Destination Weddings

What to do with Family?

So we were planning on eloping and having a small private ceremony in Canada but we decided that we wanted our parents and siblings there. Have the family for the ceremony, afterwards maybe dinner and a nice sleigh ride or something. We really want the honeymoon/trip to be just about us afterwards, so I was just looking for advice for what to do with the fam afterwards.

At the moment, were thinking of having the fam stay in a hotel that's closer to the airport and would be in a different town from where we're staying at. I'm sure they would gave us space if we asked, and my sister would play buffer between us and the folks. I'm just not sure what's the etiquette in this situation, if i should have some kind of .. idk itinerary or something

any advice would be great.

Re: What to do with Family?

  • Well, you can't choose how long your family chooses to stay in Canada for starters. But if you want them there for the wedding, perhaps you should start by finding out if it is even feasible for them to travel to attend in the first place.
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    charlotte989875
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    5000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    So we were planning on eloping and having a small private ceremony in Canada but we decided that we wanted our parents and siblings there. Have the family for the ceremony, afterwards maybe dinner and a nice sleigh ride or something. We really want the honeymoon/trip to be just about us afterwards, so I was just looking for advice for what to do with the fam afterwards.

    At the moment, were thinking of having the fam stay in a hotel that's closer to the airport and would be in a different town from where we're staying at. I'm sure they would gave us space if we asked, and my sister would play buffer between us and the folks. I'm just not sure what's the etiquette in this situation, if i should have some kind of .. idk itinerary or something

    any advice would be great.
    You have to pick whether you want to elope OR have a small private ceremony.

    If you marry in Canada, it sounds like what you are considering is a small destination wedding.  There is no "maybe" about hosting dinner afterwards.  If you invite any guests, then you must offer some hospitality appropriate to the time of your ceremony.

    Typically the honeymoon is just about the couple.  No guest would assume they are a part of it.

    If you plan a destination wedding, give the details of the date, time, and location.  Invited guests will decide from there how much of their time and money they choose to devote.  
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueensSP29short+sassy
  • I agree with PPs, but also you can't tell them where to stay either. If you invite them they get to decide where to stay. TBH I'd be really annoyed if my sister got married, but then told me to stay in another town, out near an airport, rather than in a location that was convenient to the ceremony and dinner just because she didn't want me around later. 
    short+sassy
  • How far is this location from your guests?  if they are traveling a great distance I'd err on the side of hosting more after the ceremony.....full dinner and sleigh ride sounds lovely.  Don't tell them where to stay unless you are paying for their hotel stay.
    SP29short+sassy
  • I'm confused. Are you eloping? Or are you having a small wedding in Canada with just your immediate family?

    If the latter, I would just be clear to your folks about your plans: "Mom and Dad, we will get married on Friday evening, take everyone out to dinner and then a sleigh ride. On Saturday, we'll host a breakfast for everyone and then officially start our honeymoon just the two of us." That way, it's clear that after breakfast on Saturday (or whatever) you two want to be left alone. This will help them decide when to fly in and out and what to do. You can provide them a list of local things to do, but you certainly don't have to. They're big boys and girls and can google just as well as the rest of us. 
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    charlotte989875thisismynickname2InLoveInQueensshort+sassy
  • His family lives on the other side of the country so no matter what, someone is flying somewhere.
  • edited October 31
    I'm confused. Are you eloping? Or are you having a small wedding in Canada with just your immediate family?
    The planning package we're looking at is an elopement package but apparently you can have up to 12 guests? it sounds like a semantics thing


    i should clarify, we want to elope and we've hinted to our folks that we want to do so. Both our moms really seem to want to be there, my mom was the one to suggest an intimate destination thing, and i don't think it'd be a problem for them to fly out there. 

    Saying "maybe" about the after dinner thing was probably bad wording, I definitely want to have a post ceremony dinner somewhere nice. I'm till brainstorming this so I don't exactly know what I want to happen afterwards, just that I want everyone to have a good time. 

    Also i'm ok with them getting their own hotels 100% but I can also afford to pay for their hotel rooms If I needed to. I've been budgeting for this trip for awhile. The airport is about 20-30 minutes from where the ceremony is being held. The wedding is also being held in national park, which charges an additional daily rate to stay in town.

    i don't know if this is relevant, but my parents are currently going through a divorce and my dad can be really hard to deal with sometimes (argumentative, likes to drink). It's part of why we wanted to elope in the first place. My sister is my "maid of honor" and going to be helping me with the parents but my ultimate goal is that everybody has a good time during and afterwards.

    and I want the ceremony to be very minimal and casual, like this: http://blog.carmichaelphoto.com/2017/05/simply-elope-in-banff-at-banff-log-cabin.html
     

    Edit: forgot to say thanks for the advice so far :)
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    edited October 31
    I've attended and worked many destination weddings and honestly I think it's a strange request.  

    A vast large percentage of guests leave the next day anyway.  With a small percentage staying a few days extra.     I have yet to see a DW couple NOT hang with family/friends the day after the wedding.    We also hung out with our guests the day after before leaving for our honeymoon later that evening.

    Most couples "leave" on their HM 2 days after the wedding, although some, like us did leave later in the afternoon the next day.   A lot of them just switched local locations.  For example, they stayed at the Ritz in St Thomas, then moved to Caneel in St John.   Others would go to a completely different location.

    It was a clear break that the wedding festivities are over.  

    Only on here have I heard couples wanting to have a DW, but dictate  their guests stay at a different location as their guests in order to not run into them the next day.  It's a weird concept to me.   All the DW I've attended or work the couple and guests enjoy being altogether.  Even the next day.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueensahoyweddingshort+sassy
  • You can't invite them to fly to your wedding and then banish them to an airport hotel because you don't even want them in the same town as you post wedding. 
  • Ok, so it sounds like it is a semantics thing: you're planning an intimate destination wedding with immediate family only. And it sounds lovely.

    Your parents divorcing may complicate things emotionally, but I hope they can be civil and let you enjoy this day.

    Since this is such a small group, I would send a logistics email with dates, airport codes and hotel information, including that you're planning to pay for Friday and Saturday night (only). This can serve as your save the date but also give them ample time to book flights and know that you're planning to pick up some of the tab. It'll also be a good time to let everyone know that your honeymoon starts Sunday afternoon (or whatever) so there's no expectation that you'll be tour guiding anyone past Sunday morning.
    ok cool!! Thanks for the advice, yall have been so helpful :) 


  • I gather that your ceremony and your honeymoon will be in the same location?  You invite your guests to be with you on your wedding day.  You are responsible for their comfort and entertainment (not hotel or travel costs) for your wedding day.  You are not responsible for them the following day.
    However, if they choose to stay at the same resort after your wedding day, there is nothing you can do about it.  Hopefully, this will not be an issue, but we have seen it happen with some couples at resorts.
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    STARMOON44SP29short+sassy
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    Your intimate wedding plans sound lovely- ceremony with dinner and a sleigh ride- in Banff! *swoon*

    You are only required to host your guests for your actual wedding- ceremony and following reception. While it is considerate to have options like hotel blocks, your guests lodgings and travel are up to them. At the same time, you also don't get to tell your guests where and how long they can stay. You don't have to continue to entertain your guests for the rest of their stay, but you can't ask them to leave the hotel the next day either.

    If I were planning a trip to Banff, even a short one, I sure as heck would not only stay for 1 day! If I'm traveling for a wedding, I am expecting to get something out of the experience for myself- enjoying the location as a tourist/vacation.
    STARMOON44short+sassy
  • CMGragain said:
    I gather that your ceremony and your honeymoon will be in the same location?  You invite your guests to be with you on your wedding day.  You are responsible for their comfort and entertainment (not hotel or travel costs) for your wedding day.  You are not responsible for them the following day.
    However, if they choose to stay at the same resort after your wedding day, there is nothing you can do about it.  Hopefully, this will not be an issue, but we have seen it happen with some couples at resorts.
    CMGragain said:
    I gather that your ceremony and your honeymoon will be in the same location?  You invite your guests to be with you on your wedding day.  You are responsible for their comfort and entertainment (not hotel or travel costs) for your wedding day.  You are not responsible for them the following day.
    However, if they choose to stay at the same resort after your wedding day, there is nothing you can do about it.  Hopefully, this will not be an issue, but we have seen it happen with some couples at resorts.
    Thanks guys! :) Yeah I dont know what I was so worried about. After talking to the family, it seems like they'll probably only be in town for a few days, except for my Future Bro in law and his wife who were thinking of going early to get a little more mileage out of the trip. I guess part of me was worried that some of them would end up cold and bored and miserable, and another part of me was worried that it'd end up being an awkward family vacation or something (my parents together really stress me out a lot, especially on vacations or trips). I also tend to over think things and stress out a bunch lol. But everyone is really excited so I'm not gonna worry about it any more and just listen to our planner who seems like a wizard when it comes to these kinds of weddings. :blush:
    missJeanLouisesouthernbelle0915SP29short+sassy
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    Do not worry about the bored and miserable. Your guests are adults and it is up to them to decide how short or long they want to stay in the area. If they are interested, there are MANY things they can do in the Banff area. Or they can travel back to Calgary and do stuff there. 

    As for the cold- where are you and your family coming from? Are they familiar with the Banff area and it's weather? Sounds like you are getting married in winter. Winter is cold and snowy there- though that area does see a lot more variation in weather due to the mountains, so some days may be warm even. If your guests are not familiar with the area, I would give them a heads up to check the weather network before they go. And if you are doing the sleigh ride with family, particularly if it's on the same day as your ceremony, I would give your guests a heads up about this before hand so they can plan their attire accordingly. I'd still wear a dress to your wedding, but I might opt to wear a sweater dress with tights as well as bring my winter boots and long coat.
    short+sassy
  • SP29 said:
    Do not worry about the bored and miserable. Your guests are adults and it is up to them to decide how short or long they want to stay in the area. If they are interested, there are MANY things they can do in the Banff area. Or they can travel back to Calgary and do stuff there. 

    As for the cold- where are you and your family coming from? Are they familiar with the Banff area and it's weather? Sounds like you are getting married in winter. Winter is cold and snowy there- though that area does see a lot more variation in weather due to the mountains, so some days may be warm even. If your guests are not familiar with the area, I would give them a heads up to check the weather network before they go. And if you are doing the sleigh ride with family, particularly if it's on the same day as your ceremony, I would give your guests a heads up about this before hand so they can plan their attire accordingly. I'd still wear a dress to your wedding, but I might opt to wear a sweater dress with tights as well as bring my winter boots and long coat.
    He and his family is from Virginia, and my family is from Texas. Part of why I wanted to have it in a snowy location is because we never really have winters here. I really wanted mountains, snow and the whole winter experience. My parents lived in Washington state for a few years (which is where I was born) so I think they'll be ok. My sister loves snowboarding in CA so I'm not worried about her at all, haha. 

    Thanks for the advice though! I'll definitely let them know that they'll need to be prepared. I was kind of thinking of making some kind of little booklet or something when I send out my invites or maybe linking them my wedding blog where i've been cataloging my research.
  • Banff is my backyard. Tons of things to do. 

    Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper and Canmore are all doable for activities. So many options. Feel free to PM me for ideas. 
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