Asking Guests to Travel?

posted 3 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 2
Member
1902 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I agree that you should send out a save the date a year in advance, but wouldn’t send your invitations so early.  They should go out 2-3 months in advance.

Regarding destination weddings, I don’t think you need to make accommodations to stage a bus from Denver to Aspen.  People will be coming in at different times, may make a longer vacation out of it, etc.  When you choose to have a destination wedding, you do so knowing that not all of your guests will be able to celebrate with you in person.  That’s just a choice that you’ll have to make.  Outside of just plane travel, lodging, food, etc in Aspen is incredibly expensive.  

Post # 3
Member
187 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Villa Celeste

Aspen is gorgeous, what a great location to get married! I’m also having a destinaton wedding, and did so with the intent that we would have less guests. I think it’s a good idea to give your guests a good amount of time, but I wouldn’t worry with trying to set up transport. Guests will be aware of the travel and will plan accordingly. While I gave my guests reccomendations for where they might stay, flight plans and the like are really up to them. Ultimately, if they want to be there with you they will find a way to do so. And if not, no harm no foul that’s just the nature of destination weddings. 

Post # 4
Member
3394 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I think Aspen will be stunning for a wedding, and your guests are going to appreciate their surroundings so much that any ‘inconvenience’ will soon be forgotten. I think six months is early for invites (even a destination wedding). We sent ours out in late Jan/early Feb for a May 10th wedding in Bali (with guests coming from Australia, all over Asia and Europe). I think 3-4 months would be plenty of time, especially with a STD (which I think would be fine to send out at around 8 months). I just worry you run the risk of sending out STD/invites too early and having people forget about it.

With regard to the logistics of getting to the venue, I think you’ll find that as long as you give people plenty of notice, guests will generally make their own arrangements. I think it’s always nice to give them the option of, say, a chartered mini-bus, and that’s something you can do closer to the day. We actually tried to do that and found it quite complicated because all of our guests are arriving on different days and different times, so it’s ended up just being easier for most to organise their own transfers.

I don’t think you have to make any apologies for choosing a destination wedding. As a guest, I think there’s two ways of looking at it: 1) as an opportunity to get away and have a mini-vacay and 2) an inconvenience that will require some logistical planning, but if I loved the bride/groom I would definitely make the effort and not be resentful about it. For the STD, maybe word/design it in a way that makese it seem like an adventure and special experience you’d like them to be a part of…”Come away with us/join us on the wintry slopes/cosy up with hot chocolate in front of the logfire” type thing, if that makese sense.

Post # 5
Member
1769 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

acriqui:  I think your timeline of save the dates around 1 year (send only under 12 mos out or ppl will freak out and think the wedding is this year) and formal invites around 4-6 months out is great. We did the same timeline for our destination wedding and gave hotel and travel and info out with save the dates and it’s gone really well. our wedding is a domestic destination requiring all guests to do a 6+ hr drive, a short flight + 1.5 hr shuttle/rental car drive, or a cross-country flight + 1.5 hr shuttle/rental car drive.  Everyone’s flying and seems like about 60-75% are renting cars with the rest doing shuttles. We aren’t able to cover shuttle costs or schedule shuttles and nobody’s complained about that. Just make sure to get them some great discounted hotel rate options. 

We talked to key ppl in advance to make sure the location and travel would be okay- they were all supportive. And we let ppl know w save the dates that they’d need to choose between certain bus and shuttle options, rental car, or driving their own car. If you can have a company that’ll give discounted shuttle rates for any guests who want it, great. If not, just give ppl the info for shuttles and general drive time and pricing (that’s what we’re doing).

We went to a wedding abt 3 hrs from Denver and the couple gave a discounted shuttle option or suggested renting a car. It went really well and the 100 or so out of town guests seemed to split about half and half w sharing rental car costs and taking shuttles. 

I dont recommend apologizing in invites etc. because that will sound to many like you’re hoping they won’t come. we’ve just put on our website and enclosures things like “we love [wedding location] and we hope you’ll love it too” or, for those who were late rsvping, we said something like “we hope you’ll be able to make the trek and, if not, we completely understand, but of course you’ll be missed.”  We asked for rsvps early (3 mos out), but have been very understanding w “late” rsvps, changed rsvps, and have given anyone who needed it extra time to RSVP (until 1 month out) because they needed more time to figure out work schedule, budget, and childcare. 

Instead of apologizing, we’re also doing some extra things to show our appreciation for our guests traveling (besides a hopefully great reception) and a lot of it is free or not too pricey: every invitation included guests’ personalized/handwritten name inside (free from friend w pretty handwriting), we’re providing welcome bags w snacks (this’llcost about $500 for 120 guests), giving all guests apps and drinks at a welcome party (instead of doing a rehearsal dinner), giving each guest a personalized note at the wedding to thank them for attending – this is separate from the usual separate mailed thank you notes for gifts (just the cost of paper), providing wood folding fans for hot day some shawls and slippers for women who get cold or whose feet hurt at the reception ($160 for enough fans/shawls/slippers for 1/2 the women guests), giving a late night snack at reception($500)

Post # 6
Member
3201 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

For many, many of my relatives, my wedding will be “destination” in that they will have to travel 3,000 miles if they want to attend. I am not necessarily going out of my way to make any suggestions. FI and I will be sending out our save the dates a year ahead of time to keep everyone informed so they have plenty of time to make plans. We will make a note of the hotel in which we’ve booked rooms, but besides that, I don’t know what much more I can or could do. I assume family will be coming in at different times, maybe even different days; therefore, it is impossible to arrange transportation or to be concerned with how exactly they will be getting to the hotel from the airport. If anyone needs help, I am positive they will ask. My parents have even discussed coordinating with family members to come in on the same day, same flight or same day, differing flights and renting two shuttle vans. 

In your instance, I would definitely suggest creating a wedding website of some sort and putting ALL the information out there for your guests. Let them decide what is best for them, but ask that they all RSVP with their travel info by a certain date. 

Post # 7
Member
9949 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

If I had had something similar to that, my family wouldn’t have been there.  They simply wouldn’t have been able to afford it.  If your family and friends are similar, and cannot come, does that matter to you?  Will it matter to them?   Do you care about that?  I think that will help you make your decision.  

Post # 8
Member
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

Most of my immediate family is in California and I’m getting married in Prague. My friends will also have to travel. I didn’t make any apologies on my invitation or anywhere else, but I’m also not going to be offended when people can’t attend. 

People who can and want to attend will figure it out themselves. If you can make it more convenient, even better!

Post # 9
Member
889 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

We are from the UK and are having a DW in Italy -we would be equally as happy to get married with everyone there or just the two of us and we fully understand that by choosing to get married abroad, many guests may not be able to get there. 

We’ve told everyone who’s invited personally so they can save up/get the time off if they want to be there but we’ve also made it abundantly clear that we understand if people can’t go and won’t take any offence at all. 

Post # 10
Member
1464 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

We didn’t have a destination wedding per say, but as I’m from NZ and he’s from Ohio, we had a lot of guests travel internationally. Add in that DH and I met whilst working in Japan, we had friends come from all over (as far away as SA), and well over half of our guests were from out of state/country.

We didn’t sent STDs. Instead we contacted people and let them know personally, about a year before the wedding. Our wedding was small though, which helped a lot.

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