Destination wedding when trying to get pregnant?
December 4, 2016 4:27 PM   Subscribe

My brother and his fiancee are discussing having a tropical destination wedding next winter, where the family could buy a resort package. I love them and would normally be there with no questions asked, celebrating in style! However, I'm planning on trying to get pregnant this summer, so might be pregnant or trying in December. I'm very concerned about Zika and would not travel to a place with Zika if I was pregnant.

Do you think I should bring this up with my brother? Would it be fair to ask them to look into a Zika free option? What if it's more expensive for the other 20ish guests? Can you think of good resort options close to mainland US without Zika?
posted by ceramicblue to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sure, why not? You can just say, "hey, I'm not trying to be a pain and I love the idea of your wedding but I'm concerned about this Zika thing." I'd do some research first so you know what the issues are and whether there are actually "safe" places where you would be confident so you can offer up realistic suggestions right away. You can also acknowledge that you know you just can't predict everything and no matter where he gets married, you will try to be there but that this is something they might want to consider. Who knows? Any number of people in their party could get pregnant or be trying around that time.
posted by amanda at 4:36 PM on December 4, 2016 [5 favorites]

If you are confident that you would decide not to go somewhere with Zika if you were pregnant or trying, then you should tell him. You're not trying to change his choice, but you're giving him information that might affect his decision making.
posted by gideonfrog at 4:42 PM on December 4, 2016 [5 favorites]

Yes, just tell him. For all you know they may want children soon too.
posted by snickerdoodle at 4:46 PM on December 4, 2016 [12 favorites]

I think you should definitely bring this up with your brother and fiancee, not because they haven't considered it, but because they may not have understood the risks of Zika specifically and other annoyances involved in an overseas resort wedding in December.

Have they considered...

- the fact that many, many guests will not be able to travel in December if they have other family obligations for other holidays; at best many guests may only have a long weekend away, and may need to go through a lot of flying/driving to get there

- that not everyone may have an up-to-date passport

- the fact that December/January is a financial crunch-time for a lot of people after buying gifts, travelling, and taking time off to be with family

- the fact that Zika-affected places haven't gotten rid of it/dealt with it/been able to treat it, and that it continues to spread

- the fact that Zika is spread via a mosquito that is active during the daytime, so it will be hard to avoid the risk of infection unless you completely cover yourself to protect against bites

- the fact that the risk of Zika exposure affects the ability to try to conceive well after the possible date of exposure

Obviously your brother and fiancee may not be movable on this, but it may take you saying 'hey, I love you guys, but I can't travel to the Caribbean for your big day - the risks to my health are just too large' for them to get it.

What about a resort somewhere really dry and not mosquito-y, like the Desert Southwest? Something like the JW Marriott in Palm Desert, CA or in Phoenix would be relatively safe from mosquitoes, have nicely warm weather during the day, be easier to travel to, and probably be less expensive for American guests to reach. There are also reasonably-priced accommodations all around if people didn't want to/weren't able to stay at the resort. A bit less special than a Caribbean island for sure, but still amazing, and they might be able to get many more people to attend - a weekend in Phoenix is doable for a lot more people than a weekend in Aruba, you know?
posted by mdonley at 4:56 PM on December 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

Don't make it just about you if this might be problematic. You can generally say "You know, a LOT of people are reluctant to travel to such places because of Zika. People that are pregnant, might be pregnant, have pregnant spouses, work with pregnant people... so maybe planning for somewhere else would be a good idea?"
posted by k8t at 5:04 PM on December 4, 2016 [6 favorites]

+1 to k8t - I socialize with a lot of women of childbearing age and tons of them are avoiding tropical destinations even if they don't already have zika cases, just in case it turns up. This is a nonstarter for a whole lot of people until the risks are better understood.
posted by potrzebie at 7:02 PM on December 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

To echo potrzebie's sense that this is a thing that a lot of people are concerned about, I have a few tropical academic conferences planned in the coming years and all of them have relocated because of Zika and concern how this would impact women in particular. I'm also in a professor moms Facebook group of 8k women and the question of "should I go to X if I am trying to get pregnant in the next year" comes up almost weekly.
posted by k8t at 7:29 PM on December 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm going to a destination wedding that was moved for literally this exact scenario. A sibling basically calling the other sibling and telling him his original plans are a non-starter due to Zika.
posted by JPD at 7:33 PM on December 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

I would personally take the opposite approach and make it specifically about you. The inference that this might apply to other guests can be made by your brother. I feel that a long description of how this is an inappropriate choice (not that I really disagree) would seem judgey and interfering, whereas expressing your personal concerns is much less so.
posted by jojobobo at 11:56 PM on December 4, 2016 [11 favorites]

Also, if you are in a ltr and between 20 and 40 and start speaking about 'generalised' Zika concerns, everybody is going to assume you want to get pregnant, fwiw. You may as well just raise it as a general possibility for yourselves, surely- that might feel like a big revelation but it's really very vague, and usually fairly expected of couples of a certain age, for better or for worse.
posted by jojobobo at 11:59 PM on December 4, 2016

We're moving a proposed family holiday since my sister in law and brother are planning a family soon. It's no big deal, and everyone is cool with it. I'd prefer a healthy niece or nephew to a tropical vacation!
posted by Valancy Rachel at 7:10 AM on December 5, 2016

I tested positive for Zika and we are just to the tail end of the 6-month waiting period. Family planning based on diseases isn't fun. The threat of infection is real. It's worth mentioning to your brother that this is important to you.

I don't have any tips on where to have the wedding, though. I think the tropics are off limits to us indefinitely. Endemic is better than epidemic, but not good enough for me.
posted by karst at 12:21 PM on December 5, 2016

I'm planning a wedding and this is exactly the sort of information my partner and I wanted from our immediate families before making any firm plans about where to hold our wedding. Even if you don't think your brother would change plans just for you, if enough people aren't stoked on the destination wedding thing for any of the many reasons it can be a problem, they'll probably choose something else.
posted by Sara C. at 10:17 PM on December 5, 2016

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