I’m having a big wobble about reception venues, and how far it is acceptable to ask guests to travel, and I’m hoping you might be able to offer some advice..
The background – my fiancé’s family will be coming from Ireland, and most of my family will be coming from up north (Lancashire way). In addition, we will also have guests coming from America (we hope!) and Switzerland. So a lot of people already coming a long way to be at our wedding.
The wedding – the Church we want to get married in is the Parish Church where I grew up, and where my parents still attend, in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. It means an awful lot to me, and my parents, that this is where we’ve decided to get married.
And now for the ‘but’ – all of the reception venue’s I’ve seen that I’ve fallen in love with are all about 30-45 minutes drive (or more) from the Church. I’ve always dreamed of getting married in a barn, or possibly a marquee decked out to look like a barn (!!), and I haven’t found any which are closer to Amersham that’s not ridiculously out of our budget (like, double than what we can afford!)
So this has thrown up a real question for me – how far is acceptable to ask guests to travel between wedding and reception? I’ve thought about putting on transport from the Church to the reception, such as a coach or bus, but then how do guests get back to their cars afterwards? (and there’s nowhere for them to leave their cars at the Church) Plus there’s then the added issue that many barns don’t have accommodation on site – so I’d be asking guests to travel again from the reception to their rooms for the night, although I’m hoping that might be solved by persuading them to all stay in the same hotel and then providing taxis/mini-buses at the end of the night!
Please help me, Jenny, can you suggest what you think is acceptable? For me, it will be having all of our family and friends at our big day that will make the perfect day, over the ‘perfect’ reception, but I’m still struggling to make that compromise!
Thanks for your help!!
Dear Lovely Venue Wobbly Julia,
You sound as though you are in such a pickle, why do we do it to ourselves?!
First off, let me offer you some reassurance. I drove an hour from a Cathedral wedding to the reception venue for a very close friends wedding, which was also in a different village to that of the hotel I was staying in for the night, and it wasn’t an issue for me. It was a case of having to be organised. Oh, and it took me almost three hours to get to the Cathedral in the first place from where I lived too. And I had to get into my dress in the passenger seat of the car (this was very poor time management on my part! We got stuck on the motorway in traffic).
So from the ceremony itself we drove an hour to the Hotel to check in, drop our bags off and freshen up, then had a taxi pre booked to drive us to the reception venue. It honestly wasn’t any hassle at all, when we arrived at the venue everyone else arrived at pretty much the same time, and we had some champagne and canapés to relax, quench our thirst, and catch up with old friends. The bride and groom planned the timing perfectly, and it was one of the best weddings I have ever been to. They did it exactly as they wanted.
When you splurge such a huge amount of money on a wedding, and invest so much time into planning, isn’t it best to remain true to your dreams and have the day you really want to have? Why compromise, unless you really really have to?
I’m going to open this up to our community because you won’t be alone in feeling a bit stressed about this, it was something that was important to me in my planning too, but I shouldn’t have wasted my energy worrying, your loved ones will be there come hell or highwater!
Has this helped at all?