Let’s be honest: wedding planning can be a bit crazy. You’re running here, running there, tasting cake, trying to remember the name of that particular flower, sending emails – it all builds rather quickly. It can be hard to keep straight even when it’s right in front of you.
However, today’s increasing mobility has presented brides (and their grooms) with a brand new wedding planning dilemma. The long-distance wedding.
It’s time to get hypothetical. You and your fiancé live in, say, California. Your family is in North Carolina, where you grew up – and where you’ve always dreamed of getting married. Your future in-laws reside in Michigan. Oh, and you’re living a full and busy life and suddenly in the midst of planning a wedding that’s approximately all the way across the country. What’s a girl (or guy) to do?
I don’t have all the answers. However, as a result of conversations with brides and grooms going the distance, here are three of the top things-you-must-know before you send in the deposit for that far, far away venue.
1. Get organized by location. Make lists of what you can do here (find your dress, your bridal party attire, research – and even contact references for – vendors, DJ, etc.) and lists of what must be done there (food and cake tastings, final vendor interviews and meetings, touring venues). That way you’re using your time as efficiently as possible. When you’re home, you have your priorities and when you are able to be at your wedding location you know exactly what must be done so you can strategize meetings and decisions without wasting precious weekends away.
2. Find a good point of contact. If you have family members or friends in the area, great! They can be helpful sources both for suggesting vendors and for doing some real footwork. Not to mention the fact that anyone with a digital camera or smartphone can send you photos of different venues, flower arrangements or seating charts in a snap. And if you don’t have a family member or friend nearby, consider enlisting a wedding planner to help out with details.
3. Check residency requirements. Even if you’re getting married in your own country, some states require certain amounts of time be spent within their borders before a wedding or have varying marriage license requirements. You can find information for all 50 states here.
Most importantly, relax. A wedding is a wedding – unplanned events, imperfections and all – no matter which state, country, or beach you happen to be visiting. At the end of the day, this is your celebration! Enjoy it.
Photo Credit: Green Wedding Shoes