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Reception Ideas

Venue Ideas - Former Long-Distance Relationship =[

Hello everyone!

My fiance and I got engaged over a month ago and I have already begun to throw myself into wedding planning. Unfortunately, we are already in disagreement over the general location of the ceremony & reception. He's from the west coast (Washington state) and I'm from New York. Most of his friends/family are on the opposite side of the country as my friends/family, and we're concerned that no matter what, a large portion of our guest list won't be able to make it.

We're currently considering Seattle area, Portland, OR area (no sales taxes, which is a big plus), New York/Upstate NY area, or having everyone meet in the middle in Chicago, which is also risky. Ideally we'd like to have the wedding in spring, with an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception.

Luckily we're postponing the wedding for a couple of years, so we have the advantage of time, but I thought I would put it out there anyway, in case anyone had any creative solutions or advice, or has been in a similar situation. 

Thanks a bunch!

Re: Venue Ideas - Former Long-Distance Relationship =[

  • It sucks that your guests live so far apart. I would take a look at which guests might be able to make the trip the most--your side or his. Start asking VIP guests like best friends, close family, etc. on both sides to see who would be able to fly across the country. Then I would probably have it at the location where most people could NOT travel.

    Either way, like you said, some people won't be able to make it. I would invite everybody. If you have it on the west coast, you could always have a party on the East coast later for those who were invited and could not make it and vice versa.

    My concern about Chicago or meeting in the middle is then it's on no one's home turf (which makes it fair) but you may end up with even smaller numbers since it would require everybody travel, instead of only half.


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  • If you're thinking about outdoor anything, the West coast is probably not going to be your friend in the spring; the weather is often rainy and difficult to predict, especially that close to the ocean. That said, I'd say if you have the opportunity to go either way (i.e. budget is not a factor and you don't have any VIPs who refuse to travel) then the "vibe" of your wedding is something to really consider. Not that you can't do whatever where-ever, but in my experience the West coast really lends itself to that laid back, "hippy" feel, while the East coast seems the place for a quintessential elegant wedding.
  • DH is from San Francisco.  I'm from Cincinnati and we live just outside of Philadelphia.  For our wedding, we planned everything here where we live and kept the guest list small.  DH's dad could not fly for health reasons and asked to host a west coast reception for us.  SIL planned that and it went well.
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  • Whatever you decide, you should send save the dates around 9 months prior to the wedding to make sure everyone can make travel arrangements.
  • sparent2010sparent2010 member
    1000 Comments
    edited May 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_venue-ideas-former-long-distance-relationship?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:2e0b333d-f4f6-4936-9f30-0477a89c358fPost:7335d1d6-1f74-4f7a-84f0-1a31721685a2">Re: Venue Ideas - Former Long-Distance Relationship =[</a>:
    [QUOTE]<strong> If you're thinking about outdoor anything, the West coast is probably not going to be your friend in the spring; the weather is often rainy and difficult to predict, especially that close to the ocean. </strong>That said, I'd say if you have the opportunity to go either way (i.e. budget is not a factor and you don't have any VIPs who refuse to travel) then the "vibe" of your wedding is something to really consider. Not that you can't do whatever where-ever, <strong>but in my experience the West coast really lends itself to that laid back, "hippy" feel, while the East coast seems the place for a quintessential elegant wedding.</strong>
    Posted by danimac4011[/QUOTE]

     I have to disagree. While weather here can be rainy it rains a whole lot less than people think. Portland is another story. But there are places like Whidbey Island where it rains 1/2 the amount it rains in Seattle, and Leavenworth which is sunny 300+ days a year (which I know is not near the ocean).

    We are having an outdoor ceremony near the water in Tacoma in September. I am not worried what-so-ever.

    The feel for the wedding depends more on the couple than the location.

    OP my best advice is for you guys to talk about what your vision is and where you think that can best be met.
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  • Thank you for the advice! I really like the idea of having a small reception for those who could not attend. =) After we complete the guest list we'll definitely sort through who-lives-where. Being systematic to an extent is a good option since we're both so sentimental about our hometowns. =P 

    As of now I'm leaning to East Coast because it'll make planning so much easier if I could visit vendors in-person along with my family and lots of my bridal party. Is it possible to plan somewhere outside of where you live, or is it extremely difficult/stressful? 

    I'll talk to my fiance about all of your advice and hopefully we'll make progress!
  • pkontkpkontk member
    500 Comments
    The East Coast is just as rainy in the spring (as I'm sure you know!)  I think its a good idea for you to plan near where you are - it will make planning a lot easier.  You will have the same business hours as the venue so you won't need to figure out the time difference when you call them.  You will be able to visit more than once or twice, and you may not need to take as much time off work to plan.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_venue-ideas-former-long-distance-relationship?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:2e0b333d-f4f6-4936-9f30-0477a89c358fPost:734e9a86-158f-44bc-8977-0c9ef16f7bca">Re: Venue Ideas - Former Long-Distance Relationship =[</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thank you for the advice! I really like the idea of having a small reception for those who could not attend. =) After we complete the guest list we'll definitely sort through who-lives-where. Being systematic to an extent is a good option since we're both so sentimental about our hometowns. =P  As of now I'm leaning to East Coast because it'll make planning so much easier if I could visit vendors in-person along with my family and lots of my bridal party. <strong>Is it possible to plan somewhere outside of where you live, or is it extremely difficult/stressful?</strong>  I'll talk to my fiance about all of your advice and hopefully we'll make progress!
    Posted by kimcheekim[/QUOTE]

    It is possible.  I'm planning mine only 3 hours away, so day trips are possible, and I still find it incredibly stressful. I wouldn't want to even attempt at doing it on the other side of the country, but many have and thought it was fine.
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  • Another option would be a destination wedding somewhere exotic, where DWs are common so it would be a little easier to plan.  Doing a DW in Hawaii or the Bahamas or something would still mean everyone has to travel, but people might be more willing to do that since it's an exotic locale.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_venue-ideas-former-long-distance-relationship?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:2e0b333d-f4f6-4936-9f30-0477a89c358fPost:734e9a86-158f-44bc-8977-0c9ef16f7bca">Re: Venue Ideas - Former Long-Distance Relationship =[</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thank you for the advice! I really like the idea of having a small reception for those who could not attend. =) After we complete the guest list we'll definitely sort through who-lives-where. Being systematic to an extent is a good option since we're both so sentimental about our hometowns. =P  As of now I'm leaning to East Coast because <strong>it'll make planning so much easier if I could visit vendors in-person along with my family and lots of my bridal party. Is it possible to plan somewhere outside of where you live, or is it extremely difficult/stressful?</strong>  I'll talk to my fiance about all of your advice and hopefully we'll make progress!
    Posted by kimcheekim[/QUOTE]

    <div>
    </div><div>First part of that, yes, it does make things easier if you're not already doing it where you live. We're getting married in my hometown in MS even though we live in TX right now. If I had to pick between trying to work with my FI's family to plan something and working with my family, I'd pick mine. </div><div>
    </div><div>I'm planning my wedding from about 12 hours by car away. It actually hasn't been that bad. I do a lot by e-mail, which is good but also means that if a vendor doesn't have a website I'm really wary about using them because I can't see examples of their work. I made one trip there in late April, and I'll go back in July and then back again about 3 weeks before the wedding. I booked my photographer completely online and just met with her when I was last in town to sign the contract. I booked the church and reception venue like that too.</div>
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  • My vote is for the East Coast.  If that is where you live now, it will be a lot easier to plan.  Plus your parents are there, and I think it's more fun to plan with your mom and Bridesmaids!  I went to a very nice wedding in Rochester last year.  The reception was at Woodcliff, it was beautiful, the food was good, and I think you can get married outdoors there too!
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  • Since you are going to have a large amount of guests traveling no matter what why not consider a destination wedding? Our friends had a similar situation and had a beautiful wedding on a cruise ship, and then had a party in both cities they were from for the guests who Couldn't make it.
  • You all have such great suggestions! As of now we're looking mostly at East Coast venues because of self-planning reasons. A destination wedding would be amazing, but my only concern would be if many of my friends could afford to do it, since most of them will be fresh out of college. =[
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