Monday, March 06, 2006


One thing to remember about destination weddings, as I've said before, is that your guest list of 250 people may end up translating to 30-50 who make the trek (depending on where you're holding it).

When you have fewer people present, it may end up being close family friends/relatives who are there for your special day--which may surprisingly lead to the temptation of getting everyone more involved than they would initially expect. Since there are so many items to take care of on your endless checklist, it may become a major temptation to have those around you pitch in.

My friend Aubrey attended her cousin's wedding in Aruba (I'll call her BobbiVilla -- for Bob Villa from "This Old House" -- you'll see why in a minute). Unlike many who find it a hassle to travel far and wide to make it to the destination wedding, Aubrey was psyched to get away from work, go somewhere exotic with her boyfriend (who was invited), and to celebrate with her cousin.

What Aubrey didn't anticipate, however, was being put to work--and helping set up for the ceremony and reception! Apparently, all of BobbiVilla's friends and family were given "tasks" -- as the ceremony was taking place on the beach, and it was somewhat windy that particular day, Aubrey and her boyfriend spent much of the afternoon of the wedding stapling/gluing rose petals onto the carpeting and material provided that would be a part of the ceremony. Aubrey described how her boyfriend was particularly sweaty and tired from the job, and it took them a couple of hours--they were exhausted even before the ceremony/reception began!

In addition to the rose-petal stapling, other friends and family had tasks of arranging the placecards at reception hall, filling the baskets in the bathrooms with amenities, and other similar activities.

Although Aubrey really didn't have a problem with helping her cousin out, she did find it a little strange that everyone at the wedding became involved in the planning and setting up process.

The point of this story is that when planning a destination wedding, it's important to remember to cover your bases in terms of hired help and that you shouldn't be using your friends/family as a last resort in getting the wedding details finalized. Sure, it's ok to have your mom and closest friend involved, but if most everyone at the wedding is taking part in the pre-wedding festivities, I think they'd be too tired to celebrate DURING the wedding as a result!

Although this example of rose-stapling may be an extreme--and not every bride turns into Bobbi Villa (arming guests with a staple gun and glue)--it's a good reason to remember that destination weddings create their OWN issues, which must be addressed in turn.

Stay tuned!


Megan said...

I am living in, and getting married in, Europe. (fiancé is European and all of his side is of course, in country). I have a big family, and expect that not a lot will be able to come, perhaps 40 max from my side (including some friends who are already in Europe). My problem is that I feel people will not really consider that it is a wedding that they are going to, and that my parents and I will be busy, and not have time to chauffer them around the sites, or take off to go visit another country with them. We will do our best to help them with transportation (hiring a van), etc. but we cannot hold their hands and be with them every minute to say "Okay, this is how you order a glass of water in french..."

Anonymous said...

I must be going to bridal hell for accepting my friends' offers to set up the reception site. I'm sure that 90 minutes on a cool February day took total advantage. There was even some "snowflake" scattering on the tables. The horror!