Post # 1
This is my first post as we’ve just set our date! May 4th 2013!! I’m really excited but I wanted some input on venues.
Our ceremony will be at St. Matthews cathedral in D.C. in the morning. We are currently looking for a venue but I wanted to know how far is too far to make guests go for the reception from D.C.? Almost all of our family will come from Northern VA. Is making them go up to D.C. for the ceremony and then back down to fairfax, tysons, or woodbridge too much to ask?
There will be a big gap of time in between the ceremony and reception. So could I even do Maryland?
Thanks for all your help and opinions!!
Post # 3
Roughly how many minutes apart are the venue and church?
Post # 4
I wouldn’t go further than Woodbridge in you go into Virginia, probbaly no further than PG County for Maryland. I think anything over a ~30 minute drive is too much, personally, but you can get to Woodbridge in 30 minutes even with some traffic.
Post # 5
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
If most of your guests are coming from VA, I’d have the reception closer to home for them– that way they’re not making the longest drive at the end of the night. I woudl reccomend no more than a 30 min drive between the two though– also, since it sounds like your event wont be “local” for many of your guests you don’t want to have too long of a gap with nothing for them to do between the ceremony & reception because they’ll get bored and want to go home instead.
Another option would be to do a smaller/more intimate ceremony guest list, then invite everyone else to just the reception part.
Post # 6
I think it depends on your guestlist. people with small children, older relitives and those who do not have reliable transportation would probably find it a huge hinderance to travel more than a 20 or so minuet drive. I was recently at a wedding that was a 35 minuet drive away from the church, it was beautiful, but it was a huge hassle for many of the guests who had to keep a child quiet, get them back in the car for another half hour etc. I am not a parent, we were fine, but it is something to consider. Is there a way to get your venue closer to where they are staying? on the way home prehaps?
Post # 7
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
If you keep the drive time between venue/ceremony less than an hour, you should be okay-most people living in NOVA are used to long commutes. Half an hour would be better, though.
How long of a gap are you talking about? If you had a 10am ceremony, and a 5pm reception, most guests would go home/do other things in between. The farther out from DC you get, the better venue pricing you’ll probably get- friends of mine from Arlington got married in Bel Air, Md. since it was a third of the price.
Post # 8
Thank you for all the great feedback!
We are looking at venues more in Northern VA right now. I still haven’t nulled out D.C. yet it’s just a little pricey for 150-175 people. I wanted to know what options I could wiggle out so that guests aren’t too inconvenienced.
The ceremony is at 10 am. We were looking for a 5pm start time so we are hoping people wouldn’t mind going about their day after the ceremony. I actually wouldn’t mind if some family only came to the reception. I know 10am is a little tough for a saturday morning. We don’t have too many small children in the family, max 5 kids, so I don’t think it’d be a terrible inconvenience would it?
I just want to know whats reasonable so I can start narrowing down my venue search…
Post # 9
I wouldn’t want to drive more than half an hour to a reception.
Post # 10
@serendipitywedding2014: Could you arrange for a tour of DC during the afternoon so that guests have something to do? I think you can reserve those tourist buses for a large group of people.
If you don’t mind, why 10am? That seems super early to me unless you’re wanting a brunch reception (which you’re not, right?).
Post # 11
@Zouave thats a wonderful idea! I’m definately going to look into it.
As far as the time goes it’s all the church had available. It was either 10am or 7pm which is waaay too late for what we’re looking to do. It’s definately going to have to be an allllll day event.