(Closed) Guilt over asking guests to travel?

posted 4 years ago in Guests
Post # 2
9443 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

I didn’t feel any guilt about asking guests to travel. Our guest list was about 90% people from out of town (minimum of an 8 hour drive). There’s no where we could have picked that would have been local for even half our guests. So we picked the location that made us happy. 

An invite isn’t a summons. Nobody has to come if they don’t want to travel. If there are VIPs who would struggle to afford coming you could offer to help pay for a hotel but I honestly think it would be ridiculous and expensive to try to offset all of your guests costs and most people probably wouldn’t take you up on it anyway. Plus, you will have enough to plan without trying to figure your guests travel/accommodation.

Post # 3
197 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Agree with PP. They’ll have to travel anyway! You will receive some “no’s” from people who can’t afford it or don’t want to travl, and that’s fine. Just make sure to treat your guests well and make their night memorable!

Post # 4
7806 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I do a bit, but our domestic Destination Wedding is a compromise for our families – his wanted to be in the carribean ($$$) and mine are happy anywhere. So a domestic Destination Wedding was a good choice. Driveable for most, but still needs a hotel room, still different than our hometown.

Keep in mind that an invite isnt a summons and they can always say no. As long as you dont try to guilt them into COMING they are adults and can make their own travel decisions.

One thing to note – since I know how much effort people are making to attend, I’m trying to make the extra effort on my end to make sure its a good time for them. IE Open bar, transportation covered.

Post # 5
30391 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

It sounds like your friends and family would have to travel no matter where you held the wedding. so don’t feel guilty about having it in Colorado.

Post # 6
8602 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

If they don’t want to go they won’t! You’re not *making* anyone do anything. Obviously just be understanding if people can’t make the trip. And I agree with pp- be a generous host. 

I’m flying from the east coast to a bffs wedding in CO this fall and I’m so excited for an excuse to go there! I will say though…. it is much much cheaper to fly to Denver than into Durango. If you’re just picking somewhere in CO I would do Estes or something 

Post # 7
3149 posts
Sugar bee

Other than three people, everyone who attended our wedding had to travel. No one was worried about it. We had people come over from Europe. It wouldn’t have mattered where we got married, 50% would have had to travel anyway, so this way neither side could say we were making them travel over the others. Worked out, and no one has said anything negative.

Post # 8
940 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

We had the same issue with guests needing to travel from all over—we were living in NYC, my immediate family was in Toronto, DH’s immediate family was near DC, DH’s friends were in SF. So we got married in Florida. I consoled myself with the thought that the much cheaper Florida hotel (compared to Manhattan) offset some of their travel costs and allowed everyone to stay together in the same hotel within walking distance of the ceremony site and the airport. And we did make sure to choose a place that was reasonable in terms of travel time and cost—we had originally considered Hawaii but scrapped that as soon as we looked at the flights.

Basically there are pros and cons to any location, so you just have to focus on the pros.

Post # 9
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

If they want to be there they will find a way to come. At first I felt a bit guilty I think it’s only natural but it’s your wedding and in your situation it’s one that will have to happen.

Post # 10
468 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

View original reply
natrizk :  You shouldn’t feel bad, traveling for a wedding is pretty common. Just be understanding with those who can’t make the trip. Also, be prepared for last minute cancellations. 


Post # 11
1741 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

I feel a bit guilty for making people fly intercontinentally and flights are probably in the region of 1000USD. But this is where I live and where my Fiance is from and visa wise we don’t have much choice.

In the end, those who can and want to will come, other won’t,  that’s life.

Post # 12
6216 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
natrizk :  Woot, Durango!  Get married on the train smile  We were in a very similar situation – husband’s family from CA, mine from DE.  We got married in Moab and decided that it was more fair than going to one coast and costing only one family real money.  There’s no winning in this situation and your guests understand that unless they’re super illogical.  Only about half our invited guests actually attended, so be prepared for that (even from the excited ones), but at least Durango has an airport, a perk Moab can’t offer.

We also just recently stayed in a cute little place in Hermosa that holds up to 10 guests (4 beds and a pullout couch) and was far cheaper than staying at a hotel.  There are a lot more on offer as well, cheaper if you look just outside of Durango or don’t care if it’s a townhouse.  Definitely look into those options if you can.  Like you are thinking, we tried to mitigate some of the expenses by renting cabins for several of our guests for a couple of days.

Post # 13
612 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

Girl, I feel you. My family is scattered across 3 countries and his are all in New Zealand… there was no way to make everyone happy. We actually settled on a Colorado wedding as well!

We thought about eloping just to avoid the drama of people being unhappy with where the wedding was being held. But ultimately we realized that there were many people who wanted to share this day with us and we wanted to give them the opportunity to come if they can. I still feel guilty, but I’m trying to alleviate some of that by making it clear to our guest that while we would love to have them there, we understand if they can’t make it. We haven’t sent invites out yet but we expect a high decline rate – and that’s okay!

Good luck with your big day! Post pictures when you’re through – I LOVE Durango!!

Post # 14
2130 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

View original reply
natrizk :  I think it’s a really normal well-intentioned concerned, but honestly you shouldn’t feel bad for making a choice like this for yourself.


When both the bride and groom have family spread all over the place, having a wedding in a neutral location is oten the most sensible option. I think doing it somewhere that has emotional importance to the two of you is very sweet and a lovely idea.

Ultimately, no matter what you decide to do, there will be folks who won’t be able to make it. As long as the two of you are there, erveyone else is just bonus. The people who care the most will do whatever it takes to make it and anyone who would resent you for making plans that work best for you is missing something important.

I’m having a destination wedding, myself. I know that doing so limits the possible guest list. Not only because not everyone will be able to take the time or money, but not everyone has a passport. However, for those that DO come, I am looking forward to having an amazingly intimate experience with the people I love most. Sort of like a slumber-party-in-paradise where we also get married.

I’ve mentioned that this is my plan to give people plenty of lead time to plan. We are also renting an air-b-n-b for those guests who may be cost conscious to help defray the expenses a bit. On the whole, the response we’re hearing is that people are super excited to have an excuse to go on a trip somewhere beautiful, and they’re touched to be included. Those who can’t make it are excited for us, and a few have offered to host us for a visit after the honeymoon. 

Just remember, people understand this is a day about you and your future husband. Most of them will be excited to get to have an adventure together with you, and there are other ways to celebrate with people who might not be able to make it. Just focus on what makes sense for you, and everything else will work itself out.






Post # 15
11 posts

View original reply
natrizk :  we are in the same boat with family on both sides either living abroad or needing to travel >100miles.Most of his family and friends are in North America and even my family are scattered in the same country. We ended up choosing somewhere near to us which was easily accessible for the majority of people.  We know some people won’t make it but for those who can’t,  we will do something with then to celebrate at another time eg have a celebratory BBQ. We don’t especially feel guilty now as we have to make a decision about where we get married and can only choose one location, but I can understand why you may feel guilty. We decided not to go with our first choice venue because of that. 

Some people I know had two weddings, one in each location to satisfy both sides. We are self funding and feel that is more money than we are willing to spend for our wedding,  when we can have an amazing honeymoon instead and use that money to be able to visit people instead 

The wedding, at the end of the day, is about you making a commitment to each other. Those who can make it will and those who can’t should accept your decision – as I said this is your day and when you have such scattered friends and family, it is impossible to satisfy everyone 100%. Accepting that is the most important thing. As for paying costs, you are no doubt already paying for food etc. Say this were a party, most people would not even dream of paying for their guests to get there ( bar maybe extremely close friends or close family)-  a wedding is no different! It may be worth looking into if any local hotels have preferential rates and suggest these. 

Hope this helps! 

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