Wedding Etiquette Forum

choosing a location when bride and groom are from different cities.

I'm a lurker of the forums and initially found some of the post responses to be a bit over the top and disproportionate--specifically on the "not engaged yet" board. My now fiance and I had been talking very seriously about getting engaged for quite a while, and I knew he was in the process of picking out the ring,etc. and decided to join the knot. This was mainly because I knew once we became engaged the wedding plans would start happening very quickly--because my fiance is joining the Air Force. I'm pretty sure I caught that particular board on a bad day...but at the time I was appauled by their posting style. I've been lurking a while now and see things in a slightly different light; though I think this board is a little more sound minded in their responses and very frenquently offer good advice; good enough that up to this point I've seen no point in posting or asking for advice myself.

A little back-story. My fiance and I are from different cities; I am from metro Atlanta and he and his family are from Orlando, FL. We've been dating 4 years, and spend the majority of our time together in Orlando (I go to school 3 hrs away). I have had a really tough time deciding which city would be most appropriate in which to have the wedding. He and I are financing the wedding--so that doesn't neccessarily help in dictating a location. Here are my thoughts:

*I wanted to choose a city that had the least amnt of travel for the oldest attending members. His Grandparents will be able to attend, and live in FL. Mine will not be able to attend, they are too ill to travel:[

*Both of my parents are having a tough time economically. My Mom literally just left her abusive husband and is moving into a small apartment, and my father is losing his house and planning on living at a campground (sad, but somehow true...). They both live in the atl area. Travel isn't out of the question for them, but I know it would be hard on them.

*My fiance's Dad has breast cancer and is recieving chemotherapy. I don't know when or if he would be able to travel. He's dealt with the therapy very well and generally goes about his life the way he always had, but i can't say what the state of things will be later on.

*A lot less people will be able to attend, especially on my side, if we have the wedding in Orlando. I see good and bad things about this. I don't really want a big wedding, but would like my friends and family to be able to attend mywedding, etc.

*The majority of the wedding party consists of my family that would all be traveling from Atlanta.

*My fiance's family is considerably well off and are willing to travel wherever neccessary for our wedding/enjoy travel, etc. In other words it isn't something they would neccessarily consider an inconvenience.

I honestly don't know how to decide. Right now I am leaning on having the wedding in Orlando, but I am not sure if it is the right decision. Any thoughts are welcome/very appreciated (the good the bad the ugly, I am prepared;])

Thank you!
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Re: choosing a location when bride and groom are from different cities.

  • I kept it simple: I just had it in the town where *I* was. I was planning it, I was the one going to the vendor meetings and doing the walkthroughs, so having it near me was the easiest choice. 90% of the guest list and everyone on both sides of the family had to travel, so it was fair to the important parties.
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    Glenna Harding Photography
  • I'm a lurker of the forums and initially found some of the post responses to be a bit over the top and disproportionate--specifically on the "not engaged yet" board

    The point of this was.....?

    Look, you can't make everyone happy, and so you just need to pick a place.  Either choose somewhere in between, so it's destination for everyone.  This isn't that hard.  Just make a decision and stick to it.  People are going to give you crap, but in the end, you just have to stick to your guns and shut it out.
  • Getting married at the bride's Church is really important in my circle.  This has a huge influence on the wedding decisions.

    Besides accommodating your closest guests.. are there any other factors that matter?  For example, type of venues... value for you dollar... proximity for you during the planning process.. etc

    Honestly.. there are so many factors that influence the location.. but the priorities of each depend on the couple.

    I wish I had better advice.. but just pointing out other important factors.
  • No matter which place you pick, someone will be unhappy.  So I'd go with the place closest to you, since you're organizing the whole thing.  If you can manage to set aside some money to help your relatives travel to your wedding, that might offset some hurt feelings.
  • Thank you for your response, Pooh. I've definitely thought about that option as well. I'm not terribly fond of that option because I will be graduating in December (and thus leaving) and I also really can't stand the city I am in. I've also thought abt other cities in between the two. I just thought that might cause a strain on both sides and I don't know anything about those cities. I've also thought abt having the wedding in Savannah, where my Dad's family is from, but I am definitely unsure!
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  • edited July 2010
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_choosing-location-bride-groom-different-cities?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:399da269-a535-487d-9b36-c7bda0eb4293Post:9185cd90-6f2f-4788-be07-01a00fed2f13">Re: choosing a location when bride and groom are from different cities.</a>:
    [QUOTE]I kept it simple: I just had it in the town where *I* was. I was planning it, I was the one going to the vendor meetings and doing the walkthroughs, so having it near me was the easiest choice. 90% of the guest list and everyone on both sides of the family had to travel, so it was fair to the important parties.
    Posted by pooh8402[/QUOTE]

    Same with me. Every single one of our family members are traveling. If any of them needed assistance affording travel, I would help them out. My gut says planning a wedding in Orlando would be easier on the OP, but perhaps harder on her family.

    That said, have you also considered the cost of a wedding in each location? The availability of venues and vendors whom you like?

    Another idea would be to plan a mini-destination somewhere between, like Charleston or Savannah, where everyone would have to travel, but they'd have to travel a shorter distance.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_choosing-location-bride-groom-different-cities?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:399da269-a535-487d-9b36-c7bda0eb4293Post:ea338727-6aa8-4e1e-8c59-33b2d20da1ff">Re: choosing a location when bride and groom are from different cities.</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thank you for your response, Pooh. I've definitely thought about that option as well. I'm not terribly fond of that option because I will be graduating in December (and thus leaving) and I also really can't stand the city I am in. I've also thought abt other cities in between the two. I just thought that might cause a strain on both sides and I don't know anything about those cities. I've also thought abt having the wedding in Savannah, where my Dad's family is from, but I am definitely unsure!
    Posted by hcbrowne[/QUOTE]
    I graduated one week before my wedding and couldn't wait to get out. I feel you on that. being in school is even MORE reason to have it close to you because you'll be busy as all get out trying to graduate and plan a wedding at the same time. I barely got any sleep this past spring.
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    Glenna Harding Photography
  • Yeah, everyone traveled for our wedding too- including us.  It happens.  People deal.
  • hcbrownehcbrowne member
    10 Comments
    edited July 2010
    Amoro, the point of posting that is that I've seen many ppl go back and quote other ppl's old posts, etc. & I don't really post on the boards so I am opening myself to a lot of criticism, etc. Just covering my bases.

    Thank you for your thoughts Ladies. I agree that whatever decision I do make there will definitely be an unhappy party.

    If we do have it in Orlando, I've tried to consider locations that offer lodging with the venue costs to accommidate ppl who are traveling. I definitely wont at least go half way with rooming costs for guests, b/c if it were me...I'd be none to happy about having to travel that far and have to pay for all the things you end up paying for when you are involved in a wedding. This does obviously affect our budget, though.

    edit: *will at least go half way
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  • Msmery, yes I am pretty sure I've looked at every wedding location that exists known to man in both cities (I am so tired of looking!)--and strangely enough (to me anyway) wedding costs are definitely higher in Atlanta. I have thought maybe the small amount of money we'd save having the wedding in Orlando could be put toward travel expenses for the wedding party, etc.

    I just hate the idea of anyone having to travel though I know I have to get over that!
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_choosing-location-bride-groom-different-cities?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:399da269-a535-487d-9b36-c7bda0eb4293Post:83458ae0-09f1-46b6-81ef-4d65a0e8d359">Re: choosing a location when bride and groom are from different cities.</a>:
    [QUOTE]Amoro, the point of posting that is that I've seen many ppl go back and quote other ppl's old posts, etc. & I don't really post on the boards so I am opening myself to a lot of criticism, etc. Just covering my bases.
    Posted by hcbrowne[/QUOTE]
    lol... okay
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_choosing-location-bride-groom-different-cities?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:399da269-a535-487d-9b36-c7bda0eb4293Post:bd930cea-fcc2-40e3-aeae-b33d76fb4e5f">Re: choosing a location when bride and groom are from different cities.</a>:
    [QUOTE]Msmery, yes I am pretty sure I've looked at every wedding location that exists known to man in both cities (I am so tired of looking!)--and strangely enough (to me anyway) wedding costs are definitely higher in Atlanta. I have thought maybe the small amount of money we'd save having the wedding in Orlando could be put toward travel expenses for the wedding party, etc. I just hate the idea of anyone having to travel though I know I have to get over that!
    Posted by hcbrowne[/QUOTE]

    Just start saying right now, "I can't worry about everyone else.  They are grownups and will handle it." Repeat as necessary.
  • I think you're worrying yourself over nothing. when people receive a wedding invite, no matter where it is in relation to their home, it is up to them to decide whether or not they can afford the time and money to attend. if they cannot, they will decline. you might find that people are probably more willing to travel (and pay for themselves) than you think. other than reserving blocks of rooms at local hotels, I didn't worry about my guests' accommodations, since they are all adults and can figure it out whether or not they can afford to come.
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    Glenna Harding Photography
  • My situation isn't exactly the same as yours, but we also were stuck with making a decision that would result in a lot of people having to travel no matter what we chose.  We ended up going with the city I grew up in (but most of my family lives elsewhere) because even though it involved more people having to travel, overall people would have to travel a shorter distance to get there.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_choosing-location-bride-groom-different-cities?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:399da269-a535-487d-9b36-c7bda0eb4293Post:b2c86239-9d7e-41a3-b5d9-35af7bec4947">Re: choosing a location when bride and groom are from different cities.</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: choosing a location when bride and groom are from different cities. : lol... okay
    Posted by AmoroAgain[/QUOTE]

    haha sooooo true. I like this mantra.
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  • edited July 2010
    Same situation. I'm from Texas, he's from Michigan. We both live in Chicago (but neither wanted to marry here). There was no middle ground.

    We went with New Orleans. It's my favorite city in the country, it's close enough for my family to drive and his family, who are a little more well off financially, could make a mini-vacation out of it since it's such a fun city. It's also relatively cheap compared to Houston or Chicago, so it was better for our budget. There's been a little bit of grumbling from some of the more peripheral family members but overall, people are really excited.
  • hcbrownehcbrowne member
    10 Comments
    edited July 2010
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_choosing-location-bride-groom-different-cities?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:399da269-a535-487d-9b36-c7bda0eb4293Post:bcf82716-b34b-474b-ab10-f6de6d89cd60">Re: choosing a location when bride and groom are from different cities.</a>:
    [QUOTE]I think you're worrying yourself over nothing. when people receive a wedding invite, no matter where it is in relation to their home, it is up to them to decide whether or not they can afford the time and money to attend. if they cannot, they will decline. you might find that people are probably more willing to travel (and pay for themselves) than you think. other than reserving blocks of rooms at local hotels, I didn't worry about my guests' accommodations, since they are all adults and can figure it out whether or not they can afford to come.
    Posted by pooh8402[/QUOTE]

    While I agree with what you are saying, I think my issue lies in that most of the wedding party will have to travel. They did agree to being in the WP knowing that travel was a possibility, but I still feel a bit bad about it. They are my long time best friends, I know they'd do whatever they needed to do, but I also know their budgets and lifestyles and I would want to do whatever I could to take off some of burden because I know they would never ask.
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  • I was in the same situation.  Our families live in separate countries so no matter what we decided to do, there would be a lot of traveling involved for half of our guests.

    To make our decision we considered two things.  1) Where did WE want to have our wedding and, more importantly, 2) what would be more affordable for both ourselves and our guests.

    You should consider whether it is more affordable for people to travel to and stay in Orlando or Atlanta.  Also consider whether important aspects of the wedding, such as venues and photographers, are more affordable in one of the cities.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_choosing-location-bride-groom-different-cities?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:399da269-a535-487d-9b36-c7bda0eb4293Post:497bfb97-2b38-4caa-b498-8f148ae0edb7">Re: choosing a location when bride and groom are from different cities.</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: choosing a location when bride and groom are from different cities. : While I agree with what you are saying, I think my issue lies in that most of the wedding party will have to travel. They did agree to being in the WP knowing that travel was a possibility, but I still feel a bit bad about it. They are my long time best friends, I know they'd do whatever they needed to do, but I also know their budgets and lifestyles and I would want to do whatever I could to take off some of burden because I know they would never ask.
    Posted by hcbrowne[/QUOTE]

    There are ways to do that without forcing yourself into a more difficult position than necessary.  Talk openly and honestly about budget for people, and maybe let them pick out their own dresses/suits, etc.  All the GM's wore their own black suit and white shirt.  We provided the tie's and pocket squares.  I tried to get the BM's to choose their own dresses that would fit in their budget as long as they were black, but they wouldn't do it, so I just chose seomthing from DB.   It works out.  Don't freak yet, you're just getting started.
  • Once you make your decision, I would send STDs with the wedding location. This way people know well in advance where the wedding will be and will be able to plan accordingly.

    Also, not a very good idea to badmouth one board on another. People CAN post on two different boards (like myself). I don't remember you from NEY. What did you say that incurred our wrath?
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_choosing-location-bride-groom-different-cities?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:399da269-a535-487d-9b36-c7bda0eb4293Post:6247b68c-6323-4c5a-80f6-35f5c465c46e">Re: choosing a location when bride and groom are from different cities.</a>:
    [QUOTE]Once you make your decision, I would send STDs with the wedding location. This way people know well in advance where the wedding will be and will be able to plan accordingly. Also, not a very good idea to badmouth one board on another. People CAN post on two different boards (like myself). I don't remember you from NEY. What did you say that incurred our wrath?
    Posted by GreenPepperBurger[/QUOTE]

    I wasn't trying to "badmouth" the other board just stating why I have a post abt how I felt abt their posting styles on that particular day I was introduced to that board. I didn't say anything, actually. I was just reading a thread....a very long one that had turned pretty ugly. I think the thread I posted in was going in the same direction and was very confused at the time by that boards purpose. Upon reading that board more and this board I said I do see things a little differently, though I do feel at times their responses are a bit overzealous (just my opinion). I would say the same about this board if I felt it to be true. I can see where my stating that opinion would be a little irrelelvant on this board, so note taken.

    Thank you for your advice about the STD's; it will definitely be a prioirity to get those out in a timely manner.  
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  • Thank you ladies for your prompt and constructive advice! I definitely have a lot to think to about. I appreciate the view points I didn't neccessarily consider! In the mean time I will definitely try and stop worrying about the things I can't control;]
    It's nice to know I am not alone in the situation--its helpful to see how many of you resolved it.
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  • so what if your wedding party has to travel? again, they factor in travel costs when choosing to accept or decline being a wedding party member. like Amoro said, repeat the mantra, "I can't worry about everyone else.  They are grownups and will handle it."
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    Glenna Harding Photography
  • It's fairly customary to have the wedding in the bride's hometown.  However, I'm not following that tradition.  FI is from Michigan.  I am from Minnesota.  My enormous extended family lives in Massachusetts.  We live in Wisconsin.  Similar nightmare :) 

    We picked Wisconsin because it was halfway between MI and MN and it was easiest for us to plan locally. 

    I'm sure no matter where you have the wedding, people will travel to support you.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_choosing-location-bride-groom-different-cities?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:399da269-a535-487d-9b36-c7bda0eb4293Post:8c944698-68ff-44d0-a3c4-c653d24f389d">Re: choosing a location when bride and groo are from different cities.</a>:
    [QUOTE]  I'm sure no matter where you have the wedding, people will travel to support you.
    Posted by ehathewa[/QUOTE]
    This. We ended up having our wedding in my H's hometown, because it was near a very specific reception venue we knew we wanted from the moment we got engaged. Having it there meant that 95% of the guests (my family and all of our friends) had to travel (some a fairly extensive distance), and the people who are closest to us came with no hesitation. I'm certain that your loved ones will do the same.
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  • edited July 2010

    I grew up in the upper penninsula of Michigan, and my FI and I live together in the lower penninsula.  I knew I wanted to get married in the church I grew up in, so that is where we planned the wedding.  My family (mom's side) is all up there, so its no problem for them, but my dad's side and all of FI's family is down here, so most everybody (ourselves included) have at least a 6 hour drive ahead of us for the wedding, but those who really want to be there for the occassion did not complain, they just sent their RSVP's and planned their trips.  For everyone who couldn't make the trip, we're having a 2nd reception (or "party" for those who prefer) down-state.  In a way, everyone is happy, and we got to have the wedding where WE wanted it. 

    Point is, if your family wants to see you get married, they will travel for your wedding. 

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