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if you were a guest invited to wedding abroad

I have always wanted a beach wedding in the sun, small and intimate with just a few close friends and family. Problem is the destination I have chosen is Lake Malawi in Southern Africa. I don't know if guests will be keen to go and to pay. I have found an island on the lake with a small resort that is offering to book the resort out for 12 ppl all inclusive for £14,800. It would be perfect exactly what I want. The flights will cost £600, if you were invited to a friends wedding would you go and pay for flights plus drinks?  all meals and non motor water sports are included in what we will be paying. 

It would be a holiday of a lifetime, we are thinking of end of next year so it would give people time. Please let me know what you think or any advise. If people are not keen I was thinking we could go alone combine it with a honeymoon have the ceremony there and when we come back have a small reception?


  • I personally wouldnt pay that Much. Its not too bad if it's just one person with a year or two to save up but id think that no way could I afford for myself and my partner to fly out and stay just for a wedding and we have kids so either it would be paying for them to come or if they weren't invited would mean leaving them at home and finding a babysitter which isn't easy when you have a few kids. 

    id be sad to miss the wedding but I'd just buy a  gift and apologise.  i couldnt justify li that money for someone else's dream holiday/wedding when I could put it towards a dream holiday for my Children. 

    I think a party back home is a good compromise but it's your day so you have to do whats right for you. 

  • How long would the stay be for? 

  • Karen62Karen62 Posts: 244

    I would struggle to justify the cost of nearly £2000 to attend a friends wedding & as Victoria says would prob decline & send a gift. While its your holiday of a lifetime it might not be others, however you know your friends & if it would be within their budgets. Have you asked any of your friends opinions? 

  • lubeslubes Posts: 1,555

    wow! that certainly is a different destination to what i've seen before. what an interesting choice!

    i can understand why it may be your 'holiday of a lifetime', but i agree with the other posters that it might not be for everyone (me included i'm afraid). i would be reluctant to go to a friend's wedding under those circumstances because:

    - it sounds like all your guests need to stay together. unless everyone knows each other, it is a lot to ask people to travel all that way for them to *have* to stay at a certain place with 11 others who they may not know nor discover they particularly get on with. i wouldn't find it very relaxing, especially if you have booked it for a week/longer than a week. you also run the risk that someone won't enjoy their time there, which can make it awkward if there is no option for them to stay elsewhere.

    - for that cost (although i appreciate you are paying for food etc), it may be someone's holiday for the year. if they want to visit that part of the world anyway, i'm sure they would be delighted to tie it in your celebrations, but if i had to spend my money to attend a wedding that gave me little flexibility in terms of where i could stay and what i could do in a part of the world i wasn't too bothered about visiting, i would be reluctant to go.

    - how long have you booked the resort for? if it's only for a few days, could your guests make arrangements to travel onwards to another destination if they wanted to? i'd be more willing to go that sort of distance to a wedding if i could then afford to go on and have my own holiday elsewhere!

    i think the only true answer you can really get is from your guests - see how they feel as they may love the idea! if you don't get a positive vibe and you have your heart set on marrying there, then go for it, providing your families are happy to miss out. i'm sure whatever you decide will be beautiful! x 

  • I think I would pay that much but only for my very closest friends! Although if you only have room for 12 that's only 10 guests so very small and intimate. I have always wanted to.go to South Africa, but my H2B hates the idea of going there as he thinks it is unsafe. So whilst I would be willing to go, as a couple it maybe wouldn't work.

    If it's 10 guests you must know who you want to invite; run it past them and see what they say. When you know how they feel about the money / time / destination you will be in.a much better place to plan 

  • MrsTwizbeMrsTwizbe Posts: 3,355 New bride

    I'd go - I've been to Turkey, Morocco, Mexico and Grand Cayman for weddings (the last one was particularly pricey) I love destination weddings and always see them as an excuse for a holiday to somewhere I would not normally go.

  • So to answer a few questions, it would be for 4-5 days, there are other resorts I could choose from that are along the lake but not an island so people would be able to choose their own accommodation but that means it wouldn't be included in what we would be paying for if you get me? so where we would hold the wedding they would make it all inclusive so we would pay for all the accom and meals if that was the case. And of course they could also do their own thing afterwards. 

  • I'm still keeping my options open but my heart is set on this destination. Do you know where I can find destination wedding planners? any advice when looking for one? what to look for, what to ask etc

  • Hi Natasha, Personally I would jump at the chance to attend a wedding in S.Africa. I'm the same as Mrs.Twizbe- I love a destination wedding and consider it a honour to be invited. I've just come back from a wedding in Shanghai and it was amazing to be part of something so different.

    I think its very generous of you to pay for accommodation, and if I was one of your 12 I would jump at the chance!

    However, fully appreciate people have different financial situations. I think given your party is quite small, you should just talk to them all and get an indication if you think they will come.

    My other piece of advice is to be selfish. Its your wedding and you need to do what will make you happy!


    Good Luck :)

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