(Closed) Planning a wedding while living in a different city.

posted 9 years ago in October 2012
Post # 3
939 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I’m planning a wedding 2 hours from where i live.  I want to get married back in my hometown because it will be cheaper than here.  I’m not planning on getting a coordinator though.  I’m hoping my family will be very helpful if i need someone to run and get things done for me.  I don’t go home very often.  I know it’s only two hours away, but the way my work schedule and FI’s work schedule is, it just doesn’t work out, so it might as well be from chicago to philly!

Post # 4
2116 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Haha welcome to my life! I’m planning a Chicago wedding from Australia! I spent 2 weeks in Chicago where I was able to get some planning done and I’ll be there for 2.5 months before the wedding. I haven’t hired anyone, I was able to go to the venue myself but haven’t met any other vendors face to face. You can do SO much over the internet these days. I suggest you download skype so that you can talk to any vendors face to face (thats how I talk to my photographer and minister). I also communicate with them through emails and telephone. Anything that I need to go in for, I send my mom or maid of honour and plan to finally meet these people when I get back to Chicago in a few weeks! Planning from far can be stressful but its doable!

Post # 5
291 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I would get some REALLY great relatives/BMs that will be able to help you out and run to places if you need them to.  Also, try planning longer weekend trips where you can get things done.  And don’t forget to ask the Bees that live in the area if they have any suggestions!  Congrats!  And great date too 😉

Post # 6
986 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

We booked out date Oct 19, 2012.  I live in Vancouver but my family is in Toronto so that is where we will be.  I found it really daunting to get started, but determined to get my venue.  We made a trip to Toronto and did crash venue hopping.  There were alot of great places and if I had extra money I would have hired a planner.  Because we didn’t we chose an all inclusive type place.  However, we still need to book things like flowers, DJ, and photographer.  I figure its a good excuse for more trips home.  Gee, maybe I should have booked a planner…lol.  Oh well, prefer the excuse to fly home.

Post # 7
227 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I live in California and the wedding is in New York. I’ve flown in twice already since February to take care of wedding planning and will be again in 4 weeks. Hopefully that will be the last time until December. My mother and sister have been amazingly helpful and each time I go there I make big “Checks” on my list.

Here’s kind of how it’s been going….

February 13th – got engaged

February 18 – 20 – mother and sister visit venues

March 1 – 5 – fly to NY to make final reception venue decision. Visit church where ceremony will be held. Meet with paster of church to book the date.

April 1 – 6 – fly to NY again, dress shop with mother, aunt and sister. Purchase dress! Visit recommened photographer with fiance. Visit venue to show fiance for the first time.

May 18 – sister asks what happened to wedding planning momentum. 

May 20 – mother and sister visit two recommended photographers and convince me to pick the one that they liked best. I call photographer and book them as well.

June 17 – bridal store calls to let me know dress is in – made appointment to see it and go Bridesmaid or Best Man dress shopping with sister and sister inlaw

Scheduled July 20 – 26 – Bridesmaid or Best Man dress shopping, meet with two recommeneded djs, pre-engagnement shoot with photographer.

So that’s it so far.

I’ve been doing a lot of emailing and phone calling to vendors to get general information.  Having originally over a year and a half to plan has helped. 1 year and 3 months to go now. I’m sure it will flllly by.

Post # 8
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@bls247: we live in Nashville, TN and are planning a wedding in Seattle (where his family is from).  We got engaged in October and the wedding day is 7/31/2011!  Not only that, we are moving out there in the month of July.  So not only am I planning a wedding, but we are coordinating a long distance move.  So far, I have secured a job in the area and he is still looking.  This means that next week (7/3) I am moving out there on my own (job starts that week), and he will follow when he finds a job.  There has been a lot of flying to the west coast (8 hour trip!), long trips and help from the Fi’s family.  I did not hire a wedding planner, although I did end up choosing a venue that has a venue coordinator and provides tables, chairs, linens and of course the food and drink. I am a decisive person and knew EXACTLY what I wanted, I believe this helps tremendously!  If you know what you are looking for, you can do a lot of research ahead of time and make decisions on the spot.  Here’s how it went down:

10/5/10 – We go engaged!

late October 2010 – flew out to Seattle (without the Fi) and spent the whole weekend looking at venues.  I was determined to make a decision on a venue then, and picked out a date based on availability.  I wanted a summer wedding, and Newcastle golf club had 7/31/2011 still available.  Boom!  Made a deposit.  The venue is exactly what I want http://www.newcastleevents.com/ The good part was that the Fi had already been at this venue before for a charity event, so he knew what to expect.  At this time, I also met with a variety of photographers that I had researched online, and made a deposit with the photographer.

November 2010 – I knew the type of dress I wanted, and found the dress of my dreams online.  To ensure that it looked as good on me as I thought it would, I went to a store to try it on, but bought it from netbride.com.  It is the only dress I ever tried on, and even though I’ve looked at many beautiful dresses since then, I love love love it still.  

December 2010 – flew out to Seattle again for the holidays, this time with the Fi of course.  We did our food tasting at the venue and met again with the photographer so the Fi could meet him.  I had also been researching bakers online and had decided on Jacqui’s Cakes, so we had our tasting with her, hashed out the design and made a deposit.  Easy peasy.  

March 2011 – I had a job interview in the area and used the opportunity to do some more wedding planning while I was out there.  Mainly, I met with Nisha from Fleurish and talked about floral design and made a deposit.  Again, I had researched many florists online and decided to go with her.  Do you see a trend here?  The internet is key to long distance planning.

Early June 2011 – Fi and I flew out (thank you frequent flyer miles!) again and did some apartment hunting (since I am moving out there so soon).  Got together with the Future Mother-In-Law and did a mock up of our centerpieces (we’re doing our own).


As for everything else, I’ve been doing things online.  I’ve never met with the DJ (Ryan Tilton of DJRT), but I found him online, sent him song lists, all that good stuff.  My future in-laws have been MOST HELPFUL.  We’re doing many things ourselves (like the centerpieces, ceremony decor, favors, etc) and I’ve been shopping for things online and sending them to FMIL’s house.  She has been crafting and prepping things (she’s retired and a great help).  

I think that’s about it, I am sure I am forgetting details but here’s the jist: 

1. know what you want, and know your budget. That’s the very first step.

2. do lots and lots of research.  The web is your friend.  

3. enlist the help of friends and family

4. plan your time wisely.  You will have to make a few trips, so plan them diligently and get as much done in one trip as you can.  It’s stressful but you’ll feel so relieved to cross things off your list.

5. after steps 1-4, GO FOR IT!  Don’t be afraid to make decisions.  


Post # 10
212 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

I’m actually enjoying out of town planning probably more than I would in-town. Why?  Because I’m FORCED to make decisions.  I have some family in San Antonio where the wedding is.  When we were in SA for Christmas we visited the venue, thinking that if we got engaged soon, we probably wouldn’t be back before we needed to choose a venue.  We got engaged in May, and booked this venue right away.  

I don’t have a wedding planner.  I had family go visit a photography and a church for me.  I had carefully narrowed those down to 1 via the web, and if the family said they are “fine”, I went with it and signed a contract.  I hired a Day of Coordinator since I’ll be limited DIY wise, but still want her to do those touches.  The Day of package included referrals.  I had the longest chat with the coordinator on the phone before hiring.  When I felt I trusted her, I hired her and went with her referrals for both the photographer and DJ.  So about 5 of my 7 were chosen via the web/referrals/reviews…2 I had family visit…1 I visited.  I’ll be going to SA only once btwn engagement and wedding, it is 3 months before the wedding.  Then I will meet in person all the vendors I hired, see flower mock ups, plan with DJ, go to a cake tasting for baker I narrowed down to 1, etc.  I like that my projects and shopping for vendors is limited by distance.  While every vendor may not turn out as well as I hope (you never know), I believe that’s the case even when you meet with 5 florists and select 1.  

I don’t think you need a planner if you go at least once before the wedding, get to your wedding place about a week before wedding, and perhaps hire a Day of Coordinator who actually starts helping about 6 wks before (and gives referrals right away upon hiring).

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