Guests aren't as excited about destination weddings as you might think—for a few relatable reasons.

By Maggie Seaver
Updated May 14, 2019

With spring in the air and summer around the corner, we can officially say wedding season has arrived. But even with love, cake, dancing, and champagne involved to sweeten the deal, wedding guests still need to budget for a nice wedding gift, plane tickets, hotel rooms, and more in order to join the party. And as any guest can tell you, weddings are expensive for attendees too, particularly destination weddings—so much so that the cost of travel forces a lot of people to turn destination wedding invites down.

Travel insurance company Allianz Global Assistance released a survey unearthing how people really feel about being invited to a destination wedding (most commonly defined in the survey as a wedding requiring a plane ride from the couple’s home). One-third of participants openly admitted they believe destination weddings (and related wedding events) are inconsiderate, and think it’s selfish to expect loved ones to spend so much money and take vacation days for someone else’s day. As harsh as that sounds, it's hard to blame them completely. You only get so many vacation days a year, so if you have to spend a few of them en route to someone's "I dos" instead of, say, with family or finally going on that yoga retreat, it might start to weigh on you.

When asked how likely they were to RSVP “yes” to a destination wedding, half of respondents admitted it was highly unlikely. Their reasoning? Money. Fifty-four percent shared that the cost of attending would be their top motivation for turning down an invite, trumping their desire to go. Another interesting finding was that two-thirds of respondents said, nope, no need to get the couple a wedding gift too if you’re attending to their destination nuptials; the cost of attending is high enough as is (translation: Your presence is presents enough).

Interestingly, all of this info tracks: Many couples specifically choose to plan a destination wedding with the expectation that fewer people will make it. As proved by Allianz's report, having a wedding in a hard-to-get-to locale intentionally deters people from coming, making it kind of a genius idea for couples who secretly prefer a more intimate celebration, but feel obligated to extend an invite to a large group. But anyone gunning for a record-breaking turnout at their wedding might want to rethink that destination wedding, otherwise their friends and family might opt out.