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Small Wedding or Destination Wedding?

Okay, I'm having so much trouble making this decision.  Here's the deal:

We have been together for 2.5 years and are recently engaged.  He is in the Marine Corps and just got relocated to Camp Pendleton, CA (Today was his first day).  I will be moving out there to be with him at the end of June.  We are looking at a date of July 2011 for our wedding.

His entire family lives in KY and my entire family live in NY except my mom and stepdad who live in Northern VT.  We were considering our options:
1. New York - us, his family and my mom & stepdad would have to travel.  I'm not sure I even want to have it in NY.
2. Kentucky - us and my entire family would have to travel.  There are some really nice outdoor locations that are possibilities.
3. Somewhere in between NY and KY (VA is what comes to mind since we used to live there) - Everyone would have to travel, but it would be an equal distance for his family and the majority of my family.
[If we did it at any of the three above locations I would want to have an evening wedding outdoors with an outdoor reception into the night]
4. Destination (somewhere where we would consider having our honeymoon) - Everyone would have to travel, but it would be a considerable distance further than if we did it somewhere in between NY and KY.

The things that I am taking into consideration when making this decision are whether or not people would be able to afford to make the trip, wherever it may be.  His family is not very wealthy and I think any type of travel would be a struggle for them so as far as they are concerned, KY would be the best option.  I like the idea of the destination wedding but I go back and forth because some part of me (I think) wants to have a reception with a DJ and dancing into the night, etc.  I would feel that I would be leaving people out if we chose a location that we KNEW not everyone would be able to go to but he says that it isn't a big deal to him if his family cannot attend.  His brother got married last summer and his sister is also recently engaged.

Please help! All idea and advice are welcomed and appreciated. Thanks!

Re: Small Wedding or Destination Wedding?

  • I vote  Destination wedding! I wish we had gone that route.
  • We're going with a destination wedding.  We live in Ohio near his immediate family, my family lives in Kentucky, and his extended family is pretty much spread out all over.  We looked at getting married in my hometown KY or central Indiana (in the middle of both our immediate families). 

    In the end, we decided to do what WE really wanted and go for an Outer Banks, NC wedding.  It's our favorite vacation spot and we go there every summer.  We know this means everyone won't be able to make it, and it pretty much kills the traditional reception, but it works for us.  And the pictures are going to be great... :)
    06.24.11 OBX, NC
    Planning Bio
    Married Bio
  • Don't want to tell you what to do either way, but did want to mention that I was recently at a destination wedding where they paid extra and did have a DJ and dance close to the beach, with their own dedicated bar tender.  It was really fun.  The music was really weird and different, but nobody minded.

    I went through the same problem with my own wedding.  We wanted a beach wedding, but his side couldn't attend then.  That would have brought the guest list down to 10 or so people.  We decided to have the wedding in the mountains about 3 hours away... so still a destination, but affordable for everyone else.
    Can't wait for our wedding in Banff! I am truly marrying my best friend :).
  • ey25ey25 member
    First Comment
    edited June 2010
    i kind of considered a destination wedding in consideration of traveling issues for my grandparents. after looking through wedding mags, and checklists, it seemed like it was going to be easier to plan a wedding in the town of my residence since i was likely going to be doing most of the leg work. i'm happy with my decision to do so, since it means that i was able to go to the venue and see it in person. i like to be able to put my eyes on something before i make a decision, and it's so much easier to be 10 minutes away if a decision needs to be made quickly. therefore, maybe you should consider planning the wedding in the town/state that you currently live in, unless you're going to be getting a lot of help from other people. i've found it to be a good decision. good luck!
  • In Response to Small Wedding or Destination Wedding?:
    I like the idea of the destination wedding but I go back and forth because some part of me (I think) wants to have a reception with a DJ and dancing into the night, etc.
    Posted by Rapoz100
    I'm confused about why you can't have a traditional reception with DJ and dancing at a destination wedding.  We had no problems arranging this for our DW.

    It sounds like a Virginia Beach or perhaps Outer Banks, NC wedding would be a destination wedding, but within reasonable (drivable) distance for both of your families.  That's probably what I'd do in your situation.
  • Could you pick eithr NY or KY to have the wedding, then schedule a second reception in the alternate state for all those who couldn't attend? You could wear your dress again and have a smaller cake and be able to show pics of the actual wedding? You would also be able to take pics with the other side of the family and dance and have fun with them too...
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