The Decision of Where

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning
image via stock.xchng | illustration by lockheed

image via stock.xchng | illustration by lockheed

Before a lot of wedding details can fall into place, the subject of where it’s all going to happen usually needs to be dealt with.

Traditionally, brides returned to their hometown to be married. After all, that’s where the parents (and, therefore, the money) were and all those childhood friends and extended family. Of course, these days our personal worlds are much more global, but many first-time brides still choose their hometown or somewhere familiar for their nuptials.

The returning bride, however, might have made a life for herself far from the old homestead and chances are good the groom has travelled a bit, too. Suddenly, going “home” doesn’t make as much sense as staying put and, even then, choosing a location can be tough.

Both Mr. Trips and I live far away from most of our family and while our wedding will be the small, intimate sort, we still want to make things simple for any out of town guests who wish to attend.

Some things to consider:

  • Is there adequate hotel space near the chosen spot for out-of-towners or do are there enough local friends who’d be willing to put them up for a night or 3?
  • For guests flying-in, how’s your local airport set? I know flying into and out of Tallahassee can be a bit of a bear and often increases the cost involved. Scouting out shuttle services from nearby cities or planning extra activities surrounding the wedding to entertain those out of town guests is a nice touch since they may opt for a longer stay to get better rates (flying in on Friday and out on Sunday being trés pricey compared to in on Thursday and out on Monday or Tuesday).
  • Destination weddings can even the playing-field a bit–everyone travels!–but can also exclude some folks you’d really want to be there if funds are tight (and, let’s face it, everyone is feeling the pinch these days).

There’s more to this than a simply your city or mine.

Add to this, living in a college town and planning a fall wedding meant dealing with football schedules. Not because we’re fans (sports are not something we’re majorly invested in), but because a large chunk of our city virtually shuts down on game days (and heaven forbid it be homecoming weekend). Since we wouldn’t know until February of 2013 (more than a year from when we started location scouting) if there would be a home game that weekend, we pretty much had to cut out any place downtown or near campus, as traffic could create major issues.

I was tempted, though–the last two years showed an off weekend or a Thursday night game for the first weekend of November, but it wasn’t enough to convince me to take that chance.

What were the big factors in deciding your wedding location?
Or was there even really a choice?