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By David Kriso
A wedding! It is the happiest day for two individuals. It is the moment when two become one. To top it off, the champagne is on ice, there’s a monster-size cake, and everyone is dressed to the nines.
At any wedding, there are dozens of wedding guests who travel many miles to attend. Some have to fly, take a train or drive a long distance. Traveling to a wedding can be very exciting but no easy feat.
My family and I have been invited to many out-of-town weddings. They are a lot of fun. However, the burden of time and money always comes to light. If you are engaged, you must understand how paramount it is to be mindful of out-of-town guests. They’re the ones going the great distance to share in a timeless moment with you. To invited guests, I wish to share some travel advice to ease the “I do” vs. “I don’t” dilemma.
In June 2003, my family and I attended a wedding in Santa Clarita, Calif. The reception was held at an aviation-themed banquet hall in Van Nuys, Calif. The groom (our longtime friend) and the bride well researched the hotel accommodations. In the invitation, they provided a listing of hotels nearest to the wedding location. We flew into Burbank and chose to stay at the Holiday Inn in Valencia, 25 minutes from Santa Clarita. It was a wedding done with over-the-top, solid travel research and was truly well worth it.
In November 2003, I was invited to a college classmate’s wedding in Moline, Ill. When I read the invitation, I put on the brakes. The date and location hit me like a fastball. Moline is 165 miles west of Chicago. The date was very difficult to make. She and her fiancé planned their wedding for the Saturday of New Year’s weekend. They didn’t recommend any hotels in the area, nor did they bother putting a block of hotel rooms together for out-of-town guests. To add insult to injury, the airline fares were running $500 and up. Taking the train would have been my best bet. The cost was way cheaper than flying, but the return trip would’ve caused me to miss a full working day. With regret, I checked off, “Sorry, I cannot attend.” I couldn’t make the wedding, but at least their present did.
Engaged couples are bound to make errors when planning their weddings. Before you decide to check off “will not attend” on the RSVP card, consider looking up alternatives. Or contact the bride and groom. If the hotel they’re using is too pricy, ask if there’s a cheaper one nearby. Ask about transportation. This is work which the bride, groom or their families could have done to make your journey a whole lot more enjoyable. There’s no harm in asking.
An out-of-town wedding is always a joy to attend. Traveling long distance to a wedding shows the bride and groom that you want to support them. Even though the bride and groom’s planning might be sub-par, don’t be afraid to seek alternatives. Always give yourself a fighting chance at attending. We all want to say “I do” to a wedding invitation. Doing a little extra on your part goes a long way. It is what makes a wedding couple far happier than you imagined.
Visit David Kriso on Facebook and his travel blog, davidekriso.blogspot.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.