Expectations from out of town guests?

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 16
5023 posts
Bee Keeper

Are they being extreme about it?  Sure.

But I also think this was a huge oversight on your part in terms of them coming in.  Your wedding is pretty early on Saturday – of course people will be coming in Friday to minimize their time off work.  Are they supposed to get at the airport at 6am and drive immediately to the wedding?  And this is your close family – it isn’t like third cousin once removed Zeke you’ve only met once is demanding to see your house.

I guess I’m not sure what the big deal is about a 35-40 min. drive is though.  I have coworkers who have 45 – 75 minute (one way) commutes to work every day.  I routinely do day trips to visit family 2.5 hours away.  

Tell the afternoon people you can’t hang out all afternoon/night.  Get there at right 3, set up, meet the afternoon folks around 630 at your house and let the evening folks filter in and order in a couple of pizzas and spend a couple hours with your family, head back to the cabin around 830 or 900.  You said you have the entire week off so get all your stuff organized, packed and ready to go so you hit the road at 215 and are as efficient as possible and ready to set up right at check-in.

Post # 17
4222 posts
Honey bee

Often, out of town guests and family are invited to the rehearsal dinnee at a location of rhe couple’s or their parents’ choosing. So “hanging out with the bride” the night before is pretty common, but not at her house (unless that is what she wants). 

OP, I think it would be nice if you host them, but it should be at a location that is convenient for you. Plus, who expects a bride to host people at her house the week of a DIY wedding???

Post # 18
9402 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

yeah sorry they’re being really unreasonable.  almost everyone flew in for our wedding–very few of our friends and none of my side of the family live in Seattle, where we live.  People all understood that they couldn’t dictate when they’d see us: we were busy.

Post # 19
336 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I dealt with a similar situation when I got married. All my guests were from out of town and my Mother-In-Law insisted we entertain them the night before the wedding. To manage expectations we did a cocktail hour open-house style event from 6 – 8 p.m. light snacks and drinks only. Minimal seating. We sent out formal invitations in advance so that everyone knew exactly what to expect. At 7:45 we asked for everyone’s attention, thanked them for coming and wished them safe travels back to their accomodations. From here my husband and I moved to the door so as to wish guests farewell, while a select number of family members/friends began cleaning up food and asking guests if they needed help getting to their cars, directions etc. In the end I was glad we decided to host and everyone had a good time. That said, I’m equally glad that I did things on my own terms and ran an extremely tight ship with very clear boundaries. 

Post # 20
667 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2018 - City, State

Maybe I’m just used to country living but 30mins isn’t much to me, but I completely understand you being stressed doing so much DIY for your wedding vs run around travel any other time… but you seem equally torn about the situation. 

I agree with Bees above, go early and take EVERY THING and check in. set up. Then go back home and relax (this even saves young trip home if anything was forgotten. Relax with family and guests and take later drive over. 

In the morning everything is ready to go set up and getting reading at the cabin. You havent wasted rent fees because you are getting ready there etc Then you can keep your  minimoon too

Post # 21
6982 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

View original reply
otterbee :  OP- you need to set a firm boundary here and joyfully do whatever works for you. Let everyone know what the plan will be and don’t budge. Just let them know what will be happening and don’t entertain any other suggestions.

My mother tried to imply that I was being selfish because I wouldn’t let my grandmother stay at our home before the wedding. She was like “You really wouldn’t allow your grandmother to stay at your house after she’s flying across the country to come to your wedding?” I told her “We don’t have any place to put them (I’m not giving up my bed) and she’s a difficult guest, at best. She has traveled for all of her grandsons’ weddings and was fine staying in a hotel. Now, because I’m her first granddaughter getting married, I’m expected to host, too? No. This is my weekend to celebrate and enjoy myself. I’m not being unreasonable. She cannot stay here.” And my grandmother stayed in a hotel and was perfectly fine with it.

If coming to see your home is an option, of course people are going to want to do that, but if you don’t even provide it as an option, people will work with what is happening.

Post # 23
7634 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

View original reply
otterbee :  That’s a very fair compromise. While I’ve often been hosted the night before I can’t imagine people expecting YOU to host at your home the night before your wedding. 

Check with the venue, perhaps they will let you in a bit earlier.

Post # 25
348 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

Wow. I honestly can’t believe this. It is the night before your wedding. YOu won’t be home. You have already invited them to come hang out with you at the cabin. I cannot believe anyone thinks that is unreasonable. This is not an evening to be worrying about other people. They are making their own arrangements as human adults, I am sure they can look after themselves. 

I will be at the venue the night before with my SO, step children, my parents and his sister. If anyone asked me to change that and be at home for a meet and greet I would not even consider it. Wouldn’t cross my mind – sorry we are not in that night. That’s it. 

As for the irony of your mother calling you selfish… well…. 

Stick to your guns! xx

Post # 26
712 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I feel bad enough texting a bride to be the day before her wedding – never mind insisting on being hosted by her at her house! Going home for 2 hours/losing 3 hours to prep seems very generous to me. My house looked a bit dishevelled when we left for the wedding, the thought of having to tidy up on top of making sure I had everything packed for the wedding (decor, favours etc) and for me (clothes, makeup, hair curlers, PJ’s etc) seems like a lot of unnecessary stress.

Post # 27
2517 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

It’s a place where you live. It sounds like it’s an apartment, so it’s likely not the place you’ll live for the rest of your life, raise future children in, etc. It’s absolutely ridiculous that your mom thought she could guilt trip you with the thought that your grandmother may never see your current living accommodations. You do not owe a tour of your house/apartment to anyone ever. It really rubs me the wrong way how this is always just expected by some people.

Back when my husband and I were dating, I was staying weekends at his place, but my family did not know we were sleeping in the same room. My family and my now in laws all came over to our place, and my in laws repeatedly and loudly insisted on my parents getting a tour. All of my stuff was in the master bedroom, with clothes strewn about too, as we had cleaned the portion of the house where we would be hosting and had closed the bedroom door and immediately begun cooking for that day. It was so awkward when my Father-In-Law then took it upon himself to give my parents a tour of our (then just D.H’s) house. I did not want my dad to see my panties on the floor – I mean, really who does, and I certainly did not want my now Father-In-Law to see them.

Your situation is slightly different, but the truth remains that you have a place to host everyone, and your house is not it. You have a great plan with the cabin, and far too much going on to accommodate all these people traipsing through your house. It’s very gracious of you to even offer to spend the night before your wedding “hanging out” with all of your guests when you have such a big day in the morning. That’s more than enough to be a gracious host to your out of town guests.

Post # 28
13350 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Your original plan was not inconsiderate or rude at all. Hosting out of towners at a rehearsal dinner the night before is generous but has unfortunately become common enough to feel like an entitlement to some guests and an obligation to financially and logistically pressured couples like yourself. It isn’t. 

A 30-40 minute drive for locals is getting toward the upper limits, but not unacceptable. You are a DIY bride, the venue is a bit of a drive, no one ever offered to host a rehearsal dinner or brunch, and guests were invited and replied with the knowledge that they were being invited to a wedding, not a weekend. 

That said, if YOU want to see people, and it’s doable and not too much, that’s your call. But don’t do it because you are being pressured.

Post # 29
2179 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I do believe you should be hosting your out of town guests on the evening before the wedding (or at least hanging out with them if not hosting). I don’t think, however, that they have a right to insist that it be at your house. Your house may very well be a little chaotic at that time because of all the wedding prep, etc., and you are not under any obligation to have them over. We wouldn’t even think of doing that the night before the wedding. Having said that, as a guest, I wouldn’t be too excited to hang out at a cabin all night either. We rented the bar area of a restaurant to host our guests for Friday night. We’re only hanging out with them until about 10 PM or so and then are headed to our hotel and bed. We’re not interested in a late night the day before the wedding, but we are hosting for 4 hours and then they can hang out in one of many bars and restaurants in the area on their own.

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors