Life consists of many twists and turns – some of which lead us away from the ones we love. Due to outside circumstances, couples cannot always be living in the same place during the planning process. Some engaged pairs have always been long distance, perhaps meeting online or on a faraway vacation, while other pairs have been separated because of a work or familial obligation and are unable to return to their sweetheart anytime soon. No matter the circumstances, planning a wedding is entirely possible. Though the logistics may seem a little trickier, you can still host an amazing and special event without completely pulling your hair out. Below, we’ve listed some tips for you to consider when you find yourself apart from your beloved during your engagement.
- Get and stay organized. Having a plan is of the upmost importance. This is, of course, essential to any bride or groom, but it is especially pertinent to have a detailed outline of your planning timeline. Misunderstandings can happen much more often in long-distance relationships – you don’t want to accidentally book two different caterers or both forget to hire a DJ under the assumption that your partner is doing so. We suggest starting a Google document or two to clarify tasks!
- Consider working with a wedding planner. When in doubt, bringing in a professional third party is a fantastic way to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Do your homework and find out which local planners specialize in destination weddings – these people will likely know how to handle long-distance communication and organization.
- Be flexible about the location. While we recommend considering a destination event at a third location, you may elect to host your nuptials in either your town or that of your beloved. Keep in mind: if this is the case, the local partner will likely end up doing more of the work, as they are around to interview potential vendors and tour venues, so have an open and honest discussion with your sweetie about which place makes the most logistical sense for both individuals.
- Divide up the tasks fairly, not evenly. It is highly unlikely that both partners will do an equal amount of work for the wedding when they live with or close to each other, but it is borderline impossible when you’re long distance. Understand and accept that one person will have to do a little more, and divide up the various planning aspects based on proximity, available time, and what each individual cares to handle. The experience should be as fun as you’re able to make it!
- Video chatting is your friend. Of course, if you’ve been long distance for a while, you’re aware of this fact. However, during your engagement, it can be used for more than just nightly recaps of your day. You can include your faraway love in important meetings with your planner or certain vendors, as well as make decisions with visual aide – if one of you has physical samples of linens, plates, etc. Additionally, it’s a great way to feel connected to your sweetheart and might prevent you from feeling too overwhelmed and losing sight of the purpose of everything, which is to be married to the one you love.
- Be prepared for more travel than normal. You may already budget for a certain number of visits over the course of a year, but be prepared to increase that number. Even if all of the planning can be done virtually, chances are, someone is still going to want to throw you pre-wedding events, such as an engagement party, a wedding shower, etc., and if you are the one away from home – which includes your family – they may want you to return for these celebrations.
- Do your research on obtaining a marriage license. Every state is different, just as every country is different. It’s pertinent to remember to factor in that all-important piece of paper that will allow you to legally marry, so look up the laws of your location versus that of your partner, contact local courthouses for extra information, talk to others who have had a similar wedding, and ensure you’re completely informed on the process.
- Think about what would be easiest on your VIPs. Aside from your beloved, you should be considering the needs of your guests as much as possible. Travel may be hard on some relatives for various reasons, so perhaps that will limit your chosen destination. Be ready to compromise on things in order to accommodate your close family and friends that you couldn’t imagine getting married without.
Opening photo by Viera Photographics