Planning a Wedding with Families From Around the World

Welcome back!  Today we are talking about how to accommodate families from around the world. If you and your fiancé have families in different parts of the country or world, it may take a little more effort to plan your big day.  This can be difficult as you both want your families to be present, but it is increasingly common that couples meet away from both of their hometowns, either in college or having moved for a job.  So, what do you do when you live in one place, your friends in another, his family in another, and your family in another?  Here are our five tips to help with your wedding planning:

1. Have the engagement party, bridal shower, or bachelor/bachelorette party in another city.

Before the wedding, while the engagement is still new and exciting news, you might want to take a trip back to see the family and childhood friends and celebrate the fun occasion.  Of course, some of these close relatives may make the trek to the actual ceremony, but this may be a way to see them and share in your happiness without putting the pressure on them to come.  Let them know that they don’t have to come to the wedding (though you’d love to have them).

2. Have the reception somewhere else.

After the ceremony, maybe provide some light refreshments, but do the big celebration with the family.  If you have a big family all in one place like I do, you can go back home and have a big dinner in the weeks after.  Maybe you can even wear the reception dress you may or may not have bought already.

3. Offer to subsidize transportation or provide transportation.

If there are key people who live far that you want to see at your big day, offer to cover their transportation or at least partially.  It is probably unreasonable to do that for everyone, so let people know that it’s an exception.  Another option is to provide transportation.  If your wedding venue is a road trip distance away, you can rent a bus and load your family up to make the trek.  Outfit the bus with some fun movies or home videos, games, and snacks.  Your family and hometown friends will have a blast riding to your wedding in comfort.

4. Have a destination wedding in your hometown.

If the majority of your guests are in one place, but you and your fiancé live in another, you can do a destination wedding to your hometown.  This will be a great excuse to invite all of your new friends to come visit where you grew up.

5. Do a bridal tour.  

Kind of like a post-graduation tour, you can use some of your honeymoon time to go see both of your families and some old friends.  Get to know the extended family and childhood friends and introduce them to your new spouse.

We know that living far from friends and family is hard during times like these when you want to share the festivities with everyone.  It’s not impossible to spread the joy around with planning.  Best of luck and have fun!