Hi there ladies,
I am newly engaged and new to this site, so let me know if I should be posting on a different board! FI and I want to get married in May 2019. We're waiting so long because I am currently finishing up my Master's and feel I'll be too busy to start seriously planning until next year. That being said, we should have great choices of date/ venue if we choose soon, so this is the one thing we'd like to think about now.
We have always dreamed of getting married at my family's annual vacation spot in Florida. I've been every year since I was a baby, FI and I visited together for the past 4 years, and my grandmother lives there. It is truly special to us, it's where we realized we were in love, and we want to share it with friends and family. However, the majority of my (giant) and FI's family all live in New England (we live in Georgia). So, if we choose the Florida location, it would essentially be a DW and almost100% of our guests would have to fly there.
My question is: What should come first when deciding on a location, convenience for guests or personal preference? I've always envisioned my wedding in Florida, and if we went this route, we would invite fewer people (~50) so that we could pay for extras for guests (e.g. welcome baskets, a "welcome reception", brunch). But with such a large family (I alone have 15 aunts/uncles and 20+ cousins on my list), it will be difficult to decide on guest list cuts, even though I am not close with many of them. I'd also have to invite some people in a circle- the ones I'm close with (e.g. direct aunts/uncles)- and not others, which I feel would cause drama. If we had the wedding closer to home, we could invite everyone, but it would not be the wedding we've been imagining in our "special place". I'm afraid going the DW route will offend some and deter others from attending. If you were a guest, would you attend an in-country DW? Would you think the travel is asking too much? If it helps, nonstop flights are ~3h and usually run between $150-350, and hotels in the area are anywhere from $100-350/night.
My apologies for the length, but any advice would be seriously appreciated! Cheers!