We all know that weddings are expensive to plan and host for the happy couple and potentially their parents.
But the thing people don’t realize is that while a destination wedding might be more affordable for the couple, it will be much more expensive for the guests, cautioned the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Standard_Bit_2921 recently found out that his son wanted to have his wedding in France, instead of the United States, and the wedding was coming much sooner than expected.
When the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure how he could make it happen, the groom was furious that his own family might not be attending his wedding.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my son it’s absurd that he thinks we will be at his wedding?”
The OP wasn’t sure what to think about his son’s wedding planning.
“This is about my oldest. He has always wanted to travel the world and he just told us that he will have his wedding in France.”
“We thought he was joking when it first happened because he has said so many destinations at this point.”
But he was shocked when the wedding invitation came in the mail.
“I also thought it would be in a year at least but the invites came today. It is in four months in France. He is looking to do a mini trip and apparently was able to book a small church in France for the whole thing.”
“To make this clear, we didn’t think it would be in France since he changed wedding ideas so many times.”
“Also, we thought it would be 2024 fall; January 2024 came out of nowhere.”
The OP wasn’t sure where this came from.
“We talk plenty, we thought it would be fall 2024, since that’s what he was saying before, and now the invites are out and it’s in January.”
“He also kept changing his mind on the venue so we didn’t think it would actually be in France. He mentioned something about it at the beginning of summer but we really thought it was a joke. At this point in time, he has told us it will be in Canada, the Grand Canyon, and Mexico.”
The OP decided to be honest with the groom.
“I told him it was absurd that he thinks we would be able to go.”
“I don’t have the PTO ( already used most of it this year, and I don’t receive it all at once at the start of the new year), our youngest kids are in school and we can’t just pull them out of school in January with finals and midterms, we don’t have the money to have five (wife and three minor kids) people take plane trips to France, plus hotel and car and who knows what else, and I don’t think my wife even has a passport.”
“We all figured we would have more than four months if he did do something out of the States. We probably could pull it off if the invite told us six to seven months ahead.”
“But it’s in January. It’s not happening. I don’t get why he is having it so soon. Most wedding invites we get our like six months in advance. For weddings we need to travel for, I remember getting an invite a year beforehand.”
“We got in a huge argument about it, so I want to know if we are being jerks about this.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some reassured the OP that the turnaround time was too tight to be realistic.
“NTA. You’re being realistic. It appears your son is not. Four months is not an acceptable nor reasonable timeframe to send out invites for a destination wedding… if you actually want people to attend.”
“Is this a January wedding? … I can’t imagine most people will be able to afford to attend this wedding. This is simply poor planning.” – Alarming_Reply_6286
“Seems like the only choices that are practical for you is everyone stays home or only one parent goes.”
“It’s still going to be pricy to fly to France, get a hotel, eat, and pay for transportation. Plus gifts for the bride and groom and likely new clothes! Are you also expected to contribute to the wedding?”
“He was unrealistic to spring this on you with so little notice.” – noccie
“NTA. Whoever wants a destination wedding should be prepared that loved ones can’t attend.”
“Getting time off, finding accommodations, getting paperwork done and being able to afford it are no small obstacles.” – FalconJaeger
“I would try to go solo to your son’s wedding if all of you are unable to attend. Kids do have school and it’s hard to fly an entire family but you’re his dad. If none of you can attend then you need to graciously tell him how much you love him and his new spouse but you just can’t travel that far.”
“Don’t guilt him. Send him love and congratulations. If you are able to, tell him that you’d love to help him host a reception for friends and family members in your town who were unable to attend the wedding. That way you can celebrate the couple upon their return.” – worshippirates
“Both my siblings did it and the first my mom paid for. The second was during my midterms and I didn’t want to go.”
“I regret it. It cost me so much and I failed my class because I didn’t have time to study and didn’t get a good enough grade as it was 40% of my grade and I was already struggling. I ended up dropping out of my major.”
“My family is so oblivious. It’s a shame how entitled people can be.” – IsItTurkeyNeck
“Not to mention with such short notice without informing his family first! What a selfish brat! He can’t have it both ways. If it was so important for his family to be there he should’ve made sure it was even an option for them beforehand; tough luck otherwise.”
“NTA. He’d better get the Zoom meeting booked and ready for the majority of his guests, lol (laughing out loud).” – sammywhammy67
“I don’t know why people don’t just go to the destination for the honeymoon.” – fourpatch
“I mean, we’ve been wanting to take a trip to France and the airfare alone has been a stopper. From where I live, it would cost at a minimum 2500 dollars to fly my entire family to and from France. That’s JUST the flight, and not lodging, not meals, not other expenses.”
“I always look at destination weddings as an imposition. People try to frame it as, ‘Oh, it’ll be a vacation for you, ‘or ‘Oh, we’ll all get together at [fun resort].’ Both my time and vacation funds are limited and I’d be miffed if someone else tried to allot either on my behalf, which is basically what a destination wedding does.”
“There was a post here recently about a couple who wanted the parents to pay for a destination wedding to New Zealand (they were in the US, IIRC). I hate flying and I don’t think I’d fly to NZ even for a sibling. It’s just too big an ask for something that is ultimately arbitrary.”
“Plus, OP mentions no passports for him and his wife – there is a possibility they wouldn’t have them in time for the wedding unless they expedite them, which is yet another additional cost.”
“I think OP’s son is being really selfish here and should reconsider his plans.” – Sniffy73
But others thought the OP could have started making tentative arrangements sooner.
“Your son told you in May. He listed potential locations including out-of-country options that require passports. You a**holes decided to use all your PTO, not save for a trip, not get passports, and then get upset with your son when he finalized his wedding invites?”
“You and your wife sound insane! You’re definitely TA. You aren’t required to attend a wedding. It isn’t a summons. But YTA.”
“I know the PTO could have been used for emergencies, not just vacation, but it is hard to explain away why OP thought his son was ‘joking’ when he told him he was getting married and looking at destination wedding places out of the country or why OP just assumed it would be late 2024.”
“It sounds like the son communicated what was going on quite well and his parents just heard what they wanted to hear. It would have been really easy to explain to the son in MAY that OP didn’t have enough PTO/money/etc for a destination wedding.” – worshippirates
“The passport thing gets me. Okay, OP’s wife didn’t know for sure where the wedding would be, but she did know lots of the places they were looking at were out of the country, why didn’t she start the passport process then?” – myssi24
“YTA, Four months from now is next year’s PTO, and four months is plenty of time to have a passport sorted and the kids won’t remember what they did in school the week of their big brother’s wedding. They will remember it if they come.”
“Your reasons for saying no are inconveniences, not deal breakers. You don’t want to go, it’s fine, but own it and start taking your son seriously: he is starting a family in four months.” – DivergingParallelism
“I am baffled at how you didn’t know the wedding date until the invitations came. Do you not communicate with your son? Did it not occur to you to ASK him when the wedding would be, where in France, if they finalized plans, etc. or did he say, ‘The wedding will be in France,’ and you laughed and said, ‘So, how about that weather?'” – MamaTumaini
“Even though he ‘kept changing his mind,’ there were strong suspicions it would be a destination wedding based on what he said/kept changing his mind on, OP.”
“Sounds like you just want an excuse not to go. If you truly couldn’t afford it that would be one thing but it’s your son.” – Yunan94
While the subReddit could understand the enjoyment of having a destination wedding, there was an important conversation going on about how future married couples needed to understand that, while they could have the destination wedding of their dreams, the cost of arriving at that wedding would surely keep some loved ones away.
That said, it seemed the OP and his wife could have started making tentative preparations for their son’s wedding, since they knew it was coming in 2024 and likely would be out of the country somewhere. That would mean saved PTO time and filing for a passport, which could have be done without knowing the date or location.