How far is too far to ask guests to come!?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
3394 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@otto2008:  I know nothing about California, so I don’t know how far apart anything is over there (well, except I know that California is a huge state). Anyway, for my family, close enough extended family (for example, my grandmother’s great-nieces weddings, we were not real close, but we used to visit them every couple of years) we drove 5 hours each way for their weddings and stayed in a hotel overnight.

I also think it depends on your/her families and whether or not they would be willing to travel like that.

Post # 4
1068 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@otto2008:  Hm, in not-LA I would say that my comfortable driving max is about 2 hours, but given the uh…unique traffic conditions of that area, maybe 100 miles?  After that it becomes a day trip where I’d probably be driving up on a different day, staying the weekend, etc.

Post # 5
889 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@otto2008:  i was asking myself the same question. For me, a bit more than an hour by car would have been the maximum as I know some members of my family would be complaining. I’d still be comfortable with 1,5hrs as a guest depending on the time the party finishes (if early then I would be ok with two hours as well for a good friend). 

What I had been thinking about for locations that would have been outside the city, ie not to reach via public transport, is to hire a shuttle bus. (With only one time going to the location and  one returning so people wouldn’t be as flexible going back home but we’re probably finishing at 2am anyway which I think is early enough for people to still be there then.) however now we’ve found a location in Berlin so people can use public transport if they like. 

Post # 6
7997 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

I probably wouldn’t do more than an hour (each way) if I was going to be driving back home and not staying at a hotel.

California it’s not like you have to worry about bad roads or winter driving.

ETA: Keep in mind people might leave early to drive back home at a reasonable hour.

Post # 7
7929 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

I’d think that making the wedding more than an hour drive away is pretty much demanding that your guests get a hotel room. 

Post # 8
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I think you guys should book a venue you love. People will come. A few months ago we were stressing about our wedding being on a Friday, but ALL we kept hearing (even from family, not just “sales” ppl) Is “if you have it people will come.”  Meaning that whereever, whenever they will come. 

i did my own assessment and there are people (most of my guestlist) that I will be willing to make great adjustments to share in their special day. 

Whatever makes you happy!!

Post # 9
1266 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Are they willing to get a hotel and stay overnight? No one should be drinking and driving, no matter how short a drive it is. If they’re willing to stay overnight at a hotel, you can have shuttle bring people back and forth.  I’ve always felt this was the best option for weddings.

Post # 10
353 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I think it depends on how close you are to the person who is getting married.

I’ve seen over 200 guests take a plane because a wedding was celebrated on an island.

The only thing I can tell you is that the important guests will be there, no matter where you celebrate your wedding!

Post # 11
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@otto2008:  I would travel across the world to see someone I love get married. So far, I’ve only had to fly cross-country, but I’d gladly go farther! That said, a wedding invitation is just that, an invitation, not a summons! While it’s nice to be considerate of guests needs, if the logistics don’t work for some guests then they won’t come and it will be ok. It’s not always possible to have the perfect solution for everyone. Pick the venue you love the most, make some thoughtful recommendations about travel/lodging and people will get there!

90% of our guests had to fly and stay the weeked to attend our wedding. We had a great turnout, even though many of our guests were relatively inexperienced with traveling more than a few hours drive.

Post # 12
975 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta

@otto2008:  Most of my guests either have a 10+ drive or a 4 hour flight and then 3 hours to the airports. One wedding I went to was 2 hours for the church and the reception was another 20 minute drive. Cost of gas never crossed my mind. People who want to be there will and won’t think twice about it. If they aren’t staying the night 4 hour drive is fine, anything around 2 hours I don’t think is unusual. 

Post # 13
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Have your wedding want. Research hotels. Offer shuttle service to and from venue. Spending the night at a wedding is fun! 

Post # 14
6812 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

We’ve done 2 hrs each way. If I had to choose, 15 minutes would be ideal. 🙂 I think 1-2 hours is doable.

Why don’t you go look at the venues and see if you even love them? You might not like the ones that are so far away – saves you the hassle of making this decision!

Post # 15
1492 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@otto2008:  I lived in Norcal, my DH’s family is in Socal, I completely understand how crazy driving can be. Even for those who have driven in Norcal, Socal driving is just a beast to a whole new level. Once the drive is over 1.5, 2 hrs, we’re talking hotel room, especially if there is drinking to be had at the wedding. There is never anything that is “too far”, but it will really depend on how close this family is and how willing they are to go to the wedding. I for example have flown to attend friends’ weddings across the country, but if I fly, then the wedding itself better be easy to access from the airport. I do not like having to fly, rent a car, pay for gas, and driving to the wedding, and i will only do so if I know at least 2, 3 other people with whom I can split hotel and car bills. As such, I have sometimes not attended weddings out of my own need to preserve cash! For that reason, DH and I are providing a shuttle for the guests coming to our friends’ party next year, as the venue is about a 45-minute drive from downtown Boston.


Post # 16
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Not that familiar with California

Am familiar with Canada, and Canadians… we tend to be willing to drive farther than many (our Major Cities are typically 2+ hours apart… some can be even up to a day apart)

I am totally cool with driving up to an hour…

Beyond that I am the type who is going to be looking for a place to crash / hotel room

Now not every one is going to be willing to shell out for a Hotel… so that is something to take into consideration

Those that won’t will want to be closer to home… or prone to leaving earlier

Hope this helps (some)


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