Mike, my son got engaged about a month ago. He and his fiancee want a small wedding, plus they live across the country from most of the groom's family, otherwise they would have had 250 at their wedding, too.
What we're doing is going with his guest list of family and friends from our side (plus family friends) with whom he has felt close in the last few years. I'm making a giant east coast party in their honor, which they will attend. Our party here will include all the family and friends who will not be able to go, or whom we will not be able to invite, to their wedding. We have lot of folks here who want to wish them well, and the bride and groom are very agreeable to flying east a few weeks before the wedding to attend this pre-wedding party.
I told my wife "just tell me where to stand, what to wear and when to say 'I do.' "
It is HER wedding, its HER day, unless you want to hear about how you screwed up her day for the rest of your life, well, see the about sentence...
And really, a honeymoon cruise is not that out of the question. I understand the lack of funds part, but we did a four day cruise fro our honeymoon. If you are near a cruise port, find one their and you won't spend that much.
But even with flights, compare a 4 day cruise with the cost of 4 nights in a hotel plus food and entertainment...
Chuck, etiquette and rules have gotten a little fuzzy. I know several couple who have been on their own, working, living together, etc for a few years, and are in their early 30s, who decided it was no longer appropriate to ask the bride's parents to foot the bill. They made the wedding on their own, sometimes with generous contributions from one or both families.
Some couples make the wedding on their own, if they can, because they want to be in control of all aspects of it: guest list, venue, etc., which they feel they can't be if someone else is paying the bill.
With some people getting married later than 30 years ago, and having more income at the time, the "rules" in some cases have changed.
Whenever I ask for tips, I get the same answer - "Smile, and get out of her way!" haha. I think I'll take that advice.
As for tradition, her parents are giving us a very generous amount of money - not enough to cover the wedding, but everything helps. My parents have less to give, but will do what they can. I never expected anyone to pay for an entire wedding, or cruise, so anything I do get is extremely appreciated.
I'm 24, she is 23, so we both have a bit saved from a few years of work. We will manage!
And I didn't want to make people think I'm only concerned about the money - not the case at all. The bride and being married are the most important parts .
PS - Svein, did I read you just became a daddy? Congrats!
Wow, Mike!! Congrats! You deserve all of the happiness in the world. I find myself agreeing with Jim many times these days. Let her choose the honeymoon destination or you will hear about it for eons to come. Just remember, embarking on a cruise is the beginning of a wonderful voyage... embarking on a marriage is the beginning of a... well, it's the beginning of a... hmmm... at least you don't have to worry about the double occupancy penalty anymore.