Etiquette

Distance between ceremony and reception

Hi all! I am getting married next fall and was thinking of having my wedding ceremony at my parents' house in the country. My only issue is that we are having the reception at a hotel in Fargo, ND (where we have a block of rooms for guests as well) and my parents' house is a half hour outside of town. I'm just concerned people will be upset they have to drive from Fargo a half an hour to the ceremony, and then a half hour back into town for the reception. Thoughts??? I've tried to put it in my guests' perspective but it's hard to know for sure!
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Re: Distance between ceremony and reception

  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think 30 minutes should be fine. Do you have it in the budget to run a shuttle at all so people don't have to worry about getting lost? As with any outside/at home ceremony make sure you have a rain plan and enough toilets (I think I read somewhere it should be at least 1 for every 20 people). If you want to add a nice touch- I think it would be nice to greet people with light refreshments before the ceremony, even just lemonade and a little something sweet.
    Knottie1444606415
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hi all! I am getting married next fall and was thinking of having my wedding ceremony at my parents' house in the country. My only issue is that we are having the reception at a hotel in Fargo, ND (where we have a block of rooms for guests as well) and my parents' house is a half hour outside of town. I'm just concerned people will be upset they have to drive from Fargo a half an hour to the ceremony, and then a half hour back into town for the reception. Thoughts??? I've tried to put it in my guests' perspective but it's hard to know for sure!
    I agree with PP's.  30 minutes is a non-issue for me, as long as the route is not complicated.  Are many of your guests flying in to the area?  I would be more concerned with how far the hotel is from the airport, and how many guests might need to rent cars.

    As @scribe95 mentions, it also works because once guests are at the reception, they are also "put" for the evening.

    Do you have an inclement weather option? 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I think 30 minutes is far personally. How long will your ceremony be? An extra 30 minutes of driving for a 15 minute ceremony seems not worth it to me. It might be easier on the guests to have everything at the hotel and use your parents' house for pictures beforehand.
    This is what I was going to say.

    An hour round-trip drive for an hour long ceremony in a church is not a big deal to me.   An hour round-trip for a 15 minute ceremony I would be eye-rolling. I would still go, but be annoyed at the inconvenience. 






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    InLoveInQueenskimmiinthemitten
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    lyndausvi said:
    I think 30 minutes is far personally. How long will your ceremony be? An extra 30 minutes of driving for a 15 minute ceremony seems not worth it to me. It might be easier on the guests to have everything at the hotel and use your parents' house for pictures beforehand.
    This is what I was going to say.

    An hour round-trip drive for an hour long ceremony in a church is not a big deal to me.   An hour round-trip for a 15 minute ceremony I would be eye-rolling. I would still go, but be annoyed at the inconvenience. 

    I agree too. I think an hour round trip is too much. I also think that a half hour drive out into the country is much different than a 30 minute drive in a city.
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    lc07
  • I'd probably wonder why everything isn't in the same location since the ceremony isn't at a church. Not a huge deal, but I'm OOT for pretty much every wedding of close friends and family so I'd be traveling to the wedding, staying at the hotel then traveling out to the ceremony and back to where I'm staying. I'd find it annoying but not a deal breaker for me.

    How many people likely attending the wedding that are from the area near your parents house versus Fargo or out of town? If the ceremony is close to many people they'd likely to straight to the ceremony then to the reception and I think that's fine. If most are not from that area I'd rethink the ceremony location.
    InLoveInQueens
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    30 minutes I can live with.  But it's the outer limit of how far I'd be okay with in traveling between the ceremony and the reception.  45 minutes would be too far for me.
  • Normally I'd deal with 30 minutes but I think this is pushing it with the way you have your set up constructed.   

    The other concern to me is making sure it's really 30 minutes.   We looked into a reception venue that's a 30 minute drive from our church.   BUT, it's 30 minutes in no traffic.   We knew we were getting married on a Saturday in the summer and shore traffic could have doubled the drive.   It was a non-starter because of that. 
    InLoveInQueens
  • Also, if you have people traveling - would any of that traveling be by plane?  Would this then require them to rent a car?  I know if I'm flying in for a specific event only, I'll just cab/shuttle/public transport everywhere I need to go (which is usually limited). 

    Would it upset me?  Probably not, but I would think it's weird to drive an hour (30 min each way) for a shorter ceremony in a backyard just to end up right back in the place I started and would be annoyed if I flew in and needed to rent a car.  At least I'm assuming it's a shorter ceremony outside compared to a full service in a church.

    Personally, I'd just have everything at the hotel.  Hotel guests don't have to drive, you don't have to coordinate renting chairs and decorating a second space, and you don't have to worry about a plan B in case of inclement weather.


    [Deleted User]OliveOilsMomcharlotte989875InLoveInQueens
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'd raise an eyebrow at having to drive an hour round-trip as well.  It seems (from the outside looking in) like the cermony could've been held at the hotel, so I'd wonder why the extra driving was necessary.
    lc07InLoveInQueens
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Honestly, I don't think this is the best plan.  If you could manage doing the ceremony at the reception site, I think that would be better


    image
    InLoveInQueens
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    As much as I hate (HATE) driving, I would be willing to drive 30 mins each way for a wedding on the family farm. I think it's the same as having it at your family church 30 mins away. I think it's inconvenient, but understandable.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    poodledoodleoooJediElizabethSP29
  • edited December 2015
    @LondonLisa
    It's a very easy spot to get to, get right on the interstate for 20 minutes then exit on the highway for 10 minutes and you're there...only about 2 turns for the whole trip. I love the idea of offering refreshments, too! Thanks!
  • MobKaz said:
    Hi all! I am getting married next fall and was thinking of having my wedding ceremony at my parents' house in the country. My only issue is that we are having the reception at a hotel in Fargo, ND (where we have a block of rooms for guests as well) and my parents' house is a half hour outside of town. I'm just concerned people will be upset they have to drive from Fargo a half an hour to the ceremony, and then a half hour back into town for the reception. Thoughts??? I've tried to put it in my guests' perspective but it's hard to know for sure!
    I agree with PP's.  30 minutes is a non-issue for me, as long as the route is not complicated.  Are many of your guests flying in to the area?  I would be more concerned with how far the hotel is from the airport, and how many guests might need to rent cars.

    As @scribe95 mentions, it also works because once guests are at the reception, they are also "put" for the evening.

    Do you have an inclement weather option? 
    MobKaz said:
    Hi all! I am getting married next fall and was thinking of having my wedding ceremony at my parents' house in the country. My only issue is that we are having the reception at a hotel in Fargo, ND (where we have a block of rooms for guests as well) and my parents' house is a half hour outside of town. I'm just concerned people will be upset they have to drive from Fargo a half an hour to the ceremony, and then a half hour back into town for the reception. Thoughts??? I've tried to put it in my guests' perspective but it's hard to know for sure!
    I agree with PP's.  30 minutes is a non-issue for me, as long as the route is not complicated.  Are many of your guests flying in to the area?  I would be more concerned with how far the hotel is from the airport, and how many guests might need to rent cars.

    As @scribe95 mentions, it also works because once guests are at the reception, they are also "put" for the evening.

    Do you have an inclement weather option? 
    Area is super easy to get to, just the interstate for 20 minutes then just a single highway for about 10 minutes. We're inviting roughly 100 people to the ceremony and only about 5-10 of them would maybe have to fly in (if they decide to come at all) But almost all of my family and my fiance's family are from the area or within a few hours drive.
    My dad built a new building on our property a few years ago with a bathroom, a sound system, and a balcony so we could use that if the weather becomes an issue. 
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers


    MobKaz said:



    Hi all! I am getting married next fall and was thinking of having my wedding ceremony at my parents' house in the country. My only issue is that we are having the reception at a hotel in Fargo, ND (where we have a block of rooms for guests as well) and my parents' house is a half hour outside of town. I'm just concerned people will be upset they have to drive from Fargo a half an hour to the ceremony, and then a half hour back into town for the reception. Thoughts??? I've tried to put it in my guests' perspective but it's hard to know for sure!

    I agree with PP's.  30 minutes is a non-issue for me, as long as the route is not complicated.  Are many of your guests flying in to the area?  I would be more concerned with how far the hotel is from the airport, and how many guests might need to rent cars.

    As @scribe95 mentions, it also works because once guests are at the reception, they are also "put" for the evening.

    Do you have an inclement weather option? 


    MobKaz said:



    Hi all! I am getting married next fall and was thinking of having my wedding ceremony at my parents' house in the country. My only issue is that we are having the reception at a hotel in Fargo, ND (where we have a block of rooms for guests as well) and my parents' house is a half hour outside of town. I'm just concerned people will be upset they have to drive from Fargo a half an hour to the ceremony, and then a half hour back into town for the reception. Thoughts??? I've tried to put it in my guests' perspective but it's hard to know for sure!

    I agree with PP's.  30 minutes is a non-issue for me, as long as the route is not complicated.  Are many of your guests flying in to the area?  I would be more concerned with how far the hotel is from the airport, and how many guests might need to rent cars.

    As @scribe95 mentions, it also works because once guests are at the reception, they are also "put" for the evening.

    Do you have an inclement weather option? 


    Area is super easy to get to, just the interstate for 20 minutes then just a single highway for about 10 minutes. We're inviting roughly 100 people to the ceremony and only about 5-10 of them would maybe have to fly in (if they decide to come at all) But almost all of my family and my fiance's family are from the area or within a few hours drive.
    My dad built a new building on our property a few years ago with a bathroom, a sound system, and a balcony so we could use that if the weather becomes an issue. 
    ----------------
    Just to clarify .... you said that you're inviting 100 people to the ceremony .... is the guest list the same for the ceremony and the reception?
    InLoveInQueens
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Depending on your circle, the "few hour drive" crew could also likely stay at your hotel. Hell, in my circle I expect many of my local friends to stay there too.

    Is 30 minutes each way a deal breaker for me? No. However I'm not too happy about dressing up to sit in the car for an hour, especially since I likely ironed that morning after packing my dress.
    image
  • No, we were thinking of having a separate guest list for reception...reason being that we both have large families (each of our parents have 5+ siblings that have children) so I wanted to keep it around 100 (150 MAX) for the ceremony to make sure it doesn't seem over crowded, and in case it does rain our backup building can only probably hold just over 100 people comfortably. 
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers

    No, we were thinking of having a separate guest list for reception...reason being that we both have large families (each of our parents have 5+ siblings that have children) so I wanted to keep it around 100 (150 MAX) for the ceremony to make sure it doesn't seem over crowded, and in case it does rain our backup building can only probably hold just over 100 people comfortably. 

    So just to confirm you have a separate group of people invited to the reception only? Which list is larger, ceremony or reception?
    image
    InLoveInQueens
  • Reception would be about 200
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Tiering your guests is very rude.  It is only technically appropriate (and will still most likely result in hurt feelings) if you have a very small ceremony (5-10 people) followed by a much larger reception.  But you are planning on inviting half of the group to the ceremony and then half to the reception.  The whole day is about your ceremony and the reception is the thank you to your guests for witnessing the ceremony.  


    image
    InLoveInQueensSTARMOON44[Deleted User]
  • Distance between ceremony and reception certainly won't be a problem for the 50-100ppl that aren't important enough to watch you say your vows.
                 
    InLoveInQueensspockforprezMobKaz[Deleted User]
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    OP, check out some of the "tiered reception" threads to see why your idea is not ideal. Please rethink this plan. Long story short, people see being invited to a reception only as being a gift grab when they're not important enough to you to watch you say your vows. Vows are THE most important part of the day. 
    ________________________________


    InLoveInQueens[Deleted User]
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    No, we were thinking of having a separate guest list for reception...reason being that we both have large families (each of our parents have 5+ siblings that have children) so I wanted to keep it around 100 (150 MAX) for the ceremony to make sure it doesn't seem over crowded, and in case it does rain our backup building can only probably hold just over 100 people comfortably. 
    Reception would be about 200
    Yeah, this is a big nope.

    It is incredibly rude to tier your guests like this.  Invite everyone to everything.  Period.

    InLoveInQueens[Deleted User]
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    No, we were thinking of having a separate guest list for reception...reason being that we both have large families (each of our parents have 5+ siblings that have children) so I wanted to keep it around 100 (150 MAX) for the ceremony to make sure it doesn't seem over crowded, and in case it does rain our backup building can only probably hold just over 100 people comfortably. 
    So essentially what you're doing is inviting about 50-100 people to a hotel for dinner- a dinner they have to get dressed up for, and possibly bring a gift to. Bonus- they get to sit with/mingle with people who were deemed more worthy to see your actual ceremony... That sounds like a blast! (Not!)

    How would you feel if your friends had a birthday party- but they invited 100 of their friends to dinner, and then another 100 (you included) to just bring a present and have cake? That wouldn't leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling, would it? No. So why do that to someone else? 


    Add to the fact that people will most likely be talking about your ceremony and those that weren't invited will probably feel very left out and embarrassed because they can't say anything about it since they weren't deemed important enough to witness it.

    InLoveInQueenskimmiinthemitten[Deleted User]
  • Ok....thanks for the input everyone. We are basically planning and paying for this thing ourselves, so it's been hard to try and figure costs for everything with both us having such large extended families and then still wanting to invite friends as well. Since my fiancé and I aren't religious we are having a secular ceremony and in Fargo there are extremely limited areas to get married if you aren't getting married in a church, and the few outdoor venues that are available are extremely expensive. The cheapest one I had found was $1600 just to rent from 8 am-2pm (part of the reason we wanted to have it on my parents' farm). We had looked into doing the ceremony in another room at the hotel where the reception is at, but I decided against it just because I want the ceremony to be personal and be our own. I really don't want to get married at a room in the Holiday Inn, it just wouldn't feel special to me. And that's important, right?
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    Ok....thanks for the input everyone. We are basically planning and paying for this thing ourselves, so it's been hard to try and figure costs for everything with both us having such large extended families and then still wanting to invite friends as well. Since my fiancé and I aren't religious we are having a secular ceremony and in Fargo there are extremely limited areas to get married if you aren't getting married in a church, and the few outdoor venues that are available are extremely expensive. The cheapest one I had found was $1600 just to rent from 8 am-2pm (part of the reason we wanted to have it on my parents' farm). We had looked into doing the ceremony in another room at the hotel where the reception is at, but I decided against it just because I want the ceremony to be personal and be our own. I really don't want to get married at a room in the Holiday Inn, it just wouldn't feel special to me. And that's important, right?

    That is important, yes. But so is being a good host. Everyone tells you "it's your day!" and all that crap but once you invite other people, it's about them too.

    Most people get married in their lifetime. Most people have budgets for these weddings. Therefore most people will understand your budget and if you cannot invite every. single. person due to size and budget reasons. What a lot of people won't understand is treating them poorly. I'd rather not be invited to a cousin or casual friend's wedding at all than be treated like a second-class guest.

    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    InLoveInQueensSP29STARMOON44[Deleted User]
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Color me crazy, because I've been super sappy all week, but I think the fact that it's the room you'll be getting married in is what makes it special.  

    If there are things you don't like about the room, decorate it.  If you want more sentiment, find ways to add it it.  Use flowers from your moms garden, incorporate a piece of family jewelry into your accessories, there are ways.  Today it may be the Holiday Inn, on your wedding day, it's your ceremony space.
    image
    spockforprezthisismynickname2[Deleted User]
  • Where did you decide to make the cut for the 100 who get to attend the ceremony? If you've made that decision based on circles of those who are close to you, then you can probably cut the guest list down to those 100 and host them all equally. I have a large extended family and didn't invite any of my first cousins because I don't have much of a relationship with any of them. It was an easy way to cut down the numbers.
    InLoveInQueensSP29huskypuppy14
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