Meet in the Middle? Planning a Wedding when Families Live Apart

planning a weddingThese days, more and more couples are living together before they get married. In fact, three out of four couples will share a home before tying the knot. Some couples move in together to overcome a long-distance separation. However, it is unlikely that migrating lovebirds bring their entire families along with them. So, what happens when it’s time to say “I do,” and each side of the family lives in completely different states?

Here, we’ve listed some options with pros and cons to help you decide what makes the most sense for your union.

  1. One Partner’s Hometown

    • Pros
      Choosing to go with one partner’s hometown has many benefits. First, it can be a more comfortable choice, since that partner will be familiar with the area. Their side of the family will be able to view the venue, meet vendors and collaborate in-person, which can be a huge help while planning a wedding. If one partner’s family is quite small, while the other needs to squeeze 75 cousins onto the guest list, choosing that bigger family’s hometown can save a lot of money and headaches.
    • Cons
      Unfortunately, deciding to get married in one hometown can potentially create social rifts. The other set of in-laws might feel slighted if they have to travel farther than the other partner’s family. Use good, open communication tactics to manage any conflicts that may arise.
  2. Meeting in the Middle

    • Pros
      If the families live a few hundred miles or even a few states apart, meeting at a wedding venue somewhere in the middle makes a lot of sense. This method will encourage a sense of fairness so that when the big day comes, both sides have the same distance to travel. Opting for the middle ground can also make delegating tasks to one side or the other a bit simpler. If the wedding were in one person’s hometown, that side might feel obligated to carry the bulk of financial and planning responsibilities. Choosing to wed near the geographic middle suggests a sense of equal involvement.
    • Cons
      In some rural areas, reception venues appropriate for hosting an event like yours may be few and far between. Furthermore, some partners from different financial backgrounds might struggle with a “middle ground” solution– while one side thinks the middle is fair, the other side may not be able to afford to travel long distances, or contribute equally.
  3. Destination Wedding

    • Pros
      If neither partner is too keen on their hometown, and if meeting in the middle seems like an unnecessary hassle, planning a wedding somewhere unique can be a fun solution. Choosing to travel can bring a sense of excitement to both sides, and could help avoid potential jealousy and drama. Destination wedding spaces often adopt a more hands-on approach; it is common for vacation venues to manage food, decorations, and lodging as well as seating.
    • Cons
      Destination weddings can get expensive, and again, if one side has limited financial resources, they may feel left out or unduly stressed. Traveling for a wedding may also feel nerve-wracking, and some couples could even experience homesickness or a sense of loss that such an important occasion happened somewhere they don’t feel they belong.

No matter which location you choose, planning a wedding can be stressful. Be open about communication and realistic about finances, so that both sides can celebrate your new union with joy.

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