Post # 1
My fiance and I moved away together. I am 5 hrs from my hometown, he is 10 hrs from his. We have been planning a wedding assuming that about 100 people will show up, but we are now realizing that it may turn out to be much less. We hadn’t thought about all the trouble people would be going through to get here. We haven’t booked a venue because we have no clue how big the wedding will be. It could be as many as 150 or as few as 30. We don’t want to book a huge place with high $$ minimums only to have an intimate wedding that could have saved some cash had we been prepared. I know every family is different, but has anyone been through a similar situation? How many people made the trip? Any tips on how to accurately estimate how many will show?
Post # 3
I think the people who are important will be there.
Post # 4
could you try getting a feel for who will be there by just asking people even before formal invitations are sent? (for example, my mom has been in contact with her relatives, trying to find out who will come, so it will be less of a surprise about how many will come or won’t.)
If they’re not close enough to you that you feel comfortable asking them that, then I would think that it’s highly unlikely they would go that much out of their way!
Post # 5
You definitely need to talk to some of your guests and see if they would be up to making the trip so you have a general idea of numbers.
I had to do this for my wedding before booking a venue as well. I still don’t know exactly, but I have a ball park figure. When someone asks about the wedding planning (which they inevitably will), just say where it will be and gauge their reaction. Some of them you can come right out and say “Do you think you would be able to be there?” You’ll be able to tell right away if they waffle or seem excited.
Post # 6
I got married 14 hours away from my family, 3 hours from his and we had about 110 people come. Those that want to be there will be there and those that want to come but can’t afford it will tell you.
I took the list of everyone I knew I had to invite and went through it with my best guess then had my family question them. It would out just fine.
Post # 7
I live 10 hours away from my family and they came. I even had an aunt and cousins come who I haven’t seen in 15 years! Some of DH’s family lives about 2 hours away and some of them didn’t come… interestingly enough. We have friends all over and only a small percentage of them made the trip. I wouldn’t expect too many friends to come, but I would expect (hopefully) close family members to make it!
Post # 8
We had this EXACT issue. I’m 10 hours from my family, and 3-6 hrs from his.
Fiance assured me his family would all come, and he has a large family. I was super skeptical of that and when we had our RSVPs due, barely anyone had responded. Our 180+ head count went down to under 100. BUT THEN…the RSVPs started trickling in and he was right! WE’re now at 158 adults. Still lower than expected but that is because most of my family won’t be attending.
The thing that REALLLY bums me out is that I will have no grandparents at my wedding. I thought I’d have atleast one set…and none of them are able to take the trip. I offered to fly my grandpa even (because I love him sooo dearly) and he doesn’t want to go through the trouble. 🙁
Do you have any sort of precedence of a distance wedding in your family that you can compare it to?
I think you need to book a venue and be very clear with them. Our wedding coordinator helped us out soooo much. We booked a 200 person room and therefore had a $6,000 food/bev minimum. Well since we’re under that she offered to let us go with about $5,000 food/bev because we were just adding food to add food at that point. Find someone or a place that will be flexible…if your numbers come out to less see what they can do for you to help you out, before you decide on the venue.
Some people surprise you and make the trip, and others just don’t. You can’t predict them all.
Post # 9
@Nellular: I have alot of family in Texas and I am in Los Angeles and it was one of the reasons I planned my wedding a year out to give the people I know will make an effort to be here a chance to kind of save their pennies to be here. There are alot of them that will be making the trip (Which I am Thankful for) and I know some who just cant do it so I am ok with that.
My Fiance and I have to spent at least 10k on our venue so we just decided we will roll with whomever somes and just roll the money that might be left over into the bar or food upgrade.
Post # 10
If people love you and want to attend, they will do anything possible to make that happen. Honestly, don’t worry about it since folks travel to weddings all the time.
Post # 11
My Fiance is from CA and I am from Vancouver, BC – most of my family is on the east cost and our wedding is going to be in Vancouver so I have the same issue. Myself, my Fiance and my parents called a bunch of ppl to get an idea of if they can come and who they would bring. I got a very rough idea and booked a venue based on that number. I’m also going to have a website on my ‘save the dates’ for anyone that wants to RSVP early. If you’re worried about having too many ppl you could always invite the core ppl and then add on more if you have the room. Good luck! Ppl will drive, its a special day 🙂
Post # 12
@Nellular: My wedding required some travel for everyone, including me! I lived about 1.5 hours away from the selected venue, as did most of my guests. My fiance and many of his guests lived three hours away from the venue. Both sets of parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, and cousins traveled anywhere from 200 miles to more than 700 miles to attend our wedding. Our venue was on the smaller side, but we ended up with 150 YES replies, and 148 of them made it to the wedding (one close-by couple had to cancel due to a family-health emergency.) Some of our more distant relatives did decline due to distance, but we were thrilled to have that many friends and family travel hours away just to be a part of our special day! I hope all goes well for you!
Post # 13
Thanks for all the great advice! I’m feeling a lot better about the situation. Hey, we are important, people will make the trip. 🙂
Post # 14
@Nellular: I know for a fact that people will drive the 5 hours or so for your wedding. (You know I will be one of them 😀 )