Budget Weddings Forum

Traveling Costs

My FI's family lives about two hours away from us now, while mine lives about an hour. We are currently looking to buying a house, so our budget is very limited. The plan is to have a backyard wedding if we get the house before next year. But if that doesn't happen we're looking into having it in my hometown. I know that if I want a summer wedding, I have to start looking at booking a venue now for 2022. But then the issue becomes who's going to cover the accommodations for his family. The drive then becomes a 3-4 hour for his family to travel. While my family already lives in the area or have places they can stay at if they're coming from out of state. My family is has always been very generous when it comes to any weddings in the family. We've always helped each other out, whenever it's needed. I know my parents are going to be generously helping out as well, as this is the first wedding between my brothers and I. With just the people on my side of the guest list, it's going to be around 150-200 people. 

The main issue is that I'm worried his family won't attend the wedding or his mom will try to foot the entire bill. My family is better off than his, since his side got hit pretty hard with covid layoffs, but I don't feel comfortable asking for any help from my side. We've already scratched bach parties, bridal shower, and engagement party off the list to help save costs for his family. We also aren't asking for any wedding gifts, as we both want our sides to be there for our wedding. Can anyone help with any ideas on what we could do for accommodations? 

P.S our sides have not met yet, we plan on having a dinner with immediate family in summer so they can meet before hand.  

Re: Traveling Costs

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    My FI's family lives about two hours away from us now, while mine lives about an hour. We are currently looking to buying a house, so our budget is very limited. The plan is to have a backyard wedding if we get the house before next year. But if that doesn't happen we're looking into having it in my hometown. I know that if I want a summer wedding, I have to start looking at booking a venue now for 2022. But then the issue becomes who's going to cover the accommodations for his family. The drive then becomes a 3-4 hour for his family to travel. While my family already lives in the area or have places they can stay at if they're coming from out of state. My family is has always been very generous when it comes to any weddings in the family. We've always helped each other out, whenever it's needed. I know my parents are going to be generously helping out as well, as this is the first wedding between my brothers and I. With just the people on my side of the guest list, it's going to be around 150-200 people. 

    The main issue is that I'm worried his family won't attend the wedding or his mom will try to foot the entire bill. My family is better off than his, since his side got hit pretty hard with covid layoffs, but I don't feel comfortable asking for any help from my side. We've already scratched bach parties, bridal shower, and engagement party off the list to help save costs for his family. We also aren't asking for any wedding gifts, as we both want our sides to be there for our wedding. Can anyone help with any ideas on what we could do for accommodations? 

    P.S our sides have not met yet, we plan on having a dinner with immediate family in summer so they can meet before hand.  
    It's good that you wouldn't ask either side to contribute. It will be nice if either family is able to offer anything, but no one should be asking family to help.

    Do you think that the 3-4 hour distance is enough that his family wouldn't be able to afford the trip? Generally guests are responsible for coming up with their own accommodations, but you could always suggest nearby budget friendly options. Often getting a house with several bedrooms is less expensive than individual hotel rooms.

    The other thing you could do if you think an overnight is really out of the question is to plan a wedding in the middle of the afternoon. While it would be a very long day, some people may opt to drive up the morning of the wedding and then drive home after. Of course there would be gas money, but it's a lot cheaper than spending the night.

    I do remember travelling to concerts and games to a city about 3 hours away in my 20's. We would sometimes get a group of people and charter a bus, so no one had to drive. The cost per person was comparable to what it would have been to drive, but I wouldn't get involved in that as the wedding hosts unless you want to pay for it. Maybe if there are enough people that want to go for the day they can arrange something like that on their own. 
    short+sassy
  • ei34ei34 member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Super smart to not ask anyone to help pay for your wedding!  Pre-wedding parties aren’t thrown by the couple, so you don’t have to scratch them necessarily- if someone wants to host one, they will.
    Guests are responsible for getting themselves to and from a wedding, and any accommodations.  I like the idea of both sides having to travel an hour or two to your home in the middle, as opposed to one side traveling 3-4 hours.  Are there venues you could look into in case you can’t have a backyard wedding?  (Which, even if you’ve purchased a house, im not sure how a backyard wedding would go if there are 150-200 guests from your side alone. Bathrooms, parking, noise ordinances, etc.) But, to answer your question- guests are responsible to pay for their travel/lodging expenses. 
    short+sassy
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I guess the question is, what are they used to? I wouldn't bat an eye at going to the wedding of a family member that I knew at least reasonably well if it were 3-4 hours away. I'd be thrilled it was drivable instead of a flight away. I would also never ever expect the MOG or couple to host me if I needed to make it an overnight.

    However, everyone makes decisions in their own way. People decline weddings all the time for various reasons. I'm sure there are also people who will be so thrilled to be going to weddings again that they may make more of an effort to go to ones that they might not have accepted in the past. You just can't control whether people choose to come or not, so I wouldn't try.

    Do you think your FMIL will be very worried or self-conscious that none of her family will come? So much so that instead of being merely disappointed with the turnout, that she'd try to "sweeten the pot" and pay for overnight accommodations? Otherwise, I just don't see why this is a problem. His family will come or they won't.
  • ei34 said:
    Super smart to not ask anyone to help pay for your wedding!  Pre-wedding parties aren’t thrown by the couple, so you don’t have to scratch them necessarily- if someone wants to host one, they will.
    Guests are responsible for getting themselves to and from a wedding, and any accommodations.  I like the idea of both sides having to travel an hour or two to your home in the middle, as opposed to one side traveling 3-4 hours.  Are there venues you could look into in case you can’t have a backyard wedding?  (Which, even if you’ve purchased a house, im not sure how a backyard wedding would go if there are 150-200 guests from your side alone. Bathrooms, parking, noise ordinances, etc.) But, to answer your question- guests are responsible to pay for their travel/lodging expenses. 
    There are a couple of hotels that we have been looking at that are right in-between, but aren't quite sure of yet. 

  • Do you think your FMIL will be very worried or self-conscious that none of her family will come? So much so that instead of being merely disappointed with the turnout, that she'd try to "sweeten the pot" and pay for overnight accommodations? Otherwise, I just don't see why this is a problem. His family will come or they won't.
    She would more than try too. She always likes to be involved in party planning. I have a tendency to budget almost everything, and she's more care free. I really don't want to have an expensive wedding, but she'll definitely want to make sure my FI side can go, even if it means her footing the bill.  
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