Is it rude to ask who will actually travel for my wedding?

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 16
40 posts

I’m having a church wedding in asia and a Chinese wedding in NYC (FI lives in Seattle while I live in Vancouver, Canada).The blunt me has asked friends if they are willing to travel and which wedding they want to go to. Some flat out said they can’t come, some said they’re going to one, and others said they’re travelling to both.

We are having a 2 year engagement and Save-The-Date Cards would not get sent out until a year before the wedding dates. My asking is just to get a rough estimate of the guest list for the venues. I still plan to send these people invites regardless of their initial answer to my question since they may change their minds when RSVPing. I did tell them explicitly that I am not obligating them to attend whatsoever and I certainly wouldn’t be offended if they can’t make it.

Post # 17
1552 posts
Bumble bee

I actually disagree with people here. I live abroad from my home country and have no problem with people contacting me in advance to ask me if I am able to travel back (honestly my answer is usually no I cant, and I understand why they need to know that asap). Yes traditional etiquette says you can only find out by invite, but we live in a world of the internet now and not everything has to be done by official post. If they are close friends I dont see the harm in talking about your wedding planning with them and casually mentioning the travel and whether that will be difficult for them. My friend asked me about 6 times before invites went out whether I would be able to fly for her wedding, I saw no problem with it, she was just checking because she had a number of people coming from abroad and needed to know if her venue was too big (if no one could fly in). 

Post # 18
3560 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Yes, you can – it’s called an invitation.

Post # 19
497 posts
Helper bee

I went to Scotland for a wedding.

Post # 20
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

I think a lot of it also kind of depends on you and your friends’ demographics, if you don’t come from a place where its super important to have lavish things, I think its totally finae to ask beforehand. My SO and I had friends get married last year and wanted to do it somewhere semi-destination very special place to the bride, not all of our social group had means to travel that far so she reached out in a general manner through social media , something along the lines of ‘just to help inform our planning process, if we had the wedding x place how many of you would be actually interested or able to travel’. Personally I would rather a few people be miffed than waste the money on invitations

Post # 21
473 posts
Helper bee

I just talked to my friends who would have to travel. The answers here sort of suggest people dont talk to their friends much which I find strange. I told my out of town friends that I would love for them to come to my wedding, and gave them the dates, mostly because I wanted to give them some time to be able to make arrangements (I didnt send save the dates), and because if they told me there was no way they would be able to come its a bit pointless sending an invitation. They all indicated they would try to make it, so I sent them all invitations. One wasnt able to attend. None of it was a bit deal. I probably should have asked my brother if he would come before I bothered sending him an invitation – I would have felt far less upset at his flat refusal with no explanation.

Post # 22
12111 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

Invite someone graciously or not at all. 

Post # 23
155 posts
Blushing bee

Kassandra Nicole Claborn :  I was in your shoes and asked ahead. The people we wanted to invite were more than the venue we wanted to book could fit by 20%; if everyone had said yes we would have booked different venue but didn’t want to settle if guests knew they won’t make it (and wedding was in 4 months so a lot of good venues were booked up). All my side needs to travel and is only friends and close family; I was comfortable asking whether they think they’d make it. This allowed us to book the venue and move forward with it not the right etiquette – probably; but it was right for us. If you feel comfortable and these people are close, I’d say ask them. 

Post # 24
299 posts
Helper bee

If you do ask at least be careful in how you ask.   As soon as someone says “I understand you might not be able to make it because of xyz” I take that as a hint that they don’t really want me there.   

Post # 25
3311 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

This is why you mail invites and STD

Post # 26
1149 posts
Bumble bee

If you’re in a situation like me, where it’s going to be a destination for half of your wedding either way (SO’s family and mine live in different countries), I would ask your closest friends and family and gauge from there when the best date to set your wedding is. If you already set your date though, there’s no point in asking because they’ll either make it or they wont.

Post # 27
6312 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

Kassandra Nicole Claborn :  From experience, expect about 50% of people to several states away for a wedding.  Don’t ask them personally. 

If you have trouble getting RSVPs back or friends seem to be acting weird and dodgy (I got this from our wedding in Maine with most family coming from MN and PA) just ask them if they intend on coming then, and let them know there is no pressure – you just wanted to let them know you would love if they were there, but understand if they couldn’t go for any reason.

Post # 28
112 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

 I actually understand where you’re coming from. We are a younger couple and inviting a lot of former/childhood friends that no longer live in the area. We know a lot of them can’t afford to come to the wedding or take off work/school, but I want them to feel included/honor our past.

For us anyway, it’s less about whether or not they will actually come to the wedding….and more about “will they assume we’re just fishing for gifts by inviting them”?

Post # 29
3455 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Kassandra Nicole Claborn :  Depending on who you’re asking and how, it may not be taken badly by your potential guests. But I’d warn you that this method does not work perfectly. I had one friend send a mass email six months out asking who would come to Alabama for her wedding and I told her that I’d love to, but I couldn’t honestly say at this point and I’d be in a better position to decide when it was closer. I guess that wasn’t good enough for her because she never sent me an invitation. I posted about it here: 

One of my husband’s relatives sent out the STD (with a pre-RSVP) for her super long distance Destination Wedding two whole entire years in advance and said that her rationale was so that we could all plan properly and ensure we’d be there. In reality, her rationale was that she wanted to know how many guests to expect before she booked a venue, etc. We said ok, sure because we had every intention of attending, but well…a lot can change in 2 years and we ended up moving to a new country for work. She took it very personally that we did not arrange our career plans to correspond to her wedding. I posted about that too: 

Post # 30
616 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

Eek! I feel bad for the PP that was expected to stick with plans two years out!

Personally, it would not bother me one bit if someone asked me if I was interested in traveling to their wedding before sending invites. Who cares? To me I would think: my friend is wondering if I can come or not. Nothing more.

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