I googled "the rule of giving gifts for destination weddings" and all of its variants. While I receive no information that is remotely helpful to me, it has been quite a blast reading everything else people have written about destination wedding.
It helps a lot of you are wealthy AND if your friends are wealthy and are willing to spend their funds on you. The rest of us mere mortals who are just making ends meet are not in this position and so subsequently left to ponder these things alone.
So. Here is my take on the whole thing.
It takes a lot of effort for you to organise a destination wedding. It takes a lot of effort for me to attend your destination wedding. I have to take time off work, fork out money for travel and accomodation, in addition to the usual hu-ha of hair, dresses, shoes and whatever. Because of these additional expenses, I have absolutely no idea what to give you as a present. I'd like to think that my presence alone is enough, but I am not sure that you would feel the same way. I'd like to test my friendships to see if this holds, just for the sake of finding out. Isn't it nice to see where your friends stand on this?
I'll tell you where I stand on this one. IF one day I am blessed enough to get married with the love of my life, the celebration will entail my guests sitting in one long table, chatting, laughing and eating good and drinking good wine. And their presence is the most precious thing for me. I don't care about anything else.
It is logistically challenging for you to organise your overseas-residing family to the wedding destination. This one is totally your fault. Did you not see this when you were planning the whole thing?? I get that you want to save on costs and so you ask me if I can drive them. Here is the deal - you should have told me this before I make my arrangements for the day. Of course I can change my plans, but it is extremely inconvenient for me, not to mention that there is no space in my car.
I don't mind being the designated driver and doing all of these favours for you, that's not the issue here. The issue is your lack of planning abilities and the fact that you take it for granted that I am going to be able to do anything and everything that you ask for on a very short notice. Bad planning on your part, potential resentment on my part. Attending your wedding is hassle enough - see point (1) above. And now this??
My wedding only happens once in a life time, as my friend, you should just suck it up and put me first. Ok, no one has actually put this point this way, but really, deep down at the core, this is what it sounds like. I pray that you would never get a divorce, although when that does happen and you get a second chance at this whole wedding thing, I am so going to pull this point out and flag it down your face and make you feel as guilty as hell. There are two contradictory points here. One: weddings are supposed to be about family and friends, at least in Asian cultures anyway. As I said in my previous entry, you can't cherry pick the culture. If you say that the weddings is about friends and family, then why the hell do you pick a destination that is causing so much hassle to everyone who wants to attend? Two: friends do not cause each other angst and grieve, or even guilt. My enemies may cause these things, but I refuse to believe that my friends would put me at such an inconvenient position for an extended period of time and then play the guilt card on me.
Or in short, as I have always said, I love you, but I love myself more.
Of course I will attend your wedding, and I will smile and laugh and say all the right things. Your wedding will be perfect, don't you worry. And let's see if our friendship will survive this.