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In the last few decades, destination weddings have become the go-to plan for brides and grooms who desire to say “I do” in an exotic location. I have been a bridesmaid in two international weddings, and from my experience, they are a beautiful and intimate way to celebrate the joining of two lives.

But destination weddings can be a huge budget buster for guests who want to be a witness to the union.

A study conducted by discovered 19% of participants had declined a wedding invitation because they couldn’t afford to attend. That sentiment is completely understandable. While the folks getting married may forgo some venue and guests costs because guests for the most part pay their way there, the attendees have to sacrifice a lot of money and paid time off to go.

The Bankrate survey also inquired, “Do you think it’s in poor taste for a couple to plan a destination wedding where all guests will incur travel expenses to attend?”

Fifty-six percent said yes.

“Poor taste” is harsh, but there is a lot to consider when you end up handing over a hefty bill to your loved ones who want to be present for your wedding day. Not only is it a financial commitment, but many people have to use their limited and precious vacation time to go somewhere they may not want to go, or take days off with you and your spouse in mind, versus their personal needs or desires.

While I know for many couples, they say that “it’s okay if you can’t make it,” those left behind who couldn’t make the sacrifice may feel hurt.

30% of the Bankrate survey participants who said they didn’t attend a wedding because they couldn’t afford to go said they felt their decision negatively impacted their relationship with the couple.

There definitely shouldn’t be any guilt or shaming of people who can’t make it to your special day because of finances, but even if it’s a no pressure situation, friends and family can still feel bad for not being able to make it.

At the end of the day, these decisions are ultimately between the married couple and their loved ones. I know for me, I live so far from home and my partner most likely will too. Everyone will have to travel to get to a central location, so why not make it somewhere warm and tropical?

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