If the OP had gone through with her original plan, which was to have the wedding where she lives, 1000 miles away from most of the guests, and had the "standard" Saturday wedding, wouldn't the guests have had to take Friday off anyway to travel?
I guess that's where I'm having a problem seeing an issue with this wedding. The OP and her fiance bowed to family pressure to have the wedding closer to where the families live. In doing so, they eliminated travel time, travel costs (whether by air or car or train), hotel costs, eating out costs, pet/child sitter costs, etc., for most of their guests.
The one remaining cost is taking Friday off. And I guess I'm struggling with the fact that most of the people I know have no problem asking for a day off to attend a friend's wedding when it is out of town. The weddings are usually on Saturday, so the out of town guests need to get Friday off to travel. So why would it be such a big deal to take a day off, when the actual cost could have been so much greater?
The OP has already made the wedding much more convenient to the families of both her and her fiance. She is having to plan her wedding long-distance--she couldn't, based on another post, get to the caterer's for the taste-testing. Her fiance had to do that by himself.
She has already made several major concessions about this wedding--the location, the cost (because it would have been less expensive in the original location), having to do all the planning from 1,000 miles away.
I'm wondering if the complaints are mostly coming from acquaintances who don't know about the back story for this wedding, and who think the choice of Friday was just a whim on the part of the Happy Couple, and not a compromise between their own wishes and those of the families.