Wedding Planning 101: Out of Town Guests

Since Monsieur P is from southern California, a lot of his family and friends still live across the country from where we live.  Since we are getting married in Pittsburgh, this means that nearly half of our wedding guests will be flying cross-country.  This fact has impacted SO.MANY.ASPECTS of the wedding planning.  For example:

  • We know we want to host a bangin’ welcome/rehearsal dinner for all of our out-of-town guests to attend, and so we get to spend a little more time with them after they make such a big trip to be with us!
  • We want to keep costs down as much as possible for the bridal party, since they have to make such a financial commitment to travel here already.
  • We want to make the right choice for hotels so that our out-of-town guests have a budget-friendly option, enjoy exploring the city that we love, and have easy access to transportation for the wedding as well.
  • We know that not everyone we invite will have the ability to travel this far to come to the wedding.  And that’s sad, but ultimately we had to do what was best for us (and my sanity!), which meant having the wedding where we live.

Monsieur P’s family is no stranger to traveling cross-country for family weddings, however.  In 2010 (after we celebrated our 1-year anniversary), Monsieur P and I took our first trip (via airplane) together to attend his uncle’s wedding in Tampa, where I finally got to meet his mom and her side of the family.

All photos personal.

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The mister and I at the wedding venue, March 2010. Yes, I dyed my hair dark brown for a year of my life!

I fell in love with his family that weekend.  I had been SO stressed out about finally meeting them AND spending an entire weekend with them, where they separated the boys from the girls (seriously, we were in separate apartments).  But I freaked over nothing, they were fabulous, and I might be more excited than Monsieur P every time we travel to go see them.  I’m so happy to be marrying into such a great family!  Anywho, back to the point at hand…

Last year, one of the cousins got married near San Francisco, so we took another cross-country trip to attend their wedding.  It was beautiful, and as always, a fabulous time to spend with Monsieur P’s family.

Cousins, friend, girlfriend, and fiancee at the welcome dinner for cousin T’s wedding.
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Monsieur P and I at cousin T’s wedding in June 2013.

All this to say, really, that we expect the majority of the family will end up making the trip to our wedding.  Our wedding actually just gives them a chance to come see where we live, which most of them have not had a chance to do yet, and an excuse to get together on the other side of the country for a change.  However, it puts a little more pressure on us to be really great hosts, since they’re traveling so far, and also to build in as much opportunity to spend time with everyone as possible.  Even though we will have that other little thing going on, you know, that wedding thing!

Will you have a lot of out-of-town guests?  How do you plan to be great hosts for your guests?  Do you like to travel long distances for weddings?

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One thought on “Wedding Planning 101: Out of Town Guests

  1. I have a friend who will actually be traveling from England for our wedding – and she is already so excited she’s taken the time off from work (and we are having a 2015 wedding)! Other than her though, we shouldn’t be having more than one or two out of town guests, so our main priority was finding a hotel that offered a shuttle service. This way anyone attending can be motivated to stay by having a default DD in our shuttle.

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