Etiquette: Reception proximity, how far is too far for guests to travel?

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Orbital199 Posts : 92 Registered: 10/12/09
Etiquette: Reception proximity, how far is too far for guests to travel?
Posted: Apr 19, 2010 4:22 PM

The most important part of wedding planning for me was finding the right location. Unfortuantely I don't live in the most picturesque location. The best venues near us are in Orlando, about 40 miles from where we live. My parents said that it will be a burden on guests to drive this distance, especially if they plan on drinking. Is going to the nearest city really asking too much? Even if the wedding and reception would be held in the same location? I don't want to burden my guests but in exchange do I settle for a venue that I don't like?

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

-Melanie

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Etiquette: Reception proximity, how far is too far for guests to travel?
Posted: Apr 19, 2010 4:39 PM Go to message in response to: Orbital199

I think that if most of the guests are staying where you live and not at hotels closer to the venue then it is a bit far to drive. Typically I think about a 30 minute drive for a reception venue to be about it.

But that's usually when the reception venue and wedding venue are in different places.

However, if you made arrangements with a hotel near the venue to reserve rooms at a discounted rate for your guests to use (and pay for themselves) - that may be acceptable.

 

 

 

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jmd22 Posts : 125 Registered: 7/17/08
Re: Etiquette: Reception proximity, how far is too far for guests to travel
Posted: Apr 19, 2010 4:42 PM Go to message in response to: Orbital199

Well, most of our guests are traveling from southern California to Northern Idaho for our wedding, so I don't think it's too far :)

If I was invited to a wedding that was 40 miles away, I wouldn't even think twice about it. Maybe include some info on a few hotels near the location, in case people do want to drink, then they could just take a cab from their hotel. Otherwise, I don't think that most people would have a problem driving 40 miles for someone's wedding...

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karebeartg Posts : 831 Registered: 6/25/08
Re: Etiquette: Reception proximity, how far is too far for guests to travel?
Posted: Apr 19, 2010 4:54 PM Go to message in response to: Orbital199

Which direction from Orlando are you? I grew up slightly north of Orlando, so I might be able to suggest a couple places if you're north.

Have you booked a ceremony site yet? If you are having both the ceremony and reception in the same place, I see no problem making people drive 40 miles. If they want to drink, they can stay overnight in a hotel.

I would not want to drive 40 miles between the ceremony and reception sites.

 

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myras Posts : 396 Registered: 2/26/10
Re: Etiquette: Reception proximity, how far is too far for guests to travel?
Posted: Apr 19, 2010 5:23 PM Go to message in response to: Orbital199

Forty miles is too far? When I lived in Nj, we were 40 miles from New York City and were in the City every weekend. Where I live now, in Orange county, CA, LA is 60 miles and San Diego is around 60 in the other direction--no problem. That's a simple Sunday drive for us. If someone is going to drink, he/she shouldn't be driving, whether it's 1 mile or 40!!! Let the drinkers rent a hotel room---or stay home. Not your problem.
myra@classysassyweddings.com

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Elbelle77 Posts : 222 Registered: 1/24/08
Re: Etiquette: Reception proximity, how far is too far for guests to travel
Posted: Apr 19, 2010 6:18 PM Go to message in response to: Orbital199

I agree with the other posts: As long as you have a hotel option, it's fine. I don't think most people expect weddings to always be nearby. Most of the weddings that I have been to have been several hours away, so 40 miles is perfectly fine.

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BrighterThanSun... Posts : 853 Registered: 10/17/08
Re: Etiquette: Reception proximity, how far is too far for guests to travel?
Posted: Apr 19, 2010 6:46 PM Go to message in response to: Orbital199

As long as the ceremony and the reception are in close proximity--that's all that matters to me.

When I went to school and my friends and I dispersed around the province (yes, I live in Canada)we all tended to stick to where we went to school.

My FH & I live in different cities, our families live in different cities from us and from each other, our extended families live in different cities from those and our friends are dispersed all over--I have friends that are in the same city and I have friends an eight hour drive.

So what city would we be expected to get married in? No matter what,90% of our guest list would be traveling. No more than 10 people live in the same city.

So I think it's completely normal to have to travel to go to a wedding--and I think that 40 miles is completely reasonable.

You are hoping for Orlando? Well there is obviously an abundance of hotel options. If I were you I would find a reasonably priced near your reception site and try to reserve a block and perhaps get a reduced group price for your guests. You can post information for your guests on a wedding website if you have one or add an accommodation insert into your invites.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Etiquette: Reception proximity, how far is too far for guests to travel?
Posted: Apr 19, 2010 7:59 PM Go to message in response to: Orbital199

dear Melanie,

Here's the deal. You pick a place you like. You invite people.

Those people are adults. They can make up their own minds whether or not it's a burden for them. If they don't want to drive 40 miles, then they decline. If they are OK with 40 miles, then they accept.

"My parents said that it will be a burden on guests to drive this distance, especially if they plan on drinking."

If they plan on drinking over the legal limit, then driving 1 block is as problematic as 40 miles. Why do your parents think that in-city drunk driving is OK, but out-of-town drunk driving is not OK?

Here is my suggestion. Make a list of the people you really really want to attend. Grandma. Fav Uncle Fred. Cousin Sally with whom you grew up. Talk to those people and see how they feel about Orlando. If the people you really really want to attend are OK with Orlando, then go for it. If any of those say "Hmm... well..... I have a bit of a problem....", then find out what their problem is and see if you can do anything to resolve it. That might mean setting Uncle Fred and Aunt Wilma to carpool with your college roommate, as Aunt Wilma never drinks alcohol and can be the DD to get them all home safe and sound.

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Etiquette: Reception proximity, how far is too far for guests to travel?
Posted: Apr 19, 2010 11:40 PM Go to message in response to: myras

So this is as long at the wedding and reception are at the same venue? Which I agree with. But I think the OP was not clear on that - IMO, it seemed added on as an afterthought.

 

 

 

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Etiquette: Reception proximity, how far is too far for guests to travel?
Posted: Apr 20, 2010 8:46 AM Go to message in response to: Orbital199

Wait - the ceremony and reception are at the same venue, correct? So you're worried because most of your guests live about 40 minutes from the venue? Don't worry about it. I generally travel much farther than 40 minutes to go to a wedding. To me, 40 minutes is a LOCAL wedding, though I'd probably get a hotel room for the night of the wedding, anyway.

Don't worry at all about how far guests need to travel to get to the wedding location. You choose the location, invite your guests, and then it's up to them whether or not to make the trip. That's as true for a 40-minute drive as it is for an 8-hour plane ride. I doubt that many of your guests would even think twice about attending a wedding 40 minutes away. Most of them, like me, would probably get a hotel room for the night and enjoy a weekend away. The rest will just drive home. Yes, that will mean that someone in their party will need to be DD - that's just the way it is, and most adults can figure out the logistics of that without a problem.

Now, if your ceremony and reception were 40 minutes apart, I'd tell you to find a closer venue, because that's just too far to expect guests to drive between events. But driving 40 minutes from their home for an evening is NOTHING. We've been invited to two weddings this summer that will be 45-90 minute drives for us, and we're excited that they're both so close (though we're getting hotel rooms for both, as we want to relax, have a couple glasses of wine, and not have to worry about driving). If I don't need to get on a plane to get to a wedding, I'm pretty excited about it - so I think you and your mom can relax. People are used to traveling much farther than 40 minutes to attend weddings.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Etiquette: Reception proximity, how far is too far for guests to travel?
Posted: Apr 20, 2010 8:57 AM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

Wait - the ceremony and reception are at the same venue, correct?

That's what I wanted clarified too Art. If they are then I think it's fine. If the 40 minute drive is between the wedding and reception, that's a little long in my opinion. As long as there are hotels nearby - works for me.

 

 

 

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ButterflyTiff Posts : 27 Registered: 12/7/09
Re: Etiquette: Reception proximity, how far is too far for guests to travel?
Posted: Apr 20, 2010 9:12 AM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

I think 40 minutes is perfectly acceptable!

I personally encountered this same issue with my family. I am originally from NY (SI) and now live in NJ. I am getting married in my town in NJ and then the reception is 15 minutes away in a neighboring town. Some in my family thought it was inconsiderate that I was getting married in my area and thought I should do it all in NY (SI). I was like seriously? I have lived in my town for over 12 years and the church marrying us holds a special place in our hearts (Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at Seton Hall University - University where we met).

So I say do what you want - enjoy your day!!!
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2bmel2010 Posts : 26 Registered: 10/7/07
Re: Etiquette: Reception proximity, how far is too far for guests to travel?
Posted: Apr 20, 2010 5:34 PM Go to message in response to: Orbital199

40 miles isn't that big of a deal, a pain but no big deal. My FH & I just went to his friends wedding in February (Chicago mind you) where the church ceremony was 45 mins away from the hotel they had accommodations for. I'm guessing they did that because the reception location was 5 mins away from the hotel.

I was in the same boat as you, I live in NH but don't have the best views. We did find 1 state park that we were going to have the ceremony at & then have everyone drive 1 hr to my parents house for the reception. We decided against that in a heartbeat. Now we've changed our location to Boston. So from personal experience I think you should have the wedding in Orlando (or wherever you want with a beautiful view), pick a hotel near the reception location & book a group rate for your guests. You can also do what we're doing, suggest other hotels in the area that might be better for the guests (on a separate enclosure card). GL.

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