I was just purusing the internet and found an interesting survey from mywedding.com though I don’t know how many respondents they had.
How many out-of-town guests are attending your wedding?
29% say Less than 25% of the guest list
24% say About 50% of the guest list
17% say More than 75% of the guest list
15% say About 25% of the guest list
15% say About 75% of the guest list
In summary then, about 4 in 10 brides has just a quarter or less of out of towners (meaning they are probably living and wedding in the same place and they have perhaps lived a closer life with family and friends…)
So 6 of 10 brides has at least half or more of their wedding guests from out of town. This reflects our mobile society, people going away to college and meeting new friends who move away again after graduation. Families split up (relatives) all over the country, and people just don’t stay put anymore!
Out of town wedding guests present a lot of interesting relationship “stuff” in wedding planning. Things like:
- are they more or less likely to attend your wedding because of travel?
- do they require extra attention (save the dates) or extra time (invitations being sent out) to be able to plan for your wedding?
- how does an out of town guest know they are invited – even a save the date may be too late if you have a hot wedding month and they don’t know if they can leave town for your own event
- do you book all price ranges of hotels because of affordability issues or do you try to get all the guests in one hotel that isn’t too low-grade for some guests but not too expensive for your poor friends?
- are the majority from one place and is there any major event (or weather) in their area that might prevent them from being able to attend?
- do you feel obligated to get them out of town gift bags – a growing trend? I did this for all my out of town guests (I had people from 14 states and all our rehearsal dinner was out of towners except my parents!) where I put a bag of goodies in their hotel rooms before they arrived. This adds expense and time but also a personal touch (I wrote a personal note to each person on their bag.)
- do you reassess your relationships, particularly with friends, when sending out a wedding invitation? In other words, if the same friend was in town would you easily invite them, but because these people are out of town you might not because you don’t know if you’re close enough to justify the expense they’ll incur to be at your wedding?
- the “are children invited?” factor is much more problematic when inviting out of towners. You can’t expect guests to find a weekend babysitter back home or to put their kids in a hotel with a strange and expensive baby sitter.
- the time of year – out of towners not used to your weather may have big struggles or stress. We could not, being in Minnesota, POSSIBLY have a winter weather with a huge portion of our out of town guests being from the South. They would have had a terrible time driving, not owning the proper winter clothing, and the entire experience would just be more stressful on everyone.
So it appears many of us have the same stress and issues in dealing with out of towners.