Planning a wedding from across the country?

posted 3 years ago in Money
Post # 3
6073 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@LePetitJambon:  I have researched and planned weddigns in like 4 different states and 3 different countries (our idea changed a lot!).  The internet is your friend!  Find wedding blogs and photographer blogs for the area.  I like to see other real weddings that were done in the venue I’m looking at.  Sometimes I even found out a way to contact that bride to ask questions. was one place where I could message brides.

Post # 4
2184 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium

We planned our wedding across country. It honestly wasn’t that bad. This was our timeline: Got engaged in October 2010: Flew down and looked at 6 venues in December 2010; Chose venue in February 2011; Flew down in September 2011 to finalize/meet all of our vendors; Drove down the week before our wedding in Novemver to tie up loose ends… Got married November 19, 2011. 

We didn’t want to (or really have the money to) go back and forth a whole lot. We chose a pretty inclusive venue that didn’t need much decor. I did the centerpieces– with the help of my dad and MIL who live where we got married. They bought the pieces and stored them until it was showtime. Our caterer did all the set up based off of photos I had given her. We also chose to have lots of smaller personal elements, and I wrote our ceremony. Our DJ was fantastic and actually did a lot of the coordinating that our onsite coordinator was supposed to do. 

If what you’re looking for is casual, I would think it wouldn’t be too hard. Have you looked into parks? Some are really wedding friendly and may even have an onsite coordinator to help with the process. 

Post # 5
362 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I’m not married yet but I’m planning a DW in Hawaii. Planning a wedding from a different state is totally doable! Like another poster said, the internet is your friend! There are sooooo many resources out there but it just takes time to research and see what fits your taste and budget. You can hire a wedding planner if you want, but I don’t think it’s necessary. The wedding planner that I spoke to was going to charge us $5k, which is ridiculous considering that that is a huge chunk of our budget. I spend a lot of time on weddingbee to get ideas and suggestions, so I think you’ve come to a great place to help with your wedding planning!

Post # 6
2642 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@LePetitJambon:  We also had an out of state wedding (live in VA, married in MI).  It’s TOTALLY doable!  The internet is a wonderful thing!

In our 9 month engagement, I think I only went back to MI 3-4 times.  When we were back for Christmas, we made a bunch of appointments to see venues and then picked one within a 3-4 day time period.  I went back again to try on dresses with my mom, MOH, MIL, and grandmothers.  I also picked my florist that same weekend.  Then I went back another time for my shower and I think that was it. 

My biggest piece of advice is to deligate and trust your vendors.  My parents, MOH, and brother did the food and cake tasting for us.  I gave my florist the basic idea of what I wanted and let her go.  I never met with her in person nor did she send me mock-ups or anything.  If you can’t visit a venue, send a mom, relative, or other trusted friend. 

As far as DIY stuff, as long as you can drive, it shouldn’t be an issue.  I didn’t have a ton of DIY, not like what you see on Pinterest, but we did have some things (favors, place cards, some centerpieces, programs, etc.).  I actually was able to do some stuff in the few days before the wedding.  My whole family (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents) came over 2-3 days before the wedding and helped me put together my aisle decor, programs, place cards, and some centerpieces).  It was hectic but so much fun!


Post # 7
106 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Well, I wasn’t quite so long distance – but our wedding is about 4 hours away from where we live, and in a place I’d never been to and wasn’t familiar with at all, and we were pretty tight on money, so it’s a bit similar.




What we did was a weekend trip in October 2012 to pick a venue (the wedding is October 2013), and a weekend trip in just a few weeks to iron out final details. 




What I did was do a ton of research, emails and phone calls to narrow down to about 8-9 venues, then we visited them all in one weekend (yes, it was busy! But we did it!)  and picked one.  Before we even visited venues I got their lists of required/recommended caterers and looked at packages and pricing. 


I booked our caterer without having met them.  This might freak a lot of people out but again… Internet reviews are your friend, plus you can get a good feel from emails/phone calls.  Some of the caterers I talked to were vague and didn’t get back to me by email or phone – a pretty good sign that they wouldn’t be very good to work with!


I totally feel you about the destination & budget wedding being so hard.  You can’t do a potluck when everyone’s traveling, and you can’t really bring/make your own food without kitchen access.  It helped me to kind of accept that to me, food is food and as long as it’s good, I don’t care if I have super unique stuff.




Another idea is to get a suite or apartment to yourself through Airbnb on the days leading up to the wedding.  I don’t think I’ll be up for doing cookie favors or anything, but we’re renting an entire apartment for $100 a night for the 2 nights before the wedding… so if we really wanted, we could make and store some wedding food. 




If you used non-breakable DIY stuff for decor, you could even ship it to someone in the area, or even to your hotel, so you can DIY from afar.




The bright side that I look on is if your wedding is far away, it kind of forces you to do most of the planning early and figure out how to bring absolutely everything with you.  So, hopefully you can relax more in the days before your wedding instead of running to Michaels at 2am!


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