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Dealing with Guests Who Don’t Want to Travel

by Holly Godbey

Feb 21, 2015

Traditional Indian Wedding © Gansham Ramchandani | Dreamstime

How To's

You’ve dreamt about this day for years, picking out all the little details in your head. You’ve finally got the guy — and the ring! — and now you’re ready to put all of your long thought-out plans into action. You want to be swept away to a destination wedding, whether the location be a Caribbean beach or a European castle. Turns out, not all of your guests, and maybe even your bridal party, are thrilled about the idea. What’s a bride to do?


First of all, remember no wedding has ever been planned smoothly from beginning to end. Even if you were being married in your hometown, someone would find something to be upset about — the date, the time, the venue, etc. You do need to consider, though, who the upset parties are — if your parents who happen to be footing the bill aren’t willing to pay for an extravagant affair in Aruba, you probably ought to rethink your plans. However, if the offended person is a friend of a friend that’s played a small role in your life, it may be worth it to go ahead with your plans.


It’s also important to take into consideration the financial situations of both your bridal party and your guests. It’s often a large monetary obligation to be a member of a bridal party, regardless of where the event is taking place, so when you add in the costs of flights, accommodations and the extra costs of any trip out of town such as pet boarding and time off from work, stress levels will rise. Of course, your friends and family are probably honored you’ve asked them to be part of your big day, but if some of your bridal party legitimately can’t afford the trip, it’s quite unfair to ask. If you can’t help them pay their way, you may want to consider either choosing different members for your bridal party or moving your location closer to home.


If cost isn’t an issue, some of your relatives may be uncomfortable with long flights or traveling out of the country. This may particularly be a problem with guests who are older or have health issues. Again, you need to consider who these guests are and how much it matters to you and your family to have them at your wedding. You should never make any of your family or friends feel purposefully excluded from your wedding, and you can avoid hurt feelings by keeping the guest list both private and on the smaller side. Lots of couples that have destination weddings also opt to have a large reception in their hometown to celebrate after they return from their honeymoon, where everyone can be included.


Whatever your wedding plans, take the time to enjoy the process of putting together your big day, and realize it’s about the people you share it with more than where you spend it.



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