Post # 1
My fiancee and I live in a major city about a half hour away from most of my family but about 5 hours away from his. He’s lived here for about 12 years. His parents and sister visit regularly but most of his extended family has not. He is looking forward to his family coming and seeing where we live and why he loves the city so much.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many options within our city limits that are affordable and we found a place we love about 40 minutes outside. The place has a hotel on the property that is only available the night of the wedding, so it wouldn’t work for people staying a few nights. Aside from his family, we have a handful of friends that would be traveling in. There are many other hotels nearby (within 5-10 minutes) for people staying more than one night, but my fiancee doesn’t want his family “in a hotel in the middle of no where that can be anywhere.” I am trying to be sensitive to his opinion. The venue is in the middle of a farm area and I understand his point for guests traveling for multiple nights.
He would like to offer a hotel with a shuttle service in our city and do a welcome dinner the night before that his parents would help pay for. This sounds stressful to me but I know it’s important to him. My worry is what if people don’t want to stay 40 minutes away? Many of our friends traveling in are from our city and would likely just want to stay at a hotel nearby. Also, our city doesn’t really offer much in terms of parking aside from expensive garages likely many blocks from where our dinner would be. Would local people (my family, etc) come to this dinner?
Our second option is about 2 hours from where we live, but at a beach where we spend our summers. My fiancee is okay with this idea as well, since his family would get to see the beach town that we love. This sounds less stressful to me because it forces everyone (even most of my family and friends) to just stay at one hotel. The venue has a deal with a reasonably priced hotel that offers free shuttle service.
We love both places, but the first option is our preferred choice. It’s about 25% cheaper and in our opinion, a better value for the money (they offer more food at cocktail hour, and just more in general). The indoor spaces are beautiful even for photos. The second venue we love, but rain would seriously downgrade the quality of the photos. Part of the charm is that it’s right on the water and they have many beautiful outdoor spaces for photos. The entire wedding would be indoors, but guests would walk through beautiful gardens and such to get beteen the ceremony, cocktial space, and reception space (different buildings). I know they say not to worry about weather, but it’s certainly a bonus when you find a place you love where literally everything woudl be indoors either way.
I don’t know what to do. A part of me is saying let’s go with the second place just because it sounds easier. But is that really a reason to book a place when there is one we love more that is cheaper? My fiancee says he “doesn’t care” if we just pick the first place and just get a hotel closeby, but I can tell he will be upset. When we first started looking, he was so excited about finding a venue within our city limits and his family coming to visit but unfortanutely it just didn’t work out. There was one affordable option and we hated it upon touring it. I don’t know how to logistically make this work without overcomplicating it and still keeping him happy even though he says he “doesn’t care.” Does anyone have any advice?
Post # 2
lindz456 : I don’t get his concern these aren’t children we are talking about here these are adults. Why is he so concerned about the hotel being in the middle of nowhere? Unless you are talking like a bad area.
Post # 3
soexcited123 : No, its a perfectly safe area. His concern is that most of his extended family has never visited the major city where we live and he was very excited for them to see it, as many would likely come down for more than just one night. He is from a small town and many have not left. Whenever he goes home they ask how life in the big city is was looking forward to them seeing how our city and why he loves it so much.
Post # 4
If his family is going to come down for more than one night, they would probably appreciate the hotel in the city, even if it’s 40 mins from the venue. Can you offer transportation from that hotel to the wedding? That makes the distance easier for people and means they don’t necessarily need to have car. Or can you provide transportation to the dinner the night before to at least save them parking costs? I’ve been to weddings where this is transportation for a dinner the day before, and they always have good attendance.
Your guests don’t all have to stay in the same hotel. Provide the options on your website or with your invitation and let guests choose if they’d rather stay in the city or close to the venue.
Post # 5
Have you all looked into the cost of the shuttles from the city hotel? It can erode that 25% savings very quickly.
Post # 6
40 minutes away is so close. But I’m from California with a 1+hour commute to work each day. I’ve gone to weddings more than 40 mins away and taken a Lyft home the same night.
Post # 7
I agree with PP, get a hotel in the city and get a shuttle or bus to take everyone to the venue, maybe stay at the venue for the night and then back to the city?
Post # 8
A hotel being 40 minutes away doesn’t mean they can’t spend a day in the city. It’s 40 minutes, not 5 hours. I think your fiancé’s concern is unfounded and he’ll still be able to show family your city.
Post # 9
Will he even have time right before the wedding to show his family around? We were so busy the day before the wedding that there wasn’t time to do any of that.
I think your fiance needs to be realistic about what will happen the day before the wedding. He won’t have time to play tour guide.
I think the welcome dinner or rehearsal dinner is a great idea, but the rest of what he might be envisioning, I don’t really think is feasible.
Post # 10
have you looked into an airbnb for his family. we travel a lot, with my family. we find that for 6+ people, it is cheaper to rent an entire house. and often find great places in major cities.
Post # 11
If I was going to a wedding and didn’t fancy the offered hotel for whatever reason, I’d just make my own arrangements. I wouldn’t personally like to have my departure time dictated by a shuttle time. If I was interested to see the city I’d make it happen by extending my stay, and no big deal to change hotel or drive into the city the next day. It’s a nice extra, but the wedding is of course the main attraction.
Post # 12
i think the welcome dinner in the city the night before is a nice compromise, especially if his family is wililng to pay.
most weddings i have attended (including my own) have offered more than one hotel option. sounds like you should book a block of rooms in the city for out of towners who may be interesting in exploring (with a shuttle back), and a hotel close the venue for those strictly in town for the wedding.
Post # 13
secondtimer18 : Agreed, I guess just thinking about most weddings i’ve been to where a lot of the guests were out of towners, the hotel option was usually in a nice downtown area.
Post # 14
diana148 : Yeah, I think that is the route we are going to go.
Post # 15
Can you organize a shuttle bus from a city hotel to the venue? That way his family can stay in the city and enjoy the city, but you can benefit from the cost of the cheaper venue.
One of my friends rented school buses to pick up at a downtown and a south location for the city and drive us 45 minutes to her venue outside of the city. Worked well for everyone. She had the bus leave the venue at 9pm, 11pm, and 1am. Guests had options for timing of leaving. If they wanted to leave before 9pm they needed to arrange their own transportation.