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Travelling guests - evening only?

we are having close family and friends for the ceremony and meal -total of 35 people. H2b is painfully shy and nervous and doesn't want too many people there. This is big progress for him and he initially only wanted us and two witnesses. The evening however is going to be a big do that everyone can come to.

I'm just feeling awkward about family members who will need to travel and only inviting them to the evening. I feel that it's not really reasonable to expect them to travel all that way and not come to the day. We are in the South of England and there are relatives in Durham and Wostershire - it's a good 5/6 hour drive.  

Not sure what to do - Inviting these people would push the guest list up into the 40s and might cause h2b to explode and al might cause friction with other local relatives who are only invited to the evening.

what a minefield!


  • SadieeeSadieee Posts: 1,781 New bride

    95% of our guests are travelling 4-8hrs, we are having them all day as didn't feel we could invite them for evening only, as a guest I wouldn't travel it for evening only :( i would invite the far away one's to all day and if any locals complain just explain you couldn't ask them to travel so far for the evening only

  • MrsMcSMrsMcS Posts: 235

    I have a couple of friends who had small ceremonies and bigger receptions, and in both cases plenty of the evening guests travelled from further afield. I think if it's made clear that you're having an intimate ceremony, people are less likely to mind. 

  • It's a difficult one. We were originally planning to have a ceremony of 25 and a reception of 50. Like you we wanted a small affair. And then there wad the money issue. Some of my guests were flying from Europe. 

    But later through the process we changed our mind. It didn't feel right to get them to travel do far for an evening. 

    But that was a very personal decision. In the end guests, who truly care about seeing you on your wedding day, will come whatever you ask of them. They might nag and complain but they will come if they care about you.

  • ducklingduckling Posts: 116 New bride

    My friend had a really small ceremony (close family only) but invited everyone else for the meal onwards. Maybe you could do that? I had to fly there (same country, just a long way!) and get a hotel, and much as I love her I don’t know if I would have done that for just an evening do... 

  • SC2BxSC2Bx Posts: 117 New bride

    I have to admit I didn’t realise this was such a “no go” for people. Personally I’d stick with what you want to do and feel comfortbale with. 

    Ive been to plenty of weddings just for the evening at a 3 hour plus drive and never thought much of it - they’re not my best friends or my closest family why would they invite me to the whole day! 

    I don’t know what your timeline is but could you make the evening a bit earlier say half 5 with a “drinks reception“ or games type event to make your eveningg guests feel more involved in the day? Hubby could always take this time to go a chill out somewhere? 

    Hope you find something that works out x 

  • britbirdbritbird Posts: 1,486 New bride

    Hard one- I wouldn't travel for 5-6 hours just for an evening do, but everyone is different. If you factor in the travel time, petrol, gift, hotel etc, then it is a big expense.  

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