AIBU to be "Difficult"
; and "Demanding" ; Over my Brother's Wedding?
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 . 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?
The bottom line is if you can't afford it, you can't afford it! YANBU
When he sends out the invites I think he will be surprised how many other people send polite regrets when they look at the cost too.
I agree with specialagent he is def a Groomzilla
Why can't he just have his honeymoon there? It's a bit rotten giving you the guilt trip.
This seems so out of character for my brother. I'm just gobsmacked! He is almost 40, has never owned a home, has no children and has no debts....but you'd think with some creativity he could at least imagine why DH and I might have a problem with these plans!
There wont be a bunch of guests - its just immediate family and their absolute closest friends to my understanding. My mum and I are DB's only family - its just us. My absence would be notable.
All the family stuff aside, have you looked at the costs yourself? My mother wouldn't be very savvy about shopping around, using cheaper airlines, deals etc.
Perhaps yours is, but I think it's worth checking it yourself. It wouldn't cost that much from Australia so I think it sounds a bit steep from Nth America.
YANBU and he is being completely U. He is being a Groomzilla.
Only a selfish idiot would plan a wedding somewhere very far and very costly without considering whether his nearest and dearest can afford the time and the money to attend, or are willing to spend it. He can get married wherever he pleases of course, so long as there is no assumption or sense of entitled expectation that people will be there.
I think weddings abroad are lovely if you are doing it to avoid having to have certain people attending, but he is being an arse by putting you in this position.
As presumably nothing is booked and paid for in full yet you are going to have to email him and politely but firmly put him straight on a few things. If it means a lot to have you there then he will surely see sense. if not then politely decline ASAP and let them get on with it without you. Don't put yourself under undue stress over this.
I think you should look into the cost for you and your mother ( I sense you'd not be happy her going alone).
Look. But if its not affordable then you cannot go. Tell him it's impossible cost wise but perhaps you and your mother could then have a celebration meal for them on their return?
Why do people think people wish to spend hundreds/thousands on someone else's wedding. A wedding is lovely but it's the marriage that's important.
I think destination weddings are selfish, tbh. And we had one. I do regret it now.
Just tell him you don't have the money. Simple. Sure he will be annoyed, but you don't have the money. And if you did, wouldn't you want to have your own family holiday, somewhere that you want to go?
And Mexico.. the poverty, the crime... I would be very reluctant to take my DC there. If you are staying in a
compound resort, it is not so bad, but what's the point of going all that way to be imprisoned with a barbed wire fence all around you?
If he wants to be creative and demands that you and your family are there then he can pay for you all. It's way too much for a wedding, even a sibling. I would give him plenty of notice now that there is no way you can afford it. It's entirely unreasonable of him to demand you spend £8K (once you include hotels) to attend his wedding.
Also be v clear with him. Even just you attending is going to be £2K which for a young family with debts is a huge amount - a family holiday amount. He wants your entire family to miss out on a holiday (or more likely, food!) so you can go to Hawaii on your own. Just no. He can tantrum all he likes. He is a groomzilla spoilt brat.
Tell him now that you won't be able to afford to go
If you get married abroad, we did but in Europe, you invite people knowing that their ability and desire to attend are not necessarily the same.
He's being a twat.
Even a European wedding with cheap air fares would run you a few thousand tbh
Take sloop at prices yourself and then call him.
You need to tell him tgat firstly you didn't know anything about your mums intention to call him. That it's going to cost in tge ballpark of x amount and that regardless of how much you want to be tgere you cannot afford it. But that you hope he has an amazing time and maybe they could sykpe the service.
First, look around for the cheapest deal you can find. It may not cost as much as your mum said.
Second, see how much you can realistically save between now and then. Make a list of your income and outgoings etc.
If the two figures don't meet, see what kind of deal you could get on a loan on top of the debt you already have and if you could afford the repayments.
Finally, send all of the above information to your brother and ask him whether he thinks you can afford it or not.
Wow I'm blown away by someone expecting their sister, who they are apparently close to and presumably love, to spend so much on getting to their wedding. As someone else asked, why can't they just
Oops sorry, pressed send too soon.
Why can't they just have their honeymoon in Hawaii?
Ps sorry to be pedantic but Hawaii IS still North America, being one of the 50 states of the USA.
I wouldn't even bother looking around for cheaper prices. It's Hawaii - it won't be cheap. Even if it were £200 per person you'd be spending the best part of £2000.
Just tell him what you told him here. The provblem may be that you provisionally agreed to Mexico which would be just as costly.
Say you would love to go but it's too costly.
Can he not just have the wedding here?
Orangepixie there's no way the OP should agree to more debt.
I flew to Hawaii from San Diego (or LA can't remember) and it was $100 return with a cheap airline. They're probably much closer than you'll be flying from but the US does have cheap internal flights. Book well in advance and don't get him a present. You would have had to pay for a hotel wherever he'd had it.
I wouldn't have a problem taking kids to Mexico, well except for the length of the flight. We had our honeymoon there and absolutely loved it. We hope to take DD one day.
Hawaii is ridiculously expensive. I'd always said to DH that I'd love to go, but when I idly priced it up I was shocked at how much it would cost. Having a wedding there and then 'expecting' people to attend (family or not) is horribly selfish and frankly, with two small kids you are not going to get anything out of it - it's not exactly a 'holiday' destination geared at little ones.
I'd just be very polite and say that the expense is too much for your family to bear, and you cannot justify putting your family in debt for his celebrations. Have a lovely time and we will see you when you get back.
What country are you in OP?
(the OP put prices in $ and mentions her Mum never travelling out of North America)
If OP is in North America then Mexico is MUCH nearer and cheaper than Hawaii.
OP - Yanbu.
Just say you can't afford it.
< bluster bluster rant rave > "But you're my sister. I EXPECT you to be there!"
"Have the wedding somewhere I can get to and I'll be there."
Firstly, look at e prices yourself, your mum might not have found the best deal. Then if it is unaffordable, tell him you can't afford it, wish him well and don't let him guilt you into going, if he wanted you there, he'd pay. Destination weddings seem cheap to the couple, but this is because a lot of the financial burden of the wedding is shifted onto the guests rather than the couple. (plus the assumption that you want to use up your annual leave going on a big group holiday)
If he pulls the "well xyz don't have a problem going" say calmly "they must have more spare money, we can't save enough, we can't afford it so can't go"
You are under no obligation to fly to Hawaii. Send your regrets and do not discuss it further. He is being totally unreasonable. Extraordinarily unreasonable!
My brother got married in the Seychelles but he paid for my ticket and hotel, otherwise I would not have gone. Could not have gone, and no one would have expected me to. As a family you do have duties to each other, I think: I would care for my brother's children if he could not; I would always try to help him if he needed me. But there is really no obligation to go into debt in service to his trivial whims and fancies. How ridiculous.
If he's got no kids no debt almost 40 ask him to pay!
GertBySea, I love your name!
My family always used to sing "Good for Gert!" after the "girt by sea" bit.
Also, good advice about shopping around.
OP, It's a different scenario, but we were invited to my sister's wedding in Australia, which took place about 6 months after we had just been there (2 adults, 3 DC) for Christmas. (She wasn't even engaged at Christmas time, so we didn't know this would happen.)
We explained we couldn't go, and she was very understanding, but I now do regret not just going on my own.
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