Both my fiance and I were born and raised in the Midwest. We went to college there, met there, fell in love there and it’s there that our relationship took roots. So when deciding where we should tie the knot, we didn’t even question that it would be where we came from, even after a recent move to Seattle. The only challenge would be planning our big day from 3,000 miles away. I’m a perfectionist and I want every detail of our garden Gatsby nuptials to feel personal, intimate and glamorous. But that is much easier said than done. Over the last year of long-distance wedding planning, I’ve learned some tricks to help the planning process, even from afar. So without further adieu, here are 7 tips to help you plan you I-do’s, no matter how far.
1.) Have a partner
By this, I don’t mean your soon-to-be hubby, but rather a friend or family member who is somewhat local to your wedding location. For me, that is my mom and wedding planner who live in the Twin Cities area, about an hour away from Rochester, our wedding location. They can help to send snapshots, have Skype tours and be your right-hand-man (or lady) to help you plan like you were local.
2.) Plan one trip (if possible) before the wedding.
Seeing your venue, picking out flowers, having fittings and having a tasting with your caterer is important for execution and piece of mind. The last thing you will probably want to do is spend money and time on a trip, but it is worth it. Do your due diligence and make appointments with vendors far in advance and make a whole day out of it. Luckily I had my wedding planner, Josey from Sixspence Events to do this for me. It will make decisions much clearer by comparing florists, caterers, rental companies and more side-by-side.
3.) Know exactly what you want
If you know exactly what you want, it makes it much easier for it to become a reality. Compile a Pinterest page that is edited to the precise details that you want. Share visuals with vendors and anyone who has a part of making those little things come to life.
4.) Use review sites and do thorough research
When you aren’t there to experience the people behind a business, see the product and get a vibe for people, other people’s experiences can be a solid indicator of yours. Use Yelp, WeddingWire and wedding blogs like Aisle Perfect, that have vendor archives to give you an idea of what you are going to get.
5.) Brideside is the key to making bridesmaids dresses easy
I have bridesmaids in Iowa, Minnesota, China and California. Everything from curvy to petite, 5 foot to 6 feet – Brideside does it all. I thought finding coordinating dresses was going to be a nightmare. But Brideside does concierge level service and takes the pressure off the bride. The process starts by the bride getting sent the dresses that she thinks she wants for her girls. Then, the bride gets to try them on, in her home and select styles. From there, your stylist contacts each of your bridesmaids and helps with measurements and orders the dresses for you. That’s a win. (See Aisle Perfect’s post on Brideside here)
6.) Do a DIY test run by yourself far in advance
Centerpieces, decorations, aisle runners – anything you can find on Pinterest that you want to recreate – do a test run. You never know exactly how those projects will turn out in real life. Just do one yourself, see it in person and then teach someone who is local (your Maid of Honor or Mom) to help you crank them out in the number you need.
7.) Have a Packing Checklist
You will inevitably collect things that you will need for your wedding (a couple things I can personally think of for our wedding are bowties, wedding shoes, wedding rings, rehearsal dress, etc.) and the last thing you need is to forget to pack them before flying to your wedding location. As you get items you need, create a note on your phone of each thing. That way, when you are days away from saying I-do, it’s no stress and easy getting everything you need ready to go.
Good luck to all you long-distance brides and I hope this helps you the way it has for me.