questionswhat's a good "sorry" gift for turning down a…

vote-for24vote-against
vote-for26vote-against

I think planning a destination wedding and being upset with anyone who isn't able to attend is selfish and irrational. The reasons you stated are both valid and I would think that anyone close enough to you to invite you to their wedding should understand that. I realize this doesn't answer your question, but I hope it makes you feel less guilty about not going. Maybe just shoot for the nicest/most expensive item(s) on their registry that no one else is likely to get them (especially if the other guests also have to shell out thousands to attend).

vote-for23vote-against

Don't let anyone make you feel guilty at all. $1000 is a tremendous gift for a wedding and, IMHO, a bit overboard. I second buying something from their registry, but do not let guilt make you spend a ridiculous amount of money. No one who plans a destination wedding should expect any guests other than the bride and groom themselves. Anyone who gets upset about it is probably a bit of a child anyway. You can tell them you'll catch their next one. :)

vote-for20vote-against

Get them a gift as you normally would...their closeness being a factor in how much you spend. Don't let the fact that you can't make it to a destination wedding be a factor. That's part of the risk of planning such a thing - that you'll get a much much lower rate of attendees than you normally would.

I agree with the others that it's unrealistic and selfish to expect people to spend such an enormous amount for someone else's wedding. It's not just the out of pocket expense but it's also your PTO you're burning off for them.

vote-for19vote-against

I doubt someone planning a destination wedding really, sincerely expects that tons of people will be able to make it. It's unreasonable, and I at least like pretending people are reasonable.

Spend what you'd spend if it were next door. I hate this, "How much should I spend?!?" culture we have going on, you spend what you want and can, and that's that. It's a gift, not an obligation. You do it because you care, not because you have to.

Short story long, anything by Dickens. Long story short, I wouldn't sweat the amount, I'd get what you think you should get.

vote-for16vote-against

You could put together a best of home basket. Their "destination" may be wonderful, but if they come home to a basket with choice selections from your local area's best bakery, chocolatier, vineyard, painter, florist, tickets for museums, sports teams, symphony, etc. you could show them how being at home doesn't have to take away that honeymoon spirit. You could also add something to the note saying how you miss them when they are gone and would love to enjoy these things with them even without a special occasion.

vote-for17vote-against

What @first2summit said. I just got married and considered (for a minute or five) a destination wedding. We discarded it because most of the people (including all of her family) would not have been able to afford to go, and we wouldn't have been able to pay for them.

It sounds like you need to have a quiet face to face with your friend and explain:
1) You are his friend
2) You wish you could go
3) You respect their desire to have a destination wedding
BUT
4) Right now you can't afford to drop $5000 on a vacation and you and your wife can't afford to take the time off work.

That should take care of it. If not, well, he's not much of a friend. And for pete's sake: forget the huge gift. That really undermines your position of not being able to afford it. And, if not, is reinforcing an unwanted behavior (Have a destination wedding, and guilt your friends into coming, or if they don't, giving you wedding gifts you otherwise would not have received!!"

vote-for12vote-against

There is a limit to what you can reasonably expect a very good friend to spend to be IN your wedding. Asking them to spend thousands of dollars to attend your wedding is far beyond reasonable. They should expect that most won't be able to go. You should get them the same gift you would get them if the wedding were an hour away. If they wanted you to be there that badly, they would have had the wedding closer to home, to enjoy it with more friends.

vote-for12vote-against

There seems to be a strong consensus here that a bride who expects anyone other than immediate family to be able or willing to drop $5k to attend a destination wedding is being unreasonable. I'd be inclined to consider said bride to be delusional, especially if they're "not taking it well" that you can't be there in person. If the presence of close/long-time friends is important to them, then it's up to them to have the wedding be relatively accessible for most of their hoped-for guests.

Please don't let your friend and his fiancee guilt you into giving them an unusually extravagant gift as some kind of compensatory consolation prize. I hope neither you nor they think that the amount of money you spend on their wedding is a gauge of the depth of your friendship.

vote-for13vote-against

P.S. I'd really like to know (so call me nosy; I don't care) just how many guests actually end up attending the wedding.

When the daughter of a close friend got married a few years, they did a cruise+destination wedding to an Italian castle. The only guests invited were immediate family members, all of whom had known about the couple's plans for more than two years and all of whom were easily able to afford it. It was intended to be a magical, long-awaited, whole-family vacation with a wedding in the middle of it, and my friend said it turned out perfectly. Shortly afterward, the newly-wedding couple held a huge reception in their hometown for a couple hundred of their friends, which was apparently a happy and well-celebrated evening for all.

I think too many people have been watching Platinum Weddings and My Fair Wedding shows on WETV.

vote-for10vote-against

I've read this question about a dozen times. When I first saw it, I was so staggered that I waited around to see if it might be a joke post. No, I'm not kidding.

I have a very sincere suggestion for a gift, but I suspect that you probably won't get it.

"Miss Manners' Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding"

http://www.amazon.com/Manners-Guide-Surprisingly-Dignified-Wedding/dp/B0085SAG9Y/ref=pd_sim_b_2

"Bride and mother-of-the-bride rebel against today’s monster weddings and explain how weddings can be charming, affordable—and excruciatingly correct."

"Today’s brides are bombarded with wedding advice that promises perfection but urges achieving it through selfishness (“It’s your wedding, and you can do whatever you like”), greed (choosing the presents that guests are directed to buy), and showing off (“This is your chance to show everyone what you’re about”)."

You should also be prepared to be sympathetic to your friend during the inevitable divorce.

vote-for7vote-against

In addition, anyone planning a destination wedding either needs to be prepared to provide financially for all the guests that are attending, or needs to reconsider what a wedding ought to be.

Here's another helpful book from Ms Emily Post:

http://www.amazon.com/Emily-Posts-Wedding-Etiquette-Peggy/dp/0060745045/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_y

Destination Weddings. Hmph!

vote-for0vote-against

I'd say you get her a slap upside the head, and him a wake up call about the kind of spoiled bitch he is marrying. If they had any class, they'd have a reception when they get home from their nice little trip.