Post # 1
I am in desperate need of opinions because my SO and I are on two seperate pages when it comes to the wedding. We’re not “officially” engaged yet (he’s had the ring since February and is one of those guys who thinks the proposal has to be some huge event even though I don’t believe that, but that’s a completely different post). We’ve been saving for the last year towards our wedding and finally feel comfortable to go ahead and secure a venue, florist, etc.
The problem is that our opinions of what makes a great wedding are completely different. Initially we had set our guestlist at about 120 people but after taking a closer look at it and talking several times with my SO I decided that I wanted to keep it around 50-60 people. When I started researching venues that can accommodate that number I came across several Inns and Resorts about an hour from where we live in cottage country (Muskoka, Ontario). The more I researched the more I loved the idea of doing an entire weekend away with our family and closest friends. Several of the resorts allow you to rent out the entire resort for your event and include all activities, meals etc. I thought it would be a great way for our families to get to know each other better, along with my good friends getting to know his good friends a lot better. When we got some of the pricing back, we realized that it will cost anywhere from $50-$100/person per night for us to do a weekend getaway wedding. So for a couple about $200-$400 if they stayed for Friday and Saturday night including all their meals. We would obviously be covering the cost of the wedding reception and if budget allows a little bit of the room cost as well.
After discussing it with my SO he feels that this is too much of a financial strain to put on people. Keep in mind that his family is very well off with the exception of one of his aunts. My family and close friends have all said they loved the idea and have actually encouraged me to go ahead with it since everyone I am inviting are fairly financially secure and often travel several times a year. Now my SO keeps saying we should go back to the original guest number and look at doing a more traditional chruch/banquet hall wedding as it puts less financial constraint on our guests.
So I guess the point to this longish post (which I apologize for) would be, if financially you had no issue with spending the money for a friend or immediate family members wedding do you like the idea of a weekend away with activities and food? Or would you prefer a more traditional church/reception?
Post # 3
@GonnaBeAFind: I would go tour a few of these places. Just with an open mind. Take him with you can talk while you are driving. Try to get him to at least hear your train of thought.
Post # 4
I really think that destination weddings or any kind of wedding where you need to travel AND pay to stay somewhere for a night or two are imposing on your guests. I mean, not only do they have to spend the money, but they potentially have to take time off work too (factor in travel time!), and as a fellow Canadian, I know that our vacations are paltry (unlike in many parts of Europe, where 4 weeks/year is standard even for entry-level jobs).
Never assume that people can afford things – you never know what all their life expenses are or if there’s something they’re trying to put money away for. Besides, even if people can afford to do something, doesn’t mean they would want to spend their money that way.
Also – worst case scenario – what if some of your family/friends end up not getting along? Or what if, after a day or so, some people just get all “peopled out” and want to go home back to their quiet lives? I think what your SO is saying is fair.
Post # 5
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@GonnaBeAFind: Speak to the important family members and friends you would be asking to do this 3 day weekend to see what they think before planning it out. I would be miffed if I were expected to spend that kind of money and honestly, since I am currently saving for my own wedding and honeymoon I would be even more unlikely to spend a couple hundred to attend someone else’s wedding weekend.
Post # 6
We had a semi-destination wedding where almost everybody had to travel (most by bus or car for 3 hours, but some by plane) and almost everybody had to pay for at least one night in a hotel. Nobody didn’t come because of finances. Many people didn’t give us gifts because they couldn’t afford it after travel, which we understood. Many people carpooled or took the $20 bolt bus down and shared hotel rooms to make them cheaper (after the hotel’s special wedding block rate, if 4 people shared a standard room it was only like $30/night). We helped pay for one or two people who couldn’t afford flights but we really wanted there, so we helped. I don’t know…we had about 80 people make it (we invited about 100 so it was the typical rate of return on wedding invites, and the people who couldn’t make it were mostly international who couldn’t get days off since they have different holiday schedules).
Also if your venue is only an hour away, people don’t HAVE to pay to sleep over. You can so drive home an hour after an event, I do it all the time (I live about an hour away from most of my family and friends). In fact, my aunt and uncle took a 3 hour train home the night of my wedding because they had something in the morning, totally doable…If staying the weekend is optional and not required, I see NO problem in doing that if that’s what you want. If all you want is family and close friends, they’ll find a way to make it. I would never not attend a wedding of a close friend just because of an hour drive and a couple hundred bucks. Now if it was over $1,000/person for a true destination wedding, it would depend on my finances…
Post # 7
@GonnaBeAFind: it may be a financial strain on some guests but because it’s all weekend, you are forgetting about the time commitment for some people.
sometimes requesting that much of your guests’ time is more demanding than the financial portion.
Post # 8
@suburbian: We’ve scheduled a few different visits for this coming weekend, to tour the properties, facilities etc and start really narrowing down our choices.
@Pisces: I think my SO tends to look financial costs a little different than me. I sometimes forget that many of his friends are single income households with children, where my friends are all in their early 30’s without children and have very good successful careers and stable incomes. when I talk to my friends they love the idea because it’s stuff they would do on a regular basis whereas my SO’s friends might not be able to afford the costs the same way.
@beachbride1216: I can completely see where you’re coming from. One of our good friends is planning a Mexico destination wedding in March next year and financially we’re not sure we can attend given that we’re trying to save for our own wedding.
@BookishBelle: We’re going to take a drive out to the venues this weekend and see what it’s like. I don’t think an hour is a far drive either, as I have driven much farther than that for friends and family weddings. I just wouldn’t want anyone to feel “left out” because they couldn’t afford to participate the same way others could.
@mypinkshoes: I think that’s a really important point I’m not taking into consideration, the amount of time our guests will have to devote to our wedding.
I think my biggest problem is that I’m struggling to find venues in our area that will host 50-60 people beyond just a restaurant. I did email a fantastic historic venue about 40 minutes south of where we live and during off-season (November-April) they have a minimum guest count of 50 adults, which might just work perfectly for us, that way no one has to stay over and if anyone does want too I’ll look at getting a discounted rate at a local hotel.
Post # 9
I’ve always been for small and intimate, but knowing me and SO’s parents-its going to end up being a large and traditional ordeal. However, I always think its wise to consider the location of residence of the majority of your guests, and kinda gauge where they are financially. For some people, 200-400 dollars is quite a bit of money, not counting meals, gas, and then theyll likely be bringing you gifts as well. It would be nice if people didnt feel a financial strain to attend. So I’d base my decision on what the guest list looks like and the majority of your guests’ situation (where do they live? how far to travel? Do you think itd be a financial strain for them-hard to determine but you could maybe guess?).
Post # 10
@GonnaBeAFind: i had an intimate wedding and there are more options than you realize. think about all of the board rooms that hotels and convention centres have that host business meetings. some of those rooms are perfect for a small wedding. they won’t be the big huge ball room but they will be a comfortable size.
when initially contacting a hotel for potential space, use the word “function” for 50 people instead of “wedding”. they will not just focus on the main ballrooms and will be more open minded for accommodations.