Here at BMH, 2015 is the year of long distance couples. As the year has gone by, we’ve continued to notice that a large amount of our couples are living across the country – Colorado, California, Florida – and also from out of the country – England, Australia, Germany! Amanda and Andrew (pictured above) are one such couple that planned from out of the country; specifically, they did it all from Hong Kong! Though the couple grew up on opposite sides of the world (she in the United States and he in Australia), it was while living in Hong Kong for work that they met and fell in love. Whether for work relocation, studying abroad, or any number of other reasons, planning a wedding away from your current location is becoming more and more common.
While we’re overjoyed that we’re meeting couples from around the world, we understand that planning a wedding from a distance can be difficult. Over the course of the year, we’ve heard from some of our long-distance couples the ways they made this difficult task a little bit easier. See below for some tips to remember if you’re planning your wedding from afar.
Mike Landis Photography
Start Early | Because you’re unable to visit venues, caterers, or florists on a whim, it’s important to start planning as soon as you get engaged. You’ll be using the internet for much of your research, so once the initial excitement has settled, buckle down and start the planning! At the very least, you’ll need to decide the general location of your wedding so that you can begin researching venues and other vendors in that area. You’ll also want to make sure that you have a reliable form of communication, as from the get-go, you’ll be using your email and phone for just about everything.
Make & Use Lists | For the entirety of your engagement, lists will be your best friends. Once you start planning, make lists of tasks you can tackle from your current location and those that you cannot. For example, you can typically choose your dress and bridesmaids dresses, invitations, guestbook, etc. from the comfort of your current location, while some other important tasks (booking of the venue, florist, etc.), can only be done by going to the location of your wedding. Once you have your lists made, delegate, delegate, delegate!
Utilize Local Family & Friends | If the location of your wedding is also the home of some family and friends, consider asking them to conduct venue visits, tastings, and consultations. If your mom, sister, or best friend knows your style and vision, and it’s simply impossible for you to be in attendance, give them a list of questions to ask and send them in your place. If nothing else, they can be great assets at narrowing down some of your options. For many of our long-distance couples, family members have actually made the decision on a venue for them! This was the case for Lindsey and Brad (pictured above). Because they live in Australia, Lindsey’s mom did the initial legwork of visiting and booking the most important vendors for them, taking some of the pressure off of the couple.
Ask the Experts | Once you have some of your vendors locked down, ask them for help! They represent great resources for you to take advantage of. Most have a list of recommended or partnered vendors they can pass along to you, and we at BMH are always happy to recommend vendors based on your budget or style, or to simply answer the many questions that come up while wedding planning! Most vendors acknowledge that wedding planning from afar isn’t easy; allow those that do this everyday to help!
Make Appointments Ahead of Time | If you have some vacation time available or a long weekend off, it’s a great idea to use some of that time to visit your wedding destination. Whether it’s to view your venue for the first (or second) time, narrow your food menu down with your caterer, or go to a showcase to pick your band, these are all important appointments that can be done during your trip. Once you determine if and when you’ll be visiting your wedding area, try and schedule all of the appointments you’ll need. It’s best not to wait since vendors can book up appointments ahead of time, and since you’ll likely be making several appointments, doing so ahead of time gives you time to move things around if necessary.
Allow a Week Pre-Wedding for last minute prep, etc. | While everyone is different in their stress and anxiety before the wedding, for those planning a wedding from a distance, it’s best to come into town a week early to make sure every detail has been tended to and is in place for the weekend’s events. You can squeeze in any necessary last-minute vendor meetings, organize your personal decorations for the wedding, or simply use the time to unwind from traveling (or jetlag!). Whatever you do to fill the time, we guarantee that you’ll be happy you took it!
For some, it’s just not possible to live in the same location as your wedding. If you’re like many of our 2015 couples, don’t let this cause you any anxiety – it has and can be done! By taking note of these tips, your long-distance planning will go smoothly and result in a perfectly planned wedding day for you and your new husband or wife. Here’s to 2016 being another year of long-distance weddings and happy brides and grooms!
If you’d like more information on having your wedding or event at Brandywine Manor House, call or email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610.942.2200.