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Bronson

Weddings Abroad

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I figured the anonymity of this forum is a good a place as any to have a rant and try and understand other people's views on this.

I'm about to be best man for the second time in as many years. Ironically I'm the person in our group that expresses their opinion quite openly against monogamy and marriage.

The wedding in question is in France and from what I have gleaned it is going to be fairly extravagant and is being severely controlled by the bride's parents (who are French side of the equation). My problem with all of this is the expectations of people doing these kind of weddings. I/We are having to use up a week of my holiday to go down there, and all of a sudden I find out I have meals with families two nights before, rehearsals the night before, informal dinner the day after. It appears any time I had considered my own to cycle the French countryside scooping up cheese and sipping a decent red are rapidly disappearing. Oh and on top of that I'm having to buy a new suit to match the other grooms men.

Do people not sit back and consider they are asking too much of people? I'm trying to keep my anti-wedding thoughts out of this as much as possible... :mellow:

I'm intrigued of the potential responses the opinionated good folk of HPC would have to this? Has anyone ever stood down as best man?

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I have been the Bestman once, but part of the wedding party on more occasions. And its always been the couple getting married expense to pay for the suit, if they want matching.

Last one they managed to get a teasonable discount for buying all the groomsmen clothes from the same place at the same time. I took it as expected really.

As for the other commitments, what is traditional for the French? Do they normally have all these plans? It could be just a clash of cultures.

On thr holiday bit, it does annoy when someone decides to do it on a week day, i understand why, as its cheaper. Which is a sad reality to be told.

Maybe your friends should have been more upfront about the commitments and maybe subsidised more of your out of pocket expenses.

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For the record......all for monogamy but the word and the action of 'getting married' or 'being married' confuses me.....marriage doesn't make anything good better, nobody owns anyone or has a right over them and never will....all it seems is a big headache and extravagant expense, good for the economy I suppose......the number of divorces (big money made out of that) only goes to show how much people respect it and keep to the promises they make to each other.....sickness and in health, richer or poorer till death do us part.

People have no need to be married, but they can still have a happy life together, making their own promises to each other....nothing to do with anyone else. ;)

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Do you have to go to all of it? I would dip out of the meals with families as I don't see why the best man has to go to those, though it is nice to be invited, You're not the one marrying into the family.

As monkey says the couple marrying should be paying for your suit if they're specifying what it is.

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For the record......all for monogamy but the word and the action of 'getting married' or 'being married' confuses me.....marriage doesn't make anything good better, nobody owns anyone or has a right over them and never will....all it seems is a big headache and extravagant expense, good for the economy I suppose......the number of divorces (big money made out of that) only goes to show how much people respect it and keep to the promises they make to each other.....sickness and in health, richer or poorer till death do us part.

People have no need to be married, but they can still have a happy life together, making their own promises to each other....nothing to do with anyone else. ;)

You have gone wise. Stop it. This is OT! :blink:

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I figured the anonymity of this forum is a good a place as any to have a rant and try and understand other people's views on this.

I'm about to be best man for the second time in as many years. Ironically I'm the person in our group that expresses their opinion quite openly against monogamy and marriage.

The wedding in question is in France and from what I have gleaned it is going to be fairly extravagant and is being severely controlled by the bride's parents (who are French side of the equation). My problem with all of this is the expectations of people doing these kind of weddings. I/We are having to use up a week of my holiday to go down there, and all of a sudden I find out I have meals with families two nights before, rehearsals the night before, informal dinner the day after. It appears any time I had considered my own to cycle the French countryside scooping up cheese and sipping a decent red are rapidly disappearing. Oh and on top of that I'm having to buy a new suit to match the other grooms men.

Do people not sit back and consider they are asking too much of people? I'm trying to keep my anti-wedding thoughts out of this as much as possible... :mellow:

I'm intrigued of the potential responses the opinionated good folk of HPC would have to this? Has anyone ever stood down as best man?

Feel for you. I'd be mightily fed up unless it was a real friend, and I've only 3 or 4 of those after half a century. If you have already said you will do it then your stuck. If not, get out - think what you could do instead with both the money and time.

I tallied up the cost of the last wedding I attended that I couldn't 'get out of'. Couple decided to get married at 'her parents' city which meant that 90% of the guests had to travel and spend 2 nights in a hotel. I reckoned that it was at least £300 per couple to attend, so that was about £18k wasted (I suspect they'll split up in less that 5 years)

Generally, I don't do weddings.

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In the old days we had something called marriage. Now, instead, we have weddings! If people put as much effort into making their marriage work as they put into making their wedding work, we would have much less divorce.

I agree the size and expense of modern weddings is absurd. Any specific clothing for men, in my opinion, must be paid for by the bride and groom. It is not fair to make you pay for some pantomime costume simply because the bride has decided an ordinary lounge suit is not good enough.

I once reluctantly turned down a wedding invitation. It was in Spain (for no good reason) and would have required two separate trips there, one for the stag night and one for the wedding. I would have had little change out of a thousand quid and that was fifteen years ago.

Not meaning to be rude - but if you are very anti marriage, why are you acting as best man?

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If you think you need to go to the wedding, book the week but spend the minimum amount of time doing wedding-related things and do more the things that you want to do, exploring the countryside or whatever. Be firm with them on this; if your friend really wants you as a best man he won't mind.

I don't have a positive view on weddings or even the success of long term relationships - 42% of weddings in England and Wales end in divorce, and of the 58% left I'd guess that enough people are in unhappy in those marriages that the odds are not in your favor statistically of it being worth your while.

I think big expensive weddings are a disgusting waste of money and are typical of the shallow image-obsessed society that we have these days - case in point my friend who spent over 20 grand on a wedding recently to a woman who won't have sex with him (a year and a half of celibacy and counting). But his Facebook page is littered with his wedding photos and his lovely bride, so he's keeping up appearances and looks like a big success in the eyes of the world.

I think monogamy is a wonderful thing as long as both people want it, but I don't get the point of marriage - it seems to just make it difficult for you to leave if things turn sour.

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Oh and I'm going to a wedding in a couple of months that I don't really want to go to as I essentially don't like the groom or his bride and I don't think they like me - I think I'm just being invited to make the numbers up. I wasn't going to go, but then said I would in the name of being 'sociable', but I'm gonna have to fly to a different part of the UK, stay at least one night, buy a present - should cost me a few hundred at least. Some people are going for a full week.

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Oh and I'm going to a wedding in a couple of months that I don't really want to go to as I essentially don't like the groom or his bride and I don't think they like me - I think I'm just being invited to make the numbers up. I wasn't going to go, but then said I would in the name of being 'sociable', but I'm gonna have to fly to a different part of the UK, stay at least one night, buy a present - should cost me a few hundred at least. Some people are going for a full week.

You can't spend the same money twice

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Oh and I'm going to a wedding in a couple of months that I don't really want to go to as I essentially don't like the groom or his bride and I don't think they like me - I think I'm just being invited to make the numbers up. I wasn't going to go, but then said I would in the name of being 'sociable', but I'm gonna have to fly to a different part of the UK, stay at least one night, buy a present - should cost me a few hundred at least. Some people are going for a full week.

That's not a very good reason to go in the circumstances.

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In the old days we had something called marriage. Now, instead, we have weddings! If people put as much effort into making their marriage work as they put into making their wedding work, we would have much less divorce.

I could never have done a big wedding, too stingy and misanthropic. I got married in a registry office on a Wednesday afternoon, followed by a pub lunch. There were about 20 guests, mostly family. It took about 2 hours planning, and cost around £500 (not including rings).

My wife likes watching a show called "Don't tell the bride". She laughs at the overboard antics of the couple throughout and then at the end declares how many months she thinks they'll last until they separate.

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I'm intrigued of the potential responses the opinionated good folk of HPC would have to this? Has anyone ever stood down as best man?

You can't really let your friend down at the last moment. Says more about your for accepting the honour and the wedding invite (to France), to now thinking of pulling out of it. Although no reason you should go all the other functions/dinners.

Have you got your speech prepared for this fancy-do?

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One way of getting your own back is to put lots of jokes about the expense of the wedding into your best man's speech...

You could also have a few jokes about the French, eg, 'The French are known for liberty, egalite and fraternisation' etc

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Do you speak French ? Will they provide a translator ? Another expense perhaps !!

Even the tightwads in Don't tell the bride provide clothing for the best man and bridesmaids. This lot are taking the mick.

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I think most people probably think it's worth the effort. Well, I wouldn't mind anyway.

What annoys me is when people come to visit me abroad for a weekend, and spend 90% of the time shopping for a present for their partner

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One way of getting your own back is to put lots of jokes about the expense of the wedding into your best man's speech...

You could also have a few jokes about the French, eg, 'The French are known for liberty, egalite and fraternisation' etc

Prepare yourself now for the drama. I have an English/French couple who are friends and they are still dealing with the fallout from their wedding 10 years ago. The French have very different assumptions about expected and/or required behaviour for weddings. Making jokes in the bestman's speech was viewed as insulting by the French wedding attendees. Your friend needs to be very clear with everyone involved about what will or will not happen during the wedding. Just assuming that everyone will attend a bunch of dinners doesn't really sound promising.

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Weddings are bad enough, weddings abroad are a real pain. I agree with the comments about weddings and marriage being different. Too many people seem to be hung up on having their 'special day'. Just say NO.

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Prepare yourself now for the drama. I have an English/French couple who are friends and they are still dealing with the fallout from their wedding 10 years ago. The French have very different assumptions about expected and/or required behaviour for weddings. Making jokes in the bestman's speech was viewed as insulting by the French wedding attendees. Your friend needs to be very clear with everyone involved about what will or will not happen during the wedding. Just assuming that everyone will attend a bunch of dinners doesn't really sound promising.

Sounds like there won't be any 'Allo Allo' gags then...

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Weddings are bad enough, weddings abroad are a real pain. I agree with the comments about weddings and marriage being different. Too many people seem to be hung up on having their 'special day'. Just say NO.

If one half of the couple is French then I don't think a wedding in France really counts as abroad. It's not like they want the ceremony on a beach in Antigua.

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Weddings are bad enough, weddings abroad are a real pain. I agree with the comments about weddings and marriage being different. Too many people seem to be hung up on having their 'special day'. Just say NO.

Replace "people" with "burds" and you will be spot on.

Most blokes wouldn't give a flying ****** if their wedding was at half time on a Saturday afternoon down the local boozer.

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