Soliciting opinions on a audacious request I've just received

Oct 13, 2003
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Recently I've received the request to become padrino at the wedding of a once-removed cousin of my wife (he is the son of a daughter of my mother-in-law)..

Here are the circumstances:

1. I've known him for 5 years and he's never asked me for anything
2. The family lives closeby and we see each other every trip I'm down there
3. He was a hotel worker, generally a nice person and is currently out of a job
4. There will be no alcohol at the wedding (a strictly evangelico affair)
5. It will be limited to about 100-150 persons

My thoughts on this:

From my European perspective he is not what I call close family and I'm inclined to say no (as a matter of principle) and will prob give the reason that prior business commitments will prevent my attendance at the chosen date.

Questions to the board;

1. What outlay would I be looking at?
2. What would you do and why?
3. How would you break the news?
 

wrecksum

Bronze
Sep 27, 2010
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IMHO.
Please go.
This is a great honour.
You will honour your invitors and make them proud.
Your commitments will be what you want them to be, from nothing up. Presents for the ladies would be nice but not obligatory.
Don't give excuses and be present. Even if you are the only 'Gringo', this is an extremely important occasion and they will honour you as family.
I don't understand the last question.
Break the news to whom?

If you honestly cannot go and would feel too uncomfortable, please talk to your host,

I would definitely go, you will have a fantastic time and it will be in your memory forever!!
An experience of a lifetime! Go be there for them!!


Please.
 

dv8

Gold
Sep 27, 2006
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do not go. say you are busy, have other commitments or you do not participate in religious affairs.
he is out of work and wants the wedding for 150 people? you must be joking me. i can see where it is going - directly to "please help me a bit".
fyi padrino pays for drinks, normally. there may not be alcohol but you'll still have to fork out cash for sodas and juices. and count yourself lucky if it ends there.
also, i have beed to many dominican weddings. all were so darn boring i nearly broke my jaw yawning.
 
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DMV123

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Mar 31, 2010
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I have to agree with DV8 on this one. My sense is you are being asked to be Padrino because you have the deepest pockets.

Acceptance of this comes with obligations. And I also agree that someone out of work wanting a wedding for 100 - 150 is outrageous.

However, I have been to some FUN weddings here..........;)
 
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YUL514

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Aug 28, 2010
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I might be wrong but I was told that the padrino pays for the whole wedding.

Mike
 

zoomzx11

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Jan 21, 2006
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No!!!

Everybody asks expats for money. Its the normal course of events in the DR. I learned how to say I am sorry but I do not have the money.
After a little practice its easy and just rolls right off the tongue. Who can argue with a claim of poverty? Personally I would go and have a good time.
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
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Set aside maybe €1000? Tell that that money is a gift (Or what ever sum you can come up with) and that is all you can afford now with the new baby and all. A campo wedding of an unemployed guy? Pretty nice wedding gift, let them spend it however they want to...
the padrino usually buys the cake I have heard...

You are not supposed to take on the whole shinding...

HB
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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dudes, he DOES NOT WANT to go and you tell him not only to force himself to it but also to actually give something? you must be joking.
i think life is full of things we "should be doing" as it is. why add to it? screw altrusim, time for some egoism. don't wanna go? don't go. leave partying to charlie sheen.
 
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Mar 1, 2009
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IL PADRINO.

BUT maybe he really wants to go and is still sitting on the fence AND is afraid he will get taken advantage of as an "holandes"? So HB is suggesting MD hedge his bets and just give a little so MD won't feel bad later when he see's the dude again? Hmmm? I personally would make him an offer he can't refuse, give him 50-100bucks and tell him something that la economia mundial me tiene jodio.

Sincerely,
The Godfather.

"If you came to me with respect, then they would fear you"
 

Bronxboy

Moderator - Covid19 & Mars Venus
Jul 11, 2007
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IL PADRINO.

BUT maybe he really wants to go and is still sitting on the fence AND is afraid he will get taken advantage of as an "holandes"? So HB is suggesting MD hedge his bets and just give a little so MD won't feel bad later when he see's the dude again? Hmmm? I personally would make him an offer he can't refuse, give him 50-100bucks and tell him something that la economia mundial me tiene jodio.

Sincerely,
The Godfather.

"If you came to me with respect, then they would fear you"
Just make him an offer he cant refuse!!!!
 

Ezequiel

Bronze
Jun 4, 2008
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The "Padrino" ONLY pays for the drinks, "La Madrina" ONLY pays for the cake in a Dominican wedding. (IF) you want you can help pay for the photos.

The family of the bride is responsible for the rest (food, decoration, etc.....)

Since they are evangelic it should be pretty cheap, just juice and sodas, so don't be cheap and do it.

In the DR we always look for a rich "padrino and madrina", often a family member, for these types of events.

For my two brothers wedding we asked our rich aunt and uncle, usually they can't say no, plus it's a big honor.
 
Oct 13, 2003
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Thank you for all the responses.

Just to clarify:

1. As padrino I just pay for the drinks and sign as a witness nada mas; that was always the deal
2. No alcohol just juice and soda's for about 100-150 people (given the families this is really not that outrageous; I throw beach parties for the family once a year and this is the usual turn-out)

I got confirmation that I wanted on the responsibilities.

What worries me is that this might open up a whole slew of requests so that I might end up padrino to around 25-35 primo's in the next 10 years.. if I say yes to this primo (a nice enough guy) what's my defense against the next request?

As far as budget I would be looking at between:

100-150 * 5 = 500 - 750 euro's
100-150 * 10 = 1000 - 1500 euro's

Both of which I would still consider a lot of money for not so close family
 

dv8

Gold
Sep 27, 2006
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really, just say no. even if you send a gift you will find yourself invited to be a padrino 20 times a year just for the gift....
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
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Yeah, you are probably right. It does come to a lot of money no matter how you cut it.

Safest route would be to say no, sorry, world economy, terrible weather, the new baby, yadda yadda...

This is because you just cannot come out and tell the guys the 'real' reason....so back away...

It is tough, since I know how much you like these fellows...Which is why I suggested a one time amount (not really €1000 but something you could easily afford) with a note saying this was a contribution...However, as you describe the situation even €100 x 20 = 2000€ down the line!! Not a happy picture...DV8 is probably right...

HB
 

DMV123

Bronze
Mar 31, 2010
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Really a contribution to a family wedding aka a "gift" is no different then North America. We all get invitations to all the family weddings and take an appropriate gift.

Is this really so different? Say no to Padrino - it can and does morph beyond what is your responsibility into what they think you can afford. Send a contribution that is appropriate for you. And yes you will need to do the same in future.....
 

Taino808

Bronze
Oct 10, 2010
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I?d like the opportunity to chime in for a bit, and give you my personal take to what happened to me in a similar situation about a year or so ago. An ex-worker of mine, whom now lives in the States came back to DR to marry his wife. He got in touch with me and asked if I could be his ?Padrino? at his wedding. Knowing Dominican custom, I immediately said I could?nt because I knew he would ask for the cake, booze and the pictures to the event. Every time he asked, I was assertive and stuck to my guns with the immediate response ?No I can?t, times are hard, so on and so forth?.

After a while and tired of this guy constantly asking me to participate, insisting in that he only required that I sign as witness, I gave in, but only agreeing to sign the wedding papers as a wittness!!! On the day of the event, I suited up went with him and his wife to be, towards the ?Juez Civil? to be witness and sign as promised I would do.

Afterwards we made our way back to his house to participate in the well known rituals of this occasion. As the festivities began and the booze was being passed back and forth, people whom I didn?t know began coming up to me, requesting to take a picture with me and the groom. Now I must admit that I?m not a good drinker, meaning that I get drunk very easily, doe to the fact that I?m a devout christian, as such I don?t partake on these types of lifestyle often.

Some time during the festivities, at about 12:00 in the morning, this guy sits down next to me and begins to whine about how expensive the party was and how much he had to pay for the professional photogropher. Being that I had already drank a lil something, eaten, lauged and had a reasonably fun time I finally gave in and told him that I would help him with the photos, without mind you, not actually knowing how much the photogropher was charging. He thanks me, and then proceeds to tell me that the photogropher was $19,000 pesos.

I know I should have kept my mouth shut, but being that I was under the influence of alcohol, I gave in. After sitting there all by myself I began to think about what I had done, after a while of seeing people dancing laughing and having a great old time, I figuered I should now go all out and have the darndest time of my life, cause after all, I was now funding some of the festivities. I grabbed a bottle of Gray Goose and began dowing it as if I was some sort of master in drinking. At about 2:00 in the morning I was completely out of my mind, talking all the bull**** any drunk normally talks about, at some point I offered to pay for the booze of the party.

At about 3:00 in the morning the groom had to drive me home, because I was too wasted to drive myself. I remember stopping a few times so I could get out of the car and vomit while en rout to the house. Yes pretty disgusting from a guy thats 98% of the time very lowkey and pretty lay back. The following day I had the worst hangover in Dominican history, I was waken up by the sound of the housekeeper while she tried to clean the vomit on the floor. Although I can?t recall, she said during the night I must have waken up and tried to make my way towards the bathroom not only in my bedroom but to the first floor bathroom as well, because she found vomit not only in the bedroom, but on the first floor of the house as well.

The end result to this story is that I was stuck with a total bill of $56,000 pesos. $19,000 pesos for the photogropher and thanks to my big mouth $37,000 pesos for the booze to which I only recall drinking one bottle of Baileys Irish cream and a half bottle of Gray Goose. Luckly all this happened while my wife was in New Jersey, because if she were here, I?m pretty sure she would have killed me. Hopefully she wont read this post.

Make of this experience what you will.
 
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