In the space of just six short months, I have three weddings to attend.
While I’m super stoked that so many of my friends have actually found that special someone who finds them tolerable (I SALUTE YOU, BRAVE MENFOLK), there is one small catch – all of these weddings are overseas.
Yup, over the next half a year I am somehow expected to squeeze in – and pay for – three cheeky overseas holidays to Greece, Bali and South Africa.
In the good old days of holy matrimony, the major concerns for wedding guests were not choosing the most expensive silver salad tongs on the registry, and finding a matching lilac tie for your boyfriend. These days, you’re looking at juggling annual leave applications, personal loans, babysitters, malaria injections, 18-hour plane journeys, visas AND silver salad tongs and lilac ties. And I can’t even find my passport.
I can’t even. In general.
We’ve all been there before – friend gets engaged, friend starts planning wedding, friend decides on exotic overseas location. The excitement of plotting out all the Camilla kaftans you’re going to wear in Bali is somehow dampened by the several thousands of dollars it’s going to cost you to be there. So what is the draw of an overseas wedding, and is it just plain rude to expect your guests to attend it?
I spoke with Mandi Forrester-Jones, resident wedding expert at Worldwide Weddings – a company founded in 2003 for the sole purpose of organising destination weddings abroad. Mandi reckons there are three main drawcards for an overseas wedding (apart from Bali braids) – lower costs, competitiveness between brides, and, er, drunk uncles.
Yep, Mandi says many of her clients who are seeking a wedding abroad are doing so to create their preferred guest lists: ie. the deliberate cull of interfering parents, mooching pals and, you guessed it, drunk uncles. Genius.
So whilst Mandi raised some pretty good points – although I must admit, all of my uncles are distinctly well behaved – I thought the best person to ask would be, like, an actual bride. Making sure I had clarified my attendance first, I asked a soon-to-be-married friend why she chose a wedding overseas.
“We chose to have a wedding overseas for so many reasons,” she said. “We have the destination in common and share the tradition of the area – tradition is very important to us especially in marriage, we want to create an experience for our guests and family and friends that they will remember for life.”