Post # 1
First a little disclaimer- we are not “officially” engaged yet but will be within the month and are looking at a short engagement, so we need to get cracking on the wedding ideas…
We have discussed a few locations, it is a really complicated scenario. No matter where we have it, the maximum amount of guests that live in any single area is about 5. so, its a “destination” wedding no matter where we have it.
I am curious if other people have dealt with this. In a lot of these threads, i notice people have to choose between their dream wedding in an exotic location, or having an “at home” traditional wedding. The latter is not an option in my case. I still sympathize with them, dont get me wrong… but I feel sort of “forced” into having a destination wedding if that makes sense?
There are obviously places that are slightly more convenient… we are considering nyc because a lot of my family/friends could get to it by car, and its near a major airport, and even though its an expensive city, there are a range of hotel options. it is probably the most feasible location, otherwise the travel would be even more complicated and it means an even greater number of people that will not only have to travel but travel by plane. I am worried that this means less of my SO’s guests will be able to make it, but since his are even more spread out than mine… there’s nothing we can really do to help make it easier for his side.
Its hard to feel like you are putting people under the burden of travelling and making it worth their trip… whne you really dont have ANY other choice! i am not picking a location to be exotic… i just don’t know what to do.
Just would love to hear from some other people in the same boat, and what they decided in the end. Maybe ended up on the elopement boards? 😉
Post # 3
We ended up in the elopement boards. We are currently long distance and our family is in completely different locations all together. Neither of us handle stress very well so rather than try to work things out from x00 miles away, we opted to elope in the Caribbean. I am so happy with our decision! I know it’s not for everyone but with all of the complications that we would have had planning a formal/’normal’ wedding, eloping ended up being the best choice for us. Good luck with your planning!
Post # 4
@SimpleGifts: Thanks for your reply. it does seem like a good solution in many ways. How did your families take the news?
Post # 5
We’re in the same boat! I’m from Alberta, Canada; he’s from California, and we live in North Dakota. We’re the only ones who live in North Dakota, aside from our friends we met in university.
We’re still debating specifics, but we’re thinking about doing it at a bigger city then the one we live in, about an hour south of us, just due to how hard it is to travel into the city we live in. We know we’re not going to have a huge wedding, and we’ve accepted it, because our older family members can’t travel here, and it’s going to be an expensive trip for most of our family members.
We debated getting married in Vegas or Colorado, somewhere that is easy to get to from both our home cities, but honestly, we want to get married where WE started. Which is North Dakota. We’re having our ceremony and reception in either August or September, and then we;re going to be hosting two celebrations in our home towns. We’ll be showing video footage, and photographs from our wedding, but it’s mostly just a celebration of our marraige- we won’t be doing our vows again or anything, and we are not asking for gifts. It’s just a party to celebrate with those who can’t make it to our wedding. It’s more expensive for us, but by doing the wedding in North Dakota, its going to be cheap, and we have enough money left over to host the parties without a problem. We decided that our wedding is a celebration for us, and while it sucks that there won’t be a ton of people to celebrate with us, we’re doing our best to make it possible to spend time with our loved ones during this celebration.
Post # 6
- Wedding: May 2013 - Walt Disney World
I totally understand you! Most of my family (immediate family, anyway) lives in FL and FI’s family lives in MI. We are both military and most of our friends are scattered all over the place. We live in VA and he is currently deployed (and I don’t have any friends or family that live near me). It seemed like anywhere we looked at having the wedding would require lots of travel for both sides. Of course, I would rather have my wedding in FL than in MI because my sisters are my BMs and they have little girls and can’t afford to travel all over the place for wedding stuff. We were visiting my family shortly after the proposal and decided to hit up Disney and get some information. I fell in love with it and Fiance said that would probably be the best place to get married (especially since I would have Disney’s planners to help me while he is gone). Yes, his family will have to do more travelling than my side of the guest list, but he is going to pay for his parents and sister to come down for the wedding (they are really the only guests that are musts on his side of the list). We gave all guests advance notice to save money for the trip if they are going to try and make it. So, I see it as a Destination Wedding of sorts, since it is a vacation locale.
Post # 7
@Waitingtoexhale: My family was all for it. I talked to them prior to Fiance and I having a completely serious discussion about. We had briefly mentioned it and while I was visiting with my family I asked them what they would think. I think that they appreciated that I asked their opinion and they understood why the option appealed to us so much (they know how not well I handle stress ;). Fiance still hasn’t told his family (we’re not going until June), but I expect they’ll take it pretty well, too. My grandma was the one that I really expected to put up a fight (ironically enough since her and my grandfarther eloped), but she is the most gung ho out of all the family members. I think it also helps that we’re both 27 and we’ve been together so long that it realy feels like a formality at this point.
Post # 8
Oh, we just had to decide this. We live in PA now, but My family is from the Midwest and my fiancee’s are from Florida, so even if we had picked a “home state” we’d be making one family travel a huge distance…. that didn’t seem fair. Also most of our friends are spread throughout the country too.
Further complicating things is that we’re a same-sex couple, and none of those states would recognize our marriage. So we’re having our wedding in upstate New York, even though we have no family or friend ties to that area, just because it’s the closest state we can get legally married in. We figured it’s only fair to make EVERYONE travel 🙂
We thought about doing a Niagara Falls wedding, but it was pretty pricey, but the place we picked is close enough that people can do a little sightseeing weekend there. So I would suggest picking a place that’s near some other touristy things people can do.
Another option would be to have a very small ceremony, or elope, and have two reception-style parties in your home locations, so more of your family can come. A couple of my friends have done this.
Post # 9
Thanks ladies! It really is a debacle with no easy answer.
@cirk: That is a good solution. i thought about having a couple of celebrations, but in our case a lot of people would STILL have to travel just to get to the celebrations… unless we had like four of them. haha. so it still seems better to just have one big thing (in my case).
@prisigtr: i think you are on to something, at some point you just pick the location that makes the most sense and let the chips fall where they may. there really is no other option.
another concern, since SOO many are travelling, i am having a hard time estimating how many will end up attending. dont want to book a place and end up wasting money to get to the minimum. from what i am readong on here a lot of people start dropping out when travel is involved, even after they have RSVP’ed.
Post # 10
Oh yes… This is what we’re going through too.
I’m from NYC and all my family is there, FH is from Minneapolis – a very small amout of his family is here. We met in Southern California, he lived there for 12 yrs, I lived there for 3… We had just moved from Beverly Hills to Minneapolis three weeks before we got engaged.
I literally cried over where to have the wedding. Throw on top of this that FH’s dad has cancer and can’t travel (that’s why we moved here). So first it was NYC but that went out the window, then it was here for ease of planning but I hated every single venue I visited… So we decided on Southern California, the weather has a 90% chance of being perfect and people can make a vacation out of it. Plus, it’s where we fell in love…The venue we have chosen (but are not able to book until January) comes complete with planners and coordinators – something I was not able to swing in NYC- so I feel more comfortable planning from far away.
It’s not an easy situation to be in… Especially guest-imating- I want to throw a tantrum every time my parents say “they probably won’t come bcs it’s too far”! Boo!
Post # 11
@maplemag: Wow, you sound as spread out as we are. I knew i could not be alone in this so i’m so glad i posted this!
we are currently in LA… he has lived here for the past twenty years… but only has a handful of close friends, no family here. his family is small and spread through midwest. i have some family in pennsylvania, a few close friends in virginia… and a few in nyc. if you wrote up the guest list and did it by who had to travel the least distance, nyc is the easiest distance for the greatest number of guests. there is NOWHERE that is obvious or truly easy though.
the economy being what it is, i feel like no one really has the money to do anything these days. it seems anything you ask, is too much, which is frustrating, and then you feel guilty for being frustrated!
i like the phrase guest-imating– thats funny!! it is really really hard.
i head east at thanksgiving to work, i will be in LA till then, if you need a photo of anything let me know i am unemployed for two and a half more weeks!!
Post # 12
@batbrain: it sucks to have legal issues even further limiting your options. on the bright side there are so many places in upstate new york that are charming and make great wedding venues… let us know where you decide!
Post # 13
@Waitingtoexhale: I know what you mean! No where is good for us either but the reality is it’s our wedding, so we will have it where we want! We’re looking at Disneyland- if there’s anyone I trust to execute a wedding, it’s Disney.
My advice would be- give people lots of time so they know they’ll need to travel and make sure you like the venue before you book. I was close to booking a venue here and then started feeling resentful that I had to sacrifice my wedding for others. May sound selfish but it’s our wedding. To compromise we are doing a small ceremony for FH’s parents who can’t travel.
I’m glad you posted too! I was so consumed by these issues when I first got engaged that I wasn’t able to enjoy my engagement! So glad to know there are others in the same situation! I can’t wait to hear what you end up doing!
Post # 14
Where you do live? Are there any cities that mean something to you? A place you once took a trip? A place where you met? Where you went to college?
We were in the same situation. We live in California but our families are spread out all over the US. It would be destination for 99% of our guests no matter what. So we decided on Savannah, GA where we went to college. It means something to us, its a beautiful place and offered different travel options for most of our guests (drive or fly).
Just do what feels right for you and your Fiance. You can’t please everyone.
Post # 15
Same boat for me too. We live in Los Angeles, CA, my whole family lives in NC, except my parents who live in FL, and a few of our wedding party from both sides happened to have moved to NY… FI’s family lives in San Diego and San Francisco (which if you don’t know are about 8 hrs drive apart ). And then all of my college friends are here in LA. There was no way for us to have a wedding that wouldn’t require 80% of people to be traveling several hours.
I had initially wanted to just do something small somewhere exotic, but Fiance has a huge family and it was much more important to him than to me that everyone be able to get there by car since their side has less “expendable income” overall. Somewhat on principle I didn’t feel right about having it in his hometown so allll of his people could come since my family is paying for the whole thing and no east coasters have the option of driving, so we chose to have it in Carmel – which is central california where no one lives… but there is an airport and it is driveable and there are many hotels because it is kind of a vacation town.
This works best for us because my guests from the east coast have an airport to fly into, and a destination can double as a “vacation” for all their trouble (resorts and wineries and things nearby), and his guests can drive in cheaply and stay somewhere affordable. This also from a financial perspective evens our likely guest list out a bit more, and maybe overall we will have less guests than if it had been in southern california, but this was the best choice for us all things considered.
Post # 16
We were in a similar situation, where our families and closest friends are pretty much scattered across the country.
We live in LA, and only about 8 out of 60 people on our guest list, did too. Everyone else was out of state. We didn’t really give it much thought, knowing we wanted to have the wedding in California. We settled on Santa Barbara b/c Darling Husband and love it there (so that meant everyone, including ourselves, would have to travel) and were very blessed that 51 of our closest family and friends were there to celebrate with us.
OP – No matter what place you choose, if it requires traveling, you’ll almost always lose some guests for understandable reasons, but those who love and support you will make their best efforts to be there on your big day, so choose the location based on what feels will be the best for your situation and one that you/your FI’s have envisioned for your wedding. Best of luck!