to ask how to avoid being a CF/bridezilla(139 Posts)
Been reading a lot of bridezilla threads lately.
We are having a sort of destination wedding, which can’t really be avoided. My OH is foreign and we have to get married somewhere, so either way half our guests will need to travel from abroad. We’ve chosen to get married where we live, so there is at least some logic to it. It’s an easy destination to get to and there are plenty of hotels and AirBnbs within crawling distance.
How can I make it easier and more fun for my guests to attend?
And what is the best way to handle the gift issue? I don’t want to make it sound like we are expecting anything, especially from people who have travelled a long way, but people want to know what they’re supposed to do. We don’t want to have a gift list because we don’t need anything and don’t have any space for extra stuff anyway. Most people seem to ask for money these days but I’ve heard that described as CF-ery.
Any tips about how to help people with children? There are likely to be a few babies but none over the age of two. Should we do anything for them apart from providing a quiet room for people to breast feed etc?
Any tips would be much appreciated!
How can I make it easier and more fun for my guests to attend?
When people can't attend, because of finances or leave entitlement or work commitments or just because they'd rather do something else, avoid writing multi-paragraph passive-aggressive notes sympathising with their problems but making it clear how disappointed you are in their inability to spend a lot of money on something which matters a lot more to you than it does to them.
We've had to decline a couple of weddings this year which would have cost us around £1000 to attend but were, in any event, impossible from a scheduling point of view. The responses from the happy couple or their parents won't be easily forgotten.
How old are the babies? Organising highchairs
Age appropriate food and toys would really help. If any are crawling/walking a bit of space they can use is good- DS spent ages at a wedding on the lawn practising crawling.
Gift wise, I'd just avoid any poems!
How old are the babies?
We don’t know exactly who will be coming yet but I would guess a couple of newborns and two or three 1-2 year olds.
I think just the fact that your being conscious of not being a CF will stand you in good stead.
Only on MN have seen people recoil in horror at money requests - in real life most people are fine with it
we didn't want presents and said so but we were inundated with guests asking what we wanted so asked for vouchers in the end
To make it more pleasant please provide enough food and drink! nothing worse than hanging around feeling hungry, bored and parched!
Provide a quiet space for babies with comfy chairs for parents and toys for the older ones (nothing fancy just crayons/paper etc), high chairs as well
Most people coming to your wedding love you, are happy for you and wont get bitchy about your plans!
Keneft I wouldn’t do that as I have been on the receiving end. (Declined an invite to a wedding that was on a Friday at the other end of the country and I’d been invited without my long term OH and didn’t know any of the other guests, and the bride wasn’t happy with me.)
There are some people who we will invite because we went to their weddings but we would be surprised if they actually come given the distance and the fact that they now have kids etc.
I got married last year. We did not put anything on our invites re gifts.
I think first off - send out invitations but don't expect all to be champing at the bit or get huffy if people decline your destination wedding. Your wedding, your choice but it is a massive expense and commitment in time and effort. Perhaps include a note saying we realise not everyone will be able to join us but perhaps suggest a party or summer BBQ when they can attend and celebrate with you at a later date.
You say most of the children will be under two. So be aware not all people with babies or toddlers will want to travel. And parent may be on a limited income - still on maternity leave, perhaps one or reduced income. If they do want to attend then work they details nearer the time. Ask them what would make their trip easier. You don't have to pander to each and request but you will get an idea.
I think the fact you being being mindful of guests and not issuing demands suggests you are keeping your inner bridezilla at bay.
Good luck OP.
Re the issue of gifts, just don’t put anything about cash in your invitations, especially not of the poetic variety! I have an invitation on my windowsill, andI always would have given a cash gift, but the “poem” which I know has been googled, sets my bloody teeth on edge!
We are going to put a note saying no presents. We have enough crap and everything we need. All food & drink will be provided and there won't be any ridiculous travel costs for people so I expect people will just give us money as you don't go to a wedding and not give a present in our families.
With gifts, as most will likely have to spend money to travel, maybe just include ‘your presence is your gift to us’ ?
I went to a wedding abroad a few years ago that cost me close to £1600 all in and simply couldn’t afford another £100 for a present and still felt like crap because of the registry/suggestion in the invite.
Just prepare the wedding you want and invite people but don't expect anything of them. So please come to our wedding miles away and if you want to give us a present cash is appreciated is fine; your attendance is required on this mountaintop temple in Tibet otherwise we'll cut you off and your meal will be to the same value as the gift you give us is not.
I'd make it clear on the invitation that you understand people may not be able to make it and there's no expectation to attend. You also appreciate that those who do attend will be spending a lot of money and leave just to attend, and therefore please don't give gifts or money, but put it towards their journey instead.
I'd think very differently of someone who got married somewhere because it's where either they or their fiancé is from, as opposed to those people who pick a foreign destination to cut down on their own wedding costs by putting them onto their guests.
You're definitely in the former category so I shouldn't worry about that aspect.
I think stating no presents may be a bit meh. Far better not to mention it at all and then when people ask say that you have everything that you need for the house so they can draw their own conclusions for that.
We had a few very young DCs at our wedding. For those who were old enough I organised an activity pack at their table place. What I like as a guest - and particularly if I had very young DCs - is to have an idea of when things are happening so I could plan naps and feeding round that, so maybe a rough idea of times though I'm not sure how you would communicate that to people.
I’m not a fan of ‘save the date’, but in your case, it could be useful to contact people ahead of the actual invitations, so that they can look into plane/train/accommodation costs before committing to an RSVP.
I think it’s fine to say that gifts aren’t expected and to request money instead, but no poems.
The fact that you don’t want to be a CF means you’re fundamentally not a CF, just trust your judgment, and you should be fine. And if in doubt, ask the MNJ (Mumsnet Jury) - they will set you straight.
tbh I'd say to all the guests from the other country "please don't feel obliged to attend or to send a doubly expensive gift because you can't attend".
We took our then 18 mo DS to a wedding 2 summers ago and what would have made things a LOT easier would have been a little room for parents/children with couple of toys, maybe a playmat, paper, crayons etc. DH and I could have taken it in turns to look after him in there whilst the other spent time with our friends. That being said I wouldn’t have gone abroad for a wedding with him then.
Also somewhere for nappy changes. The wedding venue above had no baby change facilities.
The problem is I found that although weddings are family events they are usually not toddler friendly!
I hope you have a brilliant day
actually, I'd say it to everyone, thinking about it!
often a wedding invite does feel like a summons.
We’re doing our website at the moment so this is all really helpful, thank you.
lola I went to a £1600 wedding last year too. It was fun but it was our holiday for the year.
Luckily ours is in France, not Australia.
Ah website is perfect as you can put rough time schedule for the day then.
I'm a bit of a control freak and I get a bit angsty when I don't know when I'll be eating or if I need to bring snacks if missing a meal. Actually I'm just greedy .
We didn’t want or need anything by way of gifts when we got married, so no mention of gifts was on the invitation. No twee poems telling how we wanted cash for a honeymoon, or we only want your presence. Instead we just didn’t mention it, if people asked “what do you want?” We would tell them “ honestly, nothing”
A few guests just bought a gift without asking, a few even insisted that we must have something to “remember them by” (we have photos, we didn’t really need a gift) and some gave us vouchers. My husbands family very sensibly asked what shop would be most useful and then they all bought the same shop vouchers, we got a lovely garden bench amongst other things!
No mentioning gifts or which shop our wedding gift list was at worked really well for us. —although we still ended up with a couple of obviously regifted items, like a dvd and a broken candle stick!—
The one I always say is remember the wedding party (so bridesmaids, best man, ushers etc) are supposed to be treasured guests - not unpaid staff. I was a bm at a wedding where I spent the whole day running after everyone else, was made to wear a costume type dress, hair and makeup, spend a huge amount of time making all the lovely homemade decorations (not something I’m good at or enjoy), and so on and so on. I didn’t feel much like a honoured friend by the end - let alone a wedding guest.
Include maps, nice local places to go / stay / eat / see for out of town guests.
I would put "no gifts please" on the invitation but would also mention a charity that means something to you both for people who would still like to give something.
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