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You Asked: Am I Being Bridezilla?

Dear Sugar,

I recently got engaged, and my fiancé and I are planning a small destination wedding. We both come from fairly large families and them alone is already 50 guests, which leaves very little room for friends.

I am curious to see what the general opinion is about having a small destination wedding (50 or so) and then having another party, say in my hometown, where all of our family, friends, and extended family could attend. I know a destination wedding might be too pricey for some of our guests so I want to be able to accommodate everyone. I know etiquette dictates that if you invite someone to an engagement party or shower you should also invite them to the wedding, but is asking certain guests to attend one wedding and not the other in poor taste? And is asking other guests to attend both selfish? I don't want to be looked at as a Bridezilla! — Planning My Wedding Miranda

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Planning My Wedding Miranda,

There are millions of etiquette books out there that dictate all sorts of rules about weddings, but when it comes down to it, your wedding day is all about how you and your fiancé want to celebrate your love. If you wish to have a destination wedding (perhaps it'd be best if you only invited immediate family) and then have a larger party for those guests that couldn't travel with you, by all means do it! If you have some overlapping guests, be mindful that they might not be able to commit to both celebrations. If that's the case, don't take the decision of those who decline personally.

Of course no one aims to be a Bridezilla, so just be mindful of your big day: remember that it's about the marriage, not the wedding. Though your wedding will no doubt be one of the most memorable days of your life, if you keep everything in perspective, I'm sure you'll be an even-keeled bride! Good luck to you.


Join The Conversation
LadyLiLa83 LadyLiLa83 8 years
I agree that you're actually being very considerate, definitely NOT a bridezilla!
yadiet yadiet 8 years
No, I don't think so. My co-worker wed in April and she comes from a large family as well. This is what she did. She invited her family to the church and reception and then at 9pm she had an additional party for all her friends. She order side items for people to munch on. It turned out beautiful.
sparkletech sparkletech 8 years
I am doing the same thing! My fiance and I are getting married in Jamaica at the Sandals Resort, then having a reception when we come home because our families can't afford to travel. They're so excited! :)
PreppyDot PreppyDot 8 years
I don't think you are a bridezilla at all. We too are doing the exact same thing. Small wedding in Mexico with a party back in D.C. for all of our friends and co-workers who can't come all the way to Mexico. As much as I wish I could invite everyone to come to the wedding, I know it is unrealistic and not cost effective for us or our guests so this is the only way it makes sense. I am glad to know that I am not alone in this!
estella241 estella241 8 years
a nonny mouse, in my limited experience with destination weddings guests cover the traveling expenses, lodging, passports, visas, food (other than wedding related meals).
Janine22 Janine22 8 years
Have you considered just asking very close friends and close/immediate family to the destination wedding and then having everyone else to the other party? I doubt that distant family members would be offended, but close friends might be. -Consider that some people you invite will not be able to afford it anyway, especially if they are travelling long distances or they don't have a lot of time to save up.
a-nonny-mouse a-nonny-mouse 8 years
I am uninformed about destination weddings. I've always wondered who (typically) is expected to cover all those myriad expenses (travel, lodging, and the like) for the invited guests -- the guests themselves or the bride and groom.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
but is asking certain guests to attend one wedding and not the other in poor taste?
Yeah, it would be bad form. if you need to have two receptions then do so, but disinviting someone looks bad.
divadina divadina 8 years
Honey, this is your day ... you do it how you want. People will understand. Now ... I would have loved to have 50 family members ... when my husband and I put down the "just family" list, we were at 185 ... needless to say ... we had a HUGE wedding. :D
kkellum13 kkellum13 8 years
OMG! I thought I was reading from my exact same wedding plans. Between the Mister and myself, we have 26 related aunts and uncles and want a small destination wedding. We were able to choose those that would go based on each of our needs and wants. I chose the small side of my mother's family and two friends and let the social butterfly invite those that he wanted to attend to make up our 50 persons. We are making special arrangements to do small showers with our families throughout the year at our different family reunions and having a small gathering for local friends upon our return. At the beginning my fiance was not keen on this idea, but he has found that family really does appreciate being more acknowledged as an intergral part of our lives than just another attendee. You are not a bridezilla in the least! I know that it can be stressful, but keep up the great work. E-mail me if you ever need to vent! Where is your destination? I am Aruba in April 2009.
valancyjane valancyjane 8 years
Nothing new to add to the advice already given, but: I think the minute you start worrying about whether you are a Bridezilla, you are automatically not one. Real Bridezillas aren't self-aware enough to think about that, or they are actually proud of it.
cjmara805 cjmara805 8 years
I never thought that was bad... I couldn't attend a friend's wedding because the bride and groom were Latter Day Saints, and I'm Catholic. I just attended the reception like almost everyone. I would think everyone would be glad they're not obligated to pay all the travel expenses yet are still included in the celebrations!
Marni7 Marni7 8 years
If I ever decide that marriage is what I want,I want a destination wedding..I dont think ur being a bridezilla at all, I think its a wonderful idea!
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
a good friend of mine did exactly this. Married in the Carribean then had TWO receptions, one in her husbands home town in SC and another in her hometown in TX. worked out Great! I think it's awesome to be trying to include the people that couldn't go to your destination. good idea
estella241 estella241 8 years
I had a very small wedding (30 guests) in my hometown, and later my in-laws threw a large party for my husband's extended family and friends. We are doing the same thing next week for my brother-in-law who got married in India; obviously the extended family couldn't exactly hop on a plane to Mumbai. It's very considerate of you to think of your guests needs and desires. You're not a bridezilla at all!
linb linb 8 years
I think a small destination wedding, followed by a larger event for everyone to attend, is a great idea. That's very similar to my vision of how I would like my wedding to be. I realize that etiquette and being considerate towards everyone else is important, but the bottom line is this is your wedding. Do whatever you want to do. I'm assuming this will be the only wedding you will ever plan for yourself - it should be everything that you want it to be. Your guests will understand. It's not about them, it's about you.
nv27 nv27 8 years
Themissus said it perfectly. I've been to a few wedding that are this way, they have a destination wedding that is very small or even just a local wedding that is very intimate and then have a huge reception the following weekend. It works well, and really cuts down on the costs too.
cmd0610 cmd0610 8 years
No worries Miranda! My fiance and I had the same issue, his family/friends are in France and we live in Houston and my family/friends are all over the US . . .the wedding is about what you and your fiance want and if you want a destination wedding just keep it small- if people are offended that's not your problem because by keeping it small you are showing to them it's an intimate affair and they should understand. We are doing just that, a 'destination' wedding in the Texas Hill Country but for my fiance's family that can't come from France because it's too expensive we are going to have a party for them in France after the wedding so they can celebrate and have something else to feel included in.
TheMissus TheMissus 8 years
You won't be a bridezilla by doing things this way. In fact... You're being very considerate to your guests by offering to hold both a destination wedding and another event when you get back, that everyone can attend. Now, if you make your bridesmaids get botox, or force them to lose weight and wear the ugliest dresses known to man... Well, then maybe you coul dbe called a "bridezilla." But the destination wedding thing... Nah. You sound like a considerate sweetie.
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