AIBU to be "Difficult"; and "Demanding"; Over my Brother's Wedding?

(133 Posts)
FixItUpChappie Fri 15-Nov-13 04:29:56

My one and only sibling is getting married. When he was visiting us in late summer we were out to dinner and chatted about some of his venue ideas…they were considering his fiancée’s home town, where they currently reside and were considering somewhere abroad. When he mentioned Mexico, I diplomatically said that he is the only person in the world I would consider going to Mexico for as I have a lot of safety concerns about bring the children to Mexico (not to derail the thread over debates on the merits of Mexico!). It was a light conversation over possibilities, a ribbing over me being a worrywart etc – nothing had been decided or even looked into in the slightest.

We’ve now been notified that the wedding will be in Hawaii in just over a year. My mum is totally stressed about the cost. She looked into fares and called to inform me that an 8+ hour flight to Hawaii will cost DH and I upwards of $6000 with the kids (who will be 2 and 4 years respectively) – not including hotel, food, transport etc, etc. She took it upon herself to email him that she was worried about the cost especially for my family and about the travel (she has never travelled outside North America and has some mobility issues).

He apparently immediately called her on the angry offensive advising they are giving plenty of notice, that nobody else has any problems with the plan – just us. To object is to be “difficult” and “demanding” apparently. That it wouldn’t be so expensive if I hadn’t vetoed Mexico shockhmm. He pointed out his fiancée’s sister has young children and has no issue with attending. He suggested a range of ideas for me and DH coming without the kids (not going to happen) or me going alone and basically advised that he wants expects his only sister to be there.

This is so much pressure. I think there is no way in hell we will be able to save up the required amount. Even my going alone will be a huge financial pressure. I personally have no desire to be that far from my young children either TBH. I am at the tail end of my 2nd maternity leave in 3 years….we are up to our nose hairs in debt.

I know the cardinal rule of Destinations weddings is fine as long as there is no pressure for guests to attend…but what about the burden on immediate family?! I just think it’s massively selfish. Ahh! I don’t want to miss my brother’s wedding or cause strife but seriously – this is just an incredible burden on us! AIBU to even consider not going?

perfectstorm Mon 18-Nov-13 23:04:48

I think when you're a family up to your ears in debt and a holiday would cost in the multiple thousands, there's not really any such thing as cheap. Just slightly less ruinous. You'd be borrowing yet more cash you just don't have to go somewhere you'd never have chosen. It simply is not fair for your brother to put you in this position.

ProfPlumSpeaking Mon 18-Nov-13 10:36:49

Ok, so your DB lives relatively close to you (in Canadian terms) but is planning on a wedding in Hawaii. HIBU to expect you to spend the money on that if you would struggle to find it. You need to have a heart to heart telling him how much you would like to be there and how you will help him celebrate back in Canada but that you can't afford to go to Hawaii. HWBU if he held that against you in any way. I understand your DH's point of view - if you are spending all that money then go somewhere as a family. A wedding is just a glorified party. Few people are religious these days and it simply doesn't have the cultural significance it once had. It's a shame to miss a party but, meh, it's much more of a shame to spend money you don't have on something frivolous that you are not particularly looking forward to and that your DH would resent you for doing. Make your decision and stick with it. Don't apologise, don't over explain. Just state. It will all blow over.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Mon 18-Nov-13 07:12:47

FFS what is it about grown men acting so petulant.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Mon 18-Nov-13 07:11:22

DVD what is it about grown men acting so petulant.

TheDoctrineOfWho Mon 18-Nov-13 06:39:09

Is your DH in denial about your debt, by any chance?

madwomanintheatt1c Mon 18-Nov-13 06:01:50

I'm getting $724 pp. from Calgary for Sept 14. (I realise this is all guesswork, lol) There are quite a lot of folk that head to Hawaii from these parts. Or Florida <sigh>. I get a week in Devon, natch ;-)

HoneyandRum Mon 18-Nov-13 05:35:29

When the OP said North America I don't think she was talking about the USA but the continent. Canada, the USA and Mexico are all in North America.

madwomanintheatt1c Mon 18-Nov-13 05:14:52

<still in debt>

madwomanintheatt1c Mon 18-Nov-13 05:14:07

Are you in Calgary, fix? Are you in the Western Canada mn quiche on fb?

In all honestly, I'd probably see the bank and get a loan that would enable us all to go (and be dreaming of my wee tinies in smart outfits on the beach as flower girls/ page boys) and to hell with the cost... But I went back to the UK in September for a wedding and spent the same amount of money (I have three kids). Dd2 was a flower girl and it was probably her only chance - that's what memories are made of, eh?

I'd still panic, and be a little resentful, but I'd do it. What a great way to have a holiday of a lifetime and build family memories for both you and your immediate family, and your bro and his?

If dh is supportive, I'd suck it up and agree - sure it's an expense you could do without, but it's also a fabulously joyful occasion that you can take part in as a family, and can do now without the hassle of taking kids out of school and whatnot. It's only money ;-)

BadLad Mon 18-Nov-13 04:43:02

It's a lot of money to spend on anyone's wedding, unless money is absolutely not a problem.

Seeing as you say you are "up to your nose hairs" in debt, then it is absolute madness to spend thousands on this wedding. He surely can't expect you to get thousands of dollars into deeper debt for his wedding.

Maybe he doesn't realise your situation. If he does, he's being selfish and an idiot.

FixItUpChappie Mon 18-Nov-13 04:22:28

Thanks nooka....that is interesting about WestJet - that is where I got my nearly 7000 quote too. I'm going to go back and see what else I can find.

Had a row with my DH. He doesn't want me to go on my own and is resentful because he wants to go to Hawaii too hmm Its not like I don't want to go to Hawaii. All the wanting in the world is not going to deposit the money in our bank account. Now I'm getting it on all sides FGS. My DH emailed my brother and said not to worry we would sort something out. I guess we will talk it through when he comes for Christmas.

My brother, my mum and I all live in Western Canada - its just my brother lives in a neighbouring province a 2 day drive from us.

ProfPlumSpeaking Sun 17-Nov-13 08:59:39

You live in W Canada. Where does your DB live? Where does your DM live?

ywbu if you expected your DB to get married in Canada if he doesn't live there. Just an example. OTOH if he lives 5 miles from you and is proposing nipping to Hawaii for the wedding (tbh I can see the attraction) then he can't expect lots of guests and should be understanding if you can't afford it. He should have another party close to home.

A wedding is the start of decades of marriage. It's not absolutely vital that you are there on Day 1 so try not to let this loom too large as an issue btw. As long as you celebrate it soon afterwards, it will be just as good.

Lilacroses Sun 17-Nov-13 04:57:23

Sorry, haven't rtft but this is what I imagine is another YANBU! I would absolutely have to politely decline this invitation straight away if it were me. I'm sorry but there is no way I would get into that much debt for anybody's wedding. I would tell him "I absolutely agree that it's your choice but if you choose to have a wedding far away you cannot expect everyone to attend....we cannot afford it". He is being very selfish.

nooka Sun 17-Nov-13 04:44:02

FixitUp have you checked with WestJet? When we went to Hawaii last summer they were massively cheaper than any other option, and fly from Vancouver to most of the islands directly. You can only book up to October next year, but I looked at January 2014 prices, and it was about $2,500 for two adults and two children.

Of course there is the additional cost of getting to Vancouver which can seriously bump up the cost (we live in interior BC and would not drive to Vancouver in the winter if we could avoid it) but Hawaii is generally seen as a cheap place to holiday for Western Canadians, so I can see why your brother might have thought it would be OK. The costs (and length of journey) should be fairly comparable with going to Mexico.

Mellowandfruitful Fri 15-Nov-13 20:51:32

It may be 'really important to him', but evidently not that important if he is being so wilfully blind to the financial pressure this puts on his family. My view is that choosing a destination wedding means that you have to have zero expectations of anybody coming, because you have basically chosen the location above all of your guests. Fair enough, your choice, but don't expect them to take the hit for that financially.

Agree with those saying tell him straight away. Anne Dickson's books on assertiveness are good if you think you could do with some help/practice on how to talk about it to him.

Mia4 Fri 15-Nov-13 20:45:44

Good luck with your brother OP, best you sort it no then waiting another month to do it all. Hopefully you can sort something out, you may even find he's not as upset as your mum has led you to believe.

I hope your mum hasn't stirred things, I know during a good friend's wedding her aunt passive aggressively and aggressively tried to control and manipulate by using my friend's cousin as 'the one who had difficultly'. My friend went straight to her cousin, the cousin came to the wedding while the aunt was disinvited. Sadly, when it comes to wedding's you find the most surprising people are arseholes- this could be your bro or you may be shocked and find your mum has been inadvertently or purposefully stirring!

Alexandrite Fri 15-Nov-13 20:24:20

What relation to you was the person who got married drudge? Dh usually means husband.

I'd just tell him that you're sorry that you won't be able to attend if it's in Hawaii, but tell him asap, before official invites are sent out. Ask if there's anyway he can set up an internet link as you'd love to be able to share the day with them as much as is possible. You may find that he hasn't really thought about the difficulty in finding the money for you. I have to spell things out in hours even for DH, so x cost me 20 hours work, or y is the equivalent of 2 months wages etc.

Thants Fri 15-Nov-13 17:51:09

Tell him about your financial situation and ask that he pays for your tickets. Him choosing to have his wedding abroad is not worth you going into debt. As your brother he should care about that and consider his family when booking his wedding! He either pays for you or moves it nearer home.

MarysDressSways Fri 15-Nov-13 17:45:37

Ouch, that's a lot of money even for you alone.

Which island in hawaii are they planning on? You also have to factor in (an admittedly fairly cheap) local flight if it's not on Oahu.

drudgewithagrudge Fri 15-Nov-13 16:39:13

My DH announced that he was getting married in Thailand to a girl we had only met once.We knew straight away that we couldn't afford it as my DH, his stepfather, had big debts from before we met that we were paying off and neither of us were big earners. DH knew all this already.

We met up with the happy couple and her family, who were all going. I explained that as DH's sister was pregnant and we were hard up it was out of the question and the rest of the evening was very frosty.

A couple of months later we received a postcard from Thailand saying the wedding had taken place and although a couple of his oldet friends went he was hurt that no family attended.

A year later he got in touch to say the marriage had ended and they had gone their separate ways.

Fast forward 2 years and he announced again that he is getting married. When I asked if he and the first wife were divorced yet he told me that the ceremony they had in Thailand wasn't legal over here so no divorce was required. Apparently it was some sort of hippy dippy affair. So we could have gone even deeper in debt to attend a non - wedding to mark the start of a marriage that lasted 10 months,

GiveMummyTheWhizzer Fri 15-Nov-13 16:18:30

Bottom line is that if you can't afford it you don't go.

We want to get married abroad, however we completely understand that its our choice to do so and if people cannot afford to attend we will understand.

FixItUpChappie Fri 15-Nov-13 16:17:06

Sorry correction - the cheapest flight I found for just me was nearly $1600 with taxes included. So that would be about 950 pounds

Alexandrite Fri 15-Nov-13 16:03:47

So $1200 CAD is about £710? I wonder how much travel to the airport, to the accom at the other end and accomodation and food would cost.

FixItUpChappie Fri 15-Nov-13 15:54:32

Hi sorry for being gone so long...I'm in Western Canada - just got up.

I didn't agree to Mexico per se - I did advise directly that we are in very difficult straits financially. I also didn't say we wouldn't do it though so I can see that could be implied agreement.

I have now done some of my own research and my mum doesn't appear to be far off. Our local cheapie air carrier quoted just under $70000CAD for the 4 of us, so about $1200 for just me. We can't fly direct from my city - we have to fly to Vancouver then carry on from there. Canadian flights are always more expensive. I think we could come up with just a flight for me if we put a real effort in - so I'm not ruling that out at all. I really want to be at my brothers wedding. I'm just thinking though that its not like I can buy the tickets next spring - they are going to have to be purchased in advanced so its not really a year to save either.

I am surprised my brother was pissy with my mum so it must be really important to him.

My mum should not have involved us in her email and I told her as such. Now there is drama and I haven't even spoken to my brother yet. He is coming for Christmas - I would have waited and felt things out with him in person.

I do agree my brother should get married wherever he wants - I just need to know that he can understand and accept that it may be out of my reach.

Just for my own pride I must note that I do know that Hawaii is one of the 50 states blush...I was just referring to N. America from a geographic standpoint.

Thanks for the feedback - its nice to vent anyway.

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