You're in a long-distance relationship and you've finally decided to tie the knot. The problem is, you're still apart from each other and you'll only meet each other (hopefully) a few days before the BIG DAY. So, how do you go about planning such an event from your remote location? Here are some tips to get you going.
Get organized: You must organize various things when you plan a long-distance wedding. Be in constant touch with each other and discuss how to get things organized. Be kind to each other especially when you both are in different time zones. Be considerate and keep the time that you both have scheduled to discuss. Talk to each other through a video call. Plan things early so that you don’t run out of time. Write down important things. Keep each other updated about your planning or decision. Fix a venue, the wedding planner, the decors, the color theme, etc. Don’t make one person do all the organizing. It is not fair. The organizing should be teamwork irrespective of the space between the two of you. Make it fun while you both work towards planning your big day.
Talk about hopes and expectations, budgeting right from the start: It is important that you both plan together and be positive, and expect things to fall in place. Motivate each other and work towards making your dream come true. Understand each other and work towards making this wedding a memorable occasion. Work on your budgeting, and the various expenses involved in executing the work. Decide on where to have the wedding, the cost of the venue, the time, the food, the decorations, how many to invite, etc.
Make to-do lists or a checklist: It is very important to plan a long-distance wedding. Use technology to plan. Make a list of everything you need to do. Right from fixing the dates of your wedding, to budgeting, making a guest list, deciding the menu, the wedding venue, the decorations to be used, the theme, the color code, hiring of photographer, a videographer, the wedding invites, the seating arrangements, hiring a wedding planner, etc.
Execution of work: Once the checklist is in place, execute the work between the two of you and start working on it. Allocate jobs to your partner that they are capable of doing and are good at. Communication between the two of you is very important. Plan in an orderly manner. Never miss out on any calls or texts from each other. Do not rush and end up arguing and fighting with each other. Do not talk constantly about the wedding. Take each other’s opinions before you decide on anything. Focus more on your relationship and everything will fall in place.
Use the services of a Wedding Planner: Most weddings currently are planned by wedding planners. If you and your partner are busy planning for your big day, then finding a good and reliable wedding planner is a must. They will relieve you both from the stress of planning and running around. The wedding planners will take care of everything meticulously and guide you to get all the details that you need. They will advise you when you are confused and make you both relaxed while they do their planning. Keeping a checklist with your planner is easy and they help out in getting things sorted out if there are any issues. Since the wedding planner is from the same place where you have planned to have your big day, it will be easier for them to coordinate with different vendors.
Schedule a time to travel to your wedding location: If you are planning to have your wedding in a different location, then it’s advisable to schedule your visit early. This will help you check the venue, meet different vendors, make purchases like your wedding rings, and your wedding dress. You will have time for dress rehearsals. Make it a point that both of you meet at the location and have a romantic short vacation. Plan to have some fun activities before your wedding and make your wedding planning trip more fun and you will have memories of your wedding planning together.
Arrange all necessary transportation and accommodation for both you and your guests: This is another important aspect of planning a wedding, especially a long-distance one. Once when your venue is fixed in a different location, you can send a save-the-date card to your guests. Giving them enough time to plan their trips is important. Soon after their confirmation, you need to book accommodation for the two of you and all your guests. Arrange to view your wedding ceremony through zoom for those who cannot attend.
Keep everything in perspective: It is difficult to be in a long-distance relationship and to keep it going. It is even more difficult when planning your wedding when you both are miles apart. Always stay calm and focused. Connect through social media to all to whom you have delegated your wedding planning.
Be Extra Organized: Plan your time together in advance; since you have very little time. Make sure that you both are contributing your time, and your ideas during this exciting yet challenging time. Do not play any blame games. Working together as a team will help you both streamline everything that the two of you have planned. Schedule meetings with pertinent vendors and block off the time for all the tasks that have to be completed beforehand. You negotiate with your vendors and try to get things done within your budget. Once you are sure that everything is taken care of and your big day runs smoothly, you can then enjoy the remaining time you have together as a couple after scheduling your time to cross chores off your mind. Make quick decisions but wise ones to avoid mulling over the same things time and again. It will not only be stressful for the two of you but also delay your planning and execution.
Avoid Logistical Nightmares: You must consider their travel needs if your guests are coming from a distance and make everything for them incredibly simple. Make hotel recommendations in your invitations and request the name of the hotel on your RSVP. Check on your final guest list to ensure that you have not missed out on anyone. Create welcome packages and deliver them to the hotel before customers check-in. Include details like the time and place of our rehearsal dinner and wedding, the names and contact information for the best man and maid of honor.
Shop online together: Since you both are in a long-distance relationship and different countries, shopping together is not possible. But you both need to shop together. Use technology to do that. Go virtual and shop at your location. Take a friend along so that he or she can take a video or video call your partner while you are trying the wedding outfit. Show each other your outfits and see if the color is coordinated before your wedding. Once you finish your wedding outfit shopping, you can shop for other things as well like if your partner needs anything and it is not available in his or her place, you can pick it up. You can even shop and select your wedding invites and small thank you gifts. Shopping together virtually is emotionally satisfying and also you get to finish your main shopping. Make this virtual shopping a fun activity. This way you don’t have to waste time waiting to shop till you both meet up. You can virtually take a tour of the venue you have planned and other things which can be viewed from the comfort of your home. You can get most of your work done online which gives you enough time for both of you to relax and have a run-through when you meet up.
Check-in on each other emotionally: When you live together or close to each other and are planning a wedding, you may pick up on a lot of nonverbal cues and emotional cues about how the process is going that you probably won’t be able to pick up on when you both in a long-distance relationship. Observe each other’s emotional state. Don’t forget to assess each other’s emotional well-being. Make sure you can see each other by scheduling regular, international times to check in about wedding plans. Be flexible. Be realistic and understand that both of you have your respective careers and you do not have enough time to even go for your honeymoon soon after your wedding. Focus more on your relationship than at the wedding. Do not spend all your facetime and video calls on planning the upcoming wedding. Set aside a day or two in a week to discuss and plan your wedding. Devote your time to each other and spend quality time to boost your emotional health.
Know what you want: It will be easier and more efficient if you focus on a particular look, atmosphere, or color palette. You’ll also need to be adaptable and make do with the resources that are there. Even though the prices can be prohibitive, many photographers and cake designers travel too. If you want to cut down on expenses, you can hire vendors locally to do the wedding arrangements. To avoid calls or being flooded with emails, think about creating a wedding-day website and email addresses. This will help your concerned vendors and your guests to contact you through one convenient location. Remember that a beautiful wedding doesn’t have to be big. Since a big wedding needs a lot of planning and it’s heavy on your pockets too. Have a simple and elegant wedding. Motivate each other to complete their given task.
Point of contact: This is another good tip where a person is chosen as a point of contact for your wedding. This will relieve you of the stress. You can choose a person who you think can do a wonderful job. It could be your mom or your dear bestie who can check on the flower arrangements, the designers, booking cars and hotel reservations. It would be great if you know someone at the wedding locale to assist you with your searches and enquiries. It is also important to check the rules or laws of that particular country. Ensure to keep your celebration according to their laws and regulations.
Do not stress on perfection, let it go: Do not go into minute details and stress too much on getting perfection on the things you plan for your wedding especially when you are in a long-distance relationship. Don’t fret or fume when your partner doesn’t keep up his date with you to discuss the wedding planning. Just remind them lovingly about the task ahead and gently push them to complete the given task. Even a simple wedding is not perfect. Let go and pamper yourself with a good day at the spa or a day out with your friends having a good meal or even watching a movie together. Do what makes you happy and comfortable. You can plan to reach the place of your wedding early and can overlook the arrangements made. Take a short break and take a tour of the place.
Read before you sign any contracts. And learn to be versatile: You must read carefully between the lines before you sign any contract with the vendors. Do not rush and sign. Do background checks before you decide upon anything. Find reliable vendors who have a good reputation. Always have a backup plan. For example, if you plan an outdoor wedding, and it rains, what is the alternative? If there is some kind of communal unrest at the place of your wedding, what’s next? Always have plan B in place to execute in any eventuality. When you are making payments to any vendors, take a receipt and find out which part of their cost is refundable.
You can choose the type of ceremony you both want: If you both want to register your marriage you can have the legal registrar come over to the venue to register. Have a discussion well in advance and plan the type of ceremony you both want. Let it not be a last-minute plan. You can keep it simple. You can plan on having music, dance, poems, reading and a couple of your friends taking over as MC and leading the ceremony. You can make it fun in your way by increasing the itinerary, like having games, conducting music competitions, and having interactive activities. If your invitees are a handful, you can even plan a group tour of that place.
Go local, save big: It is important to save for your dream wedding. It is also equally important to save by going local. If you plan to have a wedding at a venue which is new to you, then you both need to discuss how to have things arranged. Plan and meet at the location in advance to organize and arrange for the wedding. Meet with the local florist and work out the cost. Go through various menus and work out the costing depending on the number of invitees. Meet up with the local wedding planners if you want to give it to them to handle, especially if you do not understand their language. You need to fix up with the hair stylist, and the Workout and see where you can save more.
Secure wedding insurance: This is also an important part of wedding planning especially when you plan your wedding in a new venue altogether. You need to protect your financial investment by securing wedding insurance. It is advisable to plan and have the insurance done to safeguard against any unseen turnarounds. Also, it is important to consider unforeseen and unexpected expenses like an unexpected journey before your wedding, a sudden increase in the taxes in the place of the wedding, or additional expenses due to airport transfers or baggage fees. Always have extra cash on hand.
Securing documents and passports: Both of you need to have a valid passport and also have a driver’s license when you plan your wedding in a foreign locale. Make sure of the expiry dates and do a cross-check to ensure everything is in order. Make sure you carry your medical records and your vaccinations proof. You will never know when the authorities will check on these.
Create welcome bags: You can include this if your budget allows you to. You can fill the welcome bags with useful things for your guests like a water bottle, a map of the place, a snack, and a small write-up of the place where you are having your wedding. This will make your guests feel welcome.
Ensure to pack your necessary clothing: An important aspect of planning for your wedding trip and thereafter. Plan and sort out what type of outfits to carry. Check the weather in that place and accordingly pack your stuff.
Get away gracefully: To send your guests away or say farewell to them can be time-consuming. Plan your honeymoon well in advance especially when you plan to stay back at the same location as that of your wedding. Book a suite if that falls within your budget so that you can be away from your guests who decided to stay back extending their trips.