How far is too far when traveling from ceremony location to reception location?
Just wanted to get some opinions! My question is how far is too far to ask our guests to drive between our ceremony and reception? We are getting married in a church that is no where near any reception sites that will work for the amount of people/budget that we have set for ourselves. We don't want to change our ceremony site since the church is special to both of us. The reception sites we have found are about 30 miles away and would take about 35-40 minutes to get there. Half of the guests live closer (about 10 miles away) to the reception site and a good amount of the other half are interested in staying in hotels in the area of the reception. Is that too far to ask our guests to travel between the two?

Married: 2+ years ago
Posted On: Mar 21, 2011 at 4:51 PM • Vendors are allowed • Add to My WatchlistFlag As Inappropriate1 like

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Hayley C™
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 1
Mar 21, 2011 at 4:56 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I have been to at least 3 weddings where that was my driving time from one place to another. I don't think it is too bad.

Will they be back to back for the most part or will there be a 3 - 4 hour gap between the end of the ceremony and the start of cocktail hour?

Married: 09/17/2011
Reviews: 5
Mar 21, 2011 at 5:00 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Our ceremony site is also about 30 miles from the reception venue.

I have recently been to a wedding that took about one hour to drive from the church to the reception. So I don't think it's unreasonable at all!

Married: 12/29/2011
Mar 21, 2011 at 5:01 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I've been thinking the same. The travel time between my ceremony and reception venue can be anywhere from 20 mins to an hour depending on traffic - since it is after all in the capital of the Philippines. :|
I guess 30-40 minutes isn't too bad especially if you have a cocktail hour.

Married: 08/20/2011
Reviews: 3
Mar 21, 2011 at 5:13 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I think it depends on your area. If you live in podunkville, a 30 minute drive is the end of the world. If you live in a major city- a 30 minute drive is absolutely nothing and not a big deal.

I'd look at your guests and see. I have a further commute for work, so it doesn't phase me. Just make sure you give plenty of time before the cocktail hour starts.

Married: 10/01/2011
Reviews: 7
Mar 21, 2011 at 8:12 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Our ceremony and reception are 30 miles apart and it takes about 35-40 min to drive from one to the other. I wish they could have been closer, but we booked the reception site first and then couldn't find anywhere close to have an outdoor ceremony with a back up rain location on site. I think most people will just deal, but I live in an area where it takes 20 min to get to the grocery store anyway, so people are used to driving.

The way I look at it is this: the people you REALLY REALLY want to be there would go to the ends of the earth to see you get married, so they won't complain. Some of your guests might choose to skip the ceremony, but probably not the really important ones.

Meghan B is right about making sure your guests have plenty of time to drive from point a to point b between the ceremony and cocktail hour. We're starting cocktail hour 45 min after the estimated end of the ceremony, given our 35-40 min drive time.

Married: 07/09/2011
Reviews: 5
Mar 21, 2011 at 9:02 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Long as you have a cocktail hour so that people won't FEEL like they are waiting that long. Also, I would recommend doing some of your pictures BEFORE the wedding so that you don't spend so long taking photos seeing as you have to also drive 40 min to get to your reception. That could mean at least 1.5 - 2 hours before you even get to the reception. At my venue the bridal party is to arrive at 11:00 so we can do the majority of our photos before the wedding (all the ones that don't involve the bride and groom together). By time we get done with the ceremony the final photo session with everyone together will only take about 30 min to do. That will keep my guests from waiting too long.

Amy "Been here too long" W.
Married: 11/05/2011
Reviews: 7
Mar 21, 2011 at 9:32 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
As a guest I don't mind driving an hour or less. I WILL travel over an hour to attend ceremony and reception, but yeah I will complain about it.

Your 35-40 min drive should not bother any civil person.

My Beloved, Inc.

My Beloved, Inc.
Mar 21, 2011 at 10:15 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
What you have planned sounds reasonable, particularly if the reception is followed right after the ceremony. An hour is usually the guideline, but that is not always possible.

Married: 2+ years ago
Mar 22, 2011 at 9:27 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Thanks for your advice, it definitely makes me feel better knowing its not too far. I will definitely take the advice about the cocktail hour & timing as well as the pictures beforehand!
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