I DO…in Paris, Bali, Fiji and Las Vegas
To elope or not to elope…that is the question.
You may see yourself standing on white sand, gazing over your partner’s shoulder into crystal clear water and palm trees as you say your vowels, or standing before an Elvis impersonator in a glitter adorned chapel, however making everyone else see this same image as you do is often the biggest battle. While some parents of the bride encourage this crafty endeavor wholeheartedly, many will stand on the airport runway before they let you and your soon to be spouse take off into matrimonial privacy.
It seems once you make the decision to wed overseas, whether it be Bali or Beijing, there are hundreds of questions that need answered – and that’s not including the ones on your passport application.
Even more so than a regular local wedding, the issue of who to invite to your overseas wedding becomes a political matter, with 7th cousins offended that they didn’t receive a golden ticket and undesirable but obligatory guests dominating the guest lists. If you invite nobody, your parents and siblings miss out, if you settle on simply family – where do you draw the line, and if you invite everybody, the once so peaceful secluded beach side village will become less a retreat and more a market of stress brought from back home and you will end up wondering why you even left the shores in the first place.
Lets say you do only invite immediate family (that’s mums, dads, brothers and sisters – no one else. Not even your uncle Pete whose not really your uncle but that’s what he has always called himself when he shows up at family BBQ’s, or your godmother who ‘is really just like family anyway’. Are we clear here?) then you have a bigger fish to fry – the cost. Is it the obligation of the Bride and Groom to pay for their guests’ airfare? And assuming that your family follows a more traditional view and the wife’s parents are left in charge of all monetary matters, is it their responsibility to fork out the money for an all expenses paid holiday for whoever their offspring wishes to invite?
Most people in these situations seem to leave it up to their guests to pay their own way, sometimes funding the holiday but not the airfare or visa versa. This can be seen as a sneaky way to invite everyone but only have close friends and family attend, as they are the ones that are going to be most likely to pay money to attend your wedding. And if you do have good friends or family that simply can’t afford it, there are usually people willing to chip in. After all, weddings tend to bring out the romantic spirit in everyone.
But all of this begs the question – who is your wedding really for? Is it for you and your partner, or is it for the people around you? If marriage is simply the legal formality behind a unity of two people in love then it all seems superfluous. But some people will say that marriage is also about a public declaration of love, and so in that case guests and witnesses are an important element to any successful and long lasting marriage.