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  1. #1

    Default A Wedding Without Family--Advice Please!

    Hi everyone,

    My fiance and I will be at CSS for our Weddingmoon on June 4-11, 2011. We have friends who honeymooned at Couples and after our engagement, we decided we wanted to have our wedding there with no one but ourselves. This was over a year ago.

    Big, traditional weddings are HUGE here in Alabama. Couples here spend more money than I'll ever make in a year just on a few short hours. A lot of times, I feel these types of weddings are more about putting on a show for the guests than they are about the actual couple. However, I completely understand wanting to have your family and friends witness one of the greatest moments of your life. This is where my only problem comes in.

    Now that we are booking our trip, I'm starting to worry I'll regret not having my mom, sister, and brother there. I feel like I might break down in tears when I look at myself in the mirror before our ceremony. And since my mom has always been my hair dresser, I can't even imagine someone else touching my hair on my wedding day! My fiance isn't as concerned about having his family there, but he is worried about me.

    Having only our immediate family attend is not an option because of financial reasons. We thought about having a small reception when we got back, but one, can we keep it in budget? And two, it won't be the same as having them there. I know I don't want a wedding at home (too much money & I can't keep my guestlist at a minimum).

    Does anyone have any ideas or advice for me? Has anyone else worried about not having their families attend but still went through with it?

  2. #2

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    Hi Erika,

    I am sorry to hear you are going through this stress before your wedding, but I completely understand.
    My fiance and I decided that a big, traditional wedding at home was not our thing hence the reason why we decided on a destination wedding. With that being said, we knew that some of our family (including my parents) and some friends would not be able to afford to come. So we started looking at less expensive places to get married but the further we went down the road, the more disappointed I got in thinking that my wedding day/honeymoon would be horrible because we didn't go with a place we truly wanted to go to. So now we've booked Couples Swept Away and we are getting married May 17, 2011.

    I am sending out our invitations to everyone we want to come, whether they can afford to come or not because I felt it was important to include everyone.

    If there is absolutely no way your parents and siblings can come you could look into the web host the resort does so they can watch from back home. I think its about $300. You could also ask all your family and friends to write a message to you, put it in an envelope and read it on the morning of your wedding so you feel like there is a little part of them there with you, even if not physically.

    As for your reception at home - you can do it any budget! You can do a bbq at home or something low key.

    Anyway good luck. Sorry for this long winded message Smile...its still gonna be a magical day for you.

  3. #3

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    I think the decision to get married in a tropical resort has to come with the expectation that family/friends can't attend. Unless you are paying for their 'vacation', many people just can't afford it and I think it puts alot of pressure on family members who want to go but just can't.

    If you have decided to have a wedding like this, you must also accept the consequences.

    My guy and I are getting married at CSA in Feb. Our families are scattered and are not in a very good financial state so it would be unfair to ask them and I'm certainly not able to pay for everyone. The part that I sometimes get a little sentimental over is not having any of my friends there but then I remind myself that it is me who wanted the wedding away for my own personal reasons. I must accept those consequences.

    Our wedding will be personal and intimate and very special and it is going to be whatever I want it to be. I doubt that I will have any regrets. This is such an intimate and personal way to say "I do". Keep in mind that we are in our 40's and been around the block a time or 2 already. If you are young, you may feel completely different about it.

    Good luck. Allow yourself to be sad but remember that it was a decision you made.

  4. #4

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    I totally understand your concerns. Wife an I are renewing our vows on 10/6 at CSS. I realize our ceremony is not the same, but I too wish our daughter could attend. Being her Mothers brides maid would be such an honor. Her Mother and I have had 30 precious years of marriage.
    My suggestion would be to take PLENTY of pictures, and then upon arrival back home, spend some quality time with your family explaining how wonderful it would have been if they had been there. I am 100% positive they will enjoy having you and your spouse reliving the ceremony.
    But by far the most important thing for you and your soon to be spouse is to savor the moment and ceremony. I would also like to congratulate you on your up coming wedding. My wife and I wish the 2 of you the best, and hope you have a long and loving marriage

  5. #5

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    my fiance and i are getting married at CTI on Oct 26 and i feel exactly the same way. my parents/family and his family are not financially able to go to jamaica with us and the closer our date comes, the more sad i become that my mom (who is basically my best friend and closest confidant in the entire world) won't be there... she's so supportive and thinks once we get there, i'll be fine, but i just know when i zip up my dress and no one's there, i'll be upset. i thought i was fine with going without them, but now i get stressed about it. i think it may just be my version of cold feet, but i know it'll be fine once we get back and everyone can see the pictures. when i'm 30, i don't think it will matter to me because we see family all the time and it's the memories we make down the road with everyone that matter... but just know you're not alone in these feelings... your post made me feel so much better because i thought i was the only one that ever second guessed our decision. i'm really excited to spend the week at couples, though.... from all i've read the resort is amazing

  6. #6

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    Erika175, I completely understand how you feel. I've dealt with the same issues when we decided to have a destination wedding May 2011 @CSA. We are a young couple (23&25)and the 1st to get married out of our siblings, so are parents are very excited, but were a pain during the initial wedding planning process. I also felt that having a big extensive wedding just wasn't affordable for us nor was it what we REALLY wanted. We're a pretty laid back and somewhat private couple and, we realized we would have been doing the "traditional wedding" for our family and friends, for show. At the end of the day its ALL about you and your hubby to be. If having a destination wedding will make both of you happy, then do it, and understand that there will be consequences in that decision. Enjoy YOUR day and take lots of pictures to share with your family of YOUR special day. Hopefully this helped and please don't stress to much about it. God bless! :-)

  7. #7

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    We just returned from CTI on Sept 27th. It was just my husband and me. I promise you the wedding day will be just what you make it. I heard so many couples who arrived at Couples after "the big day" and said they wished they had come by themsevles and gotten married. The resort is amazing and you can purchase a DVD or have a webcast or even call home -it's the next best thing to being there-. Remember it will be just you and your spouse after the wedding. I know it is easy to say that it will be fine but the people at Couples are so loving, you can't help but feel loved too. The day is so special you will only have eyes for your spouse.
    As for when you get back home after the trip-Why not have a Jamacian themed dinner and relive those memories with the special people in your life. Keep it small and cozy and tell them all about your trip.
    Then you can have then best of both worlds.
    Peace and Blessings
    P.S Couples has a love away plan that requires only a $100 deposit. Start saving now and you all can go next year for the vow renewal :>)
    Take care and have wonderful time.

  8. #8

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    Hi,
    We just got back from getting married at CSA - just the two of us - no friends and family at all. It is such a relaxing and fun experience, a really amazing way to get married. Actually, I didn't even really realise how good it was for us until after we had done it.
    Each type of wedding has advantages and disadvantages. A couples wedding is so romantic, personal, relaxed and (unfortunately it is important!) far cheaper than a "traditional" wedding. That means it is a really amazing wedding - just a very different type of wedding.
    Here are some of my thoughts on how to involve the family more without having them there...
    - You can have it broadcast over the web to them. We didn't, but it might work for you.
    - We took some of our cards with us from "important" people. We had a bit of a break between having the photos done and going to dinner, so my hubby set up the video camera on a tripod on the balcony and we filmed ourselves relaxing out there with bubbly opening the cards. It felt a bit weird at the time, but it's so lovely to watch back. The sun was just starting to set and it's really romantic. My hubby edited it so that some of our wedding music choices play over the top of the actual sound. I actually like that bit of video more than the actual ceremony video!!!
    - During that break, also arrange in advance to call parents and/or other people who are important to you. We arranged this in advance time-wise, partly due to the time difference but also so that they knew we were thinking of them and integrating them into our wedding day.
    - Pick up loads of Jamaican and Couples bits and pieces to take to your "wedding party" when you return. It helps to give the party not just a Jamaican theme - but a feel of what you did and where you were. For example, we took our just married t-shirts and hung them up in the party room, each night we saved the "thought for the day" cards that are left on your bed each night, we also picked up a Jamaican "translation" book and had a great laugh with that! We also brought back the activities and resturant leaflets, just any Couples bits really!
    - Even though you will have a photographer for the wedding, take lots of pictures yourself before and after the wedding. They are that little bit more personal and give people a good feel for how your entire day was. We set up a slide show of photos, put them on DVD and played them on a big TV throughout our party.
    - Get Jamaican food, drink and music for the party
    Hope that helps! Try to relax and enjoy it. The wedding planners and guests are fantastic and will really help to make your day special. Try to think about it as a totally different kind of wedding rather than it being a "normal" wedding plus sun and beach but minus friends and family.
    Take care and enjoy your wedding - it will be amazing!
    Victoria

  9. #9

    Default It is hard

    I totally understand. We are older and the 2nd marraige for both of us. We both have grown children. I'm especially close to my daughters who I raised by myself. We just wanted it to be the two of us. However when I was getting ready and wedding coordiator was in our room helping me she made a comment about the beautiful pearl necklass that I was wearing. It was a gift from my girls for my wedding day. I broke down and cried and ruined my makeup and had to redo it. I missed them so much at that point. I recovered as soon as I started walking to the gazabo @CSA and saw my handsome groom. You just have to remember why you are marring that man and that it is all about the two of you. I called my kids after the pics and they were so happy for me and I knew everything was going to be alright.

  10. #10

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    Thank you, everyone, for the kind responses and great ideas. Since I've posted my thread, we've officially booked our trip and now our parents MAY be able to go. It's not set in stone, but the possibility makes me very happy. We've also decided to have a "reception" when we return. My mom and I have already started buying stuff for a Carribean themed BBQ. All the outdoor summer decor is clearanced now, so we got tons of stuff (tiki torches, candles, colorful food dishes, tableclothes, ect.) for under $50.

    We've booked a Penthouse Suite at San Souci for June 4-11, 2011. Only 8 more months! We can't wait!

  11. #11

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    It'll just be my husband and I on our wedding day coming up in March 2011. We both decided that we wanted to do something that was just for us, therefore we haven't invited anyone else. The only other person who knows about our plans is my mother and I told her because I didn't think she would like finding out afterwards. Everyone else thinks we're going on a nice vacation.

    We have 5 kids between us, so we have a big family, but I have absolutely no regrets about our plans. This is the type of wedding I've always wanted and at the end of the day, it is supposed to be about what you want, not everyone else.

  12. #12

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    I haven't gone through it yet but I am about to (10.23.10). I completely understand where you are coming from. I feel a little sad the closer my day gets here only because I would want my mom and dad there. I kind of wish my dad could walk me down the aisle and give me away. But we are going away by ourselves because of money issues and too many friends and family (don't want to leave anyone of the invite list)--so... Also, we have children already, have a house already...we're backwords I guess you could say. But that being said we will have a little vacation (which we so need with working and taking care of kids and the house all the time) and some much needed alone time. I am so looking foward to our trip even though we will be leaving our 2 year old son for the first time. He'll be with my parents so he'll be okay. Just try to enjoy yourself, take lots of pictures, and spend quality time together. You can also think of getting a video taken of the wedding or even doing the web cam so everyone back home can still share in your day. We've been debating these options but it depends on money issues. I hope this helps a little. Also, when I get back I plan on posting more info on our wedding so if I have any more tips at that time or learn anything from my experience, I will post it.
    ~Christy~

  13. #13

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    I feel the same way as well. However, my fiancée and I have completelymade up our minds on going to Jamaica, at a Couples Resort, to have our wedding-moon!

    Currently, my fiancée and I are in the process of building our home, so there is absolutely no way for us to use up our monies on a wedding that will include close family, distant relatives, friends, co-workers and neighbours. So, what we have decided to do, is to keep a very, very, very small non-alcoholic, dinner lime (limited to our eight immediate family members) at home when we return.

    What helps is to constantly remind ourselves of the reasons we chose to have our wedding-moon this way, and it will help if you write it down as well. We enjoy traveling, always wanted to go bobsleigh-ing, I'm absolutely fascinated by the reviews on this site and it's very cost effective to have a wedding/honeymoon at a Couples Resort. Also, my fiancée and I are very quiet and private persons and my parents support our decision 100%, as they too, got married in a similar setting.

    Hopefully you will be at ease in knowing that there are others who feel the same way. Maybe you can try any of the suggestions offered. Hope you feel better about your decision soon

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tor View Post
    - We took some of our cards with us from "important" people. We had a bit of a break between having the photos done and going to dinner, so my hubby set up the video camera on a tripod on the balcony and we filmed ourselves relaxing out there with bubbly opening the cards. It felt a bit weird at the time, but it's so lovely to watch back. The sun was just starting to set and it's really romantic. My hubby edited it so that some of our wedding music choices play over the top of the actual sound. I actually like that bit of video more than the actual ceremony video!!!
    - During that break, also arrange in advance to call parents and/or other people who are important to you. We arranged this in advance time-wise, partly due to the time difference but also so that they knew we were thinking of them and integrating them into our wedding day.
    - Pick up loads of Jamaican and Couples bits and pieces to take to your "wedding party" when you return. It helps to give the party not just a Jamaican theme - but a feel of what you did and where you were. For example, we took our just married t-shirts and hung them up in the party room, each night we saved the "thought for the day" cards that are left on your bed each night, we also picked up a Jamaican "translation" book and had a great laugh with that! We also brought back the activities and resturant leaflets, just any Couples bits really!
    - Even though you will have a photographer for the wedding, take lots of pictures yourself before and after the wedding. They are that little bit more personal and give people a good feel for how your entire day was. We set up a slide show of photos, put them on DVD and played them on a big TV throughout our party.
    - Get Jamaican food, drink and music for the party
    Hope that helps! Try to relax and enjoy it. The wedding planners and guests are fantastic and will really help to make your day special. Try to think about it as a totally different kind of wedding rather than it being a "normal" wedding plus sun and beach but minus friends and family.
    Take care and enjoy your wedding - it will be amazing!
    Victoria
    That's some really Great ideas!!! Thanks

  15. #15

    Default

    Well Erika it sounds like you've decided. Congrats!
    For future readers of this post my fiance and I were in a similar situation. We ended up inviting IMMEDIATE family only (our parents, siblings, and their significants only.) This way there was a clear list of who "made the cut." I don't believe any of his family will be able to make it but a few of mine will. They really appreciated being considered. I've had to take a beating from friends, cousins, grandparents, etc but we're going to take lots of photos and do a small reception back home following the wedding. It wasn't fun initially when everyone found out they weren't invited but a few months later everyone is used to the idea.
    It was important to us to keep Jamaica Small and not foot anyone elses bill. So we decided to let them decide, though very very glad it stayed under the 10 person limit for the complimentary wedding.

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