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Destination Weddings

Transporting Everyone

When my fiance and I got engaged one of the first questions was "How is my family going to get here?" 
He and I live in Wisconsin and plan to have our wedding here. I moved to Wisconsin about a year and a half ago but he and his family have lived here for generations. On the other hand 90% of my family and friends live in Ohio and have lived there for generations. Either way, half or all of the guest list has to make a trek. 

There are a few options that have been brought up to me but I feel like you wonderful brides could give new input. 

1: The obvious "They have to pay their own way" deal. My fiance and I find this to be budget friendly but also extremely rude. I don't want to force my guests to pay a couple hundred for a weekend. 
2. Giving travel vouchers. Since it is so expensive to get here, why not treat our guests to a gift card that can pay for their food or ride on the way. Give some gas money if they choose to drive or an airline rewards thing. Obviously it won't pay for everything but its a nice thank you for coming. At the same time that is  strain on our budget.
3. Renting a charter bus. Renting out a charter bus for a couple days is actually fairly cheap compared to the other two. It can fit just about everyone on my side of the family and forces our guests to give timely notice. "We need your RSVP we can pay for your ride here or else you have to pay it yourself." On the other hand many people in my list don't know each other so they may feel awkward for a 13 hour bus ride.

Thanks for your help!

Re: Transporting Everyone

  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    It sounds like you are not having a destination wedding, but rather a wedding where you and your FI's family live. Most couples who are marrying are in this situation, as it's a bit more rare nowadays that both families and the couple live in the same area. Almost every wedding will have people who are invited that will need to travel. 

    While it's extremely nice to offer to pay for transportation for those traveling from out of state, it's completely unnecessary. A good compromise, especially given your budget situation, is to offer assistance to those who you consider your VIP guests, like mom, dad, grandparents, and siblings. Noone would question your offer to your family versus friends. 

    With any wedding, you run the risk of people not being able to attend because of travel. That is why it's important to make sure your VIP guests are on board with your choice in location. As long as everyone on your VIP list has OKed your choice, I would just understand that some people will not be able to attend. An invitation is not a summons- people can decline to attend for any reason- and travel might be one of the reasons. I'd focus on staying within budget, while making sure you properly host the guests during the actual event. 


  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    We did not pay for travel costs for your very intimate DW, but we did pay for lodging costs. We we only had a few guests, and their attendance and comfort was VERY important to us (and since we new that the additional cost of lodging would be a huge financial strain for them and may hinder their enjoyment of our wedding) this was really a no-brainer for us to cover.

    But paying for gas, flights, and rental cars just seemed like too much of a logistical hassle (I didn't want our parents to feel locked into a flight time that I chose without knowing what would be best for them).
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