Post # 1
So, my FI and I currently live in Honolulu. We’re planning a wedding in California mainly because his family is based in Seattle and mine is in Chicago and we needed a cheaper 3rd party location that everyone can get to.
Are there any other bees who have had to deal with this problem? How did you do your bridal shower? Bachelor/Bachelorette party? “Home” receptions? Meeting of the parents?
How did you do it?
Post # 3
That’s quite a distance! Are you planning to travel to CA to look at venues, florists, bakers, etc? If you are, I would say that that trip or on one of those trips, perhaps you invite both sets of parents to come to CA and meet each other?
Where are most of your bridesmaids located, or your MOH? I would say that the shower can wait til you’re where most of your friends and family are. We held mine over Christmas, because I was home to see family and friends and people had pretty flexible schedules then.
Bachelor/bachelorette party — probably in the day or two before the actual wedding, when people are in town.
Good luck — planning at a distance is tough, but I’m sure you’ll be able to accomplish it.
Post # 4
We are distance planners but not as distant as you 🙂 We live in WA, my family lives in Idaho, and FI’s in CA. We chose CA to have our wedding but none of my folks are in CA and all will have to travel for the wedding.
We hosted an engagement party in Seattle for our local friends and also invited the CA family who won’t be traveling for the wedding…we wanted people to get a chance to meet and for the CA family to come see our place.
My family in Idaho also hosted us a suprise engagement party in Oregon/Idaho. They live in Idaho but the party was at a hotel in Oregon?! LOL.
For bachelor/ette parties we’re doing smaller events the day before our rehearsal dinner…so we’ve asked our traveling bridal party members to book 1 extra day in town and the ladies will be doing a spa day, the guys will be doing a bbq or something and then we’ll all meet up for drinks and karaoke.
Showers, we’re not having them.
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2013 - Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
We are planning our wedding from a distance, but not quite that far. We have been able to make a lot of the decisions from home, but for things like the venue and caterer, we had to make the trip to Atlanta to see the places and try the food in person.
Our parents had met before when they were helping me move out of my apartment in college, since his parents only live 2 hours away from where we went to school.
Showers – We had a shower where my FI’s family lives. My family is way to spread out so we didn’t bother with one on my side.
Bachelor/Bachelorette – The BM and MOH are planning on having these the Thursday before our Saturday wedding. It isn’t the most ideal time, but everyone will be in town already.
Post # 6
I’m in a similar situation–although currently living in another country! I realized before we started planning that a bridal shower, etc, was not really going to happen in our situation, which I’m totally OK with. I think the Thursday before the wedding I will go out with some girlfriends for a sort of bachelorette-type situation. Everything related to the wedding will happen that week or few days before the wedding. I’m also not having bridesmaids because of all the logistics. I’ve realized I have to sacrifice many things that happen traditionally, but it’s OK we are in a ‘special’ situation 🙂 –and hey that’s amazing you get to live in Hawaii!
Post # 7
@JackiBean: honestly, we hired a wedding planner. She knows so much more about the area, the right vendors, the right locations, etc. She has taken so much stress of our backs. I know it’s an investment, but trust me, when planning from a distance, it;s a life (and sanity) saver.
We interviewed her over skype first, btw, to see if we liked her style and attitude!
Post # 8
We already have the venue in California (Mission Inn in Riverside, CA) and went to go see it by ourselves.
I guess that’s the most difficult part of this. We’re equally spread out.
His WHOLE family is in Seattle. My WHOLE family is in Chicago. Literally, right down the middle and we’re over here in left field.
We’ve actually had two engagement parties and had to drop the third. We had one in Hawaii that I threw (one of my favorite days ever) for our friends and one my family threw for us in Chicago.
We are going to have three receptions. The full wedding in California, a Catholic mass in Chicago and a garden lunch reception in Seattle.
I feel so blessed, but I just feel like we’re being stretched. How do I get everyone together at once!?
Post # 9
FI and I live in Toronto but will get married in Sweden, where I have my family. It has proven quite the challenge, trying to find a suitable venue when you’re not on sight is difficult!
As for your specific questions – our parents had already met before, so that was not an issue. If your parents can’t meet up before the wedding, can you all have a Skype date? As for showers and parties, that’s something we largely opted out off. It was just too logistically complicated. However, I’ll meet up with my bridesmaids for a weekend in May in Sweden (have to go back then due to the issues with the venue plus some other logistics) – so we’ll stay in a hotel together and go for nice dinners and some wedding shopping. Not a PARTY party, but I’m so happy to see them that I prefer just hanging out talking to them! We’ll also arrange a BBQ + some activities 2 days before the wedding, where anyone of the guests can attend if they want to.
My best advice – try to settle the food, florists, photog and those things before you start to worry about showers etc. Use facebook, email, Skype and WhatsApp to keep in touch with everyone – the last one has been a lifesaver for my bridesmaids and me. Make lists for everything, including a “what to pack” list, and be strict about your time lines.
Post # 10
@JackiBean: I also live in Honolulu, and we’re planning a Sep 2014 New Jersey wedding! Shit’s crazy!
We’re lucky that both of our families are from the same area (we went to HS together). We go back to NJ about twice a year. So we went home for the holidays and banged out an engagement party, a venue, a photographer, a band, and some bridesmaids dresses. (good NJ vendors book up fast!). We’re going back in July, and planning to do our engagement pictures, florists, a tasting at the venue, and some other small things. It just kinda happens in spurts.
I’m really putting a lot of faith in my mom, sister, and other family and friend’s recommendations. I already had an idea about which venue I wanted when we started, and the coordinators at the venue have been really helpful with recommending vendors they normally work with. Most vendors have been really great with email, phone calls and skype (especially with the time difference!). If they couldn’t understand or sympathize with my situation, then I decided they just weren’t the vendor for me. I did hire a day-of coordinator. She’s been really helpful with vendor reccomendations and in deciding what to plan long-distance and what to do in-person.
As far as showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties, I’m not sure. I’m in grad school, and hopefully will be graduated with a new job by the wedding, so I have no idea the amount of time I’ll be able to take off near the wedding. We’ll just have to play that by ear for now. Our tentative plan is to at least be looking at jobs back on the mainland after I graduate, so we might have a better time planning the parties then.
I feel ya – sometimes I feel like everyone is just so far away and I am so alone out here! Comforting to see another Honolulu bride in the same situation 🙂
PS I bought my dress at Casablanca’s here. It was a WONDERFUL experience! They’re going to hold it and ship it back to NJ for me.
Post # 11
@eocenia: Good point.
My FI and I just had a conversation that pretty much decided on the fact that we don’t need a bridal shower.
Whew! Glad that one’s out of the way.
The Bachelor/bachelorette party, I’m not too worried about.
I just want our parents to meet face to face. They’ve sent Christmas cards and other pleasantries to each other, but never anything face to face.
Post # 12
@JackiBean:For us, things did become way less stressful once we had decided that we would give all our focus to the wedding itself.
As for your parents, I understand that you want them to meet before the event. In our case, I’m glad they’ve all meet – takes some additional stress off the planning (FMIL likes to micromanage things, but now she can’t and if most of the arrangements had been left to “strangers” she would have freaked). It also means that people will be able to take care of themselves when time comes to the wedding, i.e. my FI and I don’t have to spend time on introductions, showing sites etc (his parents visited us in Sweden in 2010).
Post # 13
FI and me just moved to NY, and both our whole families and all our guests live in Kansas where we’re from. We are planning our wedding in KS, and I too have wondered how exactly am I going to do it! I don’t really have any adivce, just empathizing with you! And to see what other bees are saying.
Post # 14
I totally understand! My family lives in Vancouver and Singapore. FI’s family is in Toronto, Netherlands and Romania. Between our close relatives and wedding party, we’ve got 11 different cities across 4 continents. About a third of the guests will be coming from outside N. America. Don’t even ask what our invitation postage cost lol! It was always going to be a destination wedding 😛
To complicate matters futher, FI lives in Seattle and I’m in Vancouver. We originally wanted to have the wedding in Hawaii but it was too expensive. In the end, we found a lodge in the mountains in eastern Washington that we fell in love with and decided to have it there.
So how are we doing it? Almost entirely by email, skype and the occasional phone call 😉 Everything from RSVPs to picking out bridesmaid dresses to florist consultations and hiring the DJ.
The lodge is quite remote and they will cater the reception but we have to bring practically everything else, like chair covers and the cake. The only bakery in the tiny town closed just after we booked the venue! So we’re still looking into cake options that will survive a 5-6 hour drive through the mountains in FI’s corolla.
Given our situation, I don’t know if a bridal shower/bachelorette will happen. To be honest, I don’t really want one. I’m asking my bridesmaids to arrive a day early at the lodge for a spa day in lieu.
None of our grandparents will be able to attend 🙁 None of them is in good enough health to travel, but I’m hoping we will be able to go for a visit before the honeymoon. Both sets of parents have met before (and thank god they all get along) but other relatives have not. We’re having a larger than normal rehearsal dinner for them to meet and mingle so they’re not complete strangers to each other.
You know what was really helpful? (I know, Vancouver and Seattle is not as far as Hawaii and California) but I timed one of my trips down to Seattle with a wedding show. I got a lot of info from many vendors in one trip and got to talk with them in person and do cake tastings etc.
Post # 15
@JackiBean: Wow! That is a long ways away, to plan anything. I am doing this also, but we are having our guests travel no more than 3 hours, from any direction, by car. Do you have anyone there in CA who you trust who can help you with any of the planning? I don’t know that I personally would want to do that, that would take a lot of trust in someone, to make things perfect. What we have been doing is emailing the vendors, and then planning one trip to the location, to meet with vendors and make our decisions at that time. How you do this from so far away? That is a tough one. I will think on it a while and if I come up with anything. I will post it for you. Gosh good luck!!
Post # 16
- Wedding: September 2013 - Creek club at ion, SC
Living in Spain, My family is in UK, hes in OK and the weddings in SC …. yea.
Well, bridal showers, partys before etc etc NOT going to happen.
When are your guests arriving? We decided to make a week of it. Monday – everyone settle in, Tuesday bowling Wed rehearsal dinner (maybe organise a spa morning for the girls), thurs wedding, fri farewell brunch Saturday and Sunday enjoy yourselves/get ready to travel back.
My FIL are supposed to be renting a place for the week so we should have the rehearsal dinner there.