- 5 years ago
Hi all. I’m looking for some advice on planning a wedding long-distance vs locally, and all the factors that I might need to consider for each option.
Here’s our story: BF (soon to be FI) is from the east coast, with most of his family spread around Virginia, NJ, and Michigan, and friends all over the country. I am from the west coast, with 80% of my ‘people’ all living in the same part of California. My extended family is from Colombia in south america so the other huge portion of my enormous latin family is there. My family is huge and latin and his is medium-sized and southern. The boy and I have lived in CA for the entirety of our relationship (he moved out there from VA to be with me) so our whole network of mutual friends is in CA, and most of my best friends are here in CA.
We are moving in a few months to North Carolina – close to his family but still relatively new for both of us. We are also getting engaged in a few weeks (I think – if my spidey senses are correct), so we will be planning a wedding as we get settled into our new life in NC. I’ve been thinking a lot about wedding location and wondering what would be best in the long run for the kind of wedding we want to have. Personally, I think California is stunning and its also home, and where he and I have always lived (until very soon) so of course it holds a special place in my heart. There are so many gorgeous wedding venues near where we live and transportation out here is relatively easy as we have a major airport. about 75% of those invited to the wedding are all already here, so it would make it so much easier for them to be able to attend. This is really important to me, as I want to have more rather than less people, and all the ones I love so making it convenient for my guests is important. However, it would mean less of his already smaller family would come, since they’re far away and not all able to travel. It would also make it harder for some of my Colombian family memebers to travel since for them, traveling to the east coast is closer and easier than to get all the way to the west coast. Also, planning a California wedding when we’re living in North Carolina would be difficult I imagine, but I’m not sure just HOW difficult. And lastly – I imagine a california wedding might cost more than one in North Carolina.
The other option would be to plan a wedding somewhere in the south near our new home. It would make it a lot easier on us for planning purposes – visiting venues and vendors, catering, flowers, etc. His small family would have an easier time attending since its closer to them, but all of my family and friends would have to travel really far. My colombian family would be closer, so it may be more accessible for them, but its not guaranteed that any of them could make the journey regardless of location due to cost, old age, work, etc. North Carolina and that general region is also very pretty (just not really ‘my kind of pretty’) and the boy loves it there and its his home, where he feels happiest. He hasn’t always loved CA so I know he would prefer something more familiar and close to his heart. That area may be cheaper too. However traveling to more remote parts of the region might be costly and difficult, whereas traveling to San Francisco is very easy and venues are all in driving distance. We would be able to plan together, but we wouldn’t have the help of my mom (aka the money… and also my co-planner) to make decisions with. He is more traditional and he might like a more southern-style wedding, but I would die before I have a southern wedding. (Its so not my style). So… lots to think about.
In terms of numbers, I’ve done a super rough estimate of people here:
Already in California: ~50-70
Spread all over the country/Will need to travel no matter what: ~30
Already in the south: ~15-20
I would love some advice on what to consider in this scenario, your experiences in either planning a local wedding for lots of far away people, or planing a far away wedding for lots of local people, pros and cons… really any thoughts or wisdom you might have to help make this process a little more clear. Thank you!