Planning a wedding can be hard enough, planning one from afar can be even harder. But this should be fun! So here are nine quick tips I’ve discovered as I’ve planned my wedding from across-the-country.
1. Have fun! (Don’t take anything or any detail too seriously, nothing is worth stressing over.)
2. Pick an all-inclusive venue. Coordinating vendors and choosing the details from afar can be tough. I chose the Hilton at the Ballpark in St. Louis, not only for its stunning views but because it’s a package deal. The food, beverage, linens, tables, chairs, decor, etc., are all included in the package. Heck, they even give me a wedding planner at the venue to help me with the process and to assist on the big day — that’s huge! (Literally the only elements I have to seek out myself are the cake, music, photographer, flowers & any extra minor details.)
3. Choose a beautiful venue. If the space is already gorgeous, then you don’t have to put much effort (or funds) into the decor.
4. Take advantage of the holidays. We are getting married back in our hometown of St. Louis, MO in the summer but accomplished a lot over the Christmas holiday. If you are able to go home for a holiday or break, have appointments lined up and a list of things you can accomplish while you are in town. Because these opportunities are few and far between for us, we did our venue tasting about three months early. That’s ok! Do it when you have the opportunity!
5. Get your details listed out and book your vendors ASAP. If you are able to start building relationships with your vendors right away and let them know you live far away, they’ll be able to help you and you’ll be more apt to trust their judgement if they have to make decisions without you being there in person.
6. Build a wedding board. It can be difficult to communicate your vision for your wedding with loved ones as you pick out details when you can’t just pop over to your mom or future mother-in-law’s house. Gather photos of flowers, invitations, etc., and build a virtual or physical wedding board so you can all stay on the same page and everyone feels included.
7. Take advantage of technology! This may seem like a no brainer, but it’s worth a reminder. FaceTime, video, or texting photos can allow you to share ideas or pick out details you aren’t able to be there for in person. (Even your wedding dress! My mother and I weren’t able to be together for much of my wedding dress shopping, FaceTime allowed me to bring her into the different bridal boutiques I visited.)
8. Stay organized! By keeping a spreadsheet you can keep track of things you’ve done and need to do, costs, who’s paid what, guest lists, etc. My master wedding spreadsheet is my EVERYTHING right now (which means you should also back up the file in another place, like Dropbox or Google Sheets from time-to-time just in case). The Knot, has also been a spectacular resource, with its checklist, vendor database & free website builder.
9. Bring your bachelorette party to you! If you moved away from home, chances are your bridesmaids are scattered throughout the country or many of them don’t live in your current location. Take advantage of this opportunity to get all of your friends in one place, while showing off your new home! Plus, it will be easier on you to make one less trip.
Happy wedding planning! Remember, you can do this — even hundreds of miles away! This process should be fun, so allow family & friends back home to help out when you can’t be there & keep them in the loop so you don’t feel so disconnected.