Yes, venue stress. I've been there, done that! I erupted into tears at the airport over venue stress.
Keep in mind that different people will give you different advice related to this dilemma. It's so close to our situation that I can't help but share what worked for us.
- We considered multiple locations. I lived half my life in California and half in Florida. Matt's family is in Indiana. Our friends are scattered. We lived in Denver at the time. We considered each location as a potential option. We even considered random "in-between" locations like Tennessee.
- We didn't want the wedding to be dominated by one side. We ultimately realized that if we had the wedding in Matt's hometown or mine, then the attendance would be skewed. If we had had it in Indiana, for example, more of Matt's family and friends would have been able to come. That situation didn't seem fair to either of us or our families.
- We chose to plan the wedding near where we lived. We also realized that trying to plan a wedding from afar might be a nightmare. We needed to visit our venue a couple times to get everything planned. If those venue visits had involved plane rides, our budget would have been blown very quickly.
- We lamented the impact our choice would have on our friends'/families' budgets and the environment. We acknowledged that forcing everyone to travel would increase the overall costs associated with our wedding (when we factored how much people would have to spend on airfare, car rental, etc.), but we realized that the benefits outweighed the drawbacks.
- We weeded out the people who weren't really close to us. The people who were willing to make the financial sacrifice to attend our wedding did it because they really, really wanted to celebrate with us.
- We made our planning much, much easier.
- As you say, we got to share our city with our friends and family.
- It created a vacation-like atmosphere and a friends and family reunion.
"I hear what you're saying about how attending our wedding will be potentially unaffordable for some of your family members. I know these are truly difficult times for people financially, and I want to respect that. However, it really only makes sense for us to have our wedding in Madison. It's more fair to both families, it will be easier and less expensive for us to plan, and it will give us a chance to share our lives with our friends and family. I know it will be difficult for people, which is why we will do everything we can to lessen the financial burden. We will tell people how to set up airline tracking alerts, so they can be on the lookout for cheap tickets. We will provide a very inexpensive place to stay and help people set up carpooling to and from the airport. We will assure people that their "presence" at our wedding is "presents" enough. We will give people enough advance notice so they can start saving.
This decision was truly difficult for us to make because we want your family to celebrate with us, and we don't want to inconvenience anyone. I love you very much and want you to be happy. I hope you can understand how hard this is for us and that we ultimately have to make the decision that makes the most sense for everyone involved."
Or something like that. You get the gist.
I personally wouldn't use the argument that it will be more expensive to host a wedding in New York because I think your mom could counter with, "Don't worry; I'll help you find an inexpensive venue, bakery, etc." Although I understand the concept of differences in regional pricing, I also believe that you can have a wallet-friendly wedding in any city if you trek off the beaten wedding path.
I hope those thoughts help!
Now I'll open it up to others to share their two cents:
So, 2000dollarwedding kindred spirits: How would you approach this dilemma?