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Bride's siblings refuse to get her a gift for destination wedding at 5-star resort. AITA?

Bride's siblings refuse to get her a gift for destination wedding at 5-star resort. AITA?


"AITA? I didn’t gift money at my sister Sarah’s tropical destination wedding..."

Background on the couple: they’ve been together for 7yrs and have lived together for 3-4yrs. They decided on a destination wedding because getting married in the states was going to be costly especially considering with everyone who would be invited in our large families it would be 170-200 people.

Wedding: Punta Cana, 5 star resort, the whole thing cost my partner and I close to $4,000 from accommodations/flights/clothing for the destination and event/tips. There were 40 ppl; mostly the groom's side and some friends. But only our parents, an aunt and uncle, and our four siblings made up our own family.

She had welcome bags for everyone and my sisters and I received custom robes from Sarah as the getting ready present as part of the wedding day even though we were not part of the bridal party. They had her best friend as MoH and her brother in law as best man.

I planned on gifting her (post wedding) a handmade custom embroidery piece that I crafted that was something beautiful she could hang in her apartment and future new home. As well as looking into buying Sarah something remaining off of the registry. The embroidery being the more long-game piece since it’s a slower crafting form.

I never told my sister that that is what I chose to do. But she’s offended that I my siblings and I didn’t get her a monetary gift. Regularly saying before the wedding that this isn’t just a wedding, but a vacation for us. As well as saying it would be sh$tty if we didn’t go to the wedding as her siblings. I’ve made accommodations to her requests and booking through her wedding travel agent (paying slightly more) instead of originally booking through Expedia because I would earn/use points.

I even tried to preface Sarah with the possibility that she may receive less from guests because it was a destination; or that for people who couldn’t come they would send less money or no wedding gift at all. Based on various etiquette posts I had seen.

Sarah is comparing us to other guests who chose to gift $100 or more and noting that our plates were $75 each. Our other siblings have other financial constraints. One is mid-divorce with lawyers involved. Besides the fact that those three siblings shared a room since it made it more cost-effective than being 2:1 in separate rooms.

AITA for not gifting money at the wedding and standing by our siblings’ choice to not gift money because this trip—although fun and a wedding experience that we will never forget—was a big expense to just go there?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Icy_Department_1423 said:

NTA. It is commonly accepted that guests at a destination wedding don't give gifts other than perhaps a token sentimental gift. A vacation is where you pick the destination, timing, and price.

teresajs said:

NTA. Yes, her destination wedding may have cost your sister and her husband less money but it cost their 40 guests a total of about $80k. Additionally, your sister wanted you to book through her travel agent because your sister and her husband got discounts on their travel due to the rest of the group booking at full/increased price. You just helped pay for your sister's wedding. She has no right to tell you what to give her as a gift.

FancyPantsDancer said:

NTA. Going through the agent means you subsidized the wedding. The wedding was NOT a vacation for all of you. You had no say in where you went or when. I don't know the etiquette for destination weddings, but she's acting like entitled given you spent time and money to go to her wedding. Even if she had a wedding that was local, she was never entitled to a monetary gift. A gift is the common etiquette, but not necessarily cash.

Initial728 said:

NTA. Sarah is a spoiled entitled brat who is totally out of touch with reality. If she makes a fuss about the embroidery piece, why not keep it for yourself!

ParsimoniousSalad said:

NTA. A gift is a gift is a gift. She doesn't get to dictate it. Traditionally you have a year post-wedding to produce your gift too, by the way.

HeatherAnne1975 said:

NTA You are doing exactly what I would have done for a destination wedding. A thoughtful (less expensive) gift is entirely appropriate since you’ve spent $4000 plus time and vacation days on her. She should be so appreciative that you spend that much money…so she could save money by not hosting a local wedding.

And a destination wedding is not a vacation. At all. You are going to the location selected by the couple and are going on their terms. When you arrive you are on their schedule and there is usually a full agenda of rehearsals and brunches and other events. You’re dealing with family and drama and really can’t fully relax. I’ve never once fully enjoyed a destination wedding as if it were a vacation.

Weird-Roll6265 said:

Traveling to your sister's destination wedding IS the gift. That is a financial obligation that is beyond a lot of people--demanding more on top of the travel expenses and then keeping score based on who gives her what is just plain shallow. NTA.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this family wedding drama?

Sources: Reddit
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