(Closed) All guests will be OOT – what additional expenses should I expect?

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
1137 posts
Bumble bee

We’ll have quite a few out of town guests. Not doing anything special other than likely going out to brunch the next day with close family and close friends who would like to go, like just out somewhere, not hosting as such. Not sure if we’d offer to pay for everyone at brunch… but we don’t feel obligated to do so. 

When I went to a wedding in Las Vegas (from Australia!!) everyone was from all over the place, nothing special was done other than organised discounted rates for group hotel booking. Also bride requested guests to NOT give any gifts and she was serious about it because everyone was already travelling overseas for the wedding. 

Post # 3
1746 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

When I’ve gone to weddings as an out of town guest, I’ve never had any of that, and I’ve never minded. I go knowing that I’ll be paying for a weekend away. If I didn’t want that, I wouldn’t go.

Post # 4
2475 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

Half our guests were out of town (3hour flight) as I’m from New Zealand, DH is from Australia and we got married in Australia as that’s where we live and I didn’t want to plan a wedding in another country! I picked up  my parents and sis/BIL from the airport, but the rest made their own way.  We didn’t do welcome bags or a welcome dinner, but we did do a next-day brunch which was actually really great, it was a great way to catch up a bit more with Out of Town guests because the wedding itself was so busy.  No one complained!

Post # 5
9986 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Almost all of our guests were Out of Town.  We got married where we live; my family had a 1.5 hour flight (7-8 hour drive) and DH’s family had a 3 hour flight.  My parents hosted a dinner for my family that was in town the Thursday before the wedding.  Everyone was on their own Friday.  The wedding was Saturday, and we hosted brunch the following morning.

We did not provide transportation from the airport.  We did have welcome bags, but mostly because I like receiving them (water, soda, little bottles of booze, chocolates, granola bar, and a list of some of our favorite attractions and restaurants, etc).  I don’t think they are required or even always expected, but I think it’s a gracious touch to have some light snacks and beverages for your guests once they arrive and are likely tired from travel.

My only suggestion is to be considerate of your Out of Town guests — know that they traveled a long way to celebrate with you, so if you can afford to host a brunch or happy hour or whatever, it might be nice so you can spend more time with them.  The wedding will be a blur and you’ll barely have time to say hello to everyone, so a more relaxed event gives everyone the opportuntiy to catch up more.

Post # 6
4615 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

View original reply
airoplane :  It’s not terribly hard to plan an out of town wedding if you want to (we did this).  You can do most everything by email.  We visited twice to taste test and see things in person and I have no regrets. 

That being said, if you do have a cross country wedding, please be ok with people declining.  One of my friends is doing that now and continues to express her disappointment at people’s “reasons” for not being able to come.  It’s a big ask to have everyone fly across the country.  I definitely recommend putting together transportation if you can.  I’ve always thought gift bags for out of town guests is a nice touch, but not required. 

I second JiminyCricket : ‘s happy hour/brunch suggestion – I was really glad we had one because I wasn’t able to talk to everyone during the wedding.  


Post # 7
3936 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

A few things that some people do to make it easier for Out of Town guests are have a welcome dinner or event, a post-wedding brunch, a shuttle to and from your event from the hotel(s), welcome bags with snacks / water / etc….. all optional. 

Post # 8
65 posts
Worker bee

Anything other than the wedding is optional, but would be nice to include some extras.  I would definitely do welcome bags (can include local brochures that you can get for free at hotel lobbies or an information center with activities your guests may enjoy.)  Brunch for day after wedding is nice too.

We are having a rehearsal dinner that is invite only, but then inviting Out of Town guests to the venue for “welcome cocktails” after we finish eating, since it is accross the street from the hotel they are staying at.  I’ve been to other weddings where people say to meet at a certain bar or restaurant the night or two nights before the wedding.  Nobody expects the bride and groom to pay for this, but it is a way to gather people together for a fun night.

Post # 9
224 posts
Helper bee

Most of our guests will be Out of Town. We have a lot of friends that live out of state and most of my extended family is a 4 hour drive away. We are planning on doing welcome bags and hosting everyone at a Welcome Dinner (vs just a rehearsal dinner). We are also doing Welcome Drinks at the Inn most people are staying at (and the wedding is at) but people will be on their own to purchase drinks there. Breakfast luckily is included at the Inn so we will be able to have breakfast with everyone without having to pay for a separate event. 

Post # 10
1510 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

When it comes down to it, you’re inviting people to a party. Whether they live in town or not, it’s the party you’re hostinb- not a weekend getaway!

Any extra events are completely optional. Some of them might be appreciated, but if they aren’t in your budget, don’t sweat it.

I invited a lot of out of town guests to my wedding. We aren’t having any extra events. Many of my friends have asked for restaurant recommendations while they are in town and my Future Mother-In-Law made a reservation for her close friends at a brunch spot for Sunday. Everyone is making plans for themselves during the time they’ll be in town. I’ve done the same when I’ve traveled for weddings. It’s always just fine.

Post # 11
6257 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
airoplane :  Honestly if you have your wedding in philly, odds are your guest list will cut itself in half. People will be excited right now, then they will start tallying up flights, airport parking, meals, hotels and many will fund it’s just not feasible. As nice as living in a new place can be, if all your guests are on the west coast, you are better off having your wedding there as well. 

That said, none of the things you read about are necessary, they are just considerate. We had guests from both coasts and held our wedding 3 hours from our own home in the southwest. We invited everyone to the rehearsal dinner, had brunch the day after the wedding, made welcome bags and paid for some VIP rooms. Because our event was quite casual and we self catered, that didn’t put us out much more than 1000, if that.  But, more distant relatives (and some I thought were closer!) and people who were once good friends but starting to drift did not choose to attend… not even the one who called me making plans the moment the save the date arrived. We invited about 70 and only 34 came. 

My suggestion is that you get a planner or a trusted relative to help if your guests attending is priority #1 and have the wedding in California. 

Post # 12
2023 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

We are having our wedding where we’ve lived for the last 10-15 years and still live, but there will be a good amount of Out of Town guests since we are inviting friends from different eras of our lives. This is perfectly expected and normal. We are hosting a welcome party the day before and brunch the day after– I wanted to make it worth the while of people who are flying in. We are also providing Uber/Lyft from hotel to venue if desired (one of our hotel blocks is next door to the venue and the other one is 4 blocks away, so some people may choose to walk, especially if it’s a nice day. If not, we are happy to pick up transportation costs), and doing welcome bags to be distributed at the hotels. I wouldn’t host anything you aren’t going to pay for. I would be taken aback if someone had a brunch the day after and then a check came to our table.

We have a website that details things to do in our city and some of our favorite activities and restaurants for out of towners. At least two of my friends are coming a few days early and leaving a few days after the Saturday wedding and want to spend time sightseeing, so I included some suggested activities in case people want to explore on their own. We are also thinking of hosting a late-night after-party either in the hotel bar of the Ritz where we are staying or in our suite, so that those who still want to party can have a place to hang out. We’ve requested no gifts on our website. I am very grateful for anyone that would spend time and money to attend our wedding, so want to make it as enjoyable and easy for them as possible.


Post # 14
595 posts
Busy bee

I think having it where you live now is a great idea! And as a guest I wouldn’t expect any of the stuff you mentioned if I was flying in from out of town. So anything you do will be an added bonus, not an expected thing. 

Post # 15
6257 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
airoplane :  I went to my cousin’s wedding in Texas and while they had pre-wedding events in a ‘join us for dinner at this great spot’ way, it was clear it was on our own dime, just a chance to spend time together. That could be something to consider. They did have a Day after brunch but his parents covered that. Their welcome bag was a small packet to cook with: homemade bbq rub and guacamole seasoning. Loved it all.

You don’t have to go to huge expense. A local philly treat and bottle of water plus a tour map would be awesome. Pretzel? Jim’s cheesesteak coupon on south street? Fortune cookies from the factory in Chinatown? Non perishable cheese from the Italian market? Almost makes me miss the two years I was in school there!

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