The thought of planning a wedding can be overwhelming enough for most brides. But planning a long-distance wedding? That can instantly double or triple the stress factor. Not being able to easily visit locations, taste food, or even see flowers in person when you don’t live near the wedding location nearly seems impossible. With some general tips and tricks, I was able to successfully plan my 2012 wedding in my fiance’s home state of Hawaii while living in Nebraska.
Give Yourself Enough Time
Make sure to allow a sufficient amount of time between the start of your planning process to the chosen wedding date. If the time frame is too short, you will be scrambling to finalize details. We chose a wedding date that was a year and a half away, allowing us a good amount of time to research and decide on actual locations, vendors, food choices, etc…
Start the Planning Process Early
After choosing the initial location and date of the wedding, make a plan for what you will need to research. There are many online budget guides and checklists available on what you will need to book. Decide what is most important for you and start from there. Is it a church that you’ve always wanted to get married in? Or having your reception at the beach? Narrowing down priorities and breaking them down into individual tasks won’t seem as daunting. For my own wedding, I wanted to have a Catholic ceremony so that was what I had decided to look into first. Then I worked on finding the reception site and so on.
Do Your Research
Find out what that particular state/country’s requirements are for a wedding. How you apply for a wedding license, fees, where you will pick up the license are all things that you will need to figure out before the actual wedding can take place. We were able to apply for our license online but had to make arrangements to pick it several days before our wedding. In addition, look into different options for location sites and vendors. If something doesn’t work out, you can refer to alternatives that you will be happy with too.
Communication is Key
Email and phone conservations were the basis of communication between me and vendors. Have a list of questions of what you want to ask them. Fees, availability on your chosen wedding date, what actual services will be included are all important starting points. Don’t be afraid to email or call with additional questions. Vendors that take the time to respond to your questions thoroughly are the ones that are truly interested in making your wedding day memorable. I was very fortunate enough to come across people who answered all my concerns, which definitely made my decision-making process a lot easier and less stressful.
Ask for Help Whenever You Can
If you have trusted family or friends that live near the location of your wedding, ask them if they’d be willing to check out some places for you. My fiance’s parents were able to meet with the reception site coordinator and ask her questions that we had given them ahead of time. Don’t know anyone? Ask for referrals. Past clients are a great way to get information from someone who was in the same position as you are now.
Although planning a long-distance wedding can be nerve-wracking, there are ways to help alleviate the stress. If you do your research and plan well ahead of time, you will be able minimize possible hiccups (and there will be at least some) along the way. Keeping the above tips in mind, I was able to enjoy one of the best days of my life with very little stress.