(Closed) Guests want to stay in our house/camp in yard on wedding night

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 31
6835 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

Hmm I’ve definitely camped at people’s houses all the time after parties, weddings included. So I don’t think it’s that crazy. I’m always reallllly bummed when there’s a wedding out of town and we all have to plan on a DD.

Can you arrange a shuttle for people? Our wedding was 15 minutes out of town and we had a shuttle running every hour so that people could just relax and not feel slightly resentful of us.

Post # 32
13967 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Look up “social host liability” in your state.  Though laws do vary, there is a good chance that your adult guests assume the risk for their own behavior.   In my state it is the licensed alcohol vendor who bears the risk, not the party host. Some states impose liability only on hosts who serve underage drinkers and some only to those injured on the property. 

It is completely outrageous that your guests are asking you to be their free hotel on your wedding night.  A shuttle is a nice thing to do if you know you have a drinking crowd, but it is not your obligation. It is the responsibility of your adult guests not to drink too much, to call a cab, or designate a driver. 

Open bars can close well before the end of an affair, too. 

Post # 33
53 posts
Worker bee

I believe the culture is a bit different in rural areas and there it is not rude to ask if they can stay the night. I also believe it is a misconception that this day is all about the bride and groom, the reality is that this is the day of being accepted into a new family with the focus on the family. You don’t want to piss them off and start this new relationship with people talking behind your back for years – it really isn’t worth it, even if it is your wedding night! Your way of doing things will not be understood among them and you will be the minority, ie no way to win this battle.

if it really is that important to you to have peace and quiet for the wedding night then it would be easier to rent a hotel room for yourselves and leave the house to the guests. It might also help you to relax better because you don’t have to deal with guests who don’t want to leave etc. I actually think it would end up being more stressful staying in the house whether you allow the guests to stay or not. By the time you do get all the drunken people out you will be too frustrated to enjoy the night further. Having a hotel room on the other hand means you can leave at your own convenience and still be up for some fun.

Post # 34
53 posts
Worker bee

Just to recap, my point is that in the end this is not about what the “etiquette says”, rural places have their own customs. Your aim here should be to get through the evening so that both your guests and you will have good memories of it. staying in the house and having to deal with getting rid of drunken guests is first of all unlikely to be successful, tiring, frustrating. the next day you will be upset with the whole of the family for ruining your wedding night and they will be upset with you for ruining their fun. Shuttles won’t help necessarily, you will always have some guests at a rural wedding that are passed out by that time – you don’t want to deal with that, just let them sleep it out. And yeah, get a hotel room for your own peace of mind!

Post # 35
13967 posts
Honey Beekeeper

 These people will be all of 20 minutes away from home or a hotel. They aren’t exactly in Siberia. People can be claim the advance right to fall into drunken stupors all they like, but it doesn’t make it any more acceptable. Here’s a novel thought. Maybe if  these people know ahead of time that they are going to have to drive or not be passing out on people’s grass, they won’t drink much.

And if  their alcoholism is so bad that suggestions of taxis, designated drivers or shuttle buses aren’t good enough, then  maybe  they shouldn’t attend at all. 

Post # 36
2010 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

20 minutes is absolutely NO distance!

I live in a rural area and that’s just the everyday distance to our nearest town. if we have gatherings of people over then they sort their own transport out. It’s never seemed to cause a problem even if some people do have to desist from drinking and driving. If necessary, cabs get ordered.

I can quite understand why you don’t want a backyard full of merry revellers partying on all night after your wedding and that’s exactly what will happen if you open your yard to campers. Sure, any other night would be great but not after your wedding. I’d also strongly resist any suggestion that you go to a hotel and leave people partying on back at your house. No way! The carnage you return to could be epic!

Instead, I suggest you offer transport back into town. That way you can bring your reception to an end at a time that suits you too. My son held his wedding reception at his local village hall which is set in lovely countryside about 15 minutes from town last September. DH and I paid for a bus to take everyone back to town and it worked beautifully. One big advantage being, as I said earlier, that the timing of the last bus back means that you get to decide when to wind the party up and aren’t chasing stragglers out until sunrise!

Post # 37
12340 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

My friend actually planned this to allow people to continue to party and have fun.  We camped out in his yard along with 20 or so others and had a blast.  Personally, I’d have no problem doing this either, it sounds like fun to me.  I get the rest of my life to have special alone nights with my husband, how many times can I have a fantasitic party and have everyone camped out on my yard.

Post # 39
1158 posts
Bumble bee

20 minutes is nothing. In our city, it will take our guests anywhere from 15-45 minutes to get home after our wedding, because it is being held downtoan and some people live in the suburbs! They have to be responsible for themselves. DD, cab, book a room at the hotel next door etc. It is not your responsibility to provide anything for them. It would be a nice gesture if you hired a school bus shuttle to come at three different times- 11pm/12am/1am it would be appreciated. However, where you get the bus to then drop people off in the city, they will still need to cab home from.

Post # 40
691 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Ok. I thought about it, and I change my advice:

While you don’t NEED to feel obligated to supply care for adults who can problem solve on their own, a hospitable choice could be to open up your home/yard to guests who need a place to stay over. Make sure you have someone you trust there to hold down the fort like your mom, best friend, aunt etc.

As bride and bride and groom treat yourself to an overnight at nice hotel away from the mass of guests for some privacy that night. Then you only need to worry about your own transportation, and could even potentially get a cool getaway vehical if you wanted as some taxi services have some fun options.

Post # 43
42 posts
  • Wedding: August 2019 - City, State


sarah74:  My wedding was just this last weekend 🙂 and we ran into alot of the same issues. 1. Get a certified Bartender, that way the liability of overserving is on them and not on you/your property (we were using a family friends property for the reception and did not want the liability to fall on them). 2. We borrowed a suburan and asked a responsible party to DD for the night starting about 9. Our reception was out in the boondocks and its a 20-30 minute drive into town. We annouced that people either drink responsibly or utilize the DD. 3. My Fiance graciously opened up our home to his out of town buddies (which I was eventually okay with) becase they paid a ton just to get here (to MT) from all over the US, and they were staying for about a week (first time I met them because of the distance), so I booked a night at one of the nicest hotels in our town for just me and my husband for the night. Granted we trusted these friends not to do anything to our house 🙂 Good luck but stick to your guns if staying at your house is what you and your husband want to do.

Post # 44
19 posts

View original reply
sarah74:  That’s why they may have been surprised they can’t stay on your wedding night. As much as I think you should keep your house open, they shouldn’t have played the passive aggressive card. I just think this should have been a consideratation when the wedding was being planned. It might work out to be a lot of fun & you have a life time with your new husband.

Post # 45
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

When is your wedding?  Depending on how changeable your plans are at this point, I would think about these options:


– Find a local park where you can cheaply rent a pavilion for a reception.  This would also hopefully prevent people from getting too drunk in public.  Even if you’ve already sent invites, you could update people about a venue change.

Do you have any non-drinking friends or relatives you could hire as the DD?  (I’m leery of this too though, seems like you or they might face liability if anything happened)


– Could you enlist a trusted friend or family member to “babysit” the house if you did escape to a hotel?


Honestly, if you don’t trust people not to trash the house without you if you got a hotel room, I would really consider having a dry wedding.  Or at least having a ceremony and simple, dry reception on your wedding day itself,  and then have a blowout party a week later when you won’t care if people crash.  If most of your guests live pretty close that wouldn’t be a big deal.


I do, also, think it’s perfectly appropriate for you to say “we are going to be having some loud, crazy sex on our WEDDING NIGHT, so no you can’t stay in our house/yard”.  Sheesh.  

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