If you have chosen to have your wedding on the other side of the country from where you live, then you are far from alone. With many brides moving away from the area they grew up, but still wanting to get married near their families, arranging a long distance wedding is becoming increasingly common. Other brides are choosing to make a holiday out of their wedding, and are choosing a favourite destination a long way from their home and family.
Here are some tips on arranging long distance weddings that might make things run just a little more smoothly:
Give yourself plenty of time
Some brides want to be married within months of getting engaged, but if you are planning a long distance wedding you will need at least a year to get everything arranged. You will need to plan a couple of visits to the area to meet suppliers in person.
The internet, and the instant communication it enables, has made distance no object when arranging a wedding. You can do a lot of research into venues and suppliers online, although you will still want to visit your short-listed providers. You can set up a dedicated e-mail address, or even a website, for anything relating to your wedding. Sign up for our Free Wedding Planner and receive a free wedding website.
Use local suppliers
There are some things you can buy closer to where you live, such as your dress, stationery, favours etc. However, for the big day itself you will want to use suppliers local to the area. If you use a florist, hair stylist or photographer from where you live they will probably add on travel and accommodation costs.
Plan a long first visit
Around a year before your planned wedding date you should travel to your wedding destination for a few days or a week if possible. This trip is to establish the basics such as your wedding venue and major suppliers. Make several appointments for each day of your visit, allowing plenty of time for each. It will be a tiring few days but very satisfying at the same time.
Consider a wedding planner
A wedding planner may seem an extravagance, but having someone local to the area, who knows the local suppliers, can save you a lot of travelling and hassle. Your wedding planner may also be able to negotiate discounts with various providers and so save you money in that way. If you are having a wedding planner, meet a few on your fist visit and make sure you choose one that really shares your vision of your wedding rather than simply the cheapest.
Get family and friends to help
If you have family or friends in the area you will be getting married, ask them to take on the organisation of certain elements of the wedding. They will usually be happy to help and can e-mail you regular updates or photos so you can be sure arrangements are being made the way you want them.
Check out the venue’s recommended suppliers
If your venue has a recommended caterer, florist, and other suppliers, consider using these as this will make life simpler for you. If your suppliers are already familiar with the venue you day should go more smoothly, and your venue may have a wedding coordinator who could manage the suppliers on your behalf.
Research local accommodation
If you are from out of town there is a good chance that a lot of your guests will be too. For this reason you should check out local accommodation as well as transport from there to your venue, to make attending your wedding easier for your guests.