we had to be there, plus presents, plus outfits, etc. A short while after the wedding (months) they split and we were told that she didn’t want to go through with it, she just wanted the big holiday with everyone there. I was really, really annoyed at this as it put a lot of people out having to go all the way and they spent a lot of money,” she wrote in the post.
“[My] parent-in-laws gave [my] sister-in-law £25,000 ($34,172) towards their wedding. Parent-in-laws refused to give us anything for ours. This doesn’t really have anything to do with it, but it still pisses me off,” she added.
Now, the anonymous mom claims her sister-in-law is again planning a wedding and once more expecting guests to pay to attend it. “Sister-in-law wants to book somewhere very remote and the cost with flights, car hire, rooms etc for us is over 4,000 before any other costs. This is for DH and I, plus our three DC,” she detailed.
“It really isn’t just an invitation where they have said that they understand if people don’t come because of the cost but this is what they want to do. She really will throw her toys out of the pram if we don’t go.”
Aside from the financial aspect, the poster claimed that her sister-in-law rarely bothered with the family, but “now she is getting married it is all about ‘family’ and we are expected to be there.”
“We can afford it, but only in the sense that if we paid that we would be going nowhere else all year and have no money to do stuff in the summer holidays without DC,” clarified the mom
Her current plan is to only pay for her husband to attend the wedding, but fears her mother-in-law will be “massively upset” and “will have a lot to say about it.”
The poster asked users of Mumsnet for their view on the situation, and was inundated with one majority of opinions—not to attend the wedding.
“I’d just say that you didn’t have 4K to spend at all. No ifs or buts. Can’t possibly save it, don’t have it saved, sorry credits cards maxed out. Not possible,” recommended one user.
“Destination weddings are the height of selfishness, unless the Bride and Groom can afford to pay for everyone,” wrote another Mumsnet user.
“Destination weddings started off as a way to get married quietly, just the bride and groom. Expecting guests to spend a fortune to attend your wedding is so selfish,” agreed another.
One user advised the mom to forget about the previous wedding, and make her decision based solely on this one: “The first wedding is done now. Draw a line under that. For the second wedding make a judgement based on this scenario.”
Others felt stronger about the situation, and suggested the mom burns bridges with that side of the family. “Seems like a no-brainers and if SIL and MIL [sister-in-law and mother-in-law] will no longer talk to you that only seems like a bonus to me.”