Out Of Town Wedding!

by Emily
( Chandler, AZ)

My fiancé & I live (& will be wed) in Arizona in the spring of 2011. However, my entire family lives in Kentucky and his in Nebraska.

We will be inviting 100-200 people to our wedding, but we want to give everyone a great deal of notice so those who want to be there will have plenty of time to plan (as in 1 year).

My mother wants to host a reception in KY after the wedding, but I am confused as to how to approach this. Do I invite everyone & mention there will be a reception in KY, so if they can't come to AZ, they can attend that, or do I send out separate invites to those for the wedding & KY reception?

In addition, since we do not think everyone who is invited to the wedding will be able to make the trip, how long do we give them to RSVP so we can make appropriate arrangements for the AZ reception?

I just need to know the proper etiquette for this situation! I am lost!

Our Thoughts

You should be proud of the fact that you are starting to think and plan the details early in your wedding planning process. This is a great first step!

As you mentioned above, for your wedding in Arizona you will want to give your guests sufficient notice. You can start by sending out save the dates a year prior to your wedding date.

Follow that up by creating a wedding website that contains details about your wedding, including your mother’s plans for having a second reception in KY for those guests that can’t make it to AZ.

Send invitations out to everyone that you plan on inviting, including the guests from KY. In addition, send out invitations to the KY reception to the guests who live there.

Find out from your reception space and/or caterer when they need a final head count for your wedding reception. This probably won’t be until a month or so before your wedding date.

Since you have notified your guests by sending out save the dates and creating a wedding website, you can send out your invitations 2-3 months in advance.

You will end up having two guest lists, one for each reception. Since your mother is hosting the KY reception, it probably makes the most sense for her to receive the RSVPs for that reception.

To Your Wedding!
Danielle & Stephen

Comments for Out Of Town Wedding!

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Info for out of town guests
by: Emily

Great advice, thank you! I've also read it may be helpful to send along a sort of "info sheet" to the out of town guests suggesting a few hotels. I'm assuming this should go out with the save the dates, right?

Our Thoughts

Yes, sending an info sheet with the save the date is a great idea, if that information is available at that time.

You can also direct guests to your wedding website that you can update with the most up to date information as it becomes available.

If there are a lot of people making the trip, you may also want to contact a travel agent for help. You can often negotiate discounted rates on travel packages for groups.


Lots of postage
by: Emily's mom

That seems like a lot if mailings to me. Are you saying send a "save the date", and a wedding invitation to everyone and then a separate invitation to only the KY people for the KY reception?

What if you only want a small number of people to attend the actual ceremony in Phoenix but do want a lot of people at the KY reception? Do you still invite all those people to the wedding in Phoenix?

Our Thoughts

We can definitely understand your concerns about postage adding up. Here are a few thoughts.

You can certainly have separate guest lists - one for the AZ wedding and one for the KY reception. It may be challenging to draw that line, however, as it sounds like there will be people from KY that are going to make the trip to AZ.

When creating the guest list for the AZ wedding, you have to decide where the cutoff point is. For example, will inviting one cousin and not the other to the AZ wedding cause problems?

If you haven't already, sit down and make a list of who you definitely think will attend the AZ wedding, and make another list of those who you plan to only invite to the KY reception.

If you don't see any potential conflicts, then you are all set.


Download a sample letter for out of wedding guests
by: John Conner

Here is a sample letter you can use for your out of town wedding guests. You can download it for free and change it to suit your needs.


Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask The Wedding Planner.