Wedding location – bride’s hometown or groom’s?

I just got engaged last week and am already stuck on wedding planning! I’m from NJ, my fiance is from TX. We currently live in HI but plan to live in TX after the wedding. I’d like to have the wedding in NJ.

My fiance thinks he would have less guests attend due to financial reasons (he reports his guests are not as well off as my side). He has a very close social family in Texas with extended family and friends he wants to invite.

I am Taiwanese and my quiet and anti-social family consists of my mom, dad, and brother (rest are in Taiwan who can’t attend). That leaves the rest of my guests as close friends.

My parents are already sensitive to the idea of us getting married (My fiance is caucasian, and there is a language/cultural barrier, and we moved to HI within 1 year of us being together). I do not want them to think that I’m “leaving” them by both having the wedding and moving to Texas.

It’s too expensive for a destination wedding as we can only afford (and want) a small, casual, low budget, outdoor wedding. I’ve even entertained the idea of getting married on a cruise to nowhere from NYC with the all inclusive rate.

I wouldn’t mind getting married in city hall and having two receptions in NJ/TX, but I would not have enough family on my side nor would I have enough guests attending a Texas wedding (versus if his family comes to NJ, it would still be as much as my side of guests).

Oh dear, I don’t know if I’ve explained clearly. I’m just frustrated already about where to have the wedding.

Please please please help. Thank you and mahalo!

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Mahalo Leiyu,

It is nice to hear of someone genuinely worried about her guests’ comfort.

In the past, the wedding would be hosted in the bride’s home town, basically because her parents would be paying for it. But, today this isn’t the case. You two can host it anywhere. It seems to me that Texas would be the most logical place to host it since most of the guests live there. But, it may not seem fair to your family, although many of us live a great distance from our families, so they have to travel for our life events anyway. They just may not see it that way. So, wherever you host it, you may have to try to help them understand your reasons. But, please don’t feel badly for hosting where you wish.

Please note that you are responsible for the lodging of any traveling attendant (bridesmaid/groomsmen). The same would be true if cruising. So, be careful when asking others to stand with you. You really don’t need any attendants, just someone to sign the license.

Best wishes,

Yvonne Kelly, MSW, RSW, Certified Stepfamily Counsellor and Coach,
Co-Founder and Director of the

I agree that from different points of view it makes sense to do it in Texas but I can also see your concern about your parents and how they may see this as you choosing his family over your own. But that’s not what you’re doing and anyone on the outside of all this would see that you are only trying to accomodate as many people as possible. If money isn’t an issue for your family, in terms of travelling for the wedding, then it is the logical choice. I was going to suggest what you suggested which is one ceremony and 2 receptions which could also work but if you want to stick to one cermemony/reception here is another thing to throw in to the mix which might go along way towards helping your parents accept this. As it would appear that this is a situation that is going to need compromise on different occasions, including holidays and where you’ll spend them, why not first of all tell your parents how much you appreciate them coming to Texas for the wedding and than suggest that you spend your first Thanksgiving or Christmas or big holiday of their choosing, as a newly wedded couple, together with them in your hometown. That gesture might go along way to showing them that you are doing everything you can to be fair to everyone and that you definitely are not trying to “get away from them” by marrying and moving to Texas.

Best of Luck!