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How Much Travel Is Too Much for a Destination Wedding?

Read this before asking your guests to embark on a lengthy journey.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Erich McVey

Destination weddings are appealing because they're relaxing, easier to plan, and typically have smaller guest counts. But is there such a thing as a too-far destination? And how concerned should couples be about the difficulty of travel for their guests? We answer these quandaries and more below.

 

Related: The Surprising Benefits of Planning a Destination Wedding

 

How much travel is too much?

There's really no one right answer about appropriate travel times for a destination wedding, but it is important to consider how you think the most important wedding guests will feel about the locale you have in mind. For example, if you'd love to have your grandmother in attendance, it might make more sense to go with a venue that's close to an airport so you can limit travel time once there. On the other hand, if the majority of your guest list is made up of people who travel often, you may be able to go somewhere that's farther away from home.

 

Are there other events guests can attend instead?

If you already know you're going to throw a post-wedding celebration closer to home, you can be a little more adventurous with your destination since it won't be a huge disappointment if your guests can't all make it to a far-off location.

 

Do you have a good reason why you want to go so far?

If you're having a destination wedding because you or your fiancé is from another country, there's no location that's too far. Most guests will expect that you'll have two celebrations, one for each family location. As there's no obligation for guests to attend the destination wedding, you have significantly more flexibility around travel time.

 

On the other hand, if you're having a destination wedding simply because you want to, keeping the celebration location within a reasonable travel distance should be a consideration. If flights are longer than three hours, limiting the driving time after the flight is smart. Most guests won't want to take an eight-hour flight and follow it up with a five-hour drive in a rental car.

 

So, does travel time really matter?

Yes. Part of being a good host is ensuring your guests are comfortable, happy, and relaxed. While there will always be things beyond your control, your guests' experiences are largely manufactured by the structures you put in place. As many of your guests will be taking time off of work to travel to your destination wedding, and will likely spend a decent amount of their annual travel budget to attend, you want to be sure they're getting the most out of their time away.