Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Distance from church to reception

Hi everyone! I have a question about planning and etiquette: How far is fair or reasonable to expect people to drive/travel between the church and the reception? The problem we are having is that we have found a bunch of reception sites that we like but they're all sort of far from our church. We are going to be married at the St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church in Princeton, and we have some specific wants when it comes to our reception site. All the sites we've found are at least 45 minutes away, but more like an hour, and we think that's too far to drive. We're new to this, so we wanted to ask: how far did/will your guests travel between church and reception? What is appropriate?
Thanks!

Re: Distance from church to reception

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    I can think of about 10 places within a 30 minute drive from Princeton and I live in NYC and have for most of my adult life.

    Try for under 45 minutes and NOT on the NJ Turnpike or Garden State Pkwy as Saturday driving there translates to almost double that
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    Yeesh, that's a long commute.  I was just at a wedding where the ceremony and reception were 20-30 minutes apart, and that seemed like too much.  Is there any way you could keep it to less than 30 minutes?
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    The last wedding I was in Jersey, it was about 30 min from the chapel (at Rutgers) to the reception hall in Summit, and it included a trip on the Parkway.  It should only have taken about 20 min, but the traffic was a big deal.

    I was also in a wedding in NC where it was about 30 min between venue and reception and, while we avoided major highways, the directions were pretty complicated and involved winding through downtown Raleigh.

    Both experiences were stressful, especially for those not familiar with the area.

    That is why our ceremony and reception are at the same place.  I don't have the heart to do that to anyone. 

    I suggest either rethinking the ceremony location or looking a little harder for something closer (and maybe a little bit outside the box) for the reception.
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    I would be really annoyed to have to drive 45-60 minutes between events.
    Married 10/2/10
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    I would probably be annoyed driving an hour to get to the reception. It had better be somewhere spectacular to make it worth it. I wouldn't mind a 30 minute drive though. Also, it would depend on your guests...if a lot are from out of town and might not have cars, that would definitely be a problem.

    I'm just curious...where are you looking to have the reception?? I went to school at Princeton, and you can get pretty much anywhere in the state (not to mention NYC and Philly!) in an hour from there (depending on traffic of course).
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    45 minutes? I'm probably going to skip your reception.
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    Any ideas in Princeton would be great! We're looking for something a bit offbeat. We were really interested in Rat's at Grounds for Sculpture but to afford it we'd have to limit our guest list. So we are considering just doing it on the grounds, but we don't really like the Seward Johnson building where they do private events. We're looking into the TPC Jasna Polana, but again pricy, and also checking out the Salt Creek Grille. We just really don't want that typical banquet hall feel for our reception, and we really want some gorgeous outdoor scenery cause we're pretty outdoorsy people. For those of you who know some places in/around Princeton that aren't very far and DO NOT involve Route 1 (the bane of existence in this area! haha) I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE some input! 

    We agree. We don't want anyone traveling more than 20 minutes or so between, but I just wanted to check that I was on point with that. So thanks everyone!
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    I HATE ROUTE 1. Haha yeah but I will think about it. I can think of two people right now whose weddings have been in Princeton. One couple had their reception at a hotel there, and the other actually did have the reception back in their hometown (about 45 minutes south).

    I am having a hard time coming up with  places nearby though. Is there maybe somewhere on Lake Carnegie? The boathouse there would probably make for some gorgeous pictures! (Sorry I'm most familiar with the campus).
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    Consider the variables-
    Season- If it's winter and you have the potential for snow
    Weather- Rain, I know where I live, everything floods quickly so it would take longer to get from point a to point b
    Guests- How many are from out of town and may be less secure driving further away or would you be upset if less peple came to the church because they live closer to the reception and it would be a lot of driving for them.
    time- consider traffic, do you live in a busy area where you may have to battle rush hour?
    also- make sure you set up the church and reception times far enough apart so you have time for the recieving line and photos before you get to your reception.

    I dont see anything wrong with a 45 minute commute but just make sure you consider all potential issues
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