Letâs be honest, wedding planning can get a little hectic at the best of times. The little things build up quickly, the running around and all the decisions and even when itâs right in front of you, it can be hard to keep everything together. But, if that wasnât a challenge enough todayâs increased mobility has given brides and grooms a brand new wedding planning dilemma â and thatâs the long distance wedding.
Whether itâs to go back to your roots or to say âI doâ on an exotic island, planning a wedding from the other side of the world can make you want to tear your hair out. At the end of it though, when youâre sharing the special day with your spouse, family and friends in your awesome location â itâll all be worth it. How do you make the ride there smooth though? We look into some tips to give you the wedding of your dreams, in the perfect location, with the least amount of stress possible.
The location of your wedding should be chosen carefully, from cost to guest travel and the significance of the place for you and your partner. Once you have decided on the location, consider the venue and have a wedding planner, friend or family check the place out in person and take photos. Donât forget about your guests too; long distance weddings will require friends and family to book flights and sort out a place to stay so make sure the venue is easy to get to and near accommodation.
Know the Marriage Requirements
Once you and your partner have decided upon the location, one of the first things you need to do is check the marriage requirements. Each place has something different to consider. Some require a special wedding license and for others you will need to sign and sort out the paperwork when you get back home to make the marriage legal. Itâs important you check out this information early in the planning stages (and before you start booking flights and venues).
Here or There?
Not everything you plan for your wedding will need to be done from the one location. Make a âhere or there listâ to figure out what can be done from where you are and what can be arranged at your wedding destination. The more you can get done from where you live, the better â your dress, bridesmaid dresses, accessories, invitations and favours can all be organised from home. Catering, makeup and hair stylists will need to be booked from the wedding location or require great communication and pictures to get exactly what you are after.
Know When to Go Local
Depending on the whereabouts of your wedding, some things are just best to be done locally â whether it works out more cost effective or a better option for you and your partner. For example, some couples opt to use a photographer based in their hometown, fly them over and pay for accommodation. When there is someone you really want to work with, it can be an ideal option for many couples especially when wedding photography can be such a personal preference and tends to require meeting the photographer first. This is also a common decision with music organisation, where the band or DJ is flown over from the coupleâs hometown.
Simplicity is Key
Planning a long distance wedding doesnât need to be made any harder than it already is â so keep it simple. Minimalism will make life easier for you and take a good amount of the headache out of planning. It doesnât mean to say though you have to opt for paper plates and plastic utensils, just be flexible with your decisions.
Plan a Planning Trip
If you have family and friends living in your chosen wedding destination, they will be able to help a lot with checking out the venue and organising things from that end. Regardless though, you and your partner will need to plan a planning trip to meet face-to-face with the venue coordinator, marriage celebrant, DJ / band and any other vendors.
Get Tech Savvy
The computer and internet will be your best friend for long distance wedding planning, especially if thereâs no family or friends over there to help you out. There is nothing like face-to-face interaction during the planning stages so Skype and Facetime will be a huge help. If you have no-one to check out the venues and suppliers on your behalf, reviews on websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor will be a huge help.
Apps like Dropbox and Google Docs will be perfect for sharing large files and countless amounts of quotes, emails, pictures and ideas. They will also be a great way to track the planning process and keep everything together.
Regardless of how organised you are itâs near impossible to manage everything yourself so itâs best not to even try. Balance decisions with your partner and delegate things to organise to them, friends, family and a point of contact in your desired wedding location. Create a wedding checklist so you donât forget any of the smaller details and assign a person you can trust to each task.