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To have hoped for a bit more from this wedding?

(71 Posts)
ViviPru Tue 27-Sep-11 17:24:11

My best friend is getting married overseas. They live in the UK and have no reason to choose this wedding location other than that they fancied it. We're spending around 2k to attend - that is the best price we could find with a budget indirect flight and sharing a hotel room with another couple.

Were it anyone other than my BF, I'd have politely declined, particularly since it is a long-haul destination I've previously visited and have never felt compelled to return. We've been through a great deal together though, are very close and I couldn't bear not being present on such an important occasion.

I've had a stern word with myself and resolved that as DP have made the decision to attend, we should do so whole-heartedly, and I need to try and be more positive about it. As far as the couple are aware, we've been enthusiastically on-board from the outset.

My resolve held until last week when it became evident that there is very little actual structure to the 'event'. There is to be a brief, low-key outdoor ceremony, (northern hemisphere in October - fingers crossed with the weather hmm) by low key I mean the small group of guests standing behind the bride and groom as they say their vows, and that is all. Then, 6 hours after the ceremony there is to be a meal in a restaurant across town. When asked what is planned to take place between the ceremony and the meal, the couple have said that they don't know and we'll just play it by ear. Likewise for before the ceremony and after the meal. Its all going to be ad-hoc apparently.

I'm the first to admit I'm probably not normal when it comes to planning events in that I think of every last consideration and leave zero to chance, and I don't expect everyone else to be exactly like me in that respect. Also, were it a low-key UK affair, registry office and bite-to-eat jobby, I would think it perfectly acceptable that the day was going to be an unstructured affair.

In this case though, I'm frustrated that there has been so little thought given to the day itself. I can't envisage any scenario other than the party adrift in an expensive city, in our wedding guest finery, struggling to accommodate the broad range of (and inevitably discordant) preferences from the varied and various guests.

I recognise that on a wedding day, its about the bride and groom and others need to respect their choices, but since we (and the other guests) are travelling halfway across the globe, used up chunks of leave, have forgone holidays this year and made other considerable financial sacrifices, I had hoped for more really. AIBU?

valiumredhead Tue 27-Sep-11 17:37:02

YANBU sounds like my idea of hell. I hate it when people say they will play things by ear!

chocolatehobnobs Tue 27-Sep-11 17:41:06

You are being a bit unreasonable. It is their day. Personally I hate events that are micromanaged down to the nth degree. Do you expect the couple to arrange another event earlier on the day of their wedding - surely they'll be getting ready. Perhaps you could enjoy looking at a guide book together and plan a few days out. Is there a bar at the place they are getting married - if so the plan is to drink and socialise with the other guests just like any other wedding.

pocketfullofposies Tue 27-Sep-11 17:45:00

I think I would expect a bit more of a bash if I was paying 2k to attend!

itisnearlysummer Tue 27-Sep-11 17:47:40


YWBU if, as you say, the event was somewhere local but for the effort and money you are putting into going, I think you would expect something a bit more. Otherwise, what is the point of inviting other people? They could have gone and done this on their own.

WomansWeekly Tue 27-Sep-11 17:48:58

no way would i pay £200 let alone £2000 to share a room with another couple

sod that for a game of soldiers

Vallhala Tue 27-Sep-11 17:55:16

Me neither, WomansWeekly. Sod that indeed.

It does sound a bit odd, OP. Can you get out of it at this stage? I would!

ViviPru Tue 27-Sep-11 17:56:01

Hobnobs We're there for 5 days, so there will obviously be the usual sight-seeing and days out before and after the wedding day. I don't expect there to be another event arranged for earlier in the day, but perhaps the suggestion of a breakfast together, few drinks somewhere maybe? Anyway its not really the pre-wedding that I'm bothered about (although I accept I did cite that in my OP)

There is not a bar exactly where they are getting married, its a municipal outdoor location. Its a cosmopolitan city with endless choices of bars and cafes for socialising. My concern is that we are going to be overwhelmed by choice, and the day would have flowed better had they given some prior thought to specifics.

Any gentle suggestion that we all get together and share some ideas has been met with a definite 'no - we think we'll probably play it by ear' from a couple with far from the best event hosting track record.

The best weddings I've been to were the ones that were skillfully micromanaged so that the guests were seamlessly moved from one element of the day to another without even realising it.

Quite, its nearly summer that is exactly my feeling.

Haha WomansWeekly luckily the we're VERY good friends with the other couple. Not like that though blush

MrSpoc Tue 27-Sep-11 17:56:29

if your paying £2k to attend then i assume your paying for at least a weeks holiday so the money is irrelivant.

It is their day and they can choose what they want to do for the day to make it special.

Do you watch friends as you remind me of Monica.

ViviPru Tue 27-Sep-11 18:05:35

Mr Spoc I think money is relevant as its 5 days in a city I would never choose to take a holiday in. We'll have a nice time but I'm only really going for their wedding day. I'm in full support of them making their own choices on their day, (I think I've proven that by going along with it this far) but I know them inside out and I know they've given very little thought to what is going to "make it special"

I am a bit Monica-like in as much as at our massive summer party I tied the bottle opener to the paddling pool (where all the drinks were chilling) with string. Everyone joked that I was being the Fun Police, but no one complained that they couldn't open their drinks because they couldn't find the bottle opener ;)

Valhalla I've been backwards and forwards about pulling out, but just couldn't bring myself to do it now, we fly next week and I would feel dreadful dumping the full cost of the room on the other couple. I think we'd need to lie too to get out of it without damaging friendships, and I'm not comfortable with that.

Ineedacleaneriamalazyslattern Tue 27-Sep-11 18:07:07

YANBU i would have thought they would have planned something and tbh 6 hours between the ceremony and the meal is just a recipe for diaster really. Everyone will want to toast the happy couple and celebrate for that 6 hours, There is every chance of at least part of the group getting really drunk long before that.

sue52 Tue 27-Sep-11 18:09:07

It might be their day but you are stumping up £2000 to part of it. If I had put my friends to so much expense, I would have put a bit of effort into making sure everyone had a day to enjoy.

TheProvincialLady Tue 27-Sep-11 18:10:36

I think it is extremely selfish of people to do this to their friends and family. Even more so if they can't even be bothered to organise a proper wedding of any kind. It will be a tedious shambles and you will fall out with them and the couple you are sharing a room with. Then you will make it up with them and no doubt laugh about it in the future. That's what my crystal balls say.

aldiwhore Tue 27-Sep-11 18:10:46

You either want to be there for your best friend's wedding or you don't. Its not about the party... for that, YABU.

However, if its costing you so so much YWNBU if you were to say 'I'm sorry I just can't afford this'.

It doesn't need to be the truth! Unfortunately because you've been so on board up until now, you're kind of committed. Its a long way to go for a bar snack, but its a perfectly reasonable distance to travel to see your best friend get hitched.

I guess you have to look at it in a different way. Is it only worth doing if there's a big shabang, or is the very fact you'll be part of your best friend's wedding day enough?

Best wedding I ever went to was somewhere in the middle of organised and shambolic, with allowances for people who didn't like being herded (moi), the WORST wedding I went to was actually and over organised, micromanaged day from hell.

Ilovedaintynuts Tue 27-Sep-11 18:12:17

I wouldn't have gone, even for my best friend.

I suppose if £2000 is not that much to you then it means less, but for me I would expect a whole lot more for my money!

I do think people are cheeky having weddings abroad and expecting people to attend at great personal cost.

LineRunner Tue 27-Sep-11 18:17:43

This is a bit Monica meets Phoebe <bows to MrSpoc>!

I would worry that you'll all be pissed for the 7pm meal.

Are your friends 'bohemian'...?

SheCutOffTheirTails Tue 27-Sep-11 18:17:45

I can't believe you are putting yourself to that kind of expense for a destination wedding.

It sounds like they didn't really want anyone else to attend so they could have a chilled out day by themselves, and how that you've all decided to pay ridiculous amounts of money to go they are a bit stuck.

pocketfullofposies Tue 27-Sep-11 18:19:27

I can't IMAGINE my best friend expecting me to stump up this kind of money for her wedding.

Part of being best friends is that you show consideration for each other, right?

ViviPru Tue 27-Sep-11 18:22:40

daintynuts We're comfortable, but £2000 is a lot to us - I'm supporting DP while he's starting a business and has zero income. We have not been on holiday abroad for 4 years, had been planning to go this year (not 2K's worth though!) but have not been able to afford that on top of this trip. One of the reasons DP and I are not yet married is because we are saving to do so, and this has set that back somewhat.

aldwhore wise words as ever. All along, I have been focusing on the fact that its my BFs wedding and that's what matters, I guess its getting close now and I'm feeling worn down with trying to suppress my frustrations over the whole thing. I'm in too deep and I've no-one to blame but myself.

theprovinciallady your post made me laugh, you're probably bang on. What do you reckon our chances of success are for the harmonious new year get together thats planned?!

Everyone else, I appreciate the replies. I've been round and round in my own head with it for ages now - genuinely and decide if IABU or not and DP gust gets uppity when its mentioned - he's even more put out than I am as its not his BF.

ViviPru Tue 27-Sep-11 18:23:33

can't decide* gah sausage fingers

pocketfullofposies Tue 27-Sep-11 18:24:50

I don't think you can pull out now though sad

GwendolineMaryLacey Tue 27-Sep-11 18:29:31

Ooh no, sod that for a laugh. Doesn't matter if you're turning it into a holiday or not, you're schlepping out there at great expense purely to attend their wedding. The very least they should do is make sure there's something nice to attend or make it clear before anyone paid out that there would be a five minute ceremony and a sandwich, don't get excited sort of job. I would have to devise a sick maiden aunt or something. I would be seething throughout the day and that's not fair on anyone.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Tue 27-Sep-11 18:30:06

YANBU at all, but if you can't/don't want to pull out – and I don't think I would – you need to redeem the situation. Treat it as an (expensive!) holiday with a wedding attached. Dress so that you're appropriate for the wedding and meal, but comfortable. Spend the hiatus between ceremony and meal doing stuff that you want to do in the city (research and discuss with DP beforehand). If others want to come with you, fine unless they're bores, but I think your attitude should be 'We're spending the afternoon doing x and y and anyone who wants to is welcome to join us.'

BlameItOnTheBogey Tue 27-Sep-11 18:31:54

I guess it would be massively unacceptable for you to do a bit of research and make a potential plan for the afternoon? That way, when everyone was drifting about you could mention this brilliant bar/ museum/ something that you had read in the guidebook. Everyone would think it was wonderful and spontaneous and you could feel happy with a plan. I recognise that this is a bit massively manipulative and you'd have to play it by ear on the day but it wouldn't hurt to have a few ideas up your sleeve...

shineynewthings Tue 27-Sep-11 18:31:57

YANBU. This is the reason I often do not like weddings, because couples can become so self-obsessed with their idea of their happy day that they don't give enough pause to consider the comfort of those around them. I think it is the height of selfishness and bad manners to expect people regardless of how best friendty they are, to just stomp up a huge wad of cash and follow them half-way across the world.

It really is bad form and the least they can do is make the day really outstanding. What is the bloody point of going all that way just to observe a parred down ceremony followed by drink in a (any) bar? Couldn't they have done that here?

Tell them you haven't thought about what gift you're going to get them but you'll grab it between the ceremony and the bar.

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