Military Brides

Wedding planning while states apart.

How do you do it. We talk on the phone and text consistantly, but I feel as if the stress just piles on and on the more we plan and see how much money this is all going to cost. We are both E-4 in the Navy, and I am on shore duty in CT while he is dry docked in VA. Is there any advice to get us through this without ripping each other to shreds after a few months?

 

Re: Wedding planning while states apart.

  • What exactly is causing the fights?  Do you guys have the same vision for the wedding?  Who is paying for the wedding?  Answering that can help us help you.
  • We arent really "fighting" more like bickering every single time we tal on the phone. It has gotten to the point of not even planning. We havent talke wedding for a couple weeks

     

    Our vision is the same. Small wedding Closefriends and family only, no longer than 2 hour reception with all the traditional things (garter/bouqet toss, first dance, cake cutting, ect.), and were making it as fun and untraditional as possible.

     

    We just feel like its never going to get easy for us because WE are hosting AND paying for the entire thing unless we absolutely need help.

     

     

  • I think most people host and pay for their own weddings so just take a deep breath, it'll all come together... 

    Anyways, I think it'll be best if you just make a list of everything that needs to be done then complete the big things first - guest list, date, church/ceremony site, reception site, caterer. Everything else can come as you save for it. My now husband was in California for all of the planning, so I did most of it by myself via phone and email. It can be done, just have patience. 
  • FI moved across the country and I'm still back at his previous base for now, and we've been able to do most of the planning ourselves. I'll admit, it can be stressful at times. But it's totally doable. 

    Google docs and gchat have been my friend. Or really any method by which you can share information while you're separated, and communicate through text so what's needed is clear and documented. Our various lists and budgets are all on spreadsheets in a shared folder that we can both see with updates in real-time. When we have to hash out details, or make difficult decisions, it's almost easier to do it over an IM service, because it takes away some of the emotional impact of silly things. When FI still hadn't fixed his cousins' names on the guest list spreadsheet, I could grumble at my computer screen for a bit, and then politely remind him. Neither of us are good on the phone, though, so I guess it seems like the norm to us.
    MomoChun
  • I think I will do the spreadsheet idea. I have just been writing everything down. I have a ton of loose leaf papers (all that I put into my wedding planning binder), and printed out things. We are going to see each other in April, and visit one of the two final venues we picked out.

    I refuse to hire a wedding planner do to the fact that we are both AD and that we hardly even have the money to fly back and forth to venues we would like. I think it really is the fact that because we both have our own list of things to do that not being able to talk about it all the time is getting to us.

     

  • Hiring a wedding planner can actually save you a great deal of money.  Look into a planner that does everything in house. They are out there.  Hiring a planner that does flowers, decor and more in house can eliminate many vendors and extra charges.  For instance, there is a particular planner here who handles everything in house.  A wedding for 25 people that includes chairs, flowers, decor, photography, a cake, officiant and a great reception with dinner for $5,000.  In this area, that would total closer to $10,000 if you went to several vendors on your own.  Also, planners often have long standing relationships with outside vendors.  Many planners are able to get special rates for their brides because of those relationships.  


    image

    Military Newlyweds FAQ Button
  • anjuli116 said:
    FI moved across the country and I'm still back at his previous base for now, and we've been able to do most of the planning ourselves. I'll admit, it can be stressful at times. But it's totally doable. 

    Google docs and gchat have been my friend. Or really any method by which you can share information while you're separated, and communicate through text so what's needed is clear and documented. Our various lists and budgets are all on spreadsheets in a shared folder that we can both see with updates in real-time. When we have to hash out details, or make difficult decisions, it's almost easier to do it over an IM service, because it takes away some of the emotional impact of silly things. When FI still hadn't fixed his cousins' names on the guest list spreadsheet, I could grumble at my computer screen for a bit, and then politely remind him. Neither of us are good on the phone, though, so I guess it seems like the norm to us.
    I want to thank you for mentioning Google Docs. I wish I would have known about this a while ago. It would have saved us a lot of trouble.

     

  • FI and I have done a bit of planning while he's deployed, it's made him feel like he's part of the process even though he's overseas.  We've managed to find a venue I think we'll both like, but we're not going to book it until he gets home and we can go tour it together to make sure.  I've also asked that he listen to songs to come up with first dance options, etc., stuff that he can help do while he's not physically here.  We've only come close to arguing once and that was over the area that we wanted to do the wedding.  His family has to drive 5 hours to get here, but we compromised in the fact that we will let them stay at our house for the weekend while we go stay in a hotel. 

     

    It's tough when you're not together, but it's not worth arguing about. 

    image


    kata18
  • I'm in a similar situation. Google docs have been a huge help. For the most part, my mom and I figure out what decisions need to be made and then bring them to FI. He wants to be involved with the planning but not every detail and knowing what still needs to be done is overwhelming for him. For big things, like meetings with our vendors, he joins on Skype. I would suggest hiring a wedding planner or asking a friend that is local to help you. Sometimes just having someone to help with the little stuff prevents stress. Just take a deep breath and remember it will be ok. 
  • My fiancé and I are both active duty, he's been on deployment for the past few months and still have a few more months before he comes home.  We're both stationed in Hawaii but our wedding is in California...?  Haha its been tough but not as tough as it could be.  Most of my cousins are in the bridal party so them and my mom have been a HUUUUGE help living by the venue.  I've made it home a couple times to go down to the venue and even do the food tasting, dress shopping, etc. but they're doing the cake tasting and even helped browse venues to begin with.

    Are you having a bridal party that can help you out or family?  Being that my fiancé is gone, we FaceTime once a week and I update him with all the ideas that have been thrown in my direction and him and I make the final decision together.  Its a nice process.  Luckily he's not too controlling so its kind of whatever I want.  And little parts I almost want him to be more surprised at how it turns out than him knowing how EVERYTHING is going to work.  I love surprising him haha.  Hopefully this can help you a bit :)
  • I chuckled when I read your post, not because I think it's funny but because I am SO THANKFUL I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE!

    We're across the country from one another and going through the same thing. Been engaged since October, getting married in October, and the bickering started about a month ago. I think for us the root of it is that I'm doing the bulk of the planning so I think about these things a lot and consider lots of options and then I bring it up with him and it kind of catches him off guard. He's not prepared to launch into a discussion about it without some notice. Like, if he called after he finished a game of Star Wars and I say "do you want to do the first look?" or "should the ring bearers have suspenders?"

    So we're working through it right now and I don't really have a ton of helpful advice but these are the three things that have helped the most:
    1. GOOGLE DOCS!
    2. Establishing what things he has a strong opinion about. What he does not have an opinion about: the specific shade of red we're using. What he does have an opinion about: cake toppers. I figure out the red, he looks up cake toppers. (Although he was a life saver when choosing invitations. I couldn't make up my mind between something like six options - he looked at them and said "I like that one" and BAM it worked out perfectly)
    3. Setting aside certain time to discuss the wedding/honeymoon/moving details. I realized that I was bombarding him with questions every time we talked because I was working on things with a lot of detail. He was trying to be helpful but wasn't really prepared and it set us both on edge, and then kept happening because I kept doing it. Now I take a different approach - things like "hey I think we need to have a budget discussion. Can you look at your bills and update the google doc later this week?" He's still part of the planning process but I'm not immediately confronting him with things that he wasn't ready for. And I try to have at least one conversation a week that's not wedding-related to ease some of the tension. It's worked well so far!

    Also, I think our biggest disagreements (not actual fights, more like...misunderstandings) have been discussing the logistics of me moving, not the actual wedding. Things like how to find a new place to live, if we both need to see a new car before we purchase it, when we need to register (because seriously, registering while we're on opposite sides of the country has proven to be its own little nightmare), etc. etc. 

    So my two biggest points - google docs, and try to have one conversation a week that's not wedding-related (or move-related in my case). Or at least that doesn't discuss the logistics behind it. GOOD LUCK :) 
  • My FI is stationed in another state while I'm in still living in our home state until we get married. It is difficult to plan a wedding without being physically together, but it's definitely not impossible. Texting, calling and Skype are wonderful when it comes to long distance planning. I've been pretty dominant in finding venues, DJ, photographer and etc cause my FI trusts me. However, I still link him to get his approval or ask for his help in picking the suits, the food, the invites, etc.
  • Sorry not military here but we are going through the same struggles with FI living in another state since we got engaged. We started out fighting about a lot of things, including stupid crap like the invitations, the type of food, and the overall "vision." I finally figured out it was because for most things, he didn't really care that much- he just got frustrated when he thought we had made a decision, and I kept changing it because I hadn't quite pinned down how things were going to come together (for the record, I bought my dress first and then had a tough time getting everything else to fit with the dress until I found invitations I liked- then I just kind of fit everything to the invitations).

    For us, we basically nailed down the huge things early: how much money are we spending, and who is invited (that second one has been a bit of a beast but for different reasons). We picked out a venue he liked. For almost everything else, I've basically picked something out, decided if it will indeed fit with everything else, agreed with myself that I'm not going to change it, and then gone to him and said "hey do you like this?" He's said yes every time: caterer, photographer, invites, etc. Our taste is close enough that I can get in his ballpark with very little difficulty.

    I did not, however, consult him on the font for the invites, or whether we were going to do labels for the return addresses, or what kind of stamps we would use, or what color the chair covers were going to be, or what kind of flowers we were going to have. He doesn't care that much, and it means that we can have real conversations when we are together instead of some dumb wedding thing, and that I don't have to wait on him to get back to me on every detail before I can proceed.

    Basically: one person should do all the vendor contacts, probably the person that is more excited about wedding planning (so in this instance, you), or you are going to be super annoyed when someone doesn't get back to him, and so he doesn't get back to you, and then nothing happens. And we have found it easier on most things to just have me make the decisions, and him confirm they are fine. Everything I pay for goes in the Google Doc for our wedding budget which we share. Your fiancé probably doesn't care that much if there are suspenders or not.

  • I know how hard it can be... I agree make google docs and share all the info with each other. I can only imagine how hard this is. You can do it. Remember at the end of the day it is all about just marrying your best friend!
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards