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Katrina
Just Said Yes October 2021

fil is not onboard with our destination wedding

Katrina, on November 10, 2020 at 12:03 PM Posted in Family and Relationships 0 25
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We got engaged about a month ago and quickly decided to have a micro-wedding in Greece of October 2021. We socialized the idea with the family and then sent a google form out to help us nail down some logistics and address any concerns. Everyone responded very quickly and said yes, except for my fiancé's brother and father. They both are bad at communicating and work is their #1 priority in life. They're the kind of people who won't show up to family parties that are planned months in advance because they can't take time off work. Or they say they will be somewhere and then never show up or communicate why.

After a week of no response from finances brother, I texted him and we ended up having a long conversation addressing all his concerns. He was primarily upset about the idea of a non-traditional wedding because we weren't inviting any relatives or friends, but ended up saying "maybe" he'll come and he will start saving anyway and "try" to get time off of work.

After a few days of no response from FIL we texted to ask what he thought, although we had already heard from other family members that they thought he wouldn't go. He said he was sick and not in the right headspace to answer us, but he was concerned that it would be too expensive for us (it's not. we are very financially stable). He ended up testing positive for Covid and so we didn't pressure him to respond for two weeks. After we confirmed that he was feeling better we called to ask his thoughts again. He told us that he still hadn't had time to think about it and couldn't say yes or no at this time. He was very short with us and didn't really give any good excuses although we know that he doesn't ever take time for himself and has never traveled out of the country. We kept probing about what his concerns were and really just wanted him to say "I want to be there if I can get time off work" which he never did. We asked him again to please just fill out the form when he has a chance. After hanging up the phone we sent out a LONG email communication to all the family further describing why we decided on a small wedding in Greece and trying to address all possible concerns about travel, covid, costs, guest list, etc. We are offering to pay for everyones accommodation and make the logistics as easy as possible, planning the date around an American holiday so people can take less time off of work.

So it's now 2 days after our most recent convo and he's still not filled out our form. We are doing everything we can to get FIL on board but after weeks of no clear answers we feel we need to make some decisions and hire a planner. I want to be patient but I also know that if he doesn't end up coming it is going to be sad for my fiancé and the rest of their family. It will be very frustrating if he uses the location as an excuse as I don't think he would be any more receptive to a wedding even if it was in another State vs another country.


25 Comments

Latest activity by Chelsea, on November 20, 2020 at 5:53 PM
  • M
    Super January 2019
    Maggie ·
    • Flag

    Sounds like two things are going on: 1) your future father-in-law is acting completely predictably based on your description of his normal behavior; and 2) you are expecting someone who is not used to traveling out of the country and spending that much money to suddenly be OK with it, just because it's your wedding.

    I think your expectations are unrealistic. You and your future spouse will have to decide if a destination wedding is worth FFIL (and probably brother) not attending.

    • Reply
  • Katie
    Expert January 2021
    Katie ·
    • Flag

    I think a lot of people would have trouble committing to a destination wedding in October 2021 at this point. Maybe consider giving them more time to decide, at least until the end of the year.

    • Reply
  • Katrina
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Katrina ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    1. While this kind of behavior is completely predictable from the future FIL, I personally am not used to it. I come from a family that's great at communicating and would never leave me hanging like this. It's frustrating for me, hence why I'm asking for advice.

    2. We are not expecting him to be in love with the idea of traveling or spending money, I'm just expecting him to communicate his concerns so that we can help address them. He's not explicitly said that its too much money for him, his comment was in regards to the costs of the wedding for me and my fiancé. He's not really explicitly said anything, so we are just guessing what his concerns are.

    3. There are no financial commitments at this time. No one will have to commit to anything until April-May of next year. All we really want to know is.... if there is no covid, if you can get time off work, will you TRY to come to our wedding? If it's an absolute no then we will need to reconsider because we want him to be there.

    • Reply
  • Sarah
    VIP September 2019
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    There’s honestly no one I would travel internationally for right now and as of right now there is no way to know whether things will be any better next October so I wouldn’t want to guarantee that I’d go. If he already isn’t keen on traveling or spending money, I would think that would be even more true in the middle of a pandemic.
    • Reply
  • Katrina
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Katrina ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    If there is not end in sight for Covid by April-May next year then we are prepared to postpone. No one needs to financially commit to anything until then.

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  • Katrina
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Katrina ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Covid is the most valid concern and it's one that we share. But unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it. Even if we plan the wedding in their backyard Covid could still be a concern next year for our guests. We are going ahead with planning, but we are prepared to postpone or cancel if needed. No one needs to financially commit to anything at this time, but we totally understand their concerns. I asked his brother straight up "if there was no covid, would you still go?" and he said "no. because there is way more people who should be invited to your wedding- like friends and relatives".

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  • Erin
    Devoted May 2021
    Erin ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Hahaha, WOOOWWW.. sounds like your man's brother is selfish and is only thinking about who he could hang out with instead of focusing on his brother and his wife and the vision they see for THEIR wedding... I'm sorry you have to deal with him and the father.. they should be more supportive

    • Reply
  • Katie
    Expert January 2021
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    Sorry to hear that. It sounds like you will have to accept the realistic possibility of them not coming or make alternate arrangements. Bummer.

    • Reply
  • T
    Super April 2021
    Tiger Bride ·
    • Flag

    I mean, it sounds like his answer is no and he's trying to put off telling you that because it sounds like you're going to try to talk him into it.

    I'm sorry to say this but even aside from Covid, there is no one whose wedding I would go to Greece for. I'd have to get a passport and take a long, expensive flight and a ton of time off (what holiday are you planning this around? Columbus Day? I get that off, but a lot of people don't, and one day isn't going to make much difference).

    You're correct that covid could still affect a local wedding in someone's backyard, but an international destination wedding is different. There were dozens of stories of Americans who were overseas in March/April who basically got stranded wherever they were for a few weeks before they could be repatriated. The state department had to get involved. That's a whole other ballgame.

    • Reply
  • Katrina
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Katrina ·
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    My sister and her fiancé were stuck in the Philippines during Covid so I get where you are coming from. But, you're right, I am trying to talk my fiancé's brother and father into it.

    My family dynamics are a little different as we have all travelled or lived abroad for extended periods of time. 10/12 of the guests travel internationally at least once per year and are onboard with the idea of a wedding in Greece because they see it as a family vacation. 11/12 guests have passports. I'm just trying to convince two out of twelve people who are not onboard- is that unrealistic?

    • Reply
  • T
    Super April 2021
    Tiger Bride ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I mean...I don't know if "realistic" is the right word for what you're asking.

    Your FIL probably feels like he's between a rock and a hard place because he wants to see his son get married, but doesn't want to go to Greece. You aren't responsible for his feelings but you should not, IMO, be pressuring him to do something he doesn't want to do. Him being outvoted just means he doesn't get the plan he prefers and he can choose whether or not to go - not that the plan has to change, and not that he has to go if he doesn't want to. You can have whatever wedding you want, but you can't/shouldn't pressure someone to do something they don't feel comfortable doing, can't afford, whatever.

    I understand where you're coming from, 100%. But I wouldn't go to an international destination wedding, no matter who it was for, so I get your FIL's side too. This is a big ask.

    • Reply
  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
    • Flag
    You say you are going to address his concerns, But what you really mean is change his mind, and a deeply held pattern of behavior, in order to do something he does not want to begin with, to please you. And likely he is not answering because he knows is own mind, and he does not want to go. Mot just one solveable problem or another, but Deep Down Does not want to go. Nor does he want the experience over and over again having someone write, and push, which he expects you will do if he answers you. His version of " No. Stop Asking." It is unrealistic to think you will change his mind. Marry here, and have a fabulous honeymoon to follow in Greece. Or plan your destination wedding knowing FIL is not coming, and a few others will say yes now but change their minds and decline later, a very common thing for destination wedding guests when you get closer.

    • Reply
  • M
    Super January 2019
    Maggie ·
    • Flag

    "1. While this kind of behavior is completely predictable from the future FIL, I personally am not used to it. I come from a family that's great at communicating and would never leave me hanging like this. It's frustrating for me, hence why I'm asking for advice."

    I understand that his behavior is strange to you but since it is completely normal for him, yes, it is unrealistic to expect him to change. His lack of definitive answer is probably your answer, over and above the fact that many people would have trouble giving you an answer about foreign travel during a pandemic.

    I would stop asking him. Go about your planning knowing that you may be excluding a VIP. Only you and your future spouse can decide if Greece is more important than the FFIL.

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar April 2021
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    Well it seems like the writing is on the wall. If he’s behaved this way, & just because it’s their son’s/brother’s wedding, this whole time then things aren’t going to change. I understand that COVID is a real issue but the least you can do is COMMUNICATE!
    I don’t know you but I’d love to go to Greece! Can I crash your wedding & bring a +1? Lol!
    • Reply
  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring Online ·
    • Flag
    I would give everyone a deadline by april 2021 to confirm and show proof of purchased tickets
    • Reply
  • A
    Expert September 2020
    Alli ·
    • Flag
    We had immediate family issues on my husbands side when planning our international destination wedding... we told everyone they needed to be committed by a certain time to inform the resort, pay per person, etc. It was a pain! After all the stressful planning, it was cancelled lol and I’m so glad it was, because we ended up having a domestic destination wedding that was the most magical in the world. I can totally relate, but at the end of the day, you have to not worry about them and keep planning. Regarding the pandemic- I don’t know if next year is feasible to be honest... Just be expected to lose money if you have to cancel whether it’s vendors, venues, travel accommodations. We travel the world and we aren’t making any international plans for 2021.
    Best wishes 🤍
    • Reply
  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019
    MOB So Cal ·
    • Flag

    I agree with others that, in his own way, FIL is telling you loud and clear that he doesn't want to attend a wedding in Greece. I'm sorry he's not a better communicator, but it sounds like you and FH know that about him. Not attending is the choice of any wedding guest, and especially those invited to an international wedding (during a pandemic nonetheless). Accept his decline, and then make whatever plans you want to knowing it is highly unlikely he will attend. You, like all couples, are free to plan whatever your dream wedding is, but it's best that your recognize guests always have the choice about whether they will attend or not. I had a relative who had a DW on the other side of the US. The timing was terrible with my work schedule and it was ridiculously expensive in terms of travel and accommodations (while the B&G thought it was awesome because they were saving so much money because of the location...). The bride and her mother put tremendous pressure on me to attend, and I reluctantly did. It's been 3-4 years and I'm still resentful. Also, FWIW, that same bride declined the invitation to our daughter's wedding a couple years later because, "it was just too much with the travel and all...." Good luck to you!

    • Reply
  • needmorewine
    Expert May 2016
    needmorewine ·
    • Flag

    I agree with the previous posters. It's likely that he doesn't want to upset you by telling you the truth that he doesn't want to travel to Greece. He's also probably wanting to avoid having to deal with you trying to overcome his objections to try to get him to come anyway. It's totally fine to want to have a destination wedding, but you have to accept that some people can't make it or simply don't want to travel.

    • Reply
  • Katrina
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Katrina ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I agree, especially about the part where he doesn't want us to deal with overcoming his objections. At the end of the day we have to accept that some people can't make it. I just think my FH would be disappointed, but not surprised, if his dad wasn't there when it came down to it. But he thinks overall the happiness of everyone and everything in Greece would outweigh the disappointment of his dad not being there for him/us.

    Thank you all for your opinions.

    • Reply
  • Katrina
    Just Said Yes October 2021
    Katrina ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    I understand you wouldn't want to travel to Greece for a destination wedding, but would you want to go to Greece for a vacation? If not, how come?

    Just curious on your thoughts of the country setting aside the circumstances of (PP, flight cost, and time off from work).

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