Wedding 911

Long-Distance Planning

Hello all! This is my first time posting on the boards, so hopefully I have this thread in the right place...

Does anyone out there have any advice about long-distance planning? 

Our wedding is set for June 2015 in Pennsylvania, but for the last 5 months (and continuing for at least another 3) my fiance and I are living in two different states. It's been difficult to plan anything being so far apart, because we can't visit venues, florists, caterers, etc. or even get a price quote on anything without visiting. That being said, we've been putting off the planning until we're together, but I don't think it's a good idea to wait another 3 (or more) months before booking the venue(s) or other essential vendors.

Is there anything we CAN do, being apart? My fear is that we will wait too long it will be a disaster. I know June weddings are popular so I'd hate to wait longer, miss out, and have to push the date back even further.


Re: Long-Distance Planning

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    Honestly you can plan the entire wedding apart, you just need to have really good communication and be able to send pictures and ideas, etc back and forth via email.

    Do either of you live in PA?  If you do then you can both look up possible venues that you like and then the one person who lives there can go and look at them, ask questions, and then send any information to the other person.  Discuss and then pick a venue.

    Will this be more time consuming?  Sure, but it will help you build your communication skills so that is a plus.

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    I planned our entire wedding while FI and I were long distance and while I lived two states away from where we are getting married. Do you live in PA or near where you are getting married?

    Honestly, there's nothing you really can't do while living apart. I did online research, contacted vendors, took pictures, got information, and then emailed everything to FI so we could discuss. Just communicate with your FI. Chat about ideas and expectations. When I flew in to actually meet with some vendors, my mom came along with me, and same thing - emailed ideas, pictures, contracts, and any other info. For signing stuff, we just scanned and emailed. 

    Trust me, it's not too tricky. You just have to be willing to chat about wedding stuff via email and phone (just like you chat about everyday life via email/phone instead of in person).

     Unsolicited relationship advice though: set aside time where the wedding will not be brought up. FI and I often had limited phone call time and in the beginning we would inadvertently take up all that time with wedding talk. So eventually we made a rule that if there was something to discuss, the time on it had to be limited to a certain day or certain time range. Don't let the wedding take over. 
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    I'm two weeks away from my wedding and have planned the entire thing with FI across the country. It's totally doable. I think I've mentioned this to somebody else on here, but google docs has saved me. Our guest list, budget, list of must-play songs, everything... it's all in spreadsheets that we can both see and edit in real-time. I've uploaded pictures to our shared drive of places I checked out, and flowers I liked (though he probably didn't care about the flowers all that much).

    With the vendors visits, I did most of that myself, but showed him pictures when I could. I did schedule three different reception hall visits the one weekend he flew in to visit me, but that was mostly so he could see for himself that there was no place in town that could fit 300+ people, and we were going to need to get his family to prioritize their side of the guest list. In all honesty, he probably didn't need to be there for that either. As long as we stayed within budget, FI was pretty good with letting me make decisions without him getting a visual.

    I second @PDKH on the time set aside where you do not talk wedding. When your time together -- even virtual -- is limited, you wanna make sure you make plenty of time for the rest of your relationship. A few times this has meant that even though something was really bugging me (like when he still hadn't ordered the wine, which I couldn't do, because he's the one that gets the discount), I let it go for a night, so we could have time to just talk and enjoy ourselves.

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    I have been planning my wedding from 4 states away (8 hours driving) for the past 15 or so months. Ironically, our wedding will also be taking place in PA. We were able to talk with banquet halls through the distance either in email or through phone. Most places will send you their menu via e-mail to look at along with their contracts etc. I also planned my photographer, dj, and photobooth all through email. Granted, the photographer is one of my friends and I see her work often. The other two work for the same company as her and my one friend had the DJ at her wedding and liked them. So no biggy. I looked at venues that I've been to first, luckily I've been to a lot. The one I almost went with, I never was to, but I was going to have my mom and dad check it out. Turned out they actually had my date book even though they told me they didn't. This was in Jan 2013 for June 2014... so depending on where you are in PA this would be the first thing I'd do after you figure out budget and guest list. I also booked my cookie vender through emails and phone calls. I even worked with my priest in PA through the phone and I met with him once as well as our organist.

    I did get my dress in PA (June 2013) and BM dresses the same time. I also met with my cake person in person (July 2013) and did cake testing. BUT I found her online first. I just had my first dress fitting (May 2014) 2 weeks ago, and then will have one the week before the wedding. Those are also happening in PA mainly because it's easier for me. I also met with my florist (June 2013) that I found through theknot. Since then, I've actually changed my flowers 4 times through the phone with my most recent one being 2 weeks ago.

    We've only been to PA for wedding stuff one week June 2013, a weekend in July that we were actually in town for my cousin's wedding, and 4 days in May that was my bridal shower, my bday, mothers day and our marriage license. We won't be back in PA again until the week before our wedding and even then, I only have stuff going on Sunday (dress fitting), wednesday (make up and hair trial, nails done), friday (rehearsal) and the wedding on Sat.

    One key thing to note: In PA you must get your marriage license within 60 days of the wedding. On top of that, you have to wait three days to pick up your license from the court house (ex: we applied for ours on a Thursday, couldn't pick it up until Monday). BUT you can get it at ANY courthouse in PA regardless of the county you're actually getting married in. You can also fill out the paperwork ahead of time online. We did this and literally walked in, signed the paperwork and walked out. Picking it up was easy as well.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
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    FI and I are right there with you!  He worries that too much of the work falls on me, since we're getting married in my parish and he's 8 hours away, but we're honestly making the decisions together.  There's a lot of FaceTime conversations, lots of picture texts, and lots of "Hey, I have an idea..." moments.  :)   It'll work out. 

    Wedding Countdown Ticker

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    Same with my FI and I, almost 8 hours and several states away. We're getting married In my church here, so I've been handling the meetings. But he tells me what he wants and he looks at the sites and reviews to help narrow it down so its what we both want, and when he does come here, we can go visit with people together. Also now a lot of vendors are willing to do a lot more via email, so that really helps and like the previous comment said, you can always scan and email contracts. Thank goodness for technology!
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