How far is too far?!

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amthee Posts: 688
Hi ladies, I am recently engaged :o)ll :o)ll :o)ll and we have set the date and booked the church. The next big thing is to choose a venue and this is where I have a problem. O:| I live in Kildare and although there are alot of hotels to choose from we are expecting 220 to 250 guests. Alot of hotels don't cater for our numbers and the ones that do are a bit pricey. We have been to a few weddings of close friends in the last year and don't want to have the comparison between weddings at the same venue. We are also planning to build our house after we get married so we don't want to break the bank on our wedding. To try and get a good deal I have been researching hotels in Carlow, Wicklow and Meath. I have a hotel in Carlow that I like and when I met with the staff they were very nice and I know they would accomodate us with special dietry needs and so on. The hotel is 55 minutes from the church that we are getting married in. I like the hotel but I think it's missing a bit of a wow factor :babydust: . So this is my question, how far is too far to expect your guests to drive from the church to hotel? There are a few nice hotels in Athlone that I like. The driving distance is just 15 minutes more than the hotel in Carlow. Is it too much to ask guests to drive for an hour and ten minutes? It would mean driving on the motorway for a while. Originally when we started looking at hotels we said we would only look within a one hour radius max. How far are your guests travelling to get to the hotel? Thanks ladies! :wv
Mrs Fahrenheit Posts: 1582
Hey Amthee I'm getting married in my venue so the problem doesn't apply but I'll give you advice based on the 20 something weddings I've been to in the last few years! The furthest drive I've had was just over an hour. It does break the day up. Like guests have to travel and check in and unpack a bit..I always pick up a sandwich cause I'm starved. So you've lost a little of the "high" from after the ceremony and it makes the day feel long. But it is manageable and I've done it and I grumbled a little bit but I've had a good time at those wedding as well. Wouldn't bother me driving on the motor-way at all - sure it's better than little roads anyway at least you know where you are going. Basically it's not ideal but it's doable. So consider how important it is to get married in your church and how important it is to have a hotel with a wow factor. If they are both things you really, really want - you have your answer. HTH MF
thekerster Posts: 159
In donegal a bit of traveling after the ceremony seems to really be the norm. The longest i've ever done has been an hour. As it's what normally happens no one really moans about it !!
flor Posts: 1621
Hi Amthee, welcome to WOL! Our church/hotel are about 20/25mins apart. We are getting married on Dec. 29th so with the possibility of icy roads etc. at that time of year, we didn't want too much schlepping around between church, photo locations, hotel etc. So if yours is a winter wedding, that might be something to think about? (also at that time of year, fewer daylight hours = shorter window for photos) i think if you find a venue you really like it might be a good idea to find a church beside it? your main issue seemed to be finding a venue where you wouldn't feel compared, so if you achieve that, it might be possible to find a beautiful little church nearby? a quick post here on WOL about your hotel location and someone might be able to advise on churches in the area! it'd give your guests more time to relax, check in and enjoy themselves if they had the bulk of the driving out of the way before the ceremony. HTH!
CarolinaMoon Posts: 2431
I am one of those moaners when the venue and church are far apart. I hate having to travel for an hour or more between venues. This summer we drove over an hour on country roads to a church that the bride loved and then back again to our home town for the reception. Oh and the church was tiny so most of us stood outside anyway. If you find a venue you love then I would look at changing churches to be nearer to it. For us, the church and venue are about 10 minutes apart. We will have a lot of people coming from the UK and wanted to make it as easy as possible.
Jawl Posts: 8881
I've actually never had to travel, any more than say 20 minutes to the venue. I've been to a couple of weddings on the other side of the country, but went and stayed there for the weekend in those cases. One hour and 10 minutes away, is a good journey for your guests, and would mean they'd have to stay overnight, and I've found that people aren't as willing to stay overnight anymore as they just don't have the disposable cash. That's all that would bother me about it.
highbeam Posts: 2578
I think 45 minutes is enough to drive between church and venue, an hour max. It really does break up your day. You need to think about how your timing of the day will go too. What time is the church at? Afterwards you will need time for meeting people outside the church (if you do a greeting line this could take half an hour with your number of guests) and taking photographs. And then if you have an hour and 10 minutes drive to your hotel you will be pushing it to make it back to see people at the reception. 1:30 church 2:30 ceremony finishes 3:00 finish greeting guests @church then you might get photos taken here or go somewhere else so you could spend maybe 40 minutes at this 3:40 leave for hotel 4:50 arrive at hotel - champagne reception and maybe a few more photos 5:30 guests will be called for dinner. So that is only giving you 40 minutes at your reception before dinner. Others will say a bit of a drive is a nice time to spend together with your new hubby, so it all depends on what you would prefer. I thought about it a lot and our hotel is only 15/20minutes from the church. I dont want to spend half the day in car. It will go by so quickly, I want to make it back to the hotel to see people before dinner. I have been to a few weddings in the same hotels and no one really sits there comparing it to the last time they were there. I would prefer to have it in a nice hotel closer to home than to travel just incase anyone compares it to a previous wedding they were at.
atina Posts: 2240
Hi there i had a bit of the same dilema, to be honest i just sacrificed getting married in our home church because it was just going to be too much travelling for the guests altho the parish church would have only been a 45 min drive to the venue people would have still had a good drive from their homes to the church then from the church to the venue i didnt see the point in dragging everyone to a church on the northside of dublin to then drive them back southside and out to dunboyne so i decided to pick the church in dunboyne will suit everyone much better. If you dont want a venue near your church then maybe just pick a church near your decided venue
curlysu Posts: 811
A big factor for me is will many guests be driving far to go to the ceremony ? If people drive an hour or more to the ceremony, then an hour ten to the reception, its a lot of driving. If most people are local to the church though, then an hour ten drive wouldn't be such a big deal
amthee Posts: 688
Thanks for all the comments! :thnk 95% of our guests are local so it would only take them a few minutes to get to the church. It is really important to me to get married in my local church. If I wasn't getting married in my church we would probably have our wedding abroad. I know people say oh no one would compare weddings that are at the same hotel but 40 - 60 of our guests would have been to another wedding at the same location. We have always travelled at least 45 minutes from the church to the hotel for other weddings. I just don't know what to do I want to view more hotels but nothing is really jumping out at me. Ideally I would like to have the hotel booked in the next month. I am not working at the moment so while I have the time I am trying to organise as much as I can. The wedding is in March so you never know what way the weather will be, we had a gorgeous sunny day for a friends wedding in March this year but a few years ago the bride and groom had to stay in the church until the snow calmed down! :eek