(Closed) Having a wedding in another state for family?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I’m in your boat- planning a wedding on the East Coast but we live in TX. It’s definitely possible, you just have to be more organized as to which to-do list items need to be done when. For example, when we first got engaged, I made a list of all the things that absolutely had to be done in person, and which vendors I would prefer to see before I met but could be done by phone/ email if I was in a pinch. Then we narrowed down our choices as much as possible online and combined physical vendor visits with normal trips home. So last Christmas (about 1 month after we got engaged), in the week we were home we booked the caterer, church, reception venue, florist, DJ, photographer, and bought my dress. Was it crazy? yes. Did I get to do much with friends from back home? Not really. But we got to see everything in person, and were happy with our picks. Thanks to this strategy, I was able to do only one more trip between then and the wedding- this time, to do tastings, dress fitting, get the marriage license, and a follow-up with the DJ and priest. Everything else can be done remotely.Hope that helps! As for convincing Fiance, that part was easy- having it in TX would have required every single member of our families to fly, and since family is really important to us, we just didn’t want to go that route.

Post # 5
2179 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I’ve lived in Chicago for 6 years and my fiance has lived here all his life.  All of his family and friends live within an hour of us.  My family all lives in Virginia and North Carolina, and bridesmaids are in VA, TN, OH and New Husband.  

While the idea of getting married in VA, where I grew up, was appealing, the idea of planning a wedding 900 miles away was not.  Also, having met in the city and so much of our love story revolving around Chicago locations and things, we made the decision to get married here.  

Our budget is laughable for the city, but it means a lot to us to say our vows in a place we know and love.  All of my family and friends, save for a few (co-workers and a few friends) are flying in.  My family gives me a hard time about it occasionally, but they know that there was good reason for us to choose Chicago.  I say go with whatever will make you happiest, and whatever will keep you the most sane!  Good luck.

Post # 6
2622 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I had mine in CT and live in San Fran. I had to fly home for my shower, but that was it. Everything can be done remotely. The only downside is you cant really do any DIY projects.

Post # 7
5001 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I grew up in CA and moved away 4 year ago, when I met my Fiance, who is from our current city as is his family. My parents are paying for the wedding and have a much larger guest list, and we are not planning to stay in our current city (nor do we like it!), so it makes sense to have it in CA where my parents live. Logistically it is a little trickier, but tons of people do it! I set up meetings every time I’m in town and will hire a wedding coordinator but that’s mostly because I’m finishing my PhD this year while planning. I would say about 40% of our guests will be out-of-town, including most bridesmaids and groomsmen. It will work out!

Post # 8
224 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I know someone planning a wedding in GA and all of FI’s family is flying in from NY because they can afford so. I think it will be fine if you are extremely organized and can do the “big” things (venue, photographers, etc.) during a holiday break. Also, all of my vendors do not mind calls/texts/skyping. Do you have family/friends back home you feel you can genuinely trust if you couldn’t make it back for things like a tasting??? It’s possible, it just boils down to what will make you happy AND sane Smile.

Post # 10
1699 posts
Bumble bee

@awolfpaw:  How did the conversation with your mother go? If it went: “Oh, I certainly hope that when you do get married, you let me host your reception here in Massachusetts! That will be easier for all your friends and family!” then she has tradition and good manners on her side. The socially generous response would be for you to say “Oh, thank-you, Mama!” and leave all the reception details of venue, catering, and decoration in her hands. You then focus on your dress, your trousseau, setting up your marital home, and so on; all of which can be done comfortably from Wisconsin. There is some implication there that she will cover the costs of her own decisions, but you can certainly help her out with that privately, if you wish: etiquette doesn’t get itself involved in finances as long as they are discreet. She can also consult you on matters of taste if she wishes: that is what Skype and chatrooms are for. You simply show up a day or two before the wedding as her guests of honour. Well, that and make sure that you double-check the marriage license and officiant/church requirements for the wedding proper: those things really are the responsibility of the Bride and Groom in their roles as bride and groom, regardless of whether they take on the role of Host and Hostess.

Now if what she said was “Oh, I certainly hope that when you do get married, you hold your reception here in Massachusetts!” then that is a different kittle of fish. I cannot see how you would pull off a major social event in a different city without delegating a lot of responsibility to local residents, and if those local residents have not offered their services, your requests could be a significant imposition. A good local event planner could fill in to help you carry it off, but good planners do not come cheaply.


Post # 11
7902 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

I planned from 5 hours away. It certainly wasn’t easy peasy, but it wasn’t that bad. I did as much as I could when I was already “home” over holidays and things and did a lot on the phone and by email. If you stay organized, you can do it. The trickiest part for me was the dress, because it came into the store in Miami, so I had to go get it and then take it back to Gainesville, from which I had to take it to 3 fittings in Ocala, and then pick it up the week before the wedding on my way “home” to Ft. Lauderdale with then-FI in the car (but of course, dress in a opaque bag). There was no way I could do fittings at 6, 4, and 2 weeks in Fort Lauderdale.

Post # 12
3697 posts
Sugar bee

Where are your Fiance and his family from?

My Fiance and I met in Wisconsin and are getting married here. My family is all from a couple of states further west, his is all a couple of states further east, and so we’re calling it “equal opportunity abuse” having everyone travel here for it.

The Pros: this is a more interesting destination (and easier to get to) than either of our hometowns; we are able to maintain control over most aspects of planning; it allows us to invite widely (especially across my large extended family) because the people who really care will make the trip and the ones who don’t, won’t.

The Cons: hard for a lot of hometown friends to attend; maybe a bit more expensive than it would have been in my hometown, at least (although I imagine for you a WI wedding might be a little more affordable than the East Coast?)

Post # 14
292 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’m planning from 6 time zones away! It can be done! I agree with the PP that said you need to make a list of things that need to be done in person (tastings, venue tours, etc.) and schedule meetings ahead of time for those particular aspects when you’ll be in MA anyway. One huge way I’ve found to simplify things is to go the less custom route and get a hotel ballroom with an all-inclusive type package. I’ve been able to trade things I don’t want (chair covers) for things I do want (extra hors doeurves), and it also included an event planner. I would suggest sending your mom/sister out to do initial searches so you don’t have to meet with more than 2 or 3 potential venues. I would also recommend shopping for your dress where you live and then bringing it with you to the wedding.

Hope that helps! But it can be done!

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