It’s no longer the exception to the rule that you’ll be planning your wedding from a city (or country) ‘away from home.’
For me, that’s Malta – a little island smack dab in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. For you, that could be a State away from where you Mom lives, in a different city than your best friend, or even from a different continent than your fiancé!
Long distance wedding planning, it turns out, is not as scary as it sounds. In fact, I think it’s kept me more sane than if I was planning a wedding ‘at home.’ Sometimes we get so wrapped up in wedding details we forget about everything else – you know, life? I’ve found geographic distance is a great cure for that. Plus, I’m immersed in a completely different wedding culture in Malta (and Europe) which has actually given Mike and I some fresh ideas to incorporate into our wedding. Did you know that in Malta sit-down wedding receptions are relatively rare, and in the UK it’s quite normal to invite separate groups to your ceremony, reception, and dance?
Of course, it’s not all fun and games. I can’t source craft supplies or wedding decorations very easily on the ground in Malta (it’s a small island, after all) and Mike and I are missing out on all of the wedding things you are supposed to do: food tastings, stationery meetings, venue tours, photographer interviews, flower demos. But, writing to you from my sunny terrace surrounded by wafts of orange blossom, I know I can’t very well complain.
Here are some long distance wedding planning tips I’ve picked up along the way. I’m still new at this, so if you have any others, I’d love to know!
SKYPE AND FACETIME. This is a no-brainer, but sometimes there’s nothing like face-to-face interaction, especially if you’re showing off colors or fabrics. We use Skype and FaceTime to talk to our families and wedding vendors in Canada. But the sky’s the limit – I’ve even heard of couples having virtual food and wine tastings with their families on the other side of the world!
DROPBOX. I was an early Dropbox adopter, and I can’t praise this cloud service highly enough. My mum and I share a Dropbox folder where we can both update spreadsheets, share photos, and edit to-do lists. Those files sync seamlessly between our computers and phones, so we’re always on the same track.
PINTEREST. My mum and I also share a few secret pin boards, where we pin and comment on the mundane objects no one wants filling up their public Pinterest feeds – balloons, ribbons, stationery – complete with prices and shipping times. It’s all there.
NEGOTIATE LUGGAGE. Mike and I had ‘the talk’ about luggage very early on in our wedding planning process, and agreed that one suitcase can be filled with as much wedding stuff as we want. This means I can handcraft decorations from the other side of the world, and bring those (and some biscotti!) back to Canada for our wedding. Being able to make and take things with us has been a nice way to feel more involved in the whole process.
SUPPORT SYSTEM. My mum has been my go-to for running errands in Canada on my behalf – taking photos of our venue, sourcing chairs, even making decorations (thanks Mom!) Having a good support system on the ground is invaluable. And if you don’t, I would seriously consider hiring someone (I rarely talk to someone who has regretted it!)
Did you plan your wedding from afar? What helped keep you sane? I’d love to know.