We are lost! Help with wedding between people from different countries?

May 5th, 2011

He grew up in New zealand, I grew up in the US. We plan to live in NZ. We have so many people we want to celebrate our wedding with, but we cannot expect all of his family’s guests or all of my family’s guests to pay to travel to either of the other countries to be at the wedding.

We decided to compromise with a small immediate-family only ceremony in the Bahamas (which will also serve as our honeymoon) and have two separate receptions-his parents offered to pay for a reception in NZ so that we can celebrate with everyone and not have to choose. After the wedding we will come back to the US for a few weeks to finalize some things before our move. We will have a reception here, then the other in NZ.

We have not even sent out invitations but my cousin heard about the wedding plans and is very upset. She says it is rude to invite guests to a reception but not a wedding, and especially to have two different receptions and both separate from the wedding itself. But having two weddings doesn’t feel right – one would feel “fake” – and I couldn’t ask people here or people there to travel all that distance.

We are lost. Can anyone help tell us what we should do without breaking rules of etiquette and upsetting people? I’m about ready to elope just to put the worries behind us!

7 Responses to “We are lost! Help with wedding between people from different countries?”

  1. neyshan says:

    Your cousin is an idiot. Its clear this is a hard situation but I feel that you have done your best to try and make everyone happy. Also remember its about you two, not your cousin. Also you can get her to shut up by asking her what she would do in your situation, she probably will realize that its almost impossible to plan around.

  2. kamal gharti says:

    If this problem occurs then do the ceremony in both countries ,but do not include all families

  3. Ron says:

    Most people would probably understand what you are doing and why. This cousin is family and evidently really hates to miss your wedding. Maybe you can solve this some way by inviting anyone to come to the wedding if they can get there, but explain about the reception plans…most would be willing to just attend the reception …and you could have the wedding filmed and show it at both receptions which might also help.

    You can’t always please everyone but you could tell the cousin or any others that “have to” be there that they can come, but everything else will be done at home later.

    Your plans sound reasonable to me ….you could wear your dress and tux to both receptions because people want to see it, and then you can also have pictures with wedding cake each time…..and with the guests.

  4. Paula12481632 says:

    In my experience (fairly traditional Australian, so almost certainly the same as NZ tradition, not sure about USA), the wedding is traditionally in the bride’s home city. I can think of quite a few examples (including American bride / Australian groom, and vice versa) and it always seems to go that way. But this goes with the tradition that the bride’s family hosts and largely pays for the wedding.

    If you are paying you can obviously do what you want, and I’m not going to criticise your compromise, but that probably explains where your cousin is coming from.

  5. Stormie says:

    If she wants to pay for everyone plane ticket hotel the wedding reception etc than do it her way. If she’s not do it YOUR way which is very reasonable.

  6. boomer says:

    Your plans are perfect. A small ceremony with close immediate family, and two receptions. You are not breaking any rules of etiquette. As far as upsetting people I can’t say the same. But if they can be grouped with your cousin, they can go fcuk themselves. It’s not rude to only invite people to a reception. And it’s not rude to have two receptions especially in your circumstance. Now the people that are upset that they get to miss the wedding, maybe you can videotape it and show it at the receptions so that everyone gets to feel like they went to the wedding. Please remember that it’s your guys day, not anyone else’s. If you are happy with your plans than go with them and dam the rest. If a friend or family member will hate you for the rest of your life because of what you wanted to do on YOUR wedding day, then maybe it’s time to start distancing yourself from that person. The wedding sounds beautiful and I hope you have fun.

  7. fizzy stuff says:

    It seems you are trying to include everyone, but inevitably someone will not be keen to yours plans. May I suggest, having your wedding in the Bahamas and leave it at that. The party in NZ, the “reception” in the US… these are no consolation prize for those who cannot afford to attend your wedding. It just comes off as another chance for you to prance around and show off, and collect more presents in the process.

    There is no bride and groom out there who can include EVERYONE they want at their wedding. There will ALWAYS be money/distance issues, budget and guest list issues, etc. You have to draw the line somewhere, just like every other couple out there.

    Be thankful your family can attend, have an amazing time in Bahamas, and then skip the extra-party madness and start married life.

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